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table rose in the air, while another of such“ a highly impressionable (who had been watching its feet) is nervous organization" as to be thus confident that it never left the deluded without being positively ground; a whole party of believers insane. Yet Dr. Hammond quotes will affirm that they saw Mr. Home equally astounding things from a float out of one window and ip at lecturer on pbrenology and animal another, whilst a single bonest magnetism, who has the greatest sceptic declares that Mr. Home was contempt for spiritism. sitting in his chair all the time." Dr. Hammond gives a good

To illustrate the way in which account of the experiments made persons are sometimes unconsci- by Mr. Crookes with regard to the ously misled by a strong mental pre variations in the weight of bodies possession, Dr. Hammond relates produced by what he terms psychic the following incident :

force. After a careful consideration "I took a small oblong Japanese table

of the experiments performed by so weighing only a pound and a half, and

accurate and trustworthy au invesin the presence of a young man of a

tigator as Mr. Crookes, and athighly impressionable nervous organiza tested as to the material facts by ation, and hence peculiarly well fitted 80 cautious an observer as Mr. to be acted upon by the force of sug. Huggins, he has arrived at the gestion, placed it upon the floor of my conclusion that to that extent they consulting room, raising a corner of

are correct, and that “ Mr. Home the rug so that it could rest upon the bare floor. I then said to him, 'I am

was capable, without the exertion of going to make this table so heavy that

muscular force, of so acting on the you cannot raise it: please give me your spring balance through the medium attention for a few minutes.

of the board as to indicate an in“ I then placed the ends of my fingers crease of weight.” Having made of both hands on the table and stood in this liberal concession, he thus prothat position for about fifteen minutes. ceeds :During this procedure, the young man looked at the table and me with the

“ But in admitting the facts, we go greatest interest, and when I saw from

as far as it is possible to advance withthe expression of his face that his at.

out meeting with uncertainties and tention was sufficiently concentrated, I

assumptions. To attribute the falling removed my hands and told him the

of the index of the spring balance to table was now fastened to the floor, and

spiritual agency is about as sensible that he could not lift it. He took hold of the light object with both hands, and

as to allege its causation by lunar

influence. Indeed, far less so, for we appeared to be making strong efforts to

know that the moon does exert a very raise it from the floor, but he could not,

powerful effect upon the earth, and we and I saw that so far from endeavouring to lift it as he supposed he was doing,

have no satisfactory evidence to show he was in reality pressing it with all his

that spiritual beings affect in any way

the substances belonging to our planet, might towards the floor. Finally he

or even that such beings exist. Neither broke the top of the table in balf, not

is Mr. Crookes much more happy with by holding, but by pushing. He then

his ' psychic force. Because a spring desisted from his exertions and asked

balance with a board attached to it me to lighten the table so that he could lift it. I made a few passes over it,

indicates increased weight when a

person touches the arrangement in the and then telling him he could raise it

manner described, that is certainly no easily, he took hold of it and succeeded of course, without any appreciable ex

adequate reason for rushing to the con

clusion that a new force has been ertion."

discovered. Mr. Huggins, while ad

mitting the facts, exercises a proper This seems scarcely credible. One

degree of philosophical caution when would think there are not many he declines to express an opinion rela

tive to the cause of the phenomenon. There are so many ways in which known forces manifest themselves, and so little is known of the laws which

govern them, that Mr. Crookes might, for the present, with safety and propriety, have held his opinion in abeyance. Of course such a thing as a 'psychic force' is possible. But possibilities and actualities are very different things, and it will require much more evidence than that now submitted to remove Mr. Crookes's new power from the one category to the other.

"But the best evidence against the existence of spiritualistic force in the matter of Mr. Crookes's experiment, is the fact that the index can be made to move in the way and probably to the extent mentioned by him by similar pressure exerted by many persons not pretenders to mediumistic powers, and in whom there is no evidence tending to show the existence of any hitherto unknown force."

Experimenting with an apparatus like Mr. Crookes's, Dr. Hammond succeeded in producing similar variations of weight by means of electricity, and he thinks it not improbable that Mr. Home may have exercised sufficient electric force to have produced the observed results. Be this correct or not, there is no warrant for the assumption of a psychic or spiritual force. The ut most that can with reason be main tained is, that there is some force in operation, the laws of which have not yet been ascertained-in short, an unknown force. To call it psychic or spiritual conveys no real knowledge, and suggests all sorts of fallacious notions.

