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“ Jeanne, thou hast stated that, in consequence of the revelations thou hadst at seventeen years of age, thou didst abandon thy father and thy mother against their wills, which proved to them so displeasing that they were nigh falling dangerously ill; and that thou didst repair to Robert de Baudricourt, who, at thy desire, furnished thee with the robes of a man, and a sword, as well as persons to accompany thee unto thy king, to whom thou didst state, that thou camest to expel his adversaries, and didst promise that thou wouldst re-establish him on his throne, that he should prove victorious over all his enemies, that God sent thee to do this deed; and thou hast stated that all the acts aforesaid were performed by thee in obedience to God, and from revelation.
“ With respect to these articles, the clerks say that thou hast been wicked and passionate towards thy parents, in transgressing God's commandment to honour thy father and thy mother. That thou hast proved thyself scandalous and a blasphemer of God, erring from the faith, and hast made a presumptuous and daring promise to thy king."
Jeanne is here arraigned for deserting the paternal roof without the advice and consent of her parents. This was not only a fault, but highly blameable. We deem it essential to discard the opinion cherished by some writers, who inculcate the doctrine of trampling nature under foot, when the voice of Heaven seems to tolerate such conduct. Why did not Jeanne consult and adopt the opinion of an indulgent father? Is not that prudent resistance which frequently is made to the wild fancies of youth, inculcated
by the Divinity itself? In this there is no doubt but Jeanne d'Arc acted erroneously; but was she therefore to suffer agonizing tortures at the stake ?
Jeanne, thou hast stated that of thine own good will thou didst leap from the tower of Beaurevoir into the moat, preferring death to falling into the power of the English, or living after the destruction of Compiegne; and that Saints Catherine and Margaret had commanded thee not to retreat from the said tower; nevertheless, thou couldst not restrain nor guard thyself against the same, and that in consequence thou wert guilty of a great sin in acting against their orders; but that thou hast since learned, by means of thy voices, that God had pardoned thee this sin after thou hadst confessed the same.
“As to the present article, the clerks state that it betrayed pusillanimity, bordering upon desperation to commit suicide; and forasmuch as thou hast uttered a daring and presumptuous assertion, in having affirmed that God had pardoned thee this sin, thou savourest ill as regards the freedom of human judgment."
Jeanne d'Arc is here reproached for an attempt upon her own life in escaping through the casement of the fortress of Beaurevoir. She did not jump from the window with intent to sacrifice herself, but for the purpose of saving her life; and yet the clerks came to a decision, “ that she savours ill as regards the freedom of human judgment."
Ninth. “ Jeanne, thou hast affirmed that Saint Catherine and
Saint Barbe have promised to conduct thee to Paradise, in case thou preservest thy virginity, which thou hast offered up and promised them, and that of this thou art as fully assured as if thou wert actually in the glory of paradise ; and that thou dost not believe the having committed the work of mortal sin. And that if thou wert guilty of mortal sin, Saints Catherine and Margaret would not visit thee as they were accustomed to do.
“Respecting this article, the clerks say, that in thus acting thou hast been guided by temerity and presumptuousness, that the assertion is a pernicious lie, that it is in contradiction to what thou hast previously stated, and that thou savourest ill in regard to the Christian faith.”
The ninth plea adduced for burning Jeanne d'Arc, was grounded upon her assertion, that she firmly believed herself as sure of enjoying paradise as if she were already there. Such a happy conviction would be generally esteemed a triumph of faith, and the most pure homage that could be offered up to the Divinity: in this case, however, it was tortured into a crime.
“ Jeanne, thou hast affirmed thy conviction that God loves no other person living more than thyself, and that thou knowest it from the revelations of the beforementioned saints; that they converse in French, and not in the English tongue, because they are not favourable to them; and that thou hast since known that the voices in question were for thy king, and that thou hast not loved the Burgundians.
" In regard to this article, the clerks state, that it is a bold assertion, an injury done to those saints, and a transgression against the commandment of God, which is to love thy neighbour."
La Pucelle, in the above charge, is found culpable of presumption in daring to assert “ that God loved no one living more than herself;” be it so. She declares that the saints always conversed in French, and not in English, being inimical to the latter. This was an extravagant foolery; but an outrageous folly, no less ridiculous, was that of the clerks, who reproached her for having imputed to the saints that they did not love their neighbours. When the saints have once attained the celestial abode, they protect us, and only love the power that rewards them.
ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH.
“ Jeanne, thou hast said that to those, whom thou callest Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, thou hast often performed acts of reverence in bending thy knees to earth, in kissing the ground whereon they walked in their virgin state, and that thou hast kissed and clasped them round their necks, and that from the beginning they came from God, without taking counsel of thy curate or any other churchman; and that, nevertheless, thou believest that voice to proceed from God as firmly as thou confidest in the Christian faith, and that Jesus Christ suffered death and the passion; and that if any evil spirit should appear under the form and figure of Saint Michael, thou shouldst recognise him well. Thou hast likewise affirmed that for nothing upon earth thou wouldst make known the sign
given to thy king, unless it were by the command of God.
“ To which the clerks say, that suppose thou hadst had the revelations and apparitions whereof thou makest boast, in the manner stated, thou art an idolater, an invoker of demons, erring from the faith, and hast rashly pronounced an illicit oath.
“ Jeanne, thou hast stated that, in case the church required thee to do contrary to the command which thou sayest was pronounced by God, thou wouldst not do it for any thing on earth ; and that thou knowest well that what is contained in thy process is in consequence of the command of God; that it would be impossible for thee to act contrarily; and that, with regard to all the above-mentioned things, thou wilt not appeal to the judgment of the church as received on earth, nor to living man, but to God only; and thou sayest besides, that these answers are not from thine own head, but by the order of Omnipotence; although the article of faith states that every one should believe in the Catholic church, which thou hast several times declared ; and that every good catholic Christian should submit all his acts to the church, and particularly in revelation and such things.
“As regards this article, the clerks say, that thou art a schismatic, imperfectly impressed with the truth and authority of the church, and that up to the present period thou hast erred perviciously in the faith of God.”
These two concluding accusations rest upon Jeanne's refusal to submit to the judgment of the church. In this tribunal she only beheld a furious prelate, who had become possessed of her person for the sum of six thousand francs,