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I rung the bell and and sent for the cats. They were both found in the housekeeper's room. The most superstitious person could now doubt no longer as to the real character of all these illusory appearances, and the case is so complete, that I hope there will be no renewal of them, symptomatic as they of course are of a disordered state of the body. Mrs. B. has naturally a morbidly sensitive imagination, so strongly affecting her corporeal impressions, that the story of any person having severe pain by accident, or otherwise, will occasionally produce acute twinges of pain in the correspondent part in her own person. An account, for instance, of the amputation of an arm, will produce an instantaneous and severe sense of pain in her own arm; and so of other relations. She is subject to talk in her sleep, with great fluency; to repeat poetry very much at length, particularly when unwell, and even cap verses for half an hour together, never failing to quote lines beginning with the final letter of the preceding till her memory is exhausted.”'

pp. 36 - 42. Physiology teaches that one link in the chain of antecedents and consequents, which intervene between the object of our ideas and the corresponding impression on the mind, is a change of some hitherto unexplained character in the nervous apparatus of the cranium ; and that a similar change and one which is followed by a similar impression may be, and frequently has been, produced without the presence of any external prototype.

This is not to be confounded with delirium or insanity, with which it has nothing to do, unless we use the term insanity in a very general and unphilosophical sense, to express every false impression. Thus on whirling round a torch we see a continued circle of fire, but we know that there is no such circle existing. We may whirl ourselves round, till every surrounding object seems to be in rapid motion ; but we know that they are stationary, and that the deception arises from a derangement of our organs. One may in like manner see a spectral form, but he may know and believe that no such form is present; or he may believe that it is present, without being insane ; since any other explanation of so unusual appearance may not be known to him. And though he may be amazed, he cannot avoid a belief forced upon him by the evidence of sense. For proof that we may have such impressions, or in other words may see spectres perfectly, without any touch of what can be called insanity, it is not necessary to go to the case of Nicolai, or the very distinct and particular one, narrated in the above extract. Many of us in the course of our lives have had the misfortune to suffer from fever and other debilitating diseases, and may remember even long after, with feelings of dread, the horrid forms, which at intervals, during slow recovery, have grioned and chattered round our beds, advancing, receding, diminishing, or expanding with frightful distinctness; forms of the reality of which we had never the least suspicion, but which were not on that account the less disagreeable. We can speak for ourselves, since fifteen years of health have not effaced the remembrance of one terrific face, which haunted us on such an occasion. We do not of course speak now of the delirium of fever, which is akin to insanity, and seldom leaves any traces on the memory,

- but of that state of debilitated organization, which is perfectly consistent with sanity of judgment, though not with vigor of mind.

And this is the point, which it is necessary to keep in view in considering any of the remarkable cases of apparitions. Let us for instance take the visions of Baron Swedenborg. The common caviller treats the accounts with ridicule. The man was insane, and there is an end of the matter. But the Swedenborgian replies, and with justice, 'You must bring some other proof of this insanity. The person in question was a writer of admitted ability on many subjects; and though his peculiar doctrines may seem to you absurd, they appear to us rational and natural. You cannot therefore expect us to consider him insane, unless the fact of his believing himself to have seen the objects he describes, is a proof of insanity. Having satisfactory evidence both of his veracity and sanity as to all other matters, we are disposed to believe he saw, as he says he did, the appearances in question.'

. But the true question is not at all, whether Baron Swedenborg, or any other person, being at the time of sane mind, has seen, or more properly has had the distinct impression, of the apparition of a departed friend, or any other spiritual being, but simply whether such an apparition existed in a substantial form, so as to become an object of sense. And we take the negative of this question, simply because we find no evidence of the affirmative. All the evidence goes merely to prove the reality of the impression, and we know that impressions of this sort are frequently produced without any external

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prototype, and that their occurrence may be in the regular course of nature. Our ideas concerning a fact of this kind in short belong to an old and familiar bundle. But to suppose the reality of the apparition is to begin to form a new one, to suppose an occasional creation and extinction of matter, or at least a new and strange combination of elements. For what is the substance of the apparition ? Is it air, gifted for the occasion with a new property, that of being visible? Is it a liquid of any kind ? It may be said that it is a spiritual body. But, as the definition of spirit is that which is not matter,' and as we know nothing of matter but its sensible properties, and this spiritual body by definition must be without them, of course it must be something else, a sort of tertium quid, to use the language of the schools. Thus we only bewilder ourselves; but on the other hand we find no difficulty. We can hear of spectral apparitions, without believing in the real presence of the spectre, or without taking the narrator, whose sense and sanity we have no other reason to doubt, to be an impostor, a fool, or a' madman. Common testimony is sufficient to satisfy us, as to the impression ; no human testimony is sufficient to satisfy us of any thing more. Should the man, we most respect in the world, say to us, 'I see a hand you cannot see,' we should feel perfectly satisfied that we did not see it only because it was not present. We have particularized the visions of Swedenborg, because an inference is attempted to be drawn from them in favor of the peculiar doctrines of that writer. It is argued, that since he was gisted with so unusual a faculty, as that of seeing and holding communication with spiritual beings, his doctrines are not to be considered so much his own, as communications from the world of spirits. Now to deny the presence of spirits in a sensible form, is not to deny his communication with them, since it is quite obvious that it is as easy, and a much more probable supposition, that the necessary impression should have been effected upon the mind of Swedenborg directly, than by the mediate, not to call it clumsy, arrangement of a created form. But in this case the visions are resolved into a form or mode of inspiration, and can add nothing to the evidence of his doctrines. If the doctrines themselves, and the character and conduct of the person, are such as to induce any one to believe him inspired, it is well ; but to say that his having visions of such a character adds any