Reason and Revelation. Being an Examination into the Nature and Contents of Scripture Revelation as Compared with other forms of Truth. By W. Horne, M.A. H. S. King and Co., 1876.-Some years ago a prize of £100 was offered by a

gentleman, who did not make known his name, for the best essay on "The Nature and Contents of

Scripture Revelation as Compared

with other Forms of Truth."


adjudicators awarded the prize to Mr. Horne, who has since re-written, enlarged, and remodelled his essay, which now forms a considerable volume. Mr. Horne, while admitting that many previous writers have fully discussed particular parts of the subject, claims the credit of being the first to treat it as a whole. He has certainly taken a wide range, as was perhaps inevitable from the extended and indeterminate character of the title given him. "The Nature and Contents considerable subject in itself, if of Scripture Revelation" is a pretty treated with any sort of thoroughness and completeness, to say nothing of "other Forms of Truth," which may embrace any branch of philosophy and science, if not history, biography, and every-day news. In fact, it is hard to say what may not be included within such elastic limits. Mr. Horne has treated, not so much of one subject as of many and various topics. He says his object has "been that of comparing the flitting images and apparent (query, apparently?) broken outlines of truth which come to us from various sources." It was a natural, if not necessary result of including so many subjects within his scope, that he should not have discussed any one of them otherwise than in very fragmentary fashion. He touches upon mythology, ancient and modern theism, conscience, miracles, prophecy, inspiration, the consciousness of spiritual facts, the Bible and theology, the Bible and science, Christianity and morality, and various other matters. Strange to say, out of nineteen chapters, he has only one on "The Contents of the Bible."

Mr. Horne objects to the popular

conception of revelation “ as a com- in the ordinary course of events," munication of a set of doctrines he does not explain, still less does contained in a particular book," and he furnish any sort of proof of the prefers regarding it as "the unveil- correctness of his view, though he ing of the divine through spiritual says "prove all things” is an facts made luminous in the ordinary essential part of the teaching of course of events, whether in nature Christianity. One of the most or in history." This may wear marked features of his volume is rather a startling aspect for some, the dearth of argument in support but other portions of the volume of the assertions made throughout show plainly enough that on the it. The writer repeatedly says main points of religious belief Mr. be has proved this and that in Horne does not differ from the previous pages; but on turning generality of Christians. He is back to them, we have found no. more mystical than sceptical. It is thing beyond bare assertion. His to be regretted that he has not ex- notion of proof is evidently differpressed his views with such distinct- ent from the ordinary one. Logic ness and precision as to be clearly is a study to which he appears to understood by all. He talks much have devoted little attention, otherabout spiritual facts, spiritual ex- wise he would surely have been periences, spiritual consciousness, more precise in his statements, and spiritual manifestation, the spiritual more careful to substantiate them faculty, and so forth, without giving by intelligible and legitimate arguany precise definition of the sense ment. he attaches to the word spiritual, The following passage may be which in these days has various taken as comprising the main drift meanings. He does, indeed, give a of the whole work :negative description of what he means: “ The character of the

• There never has been an objection, spiritual is such that the common that could bear looking at, brought eye cannot discern it, and the ordi- against Christianity as a spiritual renary course of things cannot suggest ligion. Without exception they have it to the mind of man.But this been objections brought against many is hardly precise enough, because it things which a false theology has bound may without violence be said of the

up with religion. With ill-directed proceedings at spiritualistic séances,

generosity men have undertaken to

support as universal truths, and even and even the performances of con- as vitally united with a spiritual jurors. Elsewhere Mr. Horne says, revelation, statements that are merely “There are impressions produced the historical facts of the growth of upon men from a sphere outside intelligence. They have themselves that of the visual, the tactual, believed, and made others imagine, or any other form of the merely through these facts, and have involved

that spiritual truth might be assailed sensible sphere.” Those who have experienced such impressions may

themselves in questionable answers to

objections that were pointless so far as understand Mr. Horne's meaning, regards the main question at issue. It but others—and they are many, ac

'may be granted, once for all, that you cording to his own confession- can match the early myths of the whose "consciousness is a great

Hebrews with those of neighbouring blank on supersensuous things,” will

nations, that the Phænicians, Egyp-, find it impossible to enter into the

tians, Chaidees, and others with whom mystical phraseology with which his they came into contact, contributed to book abounds. How he supposes

their intellectual growth, and furnished

them with a body of tales and systems "spiritual facts "are “made luminous of beliefs that were interwoven with


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those of native origin; that you may a people who had the knowledge of find a cosmogony and the story of a God which they are reported to have flood in every nation ; that you may had, it is an objection that tells undiscover the exact counterpart of the mistakably against the view of Divine story of Eden in many lands, and the guidance in every act of life and thought principle underlying it in almost all ; that has just been noticed. An answer that you may convict the Hebrew to an objection like this is precluded writers of as childish views of heaven to those who contend for guidance in and earth as other people, of as un- every point. It is not open to them, as worthy and degrading superstitions, or it would otherwise be, to say, who cares of beliefs as fantastical as those to to defend the moral development of whom no revelation such as theirs the Jews any more than their intel

