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Title: Studies in the Out-Lying Fields of Psychic Science
Author: Tuttle, Hudson, 1836-1910
Language: English
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  New York





There is a Psychic Ether, related to thought, as the luminiferous ether
is to light.

This may be regarded as the thought atmosphere of the universe. A
thinking being in this atmosphere is a pulsating center of
thought-waves, as a luminous body is of light.

There is a state of mind and body known as sensitive, or impressible, in
which it receives impressions from other minds. This state may be
normal, or induced by fatigue, disease, drugs, or arise in sleep. The
facts of clairvoyance, trance, somnambulism and psychometry prove the
existence of this ether, and are correlated to it.

Thought transference is also in evidence, as well as that vast series of
facts which give intimation of an intelligence surviving the death of
the physical body.

This sensitiveness may be exceedingly acute, and the individual
unconscious of it, and then it is known as genius, which is acute
susceptibility to the waves of the psychic atmosphere.

Sensitiveness explains the true philosophy of prayer.

All the so-called occult phenomena of mesmerism, trance, clairvoyance,
mind reading, dreams, visions, thought transference, etc., are
correlated to and explained by means of this psychic ether.

All these phenomena lead up to the consideration of immortality, which
is a natural state, the birthright of every human being.

The body and spirit are originated and sustained together, and death is
their final separation.

The problem of an immortal future, beginning in time, is solved by the
resolution of forces at first acting in straight lines, through spirals
reaching circles which, returning within themselves, become
individualized and self-sustaining.

Spiritual beings must originate and be sustained by laws as fixed and
unchanging as those which govern the physical world.

Sensitiveness gives great pleasures and may give pain; the author’s
experience as a sensitive, related, shows this.

And, finally, a communication from a spirit whose life had been noble
and unselfish, given while the recipient was in a sensitive and
receptive state, detailing an account of the phenomena called death, but
which is really birth into the spirit realm, the meeting of friends, and
the knowledge of a quarter of a century of its joys, together with “the
poet’s story,” it being an account given by one whose earth-life had
been selfish, and whose selfish thoughts had formed themselves into
phantom companions, following him into the realm of the future world,
and making his life there one of despair, and how he escaped these
legitimate children of his brain by heroic acts of unselfishness,
complete the story. These last are no fictions of the imagination,
written to amuse the reader; but the author is firmly convinced, yes,
knows they are the words of actual living beings who have once lived on
earth like ourselves.

                                                             H. T.



  Dedication                                                     3

  Analysis                                                       5


  Matter, Life, Spirit                                           9


  What the Senses Teach of the World and the Doctrine of
  Evolution                                                     20


  Scientific Methods of the Study of Man, and its Results       31


  What is the Sensitive State                                   37


  Sensitive State: Its Division into Mesmeric, Somnambulic
  and Clairvoyant                                               44


  Sensitiveness Proved by Psychometry                           64


  Sensitiveness During Sleep                                    75


  Dreams                                                        86


  Sensitiveness Induced by Disease                              93


  Thought Transference                                          99


  Intimations of an Intelligent Force                          117


  Effects of Physical Influences on the Sensitive              147


  Unconscious Sensitiveness                                    151


  Prayer in the Light of Sensitiveness and Thought Waves       165


  Christian Science, Mind Cure, Faith Cure--their
  Physical Relations                                           178


  What the Immortal State Must Be                              188


  Personal Experience--Intelligence from the Sphere of
  Light                                                        217

Matter, Life, Spirit.

NECESSITY OF KNOWLEDGE, NOT FAITH.--Guizot forcibly expresses the value
of a knowledge of future life when he says: “Belief in the supernatural
(spiritual) is the special difficulty of our time; denial of it is the
form of all assaults on Christianity, and acceptance of it lies at the
root, not only of Christianity, but of all positive religion whatever.”

He stands not alone in this conclusion. The difficulty, to a great
majority of men of science and leaders of thought, appears
insurmountable, and they no longer feel a necessity for defending their
want of belief, but smile at the credulity of those who believe anything
beyond what their senses reveal.

Not only the infidel world perceives this difficulty; it is well
understood by the leaders of Christianity, for they have been taught its
strength by the irrepressible conflict which has culminated in the want
of belief at the present time. With this result before them, it is idle
for the church leaders to assert that revelation in the Bible is
sufficient to remove this difficulty, which has grown in the very
sanctuary, in the shadow of biblical teachings. While the value of the
Bible, as interpreted by theologians, depends on the belief in
immortality, it has not proved the existence of man beyond the grave in
such an absolute manner as to remove doubt; and yet, of all evidence it
is designed to give, that on this point should be the most complete and

The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves nothing, even admitted in its
most absolute form. If Christ was the Son of God and God himself, he was
unlike ordinary mortals, and what is true of him is not necessarily so
of them.

His physical resurrection does not prove theirs. Admitting similarity,
his bodily resurrection after three days, while his body remained
unchanged, does not prove theirs after they have become dust, and
scattered through countless forms of life for a thousand ages. If, with
some sects, the resurrection of the body be discarded, then the
resurrection of Christ has no significance, for it is expressly held
that his body was revivified and taken from the tomb.

Skepticism has increased, because the supporters of religion have not
attempted to keep pace with the march of events, but, on the contrary,
asserted that they had all knowledge possible to gain on this subject,
and that anything outside of their interpretation was false.

Instead of founding religion on the constitution of man, and making
immortality his birthright, they have regarded these as foreign to him,
and only gained by the acceptance of certain doctrines. They removed
immortality from the domain of accurate knowledge; and those who pursued
science turned with disgust from a subject which ignored present
research for past belief.

Hence, there has been, unfortunately, the great army of investigators
and thinkers, in the realm of matter, studying its phenomena and laws,
never approaching the threshold of the spiritual; and, on the other
hand, the more important knowledge of spirit, of man’s future, which
retrospects his present life and all past ages, and reaches into the
infinite ages to come, was the especial care of those who scorned nature
and abhorred reason. Hence the antagonism, which can only be removed by
the priest laying aside his books as infallible authority, discarding
beliefs, dogmas, and metaphysical word legerdemain, and studying the
inner world in the same manner that the outer has been so advantageously
explored. When this has been done, it may be found that physical
investigators have not the whole truth, even when they have been the
most exact.

It may be found that, having omitted the spiritual side in all their
investigations, their conclusions are erroneous to the extent of that
factor, which may be one of the most important. It may be found that in
order to have a complete and perfect knowledge of the external world,
the internal or spiritual must be understood.

Here we face the time-old questions: What is matter? What is spirit? The
philosophy of nature here rests. There is no middle ground. The
materialist starts from the atom, which, he says, has in itself all the
possibilities of the universe and outside of which there is nothing.

THE ATOM.--But who knows of the atom, into which matter, at last
analysis, is resolved? No one. Aside from the active forces which
apparently flow from it, we know nothing, and speculation takes the
place of knowledge. That speculation, unfettered by the requirements of
accurate science, grew rankly in the minds of the sages of antiquity,
and bore the strangest fruits. From that time to the present,
speculative thought has not ceased in activity, nor arrived at any
certain conclusion.

The atomic theory is one of the most splendid generalizations in the
whole circle of sciences. As a working hypothesis its aid is invaluable,
and the solution it affords of the most intricate combination of the
elements, truly marvelous. Yet it is a conjecture; the existence of the
atom a guess. No one ever saw, tasted, or felt the atom. It is
absolutely beyond the senses, as it is beyond any instrumental aid
thereto. The entire structure of physical science, as expounded to-day,
rests on conjecture, the only evidence in support of which is that it
explains the phenomena. There is no assurance that other conjectures
might not explain them quite as well.

It would be a waste of time to explore this field, wherein the baseless
dreams of philosophers and scientists have grown like Jonah’s gourd,
over-shadowing the barren sands.

The manner in which the nature of the distinct and indestructible atom
was arrived at, shows the puerility of the theory. If we take a fragment
of matter, we can break it into distinct pieces; these are again
divided, and so on, until we reach a point where further division is

One of these indivisible particles, says the Materialist, is an atom; a
conclusion derived from the gross conception of material division, and
the limitation of the mind.

Endow this atom with force, or call it a center for the propagation of
force, and the materialistic system is complete; yet these conclusions
are but dreams. With equal arrogance, the Materialists lead to the
higher ground of vitality, of mind and of morals, forgetting that the
fundamental proposition on which this system rests is a guess, a
surmise, and nothing more.

But investigation by other means than the primitive experience of
mechanical division, shows that the atom has no existence as a fixed
entity. Professor Crookes has demonstrated that matter has properties
unknown to the present race of philosophers.

By way of illustration: If a certain vessel be closed, and the air
exhausted, until only one hundred atoms remain, that hundred leave no
space, but occupy the entire vessel. If the vacuum be made more perfect,
and only ten atoms remain, the ten still occupy the whole space; and if
the process could be carried so far that only one remained, it would
still fill the space. The atomist might divide it indefinitely, and yet
each division fill the space. In short, were there but one atom in the
universe, that atom would fill all space.

NEW PROPERTIES.--When matter is thus rarified, or in other words, when
the pressure is removed, new properties appear, and the tangible fades
into the intangible. The qualities of pure force begin to be manifested.
The intimation is made that were it possible to make the vacuum more
perfect, there would arise out of this invisible gas, spontaneous
manifestation of energy; or matter would be resolved into force.

WHAT IS MATTER?--Having seen that the conception of the atom is
immature, and incapable of demonstration, we find matter, of which the
atom is supposed to be the foundation, equally incapable of definition.
With matter we never come in sensuous contact; we only know its forces,
as expressed in phenomena.

The succession of seasons, the recurrence of day and night, the teeming
earth, the starry heavens--these are manifestations of matter. Matter
here is revealed to us as an appearance. Matter is appearance; phenomena
are concrete expressions of force. It may be asked: Do these phenomena
create themselves? Do bodies become organic by the confluence of atoms?
Rather are they not molded by the force which through them gains
expression? What is this force? Is it independent? On ultimate analyses,
force resolves itself into motion, which is discernable to the senses
only as expressed in phenomena. If we were obliged to explain the
phenomena of matter only, some theory might be plausibly maintained;
fronting one world we might understand it, but we are fronting two
worlds. There is constantly the caused and the cause. We never are
satisfied that the caused caused itself. We may receive the beautiful
exposition of the doctrine of evolution, and yet we have only the road
over which life has been irresistibly forced. Why? Wherefore? By what
power? Instinctively we turn to the realm of spiritual causes.

Material science, with all its boasted accuracy and infallibility,
breaks down, and utterly fails, when called to explain mental and
spiritual phenomena. It boasts of infallibility, when its fundamental
theories are conjectures that the advance of thought may to-morrow show
to be vagaries of fancy. We must look to the eternal activities of
spirit for the final solution of the grossest manifestation of matter.

NATURE A WITCHES’ POT.--The present conception of nature, by material
science, is a witches’ pot, into which, by some unknown process, matter
and force were placed. The pot seethes, and out of the seething conflict
foams up to the surface in kaleidoscopic changes, organic beings. The
savans stand around its rim like Shakespeare’s witches and chant a
technical gibberish about laws; the pre-existence and correlation of
force; the indestructibility of energy; the eternity of matter; the
potentialities of the atom; the struggle for existence; the survival of
the fittest, and in admiration praise each other’s profundity of sight,
while the sharpest eyed see nothing beneath the foaming scum. They pride
themselves on explanations, of causes, while really they play with

At the threshold of this discussion of the problem of mind and spirit we
have that of life. The living being is the most wonderful achievement of
force in its multitudinous forms. Life is the gateway to the realm of
spirit, and beyond that gateway lie the questions we seek to solve.

The living being, by the fact of its being such, has new and hitherto
undetermined relations. It has escaped from the hold of the forces in
part from the common lot of matter, and a new horizon uplifts before it.
New and mysterious forces intrude, the sum of which we call vital
energy. Well we know that here the material scientist will smile or
sneer, for he has already settled the question in his own mind and that
of his confreres, that there is nothing beyond the properties of matter.
The animal body is composed of definite quantities of carbon, hydrogen,
lime, iron, etc., and the conflict of atoms, the combustion of carbon by
the oxygen of the air, the burning of phosphorus in the nerves, is the
activity evolved which is called life. In the higher animals, especially
in man, this life force derived from burning elements is changed to
thought, and the quantity of thought depends on the activity of the

No one, however, has ever proved that such transformation occurs, or
even attempted the task. The most thoughtful and profound acknowledge
that at the threshold of life all physical theories utterly fail, and
that the problem does not admit of solution. The more persistent declare
life to be a resultant of protoplasm; a fragment of protoplasm is the
lowest form of a living being. It is a homogeneous mass, scarcely a cell
or aggregation of cells. These cells do not feel or know; they are
sensitive; that is all. A human being is said by these material
scientists to be the sum of an infinite number of moners, as a coral
branch is the sum of a great number of polyps. These moners form, under
different circumstances, bone, muscle, and nerve. They propagate and
die. Their multiplication and destruction is the source and
accompaniment of vital changes, and mental states. When the necessity
for the destruction of a great number of these moners arises, the end,
the destruction of all, or death of the combined organism is the result.

According to this view, by the simple addition of moners, we obtain
something none of them singly possessed. The single moner has only
sensitiveness, their infinite aggregate, in the human being, has
feeling, intelligence, will, and God-like aspirations. The time old
axiom never before disputed is set aside, and the sum is declared to be
not only greater than its parts--it is infinitely greater, and acquires
qualities which the parts do not possess.

It may be urged that in the acquisition of new qualities the same is
true of the chemical union of elements, which yield products entirely
different in quality from the combining bodies. These, however, unite in
fixed proportions in a manner far from understood, while, with the
hypothetical moners, they are aggregated mechanically, as polyps in a
cluster, and this union of individuals changes not their functions, but
simply increases the mass.

Whether we accept this moner hypothesis, or the more generally received
theory that life is the product of organization, arising from the
chemical actions in the body, it is impossible to say wherein the dead
animal differs from the living. Analysis can not reveal this secret, for
the living animal can not be subjected to that test. The life principle
escapes before the alembic or retort is brought into requisition. The
song of the bird can not be found by chemical analysis. We know that the
living being is held together, and dominated over by the strongest
forces, and the moment these relax their hold, decomposition commences.
What are these forces? Whence do they come? Whither do they go?

LIFE AND MIND.--Taking vital force in its highest expression, in man, it
is self-conscious and has independent will. It arises above the atoms of
its physical being, above the influences which environ it, and says, _I
will_, and executes that will. I know well that if we here leave
physical science for metaphysics, there are philosophers who would not
only reason away this force, but the existence of the body itself. They
are true intellectual acrobats; amusing jugglers, who throw words
instead of painted balls, and confuse by their wonderful dexterity. Yet,
after all has been said, _we know_ we exist and have physical bodies.
Had we not such bodies the thought of them would never have been
fashioned in our minds. As we know the sun will rise, or the night
follow, we know we have bodily forms, and are thereby brought in contact
with the physical world. It is a fact, and as such can not be reasoned
away. In the same manner we are conscious of a mental or spiritual life
which arches the physical world as the dome of the sky.

vague and uncertain realm where spirit touches matter. We leave the
coast line of the tangible and seen for the intangible and unseen. There
is no bridge over the gulf, which is said to be impassable. Material and
spiritual phenomena are united by no common bond, and each stands by
itself. The great thought stream has set toward the materialistic
interpretation of all spiritual phenomena, or ruled them out of the pale
of the believable. If these phenomena are real, if man--the ego--is
superior to the oxygen and carbon of his body; if the manifestations of
mind are superior to the combustion of tissue in the lungs, then all
these manifestations should be amenable to certain laws and conditions,
which ascertained, will harmonize them into a perfect system.

The brain is the point of contact between spirit and matter, and as far
as the manifestations of that spirit are related to the material world
while connected with the physical body, it must be through and by means
of the brain. The intimate character of this relation gives strong color
to the reasoning based on the material view that the brain produces
thought, as the liver produces bile. But such reasoning is from
appearance rather than the reality. There is, as Tyndall eloquently
expresses, a chasm between matter and mind that can not be passed.

“The passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of
consciousness is unthinkable.... Were our minds and senses so expanded,
strengthened, and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very
molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions,
all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be;
and were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of
thought and feeling,--we should be as far as ever from the solution of
the problem, ‘How are these physical processes connected with the facts
of consciousness?’ The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would
still be intellectually impossible.”

SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE.--As the experiments alluded to show that matter
may, under certain conditions, take on new properties, ceasing to be
matter, in the usual acceptance of that word, the horizon of matter
which has been thought to rest over attenuated hydrogen, may extend to
infinite reaches beyond, including stuffs or substances which have never
been revealed to the senses. As the eye is capable of detecting only a
narrow belt of rays, and the ear a scarcely broader belt of sounds,
beyond which, on either side, are unknown realms of light and sounds, so
we are able to detect only a narrow range of elements; and there may be
a realm on one side too gross for recognizance by the senses, and on the
other, one too attenuated. Beings fashioned of this attenuated substance
might walk by our side unseen, nor cast a shadow in the noon-day sun.

SPIRIT ETHER.--Aside from this spiritual substance, beyond the pale of
the most attenuated matter, is the spirit ether. The students of light
have found it possible to explain its phenomena only by the hypothesis
of an ether, a universal fluid of extreme tenuity, the vibrations of
which are interpreted by the eye as light. This ether was at first a
dream of the imagination; but, by answering all questions and receiving
the verification of mathematics, it has become a demonstrated reality.
It is probably the common medium for the transference of electricity,
heat, and magnetism as well. It is an illustration of one of the many
instances where the Imagination has overreached the Reason in the race
of discovery.

In the same manner we may predicate another ether, the medium through
which all spiritual phenomena are produced. We may prove the existence
of this ether, by the certainty and harmony of the answers it gives, as
the existence of the luminiferous ether has been demonstrated. As the
great life-giver, we may distinguish it as psycho-ether. It can not be
said to be material, for it belongs to the region beyond that recognized
as material by our senses. It is the sublimation of matter, vastly more
attenuated than light-ether, and thought is propagated in it from
thinking centers, as light is in the luminiferous ether from luminous
bodies. The qualities of this ether are the possibilities of life and
spirit and to it for explanation we refer all psychic phenomena.

What the Senses Teach of the World and the Doctrine of Evolution.

IS THERE MORE THAN ONE WORLD--STUFF?--Thus far, with a few exceptions
which may be called heterodox, physicists have in their speculations
used the term matter as though in ultimate conception there is but one
kind of matter and the atoms of that matter are absolutely alike. In
other words there is but one stuff of which the cosmos is formed. The
senses on which this theory is based do not endorse, but, by their
limitation, prove the opposite. We have no means of knowing of sound
aside from the ear, which is wonderfully fashioned to receive vibrations
and transmit them to the brain; yet its imperfection, caused by the
limitations of nerve tissue, reveals the fact that it is cognizant of
only a narrow field, either side of which is a wide tract, which to it
is profound silence. If a sound wave impinges on the ear with less
vibrations than 16½ times in a second it is inaudible; and if the number
of vibrations is increased above 38,000 per second, they again lose the
power of impressing the ear. There may be insects capable of hearing
these high sounds, which to man are silence itself; and the long waves
that beat less than 16½ times in a second may be sweet music to some of
the lower tribes of animated life.

Perfect as the eye may be as an optical instrument, its range is far
less than that of the ear. Only those rays of light having waves
1-39,000th of an inch in length are visible on one side, and the last
visible radiations on the other end of the spectrum have wave lengths of
1-575,000th of an inch. This is a narrow limit, and on either side there
must be rays, which eyes or nerves differently constructed would receive
and interpret, yielding, perhaps, colors unknown to our consciousness.
There is a harmony in color waves, like music in sound waves, for as a
note blends in one, in all octaves above or below, so light waves, twice
or thrice the length of given waves yield the same color impression.

We may regard from the same point of view the sense of taste, the nerves
of which have a still narrower range, and are apparently differently
affected in animals than they are in man--substances disagreeable to him
being relished by them, and of course affecting the taste differently.

We are not sure that there are not senses which appreciate conditions of
matter, of which we have no conception. There are insects which
apparently have organs bestowing senses unlike our own. Their antennæ
have no corresponding organs in the higher animals, and the conception
of the world which these give has no analogy in our minds.

As the senses are thus cognizant of narrow belts of sound and light,
leaving unknown stretches on either side, so what is called matter may
be the narrow range recognized by our finite powers as a whole, on
either side of which may lie stuffs of widely different qualities and

A DEAD VIEW OF DEAD WORLDS.--Pausing to consider the received theory of
force, as an explanation of the causes of the world--creation, we shall
find that it fails to meet the high promises it vauntingly makes.

According to the received theory of force, every manifestation of power
and energy on the earth is originally derived from the sun. The growth
of plants and animals, and all the activities displayed by the latter,
are derived from their food, which was produced by the light and heat of
the sun.

In illustration of the sun’s incalculable power, take, for instance, the
rain fall of one-tenth of an inch extending over the United States. Such
a rain-fall has been estimated at ten thousand millions of tons, which
the heat of the sun had raised at least to the height of one mile. It
would take all the pumping engines in the United States a century to
lift this amount of water back again to the clouds. If the force is so
great as displayed in the rain-fall of one-tenth of an inch, how
incomprehensible the power which lifts the entire amount of water
evaporated, amounting to, at least, forty inches!

Yet the force of the sun, manifested on the earth, is an inconceivably
small part of that radiated, for the earth only receives in the
proportion that its surface bears to the sphere of its orbit, and how
incomparable is its diameter of 8,000 miles to that of a sphere
184,000,000 across. The combined surface of all the planets would
receive a scarcely appreciable ratio of the entire amount which,
unimpeded, flies away into the abyss of space.

The energy radiated at the surface of the sun is estimated at 7,000
horse power to the square foot, and if the sun was a mass of coal, it
would have to be consumed in 5,000 years in order to supply it, and in
5,000 years would have to cool down to 9,000 degrees, C. If the nebular
hypothesis be received, the contraction would supply the loss for 7,000
years before the temperature would fall 1 degree, C.

Incomprehensible as this force is, it is constantly diminishing, and
although the projection of meteors and hypothetical cosmical bodies may
prolong its action, the time must come when all its energy will be
dissipated into space; all bodies will have the same temperature, and as
there is no other source of energy, physical and vital phenomena will
cease, and the universe, bereft of living beings, will itself be dead.

A DEAD WORLD.--According to the most advanced views at present
entertained, this is the end of the career of the universe.

Balfour Stewart endorses this conclusion by saying: “We are induced to
generalize still further, and regard not only our own system, but the
whole material universe, when viewed with respect to serviceable energy,
as essentially evanescent, and as embracing a succession of physical
events which can not go on forever as they are.”

In stronger language Mr. Pickering says: “The final result, therefore,
would be that all bodies would assume the same temperature, there would
be no further source of energy; physical phenomena would cease, and the
physical universe would be dead. Such, at least, is the present view of
this stupendous question.”

In explanation of the origin of this energy, and the reason for its
loss, Mr. Stewart further says: “It is supposed that these particles
originally existed at a great distance from each other, and that, being
endowed with force of gravitation, they have gradually come together;
while in this process heat has been generated, just as if a stone were
dropped from the top of a cliff toward the earth.”

Thus the universe would become an equally heated mass, utterly worthless
as far as the work of production is concerned, since such production
depends on difference of temperature.

In other words, the universe becomes dead matter, wholly incapable of
supporting life, and so far as present science gives us any information,
must remain forever at rest.

The fact that such a conclusion has been reached should cause us to
pause in doubt of the correctness of the data leading thereto. It would
be more plausible were it shown how, at the end of the great cycle,
there was renewal of the lost energy, and return to the nebulous
beginning. Causation moves in cycles, and the most alarming
perturbations are balanced by forces operating in other directions, so
that the result is the preservation of order. Planets swing wide of
their orbits for a million years, getting further and further away, yet
the time comes when they return on a pathway carrying them as wide on
the other side.

This latest view of the universe by scientific thought, however
plausible its argument, or apparently logical its results, is proven by
the very logic of those results to be defective.

THE LOGIC OF RESULTS.--It starts with the declaration that matter and
force are inseparable, that there can be no matter without force. The
nebulous beginning was a storehouse of energy, which has been wasting
ever since the first world was formed. This force has been for countless
ages dispersing by radiation. It is still wasting, for as it is radiated
into space it does not even raise the temperature of the trackless abyss
through which it passes. When it is all gone, there will be left the
force of gravitation, holding with adamantine grasp the dead residuum of
suns and planets; and, strange conclusion to which these premises force
us, this residuum must be matter without force.

Here the problem remains unsolved, and a theory which proudly assumes
for itself the distinction of being the only true system of nature,
which rules God out of the universe, or makes Him an unknown and
unknowable quantity, destroys life in nature, and has no means of its
restoration except by a miracle. If the universe is a machine which in
time will run down and die, all its force being dissipated, does it not
follow that in the beginning some superior power united this force with
matter? And also, does it not follow that if this dead universe again
lives, a superior power must draw back the scattered beams of light,
heat, magnetism, and other forces, and re-endow the dead residuum?

Thus this materialistic hypothesis, which boasts arrogantly of its
certitude, begins in assumption and ends in a dilemma out of which
confession of ignorance and acceptance of miracle only can extricate it.

Creation is not a clock that must be wound up at stated intervals by a
foreign power, and any system which does not provide for its restoration
as well as destruction, confesses weakness.

THE CHOICE OF CAUSES.--We have this choice: To believe that forces by
blind action and reaction have evolved the world from a nebulous
fire-cloud and peopled it with sentient and intellectual beings, making
of it a perpetual motion, a machine not designed, but the result of
infinite failures, perfected by infinite blunders, and sustained by the
fortuitous equilibrium of unseeing, unknowing forces; or that back of
these forces is an intelligence, planning and willing through their
agency. If the latter be accepted, it does not follow that the crude
conception of design in nature as the direct work of a personal God must
be maintained. At the commencement of the great revival of the study of
nature, when the views which have revolutionized scientific thought were
beginning to dawn, illy defined and partially understood, they were
seized on by a class seeking support to the theological doctrines they
felt yielding beneath their feet, and distorted by plausible sophistry
into apparent vindication of their dogmas. Of these, Paley became most
famous, his illustration of the watch was the most renowned of his
arguments. It is misleading, as there is no real likeness between a
watch and the mechanism of nature. Yet we do not endorse the
complacency of many leading supporters of evolution. Evolution is
undoubtedly a true statement of the _method_ of creation. It offers no
further explanation and gives no cause. Accepting evolution and
following the development of life from the least to the greatest, what
do we see but the constant unfoldment of a well defined purpose and
plan? Are not the beings of the Silurian and Devonian epoch prophecies
of the forms which were evolved out of them? We may call things by new
names, and in place of design use “adaptation”; we do not change the
relations of things thereby. When we see a bird cleave the air with
rapid wings, and observe the wonderful adaptation of bones and muscles
and forms of feathers, we may explain it all by evolution, which has
made the bird the embodiment of the forces of the air. Have we done more
than state the method of growth? What cause have we assigned for the
process? We see an interminable series of forms, changing from age to
age, becoming more and more complex in their relations, but pressing
forward constantly to final production of man as the perfection of the
vertebrate type. Evolution describes this process, at every step
furnishing evidence of a purpose, achieving its ends through matter,
often failing, but through failures at last reaching its object. In this
light the imperfection of organs proves nothing against design. The eye
of man is instanced as more imperfect than a glass lens. It is as
perfect as the organic material out of which it is made permits. That it
becomes diseased is from the same necessity of organization.

EVOLUTION.--Evolution is a new name for facts exceedingly old; but its
supporters would have its scheme reach through creation to the
foundation of things. Advancement with them means only better adaptation
in the struggle for existence, the result of accidental fitness which
has pushed unorganized protoplasm to man. Matter and its potentialities
granted, all else flows in assured course. Difficulties disappear; the
riddle of the Sphinx is no longer obscure. The sunlight has fallen on
the marble lips, and Memnon has revealed in a single sentence what
mortal man has never understood, “The survival of the fittest.” The
theologian has rested in blissful confidence in the arms of the Creator;
now comes the scientist who by easy methods calls the Creator
“evolution,” and falls as blindly confident into the arms of his
new-named God. The likeness is made more complete by the scorn of one
equaling the sneer of the other.

It is a new name for the old fact, that the forms of life on this earth
are united by common parentage, and have been differentiated by the
accumulation of infinite beneficial changes. The struggle for existence
has been the center around which these have aggregated. This no careful
student will deny. Having granted this, what then? Is anything
explained? Have we approached the cause by a single step? Really, has
anything been done more than to explain the phenomena of the world with
new words and phrases?

Of old it was said the world is a machine with gods or a god at the
crank; to-day the god at the crank is the Unknowable, the laws of
nature, the potentiality of matter; or in the most recent theory the
all-god has appeared in the revival of the god imminent in the universe,
which is regarded as an organism, with a god-soul. This is poetic but
neither sensible nor scientific. Forever and forever old ideas are
washed on the shore of time, out of the wreck of the past, and instead
for being relegated to the museum, are galvanized into grimace of life,
and branded as new, when they are rapidly disintegrating in every part.

THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.--The survival of the fittest is a wonderful
scheme of the preservation of the best. To illustrate, take the tiger
and the deer. Once they herded together, the tiger not being, as now,
noted for strength or cunning, nor the deer for caution and fleetness.
The dull tiger was able to take as prey the least cautious and weakest
of the deer. The fleetest deer propagated, and then only the most
cunning tigers were able to procure food, and continue their kind. As
their strength and cunning increased, the cautiousness and fleetness of
the deer increased in this matched game of life; the two species
reacting on each other until we now have the perfected deer and tiger.
In both kingdoms of living beings, among all their diverse families and
species, this struggle has gone on, and the result is the
differentiation from abysmal protoplasmic slime the humming bird on the
flower to the leviathan in the deep; the litchen on the rock to man with
an intellectual comprehension of unknown breadth. We here have the
chronicle of creation, and Froissart was not more garrulous with his
exploits of lord and lady than the chroniclers of the changes effected
in specific forms “on their way to man.”

We hear all that is said, and with a feeling of disappointment, while
admitting all, respond that we were promised a cause, and have been
given only a method? What stands behind the “struggle for existence?”
What is the infinite force of the ceaseless unrest, which throws each
wave higher on the tide line, working like a blind giant, hewing out
organic forms from protoplasm, and amid infinite failures approximating
ever to the perfect, with constant prophecy that that perfection will be
attained? The “survival of the fittest” reveals the prodigal method
which preserves one of a million germs, casting the others back into the
seething crucible for new trials. Can it claim anything more? The laws
of nature are grooves in which causes run to effects; but why do they
thus move? Calling them by other names will not satisfy. As Newton, when
he gave the law of gravitation mathematical form, penetrated not a step
toward its cause, so the biologist has not passed the threshold of the
domain of life. A recent scientific association sat in silence after a
verbose and flippant discussion on protoplasm, when asked by a member
what was the difference between living and dead protoplasm? Not one
could answer. Life had escaped their observation. Protoplasm dead is no
longer protoplasm. The protoplasmic germ impelled by the forces of life,
commences its growth, sending out its feeding vessels, and from the
beginning copies the paleontological history of the earth, and more
completely the biography of its direct ancestors.

When we consider that this invisible fleck bears in its cell or cells
the impress of every condition bearing on its progenitors from remotest
time, and will express it in all these conditions, it is no longer a
phenomenon on which we gaze, but a miracle of creative power, and all
that has been written by physiologists since Galen’s time as to its
cause is as children’s prattle. The material side furnishes no adequate
explanation. Its coarse methods are not adapted to measure the illusive
psyche. The balance weighs not, the scalpel dissects not, the retort
holds not the elements of the soul.

Scientific Methods of the Study of Man, and Results.

THE EVOLUTIONIST.--Scientists have different ways of studying man. The
evolutionist first develops the form. He says that life began in
protoplasm in the unrecorded ages of the past, and step by step, through
mollusk, fish, saurian and mammal, has arisen by the “struggle for
existence” and “survival of the fittest,” until the mammal by strangely
fortuitous chances has become a human being. As the human body is a
modified animal form, so the intellect is a modified and developed
instinct, the highest and most spiritual conscientiousness being only
the result of accumulated experiences of what is for the best. The
highest of animals is man, with no barrier between him and them, and
subject to the same fate. There is no indication of a guiding
intelligence, and if he possess an immortal spirit, so does the mollusk
and the fleck of protoplasm.

THE CHEMIST.--The chemist has his method, that of analysis. He takes the
vital tissues and resolves them into their elementary parts. He tells us
that there is so much hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen in the muscles; so
much lime and phosphorus in the bones; so much phosphorus in the nerves,
and iron in the blood. He separates these elements in retort or
crucible, and weighs them with nicety so that he knows to a thousandth
of a grain their proportions. He has made the ultimate analysis, and
these are all he can discover. Life is the result of their union; mind
the burning of phosphorus in the brain, and as for spirit, it is quite
unnecessary to explain the phenomena. The chemist has finished his work,
and placed in the museum the results of his analysis. That body perhaps
weighed one hundred and fifty pounds. In a large glass jar is the water
it contained--clear, crystal water, such as flashes in the sunlight of a
rainbow-arching shower, or a dewdrop sparkling on the petals of a lily.
There are about eight or ten gallons of it, for the body is
three-fourths water. There is a small jar of white powder representing
the lime; another, still smaller, the silex; another the phosphorus.
There are homeopathic vials containing a trace of sulphur, of iron,
magnesia, the potash, the soda, the salts and so on until the vials,
great and small, contain more or less of almost every element. Here we
have what was once a human being. We have every thing that went to make
him, except one, which lacking, these elements are lifeless, and of no
more value than water from the brook and earth from its banks: the
vital, or psychic principle. Place the contents of all the lesser jars
in the greater water jar, shake, dissolve, and manipulate, dead and
inert they remain, and will remain so long as thus treated. The chemist
in his analysis has made no account of the subtile principle which made
these elementary atoms an expression of its purpose. The living form has
its origin in the remote past, and its atoms were arranged and brought
into union by a vital process which thus began; which must begin in this
manner and traverse the same path. Phosphorus may be essential to give
activity to the brain, and a given amount of thought may correspond to a
fixed amount of phosphorus burned in nerve tissue. What of that? We know
that in one of these vials is all the phosphorus that existed in one
human being; we may burn it all, and it will give flame, not
intelligence. If intelligence comes from its burning, the process must
take place in nerve cells organized for the purpose, and that structure
must have been planned by superior thought.

To call the ingredients of these bottles a human being would be like
calling a pile of brick, mortar and lumber a house, except the
comparison fails in the house being built by outside forces, while the
living being must be organized from within. No mixing of the contents of
these bottles and jars can evolve life, or even the smallest speck of

THE ANATOMIST.--The third scheme is that of the anatomist, who with
keen-edged scalpel bends over the body after life has gone out of it,
and traces the course of arteries and veins, the form and location of
nerves, the attachment of muscular fibers, and in connection with the
physiologist defines the functions of each separate organ. An
exquisitely fashioned machine it is, wonderfully and fearfully made,
growing up from an invisible germ. After anatomist and physiologist have
finished, and on their dissecting table only a mass of rubbish remains,
they triumphantly point to it and exclaim: “See! We have settled the
question of spirit! There can be nothing beyond this organism. We have
determined how every cell and fiber of it are put together, and the
functions they perform. No where is there an indication of any thing
superior or transcending this material form. Here is where the food is
digested; here it is assimilated; here this secretion is made; here
excretion of poisonous matter takes place; here in the brain, in these
gray cells, thought arises. Ah! it is a wonderful complex machine.”

Indeed it is, and what has become of the power which moved it? You have
a strange machine, unlike all others, for it is, according to your
ideas, an engine to make steam, instead of to be moved by it; a mill to
make a waterfall, instead of to be run by falling water. What is the
difference between a dead man and a living one? Incomprehensibly great,
and yet the dead man to the chemist, the anatomist, the biologist, is
identically the same as the living. That unknown element, life, escapes
the crucible, the retort, the scalpel, the microscope, and the
conclusions of those who take it not into consideration are the vague
conjecturing of children, who have gained but a half knowledge of the
subjects that excite their attention.

Yet science proudly claims the knowledge of all things possible to know.
It has searched into the foundations of the earth and ascended the
starry dome of infinitude; it grasps the inconceivably small and the
inconceivably great; it delves in the hard stratum of facts, and sports
in the most sublime theories. It gives the laws of the dancing motes,
and those which guide the movements of stellar worlds; the sullen forces
of the elements and the subtile agencies which sustain living beings.

beyond the grave which shuts down with adamantine wall between this life
and the future?

The answer comes: Beyond? There is nothing. Do not dream, but know the
reality. What becomes of its music after the instrument is destroyed?
Where is the hum of the bee after the insect has passed on its busy
wings? Where is the light in the lamp after the oil is burned? Where is
the heat of the grate after the coal has burned? Given the conditions
and you have music, heat and light. When these conditions perish you
have nothing. As the impinging of oxygen against carbon in the flame
produces light and heat, so the combination of elements in the nerves
and brain produces the phenomena of life and intelligence. As the liver
secretes bile, so the brain produces thought. Destroy the brain and mind
disappears, as the music when the instrument is broken.

Look you and see the strife for existence. See you the myriads of human
beings who have perished. The world is one vast charnel house, its
material being worked over and over again in endless cycle. Tooth and
claw to rend and tear; arrow, club, spear, sword, and gun to kill; the
weak to fall, the strong and brutal to triumph, to multiply, and advance
by the slaughter of its own weaker members. The atom you can not see
with unaided eye devours and is devoured, and ascending to man, he is by
turns the slayer and the slain.

    There’s not an atom of the earth’s thick crust,
    Of earth or rock, or metals’ hardened rust,
    But has a myriad times been charged with life,
    And mingled in the vortex of its strife;
    And every grain has been a battle-field
    Where murder boldly rushed with sword and shield.
    Turn back the rocky pages of earth’s lore,
    And every page is written o’er and o’er
    With wanton waste. The weak are for the strong,
    And Might is victor, whether right or wrong.
    Enameled armor and tesselated scale,
    With conic tooth that broke the flinty mail;
    The shell protecting and the jaw which ground
    The shell to dust, there side by side are found;
    The fin that sped the weak from danger’s path,
    The stronger fin that sped the captor’s wrath;
    A charnel house where, locked in endless strife,
    Cycle the balanced forces, Death and Life.

If you seek for a meaning or a purpose you will find none. What you call
design is only the harmony of fluctuating chances produced by countless

PHILOSOPHY.--Invoke philosophy with her robes of snow, pretending to a
knowledge of the world and its infinite destiny; it will tell you of the
cycle of being; the succession of generations; that life and death
complement each other, and that all you may hope for is change.
Unceasing change is the abiding law, and he who grasps to hold, will
find but shadows in his grasp.

RELIGION.--Religion may teach us a pessimistic view of the world, and to
bow like cringing slaves unquestioningly to the rod. We may accept that
all is for the best whether we understand it or not, as the unalterable
decree of fate, yet as rational beings we recoil from this bondage, and
the questions are ever present, of the purpose of this life and the
evidences of that future of which the most doubting dream.

