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Priest and Pharisees." Let us, ed in the house, it thundered inhowever, come to the statement cessantly. The possessed female itself, which he calls, “ a sign for required two persons to keep her unbelievers, and an effect of the in bed before he entered; but, promise of Christ."
though she could not see bim, she, Some time, it seems, after Easter, on his approach, required three, 1815, the Reverend author was ap- and (still without seeing him) said plied to by the friends of a young she knew who he was, and gradwoman, a Protestant, who had been ually revived. He then explained married in the beginning of the some of the articles of the Cathopreceding Lent, and on the week lic faith, and assured her, that she after her marriage became sudden- must believe the holy Catholic ly delirious, and declared that a Church before she could obtain multitude of infernal spirits sur- relief ; which she at once declared rounded her, with whom she must she did, and had done from the go: she even threatened to effect moment she knew what holy water self-destruction. This state of was, and experienced its effects. mind had lasted for two months, She then pronounced a long eulowhen her medical attendant declar. gium on it; declared she was not ed that in all probability she could delirious, but knew and remembernot survive twenty-four hours. The ed all that had passed; upon which clergyman of the parish was ac- the author says that he dipped his cordingly called in; but finding the finger into the holy water, and case past bis art, be departed. At made the sign of the cross on her length, however, a Roman Catho- forehead, which she again declared lic woman made a tender of her scalded her. The Lord's Prayer services, which were accepted; was then repeated; but when the when she procured some holy patient came to the petitions, she water, with which she made the fell into convulsions, and could sign of the cross upon the patient's hardly articulate; after which the forehead, who declared she was exorcisms began, through the scalded, but forth with fell into a whole of which every limb and gentle sleep. On awaking, the joint was agitated and convulsed. female Catholic put holy water into In the mean time, the Reverend allher mouth, on which she said her thor adds, "the lightning was flashthroat was scalded, but in a few ing and the thunder rolling; while minutes fell into a comfortable sleep I with an imperative voice was for some hours. Next morning, commanding the evil spirit to reply more holy water was applied, which to my interrogatories, and to go gave ease, and from that time the forth from her.” The whole being danger of death decreased. She duly concluded, the patient became then enjoyed, the writer says, lucid calm, and in a few minutes conintervals, and invariably after the versed with the same ease as beapplication of holy water fell into fore her affliction. She was then bapa slumber.
tized into the Romish Church; and It is time, however, that the the exorcist adds, that he repeated exorcist himself should make his several acts of contrition, during appearance. He did not, it seems, which“she trembled like a leaf, and attend on the first application; but again said the holy water gave her on the Tuesday in Rogation Week as much pain as boiling water.” Imhe set out, a special messenger mediately after the ceremony, she having stated that the patient was conversed with all the cheerfulness in a worse condition than ever. It of a person in perfect health and was, he says, the most awful visit spirits, took her tea, was next day he ever made; for during his walk downstairs perfectly well, and of six miles, and while he remain- has remained so ever since.
The Reverend writer having thus fact, it is such corruptions of truth concluded his narrative, proceeds as these wbich make ipfidels : it is to designate the Protestant Religion when the fair form of a scriptural as " a sect," and dilates on the sur faith comes to be tricked out in prising efficacy of what he terms such false and meretricious frip
mere salt and water blessed by a pery that many persons of good Catholic Priest.” He then adverts sense in the Catholic Church conto “ the super-enlightened men of ceive disgust, and are repelled, even the age," as likely to turn away at the threshold of such a creed, from such a story as beneath their from proceeding to examine and potice ; nor indeed does any very embrace it. . Many points in Chrisuncommon degree of light appear tianity, which are above reason, necessary to produce such a conse- but without being repugnant to it, quence. In an appendix he states, have found humble and bonest bethat having visited his patient up- lievers even in the strongest and wards of a year afterwards, she most cultivated minds; but whattold him lhat she knew nothing at ever is both below reason, and all about the Catholic religion, but contrary to it, as are many of the was convinced that it was the truth, doctrinal errors of the Romish and would acquire a knowledge of Church, cannot but tend to drive it as soon as possible ; upon which multitudes in every age and nation he promised to send her books of into the darkness and wickedness instruction, and left with her two of Deism as a refuge; while those copies of the account of her own who choose to take their religion exorcism-probably, in order to upon trust, and to believe all that her more speedy conversion; and a corrupt .church has prescribed, he sums up the whole by a solemn have been always accustomed to declaration, that the ministers of his rest, like the Jews of old, in the church have inherited the powers false security of external forms, granted by Christ to his Apostles! and have proved themselves any It is important to observe, that thing rather tban the spiritual worthis miracle of Mr. Peach is highly shippers required by that Gospel extolled by the Roman Catholics of which declares, that “ except a England, and is recorded with man be born again he cannot enter admiration by the editors of two into the kingdom of beaven;"-a monthly Roman Catholic Journals, birth, not merely by the baptism of which are published in London. water into a visible church, but by
