can be explained as the result of an extraordinary stimulation of the
nerve-centres, caused by the rapt enthusiasm of religious faith. The
relics, or the pure water, simply serve as an object about which this
faith crystallizes, so to speak, and gains a concrete and external
form, which in turn reacts upon the mind of the believer. It is a
well-known fact that a great shock, or imminent peril, has sometimes
suddenly restored the power of motion to those who have long been
paralyzed. This view does not, however, necessarily exclude a religious
interpretation of these phenomena when they are produced by religious
impressions, for the divine will manifests itself by natural means, and
a true understanding of the regular and normal working of these means
should give us a deeper, truer, and purer faith.
a substance for medicinal use, the Hindus declared the sapphire to be
bitter to the taste and lukewarm. It had a remedial action against
phlegm, bile and flatulence.98 A similar action is ascribed
to several other precious stones, the medicinal qualities attributed to
them being less differentiated among the Hindus than they were with
the Greeks and Romans, or in medieval times.
drink of a potion made from the sapphire was said to be helpful for
those who had been bitten by a scorpion, and for those suffering from
intestinal ulcerations, or from growths in the eye ; it also prevented
boils and pustules, and healed ruptured membranes.96 Here we
see that the sapphire shared with the emerald the power of
strengthening the sight, and one authority asserts that if anyone
looked long and intently at a sapphire, his eyes would be protected
"Garbe, "Die indische Mineralien"; Naharari'e " Rajanighantu," Varga ΧΙΠ, Leipzig, 1882, p. 83.
" Johannis Braunii, " De vestitu sacerdotum Hebrteorum," Amstelodami, 1880, p. 659; citing pseudo-Dioscoridea.