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losophical, and arose from not pointing out the analogy, and knowing the vast surface. over placing-the cure of Miss Stuart, which cures of this nature may or the cures effected by Hohenextend; and the Roman Catho- lohe, side by side with the relicks had just cause to be dis- cent cures among ourselves. But, pleased, that Protestants viewed all though they have been much dissuch cases as fraudulent, and re- pleased at this juxta-position, they fused to listen to the most solemn have not attempted to show in attestations of their authenticity. what way the analogy failed; or to
“ Now the late discussions, as I account for the Roman Catholick have said, have assisted to open cures, while they vindicated the up the truth on this interesting exclusive miraculousness of the question. It is now generally ad- Protestant. Their only reply was, mitted, by well-judging persons, that it was impious to think' for a who have not the slightest belief moment that there could be any in modern miracles, that such ex- parallel between the Protestant traordinary cures have again and case and the Catholick; between again taken place; but they gene- the healing of a pious Scotchworalize the principle of them, and man, and that of an Irish idolater. show that this undoubted fact is But such a reply could convince not confined to any one sect or na no person; and it seems to have tion; that cases of this extraordi- been tacitly abandoned by all the nary character are to be found writers on the subject, who begin among Papists and Protestants; to acknowledge that there is no nay, among
Pagans and Moham reason why the Church of Rome medans. They therefore trace should be excluded in this questhem to some general principle, tion; but, on the contrary, say the not of necessity connected with vouchers for the miraculous na. doctrinal faith, or the personal ture of the present dispensation, piety of the individual. The Pro- the attestation of that church is a testant advocates for modern mi. standing testimony to the truth of racles are divided upon the sub- the doctrine. ject: some are so perfectly con “A new chapter, I said, had vinced of the analogy which has been opened by these facts and been traced between the Protes. discussions, upon the physical and tant cases which have recently oc- spiritual parts of our nature; for curred, and similar ones in the neither divines nor physicians, I Church of Rome, that they have am persuaded, were fully aware of admitted that the Popish cases the extent to which the principle were good miracles, wrought of excitement might be carried. through faith in the common Sa- Its efficacy generally they knew viour, and have embraced the and acknowledged, but they had Church of Rome as an auxiliary so little practical experience on against those of their fellow Pro- the subject, that they were not testants who are not convinced aware of its latitude. Cases of that miracles were intended to be alleged modern miracnlous cures perpetual in the church. These encountered with strong advocates for modern miracles act symptoms of incredulity as to the fairly and consistently; but some actual facts: there was deception, of their brethren, shocked that the it was said, or mistake, in the matChurch of Rome should be allow- ter; and if the circumstance haped as good miracles as our own, pened within the precincts of the deny the former, while they admit Church of Rome, then there was the latter; and were much offend one ready answer, Oh, it is all a ed with the Christian Observer for Popish juggle. But recent exam.
ples prove that such facts may and Omnipotence; and, accordingly, do exist; that they are not of ne we find in the Bible narratives, not cessity juggles, though some of only miracles of healing (which, them may be so, impostors taking however, stand on totally different advantage of truth, lo imitate it for grounds to these alleged modern interested purposes. For myself, miracles), but effects produced I do not deny the facts of the Win- upon dead, and irrational, and inchester case of W. White, or the organick matter. An ass spake, late Scotch cases, or the cases at the sun stood still, the shadow on tested by Mr. Irving, or the Morn- the dial went back, the sea was ing Watch, or other post-apostoli- quelled, the dead were raised. In cal cases which I could produce none of these cases could excitefrom the pages of history; but it ment produce such an effect; for appears to me most indubitable, there was no mind, no basis for that they may be all traced to one excitement: but in all the modern cause, call it excitement, or what instances mind has acted upon we will; and that this cause is body; there is not one case that more powerful, and more conta can be taken out of this range; gious, (if I may so speak) and ap- and though the extent to which the plicable to more diseases, than effect may have occurred, is pereither divines or physicians have haps greater than many persons generally suspected: in a word, might have conceived possible, yet that our ignorance of what was every case is but a magnified ilwithin the rule of God's ordinary lustration of the comon adage, laws, has led persons either to deny that conceit can kill and conceit facts because they could not ac
can cure.' count for them, or to make mira “ The whole, I say, of these cases, cles because they saw the facts come under the peculiar and illand did not understand the solu- understood phenomena of the action.