Religion, resting as it does on the immortality of the spirit, should
answer us so plainly and absolutely that there could be no doubt. That
there is weeping and broken hearts shows that it does not, or else that
it makes that existence so terrible that the dread of it is more than
that of annihilation. The fear of Hell, which has driven the world to
madness, is now cast into the lumber room with other errors, outgrown,
and in the free atmosphere one can not understand the terrors it once
awakened. The arbitrary heaven is also passing away, and a more natural
conception of the future life is gaining precedent. Yet the words of
teachers of religion are cold and soulless, and even the poets, touched
by the finger of a decaying faith, voice the incredulity of the age in
lines which speak only in despair. Oh! poet of immortal song, how
chilling to the heart the words that yet too often find response in its
doubts and fears:

    “And the stately ships go on
      To their haven under the hill;
    But oh! for the touch of a vanished hand,
      And the sound of a voice that is still.

    “Break, break, break,
      At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
    But the tender grace of a day that is dead,
      Will never come back to me.”

There is little consolation to be found in these directions. Let us turn
back to first principles; let us for a time forget the claims of
scientists and take up the book of nature at her plain alphabet and
ascertain whether these claims of material science have a sure

What is the Sensitive State?

A RACE WITHOUT SIGHT.--If the human race were born without organs of
vision, man could form no idea of the beautiful and splendid phenomena
revealed to the eye. The normal state would be blindness. Day and night
would be marked by intervals of repose and activity, but the cloudy
midnight and the radiance of the sun, the glories of morning, the
splendors of sunset, the star-gemmed canopy of the cloudless night, the
infinite changes, the phantasmagoria of heaven and earth, would be
unknown. The flowers might bloom in beauty, their fragrance would
delight, but their form and color would be unrecognized. The mind,
deprived of the infinite series of sensations which flow into it through
the sense of vision, would have none of the conceptions thereby
engendered. If a being who could see should attempt to reveal to the
sightless race the beauties of the world as seen by the eye in the
light, they would treat him as an impostor relating an idle tale, to
them incomprehensible.

A RACE WITHOUT HEARING.--If to the deprivation of sight were added the
loss of hearing, the vital powers would not be impaired; the organic
functions would continue the same, but all sounds would cease and
perfect silence reign. The mind could form no conception of music, the
songs of birds, the sighing of the wind, the roar of the storm, or the
soft modulations of the human voice. As nature would be voiceless, so
man would be dumb. The gift of speech would be lost with the power of
receiving the sounds of words. The soul, in silence and darkness, unable
to communicate its thoughts with others, would be bereft of all the
sensations, emotions, and conceptions which arise from seeing and
hearing, nor could it be taught these by those who possessed these
senses, for no conceptions could be formed of sights never seen, or
sounds never heard.

SENSITIVENESS.--In like manner, the sensitive condition reveals a
universe which is unknown to the senses, and of which man is as
profoundly ignorant as those born blind are of light. It is the heritage
of all, yet manifested only at rare intervals in favored individuals. It
is as it would be with the sense of sight, were thousands blind, while a
few saw imperfectly, and only one with distinctness. The sight of that
one would indicate what all might attain under favorable circumstances,
as the perception of those who are sensitive shows what is possible in
this direction. It is through this gateway that we are able to penetrate
the arcana of a higher existence, and it is our purpose to go by easy
steps along the pathway that leads into the vista stretching beyond this
portal, into unexplored regions, of which scarcely a conception has yet
been formed.

We have consciousness of spiritual realities, of an infinite after-life,
and aspirations which it alone can satisfy, and for which this mortal
sphere furnishes no provision. Shall we regard these aspirations as idle
longings, and this consciousness as a baseless fancy? Or have we
spiritual energies which have called this spiritual nature into being?

The eye is created in conformity to the laws of light, to receive the
rays and allow their impingement on the optic nerves. It is proof of the
existence of light. In the same manner, spiritual perception is evidence
of the existence of spiritual energies. It would be quite as difficult
for the mind to comprehend spiritual being, if without this
consciousness, as for the blind to understand the beauties of light.

Sensitiveness is a faculty pertaining to the spiritual nature, and is
acute in proportion as that spiritual nature dominates the physical
senses. It is possessed by all, and by a few in a remarkable degree. It
is variable in the same individual, is often the result of drugs, of
fatigue, of sleep, and may be induced or intensified by hypnotism or
mesmerism. It may manifest itself suddenly and at long intervals, once
only in a lifetime, or be a steadfast quality. It may have all degrees
of acuteness, from impressibility scarcely distinguishable from the
individual’s own thoughts, to the purest independent clairvoyance.

influence another, the two must be in harmony, at least in certain
points. The thought vibrations in one will not otherwise awake like
vibrations in the other. Take for illustration two musical strings, one
with fixed attachments, and the other with a moveable bridge or stop.
Now if the first be set in vibration, the other, being on a different
key, will not respond in unison, but the stop will slightly move; and if
the vibrations continue, the stop will move forward until the exact
length of chord is attained, and then both strings will vibrate in
harmony, one repeating the notes of the other.

If an hundred musical instruments were placed in a room, only two of
which were tuned alike, if one of these were touched, its mate would
respond, but the others would remain silent.

These thought vibrations may be received suddenly like a flash, as in
the case of premonitions and warnings of danger, the sensitive state
lasting but a brief time; or it may be cultivated and become permanent
with the individual. The hypnotic, or somnambulic subject, may be more
or less affected at first, and slowly fall under the influence, until
the continuous condition is the same as that in which a premonition is

As an illustration of the method by which this is accomplished, whether
the operator be a spirit clad in a physical or in a celestial body, the
improvements by age and use of the violin may be taken.

This instrument, the most perfect of all in its capacity for expressing
the delicate feelings of the soul, gains its soft sweetness and rich
perfection by use and age. The cremona, worth its weight in gold, may
once have been harsh, with dissonant tones, rasping to the ear. The
Tyrolese maker selects the smoothest wood his mountain affords, clear of
grain, and free from flaw or blemish. He carves the parts with sedulous
care and exhaustless patience; swell and curve and hollow are wrought,
polished, and cemented together so as to make them as one. Then the
delicate strings are drawn over the bridge, and the instrument tested.
It may squeak or jar, and refuse, even in a master’s hands, to express
his desire. But with every vibration of the strings it improves. Every
movement changes its fibers, and forces them into harmonious accord.
After a time they will all be in unison. The playing of a single tune
may not produce this result; a score or a thousand may not. It may pass
from hand to hand, and generation after generation may grow old and die,
as each successive master touches its strings, before all its deepest
qualities are expressed. Then its tones melt in voluptuous harmony; wail
with the broken hearted; fill the soul with the gladness of delight;
revive the murmur of the sombre pines; the song of the birds in the
forest; the laughing of falling waters; the hoarse voice of the tempest
with hail and lightning flash, rush of winds and burst of clouds. Nature
speaks through the instrument, and vibrates the heart with every
emotion, passion, and aspiration.

In the same manner, if a being independent of, and detached from the
physical body, should attempt to impress its thoughts on a sensitive, it
might no more than partially succeed after many trials. Each effort,
however, would be more successful, for thought vibrations constantly
tend to efface the causes of discord, and if the Intelligence is
patient, and the sensitive submissive, the thoughts of the former would
at last flow uninterruptedly into or through the mind of the latter.

And what is thus possible for a sensitive, in regard to an individual
intelligence, is possible to acquire in relation to the thought
atmosphere of the universe, or psychic-ether. If this be possible, if a
being may become thus exquisitively sensitive, and receive the waves of
thought as they traverse this ether, as the eye catches vibrations of
light, that being would be a focus to receive the intelligence of all
thinking beings in the universe.

The sensitive state, then, is the outcropping in mortal life, in
apparently abnormal form, of that which is normal to the spirit of life.
We thus conclude that its most astonishing development, as revealed, is
immeasurably below its normal capabilities when freed from the
limitation of the body. The permanent condition of a spiritual being
after separation from the physical form must be that of the most perfect
and delicately sensitive. What we see here in partial or total eclipse,
is there in the glory of full light.

THOUGHTS NOT WORDS IMPRESSED.--While Max Müller ardently supports his
theory that thought itself depends upon the words which express it, we
constantly meet with facts which indicate that the _idea_ is conveyed
from one mind to another, and there is clothed in words according to
the culture of the receiving mind. The vividness with which the idea is
impressed insures the use of similar verbal clothing. An instance is
reported by Dapson, in Deleuze, where a sealed letter was given a very
susceptible magnetic subject. It reads:

   “No other than the eye of Omnipotence can read this sentence
   in this envelope.

                               _Troy, New York, Aug. 1837._”

The subject read it:

   “No other than the eye of Omnipotence can read this in this
   envelope.                               ---------- 1837.”

He omitted “sentence,” and all the date but the year. It is to be
observed that in all instances of thought transference or sensitiveness,
the reproduction of names, dates, etc., expressed by arbitrary words,
are the most difficult and unreliable, and this has been a source of
doubt, and an argument against the truthfulness of the magnetic subject.

It requires a deeper hypnotic state to receive dates and names
correctly, than connected ideas. It is because ideas and not the verbal
form are received, that culture becomes of greatest value connected with
sensitiveness, as will be amplified in a succeeding section, treating on
misconceived sensitiveness, whereby is made possible the seemingly
superhuman achievements of authors, philosophers, sages, statesmen, and
inventors. It will also be more extendedly treated of in the chapter
devoted to the consideration of Dreams.

Sensitive State: Its Division into Mesmeric, Somnambulic, and

THE SIXTH SENSE.--In the normal state we know and understand the
external world through and by the senses. The eye reveals to us the
beauties of light, and by its aid the wondrous diversities of nature.
The ear brings to the mind the varied sounds, makes oral speech and the
sweet harmonies of music possible. The organ of smell sentinels the
citadel of health against pestiferous odors, and gives the exquisite
enjoyment of perfumes. Ordinarily we rely on these senses as our guides,
and so complete is our reliance that we recognize no other avenue to
knowledge of the external world; yet at times we find that our minds
extend beyond the senses and have capabilities which can not be referred
to them. There is an interior perception, which has been called the
sixth sense, which, sensitive to impressions from supernal sources, at
times rises above all the others. It is through this sense or better,
this sensitive state, that we gain an insight into the spiritual nature
of man. The senses would lead us away to a gross materialism, for they
belong to the animal organization; this sensitiveness leads us in an
opposite direction. We find through it another nature overlaid and
obscured by the senses and their understanding. This sensitive state is
the activity of the spiritual being, in the ratio of its perfection, and
is really as normal as the most sensuous condition. The study of this
state is the gateway to the understanding of our spiritual being, and
the first lesson it teaches is that man is a dual creation; a spirit, an
intelligent entity, clothed with, and circumscribed by, a physical body.
Only so far as that body interferes with the activity of the spirit, is
it of interest to us in the present discussion, which relates entirely
to the spirit.

This sensitive state is possessed by many, and in many more it may be
induced by proper means. It may be laid down as a rule that whatever
weakens the physical faculties strengthens this spiritual perception.
Thus it is often manifested in disease, after fatigue, or in the
negative hours of sleep. Some drugs have the power of inducing it, and
mesmerism is the strongest of all artificial means. I use the term
_sensitive_ with the meaning here given, and from that meaning shall not
deviate. Many who possess this power in a slight degree may not
distinguish its perceptions from those of the senses with which they
blend, but there are times when the mind passes into an entirely
different state from that of its normal activity, that of sensitive
receptivity, and what is usually termed intuition is intensified. I
propose to study this sensitive state first in connection with that of
wakefulness, and then with that of sleep; and from simple
thought-reading to the reception of thought from supernal sources.

Hitherto the discussion of spirit has been considered impracticable by
scientific methods, and theology and metaphysics have occupied the
field. In this border-land between the known and the unknown, ignorance
and charlatanry have held high carnival, and those who love scientific
accuracy perhaps are excusable in regarding the belief in spiritual
beings as a superstition; yet there has accumulated as folk lore, as
myths, as an outside, out-of-the-way literature, a vast mass of
material, some of which, it is true, is mere rubbish, through which
gleams bright veins of truth, showing the close relations between the
seen and the unseen universes. Here and there a sensitive mind has
received the light in clearer effulgence, and made the surrounding gloom
more densely impenetrable. At remote intervals the oriflamme of the
spiritual conception of nature has flashed athwart the intervals of
gross materialism, but religion, moral conduct, not knowledge, has been
the motive. This age demands knowledge for its own sweet sake, assured
that the highest morality will flow therefrom. In the study of the
conditions of the mind, the various states of sleep, clairvoyance,
somnambulism, etc., will be defined and illustrated.

SLEEP.--Sleep is the “twin sister of death” only in appearance, for
aside from poetic fancy, sleep is the negative condition of activity. In
perfect sleep all the faculties of the mind are in repose, and the
bodily functions go on with the least waste. It is essentially restful
and recuperative. The waste of the body, its wear and tear of muscle and
nerve is repaired; new cells take the place of those broken down, and
the debris moves slowly forward to the excretory organs and is

In this state of negative repose there is no manifestation of thought,
and it is as unlike the clairvoyant or sensitive state as that of
wakefulness; but shaded into this state of sleep, as into that of
wakefulness, are various degrees of sensitiveness. The conditions of
sleep are provocative of this impressibleness. Night is negative; the
silence and the vail of darkness shutting out external objects conduce
to make the mind negative and susceptible.

At midnight is the culmination of this negativeness, and hence the
ghastly dread of that hour has a foundation in fact, and is not an idle
superstition. Ghosts may never appear, yet if they were to appear the
midnight hour, of all others, would be assigned by the student cognizant
of this fact for them to come like shafts of frozen moonshine, into the
walks of men.

MESMERIC STATE.--Mesmerism, under whatever name, animal magnetism,
hypnotism, etc., is a potent means in the study of psychology. It has
made it possible to command many of the most evanescent phenomena, and
allow of their careful examination, when otherwise they came at rare
intervals and at such unexpected moments as made it impossible to
carefully compare and study them. Somnambulism, clairvoyance, and that
state of exquisite sensitiveness which makes us receptive of impressions
transformed into dreams, may be commanded in a sensitive, and observed
at leisure.

In the commencement we must free ourselves from the commonly received
idea that sleep has any resemblance to any of these several states which
are usually called magnetic, mesmeric, or clairvoyant sleep. As already
stated, sleep is the negative of being, and more distinct from these
states of exalted perception than waking. The incongruous and often
incoherent visions which arise in the half-waking state, or when only a
part of the mental faculties are at rest, are the ordinary dreams, which
have no significance, and are very different in their origin and meaning
from the impressions received in the sensitive state, which is one of
intense wakefulness and activity. The sensitive condition is possessed
in a marked degree by about one in five, and may be induced in a still
larger ratio. It is more frequently found in women than in men. It may
be cultivated, and become an important factor in the character and
happiness of the individual.

We will simply for convenience divide the sensitive state into the
hypnotic, somnambulic and clairvoyant; but it must be borne in mind that
these merge into each other; and that no sharp line can be drawn between

Mesmerism may be regarded as the method by which all of these states may
be induced. The mesmeric state is equivalent to the hypnotic. After
years of delay, mesmerism has been accepted under another name, that of
hypnotism; but the theory of a “fluid” or specific influence is
discarded. Hypnotists cannot, however, exceed the most common
experiments without the facts demanding even as a working hypothesis,
this specific influence.

The ticking of a watch held close to the ear, or intensely gazing at
some object, will throw a sensitive into an abnormal condition, at the
mercy of the “dominant idea,” and he becomes an automaton in the hands
of an external influence. This is the hypnotic state, beyond which the
“dominant idea” fails. A sensitive may be led by a “dominant idea,” but
soon manifests a power which stretches beyond into an unexplored region
of possibilities, exhibiting mental perceptions far more acute than
those possess who are around him, or he himself possesses in his normal
condition. Hypnotism as treated by its exponents is an extremely
complicated state, ranging from the cataleptic to the independent
clairvoyant. To define it with the usual narrow meaning is extremely
misleading and unscientific.

There are two distinct states of hypnotism. The first is that in which
most platform experiments are made. The sensitive is capable of carrying
on conversations, answering questions, and is governed by a “dominant
idea,” believing all the operator wishes, and doing as commanded.

The sensitive rapidly enters the next stage, when he becomes insensible
to pain, and irresponsive to the address of any one except the operator.
Until this stage is reached consciousness and memory are retained, a
fact fatal to the theory of automatic action or “unconscious
cerebration.” In this profound state the sensitive has no memory of
events which occur. It is an induced, incipient somnambulism, the true
counterpart of that which under proper condition appears spontaneously.

The report of the Committee on Hypnotism, vol. I., p. 95, of Proceedings
of American Society for Psychical Research, shows that it confined its
attention to fifty or sixty students of Harvard College. Of these about
a dozen were affected, and of these, two were so good that attention was
confined to them.

“The extraordinary mixture, in the hypnotic trance, of preternatural
refinement of discrimination with the grossest insensibility, is one of
the most remarkable features of the condition. A blank sheet of paper,
with fine-cut edges, without watermarks or any thing which could lead to
the recognition of one side or edge from the other, is shown to the
subject with the statement that it is a photograph of a well-known face.
As soon as he distinctly sees the photograph upon its surface, he is
told that it will float off from the paper, make a voyage around the
walls of the room, and then return to the paper again. During this
imaginary performance, he sees it successfully on the various regions of
the wall; but if the paper is meanwhile secretly turned over, and handed
to him upside down, or with its under surface on top, he instantly
recognizes the change, and seeing the portrait in the altered position
of the paper, turns the latter about, ‘to get the portrait right.’”

In the hypnotic state the subject is under the control of the operator,
and in a great degree an automaton; in the somnambulic, he in part
regains his individuality, and in certain lines of thought and action is
superior to himself in his waking moments. Natural somnambulism comes
without warning, and illustrates the condition induced by mesmeric

SOMNAMBULISM.--Sleep waking, or sleep walking, whatever may be its
cause, mental derangement by disease or intense exertion of mind or
body, or a constitutional inclination thereto, is of deepest interest to
the psychologist as proving the independence of the spirit of the
physical senses. The somnambulist has lost the use of his senses. He
feels, hears and sees nothing by touch, ear or eye, and yet the objects
to which his attention is drawn are plainly perceptible.

The Archbishop of Bordeaux is authority for the following narrative: A
young clergyman was in the habit of rising from his bed, and writing his
sermons while asleep. When he had written a page he would read it aloud
and correct it. Once in altering the expression “_ce devin enfant_,” he
substituted the word “_adorable_” for “_devin_,” which, commencing with
a vowel, required that “_ce_” before it should be changed to “_cet_;” he
accordingly added the “_t_.” While he was writing the Archbishop held a
piece of pasteboard under his chin to prevent him seeing what he was
writing, but he went on without being in the least incommoded. The paper
on which he was writing was removed and another piece substituted, but
he at once perceived the change. He also wrote pieces of music with his
eyes closed. He once wrote the words under the notes too large, but
discovering his mistake, he erased and rewrote them. He certainly did
not see with his eyes and yet the vision was perfect.

The case of Jane C. Rider, known as the Springfield somnambulist,
created in its time much wonder and speculation among intelligent
persons acquainted with the facts. A full account of it was published in
the Boston _Medical and Surgical Journal_, Volume XI., Numbers 4 and 5.
Miss Rider would walk in her sleep, attend to domestic duties in the
dark or with her eyes bandaged, and read in a dark room with her eyes
covered with cotton batting, over which was tied a black silk
handkerchief. She learned without difficulty to play at backgammon while
in this state, and would generally beat her antagonist, though in her
normal state she knew nothing about the game.

A young lady, while at school, succeeded in her Latin exercises without
devoting much time or attention to them, apparently. At length the
secret of her easy progress was discovered. She was observed to leave
her room at night, take her class-book, and go to a certain place on the
banks of a small stream, where she remained but a short time and then
returned to the house. In the morning she was invariably unconscious of
what had occurred during the night; but a glance at the lesson of the
day usually resulted in the discovery that it was already quite familiar
to her.

A young man on a farm in Australia, after a hard day’s work, went to
sleep on a sofa; after some little time he arose, passed through several
gates, opening and fastening them. Reaching the shed, he took off his
coat, sharpened his shears, caught a sheep, and had just finished
shearing it when his companions came with lanterns in search of him. The
shock of awaking caused him to tremble like a leaf, but he soon
recovered. The sheep was shorn as perfectly as if the work had been done
in broad daylight.

MORAL EFFECT OF MESMERISM.--Dr. Voisin recommends a suggestive
application of mesmerism. He experimented on a coarse, debauched and
lazy woman, who was susceptible to magnetism; and kept her in the
mesmeric sleep ten or twelve hours a day, and to its value as a curative
agent he added moral education. During her sleep he suggested ideas of
obedience, of submission, of decency, and exhorted her to useful labor.
In this sleep she memorized whole pages of moral books. A complete
transformation was effected in her in a few months.

What a glorious field here opens for the moral reformer! The calloused
criminal who will not listen to moral suasion, deaf alike to entreaty
and prayer, may be hypnotized, and in that susceptible condition taught
the Lord’s Prayer and moral precepts; his moral nature roused and thus
be transformed into a new being. The influence of some men when brought
into contact with criminals is explained by their strong mesmeric or
hypnotic influence. They always lift up those they control. They are
born masters, though they may not understand the cause of their

TRANCE AND CLAIRVOYANCE.--The trance or clairvoyant state has been
observed in all ages and among all races of mankind. It has, in seasons
of great religious excitement, become epidemic, the devotee falling in
convulsions, becoming cataleptic, and after hours, days, or even months
of apparent death, awakening with mind overwrought with visions of the
strange world in which it had dwelt during the period of

The records of clairvoyance are as old as history. If prophecy, the
“clear seeing of the future,” be its fruit, the prophets and sages of
the past were all more or less endowed with this gift. Socrates and
Apollonius predicted, and were conscious of, events transpiring at
remote distances. Cicero mentions that when the revelations are being
given, someone must be present to record them, as “these sleepers do not
retain any recollection of them.” Pliny, speaking of the celebrated
Hermotimus, of Clazomenæ, remarks that his soul separated itself from
the body, and wandered in various parts of the earth, relating events
occurring in distant places. During the period of inspiration his body
was insensible. The day of the battle of Pharsalia, Cornelius, a priest
of profound piety, described while in Padua, as though present, every
feature of the fight. Nicephorus says that when the unfortunate Valens,
taking refuge in a barn, was burned by the Goths, a hermit named Paul,
in a fit of ecstasy, cried out to those who were with him: “It is now
that Valens burns.” Tertulian describes two females, celebrated for
their piety and ecstasy, that they entered that state in the midst of
the congregation, revealed celestial secrets, and knew the innermost
hearts of persons.

St. Justin affirms that the sibyls foretold events correctly, and quotes
Plato as coinciding with him in that view. St. Athenagoras says of the
faculty of prescience, that “it is proper to the soul.” Volumes might be
readily filled with quotations like the foregoing, showing that
clairvoyance has been received as true by profound thinkers in every
age. Swedenborg, Zschokke, Davis, are not peculiarities of modern times,
but repetitions of Socrates, Apollonius, and countless others who deeply
impressed their personality on their times.

WHAT IS CLAIRVOYANCE?--Clairvoyance is a peculiar state of
impressibility, presenting gradations from semi-consciousness to
profound and death-like trance. Whether natural, or induced by
artificial means, the attending phenomena are similar. In its most
perfect form the body is in deepest sleep. A flame may be applied to it
without producing the quiver of a nerve; the most pungent substances
have no effect on the nostrils; pins or needles thrust into the most
sensitive part give no pain; surgical operations may be performed
without being felt. Hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, as well as
seeing, are seemingly independent of the physical organs. The muscular
system is either relaxed or rigid; the circulation impeded in some cases
until the pulse becomes imperceptible; and respiration leaves no stain
on a mirror held over the nostrils.

In passing into this state, the extremities become cold, the brain
congested, the vital powers sink, a dreamy unconsciousness steals over
the faculties of the mind. There is a sensation of sinking or floating.
After a time the perceptions become intensified; we can not say the
senses are intensified, for they are of the body, which for the time, is

The mind sees without the physical organs of vision, hears without the
organs of hearing, and feeling becomes a refined consciousness, which
brings it _en rapport_ with the intelligence of the world. The more
death-like the conditions of the body, the more lucid the mind, which
for the time owes it no fealty.

If, as there is every reason to believe, clairvoyance depends on the
unfolding of the spirit’s perception, then the extent of that unfolding
marks the degree of its perfection. However great or small this may be,
the state itself is the same, differing only in degree, whether observed
in the Pythian or Delphic oracle, the visions of St. John, the trance of
Mohammed, the epidemic catalepsy of religious revivals, or the
illumination of Swedenborg. The revelations made have a general
resemblance, but they are so colored by surrounding circumstances that
they are extremely fallible. The tendency of the trance is to make
objective the subjective ideas acquired by education. This is exhibited
in cases of religious ecstasy and trance, when the subject sees visions
of winged angels and of Christ; transforming dogmas and beliefs into
objective realities. Such revelations, of course, have no more value
than the illusory visions of the fever-stricken patient.

Yet there is a profound state which sets this aside, and divests the
mind of all trammels, and brings it into direct contact with the thought
atmosphere of the world--the psycho-ether. Time and space for it, then,
have no existence, and matter is transparent.

The weakening of the physical powers by disease is favorable to
sensitiveness. As the senses are deadened, the powers of the interior
consciousness are quickened, and a new world rises above the horizon of
the corporeal senses.

Evidence of the truth of clairvoyance was given in the _Brooklyn Eagle_,
soon after the loss of the “Arctic,” in 1854. The wife, son and daughter
of Captain Collins were making the tour of Europe, and the Captain, to
gratify a passing whim, consulted a clairvoyant as to their locality.
The answer was that they were at that time visiting a church, which was
accurately described. When the wife’s letter came, it contained a
narrative of a visit to a church at exactly the same hour, describing it
as the clairvoyant had done, thus showing that the communication was
quite correct.

As the family had arranged to return on the “Arctic,” and as the ship
was a day late, of course Captain Collins became anxious. Sunday and
Monday passed without news from the ship, and his anxiety increased. He
thought of the clairvoyant and called on her. At first, although
apparently deeply entranced, she could see nothing. Everything was in a
cloud. At length she was able to see the three persons standing on the
deck of a ship, amid great confusion, and almost concealed in fog and
mist. This was all she could discern. This was nearly two days before
the telegraph announced the loss of the “Arctic,” and the arrival of a
boat-load of survivors on the Canadian coast. But the Collins family
were not among the saved.

If we compare what may be called artificially induced with the
spontaneous clairvoyance, we shall find them similar. The first example
is of a sensitive, a youth of seventeen, who was blindfolded by means
of soft paper folded double, and then gummed over his eyelids, and a
silk handkerchief tied over this paper. Under these circumstances the
sensitive was able to take a pack of cards and select any one called
for, read the pages of a book, although those present were ignorant of
the words, his sensitiveness being entirely independent of the knowledge
of those around him.

CLAIRVOYANCE FROM DISEASE.--There are instances where persons have
fallen into this sensitive or clairvoyant state by disease or a nervous
shock, and in the prolonged trance which followed, manifested all the
phenomena usual to the induced somnambulic or clairvoyant state, even in
higher degree. Of these Mollie Fancher is one of the best examples. She
was called the “sleepless girl of Brooklyn,” and for nine years, it is
claimed by competent authority, did not sleep, and ate so little food
that it was claimed she did not partake of any. She was, at fifteen
years of age, healthy, but delicately organized. At that time she was
thrown from a street car, and her head and body injured. A day or two
afterwards she was seized with violent spasms. One by one her senses
failed. Sight was first to leave, and hearing followed. Then she lost
her speech, and then the ability to swallow. This last she had not been
known to exercise for nine years, and during the same length of time her
eyelids were closed. She took no sleep, unless the intervals of trance
be called sleep. She was breathless and rigid as dead. These spasms
lasted less than a minute, and were accompanied with, or followed by,
violent muscular contortions.

Her lower limbs became twisted entirely around each other. Her right arm
was bent upward and doubled under her head. She had no use of her right
hand at all, and of the left hand only the thumb and little finger.
Lying all the time, night and day, upon her right side, her right hand
cramped under her neck, and only her left free, with closed eyes, and
working back of her head, as she was forced to do, she wrought the most
exquisite worsted work and wax flowers. The darkness or light were all
the same to her; in fact, the light was painful to her, and even the
gas-light was placed in the further corner of the room and shaded. She
regained hearing and speech after several years, but otherwise her
conditions remained unchanged. She knew the thoughts of those who came
near her; printed pages or a sealed letter held in her hand back of her
head were readily read. Mr. Henry Parkhurst made many experiments to
test her powers. She repeatedly read sealed letters he gave her, and, as
a crucial test, he took a letter at random from the waste basket of an
acquaintance, tore it in strips, and then cut the stripes into squares.
He shook the pieces well together, put them into an envelope, and sealed
it. This he handed the blind girl. She passed her hand over it several
times, took a pencil and wrote the letter verbatim. Mr. Parkhurst opened
the envelope, arranged the pieces, and found she had made a perfect

Not satisfied, with the assistance of two friends, Mr. Parkhurst secured
an ancient mining report, yellow with age, and with averted face, so
that he might not see the contents, he tore out a page of tabulated
figures with explanation. This he folded and tore into scores of pieces.
Some of the pieces fell on the floor and were allowed to remain there.
The others he put in an envelope and sealed, and handed to one of his
assistants, who put it in another envelope, which he also sealed and
handed to the third, who enclosed it in the same manner. Then the party
went to Miss Fancher’s room, and asked her to give them the contents of
the envelope. She took it in her hand and wrote, “It is nonsense;
figures in which there are blank places, words that are incomplete, and
sentences in which words are missing.” She wrote on, in some sentences
skipping three or four words, and began with the last five letters of a
word having ten letters. The table of figures she made contained blank
spaces, but she wrote it out; and the gentleman returned to Mr.
Parkhurst’s, where they arranged the pieces in their original form. They
found that the copy made by Miss Fancier was absolutely correct, and the
blank spaces represented the pieces left on the floor. When these were
fitted in, the broken sentences were complete.

Dr. Spier, from the first her attending physician, watched her case with
unrelenting vigilance, and made a full record of her changing symptoms.
One day he received a note from her, warning him that an attempt would
be made to rob him, and the next day the attempt was made. She knew when
he was coming, and would mention the moment he started from his
residence, a mile away. In the early stages of her illness, Dr. Spier
administered an emetic to test whether the claim that she had not
partaken of food was true. It gave her great pain, and proved that her
stomach was empty. She well knew the nature of the medicine, although
purposely he attempted to keep it from her. Soon after she went into the
rigid condition which lasted nine years. When she began to recover, the
memory of these nine years was gone, and she only remembered the
incidents of the previous. Nine years and a half after administering the
test, when Dr. Spier entered the room, Miss Fancher broke out with:
“You thought I didn’t know you gave me that medicine, but I did. You
wanted to learn if food was in my stomach, but found none there. It made
me very sick. You will not do so again, will you?”

Thus she returned after all that time to the thought which she had at
the moment of entering on that strange experience. She had a double
life, and did not remember anything which occurred in her trance.

A SIMILAR CASE IN ENGLAND.--The case of Mollie Fancher is not alone,
although, perhaps, not more remarkable than that of Miss Eliza Hamilton
of England. A physician visited her in 1882, when she was fourteen years
of age. He found that in 1881 she had met with a severe injury which had
caused paralysis of her limbs and right arm. She had been treated at the
hospital for four months, at the end of which time she ceased to take
food and returned home. He saw her about two months thereafter, and thus
speaks of her: “She frequently passes into a trance condition, in which
her left arm becomes as stiff and immovable as her right one. She sings
hymns and repeats passages from the Bible, but is quite insensible to
pain when pinched or pricked with a pin; nor does she hear or speak when
addressed. When she revives, she tells her friends that she has been to
various places and seen various people, and describes conversations
which she has had, and objects she has seen in the rooms of persons she
has been visiting. These descriptions, on inquiry, are found to be
correct.... At times she speaks of having been in the company of persons
with whom she was acquainted in this world, but who have passed away;
and she tells her friends that they have become much more beautiful, and
have cut off the infirmities with which they were afflicted while here.
She often describes events which are about to happen to her and are
always fulfilled exactly as she predicts.”

Her father read in her presence a letter he had received from a friend
in Leeds, speaking of the loss of his daughter, about whose fate he and
his family were very unhappy, as she had disappeared nearly a month
before and left no trace. Eliza went into the trance state, and cried
out, “Rejoice! I have found the lost girl! She is happy in the angel
world.” She said the girl had fallen into dark water where dyers washed
their cloths; that her friends could not have found her had they sought
her there, but now the body had floated a few miles and could be found
in the River Aire. The body was found as described.

Now, knowing that her eyes were closed, that she could not hear, that
her bodily senses were in profound lethargy, how are we to account for
the intensivity and keenness of sight, the quick deftness of figures
enabling her to make the most beautiful contrast of colors in her
worsteds, or the delicate adjustment of the petals of her flowers? Her
mental powers were exceedingly exalted, and scarcely a question could be
asked her but she correctly answered.

In this case the independence of the mind of the physical body shown in
every instance of clairvoyance, is proven beyond cavil or doubt. If it
is demonstrated that the mind sees without the aid of eyes, hears when
the ears are deaf, feels when the nerves of sensation are at rest, it
follows that it is independent of these outward avenues, and has other
channels of communication with the external world essentially its own.

It must be here observed that as long as the mind is united with the
body, usually the physical senses overlay and conceal the higher psychic
faculties. The mind seemingly is dependent on the body, and is changeful
to corporeal conditions. It becomes enfeebled by disease, by accidents
to the brain, and at times disappears, like a lingering spark from a
flame, in the dotage of age. This, however, is only external appearance,
arising from the limitations fixed by the contact with physical matter,
as the light of the sun may be shut out by an opaque body.

The case of Laura Bridgeman is an illustration and evidence from another
point of view that the intellect is, in a measure at least, independent
of the senses. Completely deprived of sight and hearing at an early
period of childhood, she was a blind and deaf mute. She never had any
knowledge, through the eyes, of the bright landscape, of the glorious
sun, morning and evening, the blue sky, the floating clouds, the waving
trees, the green hills, the beautiful flowers. All was darkness and
profound night. She never heard the exquisite notes of harmony, of
instrument or modulated voice, the sigh of winds, the carol of birds. To
her all had been unbroken silence. Dr. Howe, her kind and angelic
teacher, says: “As soon as she could walk she began to explore the rooms
of the house. She became familiar with forms, density, weight, and heat,
of every article she could lay her hands upon.... An attempt was made to
give her knowledge of arbitrary signs by which she could interchange
thoughts with others. There was one of two ways to be adopted: Either to
go on and build up a language of signs which she had already commenced
herself, or to teach her the purely arbitrary language in common use;
that is, to give her a sign for every individual thing, or to give her a
knowledge of letters, by combinations by which she could express her
ideas of the existence, and the mode and condition of existence of
anything. The former would have been easy, but very ineffectual; the
latter seemed difficult, but if accomplished, very effectual. I
determined, therefore, to try the latter.”

After describing the process by which he taught her to associate names
with things, he goes on to say; “Hitherto the process had been
mechanical, and the success about as great as teaching a knowing dog a
variety of tricks. The poor child had sat in mute amazement, and
patiently imitated everything her teacher did. But now the truth began
to flash upon her; her intellect began to work; she perceived that here
was a way by which she could herself make up a sign of anything that was
in her mind, and show it to another mind, and at once her countenance
lighted up with a human expression. It was no longer a dog or a parrot;
it was an immortal soul, eagerly seizing upon a link of union with other
spirits! I could almost fix upon the moment the truth first dawned upon
her mind, and spread its light to her countenance. I saw that the great
obstacle was overcome, and henceforth nothing but patient perseverance,
and plain, straight-forward efforts were to be used.”

At the end of the year, a report of the case was made, from which the
following extract is taken: “It has been ascertained beyond a
possibility of a doubt, that she can not see a ray of light, can not
hear the least sound, and never exercises her sense of smell if she has
any. Thus her mind dwells in darkness and stillness, as profound as
that of a closed tomb at midnight. Of beautiful sights, sweet sounds,
and pleasant odors, she has no perception; nevertheless, she is happy
and playful as a lamb, a bird, and the enjoyment of her intellectual
faculties, or the acquirement of a new idea, gives her a vivid pleasure,
which is plainly marked in her expressive features.... In her
intellectual character, it was pleasing to observe an insatiable thirst
for knowledge and a quick perception of the relation of things. In her
moral character, it is beautiful to behold her continued goodness, her
keen enjoyment of existence, her expansive love, her unhesitating
confidence, her sympathy with suffering, her conscientiousness,
truthfulness and hopefulness.”

Her spirit was locked within her body without the least contact with the
world through the most useful senses; yet she not only thought, but
thought in the same manner as those who possess these senses in
perfection. If thought depends on the senses, then the quality of
thought should change when deprived of the senses. It is true that when
thus fettered in expression, it does not escape the limitations of its
surroundings, yet in the struggle we see the indication of the limitless
possibilities of the spirit when these are cast aside.

Sensitiveness Proved by Psychometry.

Light emanating from suns and worlds, as it wings its swift way across
the regions of space, bears on its rays the pictures of every object
from which it is emptied or reflected, and hence the universe, from
center to remotest bounds, is filled with pictures; is a vast storehouse
of photographs of all events from the fading of a leaf to the revolution
of a world since time began. Thus a ray of light leaving the earth
during the coal age bears a picture of the then existing gigantic
forests and inky seas, and is yet somewhere passing the remote
coastlines of unknown systems, and could some swifter messenger overtake
it, he would have a view of the world as it was when that ray was
reflected from the carboniferous period. The messenger is not needed to
overtake the fugitive ray, for the light thus reflected, struck against
rock and tree, and photographed the images of every moment since the
stars first sang together. Every atom still vibrates to the molding hand
of life under which it has at some time passed, and the sensitive mind
is able to catch these vibrations and interpret their meaning in forms
of thought. The discovery of this wonderful faculty of the mind is not
of recent date.

Almost fifty years ago an Episcopal Bishop remarked to Dr. Buchanan that
when he touched brass, even in the night, when he could not know with
what substance he came in contact, he at once felt a disagreeable
influence and recognized an offensive metallic taste. Such experience
had been common to a great number of persons, and frequently observed,
but this time it was called to the attention of the right man. All the
world for ages had seen bodies fall to the ground, and countless
millions of eyes have seen the phenomenon with no more thought than the
brute, until a falling apple drew the attention of Newton. Dr. Buchanan
at once saw that there was a profound philosophy back of this fact which
transcended the senses. He began a lengthy series of experiments, by
which he discovered that it was by no means rare for persons to be
affected by metallic and other substances. In a class of one hundred and
thirty students at the Eclectic Medical College, forty-three were
sensitive in greater or less degree. Medicines held in the hand without
any knowledge of their properties, produced the same effect, varying
only in degree as when taken into the stomach. By placing the hand, or
merely coming into the atmosphere of a deceased person, the sensitive
was able to locate and describe the disease. In this field Dr. Buchanan
has stood almost alone, until recently M. Bourru and M. Burot of the
Naval Medical School at Rochfort, have made extended experiments on the
“action of medicines at a distance,” which is really another way of
stating the facts observed by him a generation ago. They held the metals
and drugs six inches or so from the back of the head of the patients and
proved all that Dr. Buchanan claimed for his discovery.

