It is a curious fact of history that periods occur in which the human race returns to some phase of thought long since supposed to be outgrown. The present extraordinary reappearance of belief in superstitions, mystic rites and occult phenomena of a more or less scientific or dignified character, may well bid us halt and philosophize for a moment on the origin of such beliefs.
In this connection, the attitude of the Quakers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries toward the whole subject of superstitious belief is extremely interesting, and shows the Rationalist at his best.
If the following pages serve to call attention to the sanity of an entire community on a subject upon which most people had fallen in with current thought to a dangerous degree, the purpose of the writer will be accomplished.
Haverford, 1908. A. M. G.