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St. Hilary, Bishop and Confessor.
"St. Hilary, though a married man, yet lived in that state like a monk-banished by the treachery of the bishop of Arles into Phrygia; he raised a dead man and wrote twelve books against the Arians."
Felix of Nola, Presbyter and Martyr.
"Felix preaching against idols was cast into prison-led forth from thence by an angel-be went in quest of the Bishop of Nola, and having found him through the guidance of God, almost dead, he took him on his shoulders and committed him to the care of a faithful widow; being again pursued, he hid himself between two partitions—the entrance of which was suddenly closed up with spider's webs, so that none could suspect that he was there-after this miracles were wrought by him." DIE XV.
Paul the first Hermit.
"Paul hid himself in a cave from the persecution of Decius and Valerian-there a palm-tree afforded him food and raiment to his 113th year. Anthony being now 90 years old, admonished of God, visited him.--After mutually saluting by name, though before unacquainted with each other, and conversing many things concerning the kingdom of God, the crow which used to bring Paul half a loaf, now brought them a whole one. The next day Paul speaking of his own death, dispatched Anthony for the cloak given him by St. Anthanasius, in order to wrap his body in it— Anthony on his return from this journey, beheld the soul of Paul ascend into heaven amid the concerts of angels, and the congregation of prophets and apostles. Having rolled the body in the cloak, he had not wherewithal to dig the grave, but two lions in a furious course are hurried along from the inner desert towards the body of the blessed old man-as might easily be supposed they set up a lamentation in the best way they could-in eager emulation they dug the earth with their feet, and made a trench capacious enough for the body of a man-here did Anthony bury Paul."
St. Maurus, Abbot.
"Let the intercession of blessed Maurus, the abbot, commend us we beseech thee O Lord! that what by our own merits we cannot do, may we attain by his patronage."
"A monk once fell into a lake, St. Maurus walked upon the water, and catching him by the hair brought him safe to land."
St. Marcellus, Pope and Martyr.
"By his exhortation he persuaded a Roman matron to leave the Church the heir of her property.”
St. Anthony, Abbot.
"St. Anthony was wont to lie upon the earth when necessary sleep pervaded him, and so exercised himself in fasting, that he took nothing but salt with his bread and quenched his thirst with water; nor did he refresh himself with food or drink until after sunset-oftentimes he abstained two days from food, and passed whole nights in prayer-he thus overcame the enemy of man.-He went into a vast desert of Egypt, where he defied the power of Satan and rebuked his imbecility; one sign
of the most holy cross put him to flight-and so formidable was he to devils, that many who were possessed of them throughout Egypt were delivered by invoking his name."
St. Prisca, Virgin and Martyr.
"Having undergone much persecution under the Emperor Claudius, she was brought into the amphitheatre and exposed to lions-forgetful of their natural ferocity with all humility they cast themselves at her feet.”
St. Sebastian, Martyr.
"He accused the Emperor Dioclesian of impiety, who ordered him in consequence: to be beaten to death. His body being cast into a common sewer, Lucina was warned in a dream by Sebastian where it was, and where he would have it buried. She buried it at the catacombs, where the celebrated Church under the name of Sebastian was built."
"Look down from heaven, O blessed Agnes, behold and visit this vine which thy right hand hath planted-incline thine ear to us-hasten to deliver us."
"St. Agnes appeared to her parents as they watched assiduously at her sepulchre upon a certain night, accompanied by a choir of virgins, and thus addressed them; 'Grieve not, oh parents, for me as dead! for I live in company with these virgins along with Him in heaven, whom while on earth I loved with my whole heart.' When after some years, Constantia the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, seeking relief from an incurable ulcer, (though not as yet a Christian) approached the same sepulchre; in her sleep she seemed to hear the voice of Agnes, 'Constantia be constant, believe in Jesus Christ who will make thee whole.' She was afterwards baptized, and built St. Agnes' Church."
"St. Vincentius having been cruelly persecuted by Dacianus, is cast into prisona most brilliant light shining out illuminated the whole prison-he afterwards fled to the crown of martyrdom, and a crow defended with its beak, claws and wings, his unburied body from birds and a lion. After this, the body by order of Dacianus, being thrown into the sea, is by the direction of God cast back upon the shore and buried by the Christians."
