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had been there the day before, when Mr. Tennyson himself was equally positive to the contrary -till be afterwards remembered that he had come as far as the grounds of the house, and then changed his mind and turned back.- The Spectator, January 30th.
[Will Mr. Hutton explain what he means by “brain waves?" Without an explanation, these are mere words without meaning. --Ed.]
THE ARTICLES ON SUPERNATURALISM. These articles, of which we give the first in our present number, are appearing anonymously in the Monthly Religious Magazine published at Boston, and with the third of them the editor gives the following curious narrative :
The Publisher of this Magazine has received a communication which illustrates the idea which a very excellent Unitarian minister has of the freedom and range which belong to religious investigation. We should be glad to print it; but, fearing the author might object, we give its substance,- which is, that his name be removed from our subscription list on account of the sudden fit of Spiritualism which he thinks has overtaken us in the article “On Science and the Supernatural ;” that he can scarcely believe his own eyes when he reads, in the Monthly which he has trusted hitherto, a declaration of faith in the table-rappings as "revelations from on high," and the article is editorially recommended.
We do not understand the writer of the articles to recommend table-rappings as revelations from on high, or to regard the methods of Spiritualism as safe and trustworthy. We certainly do not so regard them. But, however this may be, we should be ashamed of our intolerance as conductors of a liberal periodical if we attempted to cripple the free utterance of an able writer and Christian scholar and thinker on this or any other absorbing question of the day.
Per Contra. We received three communications from eminent clergymen of different denominations, expressing warm sympathy with the spirit of the articles. One is from an eminent Orthodox divine who ranks among the first of our living writers and thinkers. We hope and believe he will not regard us as guilty of any impropriety if we make a single extract from his letter, knowing our motive and the cause we have at heart.
" I have received two late numbers of your Magazine, December and January : I know not from whom, but I am greatly obliged for them. I suppose they may have been forwarded on account of the two articles on supernataral truth. These articles I have read with a really profound interest, thanking God that you have any man among you who could write them. I feel greatly drawn to him: he is a good deal more than Orthodox to me. Would to God there were half as much spiritual insight in any of our good people who call themselves believers, and sound in the faith!"
WHERE THE LIARS GO TO.
An anecdote is told by a correspondent of the New York World, the editors of which, in printing it, seem charmingly unconscious of its personality. A clergyman, catechising a little boy, was trying to impress on his tender mind some useful lessons from the Bible. “Where, my child, do the liars go to ?” “ To New York, sir, to write for the newspapers." We think some of them have found their way to London.
REMARKABLE CASE OF PHYSICAL PHENOMENA.
“ To the Editor of the “Leader." « Sir,-I read with considerable interest the article in your last issue entitled ' Remarkable Case of Physical Phenomena,' and reprinted from the Atlantic Monthly. The singular circumstances therein narrated somewhat resemble those that occurred some years since in my own family, at home in England. A servant that we had then was attacked with a peculiar species of fits, having outwardly much the appearance of hysteria, but in her case the noises were confined to raps only; whatever room she was in, it mattered not, these raps came on the walls, floor, chairs, ceilings, and even on her own person they were often distinctly audible. I had medical advice for her, but my doctor could do her no good, and was evidently puzzled with the case. She at last became seriously ill, but I found that she derived the greatest benefit by my simply placing the open palms of my hands upon her head; this would often quiet her when in the most violent paroxysms, and by making the usual de-mesmerising passes, I was enabled to bring her to. In doing this, however, great care was required, as it appeared as though there were a struggle going on within her, and she was very violent, foaming at the mouth and tearing at anything within reach. When she was 'herself' again, she used to be quite unaware of what had passed while in this state, but she had a vivid recollection of seeing 'spirits' all around her, and this impression she continually persisted in, seeming very frightened of them. After this state of things had lasted some months, I got her removed to a distance, thinking that change of air and scene would possibly do her good, and it had the desired effect, she got better and ultimately entirely recovered her health. She has since married, and is now living in London. I am, &c.-SYDNEY J. SAUNDERS.”—The Leader, Melbourne, Australia, 24th October, 1868.
J. G. WHITTIER, THE AMERICAN POET, ON MESMERISM AND
impostureto rank its phenomena with the tricks of Cagliostro and Count St. Germain. Grant, if you will, that the everlasting and ubiquitous quack has taken advantage of it--that he has engrafted upon its great fact the fictitious and shallow legerdemain of common jugglery-still a Fact remains, attested by unnumbered witnesses, which clashes with all our old ideas and our habitual experiencewhich throws open the door for " thick-coming fancies," and interminable speculations--a miracle made familiar-an impossibility realized the old fable of transfusion of spirit made actual the mysterious trance of the Egyptian priesthood
reproduced. This first fact in mesmerism dimly reveals a new world of wonder -a faint light falling into the great shadow of the mystery which environs us like an atmosphere of night. It affords us a vague and dim perception of the nature of what we call life ; it startles the Materialist with phenomena fearfully suggestive of the conditions of a purely spiritual being. In the language of another, when we plant our first footfall upon the threshold of the portal to which this astonishing discovery introduces, long and deep are the reverberations which come forth from the yet dark depths which lie beyond it. Having made this first step, we are prepared to go " sounding onward our dim and perilous way,” passing from one wonder to another, like the knight of the nursery tale, in the Enchanted Castle
" His heart was strong, While the strange light crept on the floor along." Without assenting in any respect to this theory, I have been recently deeply interested in reading a paper from a gentleman who has devoted much of his leisure, for the last seven years, to a patient investigation of this subject. He gives the particulars of a case which occurred under his own observation. A young girl of great purity of character, in a highly exalted state of what is called clairvoyance, or animal electricity, was willed by the magnetizer to the future world. In the language of the narrator, "The vision burst upon her. Her whole countenance and form indicated at once that a most surprising change had passed over her mind. A solemn, pleasing, but deeply impressive expression rested upon her features. She prophesied her own early death; and when one of her young friends wept, she said : Do not weep for me; death is desirable, beautiful! I have seen the future, and myself there. O! it is beautiful, happy, and glorious !-and myself so beautiful, happy, and glorious! And it is not dying, only changing places, states, and conditions, and feelings. O! how beautiful ! how blessed l' She semed to see her mother, who was dead, and when asked to speak to her, she replied: 'She will not speak; I could not understand her. They converse by willing, thinking, feeling, without language.'”
