Pieter de Rudder

By Prof. Georges Bertrin

In 1875, on the verge of a forest belonging to the Viscount du Eus de Gisignies, there lived, at Jabbeke, an unfortunate field labourer who excited the pity of the whole neighbourhood.

He inhabited a humble cottage with his wife and two children, a little boy of three and a girl of fifteen. His name was Pierre de Rudder. The Viscount gave him all the necessities of life, and let him live on his estate, for the poor man was incapable of earning a livelihood. One of his legs had been broken in an accident some eight years previously. The result had been two open and suppurating sores which had become gangrenous.

On February 10, 1867, he met two wood-cutters, the brothers Knockaert, who were felling trees in the neighbourhood of the castle. A tree had by mischance fallen into a neighbouring field. The two young men were trying to lever it back to the other side. Noticing the difficulty they were in, De Rudder offered to help them. His help was gladly accepted, and he set himself the task of lopping the branches off a bush which was in the way.

Just at this moment the raised tree fell back on to him, and the trunk crushed his left leg. M. du Bus immediately sent for Dr. Affenaer of Oudenbourg. He found the bones of the leg fractured; both the tibia and the fibula were broken at a little distance below the knee.

To keep the bones in place, and in order to reunite them, the doctor bound the limb in a starched bandage. A few weeks later, however, the patient, who suffered cruelly, decided to have the bandages undone. It was then found that fresh complications had arisen. The broken ends were deprived of their periosteum, and were swimming in matter, for a gangrenous sore had formed communicating with the seat of the fracture. At the same time, another large and purulent ulceration had formed at the back of the foot.

Thus not only had the bones not begun to heal, but the muscular tissues were in a dreadful condition. After long months of careful attendance, Dr. Affenaer quite despaired of a cure. It was particularly difficult to alleviate the suppuration, for Lister’s antiseptic methods were as yet hardly known.

Never are so many doctors called in as when medicine is obviously powerless. De Rudder saw many doctors, who all declared his broken limb incurable. Among these were Dr. Jacques and Dr. Verriest from Bruges, another from Varssenaere, and Dr. van Hoestenberghe from Stalhille.

Finally, the Viscount du Bus wished to consult Professor Thiriart of Brussels. This was done, with the result that the amputation of the leg was declared necessary. But De Rudder refused to have recourse to this extreme measure. He was therefore bedridden for a whole year, and suffered the most terrible agony. When he rose, it was only to walk with the aid of crutches, for he could not bear to put his bad leg to the ground. He washed his wounds two or three times every day, and bound up the broken limb, which caused him the most cruel torture, with linen bandages.

The Pilgrimage—The Cure

This dreadful condition lasted for eight years and two months. One day De Rudder (April 5, 1875) presented himself at the Château de Jabbeke to ask permission from the Viscount to make a pilgrimage to the Lourdes sanctuary at Oostacker, near Ghent. This Grotto, much venerated by the Belgians, is modelled on that at Lourdes.

On this very day (April 5th), a charming young lady, who was the Viscount’s cousin and intended wife, happened to be at the château. The Viscountess du Bus came to Lourdes in September 1904, and she then related what happened at this time:

“De Rudder had long wished to go to Oostacker, but as long as my uncle lived he refused him permission. My uncle was very liberal in his views, and he did not believe in the possibility of a miracle. So he told De Rudder that he should be attended by as many doctors as he liked, but that he did not wish to make himself ridiculous by allowing him to go on a pilgrimage. After my uncle’s death, my husband willingly permitted De Rudder to do what he wished.”

The young Viscount did not indeed expect that the unfortunate man would be cured, but he would not deprive him of any little consolation he might derive from the pilgrimage. The day of departure was fixed for April 7th.

To appreciate what followed, it is necessary to know exactly the condition of the sick man at this time. Dr. Affenaer had taken away a piece of fractured bone which had got lodged in the tissues (In surgery this is termed a sequestrum). The result was that the ends of the broken bones were some distance apart. About January Dr. van Hoestenberghe had been to see the patient. At the inquiry which was held later he said:

“Rudder had a wound on the upper part of the leg; at the bottom of this open wound could be seen the two ends of bones about an inch apart. There was not the slightest appearance of cicatrisation. Pierre suffered very much, and had endured his broken leg for eight years.

