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Under these circumstances, though I may wish that I had more of intellectual stores, and of medical knowledge in particular, by which to illustrate the subject, and to add authority to my words; and, though I regret that some minds, who might adorn the science, are, through various causes, little acquainted with it, or may even be ranked among its opponents, yet I willingly bear any raillery, or, though not insensibly, even graver censures, to which my attention to Magnetism may have exposed me, being fully satisfied that I have entered upon the investigation with a faithful mind; and in that spirit I commend it to the calm and candid judgment of my readers.





It is announced in prophecy not only that the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah; but also ny that knowledge -science in general-shall be increased or multiplied. With such a prediction before him, the believer in the Scriptures cannot but expect a great augmentation in mental activity, and in discoveries, being sure that a matter which has been deemed worthy of prophetic care must be in itself remarkable.

Without, then, wishing to concentrate too much the rays of prophetic light on our day, a danger against which we should carefully watch, it is yet reasonable for us to observe the openings of Providence, as connected with the Divine word. By this means our faith will be confirmed; and, instead of opposing science, or endeavouring to mould it to our pre-conceptions, we shall receive its revelations with the meekness of wisdom, with gratitude,

admiration, and a desire to use each fresh degree of information for the Divine glory and the good of men. Thus, in the best enjoyment of the present, we shall learn to revere the past, but to live for the future.

Yet, by the nature of the case, if knowledge is to be increased, the discoveries must come upon us as novelties; for what is already ascertained cannot be the subject of invention. This simple thought should prepare us for unexpected stores; while some points may be only the expansion of our present ideas, others will, of necessity, be of a character wholly unlooked for.

We all can bring to mind instances of this kind of inexperienced truth. In one sense, indeed, they are necessitated by the state of infancy from which we grow but here prescription and example teach us, and lead us on so gradually, that we do not perceive how much we are called to learn. But, in another, the world at large is to be a learner, and in this character it is inapt in understanding and slow of heart. It forgets that it, too, has its childhood, where, there being no visible parental guidance, and no teaching but from itself, it demurs at most things, is indisposed for progress, and doubts, if it oppose not, every truth, not because it is unreasonable, but because it is new.

It may be, too, that interests generally attach

themselves to things as they are.

Let but a frag

ment of cliff fall into the channel and soon it will be incrusted with sea-weed, and the limpet will find on it a home; even thus, whatever portion of knowledge, or of error, has descended to our times, quickly becomes the basis for spontaneous growths of advantages and plans.

Besides this, there is in novelty something startling to the human mind. It offends the pride by which we deemed ourselves already wise; it must break up some previous theory, and put us in the place of learners. Then man seeks about for reasons against intrusion. Ignorance wields such weapons as it can. gument could not. instrument than reason.

Ridicule may serve where ar-
And persecution is a readier
Man has forgotten his

sphere of honour as the minister and interpreter of Nature, and fails, through the excess of vanity, by making himself her arbiter. Great names are appealed to rather than just sentiments, and words are often used to mystify things.

It is, however, by no means intended by these observations to make light of the cautiousness due in the investigation of every novel truth. There is a spirit of scrutiny which is highly needful in all our reasonings, but which is especially proper in unexpected paths; and this in the degree in which they are unusual. To weigh, to pause, to

collect facts, to go only so far as, and no further than, the premises admit, this is essential to all the higher exercises of reason. We should scrutinize phenomena, as we would strangers coming to our door; but, then, we would not rudely refuse hospitality, knowing, that some have thereby entertained angels unawares. To theorize is a secondary consideration; too promptly, indeed, undertaken in the curious working of our minds, yet, after all, neither essential, nor ultimately definite, and offering only the formulæ of phenomena, not the primary causes of things. But this kind of patient inquiry must be carefully distinguished from the prejudices of ignorance. It is not the side on which error is usually found. It is, rather, an instructive speculation to observe how generally mankind have sought to smother and destroy the infancy of truth. Perhaps this hatred has been designed by a kind Providence to keep humble the men of radiant mind who have discovered it, and who are naturally enamoured of that which their genius has brought before them, and, at all events, we may learn the caution due from ourselves in reference to every unexamined statement, and to pray-Keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins. Nor is it only respecting truths actually new that we do well to exercise a cautious judgment. Things may be new to us which are well known to the world;

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