All this may, in part, be accounted for on the theory of cerebral excitementthe disturbed over-action of a portion of the brain, or, to speak phrenologically, of the "religious organs." Yet the mystery even then is but partially solved. Why in this state of exaltation and preternatural mental activity should similar images and thoughts present themselves to persons of widely varied temperaments and beliefs, from the cold Materialist to the too ardent Spiritualist; from the credulous believer to the confirmed sceptic?
For myself, I am not willing to reject at once everything which cannot be explained in consistency with a strictly material philosophy. Who knows the laws of his own spiritual nature? Who can determine the precise conditions
of the mysterious union of soul and body? It ill becomes us, in our ignorance and blindness, to decide that whatever accords not with our five senses, and our every-day experience, is an impossibility. There is a credulity of doubt which is more to be deprecated than that of belief.- Stranger in Lowell.
A CHILD'S LIFE SAVED THROUGH A DREAM. In the work of a physician, published a few years since, we read that a mother dreamed that her child, who was out at nurse, had been buried alive, and hastening to the place in great alarm, found that the child supposed to be dead was already buried. She insisted upon having the grave opened, and succeeded in restoring her son, who grew up to man's estate.
THE DIALECTICAL SOCIETY AND SPIRITUALISM.
We find that the debate referred to in our last number was resumed unexpectedly on the evening of Wednesday, January 20th, in consequence of the absence of the gentleman who was to have read the paper on “ Metaphysics and Theology.” The discussion on this occasion was more favourable to Spiritualism than on the former, one or two gentlemen finding themselves in so very small a minority that they were fain to modify their previous assertions. One of the nameless speakers above mentioned went so far, in an outburst of candour, as to say
he did not think he would doubt the evidence of his senses if they seemed to prove the truth of the phenomena! The committee is to proceed to its work forthwith; and the presentation of their report will give rise to another discussion, when, probably, Spiritualism will be more adequately represented.
The committee began by the following invitation in the newspapers :
To the Editor of the “ Star." “Sir,-Will you allow me, through the medium of your paper, to inform those of your readers who are interested in the above question, that a committee has been appointed by the council of the London Dialectical Society for the purpose of instituting a thorough and searching inquiry into these so-called spiritual manifestations, with a view of obtaining a satisfactory elucidation of the phenomena.
“ As the committee have undertaken this task solely in the interests of science and free inquiry, it is hoped that many of the believers in Spiritualism will recognise the advantages to be derived from a careful and honest investigation of the subject; and will be willing, either by personal attendance at the séances, or by forwarding any experiences or suggestions of their own, to assist the committee in arriving at a sound and just conclusion. I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
“ G. WHEATLEY BENNETT, Hon. Secretary.
“ 32A, George-street, Hanover-square, W.” Letters to the same effect have also been privately address to various persons. The following among other answers been sent :
“ Oakfield, Kilburn, N.w.
7th February, 18 Sir, I have seen your letter informing the publ committee, appointed by the Dialectical Society, is
institute a thorough and searching inquiry into so-called Spiritual manifestations, with a view of obtaining a satisfactory elucidation of the phenomena,' and you ask believers to assist the committee in arriving at a sound and just conclusion.'
“ I am a believer in the occurrence of the facts, both from my own observation, and from testimony, the latter mode being of course the more extensive, inasmuch as it embraces the observation of all those who have witnessed the phenomena in all ages, down to our own. Of course the sum of what all have seen, is greater immeasurably than what any one can see. I consider testimony therefore of the first importance in a matter which, if it be true, cannot, in its very nature, be done to order, and submitted to pre-organized tests. Its laws are not known, nor the conditions under which it appears. If they were, and phenomena could be had the moment you say now we are all ready,' they would cease to be what they evidently are.
The first thing in such an investigation is to assume nothing, not even that a committee of the Dialectical Society can obtain a satisfactory elucidation of the phenomena. No committee has ever done so yet. A committee of Professors of Harvard University, amongst whom was Agassiz, after having made an examination, did not think proper to publish their report, though they had published their intention to do so, and were frequently and publicly asked for it.
* I do not think a committee seeking test phenomena will arrive at a sound conclusion, unless it also take full cognizance of testimony in books, and by a personal examination of witnesses who will depose to what they have seen. There is an extensive array both of written facts, and of witnesses, of the highest range and value. The committee might easily obtain the attendance of 20, 50, or 100 witnesses of repute in literature, the sciences, and the professions, who will give their testimony Testimony is all important if only for this consideration, that the report of this committee will, when made, itself fall into the category of testimony; and it would be inconsistent to claim a greater weight for it than for other testimony from a credible source. Credible testimony has already been given in many thousands of instances. Your committee will only add one more to the list. If it report in favour of the phenomena, no one will believe it; and if it report against, the facts will still occur, as they have done throughout recorded history, sacred and profane.
« The phenomena of so-called Spiritualism' are in fact a history of the supernatural (using the word in its common sense). That is a wide inquiry for your committee, and one of supreme importance. If their report is to have the effect of settling that great question of humanity, I should like to know their