The lower part of the leg could be turned in any direction. The heel could be lifted so as practically to fold the leg in half. The foot could be twisted until the heel was in front and the toes at the back. All these movements were only limited by the resistance of the muscular tissues. Considering the condition in which the leg was when I saw it, I affirm that it could not possibly, under any conditions whatever, have completely healed in the time between my visit and the pilgrimage.”

As a matter of fact his condition became no better, as we shall see. Many competent witnesses saw De Rudder in the time that elapsed between Dr. van Hoestenberghe’s visit and his pilgrimage. Dr. Verriest examined the patient shortly after, and found him in the state that his colleague describes. Later again, only nine days before the pilgrimage, Jean Houtsaeghe, a cooper at Stalhille, near Jabbeke, saw De Rudder’s leg.

“What did you see?” he was asked at the inquiry.
“I saw,” he replied, “a sore as large as the palm of my hand.”
“Were the bandages soiled?”
“Yes, with a bleeding matter which smelled very bad.”
“Were you able to ascertain that the leg was broken?”
“Yes, Pierre folded the leg himself in a way that caused the two extremities of the broken bone to project outside.
“Were the two extremities rounded?”
“No, they were not, they were jagged like a broken object would be. Pierre showed me how he could turn his heel in front and the toes behind. He had also a large wound on the back of the foot.”

On Sunday, April 4th, a farmer at Jabbeke, Louis Knockaert by name, received a visit from De Rudder, and also saw what Houtsaeghe had seen.
It was on the morrow, April 5th, that De Rudder went to see M. du Bus. There the future Viscountess saw him herself, and has been able to describe the horrible malady from which he suffered:

“I was at the Château of Jabbeke, when De Rudder came on his crutches. He used to come pretty frequently to the château to see the Viscount Christian du Bus de Gisignies. Moved by curiosity, I wanted to see De Rudder’s leg. He took off the linen bandages, which were saturated with pus and blood. The odour was insupportable. The last folds of the bandage were stuck to the wound, and could not be easily detached. At this sight I instinctively recoiled.”

On the evening of the same day a neighbour of the sick man, Marie Wittizacle, helped De Rudder to dress his wound, and she also saw the broken bones. She saw them again on the following day, the eve of the pilgrimage, in company with another neighbour, Van Hooren, and his son Jules van Hooren, who, with herself, spent two hours with Pierre de Rudder. These three signed the following declaration:

“The undersigned declare that they saw, on April 6th, 1875, the fractured leg of De Rudder: the two parts of the broken bone pierced the flesh, and were separated by a suppurating wound an inch long.

(Signed) Jules van Hooren, Edouard van Hooren, Marie Wittizacle.

Jabbeke, April 25th, 1875.”

During the inquiry, Edouard van Hooren was asked:

“Did you sign this certificate?”
“Yes, we signed this certificate.”
“Do you know what you signed?”
“Yes, yes, certainly.”
“Was it actually the day before the pilgrimage that you saw De Rudder?”
“Yes, the day before, in the evening. I was at his home with my son and Marie Wittizacle.”
“What did you see?”
“Pierre uncovered his leg to dress it, and he folded the leg so as to show us the two ends of the broken bone
“The bones were not united?”
“No, it was just as I had always seen it before, the leg could be turned and twisted in any direction.”

Such was the sick man’s condition on the evening of April 6th. The next morning he departed before dawn. The same faithful neighbour, Van Hooren, was up to bid him God-speed. After a few minutes’ chat, Pierre de Rudder set out with his wife.

A great and memorable day dawned for him. It was four o’clock, and still dark, and Pierre’s heart rejoiced as the first streaks of light shot across the sky, and nature awoke on this lovely spring morning. But the way was long and difficult. Leaning on his crutches, and helped by his wife, the poor man took more than two hours to go to the station, one and a half miles distant.
He rested, while waiting for the train, in the gatekeeper’s little cottage near the station.

When the time came to start, Pierre Blomme, the gatekeeper, aided by two or three good-natured men, carried him to a carriage. Seeing his leg twisting about, Blomme could not refrain from asking: “But what are you going to do at Oostacker with such a leg as that? You had much better stay at home.” To which De Rudder replied: “Others have been cured at Oostacker; why not I?” Whereupon the train arrived, and the patient was lifted into a compartment.

They were to get out at Ghent. During a portion of the journey, as far as Bruges, De Rudder and his wife had as travelling companions Jean Duclos and his mother, who also were witnesses of the dreadful wound which so many others had already seen.

