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LIFE:

ITS NATURE, ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT,

AND THE

PSYCHICAL RELATED TO THE PHYSICAL.

BY

SALEM WILDER.

BOSTON:
PRESS OF ROCKWELL AND CHURCHILL, 39 ARCH STREET.

1886,

Copyright, 1886,
By SALEM WILDER.

Press of Rockwell and Churchill, Boston.

PREFACE.

The writer is impressed with the idea that much more might be properly written concerning the Nature of Life and the duties which must accompany living. He does not expect to add much which is new; but the thoughts here recorded have remained after an extended reading of eminent authors who have written upon like subjects.

Moral questions receive special attention, and are discussed from a common-sense point of view; but a striking coincidence is to be noted in the fact that those nations which have done most to enlighten the world through biological, psychological and physiological investigations have been professedly Christian.

The sceptical as well as the believing have a right to know from what stand-point the writer urges his views; and both may ask why he speculates concerning matters beyond the comprehension of the human intellect.

The belief of an author cannot alter the significance of a a single fact, nor can the disbelief of any other man affect the position of actual truth; yet our peculiar views upon moral and religious subjects do color our reasonings, even when dealing with matters not directly moral or religious.

Many passages have been wrought into the text which others might have allowed to appear as notes.

Certain parts of the work consist of fugitive thoughts written at various times during the past ten years, and in some instances these thoughts are imperfectly interwoven, and there will be found many digressions from the main line of the argument.

Certain imperfectly understood teachings of nature have been perverted by a class of eminent men, and some one should restate these teachings from a different point of view. The writer has endeavored not to state as fact what does not rest upon good authority ; but in writing what follows he assumes a serious responsibility. In the border lands of theory and speculation the lines of truth are not always clearly defined. To mislead is easy, and to mislead in important lines of thought may do harm; yet men must bear the responsibility of their honest convictions.

If the following pages shall incline readers to think and seriously inquire " What is truth?” the chief desire and expectation of the author will be realized.

S. W. BOSTON, February, 1886.

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