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Her attitude, during this scene, was very peculiar. She was partly kneeling, but her knees did not touch the ground: her body leaned forward: her hands were joined as in prayer. She did not walk, but rather glided over the floor: and wherever the bag with the sacred vessels was carried, there she followed, as a needle follows the loadstone. At length, the silk bag, with its contents, was put aside. She then resumed her seat, and subsided into her wonted state of motionless contemplation.

This extraordinary scene was repeated several times that day; the sacred vessels being presented sometimes by the Bishop, sometimes by the Abbé Mortier. At first, the only witnesses present, besides the mother and sisters of Louise, were the three ecclesiastics; and it was wisely judged expedient to secure, if possible, the presence of some distinguished layman. A message was accordingly despatched to an eminent statesman, who happened, just then, to be staying at his country seat, not far off. He came at once to the house of Louise; and in common with the rest, witnessed, again and again, the strange phenomena above described.

The Bishop conjectured that, by some chance, a consecrated host, or possibly a part of one, had remained in the Pyx, without the knowledge of the Curé: and that this was the cause of all the emotions, and the movements of adoration on the part of Louise. He proposed, therefore, to separate the sacred vessels, and to try the effect of each by itself alone. First he took the case containing the Holy Oil, and presented it to the Ecstatica. No effect was produced until it touched her lips; and then she smiled, as she is accustomed to do, at the contact of things that are blessed. The Pyx was next presented. When it was yet two yards off, the transport of joy returned she fell upon her knees, in adoration, as before, and followed the sacred vessel whithersoever it was carried.

It was five o'clock in the afternoon, when the Bishop and his three fellow-witnesses left the cottage. They went at once together to the Parish Church. There, in the presence of all four, the Pyx was opened, and it was found to contain a pretty considerable fragment of the consecrated species. The statesman, who had been so unexpectedly called from his villa in the morning, and had passed the greater part of the day in the house of the Ecstatica, went home deeply impressed with the scenes he had witnessed, and drew up, at his leisure, a careful report of the facts. This report was subsequently confirmed, even to the smallest details, by the ecclesiastical witnesses; and from it has been mainly derived the account which is here set forth.

The events of this memorable day were soon brought to the knowledge of Doctor Lefebvre. He recognised, at once, that the facts were established by evidence which few would call in question. But he fancied that some might be found who would attempt to account for these facts by natural means, and would refer them, perhaps, to those mysterious powers, supposed by some philosophers to be developed in certain peculiar states of the mind, and known under the name of Clairvoyance. They would say, that the girl, in her trance, enjoyed an exceptional keenness of intellectual vision, by virtue of which her mind was enabled to pierce through the silk bag and the two silver cases; and thus she became conscious that the one contained only the Holy Oil, the other, a consecrated Host. To meet this explanation, Doctor Lefebvre devised a new test, which he appropriately calls a counter proof.

On Friday, the nineteenth of November, in the same year, the Curé of Bois d'Haine came to the house of the Ecstatica, accompanied by an eminent professor from Tournay, the Reverend Canon Hallez. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they arrived, and Louise was already in her Ecstasy. They had brought with them a Pyx, exactly resembling the one that had produced such wonderful effects on the thirteenth of August; and it was enveloped in the same silk bag that had been used on that occasion. In the Pyx they had placed a small host, not consecrated. Here, then, all the material conditions were exactly the same as before. Yet when the silk bag, with the Pyx in it, was presented to Louise, and even pressed against her lips, there was no transport, no act of adoration, not even a faint movement of the features: she remained fixed in contemplation, insensible, motionless.

It was plain, therefore, so far as these experiments went, that the fanciful theory of Clairvoyance, even if admitted to be true, would not be sufficient to account for the facts. Louise was vehemently affected by the presence of a consecrated Host, while she was insensible to the presence of a host that was not consecrated. Consequently she possessed, for the time being, not only the extraordinary power of penetrating, with her mental vision, through the silk bag and the silver case, but the still more extraordinary power of discerning a Host that was consecrated from one that was not: and such a faculty of discrimination as this, has never yet been ascribed, even by the wildest visionary, to the powers of Clairvoyance.

The complete insensibility of Louise to ordinary material

objects is scarcely less remarkable than her sensitiveness to those that are sacred. During the time of her Ecstasy, the functions of all her senses are suspended. She sees nothing, though her eyes are wide open. She hears no sound but the voice of those who have spiritual jurisdiction over her. Doctor Lefebvre has employed various expedients to test the extent and the genuineness of this insensibility. He flashed a light in her face, and there was no movement of the eyes or eyelids. He applied liquid ammonia, a most pungent and irritating substance, to the interior of her nostrils, without producing any apparent effect upon one of the most delicate and sensitive membranes of the human body. He got a person, standing behind her, to emit suddenly a piercing cry, close to her ear; yet not the faintest trace of sensation could be detected.

The insensibility of her skin he tested with still greater severity, one would almost say cruelty. He pricked her hands and face with a needle. He gathered up a fold of the skin between his fingers, and pierced it, through and through, with a large pin, working the pin about, afterwards, in the hole it had made. He drove the point of a penknife into her flesh so as to make the blood spurt out. All these experiments were repeated several times, in the presence of various witnesses, many of them Doctors, and none could ever detect any symptom of sensibility, or even the slightest muscular contraction.