At Ghent they had to get into an omnibus for Oostacker. The driver, a strong big fellow, took Pierre down when he reached his destination. He noticed the leg twisting about in the most extraordinary manner.
“Look!” he called to those who were watching, “here’s a man losing his leg!” But when he came to look inside the omnibus, he joked no longer, for the floor was soiled with blood and matter. He gave full vent to his annoyance before Mme. de Rudder, who remained speechless.

At length the patient reached the Grotto of his hopes and longing. As he sat before the statue, the passing pilgrims came in contact with his poor leg, causing it to oscillate, which made him suffer dreadfully. But those sufferings were to be his last.

We have seen the condition of De Rudder’s leg up to the present moment. It was quite incurable by human means. Now was the time for Providence to intervene.

On his arrival, De Rudder rested a little; then, having drunk some of the water, he went round the Grotto twice. He tried to go a third time, but he was too exhausted and overcome with fatigue. He sat down therefore on one of the benches, before the statue of the Blessed Virgin.

What was his prayer? He often spoke of it afterwards, especially to Mme. la Viscomtesse du Bus. He began by asking pardon for his sins; then he begged of Our Lady of Lourdes the grace to be able to earn a livelihood for his wife and children, so as not to be obliged to live on charity.

His whole being was convulsed by I know not what revolution. He was upset, shaken, agitated, and quite outside himself. Hardly knowing what he was doing, and quite forgetting his crutches, his constant companions for the last eight years, he got up without help, passed through the ranks of pilgrims, and knelt down immediately in front of the statue. Suddenly his presence of mind returned, and he realised that he had walked and was on his knees.

“I on my knees!” he cried. “Where am I? O my God!” He immediately got up, radiant and excited, and began devoutly to go round the Grotto.
“Whatever has happened? what are you doing?” cried his wife, seeing him walking. Then suddenly she realised, and fainted.

The pilgrims crowded round De Rudder, and plied him with questions. He could stand straight up, he could walk. His two legs stood firmly on the ground, and bore him easily and painlessly. His troubles were over, he was cured! Alleluia!

Miracle Made Manifest

A few minutes after, De Rudder and his wife were at the château of Mme. la Marquise Alph. de Courtebourne, accompanied by many of the pilgrims.

The limb which had so long been ailing was examined. With astonishment and emotion, it was discovered that the leg and the foot, both much swollen a few instants previously, had regained their normal size, so much so, that the plaster and the bandages had fallen down of themselves. The two wounds were healed, and, wonder of wonders, the two broken bones were reunited in spite of the distance which separated them! They were firmly fixed together, and the two legs were alike in every respect.

“Since that time,” asked the doctor who held an inquiry later, “have you been able to walk without crutches?”
“Yes, as much as I have wanted to.”

In spite of the tenderness of his foot, so long unaccustomed to pressure, Pierre de Rudder did not spare himself in the least.

On leaving the château of the Marquise de Courtebourne, he went back to the Grotto to return thanks, and he walked round three times. Then, it being time to start home, and as the Ghent omnibus was waiting, he hurried to catch it. In the evening, when he got out of the train at Jabbeke, the gatekeeper Blomme looked at him amazed.
“Pierre was walking perfectly,” he said afterwards, “and without crutches.”
“Perhaps your memory is not very good,” said the cross-examiner to try him, “or perhaps you are exaggerating?”
“I am quite sure of what I say,” replied Blomme emphatically; “my memory is very sure, very precise, and I do not exaggerate in the least.”

De Rudder caused still further astonishment on the way home, and gradually a little crowd collected.
“What’s the matter?” asked cooper Houtsaeghe.
“It’s De Rudder, who has come back from Oostacker cured.”
“De Rudder cured! It’s impossible! I know the state his leg was in. I saw it myself.”
“I went closer,” relates Houtsaeghe, “and I saw De Rudder in the midst of the crowd; he was walking perfectly and without crutches.”

M. du Bus had gone to Brussels with his fiancée and his mother.
“We were at table,” related the Viscountess, in September 1904, at the Lourdes Medical Office, “when, about two o’clock, we received a telegram from one of our farmers announcing the marvellous cure.” On reading the wire, the Viscount was very much impressed, and he said:

“I have never believed in miracles, but if De Rudder is cured, it is really a miracle, and I shall believe.”

