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bodies on each other; and not only of independent bodies, but of. all and every part of the same body inter se. In like manner, we suspect, it will be found, that there is a reciprocal action of all spirits upon each other, within a certain range, and according to a certain law, hitherto unknown. This power in the nature of spiritual bodies has been but imperfectly recognised, and the laws of its action undefined: we do not mean to enter further into the subject at present, but refer those who desire more information to the “ Recherchés sur l'Analogie des Phénomènes du Magnétisme avec les autres Phénomènes de la Nature,” in the Annals of Magnetism; the “Défense du Magnétisme Animal, par Deleuze;" the “ Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales ;" and the "Exposé des Cures operées par le Magnétisme Animal.” This discovery will come in very opportunely for the scientific infidels, who require something more recondite than the superficial scepticism of the Christian Observer.
The reader will immediately perceive that the word extase of the philosophic infidel at Paris represents precisely the same idea as the term nervous excitement of the Evangelical infidels in London. Bertrand, from whose work the above extract is taken, thinks it a reproach to this age that the belief in supernatural agency still survives. Of the examples he cites he says, “Je me bornerai à recuellir les preuves de son existence, et les caractères qui la distinguent, dans les évènemens plus rapprochés de nous, et qui ne remontent pas au-delà du dix-septieme siècle ; le dix-huitieme siècle même, quoique d'ailleurs si philosophe, si raisonneur, et par cela même si peu propre à la production de phenoménes qui demandent surtout des croyances exaltées et une foi vive (really one would suppose that the dogma of the Christian Observer-that we must believe any solution of an answer of a prayer to God to manifest the of Jesus of Nazareth, rather than a miracle--had been stolen without acknowledgment from this able coadjutor of his sentiments across the Channel)," nous presente une série presque continuelle d'epidémies d'extase.”
Ascending, then, no higher than this author indicates, the most remarkable phenomena are those which occurred amongst the persons commonly designated“Les Trembleurs des Cevennes.” Bertrand says of them, “ Quant aux Trembleurs des Cevennes, ils n'ont jamais eu pour historiens que leurs bourreaux :" certainly not the most just quarter from whence to derive an honest report. This assertion, however, is not quite correct; for some of them, who afterwards fled to London, published a little tract under the title of “Théatre sacré des Cevennes," which is become scarce. These unhappy persons were the victims of that diabolical persecution which followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantz; and who took refuge in the mountainous district in the centre
VOL. IV.-NO, II,
of France after which they themselves are now designated. The few who survived, and escaped to this country, were still looked upon by their more prosperous brethren here as madmen and fanatics, who merited their fate, because they ventured to assert that they had been supported in their misery by the miraculous manifestations of the Holy Ghost; sbewing that, even in those days, the shadows of that fatal death which now covers the whole of Protestant France were then already dark. It was generally in the places where they assembled to sing the praises of God, and to pray, out of the knowledge of their persecutors, that the miraculous powers were manifested. One was affected after another, and commenced preaching and prophesying; and sometimes two or three did so at the same time.
It is not a little remarkable, that the great stumbling-block with many, at the present manifestations in Great Britain, arises from their chiefly taking place amongst women; while that to the French sceptic is owing to their being mainly confined to
“On peut citer comme une circonstance unique, dans l'épidémie en question, que la presque totalité des individus atteints de l'état d'extase était composée d'hommes.” Oh how hard it is for the All-wise God to act in any way at which His creatures will not take exceptions ! “Une chose non moins remarquable c'est, qu’on vit un grand nombre d'enfants, même en assez bas âge, tomber en extase, et devenir capables de précher et de prophétiser comme les autres.” This fact rests on the authority
. of one of the French refugees in London; and upon the authority of another eye-witness we learn, that some of them spoke in unknown tongues, and also sometimes gave the interpretation. This witness says; “ J'ai vu plusieurs personnes, de l'un et l'autre sexe, qui dans l'extase prononçaient certaines paroles que les assistans jugeaient être une langue étrangère ; ensuite celui qui parlait déclarait quelquefois ce que signifiaient les paroles prononcées.” It is acknowledged on all hands, that the faculty of speaking in unknown tongues was possessed, not only by the “ Trembleurs des Cevennes,” but as a constant attendant of the phenomena in question ; one of the grand divisions of which is, * La faculté de parler des langues inconnues ou étrangères. plupart du tems, quand on disait qu'ils avoient le don de parler des langues inconnues, on n'entendait pas qu'ils devinrent capables de parler telle ou telle langue, usitée chez une nation déterminée : et il n'étoit question que de la facilité qu'ils montraient à articuler pendant un assez long tems une suite de sons bizarres, qu’on supposait arbitrairement appartenir à quelque peuple. Il parait de plus, que les crisiaques, pendant qu'ils prononçaient ces prétendus discours, avaient une suite d'idées qu'ils s'imaginaient exprimer. Carrè de Montgeron donne des détails très curieux sur ce singulier phénomène. J'ai observé,'
dit-il, que c'est dans le plus fort de leurs extases que plusieurs convulsionnaires font ces discours en langue inconnue et étrangère. Je dois ajouter qu'ils n'en comprennent eux-mêmes le sens que dans l'instant à mesure qu'ils les prononcent, et qu'ils ne s'en ressouviennent plus, du moins que d'une manière générale aussitôt que leurs discours sont finis.”
