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exercise of observation and reasoning is slow, toilsome, and difficult, the exercise of imagination is quick, easy, and pleasant; and how largely, therefore, the scanty supplies of the former are immediately supplemented by the lavish profusions of the latter.

II. Causes which lie in the operations of the unsound mind, and which fall naturally under the two principal headings of

1. Hallucinations and Illusions.
2. Mania and Delusions.

III. Causes which lie in the adoption of ecstatic illumination or intuition as a special channel of supernatural knowledge.

If the domain of the supernatural has shrunk immensely in modern times, as it undeniably has, and if the age of miracles be now past, as on all hands is repeated continually, the question to be seriously considered is how much of this result is due to the progressive discovery of the natural origin and working of causes which formerly, being entirely hidden, lent all their support to theories of the supernatural. Is it because they have ceased to operate as once they operated in human thought that the supernatural has waned ? or is it that it has come by degrees, as human means improved, to take less and less part in human doings ? Is the change sub

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jective only? or is it an actual objective change? If the former, then the supernatural relics in modern belief will be owing to the fact that causes, once so widely operative, continue to work in the old way in some minds.

PART I.

CAUSES OF FALLACIES INCIDENT TO THE NATURAL

OPERATIONS OF THE SOUND MIND.

1. THE NATURAL DEFECTS AND ERRORS OF HUMAN OBSERVATION

AND REASONING.

2. THE ACTIVITY OF IMAGINATION.

CHAPTER I.

1. THE NATURAL DEFECTS AND ERRORS OF OBSERVATION

AND REASONING.

In all historical ages—and, having regard to their traditions and superstitions, we may assume it to be true also of the pre-historical ages--men have continually made errors in their observations and reasonings; they have seen and drawn conclusions from what they have seen more often wrongly than rightly. It is thought to be no matter of surprise that savages and barbarians did so habitually in the prescientific ages; the tendency is rather to look down with compassion on their aberrations as the natural consequences of their low mental states, and to nurse the pleasing conviction that nothing of the kind happens now, in these days of superior insight and better reasoning. In spite of this easy self-gratulation, however, it is undeniable that the same kind of errors in seeing and thinking which were made then are made still, that the great majority of persons reason

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