There are few men who have sought and obtained more of that pre-eminence, which bold and bad men do often attain, that Dr M Hale, the Roman Bishop of Maronia. The means by which such pre-eminence is sought are not always as much exposed as they deserve, and we, therefore, now publish one of the grossest impostures that we have ever read or heard of - one to which even the dark ages can offer no superior, and which yet has been practiced in this present century and in this country.
On a late occasion, when the Bishop of Maronia was desirous of appearing in all the majesty with which the superstitious population believe his office to be invested, his priests suggested that if he could appear in his seat of throne near the altar with a “glory”, or circle of light around his head, in the way the pictures of their saints are usually drawn, their object would be fully affected. They accordingly so arranged a large vessel or tub, filled with water, and placed it near the altar, as to catch the rays of the midday sun, and throw up a reflection immediately upon the throne of this Roman Bishop.
To make this imposture the more effective on the minds of the stupid and infatuated population assembled on the occasion, they kept the water continually in gentle motion so that the reflection continued playing about his head, by which he appeared with a lambent of light above him in the wondering eyes of the superstitious and besotted people.
Such is this gross imposture.