Having already (p. 139, Vol. II, Theosophist) borne testimony to the admirable moral qualities and intellectual endowments of our lamented friend, the late Epes Sargent, it would almost suffice for us to announce the appearance of his crowning psychological work, The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism, to give our readers an idea of its merits. From the beginning to the close of Mr. Sargent’s busy literary life, whatever he did was well done. Though a man of strong convictions, he yet showed throughout an earnest determination to state his case fairly and without offensive combativeness—a talent we honestly envy. He became a Spiritualist only under the pressure of hard facts that he could not explain away, and since then has been jotting down for reference instead of merely seeing and forgetting like many others, the proofs that Spiritualism offers to the man of science, that it is worth investigating. The fruits of this methodical industry have, as we stated in our recent notice of his death, been given to the world in the form of three of the most useful books upon the subject. Mr. Sargent had no feeling of antagonism to Theosophy. With many enlightened Spiritualists he expressed his entire readiness to join us when he should be convinced of the Theosophical theory of the mediumistic phenomena by as unanswerable proofs as those which had made him what he was. And, as from the nature of things, these proofs were not available outside the closed circle of Asiatic mystics whom he could not visit, he took up an attitude of friendly yet neutral good will, maintaining correspondence to the last with his Theosophic friends.
In his Scientific Basis, Mr. Sargent makes such an array of both logic and phenomena as to silence, if not convince, the sceptical man of science who would sneer mediumism down as a sort of child’s play for servant girls and schoolboys. It is a book to be thought over as well as read by every real student of Psychology. We commend it most heartily to such, notwithstanding that, from having been more favoured than the lamented author with opportunities to learn the real cause of the mediumistic phenomena, we differ with him as to the necessary agency therein of the spirits of the dead. Messrs. Colby and Rich, the publishers, will accept our thanks for the copy of the work we have received.