But the discoverer did not rest here; he went a step further and found
that a letter or any article having been brought in contact with the
person, when taken in the hand or placed on the forehead of one
sufficiently sensitive, gave the character of its writer or owner.
Repeated experiments, such as any one may make, prove beyond question
that the sensitive can in this manner read the character of the writer
from his writings, his state of health, better than the most intimate
friend, or even the writer himself. It is a marvelous statement, but
only marvelous in our not understanding its cause. When this is
revealed, and mystery removed, the subject allies itself with other
phenomena of mind, having their origin in impressibility.

Prof. Denton carried the results of psychometry far beyond the
boundaries reached by Dr. Buchanan. If the world is one vast picture
gallery of every act and thought since the beginning of time, the fossil
shell, the rock-fragment, the broken arrow head, the shred of mummy, and
the rush leaf from the banks of the Nile should reproduce in the
sensitive the story of their origin and age. By a great number of
experiments, the details of which fill three volumes, Prof. Denton
sought to establish this generalization and write the geological and
pre-historic history of the earth. That he found a kernel of truth can
not be denied, but he allowed sources of error to creep in and vitiate
his wonderfully suggestive and patient research. A person sensitive to
the degree that enables him to feel the influences given to a fragment
of stone thousands of years ago, would be more strongly impressed with
the influence imparted by the one who secured it, and held it in his
hands before the experiment. It is from this cause that uncertainty
rests on his otherwise well-planned experiments. Yet he has proved that
such sensitiveness exists, and that by it the story of history from
fragments of ruined architecture may be read, and scenes in geological
ages by fossil, bone or shell be described.

How? Really psychometry, depending on the sensitiveness of the brain, is
a lower degree of clairvoyance, and is merged, in its clearest forms,
therein. Sensitiveness means the capability of receiving the
psycho-ether waves as they pulsate from some center, and as everything
touched by life is in a state of such vibration, the recognition is only
a question of the delicacy of the receiving organization.

There is a vast accumulation of narratives of ghosts, witches,
apparitions, hallucinations, illusions, dreams, etc., which it is the
present fashion to relegate to the sphere of superstition and ignorance.
Many of these, however anomalous, have a foundation in fact, and will be
found, when stripped of the portions superstition has added, readily
explainable, either as subjective, arising from impressions on the
sensitive, or as objective and manifested by the same principles. As
sensitiveness to these subtile influences greatly varies in different
individuals and at different times in the same individual, and at times
becomes clairvoyance, scarcely an illustration can be given of one
without introducing the other. We must constantly bear in mind that
there is one fundamental cause back of all these so-called occult
phenomena, varying in the degree of its manifestation in accord with the
channel through which it flows.

SUBJECTIVE SPECTRAL ILLUSIONS.--Dr. Abercrombie is authority for the
following illustration of subjective spectral illusions: “A gentleman of
high mental endowments, and now upwards of eighty years of age, of spare
habits and enjoying uninterrupted health, has been for eleven years
subject to the daily visits of spectral figures. They in general present
human countenances; the head and body are distinctly defined, the lower
parts are for the most part, lost in a kind of cloud. The figures are
various, but he recognizes the same countenances repeated from time to
time, especially of late years, that of an elderly woman, with a
peculiarly arch and playful expression, and a dazzling brilliancy of
eye, who seems just ready to speak with him.... This female is dressed
in an old-fashioned Scottish plaid of Tartan, drawn up and brought
forward over the head, and then crossed below the chin, as the plaid
was worn by aged women in his younger day. He can seldom recognize among
the spectres any figure or countenance which he remembers to have seen;
but his own face has been presented to him, gradually undergoing the
change from youth to manhood, and from manhood to old age.”

It is not necessary to call in the aid of an invisible being to explain
such appearances. The house had been occupied by Scotch who dressed as
described, and the influence they left impressed itself on the
gentleman’s sensitive brain.

“All houses where men have lived and died are haunted houses,” not by
actual ghosts, but by the subtile force which persons impart to
everything with which they come in contact. That he was subject to some
influence outside of himself is shown by the appearances always being of
some one that he had never seen, and hence they could not have been
revived pictures from his own brain. After he had been in the house for
a long time he began to see his own face; that is, after he had imparted
his own influence to his surroundings, he received them back as from a

Dendy, in his “Philosophy of Mystery,” mentions “M. Andral, who in his
youth saw, in La Pitie, the putrid body of a child covered with larvæ,
and during the next morning the spectre of this corpse lying on his
table was as perfect as reality.” He could not see it by a mental
effort, nor any where else than on his table, and whenever he looked at
that, the appearance at once came. It may be said in explanation, that
the sight of the disgusting object produced a strong impression on the
optic nerves and mind, and a suggestive object, as the table reproduced
the same state. We have no evidence that one object, under the same
light, affects the optic nerves more than any other would under the
same circumstances. Vivid mental impressions are more readily reproduced
than those that scarcely ruffle the surface of thought; but this does
not account for the student not seeing the appearance at any other time
or place than on the table where it had laid, and which we would say
retained the influence imparted to it by the body having lain there.

Professor Hitchcock says that during a severe sickness, “day after day
visions of strange landscapes spread out before him--mountain, lake and
forest; vast rocks, strata upon strata piled to the clouds; the panorama
of a world shattered and upheaved, disclosing the grim secrets of
creation, the unshapely and monstrous rudiments of organic being.” His
son, Professor Charles Hitchcock, adds that his father saw the sandstone
beds of the Connecticut valley spread out before him, covered with
tracks, and by the superior insight wrought by sickness, cleared up some
doubtful points to which he had vainly given his attention. Professor
Hitchcock became, in consequence of his sickness, exceedingly sensitive,
and the geological specimens near him, or that he had handled, brought
up in his mind the pictures of their primeval age.

HALLUCINATIONS.--The received definition of an hallucination is a false
perception without any material basis, being formed entirely in the
mind. An individual who sees pictures on a blank wall, or who hears
voices when no sound reaches his ear, is hallucinated. “The reason for
this being that the erroneous perception constituting the hallucination
is found in that part of the brain which ordinarily requires the
excitation of sensorial impressions for its functions.” In this view,
hallucination is evidence of mental derangement and incipient insanity.
This explanation is by no means sufficient for this class of facts. That
a certain tract of brain can of itself give the mind complicated
representations, never before seen or imaged in the mind, is not
established. The reappearance of objects that have been seen is better
explained, and still more satisfactorily, by causes which unite them all
together, and with all like phenomena. George Combe says of a painter
who inherited much of the patronage of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and believed
himself to possess a talent superior to his, was so fully engaged that
he had painted three hundred large and small portraits in one year. The
fact appeared physically impossible, but the secret of his rapidity and
astonishing success was this: He required but one sitting of his model.
His method was as follows, as given by himself: “When a sitter came, I
looked attentively on him for half an hour, sketching from time to time
on the canvas. I did not require a longer sitting. I removed the canvas,
and passed to another person. When I wished to continue the first
portrait, I recalled the man to my mind. I placed him on the chair,
where I perceived him as distinctly as though really there, and, I may
add, in form and color more decidedly brilliant. I looked from time to
time at the imaginary figure and went on painting, occasionally stopping
to examine the picture exactly as though the original was before me;
whenever I looked towards the chair I saw the man. This method made me
very popular, and as I always caught the resemblance, the sitters were
delighted that I spared them the annoying sittings of other painters.”

This painter was far from incipient insanity. He was sensitive to
impressions, and able by that organization to recall the image of the
sitter, but not that of one who had not occupied the chair.

The Rev. T. L. Williams, Vicar of Porthleven, in _The Journal of the
Society for Psychical Research_, July, 1885, gives his personal
experience: “On an occasion when I was absent from home, my wife awoke
one morning, and to her surprise and alarm saw me standing by the
bedside looking at her. In her fright she covered her face with the bed
clothes, and when she ventured to look again the appearance was gone. On
another occasion, when I was not absent from home, my wife saw me, as
she supposed, coming from church in surplice and stole. I came a little
way, she says, and turned round the corner of the building, where she
lost sight of me. I was at the time in the church in my place in the
choir, where she was much surprised to see me on entering the
building.... My daughter has often told me, and now repeats the story,
that she was passing my study door, which was ajar, and looked in to see
if I was there. She saw me in my chair, and as she caught sight of me, I
stretched out my arms, and drew my hands across my eyes, a familiar
gesture of mine. I was in the village at the time. Now, nothing occurred
at or about the times of these appearances to give any meaning to them.”
He adds: “A good many years ago there was a devout young woman living in
my parish, who used to spend much of her spare time in church in
meditation and prayer. She used to assert that she frequently saw me
standing at the altar when I certainly was not there in the body.” Mr.
Williams must have been a man peculiarly endowed with psychic force to
thus impress himself.

The following is from the pen of the gifted Mary Howitt, and not only
gives a remarkable fact, but her explanation of the same: “I conducted
Mrs. Nenner through a room which contained some ancient furniture and a
quantity of valuable old china. This china had been left in our care by
a friend during his lengthened absence abroad. His thoughts from his
place of sojourn at the antipodes constantly reverted to these

“‘Who are these six gentlemen, evidently brothers, sitting where the old
china is?’ asked Mrs. Nenner, when we had passed through the room.

“‘There was no one there at all,’ I said, much surprised.

“‘Then,’ said she, ‘I must have seen six brother spirits. There they
were sitting; tall, fair men, light haired, all strikingly alike, all
the same age. They must be brothers!’

“I recognized in her description the owner of the china. Before Mrs.
Nenner left, we showed her a portrait of the owner of the china, our
friend on the other side of the world. She at once said, ‘Oh, that is
one of the six brothers!’ In some mysterious manner the intensity of
thought fixed by the possessor of the china upon his possessions--we
knew that his thoughts constantly reverted to them--had been able to
manifest itself to the sight in the form of the man himself, but
multiplied into six forms. It should be observed that this gentleman was
of what now we should term a ‘mediumistic’ temperament. It is possible,
that being at the antipodes, he might be, at the time his multiplied
form was beheld, asleep--it being night there when it is day with
us--and that his thoughts might have, in a dream, revisited England.”

Since civilization began, mankind have held certain stones and metals
as precious, and attributed rare qualities to charms, relics and
amulets. We may indulge our mirth over the miraculous qualities ascribed
to the bones of martyrs and the teeth of saints, a bit of wood from the
true cross; but casting aside the rubbish gathered by imposture and
credulity, we discover a great truth. Precious stones and metals have
become so because of the subtile power of their emanations. In a true
relic the sensitive perceives the full expression of the original
owner’s life, and feels it reproduced in him. As the phonograph
treasures up the tone, the accent, the quality of the voice, and the
thought of the speaker, so the relic preserves and constantly gives
forth the character of the one it represents.

Shrines and holy places have cause for being regarded as sacred, and
their preservation in purity for the one and only purpose is correct in
science. The church devoted to the worship of Jehovah holds its devotees
with the invisible bonds reaching out from the walls forged from the
psycho-aura of all preceding worshippers. That the members hold their
houses exclusively for certain uses may be the result of superstition,
but they are right in thus doing. A church building given over during
the week to shows and entertainments, and nightly filled with the class
such would draw, would become so saturated with worldly influences as to
be unfit for the promulgation of the highest religious thought on
Sunday. Both audience and minister would feel the depressing effect, and
religious zeal would reach zero.

How strong and enduring the impress stamped on a relic or jewel may be,
is shown in the following story told of Robert Browning by Mr. Knowles
(_Spectator_, Jan. 30, 1869): “Mr. Robert Browning tells me that when he
was in Florence some years since, an Italian nobleman (Count Ginnasi)
was brought to his house. The Count professed to have great mesmeric
powers, and declared in reply to Mr. Browning’s avowed skepticism, he
would convince him of his powers. He then asked Mr. Browning whether he
had anything about him then and there, which he could hand him, and
which was in anyway a memento or relic. It so happened by curious
accident, that Mr. Browning was wearing under his coat sleeves some gold
wrist studs to his shirt, which he had quite recently taken into wear in
absence of his ordinary wrist-buttons. He had never before worn them in
Florence, or elsewhere, and found them in an old drawer where they had
lain forgotten for years. One of these he took out and handed to the
Count, who held it in his hand awhile and then said as if much
impressed, ‘There is something here which cries out in my ear, Murder!

“And truly,” said Mr. Browning, “these studs were taken from the dead
body of a great uncle of mine, who was violently killed on his estate in
St. Kitts nearly eighty years ago. They were produced in court as proofs
that robbery had not been the object of the strangler, which was
effected by his own slaves. They were taken out of the night-gown in
which he died and given to me.”

Sensitiveness During Sleep.

The _Index_ published the following:

“Recently the youngest child of Warren Wasson (Katie) fell into a well
and was nearly drowned. A day or two since, a letter was received from
Mr. Wasson, who is in Oregon, written before he had heard of the
occurrence. He stated that on the same Sunday, at the time of the
accident, he was taking a nap, and was awakened by a terrifying dream.
He thought he saw little Katie dripping with water, and the little boy
next older than Katie was immersed in the water, and that he was able to
save him only by taking hold of his ears. When he pulled him out, he was
covered with spots like a leopard. Mr. Wasson says that as he awoke he
was covered with cold sweat, and in an agony of mind. This is a very
strange coincidence, and the dream corresponds with the occurrence, save
that the little boy was not in danger. It was the little girl who was
spotted from the chill.”

It resembles a wrongly received telegraphic dispatch, in which one word
is substituted for another.

EFFECT OF STRONG MENTAL IMPRESSION.--A strong mental impression carried
into sleep is conducive to impressibility. Inspector Jewett, of the
Brooklyn Police, was so worried about the lost pistol of John Kenny, who
had shot a car-driver, as he wanted the weapon in evidence against the
ruffian, that he dreamed about it. He saw it in a certain saloon, in a
certain place, and the next morning went to the saloon and found the
pistol exactly where he saw it in his dream.

The rescue of the crew of the “Sparkenhoe,” November 30, 1875, by Capt.
Adam S. Smalley, as told by him, is a fine illustration of
impressibility in sleep. He sailed from Bordeaux November 24, 1875, in
the brigantine “Fred Eugene,” bound for Key West, and soon encountered
stormy weather. When six hundred miles at sea, on the night of the 29th,
he suddenly awoke from sleep, deeply impressed with a dream, in which
he had seen a number of men in great peril. He related this to his wife,
adding that he hoped no shipwrecked crew needed his assistance. At
midnight, he again retired, and again the vision was repeated with more
distinctness, and the men appearing on a wreck needing the utmost
dispatch to rescue them. The Captain went immediately on deck, and
without any assigned reason, changed the course of the ship two points,
and, giving orders to be called at daylight, retired, and slept till the
appointed time.

Going on deck at dawn, and sweeping the horizon with his glass, he
discovered a ship far to the windward, with a signal of distress
displayed. He endeavored to work his vessel up, but with short sail and
heavy sea, most of the forenoon passed, and a long distance remained. He
was resolved to take a long tack, and not change his course until
prompted to do so by the same impulse that bade him do so the night
before. More sail was made, although prudence forbade, in the face of a
gale at any moment threatening to break, and all the men stood at their
posts for over an hour, awaiting the orders for tacking.

At last the prompting came, and going about, the vessel reached a point
two miles to the leeward of the distressed ship, where her three boats,
containing twenty-three men in all, had put off to intercept the brig.
They were taken on board, the boats cut loose, and all sail taken in as
quickly as possible, and in ten minutes a fierce hurricane lashed the
sea to foam. The gale raged four days with unabated fury, so that, had
they not been rescued at the very moment they were, they would have
certainly perished.

We have two explanations. The first is that of thought transference--the
reception on the sensitive brain of Captain Smalley of the intense
thoughts of the perishing crew. As the inductive plate sends its
influence across miles of space, we may suppose that the vibrations from
them would go out across the wide sea interval, and, finding a receiving
instrument, be converted again to thought. The second explanation is
that of the interference of spiritual beings, who impress their thoughts
on the mind of the Captain in the same manner. The prompting as to the
course to steer is beyond and outside of the dream, and proves the
extreme sensitiveness of the commander.

A DREAM SAVES A SHIPWRECKED CREW.--Of precisely similar character is the
impression received by Capt. G. A. Johnson of the schooner “Augusta H.
Johnson.” He sailed from Quero for home, encountering a terrible
hurricane. On the second day, he saw a disabled brig, and near by a
barque. He was anxious to reach home, and thinking the barque would
assist the brig, continued on.

But the impression came that he must turn back and board the brig. He
could not shake it off, and at last he, with four men, boarded the brig
in the dory. He found her deserted, and made sail on her. After a time
they saw an object ahead, appearing like a man on a cake of ice. The
dory was again manned, and sent to the rescue. It proved to be the mate
of the bark “Leawood,” clinging to the bottom of an overturned boat,
which, being white, appeared in the distance as ice. This premonition
came without seeking, and in direct opposition to the desire of Captain
Johnson, desiring to escape from the storm, and reach home without

A LIFE SAVED.--The Biddeford (Me.) _Journal_ thus relates the story of
the narrow escape of a sailor:

“Last week the schooner “Ida May” lay at Government Wharf, near the
mouth of Kennebunk River, with one man on board, Freeman Grove, who was
in the cabin asleep. In the night he was awakened by some one touching
him and saying, ‘You will be drowned.’ On opening his eyes, no one was
present, but he immediately went on deck, and found the side of the
vessel caught under the wharf by the tide, and shortly it would have
sunk, and cabin and all been under water. With a plank he pried the side
from the wharf, and she came up with the tide. The sleeper, being in the
cabin, must have been drowned had he not been awakened by the voice.”

Perhaps no greater disaster was ever accompanied by a greater number of
special premonitions and warnings of coming danger than the “Ashtabula
horror,” where a train crowded with passengers plunged into a gulf in a
fearful storm, and, taking fire, was burned. The _Times_ published a
list of the names of those saved by “presentiments.” One, in particular,
is related at length, and is thoroughly vouched for. A young lady, by
the name of Hazen, having with her a colored servant, started from
Baltimore for Pittsburg, where she was to be married. She had purchased
tickets at Buffalo for the ill-fated train. During the night previous,
“Aunt Chloe,” the colored slave, had a dream, which so impressed her
that when they reached the depot she positively refused to go on that
train. “Auntie” had been as a mother to Miss Hazen, who lost her mother
in infancy. The young lady, perhaps somewhat a believer in the
superstitions of the slaves, humored Auntie’s mood, and deferred going
until the next train--in all probability thereby saving the lives of

CLAIRVOYANT DREAM-STATE.--The Oakland (Cal.) _Tribune_ records a
pleasing story, which fully illustrates what may be called a permanent
dream-sensitiveness identical with clairvoyance: “Twenty years ago, a
bachelor in Oakland dreamed of visiting a family consisting of parents
and two little girls, who were unknown to him in his waking hours. From
that time forth, he continued to dream of them for a score of years. He
saw the children grow from childhood to womanhood. He was at the closing
exercises when they graduated. In fact, he shared all the pleasures and
griefs of the family. His friendship to his dreamland friends seemed so
real, he often remarked that he felt certain he would know them in
reality at some future time.

“Two months ago, in a dream, he saw the husband die, and from that time
he ceased to dream of them in a period of twenty years. He received a
letter from New York City, the writer being the widow of a cousin of
his, with whom he had had no intercourse since his boyhood--over thirty
years. She wrote that she wished to make San Francisco her future home,
and it was arranged for him to meet her and her two daughters at the
wharf at Oakland. On their arrival, imagine his surprise to see his
dream friends. They were equally so when he related to them the dreams
in which they had figured. He told them incidents connected with their
past lives which he could not have known under ordinary circumstances.
He described their former home, even to the furniture and household
ornaments, and was correct in every particular. The sequel is that he
married the lady, and they are living happily in this city.”

ALLEGORICAL DREAMS.--When important intelligence comes in allegorical
form, it is difficult to give adequate explanation, without calling to
our aid an outside intelligence. The London _News_ has the following:

“Most people remember the terrible railway accident, in which Dickens
himself and his proof-sheets escaped, while so many perished. In the
train there chanced to be a gentleman and lady just returned from India.
The lady said to her husband, ‘I see the great wave rolling on; it is
close to us,’ and then the crash came, and she was a corpse. The husband
was unhurt, and at a later time explained his wife’s strange words. Ever
since they had set sail from India, she had been haunted in sleep by a
dream of a vast silvery wave, and always, just as it was about to break
on her, she had awakened in terror.”

Less tragic, but quite odd enough for Mr. Proctor’s collection, is the
anecdote of the south-country farmer’s dream. The good man awakened from
his first sleep, and aroused his wife to tell her about a startling
vision. He had dreamed that he saw a favorite cow drowning in a pond in
a neighboring common. “There ain’t no pond there;” said the wife, with
natural irritation and double-shotted negatives. This was undeniably
true, but the farmer was uneasy. At last he arose, dressed, and walked
up the long lane which led to the common. Everything was quiet, but just
at the top of the lane the farmer heard a sound as of a man digging.
Then a light caught his eye. It glimmered through a hedge that divided
the lane from the fields. The farmer cautiously drew near, till he was
just above the ditch. There he spied a country fellow, with a lantern,
digging a long, straight, deep hole in the ground. An ax lay beside the
hole. At this point the farmer slipped, the hedge rustled, and the
delver fled away. The farmer secured the lantern and made for home. Just
at the entrance of the lane, the time being about two in the morning, he
met one of his servant wenches hurrying in the direction whence he had
come. “What do you want, my lass? No good, I fear,” said the
agricultural moralist; and, in short, he made the girl tell him her
story. She was going to an assignation with her “young man,” who had
jilted her, and was courting another girl. She had threatened him with
an action for breach of promise of marriage, and the swain had promised
that, if she would but meet him at two in the morning, at the bend of
the lane, he would satisfy her, and remove all jealousy and differences.

“Very well, my lass,” said the farmer, “come, and I’ll show you what he
had to give you.” He led the way, and revealed to the horrified girl the
long, deep, narrow hole and sharp ax which had awaited her. Naturally,
she did not any longer pursue her lover; and here is a dream which even
Mr. Proctor will admit not to have been purposeless. Indeed, the
“machinery” of the drowning cow made the vision appeal directly to the
bucolic mind.

Of the same prophetic character is the following well-authenticated

Mrs. Jacob Condon, living a few miles from Reed, Pa., dreamed a few
nights ago that her year-old baby was burned to death, and that she sent
word of the casualty to her husband, who was working at a distance from
home, by James Portlewaith, a neighbor. The next morning she told her
husband of her dream, and admitted that it made her despondent. He
laughed at her fears, and went away to his work. Late in the forenoon,
Mrs. Condon left her kitchen to go to the wood-shed, a few steps away.
While she was there she heard her baby screaming. She ran into the house
and found the child lying in front of an open grate, wrapped in flames.
She threw an old coat about the child, and smothered the flames, but it
was so badly burned that it died in a few minutes. Mrs. Condon went to
the door to call for assistance. As she reached the door, James
Portlewaith was passing the gate. She sent him to her husband with the
dreadful news, thus fulfilling her terrible dream to the letter.

Mrs. Howitt, whose veracity no one can dispute, gives the following
experience in the _Psychological Review_, London, which may be taken as
an illustration of thought transference, or as the interposition of a
supreme intelligence:

“I dreamed that I received a letter from my eldest son. In my dream I
eagerly broke open the seal, and saw a closely-written sheet of paper,
but my eye caught only these words in the middle of the first page,
written larger than the rest and underlined, ‘_My father is very ill_.’
The utmost distress seized me, and I suddenly awoke, to find it only a
dream; yet the painful impression of reality was so vivid, that it was
long before I could compose myself. The first thing I did the following
morning was to commence a letter to my husband, relating this
distressing dream. Six days afterwards, on the 18th, an Australian mail
came in and brought me a letter, the only letter I received by that
mail, and not from any of my own family, but from a gentleman in
Australia with whom we were acquainted. This letter was addressed on the
outside, ‘_Immediate_,’ and with a trembling hand I opened it; and true
enough, the first words I saw--and these written larger than the rest,
in the middle of the paper, and underlined, were: ‘_Mr. Howitt is very
ill_.’ The context of these terrible words was, however, ‘If you hear
that _Mr. Howitt is very ill_, let this assure you that he is better;’
but the only emphatic words which I saw in my dream, and these,
nevertheless, slightly varying, as, from some cause or other, all such
mental impressions, spirit revelations, or occult, dark sayings
generally do vary from the truth or type which they seem to reflect.”

Stainton Moses, M. D., who has given life-long attention to psychic
research, remarks on the apparent discrepancy between the words of the
dream, and the letter as follows:

“It may be permitted to the writer to suggest, that through a fuller
acquaintance with, and deeper observation of, the phenomena of ‘spirit
revelation, occult, dark sayings’, etc., the truth has forced itself
upon various philosophic minds, that in obedience to a primal law of
spirit’s intercourse with spirit--it is always the essence or spirit of
an idea or fact which is sought to be conveyed to the mind, and not the
mere literal clothing of that idea or fact. This essence or spirit of
the idea is the grain of true wheat alone needed; the form is simply the
husk that clothes it for a temporary purpose, and must of necessity fall
away from it as a dead thing. ‘In this material, matter-of-fact age,
literal truth,’ says the Rev. James Smith, ‘the lowest of all truths in
one sense, is generally regarded as the highest. But they are
superficial thinkers who dabble only in literal truth or physical
truth.’ This is a knowledge of Law Spiritual, without which progress is
impossible for the student of psychology.”

THE IDEA, NOT WORDS, CONVEYED.--If the idea was sent through the
psychic-ether, as a wave of thought, it would translate itself into
language, and the language of the receiving mind would be the one into
which it would be translated. It would pass through space as the essence
of thought, and the sensitive recipient would clothe it with the
garments of words.

Wm. Howitt, on his visit to Australia, had a dream which he regarded as
having great importance as a fact in Mental Science. He says:

“Some weeks ago, while yet at sea, I had a dream of being at my
brother’s at Melbourne, and found his house on a hill at the further end
of the town, next to the open forest. The garden sloped a little way
down the hill to some brick buildings below; and there were greenhouses
on the right hand by the wall as you looked down the hill from the
house. As I looked out the windows in my dream, I saw a wood of
dusky-foliaged trees, having a segregated appearance in their heads;
that is, their heads did not make that dense mass like our woods.
‘There!’ said I, addressing some one in my dream, ‘I see your native
forest of Eucalyptus!’ This dream I told to my sons, and to two of our
fellow-passengers, at the time, and on landing, as we walked over the
meadows, long before we reached the town, I saw this very wood. ‘There!’
I exclaimed, ‘is the very wood of my dream. We shall see my brother’s
house there.’ And so we did. It stood exactly as I saw it, only looking
newer; but there, over the wall of the garden, is the wood exactly as I
saw it and now see it, as I sit at the dining-room window writing. When
I look upon this scene I seem to look into my dream.”

This mysterious perception of scenes and events which, after perhaps
years, come before the dreamer or enter into his life, is supported by
ample testimony.

In the _Spiritual Magazine_, 1871, the author, speaking of this dream,
gives further curious details:

“In a vision at sea, some thousand miles from Melbourne, I not only
clearly saw my brother’s home and the landscape around it, but also saw
things in direct opposition to news received before leaving England. It
was said that all the men were gone to the gold-fields, and that even
the Governor and Chief-Justice had no men-servants left. But I now saw
abundance of men in the streets of Melbourne, and many sitting on
doorsteps asking employment.... When in the street before my brother’s
house, we saw swarms of men, and some actually sitting on steps, seeking
work. All was so exactly as I had described, that great was the
astonishment of my companions.”

If we were to regard sleep, after the common usage, as a simple state,
dreams, visions, thought transference, and the appearance of a person
while living at a distance, become a mass of irreconcilable details. But
this is a wholly erroneous view of the character of sleep. It is one of
the most complex and changeful conditions, ranging from the disturbed
doze of the overweary, to the most sensitive clairvoyance. It will be
seen that many of the so-called dreams are really visions received in a
more sensitive condition than is furnished during the waking hours.


SENSITIVENESS DURING SLEEP.--There are dreams and dreams. When greatly
fatigued, mentally or physically, the partially awakened faculties
often become impressed with strangely distorted thoughts. Then there
are the terrible dreams from indigestion, the peculiar interpretations
of bodily discomfort, as dreams of frosts and snows, when chilled during
sleep, or of burning forests when over-heated. Galen gives examples of
such dreams in the case of a man who dreamed that his right leg was
turned to stone, and soon after lost the use of it by palsy; and another
patient who dreamed that he was in a vessel filled with blood, which the
physician accepted as a sign that the man ought to be bled, by which a
serious disease under which he labored was cured.

In perfect sleep dreams do not occur, because all the mental faculties
are dormant. The conjecture that the mind always dreams, but fails to
remember, is not true. A hearty supper, by inducing indigestion, is a
prolific cause of bad dreams.

Derangement of the perfect correlation of the mental faculties, in
sickness or the weakness of age, is a frequent cause of the wildest and
most incoherent visions. All these causes may be well considered, and
after their influences have been eliminated, there remains an order
distinct and inexplicable by known causes. The dreamer may not be
sensitive to psychic influences while awake, but during sleep may become
exceedingly so. Night favors sensitiveness because of its negative
influence. All nervous diseases are aggravated by the coming of
twilight, and midnight is the hour when the most perfect negativeness is
reached, as high noon is that of extreme positiveness.

It would be an easy task to fill volumes with dreams that have been
received as premonitions of future events, or forecasts of desired
information, which was otherwise impossible to obtain. I do not desire
to crowd these pages with any more than will serve to illustrate the
various characters of the true psychic dream, and show how the extra
sensitiveness acquired in sleep explains this subject. It is misleading,
however, to employ the word sleep in this connection, for in sound sleep
there is dreamless rest. Sleep is the repose of the faculties, and
impressions are not recognized. The peculiar condition in which these
dreams occur, is mistaken for sleep, but is nearer trance. The silence
of the night and its soothing negative quality, enhances this state, and
impressions are borne into the receptive mind on the psycho-ether.
Dreams that reach into the future and foretell events concealed from
human ken, and which no reasoning or forethought can predict, are of
interest as revealing glimpses of a new field of thought--that of

In the “Glimpses of the Supernatural,” is a dream related by a dignitary
of the Church of England:

“My brother had left London for the country to preach for a certain
society to which he was officially attached. He was in usual health, and
I therefore had no cause to feel anxiety about him. One night my wife
awoke me, finding that I was sobbing in my sleep, and asked me the
cause. I said, “I have been to a small village, and I went up to the
door of the inn. A stout woman came to the door. I said to her: ‘Is my
brother here?’ She said, ‘No, sir; he is gone.’ ‘Is his wife here?’ I
inquired. ‘No, sir; but his widow is.’” Then the distressing thought
came to me that my brother was dead. A few days after, I was suddenly
summoned into the country. My brother had been attacked by a fatal
illness, at Caxton. The following day his wife was summoned, and the
next day, while they were seated together, she heard a sigh and he was
gone. When I reached Caxton, it was the very village I had visited in my
dream. I went to the same house, was let in by the same woman, and found
my brother dead and his widow there.”

The story told by Dean Stanley has been widely circulated. The chiefs of
the Campbells, of Inverawe, gave an entertainment. After the party broke
up, one of the guests returned, claiming protection, which Campbell
pledged himself to give. It afterwards appeared, in a brawl, he had
killed Donald, the cousin of Campbell, and notwithstanding his pledge,
he ordered him away. The murderer appealed to the word of his host, and
was allowed to stay for the night, where Campbell slept. The
blood-stained Donald appeared to him saying: “Inverawe, Inverawe, blood
has been shed; shield not the murderer.” Having sent the guilty man
away, the last time the vision came, saying: “Inverawe, Inverawe, blood
has been shed. We shall not meet again until we meet at Ticonderoga.”

In 1758, there was a war between France and England, and Campbell,
belonging to the Forty-second Highlanders, went to America. On the eve
of the engagement the general said to the officers, who knew of what
they regarded as Campbell’s superstition, that it was best not to tell
him the name of the fortress they were to attack on the morrow, but call
it Fort George. The fort was assaulted in the morning and Campbell
mortally wounded. His last words were: “General, you have deceived me. I
have seen him again. This is Ticonderoga.”

Vouched for as this occurrence is by the highest authority, it is of
great significance, not only as a dream, but it shows that death brought
about a sensitive condition like that in which the dream was received,
and enabled Donald to again appear.

Among the news items of the San Francisco _Chronicle_, appeared the

“Yesterday morning W. S. Read, of Oakland, with a companion named Stein,
started out from Long Wharf to reach a yacht upon which they were going
on a fishing excursion. When about two hundred yards from the wharf the
boat was capsized and Read was drowned. He started to swim to the wharf,
but when within fifty feet of it he sank and did not rise again.
Connected with this sad event is a dream: Last Friday night the sister
of the deceased dreamed that her brother had gone out in a boat on
Sunday, that the boat had been upset and he drowned. So vivid was the
impression of the dream, that on Saturday morning she went to her
brother’s office, told him of it, and implored him not to go out, but he
laughed at her fears as the result of a disordered mind.”

Dr. M. L. Holbrook relates the following instances of dreams, which are
certainly worth recording:

“Over twenty years ago I was subject to attacks of acute bronchitis,
which in Spring gave me great trouble. On one occasion I was so
exceedingly ill I felt I should not recover, and in this mood I fell to
sleep, during which, in a dream, or what appeared to be such, my sister,
who had died when I was a little boy, seemed to come to my bedside and
said: ‘Martin, you are not going to die; you have much important work
yet to accomplish, and we have come to cure you.’ Then what I can only
describe as a shock of heavenly electricity struck me on the head, and
was intensified over the lungs, where it seemed to almost burn through
my chest, when it passed towards my feet in a delightful glow. The shock
was so great that I awoke, free from the disease, and have never had the
trouble since.”

“In 1867 I was alone in my sleeping-room in New York, and dreamed that I
was dying, and in my struggles awoke. There was nothing peculiar in this
experience, it may be truthfully said, for this sensation is quite
common with those who suffer with nightmare. The singularity of the case
was that every night for a succession of nights the same thing happened,
growing more and more intense, until the last night I thought I could
not escape, and died. After it was over, the thought came to me, ‘Well,
it is not so bad after all; a rather pleasant experience!’ At this
moment my father-in-law, who had been dead several months, appeared to
me. He was the same as when alive, but more spiritual and beautiful. He
said: ‘Martin, I have been endeavoring to show myself to you for several
nights. Now I have succeeded, and shall trouble you no more.’ That was
the last of my disturbing dreams. My thoughts were not upon him. I have
never been able to convince myself that the vision was not objective,
though I know some may not look at it in the same light.”

Dr. A. M. Blackburn, of Cresco, Iowa, a well-known physician of that
town, dreamed that he was called to visit a little girl in the
neighboring town of Ridgeway. On his return he came to a broad river
which it was impossible to cross. While waiting on the banks, an old
friend, long since dead, appeared and assisted him in crossing. When the
doctor arose in the morning he related his dream, and so strongly was he
impressed with its prophetic meaning that he secured a policy on his
life, talked over and arranged his business, and having adjusted all his
affairs, he awaited the fatality he said was sure to overtake him. A day
or two after, he was called to Ridgeway to visit a little girl, and on
his return his horse ran away and he was killed. There is an
allegorical element in this dream, and the presence of a departed friend
who assists him over the stream, gives it a poetic cast. Yet who can say
that it was not realized?

A dream is related by J. Crysler, of Republic City, Kansas, which proved
not only true, but the elements of “the double,” or of the appearance of
the dreamer in the place he dreamed about, is introduced. He said, while
from home he dreamed that his wife was sick, and awoke. On falling
asleep again, the dream was repeated, a thing that had never before
occurred to him. He remarked to a friend in the morning, that if he
believed in dreams he would go directly home, as he felt troubled. He,
however, waited and completed his business, reaching home the next day,
when he found his wife just recovering from a severe attack of illness.
Their three-year-old boy lodged with his mother, and became restless.
All at once he asked: “Ma, what man is that standing there?” “Why,” she
replied, “I see no one.” “Oh!” said he, “it is pa!” and turning over,
contentedly dropped to sleep. The thoughts of the father, intensified by
his solicitude, struck the sensitive brain of his child with such a
force as to produce the impression that the father was an objective

A prophetic dream must be impressed on the receiving mind, from a source
having more than human intelligence. There must be a _mind_ back of the
impressions, capable of comprehending cause and effect more clearly than
mortals are able to do. The effect cannot rise above its cause.

Laugh at the fantasies of a fevered brain, or the visions produced by a
gorged stomach; the nightmare of the gourmand; the ghost-seeing of the
dyspeptic; but there remain the dreams of the clear head and pure heart
as angel visitants, and these should be treasured. When we rest in the
arms of sleep, she hushes us with hymns sung by angelic voices, and
sweet visions of the morning land.

Sensitiveness Induced by Disease.

Disease, by weakening the physical powers, is often conducive to a
wonderful sensitiveness. In some cases of fever, the senses are wrought
to an astonishing acuteness, especially hearing, the patient being
disturbed by even the ticking of a watch in a remote room. The inner
perception at other times is made equally acute. If the pulsations of
sound become so magnified and painful, the waves of thought in the
psycho-ether may become equally magnified, and reproduce the thoughts
which sent them forth to the mind of the recipient. Many of the facts
given in illustration of other phases of sensitiveness apply equally
well here.

“Mademoiselle N---- was convalescing after a very prolonged illness,
which had reduced her to a state of extreme weakness. All her family had
gone to church, when a violent storm arose. Mademoiselle N---- went to
the window to watch its effects; the thought of her father suddenly
struck her, and, under existing circumstances, she felt much uneasiness.
Her imagination soon persuaded her that her father had perished. In
order to conquer her fears she went into a room in which she was
accustomed to see him in his arm-chair. On entering, she was very much
surprised at seeing him in his place, and in his accustomed attitude.
She immediately approached to inquire how he had come in, and in
addressing him, attempted to place her hand on his shoulder, but
encountered only space. Very much alarmed, she drew back, and turning
her head as she left the room, still saw him in the same attitude. More
than half an hour elapsed from the time she first saw the apparition.
During this time Mademoiselle N----, who was convinced that it was an
illusion, entered the room several times, and carefully examined the
arrangement of the objects, and especially of the chair.” (De Boismont,
page 276.)

Nothing had occurred to her father, and the appearance may be adequately
accounted for on psychometric grounds. The chair was vibrant with the
influence of the father, and those vibrations constantly carried out
with them his image.

