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This, then, is the result of an attempt made by a scien-
tifie man to look into these spiritual phenomena. It is not
encouraging; and for this reason: The present promoters
of spiritual phenomena divide themselves into two classes,
one. of which needs no demonstration, while the other is
beyond the reach of proof. The victims like to believe, and
they do not like to be undeceived. Science is perfectly
powerless in the presence of this frame of mind. It is,
moreover, a state perfectly compatible with extreme intel-
lectual subtlety and a capacity for devising hypotheses
which only require the hardihood engendered by strong
conviction, or by callous mendacity, to render them impreg-
nable. The logical feebleness of science is not sufficiently
borne in mind. It keeps down the weed of superstition,
not by logic but by slowly rendering the mental soil unfit
for its cultivation. When science appeals to uniform ex-
perience, the spiritualist will retort, “ How do you know
that a uniform experience will continue uniform ? You tell
me that the sun has risen for six thousand years: that is
no proof that it will rise to—morrow; within the next twelve
hours it may be pufl'ed‘Out by the Almighty.” Taking this ,
ground, a man may maintain the story of “Jack and the
Bean-stalk ” in the face of all the science in the world.
You urge, in vain, that science has given us all the knowl-
edge of the universe which we now possess, while spiritual-
ism has added nothing to that knowledge. The drugged
soul is beyond the reach of reason. It is in vain that im-
postors are exposed, and the special demon cast out. He
has but slightly to change his shape, return to his house,
and find it “ empty, swept, and garnished.”

December 10, 1864.


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