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gether renounced their religious faith. The authorities of St. Petersburg were made acquainted, by the Governor General, with the diseases to which they fell a prey. Frick died. Kock being reproached by the rest, fled to Sarepta on the Wolga, where he was glad to join the Moravians, who were sound in word and practice, and he grievously repented of the part which he had taken. The Basle Missionary Society sent pastors among the remainder of those poor people, who were otherwise left exposed on all sides. The most tragical part of their history, however, is still untold. In the war between Russia and Persia, they were subjected to a hostile invasion of their territory, and even treated with the most ignominious bru. tality. On the morning of the 26th of August, 1826, one thousand Turkish and Curdish horsemen attacked the colony of Catherinenfeld, forced their way through the gates, and commenced the ravages of the most uncivilized warfare. It is to be feared that these settlers did not so much suffer Christian martyrdom, like the Waldenses, in defence of their country and religion, as the fruits of their own irretrievable imprudence. The scene is thus depicted by M. Saltête, a missionary.
“No human tongue can describe the misery which, in the course of a few hours, overwhelmed the settlement. Some of the colonists, in attempting to escape, were caught with long cords, in the same manner as wild cattle. Who
was thus taken was immediately stripped of his clothing, and either killed on the spot, or suffered to run away naked. Little children were bound together in couples, and then slung across the horses' backs, like articles of baggage. If any of them disturbed their persecutors by their cries, they were instantly dispatched, before the face of their parents. Every sense of shame, and every feeling of humanity, was extinguished in these barbarians; the brutal herds set no limits to their licentious passions. A young woman, of acknowledged piety, in endeavouring to escape from the robbers, was fired at, and shot in the spine ; so that she instantly fell, and slowly expired, in the most excruciating agonies, on the ground. A man, wbilst endeavouring to intercede for the lives of his wife and children, was murdered at the foot of a tree, to which his wife bad fled for shelter. The latter, with an infant at the breast, was spared; but with a bleeding heart she saw her two little ones carried away into slavery. Three girls, about tifteen years of age, thought themselves happy in having reached the river, at a distance of about seven or eight versts; when two Tartars overtook them, and cruelly wreaked their vengeance on two of them. Among the wounded, who were afterwards taken up and attended to, was one who had his skull laid open, and was wounded in the back with no less than twenty-two thrusts of a lance. A Curd ordered another of the colonists to throw himself on the ground, in which situation he pierced him twice with a lance, in the same manner as fishes are caught by spearing in the water: another Curd burled a large stone at him, so that he was eventually left half dead. The most deplorable situation was that of the poor captives, who were treated like brutes, and inhumanly butchered, if they did not immediately obey the cruel orders of their plunderers. A part of them have been carried away, and sold in Turkey, and the remainder are in slavery in Persia. The Almighty hand of the Lord, however, preserved the lives of 240 persons; but upwards of thirty were put to death, and about 140 were carried away into slavery."
Dr. Pinkerton having related these facts, adds :
“These details are given, not with any view to expose or throw ridicule upon any class of men on account of their religious opinions, but merely to caution professed Christians in our day against following the dictates of a heated imagination, respecting times and seasons, and the mode of accomplisbing unfulfilled prophecy, which it bath not pleased God to reveal: for if the imagination be once heated on these points, it is impossible to predict to what extravagancies even good men will go, both in opinion and practice, before they learn, by bitter experience, a more sober way of treating these mysterious and important subjects. To reap spiritual advantage from the announcement of God's future judgments or mercies, as contained in unfulfilled prophecy, we need not fictions and dreams of fanaticism; and he who gives the rein to fancy in such matters, delivers his soul into the hands of an unfaithful guide, which, leading him in the mazes of enthusiastic error, may, if grace prevent not, conduct him to everlasting disappointment and remorse. This has been the voice of experience in all ages of the Christian Church; and such things are permitted to take place for our instruction, on whom the ends of the world are come.”
