An Essay Towards a Theory of Apparitions

Theclassics Us, 2013 - 20 páginas
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1813 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAP. II. A lawyer's argument for the existence of witelieraft--Proofs of spectral impressions, from recollected perceptions--New England witches--Cardan--Donne--Jonson--The maid of France--and other visionaries. IN a compilation, o the duties of a Justice of Peace, published by Nelson, we meet with a proof of the existence of witchcraft, which the editor appears to have thought irrefragable, " It seems," saith he, " that there must formerly " have been such a crime as witchcraft, " because divers statutes have been made " against it." Were we to reason in the ame manner, respecting demoniacal agency, in medical cases, proof could be brought, (particularly from the older German writers), that medicines have been administered, for the purpose of expelling the devil from human bodies, into which it was supposed that he had entered, and that many different remedies had been employed to this end. Instead of resorting to any arguments of this nature, I shall now proceed to shew, that the forms of objects which have no external prototypes, are exhibited to the mind, in certain states of the brain. ' II.--, In the course of my professional employment, I have frequently conversed with persons, who imagined that they saw demons, and heard them speak. This species of delusion admits of many gradations, and distinctions, exclusive of actual insanity. When the brain is partially irritated, the patient fancies that he sees spiders crawling over his bed-clothes, or person;. or beholds them covering the roof and walls of his room. If the disease increases, he imagines that persons who are dead, or absent, flit round his bed; that animals croud into his apartment, and that all these apparitions speak to him. Theje impressions take...

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