Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/175

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166
SATIRES AND PBOFANITIES.

doubtless do a vast deal for the science of psychology. According to the report of the Standard of Friday the 3rd inst., much of the address of this admirable judge and philosophical president "was an indictment of materialist scientists for their attitude towards psychology, and on this point he said the most important event of the year in relation to psychology had been the recent prosecution. Of the true motive for that proceeding there could be no doubt. The pretence of public interests was transparent." To a mere layman the words of this judicial Serjeant read very much like a reckless libel. Perhaps only a lawyer can properly appreciate them. "The object really sought was plain enough. It was not to punish Dr. Slade, but to discredit through him all psychological phenomena, the proof of whose existence was destruction to the doctrines of materialism…. Whether Dr. Slade was or was not guilty, the trial had had the unlooked-for effect [!] of directing the attention of the whole public to the fact that phenomena were asserted to exist… which swept away now and for ever the dark and debasing doctrines of the materialists." After which, according to the same report, a Mr. Dunlop, with admirable gravity, whether sincere or ironical, expressed a high opinion of the judicial mind of the president! and said that he felt sure that if the appeal in the Slade case came before Mr. Serjeant Cox, he would give as dispassionate a decision as if he had had no previous knowledge of the circumstances!! For myself, as a mere unlearned layman, I can only ask in astonishment, Is this Serjeant Cox, with his indecent partizanship and wild personal imputations, fit to sit in judgment—I will not say on this Slade business—but on any case at all which requires impartiality and discretion?

"The dark and debasing doctrines of the materialists"! Can anything be darker and more debasing in a so-called civilised time and country than this Spiritism has proved itself from the beginning until