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which, if genuine, are of great value. It is reported to have fallen down from heaven; but I have not yet been able to find out the precise time and place. I was assured, however, that about one or two hundred years ago it was stolen from the convent of the Ara Celi. So wonderful an image was of course able to choose its own place of residence, and could not be carried off against its will, and accordingly about eleven at night the door-bell rang violently; some of the monks opened the door, and to their amazement found the Bambino had walked back to them from the place to which it had been conveyed, with its feet bare; and in memory of this event the feet have ever since been kept uncovered. The miracles said to be wrought by this image are innumerable, and the faith of the Roman populace in its powers is unbounded. It is principally employed in the cure of diseases, for which purpose it is carried about in a coach, attended by several priests, who perform the service, and apply the image to the sick! The regular fee to the Bambino is one dollar, while that to the first Roman physicians is but half a dollar per visit. One of my domestics, who most firmly believes in its powers, has seen it applied on many occasions, and says, generally with success. When the cure is to be wrought, the countenance, according to her account, becomes of the most lovely pink; when not, it remains unchanged, or turns pale.
I was present on one occasion when the ceremony was performed in the chapel of the Bambino. A lady, apparently the wife of a wealthy shopkeeper, was the patient; she seemed in perfect health, but within a few days of her confinement. A long litany was chanted, during which the lady knelt before the altar. At the conclusion of it, the priest, with great reverence, took the Bambino from off the altar and presented it to the lady, who kissed its toes, and then rubbed her forehead upon them; she then rose from her knees, and the priest, a young man, slowly and solemnly rubbed the fore part of her person with the image in the form of a cross, first up and down, and then across. By undergoing this process, she was quite satisfied that she would pass quickly and safely through her approaching trial. As a proof of her benevolence, she brought with her a poor woman in the same situation, on whom the same process was performed, and also about a dozen of poor children with sore eyes or sore feet, to whom also the image was presented. When all had been operated upon, some prayers concluded the service, and the lady, we were told, paid for all. The Romanists say, that in the respect which they pay to images, they intend none to the image, and all to the object represented. But if they believe there is no inherent virtue in the doll I have been describing, to what purpose is it taken off the altar, and applied to the body of the patient?
Ertracts of Correspondence.
FOREIGN. From the Speeches delivered at the Anniversary of the Nagercoil
and Palamcottah Native Tract Society.- (Continued.) INDIA.-E. Balm rose and observed, “The Religious Tract Society is an important instrument, among others, which God has appointed to enlighten this benighted world. By the circulation of tracts, we not only do good to those who are able to read, but to those who are unable, as has appeared from what has already been advanced by other speakers. Our tracts are circulated among all classes, and among the poor they are doing good; for many of that class have seen the evil of idolatry, and have lately joined this and other congregations, who were principally excited to this step by the truths they have learned from our tracts. One instance is so pleasing, and so much to the purpose, that I am persuaded the relation of it will gladden the hearts of all present. Some months ago, as I was returning, after the labours of the sabbath, from a neighbouring village, I met a Pandarum in my way, who was dressed in the usual style of that fraternity and, as he approached me, he appeared, from his gait and demeanour, to think himself some great one. I accosted him; and, observing that he returned the salutation, I ventured to ask him who he was, and where he was going. He candidly told me he was a Pandarum of the sect of “The Eight Letters; and that he was going to teach his religion, for by that he obtained his living. I spoke to him of the necessity of repentance towards God; but he soon interrupted me by ans ng that he possessed one of our books. On asking him whether he had read it, and what it contained, he observed, “That he who would enjoy the felicity of heaven, must esteem the world and all its glory as less than nothing, and vanity.' To this and other truths he declared his assent, at which my heart was filled with joy; and I could not refrain from exclaiming, 'Who can tell the amount of good our books are doing!' After some further conversation, I invited him to Nagercoil, where he shortly after paid us a visit, and received a fresh supply of books, by the perusal of which, and other instruction, his profiting soon appeared to all men. He is now appointed an assistant reader, and is diligently employed in teaching others the way of salvation. You are all aware of the distress that a short time ago prevailed in this country. At that season, when I was going to read the word of God in a village contiguous, I observed a great number of people collected together. On inquiring the cause, I was informed these
people were going to the east to seek for employment; but, knowing that famine and cholera raged in the place whither they were going, they had stopped to consult a sorceress, to ascertain what would befal them if they ventured to the place of their destination. Some were giving to this personage rice, some jaggry, some cash, and other things, to obtain, of course, a favourabfe answer to their inquiries. Seeing the delusion practised on these poor people, I was grieved, and determined
rescue them, if possible, out of her hands; for which purpose I drew near, and rebuked her sharply for her hypocrisy, and told her if she could tell future events, she could tell the people what I had under my upper garment. She declared I had nothing. On which I pulled out a book which I had concealed for the purpose, and showed it to the people; and, turning round, I asked them how they could put confidence in a person to tell future events who could not tell what was near, merely because it was concealed from her eyes. They were struck with what passed, acknowledged the folly of witchcraft, and gave an attentive hearing to the tract on that subject, which was read to them. Our tracts are beneficial, not only to persons who have advanced to the years of manhood, but to children, as I had an instance the other day, when talking to a few people. Among them there was an intenesting youth, who made several sensible remarks, which induced me to ask him who he was ; when he informed me he lived near Dohnavoor, and had read several of our tracts; that he was come on a visit to some relatives, but they were heathen, which greatly grieved him. What encouragement do these instances afford, to 'be diligent in the morning in sowing our seed, and in the evening not to withhold our hand! for we know not whether shall prosper, this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.'