Mrs. Denton, an extremely sensitive person, relates an experience which
shows how exactly similar the impressibility which may be called normal
in contradistinction to that induced by disease. On entering a car from
which the passengers had gone to dinner, she was surprised to see the
seats occupied.

“Many of them were sitting perfectly composed, as if, for them, very
little interest was attached to this station, while others were already
in motion (a kind of compressed motion), as if preparing to leave. I
thought this somewhat strange, and was about turning to find a seat in
another car, when a second glance around showed me that the passengers,
who had appeared so indifferent were really losing their identity, and,
in a moment, were invisible to me. I had had time to note the personal
appearance of several; and taking a seat I awaited the return of the
passengers, thinking it more than probable I might in them find the
prototypes of the faces and forms I had a moment before so singularly
beheld. Nor was I disappointed. A number of those who returned to the
cars I recognized as being, in every particular, the counterparts of
their late but transient representatives.”

Mary Dana Shindler, in the _Voice of Truth_, says:

“An aunt of ours was very ill with fever, and her only brother,
commanding a packet ship between Havana and Charleston, was daily
expected; but we feared he would arrive too late to see his sister in
earth-life. One morning while we were watching at her bedside, she
suddenly sat up, clapped her hands, and exclaimed joyfully, ‘Brother
William has come!’ We all thought her mind wandering; but in about ten
minutes he arrived at her house, and from that moment she began to
recover. She could not tell us how she discovered that he had arrived,
but only said, ‘I knew it; I heard, and _felt_ him.’”

Bishop Bowman, in a sermon delivered in Philadelphia, narrated a
remarkable experience, which shows how near the state of death
approaches trance or clairvoyance. The usual light treatment of the fact
of the result of cerebral disturbance is far from a satisfactory

“On my return from Japan, I preached in California, and probably
overworked myself. The last Sunday in February, after holding divine
service in my St. Louis Church, I returned home, when I was immediately
taken sick with a lingering fever, which the physicians predicted would
end fatally. At this point I seemed to fall into a kind of ecstasy, and
I did not know whether I was alive or dead. I imagined I was on board a
magnificent ship, and heard the captain say, ‘Stop her,’ which I
thought to be the voice of my Divine Master, when my young
eighteen-months-old child, who had died twenty years ago, came to me and
said that she had heard that I was coming, and had come to meet me.
After some conversation which I do not recollect, she said, ‘Do you
think I have grown, papa?’ She then arose in a form of glory I have
never before witnessed, and never again expect to see until I die, and
then returned to her usual state, saying that she came in that shape to
see if I would know her. She said that many other friends had inquired
after me, and that an old gentleman and lady had taken her up and kissed
her, saying that her papa was their boy. I then asked her where her mama
was. ‘Oh, she is away doing something for the Lord, but will meet us on
our arrival at the wharf.’ It was a season of great preciousness to me.
It seems to me that I have come back from the other world; and although
it is peculiar for me to say I was dead, it seems to me I was not in the

The testimony of those who have approached nearest to death, and have
been brought back to life, favors, if not proves, that at that great
crisis, as the senses fail, spiritual sensitiveness becomes acute, and
the perceptions merge into a universal consciousness. A gentleman while
swimming failed to sustain himself, and before assistance could reach
him, sank, as he supposed, to rise no more.

“Then he saw, as if in a wide field, the acts of his own being, from the
first dawn of memory until the time he entered the water. They were all
grouped and ranged in the order of the succession of their happening,
and he read the whole volume of existence at a glance; nay, its
incidents and entities were photographed on his mind, illumined by
light, the panorama of the battle of life lay before him.” (“Sleep,
Memory and Sensation,” page 43.)

Clairvoyance has, as thus appears, a retrospection, and is as able to
see the past as the present, or previse the future. The element of time
does not appear to enter into the cognition of events by this faculty.
Everything is in the present, and the past is only distinguished by
order of sequence.

A gentleman in Iowa related to me his experience while insensible from
the effect of cold. He was overtaken by a fearful storm, such as
sometimes sweep across the prairies, and, losing his way after hours of
vain struggling, sank exhausted in a drift of snow. The past events of
his life came in a panoramic show before him, but so rapidly moving,
that from boyhood until that moment was as an instant; then came a sense
of perfect physical happiness, and he began dimly to see the forms of
those whom he had known while living, but were now dead. They grew more
and more distinct, but just as they came near and were, as he thought,
overjoyed to receive him, darkness came suddenly and great pain; the
vision faded, and he became conscious of the presence of his friends who
had rescued him, and were applying every measure to restore him to life.
How near he had reached the boundary line, the “dead line” beyond, from
which there is no return to the body, was shown by his crippled hands
and feet.

It is a singular fact that no one has ever recovered from a near
approach to this line, who does not tell the same tale of an exalted
perception and intensification of the mental faculties. Sometimes this
is exhibited by the recognition of an event then transpiring, with which
the subject is intimately connected, as in the following, wherein the
deaths of near relatives or friends are discerned:

It is a historical fact that Rev. Joseph Buckminster, who died in
Vermont, in 1812, just before his death, announced that his
distinguished son, Rev. J. S. Buckminster, was dead.

The Eaton (O.) _Telegraph_ gives the following parallel case: “On
Wednesday morning last, at four o’clock, Gen. John Quince breathed his
last. But a few minutes after that, Joseph Deem, who also died on the
14th, aroused from his sleep, and said to his son John, who attended
him, ‘Gen. Quince is dead.’ To this John replied, ‘You are mistaken,
father, Gen. Quince is well, and goes by after his mail every day.’
‘Yes,’ said Father Deem, ‘Gen. Quince is dead.’ Shortly after a neighbor
came in, and said that Gen. Quince had suddenly died.”

Whenever the power of expression is retained, we see the development of
clairvoyance at the approach of death. Sometimes the paralysis of the
muscles prevents vocal expression, but where this is the case, the eyes
show the ecstasy which the lifting of the vail from a new world only can

Mrs. Helen Willmans relates this touching story of the death of her

“From her birth she had been afraid of death. Every fiber of her body
and soul recoiled from the thought of it.

“‘Don’t let me die!’ she said. ‘Don’t let me die! Hold me fast--I can’t

“‘Jenny,’ I said, ‘you have two little brothers in the other world, and
there are thousands of tender-hearted people over there, who will love
and take care of you.’

“But she cried despairingly, ‘Don’t let me go. They are strangers over

“But even as she was pleading her little hands relaxed their clinging
hold from my waist, and lifted themselves eagerly aloft; lifted
themselves with such a straining effort that they raised the wasted body
from its reclining position among the pillows. Her eyes filled with the
light of divine recognition. They saw plainly something we could not
see. But even at that supreme moment she did not forget to leave a word
of comfort for those who gladly would have died in her place. ‘Mamma!
mamma! they are not strangers. I am not afraid!’ And every instant the
light burned more gloriously in her blue eyes, until at last it seemed
as her soul leaped forth upon its radiant waves, and in that moment her
trembling form relapsed among the pillows, and she was gone.”

Thus we perceive that sensitiveness, which is first manifested in the
mesmeric state, breaks in at rare intervals, during wakefulness or
sleep, as vivid impressions or dreams, arises to clairvoyance as the
spirit and physical body are separated more and more, and reaches its
most intense expression at the moment of death, when the union between
the two is severed.

It is after this great event that the spiritual being, formed from
attenuated substance, far beyond the horizon of the most ethereal known
to the senses, is free from the environments of the physical body. It
sees, hears, feels, with the organization of its new being, and is
cognizant of a world unknown to the mortal senses.

Thought Transference.

The English Society for Psychical Research have given greater attention
to thought transference than any other subject which has engaged its
attention, claiming that if it be proved, it becomes the foundation for
a working theory, co-ordinating a vast number of related facts and
phenomena. It was the conclusion of the committee after numerous
experiments, that thought reading was an established fact. The adage,
“The devil is near when you talk about him,” is proven daily; for when
an individual is going to a certain place expecting to meet certain
ones, his thoughts go before him, and impress themselves. When those
connected by intimate relations think of each other, their thoughts
vibrate in responsive brains. Distance has inappreciable influence on
the transference of thought. It may take place in the same room, or when
the two persons are thousands of miles apart. As a personal experience I
will relate one of many similar incidents which have awakened my
attention to this wonderful phenomenon. Sitting by my desk one evening,
suddenly as a flash of light, the thought came to write an article for
the _Harbinger of Light_, published at Melbourne, Australia. I had by
correspondence become acquainted with the editor, W. H. Terry, but there
had been no letters passed for nearly a year. I had not thought of him
or his journal, for I do not know how long a time, and I was amused at
first with the idea of writing on the subject suggested. But the
impression was so strong that I prepared and forwarded an article.
Nearly two months passed before I received a letter from Mr. Terry
requesting me to write an article on the subject, on which I had
written, and making due allowance for time, the dates of our letters
were the same. In our experience this crossing of letters answering each
other, has twice occurred, the second by Mr. Terry answering a request
of mine.

I have gathered a series of facts illustrative and demonstrative, by
their culminative evidence. If any one statement be questioned as
improbable, we must consider the probabilities increase with each and
every instance corroboratory, and when a constantly augmenting series
continue in the same line, each number adding strength to the others,
the probability becomes a certainty.

Dr. Nicolas, Count de Gonémys, of Corfu, gives his personal experience
in March number, 1885, of the _Journal of the Society for Psychical

“In the year 1869 I was officer of health in the Hellenic army. By
command of the War Office I was attached to the garrison of the Island
of Zante. As I was approaching the Island in a steamboat, to take up my
new position, and about two hours distance from the shore, I heard a
sudden inward voice say to me over and over in Italian, ‘Go to Voterra.’
I had no association with the name of M. Voterra, a gentleman of Zante,
with whom I was not even acquainted, although I had once seen him, ten
years before. I tried the effect of stopping my ears, and of trying to
distract myself by conversation with the bystanders, but all was
useless, and I continued to hear the voice in the same way. At last we
reached the land; I proceeded to my hotel and busied myself with my
trunks, but the voice continued to harass me. After a time a servant
came and announced to me that a gentleman was at the door who wished to
speak to me at once. ‘Who is the gentleman?’ I asked. ‘M. Voterra,’ was
the reply. M. Voterra entered, weeping violently, in uncontrollable
distress, imploring me to follow him at once, and see his son who was in
a dangerous condition. I found a young man in maniacal frenzy, naked in
an empty room, and despaired of by all the doctors of Zante for the past
five years.”

By magnetism Dr. Nicolas effected a perfect cure, the maniac becoming in
the mesmeric state clairvoyant.

The following is by C. Ede, M. D., Guilford (_J. S. P. R._, July, 1882).

“Lady G. and her sister had been spending the evening with their mother,
who was in her usual health and spirits when they left her. In the
middle of the night the sister awoke in a fright, and said to her
husband, ‘I must go to my mother at once; do order the carriage. I am
sure she is ill.’ The husband, after trying in vain to convince his wife
that it was only a fancy, ordered the carriage. As she was approaching
the house where two roads met, she saw Lady G.’s carriage. When they met
each asked the other why she was there. The same reply was made by both.
‘I could not sleep, feeling sure my mother was ill, and so I came to
see.’ As they came in sight they saw their mother’s confidential maid at
the door, who told them when they arrived, that their mother had been
taken suddenly ill, and was dying, and had expressed an earnest wish to
see her daughters.”

The daughters having so recently parted from their mother, made them
peculiarly susceptible to her influence.

T. W. Smith, Ealing, W. England (_J. S. P. R._, July, 1882), had this
experience, showing the close bonds which unite husband and wife:

“I left my house, ten miles from London, in the morning as usual, and in
the course of the day was on the way to Victoria Street, when, in
attempting to cross the road made slippery by the water cart, I fell,
and was nearly run over by a carriage coming in an opposite direction.
The fall and the fright shook me considerably, but beyond that I was
uninjured. On reaching home, I found my wife waiting anxiously, and
this is what she related to me: She was in the kitchen when she suddenly
dropped, exclaiming, ‘My God, he’s hurt!’ Mrs. S. who was near her heard
the cry, and both agreed as to the time, etc.”

The Rev. P. H. Newham (_J. S. P. R._, Feb. 1887), relates an extended
series of experiments in will power. He was able while in church to draw
the attention of any one in the audience by simply directing his
thoughts to them. He experimented at a series of concerts, selecting
those in front of him so that they could not catch his eye by simply
raising their heads. “It was very interesting,” he writes, “to see them
first fidget about in their seats and at last turn their heads around
and look about them, as if to see whence the uncomfortable feeling that
influenced them proceeded.”

The London _Spectator_ for Christmas, 1881, contains an interesting
story by A. J. Duffield, of thought transference. The gist of this story
is that a Mr. Strong went to Lake Superior and became foreman of the
Franklin copper mine. He fell sick and would have died but for the care
of a lady whose husband was a director of the mining company. She had
him carried to her own house, and nursed him with kindest care until he
recovered. Seven years after this event, when he had drifted away from
the mines, he was sitting by himself one evening, when he suddenly saw
this kind lady in a room with nothing in it, no fire, no food. She was
calm and quiet, with the same face she had when she nursed him in the
fever. He thereby was made deeply conscious that she was in distress,
and sent her a most liberal amount of money by mail. The day after he
received a letter from the lady, saying that her husband was sick, and
that they were in great suffering, and asking for aid.

In this instance the mind of Capt. Strong was bound to his preserver
with strong bonds, love, gratefulness and expectation of some time
repaying his great obligation. It was in proper condition for the
reception of such thoughts, while, on the other hand, under the pressure
of suffering, the lady’s mind was in a condition to give force to the
emanating thoughts.

The _Springfield Homestead_ published what it called an odd
circumstance, but so far from being odd is of proverbially common
occurrence. A Mrs. A. and her daughter called on their relative, Mrs.
B., of Central Street. On their way thither they remarked how pleased
they would be if Mrs. B.’s daughter, Mrs. L., of Hartford, could only be
there too. This remark was repeated to Mrs. B., and she replied that her
thoughts were similar. Then one of them recalled the old saying that the
combined thoughts of three women can bring any one from any place, and
the reply was made that if wishing would bring Mrs. L. she would surely
come. Mrs. B. prepared strawberry cake, saying her daughter, Mrs. L.,
was fond of it, and that she was going to lay a plate for her just as
though she were there. As they were sitting down to tea, the door bell
rang and in came the much wished for Mrs. L., greatly to their surprise.
When asked how she happened to come, she replied that she did not intend
to do so until that day, and decided to do so because tormented with the
impression that some one wanted to see her. She is not accustomed to
come to Springfield, not having visited her sister before in a year.

Henry Watson, of Mill Village, Pa., was suddenly impressed that his
services were needed at a certain point on French Creek. There was no
assignable cause for his going, and he resisted it as a vagary. The
impression, however, grew so strong that he yielded as to a charm. When
within a short distance of the spot cries for help reached his ears. In
the creek he found George Dowler and wife struggling for their lives.
They had attempted to ford the creek, and missing the way were
submerged. He was holding on to the horse while the swift current was
carrying his wife to her death. Taking a boat, Watson rescued her from
certain death. Had he not arrived at that very moment, she would have
been inevitably drowned.

L. M. Hastings of Osceola, Iowa, had a son murdered near Grand Island,
Neb. The night after the crime was committed he awoke about midnight
with his attention fixed on an apparition at the foot of the bed. He saw
the representation of two men with great distinctness, and something
told him that they were the pictures of the murderers of his son. He
studied them carefully until they faded out of sight, and then arose and
wrote a description which was forwarded to the prosecuting attorney. It
was found to be a thoroughly accurate description of the men who were
then under arrest and who were, without doubt the guilty parties. Mr.
Hastings had never seen these men nor received any description of them.

TRANSFERENCE OF THOUGHT AND PAIN.--Mrs. Arthur Severn, the distinguished
landscape painter (_J. S. P. R._, March, 1884), writes of an accident to
her husband which at once impressed itself on her:

“I woke with a start, feeling I had a hard blow on my mouth, and a
distinct sense that I had been cut under my upper lip, and held my
handkerchief to the part as I sat up in bed, and after a few seconds,
when I removed it, I was astonished not to see any blood, and only then
realized that it was impossible that anything could have struck me, and
so I thought it was only a dream. I looked at my watch and saw it was
seven, and finding Arthur (my husband) was not in the room, I concluded
he had gone out on the lake for a sail as it was fine.

“At breakfast (half-past nine) Arthur came in rather late, and I noticed
he rather purposely sat farther away from me than usual, and put his
handkerchief to his lip in the way I had done. I said: ‘Arthur, why are
you doing that? I know you have hurt yourself; but I’ll tell you why
afterwards.’ He said: ‘Well, when I was sailing, a sudden squall came,
throwing the tiller suddenly around, and it struck me a hard blow in the
mouth under the upper lip and it has been bleeding a good deal and won’t
stop.’ I then asked: ‘At what time did it happen?’ He answered: ‘It must
have been about seven o’clock.’ I then told what had happened to me,
much to his surprise and all who were at the table.”

Rev. J. M. Wilson, head master of Clifton College (in _J. S. P. R._,
March, 1884), presents a fact which, while admitting of telegraphic
explanation, may be referred to a higher source:

“I was at Cambridge at the end of my second term in full health,
boating, football playing, and the like, and by no means subject to
hallucinations or morbid fancies. One evening I felt very ill, trembling
with no apparent cause; nor did it seem to me at the time to be a
physical illness, or chill of any kind. I was frightened; I was totally
unable to overcome it. I remember a struggle with myself, resolving that
I would go on with my mathematics, but it was in vain. I became
convinced that I was dying. I went down to the room of a friend, who
was on the same staircase. He exclaimed at me before I spoke. He pulled
out a whisky bottle and backgammon board, but I could not face it. We
sat over the fire, and he brought some one else to look at me. Toward
eleven, after some three hours, I got better, went to bed and after a
time to sleep, and next morning was quite well. In the afternoon came a
letter stating that my twin brother had died the evening before in

Rev. Canon Warburton, Winchester, England (_J. S. P. R._, May 1884),
relates the following, which is of interest as an example of
transference of thought and of sensation:

“I went from Oxford to stay a day or two with my brother, then a
barrister at 10 Fish Street, Lincoln’s Inn. When I reached his chambers
I found a note on the table apologizing for his absence, and saying he
had gone to a dance, and intended to be at home soon after one o’clock.
Instead of going to bed, I dozed in an arm-chair, but started up wide
awake exactly at one, ejaculating, ‘By Jove, he’s down!’ and seeing him
coming out of the drawing room into the brightly illuminated landing,
catching his foot in the edge of the top stair and falling head-long,
just saving himself by his elbows and hands. (The house was one I had
never seen, and I did not know where he was.) I again fell adoze for
half an hour, and was awakened by my brother suddenly coming in and
saying: ‘Ah! there you are! I have just had as narrow an escape of
breaking my neck as I ever had in my life. Coming out of the ballroom, I
caught my foot and tumbled full length down stairs.’”

The following is vouched for by Miss Millicent Ann Page, sister of the
Rev. A. Shaw Page, Vicar of Lesly, England, to whom it was related by
Mrs. Elizabeth Broughton, Edinburgh:

“Mrs. Broughton aroused her husband, telling him something dreadful had
happened in France. He begged her to go asleep again. She assured him
that she was not asleep when she saw what she insisted in then telling
him. First, a carriage accident, which she did not see, but she saw the
result: a broken carriage, collected crowd, a figure gently raised and
carried into the nearest house, and then a figure lying on the bed,
which she recognized as the Duke of Orleans. Gradually friends collected
around the bed, among them several members of the royal family--the
Queen, then the King--all tearfully, silently watching the dying Duke.
One man, she could see his back, but did not know who he was, was a
doctor. He stood bending over the Duke, feeling his pulse with his watch
in his other hand. Then all passed away. In the morning she wrote down
in her journal all she had seen. It was before the days of the
telegraph, and two or more days passed before the _Times_ announced the
death of the Duke of Orleans.

“A short time after, she visited Paris, recognized the place of the
accident, and received an explanation of her impression. The doctor who
attended the Duke was an old friend of hers; and as he watched by the
bed he said his mind was constantly occupied with her and her family.
The reason, therefor, was the remarkable likeness between the members of
her family and those of the royal family then present. ‘I spoke of you
and yours when I reached home, and thought of you many times that
evening,’ said the doctor. ‘The likeness between yourself and the royal
family was never so strong. Here was a link between us, you see.’”

Certain dreams may be explained by thought-transference, which is liable
to take place during the varying moods of slumber as while awake. Rev.
J. C. Learned writes (_J. S. P. R._): “It was in 1883 that I took charge
of the Unitarian Church in Exeter, N. H. Five miles away, Rev. A. M.
Bridge was preaching at Hampton Falls, with whom I sometimes exchanged
pulpits. After a year or so he gave up the work in this little parish,
and somewhat later entered upon an engagement in the town of East
Marshfield, Mass., as the railroad runs, eighty miles from Exeter.

“On Wednesday, Dec. 13th, 1865, on waking in the morning, I remarked to
my wife upon the very vivid and singular dream which I had had, and
related it fully. I had seen Mr. Bridge taken suddenly and violently
ill. He seemed to be in a school-room. He sank down helpless and was
borne away by friendly hands. I was by him, and assisted others in
whatever way I could. But he grew worse; the open air did not revive
him; a leaden pallor soon spread over his features; peculiar spots which
I had never seen before, like moles or discoloration of the skin,
appeared upon his face, and after much suffering he died. Immediately
after breakfast, and while we were still speaking of the dream, a ring
at the door admitted Mr. Wells Healy, an old parishioner of Mr. Bridge,
at Hampton Falls. I guessed the nature of his message. He had come to
ask me to attend the funeral services of his former minister.

“I attended the funeral as requested. I learned from the family the
particulars of his death, which coincided remarkably in several points
with the dream already repeated to my wife, and when I looked at the
dead man in his coffin, my attention was fixed by the peculiar spots on
his face to which I have alluded, and which were stamped on my memory.”

appear that this projection of thought to distant localities may be so
strong as to carry the appearance of the projector with it. This may be
explained by the aid of psychometry, or by the actual projection of the
psychic individuality, so as to give the impression of identity, and not
only that, but to receive and retain impressions on the part of the
projector. The double presence which has so perplexed the student of
these mysteries thus admits of solution, and becomes a part of the
fabric created by sensitiveness to thought impressions. These
appearances of living persons as apparitions or ghosts, have been
repeatedly employed as evidence of the subjectiveness of ghostly
apparitions of the dead; that as one must be unreal so must the other.
But this conclusion is unwarranted, as by the principles here advocated
the apparitions of the living are under the same law as those of the

It is possible for the independent clairvoyant at any time, in spirit,
to visit distant localities and persons, and if the latter are
sufficiently sensitive, they will recognize the clairvoyant’s presence.
The phenomenon of “double presence,” in this manner can be produced, as
somnambulism may be, by artificial means; that is through mesmerism or

Many remarkable stories are recorded of the double, some of which are
unbelievable unless the principles heretofore stated are understood.

Josiah Gilbert, in the _London Speculator_, gives the following pleasing

“A son of a family named Watkinson, residing in Lancashire, had gone to
America. One summer Sunday afternoon, they were attending services and
occupying a large square pew near the pulpit. It was hot, the door of
the small building was wide open, and one of the party who sat looking
down the aisle could see out into the meeting-house yard, which was
shaded by tall trees. Suddenly, to his intense surprise, he saw the
absent brother approaching through the trees, enter at the chapel door,
walk up the aisle, come to the very door of the pew itself, and lay his
hand upon it as though he would take a seat with them. At that moment
others of the family saw him also, but at that instant he vanished.

“This strange occurrence naturally raised sad forebodings, but in course
of time a letter arrived, and it appeared that the brother was alive and
well. He was then written to and asked if anything peculiar had happened
on that Sunday. He replied that it was odd that he should remember
anything about a Sunday so long passed, but certainly something had
happened on that Sunday. He had come in overpowered with heat and had
thrown himself on his bed, fallen asleep and had a strange dream. He
found himself among the trees of a country chapel; service was going on;
he saw them all, the door being open, sitting in their pews; he walked
up the aisle and put his hand on the pew door to open it, when he
suddenly, and to his great chagrin, awoke.”

S. F. Deane, M. D., of Carlton, Neb., had a remarkable experience which
he relates as follows:

“After my arrival in Nebraska, I made my home with my daughters. At the
time I left Wisconsin, my wife was not well and I hesitated to leave
her. After I had been absent about three weeks, I had retired to my
room, which had a door opening into the street. About two o’clock in
the morning while awake, with sufficient light from a partially obscured
moon to see distinctly any person in the room, fully conscious of all my
surroundings, and with my face toward the door, I saw it open and a
person step into the room, which I at once recognized as the exact image
of my wife. She came directly across the room, knelt at my bedside, put
her arms about my neck, kissed me and said she had been very sick but
was better now. Then she said she must go and see Adelaide, and arose
and passed across the room, to the door of our daughter’s room. She was
gone a few minutes when she again came through the open bedroom door
into my room, looked at me, as much as to say good-bye, passed out at
the door, and was gone.

“While she was present a peculiar calmness came over me; but when she
was gone a great anxiety took possession of me, and could I have taken a
train, I should have at once started for home. But I at last resolved to
await a letter, which came in due time from my son. He wrote: ‘Mother is
quite sick, though better than night before last, when about half-past
two or three o’clock in the morning we thought for twenty or thirty
minutes she was dead. She lay insensible, pulsation ceased, or only
fluttered at intervals, and respiration seemed suspended, but she
rallied and is now in a fair way to recover.’ She did recover and
enjoyed a fair degree of health.”

There is no limit to the facts of this class which might be collected.
Enough have been here produced to show that coincidence offers a poor
apology as an explanation. The student will observe also, that however
carefully the facts are selected bearing on this one point of thought
transference, it is impossible, so intimately related are the branches
of psychic science, to have them entirely free from the possibility of
other explanations. Granting that thought may be transferred from one
mortal to another, admits that a spirit may transfer its thoughts to a
mortal also, and hence a spirit seeing a friend in distress may act as a
messenger. But in such a case thought is transferred, and in the same
manner. The sensitive on one side receives the pulsations of thought
from the other, through and by means of the psychic ether.

It will be thus seen that there is no mystery in one mind becoming
cognizant of the thoughts of another mind, for if in sympathy, such a
result is sure to follow. As a lamp gives light, because it is able to
set the light medium in motion, or give off waves therein, so the brain
gives off waves, or is a pulsating center in the psychic-ether. These
waves go outward and form the sphere of the individual, as the waves of
light go out and form the sphere of light around an incandescent body.

To be recognized, they must strike against a sensitive or sympathetic
brain, wherein they may be reproduced. By sympathetic, we mean one
which, for want of a better term, we will say is similarly attuned.
Thus, when two musical instruments are placed at some distance from each
other, and one is played, if they are not attuned in harmony the other
will give no response; but if they are, then when one is touched, the
other answers note for note.

The brain, being a pulsating center, its thoughts, as they go out in
waves, have to other brains, a tangible representation. The
psychic-ether, pulsating with innumerable waves, may be regarded as a
universal thought atmosphere, and the sensitive brain is able to gather
from it thoughts and ideas which its pulsations express.

If any reliance can be placed on the observations of the most credible
witnesses, whose evidence would be received on any other subject, and in
law would be given power to decide on life or death, these facts of
Thought Transference cannot be rejected. If they are received, they
demand explanation. If thought passes from one mind to another, or, as
it is often expressed, the will influences a distant person, it is
self-evident that something passes from one to the other. What is this
something? Facts conflict with the hypothesis of its being matter
radiated from one individual to another, as light was once supposed to
be transmitted. It passes too readily through vast thicknesses of solid
matter, and is too instantaneous in its action, to consist of radiant
particles. On the other hand, all of its phenomena show a striking
relationship to light, heat and kindred forces.

HOW IS THIS INFLUENCE EXERTED?--Admitting that there is a psychic-ether,
in which thinking produces waves, how does one individual influence
another thereby? If the brain vibrates like the strings of a musical
instrument, as no two are alike, no two vibrate alike. This is more than
a mere illustration. Both depend on similar laws, for the string excites
vibrations in the air, which are felt by the nerves of the tympanum of
the ear. Thinking creates undulations in ether, which are impressed on
other minds. The string of the instrument excites similar vibrations in
contiguous strings; for the atmosphere transmits the waves of sound.

This is very beautifully shown by a simple experiment, which equally
well illustrates the method by which mind influences mind. If a plate
of glass is strewn with sand, and, while held in a horizontal position,
a bow drawn across its edge, a musical sound will be produced from the
vibration of the plate, and the sand, by the impulse, forms into various
geometric lines, according to the note produced--each note giving rise
to a figure peculiar to itself. So invariably is this the case that a
piece of music might be accurately written from the forms assumed by the

Now, if a piece of parchment or paper be stretched, with proper
precautions, across the top of a large bell glass and strewn with sand,
and the glass plate held over it horizontally, and the bow drawn across
its edge, the forms assumed by the sand on the paper will accurately
correspond with the forms on the glass. If the glass is slowly removed
to greater and greater distances, the correspondence will continue until
the distance becomes too great for the air to transmit the vibrations.

When a slow air is played on a flute near this apparatus, each note
calls up a particular form in the sand, which the next note effaces and
establishes its own. The motion of the sand will even detect sounds that
are inaudible.

Professor Wheaton devised a means of beautifully illustrating this
sympathy. If a sounding board is placed so as to resound to all the
instruments of the orchestra, and connected by a metallic rod of
considerable length with the sounding-board of a harp or piano, the
instrument will accurately repeat the notes transmitted.

The nervous system, in its two-fold relation to the physical and
spiritual being, is inconceivably more finely organized than the most
perfect musical instrument, and is possessed of finer sensitiveness.

But it must not be inferred that all minds are receptive. Light falls on
all substances alike, but is very differently affected. One class of
bodies absorbs all but the yellow rays; another, all but the blue;
another, all but the red, because these substances are so organized that
they respond only to waves of the colors reflected.

Some individuals have the ear so organized that they can hear certain
sounds, but are totally deaf to others. The waves of sound strike all
tympanums alike; yet in these instances they are incapable of responding
to certain waves. Some person who delight in music, although all the
lower notes are plainly heard, as soon as the tune rises to a high key,
can not hear a single sound. In others, this is reversed. The eye of
some individuals is similarly arranged--some colors being undiscernible,
while others are perceptible. The vibrations are the same in all these
cases, but owing to peculiarities of organization are not felt. As
musical instruments to respond must be attuned in harmony, so there must
be correlated harmony between minds which transmit and receive thoughts.
All minds give out vibrations, as all musical strings give out sounds;
and as there must be a corresponding string to receive its notes, so
there must be not only a sensitive but harmoniously attuned mind to
receive the thought vibrations.

Individuals not mutually harmonious--at least in some point--do not
excite a mental influence on each other; but if they are thus organized,
they will influence each other. This is unavoidable, whether the will is
excited or not; but if the stronger will is exerted, its power is
proportionally greater, and it will magnetize the weaker; and the
peculiar phenomena attending that mental state will be manifested.

It is not the body which magnetizes or is magnetized; it is the mind;
and these effects are produced outside of the physical system. The fact
that one person can magnetize another by the simple power of the will,
though at a distance, is evidence that the mind in this exercise of
power is independent of the body.

If we grant, for the sake of the argument, that there is a spirit back
of the physical aspect of mortal life, it will be readily seen that all
that has been said of the transference of thought between individuals,
holds true between spiritual beings, as this transference at last
resides in the spirit-being. As man is a spirit incarnated, differing in
that respect only from a disembodied spirit, the body is the only
obstacle between him and the spirits above him. Sensitiveness to
impressions from another, or from a spirit, rest on the same cause; and
in the higher realm of spirit, the transference of thought is controlled
by the same laws, and reaches more perfect expression.

Intimations of an Intelligent Force.

BELIEF IN GUARDIAN ANGELS.--Memory brings back the days of our childhood
and again we hear our mother sing that simple song of joy, which, it is
said, Bishop McKendree murmured on his dying bed:

    Bright angels have from glory come,
      They’re round my bed; they’re in my room;
    They wait to waft my spirit home;
      All is well! All is well!

We approach the dark river of death alone, but we are not to cross
without a guide. We may be blind to the light of the celestial sphere in
the full pulse of health; we may be insensible to the presence of the
nearest and dearest of our departed; yet when death loosens the bonds
which unite the physical with the spiritual body, what is known dimly as
clairvoyance, the full possession of the spiritual senses, bursts upon
the awakened spirit. Then the dying find that death is life, and to
leave earthly friends is to meet the hosts of heaven.

That there are guardian angels has been taught from immemorial time, and
in some dim form is a belief of all except the lowest races of mankind.

It is a beautiful belief, full of consolation, of assurance, and comfort
to the struggling and striving. How hard may press the iron hand of
fate, how sharp the flinty stones beneath our bleeding feet, we think of
those blessed messengers by our side, and feel that our burdens are for
the purpose of giving us strength, else they would turn us aside to more
pleasant paths. We know that they are with us in the darkest hours, and
enjoy with us the days of our sunshine. We delve in the soil and smirch
of the world, and the physical being obscures and overlaps the spiritual
to such a degree that our horizon is shut down on that side by thick
clouds, and only at long intervals can a ray of light penetrate the

Our lives might be so well ordered that we would be as conscious of the
presence of these guardians as of earthly friends. What is possible at
rare moments of lucidity is possible at all times under like conditions.
The fault is not on their side, but on ours. The sun forever shines in
the heavens, just above the thin vail of clouds, and if the sea does
not reflect the starry night, it is because of its agitated surface.

We do not see through the thin vail, which separates the world of
spirits and men. We cannot see the air which surges a profound and
agitated ocean above and around us. Without material rays of light we
could not see material things, and would be practically blind.

If we ascend a mountain in the night, we can only perceive the gray and
mossy rocks a few yards ahead of us, bordering the path, beyond which
would be impenetrable darkness, gloomy abysses, seemingly unfathomable,
and above, the dark night-clouds without a star. On the summit we rest
awaiting the morning, seeing nothing, but scenting the faint odors of
pine and the fragrance of flowers borne upwards on the gentle air.
Patiently we wait until the gray East blushes with a long horizontal
line of light flaming upward toward the crimson clouds, and the distant
mountain-tops with the silver flood. Lo! the orb of day pushes the
clouds aside, and flashes over the world in triumph. What
transformation! What grandeur and beauty! Valleys of eden, loveliness at
our feet, and snowy summits above our heads! Grand forests clothing the
hillsides, bloom and flower everywhere; gem-like lakes, and flashing
torrents, endless prospective of mountains on one side, and of plain on
the other. All night we were in the midst of this grandeur and beauty,
yet saw it not. We seemed suspended between earth and sky, and around us
only blackness, yet all this splendor of scenery existed the same as it
did before the light made it visible.

Thus the world of spirit may exist around us, unseen, unfelt, except as
we perceive the odor of asphodels, or hear the faint murmur of angel
whispers, for our eyes are blind to the light, by which it is revealed.

hypnotism, somnambulism, clairvoyance and thought transference, a great
mass of the facts presented for explanation, there still remain a large
number which stand apart by themselves, and which bring an outside or
independent intelligence with them, which no exaltation on the part of
the actor can supply. The only adequate or even plausible explanation of
these facts is that which refers them to the agency of intelligent
beings beyond our ken. The presence of such entities may or may not be
recognized by the percipient. The ideas and motives may be impressed all
the same. We may be assured that unconsciously those who by study and
practical experience become adept in particular lines of thought or
practical affairs, are the most proper mediums for the communication of
spirits dwelling in the same sphere of thought, and that such
communications are continuously made unconsciously to the percipients.
The weird stories which come up from the rugged toilers of the sea are
full of interest in this particular. The infinite solitude of waters;
the long and lonely watches, with the sweep of waves and the silent
stars, conduce to a state of abstraction and reverie, peculiarly
favorable to the reception of impressions. If there is need in this
world of the watchful care of guardian angels, the sailor on the lone
ship which plows the trackless waste at the mercy of the elements
requires them most. Human skill and foresight may provide to the utmost,
and yet there remains the greater dangers which can not be foreseen or
provided against. The sailor, feeling that he is helpless in the hands
of the elements, becomes superstitious, though often what is called in
him superstition, is belief in influences which future knowledge may
accept as valuable accessions to the realm of mental science. I have
from the lips of Capt. D. B. Edwards, the narrative of two incidents in
the life of his brother, which illustrates this faculty of intuition, if
we may give it that name; and if one were to gather up similar stories
which are told by the officers, volumes might be filled.

Capt. John B. Edwards was in command of the steamship “Monterey,” one of
the New York and New Orleans line of steamers. In one of his voyages he
came up with Sandy Hook in a terrible storm. The air was so full of
driving snow that the officers could not see the length of the vessel.
The sea was high and rapidly increasing, and no pilot responded. To
remain was impossible; to go on was almost certain destruction. If the
Captain could make the light-ship he would know his bearings, and be
able to steer into harbor; but in that drift of blinding snow and rush
of waters, in which he had made his approach from the sea, he had been
unable to make observations, and had no assurance that he had not
deviated from his course under the influence of the drift of wind or
current, at least to the variation of a league or more. In his
perplexity he ordered the ship to be stopped, and for a moment reflected
on the difficulties of his position. While thus waiting, with every
sense strained to the utmost, an impression came like a flash, that the
light-ship lay in a certain direction. He immediately ordered the
officers to keep a sharp lookout forward, for he would run ten minutes
in a certain direction to test his impression. The great wheels again
revolved, and the steamer swung obedient to command, and rushed on into
the drift. In six minutes the mate on the bow threw up his hands,
crying: “Hard-a-port! hard-a-port!” and the steamer quickly responding
to her helm, passed the stern of the light-ship, from which the Captain
easily took his bearings and safely steamed into the port of New York.

During the war Capt. Edwards was coast pilot for the Government steamer
“Vanderbilt.” During one voyage he came up to the “Hook;” a storm was
coming on and no pilot in sight. The Commodore came to the wheel-house
and asked Capt. Edwards if he thought he could take the ship into port.
Edwards shrank and trembled at the question, for he knew the ship was
drawing as much, if not more water, than was on the bar, and the
responsibility thus thrust upon him was overwhelming. But suddenly he
was forced to speak, replying without hesitation: “Yes, sir.” “Go
ahead,” was the order of the Commodore. With every faculty intensely
active, his strong and steady hand held the wheel, and the ship went
over the bar without touching, and all was well. His ability and
trustworthiness for the action received the highest recommendation from
the Commodore.

