"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength." Psalms viii. 2. [On title page]
Pp. 17-18: Mrs. Cora L. V. Hatch, who was the means of conveying to the world the thoughts contained in this volume, was born in the town of Cuba, Allegany [sic] county, New York, the 21st day of April, 1840. Thus a part of these discourses were delivered before she was seventen years of age. Her literary or scholastic attainments are such as she was able to procure in a rural district of the country antecedent to her tenth year, at which time she became an intranced [sic] speaker. Up to that period she had no knowledge of spiritual intercourse. One day, with slate and pencil in hand, she retired to compose a few lines to be read in school; and while seated, lost her external consciousness, and on awaking she found her slate covered with writing. Believing that some one had taken an advantage of what she supposed to have been a sleep, she carried the slate to her mother, and it was found to contain a communication from Cora's maternal aunt (who had departd this life some fifteen years previous), and addressed to Mrs. Scott, the mother of Cora. During her eleventh and twelfth years she was controlled by a spirit calling himself a German physician; and her success, during that time, as a medical practitioner, was very remarkable. Although she has never given the science of medicine a moment's reflection, the most philosophical, general, and at the same time the most minute, descriptions of disease, its cause, pathology, and diagnosis, which I have ever listened to, have been given by her; and my experience in this department is not very limited.
At the age of fourteen [there is a year missing here] she became a public speaker, and even at that early period of life manifested the powers of logic and elocution which would have done honor to mature minds, and to which but comparatively few ever attain. She married in August, 1856, and removed to New York city, since which she has spoken from three to four times a week, mostly in New York, Boston, and Baltimore. She has been brought in contact with the most powerful minds of this country, in both private and public debate; but I believe that no one has even pretended to have successfully sustained an argument against her. The variety of subjects treated will be sufficient evidence that her inspirations are not confined to any particular class of ideas, but are as universal as Nature; and as her discourses are entirely impromptu, if she is not inspired, she must be regarded as the most remarkable intellectual youth who has ever inhabited the earth. "In private life she is simple and childlike to a remarkable degree; but while speaking before an audience, her flights of elocution are bold, lofty, and sublime, beyond description."