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dissociated from the voice, and and on the superiority of the manner, and action of the indi- Catholic religion. vidual speaker.
Such were the circumstances From circumstances which it is when he happened to meet with unnecessary to detail, Prince Ho an admirable patient in the Prinhenlohe became acquainted, in the cess Matilda of Schwarzenberg, at year 1820, with an obscure indi. that time nineteen years of age, vidual, of the name of Martin having been attacked in her eighth Michell, who for many years had year with paralysis; for the cure of carried on the trade of working which, the assistance of the most cures, by prayers and exorcisms celebrated surgeons and physicians of various kinds, and who, at this had in vain been sought. Still, time, continued his plans in secret, notwithstanding reiterated disapin defiance of the proscription of pointment, means were continued the police. This individual main- to be employed; and it is on record, tained, as the foundation of his from the testimony of her professystem, that the power of working sional attendants, that a fortnight miracles still exists in our before the performance of the time, as in the days of the Apo- alleged miracle, her state was so stles, provided that the operator much improved, that she could and operated should both possess raise herself upon her couch, and sit a full and entire confidence in up, which she could not have done Christ Jesus, and in his Almighty before; that she could move her Power.
limbs without pain ; and that, if I need not enter upon
she had not yet been permitted to tives which associated Prince Ho- walk, it was from the fear of pullhenlohe with Martin Michell : it is ing down these great advances only important to remark, that towards recovery, by a premature this connexion existed, and that or excessive effort. the prince determined to avail In this happy state of things, himself of the savoir faire of this the Prince Hohenlohe fixed his subaltern agent, which would en visit to the patient, accompanied able him, on the experiment of by his agent and tool, Martin the first miracle, should it fail, to Michell; the former contenting throw the blame of such failure himself with watching the operaupon the inferior agent; and if it tions of the latter. After pursuing succeeded, to leave him in the ob- the plan which will be presently scurity of the back ground, and more particularly detailed, as the to appropriate to himself all the usual process of Prince Hohenlohe, honour of success. This is one he commanded the princess to rise, of the commonest principles of and she did rise : she left her bed human nature, and belongs to the without assistance, threw off the class of political expedients, to mechanical supports which had which the ambitious almost neces been given her during the previous sarily resort, for the prosecution curative process, went immediof their plans of aggrandising ately into the garden, and apthemselves. The prince seems to peared next morning in public to have been well aware of the repu- return thanks at church. Accordtation he enjoyed, in his clerical ing to my view of this case, as in capacity ; but he wisely deter- that of Miss Fancourt, the cure mined to prepare the public mind had already been effected by the for the subsequent exhibition of slow and combined operation of his miraculous gift of healing by time, and rest, and remedies; and some suitable pulpit addresses- there was wanting only a powerful particularly on the power of faith, stimulus to the function of voli
tion, to give the necessary in- either altogether unsuccessful, or creased energy to the muscles; and, it was nothing more than every with a patient of a lively imagina- medical man may produce almost tion and highly wrought sensibi every day, by giving a proper dility, it was not difficult to calculate rection and excitement to the upon the probable result.