tion of mind upon the living body. “ There is one remarkable cir- I know of none of these alleged cumstance, which I could respect- miracles which go beyond a profully wish the advocates for mo fession of speaking unknown dern miracles impartially to con- tongues, or bodily healing. The sider-namely, that the only sub- former is, I fear, so direct a reject upon which these recent al- sult of mental disorder, so clear a leged miracles have been wrought, case of over-excitement of mind, is that most sensitive and compli- fitter for a physician than a divine, cated fabrick, the living human that I should feel pain to dwell frame, and chiefly in the case of upon it: I can only beartily pity women. I do not at least recol. the victim. The latter, in all its lect an instance of any alleged mi. modifications, still involves the raculous cures, in the case of an same principle of the effect of individual of the less susceptible mind upon body. I
not sex. Now this appears to me ashamed to say, that some of these very much to favour the doctrine effects are more powerful than I of excitement. In no one of these had conceived likely, perhaps, or modern cases is the alleged inira- possible; so that I can now reculous action carried beyond the ceive, and account for, many of frame of the recipient; in no one the facts in the church of Rome, has it occurred, that a supposed which before I thought incredible. miracle has been wrought, except I can believe Hohenlohism, just as in connexion with the operation of I believe Irvingism. In order to mind upon a living body. One make a distinction between the miracle is as easy as another to class of cases which it is supposed
mind might operate on, and those reach, but still within the sphere which it could not affect, it has of the operation of the mind upon been attempted to draw a clear the body. Give me a case beyond line between functional and organ- this category, and I shall feel stagick disorder; but it is very possible gered. If it were said, that Mr. that the physiologist 'may find that Irving, to prove his doctrine, had he has presumed too far, upon his hurled a stone of a hundred pounds supposed knowledge of the work- weight over the pinnacles of the ings of the human frame, so fear. Caledonian chapel, I should doubt fully and wonderfully made; that the fact; but if it were irrefragahis definitions of what constitutes bly attested, I should still see these two classes of case have not no miracle, as I have seen Bel. been sufficiently established; and zoni perform wonderful feats of that some diseases may possibly strength, and I am not assured be cured by the operation of mind, how far muscular energy, under which he might have been dis very extraordinary excitement posed to consider as not capable might be carried. It is still a case of being thus affected. But, be of the mind influencing the bodily this as it may, the general posi- organs, stimulating the nerves, and tion is the same: it is mind upon stringing every muscle and fibre body; the etherial principle on the to action. But if he moved but a living fibre: and till our asserters pebble in my garden, while he himof modern miracles will bring me self was several miles off; if he a case out of this range, I shall not turned back the shadow on the sunsuppose a miracle, though I may dial, or clave the sea, or raised be unable to account for the facts; the dead, or healed another who is as I cannot tell how my own mind unconscious of his operations, the guides my pen, or dictates to my miracle would be obvious. What tongue, though I am sure that it I wish in these remarks, is simply does so. I put it to our friends, to suggest the turning fact,—that seriously to ask why they have no all the cases referred to as proofs one modern instance, to produce of of modern miracles, are cases of alleged miraculous effects upon an excited mind operating upon a matter not connected with mind; person's own body. In some of upon a dead body, for example. these cases the excitement hapSome persons, it is said, lately pens to be connected with certried to raise one in Scotland, but tain theological opinions, whether. they failed, as might be expected; those now inculcated by Mr. Boys, for the exciting mind, the enthu- Mr. M'Neile, and Mr. Erskine, or siastick impulse, actuating the ma those current in the church of terial frame, was wanting. In ge- Rome, or any other modification neral, the cures effected have been, of sentiment; but in others the exobviously, cases connected with citement has nothing to do with the nervous system. I am not matters of religious faith, but is aware of any one clearly out of wholly secular. How then, in faireven this limited range. But, ness, can the cases be separated, grant, that, in the enthusiasm so as to make a miracle in the one which prevails in certain quarters, and not in the other? one apparently anomalous should “For my own part, my dear occur, it would only convince me friend, I feel no desire to suppose that the action of the soul on the myself living in an age of mirabody may be more powerful than cles. Far more consoling is it to I had anticipated; that strong ner my spirit, to know that I am unvous influences may affect cases der the unceasing guidance of Him hitherto considered beyond their who is full of kindness and full of
care; who is infinite in wisdom, up ages after their death, enand in power, and in love. He shrined in distant cenotaphs, or can now, as ever, work miracles. perhaps scattered as relics through I doubt not his Almighty energy; a score of churches and monasteneither do I doubt that, if it were ries; with twenty authentick faithaccording to his blessed will in the inspiring radii and ulnæ of one present era of the dispensation un- much-esteemed individual, and his der which he has mercifully placed inestimable molars and incisors by us, he would renew the gifts of the hundred, throughout all the healing, the speaking with tongues, nunneries of Europe. However, or the raising of the dead; but I this invaluable Beaufort skull has see nothing in Scripture or in ex- been lately consigned to a mould perience to lead me to the conclu- of plaster of Paris, for the benefit sion that such is the actual fact. of modern cranioscopists; and so In me, therefore, it would not be it is, that a learned paper has been faith, but presumption, to look for read over it before the London miraculous healing, as much as it Prenological Society, in which the would be to look for a miraculous lecturer, waxing warm with his supply of food and raiment. These subject, magnificently exclaims, – things have been, and if necessary “ It is left to phrenology to estathey will, without doubt, be again. blish the degree of dependence to No, we may not limit the Holy be placed upon the assertions of One of Israel; but we have no right historians!” Now, I have heard to go beyond the sphere and eco- several mothers say that they edunomy in which he has evidently cate their children with much sciplaced us, to look for a renewal of entifick precision by craniosophy; miraculous manifestations, which, and a few clergymen, that they however gratifying to our self-im- preach by it; and a phrenological portance, would not in the least journal has undertaken in a very conduce to our salvation.