DOMESTIC. From a Magistrate in the West of England. I CAN say, and I trust with heartfelt gratitude, that I have enjoyed the high privilege of being employed as an humble labourer in the Lord's vineyard, in circulating the useful publications of your Society. In dependence on Divine assistance, and the promises contained in God's word, it will be my endeavour to go forward in the work with a single eye to the glory of God, in full assurance that the labour will not be in vain. It is gratifying to me to be able to tell you that those persons (who, on a former occasion, I mentioned to you) in whom I had hoped the work of grace, by God's blessing, had been begun, through the instrumentality of your publications, are going steadily forward in their christian course. I received, a few days since, an account of a quarterly tract meeting held at M. H., and I will communicate to you some of its contents, thinking they will be as interesting to you as they have been to me.
" Mr. N. reports that the tracts were received with gratitude.” “S. N. reports that the tract called 'Joy in the Lord' had been given to a man who had rashly said, about five years since, that if ever he again entered the place of worship which he had been accustomed to attend, he wished a heavy and destructive judgment might befal him. When he received the above-named tract, he appeared deeply interested in it, kept it a considerable time, and was unwilling to part with it: and about the same time it was observed that he had broken his rash vow, and, after an absence of many years, again appeared in the house of God." The other distributors reported very favourably, and also that the library appears to be well conducted, and the books are extensively read. A pious young lady mentioned the book, ‘Jesus showing Mercy,' as having been the means (among others) of awakening her to a serious concern for the salvation of her soul. We embrace the present opportunity to relate a highly cheering and gratifying interview we lately had with a young person, of whom some notice was taken in our Report of 1830, wherein it was stated that a poor girl, who appeared in the streets almost in rags, and without a bonnet on her head, seemed much impressed with the contents of a tract, “Will Brown the Poacher,” No. 521, Second Series, left at the house of her parents. She thought she had found so great a treasure in the intelligence conveyed by this little tract, that she was eager to communicate.it to her acquaintances at the other end of the town. We thought we then discovered the emotions of holy joy in her, experienced by a sinner when his heart is first opened to receive the Saviour; and something of that benevolent love which accompanies it, and which prompts the desire to make the compassionate and precious Saviour known to others. But she was then very young, very ignorant, and very poor, and exposed to many temptations; we feared these emotions might be transitory as the morning cloud; but we are happy to find these fears were not well founded; for the pleasing account she gave of the progress of the work of grace upon her heart, her deep seriousness and humility, together with her strong attachment to the house and people of God, assured us they were not. This instance may be added to the thousands that have gone before it, to confirm the truth of that encouraging promise, “Cast thy bread upon the waters, and it shall be found after many days.”
SIMON CALLED. AS the sun, in his first rising, draws all eyes to it, so did this Sun of righteousness, when he first shone forth into the world. His miraculous cures drew patients; his Divine doctrine drew auditors; both together drew the admiring multitude after him. And why do we not still follow thee, O Saviour, through deserts and mountains, over land and seas, that we may be both healed and taught ? It was thy word, that, when thou wert lifted up, thou wouldest draw all men unto thee: behold, thou art lifted up long since, both to the tree of shame, and to the throne of heavenly glory: "Draw us, and we shall run after thee.” Thy word is still the same, though proclaimed by men; thy virtue is still the same, though exercised on the spirits of men. O, give us to hunger after both, that by both our souls may be satisfied.