“On the next day,” continued Mme. du Bus, “on our return to the château at Jabbeke, De Rudder presented himself before the whole family, completely cured of his wound and walking very well.”

When De Rudder reached his own poor cottage, his daughter Silvie embraced him sobbing. Very early in the morning the pious child had lit a candle before Our Lady’s picture. Our Lady brought her back her father walking firmly on his feet, happy and radiant.
His little boy, who had never seen his father without crutches, refused to recognise him in this man, upright and strong, who walked like every one else.

The whole village flocked together at the news. The neighbours came first to see with their own eyes what they had thought impossible, especially Van Hooren and his son, as well as Marie Wittizacle, who had seen De Rudder’s leg only the evening before. A few days later they signed the following declaration:

“We declare that De Rudder returned, on April 7th, from his pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes at Oostacker, perfectly cured. The bone was firm, the wound had disappeared; De Rudder could walk as well as he did before his accident.”

This striking miracle became a public event. In the parish church a novena of sung Masses was celebrated. The church was full every day, there being as many as 1500 present out of a population of 2000. These nine days were kept like nine Sundays. Both the religious and civil authorities, as well as all the chief people of the neighbourhood, wished to keep a sort of authenticated testimony of this marvellous event. So they compiled the following document:

“We, the undersigned parishioners of Jabbeke, declare that the shin-bone of Pierre Jacques Rudder, native and resident of this place, aged fifty-two years, had been so fractured by the fall of a tree, on February 16th, 1869, that, every resource of surgery having been exhausted, the patient was given up and declared incurable by the doctors, and considered as such by all who knew him; that he invoked Our Lady of Lourdes, venerated at Oostacker, and that he returned cured and without crutches, so that he can do any kind of work as before his accident. We declare that this sudden and admirable cure took place on April 7th, 1875.

Signed:

L. Slock, priest.
Aug. Rommelaere, curate.
D’Hoedt, mayor.
Aug. Stubbe, alderman (échevin).
P. Maene, alderman.
G. Sanders, president of the Council of Church Administration.
Charles de Cloedt, member of the Municipal Council, a churchwarden.
F. Demonie, church treasurer.
T. Callewaert, clerk.
P. de Sorge.
J. de Simpel, municipal counsellor.
L. Boutin Perloot.
Viscount du Bus de Gisignies, senator.
(Municipal Seal.)

Jabbeke, April 15th, 1875.”

Among the signatures should be noticed that of the Senator Viscount du Bus, who, as stated above, did not believe in miracles, and that of M. P. de Sorge, a free-thinker, who, when he died, received civil interment. These witnesses are therefore irrefutable. Moreover, their testimony is confirmed by the doctors.

Hearing that his patient had regained health, Dr. Aflenaer hurriedly came from Oudenbourg early on the morning of April 8th, that is, the day after the cure. De Rudder was not at home. Returning from church, he had stopped at M. Charles Rosseel’s. It was here that the doctor found him. He examined the leg most carefully, and was particularly struck on finding the inner side of the tibia perfectly smooth at the seat of the fracture.
Several people assisted at this examination. Dr. Affenaer could not overcome his emotion, great tears dropped from his eyes, and he exclaimed:

“You are completely cured, De Rudder; your leg is like that of a new-born baby. Human remedies were powerless, but what doctors could not do the Blessed Virgin has done.”

On the morrow, April 9th, it was Dr. van Hoestenberghe's turn. Hearing the astonishing news, he, like Senator du Bus, refused to believe. But still he was not obstinate in the face of facts, like some people. He came expressly from Stalhille to Jabbeke personally to inquire into the matter. When he arrived, Peter was hoeing in his garden.
The doctor was thunderstruck at the sight, for he was no believer in the supernatural. He begged his old patient to go inside the house, in order that he might examine him carefully.
To prove the reality of his cure, Pierre began to jump like a boy before the astonished eyes of his visitor. However, the latter examined him thoroughly all the same.
He found a scar below the knee, another and larger one at the back of the foot, both tangible proofs of the disease and of its cure. He passed his finger carefully along the inner surface of the tibia, and verified, as his colleague had done, that this surface was quite smooth where the fracture had been. There was no shortening, no lameness. Pierre was radically and completely cured.
In face of this evident proof of Divine intervention, the loyal mind of Dr. van Hoestenberghe did not hesitate. Like the French doctor, already mentioned, he said, but in other words: “I see, I believe.

