Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

^ncewith common experience; for it must not be denied that 
gome few instances of the sort alluded to rest upon testimony, 
-in itself, thoroughly unimpeachable; nor is the import of the 
^yidence in these cases at all touched by the now well-under¬ 
stood doctrine concerning spectral illusions.7 
“Now the apneumatic argument virtually implies an impossi- 
pility of establishing the reality of spiritual communication by 
•anj amount of evidence. Suppose a departed spirit, the wife 
iof Oberlin,* for example, were permitted to attempt to converse 
Iwrith her husband, — not to establish a new revelation, not to 
j^splay divine power, but merely to exercise such potentiality 
j&S might pertain to a disembodied spirit, for her own and her 
husband’s edification and satisfaction. How could she do it, in 
face of the apneumatic theories under consideration? She 
to him, moves his furniture, touches his dress, his per- 
|§pn, — all automatic action of some brain en rapport with that 
locality! She sings, plays the guitar or piano, takes a pencil 
pd writes, and he sees the pencil in free space tracing his wife’s 
ptograph, — automatic still! She shows him a cloudy hand; 
a luminous form, and smiles and speaks as when in life; 
iat is, an optical illusion, or hallucination, or a particle exhaled 
|^om her body has impinged on his sensitive brain, and created 
^subjective vision. She communicates facts, past, present, and 
ifure, beyond the scope, of his knowledge; that might be clair¬ 
voyance or cerebral sensing. Alas! then, what could she do 
[pre? She must retire baffled, and complaining that he had 
[come so scientific that all communication with him was 
mp os sib le. 
F'‘‘But if the denial of the pneumatic hypothesis be unphilo- 
töphical, it is no less unscriptural.” 
y * Hie philanthrop e Oberlin (1735-1806) was a Spiritualist, and claimed to have fre¬ 
ist imerv ews with the spirit of his departed wife. When asked how he could dis- 
aguish h s wife’s appearance from dreams, he said to his inquirers, “How can you 
Lt.nguisb one color from another?” He told them that they might as well try to 
made it was not a table at which they sat, as that he did not receive these visits 
his wife. At the same time, Oberlin was remarkably free from any trace of mys* 
or fanaticism. He was, in the best sense of the word, a practical man.


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