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(1 Chron. ii, 34-41,) and left children of full birth; and the fact also that certain persons were excluded from entering the congregation, implying that all others might so enter,—these considerations make it probable that some naturalizing process was going on, by which the foreigner who worshiped Jehovah and lived in the land could belong to one of the tribes and become to all intents an Israelite. We notice that Saalschütz inclines to accept such a naturalization as a fact, but it cannot be confidently affirmed. Such a usage would,
f common, in the end put all slavery on the same ground, for it cannot be supposed that the foreign slave and his offspring would cleave long to their native religion, so long as the Jews themselves kept up their faith in their own.]
ARTICLE V.-ARE THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITUALISM
Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World, with Narrative Illustrations. By ROBERT DALE OWEN. Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott & Co.
It is a striking illustration of the prominence gained by the inodern school of Spiritualism, that its newly coined use of that term is recognized in the latest editions of the two rival Anglo-American dictionaries. Ten years ago the term Spiritualism was contined to a theory of mental philosophy, and was hardly known to the upscientific world. It was vaguely used as the opposite of Sensationalism, and more particularly to denote the Idealism of Berkeley, or the Egoism of Fichte. Cousin gives the term a somewhat wider range. He speaks of opposing the “ modern Sensualism” of Locke, with the “ modern Spiritualism ” of Reid and Kant; and he characterizes the pbilosophy of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, and their succéssors, in general terms, as “the Spiritnalistic school” of the seventeenth century.* Chalybäus speaks of Descartes," the originator of a Platonizing view of the doctrine of innate ideas,”-as having adopted “the Spiritualistic tendency in philosophy.”+ Cudworth styles those “Spiritualists" who “allegorize away the facts of Christianity.” Brande limits the term Spiritualism to the idealistic refinements of Berkeley and Fichte.
Thus restricted, and indeed hardly legitimated by usage, “Spiritualism" was, till recently, a technical term of mental science. Now, however, the new edition of Dr. Worcester's Dictionary authorizes the use of this word for “the doctrine that departed spirits hold communication with men.” And the appendix to the new edition of Webster's Dictionary states that “this term is now often applied to the doctrine that a direct intercourse can be maintained with departed spirits through the agency of persons called mediums, who are supposed to have a peculiar susceptibility for such communications.” A doctrine which has thus early won for itself a place in the vocabulary of psychological science, and which has given a new and almost exclusive meaning to a dormant term of philosophy, can hardly be treated as ephemeral or insignificant. Whatever pretensions and impostures may have been put forth in connection with modern Spiritualism, the system presents phenomena that demand thorough scientific investigation, and it has also theological and practical bearings that cannot be disregarded. The Mythical theory—which would resolve the miracles of the New Testainent into popular legends, or into “unconscious fictions” of the Evangelists, whose imaginations were kindled by “religious enthusiasın,"* -does not more directly assail the authenticity and authority of the Bible as a revelation from God, than does the tendency of modern Spiritualism to refer non-natural and unexplained phenomena to supernatural interference; or the mechanical theory of Supernaturalism, which regards such ultra-mundane interference as periodical, if not systematic, and in accordance with some law of variations, which, thongh it cannot be defined, is as real as that which appears in Babbage's calculating machine. The last is the theory that Mr. Owen favors in the volume which we propose to review.
* Cousin, History of Modern Philosophy, Sec. 11th, 12th, and 25th. + Chalybäus, History of Speculative Philosophy. Introd.
Mr. Owen's work is divided into six books, but consists really of four principal parts. Of these the first is devoted to the question of the possibility of “ultra-mundane interference," which the author argues with much apparent candor, but with more of subtle ingenuity, through a hundred pages. The second part consumes the next hundred pages in a discussion of certain phases of sleep, especially somnambulism and remarkable dreams. The third part consists mainly of narratives touching mysterious disturbances, hallucinations, and apparitions of the living and the dead, with their physical and mental consequences. These are classified in three books, and cover one hundred and fifty pages. The fourth part, which is the author's sixth book, presents the results of his discussion in his theory of “the change at death,” and the nature and occupations of the future state. We shall not attempt to follow him minutely over all the ground thus traversed in five hundred closely printed pages, but shall confine the discussion chiefly to certain fundamental principles of supernatural agency, and the philosophical tests of the facts alleged in his narrative.
In discussing the relations of man to the supernatural world and of supernatural agencies to man, it is of the utmost importance to define terms with accuracy, and to lay down the principles of evidence by which the supernatural must be tested. This Mr. Owen attempts to do in his first book. In the first place he distinguishes between the supernatural and the miraculous, and meets Mr. Hume's objection to miracles by rejecting the common notion of a miracle, that it is “a temporary suspension, by special intervention of the Deity, of one or more of the laws which govern the universe." In other words, Mr. Owen does not believe that a miracle, in the common understanding of the term, has ever occurred; but regards the phenomena called miracles as ultra-mundane events projected into the sphere of our world by some law of the spiritual world, which first inanifests itself to our apprehension through these phenomena. And, secondly, he distinguishes between the supernatural and the ultra-mundane; or rather, if we understand him, he rejects entirely the idea of the supernatural, in any proper sense of that term, and believes simply in “appearances or agencies of an ultra-mundane character.” After alleging that “Spiritual agency, if such there be, is not miraculous," he affirms that its phenomena “are as inach the result of natural law as is a rainbow or a thunder-clap;" and that “believers in their existence should cease to attach to them any inkling of the supernatural.”* Again, he says, that “if the Deity is now permitting communication between mortal creatures in this stage of existence and disembodied spirits in another, He is employing natural causes and general laws to effect his object; not resorting for that purpose to the occasional and the miraculous."* To provide for such phenomena, Mr. Owen argues that “there may be laws not yet in operation," and, also, “change-bearing laws,” or “laws self-adapted to a changeful state of things.”+ His reply to Hume's sophism with regard to human testimony is in some points admirable ; but when he goes to the extent of making almost any alleged marvel credible by the supposition that it is not supernatural but only some new phase of universal law, Mr. Owen as really denies the miracles of the Bible and their testimony to a Divine Revelation, as does Mr. Hume himself. Mr. Hume rejects the miracle as un-natural; Mr. Owen sinks it in the merely natural. Our discussion at the outset, therefore, concerns the fact of the Supernatural, and the nature and characteristics of a miracle.
* p. 88.
We hold that nothing is more natural to man than a belief in the Supernatural. Hardly does the soul awake to consciousness, when it begins to question itself as to its possible relations to a spiritual world. And deep and earnest are those questionings, even in the rudest minds. The thinking essence within us, the conscious ego, early learns to distinguish itself from the body through which, and the material objects upon which, it acts. Finding in its own properties the proof of a substance distinct from matter, it argues the existence of a spiritual Power superior to matter, the Author of the material universe and its laws. Knowing that its own existence is not self-derived, but is proof of a superior Power, it knows also that that Power must be Spiritual. Paul reasoned thus with the Athenians, from their own philosophy. “Certain of your own poets have said, We are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.” In an important sense it is true
* p. 89.
+ p. 80.