This section is from the book "Faith - Healing. Christian Science And Kindred Phenomena", by James Monroe Buckley. Also available from Amazon: Faith-Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena.
One question more than others all Of thoughtful minds implores reply:
It is, as breathed from star and pall, " What fate awaits us when we die f"
IF these words are true, certainly next in importunate demand is whether men shall direct their conduct by practical wisdom and right motives, or look for and follow occult intimations which may either confirm or contradict the judgment.
Exclusive of the sphere of true religion,— which does not claim to be an infallible guide except to repentance, purity of motive, and the life beyond,— omens, premonitions, presentiments, visions, and apparitions have exerted the greatest influence over the decisions and actions of mankind.
Omens are extraordinary events which, on account of the opinions held of them, are thought to presage disaster. They are not true presentiments, but generalizations from imperfect data. Astrology and divination exhibit on a large scale the fallacies underlying such conclusions, belief in them being sustained by the observation of occasional coincidences between events and preceding actions or conditions that could have had no causal connection with them. Dreams often afford similar materials for erroneous reasonings, and, as they originate in the mind, they are sometimes so similar to presentiments that it is impossible to decide whether a presentiment caused the dream, or a dream the presentiment.