“Between the two champions – the materialist and the bigot – the unbiased student may glean a good harvest.
We will begin with the Convulsionaires of Cevennes, the epidemic of whose astounding phenomena occurred during the latter part of 1700. The merciless measures adopted by the French Catholics to extirpate the spirit of prophecy from an entire population, is historical, and needs no, repetition here.
The fact alone that a mere handful of men, women, and children, not exceeding 2,000 persons in number, could withstand for years king’s troops, which, with the militia, amounted to 60,000 men, is a miracle in itself. The marvels are all recorded, and the process verbaux of the time preserved in the Archives of France until this day.
There is in existence an official report among others, which was sent to Rome by the ferocious Abbe Chayla, the prior of Laval, in which he complains that the Evil One is so powerful, that no torture, no amount of inquisitory exorcism, is able to dislodge him from the Cevennois.
He adds, that he closed their hands upon burning coals, and they were not even singed; that he had wrapped their whole persons in cotton soaked with oil, and had set them on fire, and in many cases did not find one blister on their skins; that balls were shot at them, and found flattened between the skin and clothes, without injuring them, etc., etc.”
H. P. Blavatsky