"So ends in Scotland the tragical part of the history of witchcraft. In 1735, as already mentioned, the penal statutes were repealed ; much to the annoyance however of the Seceders, who, in their annual confession of national sins, printed in an act of their Associate Presbytery at Edinburgh, in 1743, enumerated, as a grievous transgression, the repeal of the penal statutes " contrary to the express laws of God," And though in remote districts the belief may yet linger in the minds of the ignorant, it has now, like the belief in ghosts, alchemy, or second sight, only that sort of vague hold on the fancy which enables the poet and romance writer to adapt it to the purposes of fiction, and therewith to point a moral or adorn a tale. And, of a truth, no unimportant moral is to be gathered from the consideration of the history of this delusion: namely, the danger of encouraging those enthusiastic conceits of the possibility of direct spiritual influence, which, in one shape or other, and even in our own days, are found to haunt the brain of the weak and presumptuous. For it is but the same principle which lies at the bottom of the persecutions of the witches, and which shows itself in the quietism of Bourignon, the reveries of Madame Guyon, the raptures of Sister Nativity, the prophecies of Naylor, the dreams of Dr. Dee, or Swe-denborg's prospect of the New Jerusalem; still but an emanation of that spirit of pride, which, refusing to be " but a little lower than the angels," asserts an immediate communion and equality with them, and which, according to the temper of the patient, feeds him with the gorgeous visions of quietism, or impels him, like a furious Malay, along the path of persecution. Some persons assert that, in this nineteenth century of ours, we have no enthusiasm. On the contrary, we have a great deal too much: at no period has enthusiasm of the worst kind been more rife; witness the impostures of South-cott and Hohenlohe, and the thousand phantasies which are daily running their brief course of popularity. At no time has that calenture of the brain been more widely diffused, which, as it formerly converted every natural occurrence into the actual agency of the devil, now transforms every leader of a petty circle into a saint, and invests him with the garb and dignity of an apostle. Daily, are the practical and active duties of life more neglected under the influence of this principle; the charity which thinketh no evil of others dailv becomes more rare; the stream of benevolence which of old stole deep and silently through the haunts of I poverty and sickness at home, is now but poorly 1 compensated by being occasionally thrown up in a j few pompous and useless jets, at public subscriptions for distant objects; while even in those whose minds are untinctured by the grosser evils to which enthusiasm gives rise, life passes away in vain and illusive dreams of self-complacent superiority, which, as they are based only in pride and constitutional susceptibility, rarely endure when age and infirmitv have shaken or removed the mate-rials out of which they were reared. Thus, the enthusiast who, like Mirza, has been contemplating through the long day the Elysian islands that lie beyond the gulf, and already walking in a fancied communion with their myrtle-crowned inhabitants, feels, in spite of all his efforts, that, as evening creeps upon the landscape, the phantasmagoria becomes dimmer and more dim; the bridge, the islands, the genius who stood beside them disappear ; till at last nothing remains for him but his own long hollow valley of Bagdad, with its oxen, sheep, and camels grazing on its sides;-this sober, weary, working world, in short, with all its cares and duties, through which, if he had been wisely fulfilling the end for which he was sent into it, he should have been labouring onward with a beneficent activity, not idly dreaming by the wayside of the Eden for which he is bound; and so he awakes to a consciousness of his true vocation in life when he is on the point of leaving it, and perceives the value and the paramount necessity of exertion, only when youth, with its opportunities, and its energies, lies behind him for ever, like the shadows of a dream.