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S OIEN SE A ND SPIRITS.

THEIR refusal to investigate “spiritual phenomena” is
often urged as a reproach to scientific men. . I here propose
to give a sketch of an attempt to apply to the “ phenom-
ena ” those methods of inquiry which are found available
in dealing with natural truth.

Some time ago, when the spirits were particularly
active in this country, a celebrated philosopher was invited,
or rather entreated, by one of his friends to meet and ques-
tion them. He had, however, already made their acquaint-
ance, and did not wish to renew it. I had not been so
privileged, and he therefore kindly arranged a transfer of
the invitation to me. The Spirits themselves named the
time of meeting, and I was conducted to the place at the
day and hour appointed.

Absolute unbelief in the facts was by no means my con-
dition of mind. On the contrary, I thought it probable
that some physical principle, not evident to the spiritualists
themselves, might underlie their manifestations. Extraor-
dinary effects are produced by the accumulation of small
impulses. Galileo set a heavy pendulum in motion by the
well-timed pufi‘s of his breath. Ellicot set one clock going
by the ticks of another, even when the two clocks were
separated by a wall. Preconceived notions can, moreover,
vitiate, to an extraordinary degree, the testimony of even
voracious persons. Hence my desire to witness those ex-
traordinary phenomena, the existence of which seemed
placed beyond a. doubt by the known veracity of those who
had witnessed and described them. The meeting took

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