.' The reflections of the French sceptic which follow are well worthy of particular attention, inasmuch as he identifies this phenomena with that of the Corinthian church; while the English and Scotch sceptics, with less honesty, pretend to see no resemblance whatever. “Le même phénomène était vu de cette manière chez les premiers Chrétiens. St. Paul le montre clairement en plusieurs endroits. Celui qui parle une langue inconnue,' dit-il, dans une de ses Epitres aux Corinthiens (1 Cor. xiv. 2,3,4,5), ne parle pas aux hommes, mais à Dieu ; puisque personne ne le comprend ; et qu'il parle en Esprit des choses cachées : c'est pourquoi que celui qui parle une langue inconnue demande à Dieu le don de l'interpreter.' Ailleurs, le même Apôtre dit que ces discours en langue inconnue ne sont qu'un signe pour provoquer la conversion des infidèles. On pourrait remonter plus haut encore. St. Paul s'appuie sur un passage de l'Ecriture, où il est dit, “Je parlerai à ce peuple en langue inconnue et étrangère.
The gift of discerning spirits was also amongst the “Trembleurs des Cevennes.” "Un grand danger pour eux étoit, que des espions ne se glissassent dans leurs réunions pour les dénoncer : les prophètes, en conséquence, prétendoient posséder la faculté de lire dans la pensée, et de pouvoir démasquer ces traitres en signalant leurs projets.” Many instances occurred of miraculous preservation from danger, fire itself losing its power of hurting them. We regret that our space will not permit us to transcribe the report of a lawyer of Paris, who made a journey expressly to examine into the gifts of an uneducated peasant girl ; whose cool, sensible, plain, and satisfactory remarks seem to have produced the same wonder in the French sceptic that the letter of Mr. Cardale, which appeared in a former Number of this Journal, did upon the Edinburgh sceptic: “On trouve dans tout son récit des détails circonstanciés, des restrictions qui inspirent la confiance."
Leaving the history of miraculous gifts among the Protestants of Cevennes, we find the same occurring among the Jansenists. About the year 1730, some persons, praying near the tomb of the pious Deacon Paris, in the cemetery of St. Médard, who had been persecuted by the Jesuits, were miraculously cured of certain diseases which afflicted them. These cures were denied by the Jesuits, who exerted all their ingenuity to counteract them, as the Christian Observer has done with the cure of Miss Fancourt; in which, however, they wholly failed, as Hume
himself declares. The first persons who were cured were afflicted with convulsions; and thence the whole body connected with these circumstances is known under the name of "Convulsionnaires de Saint-Médard.” So much noise was made in Paris, that the cemetery was closed by order of the king, at the instigation of the archbishop. Sick persons who were denied access to the tomb of Paris betook themselves to praying in their private rooms, and were also cured. Among the facts which occurred amongst these people we shall cite the most indisputable, and such as most nearly approach that which we have witnessed amongst ourselves. "On voit jusqu'à de jeunes filles extrêmement timides, dont le fonds n'est qu'ignorance, stupidité, basse naissance, qui, dès qu'elles sont en convulsion” (the term here for being under the influence of a supernatural spirit, as extase was in the last), “parlent neanmoins très exactement, avec feu, élégance, et grandeur, de la corruption de l'homme par le péché originel; de la necessité de la grâce du Sauveur, pour s'en relever et faire saintement ses actions ; du devoir de demander continuellement à Dieu cette grâce toute gratuite de sa part; de l'obligation indispensable de faire toutes nos auvres en vue de Lui plaire; du besoin que nous avons de réparer par de dignes fruits de pénitence, celles qui sont mortes par le défaut de ce principe; de toutes les autres vérités de la foi, et de la morale Chrétienne.” Such being the subjects of their declarations in the Spirit, we can have no difficulty in accounting for their receiving this miraculous support of the Holy Ghost, nor for the persecution which they experienced at the hands of the Jesuits.
