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 “I choose the nobler part of Emerson, when, after various disenchantments, he

exclaimed, ‘I covet Truth.’ The gladness of true heroism visits the heart of him who is

really competent to say this.” — TYNDALL.

“A testimony is sufficient when it rests on:

1st. A great number of very sensible witnesses who agree in having seen well.

2d. Who are sane, bodily and mentally.

3d. Who are impartial and disinterested.

4th. Who unanimously agree.

5th. Who solemnly certify to the fact.” — VOLTAIRE, Dictiannaire Philosophique.  THE Count Agenor de Gasparin is a devoted Protestant. His battle with des Mousseaux, de Mirville and other fanatics who laid the whole of the spiritual phenomena at the door of Satan, was long and fierce. Two volumes of over fifteen hundred pages are the result, proving the effects, denying the cause, and employing superhuman efforts to invent every other possible explanation that could be suggested rather than the true one.

The severe rebuke received by the Journal des Debats from M. de Gasparin, was read by all civilized Europe. After that gentleman had minutely described numerous manifestations that he had witnessed himself, this journal very impertinently proposed to the authorities in France to send all those who, after having read the fine analysis of the “spiritual hallucinations” published by Faraday, should insist on crediting this delusion, to the lunatic asylum for Incurables. “Take care,” wrote de Gasparin in answer, “the representatives of the exact sciences are on their way to become . . . the Inquisitors of our days. . . . Facts are stronger than Academies. Rejected, denied, mocked, they nevertheless are facts, and do exist.”

The following affirmations of physical phenomena, as witnessed by himself and Professor Thury, may be found in de Gasparin’s voluminous work.

“The experimenters have often seen the legs of the table glued, so to say, to the floor, and, notwithstanding the excitement of those present, refuse to be moved from their place. On other occasions they have seen the tables levitated in quite an energetic way. They heard, with their own

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ears, loud as well as gentle raps, the former threatening to shatter the table to pieces on account of their violence, the latter so soft as to become hardly perceptible. . . . As to LEVITATIONS WITHOUT CONTACT, we found means to produce them easily, and with success. . . . And such levitations do not pertain to isolated results. We have reproduced them over THIRTY times. . . . One day the table will turn, and lift its legs successively, its weight being augmented by a man weighing eighty-seven kilogrammes seated on it; another time it will remain motionless and immovable, notwithstanding that the person placed on it weighs but sixty.. . . On one occasion we willed it to turn upside down, and it turned over, with its legs in the air, notwithstanding that our fingers never touched it once.”

“It is certain,” remarks de Mirville, “that a man who had repeatedly witnessed such a phenomenon, could not accept the fine analysis of the English physicist.”

Since 1850, des Mousseaux and de Mirville, uncompromising Roman Catholics, have published many volumes whose titles are cleverly contrived to attract public attention. They betray on the part of the authors a very serious alarm, which, moreover, they take no pains to conceal. Were it possible to consider the phenomena spurious, the church of Rome would never have gone so much out of her way to repress them.

Both sides having agreed upon the facts, leaving skeptics out of the question, people could divide themselves into but two parties: the believers in the direct agency of the devil, and the believers in disembodied and other spirits. The fact alone, that theology dreaded a great deal more the revelations which might come through this mysterious agency than all the threatening “conflicts” with Science and the categorical denials of the latter, ought to have opened the eyes of the most skeptical. The church of Rome has never been either credulous or cowardly, as is abundantly proved by the Machiavellism which marks her policy. Moreover, she has never troubled herself much about the clever prestidigitateurs whom she knew to be simply adepts in juggling. Robert Houdin, Comte, Hamilton and Bosco, slept secure in their beds, while she persecuted such men as Paracelsus, Cagliostro, and Mesmer, the Hermetic philosophers and mystics — and effectually stopped every genuine manifestation of an occult nature by killing the mediums.

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