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‘ [264] in the depths of his being,—felt it like the mystic breathing of the Spirit of God.’

The excellent Baxter and other pious men of his day deprecated in all sincerity and earnestness the growing disbelief in witchcraft and diabolical agency, fearing that mankind, losing faith in a visible Satan and in the supernatural powers of certain paralytic old women, would diverge into universal skepticism. It is one of the saddest of sights to see these good men standing sentry at the horn gate of dreams; attempting against the most discouraging odds to defend their poor fallacies from profane and irreverent investigation; painfully pleading doubtful Scripture and still more doubtful tradition in behalf of detected and convicted superstitions tossed on the sharp horns of ridicule, stretched on the rack of philosophy, or perishing under the exhausted receiver of science. A clearer knowledge of the aspirations, capacities, and necessities of the human soul, and of the revelations which the infinite Spirit makes to it, not only through the senses by the phenomena of outward nature, but by that inward and direct communion which, under different names, has been recognized by the devout and thoughtful of every religious sect and school of philosophy, would have saved them much anxious labor and a good deal of reproach withal in their hopeless championship of error. The witches of Baxter and ‘the black man’ of Mather have vanished; belief in them is no longer possible on the part of sane men. But this mysterious universe, through which, half veiled in its own shadow, our dim little planet is wheeling,

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