It is sad to learn that this noble man sacrificed his own life in caring
for his mate, who was a victim of yellow fever in the hospital of Rio
Janeiro. From the many remarkable experiences in his own life, Capt. D.
B. Edwards related, I take one which is characteristic of the others. He
is a strong and powerfully built man, with every line indicative of
honest resolution and endurance. He has retired from the sea-faring
life, but has made his home by the coast. He impresses one with rare and
sterling honesty and purity of character, and a self-contained repose
which is a peculiarity of most officers who have passed their lives at

He said that one bright day in March, sailing up Long Island, he was
overtaken by a snow-storm which suddenly concealed all landmarks, and
the wind momentarily increasing, soon became a terrific gale. In that
narrow strait one has not to sail for a great length of time in the
wrong direction to reach the coast. As night came on the situation
became more appalling, and wreck most certain. He gave the wheel to the
mate and allowed himself time to reflect. He could arrive at no
conclusion. Suddenly it flashed through his mind to steer by the lead!
How? “Why, where the Thames enters the Sound it is deeper. When you
reach that channel follow it into safety.” It was the only chance, and
he seized it. He went to the bow, for he would trust no one, ordering
the mate to implicitly, and with utmost readiness, obey orders, and hold
the vessel on her present course. Standing at the bow, with the spray
falling in torrents over him, and the wind straining the spars to the
utmost, he cast the lead to find the ordinary level of the Sound. He
continued to cast until suddenly deeper water was indicated, and with
joy he gave the order that changed the course of the vessel, and in a
few minutes brought her into the still waters of the Thames. Then, he
said, in a change of warm, dry clothing, they sat in the snug cabin and
drank their hot coffee with a sense of peace words can but feebly

SAVED FROM DEATH BY A PREMONITION.--It may be said that under the
stimulus of danger and great emergency, the mental faculties become
intensified, and that we can not fix their limits; that all that was
required of Capt. Edwards was courage to act in response to knowledge he
had acquired, but which was latent until called forth by the
extraordinary demand. We shall now introduce facts to which this
pleading will not apply. The first shows two distinct intelligences, one
of which was superior to that of mortals, for it could foresee the
future, and must have acted on Capt. McGowan, to compel him to
relinquish a well formed plan, without any assignable reason, and pursue
one entirely different. The thought of the theater had not entered his
mind, and he gave his boys no excuse for breaking his word with them.

Capt. McGowan, 12th U. S. I., thus relates this story (_J. S. P. R._,
Feb., 1885):

“In Jan. 1887, I was on leave of absence in Brooklyn, with my two boys,
then on a vacation from school. I promised to take them to the theater
that night and engaged seats for us three. At the same time I had an
opportunity to examine the interior of the theater, and went over it
carefully, stage and all. These seats were engaged on the previous day,
but on the day of the proposed visit it seemed as if a voice within me
was constantly saying, ‘Do not go to the theater; take the boys back to
school.’ I could not keep these words out of my mind; they grew stronger
and stronger, and at noon I told my friends and the boys I would not go
to the theater. My friends remonstrated with me, and said I was cruel to
deprive the boys of a promised and unfamiliar pleasure, and I partially
relented; but all the afternoon the words kept repeating themselves and
impressing themselves upon me. That evening, less than an hour before
the doors opened, I insisted on the boys going to New York with me, and
spending the night at a hotel convenient to the railroad, by which we
could start in the early morning. I felt ashamed of the feeling which
impelled me to act thus, but there seemed no escape from it. That night
the theater was destroyed by fire, with the loss of 300 lives. Had I
been present, from my previous examination of the building, I should
certainly have taken my children over the stage when the fire broke out,
in order to escape by a private exit, and would just as certainly have
been lost as were all those who trusted to it, for that passage by an
accident could not be used.... I never had a presentiment before nor
since. What was it that caused me, against my desire, to abandon the
play after having secured the seats and carefully arranged for the

SAVED FROM INTEMPERANCE.--S. H. Mann, of Washington, D. C., wrote the
following personal experience to Dr. M. L. Holbrook. When a youth, he
was clerk in a country store, and formed the habit of saturating loaf
sugar with brandy and eating it. It was in the early part of this
century, and before the temperance movement had been inaugurated. At
that time the use of alcoholic beverages was considered almost as
essential to health as food. He had regarded the saturated sugar as a
pleasant confection and had not become aware of the strong hold the
habit had taken on him, or how passionately fond of it he had become.
One day he went into the cellar with his sugar, saturated it, and was in
the act of raising it to his mouth, when his arm became paralyzed, and a
voice out of the air, for he was alone, spoke to him in stern tones,
saying: “Young man, stop! If you continue this habit you will die a
drunkard!” He could not move his hand to his mouth, and at last he let
the sugar drop as his hand fell helpless by his side. The occurrence
made such a strong impression on him, that he became a total abstainer,
at a time when nearly all drank, and has remained true to his
convictions all his life.

A SOLDIER’S LIFE SAVED BY A DREAM.--This story is yet more remarkable.
Rev. L. W. Lewis, in his “Reminiscences of the War,” published in the
_Christian Advocate_, relates an instance where a dream saved the life
of a soldier: “A man by the name of Williams had told a dream to his
fellow-soldiers, some of whom related it to me months previous to the
occurrence which I now relate. He dreamed that he crossed a river,
marched over a mountain and camped near a church located in a wood, near
which a terrible battle ensued, and in a charge just as we crossed the
ravine he was shot in the heart. On the ever memorable 7th of December,
1862 (Battle of Prairie Grove, Northern Arkansas), as we moved at
double-quick to take our places in the line of battle, then already
hotly engaged, we passed the church, a small frame building. I was
riding in the flank of the command opposite to Williams, as we came in
view of the house. ‘That is the church I saw in my dream,’ said he. I
made no reply, and never thought of the matter again until the evening.
We had broken the enemy’s lines and were in full pursuit, when we came
to a dry ravine in the wood; and Williams said: ‘Just on the other side
of this ravine I was shot in my dream, and I’ll stick my hat under my
shirt.’ Suiting the action to the word he doubled up his hat as he ran
along and crammed it into his bosom. Scarcely had he adjusted it when a
Minie ball knocked him out of line; jumping up quickly he pulled out his
hat, waved it over his head shouting, ‘I’m all right!’ The ball raised
a black spot, about the size of a man’s hand, just over his heart, and
dropped into his shoe.”

Here the prophecy was a long time ahead, and foretold the exact coming
of a ball depending on a combination of circumstances which would seem
impossible for reason or intuition to foresee and foreknow. Its
fulfillment was peculiar, for by guarding against it, the danger was
averted and the dream proved untrue.

of the largest sewing machine companies in New York City, in balancing
his books found an error of $5.00. It was a small sum, but as a mistake
was as damaging as $500. He set his assistants at work to find it, yet
day after day their labor was in vain. They worked for a week and
accomplished nothing. He became greatly annoyed and filled with anxiety.
In his own words: “The third Sunday after the search was begun, I got up
late after a sleepless night and started out on a walk for exercise. My
mind was on my books, and I paid no attention to the direction I took.
My surprise was, therefore, genuine when I found myself at the door of
the company’s office in Union Square, for I had not certainly intended
to go there. Mechanically I put my hand in my pocket, drew out the key,
opened the door and went in. As if in a dream I walked to the office,
where I turned the combination and unlocked the safe. There were the
books, a dozen of them in a row. I did not consider for a moment which
to take up. It was by no volition on my part that my hand moved toward a
certain one, and drew it from the safe. Placing it on the desk, I opened
it; my eye ran along the column of figures, and there before me, plain
as day, was the missing $5.00. I made a note of the page, put the book
back in the safe, and went home. It was then noon. I lay down and fell
into a deep sleep from which I did not awake until nine o’clock on
Monday morning. After a hearty breakfast I hastened to the office
feeling like a new man. It seemed as if a burden had fallen from me, and
I was walking on air.”

This bookkeeper, by anxiety and overwork, had become very sensitive. He
was by the account he gives of himself, in a state bordering on
clairvoyance. He was automatically used, not by a “dominant idea,” for
the dominant idea caused his mistake, and that could not suggest to him
the book and page, which were readily found by his hand being moved by
some cause. As the hand could not move itself, it must have been acted
on by an intelligent, independent force.

A MOTHER SAVES THE LIFE OF HER SON.--Of warnings there are no end, and,
however much the truth of prophecy may be denied, it is certain that
within at least narrow bounds future events may be foretold. One
instance of this being correctly done may be referred to coincidence,
but two places the probabilities on the other side, and three makes it
impossible. It will be readily comprehended that no guess told the
soldier a ball would strike him at a certain time and place, or the
father that the theater would be burned on a certain night.

There is a series of facts which show direct interposition of superior
intelligence, of which the following may be taken as examples. Col.
Walter B. Daulay gives his personal experience when on shipboard the
“Gulf of Lyons” in a gale of wind:

“I had the mid watch. The night was dark and terrible, the wind howled
furiously and the heaving sea tossed our ship about like a bit of cork.
I stood by the mizzen mast, holding on by the fife-rail, and shielding
my face from the blinding spray that came driving over the deck.
Suddenly I heard my name pronounced as distinctly as I ever heard it in
my life--‘Walter! Walter!’ and it was my mother’s voice that spoke. She
continued to call me from the gloom about the main mast, and without
stopping to reflect, or thinking where I was, I leaped forward. Hardly
had I reached the after-companion-way, when I heard a crash behind me,
and was called to myself. I turned and found that an iron-banded
burton-block had fallen from the top and struck the deck exactly where I
had been standing! Had I remained by the fife-rail three seconds longer
than I did, my brains would have been dashed out. I always regarded that
as an interposition in my behalf of a power independent of human will.”

DEATH FORETOLD IN A VISION.--The following facts are vouched for by S.
Bigelow, a gentleman of unquestioned integrity and a shrewd observer. In
the early days of our war one Albert Dexter, near Ionia, Mich., enlisted
in Co. D, Third Michigan Cavalry. His sister, Mrs. John Dunham, living
then and now in Ionia, had what she terms a vision the day before he
enlisted in which she saw him--her brother Albert--on horseback; saw him
wheel and fall from his horse. She told Albert of her vision and
importuned him not to go, but he made light of her fears and vision, and
went with his company to the fields of blood and carnage, and often in
his letters he referred to his sister’s fears and vision in a light and
joyful mood; but in his last letter he seemed to believe in the vision
and in its probable fulfillment. More than two years had passed since
the vision, and no unfavorable news from Albert, when one afternoon in
autumn, as Mrs. Dunham was alone in her quiet home, she heard a loud rap
at the door, opened it, saw no one, felt impressed, and queried with
herself, “Why can’t they tell me?” but could get nothing definite beyond
her impressions, and the plain, loud rap about which she could not be
mistaken. But during the quiet hours of night her spiritual vision was
quickened, and she saw Albert on horseback, advance, then wheel, and
then saw him shot and fall, and as plainly as though she had been by his
side. She saw just where he was hit, how he fell, etc. Hence she knew
all, having full confidence in such manifestations, as they were not new
to her.

She suffered intense agony and a sleepless night, not expecting herself
to survive; was pale and haggard in the morning, and scarcely able to be
up. She told her friends and family about the matter in detail, even to
the writing of a letter by the lieutenant informing them. She gave the
contents of the letter before it was written. This was on Tuesday night
and following morning. The next Sunday Mrs D. was visiting six miles
from Ionia, and during the day a messenger came bringing a letter, which
John Dexter had just received from the lieutenant of the Third Michigan
Cavalry, giving particulars of his brother Albert’s death while engaged
in action the previous Tuesday, confirming in every detail what Mrs. D.
had seen and told; and farther, she felt or saw the messenger with the
letter while yet far from the house, and told him what he had, and gave
the contents of the letter, assuring him that it was no news to her.

Another brother, James, enlisted and went to the war, and one evening as
Mrs. D. was in bed and Mr. D. was reading, they both heard plainly the
report of a pistol (or what seemed to them such), and Mrs. D. saw Albert
and James come in and fall near her bed, and told Mr. D. that James was
dead, which was fully confirmed by letter in about two weeks.

was foretold by many sensitives, for that great event seemed to cast a
strong shadow before it. Several of these prophecies have been published
since the event, and consequently have lost their weight as evidence,
while others had been widely published before the terrible tragedy. The
following rests on the integrity of S. Bigelow, and is unquestionably

A gentleman in Cleveland, O., well known there, saw and knew that
Garfield would be assassinated long before he left his quiet Mentor
home, and was so oppressed with the knowledge that he told Mayor Rose
and Dr. Streator, two very prominent and wealthy friends of Garfield,
and both active politicians as well, and they conferred with others, and
finally wrote to Garfield about it; but the sensitive, in the meantime,
felt impelled to do something, and that he must go and see Garfield and
warn him, but being a stranger and in humble circumstances he thought he
could not go; but he could get no peace until he did, and finally
plucked up courage to undertake the, to him, dreaded mission, and went
alone and sad, to Mentor. Garfield met him in person (not by secretary
as he did others) at the door, and greeted him cordially, and thus
enabled him to overcome his embarrassment in a measure, and to talk
freely, which he did, and as a consequence Garfield’s bed was moved from
his bedroom on the lower floor to the chamber.

This precaution prevented the crime for a time, which was ripe for
execution. The same gentleman felt impelled to go to Washington with the
fateful vision, but was prevented from going, and thus unwarned,
Garfield met his death.

OMENS.--Almost every one has good and had omens, and although they may
think that they have entirely outgrown such superstition, they will find
that there yet lingers more or less of the feeling from education or
heredity. They do not believe that seeing the moon over the left
shoulder indicates bad luck, and over the right good fortune, yet they
would prefer to see it over the right. They do not think Friday a more
unlucky day than the other six, yet avoid commencing important business
on that day. There are a great number of omens and signs, many of them
peculiar to the individual; others world-wide, and held from remote
antiquity. Of these it may be said that while of themselves these signs
and omens have no relation to the events they presage, if we suppose a
person to accept a certain omen as foreshadowing a certain event, a
superior being foreknowing that event and desiring to impress it on the
mind of such person, might use the sign to convey the warning. To
further illustrate: There may be no connection between seeing the moon
over one’s right shoulder and a fortunate event in store; but a superior
being, foreseeing that event, may so influence our minds as to make us
catch a glimpse of the crescent on the right.

Mrs. Bancroft, a daughter-in-law of the great historian, has described
an uncanny circumstance which happened at a wedding in 1863, where the
wives of Major Thos. Y. Brent and Capt. Eugene Barnes, of the C. S. A.
met, each wearing her bridal dress. While dressing for the occasion,
Mrs. Brent’s companion discovered a blood spot upon the dress of the
Major’s wife, which could not be accounted for, and somewhat excitedly
exclaimed: “It is a bad omen!” Two days after, Mrs. Brent experienced a
severe pain in the region of her heart, although at the time in the best
of health. This occurred at the birth-place of her husband. Two days
later she heard that while storming a Federal fortification, her husband
was killed on July 4th, 1863, as far as she could learn at the identical
time that she experienced the heart-pain. The Major was shot in the
breast by a Minie ball and instantly killed. Another fact occurred at
the time of finding the blood spot, and that was Mrs. Thomas Bright
addressing the two ladies as “war widows.” She believes in omens, and
believes that these facts pointed to the death of the lady’s husband,
which occurred so soon after.

A DREAM REALIZED.--The Mobile _Register_ published the following, under
the title of “A Dream Realized,” which should be regarded as a trance,
in which state the transcendent knowledge was given by some superior

“A man named Bronson, who was an agent for a seed house, was travelling
through Tennessee making collections. One night, after he had finished
his business in Chattanooga, he made ready for a horseback ride of
fifteen or twenty miles the next day. Upon retiring to his room for the
night he sat down to smoke a cigar.

“He was neither overtired nor sleepy, but, after smoking a few minutes,
he had what he termed a vision. He was riding over the country on
horseback; when at the junction of two roads he was joined by a
stranger. He saw this man as plainly as one man can see another in broad
daylight, noting the color of his hair and eyes and taking particular
notice of the fact that the horse, which was gray in color, had a “y”
branded on his left shoulder.

“The two rode along together for a mile or more, and then came to a spot
where a tree had been blown down and fallen across the narrow highway.
They turned into the woods to pass the spot, he in advance, when he saw
the stranger pull a pistol and fire at his back. He felt the bullet tear
into him, reeled and fell from his horse, and was conscious when the
assassin robbed him and drew his body further into the woods. He seemed
to see all this, and yet at the same time knew that he was dead. His
corpse was rolled into a hollow and covered with brush, and then the
murderer went away and left him alone.

“In making an effort to throw off the brush, he awoke. His cigar had
gone out, and, as near as he could calculate, he had been unconscious,
as you might call it, for about fifteen minutes. He was deeply agitated,
and it was some time before he could convince himself that he had not
suffered any injury. By-and-by he went to bed and slept soundly, and
next morning the remembrance of what had happened in his vision had
almost faded from his mind.

“He set out on his journey in good spirits, and found the road so
romantic, and met horsemen going to town so often, that he reached the
junction of the roads without having given a serious thought to his

“Then every circumstance was recalled in the most vivid manner.

“He was joined there by a stranger on a gray horse, and man and beast
tallied exactly with those in the vision. The man did not, however, have
the look or bearing of an evil-minded person. On the contrary, he
seemed to be in a jolly mood, and he saluted Bronson as frankly as an
honest stranger would have done. He had no weapons in sight, and he soon
explained that he was going to the village to which Bronson was bound,
on business connected with the law.

“The agent could not help but feel astonished and startled at the
curious coincidence, but the stranger was so talkative and friendly that
there was no possible excuse to suspect him. Indeed, as if to prove to
his companion that he meditated no evil, he kept a little in advance for
the next half hour. Bronson’s distrust had entirely vanished, when a
turn in the road brought an obstruction to view. There was a fallen tree
across the highway! This proof that every point and circumstance in the
vision was being unrolled before his eyes, gave the agent a great shock.
He was behind the stranger, and he pulled out his revolver and dropped
his hand beside the horse to conceal it.

“‘Well, well!’ said the man, as he pulled up his horse; ‘the tree must
have toppled over this morning. We’ll have to pass around it to the

“Bronson was on the right. The woods were clear of underbrush, and,
naturally enough, he should have been the first to leave the road, but
he waited.

“‘Go ahead, friend,’ said the stranger, as if the words had been
addressed to the horse; the animal which the agent bestrode started up.

“Bronson was scarcely out of the road before he turned in his saddle.
The stranger had a pistol in his right hand. What followed could not be
clearly related. Bronson slid from the saddle as a bullet whizzed past
him, and a second later returned the fire. Three or four shots were
rapidly exchanged, and then the would-be murderer, uttering a yell
showing that he had been hit, wheeled his horse to gallop off. He had
not gone ten rods when the beast fell under him, and he kicked his feet
from the stirrups and sprang into the woods and was out of sight in a
moment. The horse had received a bullet in the throat and was dead in a
few minutes.”

A YOUNG LADY’S DREAM.--Miss Amelia Ederly, young lady highly endowed,
both mentally and physically, and free from superstition or inclination
to the marvelous, while visiting friends one evening shortly before her
death, related a dream which she had a few days previous, which had
vividly impressed itself on her mind. She thought she saw herself ready
for burial, with her parents and friends weeping around her. She had no
feeling; only surprise that her body was clothed with a blue dress with
yellow roses, and she attempted to expostulate at this want of taste,
but no one gave attention to her remarks. She jested about the dream,
and it seemed not to make any deep impression; but ten days after this
visit she was taken sick and died. She had mentioned her dream only
once, and her sickness could not be referred to mental impression
received thereby.

A WARNING VOICE.--Dr. Fisher, of Waterford, England, is authority for
the following:

“Miss Louisa Benn, who lived with her mother in Wednesbury, had become
desirous of going to Australia; her friends assisted her to means. After
she had made preparations, she left her home for London, and secured
passage on a ship. On the day before the sailing of the ship her mother
heard a cry of, ‘Oh, mother,’ seemingly from the cellar, and in her
daughter’s voice. She was so alarmed that she telegraphed for her
daughter to return, which she reluctantly did, for she was already on
board, and her luggage being stored away, could not be given her. Her
regret vanished when news came that the vessel was lost, and with it
nearly all the passengers.”

AN OBJECTION.--Here arises an objection often urged against such
premonitions. Of an hundred or more of passengers, one only is warned,
while all the others are allowed to go on board and blindly meet their
fate. If such warning come from God, with whom all things are possible,
the objection would have pertinence, and be unanswerable unless
relegated to the mystery of Godliness. But such warnings do not come
from God, but from spirit intelligences just above ourselves, departed
friends who preserve an interest in those who remain on earth. It is not
probable that all, or even any considerable portion of these
intelligences, are able to forecast the future, or possess the equally
essential ability to impress their thoughts on their earthly friends.
The few who know the events of the future may find it impossible to
communicate with their friends. Hence the rare occurrence of such
premonitions, and the strange spectacle of only a single individual
among hundreds receiving intimations of approaching danger. Thus where
the laws and conditions of impressibility are understood, it is not
anomalous that so few are impressed, but this fact confirms the theory
of sensitiveness.

Premonitions and presentiments of coming events form a numerous class of
well attested cases. They usually relate directly to the person
receiving them, and those recorded in a majority of instances refer to
sickness or death. It may be supposed that a great majority of
premonitions received, are not recognized, or at least recorded. Many by
reception defeat their fulfillment, quite as many, probably, as bring
their fulfillment by being received. When an individual has a
premonition that he is to die at a certain time, and does thus die, it
is said the prophecy so worked on his mind that it killed him at the
appointed time. Possibly this might happen, but it rarely does. Far more
often the knowledge prepares for the event, and the individual survives
to point at the prophecy as a failure. Again, the presentiment comes
with the certainty of a decree of fate, and the future is without shadow
of turning, and inexorable to our efforts or our prayers.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S DREAM.--The following dream by Abraham Lincoln is a
matter of history, and is in harmony with the susceptible nature of that
great man. He related it to Mrs. Lincoln and others present in the
following words:

“About ten days ago I retired very late. I had been up waiting for
important dispatches. I could not have been long in bed, when I fell
into a slumber and began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like
stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of persons
were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered down stairs. There
the silence was broken by the same sobbing, but the mourners were
invisible. I went from room to room. No living person was in sight, but
the same mournful sounds met me as I passed along. I was puzzled and
alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find out
the cause of a state of things so mysterious, I kept on until I arrived
at the ‘end room,’ which I entered. There I met a sickening surprise.
Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral
vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards;
and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon this
corpse, whose face was covered; others weeping pitifully, ‘Who is dead
at the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers. ‘The President,’
was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin!’ Then came a loud burst
of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more
that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely
annoyed by it ever since.”

This occurred but a short time before the event it heralded, which
plunged the nation into grief. Had the President given heed to its
warning, and not been persuaded by his wife, who gave no credit to the
supernatural, the course of events would have been different. Had he
heeded the dream it would have been brought forward as evidence to prove
the worthlessness of such visions.

A LITTLE GIRL PREDICTS HER OWN DEATH.--Little Maud, three-year-old
daughter of George T. Ford, of Elmore, Mich., came to her mother one day
and said, “Maudie is not going to stay; she is going away off to be
buried up in the cold ground.” About a week later, she said, “Let Maudie
go and ride with you to-day, for she will never go again.” On the
morning of the day of her death, she came to her mother and said,
“Maudie don’t feel well. Don’t you feel sorry for Maudie? She is going
away off where you will never see her again.” Her mother clasped her to
her bosom, wondering what she could mean, but was not long left in
doubt. The child grew seriously ill, and later in the day she said,
“Good-bye--lift me up--I hear the band playing--I am going now,” and
passed away.

PRINCE LEOPOLD’S DREAM.--Another instance, important in consequence of
the noble station of the person to whom it relates, is given in the
_Fortnightly Review_, by W. H. Myers:

“The last time I saw Prince Leopold (being two days before he died), he
would talk to me about death, and said he would like a military funeral.

“Finally I asked, ‘why do you talk in this morose manner?’ As he was
about to answer, he was called away and said, ‘I will tell you later.’ I
never saw him to speak to again, but he finished his answer to me to a
lady, and said: ‘Two nights now, Princess Alice has appeared to me in my
dreams, and says she is quite happy and wants me to come and join her;
that is what makes me so very thoughtful.’

“I take this to be a sign of his approaching removal to the world of
spirits, in which, as a member of a Spiritualistic family, he has been,
from his earliest youth, an implicit believer, thus illustrating the
truth of the observation, that, ‘Signs are vouchsafed to the believing,
now, as of old.’”

ANOTHER CASE.--Miss Mary Paine, when on her way to visit some friends in
Gainesville, Ga., on passing the Mars Hill Graveyard, ordered her driver
to stop the team, which he did. Then she exacted a promise from him that
he would bring her back and bury her by the side of her sister Jane.
“For,” said she, “I shall never come back alive. I shall die away from
home, and I want you to promise to bring me back for burial.” To this
declaration she clung, nor would she be persuaded that, as she was in
good health she would have a pleasant visit and return home happy.
Before three weeks had passed she died of a congestive chill, at her
friend’s house in Gainesville, and as she had requested, was brought
back to Mars Hill and buried by the side of her dear sister.

Dr. H----, who is of exceedingly skeptical organization, said that he
once had an experience which baffled his powers of explanation, and
caused him to doubt his materialistic views. He had been called to a
distant farm-house on an intensely dark and stormy night to visit a
patient. There was a stream with wide marshy borders, across which a
narrow causeway had been constructed, barely wide enough for carriages
to pass. As he drove onto one end of this narrow way, suddenly there
came the thought that he would meet a runaway team, and his horse and
carriage be overturned into the morass. At that time of night this was
wholly improbable; but the thought came to him instantly with all its
contingencies. “If I should meet a team, what shall I do?” he asked
himself. Then he thought there was one place wider than the rest, and he
answered, “I would reach that place and get as far out of the way as
possible.” “Get there, then; get there,” was the urgent impression. He
involuntarily hurried his horse, reached the place, and, driving to the
very edge, drew rein. He was in a tremor of nervous excitement, yet had
seen nor heard nothing to excite him more than the interior impression.
But he soon found his haste had not been in vain. He heard the rattle of
wheels and clatter of hoofs, as a runaway team struck the further end of
the causeway, and in a moment they swept past him. Had they met him
unprepared, he certainly would have met with a serious, if not fatal,
accident. This intelligence which saw the approaching team and the
great danger in which Dr. H. would be placed, was independent of his
mind, for it brought a knowledge that mind did not, nor could not know
until revealed by some foreign power. Whence came the premonition, the
thoughtful care? Not out of the air. It was from an intelligent,
individualized entity above and beyond physical existence; and all
theories which leave out this element fall short of covering the
multitudinous facts which unite and bind them together in a harmonious

SEEN AT HIS FUNERAL.--Dr. John E. Purdon, now of Valley Head, Ala., is
authority for the following narrative, which records the appearance of a
soldier soon after his death, and may be taken as evidence of the
sensitiveness on one side, and of the reality of the existence of the
appearance on the other:

“In the year 1872, while in charge of the convalescent hospital,
Sandown, Isle of Wight, I returned from a short visit to London,
bringing with me for change and rest Miss Florence Cook, who afterwards
became so celebrated a medium. On the evening of my return home, I took
a walk with Miss Cook along the cliffs towards Shanklin. During the walk
she drew my attention to a soldier who seemed to her to be behaving in a
curious way, turning round and staring at me, and omitting the usual
military salute which she had noticed the other men give as they passed
by. As I could see no one at the time my curiosity was excited, and when
she said the man had passed a stile just in front of us, I crossed over
and looked carefully about. No soldier was in sight; on one side was an
open field; on the other, perpendicular cliffs. I asked a country man at
work in the field if he had seen a soldier pass just before I appeared,
but he had not.

“On my return from town I found that a certain chronic patient who had
been a long time in the hospital, and on whom I had performed a minor
surgical operation some time before, had died of pulmonary consumption.

“Miss Cook and another young lady on a visit to my wife, never having
seen a military funeral, persuaded her to take them to a cross-road,
where they would see the troops pass without being seen themselves. As
we marched past, the coffin being carried on a gun-carriage, Miss Cook
said to my wife, ‘Why is the little man in front dressed differently
from the other soldier?’ My wife answered that she could not see any one
in front, nor could the other girl either. Miss Cook then said, ‘Why
does he not wear a big hat like the others? He has on a small cap and is
holding his head down.’ They then returned home, and the funeral party
passed on to the graveyard which was two miles from the hospital. Just
after the firing party had fallen in to march home, Hospital Sergeant
Malandine came up to me in the graveyard and said: ‘Private Edwards
reports sick, sir, and asks permission to return by train.’ I asked what
was the matter, and the sergeant answered that Edwards had had a great
fright from seeing the man we were burying looking down into his own
grave at the coffin before it was covered by the clay!”

APPEARANCE AFTER DEATH.--_Light_, a journal that exercises great
discretion in the facts it publishes, vouches for the following
appearance coincident with death, received from Mr. F. J. Teall:

“In the year 1884 my son Walter was serving in the Soudan, in the 3d
King’s Royal Rifles. The last we heard from him was a letter informing
us that he expected to return to England about Christmas time. On
October 24th I returned home in the evening, and noticing my wife
looking very white, I said, ‘What is the matter with you?’ She said she
had seen Walter, and he had stooped down to kiss her, but, owing to her
starting, he was gone; so she did not receive the kiss. He was in his
regimentals, and she thought he had come on furlough, to take her by
surprise, knowing the back way; but when she saw he was gone and the
door not open, she became dreadfully frightened. My son Frederick and
daughters Selina and Nellie were in the room, but none of them saw
Walter; only Fred heard his mother scream, ‘Oh!’ and asked her what was
the matter.

“I thought, having heard many tales of this kind, that I would jot it
down, so I put the date on a slip of paper. After that we had a letter
from the lady nurse of the Ramleh Hospital, in Egypt, to say that the
poor boy had suffered a third relapse of enteric fever. They thought
that he would have pulled through, but he was taken. When we got the
letter it was a week after he died; but the date when the letter was
written corresponded with the day Walter appeared, which was on October
24th, 1884. My wife never got over the shock, but brooded over it, and
finally died April 29th, 1886, of mental derangement.”

FOREWARNING.--Miss Lena Harman, as reported in the _Globe-Democrat_, is
authority for a most instructive narrative of ghastly interference in
the affairs of men, which forms another link in the chain of evidence
showing that there is a spirit-world interested in the events of this.
Miss Harman was a warm friend of Mrs. Lena Reich, who was foully
murdered by her husband in New York. She had not seen her for several
months prior to her death, but the last time she met her, Mrs. Reich
told her a pitiful story of her husband’s abuse, and said she ought not
to have married him for she had been forewarned. She had been obliged to
have him bound over to keep the peace, and knew he would yet kill her.
The warning came before she was married, even before their engagement.
In her own words it happened this way. “Adolph had been courting me for
some time, and I knew that I loved him. One night, a terrible dark,
storming winter night, he told me that he loved me, and offered himself
to me. I acknowledged that I was not indifferent to him, but asked a few
days to think over the matter and consult my friends. Adolph did not
like this delay, and tried to reason me out of it, but I was firm and
carried my point. Well, we sat up very late that night together, no one
else but ourselves being in the room. When he finally left it was past
midnight, and the weather was very cold, so I fixed up the fire to make
me a cup of tea to quiet my nerves, and warm me up before going to bed.
I was a little sorry I had been so positive to Adolph about the time, as
I loved him and I thought I might as well say yes, any way, so that he
would have gone home so much happier.

“As I poured out my cup of tea I said aloud to myself, ‘Yes, I love
Adolph.’ Just then I heard a noise on the stairs, and, thinking some one
was going by my door, I turned off the gas, because I did not want any
one to know I was keeping such late hours. As the fire in the stove gave
out a ruddy light, and the half-darkness of the room seemed so peaceful,
and suited my mood of mind so well, I did not light the gas again, but
sat and sipped my tea in the darkness, saying little things to myself
aloud. Suddenly, however, I heard a slight noise behind me, and at the
same time I heard a church clock, strike the hour of one. Well, I looked
around without a thought of anything strange, and saw my Ernest, to whom
I had been previously engaged, and who died before the ceremony, almost
at the altar. He was dressed in the same clothes as when I saw him
last--his wedding suit--for we were going to our wedding when he died of
heart disease.

“I shrieked and tried to fly from my room, but he spoke: ‘Do not move,
Lena; I will not harm you. I come because I love you, and because I pity
you. Lena, if you marry Adolph Reich you will lead the life of a dog. He
will be cruel and jealous, and unreasonable, and, worse than all, he
will murder you in the end. Yes, he will murder you! Stay! I see the
scene now! He grasps your hair; he holds a sharp carving knife in the
other hand; you reach out for the knife and seize it, when, with a
terrible oath, he draws the keen blade out of your grasp, and almost
severs your fingers in doing so! Oh! he has you down on the bed; he
draws the knife; you struggle and scream. He strikes the blade into your
neck!--your beautiful neck; you struggle more violently and escape. With
the blood spurting from your wound, you run from the room and fall in
the hall; and the villain escapes, carrying the knife with him! Oh,
terrible! terrible!’ Then there was a silence; Ernest said no more for
some minutes, and I was too much horrified to speak; but again he said:
‘Lena, I love you as much as I ever did, and it won’t be long now before
you join me here, and we shall be happy again. Oh, do not marry Reich,
as you value your life and soul! Farewell! God keep you!’ and he was

The warning was fulfilled to the letter. After the infliction of the
terrible wound which caused her death; she had crawled out of her room,
and fell in the hall from the loss of blood. How many similar warnings
pass unheeded, and yet how greatly might the recipients be benefited by
heeding them!

Effects of Physical Influences on the Sensitive.

Individuals who are influenced to an unusual extent by their
surroundings, are regarded as nervous,--a name covering a multitude of
ills for which no other term is at command. A cat entering the room,
however stealthily, in some awakes the most disagreeable feelings.
Another is so sensitive to the electric state of the weather as to
presage the coming storm several hours or days in advance. Sunday is so
called because of its supposed connection with the phases of the moon.
The superstitious observation of the Signs arises from the dull
understanding or ignorance of this influence. That man is a magnet, and
has polarity corresponding to that of the earth, is a plausible
conjecture, which receives confirmation by the influence of the earth
currents on many forms of disease. Some patients are so exceedingly
sensitive that they can lie at ease in no other position than with their
heads to the north; and it has been argued that if such position is best
for the sensitive it is for all.

More especially is the influence of physical forces seen when death
occurs after a lingering disease, which, by reducing the bodily
strength, makes that of the spirit more susceptible.

“He’s going out with the tide,” is the common expression of all the
rough coastwise people. It may be called a superstition of sea-faring
races; but it is a fact that for some inscrutable reason the old, sick
and infirm more often die at the ebb-tide than when the tide is rising.
A poet beautifully expresses this belief:

    “When the tide goes out he will pass away,
    Pray for a soul’s serene release!
    That the weary spirit may rest in peace,
            When the tide goes out.”

A physician on the Connecticut coast, who had made special observations,
said: “for more than thirty years I have lived and observed among the
rough, hardy souls hereabout; and for more than fifty my father before
me gathered facts and wisdom from practice. I have stood by hundreds of
death-beds of fishermen and farmers, old and young, during the last
quarter of a century; but I can hardly recall a single instance of a
person dying of disease, who did not pass away while the tide was
ebbing. It is a fact that in critical cases I never feel concerned to
leave a patient for an hour or two when the tide is coming in; but when
it is receding, and particularly in the latter stages of the ebb, I stay
by, if I can, till the turn comes. You’ll scarcely credit it, but the
daily record of the tides is the most important part of the almanac in
my practice. If a patient who is very low lives to see the current turn
from ebb to flow, I know the case is safe till the ebb sets in again.”

    “When the tide comes in death waits for dole,
    When the tide ebbs it takes a soul.”

Francis Gerry Fairchild says that during five years he noted the hour
and minute of ninety-three demises, and of these all but four (who died
of accidents) went out with the ebb of the tide. In his own words: “I
who have sat with my fingers on the wrist of many a feeble patient, and
noticed the pulse rise and strengthen, or sink and vanish, with the
turning of the tide, know that it is fact.”

Of twenty-one cases of death registered on the sea coast of Long Island
at Orient, by Capt. D. B. Edwards, I find, by careful examination, that
with only one exception, the aged, or those who had been suffering from
long sickness, died at the ebb of the tide. Those cases were taken as
they came, and afford an average that may be depended upon.

Not that the coming and going of the ocean wave as it rolls round the
world has special influence. The cause is more profound, and blended
with the force of gravitation. Not only is the ocean agitated and piled
up beneath the moon; the deeper and more elastic aerial sea is more
strongly fluctuated, and the electric and magnetic conditions change
with certain periodicity. The maximum of positive force is attained at
high tide, constantly increasing as the tide comes in, and then recedes
to the zero of negativeness with its outgoing. With the flood of water,
and higher pressure of atmosphere, the forces of life are stimulated by
the increasing positiveness. When these stimulants withdraw, the tide
runs to the negative pole, and a soul ebbs from the mortal shore. Man is
sensitive to the influences of the sun and moon, and to the stars.

The influence of the moon in cases of lunacy has been observed from
ancient times, and a lunar month measures the cycle of changes in most
cases of madness.

During health these subtle changes are not felt, or too feebly to be
remarked. It is during sickness, when the physical energies are so
enfeebled that slight forces turn the balance for or against, that the
most palpable effects are produced. There are moon-tides and sun-tides
in the ocean and in the air. Sometimes these augment, at others depress
each other. The magnetic disturbances are much greater at times than
others; hence the subject is complicated; but when investigated it will
be shown that there is co-operation between vital force and the energies
of nature.

A spirit is a harp attuned to respond to the touch of myriad forces. It
is placed in the center of these multitudinous energies, coming in from
every direction. It is sensitive to the touch of the sun, the moon and
the planets, and to that of the farthest star that twinkles on the verge
of the Milky Way; not in the sense of astrology, but in as faithful a
manner. If the magnetic needle trembles because of a spot in the sun; if
the magnetic currents of the earth are disturbed by activity of the
solar disc, can we for a moment doubt but the more delicately ethereal
spiritual perception will feel such disturbances? The sweet influence of
the Pleiades has more than poetic meaning, and the cold light of the
moon brings on its beams the breath of love.

It is well known that many diseases are aggravated by the approach of
night, while others are most severe during the day. All nervous pains
become intensified at the approach of night--a fact admitted, but
referred by material science to the imagination, the fancy having free
reign during the silent hours of darkness. During the day, the half of
the earth illuminated is positive to the other unilluminated hemisphere.
Hence the sensations of evening are different from those of morning. We
have enjoyed the light and been positive during the day; when night
advances, we become passive in the enveloping darkness, and enter a
state twin sister to death, to arise in the morning again to meet the
positive day.

Sleep during the night is more restoring than during the day--a
distinction recognized by animals and plants. Night is no more terrible
than day, yet the mind, oppressed by the negative condition then imposed
on all things, peoples it with fancies. The hour of midnight is the
established season for ghostly appearances. He who boldly walks along
the churchyard path at noonday, would fain whistle to keep his courage
up at the hour of midnight. Even Hæckel, the great naturalist, confesses
that as the evening fell on him, while alone on the extreme point of
Ceylon, and the shadows deepened on the weird forest and lonely sea, an
“uncanny” feeling crept over him.

