13 SEPTEMBER 1873, Page 3

The apologists of the Catholic pilgrims, including onr contem- porary

the Tablet, deny that any physical miracle is even alleged to have been suggested by Margaret Mary'a vision of the Sacred Heart, and Archbishop Manning has explained the whole char- acter of the devotion as founded upon a vision which was as wholly symbolic as St. John's various visions in the Apocalypse. But the declaration is explicit that, after one of the chief visions, a permanent physical pain in the heart remained behind, to remind the visionary throughout her life of what she had experienced ; nay, more, the language used speaks of a wound in the side closed up after the replacing of the heart After this, He asked me for my heart, which I begged Him to take. He took it, and put it within His adorable own, in which I saw it like an atom consuming in an ardent furnace. Presently He took it out again, a burning flame in the shape of a heart, and putting it back in the place whence He had originally taken it, He said, ' There, My well beloved, is a precious gage of My love, which encloses in your side a little spark of its most vivid flame. And to prove that the great gift I have just made you is not a freak of imagination, and that it is the foundation of all the rest I have yet to endure from without, it shall come to pass that though I have closed up the wound in your side, the pain will rest always with you ; and if up to the present time you have only taken the name of My slave, I shall hereafter bestow upon you that of the well-beloved disciple of My Sacred Heart.' " The Catholics declare with one voice that all this is universally inter- preted by them in a purely symbolical sense, and so much the better if it is. But even if the grosser conception of the supposed revelation be utterly un-Catholic, as some of the Roman Catholics assert, the whole vision must, to Protestant minds, remain one of the most unspiritual modes of symbolising the divine love which has ever embodied the ardour even of meninval ecatacy.