Nor was he the only one who had his eyes opened by this marvellous cure. There was living at Jabbeke a sceptic named De Weisch. In presence of so evident a proof of the supernatural he declared that incredulity was impossible for him, and that he must accept the teaching of the Church. Henceforward he remained an earnest believer.

But the one who was the most surprised and touched was the driver of the omnibus from Ghent to Oostacker. He was a religious sceptic. When he heard, however, that the infirm man with the broken leg whom he had carried in the morning had, an hour afterwards, suddenly regained the use of his limbs, and had been completely restored to health, his scepticism vanished. He became and remained a Christian.

In a word, this cure was a striking lesson in faith for the profit of many. About twenty years later some one asked M. le Curé of Jabbeke:

“Are there any sceptics in your parish, or any who do not practise their religion?”
And the curé replied, “No, not one.”

Eighteen years after these events, towards the end of 1892, a Belgian doctor, whom this cure interested intensely, resolved to open an inquiry, in order that he might study the matter with absolute scientific rigour. Nearly all the witnesses still lived, also De Rudder, who evinced a most lively gratitude to his heavenly benefactress.

The Viscountess du Bus said:

“After his cure, we kept him fifteen years as our workman. Whenever we met him he was reciting his rosary. He edified everybody.
He was, however, a thorough worker, whose activity required moderating in spite of his advanced age. He used to return to Oostacker with a joyous assiduity which never wearied, and made as many as 400 pilgrimages in thanksgiving for his cure.”

There was therefore everything to hand to make a thorough investigation, and Dr. Royer of Lens-Saint-Remy undertook the task. But he meant to do so with a severity which would not leave the slightest loophole for doubt. To this end he wrote to Dr. Mottait of Hannut, known for his uprightness and his science, but also for his scepticism, to ask his collaboration:

“Dec. 16, 1892.

Most Honoured Colleague, I sent you the Annales de Lourdes for October last, that you might read the account of De Rudder’s cure.
I wish to ask you if, in the interests of truth, you will join with me to make a fresh inquiry, and to collect accurate information during De Rudder’s lifetime.
Your well-known convictions will be a guarantee of loyalty. For this reason two people from Huy have spoken to me on the matter, and wish to pay all the expenses of your journey.
We will go to Jabbeke, and see the doctors who attended Rudder.
If you are good enough to accept my proposal, we will discuss further the best means of discovering the truth.

Yours, &c.,  Dr. Royer.”

Dr. Mottait seemed to accept at first, but having read the account of the cure, he made no further move in the matter. Consequently Dr. Royer was obliged to go to Jabbeke alone.
But Providence came to his help, and sent him the collaborator he needed to guarantee the sincerity of the inquiry and its results, whatever they might be. In the train he met a worthy merchant who was going to Bruges, and therefore close to Jabbeke. A religious discussion having been started, he soon perceived that his companion was a determined sceptic.
This was the very man he wanted. On the spot, he asked him to help him. The merchant spoke both Flemish and French, and could serve as interpreter.
As he was at leisure, and was a sincere and honest man who asked for nothing better than to scrutinise so extraordinary an event, he agreed to accompany the doctor. Thus a Christian and a sceptic set out together to discover truth.
And as M. Taffeniers (such was the merchant’s name) alone knew Flemish, it was he, the freethinker, who received the depositions and who translated them for the believer.
This, then, was what happened. The evidence increased, and only served to prove the supernatural reality of the facts subjected to inquiry. The freethinker was first touched, then shaken, and finally convinced, and he had the sincerity to acknowledge it.
This was a decided confirmation of the miracle. It may be said that no historical fact has ever been proved more accurately, more rigorously, or with a greater wealth of proofs.

After Dead

Every proof seemed to have been dealt with, when De Rudder’s death brought forward another. Pierre de Rudder died of pneumonia at the age of sixty-four, and twenty-three years after his cure (March 22, 1898).
Dr. van Hoestenberghe, who had been converted by the miracle, wished to see the bones of the leg, and obtained permission to exhume the body. This was done on May 24, 1899. The doctor amputated the two legs at the knee joint.
Thus a post-mortem examination confirmed all the evidence already brought forward, as the reader may see for himself, if he examines the photographs given herewith. He can see that the left leg (the one on his right) shows evident traces of the double fracture, and is repaired in such a way that, in spite of the deviation of the superior portion of the bones, which were drawn backwards during eight years by the flexor muscles of the thigh, the vertical axis of the left limb keeps the same direction as the axis of the right leg. Thus the weight of the body was equally and normally borne by both sides. Moreover, notwithstanding the elimination of an osseous fragment from the broken limb, the two limbs are of equal length.

