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“The Ghost extolledt also the ordre of the preachers, before all other orders, for all some envyed them, because of St. Thomas, who confesse the truth, and teach that Mary was conceived in originall sinn, therefore many of them are punished in purgatorie, 'as Doctor Alexander de Hales, also that cunning teacher Johannis Scotus, both of the order of the friers minoris. Wherefore, it was very certaine, that the citty of Bern would shortly perish, except they expelled the friers minoris, who, (said he,) are contrarie to our fathers in this point, and because they take yearly pensions of the French king: after that, said the counterfeit ghost, the divell tempted you once that you should go from this order to the Carthusians, if this had happened, then 5 black catts would have tore you in pieces, whereby you may know the holyness of this order, you had also bene almost drowned in the Rhyne, if a holy lady had not come to help you, which I will not name vnto you now, because she intends herself to appear shortly vnto you.
“The two last stories came from Doctor Steven, who had heard it from the brother in his confession; after this, the Ghost blessed the brother, and thanked him for his deliverance, and pretended, that he should come in the 7 order of the Angels, where he would say masse for all his benefits.
“Doctor Steven privately spoke with the brother again, asking him what he thought of the Ghost, and when he vnderstood that all things went right yet, and that the cheat was not discovered yet, he gave him a letter seigned with a great crosse, and wherein were comprehended these following questions:
.“ In the first place, that he should diligently enquire of the ghost what was become of Pope Alexander, who had caused a frier of the preachers' order, called Hieronymus, to be burnt at Ferrara, as a heretick.
“ Secondly, if our Lady was conceived in originall sin or no. . : “Thirdly, who in tyme to come should be the great master in the chapter of their order, with six other foolish questions more, purposely omitted.
“The 4 friers kept a private councell, how they might make their bussiness hang together, and vpon the afore said night came one of them in white woman's apparrell before the brother's bed, saying to him that he should prepare himself for the coming of the Virgin Mary, agenst the time of the Mettens, who should answer all his demands, saying att the last, that he should never expect the ghost more, for he was in eternal rest; she being asked who she was, she answered the brother, j am St. Barbara, whom you have diligently served, it is
his surname from the Franciscan monastery, of which he was a member, in that county: he died at Paris, in 1245. Among his pupils, are enumerated Duns Scotus, (of whom we have spoken supr.,) and Giovanni Fidanza, THE SERAPHIC DOCTOR, afterwards the celebrated cardinal and saint, Bonaventure. Fidanza was born in 1221, and is said to have received his doctor's degree along with St. Thomas in 1255. In the following year he was made general of his order, and died in 1274.
also well known vnto me that Doctor Steven hath given you a letter, which j will bring to the Virgin Mary, the same shall be found wonderfully seigned in a certaine holy place; with this she went away, and laid the letter, seigned with bloud, in the covert of the hoste or sacrament.
“ The brother rung immediately the bell, and the simple brother declared with great joy to the 4 friers, how that St. Barbara had appeared vnto him, and that he expected our lady Mary, and therefore desired Doctor Steven to shrive him to make him worthy of her coming; he desired the letter might be sought for in the holy place where St. Barbara had carried it: they sought every where vntill they found it in the covert of the holy sacrament, where they had before laid it on purpose. This letter they carried with great ostentation to the high Altar, and said it was sealed with the bloud of Christ that flowed out of his side, and that the candles vpon the Altar lighted of themselves.
.“ About the time of the mettens the false Mary appeared to the brother, with a wonderfull appearance, and candles lighting of themselves; and she pretended amongst the rest of her works, which many were to be had of her, that Pope Julius, that holy man, should reconcile the two contrary orders, and should be reformed by them, and that he should institute the festivall of the sinfull conception of the Virgin Mary. They thought, if this prospers, we will persuade the Pope to it, for she said she would send the Pope a crucifix sprinkled with three drops of her sonn's bloud, for a testimony of her originall sinn, another crucifix they should finde in the covert of the Sacrament, sprinkled with five drops of his bloud, which should abide in the cloister. She gave also vnto the brother, a clean linnen cloth, dipped in the bloud which flowed out of the side of Christ, she gave him also some of this bloud in a cup, for a testimony that the Pope should know that Mary was tainted with originall sinn ;* this first mentioned crucifix they should send to Roome, which the Pope should confirme with great indulgence, and should send that with the five drops of bloud again to Bern for an eternall memory, wherefore the Pope should with St. Thomas Aquinas receive a like reward, viz. eternall glory.
