Page:Christianity in China, Tartary, and Thibet Volume II.djvu/154

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140 CimiSTIANITV IN CHINA, ETC. soon as he sliould liavc placed in it tlic image of the true God. This pahicc, which had l)r(ii hiiilt but ft very short time, Avas capable of acconiniodatin^ ten nrssionaries, and in other respects particularly well adapted for a reli""i()us house. The [)ricc liaving been fixed at one half of what it had cost to build, Father Uieci did not hesitate a moment about the purchase, and did not con- cern hinist'lf in the least on the subject of the diabolic appariti»>iis; for besides that the house was an excellent barf'^ain; it was a point of the liighest importance to the security of the mission, to possess premises sold thus by an authentic act of the president of public works. Tliis fact alone constituted a le^al aiithorisation, and would serve to cut short many future intri;;ues of the petty mandarins or jealous men of letters. The contract of sale was signed and sealed by the president, and the missionaries with great joy installed themselves in their palace, though not without having previously sprinkled it well with holy water. They never heard any un- pleasant noises, nor saw the smallest sign of a ghost, and from that time all Nankin was talking, not only of the knowledge of these foreign doctors, but of their power over evil spirits; and it was inferred also that their re- ligion must be a holy one, since their presence was thus sufficient to silence and put to flight a whole army of demons. This event did not fail to make a great impression on the Chinese, and disposed them strongly in favour of the

European ecclesiastics.