St. Raymund de Penafort, Confessor.
"As far as he could he increased the honour and worship of the Virgin Mother of God, whom he venerated with a peculiar glow of piety. To him the most blessed Virgin appearing, told him it would be most agreeable to her and to her only begotten Son, if a religious order were instituted to her honour, &c. &c. He was the adviser of James, King of Arragon, to institute the office of the holy inquisition in bis dominions; he wrought many miracles; he was returning from the Balearean Isles to Barcelona, and by spreading his cloak upon the waves made 160 miles in six hours, and entered his monastery through closed doors, &c.'
St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Confessor.
"Francis de Sales, is sent by Granerius to preach the word to the people border
ing on Geneva, who had embraced the Calvinistic heresy. He was often sought to be put to death by the heretics, but, protected by the help of God, he is said to have recovered to the Catholic faith 72,000 heretics, among whom are numbered many renowned for their rank and learning. And after the death of Granerius, being consecrated bishop of Geneva, for the promotion of divine worship, he instituted a new order of nuns, nominated in a visit from the blessed Virgin, under the rule of St. Austin. After his death his body was honourably interred in the Church of the nuns of the aforesaid order, and soon began to be renowned for miracles."
St. Martina, Virgin and Martyr,
"" Having escaped the swords of gladiators and the funeral pile, in consequence of her prayers, the temples of the gods were prostrated by sudden earthquakes—their images consumed by fires falling from the thundering skies. Sometimes from her wounds milk would issue with the blood, and a splendor the most glittering, and a fragrance the most sweet would emanate from her body. Sometimes aloft upon a royal seat, did she seem to be present at the praises of God with the inhabitants of . heaven. Her judge commanded her to be beheaded-when lo! a voice from heaven called her (ad superos) on high-by which voice the whole city trembled, and many idolators were converted to the faith."
Peter Nolascus, Confessor,
“As a presage of his virtues, while yet in swaddling clothes, a swarm of bees flew to him and built their honey-comb upon his right-hand. When a youth, he retired into Spain, execrating the heresy of the Albigenses, which then was gaining ground in France, and paid his vow by which he had bound himself to the blessed Virgin of Mont-serrat. To him the blessed Virgin appeared, and suggested that it would be most acceptable to her Son and to herself, if an order of religion were instituted to her honour, whose chief care would be to liberate those who were in captivity from the tyranny of the Infidels. Endowed with the gift of prophecy he foretold things to come-he was refreshed with frequent manifestations of his guardian angel, and the Virgin Mother of God. Pope Alexander ordered his festival to be observed on the 31st of January."
I conclude, Sir, that you and your readers are ready to cry stop. Such is the specimen of but one month's feast presented by Rome to her children-I am apprehensive, that the specimen will not suit the taste of Protestant Christianity. But if it enables us more fully to relish those sacred records, of which these legends are but a travestied imitation, and if they serve to lead us from broken cisterns to the fountain of living waters, your fond desire will be in such a case fully realized.-I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
ON THE SAMARITAN READING OF GENESIS xi. 32.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-Notwithstanding the observations of your correspondent, on the proposed correction of Gen. xi. 32, I consider it is sanctioned by the soundest principles of Biblical Criticism. Before we can allow the Hebrew text to be altered, we must be convinced that it
erroneous; and the proposed amendment must carry with it authority sufficient to induce us to receive it as the genuine reading. The error in the text alluded to, is, that it makes Terah 205 years old at his death; whereas, it is said, that he was 70 when Abraham was born, Gen. xi. 26—it is said, Acts vii. 4, that Abraham left Haran for Canaan, at his father's death, and Gen. xii. 4, that Abram was 75 when he came into Canaan, thus it appears that Terah lived 70 and 75 years=145 instead of 205 years.
