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“This is truth, though at enmity with the philosophy of ages."
49 & 51, SOUTH CASTLE STREET.
265. a 167
In offering this work to the world, I do so with a full conviction that it contains principles that will be of lasting benefit to the human race. Having devoted more than forty years to the investigation of the subject on which it treats, I speak on the authority of experience derived from observation.
When it was observed to a scientific pretender, that facts were at variance with the hypothesis which he had advanced, he replied indignantly, “So much the worse for the facts." Language like this was common to all scientific expounders antecedent to the seventeenth century. The shadow of a mighty name was worshipped, and Mahommedan, Jew, and Christian vied with each other in hugging the chain of scholastic bondage, deeming a quotation from Aristotle adequate to establish the grossest absurdity, or to refute the most obvious truth.
At the commencement of the seventeenth century appeared one of those master-minds that arise at different stages of human advancement in intellectual progress. With his searching glance he detected the absurdities of the schoolmen, and exposed them with a vigorous mind and unsparing hand. He dethroned the Aristotelian idol, which for ages ceived the blind fealty of a world ; and fortunately for science and humanity he attempted not to substitute an idol of his