The gift of discerning spirits was also amongst them. phenomène.... merveilleux fut, la découverte du secret des cœurs, qui....se reproduit chez les Convulsionnaires de Saint-Médard avec les particularités si positives, que, s'il s'agissait d'une chose moins incompréhensible, on pourrait dire que les témoignages ne laissent rien à désirer; car cette faculté se trouve attestée non seulement par les partisans des Convulsions, mais par leurs adversaires mêmes, qui, ne croyant pas pouvoir la nier, avaient pris le singulier parti de l'attribuer à Satan.”
In addition to the facts above cited, there are a considerable number of others, of a much more questionable description, resting upon equally good authority. We have in the first case, that of the Cevennes, an occasion exactly such as we should suppose à priori in which the power of God would be manifested for the support of His suffering saints, who were witnessing for Him against the superstitions of Popery, and who constantly preached “sur la vérité de la religion Protestante et l'idolatrie des Papistes.” In the second case, that of the “Convulsionnaires de Saint-Médard,” we have a similar struggle, between the Jesuits, who sanctioned and justified in God's name, and by His autho
rity, every crime and gross abomination on the earth; and the Jansenists, who were witnessing for the great truths of the Gospel and holiness of life above stated. In both the cases we find a great deal that is questionable, if not positively untrue; and a great deal more that cannot be attributed to any thing good. In both cases, also, we are without the remotest hint that any one of the pastors of either of the churches, the Protestant or the Jansenist, took any precaution to prevent misuse of the gifts, to keep their flocks within the letter of the written word, or who understood the real object for which the gifts of the Spirit were originally promised and subsequently conferred. With respect to this latter point, the Papists have a very summary way of arranging such matters, which is, to assert that every miraculous occurrence proves the Popish church to be the only true mystical body of Christ; while the other party, shut out from making a counter-claim, is equally at a loss on what base it is proper to place such phenomena.
In the year 1708, a small volume was published, containing the WARNINGS of sixteen persons, some of them children, who spoke in the Spirit : they amount in number to thirty-four. The preface to the book speaks of a similar work of the Spirit going on at that time in France, Silesia, and other parts of Germany, and refers to other publications which contain the details. The principal subject of the WARNINGS is, that the end of this dispensation is to close in judgment, and that the kingdom of Christ is to be on this earth. It would seem as if this were the continuance of the work that was brought over here by the Trembleurs de Cevennes, and found that sympathy in some poor Englishmen which the Frenchmen refused. The writer, describing the Spirit which actuated all the speakers, says, amongst other things, “ It is a Spirit which is communicated to others by prayer and blessing, and laying on of hands; even as the Holy Ghost was in the time of the Apostles-which God gives to those that earnestly pray to him for his Holy Spiritwhich divines and others have attacked, not with fair objections, but with forgeries, lies, calumnies, wrested arguments, and open violence, even as they did of old always oppose the Spirit of God-which prophesies of judgments and calamities, as did of old the prophets of God, and not of smooth things to please the world, as did the false prophetswhich is addicted to no party or sect among men-interceding for others—by it several persons have spoken languages which they were otherwise unable to speak -by it several cures and other miraculous things have been wrought,” &c. &c.-We, however, are inclined to doubt the propriety of writing down what is spoken in the Spirit, unless the Spirit expressly says, “ Write ;” and we can find no authority for the prophets of old doing this; while the injunctions to