ON THE ROYAL TOUCH, AND ANIMAL MAGNETISM.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. HAVING occasion, once, to pass the Sabbath-day in the city of Bath, I found, in a family pew of the parish church of St. Michael, a Church of England Common Prayer-Book, which, so far as I recollect, bore the marks of the last century upon
and cover. In it I discovered, before quitting the church, a short form of prayer for the cure of the King's Evil. I have since searched Wheatley on the Common Prayer, but that writer gives no account whatever of the form in question ; nor in any other Prayer Book, either before or since, do I ever remember to have seen it. When, and by whom, it was compiled and introduced therein, perhaps yourself, or some of your correspondents, may be able to inform me. Mr. Dicken, serjeant-surgeon to Queen Anne, attested that he had in his possession many letters from respectable and distinguished persons in various parts of of England, vouching that their relatives, friends, and servants, who came to London for the purpose of being touched, were cured by the Queen. Several cases of relief came under his own observation, and among others, a woman requested that she might be presented to her Majesty, of whose character for honesty he had no good opinion ; and he therefore apprized her that the touch would be inefficacious, as he believed that she would dispose of the medal, which it was customary to give the patient. Promising to keep it, she was touched, received the medal, and was healed. Conceiving, afterwards, that the piece of gold would be no longer of any service to her, she broke her word, and sold it, when her disease returned. She applied again to Mr. Dicken, was touched a second time by the Queen, and recovered. This art of healing had been practised by former English sovereigns. Mr. Wiseman, principal surgeon to the army of Charles the First, and afterwards serjeant-surgeon to Charles the Second, makes this declaration in his Chirurgical Treatises.“ I myself have been a frequent eyewitness of many hundreds of cures performed by his Majesty's touch alone, without any assistance of chirurgery, and these many of them such as had tired out the endeavours of able chirurgeons, before they came thither. It were endless to write what I myself have seen, and what I have received acknowledgements of by letter, not only from the several parts of this nation, but also from Ireland, Scotland, Jersey and Guernsey," &c. From the register preserved by the keeper of his Majesty's closet, Charles the Second healed 92,107 persons.
The process of Animal Magnetism is not altogether a modern inven. tion; which, by the waving of the hand, throws the patient into a state of stupor for the time being, and professes to work a cure through the operation of the nervous system. Valentine Greatrakes was celebrated in his day, for curing different maladies. He was born at a village near Waterford, in Ireland, in the year 1698. He was educated in England, but on his return was appointed to some office in the
city of Cork, and became a magistrate of the county. In 1662, he had an unaccountable persuasion that he was gifted with the power of healing scrofulous disorders by the motion of his hand, in which he succeeded. He then practised on cases of ague, and indeed all other complaints. By desire of the Earl of Orrery, he visited this country, in January 1666, in order that he might try his skill on Lady Conway, who was afflicted with an incurable head-ache. At Ragley, Lord Conway's seat in Warwickshire, he remained about a month, but failed in his attempt. During his residence there, he was thronged by applicants, some of whom were healed, but others were not benefited. He went thence to Worcester, where he was so successful that he was sent for by Lord Arlington, then Secretary of State, and came to London. Taking a house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, he worked such wonders, that he soon published a catalogue and history of his
His book is entitled “A brief Account of Mr. Valentine Greatrakes, and divers of the strange cures lately by him performed, written by himself, in a Letter addressed to the Honourable Robert Boyle, Esq., whereunto are annexed the testimonials of several eminent and worthy persons of the chief matters of fact there related : London 1666." No charge has been alleged against him of an immoral character, or of wilful imposture, though he was doubtless an enthusiast, who worked upon the animal affections and impaired imagination of those who from their physical constitution were most susceptible of such impressions. In these cases, it is almost impossible to ascertain the number of total failures, and of relapses, which is indispen. sable in order rightly to judge of the remedy. Many individuals, however, of great learning, understanding, and piety, bore witness to the efficacy of his healing art, both physicians and divines, among whom may be mentioned the Honourable Robert Boyle, Sir John Godolphin, Sir Nathaniel Holbatch, Sir Abraham Cullen, Colonel Weldon, Alderman Knight ; Dr. Rust, dean of Con. nor, afterwards Bishop of Dromore ; Dr. Wilkins, afterwards Bishop of Chester; Mr. Patrick, afterwards Bishop; and Dr. George Evans. The son of Dr. Cudworth was cured, and Dr. Whichcote himself. Also the names of Sir William Smith, Dr. Denton, Dr. Fairclough, and Dr. Jeremiah Astel.
