“If any doubt that Gregory of Tours approved of a practice that prevails to this day, more or less, even among strict Protestants, let them read this: “Lendastus, Earl of Tours, who was for ruining me with Queen Fredegonde, coming to Tours, big with evil designs against me, I withdrew to my oratory under a deep concern, where I took the Psalms; My heart revived within me when I cast my eyes on this of the seventy-seventh Psalm: ‘He caused them to go on with confidence, whilst the sea swallowed up their enemies.’ Accordingly, the count spoke not a word to my prejudice; and leaving Tours that very day, the boat in which he was, sunk in a storm, but his skill in swimming saved him.”
The sainted bishop simply confesses here to having practiced a bit of sorcery. Every mesmerizer knows the power of will, during an intense desire bent on any particular subject. Whether in consequence of “co-incidents” or otherwise, the opened verse suggested to his mind revenge by drowning. Passing the remainder of the day in “deep concern”, and possessed by this all-absorbing thought, the saint – it may be unconsciously – exercises his will on the subject; and thus while imagining in the accident the hand of God, he simply becomes a sorcerer exercising his magnetic will, which reacts on the person feared; and the count barely escapes with his life. Were the accident decreed by God, the culprit would have been drowned, for a simple bath could not have altered his malevolent resolution against St. Gregory, had he been very intent on it.
Furthermore, we find anathemas fulminated against this lottery of fate, at the council of Varres, which forbids “all ecclesiastics, under pain of excommunication, to perform that kind of divination, or to pry into futurity, by looking into any book, or writing, whatsoever.”
The same prohibition is pronounced at the councils of Agda in 506, of Orleans, in 511, of Auxerre in 595, and finally at the council of Aenham in 1110; the latter condemning “sorcerers, witches, diviners, such as occasioned death by magical operations, and who practiced fortune-telling by the holy-book lots”; and the complaint of the joint clergy against de Garlande, their bishop at Orleans, and addressed to Pope Alexander III., concludes in this manner: “Let your apostolical hands put on strength to strip naked the iniquity of this man, that the curse prognosticated on the day of his consecration may overtake him; for the gospels being opened on the altar according to custom, the first words were: and young man, leaving his linen cloth, fled from them naked.”
Why then roast the lay-magicians and consulters of books, and canonize the ecclesiastics? Simply because the mediaeval as well as the modern phenomena, manifested through laymen, whether produced through occult knowledge or happening independently, upset the claims of both the Catholic and Protestant Churches to divine miracles.
In the face of reiterated and unimpeachable evidence, it became impossible for the former to maintain successfully the assertion that seemingly miraculous manifestations by the “good angels” and God’s direct intervention, could be produce exclusively by her chosen ministers and holy saints. Neither could the Protestant well maintain, on the same ground, that miracles had ended with the apostolic ages. For, whether of the same nature or not, the modern phenomena claimed close kinship with the biblical ones.”
H. P. Blavatsky