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Letters to the Editor., I

MATERIALIST OR SPIRITUALIST?

THE NATIONAL RESERVE.

COUNTY SCHOOL r. ROBERTSTOWN.

! THE TRUTH ABOUT AUSTRALIA

EDUCATIONAL TOPICS.

jABERCWMBOI WATER FAMINE.

SPIRITUALISM AND SCIENCE

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SPIRITUALISM AND SCIENCE (Continued). Sir,-Before dealing with the exper- iences and testimonies of eminent scientists a word needs to be said on the effect of Spiritualism's phenomena oi the minds of scientists who are rigid Materialists in their philosophic con- cept of life. We have instances where it was instrumental in transforming the outlooks on life of men that required something very definite to change them, men which would be unaffected by the collective eloquence of the ministers of Abercynon. In order to substantiate that claim I will mention three cases only. Professor C. Lombroso, the well- known Italian criminologist, is one. "There was a time," he said in an arti- cle he contributed to the Grand Maga- zine some time ago, entitled, "Why I became a Spiritualist," "when Spiritu- alism had no fiercer opponent than I. Any manifestation of force without matter or of functions without organs was not for a moment to be thought of seriously. My life had been conse- crated to Positivist doctrines; to the demonstration that thought is an eman- ation from the brains." He goes on to say that in 1892 he encountered, in the course of his medical practice, one of the most extraordinary cases it had been his lot to see. He was summoned to attend a patient-a girl—whose ill- ness showed symptoms which neither physiology nor pathology could furnish any clear explanation. He says: "With mathematical accuracy she was able to piophesy what was about to happen to her. Thus, on one occasion, she de- clared that exactly a fortnight hence, at nine o'clock, she would completely lose the faculty of walking. It so hap- pened to the minute." He goes on to recount his experiences with a famous medium at Naples. The wonderful things which occurred in the seances with this medium were tested by him with scientific instruments, and he clearly realised that "nothing in oui present stock of knowledge can explain them as M. Ermacora, who has studied Spiritualism far more profoundly than I have, demonstrated to me clearly." H* then makes this definite confession of accepting Spiritualism "It was only, I repeat, after such occurrences as these, and especially after seeing the experiments of Crooks, with Home and Katie King, as well as those of Ricket and others, that I felt myself compelled t) yield to the conviction that Spiritu- alistic phenomena, if due in great part to the influence of the medium, are likewise attributable to the influence of extra-terrestrial existences. The conclusion of his intelligent and lucid article is thus: "The phenomena 10 frequently observed of levitation and movement of objects, that is to say, oi the inversion or upsetting of the laii- of gravity, of impermeability of matter, and of time and space, suggest that the influence of the medium in a state of trance may be powerful enough to up- set and change, within his neighbour- hood, what we understand by the laws of space of three dimensions, substitut- ing for these laws those of space of four dimensions of the mathematicians- that is to say, proving experimentally correct what was before but a mathem- atical hypothesis." The editor in a foreword to thia article says that Professor Lomhrosor con- fession of scientific faith here set forth may mark a turning point in the evolu- tion of thought." What a trenchant confutation of the milky conjectures of the Abercynon apostles of the gospel of daikness and ignorance, of doubt and despair! Later on in life Lombroso wrote a volume, "After death—what?", where- in he states "that the facts which came under his notice when attending seances forced him, in spite of himself, to give up his old position—that of material- ism—and to accept an entirely opposite view of life and of the universe. What Lombroso has said is similarly said by the other two scientists, so will but briefly quote their statements. Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, the ven- erated name in English natural philoso- phy and science, was a confirmed philo- sophic materialist, rejoicing in the works of Voltaire, Strauss and Vogt prior to his coming in touch with the phenomena of Spiritualism. When he did then he was also obliged to revise hl outlook on man and existence. "Facts are stubborn things," Wallace says in this connection, "they beat me." Again he says thus: "My posi- tion, therefore, is that the phenomena of Spiritualism, in their entirety, do not further require confirmation. They are proved quite as well as any facts are proved in other sciences. No earnest and patient enquirer has ever come to a conclusion adverse to the reality of the phenomena, and no Spiritualist has ever given them up as false. Spiritualism clearly ex- Elains the long series of facts in uman history, and unfolds a noble and asp.ti,sfying theory of a future life. The cardinal maxim of Spiritualism is, that everyone must find out the truth for himself. It makes no claim to be received on hearsay evidence, but on th other hand, it demands that it be not rejected without patient, honest and fearless enquiry."—Yours, etc., G. E. OWEN. i-To be continued.)

No Looking Back in Aberdare.

-----'----Death in Australia.

Waifs and Strays.j

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Counting-House Broken Into.

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