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To: Rev. Dr. J. J. Scrimgeour, Secretary, Scottish Society for Psychical Inquiry 20 May 1871

Dear Mr Scrimgeour

I am addressing this account of a recent experience to you, in the hope that it may contribute to the studies which I am aware that you are currently pursuing into the relationship of the spiritual and psychical dimensions.

I am constantly surprised that there are so many today who give their trust to the power of reason, and to the ability of man to conquer all that surrounds him. This despite the fact of death being poised so close to each one of us, ready to carry off the body and soul at a mere moment’s notice. It seems clear to me that we live our lives contingent upon the will of the Almighty that they continue, and that they prosper. The rich man in his mansion just as much as the pauper in his hovel, may feel the cold breath of life’s end with no warning or foreknowledge. Even as many celebrate this nineteenth century as a time of unlimited scientific and medical advance, hundreds are struck down daily by ailments over which we have no control.

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