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MIRACLES AND SPECIAL PROVIDENCES. 51

lect alone, appeals to the affections being reserved for cases
where moral elevation, and not historic conviction, is the
aim. It is, moreover, because the result, in the case under
consideration, is deemed desirable, that the affections are
called upon to back it. If undesirable, they would, with
equal right, be called upon to act the other way. Even to
the disciplined scientific mind this would be a dangerous
doctrine. A favorite theory—the desire to establish or
avoid a certain result—can so warp the mind as to destroy
its power of estimating facts. I have known men to work
for years under a fascination of this kind, unable to extri-
cate themselves from its fatal influence. They had certain
data, but not, as it happened, enough. By a process exactly
analogous to that invoked by Mr. Mozley they supplemented
the data, and went wrong. From that hour their intellects
were so blinded to the perception of adverse phenomena
that they never reached truth. If, then, to the disciplined
scientific mind, this incongruous mixture of proof and trust
be fraught with danger, What must it be to the indiscrimi-
nate audience which Mr. Mozley addresses ? In calling
upon this agency he acts the part of Frankenstein. It is
the monster thus evoked that we See stalking abroad, in
the so-called spiritualistic phenomena of the present day.
Again, I say, where the aim is to elevate the mind, to
quicken the moral sense, to kindle the fire of religion in the
soul, let the affections by all means be invoked; but they
must not be permitted to color our reports, or to influence
our acceptance of reports of occurrences in external Nature.
Testimony as to natural facts is usually worthless when
wrapped in this atmosphere of the affections, the most
earnest subjective truth being thus rendered perfectly com-
patible with the most astounding objective error.

There are questions in judging of which the affections
or sympathies are often our best guides, the estimation of
moral goodness being one of these. But at this precise

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