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truth and charity. One point, however, he ought forthwith to explain. He says of the society, "Slave-holders they are, and in spite of the demands of an impatient philanthropy, slave-holders they must remain, until their schemes for the safe introduction of free labour shall have gradually proceeded to their consummation." Now, if this be not a postponement of emancipation to the Greek calends (which, judging by the past history of the case, it would in reality be), it is a virtual admission that the society has no right to retain its fellow-men in slavery one moment beyond the supposed necessity of the case; and that they are bound to release them the moment it can be done with safety. Let, then, our author freely tell us what is this bugbear of danger thus conjured up to terrify the friends of the society. This phantom has been forced upon us times manifold; and again and again we have asked, "Where is the danger of the society's promptly manumitting its slaves? but no person has attempted to answer the question. We now propound it most seriously to Mr. Le Bas; who, if he does not mean to frighten us with a phantom, is bound in truth and plain dealing to tell us what is the real danger he surmises. We know of none; but this we know, that the plea of danger has been often urged as an excuse for the neglect of duty. What dangers, for example, were conjured up to prevent the introduction of a church establishment into India; but does not everyreasonable person now wonder that so many good men were terrified by this alarming vision? Will Mr. Le Bas undertake to answer the arguments in No. 70 of the Anti-Slavery Reporter, affixed to our present Number; or at least inform us what is the danger to which he himself alludes? If he should not favour us with a reply to this reasonable request, we shall feel entitled, in the remarks which we purpose offering upon his note, to take for granted that he has only adopted a popular prejudice, the grounds of which he has not carefully considered. In the small island of An tigua there were 956 manumissions in six years, equal to 2550 on the population of Barbadoes. In Trinidad there are 18,000 free Black and Coloured persons, all enfranchised slaves, or descended from them. In Barbadoes there are 5000 such persons; and what possible danger, let Mr. Le Bas tell us, could there be if the society added a fraction to the number? Benevolent individuals, from conscientious motives, are doing so continually; but did Mr. Le Bas ever learn that any danger had hence ensued? The danger is on the other side, in retaining men in slavery till they burst their bonds, and purchase liberty at the fearful price of insurrection and massacre. The society's plan of enlightening its slaves, the colonists will say, is full of danger, and particularly if

emancipation is not conceded, for the only chance for reconciling men to slavery is to keep them in ignorance.

EXTRAORDINARY CURE OF
MISS FANCOURT.

The following letters have been sent to us from so respectable a quarter, and the subject to which they relate has excited so much attention, that we think it our duty to lay them before our readers; more especially as they offer a suitable occasion for our correspondents to discuss with wisdom and calmness some questions which have of late been much agitated, particularly in Scotland, and to which not a few persons attach considerable importance. For ourselves, viewing them only as one of those periodical phases of excite ment which are wont to live their day and be forgotten, we have not hitherto thought it necessary to advert to them. We foresaw, as we thought, in the publication of the narrative of Miss Isabella Campbell, the germ of much evil: nor were we mistaken, for the spirit of fanaticism has been busily at work; dreams, miracles, and the most absurd pretences to the gift of tongues, have been urged; and urged, we grieve to say, to prove doctrines most mischievous, extravagant, and unscriptural. We were not willing to propagate the delusion even by noticing it; for from the days of Brothers to Johanna Southcote, and from those of Johanna Southcote to Mary Campbell and Macdonald the Port-Glasgow miraculous linguist, for whose sanity and honesty Mr. Erskine is pleased to vouch, we have always found that the best cure for fanaticism is to let it alone. But the following narrative comes before us with very different claims: it occurs in our own vicinity and our own church; the facts are unimpeachable, and much discussion is likely to occur respecting them. We therefore insert them as they are sent to us; and shall add to them a few remarks which our friends are at perfect liberty to controvert, and our pages shall be open to their replies written with meekness and charity; only premising that the discussion on either side ought not to wound the feelings of the respectable parties concerned, as it is not their object to assert more than the truth of the facts, leaving to the reader to form his own solution.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I doubt not some reports have already reached you, respecting an extraordinary fact which has recently occurred in the family of the Rev. Thomas Fancourt of Hoxton Square. I allude to the sudden and complete restoration of the health of one of his daughters, who had been for eight years (with a very short intermission) a helpless cripple. As it is probable that incorrect accounts of this re

markable occurrence will get abroad, I would request the admission of an accurate statement of it in your pages. For this purpose I inclose an account of the particulars of her case, written by herself, together with a letter from her father to a respectable clergyman in the north of England, in reply to some very particular inquiries, to which he requested to receive specific answers. Of the facts thus described, there can be no doubt; and to the genuine and sober piety of the parties concerned, all who know them can bear testimony.

