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[250] It is indeed true that our modern divines and theologians, as if to atone for the too easy credulity of their order formerly, have unceremoniously consigned the old beliefs of Satanic agency, demoniacal possession, and witchcraft, to Milton's receptacle of exploded follies and detected impostures,

Over the backside of the world far off,
Into a limbo broad and large, and called
The paradise of fools,—

that indeed, out of their peculiar province, and apart from the routine of their vocation, they have become the most thorough sceptics and unbelievers among us. Yet it must be owned that, if they have not the marvellous themselves, they are the cause of it in others. In certain states of mind, the very sight of a clergyman in his sombre professional garb is sufficient to awaken all the wonderful within us. Imagination goes wandering back to the subtle priesthood of mysterious Egypt. We think of Jannes and Jambres; of the Persian magi; dim oak groves, with Druid altars, and priests, and victims, rise before us. For what is the priest even of our New England but a living testimony to the truth of the supernatural and the reality of the unseen,—a man of mystery, walking in the shadow of the ideal world,—by profession an expounder of spiritual wonders? Laugh he may at the old tales of astrology and witchcraft and demoniacal possession; but does he not believe and bear testimony to his faith in the reality of that dark essence which Scripture more than hints at, which has modified more or less all the religious systems and speculations of the heathen

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