In this relation of casting out a devil the baptism of the Holy Spirit also by a moderu priest of the Church into an invisible one. To such forof Rome, we observe a very conve- malists the reproof of our Lord nient and summary mode adopted to the Jews applies with undimiof getting over the objections which nished force : “ In vain do they Scripture and reason alike present worship me, teaching for doctrines against continued miracles—that the commandments of men.”—With is, to brand all who do not believe regard to the declaration of the them as infidels. A similar mode Reverend writer in question, that of reasoning has always been adopt- if our Saviour were to appear again ed by the Church of Rome, in sup. on earth, his miracles would make port of transubstantiation, purga. no impression on certain persons; tory, the infallibility of the Church, if he mean to include in this clause the saving nature of the sacraments, the faithful members of the Pro&c.; in all which cases, as in that testant Church, which he afterwards of miracles, if a man will not take terms “ a sect,” he may be briefly the testimony of tradition, or rather answered, ihat it is simply because of the priesthood, he is considered the miracles of our Lord do make as an infidel or a heretic. But in an impression on the members of
that church, that they refuse to exorcists, as Christ plainly intibelieve in the forgeries and false- mates : “ If I by Beelzebub cast hoods which have been since at- 'out devils, by whom do your chiltempted to be added to them. dren cast them out?” We read
The two main fallacies of the also, in the Acts, of “ vagabond narrator, as of his church, are- Jews," who “ exorcists." And 1st, his erroneous interpretation of Josephus relates (Antiq. I. viii. Scripture, by which he would prove c. 2.), that he saw the Jew Eleazer that our Lord's gift of miracles to casting out devils by the help of a his first followers descended in suc- magical riug, in the presence of cession to the end of the world, Vespasian and his army. Thus and that such succession is confined also the disciples told their Lord, 10 the Catholic Priesthood; and, that they had seen one 2dly, tbat, among other splendid out devils in his name, who followmiracles, this of casting out devils ed not with them.” So far is such is a certain proof of the Divine a testimony, even if its present authority of their doctrine.
existence could be proved, from As to the first of these errors, it affording a criterion of a true is just as reasonable a notion as church, that the same gift to Judas that the gift of tongues was to con- did not prove him a true disciple, lipue, and can be as easily disprov- but left bim where it found himed. “ All those acts," says Bi. a false one. Well, therefore, might shop Hall, “ wbich proceeded from our Lord say, “ In this rejoice supernatural privilege, ceased with not, that the spirits are subject to their cause. Who now dare under you; but rather rejoice because take to continue them, unless bold your pames are written in heaven.” Papists, who have brought in gross What divines call“ gifts and magic, instead of miraculous au- graces,” are very distinct things. thority?" (See bis Letter to the Bi. Moses assigns an infallible test by shop of Worcester.) And again ; which the truth of a creed or doc“ Why should any in these latter trine may be tried; namely, whether times challenge a right of succes« or not the party working a miracle sion in one miracle, and not claim in its own favour inculcate the worit in another? All these were given ship of the true God. If not, his with one and the same breath, con- miracle is fallacious, and his continued by the same Power, and cal- demnation certain. (See Deut. xiii. led in and stinted by the same Pro- 1–5.) Thus our Lord foretold the vidence,with their fellow-miracles.” appearance of false Christs and false (lovis. World, b. iii. 9 9.) The li- prophets, whose signs and wonders miting of the performance of these should even be great: and an ancient wonders to the Catholic Priesthood Prophet points out the only proper was an admirable expedient for test of miraculous pretensions : keeping the world in awe, and sub- “ To the law and to the testimony: jecting all mankind to the dominion if they" (the performers of miof an ecclesiastical tyranny.- racles)“ speak not according to Secondly, If the Romish Church this word, it is because there is no could even succeed in proving that light in them.” (Isa. viii. 20.) The the miracle of casting out devils true and golden rule in this matter is were now in ber bands, which I furnished by Justin Martyr: "How need not say she never can, she shall it be known that our miracles would be no nearer the proof of are better than those of the heaher own infallibility or perfection. then ?" The answer to which is, The magicians of Egypt certainly “ By the faith and worship of the performed some considerable won- true God,”-in adverting ło which ders; but they were still false pro. passage Bishop Hall observes ; phets. The corrupt Jews had their • Miracles must be judged by the
.doctrine they confirm; not the doc- tion all the miracles which Christ
and its sentiments remain unre.