And the soul moves in the circle of the seasons; not only has human life
its Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter; in the long three score years
and ten, it swings through this circle with each succeeding procession
of seasons, and experiences the changing impressions they so rapidly

Unconscious Sensitiveness.

SILENCE AND RECEPTIVITY.--I sit down with the friend of my heart, and
neither speak a word; we visit in close communion of souls, in silence;
spoken words would be only jarring discord. The shallow mind is
supplied with a wind of words: like a dictionary he is all words, but
without a thought. The highest thought, the most profound feelings, are
beyond the sphere of speech.

The restless wind is ever sighing; the restless, unbalanced soul is ever
chattering its half-formed thoughts. The shallow brook splashes and
dashes over its bed with noisy tongue; the deep river flows onward
without a ripple on its broad surface to tell of its tremendous power.

If we would learn of nature we must retire to her solitudes and let no
one intrude. The dearest and nearest may draw with well meaning hands an
opaque vail between us and the sun. In the solitude of the forest, by
the shores of the sullen sea, and in the depths of star-lit night, we
rest as dwarfs, overpowered by the stupendous elements, yet the center
of all forces and phenomena. We are in the vortex of creative energies,
and if we silently question, the answers fall as soon as our minds are
receptive to them. In its adoration of the boundless, the soul mirrors
its own infinitude. The shoreless expanse of sea, with sky and wave
blending, lost in mist, in the never-reached horizon; the depths of
stars, beyond and beyond, in vistas leading out into absolute void,
beyond all created things--to such the soul acknowledges kinship, and in
them finds its satisfaction. The thoughts of the stars are untongued,
but they vibrate across the limitless ether, and are eloquent to the
receptive mind.

Immeasurably more needful of receptivity born of silence, is the contact
with the infinite realm of spirit. The ocean of being, invisible, is
before us. We may not dictate, nor with blatant cry make demands. We
shall be grateful for a grain of manna from the heavenly skies; we may
gather a full repast. As spiritual beings, into the warp and woof of
whose existence enter the strands of immortal life, we are capable of
comprehending the laws of this unseen, and heretofore unknown universe.
As suns are pulsating centers of light, spiritual beings are pulsating
centers of thought, and as light waves go out circling until lost on the
remotest coast line of the universe, so thought-waves go out from the
thinking mind, and are caught up by all minds receptive to them.

By the sea, the soul sees the inner world expressed by a series of
changing pictures. The ships sailing from harbor, with all their white
sails set, and bent to the breeze which wafts them into the gray mist
until lost to view, express the voyage of human beings. The white birds,
with flapping wings, are the purposeless spirits of the air. The stars,
what consolation they have given the wretched in long ages of suffering,
by their eternal placidity, their quietude from the feverish follies
which we know intuitively belong to a lower life.

The truly receptive mind is least alone when alone. Then it becomes the
headland against which beat the waves of thought from every thinking
being in the universe. Like the telegraph receiver, it picks out the
thoughts to which it is sensitive, and the others go on to those
receptive to them. It thus becomes apparent that there can be an
education superior to all others; the education of receptivity, or
sensitiveness to the thought atmosphere or psychic-ether. Not that this
can take the place of the ordinary training of the faculties, for their
training, rudely performed as it is, often leads to a high
sensitiveness; more often leads away from it. The poet is most sensitive
to poetic thought, and in this sense is a medium, not only for
individual poets, but, perhaps, unconsciously, for the inseparable
thoughts of all. The truly great statesman receives influx from the
United Congress of all past leaders. Through the sensitive preacher, all
preachers of the past find tongue. The man of science, if successful in
research, may be praised for skill and faithfulness, but beyond these
qualities are the impressions descending from all who think or ever have
thought on their special subjects. There is a sensitiveness of
organization, and not of culture, which makes of the possessor a
mouth-piece, an instrument, such as it is. There is a sensitiveness,
better here called receptivity, which comes of right culture, and is the
highest form of mediumship, though its possessor may be wholly
unconscious of his gift.

RECEPTIVITY AND GREATNESS.--Here and there are those who by organization
are sensitive and ready instruments to bless the world with the light of
higher spheres. There have been many in the past fifty years. Centuries
have gone by and not one of these barren--centuries during which man
remained stationary or retrograded into dense ignorance.

As mountain peaks catch the light of morning when all the valleys and
plains below are wrapped in darkness, so these sensitives arise into the
atmosphere of spirit, and bathe their foreheads in its glory.

Who should be more sensitive to the urgencies of a threatened state than
he who has the responsibilities of government? Whom would the departed
statesman, who, loving his country, seek to impress, if not the ones in
power, who could make such impressions available? But those in power may
not be impressible, and this is most unfortunate for the state. They
MAY be, and then it can be truthfully said that the forces of heaven
fight its battles.

Such an one was Lincoln. His receptive mind responded to the thought
waves of the psychic atmosphere, and he became the center of a
thought-vortex--the concentration of unnumbered intelligences--with the
holy spiritual fervor of the sage and prophet. Feeling himself called to
a mighty task, and consecrated to its accomplishment, his great and
earnest soul responded to the breath of inspiration. He was
misunderstood by men because he acted from motives they could not
comprehend, and which were uncomprehended by himself; but during the
years of darkness, anxiety and care, the cabinet on which he relied was
not the executive officers, but one formed of those Fathers of the
Republic, who, on the hour of its birth, gave its flag to the breezes of
heaven. He failed at times; disasters came, representing the periods
when the clouds obscured the clear light of inspiration. He disregarded
the impressions of impending danger, and disobedience sealed the record
of his labors with his blood!

Then in invention, the contrivances by which the elements are harnessed
and become willing servants, we take one man as an illustration. A poor
uneducated country lad, with a simple knowledge of telegraphy sufficient
to send messages over the wires, that is all--no college learning, no
one to assist, to direct, to advise. He soon entered a field where no
mortal could advise, where no mortal had been or knew aught to advise
him. He became sensitive, and the secret chambers of the lightning were
unlocked to him. What to other men who had devoted a life-time of study
was obscure and mysterious, became to him the ABC to higher readings.
He sent his voice across the continent, he recorded the sounds so that
the instrument would in all after years give us back the tones of those
we love; he prolonged the lightning’s lurid flash into a continuous
blaze, and converted night into day; he made the current leap from the
wire to the passing train and over an intangible wire from ship to ship,
across leagues of sea.

TRUE INSPIRATION.--OLE BULL.--What is meant by the oft-repeated
assertion that great and exceptional persons are inspired? More
especially in music and poetry is the influx from some foreign source
distinctly marked. Ole Bull, the king of all violin players, was, by his
own confession, subject to an influence beyond himself. When a boy, he
was attempting, unaided, to translate into musical sounds the splendor
of his ideal, a “voice” encouraged him constantly with “Bravo!” which he
accepted as a sign that he was doing well. Unlike Socrates’ “demon,”
instead of being always the same, it was that of many celebrated
musicians. On one occasion, the voice of Handel murmured in his ear
after a rendition of that composer’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” “Only shadow
music sung by shadows.” “My soul asked, ‘Where, then, is the substance,
Master?’” “In my world,” the voice replied, “where alone all things are
real, and music is the speech.”

PAGANINI.--Of Paganini it was said that he not only enchanted his
listeners, but played as one enchanted, losing consciousness, and
throughout his performances remained as one entranced. So real were
musical conceptions flashed on his mind, that they became objective, and
danced before him in wild expression of rhythmic motion.

How far the ecstasy of all true musicians may account for their
super-normal efforts, depends on the meaning accepted of ecstasy. It
really is a state of sensitiveness to harmonious sounds, which at its
best differs little from the most exalted form of clairvoyance, or,
perhaps better, clair-audience.

BLIND TOM.--All have heard of Blind Tom, an idiotic negro, uncouth,
untaught, yet who was able to play the most intricate music, in a manner
only attainable to others by years of study and practice. His
improvisations were the wonder and delight of the listeners, and were
dashed off with the fingers of what might truly have been regarded as an
automaton. By what method could his astonishing facility of execution,
delicacy of expression, and masterly touch be explained? He was never
taught a lesson in music, was incapable of forming a continuous train of
thought; yet no conservatory ever graduated a superior performer. We are
forced to accept one of two conclusions: either that he was of himself
superior to any one in musical ability, or that he derived this gift
from an outside source. The first, on the face of it, appears an
absurdity. He was no more the cause of the music he produced than was
the piano on which he played. Both were instruments, he standing between
the force and its effect.

HANDEL.--In the sphere of sacred music, perhaps Handel stands without a
peer. So far above the ordinary level is his sublime work, that he
receives not his full mead of praise; for we applaud most that which
echoes some part of ourselves, and with his strains we are bowed in
humility and awe. In twenty-three days he produced “The Messiah,” a
work which, for vastness of conception and exquisite finish, is the
grandest and most perfect choral work the world has ever known. He
belonged to no school, has no imitators, for he is too far removed for
imitation to be attempted. Well has it been said that the power of such
souls baffles criticism. That they tower so far above the common level,
and possess such exceptional mental and moral powers, leads to the
supposition that they touch a thought-sphere not touched by those less
sensitively endowed.

BEECHER.--This great preacher, who left Plymouth pulpit vacant, a
vacancy which never can be filled, is a fine illustration of these

The man and his inspiration were constantly struggling for mastery. He
would advance, on the tide of that inspiration, to the very brink of the
precipice of heterodoxy; his large heart and enthusiasm carrying him and
his hearers far beyond the limits of their narrow creeds, and then
recovering himself he would recoil, restate, explain and hedge against
the severity of the criticism provoked. But constantly he gained ground,
and carried his hearers with him. He never retreated quite as far as he
advanced, and in later years the inspiring power had educated the man to
its level, and he bravely and boldly stood by his words. For an entire
generation he stood in his pulpit, a divine oracle, every Sunday having
an audience of the entire country, and as an elevating, educating power,
was immeasurable. He broke the fetters from the slave; he broke the
fetters of superstition from millions, more bondsmen than the negro
slave. If you were to gather up all that he has written it would make a
library of itself, and yet there is little of all that he has written
or spoken that has permanent value, or will endure. Its value consisted
not in its enduring qualities; rather in its _being tentative_; steps
leading upward, and of no use after once being passed over. He did not,
he could not, preach the ultimate truth. The laity, as a conservative
force, restrained him. Like an eagle burdened with a great weight, he
carried his church and the world forward, and with every new wave of
inspiration the burden grew lighter, but he never was quite free.

The limitation of the individual always stands in the path of perfect
inspiration. He was forced to speak after the forms of the creeds and
beliefs which he inherited, and believed by those he would instruct.
Those beliefs were perishing, and his modifications did not quite grasp
the whole truth, and hence must disappear. But through him a mighty
influence was exerted; not such as may be likened to the avalanche which
plunges down the mountain, but like the breath of spring, melting the
snow and ice of winter, warming the indurated soil, and making possible
the bursting forth of flowers, the prophecies of autumn fruitage.

It is remarkable that few writers have given the world more than one
master-piece, and often a single short poem, out of a mass of
composition, is all that remains of permanent value. Gray’s “Elegy” and
“Sweet Home” are examples. The genius which could write these wonderful
poems ought to have been able to write others equally perfect; yet only
once did the authors touch the pure fount of inspiration. Mrs. Julia
Ward Howe in such a moment wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,”
which, unlike anything ever before written, and unlike anything else she
ever wrote, became the marching song of a nation along the pathway of

MRS. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE wrote before and after the production of
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” works of some merit, but nothing that approached
the wonderful story that did more to arouse the nation to the wrongs of
slavery than all other influences combined. According to her own words,
she composed in a state in which she was overwhelmed with the subject
and forced to write as she did.

DICKENS entered the same state, and with such distinctness were his
characters brought before him, that he heard their voices, and his
dialogues were the work of a reporter rather than of a composer.

BUNYAN.--Perhaps no book ever exerted a greater influence than
“Pilgrim’s Progress,” written by one who in his youth was wild and
godless, a tramping tinker and rough soldier, uneducated and unversed in
literary invention. He possessed in a prominent degree the sensitive
temperament, as his portrait shows, and a fine mental endowment, however
uncultivated it might have been. So long as Bunyan was a part of the
jostling world, he was like other men. His sensitiveness could only be
made valuable by isolation, and that came to him in an unlooked for
manner by his incarceration in jail. There his spirit gained freedom. It
became susceptible to the thoughts of another sphere, and he wrote that
remarkable book, which has pleased and strengthened millions of
struggling souls. Afterwards, when liberated, he became one of the
fanatics among whom he was cast, and his writings and speech were of no
value, except as they faintly echoed what he had written in his
“Pilgrim.” Once only had the conditions essential to sensitiveness been
his, and then it was forced upon him, and the result was one book of
value, and no more. The success of that book destroyed the conditions
for the reception of anything as pure, bringing around him the jarring
conflict of religious fanaticism.

TENNYSON.--The sensitive condition of Tennyson has been graphically
described by himself, in words which leave no misunderstanding. In a
letter written in 1874 to a friend, he says: “I have never had any
revelation through anesthetics, but a kind of waking trance (this for
want of a better term) I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood,
when I have been all alone. This has often come upon me through
repeating my own name to myself silently till, all at once, as it were,
out of the intensity of the consciousness of the individuality, the
individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless
being; and this is not a composed state, but the clearest of the
clearest, the surest of the surest, utterly beyond words, where Death
was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality, (if so
it were) seeming no extinction, but the only true life. I am ashamed of
my feeble description. Have I not said the state was utterly beyond

Illustrations to an unlimited extent might be drawn from the lives of
authors, artists, inventors, statesmen and warriors, in confirmation of
the views expressed.

In fact, scarcely a single one of all the brilliant names that head the
list on the scroll of fame but might be taken as an example.

THE GREAT LEADERS in history, statesmanship, war, literature, the arts,
in science and in invention, few in number, appear like centers on whom
the thoughts of their time converge, and from whom they are radiated.
They are moved by forces beyond themselves, and plan wiser than they
know. Napoleon schemed for his own aggrandizement, but above him was a
power which directed his efforts. The art of war was an open book to
him, and his tactics, the fresh product of his teeming brain, were a
constant surprise and menace to his enemies. Until his mission was
accomplished he was invincible. When he transcended that, which was to
break down the absurd distinctions of feudalism, and make the serf a
man, and in arrogant pride looked on the nations as his prey, the
conditions of his receptivity were destroyed and his defeat assured.

These great minds have no ancestral lineage, they rarely transmit their
talent to their offspring. For a brief moment, that of their great
achievement, they gain the heights never before reached, and not again
to be reached by their posterity.

CONCENTRATION.--It has been said that great concentration of mind--the
ability to exclude all objects and subjects except the one under
consideration--is the prime factor of genius, and an adequate
explanation of its achievements. In other words, concentration is
another name for sensitiveness. What is concentration? Is it not a
mental state in which one idea, a group of ideas, dominate; and where is
the difference between this state and the hypnotic? Is it not a
condition of exceeding sensitiveness to ideas related to the dominating?
There really is slight distinguishing difference between the
concentration of writer, speaker, or inventor, and the mesmeric, or
hypnotic state of the sensitive. All the difference observable is from
the side on which the subject is approached.

This concentration has been called attention to by some authors, who
would make genius itself dependent entirely on attention, which Buffon
speaks of as protracted patience. The mind that can take hold of the
thread of a subject, and hold fast to it in all its intricacies to the
end, is enabled to do so by superior attention. Concentration is more
expressive, and under whatever name, the same mental state is
designated. The profound student always falls into it when absorbed in
his work, and becomes “absent-minded,” which is an expression commonly
used to explain one of the most inexplicable mental states. When under
control of the will, such concentration of mental power becomes
priceless to its possessor. It is similar to the hypnotic state, with
none of its disadvantages, and removed to a higher plane. The mind in
this highly sensitive condition is impressible to the thought waves in
the psychic-ether. On the other hand, when this concentration or
attention is not controllable by the will, the condition of the
unfortunate individual is most deplorable. He is lost in reverie, a
dreamy, misty state of mind which unfits him for the duties of practical
life. The difference is that between forgetfulness of duty, which has
been the butt of endless ridicule by the world and of burlesque on the
stage, and the reaches of thought attained by the philosopher, and the
divine songs of the poet. The first essential requisite of profound
thought is abstraction from the distractions of all matters except the
one in hand. Ability to thus concentrate the mind at pleasure may be
inherited or the product of education. In fact, correct education may be
said to consist mainly in the control of the attention, and the ability
to concentrate the mind on the one subject presented.

The higher education of the future will recognize and give prominence to
the cultivation of this hitherto ignored faculty.

It is one of the possibilities of the future to encourage the culture
of the sensitive faculty, and the results will be far more wonderful in
normal education than now arises from what seems abnormal, and the
product of chance.

Sensitiveness, as has been shown in the preceding pages, is possessed by
all in greater or less degree, and may be cultivated like any other
mental quality. As its laws and conditions are more thoroughly
understood and its inestimable value realized, it will become a part of
all substantial educational training.

calling to its aid spiritual beings, marks out the laws by which such
beings may control the sensitive and become cognizant of the thoughts of
each other. Man being a spirit, limited by a physical body, through the
sensitive state, under certain conditions, he breaks away from his
limitations and feels the waves of thought created by others through the

When freed from the physical body the spirit must possess the same power
in larger degree and impress its thoughts on the sensitive in the same
manner. Sensitive beyond mortal conception in its most exalted state, it
is in connection with all spiritual intelligences, and a converging and
diverging center of telegraphic communication. As it advances in this
sensitiveness, distance becomes a less and less factor, until
eliminated, and a thought sent forth wings its way until it meets the
one for whom it was intended.

Thus, what has been made the toy of a leisure hour, the imperfect
attempts at thought-reading, mesmeric control of the will, and the
mystery of communion of minds sympathetic, are really the crude
manifestations of an undeveloped faculty, which, after the evolution
wrought by death, becomes the glory of spirit-existence.

Prayer in the Light of Sensitiveness and Thought Waves.

When President Garfield was lying tortured by the wound which caused his
death, the prayers of a whole nation arose as one united voice for his
recovery. From sixty thousand pulpits petitions to the throne of grace
ascended. There were days set apart for united appeal to God. He was
eminent in the church as in war and politics, and if prayer ever
received answer, it would seem that it should be in his case. Yet the
good man, the scholar, the statesman and theologian died, just as he
would have died had no petition been sent to the throne of grace. The
ocean ship, freighted with passengers, is broken through by an iceberg,
and slowly filling, settles down into the waves. Wildly the best and
purest men and women pray to God for help, but the ship is not thereby
sustained, or delayed a single moment in her final plunge into the
abysses of the sea.

On occasions of great public calamity, where drought blasts the harvest,
locusts devour the fields, or pestilence rages, days are set apart for
prayer. Every minister of the gospel and every layman daily prays with
utmost fervor. Yet the rain falls not, the locusts devour, and the
pestilence pursues its way without shadow of turning. Prayer in such
cases is as hopeless as it would be if the maker should stand on a
railroad track, and, when he saw a train approaching, pray to God to
stop it. It is a petition for the impossible.

In one way it yields results, often of an astonishing character. If the
makers are sincere, the attitude of prayer harmonizes and strengthens
their faculties, and enables them to bear with greater fortitude the
vicissitudes of time; to bear, but not avert, impending fate. How many
captives chained in dungeons have, in imitation of the apostle, prayed
fervently with perfect faith that their chains might fall off, and the
bars of their prison door be drawn aside, and met with no response. How
many zealous martyrs have been led to the stake, praying to Jesus for
deliverance which came not; and Jesus himself, in the hour of his mortal
agony, prayed to the Father, to be answered by silence, and to find
bitterness and mockery; a cross and a crown of thorns, where he had
expected a throne and the glittering scepter of the nations.

The once all-powerful belief in the ability of delegated men to control
events and elements by supplication to the Deity, which made the
“medicine men,” the priests and jugglers, the tyrants of mankind, has
now, in civilized countries, dwindled into the intercessions for moral
help, and an occasional prayer for physical changes, as for rain in
times of drought, the staying of grasshoppers, or the approach of

It is difficult for the gospel minister to give up entirely the rôle of
the “medicine man,” and cease to pray for the sick in the misty hope
that God will answer. It is almost as troublesome for the preacher to
let go his hold on the weather, and not follow the Indian’s rattling
gourd, shaken at the sky, with prayer for the same object.

This is the degradation of prayer, and the preacher clasps hands with
the juggler. That this pretense is yet maintained, is made most
remarkably apparent in a work on prayer recently published. An incident
in the life of President Finney, of Oberlin College, copied from its
pages, will amply suffice to illustrate this anachronism, a belief of
savage man forced into the highest civilized thought.

There was drought in Oberlin, and the thin, hard clay soil of that
region suffered severely from a total failure for three months, of rain.
Clouds promised the desired moisture, but hovered over the lake, and
poured out their waters there. This they did day after day, raising the
hopes of the anxious, and then drifting away.

Finney, who was an enthusiast, was walking in the street one day, when a
friend met him and said: “I should like to know what you mean by
preaching that God is always wise and always good, when you see him
pouring out that great rain on the lake, where it can do no good, and
leaving us to suffer so terribly for want of the wasted water?”

Finney said: “His words cut me to the very heart; I turned and ran home
to my closet, fell on my knees, and told the Lord what had been said to
me, and besought him, for the honor of his great name, to confound this
caviler, and show forth the glory of his power, and the greatness of his
love. I pleaded with him that he had encouraged his people to pray for
rain, and now the time had come for him to show his power, and his
faithfulness as a hearer of prayer. Before I rose from my knees there
was a sound of a rushing mighty wind. I looked out, and lo, the heavens
were black; clouds were rolling up, and rain soon fell in torrents,
continuing for two full hours.”

Those who are acquainted with the lake region know the peculiarity of
these storms, and will readily understand the rapidity of their coming.
They require no prayer to move them, and that the coincidence of the
rain and the prayer should be endorsed by leaders in theology, is a
strange instance of mental aberration, or, as Darwin would say, atavism.
The absurdity of the representation apparently escapes the notice of
those who accept it. The zealous Finney telling an Omnipotent God what
he ought to do to show his power and keep his promise for his own
interest and reputation, as though the rain was not withheld for some
good purpose well known by the Omnipotent! And then by his pleading,
this little President of a then obscure college, changed the will and
purpose of the Almighty, and brought the rain to a narrow section of
country, leaving regions beyond equally suffering without a drop of

Such instances prove too much. They maintain the changefulness of God,
and the power of man to persuade Him to alter the course of the
elements. Mr. Finney heralds with ostentatious pride this case when the
clouds came at his call; he does not tell us of the prayers he and all
the praying people of that region had daily offered for weeks and months
for the same object, which brought no moisture!

Rain is sure to come at some time, and if the seasons of prayer be
continued long enough, the last one will surely be followed by rain.

This instance is introduced to illustrate the limitation of the power of
prayer. The insensible elements can not be influenced. The clouds and
the winds, the storm and the earthquake, will not come or go at our
bidding, or the invocation, even, of a saint.

Yet earnest prayer, within fixed limitations, may be and has been
answered, as is proven by innumerable witnesses. Not by a personal God
to whom the appeal is made, but by harmonizing the prayer-giver with
subtile spiritual forces, which work in ways not comprehended by a gross
view of the world. When we consider human and spiritual beings as laved
by an ocean of attenuated substance, elastic and receptive beyond
comprehension, and that each being is a vortex of vibrations, we
understand how from an intensely wrought mind vibrant thoughts go forth,
and although they strike an infinite number of individuals who are not
sensitive to them, they find others in mortal bodies or spiritual, as
harps like attuned set each other in vibration, and move those thus
receptive to answer their appeals. The power and strength given by
prayer arise from this harmonizing of their being by spiritual
aspiration, which lift the mind into the realm of superior spiritual
forces. It is then that the appeal to God goes forth in vibrations, to
be recognized by spirit friends, and by them conveyed to mortals who
have the ability to respond, or directly reach some responsive mind in
the mortal body.

The following narrative of Dr. Joseph Smith, of Warrington, England,
which is accredited by the journal of the Society for Psychological
Research, May, 1885, is a fine illustration of what is popularly known
as God’s answer to prayer:

“I was sitting one evening reading when a voice came to me, saying:

“‘Send a loaf to James Grady’s.’ I continued reading, and the voice
continued with greater emphasis, and this time it was accompanied with
an irresistible impulse to get up. I obeyed, and went into the village
and bought a loaf of bread, and seeing a lad at the shop door, I asked
him if he knew James Grady. He said he did, so I had him carry it, and
say that a gentleman sent it. Mrs. Grady was a member of my class, and I
went down next morning to see what came of it, when she told me that a
strange thing had happened to her last night. She said she wished to put
the children to bed, but they began to cry for want of food, and she had
nothing to give them. She then went to prayer, to ask God to give them
something, soon after which the lad came to the door with the loaf. I
calculated on inquiry that the prayer and the voice I heard exactly
coincided in point of time.”

As a member of his class, a close connection existed between Dr. Smith
and Mrs. Grady, and he was thereby receptive to the eager appeal she
made, incited by her children’s cry for bread.

The case of Henry Young Stilling has become a text in most orthodox
books on the subject of prayer. He was a physician at the court of the
Grand Duke of Baden, the intimate friend of Gœthe, who, impressed with
his remarkable experiences, urged him to write an account of his life.

Stilling desired to study medicine at a university, and in an answer to
prayer to know which he should choose was directed to Strasburg. In
order to attend that school he required a thousand dollars, and he had
only forty-six; yet with this he started on his journey, freely relying
on heavenly aid. On reaching Frankfort, he had only a dollar left. He
made his case known by prayer. Walking on the street he met a merchant,
who, learning his purpose of attending the university, asked where the
money was to come from. Stilling replied that he had only one dollar,
but his Heavenly Father was rich and would provide for him. “Well, I am
one of your Father’s stewards,” said the merchant, and handed him
thirty-three dollars. Settled at Strasburg, his fee to the lectures
became due and must be paid by Thursday evening, or his name stricken
from the roll. He spent the day in prayer, and at five o’clock nothing
had come. His anxiety became unbearable, when a knock was heard at his
door, and his landlord entered and inquired how he liked the room, and
if he had money. “No, I have no money,” cried Stilling in despair. “I
see how it is,” replied the landlord; “God has sent me to help you,” and
handed him forty dollars. Stilling threw himself on the floor and
thanked God, while the tears rained from his eyes. His whole life’s
experience was of a like character. He prayed constantly to God, and at
the last moment his necessities were supplied.

How difficult it is to suppose that God interested himself especially in
one of thousands of students, overlooking the others, equally poor and
needy, and as earnest in their efforts! How easy to suppose that an
angel friend, foreseeing the great capabilities of Stilling, interested
himself, and by influencing this or that mind smoothed the way, and
furnished the means he imperatively needed. It will be remarked that at
no time were his necessities exceeded. No one gave him lavishly, or more
than sufficed for his urgent needs.

Rev. H. Bushnell, in his “Nature and the Supernatural,” refers to an
interesting incident he learned on his visit to California. The man had
hired his little house of one room, in a new trading town that was
planted last year, agreeing to give a rent of ten dollars a month. When
the pay day came he had nothing to meet the demand, nor could he see
whence the money was to come. Consulting with his wife, they agreed that
prayer, so often tried, was their only hope. They went according to
prayer, and found assurance that their want would be supplied.

When the morning came the money did not. The rent owner made his
appearance earlier than usual. As he entered the door their hearts began
to sink, whispering that now, for once, their prayer had failed. But
before the demand was made, a neighbor came and called out the untimely
visitor, engaging him in conversation a few minutes at the door.
Meanwhile, a stranger came in saying, “Doctor, I owe you ten dollars for
attending me in a fever, and here is the money.” He could not remember
either the man or the service, but was willing to be convinced, and had
the money when the rent owner again entered. The same explanation
applies here as to the preceding.

The following indicates not an answer to the prayer, but a direct
communication. It is related by Dr. Wilson, of Philadelphia: “The packet
ship, ‘Albion,’ full of passengers from America, was wrecked on the
coast of Ireland, and the news was that all on board had perished. A
minister near Philadelphia, reading a list of the lost, found the name
of one of the members of his congregation, and went immediately to
inform the wife of the sad fact. She had been earnestly praying during
the voyage of her husband, and had received assurance of his safety amid
great danger. Hence, to the astonishment of her pastor, after he had
informed her of the shipwreck, and showed her the list of names of those
who were lost, she told him that it was a mistake, that her husband had
been in extreme peril, but was not dead. When the next tidings were
received it proved that her husband was among the passengers, and had
been in great peril, but that he had escaped, and was the only one

There could be no connection between the wife’s prayer and safety of
her husband, but the state of mind induced by prayer allowed her to
receive the message of his safety.

The celebrated artist, Washington Allston, refined and sensitive to a
fault, had at first to struggle with great difficulties, and endure the
pinchings of poverty. At one time he was reduced to the want of even a
loaf of bread for himself and wife. In despair he locked himself in his
studio and earnestly prayed for assistance. While thus engaged, there
was a knock at the door, and opening it a stranger appeared, who
inquired if the artist still possessed the beautiful painting, “The
Angel Uriel.” Mr. Allston drew it from a corner, and brushed off the
dust. The stranger said he had greatly admired it when it was on
exhibition, and inquired the price. The artist replied that as no one
seemed to appreciate it he had ceased to offer it. “Will four hundred
pounds purchase?” said the stranger. “I never dared ask one-half of
that.” “Then it is mine,” exclaimed the visitor, who explained that he
was the Marquis of Stafford, leaving the artist overwhelmed with

Where the answer to prayer follows so directly the appeal, we may
suppose that the intensity of thought may affect directly the individual
who responds. Thus, when Allston was so despairing, his thoughts would
go widely forth, and the Marquis of Stafford having seen the painting,
and desiring it, might have the thought of it awakened, and be thereby
drawn at the special time to the artist’s studio. Of course the case is
also open to the direct intervention of angelic messengers, for all this
class of facts intimately blend, and are controlled by the same general
laws, and it is difficult to determine to which of the two causes they
should be referred. The door that admits angelic beings makes the
influence of thought waves also possible.

The cure of Melancthon by the prayers of Luther is well known to the
student of the Reformation. The former had been given over to die, when
Luther rushed to the death-bed of his loved friend with tears and
exclamations of agony. Melancthon was aroused and said: “O Luther, is
this you? Why do you not let me depart in peace?” “We can’t spare you
yet, Philip,” was Luther’s answer. Then he bowed down for a long hour in
prayer, until he felt he had been answered. Then he took Melancthon’s
hand, who said: “Dear Luther, why do you not let me depart in peace?”
“No, no, Philip, we can not spare you from the field of labor;” and
added, “Philip, take this soup, or I will excommunicate you.” Melancthon
took the soup, began to revive, and lived many years to assist the
sturdy reformer with his facile pen. Luther went home and told his wife,
in joyous triumph, that “God gave me my brother, Melancthon, in direct
answer to prayer.”

Now, such a cure would be called faith cure, or magnetic healing. The
state of feeling induced by long and fervent prayer was the source of
magnetic power, and therein, and not through the direct intervention of
God, was the prayer answered.

Bishop Bowman gives the following account of the unexpected recovery of
Bishop Simpson, when he was supposed to be dying:

“I remember once, when there was a conference at Mount Vernon, Ohio, at
which I was present, Bishop James was presiding one afternoon, and after
reading a despatch saying that Bishop Simpson was dying in Pittsburg,
asked that the conference unite in prayer, that his life might be saved.
We knelt, and Taylor, the great street preacher, led. After the first
few sentences, in which I joined with my whole heart, my mind seemed to
be at ease, and I did not pay much attention to the rest of the prayer
only to notice its beauty. When we arose from our knees, I turned to a
brother and said, ‘Bishop Simpson will not die; I feel it.’ He assured
me that he had received the same impression. The word was passed around,
and over thirty ministers present said they had the same feelings. I
took my book and made a note of the hour and circumstance. Several
months afterwards, I met Bishop Simpson, and asked him what he did to
recover his health. He did not know; but the physician had said it was a
miracle. He said, that one afternoon, when at the point of death, the
doctor left him, saying that he should be left alone (by the doctor) for
half an hour. At the end of that time, the doctor returned, and noticed
a great change. He was startled, and asked the family what had been
done, and they replied, nothing at all. That half hour, I find, by
making allowance for difference of localities, was just the time we were
praying for him at Mount Vernon. From that time on he steadily improved,
and has lived to bless the Church and humanity.”

Bishop Bowman adds:

“On the God who has so often answered my prayers, I will still rely,
scientific men and philosophers to the contrary notwithstanding.” The
“scientific man” would reply that he had no desire to dispute the fact
as stated, but, instead of a personal God who had struck down Bishop
Simpson with disease, changing his purpose because supplicated by the
ministerial conference, the intense fervency of thought of that
conference united in prayer had gone forth in a magnetic beam, and given
the suffering patient the strength of a new life. If there was divine
agency, it stood back of the laws of spiritual forces, in which case,
prayer was only a means of preparation, unitizing, harmonizing and

He was affected just the same as he would have been had he been in the
conference hall, for distance, as has been repeatedly shown, is an
unimportant element in the exercise of these psychic forces.

There are several charitable institutions which their founders claim to
have been entirely supported by means of donations made in answer to
prayer. As these are often brought forward in evidence of the direct
answer to prayer, they become of interest to the student of this

The Bristol Orphan Home is typical of its class. George Müller, its
founder, began with no wealth, aside from his sublime faith in his
appeals for divine aid. In his Thirty-sixth Annual Report, he says that
in 1875 his faith was put to trial most severely. He commenced the year
with $20,000 in his treasury, which in three months was reduced
one-half, or only enough to meet expenses for a single month. The
treasury had never been as low, and the number of orphans had doubled.
He fervently prayed, as the situation became more alarming, and at the
end of the month so many donations flowed in he had $48,000.

In the forty-one years this institution has been conducted, during which
no appeal for charity has been made directly, except through prayer,
$3,325,000 has been received. As the results of its use, 46,400 persons
have been taught in schools wholly sustained, and tens of thousands in
schools assisted; 96,000 Bibles, 247,000 Testaments, and 180,000 smaller
portions of the Scriptures circulated; above 53,500,000 tracts and books
in various languages distributed; of late years 170 missionaries
annually assisted; 4,677 orphans cared for; five large edifices built,
at a cost or $575,000, able to accommodate 2,050 orphans.

Such an institution may have no organized soliciting board on the
earthly side, but of necessity must have on the spiritual side. It is a
potent center of attraction to those who have means, and are looking
about for some worthy object. The leaders, with self-abnegation, devote
their lives to the unselfish work, and the angel messengers, with equal
devotion, act as solicitors to those they are able to approach.

We may also regard as a potent factor, earnest prayer going out on waves
of thought, and directly affecting susceptible minds, calling their
attention to the great charity, and influencing them to sustain it.

This explanation of the effect of prayer, and of the causes contributing
to its answering, while removing it from the realm of miracle, makes the
subject one of absorbing interest. The Divine Spirit never directly
answers, but there are laws and conditions through which the earnest
spirit is granted the assistance it desires. It is a mistake to refer
the answer directly to God, as it would be to say he supports the world
in space by his extended arm. The Protestant churches hold as sacrilege
the appeal to any being but God. The Catholics are more wise, and offer
their prayers to their patron saints, by which comforting love and
assuring affection are awakened by direct contact.

Christian Science, Mind Cure, Faith Cure--their Psychic Relations.

Out of the recently received views of spirit, derived by psychic
investigations, have grown a number of systems, drawing nice
distinctions between their claims, and, in some instances, expanding to
the estate of psychic science, attempting not only to correlate the
facts of spirit, but to found on them a system of morals. It is because
of this that Christian science, theology, mind cure, faith cure,
metaphysics, etc., have a place in the discussions entertained in this
volume. Nearly all of these begin as methods of healing. Their first
office is to restore health. Such has been the application of almost all
new discoveries, which reveal and are half shrouded in mystery.
Electricity and magnetism met this fate, and mesmerism was at first
thought to be a curative agent for all diseases.

It is a singular fact that all religious systems, from that of the
lowest savage, whose god is represented by a stick or a tuft of
feathers, to the purest form of Christianity, depend on miraculous
healing for their evidence of genuineness. It is true the weight of such
evidence is constantly lessened with the advance of culture, yet it
still remains in force, and by many believers is received as conclusive
and final.

Charlatanism seized mesmerism, as it has everything new, and brought its
healing potencies into disgrace by its ignorance and pretensions. The
germ of truth was then, and from time to time has reappeared under
startling names, and in some instances so changed as to appear
superficially, as something entirely new. Those who scorn mesmerism
received the new claimants, the only change being in name.

I propose to briefly examine some of these, and, if possible, find the
rock of truth on which they rest.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.--First, as having attracted most attention, is
Christian Science. It claims to be a system for curing the sick,
preserving health, and a perfect moral guide in the conduct of life.

Healing the sick is only an accidental means of testing the genuineness
of the devotee’s belief. Healing is the first step on the lowest plane.
It makes the proud claim of being the Science of Spirit, and as spirit
is causation, Christian Science is the Science of Sciences. It aims to
be a complete system of religion and morality, and demands the highest,
most unselfish, devoted lives. It demands universal love, unfaltering
charity; neither to think or act evil; the suppression of scorn and
hate; a belief that all is good, for all is God, who is absolutely good.

It widely differs from the “faith cure,” and mind cure, as it introduces
and demands the highest excellence in the conduct of life, while the
faith cure calls for simple faith in the means employed, or in the power
of God.

Christian Science shows the source of its inspiration when it declares
healing to be a test of faith and character.

THEOSOPHY resembles Christian Science, extending over the broadest field
of morality, intellectuality, and spirit, eschewing healing as a test.
The teachings of both, by appropriating all that is valuable in other
doctrines, are similar. Theosophy, however, states one fundamental
doctrine on which its superstructure rests. This is the pre-existence of
the soul or spirit, and its repeated incarnations on earth. As this
doctrine has been criticised elsewhere, the arguments against it need
not be here introduced. As guides in the conduct of life they have
nothing true which they can claim as new, and their distinctive features
remain to be demonstrated, or are revived speculations and dreams of the
world’s dawn, when nature was a riddle and life a mystery.

THE FAITH CURE rests on the declarations of the Bible, that faith will
remove mountains, and redeem the lost. When Christ or his disciples laid
hands on the sick to heal, the first and paramount question was: Have
they faith? There is curative power in faith. It is half gained to have
the sick confident that they will recover; and the belief that they will
be sustained by certain means often has more influence than the means.

THE MENTAL CURE asserts the superiority of the mind over the body, as a
scientific fact, without appeal to God or faith. In vital essence, in
making the body the servant of the mind, all these systems are
identical. Christian Metaphysics and Christian Science, a difference of
name, and mental cure, mind cure, etc., have the same basis. Each has
enclosed a narrow field, and writes its name over the entrance.
Christian Science, by making the greatest display, has become most
conspicuous. Many of its propositions call forth no dissent, others are
on their face too absurd to require contradiction.

The same line of argument will apply to all these systems, and they need
not be taken separately.