*“She gave him three drops of her son's blood, which were three tears of blood that he had shed over Jerusalem, and this signified that she was three hours in original sin, after which she was, by his mercy, delivered out of that state. For it seems the Dominicans were resolved so to compound the matter, that they should gain the main point of her conception in sin, yet they would comply so far with the reverence for the Virgin, with which the world was possessed, that she should be believed to have remained a very short while in that state. She gave him also five drops of blood in the form of a cross, which were tears of blood, that she had shed while her son was on the cross; and, to convince him more fully, she presented an Hostie to him, that appeared as an ordinary Hostie, and of a sudden it appeared to be of a deep red colour.” Burnet, pp. 36, 37.
"She gave the brother also a letter, which three friers, belonging to three convents, Neurenburch, Basell, and Bern, sealed with the privy seal of the citty of Bern, should deliver to the Pope; there was also a great noise of this abroad, and much wreiting backward and forewards att this time.
“ After this revelation, she had a long communication with the brother, and asked him, what he desired more of her sonn, and for a testimony, said she, reach me thy hand, and take the seigne of the wound in thy hand, for an example to all Christendome; and because he retarded a little, the false Mary took his hand* and pressed a sharp naile through it, so that the brother cried for paine “ Oh Mary!" she said, “ holy brother, this divine gift you have received through your earnest prayers these five years past, whereof ye shall not be ashamed; this wound shall be renewed twice a year, vpon good friday, and vpon the day of my sonn's glorious name ;” she gave him also a medicine to the wound, and promised him also indulgence of Pope Julius, with a command to abide hence forward humble of heart, to speake little, to dwell separate from the world, and to pray three times houres in a day; after these words vanished the counterfeit Mary.
“ Then the four Heretick friers putt their heads together, and were glad that their intention so fortunately prospered, and intended to make of this brother a new Franciscus, or Lord God. They made a water, by sorcerie, which being taken by the brother, took away all his senses and understanding; then they made with another byting water, the other four wounds in his hand, body, and feet, and with a third water they knew how to recover the brother to his senses againe.
“When now the brother awaked, and saw the other four wounds with great admiration, they pretended they had seene and heard some holy things about him, which, without question, by divine ordination had imprinted these other wounds upon him.
“In the mean time, the clamour came into the citty, and every one would see this new Lord God; then they prepared a chamber for him, and gave him instructions how he should behave himself before the people, yet they would not suffer any one to speak with the brother, but onely to see him, for they feared his vndecent and vpadvised answers.
“When now any people of fashion came to see this holy man, then the poore brother must play the passion, and like a heavenly mountebanck, be a spectacle to the people; att last they made him drink of the water whereof he frothed at the mouth, as if he were a whrostling with death, and when they saw it was time, they gave
* In Burnet's account, the frier being desired to hold out his hand, " had no great mind to receive a favour in which he was to suffer so much; but she forced his hand and stuck a nail thro' it; the hole was as big as a grain of pease, and he saw the candle clearly through it." He shrewdly suspected the medicine to be little better than coinmon ointment, but was persuaded by his confessor that this was only an imagination.
him the other water, which made him alive in his senses againe, and then the play was att an end, whereby they bought the people's faith and gott their money. - “ To relate all the lying revelations and acted knaveries were to long and tedious, as of ihe forme of Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, and of Barnardus and Hieronimus, both burnt att Ferrara by Pope Alexander.
“ On a certaine night Doctor Stephen appeared to the brother and had many words with him, but the brother began partly to have a bad suspition of him, that the thing was not real, wherefore Doctor Stephen retired with shame, not long after the Prior prepared himself in his disguise, and came to the brother saluting him, saying, “I am Mary, of whom ye doubted not long agoe, and because ye shall be free of all bad suspition, take this holy body of my sonn (giving him a colloured Hostie) that ye may henceforth believe that I am no counterfeit, also I bring you a bottle full of his precious bloud, which I will present to you and this cloister,' they thought hereby to institute a pelgrimage.