Your readers must, of course, be left to form their own conclusions respecting the cause to which this event is to be attributed, after a due and impartial consideration of the circumstances of the case: but if it should lead some of your correspondents seriously and temperately to discuss the question, whether we have any scriptural authority for asserting that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit ceased with the apostolic age, and if so, whether we have any grounds from the word of God to expect their revival in the latter days, it would, I think, be a subject both interesting and edifying to the church at large. I am sir, your's, &c.

H. S. C. H.

Miss Fancourt's Statement. "In the month of November, 1822, having for some months been in a bad state of health, it pleased God to visit me with hip disease. Perfect rest was recommended by the late Mr. Pearson of Golden Square, as absolutely necessary: cupping and blistering were immediately resorted to: the next summer, 1823, sea air and warm sea-bathing were advised; which advice was followed, but, deriving no benefit, by the wish of Mr. Pearson, Mr. Jarvis placed in the hip a caustic issue. The following winter was spent in London: in the spring, 1824, Margate air and warm sea-bathing were again tried. Here, by the advice of Mr. Jarvis, who considered the disease abated, I used crutches, though still there was much pain, and it was long before the leg affected was put to the ground. Again the winter was spent in London, and, the pain increasing, Mr. Travers saw me he ordered leeches and blisters, which were applied with some little relief. The second time he saw me, he ordered the issue to be closed, and to endeavour to leave off the crutches, fearing the back should be injured, ordering tonics. His advice was followed: still the pain increased : leeches were again applied; and in the spring, 1825, Margate was again tried. Here for some months I gradually became better, so as to be able to walk about, though feeling occasionally much pain in the back; but in the month of October, imprudently walking out in a high cold wind, the pain greatly increased: leeches and blisters were again applied, and entire rest recommendCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 347.

ed. Finding no relief, another large caustic issue was placed in the hip. This winter was passed at Margate; and fever attacked me, so as to produce dangerous illness. By the blessing of God on the means used, the fever left me. Recovering from this, the back feeling much pain, as well as the hip, Mr. Jarvis found it necessary immediately to burn an issue in the back: in the course of a month, another was placed on the opposite side of the bone. It pleased God to bless these means: the following summer, 1826, all the issues were closed: permission given to attempt to walk. In July I returned to London, able, with the assistance of a stick, to walk a short distance, though always feeling pain: having been at home about ten days, the pain very much increased both in the back and hip. By Mr. Parkinson perfect_rest was recommended. Different applications were made; but not having the desired effect,two more issues were placed in the back, and in a short time a seton in the hip: these, not giving essential relief, were closed: Devonshire air advised. In February, 1827, I went. Here, under Mr. Tripe, a course of mercury was given; leeches over and over again applied; many times bled in the arm, he being of opinion it arose from the liver being diseased. This did not produce the effect desired: another issue was placed in the hip. In the winter another dangerous illness attacked me, from which it pleased God to recover me: the old disease still as strong as ever, another seton was applied; this was the last application; and in September, 1828, I returned home as unable to walk as when leaving it once or twice the attempt was made, but produced much pain, from this time no means have been used, excepting constant confinement to the couch. Within these few weeks, even on the very day in which Jesus so manifested his Almighty power, I had attempted to walk: scarcely could I put one foot before the other: the limbs trembled very much. Thus it continued till the 20th of October, 1830; when a kind friend, who had seen me about two months before, had been led by God to pray earnestly for my recovery; remembering what is written,

Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.' He asked in faith, and God graciously answered his prayer. On Wednesday night, my friend being about to leave the room, Mr. Gbegged to be excused a short time. Sitting near me, we talked of his relatives, and of the death of his brother: rising, he said, They will expect me at supper, and put out his hand. After asking some questions respecting the disease, he added, It is melancholy to see a person so constantly confined: I answered, It is sent in mercy. Do you think so? do you think the same mercy could restore you? God gave me faith, and I answered, Yes. Do you believe Jesus could heal, as in old times? Yes. 4 Y

Do you believe it is only unbelief that prevents it? Yes. Do you believe that Jesus could heal you at this very time? Yes. (Between these questions he was evidently engaged in prayer.) Then, he added, get up and walk: come down to your family. He then had hold of my hand: he prayed to God to glorify the name of Jesus. I rose from my couch quite strong. God took away all my pains, and we walked down stairs, dear Mr. G. praying most fervently, Lord have mercy upon us! Christ have mercy upon us! Having been down a short time, finding my handkerchief left on the couch, taking the candle, I fetched it. The next day I walked more than a quarter of a mile, and on Sunday from the Episcopal Jews' chapel, a distance of one mile and a quarter. Up to this time God continues to strengthen me, and I am perfectly well. To Jesus be all the glory.'

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"I shall now comply with your request in giving an explicit answer to your several queries.

"The circumstance to which your first query refers has come, under general observation, which can testify that no material improvement took place in my daughter's health and spirits previous to the extraordinary event: at no time has her mind been permitted to fall a prey to hy pochondriac affections.

"To the second inquiry, Had her flesh been examined a short time before that event? I reply, that nothing occurred, that induced such previous examination : but from the notoriety of the state of her flesh, not only to herself, but to her sister also, who sleeps with her in the same bed, it may be safely and honestly affirmed that the flesh on her legs was flabby and loose,' which is ascertained to be now -what it was from the moment she arose and walked-firm as the flesh of a person in good health.

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On Mrs. Fancourt's testimony, I must reply to your third inquiry, as referring to circumstances which could not, with propriety, come under my own immediate observation. Mrs. F. bears testimony that no alteration in the appearance of her back took place before the event referred to; and that her back bone, which was curved before, is now perfectly straight. It is material to add, that her collar bones are ascertained to be now

quite equal, whereas one of them was previously much enlarged. To the circumstances which form the subject of your last inquiry, I can speak triumphantly in the spirit of gratitude. She walks and praises God. It is four years since she walked at all; and then it was but for a short time, with the assistance of a stick, and subject to pain in her hip. She now walks stoutly, and perfectly free from all pain. Should I not, dear sir, be lower than a beast before God, if my heart do not say, I will praise thee, O Lord, because thou hast done it?'

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"In corroboration of the above testimony, I am authorized to use the nameif called for-of a surgeon at the west end of the town, who, after a minute investigation of the case, took his leave with an unequivocal avowal of his decided conviction, that my daughter's restoration was the result of a peculiar interposition of Divine favour and power.

"This is the point-the only point-I am anxious to establish, that the humble may hear thereof, and be glad, and with us exalt his name, who has heard the cry of them that trust in him, and wrought out a great deliverance for us.

"Under this peculiar dispensation of mercy, there rests on my mind a solemn conviction that the glory of God, and the interest of religion, are deeply involved in the publicity which it will probably ac quire. But without shrinking from the responsibility attached to the declaration, I profess myself ready to bear my open testimony to a notable fact; namely, that, as I view it, God has raised an impotent cripple, in the personof my youngest daughter, to instantaneous soundness of her bodily limbs, by faith in the name of Jesus, being taught by her mother church to know and feel that there is none other name under heaven given to man in whoin, and through whom she could receive health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this faith, through the instrumentality of the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (for God heareth not sinners), which availeth much, God has done exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think.' I am aware that there are questions of difficult solution, as to the instrumentality bywhich the benefit has been bestowed: but who would not tremble at the fearful conclusion which would result from a denial of Divine interposition? Deprecating such a thought, I feel persuaded that they are most on the side of truth and soberness, who unite with us in telling the church that God has done great things for us, whereof we are glad, which in their first communication made us like them that dream.'

"Various statements will probably be circulated, for which those who follow after charity will not hold me responsible; and not only so, but divers conclusions will be formed on the fact itself, in reference

to which I would persuade myself that such characters will appropriate them to their several claimants, and not deny me the privilege of prudent reserve on anyquestion which it may be supposed to involve.'