extreme activity of the brain and This result, however, was imme nervous system. The truth of this diately proclaimed as miraculous ; conclusion will be further shewn and the prince, watching the fa- by considering the methods purvourable opportunity, dexterously sued by this most extraordinary, contrived to disencumber himself and most successful, worker of of his agent: nobody heard of the modern miracles. proscribed Martin Michell, and he In all these cases, as in the redared not openly lay claim to his cent instance of Miss Fancourt, the share in the cure; consequently spirit of party-feeling unhappily he retired to the shades of obscu- is apt to cast a veil over the clear rity, where he contented himself perception and sound judgment of with still carrying on his machina- those who have marshalled themtions in secret, and enjoying their selves on either side of the quesprofitable results, leaving the field of tion : each finds it difficult to refame open to his pupil, who being trace an injudicious movement, superior to the claims of wealth, or to retract a hasty expresssion : and receiving no pecuniary re- having committed himself and his ward, was immediately followed by opinions, he is zealous for the
supcrowds of patients, and by a multi- portof those opinions, and becomes tude of pretended miraculous cures. on either side, the warm, enthu
The great reputation of the siastic partizan. Truth will attach, prince was, to a certain extent for the most part, to one class of limited by various measures of these disputants; but even here, police, to which he had become it will be so often disguised by the obnoxious, in consequence of the natural warmth with which it is excessive eagerness of the assem- invested, and by the disposition to bled patients. Among other me exaggerate and distort its placid thods adopted to undeceive the features, that it will become a public
, the local magistracy gave caricature, and there will be room him twenty-four patients to act even for good to be evil spoken of. upon, not one of whom was mate. It is grievous that this should hapríally relieved ; and losing the ad pen among those who equally provantage which accrued to him in fess, and seek after the same great consequence of abstraction from object; but so it is, that in the close supervision, he gradually frailty of human nature, each will outlived his renown, which, in contend, on the one side, for the fact, had only rested upon the completeness of opinions (not evidence) great power exerted by the brain arising from such excellent and and nervous system upon all the estimable individuals ; while the other vital functions, when care- respondents will not allow of the fully carried up to its highest slightest deviation in circumstance, degree of tension. So long as from the principles of their reason, these plans were carried on in and the results of their judgment : public, in the midst of an enthu- in fact, each looks too much to siastic and ignorant circle, so long himself, too little to the real object success was the result, and mira of pursuit. culous agency the alleged cause ;
The same principle is well exbut, when the experiments were emplified in the case of Prince made before well informed and Hohenlohe;-only that in this incompetent judges, the result was stance we should not be expecting
the influence of truly Christian that the facts should be authentic, views, because there wanted even and that they should be related by the semblance of a Christian basis, persons capable of judging of the for a superstructure, which was circumstances under which they nevertheless grafted upon the Ro- have occurred, and sufficiently man-Catholic creed:—but it seems, impartial to relate them without that in all ages and places, Chris- gloss or exaggeration ; equally and tians are men; and that the in- most carefully avoiding the ebulfirmities of our nature cleave lition of popular feeling, which even to those who have been re- always leans to the side of the newed in the spirit of their minds, marvellous ; and the frigid scepso long as they remain associated ticism of those who will admit, with this tenement of clay. A and believe, nothing but what is list of no fewer than thirteen demonstrated. If this prudent works on this subject now before reserve and firm adherence to me (the most accessible of which truth had been observed, the fame are an article in the Journal Com- of Prince Hohenlohe would have plémentaire du Dictionnaire des been of a much shorter duration ; Sciences Medicales, for November and it would have been shewn, that 1822, and a work entitled “ Cures if the cures were allowed, they Miraculeuses, opérées par le Prince were dependent upon the physical de Hohenlohe," &c.) proves how laws of our incorporated nature. great was the difference of opinion, According to the published deand how great also the excite- claration of the prince, there was ment produced by these reports. no hope of success, unless the Nor, when it is considered, that patient possessed a full and unon all sides it was asserted, that shaken confidence in God ;-and by the efficacy of the prayers of not only that He could, but that the prince, the deaf heard, the He would succour those who in blind saw, and the paralytic was sincerity sought the relief afforded restored to the use of his limbs, through his servant. In the peris it surprising that these events formance of his miracles accordshould have acquired the character ingly, the prince first asked the of miraculous, and should have patient if he or she (generally the thrown a halo of sanctity and in- latter) firmly believed that God fluence around him to whom God could heal him, and that He would had delegated such power.
