36 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
always the same, whenever reintroduced. If the persons themselves had been present, their distinctive peculiarities could not have been more marked; but if all that was said could have been printed in a book verbatim, it would have formed one of the grandest and most coherent systems of spiritual philosophy ever conceived by the brain of man, and its only blemish would have been the frequent change of the style of diction.
It must not be forgotten that C was not a spiritist, and that the whole bent of his mind inclined to materialism. He frequently expressed the most profound astonishment at the replies he received. This was held to be an evidence that the replies were not evolved from his own inner consciousness. Indeed, it was strenuously urged by some of the company present that he must have been talking with an independent intelligence, else his answers would have coincided with his own belief while in his normal condition. The conclusive answer to that proposition is this: He was in the subjective state. He had been told that he was talking face to face with a disembodied spirit of superior intelligence. He believed the statement implicitly, in obedience to the law of suggestion. He saw, or thought he saw, a disembodied spirit. The inference, for him, was irresistible that this was a demonstration of the truth of spiritism ; that being assumed, the rest followed as a natural inference. He was, then, simply reasoning deductively from an assumed major premise, thrust upon him, as it were, by the irresistible force of a positive suggestion. His reasoning was perfect of its kind, there was not a flaw in it; but it was purely syllogistic, from general principles to particular facts.
It will doubtless be said that this does not prove that he was not in actual converse with a spirit. True ; and if the conversation had been confined to purely philosophical subjects, its exalted character would have furnished plausible grounds for a belief that he was actually in communion with the inhabitants of a world where pure intelligence reigns supreme. But test questions were put to one of the supposed spirits, with a view of determining this point. One