We shall not lay before our readers the many reflections which occur to our minds upon the perusal of the forgoing narrative; but it would not be consistent with our duty not to add at least a few remarks, lest it should be inferred that we give any credence to what appears to us a most - dangerous and unscriptural opinion that the age of miracles has revived. The facts of the above case are incontrovertible, and there is not the slightest reason to impute mistake, misconception, and, least of all, misrepresentation to the narrators. Under these circumstances, while we think it our duty to discuss the general question of modern miracles with freedom, nothing can be further from our view, or would be more distressing to our feelings, than to pain the mind of any of the parties concerned in the above narrative. It cannot to any person be a point of faith to vindicate the truth of a modern miracle, and therefore no offence can be meant or taken by denying it.

While, then, we admit the facts, we utterly disclaim the inference that a miracle has been wrought: we acknowledge a most remarkable cure, but not, in our idea, one miraculous; that is to say, though performed, as is every cure, whatever may be the means employed, by Divine power, yet not by a direct intervention without the use of second causes, or in opposition to those ordinary laws of cause and effect by which God is pleased to govern the universe which he has created. The Divine agency is equally acknowledged, and the love and gratitude of the restored person are equally due to him for his mercy, whether the cure be slow or sudden, and whatever may be the means which he employs or overrules to effect his purposes.

Again, in denying that a miracle has been wrought, we are far from denying the power of God to work one, if so it please his infinite wisdom. We only deny the fact, not the abstract possibility. The power which healed the sick and raised the dead, as recorded in the inspired narrative, is still the same; the only question is, Have we any reason to believe that it is ever in modern times miraculously exhibited? We think not; and we boldly lay down as the basis of the whole argument, that there is no sufficient proof of any miracle whatever having ever been wrought since the apostolic age. The miracles recorded in the sacred writings, we separate by a wide line of distinction from all human narratives; and far from thinking that a vantage ground upon which to argue the truth of the Scriptures is afforded by admitting some special cases of miraculous agency not therein recorded, such a notion appears to us to afford

the infidel a most powerful argument, of which he has not been slow to avail himself, to subvert the very foundations of Divine truth. We scruple not to lay down this doctrine in its largest and broadest extent; fully believing that no one thing has afforded infidels a more plausible weapon against the divinely recorded miracles, than the alleged credulity of some of its defenders in other matters. If a man believes in second sight, or in a ghost story, his conclusions on other subjects, involving supernatural agency, are not so likely to be respected, as if he were known to be utterly free from all such fancies. We should not, however, have urged this point, had we not in some quarters been premonished, that to deny "such evident miracles," as that of the restoration of Mary Campbell or Miss Fancourt, tends to infidelity. We do not wish to impute "tendencies on either side; but the tendencies appear to us quite contrary: we best vindicate the miracles of Scripture, when we place between them and all uninspired narrations a broad line of demarcation, not to be transgressed.

Further, we do not think it necessary to be always able to explain the rationale of an alleged miracle, in order to prove that it is not miraculous. There are things innumerable which are not miraculous, though, with our limited knowledge and faculties, they are incapable of explanation. It is not a just alternative to say, "You ought either to account for this cure, on ordinary principles, or to allow it to be miraculous." This is an appeal to human ignorance it is to tell us, that all which we cannot understand must of.necessity be a deviation from the laws which God has established for the physical and moral government of his creation. We might, in reply, point to the needle touched by the loadstone, and say, "You must either rationally account for its property of turning to the north, or allow it to be miraculous." The just answer is, "I admit the facts; but I know nothing of the reason.' We may doubt, in either case, what is the connexion between the cause and effect, or what is the cause itself; while we still maintain that there is no reason to suppose that there has been any supernatural disturbance of the relations which God has been pleased to establish; and which we have no right to conclude have been set aside, because we are too ignorant to trace the sequence. It is more likely that we are ignorant, than that God has suspended his laws.