thing to the evidence, is reasoning in a circle. It is to say that the fact of his inspiration proves his having been inspired.

It may be thought by some that this point would hardly require so many words. And we should have thought so ourselves, had we not occasionally heard persons, whose good sense and judgment we have reason to respect, seriously urging the well attested character of the visions of Swedenborg as an argument for the truth of his peculiar doctrines. Nothing seems to us clearer, or more in accordance with well-known phenomena, than that this writer, in common with many others, having adopted the opinion, that the spirits of the departed still continue to be interested in those whom they have left behind them, and having his bodily organs by habits of study and meditation brought into a state favorable for morbid impressions, found the forms, which had long haunted his imagination, at length assume the distinctness of reality; and that the intellectual panorama, which thus surrounded him, was as much the reflection of his own mind, as his image in a mirror would have been

that of his body.

. * Nor do either the opinions, or the effects surprise us.

* It may seem like pointing artillery at insects to argue against any faith in the supernatural character of dreams; but a vague superstition of this kind certainly has some ground in the cominunity, and it is very lately that we have noticed in a respectable periodical journal, a remark that the connexion of some dreams with after events cannot be considered accidental. Now it seems to us, that the opposite conclusion is most logical. For if we allow one dream a month to each of the inhabitants of the state of Massachusetts, (and certainly if we take the whole population, young and old, sick and well, male and female, it is a small allowance,) we shall have about six millions of dreams per annum. If again we extend this to the civilized world, and to the last century, the amount will pass the ordinary bounds of the numeration table; and in all this extent of space and time, how few dreams have been recorded as remarkable for their apparent connexion with the events of the world. It is only surprising that there are so few coincidences under the ordinary doctrine of chances. But some good and pious persons seem to look upon skepticism in this matter, as a covert argument or inference against the doctrine of a particular providence. Now the doctrine of a particular providence is taught very expressly in the Scriptures, and morever is a necessary inference from the attributes of the Deity; and the notion of a general, as distinguished from a particular providence, has arisen merely from the limited character of our own powers, which oblige us to act in relation to any extended concern, upon a certain preärranged system, and by means of subordinate agents, all which




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The latter are sufficiently explicable, on the principles already detailed; and as to the opinions, they are such as seem to us in the highest degree attractive to the philosophic mind, as well as the affectionate heart. To the affections indeed they are uncommonly delightful. To have lost a friend by death, says the most exquisite of modern writers, while the mutual regard was warm and unchilled, while the tear can drop unembittered by any painful recollection of coldness or distrust or treachery, is perhaps an escape from a more heavy dispensation. How few do we see grow old in the affections of those with whom their early friendships were formed; our sources of common pleasure gradually dry up as we journey on through the vale of Baca ; and we hew out to ourselves other reservoirs, from which the first companions of our pilgrimage are excluded ; jealousies, rivalries, envy, intervene to separate others from our side, until none remain but those who are connected with us rather by habit than predilection, or who, allied more in blood than in disposition, keep the old man company in his life, that they may not be forgotten at his death. But it is not only in the chill, cloudy, and comfortless evening of life,' that we feel the melancholy truths of the Antiquary's philosophy. We need not wait till we find ourselves descending the hill of life; we have hardly reached the table-land of existence before we find our little bevy of companions sadly diminished, and feel that the breaches can never in this world be repaired. Friendship is a plant too delicate for any but the soil of youth, and of too slow growth for the afternoon of life; it cannot like the gourd of the prophet, spring up in a night; and the places of the friends of our youth, once vacated, are never filled again. What consideration can be more gratifying than that which per



are of course unnecessary to omniscience or omnipotence. Still, the minds which are given to human beings would be useless to them, unless the events of the universe, as far as they come under their cognizance, proceeded with that uniformity and apparent dependence, which we term the effects of general laws. If your Alexandrian books,' said Omar, agree with the Koran, they are superfluous; if otherwise, they must be hurtful.' If the dream points out any course of action different from that, which the reason and revelation that all admit to be of divine origin, would recommend, its authority is doubtful, and its influence dangerous; and while we have these, neither ghost nor dream is wanted to teach us lessons either of wisdom or virtue.

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