INFLUENCE OF THE MIND OVER THE BODY.--The mind has a very great
influence over the body, as has been remarked by those who have
investigated the subject since the time of Hippocrates. The strongest
mind sometimes is found in a weak body.

Lord Brougham, with a frail physique, performed the most Herculean
mental tasks. It is said that he once worked one hundred and forty-four
hours, or six consecutive days, and then slept all Saturday night,
Sunday, and Sunday night, and was waked Monday morning by his valet to
resume his labors.

The power of mind over the body is illustrated by the annals of
explorers in the frigid zone, and in the deadly regions of the tropics.
The leaders of such expeditions, with all the burden and responsibilities
of their position, bear up better than their men, and rarely succumb
to adversities to which the latter yield. The hardships met by Dr. Kane
and Lieut. Greely are fresh in the mind; and the invincible Stanley,
braving the savage foes and deadly malaria of the Black Continent, is
another example. Such leaders, encouraged by the honors success will
yield, and dreading the shame of defeat more than death, persevere
against all opposing forces, while their men, with less at stake either
to win or lose, sink, apathetically, before reaching the goal. In such
cases, the will sustains the body, and shows its independence of the
material forces which affect it.

In no instance is the control of mind over the sensations, affecting it
through the body, shown with greater force than in the terrible ordeals
of martyrdom. The weak and delicate woman, as well as the strong man,
was bound on the rack, or subjected to the unspeakable horrors of the
thumbscrew, burning pincers, or the smouldering fagots, and yet so far
from uttering moans or sighs, smiled on their tormentors, or sang
hozannas amid the flames. Their minds had risen to such exaltation that
physical pain was unfelt, in fact, was a relief to the mental tension.

There is no pathological phenomena more freely attested than the sudden
vitiation of the secretions by intense mental disturbances. A mother
subjected to intense fright, or fear, will have her milk become
poisonous to her babe. Dr. A. Combe mentions an instance where a mother
left her child to assist the father in combat with a drunken soldier.
After the fight was over she nursed the babe, which was strong and
healthy. After a few minutes it ceased nursing, and sank dead in its
mother’s arms. The milk had become a virulent poison.

A lady with a violent temper was warned by her physician against
indulging it while nursing her babe, and she had obeyed until the child
was several months old, strong and healthy. At that time she became
enraged at some trivial circumstance, and soon afterwards she nursed her
babe, which became ill, and within an hour was dead. The changes wrought
in the saliva by anger are well known. The bite of an enraged man is as
much to be dreaded as that of a mad dog. Blood poisoning is almost a
sure consequence of inoculation with the saliva of an angry man or

Hydrophobia itself is probably a spontaneous production in canines
subjected to starvation and ill-usage.

Great joy or grief produces secretions in the blood, which make it
poisonous. The prostration by grief is only equaled by that of violent
disease. The blood and all secretions therefrom become so affected that
a long time is required to eliminate the morbific matter from the
system. If this is not accomplished, lingering illness or death is the
final result. This is distinct from sudden death, on the disclosure of
some startling news, of grief or joy. The heart in these instances
suddenly fails at the nervous shock. Successful labor is always
invigorating, while unsuccessful is depressing. It was observed in the
early mining days of California that a stranger passing the claims could
readily discover those that paid and those that did not, by the manners
of the men who were working them. If unsuccessful, they were depressed,
ill with fevers and idle. If successful they were at work early and
late, cheerful, well, and energetic.

Every pursuit that ennobles and elevates the mind, tranquilizes the
system, enhances the general health, and prolongs life.

Such is the wonderful sway the mind holds over the body. On the other
hand, we find the body exciting a powerful influence on the mind; so
intense and complete that leading physiologists believe that the latter
is a result of, and entirely dependent on, the former, and having no
existence independent thereof.

The microscope has poured a flood of light on disease. In most cases, as
with these epidemics and contagions, a specific germ is introduced into
the blood and multiplies, feeding on the vital fluid. If taken into the
system of a saint it will, by multiplication, produce the disease, just
as certainly as in the system of the vilest malefactor. There would be
more reasonable grounds for hoping to drive a hungry tiger away by mind
cure, than the myriads of microbes that swarm in a drop of the fever
patient’s blood, or the microbes in the lungs of a consumptive.

Then is the system of mental cure a sham? No! It claims too much. When
millions of bacilli swarm in the lungs, or the micrococcus brings on
fever, shall we say we are well, that the mind, as a part of God, can
not be sick, and as the body is fathered by the mind it can not be? We
may say this, but the inexorable logic of facts refute our opinions. We
might as well attempt to stay the spring of the tiger by an effort of

But there is a consideration back of this. By the accumulation of an
endless series of taints of body and of mind, by false ideas and views
of life, the power of mind over the body can not be compared with what
it would be in a perfect state of right living. This is a consideration
of greatest value, for it shows us, not what the past has been, but what
the future may be.

The limits of the power of the mind over the body are not known, but
with knowledge it ever enlarges its boundaries. The class of diseases
which may be regarded as essentially corporal, as the previously
mentioned contagions produced by microbes, the effects of ptomaines, and
the mineral and vegetable poisons, has its limits contracted by mental
influences. Individuals in the most terrible contagions, although in
contact with the sick and dying, physicians, nurses or companions, are
often exempt. Their systems do not furnish the necessary conditions for
growth of the disease germs. Such individuals are fearless; and it is
said that their indifference to danger is their shield of protection;
yet it is often the case that when they become exhausted by excessive
care, they fall victims. This conclusion, however, may be safely drawn,
that there are conditions of body or mind, or of both, invulnerable to
disease. What these conditions are we may not now know, but it is
possible to know.

In these cases of purely physical disease, the body reacts on the mind,
and the giving way of the will is the first indication of the approach
of the malady. It is folly to talk of the will overcoming a disease that
has insidiously sapped its foundation. This is not saying that were the
wrong conditions of living righted, and the taints of heredity
eliminated, the power of the will would not be able to maintain the body
against all succeeding influences. But to reach that perfect state will
require many generations of rightly directed culture.

If grief, anger, or excessive joy are able to vitiate secretions, and
cause sickness and death, a happy frame of mind, intellectual exertion
and moral excellence tend to the perfect health of these secretions.
Health is a condition to be gained and kept by careful observance of its
laws, and these laws are of the physical as well as mental being.

Whatever truth there is in these newly named theories of healing, is
identically the same as that claimed by the mesmerists and magnetists.
The process, the cause and effect, are the same under the name of
Christian Science as that of mesmerism. In the large class of diseases
called nervous, the soothing influence of another mind is of unmeasured
benefit. Even the hope aroused that some mind is exciting its will to
relieve, is beneficial. The strengthened will and imagination are
wonderfully healing agencies. While the influence of the mind over the
body is admitted without contradiction so long as the former is
connected with the latter, the limitations of the physical world must be
felt. There is a sickness of the mind, and of the body, and over the
latter the mind has not full control. Yet with a race freed from
hereditary taint, having for generations obeyed the laws of health until
its conditions are fixed by heredity, it may not be said what the power
of the mind may be.

If the mother can stamp her unborn child with the monstrosity she
fancies in her fright; if she can impart the insane thirst for
stimulants and the fiendish hate and cruelty of savages, might she not
by glorified conditions, exalted motives, and the over-shadowing
consciousness that her mind is divine, the creator of an immortal being,
endow the child with angelic qualities and make it a divine being? The
children of many generations of such mothers, what exalted spiritual and
intellectual attainment would be their inheritance!

Nor should the mother alone be held responsible, as has been the custom.
Divine motherhood is linked with divine fatherhood, the opposite
element, but of equal value. The germinal impulse carries with it all
that has entered into the lives of remotest parental ancestors, and the
recipient mother acts upon it, and is reacted on, until her entire
being, physical and spiritual, is modified. However grand the ideal
excellence of the future, it is not realized in the present, and may not
be for ages to come. The present race of men are born with the sins of
all the past stamped into their constitutions. It is folly to teach that
there is no sickness except in the mind; idle to teach faith can cure
disease, the seeds of which were planted unnumbered generations ago, and
grown rankly from parent to child. Purity, true nobility of life,
spiritual culture, devotion to right, and obedience to the laws of
health may be accepted and the ideal attempted, but not fully realized

Meanwhile, old methods must not be wholly discarded. Old remedies can
not be safely cast aside. The lame must have their staff and crutch
until strong enough to walk alone.

CONCLUSION.--The Ideal may be sketched in our fond fancy, and the
attempt to realize it began by living a higher, nobler, purer life. Know
we what this means? It means more than simple living. There is
everything beyond that. What this means will be best comprehended by
referring to the preceding pages, where it is taught that there is a
thought-atmosphere, from which sensitive minds receive a glorious flood
of inspiration. Magnetism, Mesmerism, Hypnotism, or the states of
healing by Faith or Christian Science are but the temporary approaches
to that one condition of sensitiveness. In that condition great changes
may be affected in the vital forces promotive of the normal functions of
the various organs, as fear, grief, remorse, etc., may disturb their
healthy action, and induce pathological changes in them.

Death will come to all physical forms sooner or later, for it is as
necessary to the fulfillment of our destiny as to the transformation of
the caterpillar to the butterfly; but disease and all the sufferings,
losses, and disappointments in its train, may be, and will be,
eliminated, when mortal life is so ordered that it will constantly walk
in the shadow of spiritual forces.

Then sickness will be regarded as a mark of ignorance, if not a crime.

What the Immortal State Must Be.

THE LEAD OF THE ARGUMENT.--In pursuing the study of the subjects
presented in the preceding pages, the student often catches a glimpse of
an intelligent force existing after the death of the physical being.
This came through the facts presented by hypnotism, somnambulism,
trance, clairvoyance, thought-transference, dreams, and the appearance
of the deceased to near friends at a distance, at the time of, or soon
after, the hour of dissolution.

The continuance of existence beyond the grave has been made to depend on
belief in certain dogmas, or at least the condition of that life has
been made thus dependent by the religious systems of the world. Now that
science encroaches on the realm of faith, and these dogmas are
questioned, and immortality which seemingly rests on and is supported by
them, becomes doubtful; yet, if it be a fact that man has a spirit,
which is immortal, this is the most over-shadowing fact in the universe;
one of profoundest interest and most consonant with the desires of the
human heart. Around it gather our fondest hopes and brightest dreams; by
it the seeming disparity and injustice of this life are compensated; the
tearful eye is dried; the broken heart finds balm, and the burdens of
time and place cast aside, and the possibilities of the aspiring spirit
may be realized. It is an unfailing staff in the hands of those who
mourn the loved and lost, offering the only adequate consolation in the
cruel hour when we stand by the couch of death, feeling that, beyond,
darkness gathers thick and broods over a sea of eternal silence, from
which only echo responds to our call of the name of the departed. Then
it is that hope lifts our hearts from despair, and a positive assurance
of the continuity of life is worth all else in the world.

of delight and rainbowed with anticipations, has been made, from the
dawn of man’s religious nature, the means of inflicting unspeakable
tortures, both of mind and body. Selfishness thrust the priest between
man and the invisible world of spirit, and made immortality the
instrument wherewith it could rule with diabolical despotism over
mankind. Even when the rain-maker shook his rattling calabash at the
sky, and beseeched the moisture-giving clouds to send down rain, the
priestly order had fast hold on the superstitious savage; and in all the
transformations of history, surging with the coming and going of
countless generations and the ebb and flow of empires, never for a
moment has this grip been loosened. The power of the temporal ruler has
been second to that of the class who held the keys of life beyond the
grave. What if the king could cast into a dungeon, condemn to the cross
or the flames? That were pain for a moment, or, at most, for the few
years of this life; and of what insignificance these short years, or the
most terrible tortures human ingenuity could invent, to the infinite
tortures extending through an eternal existence? Pharaoh might command
Egypt to-day, but, to-night, his spirit would be summoned before the
tribunal of the Dead; and those austere priestly judges would decide
whether he be cast to the crocodiles of the Nile to become extinct, or
again, clad in his mummified body, resurrected and purified, a companion
of the gods.

What a position for an ignorant man! Immortality is the Promethean
curse, enabling the vultures to inflict never-ending torments. The
sweetest boon is oblivion, and that is denied. The sun may fade from the
heavens and the stars cease to shine; but the spirit can not escape its
doom, and will not have experienced even then the first pangs of its
sufferings. Is it strange that men went wild with this dreadful belief?
Ignorant men, who feared the unseen, intangible spirits of the air more
than the accumulated tortures that human ruler might inflict, saw in the
priests who claimed the power to control this intangible world, who held
the keys of the Great Unseen, the only hope of escape. How well that
order has seized its vantage, and, fanning the flames of superstition,
stifled reason and led poor Humanity over the quaking bog-lands and
reeking marshes of myth-theology!

This life is nothing compared with that which is to come. Its most
innocent pleasures are sins; for the body itself is sinful, and by sin
man came into the world. Pressed down beneath the weight of universal
disaster, the doctrine of Jesus was the wail of despair. Take no heed of
the morrow. Live only for to-day. Give all to the poor. Resist not the
tyrant wrong. This life is a vale of tears, and the eye that weeps most
shall be the brightest in glory in the life which is to come. O Jesus,
on thy cross, what infinite misery has come from this misconception of
thy teachings! Men, believing that their immortal spirits were chained
to sinful bodies, rushed in herds to the mountain cave or lonely desert,
and, by fasting and thirst, by hair-cloth garments wearing through the
flesh to the bone, by flagellation and daily crucifixion, sought to
expiate the sins of the body, and enter the next life purified.

Believing in an immortal life, they sought to force their belief on
others, and proselyte by sword and torture. Dogmatism grew rankly
luxuriant in this hot-bed of ignorance and superstition. Humanity was
bound to the wheel; and ingenuity exhausted its skill in demoniacal
inventions whereby severer pangs might be evoked, that through physical
suffering the spirit might gain purification. Poor humanity might well
exclaim, “Blessed be oblivion to this curse of Immortality!”

Not to lead a happy and perfect life, but to avoid the pangs of hell, to
escape the consequences of original sin, was the object to which all
energies were directed. And there was obligation to propagate this
belief until received by all the world. Out of this doctrine came
centuries of persecution, such as the heathen world never dreamed of. If
your relative or friend accepted what you regarded erroneous dogmas,
which would send him to eternal torment would it not be plain duty for
you to use every means to persuade and convince him, even if necessary,
by force? For should you, in last extremity, destroy his body, what
fleeting consequence, if you saved thereby his soul!

The savage, having killed his enemy, trembles at the thought that the
spirit has escaped, and may work untold mischief. He sits down at the
cannibal feast, that, by eating the body, he may absorb the spirit, and
thus be doubly avenged, by blotting out his foe, by making his body and
spirit a part of himself.

Noble and spotless lives have grown out of Christianity, as out of other
systems of religion, as beautiful lilies grow out of the slime; but they
grew in defiance of its teachings, which make this life of no value
compared with the next. As all religions rest on the foundation of
belief in a future life, so all the religious wars which have cursed
mankind are referable to it; all persecutions; all the unutterable
sufferings, physical and spiritual, which have made the centuries one
long night of agony. It has blotted the star of hope from the heavens,
and filled the vaulted darkness with the bitter wails of despair.

Humanity rolling onward in a vast river, to plunge over the crags of
death into a bottomless pit of eternal agony, and the best that
Christianity has offered, or can offer, is eternal psalm-singing to
golden harps. “Saving souls” has been the theme of the Christian world
for nearly two thousand years, and various have been the means employed.
Dungeon, rack, the flames, social ostracism--how shall I find space to
catalogue the endless names of methods which curdle the blood at bare
mention! The cannibal, feasting on his foe, is engaged in the honorable
effort of saving a soul, and the priestly torturer is doing the same.
The Brunos were chained amid the fagots’ flame, to save their souls and
the souls of others led astray by their doctrines. Go down into the
dimly lighted tribunal hall, where God’s vicegerents sit in judgment.
Before them stands one gone astray in belief. There is no argument of
words. On the table is a little thimble with a screw at one side. The
heretic places his fingers therein, and the judges turn the screws down
into the tender nails. The compressed lips grow white, the veins knot on
the temples, beaded sweat gathers on the brow, as slowly down pierces
the relentless steel, until at last, human endurance yields, and the
trembling lips gasp, “Dear Christ, I believe!” Then turn back the
screws, ring the bells, and rejoice with great joy; for a soul is saved!

From that hall, go down a flight of stone steps to another in the bowels
of the earth, where the walls are reeking with mold, and the lamp
darkens in the foul vapor. Tread with care on the slippery floors, for
the slime of years has gathered; and now we have reached a great stone,
which we can turn back like a trap-door, and reach an opening. Lower
your lamp, feebly burning in the fetid atmosphere. There are walls of
stone, there is stone for a floor. It is like a jug without an outlet,
except at the top. At the bottom is something moving, living! Hush! It
moans and has speech! An iron ring wears the bleeding ankle to the bone,
to the ring is a chain, and the other end of the chain is fastened to
the floor. What monstrous crime has this man committed that he should
thus suffer? Nothing, except he has thought for himself--is lost; and
his judges are making the desperate attempt to save his soul!

Saving souls, not the life here, but that which is to come, has been the
blight and curse of mankind. The doctrine of “one world at a time,” and
the present supreme, is a reaction against this essentially vicious
dogma. Neither extreme may be true; for the truth is the “golden mean,”
which makes the future life a continuity of this, carrying forward all
its ideals to full realization, and making the spiritual realm held in
abeyance to as fixed and unchangeable laws as the material world.

By knowledge, man has been led out of the fogs to the highlands of free
thought, and aroused from the nightmare of theology, which for ages held
him in thraldom. Those were the ages when God and Christ were inwrought
into the Constitution of the State, and the Holy Bible was the
foundation of the law. Those were the ages of St. Bartholomew
massacres, of autos-da-fé, of the rack and the fagot. Those were the
ages when the day was darkened by the smoke of burning cities, and the
fair fields gleamed white with the bones of the slain. Those were the
ages when the whole Christian world engaged itself in saving souls!

A Jesus may suffer on the cross; not only one, but ten thousand may die,
admirable in self-sacrifice and examples of firm adhesion to their sense
of duty; but, for saving souls, their sacrifice is lost; for they suffer
for a misconception of the plan of the world. Man has never been lost,
and can not be lost, and hence can not be saved by the blood of one or
ten thousand sacrifices.

If the future life is a continuity of this, then the perfection of
religion is the making of this life perfect. Not by crucifixion of the
body, not by suffering or disappointment, but by complete and harmonious
culture, can this be accomplished.

THE NEW METHOD.--To solve the problem of immortality by the methods of
Science, to bring it up from the marshlands of conjecture to the region
of absolute knowledge, belongs to the present age and generation. It is
a task they can and must accomplish. It has for so many ages been the
fertile field of superstition, that it seems impossible to disentangle
it from its unsatisfactory wrappings. The investigation must commence
with the physical man as the basis of the spiritual, as through and by
means of the body he is related to the physical world. He is the
superlative being; the last, greatest and yet incomplete effort of
creative energy. All departments of science gather around him as a
center, and to have perfect knowledge of him is to comprehend the

In the earliest ages; in the very childhood of the race, the momentous
question was asked: What am I? The solution was felt to be fraught with
momentous consequences not only in this life but the interminable future
which was vaguely shadowed in the mind of savage man. The answers given
became the foundations of the great religious systems of the world. The
conjecture of untutored minds was received as the true system of
causation, and growing hoary with age arrogated to itself infallible
authority, and required implicit faith, and the exercise of reason,
only, in making palatable the requirements of that faith. Conceived in
an age when nature was an unknown realm, when science opened her
mysteries to the understanding, and one by one, dogmas claiming
infallibility were shown to be false, there of necessity was antagonism
and conflict. I do not propose to enlarge on the theological aspect of
this subject more than incidentally. That treatment has grown “stale,
flat and unprofitable,” for every drop of vital juice it contained has
been extracted long ago. The interminable sects, wrangling over the
dogmatic solution of this vital question of man’s origin and destiny,
arriving at nothing determinate, wrangling with each other and
themselves, are not incentives to beguile the earnest truth-seeker to
follow their paths. If metaphysical theology contained the germ of a
truthful solution, satisfaction would have resulted ages ago, and the
mind, reposing contented with the answer, would have employed its
energies in other directions. Instead, there is restlessness, turmoil,
conflict and indecision, and never has been an answer so broad and deep
in Catholicity of truth as to meet the demand. If science fails also,
it can not retrieve its failure by assumed infallibility. Its teachings
are ever tentative and prophecies of final triumph, as the grandest
study of mankind is man, the crowning work of science is the solution of
this vexed question.

PHYSICAL MAN.--First, as most tangible and obvious in this
investigation, is the physical man, the body, the temple of the psyche.
The student, even when imbued with the doctrine of materialism, arises
from the study of the physical machine with wonder and surprise akin to
awe, declaring man to be fearfully and wonderfully made.

It is not surprising that we die, but that we live. The rupture of a
nerve fiber, the obstruction of a valve, the momentary cessation of
breath, the introduction of a mote at some vital point, brings this most
complex structure to eternal rest. By what constant oversight, by what
persistency of reparation is it preserved from ruin!

This physical man is an animal, amenable to the laws of animal growth.
His body is the type of which theirs are imperfect copies. From two or
three mineral substances his bones are crystalized, and articulated as
the bones of all vertebrate animals, and over them the muscles are
extended. From the _amphioxus_, too low in the scale of being to be
called a fish; a being without organs, without a brain; little more than
an elongated sack of gelatinous substance, through which a white line
marks the position of the spinal cord and the future spinal axis; there
is a slow and steady evolution to the perfected skeleton of man. His
osseous structure is the type of all. The fin of the fish, the huge
paddle of the whale, the cruel paw of the tiger, the hoof of the horse,
the wing of the bird, and the wonderfully flexible hand of man, so
exquisite in adaptations to be taken as an unqualified evidence of
design, are all fashioned out of the same elementary bones, after one
model. The change of form to meet the wants of their possessors, results
from the relative enlargement or atrophy of one or more of these
elements. When the fleshy envelope is stripped away, it is astonishing
how alike these apparently divergent forms really are. In the whale the
flesh unites the huge bones of the fingers and produces a broad,
oar-like fin; in the tiger the nails become retractile talons; in the
bird some of the fingers are atrophied, while others are elongated to
support the feathers which are to offer resistance to the air in flight;
in the horse the bones of the fingers are consolidated, and the united
nails appear in the hoof.

If there exists such perfect similarity in the bony structure of man to
the animal world, the muscular system for which it furnishes support
offers the same likeness. Trace any muscle in the human body from its
origin to its termination, mark the points where it seizes the bones,
the function it performs, and then dissect the most obscure or
disreputable member of the vertebrate kingdom, and you will find the
same muscle performing the same function. The talons of the tiger are
extended and flexed by muscles, similar to those which give flexibility
to the human hand, and the same elements are traceable in the ponderous
paddle of the whale.

More vital than the bony framework, or the muscles to which it gives
support, is the nervous system, seemingly not only the central source of
vital power, but the means of union and sympathetic relation of every
cell and fiber of the entire body.

The brain has been aptly compared to a central telegraphic office, and
the nerves to the extended wires, which hold in communication and
direct relation all the organs, and from which the functions of each are

The nervous system is the bridge which spans the chasm between matter
and spirit, and the battle between Materialism and Spiritualism must be
fought not only with brain, but in the province of brain. However we may
regard the spiritual being as an independent entity, when we study this
subject from the physical side, we are compelled to accept the intricate
blending of the influence of the brain on the expression of that being,
during its connection therewith. The issue directly stated is this: Does
the brain yield mind as a result of organic changes in its cells and
fibers, or is mind a manifestation through and by means of the brain of
something beyond and superior?

It is admitted by profound thinkers that the brain and its functions is
an unfathomed mystery, and that investigators must be content with what
may be called secondary causes and effects. Phosphorus and sulphur may
be essential for the activity of brain tissue, yet it is absurd to claim
that a super-abundance of these elements wrote an Iliad, or solved the
problem of gravitation. It is not phosphorus, or carbon, or nitrogen,
however vigorously oxidized, which pulsates in the emotions of
friendship or love; that feels and thinks and knows; that recollects the
past, anticipates the future, and reaches out in infinite aspirations
for perfection.

The actions of thought on the brain, the effort compelling the body to
serve the bidding of the spirit, may consume this element and many
others, as the movement of an engine consumes the coal and wastes the
steam; but the coal and the steam are only the means whereby mind
impresses itself on matter.

The physicist studies the brain as one wholly unacquainted with an
engine would study that machine, and mistaking it for a living being,
might be supposed to do. He would observe its motion, and, weighing the
coal consumed and the products of combustion, would say that they
appeared in steam, which after propelling the piston was waste. The
design of the engine, the effect of these combinations and this waste,
this observer would claim to be the guiding intelligence. And he would
further argue that so much coal in the grate, so much water in the
boiler and there appears an equivalent of intelligence, and the waste
may be predetermined by chemical formulæ.

Until the threshold of the functional activity of the brain and the
nervous system have been passed, conclusions should be modestly

If it be claimed that man is a natural being, originated and sustained
by natural laws, that he came without miracle, then do we unite the
margins of the human and animal kingdoms, and are satisfied with placing
man at the head of the animal world? An interminable and unbroken series
of beings extends in a gradual gradation downwards, until the organs by
which the phenomena of life are manifested are lost one by one, the
senses disappear, until we arrive at what has been aptly termed
“protoplasm,” not an organized form, but simply _organizable_ matter, or
matter from which organic forms can be produced.

If, in reviewing this chain of beings, slowly arising by constant
evolution, we closely examine several of its consecutive links, we shall
find that while each ascending link is apparently complete, yet it is
only the germ out of which the next is evolved in superior forms. Each
link is prophecy of future superiority. The fulfillment of one age can
be traced until man appears as the last term in the physical series.

They who teach this doctrine of evolution, which is to life what the law
of gravitation is to worlds, also teach that united with the doctrine of
“conservation of force,” the hope of immortality becomes a dream.

What a sham they make of creation! What a turmoil for no result!
Infinite ages of progress and evolution, during which elemental matter,
by force of inherent laws, sought to individualize itself and incarnate
its forces in living beings; ages of struggle upwards from low to high,
from sensitive to sentient, from sentient to intellectual, from zoöphyte
to man! And now, having accomplished this, and given man exquisite
susceptibility of thought, of love, of affection; making him the last
factor in the series, he is doomed to perish! What is gained by this
travail of the ages? Would it not have been as well had the series
stopped with the huge saurians of the primeval slime, or the mastodon
and mammoth of the pre-historic times, as with the man. As each factor
in the series prophecies future forms, so does man read in the same
light, prophecy-forms beyond. They can not be in the line of greater
physical perfection, for in the days of Greece and Rome, man was as
perfect physically, as is seen by their sculptures, as to-day. Ages ago,
this exceeding beauty was attained. It cannot be in the evolution of a
being superior to man, for as in each lower animal imperfect organs or
structures, or partially employed functions, are improvable and
perfected by succeeding forms, in man the archetype is complete, and no
partially developed organ indicates the possibility of future change.

Progress having arrived at its limits with the body, changes its
direction, and appears in the advancement of mind. Death closes the
career of individuality, and we live only in thoughts--our selfhood is
absorbed in the ocean of being. Mankind perfects as a whole, and the
sighed-for millenium is coming bye-and-bye.

Of what avail is it to us if future generations are wise and noble, if
we pass into nonentity? Of what avail to them to be wise and noble, if
life is only the fleeting hour? Not yet can we believe Nature to be such
a sham--such a cruel failure. The spirit rebels against the supposition
of its mortality. The body is its habiliment. Shall the coat be claimed
to be the entire man? Shall the garments ignore the wearer?

This is the animal side of man. Physically composed of the same
elements, and having passed through these innumerable changes, he is an
epitome of the universe. As man was foreshadowed in remotest ages as the
crowning type in the series of organic life, so man foreshadows superior
excellence. Springing out of his physical perfectibility, arises a new
world of spiritual wants and aspirations, unanswered and unanswerable in
mortal life.

MAN A DUAL BEING.--While Theology, Brahminical, Buddhistical or
Christian, teaches that man is an incarnate spirit, independent of the
physical body, created by miracle, supported by a succession of
miracles, and saved by a miracle from eternal death, material science,
as at present taught by its leading exponents, wholly ignores his
spiritual life, and declares him to be a physical being only. It is not
my purpose to reconcile these conflicting views. Truths never require
reconciliation. They never conflict; and if the results of two different
methods of investigation are at variance, one or the other is in error,
or both, perchance, and the only reconciliation is the elimination of
that error. The egotisms of theology and the pride of science array
their votaries in opposition, while the truth remains unquestioned in
the unexplored middle ground. Man is neither a spirit nor a body; he is
the intimate union of both. In and through his physical being, the
spiritual nature is evolved from the forces of the elements and is
expressed. There is somewhat more enduring than the resultants of
chemical unions, action and reactions in his physical body. Beneath this
organic construction is that which remains, to which it is the
scaffolding which assists, while it conceals the development of the real

Paul, the most profound thinker of all the founders of Christianity,
very forcibly and clearly expresses this duality when he makes the
distinction between “the celestial body” and the “terrestrial.” In
mortal life these are united, and death is simply their separation. His
disciples have grossly misunderstood and mistaught his explanation. The
terrestrial body cannot inherit eternal life, which is the birthright of
the celestial. Death is the severance of the cord which unites these
bodies in the seemingly indivisible web of earth-life. The terrestrial
returns to the elements from which it came; the celestial remains
individualized. It is unusual for writers on science at the present day
to quote the Bible in support of their theories; but no author before
Paul’s time or since has given a more complete philosophy of life, and a
key wherewith to unlock the secrets of the grave.

DEFINITIONS.--The comparison of terms has led to the strangest processes
of reasoning, and the classifications in which some writers delight,
have served as a means of intellectual gymnastics, rather than data for
clear reasoning. In the threefold division of body, soul and spirit, by
using the two last terms, at times as meaning something essentially
distinct, and at others, as synonymous with intelligence, and each
other; and again making soul and body the same, a most admirable means
for the jugglery of disputation is furnished, which has not been left
unused, and by which the discussion of this subject has been befogged.

There is the physical body, and the spirit to which the manifestations
of mind belong. The term soul has no meaning, except as synonymous with
body or spirit, and hence is discarded in this discussion.

PRE-EXISTENCE.--It has been taught that the ego, the immortal part, is
from God, and at death returns to God who gave it. The eternal existence
in the past of spirits, is presupposed, and that they await the
development of bodies for them to enter, and earth-life, therefore, to
them is a probationary state. The history of this theory is of profound
interest, as it is wrought into the tissue of received theology, and its
beginning traced to the conjectures of primitive man. It ignores the
rule of law, and makes the birth of every child a miracle. The ancient
doctrine of re-incarnation, lately revived, meets the same objection. A
spirit, perfect in its individuality, through a germ becomes clad in
flesh. It does not do this because the mortal state is preferable; for
the spirit constantly desires to escape from its thraldom. It is
compelled by a direct mandate of God to undergo this metamorphosis as a
punishment, and means of atonement. According to this view, the
development of man becomes entirely different from that of animals.
There is no law, order or unity of organic forms. Creation is an
ever-enacting miracle. When this scheme is referred to fixed laws in the
spirit realm, the known causes acting in the physical world are but
transferred to the spiritual, where they at once pass beyond

It is needless to say that with such speculations, an explanation having
any claim to scientific accuracy has nothing in common.

ORIGIN OF SPIRIT.--If there is an immortal spirit, whether its duration
be eternal or measured by time, as we can not go beyond the realm of
law--by which we mean the fixed order of causation--it must date its
beginning with that of the body. The history of the development of the
germ is a correspondence of that of the spirit. If the parents have
immortal spirits as well as mortal bodies, then while their physical
bodies support the corporeal being, their spiritual natures must in an
equal measure support the spirit of the fetus, and the growth of its
dual nature be similar, both receiving nourishment from the mother. The
two forms mature together; one pervading and being the exact copy of the

OBJECTIONS.--As the processes of life and that lower order of
intelligence known as instinct, are manifested in animals, identically
the same as they are in man, and by the wonderful interrelationship
existing between all the members of the animal world, from protozoa to
man, what is true of one must be true of all, it follows that if it is
necessary to evoke the aid of the spirit for the explanation of the
phenomena connected with man, it is equally necessary in the case of
animals. Granting this, the next step is to show the absurdity of the
idea that all the infinitude of beings, from microbes to leviathans,
have a life beyond the evening of their brief day. The issue is fairly
stated, but the claim regarded as absurd is not made. All may have
spirits, from the lowest to the highest, holding the same relations to
the body in which it is gestated as the spirit of man holds to his
physical form. That such should be the case is a necessity of the
position taken by this work. It is not, however, held, nor is it
necessary that it should be, that the spirit of animals is immortal, or
exist after the death of the body. They have not attained the requisite
development, which has been likened to an arch which requires the
finish, by putting in place of the keystone before the staging on which
it rests can be removed, leaving the arch permanent. If this staging is
removed before the keystone is put in place, the entire structure falls
in ruins. In man, the arch is completed. Yet, as the animal merges into
man through intermediate forms--and the infant knows less than the
perfect animal--the line of demarkation is drawn with difficulty. It is
like the boundary between the hill and its valley: both meet somewhere;
but no one can say where the valley begins and the hill ends. A certain
degree of development is essential, below which spirit cannot exist
independently of the physical body, and above which this is possible.
Any theory which of necessity advocates the immortal life of animals as
well as of man, fails by maintaining that which may readily be proved an
absurdity. For if the intelligent dog or elephant have existence in the
future, so may the fish, the mollusk, the monad, and even the speck of
protoplasm, which loses itself in unorganic matter. This was put forth
as an unanswerable objection to the immortality of the human spirit,
for it was said one or the other horn of the dilemma must be taken; for
as there is no break in the chain of beings, between man and animals,
even to the monad, if a future life belongs to him, equally is it an
inheritance of theirs; and if it be denied them, so must it be lost to
him. In mental and spiritual attainment there is a gulf between man and
the animal world, vastly broader and more profound than is required to
give him the inheritance of immortality which is also theirs.

In time this gulf is as wide as from the present to several millions of
years previous to the glacial period. Prof. Wallace is so astonished at
the difference between the brain of the most savage man and the highest
animal, that he declares the theory of evolution, which he was first to
promulgate, while it accounts for all the forms of life, here fails, and
that man stands alone, the creature of another creation. While he says
that man “May even have lived in the miocene or eocene period, when not
a single mammal was identical in form with any existing species,” yet he
does not place the origin of man at a sufficiently remote era in those
receding æons of time.

In the primitive human being, thought began its conquest of the world,
and the man of to-day represents the accumulation of all experiences
since his ancestors fought with cunning craft the huge megatherium, and
disputed for supremacy of the tertiary forests with palæotherium, and
other monsters of that age.

In time, the gulf between him and the animal world is thus widened, and
in size of brain, which measures as a psychic metre, the growth of the
superior life, he is equally distant. It has been remarked that the
brain of the savage was so much larger than the exigencies of his life
demanded, that it was comparable to giving the wing of an eagle to a
hedge sparrow, or the arm of a tiger to a mouse. Rightly read, this
proves the vast duration of time during the differentiation of man from
the animals below him. Psychic growth is marked by enlargement of brain,
and as long ago as the earliest preserved geological traces of humanity
are found, that organ had attained a size and form about equal to that
of the present. Its attainments have become so great that it is
difficult at present to compare its intelligent manifestations with the
instinctive desires of animals. The brains of all the lower types in
certain essentials of organic life are alike, but in the great lobes
which, superimposed, mark the degrees of psychic life, the human being
stand alone, and is human because of the mental qualities these lobes

A SPIRIT NOT NECESSARILY IMMORTAL.--It has been said by a writer whose
sensitive mind had received supernatural light: “Supposing the laws
governing our spiritual natures operate similarly to those governing our
physical, we must naturally infer that the spiritual forms of all parts
of life, may be by those laws interpreted. If the spirit of an animal
has not intelligence to obey, and the spirit of man wilfully disobeys,
will not the law eventually destroy such spirits? The sentient notion
that all ignorant and vile spirits, without aspirations for anything
that is good, who glory in wickedness and persist in the violation of
law, will become perfected I regard as false, for such must go on in a
career which ends in annihilation.” This writer errs in the cause he
assigns for the continuous individuality of spiritual beings. He places
it on moral grounds, making it dependent on moral aspirations, character
and desires. Rather is it dependent on development as an entirety. The
human being, after a certain stage of mental growth, receives a charter
to eternal life which it can not annul, bearing with it all its infinite
consequences and responsibilities.

In the “Arcana,” Vol. II., 1864, this subject is thus treated:

“A spirit is not necessarily immortal, but can become gradually
extinguished, like a lamp burning for an indefinite time and then going
out. Such is the condition of the lowest races of mankind. They exist
after death; but with them there is no progress, no desire for the
immortal state, and slowly, atom by atom, they are absorbed into the
bosom of the universal spirit-essence as the spirit of the animal is
immediately after death.”

If it be asked at what age the spirit of man retains its identity, it
may be said in reply, that no certain date can be given, for that varies
with the development of the parents. Is the idiot immortal? The answer
depends on the circumstances, the degree and cause of the idiocy. If the
idiot is destitute of a ray of intelligence; if it is only a voiceless,
thoughtless being, the inference is not cheering, and the possibilities
are largely in favor of its absorption into the bosom of the universal

A sensitive gave his testimony on this subject as it came under his
observation while in a trance. Its value depends on the credence we give
to the revelations received from that state. He said that while in the
unconscious trance, or clairvoyant state, the dying animal and dying
human being were both presented to him, and he saw the same processes go
forward in both. The spirit of the animal floated above the dying body
like a thin cloud; and while he was expecting it to take form and
identity, it dissolved and disappeared, just as a cloud would do in a
summer sky. The spirit of a human being arose like a cloud in the same
manner, took form and identity, and became a counterpart of the body it
had left. This is not a speculative belief, but demonstrative by the
revelations of trance.

far more potent objection is made by the Metaphysician. To him the
preceding arguments that the spirit can not have existed prior to birth,
and has a common, a cotemporary origin with the physical body, is fatal
to its existence after death. He says: Whatever has a beginning must
have an end; therefore, when it is asserted that the spirit of man is
immortal, it follows that it must have always pre-existed; had an
endless past. This is a startling objection and held to be unanswerable,
except by the hypothesis of pre-existence and re-incarnation, which
maintain that the spirit is an indestructible entity, constantly
rehabilitating itself in forms of flesh; but this hypothesis is only a
supposition made in the childhood of the race to meet a doubt and
objection. In an age of accurate thought it seems an anachronism. If we
accept the doctrine of evolution--and, as the immediate explanation of
the phenomena of living beings, it is the only, and a complete
explanation--then we must also receive as true the corollary that
instinct and intelligence are evolved out of the transformations of
living beings, and that individualized spirit, if there be such an
entity, must be the last link in the vast organic series from which it
has sprung into being. In other words, with an indeterminable future it
has had a determinable past. If the spirit has existed for infinite time
before its incarnation in this life, it has had infinite opportunity for
progress, and, logically, should have attained perfection. Not only
_should_, but must have become perfect. It is readily observed that the
fact of its imperfection necessitates a beginning, and the degree of its
imperfection shows the nearness or remoteness of its starting point. If
it be held that this apparent imperfection is the resultant of the
spirit’s connection with matter, it must be remembered that the theory
of pre-existence has for its object to account for the evils of this
life, and perfected spiritual beings, such as all must be after an
infinite past, would have no need of incarnation to attain purity or
excellence already theirs; and should they enter physical bodies, as
spirits, according to this doctrine, they would not be contaminated or
degraded by their contact with earth and earth-life, but would glorify

With the physical form given to offspring by their parents is also given
spiritual entity which lives after the decay of that body, an
independent being, the center of multitudinous forces.

