Page images
PDF
EPUB

equipped, addressed a long discourse to over-acted, that simple as Jetzer was, Jetzer, in which, among other things, he at last discovered it, and had almost she told him that she was conceived in killed the prior, who appeared to him Original Sin, though she bad remained one night in the form of the virgin with but a short time under that blemish.- a crown on her head. The Dominicans She gave him, as a miraculous proof of fearing, by this discovery, to lose the her presence, a host, or consecrated fruits of their imposture, thought the wafer, which turned from white to red best method would be to own the whole in a moment; and after various visits, matter to Jetzer, and to engage him by in which the greatest enormities were the most seducing promises of oputransacted, the virgin prior told Jetzer, lence and glory, to carry on the cheat. that she would give him the most affect- Jetzer was persuaded, or at least appeared ing and undoubted marks of her to be so. But the Dominicans, suspectSon's love, by imprinting on him the ing that he was not entirely gained over, FIVE WOỦNDS that pierced Jesus resolved to poison him ; but his constion the Cross, as she had done before tution was so vigorous, that though they to St. Lucia and St. Catherine.- gave him poison five several time, he was Accordingly, she took his band by not destroyed by it. One day they sent force, and struck a large nail through him a loaf prepared with some spices, it, which threw the poor dupe into the which, growing green in a day or two, he greatest torment.— The next night this threw a piece of it to a wolf's whelps that masculine virgin brought, as she pre- were in the monastery, and it killed them tended, some of the linen in which Christ immediately. At another time, they had been buried, to soften the wound, poisoned the host, or consecrated wafer, and gave Jetzer a soporific draught, but as he vomited it up soon after he which had in it the blood of an unbap- swallowed it, he escaped once more. In tised child, some grains of incense and short, there were no means of securing of consecrated salt, some quicksilver, him, which the most detestable impiety the hairs of the eye-brows of a child, and barbarity could invent, that they did all of which, with some stupifying and not put in practice, till finding at last an poisonous ingredients, were mingled opportunity of getting out of the Contogether by the prior with magic cere- vent, he threw himself into the hands of monies, and a solemn dedication of the magistrates, to whom he made a full himself to the devil, in the hope of his discovery of this infernal plot. The affair succour.—This draught threw the poor being brought to Rome, Commissaries wretch into a sort of lethargy, during were sent from thence to examine the which the monks imprinted on his body matter; and the whole cheat being fully the other four wounds of Christ in such proved, the four friars were solemnly dea manner, that he felt no pain.- When graded from their priesthood, and were he awakened, he found to his unspeak- burnt alive on the last day of May, 1509. able joy these impressions on his body, Jetzer died some time after at Constance, and came at last to fancy himself a re. having poisoned himself, as was believed presentative of Christ, in the various by some. Had his life been taken away parts of his passion. He was in this before he had found an opportunity of state exposed to the admiring multitude making the discovery already mentioned, on the principal altar of the convent, this execrable and horrid plot, which in to the great mortification of the Fran- many of its circumstances was conducted ciscans. The Dominicans gave him with art, would have been handed down some other draughts that threw him to posterity as a stupendous miracle.' into convulsions, which were followed “The following extract is remarkable, by a voice conveyed through a pipe as exhibiting the facility with which the into the mouths of two images, one of Pope, the Inquisition, the Clergy, and the Mary and another of the child Jesus ; people of the Church of Rome, can be the former of which had tears painted imposed on, the value of the authenticaupon his cheeks in a lively manner. tion which the sanction of the highest The little Jesus asked his mother, by authority in that Church can confer on means of this voice, (which was that Miracles, the severity' of scrutiny to of the prior's) why she wept? and she which they are 'voluntarily' subjected, answered, that her tears were owing to unless there be pressure from without, the impious manner in which the Fran- such as the authority of Princes, or the ciscans attributed to her the honour that watchfulness of Protestants, and the wiswas due to him, in saying that she was dom of the practice of the present day, conceived and born without sin.

