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equipped, addressed a long discourse to Jetzer, in which, among other things, she told him that she was conceived in Original Sin, though she had remained but a short time under that blemish.She gave him, as a miraculous proof of her presence, a host, or consecrated wafer, which turned from white to red in a moment; and after various visits, in which the greatest enormities were transacted, the virgin prior told Jetzer, that she would give him the most affecting and undoubted marks of her Son's love, by imprinting on him the FIVE WOUNDS that pierced Jesus on the Cross, as she had done before to St. Lucia and St. Catherine. Accordingly, she took his hand by force, and struck a large nail through it, which threw the poor dupe into the greatest torment. The next night this masculine virgin brought, as she pretended, some of the linen in which Christ had been buried, to soften the wound, and gave Jetzer a soporific draught, which had in it the blood of an unbaptised child, some grains of incense and of consecrated salt, some quicksilver, the hairs of the eye-brows of a child, all of which, with some stupifying and poisonous ingredients, were mingled together by the prior with magic ceremonies, and a solemn dedication of himself to the devil, in the hope of his succour. This draught threw the poor wretch into a sort of lethargy, during which the monks imprinted on his body the other four wounds of Christ in such a manner, that he felt no pain.-When he awakened, he found to his unspeakable joy these impressions on his body, and came at last to fancy himself a representative of Christ, in the various parts of his passion. He was in this state exposed to the admiring multitude on the principal altar of the convent, to the great mortification of the Franciscans. The Dominicans gave him some other draughts that threw him into convulsions, which were followed by a voice conveyed through a pipe into the mouths of two images, one of Mary and another of the child Jesus; the former of which had tears painted upon his cheeks in a lively manner. The little Jesus asked his mother, by means of this voice, (which was that of the prior's) why she wept? and she answered, that her tears were owing to the impious manner in which the Franciscans attributed to her the honour that was due to him, in saying that she was conceived and born without sin.
"The apparitions, false prodigies, and abominable stratagems of these Dominicans were repeated every night, and the matter was at length so grossly
over-acted, that simple as Jetzer was, he at last discovered it, and had almost killed the prior, who appeared to him one night in the form of the virgin with a crown on her head. The Dominicans fearing, by this discovery, to lose the fruits of their imposture, thought the best method would be to own the whole matter to Jetzer, and to engage him by the most seducing promises of opulence and glory, to carry on the cheat. Jetzer was persuaded, or at least appeared to be so. But the Dominicans, suspecting that he was not entirely gained over, resolved to poison him; but his constitution was so vigorous, that though they gave him poison five several time, he was not destroyed by it. One day they sent him a loaf prepared with some spices, which, growing green in a day or two, he threw a piece of it to a wolf's whelps that were in the monastery, and it killed them immediately. At another time, they poisoned the host, or consecrated wafer, but as he vomited it up soon after he swallowed it, he escaped once more. In short, there were no means of securing him, which the most detestable impiety and barbarity could invent, that they did not put in practice, till finding at last an opportunity of getting out of the Convent, he threw himself into the hands of the magistrates, to whom he made a full discovery of this infernal plot. The affair being brought to Rome, Commissaries were sent from thence to examine the matter; and the whole cheat being fully proved, the four friars were solemnly degraded from their priesthood, and were burnt alive on the last day of May, 1509. Jetzer died some time after at Constance, having poisoned himself, as was believed by some. Had his life been taken away before he had found an opportunity of making the discovery already mentioned, this execrable and horrid plot, which in many of its circumstances was conducted with art, would have been handed down to posterity as a stupendous miracle.'
"The following extract is remarkable, as exhibiting the facility with which the Pope, the Inquisition, the Clergy, and the people of the Church of Rome, can be imposed on, the value of the authentication which the sanction of the highest authority in that Church can confer on Miracles, the severity' of scrutiny to which they are voluntarily' subjected, unless there be pressure from without, such as the authority of Princes, or the watchfulness of Protestants, and the wisdom of the practice of the present day, (taught it seems by experience,) to defer such authoritative sanction during the life-time of the parties.