Being answered in the In fact, if all events and oc- affirmative, the prince engaged in currences, which are not palpable silent, or viva voce prayer, beto our senses, may be considered seeching God graciously to remove as miraculous, then indeed the the disease of the individual
, and cures of Prince Hohenlohe may restore his lost health ; both for be safely placed in this class. It the immediate good of the patient, is the result of facts alone, not of for the support and comfort of His opinions and prejudices, which can church, and the glory of His great decide a question of this nature; name, that God might be glorified --and it must be remembered, in others;—pleading this answer to that the influence of novelty gives prayer on the ground of the proa charm to circumstances and nar mise of our Lord Jesus Christ, rations, which prompts mankind “Whatsoever ye shall ask of my to believe and to admire them be- Father in my name, He will give cause they are new, without deeply it you;” on the ground of the investigating their title to credi- faith of the sick individual; and bility: consequently, it is neces- finally, for the honour of Jesus sary, in all questions of deviation Christ his Son, and of His church. from the established laws of nature, Since, added the prince, the faith
of Christians, in the present day, manent cure, in those who were
united most earnestly their own Here is abundantly shewn the prayers, and wishes, and hopes, influence of a false religion : but for the recovery of the sick, to the leaving this consideration, can petitions of the priest. The prince any process be devised better cal- did not confine his cures to the culated to exalt the sensibility of limits of his own church, but exthe nervous system,-to excite the tended them even to Protestants; brain to its utmost activity,--and thus shewing that his primary deto create such a degree of energy sign was not simply to attest the of volition, as to give to this fa truth, and to shew the advantage culty that astonishing power,
of a belief in the exclusive tenets which would carry the patient of the Roman-Catholic church. beyond himself,--and effect a per The class of discases which
« after con
Prince Hohenlohe undertook to ferings lessened, if not relieved, cure, were generally those depend- during the prayer and benediction, ent on some loss of energy of the so that generally they left the prenervous and muscular systems; sence of the prince with emotions such as partial deafness, blindness, of deep gratitude. paralysis, feebleness of the limbs, Since every day augmented the remaining after an attack of gout, number of the patients, and as &c. &c. Occasionally the sphere the interference of the prince was of these curative essays was ex claimed every instant, so as not tended to apparently organic af to leave him a moment of repose, fections : but the experiment was more especially as it became ne. never made upon a deaf and dumb cessary to provide for the relief of patient ; upon a case of blind- patients in foreign countries, he ness produced by the disorgani- determined upon a special hour, sation of the eye; upon spinal de. at which he would intercede formity which had resulted from for those who lived at a great the destruction of the bodies of distance from him, and those in a the vertebræ; upon the loss of particular district were directed to a limb, or a disorganised joint; unite with him in prayer. At nor, finally, in acute diseases. such an hour," said he, in writing In fact, his department was limited to these individuals, to one class of chronic disease, and fessing your sins, and receiving that class mainly dependent for the Holy Communion, unite your its characteristic intensity, upon prayers with mine, in the name of a peculiar laxity of the nervous Jesus Christ, and with unshaken system. This is a very important confidence in the infinite comfact, inasmuch as it prepares us passion and Almighty power of for considering the effects pro our adorable Redeemer; raise your duced upon patients generally; and souls with full devotedness of afterwards for estimating the in- heart, to the possession of the fluence of mind upon the bodily firmest hope, and of the most en. functions and structure, in the tire faith; become good Chriscure of diseases.
tians by full reliance upon the The impression produced by Saviour, by profound love to God, this process varied in different in- by genuine repentance, and by an dividuals, according to their several unalterable resolution to become states of health, and peculiarity of daily better, and to proceed in a temperament. Many of them de- course of good works, acceptable clared that they felt a peculiar glow to God, and approved by Him." over their whole body during the Many of these patients were prayer; others were affected by wrought up to the highest pitch of singing in the ears; some lost the expectation before the appointed use of their senses entirely; many hour: the nearer it approached, became cold, and lost all feeling; the more they experienced the enand the greater number experi- thusiasm of devotional feeling; the enced palpitation of the heart. liveliest emotions were kindled; in One paralytic, who was submitted some instances they actually felt, to experiment, on two days fol- and in others thought they felt, lowing, suffered so much from their pains diminish, and gradually painful emotion, that nothing disappear. could induce him to submit to a These facts, which rest upon third attempt, although he had unquestionable evidence, assimirepeatedly and most courageously late the miraculous cures of the borne the application of the red- prince with those effected by anihot irons. Almost all agreed in mal magnetism, metallic tractors, saying that they thought their suf- charms, relics, the Sibylline oracles,