(taught it seems by experience,) to defer “ The apparitions, false prodigies, and such authoritative sanction during the abominable stratagems of these Domi- life-time of the parties. nicans were repeated every night, and History of the Lisbon Nun, called Maria the matter was at length so grossly of the Annunciution.-(From the Church History of Ethiopia, by Michael Ged. mus, in his History of the Inquisition, des, D.D., Chancellor of the Cathedral saith, that he being at that time an InquiChurch of Sarum.--1696.)

sitor in Sicily, saw one of them which Maria of the Annunciation, was had been sent to the Viceroy, Don Henborn at Lisbon, and at the age of thir- rique de Gusman's lady, who, he saith, teen was put into the Dominican Con- adored it as the most sacred relic in the vent of the Annunciation in that city ; world. And Philip II, to satisfy the in which, so soon as she was of age to world that he firmly believed all that do it, she professed herself a Nun; was reported of the sanctity and mirawhich she had not done long, before she cles of the Lisbon Nun, had the Royal began to have Miraculous Visions, and Standard of the Armada, which came to be daily visited by Christ in person ; against England in the year 1588, whom she still saluted with the Doxology blessed by her. thus, Glory be to the Father, and to “ The Inquisition, whose business it thee, and to the Holy Ghost. Whenever is to enquire severely into the truth of she received the Sacrament, her soul things reported to be miracles, having was in a rapture, and was honoured summoned her confessor, and all the with the vision of the heavenly choir of rest of the friars who belonged to the angels ; and when she embraced the convent, to appear before them, was crucifix, which she still called her Hos- fully satisfied by their depositions and BAND, it constantly darted out beams of oaths, as eye-witnesses, of the truth of light much brighter and stronger than the whole matter as it was reported. those of the sun.

Whereupon Gregory XIII. writ her a “One day as she was at her devotion, very godly letter, exhorting her to huChrist appeared to her, and made her a mility, thankfulness, and perseverance promise to visit her again upon St. Tho- in her devotions ; and as there was no mas Aquinas's day, and thereon do her Roman Catholic that did in the least the greatest honour that any creature doubt the truth of what was reported of was capable of.

her by her Confessor, who published a “ Maria having acquainted Antonio large account of her miracles ; so the dela Cerda, the Provincial of her Order, poor Protestants were triumphed over who upon her name being so high for strangely on that occasion, as the most miracles, was become her Confessor, perverse heretics that ever were in the with the promise which had been made world, for neither believing these reher, she was directed by him how to ports, nor going to Lisbon, where prepare herself for the reception of so their own eyes would convince them great a favour ; whose directions she of the truth of them. But the Lady punctually observed, for never was any Abbess, (which for her greater morcreature more submissive to a Con- tification, the Nuns and Friars had fessor.

forced her to be) when she wanted Thomas Aquinas's day being come, nothing but to have died, to have been and all the Nuns and Friars being assem- canonized a Saint, for her extraordinary bled at Matins, while Maria was in a most piety and miracles, finding all that she profound fit of devotion, Christ crucified said was received by every body as an appeared to her ; and in the sight of the oracle, she began to mutter that it was whole congregation, printed all the wounds revealed to her that Philip II. had no of his head, side, hands, and feet upon the title to the Crown of Portugal, but that same parts of her body; she had two and the right thereof was in the Duchess of thirty wounds (such as thorns use to Braganza. The consequence whereof make) on her head, and on her side a being, that Philip must either resign gash that resembled a wound made with a that Crown or the title of Most Cathospear, and on her hands and feet the lic, or look upon her he had expressed wounds were of a triangular figure, as if so great a veneration for, as an immade by a nail ; and in order to excite the postor ; he chose the latter ; the Inquidevotion of the absent as well as present, sition striking the oracle dumb, so soon the rags she laid to the wound on Thurs- as it began to Antiphilipize. For the day had always the five wounds of Christ Inquisition having thereupon ordered printed on them in the form of a cross ; her wounds and other pretensions, to be and happy was the Roman Catholic searched to the bottom, they were at it Prince or Princess, who could obtain quickly. Her wounds being found not some of the sacred rage. The Pope he to be so deep as her skin had one, and the King of Spain, who examination, to be nothing else but was strangely devoted to her, had ano- marks made thereon very artificially ther ; and the Empress had one sent her with red lead. Whereupon she was against she lay in ; neither was there a condemned by the Archbishop of Braza Roman Cathollc Prince or Princess in and Lisbon, the Bishop of Guarda, and Europe, but what had obtained one of the Apostolical Inquisitors, of whom at them by some interest or other. Para- that time the Cardinal Archduke of