History of the Lisbon Nun, called Maria of the Annunciation.-(From the Church
History of Ethiopia, by Michael Geddes, D.D., Chancellor of the Cathedral Church of Sarum.-1696.)
"Maria of the Annunciation, was born at Lisbon, and at the age of thirteen was put into the Dominican Convent of the Annunciation in that city; in which, so soon as she was of age to do it, she professed herself a Nun; which she had not done long, before she began to have Miraculous Visions, and to be daily visited by Christ in person; whom she still saluted with the Doxology thus, Glory be to the Father, and to thee, and to the Holy Ghost. Whenever she received the Sacrament, her soul was in a rapture, and was honoured with the vision of the heavenly choir of angels; and when she embraced the crucifix, which she still called her HusBAND, it constantly darted out beams of light much brighter and stronger than those of the sun.
"One day as she was at her devotion, Christ appeared to her, and made her a promise to visit her again upon St. Thomas Aquinas's day, and thereon do her the greatest honour that any creature was capable of.
"Maria having acquainted Antonio dela Cerda, the Provincial of her Order, who upon her name being so high for miracles, was become her Confessor, with the promise which had been made her, she was directed by him how to prepare herself for the reception of so great a favour; whose directions she punctually observed, for never was any creature more submissive to a Confessor.
"Thomas Aquinas's day being come, and all the Nuns and Friars being assembled at Matins, while Maria was in a most profound fit of devotion, Christ crucified appeared to her; and in the sight of the whole congregation, printed all the wounds of his head, side, hands, and feet upon the same parts of her body; she had two and thirty wounds (such as thorns use to make) on her head, and on her side a gash that resembled a wound made with a spear, and on her hands and feet the wounds were of a triangular figure, as if made by a nail; and in order to excite the devotion of the absent as well as present, the rags she laid to the wound on Thursday had always the five wounds of Christ printed on them in the form of a cross; and happy was the Roman Catholic Prince or Princess, who could obtain some of the sacred rags. The Pope he had one, and the King of Spain, who was strangely devoted to her, had another; and the Empress had one sent her against she lay in; neither was there a Roman Catholle Prince or Princess in Europe, but what had obtained one of them by some interest or other. Para
mus, in his History of the Inquisition, saith, that he being at that time an Inquisitor in Sicily, saw one of them which had been sent to the Viceroy, Don Henrique de Gusman's lady, who, he saith, adored it as the most sacred relic in the world. And Philip II, to satisfy the world that he firmly believed all that was reported of the sanctity and miracles of the Lisbon Nun, had the Royal Standard of the Armada, which came against England in the year 1588, blessed by her.
"The Inquisition, whose business it is to enquire severely into the truth of things reported to be miracles, having summoned her confessor, and all the rest of the friars who belonged to the convent, to appear before them, was fully satisfied by their depositions and oaths, as eye-witnesses, of the truth of the whole matter as it was reported. Whereupon Gregory XIII. writ her a very godly letter, exhorting her to humility, thankfulness, and perseverance in her devotions; and as there was no Roman Catholic that did in the least doubt the truth of what was reported of her by her Confessor, who published a large account of her miracles; so the poor Protestants were triumphed over strangely on that occasion, as the most perverse heretics that ever were in the world, for neither believing these reports, nor going to Lisbon, where their own eyes would convince them of the truth of them. But the Lady Abbess, (which for her greater mortification, the Nuns and Friars had forced her to be) when she wanted nothing but to have died, to have been canonized a Saint, for her extraordinary piety and miracles, finding all that she said was received by every body as an oracle, she began to mutter that it was revealed to her that Philip II. had no title to the Crown of Portugal, but that the right thereof was in the Duchess of Braganza. The consequence whereof being, that Philip must either resign that Crown or the title of Most Catholic, or look upon her he had expressed so great a veneration for, as an impostor; he chose the latter; the Inquisition striking the oracle dumb, so soon as it began to Antiphilipize. For the Inquisition having thereupon ordered her wounds and other pretensions, to be searched to the bottom, they were at it quickly. Her wounds being found not to be so deep as her skin; and upon examination, to be nothing else but marks made thereon very artificially with red lead. Whereupon she was condemned by the Archbishop of Braza and Lisbon, the Bishop of Guarda, and the Apostolical Inquisitors, of whom at that time the Cardinal Archduke of
Austria was the chief, as an hypocrite and impostor, upon the eighth day of December, 1688, being in the thirtysecond year of her age, to severe penances.
