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D'Oyly in his Sketch of the Constitution of the Kandyan Kingdom*. They are chiefly used in the case of a disputed right to a piece of land. Solemn oaths are first taken by both parties of their own right, and that they have not used enchantments. In many cases, should any misfortune after the taking of the oath and performing the ceremony, befall either of-the parties or their friends, or their cattle, or their dwelling, judgment is forthwith given against that party. Should no misfortune follow to either after the rite, the land is divided. But all these impious ceremonies, and all others which the whole world can produce from the lowest depths of heathenism, are not so disgraceful to human nature, nor so shocking to our feelings, as were those prostitutions of what every Christian must hold sacred, which prevailed through Christendom, and were practised by men who had the word of God in their hands and upon their tongue, whilst the Gospel of truth was shining around them, and would have enlightened them, had not so thick a veil of ignorance and superstition shut out its heavenly beams from their understandings and their heart. It is painful to dwell on these subjects, but I believe it is profitable to contemplate them. Muratori has preserved the precise form of the judgment of cold water, with many others; whenever he makes any observations of his own, they show a sensible and a candid mind. "This
* Trans. Roy. Asiatic Soc, vol. iii. part 2.
is the true judgment by cold water, which St. Eugene and Pope Leo and the Emperor Charles commanded all bishops, abbots, and earls to hold and believe."
"Take those men whom you wish to cast into the water, and conduct them to the church before all; and let the priest sing the mass, and he will make those men offer at the mas*. But when they come to the communion, before they communicate, let the priest interrogate each with this adjuration; —' I adjure you, O men! by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by the true Christian faith which you profess, and by the only begotten Son of God, and the Holy Trinity, and by the Holy Gospel, and by those relics that are in this church, that you by no means presume to communicate, nor approach this holy altar, if you have done this thing, or have consented and know what men have done it.' If the men are silent, then let the priest approach the altar and give the communion to all whom he is to cast into the water; whilst they are receiving the communion let the priest say to each severally, ' Be this body and this blood of our Lord Jesus Christ received by you as a proof this day*' [of your guilt
* Muratori directs our attention to the fact, which is well worthy of our observation, that this form must have had its origin in early days, before the use of the cup in the Sacrament was, by the order of the church of Rome, taken away from the laity.
or innocence]. Having finished the mass, let the priest himself prepare holy water, and let him take that water, and let them go to the place where the men are to undergo the trial,—and there let him give to them all some of the above-named holy water, and say to each,—' This is holy water, be it to thee a test of thy faith.' Afterwards let the priest conjure* the water into which he is to cast them,—' I adjure and bless thee, O water! in the name of God the Father Almighty, who in the beginning created thee, and ordered thee to minister to the wants of men; who also ordered thee to be separated from the waters above. I adjure thee also by the ineffable name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of Almighty God, under whose feet the sea, by the element of water, offered itself to be trodden; who also willed himself to be baptized in the element of water. I adjure thee, also, by the Holy Ghost, at whose will the sea was divided, and the people of Israel passed through it dry-shod; at whose invocation Elias made the iron which had fallen from the handle swim upon the water,—That thou wilt by no means receive these men, if they are in any point of these [charges] guilty, either by deed, or consent, or knowledge, or device, but wilt make them swim upon thee, so that there be no
* I think it is quite evident that the words "to conjure, conjurors," &c. were derived from these superstitious practices.
cause nor any enchantment which may not bring them to light. Obey, I adjure thee by his name, whom every creature serves; whom Cherubim and Seraphim praise, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, who also reigns for ever and ever:—Amen.' Also, after the conjuring of the water, let him take hold of the men who are to enter upon the trial,— let him strip them of their garments, and compel each to kiss the holy Gospel, and the cross of Christ. Afterwards let this adjuration be given to each, 'I adjure thee, O man; by the invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the judgment of cold water. I adjure thee by Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and the undivided Trinity, and by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by all angels and archangels, and by the dreadful day of doom, and by the four-andtwenty elders who praise God daily, and by the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and by the twelve apostles, and by all the saints of God, by martyrs, confessors, and virgins, principalities and powers, dominations and virtues, and by Thrones, Cherubin and Seraphin, and all the secret things of heaven, and by the three children, Shadrach, Mesach, and Abdenago, who daily praise God, and by the hundred and forty-four thousand who have suffered for the name of Christ; and by Mary, the mother of our Lord; and by all the holy people of God; and by that baptism with which the priest regenerated thee—I adjure thee, that if thou knowest of this theft, or hast heard of it, or carried it [the stolen thing] away, or received it into thy house, or were consenting and agreeing, or if thou hast a heart hardened and waxed gross, or art guilty, that thy heart vanish, and that the water receive thee not. And let nothing evil prevail against this, through," &c. The prayer— "Wherefore we earnestly beseech thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, give such a sign that, if this man is guilty, he be in no wise received into the water. Grant this for the praise, and glory, and adoration of thy name, that all may know that thou art the blessed God, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.' Then let the priest take of the holy water and sprinkle every one of them, and immediately cast them into the water."
Muratori tells us that many of these forms were employed to detect heresies*. And he quotes from an ancient author an account of two suspected persons being brought to the trial of cold water, one of whom was saved, and the other condemned almost by the unanimous vote of those who witnessed it. At his own request, the latter was
* Proceedings equally unjustifiable were not confined to times of Popery. Though stript of its foolish superstitious garb, the practice of expurgation was for a time still retained among Protestants. The oath "ex officio," in the time of Queen Elizabeth, was employed for the same purpose. This oath was made illegal by Statute 13, C. ii., c. 12.