" But the brother was no more pleased with the appearance, and said, if you are no evill spirit, repeate me a pater noster and an Ave Mary; then the Prior begann to pray, instead of Mary, and when he said forgive us our trespasses, &c. then said the false Mary, this is a testimony that I am conceived in sinn, Hail to me Mary full of grace, the Lord is with me, &c.
“ The brother knew the voice, and being very angry, drew bis knife and stabbed the Prior, or false Mary, in the right leg: the Prior took a piece of the wall, and threw it att the brother, but the brother stood vpon his defence, wherefore the Prior was forced to retire with shame.
“ The supprior comforted his companion who was half dead with fear, and thought to mend the matter, appeared vnto the brother as if he were St. Catharine of Sena, to reprove him of his vobelief and of his grosse behaviour to Mary, and said, • I should tell you that you have the right wounds of Christ in your body, which neither I nor Franciscus have,' and more such like words, but the brother behaved himself in such a manner, that he appeared no more.
“ This freighted the four friers terribly, because the bussines was gone so farre, that they could not retire with this grosse Lord God, the brother would be a fool no longer : wherefore Doctor Stephen found out this invention, he talked with the brother after this manner, that it was true that some fraudulent apparitions had been made, onely therefore to keep him in his devotion, yet the thing in itself, is true, and ye shall no doubt, neither do we, but ye have the wounds from God.
“ Because now, we have spread this by your command and knowledge among the people, and if you prove tardy you will bring vs and your self in daunger and in dirision among the people, but if you keep stedfast, you will cause vs and your self to have great profit by it, because we are the four superiors of the cloister and all the bussiness goes through our hands, therefore help vs and your self, the
VOL. XIV, PART II.
thing is begunn and hath a good medium, onely do you help to finish it: with such and many other words they overcame the simplicity of the brother, so that he consented vnto it, and gave himself to their disposing, whereof they greatly rejoyced and hoped the cause would go right and come to a good end.
" In the meane time they devised a cunning trick; they gave vnto the brother some of the water which made him senselesse, and healed his old wounds, so that onely the red bloud colloured seignes remained ; and after much instruction they sett him vpon his knees vpon the altar in our Ladies chappel, before an image erected for that purpose, and Doctor Steven stood vnseen after * a hanging behinde the image and spooke through a pipe, in the person of Christ to Mary,
mother, wherefore do you crie, have I not promised you that your will shall be done ? the image of Mary answered, 'I crie therefore because there is no end made of this bussinesse :'t then the image of Christ spake againe, believe me, mother, it shall be manifested.'These words heard the kneeling brother before the image, by the power of the drink being vnmoveable, as if he had bene in a swound; presently Doctor Steven stole out of the chappel and bolted it; then they prepared old women who went through the city and made a great noise, and spread it all over the citty, how our Lady att the preachers I, cryed and spake, wherefore there was a great concourse of people came thither.
" Now, in this concourse of people, the four friers came running also, as if they knew nothing of it, with much admiration, and commanded the chappel to be shutt, and went to the brother, asking him how he was come thether and what this signified ?he answered, a spirit had in his devotion drawn him thither, also that the image had spoken, he might also not come down from thence before the four superiors of the citty came there with whom he had something to communicate, and before he had received the holy sacrament.
" Then they sent presently for the four superiors, whose names for shortnesse sake I will omitte, to whom the brother said, that our Lady lamented the miserable destruction of the citty of Bern, because they yearly took money from the French king, and because they did not expell the bare-footed friars who led an unholy life and gave her a feigned honnour which she did not want nor desired, viz. that she was conceived without originall sinn, vpon this the Lords held their peace.
“ Now it was purposed, in the presence of the Lords and the people, to poison the brother in the sacrament, by which their bussiness would be closed vp, and the brother would have bene counted a saint and then their bussiness had bene done, but the brother perceived the matter and would have none of the coulored poisoned hoste, which
* After -- 1. e. behind.
it The answer was, according to Burnet, “because his honour was given to her, since it was said that she was born without sin.”
1 .e. at the convent of the preaching friars.