grave and religious manner to ex“I forgot to notice just now, plain the seventh of the Romans, when writing of Cardinal Beau- on the principle that St. Paul had fort, that his skull is said to have opposing organs—the conscienbeen discovered at St. Albans, in tious bumps saying one thing, and the year 1701, and is still some the wicked bumps another, so that where in preservation. I have not he had no rest between them;the account at hand; but I must and Spurzheim's friend, Mr. Baipresume that the identity of the ley, has lately published sixty specimen was properly ascertained skulls as samples of the art, reat the time: though, in truth, such specting which specimens we find researches are not always very sa- such'pithy remarks as the followtisfactory; for, besides the want of ing: No. —; a head in whose printed records, and the mutila- cerebral organization the Christian tions and fragility of non-dupli- law is written:'—so that this man, cate parchments, and the dilapi- who, for aught I know, was a headation of monumental inscriptions, then or a profligate, was a true the mortal remains of celebrated Christian and a spiritually-minded men, in former days, often under- man by anticipation: he needed went many
many migrations;—their not Bible or sacraments, repenttomb being here, their shrine there, ance or faith, a Saviour or a Sancand perhaps their chauntry else tifier; for the Christian law was where; their body in the Holy already engraved on his brain by Land, their head in York, and nature, and showed itself by ossitheir heart at Canterbury; their fic protrusions. All this I knew, bones, real or supposititious, dug and much more; nay, that some
amateur has begun to regulate in- signed the nomination of a new fant schools by the science;' but Board of Missions, we say: I was not aware that historical
" Yet on this committee, which was a fact was to be submitted to this large one, not an individual was placed, ordeal, and remodelled according who was likely to act the part of a friend to the notions of physiological and advocate of the inculpated board--the
board of the preceding year. Whether grave-diggers. But so it is; for
the committee on the case of Mr. Barnes tradition, history, and, above all, had not proved sufficiently subservient to Shakspeare, we are told, have the wishes of the moderator and the mamistaken poor Cardinal Beaufort's jority of the house, or from whatever character: there is little depend- other motive the nomination was made, is
unknown to us; but so it was, this most ence to be placed upon the asser
important committee was entirely comtions of historians!' for thus run posed of those who wers disposed to rehis manifestations: ‘Head large; port, and actually did report, a nomination the intellectual organs exceedingly
of a new board, inost decidedly friendly to
the American Home Missionary Society, well developed; yet others still
and hostile to the existing Board of the more so, especially amativeness,
General Assembly. A few, and but a few love of approbation, self-esteem, of the members of the existing board, combativeness; but almost unpre
were not displaced on the expectation, cedented for destructiveness, firm
we doubt not, that they would voluntarily
resign; as we are confident they would ness, and secretiveness. It is well
have done, when they should see the comfor the reputation of Phrenology plexion of the board entirely changed, and that the Christian law was not rendered subservient to the American written in his skull, since it would
Home Missionary Society." have required a large displace There are two points in this ment of history, to prove that it statement, on which we are at iswas exhibited in his life. I can sue with the Moderator. The first not, my friend, but think there is is our assertion that “on this commuch evil in these reveries.
mittee, which was a large one, not deed, see nothing abstractedly im an individual was placed who was possible in the idea that different likely to act the part of a friend portions of the brain may be con and advocate of the inculpated nected with different parts of its board—the board of the preceding actual exhibitions; but I do not year.” We have already adverted think that even
this has been to an apprehended error that we proved by fact; and, above all, it had made, in relation to this point; is most rash, to say the least, to of the readiness we felt to correct attempt to educate youth, or to re- it, as publickly as it had been cast history, or to interpret scrip- made; and of our eventual discoture, upon so vague a speculation. very that we had committed no “ But it is time to emerge from
error at all; inasmuch as every the crypts of cardinals, and the member of the committee in ques. Holy Hole' of Popish wonder- tion, had shown his feelings toworking saints, to fresh air and ward the old board, by his vote on daylight.”
a previous question. The facts of the case may be seen, summarily, by the following extracts (pp. 183, 184) from the printed minutes of the Assembly. “A motion was made,
that in conformity to usage, or to BYTERIAN CHURCH.
the course pursued last year, a
committee of nomination be apNo. X.
pointed, to nominate persons to In our third number, speaking constitute the Board of Missions of the committee to which was as- for the ensuing year. A motion
THE PRESENT STATE OF THE PRES