“We have heard a French Academician, a man of profound learning, remark, that he would gladly sacrifice his own reputation to have the record of the many ridiculous mistakes and failures of his colleagues obliterated from the public memory. But these failures cannot be recalled too often in considering our claims and the subject we advocate.
The time will come when the children of men of science, unless they inherit the soul-blindness of their skeptical parents, will be ashamed of the degrading materialism and narrow-mindedness of their fathers.
To use an expression of the venerable William Howitt, “They hate new truths as the owl and the thief hate the sun. …Mere intellectual enlightenment cannot recognize the spiritual. As the sun puts out a fire, so spirit puts out the eyes of mere intellect.”
It is an old, old story. From the days when the preacher wrote, “the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing”, scientists have deported themselves as if the saying were written to describe their own mental condition.
How faithfully Lecky, himself a rationalist, unconsciously depicts this propensity in men of science to deride all new things, in his description of the manner in which “educated men” receive an account of a miracle having taken place! “They receive it”, says he, “with an absolute and even derisive incredulity, which dispenses with all examination of the evidences! “Moreover, so saturated do they become with the fashionable skepticism after once having fought their way into the Academy, that they turn about and enact the role of persecutors in their turn.
“It is a curiosity of science”, says Howitt, “that Benjamin Franklin, who had himself experienced the ridicule of his countrymen for his attempts to identify lightning and electricity, should have been one of the Committee of Savants, in Paris, in 1778, who examined the claims of mesmerism, and condemned it as absolute quackery!””
H. P. Blavatsky