"It may not be out of place here to introduce an instance of a British convicted bearer of the Stigmata in the lifetime of the celebrated Sir Francis of Assisium, and before currency was given to this species of Miracle by the Canonization of the Founder of the Franciscans.
"In the year 1222, there was apprehended, by Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, a certain man having in his body and limbs, that is in his side, hands, and
feet, the five wounds of one Crucified; and in the same council together with him, one by whom the first was deluded, was arraigned with his accomplice. Upon which, being convicted, and having publicly confessed, they were punished by the judgment of the Church.' "Such are some of the authenticated
miracles of the Romish Church adduced from her most accredited documents; such are some of the frauds attempted to be perpetrated in her. Wherein do they differ? In nothing but in those points wherein the Tyrolese Estatics and the Youghal Miracles are distinguished; the fact of success having crowned the efforts of the actors in the one case, and exposure having resulted in the other."
Yet in spite of such facts as these, with which the history of Romanism abounds, Lord Shrewsbury and others vouch for the Tyrolese miracles; and similar frauds have been recently acted in Ireland. We hardly know whether the facts are worth narrating; but as the exposure is important, we may perhaps allude to them in a future number.
VIEW OF PUBLIC
HER Majesty's Ministers have declined proceeding with the Education clauses of the Factory Bill, considering that under present circumstances there would be no hope of its provisions being carried out in such a spirit as to produce the good effects which the promoters of the plan desired and intended. The necessity of some extensive scheme of religious national education is undeniable; nor can we abate a syllable of what we wrote as to the duty of the Legislature to afford pecuniary assistance, and also to make due use of the aid of the national Church. The Bill, however, was not a Church Bill; but involved large concessions on the part of the Church. All that the Church can do for the present is to exert her own efforts; and if she does this with due energy, she may, without any legislative enactment, widely extend her instructions both to adults and children, and, by God's blessing, recover much lost ground.
The state of Ireland has caused vehement debates upon the Arms-Bill. There is just cause of alarm in a state of things that renders such an enactment necessary. Mr. O'Connell's inflammatory addresses to the assembled multitudes of his followers strike at the root both of property and of the British constitution. The landowner is not to be the master of his own acres, but is to be
forced to let them out upon terms dictated by agrarian demagogues. Tithe rent is to be confiscated for secular purposes; but doubtless with the ulterior object of diverting it from a Protestant to a Romanist Church Establishment. To accomplish these and other designs, the national Union is to be abolished, and Ireland is to have its own legislature. This is called only repealing an act of parliament; but we see not in what it essentially differs from treason. The Welsh "Rebeccaites," or the discontented in any county in the three kingdoms, might do the same. We cannot but think that the time has come to pursue a decisive course; and to make it a highly penal offence to form a conspiracy for the dismemberment of the empire. A nation divided against itself cannot stand. And if property is threatened, the Protestant faith-true scriptural religion-is much more so; for if Mr. O'Connell's designs were carried into effect, Ireland would relapse into the spiritual barbarism of the darkest ages.
We had some remarks to offer upon Dr. Pusey's suspension, but we defer them till the publication of his discourse. There are some kindred subjects which we might advert to, but we have already written upon Tractarian matters in other parts of this Number.
An Inquirer; E. B.; Paulisper; A. C.; Wayfarer; F. H.; J. S.; Noman ; a Country Curate; an American Churchman; and a Constant Reader; are under consideration.
} No. 69. SEPTEMBER.
RELIGIOUS & MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I SEND you a letter written several years since, as you will discern from the allusions in it, but the reflections in which are applicable to all times and in all places; and may, by God's blessing, prove a word in season to some of your readers.