Next he tried the efficacy of electric shocks. The apparatus he employed produced currents so powerful that a strong man could not endure them for more than five or six seconds at a time. After several preliminary trials, he applied the two conductors to the inner surface of the arm, where the skin is naturally very fine and sensitive. For the space of seventy seconds, he continued to send the electric current, at its full intensity, through this delicate membrane, without producing any effect whatever. Then he applied the conductors to the face of the Ecstatica, and passed the current through various muscles. The muscles were violently contracted, but there seemed to be no sensation properly so called, no consciousness. The eyes never blinked, nor did the ecstatic girl lose, for a moment, her singular look of calm and profound contemplation.








DR. DÖLLINGER lays down five theses which, he says, "are of vital importance both as regards the present situation of the German Church, and" his own "personal position." And it is that he may have an opportunity of demonstrating the truth of these propositions, that he wishes to appear before an assembly of the German Bishops at Fulda, or, failing this, to have the question discussed in a conference at which he would be allowed to defend his views. Let us examine his theses in detail.

"First-The new Articles of Faith depend for Scriptural authority upon the texts Matthew xvi. 18, John xxi. 17, and, as far as Infallibility is concerned, upon the text Luke xxii. 32, with which this doctrine, in its relation to Scripture, must stand or fall,2

"Now we are bound by a solemn oath, which I myself have taken on two occasions, to accept and to explain the Holy Scriptures, not otherwise than in accordance with the unanimous consent of the Fathers.' But the Fathers of the Church have all, without exception, explained the texts in question in a sense totally different to that of the new Definitions, and

1 Continued from our November Number,

[The texts in question are-" Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."-St. Mathew xvi. 18.

"Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him; yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him feed my lambs.

"He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: feed my lambs.

"He said to him the third time; Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time, lovest thou me? And he said to him; Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him feed my sheep."-St. John xxi. 15-17.

“And the Lord said; Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou being converted, confirm thy brethren."-St. Luke xxii. 31-32.

3 Dr. Döllinger refers of course to the clause in the Profession of Faith prescribed by Pope Pius IV. in the Bull Injunctum nobis:— -"Item sacram scripturam juxta eum sensum, quem tenuit ac tenet sancta mater ecclesia, cujus est judicare de vero sensu et interpretatione sacrarum Scripturarum admitto; nec eam nisi juxta unanimem consensum patrum accipiam et interpretabor."

especially in the text of St. Luke, have found anything but a promise to confer on the Popes the prerogative of Infallibility. If, then, I were to accept with these Definitions the interpretation which they set forth, and without which they are devoid of all Scriptural authority, I should be guilty of perjury. This, as I have already stated, I am prepared to prove to the Bishops assembled in Council."

This statement, perfectly in harmony with the views of Janus, had been already made, and indeed more fully developed by Dr. Döllinger in his Notes for the Bishops of the Council, published in October, 1869. But does it not seem incomprehensible that he should have remained until then in ignorance of the perjury which, according to this view, he must have committed many years before, when in his work on Christianity and the Church, published in 1860, he put forward an interpretation of those texts, identical in substance with the interpretation which is adopted by the defenders of the doctrine of Infallibility.

The oath which, as Dr. Döllinger informs us, he has taken on two occasions, has been taken also by other theologians, and by some even more frequently; nor is he more conscientious in his regard for it than many of those who have taken it only once. Does he wish to convey that all other theologians are ignorant of the nature of the obligation which it imposes, and that it is understood only by him and by the few adherents to whom he is a leader and a guide?1

Nor is it true that "the Fathers of the Church have all, without exception, explained the text of St. Luke in a sense totally at variance with the new Definitions." Did not the exposition given by Pope Agatho meet with the approval and acceptance of the Fathers of the Sixth General Council, as Bossuet admits? And had not the same exposition been

To say nothing of the absence of any authoritative enumeration of the ecclesiastical writers who are to be regarded as Fathers, it is plain that the terms of the oath cited by Dr. Döllinger exclude only such interpretations as are opposed to the express and unanimous teaching of the Fathers. They do not, as his reasoning implies, render it unlawful to interpret a text when the Fathers are not unanimous in their interpretation of it. And the Fathers are not unanimous in interpreting the three texts which regard the institution of the Primacy, and from which theologians undertake to prove the existence of the prerogative of Infallibility. Indeed, there are very few texts which have been unanimously interpreted by the Fathers it frequently happens, especially amongst the earlier Fathers, that when one gives the literal sense, another explains the text mystically, and a third accommodates it to different circumstances: frequently the same Father puts forward several interpretations without deciding in favour of any.

But it must be added that the Patristic expositions of the texts, which are in question here, are of such a nature that they can easily be reduced to the same.

After quoting the words of Pope Agatho, Bossuet says:- "Haec praeclara, haec magnifica, haec vera sunt ita ut ab Agathone dicta et a sexta synoda suscepta esse vidimus." Defens. Declar. Cleri Gallicani. Part 3, lib. x., cap. 8.

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