3

and upon

severe

Austria was the chief, as an hypocrite miracles of the Romish Church adduced and impostor, upon the eighth day of from her most accredited documents; December, 1688, being in the thirty- such are some of the frauds attempted to second year of her age, to

be perpetrated in her. Wherein do they penances.

differ? In nothing but in those points " It may not be out of place here to wherein the Tyrolese Estatics and the introduce an instance of a British con- Youghal Miracles are distinguished ; the victed bearer of the Stigmata in the life- fact of success having crowned the efforts time of the celebrated Sir Francis of As- of the actors in the one case, and eIsisium, and before currency was given posure having resulted in the other." to this species of Miracle by the Canonization of the Founder of the Franciscans. Yet in spite of such facts as

". In the year 1222, there was appre- these, with which the history of hended, by Stephen, Archbishop of Can- Romanism abounds, Lord Shrewsterbury, a certain man having in his body bury and others vouch for the feet, the five wounds of one Crucified; Tyrolese miracles ; and similar and in the same council together with frauds have been recently acted in him, one by whom the first was de- Ireland. We hardly know whether luded, was arraigned with his accom- the facts are worth narrating ; but plice. Upon which, being convicted, and having publicly confessed, they were

as the exposure is important, we punished by the judgment of the Church. may perhaps allude to them in a

“Such are some of the authenticated future number.

VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. Her Majesty's Ministers have declined forced to let them out upon terms dieproceeding with the Education clauses of tated by agrarian demagogues. Tithe the Factory Bill, considering that under rent is to be confiscated for secular purpresent circumstances there would be no poses ; but doubtless with the ulterior hope of its provisions being carried out object of diverting it from a Protestant in such a spirit as to produce the good to a Romanist Church Establishment. effects which the promoters of the plan To accomplish these and other designs, desired and intended. The necessity of the national Union is to be abolished, and some extensive scheme of religious na- Ireland is to have its own legislature. tional education is undeniable ; nor can This is called only repealing an act of we abate a syllable of what we wrote as parliament ; but we see not in what it to the duty of the Legislature to afford essentially differs from treason. The pecuniary assistance, and also to make Welsh“Rebeccaites," or the discontented due use of the aid of the national Church. in any county in the three kingdoms, The Bill, however, was not a Church might do the same. We cannot but Bill ; but involved large concessions on think that the time has come to pursue a the part of the Church. All that the decisive course ; and to make it a highly Church can do for the present is to exert penal offence to form a conspiracy for her own efforts; and if she does this with the dismemberment of the empire. A due energy, she may, without any legis- nation divided against itself cannot lative enactment, widely extend her in- stand. And if property is threatened, structions both to adults and children, the Protestant faith-true scriptural reliand, by God's blessing, recover much gion—is much more so ; for if Mr. lost ground.

O'Connell's designs were carried into efThe state of Ireland has caused vehe- fect, Ireland would relapse into the spiriment debates upon the Arms-Bill. There tual barbarism of the darkest ages. is just cause of alarm in a state of things We had some remarks to offer upon that renders such an enactment neces- Dr. Pusey's suspension, but we defer sary. Mr. O'Connell's inflammatory them till the publication of his discourse. addresses to the assembled multitudes There are some kindred subjects which of his followers strike at the root both we might advert to, but we have already of property and of the British constitu- written upon Tractarian matters in other tion. The landowner is not to be the parts of this Number. master of his own acres, but is to be

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 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.

[blocks in formation]

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

3 U

general

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 know, ledge 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 ailliction ; and peculiarly so as regards God's dearest children. I sometimes, 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

« PreviousContinue »