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EDITOR'S TABLE.

in ten has had any "occult" experiences. Now, what we should like very much to have would be a farther analysis of these figures, showing the percentage of flighty or otherwise ill-balanced minds among the "occult" and the "non-occult" (if we may so apply the words) classes respectively. Our own experience would lead us to believe that the proportion would be vastly larger in the former class than in the latter. Who has not known many examples of the tremulous, nervous, hypersensitive, wonder-loving, hysterical, or semi-hysterical type of constitution among the devotees of ghost lore? And if such examples occur, as we believe they must, to the mind of every one, is it not at least a probable inference that "occultism" in its various phases has something to do with that kind of mind? The ghost may be very ancient, but we do not believe in him the more. The trouble about him is that he has made no progress since the earliest times; in fact, on the whole, he has fallen back. We should not be disposed to talk of the "levitation" of Elijah ourselves had not the reverend Mr. Haweis used the term before us; but if, following the reverend gentleman's lead, we consider the prophet's alleged translation in that light, surely it was a most successful feat in "levitation," and a little ahead of anything the modern world can show. And, speaking generally, the apparitions and visions and other spiritual or occult phenomena of ancient times had more "body" to them than those of our own day. If, therefore, the ghost has made no progress in the course of three or four thousand years, if he is just as uninstructive and inconsequent a phenomenon now as he was when we first encountered him, if not a little more so, we may perhaps be pardoned for thinking that he may be safely and fairly ignored by people who have an average amount of business to attend to. The world is still waiting for the very first message of any practical importance coming from a well-authenticated ghost, and, considering that ghosts, such as they are, have been coming and going for some thousands of years, it is high time, if they have anything to say, that they said it. We are sadly in want of light on many matters, and a well-informed ghost might conceivably be of very great assistance in human affairs. Up to the present, however, all our light and knowledge have come from patient study of the laws of Nature; and, such being the case, we prefer to stand in the paths that Science has worn and work at the tasks she assigns. Even if the ghosts succeed in getting themselves photographed, we shall not trouble ourselves much about them, till we see what the practical bearing of the whole business is. If we might venture a prediction, it would be that ghost photographs will turn out to be an utter fraud, and that, when the matter has been thoroughly explored, one more lesson will have been given to the world as to the delusive character of "occultism" in all its shapes and forms.

 

 

A SHATTERED ARGUMENT.

Many of our readers will remember the very truculent attack made by the Duke of Argyll upon Prof. Huxley in connection with the latter's demonstration of the impossibility of the Noachian Deluge. Among the proofs of that catastrophe adduced by his Grace was the existence high up on the Welsh hills of large beds of comparatively recent marine shells. The sea had been there on the mountain tops, exclaimed the Duke in triumph, and that quite recently. One of two things, therefore, had happened: either the sea had been raised over a thousand feet above its present level, or the land had been suddenly depressed to that extent, either of which occurrences would produce a first-class flood. But what do the most recent investigators, the late Prof. Carvill Lewis and Prof. G. F. Wright, tell us on this point? The answer is furnished in our issue for De-