So far, then, for preliminary principles. We do not, however, hesitate to express our full conviction that the particular cure in question was produced, not by miraculous agency, but by the causes and relations which God himself has been pleased to ordain; and which, though in this instance less obvious to the perception of the senses than the ordinary

use of food and medicine, are not less real, less powerful, and less an established part of the Divine government in the preservation of the human frame. It appears to us, that the narrative comes under that numerous class of cases, to be found in all ages and countries, and among the professors of every shade of religion and no religion, in which a strong mental excitement has produced a powerful effect upon the animal system. The extraordinary influence which the mind has upon the body, might be illustrated by innumerable examples; but we shall not at present enter upon this subject, after the two series of papers of Mr. Newnham, under the signature of Θεραπευτικός, in our volumes for 1828 and 1829; the latter of which the author has given to the world as a separate publication. We do not concur with our able correspondent in all his opinions; but we strongly recommend to our readers the re-perusal of his valuable papers, which furnish some very important axioms, postulates, and conclusions, bearing upon the general question. His argument does not, however, directly include the present class of cases, being limited chiefly to those instances in which an individual has witnessed or felt what he considered to be miraculous, but which arose from morbid impressions on the sensorium, and was therefore invisible to others. But in the case of Miss Fancourt the effect of the impression becomes visible in its corporeal effects; yet this, we contend, might so be, without there being any miraculous connexion.

In fact, we see many predisposing and accompanying circumstances, which, if we were examining the case medically, and not theologically, and, if we did not fear speaking too personally, would deserve serious consideration. The recipient of the benefit, a young lady of twenty-five years of age, had for many years been confined to her couch with a spinal malady, and was labouring under great pain and languor; and of necessity predisposed to the powerful influence of nervous excitement. It is among patients of this class, that the greatest numbers of extraordinary cures have been wrought by metallic tractors, animal magnetism, popish relics, holy wafers, exorcisms, and numerous other inventions for producing a powerfully exciting effect upon the imagination. It makes no difference as to the rationale of the question, that in the present instance the excitement was conducted through the medium of certain theological opinions, be they right or wrong. We only argue, that it was the excitement that produced the effect.

To argue rightly upon the case, it would be necessary to know many particulars not mentioned in the above narrative; and some of which could not with propriety be publicly discussed. We ought in particular to have the opinion of one or

more medical practitioners, known to be far removed from superstition, as to the real cause of the cure. We should know also more of the patient's temperament and susceptibilities. We are informed that she had been hearing much of what are called "the Scotch miracles; " that zealous arguments had been held respecting them in her presence; that she was much interested in the subject; and that, very probably, the conversation on the afternoon of her recovery had embraced this exciting topic. We should not think it an unnatural supposition, that she might even have asked herself, under her peculiar circumstances, what prevented her being healed, as Mary Campbell was? But, be this as it may, the general fact of her being much interested about the Scotch miracles will not, we think, be denied. Thus predisposed by long protracted bodily weakness, and prepared to be wrought upon by any thing that resembled "the Scotch miracles," the patient was further excited by the remarkable and solemn manner of the gentleman to whom she owes her cure. And here we should state, that the version of her narrative, as sent us by our friend H. S, C. H., omits some circumstances which appear in two other copies of that narrative, sent us from other quarters: for some scores of copies are floating about in manuscript, and are likely to get into print. Our much respected correspondent's integrity, in omitting these minute circumstances, we do not for a moment question: he has, we are sure, omitted only what appeared to himself not essential to the subject; namely, the personal feelings of the patient, which he doubtless considered had nothing to do with the cure, and were not public property. But our view is, that they form the very nucleus of the whole case. Much of the excitement of the scene which incidentally appears in Miss Fancourt's own modest and pious narrative, and which must have been even much stronger than she describes, almost vanishes in our correspondent's abridged version. Miss Fancourt says, that "after the work was performed, Mr. G. told us that that was the errand he came upon; that when he saw me that night [two months before] God put it into his heart to pray that thus it might be and, remembering those words, Whatsoever ye ask in faith, believing, ye shall receive,' he was strong in faith, and made it a matter of earnest prayer; and on Wednesday he came for an answer to that prayer; and at ten o'clock at night it was answered as I have told you." Now, our readers will fully credit, that the deportment of Mr. G. during that afternoon and evening, charged as he considered himself with no less an errand than working a miracle, must be not a little extraordinary, and calculated to generate in a predisposed subject some

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