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PREFACE,

BY THE TRANSLATOR.

THERE will be doubtless many, into whose hands this work may fall, who will be ready to in-quire, “What does it concern me, whether I believe in appearances from the invisible world or not? and what benefit can society derive from the publication of such a work ?"

To this, it is briefly replied, that its object is, first of all, to overthrow the system of Materialism and consequent Infidelity, which is so alarmingly prevalent ; secondly, to place undeniable supernatural phenomena upon their proper basis, which, at this juncture is peculiarly needful ; thirdly, to cast a clear and evident light upon the state of the soul after death, respecting which, such great and dangerous mistakes are made, and such wilful ignorance prevails; and, lastly, by such a variety of solemn considerations, to promote personal holiness in the heart and life. The work has therefore reference, more or less, to every individual, and the Translator feels persuaded, that an impartial perusal of its pages, will convince the reader of its inportance and utility.

It is true, the subject is unpopular, and it has been opposed, even recently, by several learned men, who have endeavoured to bring it into still greater disrepute; but it is in vain to argue against well-authenticated facts, or from natural data, to judge of that which is spiritual. Scarcely is there an individual, who passes through life, without having either experienced something of the kind himself, or heard of such like appearances from credible testimony; and although many, deceived by false reasoning, may attribute all these to a disordered imagination, or to optical illusion, and be therefore inclined to reject every attempt to place the subject in a more conspicuous light: yet there are also some, who are still open to conviction, and dissatisfied with

the specious efforts that are made to explain away every manifestation from the world of spirits, will welcome a work which professes to draw aside the veil of obscurity, in which this highly important subject has been so long enveloped, and peruse it with seriousness and attention.

The most plausible theories are, however, of little real value, unless they are based on irrefragable premises; and our author has, therefore, not been wanting to adduce a series of well-authenticated facts to establish his positions. To these the Translator has added, in the notes, a variety of statements of a similar nature, extracted from other credible sources; that by the testimony of a number of witnesses, at different periods, and in various countries, the subject may be placed, as much as possible, beyond a doubt.

But should these various testimonies fail of producing entire conviction, or should the inquiring mind desire further information on topics so important: the writer has the pleasure to state, that since the translation of the present work, he has met with a most singular and remarkable proof of the different positions laid down by our Author, in a foreign publication of very recent date, which gives still greater insight into the nature of the spiritual world and its connexion with the material ; and should his present undertaking meet with a favourable reception, ne trusts, ere long, to be able to lay the work in question also before the public.

llerne Hill, 1st Jan. 1831.

CONTENTS.

PAGE.

INTRODUCTION.

Belief of all nations, in every age, in invisible influence.
— The objects of this belief corresponded with the national
character.-Hence the doubts of the existence of a world of
spirits.-Refutation of these doubts, and proofs of the real-
ity of a world of spirits. The Bible the genuine source of
truth. Various parties with respect to the belief of it.-
The first party receives the Holy Scriptures as a divine re-
velation, and is divided into two classes. The first believes
that all apparitions, since the time of the apostles, are de-
ceptions or illusions of Satan.—The second believes them
all, and attaches too much importance to such apparitions;
warning against it.—The second party subjects the Bible to
the criticism of reason, and reduces every thing to mere
morality. The third party believes nothing at all; it is the
most prevalent in the present day.—The intention of this
work has reference to all these parties. My motives for it.-
The first party is shown, that amongst so many thousand
deceptions, there are, notwithstanding, real apparitions.-
The second party must not regard every thing inexplicable
as natural; the causes of the most dreadful enthusiasm.-

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