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EARLY three years have now elapsed since the publica tion of my first work, "The Law of Psychic Phenomena,” in which I formulated, tentatively, a working hypothesis for the systematic study and correlation of all psychic phenomena. Before venturing to publish that work, however, I had devoted many years to a patient and thorough investigation of the subject, with the view of ascertaining whether any psychic phenomenon had ever been observed and recorded that was inexplicable under the terms of my hypothesis. Not being able to find a record of such a phenomenon, but finding, on the contrary, that every psychic fact furnished a fresh illustration of the correctness of my theory, I ventured upon its publication. Since then I have continued the search, aided by many able reviews and criticisms of my work, the result being that I have been unable to find a fact or an argument that militates against the truth of the hypothesis then formulated.

I have, therefore, felt justified in appearing before the public again, for the purpose of carrying to their legitimate conclusions some of the principles laid down in "The Law of Psychic Phenomena."

That work was devoted almost exclusively to the consideration of the mental characteristics and powers of man as we find him in this life. (The present work is devoted to a scientific inquiry concerning his prospects for a future life.

In pursuing this inquiry, I have endeavored to follow the strictest rules of scientific induction, taking nothing for granted that is not axiomatic, and holding that there is nothing worthy of belief that is not sustained by a solid basis of well-authenticated facts. In other words, I have studied the science of the soul precisely as the physical sciences are studied; namely, from an attentive observation, and a systematic classification, of the facts pertaining to the subject-matter. The facts of the soul, as the terminology indicates, consist of what are known as "psychic phenomena." These phenomena have, from time immemorial, excited the wonder and fed the superstitions of all the races of mankind; and it is humiliating to observe that in no age or nation have the superstitions arising from such phenomena assumed a more gross and palpable form than in the last half of the nineteenth century, and in those nations possessing the highest degree of civilization and cul

ure. In the meantime, however, scientists have begun the study of the phenomena with the view of ascertaining something of their nature and proximate cause; and although the study is yet in its infancy, enough has already been learned not only to remove them from the realm of superstition, but to develop the fact that psychic phenomena furnish the only means by which science can solve the problems of the human soul.

The object of this book is to outline a method of scientific inquiry concerning the powers, attributes, and destiny of the soul, and to specifically point out and classify a sufficient number of the well-authenticated facts of psychic science to demonstrate the fact of a future life for mankind.

The earlier chapters are devoted to a review of the principal arguments for immortality heretofore advanced, with the view of showing their invalidity from a scientific standpoint, as well as demonstrating the necessity for a new departure in the methods of treating this the most important problem of human existence. The phenomena of so-called spiritism necessarily come under this category; and for that reason, as well as for the purpose of a correct classification of psychic phenomena, I have felt compelled to devote considerable attention to the refutation of the arguments recently advanced in support of the spiritistic hypothesis. I have also been compelled, in the interest of correct classification, to devote some attention to the psychic phenomena mentioned in the Old Testament.

If my interpretation of these two classes of phenomena runs counter to the opinions of others, spiritists, on the one hand, may derive consolation from the fact that my interpretation of their phenomena leads to the same general conclusion which they have deduced, namely, that man is heir to a future life; and on the other hand, those who hold to the doctrine of plenary inspiration and to the literal interpretation of the Scriptures, will endorse my general conclusions, since they confirm the essential doctrines of the Christian religion, and invest them with a scientific value possessed by no other religion on earth.

In demonstrating the fact of a future life, I have simply analyzed the mental organization of man, and shown that, from the very nature of his physical, intellectual, and psychical structure and organism, any other conclusion than that he is destined to a future life is logically and scientifically untenable.

WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 5, 1895.

T. J. H.


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