« PreviousContinue »
and power ; by none of them, were many induced to commit themselves, and that in contradiction to prior opinions, to a life of mortification, danger, and sufferings; none were called upon to attest them, at the expence of their fortunes and safety *.
* It may be thought that the historian of the Parisian mi. racles, M. Montgeron, forms an exception to this last assertion. He presented his book (with a suspicion, as it should seem, of the danger of what he was doing) to the king ; and was shortly afterwards committed to prison; from which he never came out. Had the miracles been unequivocal, and had M. Montgeron been originally convinced by them, I should have allowed this exception. It would have stood, I think, alone, in the argument of our adversaries. But, beside what has been observed of the dubious nature of the miracles, the ac. count which M. Montgeron has himself left of his conversion, shows both the state of his mind, and that his persuasion was not built upon external miracles.-“ Scarcely had he entered the churchyard, when he was struck,” he tells us, “ with awe and reverence, having never before heard prayers pro. nounced with so much ardour and transport as he observed amongst the supplicants at the tomb. Upon this, throwing bimself on his knees, resting his elbows on the tomb-stone, and covering his face with his hands, he spake the following prayer : O thou, by whose intercession so many miracles are said to be performed, if it be true that a part of thee surviveth the grave, and that thou hast influence with the Almighty, have pity on the darkness of my understanding, and through his mercy obtain the removal of it.” Having prayed thus,“ many thoughts,' as he sayeth, began to open themselves to his mind; and so 'profound was his attention, that he continued on his knees four hours, not
in the least disturbed by the vast crowd of surrounding supplicants. During this time, all the arguments which he had ever heard or read in favour of Christianity, occurred to him with so much force, and seemed so strong and convincing, that he went home fully satisfied of the truth of religion in general, and of the holiness and power of that person, who," as he supposed, “ had engaged the Divine goodness to en. lighten his understanding so suddenly." Douglas's Crita of Mir. p. 214.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
Printed by George Ramsay & Co.