J. M. H.
YOUR present letter, though it tells of an afflictive dispensation, yet shews that in judgment God has remembered mercy; and, as I believe is ever His manner towards His people, the arrow which struck you, no doubt for good, has been dipped, not in poison, but in healing balm. To those who mourn the bereavement of a worldly friend or relative,— who grieve for one who "dies, and gives no sign," I confess I know not what consolation to minister; except indeed it be to bid them look away from that friend, loved, but for ever lost, to Jesus,-and this, to them, and at such a season, were cruel as it were vain. But I feel that I have a strong consolation to offer to those who mourn after friends that sleep in Jesus. I have but to address them in words dictated by the Spirit of Him who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, and who was "not ashamed to call us brethren." To such I need but say, "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For, if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, That we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess. iv. 13—18.)
Some truly pious souls are very jealous, for the Lord's sake, of such a ground of consolation. They are sincere, and would honestly rend every fibre of the heart that drew them from Christ. But does the love of Christian friends produce this effect, at least necessarily, in time? Why then should it in reference to eternity? But I doubt that such CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 6
have yet, in this matter, proved their theory of Christianity by the deep and genuine experience of the Christian, and by the essential feelings and wants of the human heart. But, however we may speculate, this, you see, is the healing medicine prescribed by the Great Physician of souls for such wounds of the heart: and when we can declare, in the language of the prescription itself, "This we say unto you by the word of the Lord,"-surely we cannot err in administering or in receiving it. But I shall not venture further upon this subject, lest I but dull the comforting and salutary impression which the full development of the principle contained in these precious words is calculated to produce. Let me recommend to you the admirable and pathetic essay on "God's knowledge of our past and secret history," in Mr. Woodward's "Essays and Sermons." You will there find, only better said, all that I would say to you, and I believe not more than the Apostle himself would say to you, on this important and interesting subject.
There is something deeply solemn and striking to the contemplative mind in the present dispensations of Providence; not only national or general, but also towards individuals-from the sovereign who now lies a corpse in state, to the humblest sufferer among those who a few days ago were his subjects. These are times of very unusual and general affliction; and peculiarly so as regards God's dearest children. times, when, as now, I hear of another friend afflicted, run over mentally a list of names,—and it nearly includes the whole of my Christian friends, all of them now or lately "troubled and distressed in mind, body, or estate." The great Captain of our salvation seems marshalling and training the soldiers of the Cross under the cover of a gloomy night, for I know not what desperate, perhaps decisive and final, conflict. But "If Judgment thus begin at the house of God, what must the end be of them who obey not the gospel of Christ?"
The day on which I earned my late severe attack of influenza by a ride of twenty miles in sleet and storm, from K— to this place, has been still more deeply impressed upon my memory by one of the most striking instances, I think, I ever witnessed of that mysterious dispensation by which a God of love, a gracious Father, so generally corrects those whom He loves, and chastens every son whom He receives. On that day I had the privilege of witnessing an illustrious proof of the power of faith to support the mind under the most distressing circumstances, and to carry it rejoicing, and more than conqueror, through the dark valley of the shadow of death. I sat for some hours on that day by the dying bed of a young person in the prime and bloom of youth, visited at once, about three years ago, by two of the most fearful diseases which can afflict and prostrate the human frame-disease of the heart, and disease of the spine. For the last five months she has been confined altogether to her bed: not only unable to move from it, but in it; and if raised from a certain recumbent position, visited immediately by the most distressing and alarming spasms. The physician's opinion is, that if an attempt were made to remove her from her bed, it would be immediately fatal. There she lies, day after day, in full possession of mental vigour, and with a mind of no small compass and cultivation-the law of kindness was ever on her lips, and the spirit of charity in her bosom. She is generally twice a day, but always once, attacked by painful and most alarming paroxysms, which are daily increasing in frequency and intenseness, and in one of which she fully expects to be removed: and she meekly and patiently waits to obey the summons of she knows not which of these rough mes