The invisible surgeon who had deigned to intervene had done in one second what no other could have done in long years, and he had moreover done it admirably. At the same time, that none might ignore the fact, his hand had left the mark of the fracture as an evident proof of Divine operation.

Five years previously, when publishing his inquiry, Dr. Royer had brought forward certain points. First, he said, that since April 7, 1875, no fibrous callus had existed, and a callus should still at this date, and long afterwards, have united and bound together the broken ends, in the case of a fracture with sores and separation of the bones. But the contrary had happened, for the bones had been joined together without this intermediary. Also, although the left leg had not been cased in splints, when cured, it was as straight as the other leg. Finally, in spite of the loss of a piece of bone, and in spite of the fact that the bones had been an inch apart before the cure, afterwards one limb was as long as the other.
And the doctor added in conclusion:

“Doubt would be unreasonable. Every right-minded person must recognise supernatural intervention in this cure.”

Since and after the autopsy, in 1899, Dr. Royer signed and published, with two of his colleagues, Drs. van Hoestenberghe and Deschamps, a very important article on the De Rudder case (Revue des Questions scientifiques, October 1899). After having related and severely tested all the facts, the three doctors prove that the cure could not have been due to natural forces. This conclusion is based on a scientific discussion of great clearness and irresistible force.

Declarations of Dr. van Hoestenberghe to Dr. Boissarie

Finally, let us quote the precise declarations that one of the authors has made to Dr. Boissarie since 1892. They will give us a rapid and authentic summing up of the principal facts we have been studying. In a first letter, written August 21, 1892, Dr. van Hoestenberghe wrote:

“Whilst at his work, Pierre de Rudder had a comminuted fracture of the left tibia and fibula. His leg was crushed by the trunk of a tree which fell on it. The fragments were so numerous that, in shaking the limbs, the bones could be heard rattling.
Consolidation never took place in spite of many and the best doctors whom M. le Comte du Bus called in during six years. Condemned and given up by all, this man was in despair when I had the opportunity of examining his leg.
It is not necessary to give a long description: the lower part of the leg, with the foot, literally swung at the end of the limb, so that I could actually twist the heel round more than once.”

A little later, on September 3rd, the same doctor wrote to the president of the Medical Office:

“When Pierre de Rudder went on pilgrimage, his leg had been broken and he had hobbled on crutches for more than eight years. The lower part of the leg and the foot hung like a rag.
The same evening Pierre returned dancing without his crutches; he had walked several miles, delighted to take an exercise he had so long been deprived of.
Naturally I went to see him, and, I may tell you in confidence, that I did not believe in this cure.
What did I find? A leg so perfect that, if I had not examined it previously, I should have said it had never been broken.
There was not the least irregularity to be felt along the line of the tibia, but a perfectly supple surface, from top to bottom. All that was to be seen were some surface scars on the skin.”

As it was the year that M. Zola went to Lourdes, Dr. van Hoestenberghe said in conclusion:

“Probably this letter will find you with M. Zola. If this be so, I should be glad for him to read it, and, if he would allow me, to say to him these few words: ‘ Sir, I was an unbeliever as you are; De Rudder’s miracle opened my eyes, hitherto closed to the light. I still doubted sometimes, but I studied the Christian religion and prayed. Now, I can affirm, on my honour, that I believe absolutely, and that with belief I have found happiness, and an interior peace, which I had never known before.’”

Epilogue

Let these sincere words be our last. M. Zola had left Lourdes when they arrived, but they remain a striking lesson for all.

Let those who have the misfortune of being sceptics like Dr. van Hoestenberghe, decide to do what he did. They should consider the supernatural phenomena which take place in this world with an impartial mind, not fearing to see the truth, and resolved to remain open when truth appears.

At the same time they should beg God to send them the light of truth, that they may taste the ineffable joy of security and certainty. When God manifests Himself, He must be gazed at to be seen; to be heard, He must be spoken to.