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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 303



always rebelling against the authority of the Church, and always ready to be terrified by the threats of the priests and to repent with tears. In religion they exercised a sort of fetish worship. For it was no matter what odds were against them so long as the wood of the True Cross was with them ; it mattered little what manner of lives they led so long as a priest would absolve them ; there was no sin which could not be expiated by the slaughter of the Mohammedans. Every Crusader had a right to heaven ; this, whatever else it was, was an escape from the fires of hell. The devil, who was always roaming up and down the world, appearing now in one form and now in another, had no power over a soldier of the Cross. Everybody, for instance, knows the story of the Picard knight. He had made a bargain with the devil, to get revenge—this obtained, he could not get rid of his infernal ally. He took the Cross and the devil ceased to torment him. But when Jerusalem was taken, and he returned home, he found the devil there already, awaiting him in his own castle. Therefore he took the Cros3 again, went outre mer, stayed there, and was no more troubled. And every Crusader was ready to swear that he had never himself met any other devil than the black Ethiopians of the Egyptian army. The saints, on the other hand, frequently appeared, as we have seen. Such, in a fe\v words, were the manners of the Christians over whom ruled Baldwin III. ; an unruly, ungodly set, superstitious to their fingers' ends, and only redeemed from utter savagery by their unbounded loyalty to their chiefs, by their dauntless courage in battle, and by whatever little gleams of light may have shone upon them through the chinks and joints of the iron armour with which they had covered, so to speak, and hidden the fair and shining limbs of Christianity.


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