more prove the likely, before long, to awaken to a Church of Roue a true church sense of their duty, and to burst than the acknowledged absence of the shackles of the spiritual tyranthose powers will prove the Church ny which at present impedes the -of England a false church.“ Once," progress of their country in sound says he, "it was known by miracles, koowledge and piety, as well as in who were true Christians, and who civilization and social happiness. were false; but now that the power My readers will not have forgotten of working miracles is wholly taken the memorable meeting at Cavan, away, the pretence of it is to be in October 1817, when a large found amongst those who pretend assembly of Roman Catholic layto be Christians." Witb this agrees men publicly resolved, that no the opinion of Augustine, who ob- priest in all the diocese of Kilmore -serves; “ Agaiøst those pretended was fit to assist or succeed to their workers of miracles, God has put present bishop; whose own incomme upon my guard, by admonish- petence was more than hinted, and ing me that in the last days there he was requested to appoint" some shall arise false prophets, who shall learned stranger” as his coadjutor. work such signs and wonders as to In this important discussion, Dr. deceive, if possible, the very elect." M'Donald took the lead, and stated, And in Jike spanner, Calvin re- without contradiction, that “ ,warks; “ To demand miracles of torious and flagrant abuses bad us is highly wrong ; for we have long existed”-that “ scandalous not been the inventors of a new lives rendered men unfit for the Gospel, but we retain that very ministry of the Gospel”-that “a Laospel which has for its contirma- 'superstition of the most monstrous
and detestable description, which by a Catholic priest in Germany, would have dishonoured and dis- to which the Professor, himself a graced the most barbarous ages, Catholic, has prefixed a recommenhad taken firm root;"—that " the datory preface, in which he gives exclusive right of working miracles his sanction to the principles laid was now laid claim to by men of down in the work, and to the inthe most infamous and profligate ferences which result from them. characters, who are not only a dis. To afford a proof of the liberal honour to religion, but a disgrace spirit in which ibis work is written, to human nature; some of whom a spirit which I have reason to are so far gone in folly as well as hope actuates no small number of depravity, as to make religion pan- the members of that church der to their avarice and profligacy;" present day, I beg leave 10 frans. —and he declared there were then mit to you the following translapresent the most respectable per- tion of a passage in which the sons ready to attest the truth of author most candidly and ably his assertion. The speaker, after vindicates the Protestant Church urging the bishop to a system of against the charge of heresy. The reform, roundly asserts, that "it is duty or propriety of such interin vain to look for reformation from marriages as he recommends, is, ang exertion of the elergy:"-Tlis I think, bighly questionable ; non meeting, as might have been ex- can two conscientious members of pected, produced at the time a churches differing so widely aud great sensation in Ireland. But fundamentally, hope for that Chris. this is little to the purpose, unless tian union in marriage which is suitable remedies are devised to necessary to the true happiness cure these evils. I would therefore of that holy state, and to the right earnestly hope, that Protestants on discharge of its duties. Still it is both sides of the Channel, stimu: pleasing to witness that increase lated by such paioful facts as have ingly candid and tolerant spirit been mentioned, will continue to which is begioning to spring up in persevere, amidst all the disappoint- the bosom of the Romish Church, ments, they have experienced, in and which, though at present very sending the sacred volume to every limited in its extent and operation, cabin in Ireland, and in educating may, by God's blessing, rapidly as. the rising race, as far as the bigotry sume a wider range. Let Proteg. of the priesthood will allow it, in tauts follow the liberal example of those scriptural principles which some of their Catholic. brethren ; will best enable them to discern and while they contend earnestly the errors and artifices of their for the purity of the faith, aud misguided and misguiding instruct- manfully oppose the errors and ors. This will indeed be an eman- delusions of the Church of Rome, cipation worthy of the name; an let them beware of intolerance and emancipation from sin, and wretch- party spirit, and endeavour, by edness, and ignorance; and, by the precept and example, to acceleDivine blessing, the prelude to an rate the arrival of that blessed day abundant admission "into the glori: when the true '
members of the ous liberty of the children of God.” church of Christ, however scatter
LAICUS. ed at present, will form one fold
under one Shepherd. Such a prosTo the Edilorof the Christian Observer. encourage every Christian mind;
pect canoot but highly interest and PROFESSOR Leander Van Ess late, and I must venture to express a ly sept inę a small volume in de strong opinion, that the way to fence of " the intermarrying of hasten its arrival is not by meang, Protestants and Catholics,” written of bigotry or persecution, --by
CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 242. N