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Take courage, then, good reader, and knock at the portal of my enchanted castle, which will be opened to you, not by a grinning demon, but by a very civil person, in a black velvet

cap,

with whom you may pass an hour not disagreeably.

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Observe, however, that the following treatise is applicable, in its principles, to profane history, and to the delusions of individuals only. If any thing contained in the ensuing pages could be construed into the most indirect reference to theological discussions, the manuscript would have been committed, without mercy, to the flames.

What methods may have been employed by Providence, on extraordinary

occasions, to communicate with men, I do not presume to investigate; nor could I hope to display them in language equal to the numbers of our sweetest poet, with which I shall conclude these remarks:

And is there care in heaven? and is there love
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
That may compassion of their evils move?
There is : else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts. But O th’exceeding grace
Of highest God! that loves his creatures so,
And all his works with mercies doth embrace,
That blessed angels he sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foc.

How oft do they their silver bowers leave,
To come to succour us, that succour want?
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant?
They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
And their bright squadrons round about us plant,
And all for love, and nothing for reward :
O why should heavenly God to men have such regard ?

Faerie Queene, Cant. viii.

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THEORY

OF

APPARITIONS.

OF THE

THEORY OF APPARITIONS.

CHAPTER I.

Reality of spectral impressions General

laro of the system, to which they may be referred-Division of the subject-Spectral illusions eremplified.

I shall begin this discussion, by admiting, as an undeniable fact, that the forms of dead, or absent persons have been seen, and their voices have been heard, by witnesses whose testimony is entitled to belief,

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