But no candid reader of the lectual development ? We do not seek Bible would look for anything else. to defend such developments elsewhere. There is evident among the Jews a The proper course here, as elsewhere, spiritual development, but there is no is explanation, not defence. Espesign of a special immunity from error cially is it dangerous to defend this in thought on ordinary experiences. feature of Jewish history, as Mr. Man.' In the life eternal they were taught of sel has done, by the extravagant supGod, as we must all be, if we position of a moral miracle-by what, taught at all; in the knowledge of the to us, is worse than the act that is sensible world around them they were sought to be defended—the idea that taught as men from the beginning murder may be a temporary suspension have been, and, to all appearances, to of morals and consistent with eternal the end will be taught, viz., through morality. I shall have to notice elsegradual accumulations of experiences, where this notion of eternal morality; and by careful and methodical com- but I may say here that explanations parisons. Knowledge in itself, that is intended to smooth such acts down as not the result of inquiry and thought, the result of special precepts cannot is not so great a gain. A greater gain escape the prime difficulty, that they than any special knowledge is the cul- are expressions of a moral nature, tivation and perfection of our powers which we are bound to interpret by of knowing If, therefore, the He- these manifestations of itself.” brews were exempted from pursuing the common road to wisdom, as some One cannot but be amused at appear to think, we

cannot envy

the easy confidence with which the them, since they must have missed author lays down the law, declaring the chief end of the acquisition of (but not proving) that objections wisdom, the cultivation and perfection of their mental and moral nature.

will not “bear looking at,” sumIt is only by the exercise of any

marily brushing aside the prevalent function that its ideal excellence can

belief as “a false theology," and be realized, and we have no reason to autocratically condemning the course think that the Jews were deprived of adopted by other writers with the the only means by which their powers curt observation, that “ The

proper of observation and thought could be

course here, as elsewhere, is eximproved. A spiritual advantage that implies an irreparable intellectual loss

planation, not defence,” without, of this kind would be, as we are con

however, furnishing the required stituted, a questionable gain.

explanation. It is all very well for “This appears to be the place for him to deny the vital union of spiriremarking that, when it is objected, as tual truth with what he obscurely it often has been, against the Jewish describes as “merely the historical religion and revelation, that the Jews. facts of the growth of intelligence;". in their treatment of the Canaanites,

but he is scarcely reasonable if he and in their exultation over deeds of cruelty, as, for example, in one of their expects bis solitary denial to outearliest and most vigorous and appa

weigh the judgment of writers on rently most genuine songs, exhibit a

both sides, without at least some condition of morality that is unworthy explanation and argument. To make

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his denial good, he should have shown in one or two instances how the spiritual truth could be separated from the other materials in which it is embedded, and with which it is incorporated, a task to which many have acknowledged themselves unequal.

It is a strange idea to suppose that any have undertaken to support the statements of Scripture that clash with modern ideas, simply out of " ill-directed generosity." Can Mr. Horne suppose for moment that any Christian advocate ever intentionally gave the opposing party an undue advantage in argument? He tells us that the account in Genesis of the Creation is a hymn probably based upon 66 some older and cruder and more mythical forms," and, in point of scientific truth, it is not superior to other cosmogonies. What alone raises it above them is "a spiritual and Divine element;" but he gives

more specific account of this element, nor does he explain how it may be detected and elicited from the crude mythology in which it is embodied.

From the remark as to the Jews, that "In the life eternal they were taught of God, as we must all be," it would seem to be Mr. Horne's opinion that there was nothing more special about the revelation made to them than is experienced every day by ordinary Christians. This in itself is enough to startle some good people, and it is rendered still more startling by the further observation, that the spiritual knowledge thus communicated to them was no great gain compared with the advantage of ordinary knowledge acquired by the exercise of inquiry and thought.

Mr. Horne, like many before him, says there is no contradiction between the Bible and science, but only between "men's views of the Bible and science." The question

then comes as to whose views of the Bible are correct. Amid so many conflicting notions, which is one to choose? If positive assertion be a proof of truth, Mr. Horne may fairly claim undoubting allegiance. Unfortunately, he himself confesses truth has not yet been reached anywhere, and goes so far as to say, "I am persuaded Christianity has yet to be expounded." These are astounding statements, especially taken in connection with the confident tone of easy assumption in which Mr. Horne writes. If, after all the years of earnest investigation and patient thought bestowed upon Christianity as revealed in Scripture, the so-called revelation is still an unsolved enigma, what hope is there of our ever understanding it aright? Mr. Horne supplies no clue for our guidance, beyond such oracular sayings as, that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual, and must be spiritually discerned by "a Divine consciousness, a spiritual susceptibility," and that, "If we live in Him, then, through the spirit that proceeds from Him and God, we may be shown the deep things of God."

Mr. Horne shows an extensive acquaintance with philosophical and religious writers, and an intelligent appreciation of their views. His kindly spirit towards all, however mistaken he may deem them, is much to be admired.

He rather pities than blames those who, not having any experience of that "Divine consciousness" which enables some "to see the spiritual world as really and truly as we now see the earthly," cannot go with him in his confident persuasion of having reached the right view of Scripture and other forms of trutika

"In æsthetics, Schiller says, we nee 'a heart which feels, and puts in force the whole power of the beautiful; ' sa in spiritual truths also we must have capacity-a Divine consciousness

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