The certificate of Dean Rust is as follows:
"Being desired to give my testimony of Mr. Greatrakes and his cures, I do hereby certify that I have, with some curiosity, been an observer of him, and of his operations : and I take him to be a person of an honest and upright mind, a free and open spirit, a cheerful and agreeable humour, an inoffensive conversation, of large and generous principles, and that carries on no design of faction and in terest. I have been an eye-witness of many hundreds that have come under his hands, especially during his stay at Lord Conway's for three weeks or a month together, and I must profess myself convinced, (however it be from an immediate gift, or a peculiarity of complexion) that he has a virtue more than ordinary. For though I have seen him touch many with little or no success, yet it must not be denied that I have seen too in very 'many instances, by his spittle or the touch and stroke of his hand, humours put into odd and violent fermentations, pains strangely fly before him, till he has chased them out at some of the extreme parts of the body, the king's evil in a few days wonderfully dried up; knobs or kernels brought to a suppuration ; humours ripened ; ulcerous sores skinned and amended; hard swellings abated; cold and senseless limbs restored to their heat and life ; scabs all over the body, which have been for many years and counted incurable, deadened and dried up; many people relieved in cases of deafness, lameness, dimness of sight; twenty several persons in fits of the falling sickness, or convulsions, or hysterical passions (for I am not wise enough to distinguish them) upon his laying his hands upon their hearts (often upon the top of their cloths) within a few minutes brought to their senses, so as to be able to tell where the pain lay, which he has followed till he has pursued it out of the body. I can say little to the permanency of his cures; many I do believe continue firm, but several of those of the falling sickness I heard had relapsed before I left the country; but after much longer intervals than they were wont to enjoy; the forms of words he used are, God Almighty heal thee for his mercy's sake : and if they profess to receive any benefit he bids them give God the praise, and that (so far as I can judge) with a sincere devotion. This is, in short, the matter of fact which is testified to be true by me."
“GEORGE Řust, D.D., and Dean of Connor." The next is a letter addressed by the son of Sir Charles Doe, to Dr. Fairclough.
“Sir,—Whereas you desire to know what effect Mr. Greatrake's hand had upon me, this may satisfy you, that the head-ache which I laboured under three or four years, (and used what means the physicians prescribed, though unsuccessfully) which oft times was very violent, was cured by the laying on Mr. Greatrake's hand in the following manner. About the beginning of March last, hearing that Mr. Greatrakes was at my Lord Mayor's house, I repaired thither unto him, and desired him (having the head-ache then violently on me) that he would be pleased to use his endeavours to cure me. Whereupon he demanded in what part of my head the pain lay, which I shewed him, and therefore he laid his hand upon the place affected, and immediately I found the pain removed to another place in my head, which I also directed him to, who pursued it till it went out of my head; and so following it from place to place (laying his hand upon that part of my body whither it did remain) till he drove it into my foot, where it was very painful to me, till at length be chased it out at my toe, I not putting off my stocking : which he did at two different, times, the pain, as I conceived, being divided; whereupon I forwith found myself freed from all manner of pain both in head and body, and bave so continued ever since (blessed be God) in perfect health. And not only was I freed from the aforesaid pain in the head, but also from a constant bleeding that continually attended it; whereas I did use to bleed every day (or every other day at least) which bleeding I am very little troubled with. This is that, Sir, which I affirm to be true, who am yours, &c. &c., John Doe.''
