The Spiritual Delusion/00

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The Spiritual Delusion/00/00 The Spiritual Delusion/00/1.1.1

PREFACE.

In presenting this little work to the public, it may be well to state at the outset that no new theory is urged to account for the “spiritual manifestations” so loudly asserted to be everywhere occurring, nor is it designed to definitely map out the causes of all the phenomena presented by “mediums” with the accuracy of a phrenological chart.

While not assuming to offer anything new on this well-worn subject, it has seemed to the author that an examination of the claim of the spiritists, that disembodied fellow-mortals do communicate and manifest themselves to us, might commend itself to many still halting in their convictions with regard to these singular phenomena. That they are not the result of spiritual beings operating from the unseen may be definitely shown; and to group together the various reasons leading to this conclusion, to show that the phenomena in question do not require the presence of hypothetical “spirits,” is the aim of the following pages.

In the consideration of the subject, many phenomena that, owing to their marvelousness, commend themselves to the simple as “demonstrative evidences” of the spirital theory, will be seen to be explicable upon scientific principles; a less number, vociferously asserted to be “tests,” may not be so easily explained; but even in these cases we may clearly see that “ spirits” are in no event to be accredited with their occurrence.

To those who have neither the time nor inclination to thoroughly investigate the subject in the light of modern scientific research, but are still perplexed with the apparent mystery surrounding it, these pages are addressed, the author believing that a statement of the reasons which have led him out of this treacherous quicksand to healthful moral action may be of service to many not as yet lost to all appeals to reason and common sense.

NORTHAMPTON, MASS., May, 1873.