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MIRACLES AND SPECIAL PROVIDENCES. 67

stand in this relation, and the work we have accomplished
is the proper commentary on the methods we have pursued.
Before these methods were adopted the unbridled imagi-
nation roamed through Nature, putting in the place of
law the figments of superstitious dread. Forthousands of
years Witchcraft, and magic, and miracles, and special provi-
dences, and Mr. Mozley’s “ distinctive reason of man,” had
the world to themselves. They made worse than nothing
of itfiworse, I say, because they let and hindered those
who might have made something of it. Hence it is that
during a single lifetime of this era of “unintelligent im-
pulse,” the progress in natural knowledgeis allbut infinite
as compared with that of the ages which preceded ours.

The believers in magic and miracles of a couple of
centuries ago had all the strength of Mr. Mozley’s present
logic on their side. They had done for themselves what
he rejoices in having so eifectually done for us——-cleared the
ground of the belief in the order of Nature, and declared
magic, miracles, and witchcraft, to be matters for ordinary
evidence to decide. “The principle of miracles ” thus
“ befriended ” had free scope, and we know the result.
Lacking that rock-barrier of natural knowledge which we,
laymen of England, now possess, keen jurists and cultivated
men were hurried on to deeds, the bare recital of which
makes the blood run cold. Skilled in all the rules of human
evidence, and versed in all the arts of cross-examination,
these men, nevertheless, went systematically astray, and
committed the deadliest wrongs against humanity. And
why ? Because they could not put Nature into the witness-
box, and question her; of her voiceless “ testimony” they
knew nothing. In all cases between man and man, their
judgment was to be relied on; but in all cases between
man and Nature they were blind leaders of the blind.ll

‘ “ In 1664 two women were hung in Suffolk, under a sentence of Sir
Matthew Hale, who took the Opportunity of declaring that the reality of

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