A correspondent, in your Number for March, has given so satisfactory a solution of the art of modern magic in Egypt, and also of a dream in the Wotton family, that I submit these statements to his better judgment.
PROPHETIC DREAMS AND SUPERNATURAL INTERPOSITIONS.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. As you have allowed a Correspondent to draw the attention of your readers to the subject of dreams, in order to suggest certain considerations by way of caution to those who may be too ready to credit them, and other supposed supernatural interpositions of Providence; will you allow me, in addition to what has been suggested, to remark, that while it is admitted, as your correspondent intimates, that the days of Queen Mary and Sir Henry Wotton were days of superstition and credulity, we are living in a day when the opposite extreme of incredulity, not to say infidelity, is peculiarly prevalent. As credulity marked the former days of ignorance and unrefined sentiment, so our improvement and refinement and intellectual superiority must, it seems, manifest itself by a refusal to believe anything that cannot be physically accounted for. A fear of incurring the charge of weakness, is, I apprehend, at the bottom of this ; for it seems to be forgotten that there may be just as much weakness in refusing to credit what is reasonable and well attested, as in believing what is unreasonable. Many sincere Christians go the length of saying that we are
CARIST. OBSERV. No. 30.
not to believe in supernatural occurrences in these days; everything, they say, if not accidental, could be accounted for very naturally if we did but know all the attendant circumstances. I cannot however help thinking, with a late eminently intellectual character, that systematic incredulity in these matters is more unfavourable to the culture of Christianity in the heart, than its opposite; and, if so, the dispassionate discussion of this subject is more important than it may appear to be in the minds of certain sceptical reasoners; and therefore makes it desirable to inquire whether there are any rules by which we may be guided in believing or rejecting what is represented in reference to prophetic dreams, or any other supernatural interposition of Providence; for I may suggest, that if we allow such interposition in any one form, we admit the principle, and can, in such case, have no right to determine its limit.
As we may however hazard some modest conjectures on the subject, I submit, with your correspondent, that it may be wisest to regard those dreams or impressions, which follow after occurrences or contemplations which may have given rise to them, as already naturally accounted for, however remarkable they may have been. A coincidence between our dreams, and after circumstances of no moment, also seems to claim no particular notice. It may be likewise most reasonable to refrain from giving credit to everything supposed to be supernatural by a mind under the influence of fear, or melancholy, or too sensitive an imagination. It is impossible to fathom the mysteries which are connected with our formation, as material, intellectual, and sensitive beings; we must not therefore conclude that a creature subject to such various natural influences is correct in his apprehension of that which he deems supernatural, even when he represents what he conscientiously says he has actually seen or dreamt. There is also a certain morbid state of body, to be taken into account on the side of caution, that has been known to present to the vision appearances as clearly embodied as if they had been solid realities; an instance of which is produced in a literary friend of mine, who had returned from India, and who, while writing alone in his study late at night, was touched, as he thought, by somebody; and on turning round, saw, as clearly as though it had been a reality, the appearance of a Hindoo woman seated on the ground beside him; and which did not yanish for some minutes.
These considerations make it wise to lean towards caution rather than ready assent, when occurrences, supposed to be supernatural, are related to us. But are we on this account to adopt a sweeping prin. ciple of rejection in all cases ? Are we to be so fearful of being charged with weakness in crediting what may be visionary, as not to allow this, as well as other subjects, a fair and impartial investigation? And are we to limit the Almighty so as to deny his prerogative of working out of his ordinary course now, as he confessedly did in times of old ? If not, under what circumstances may we reasonably infer that the dream, or impression, or foreboding, is the result of his special interposition? I submit that we may do so, when they not merely precede the events to which they point, but when they are events which could not have been anticipated, and therefore could not previously have occupied the imagination. Also when the occasion is of sufficient importance to account for a special interposition on the part of that gracious Being whose tender mercies are still over all