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our philosopher seems to have overlooked, when he gave his judgment in this case.
At the time when these miracles were said to have been performed, there was a strong and numerous party in France, under the conduct of very able and learned men, who were strongly preposo sessed in favour of that cause which those miracles were calculated to support, and on the first rumour of them, they were eagerly cried up, and considered as the clear decision of heaven in favour of the Jansenists.
The character of this Abbé was fueh, as makes it highly improbable that any miracle should have been wrought by him, or in his favour. His whole life was a course of the most absurd and painful superstitions. He abridged himself even of the necessaries of life, and was, in fact, accessary to his own death, by refusing proper affistance, and even better nourishment, when he was manje festly drawing near his end, in consequence of his extreme austerities.
By the manner in which Mr. Hume writes upon this subject, one would imagine that these mis racles had never been contradicted, and that the evidence for them had never been disputed; and yet the fact is, that they were always suspected by most persons who heard of them; that the archbishop of Sens considered twenty-two of them as impoftures; that the counsellor Montgeron, who un
dertook dertook to confute him, gave up seventeen of these pretended cures, and defended only five; that M. Des Voux proved to him that he defended themi very ill; that in the judicial proceedings upon the occasion, the falsity of many of these prodigies was demonstrated; that many witnesses absconded to escape examination ; that others deposed that their certificates had been falsified, by the addition of circumstances which were not true; that many of the fick persons protested against the account which had been published of their cures; that many of those who had been subject to convulsions, confessed to M. De Heraut, the lieutenant of the police, that their convulsions were artificial; that the cures, true or false, were but gradual, and accomplished by several steps; that they were obliged to go nine times at least, and often more, to the tomb of the Abbé; so that the cures might very poffibly be either the work of time, of a lively imagination, or of the medicines which they continued to take; that by far the greatest number of those who applied for a cure were disappointed ; that it was very unlikely that the assistance of the divine being should not have been obtained but by means of convulsions, swoonings, violent, and some times very indecent gestures, which those who applied for a cure made use of; and lastly, that these miracles entirely ceased when no credit B 5
was given to them; and instead of drawing the Jansenists out of the low reputation into whey they were fallen, they only served to make the whole party more ridiculous and contemptible *
Mr. Hume also mentions after the cardinal De Retz, a miracle which was said to have been wrought in Saragossa; but, by Mr. Hume's own account, the cardinal himself did not believe it.
The last instance I shall mention is one on which Mr. Chubb lays great stress, viz. a miracle said to have been wrought among the Camisards, or the protestants in the South of France, and which he says cannot be distinguished from a real miracle. The principal thing that was exhibited upon this occasion was one Clary, seeming to stand or dance about in the frames unhurt. The account was published by Mr. Lacy, an English gentleman, who joined the French protestants when they took refuge in England, from the depositions of John Cavalier, a brother of the principal leader of the Camisards, but a person of an infamous character, who afterwards turned papist, and enlisted in the French king's guards.
But M. Le Moine, who answered Mr Chubb's treatise on miracles, in which this fact was mentioned, having taken fome pains to enquire into it, found, upon the testimony of the most unexcep
* Lettres de Roustan, p. 85, &c.
tionable witnesses, especially that of one Serres, who had been a member of the privy council of the Camisards, that the whole business was a trick, contrived by themselves, in order to encourage their troops. This person, when near his death, gave a circumstantial account of the manner in which the artifice had been conducted; and the particulars, together with the proofs of the whole discovery, may be seen in M. Le Moine's treatise on miracles, p. 4-0, &c.
A VIEW OF THE PRINCIPAL OBJECTIONS TO
THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN REVELATIONS.
TN the preceding sections. I have given a general I view of the evidence for the truth of the Jewish and christian revelations, or the reasons which in duce me to believe that the divine being has interposed in the affairs of this world, giving mankind Jaws and admonitions, with such fanctions respecte ing our future expectations, and especially our expectations after death, as we find an account of in the scriptures; and I presume that such facts have been produced, as cannot be accounted for without supposing that these books contain a true and authentic history.
That testimony fo copious, and so particularly circumstanced, given by such nuinbers of persons, who had the best opportunity of being informed, and who were so far from having any motive to impose upon the world, should, notwithstanding, be given to a fafhood, cannot be admitted, without supposing all those persons to have been constituted in a manner quite different from other men. And by whatever method of reasoning we dispute the