Your correspondent removes this difficulty, as it is usually done, by saying that Abram was his father's youngest son, and born when he was 130 years old. This solution, although supported by high authority, gives rise to a greater difficulty than that which it removes—when Abraham heard that he was to have a son, he pleaded that he was too old, "shall a child be born to him that is 100 years old?" Gen. xvii. 17, and in the next chapter, where God reproves Sarah's unbelief, he implies that she doubted his power to accomplish this promise, "Is any thing too hard for the Lord ?" Let us also consider St. Paul's words respecting Abraham's faith, "who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead when he was about one hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb, he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was also able to perform." Rom. iv. 17-20. See also Heb. xi. 11. Now it cannot be denied that all these quotations speak a language inconsistent with the statement that Terah at Abram's birth was 130 years old, and that Abram knowing this, should have been unwilling to believe it possible for him to have a son at 100 years of age.
If, therefore, the age of Terah, Gen. xi. 32, be inconsistent with the statements in other parts of Scripture, we have established an error in the text; and to correct that error we introduce from the Samaritan Pentateuch, a reading which was certainly in the copy quoted by Eusebius; the Samaritan copy of the Hebrew Pentateuch is considered to be older than the time of Ezra, and to be written in the ancient Hebrew character; in some cases it clearly corrects the readings of the Hebrew Bible.-See Kennicott's second Disser, and Diss, Gen. in the second vol. of his Bible.
In many Biblical questions of this kind we cannot decide with the certainty of demonstration; the evidence we have for or against a great number of readings will only enable us to decide, with different degrees of probability; the correction advocated in the present case appears probable in the highest degree, and that is as much as any judicious critic will venture to say of it.
Your correspondent seems aware of this, for though he considers my reasoning defective, his own rests on what "is generally allowed" on "what appears likely" and his conclusion "is highly probable," thus showing that the present reading has a very low degree of probability in its favour.
A PILGRIMAGE TO PATRICK'S PURGATORY.
Superstition, that blind devotion, which draws the individual under its influence to the performance of external works, and unnecessary ceremonies, without being actuated by the spirit of pure religion, is as natural to the mind not enlightened by true knowledge, as weeds are to a field that has ceased to be well cultivated; for as the richest grounds produce the most vigorous thistles, so those remarkable for superstition might have been as eminent for piety, had the blessed knowledge of truth been communicated to them in due season. The extent to which this kind of superstition prevails in Ireland, is inconceivable. I have been acquainted with a young man, a Roman Catholic, of good capacity, educated in the Dublin University, who was in an uncommon degree a slave to its controul. In conversation no man could draw a better distinction between it and true piety, or expose its absurdities in stronger terms; yet, in reality, he was so much under its influence, that he ascribed, in a great measure, certain calamities which befel him to his habit of eating meat on a Friday! He has, to my knowledge, taken solemn oaths on the most trifling occasions, even by kissing the Bible, and afterwards broken them when it suited his convenience so to do—I have also known him to blaspheme the name of God in the most fearful manner,-yet, these crimes left but a slight remorse on his mind, whilst the eating of meat on a Friday kept him always unhappy.
A man must be brought up among the Irish peasantry, and under the influence of superstition, before he can understand its form and character correctly. Even to live amongst them upon their own level, is not sufficient to enable a man to observe, through every stage of life, and in the private recesses of every family, the incredible dominion which this absurd principle exercises over them. No one of a different persuasion from a Romanist, can ever know what happens religiously in the family of a Roman Catholic peasant, because the appearance any such person, at the hour of prayer, would immediately put a stop their devotions, and to such forms and ceremonies as might be connected with them; but even if he were permitted to be present, he could understand neither their ceremonies, nor their prayers, I once witnessed the death of a Roman Catholic woman; a scene which left on my mind an indelible impression. There were nearly thirty persons of her own faith present, and but one Protestant, a female, who had been for many years in habits of the kindest intimacy with the dying woman. During her sickness the attention and acts of friendship on the part of this Protestant neighbour had been unremitting, and frequent; and at the moment alluded to, her attachment was evinced by tears of the severest sorrow. Would you believe me, Mr. Editor, when I assure you, that I saw this excellent and pious female compelled to leave this house of death, by the son of that woman who had experienced during her illness, such Christian love and liberality at her hands ;-absolutely thrust