Is this visionary? Lately an eminent physician has claimed that under
proper conditions physical life might be indefinitely prolonged, and man
be able to live in the body forever. All that is essential is the
preservation of the equilibrium between the forces of renovation and
decay. If this could be maintained, life would be prolonged, perhaps to
the end of time, and an immortal oak or lion be as possible as an
immortal man; but with the gross forms of matter this can not be
maintained. The forces of growth and renovation are in excess until the
full tide of maturity is reached, and then decay is in excess. There is
not enough material furnished to replace the waste of the body, and it
wears out, when death must follow. It is then that a new entity becomes
recognizable. The material has become spiritual. Such an immortality at
best would be not only undesirable, but unendurable amidst the changing
scenes and vicissitudes of material life. Only within the refined
spiritual realm can we expect to find the perfection we seek. It is a
new province, subject to new conditions and new laws. There is seemingly
an impassable gulf between matter and spirit, yet we shall find it
possible to throw an arch across. Nature loves such blank spaces; she
loves the black bars in the spectrum as well as the light. Between the
tadpole and the frog there is a chasm which, unless the change had been
observed, would be deemed impossible. Between the caterpillar and the
butterfly; the worm eating rough herbage and the gaudy winged creature
floating like a wind-blown leaf from flower to flower, the contrast is
even greater.

How shall we pass the abyss between matter and spirit? More correctly,
how shall we look beyond the dead physical body to the individualized
spirit, and account to the satisfaction of science for the maintenance
of immortal individuality from the wreck of organization brought to its
most perfected state? While the animal has a similar organization, in
its way, and compared to its environment as perfect, why is it that the
claim is made that the individuality of the animal is lost at death
while that of man is preserved? These are all vital questions, and rest
on the logical affirmation that whatever has a beginning must have an
end. If man has a spirit, the objector affirms that animals, too, must
have one. There is no sharp break in the series, and hence no stopping
point from the highest to the lowest, and, consequently, the primitive
amœba, and protoplasmic cell must have an immortal spirit. This, by
_reductio ad absurdum_, destroys the affirmation of the immortality of
the highest as well as the lowest.

We may regard the physical body as the scaffolding, and when it fails,
the incomplete arch of intelligence built thereon falls with it; but
this arch becomes more and more perfect, until in man it is perfected;
and when the physical platform by which it has been constructed falls at
death, the arch remains. This is an illustration of the idea, and not
produced as evidence. For this evidence we must consider the more
abstruse doctrines of force and its relation to matter. If we go back to
the beginning, to the primal chaos, we find visible matter and invisible
force. We may take one step further and find force only, regarding
matter as the form of its manifestation. This, however, is not an
essential admission in this discussion.

This force is the first revealment of an intelligent, ever active,
persistent energy, which pulsates through the universe. What lies back
of it; from whence it springs, we may not know. It is unknown, though
perhaps, not unknowable.

As we can only recognize Force as Motion, and motion only in connection
with physical matter, our investigation must begin with the emergence of
that Force as the moving energy of the cosmic world-vapor. In this
expression with the primal elements, unconditioned, its tendency is to
move in direct lines. This is illustrated in crystallization which may
be called the first manifestation of life--the dynamic force of life.
This force, which as seen in the formation and revolution of worlds, is
vorticle; in the vegetable kingdom it becomes spiral, and more and more
circular as it ascends through the animal kingdom to its higher forms,
and in man becomes completely so. This statement will be better
understood by the accompanying diagram.

[Illustration: Diagram of the Individualization of Force.]

The straight line _a_, represents primary force as manifested in the
world-cloud, or nebulous vapor of the “beginning.” It was this force
that directed every atom to the common center of the cosmic mass. If its
history be traced, it will be found that the motion of the atom starting
on a straight line for the center is deflected by the resistance of the
crowding atoms, and approaches the center by a parabolic curve. In other
words, the cosmic cloud would form a vortex like a whirlpool, and the
rotatory motion developed would, before the accumulation of any great
mass at the center, prevent further aggregation; and the rotating belts
would, after condensation into worlds, continue to revolve in spiral
circles which, because of the masses not being homogenous, would correct
their variations by spiral orbits which often reaching a minimum
distance from the center, retrace themselves by the worlds traveling a
spiral orbit that becomes constantly larger, until a maximum of distance
had been gained. This explanation of planetary motions has really no
connection with the present discussion, except as it illustrates the
parallel between the circle gained by individualized masses, and the
circle gained by individualized spirit.

The line of force directly acting, is the dynamic energy of matter. It
passes into the world of life in an ascending spiral, that at each
ascension, instead of completing itself, rises to a higher degree. The
spirals at _b_ represent the life of plants; and those at _i_ animal
life, now termed vital energy or vital force. There is incompleteness,
and the force ever ascends to a higher form. At _d_ the spiral becomes a
circle. The evoluting or individualizing energy returns within its
orbit, and instead of extending to higher forms, seeks the perfection of
the human being. If, now, the inflowing forces represented by the dotted
line _c_, be cut off, the individualization of the product of that force
is complete. It stands alone. The orbit of the forces of its rotation is
fixed by the indestructible. As in the planetary orbit, caused by an
oscillation between extremes, there will be variations, but a constant
return to the point of departure. The cosmic energy of force having
ascended through this pathway becomes individualized, as at _d_, and
death severing the bond at _c_, the spirit as the centerstance of force
becomes as at _e_, entirely detached from the stream of living beings.
The force that apparently had a beginning, at least such to our
consciousness, has by the cumulative processes of life embodied all that
is valuable, and is enabled to exist alone; returning forever within
itself, maintaining a perfect equilibrium between the sentient
intellectual and moral natures it has acquired. It is the focus of
these. There is no end to the individualized force in this direction; in
other words, spirit is immortal. It follows that vegetable and animal
types along the spiral represent incompleteness to such an extent as to
forbid existence after detachment from the impelling current. This can
only be attained by development carried to a certain degree, below which
the force must disappear with the organization which manifests it.

DEATH.--Death is the separation of the spirit and the physical body; and
as the former carries with it all that enters into the individuality,
the self-hood, there can be no change in that individuality. In the
processes of evolution, death is as natural as birth--one is entrance
into the earthly life; one departure from it to a higher sphere of
activity. Ever is it as of old: The angel of the sepulchre is the angel
of the resurrection.

AFTER DEATH.--The student calmly surveying the pathway of evolution,
seeing constantly in one age the prophecy of ages that follow; reminded
by every form of life, of a striving to realize an ideal, and in man,
finally, as the highest work of creative energy, finds that ideal type
of physical beauty, and adaptation to the demands of mind, realizes that
short of this last crowning work the plan is incomplete, and a failure.
The line of advance to man is direct and continuous. He is the perfect
fruitage of the Tree of Life. Having reached the perfection of his
physical form, progress changes in direction to the perfection of his
intellectual and moral being. In this direction it is never completed
during the brief years of mortal life; but transposed to an existence
after death, the infinitude of years is equal to the infinite possible
advancement; for as no one can fathom the centuries of the future, no
one can fix the boundary lines circumscribing mental attainment. After
death the celestial being holds fast to all that marked its
individuality in earth-life--its loves, affections, desires, culture,
attainments, its fears--to begin there where it leaves off here, with
new environments and happier methods.

It will find belief the rags of the beggar, concealing the one bright
reality, that immortal life is an inheritance, governed by laws as fixed
as those of the physical world.

Beyond this, in earth life we can but darkly understand. We have words
to convey ideas of things well known to us--of lights seen, sounds
heard, of tastes, odors and sensations; but mortal senses have not
experienced, can not experience, the sensations of this higher life, and
so there are no words to convey the sensations or thoughts awakened.

True, there is a correspondence, such as Swedenborg attempted to
express, but failed because of the limitations of language. He was, like
every one who attempts this task, with ideas formed in the idiom of one
language, attempting to express them in a foreign tongue, which has no
suitable words. There are barbarous languages, with vocabularies of
scarcely one thousand words, yet capable of expressing fully the
thoughts of those who use them. It would be impossible to translate the
complex thoughts of civilized man into such forms of speech, much less
the impressions and thoughts of the celestial life.

If a butterfly, endowed with language to express the beauties of the
broad summer landscape, the soft winds, the melting clouds, the
fragrance and nectar of flowers, should return to the old bitter
herbage, where its hairy, uncouth relatives were feeding on acrid
leaves, and spreading its brilliant wings to catch the sunlight, should
attempt to relate the wonders of the life that was its own, how little
would they understand, how sadly would they misconstrue his meaning.

For them there has been no experience of wafting winds; no sensation of
flying; nor of sweet nectar food, or perfume and brilliant color, and
of these no words held in common could convey any meaning.

For the full knowledge of that higher life we must wait. And it is well:
for to know earth-life in its completeness is enough, and more, for its
short years. As this life is the vestibule to the next, so a true
knowledge of it is of priceless value to advancement there, and its
culture, its moral growth, its spiritual excellence, are treasures laid
up in heaven, and this is all that the freed spirit can carry with it in
its transition.

Personal Experience--Intelligence from the Sphere of Light.

It is difficult to prevent the discussion of Psychic questions from
assuming more or less a religious aspect. The reason for this is that
all systems of religion are based on Spiritual existence, and from views
of that life, true or false, draw their vital sustenance. The moment it
dawns upon the mind of an investigator, that in the facts and laws which
come under his observation there are expressed forces unknown to the
physicist; that beyond, dimly seen, there is an intimation of
intelligent, yet impalpable beings, he is conscious of his own high
destiny, and the necessity of conforming mortal life to it.

The inquiry of the student becomes the seed-bed for the propagation of
religious thought. Herein this domain is unlike all others, for the
outcome of research within its limits, is the last fruitage of Ethical

Imperfect understanding, as that of the savage, blindly feeling without
comprehending, yields the rank growth of superstition; while scientific
and philosophic investigation yield the most refined morality.

The preceding pages show the important part the sensitive holds in the
manifestations and study of psychic phenomena. The true position of the
psychic individual is not appreciated, even by those who have given the
subject much attention.

While in the preceding discussions I have spoken in the impersonal mode,
I wish to add my testimony from years of experience, as a sensitive. I
do this because it forms a somewhat necessary preface to the narrative
which follows.

The mass of mankind understand the delicacy of the conditions which go
to make up the sensitive subject; of the acuteness with which the
nervous system is strung; its keen susceptibility to pain and pleasure,
about as well as the illiterate boor comprehends the chemical tension of
the plate in the camera or the subtile ways of electricity. To be a
sensitive is to have at times the light of heaven in the heart, and at
others the darkness of despair. A thousand influences are always acting,
and the brain of the sensitive receives them all, trembles to their
vibrations, and finds resistance to them an effort most exhaustive of

In this state of tension, disagreeable objects, opposing words, or
antagonisms which ordinarily would pass unfelt and unnoticed, strike
with rude hand, and give excruciating torture. The presence of an object
or person may be sufficient to antagonize or destroy all ethereal
influences. I know of nothing that may be compared with the acute
depression of the mind after such experiences, which corresponds to the
preceding exaltation. While the sensitive is receiving a flood of
inspiration he breaths an atmosphere of delight, and lives in an ideal
world. Earth and its cares sink out of memory, and the mind is ennobled
and purified. When the inspiration departs, the rosy light fades out of
the spiritual vision, and the mortal eyes open to the cold, gray rays of
earth-life. How drear and sordidly selfish, poor and unprofitable
existence seems to him then.

After the flood of inspiration comes its ebb; the valley of despond,
after the heights of Alpine splendor. Melancholy and depression of
spiritual energy may produce physical disturbance, which runs its swift
course to death. Recognizing these facts, the position of the sensitive
can not be regarded as desirable, unless the laws of the sensitive state
are well known, and the subject learns to protect himself against
injurious and painful conditions; even if he does this unexpectedly,
conditions will arise and confront him, for those who are his nearest
and dearest friends know nothing about the acuteness of his feelings,
and may unconsciously produce the very effects they seek to avoid.

The sensitive becomes painfully conscious of a double life, for the
psychic is so different from the common state, that the mind receives
impressions as from two distinct conditions of existence. One is
physical, held in common with the brutes, with physical enjoyments and
desires for eating, drinking, and the passions; the other is the
psychical, which lives above and beyond the cares of life, and dwells in
an ideal realm of purity. One is the night and the other the day. In
order to dwell on earth these two lives must be united. The physical
body has its imperative needs, which must be satisfied, as the just
condition of spiritual growth. There is less imperative demand for
spiritual sustenance. So soon as the body has been supplied, mental
lethargy supervenes, and desires to tyrannize; physical life overlaps
and conceals the spiritual, and men live the life of beasts. At other
times the spiritual gains such complete ascendency that this world is
forgotten in a blaze of ideality. An equilibrium between these states is
the most desirable, but difficult to maintain.

Sensitiveness is a faculty common to mankind and capable of cultivation.
Now that we have just entered the vestibule of the temple of Psychic
Science, and are beginning to learn its principles we may hope for
brilliant results. Nor will the duties of this life be neglected because
of the approach to another. To the belief that mortal life is all that
can be attended to here, and “that the earth is wanted here, and not in
the clouds,” the celestial sense would reply: “We too want the earth
here, and not in the clouds, but we want the clouds also.” We want the
clouds to distill the soft dew, and bear on their broad shoulders the
life-giving rain for the grass and grain, to slake the thirst of the
herds and flocks; we want the clouds to spread their protecting mantle
over the fields against the scorching sun of summer; and we want them to
bring the crystal snows to protect the fields in winter. We want the
clouds to beautify the sky, and reflect in loveliness the rays of the
rising and setting sun. Half the beauty of the world would be gone
without the clouds, which lift the soul on wings of aspiration. We
rejoice that there are clouds, and while the earth is good enough for
the mortal man, in the clouds there is a grander reality. If it were
otherwise, if the human heart were given its intense longings, its
exquisite sensibility, its delicate cords responsive to every touch of
feeling only to be torn and lacerated at the grave of the loved, we
would scorn the pitiable earth, despise the sham called life, hate the
force called love, and believe that there is neither benevolence,
wisdom, nor intelligence in the Universe. It is the clouds that give
value to the earth; without them it would only be a parched and thirsty
desert. There are clouds, and by them the spirit is exalted to the
contemplation of infinite realities.

Without the ever-present consciousness of eternal being, religion would
be impossible, and there could be no ideal of excellence superior to the
gratifications of the hour. But man feels the aspirations for a superior
life, a soaring out of and above the physical senses; he feels the
promptings of duty, of right, of justice and truth, outwrought from his
innermost being. The pleasures of the time are cast away; selfishness
yields to unselfishness; and the spirit, amid pain, apparent loss, and
the scorn of its fellows, proves its kinship to the immutable and ideal.
Such is the true spiritual life: The outgrowth of spiritual science,
which makes morality a birthright, and its expression in character a
consequence of obedience to the laws of its being.

Spiritual life is universal and infinite. It is the answer to our hopes,
desires and abiding faith. Whence come they? They are the mutual
expression of our inner natures. As the flower expands, its petals
bending to the rays of the sun, so we turn to the spiritual sun, and
only in the warmth of its invigorating rays expand into completeness. As
the foulest slime of the sewer, when exposed to the light, casts down
all stains, and sparkles in the crystal waves, so humanity in the light
of spiritual truth is purified and freed from stains. Hope, faith,
desire, the poetry of the present, are the prophecy of the future! Their
voice proclaims the esoteric wisdom which is wiser than all books; for
are not all books children of the mind? Has any thing ever been written
that no one knew? As the mind is the receiver, so is it the radiator. It
cannot receive what it has not the ability to throw out. It understands
because it is the sum of all the elements and forces of the universe. It
is akin to the titanic energies which hold the revolving suns and worlds
in the hollow of their hands, and can read the ritual of the flashing

Infinity it has never exhausted, it can never exhaust itself. Books are
imperfect stutterings of its eternal consciousness. It is as superior to
them as the master to his sketch, the sculptor to his clay, the builder
to the engine that feebly embodies in brass and steel his ideas, which
alone are perfect. We are immortal, and hope and desire tell us the
wondrous tale of an unending future. We cannot cast aside its awful
responsibilities, escape its duties, or be deprived of its grand
possibilities. The very name, Immortality, carries with it the ideas of
endless progress, justice, liberty, love, purity, holiness, power and

Those who have followed the line of thought in these pages will have no
difficulty in admitting the possibility, at least on special occasions,
of spirit communication. They, in fact, will recognize it as a
necessity. If those who have passed through death’s portals should
return, they might find even the most sensitive unable to transmit their
thoughts, except in a most rudimentary manner.

The following narrative is an attempt of a celestial being to convey by
words a conception of its glorious life. While, in part, the sketch
must be taken allegorically, mainly it is a true picture. The
communication came from our mother, Jane A. Rood, and the remarkable
facts connected with her death are correctly stated. I more minutely
describe the entrance into that state wherein the message was received,
because it illustrates the preceding discussions, and the communication
emphasizes and makes plain many points which have remained

The first stages were like sinking into peaceful slumber, and I felt the
scenes of earth melt out of consciousness, while a strange exhilaration,
peaceful and delightful, came over me. There were changing flashes of
color, rivaling the rainbow, coming and going in receding circles, and
then a misty brightness, out of which slowly came, as though the
cloudiness were material in the hands of an artist, a form which I
recognized as our mother’s. A score or more of years had passed since
the fateful hour when we were gathered around her couch, too distressed
to weep, and awed by the presence of the silent messenger. Wasted by
serious sickness, she was at last free from pain, and a smile of joy
came over her pale face when she knew it was soon to be over. We thought
her dead, for her eyes closed and her breath ceased, when she repeated
with a voice sweet as music:

    “Bright spirits await to welcome me home,
    To that blissful region where you, too, may come;
    Weep not, for our parting is only to sight,
    Our spirits may still the more closely unite.

    “Perform well each day the task which to you
    Is allotted, and murmur not if you must do
    What now seemeth hardship, for soon you will prove
    ’Tis labor of kindness, an action of love.”

Then her eyes closed again, and her features changed into a glad smile.
There was now no mistaking the signs, and we went to our appointed
tasks, feeling that it would be sacrilege to weep in the presence of
such a triumph over death. We felt that we had been permitted to catch a
glimpse of an unseen reality. As travelers in mountain regions are
delighted after the valley is wrapped in twilight by glimpses of the
crest of some tall mountain catching the rays of the sun, and reflecting
its glory, so to us it seemed that the departing spirit had caught a
glimpse of the light of its new life, and reflected a smile on the face
of the body it was leaving.

How beautiful she was with the graces of youth, and the complete and
perfected charms of maturity. No wrinkles were on her brow, no marks of
care, anxiety or pain; she was ideal in excellence.

What has happened to you, mother? How are you the same and yet not the

The response: I have returned to my youth, and have brought my
experience with me. I scarcely realize how many years have passed.
Twenty-five, do you say? It seems to me not as many days; and yet, let
me recount. There has been a flood of events, and my recollection of the
last time you saw me has grown dim. We count not time by years, but by
accomplishments; by what we do and gain in thought. I am pained by the
memory of the olden time. You say it was twenty-five years or more ago!
As I come again in contact with earth, my sickness and sufferings are
recalled. How weary and worn I became! How I longed for the end! The
love you all bore me and my love for you was the only cord which bound
me to life, and as I approached the end I forgot even that. How much I
suffered that day I cannot tell, but at last I was at peace. The
terrible struggle between flesh and spirit was done, and the latter
rested. I thought I would sleep, and yet it was not sleep. It was a
repose of all living functions, and yet my mind was in full activity.
For a time I heard all that was said by those who were in the room; but
soon I became so absorbed in the thoughts which flowed on my mind that I
lost consciousness of everything else. Oh! it was such a delicious sense
of comfort and of rest! I was so very weary; I had been so tortured by
pain that to be free was indescribable happiness. I had heard them say I
was dying, and I expected the dread moment with foreboding. It surely
must soon come, yet I thought I had not reached it. The darkness began
to lighten, and I thought the morn was breaking. An intense thrill of
delight filled my being, and the light grew stronger. I continued to
rest, and a new strength came to me. I am getting well again, I thought,
and, perhaps, when the morning comes I shall surprise my friends and
children by at once arising from my couch. The light streamed in with a
soft and a refreshing warmth. There were no walls to prevent its
passage. I was floating in a cloud of light, borne gently and softly as
a weary child on its mother’s breast. Then out of the light, as though
it had formed into shape and substance, I saw three friends, long since
dead, and my own blessed mother. To meet them did not appear strange to
me, yet I knew they were not of earth. When they came around me, taking
my hands in theirs, and caressing my forehead, I was surprised at their
beauty, and the sweetness of their expression. They read my thoughts,
and answered:

“Yes, truly we are of the dead; and you will find that dying means to

“I thought I was dying; they told me so,” I said, laughing at the
absurdity. “But I have become well, never so well since a child. It is a
joy to breathe and feel the fresh life come coursing through my veins.
But why do you smile?” I asked. They replied: “Do you not know that your
new life means death? How much you have to learn, dear sister.”

“Yes, I have everything to learn; my life has been full of cares.”

“They have been for others,” was replied. “And such are treasures in
heaven. For us to learn is not labor. If we bring ourselves into the
proper condition of receptivity, knowledge flows into our minds. There
is no effort, no wearisome study. We may know all that the highest
intelligence knows if we are in the right condition.”

“I must bring myself at once into that condition,” I replied, “for there
is need.”

“Be not in haste, our sister,” said they gently; “there is time, and you
must have repose. The pain you have endured reflects on your spirit, and
you have not yet recovered.”

“I infer from your words that I have met the change I so feared,” I said
again, smiling at the absurdity of the idea. “When did I pass the limits
of earth life, and why do I lose sight of my friends?”

“You need have no more dread,” replied my darling mother. “You do not
see them because we are far away from them. It would not be well for you
to remain and witness their sorrow. We have taken you away, that you may
first recover and grow strong.”

As I felt the swift motion, which I had not before observed, for it had
been to me the gentle rock of sustaining arms, I asked: “Am I to be
taken away so far I can not return?”

“Fear not, child,” she replied in her old way, “fear not, for whatever
we justly demand is granted to us. The craving of the heart is not left
unanswered. Presently it will all be made plain to you.”

We were drawn onward as by the tide of a great river, and I saw
countless others coming and going, as though on swift errands. Then we
paused on an eminence, overlooking a sea of amethyst on our right, and a
vast plain on our left. The sky was softest purple, and the light fell
with indescribable mellowness over all--there was happiness in the air,
and those we greeted were radiant. No words can describe what I saw, or
my rapidly changing emotions. There is nothing on earth with which to
compare the landscape. The softest earthly colors are opaque in
comparison, and the clearest sky a murky cloud. Overcome, I wept for
joy, and my companions wept with me.

“Oh!” exclaimed one, “how sweet to know that this is the reality; no
more doubts, nor forebodings; no more fears, nor distress; a life that
of itself is the highest pleasure, and yields us heaven.”

I started at the word, for it recalled a tide of beliefs: “Heaven! When
are we to go there? Where is it and what must we do to go there?”

“Be not impatient, dear sister; we are in heaven already. Where
happiness is, there is heaven. Heaven is activity. It is the deed of
kindness, the pure loving thought that makes heavens.”

“What is its first principle?” I queried, “for I am weak and

“Doing for others is the full measure of its law. This is the angel code
from which every trace of selfishness has been weeded out. To do for
others brings gain. The pure and noble angels bending from their
spheres of light, labor for others in self-forgetfulness. When man so
far forgets his selfishness as to sacrifice himself for others, he
exalts himself in angel-life. To work for self is no better nor worse
than the brute world, from worm to elephant, and is devoid of immortal

How delighted I was at these words. The dross of the world was rapidly
disappearing. The sphere of my earthly labor, which to me seemed so
narrow, widened. I had been sympathetic with those who suffered, and to
those weaker than myself I had given a helping hand. Little things of no
account at the time, so humble and narrow had been my life, now had a
new meaning.

My companions smiled as they read my thoughts, and one responded: “Dear
sister, your weakness was your strength. It will be no effort for you to
do as you have always done. They who can be unselfish under the coarse
influences of earthly life, how grand must be their career under the
purer conditions which here prevail.”

As we conversed there came one from another group, tall, beautiful and
radiant with light, and with his companion more exquisitely beautiful
than himself. They invited us, and we went to their abode. “How
beautiful you are,” I exclaimed involuntarily to her.

“I am glad;” she replied, “for to be truly beautiful means that the
thoughts are right and true, for they mold the features and through them
gain expression; but it requires time, a great length of time.”

“How long have you been here?” I ventured to ask.

“Many hundred years. I scarcely know how long.”

“And you grow not old here?”

“We grow not old. The spirit knows not age. It is not limited by
duration. It is an eternal now, concentrating the past and awaiting the

I had not seen myself since the change. I put my hand to my face; it was
smooth and unwrinkled. A happy ripple of laughter came from my
companions. He who had come for us said: “Dear sister, you left those
with your body. The pure spirit has not the wrinkles of care or of age.”

I looked at him as he spoke and my attention was called to his robe. I
had not thought of this subject before. I had been so eagerly watching
the faces of my companions, I had not thought of their garments, or of
my own. What a change! What was this raiment? I can not describe it. It
was a drapery as of a cloud, and its color depended on the spiritual
condition of the wearer. I was glad that mine was azure, for that was
the color of my companion’s, and thus I knew I was like them. What was
it? A cloud or woven light? It fell around me soft and warm, and with a
luxurious coolness contrasting with the burning of the fever I had so
recently escaped. How different from the roughness of the old garments
was this fleecy robe, glinting and reflecting the light.

As we conversed, there came a spirit, who paused in front of us, dark
and sullen. His raiment was sombre and grim, like his thoughts. “Can you
tell me where heaven is?” he grumbled, “I paid a preacher to gain it for
me, and now having lost all else, I want that.”

“Poor brother,” replied the elder, “you search for what you can never
find outside of yourself.”

“You are a deceiver!” he muttered as he fled away.

The elder brother gazed after him sadly, and turning said: “On earth he
was a miser, and who can count the years before his regeneration? He
sought wealth, trusting to others his religious and moral culture. The
recording angel has written against his name not one charity, not one
unselfish deed. He now must wander in self-torment, seeking and finding

“Was he of consequence on earth?” I asked, for he was proud and haughty
in his degradation.

“Thousands trembled at his beck, for he had made them dependents and
slaves. He had vast riches, houses and lands, mortgages and deeds. He
was wise in getting wealth; but here mortgages and deeds are unknown,
and he becomes the least in the kingdom; morally idiotic, mentally
dwarfed, and a pitiable object of our compassion.”

“How long before he will gain the light?”

“Ah! who but God can tell!” sighed my instructor. “Who can tell?
Centuries may go by. He must first learn to ask; first learn humility
and his mistakes. Then some kind angels will attempt his education. They
will lead him out of his mental selfishness, and he will begin as a
child in the old life. His task will be difficult because he can not
enter the sphere of receptivity, as we are able to do, and thus absorb
knowledge from others. His nature must first change, and complete
regeneration be accomplished.”

The coming of this pitiable one brought a wave of sadness over us, but
it passed, and the sun was more gladsome after breaking from the clouds.
I had rested in delightful sleep; I do not know how often, and the old
life was like a dream. It was not possible I had been sick, for I was so
strong, so gladsome in my strength, and activity was a delight. My mind
broadened. Contact with my companions gave me enlarged ideas. To think
was to learn; to wish was to know. I was able to look beyond the effect
to the cause. I could read the law in the result. Every day brought
grander views, and my mental horizon expanded. Even in this larger
growth I found rest. The faculties, dwarfed and starved in the old time,
called for activity. The weariness of the body I was leaving behind me.
How lovingly my companions would surround me with conditions of repose.
How they gave me fullness of life, and drew to me those who would reveal
the knowledge it was my desire to learn!

Then suddenly one evening I felt an earthward impulse. What power drew
me thitherward?

“Is our sister disturbed?” asked my gentle companion.

“Oh! so disturbed! I have been selfish in my new joy, and how could I
have been so forgetful; so unnatural? My husband and babe; my son and
daughter weeping; and I have not thought of them!”

I wept, and my companion folded her arm around me and gently said: “You
have been under our control, and are not responsible. To have been
subject to the griefs of those you left, would have been painful and
useless. You are now able to bear a full knowledge, you feel that of
your family and friends. I will go with you, and you will find what I
tell you is true, and you will bless us for our thoughtfulness.”

We were poised, as it were, over a promontory beyond which the earth
hung in space, as the full moon in a summer sky. Beyond were the stars.
I was aghast at the journey, and fearful of the abyss which seemed deep
as infinitude. While I trembled it was passed. I was in my old home. A
great flood of human memories came over me. How I loved the dear
familiar walls, the chairs, the glowing fire and, more than all, the
family group. My husband sitting with his head bowed in his hand, my
daughter performing the tasks that had been mine; my little boy and girl
at play; the babe asleep. There were tears in my eyes as I turned to my
companion for strength to bear: Did I not leave my body? Was there not a
funeral? Why is it so quiet if I have not truly passed the ordeal?

“Listen,” said my companion, supporting me. “Listen. It was in October
when you passed away. The bright foliage of the trees, then burning in
scarlet and gold, had been blown away by the blasts of winter, and the
snow covered the earth with its icy shroud. All you think of has been
done. It is finished. Were you to go to the churchyard you would find a
mound by the side of relatives gone before.”

It was so unreal and absurd that I was bewildered, and laughed at my
misunderstanding, and wept the next moment when I saw my family. I went
to my husband and placed my hand on his head and called him by name. I
called with all my strength to learn that my lips gave no sound to his
ear, and that my touch was imperceptible. Then I turned to my daughter
and threw my arms despairingly around her. She was singing a song we had
sung together, and continued not heeding my embrace. Oh! how keen my
grief when I found I was not known in my own old home. I, who had come
from such a distance, my heart beating with love, found no response! My
daughter finished her song, and her eyes filled with tears. I read her
thoughts for they were of me. “Mother! Mother!” she was saying, and I
responded. It was the call I had heard beyond the bars of heaven! I
could not bear it, and my companion said as she again placed her arm
around me:

“Come, my sister, you can do no good here. There is your child sleeping
in its crib. It is cared for as by yourself. Kiss it, and we will go. Be
assured whenever you are wanted here you will feel the desire.”

I kissed my child. “Let me stay,” I pleaded; “I want to sit in my old
place, in that vacant chair. Then I will go.”

“As you will; and I will endeavor to impress your daughter with some ray
of sunshine.”

She bent over my daughter, and by means I did not understand, her mind
responded to the spirit’s thoughts: “Your mother is with you, and
retains the same affection for you she had in earth-life.” With the
influx of that thought a smile lit up her face, and turning to the
organ, she sang, “Annie Laurie,” a song we had often sung together. How
thankful I was that one ray of sunlight gladdened her heart, and the
memory of me was yet dear. I was grateful to the kind spirit who had
assisted me, and then she said we must go, for the trial was too great
for my strength.

“You must calm yourself,” said my companion, “for this sorrow is without
the least benefit. Believe it is for the best, and though the hour is
dark, it will bring a perfect day.”

“I can not prevent myself thinking of my children and my husband. My
love for them is stronger than ever, and I could not have been persuaded
to have left them for a day. Can I not, oh, good angel, remain with
them? The fairest scene of your home is desolate compared to the earth!”

With tenderest compassion she said: “You are now in the earth-sphere and
take on its conditions. You are seeing through earthly eyes, and
affected by earthly ways. When we once leave this scene you will be no
longer distressed. Willingly would I leave you. I have no right to force
you away. I influence you as I think for your highest good. Here you are
unrecognized, and are constantly troubled because you can not make
yourself known, and by a reflection of the sorrow of your family.
Whenever you can be of use to them you will receive the knowledge and
can return. Now we had better go.”

She placed her arm around me, and whether the earth sank away from us,
or we flow from the earth, I was unable to tell. I have since learned
how to traverse space by the force of will; but then I was ignorant of
the method, and dependent on others. Now, when I desire to visit a
place, or be with certain friends, the desire creates an attraction,
which in spirit is the equivalent of magnetic attraction in the physical

When we again reached our spirit home our companions gathered around us,
and I was soothed by the kind words of my mother. I felt condemned for
my loss of interest in the earth-life which had so recently absorbed my
mind, but it became like a dim dream, and ceased to trouble me. What if
I should forget it entirely? I was appalled at the idea, and cried at
the pang it gave.

“Do not fear, you will not forget, but after a time your affections will
strengthen. Our sister has much to learn, and needlessly distresses

The years passed, and I became accustomed to my new life, when a message
came for me. The palpitating waves repeated, “Mother! mother! mother!”
It was my youngest daughter, who had grown almost to womanhood. I knew
by her cry that she was in mortal pain, and yielding to the attractions
I was soon with her. She was motionless on a couch, surrounded by her
relatives, and her cousin held her cold hand. “It is all over,” they
said, in tears.

“Can it be?” I eagerly asked. “Oh! can it be that the time has already
come when I am to have one of my children with me? To have one of them
who will know me, and converse with me? Oh! heavenly Father, I thank
thee for this answer to my incessant prayer.”

Then I looked closely and saw the great transition was approaching. I
could not assist; I could only stand by her side and receive her. She
seemed asleep, which I fully understood from my own experience. Slowly
the spirit left the insensible body, and as I saw my spirit-daughter
recovering her senses, I drew near and whispered, “Claribel.” She opened
wide her blue eyes, and I knew she saw me. I threw my arms around her,
and wept for gladness. “Darling Claribel, do you not know me, your

“Dearest mama,” she said with her old smile, “know you? Why, you are
younger, but the same. Where have you been so long? We thought you

“Do you not know?” I asked, apprehensively.

“Know? What mean you?”

“Yes, I am what they call dead; and were you not likewise, you could not
see me!”

“I dead?” she replied, with a laugh which recalled her childhood,
throwing her arms gracefully over her head. “Look you, mama, how far
from it I am. I have been wretchedly sick, and in such fiery pain; but
it is over, and I am perfectly well.”

We drew to one side, and she then turning saw the friends, weeping, and
her body on the couch.

“Why do they weep?” she asked, “and who is that on the couch? I am
confused, for it is like another self.”

“They are weeping for your loss, and that form on the couch is yours.”

“Am I to return to it? What am I to do, dear mother?”

“No, you will need it no more. Your life is hereafter with me and the

“What mean you, mother, by saying you and I are dead?”

“That we are, my child. That is what people call dead.”

“I do not understand,” she replied musingly. Then going to her cousin’s
side, who was still holding her physical hand, she said, “Cousin Frank,
what are you weeping for? Do you not see how well I am?”

He did not hear her words, and she spoke again, playfully patting his
face. Then she saw that she was no longer able to be heard or felt, and
threw herself into my arms, weeping violently. I soothed her as best I
could, upbraiding myself with foolishly teaching her the ways of our
life before she was able to receive. “My child,” I said, “how glad I am
to have you again with me. They will all come to us sooner or later. Now
we will go to my home, for it is not well for you to remain. After a
time you will be instructed in these mysteries.”

I attempted to go, but found that although I could depart alone, I could
not bear Claribel with me. I had not perfected myself sufficiently in
the method, and her attraction was toward that spot alone. I prayed for
the coming of a companion, and soon there came one to my aid. On either
side we threw our arms around her, and then our wills bore her onward
with us.

When we reached our home, and the loving companions came with welcome to
Claribel, and she saw beauty and perfection everywhere, and felt how
happy her coming had made me, tears trembled in her eyes as she said:
“It is wonderful, mother, and I ought not to regret, but you know
earth-life was sweet to me, and I had plans for the future.”

“Yes, my child,” I replied, “the days were too short, and your friends
were devoted, but your plans are thwarted, yet you must know that all is
well.” Her towering air-castles had vanished; but soon she had far
greater sources of happiness in the group of beautiful children she

       *       *       *       *       *

I said I would not visit earth unless called, for the pain was greater
than the pleasure. Even when called, I refused. “My husband,” they said,
“was about to wed again.”

“It is well,” I replied; “his is the rough, earth-life, hard to walk
alone. If he so desires, I ought to be willing.”

Yet I was not willing or I should have gone. It would have seemed
strange, indeed, to have visited my old home, and found another in my
place. It would have emphasized my death to me. Thinking the matter
over, I said:

“No! I will not go. Let them be happy. I will not enter their sphere.”

When, years after, the message came that he was soon to join me, I
hastened to his side. When I reached him he had already nearly passed
through the transition, and had regained his spiritual perceptions. As I
came to him he at once knew me, and opened wide his arms to receive me.
The years were blotted out. We were again to each other all that we had
ever been. By intuition he knew that he had met the change, and the
first words he said to me were:

“I am so glad the weary watch is over. I knew heaven was not so large I
could not find you, but I did not expect so soon to meet you. It was
like you to come, and I ought to have expected it.”

“I heard your call,” I replied, “and heaven is not so wide that I could
not come. Now we must go, and I will take you to the most beautiful
place you ever saw in dreams. You must not remain to witness the
proceedings further.”

He smiled at my words: “Why, you talk as if there was something terrible
about death. It has been the most pleasant passage in my life. I have
suffered a great deal in its approach, but when it came it brought only
joy. When I saw you, I was so pleased, my clay-lips uttered my thoughts,
the last words they ever gave. Now it is done, I must stay till it is
over. I want to see how the relatives and friends act, and hear what
they say. You know it will be strange to hear one’s own funeral sermon.”

As he would not go, I remained with him, and entering again into the
earth-sphere, suffered from the contact. My husband was greatly
interested in the ceremonies, and when they were over, he said:

“I am glad the old aching body has at last gone to its final rest. The
children were grieved, and ought to know how they misunderstand. Perhaps
I can tell them some time. Hearts do not break with grief, else mine
would have broken. Come, now, my new-found wife, I will go where you

I need not repeat the story of the journey or describe the meeting with
our Claribel. Her father was of so happy a disposition, that he at once
assimilated his surroundings, and became one with his companions.

“I have worked and struggled along,” he said, “having little time to
think, and I am as ignorant as a savage. I desire at once to commence
gaining knowledge. How am I to proceed?”

We all laughed at his eagerness, and one said:

“There is time enough; you must first rest and recover strength.”

“Rest! I was never stronger, and I am anxious for exertion. I feel
mentally starved and crave thought food.”

“You will find no difficult task. To desire is to have, and you will
soon become in sympathy with the thought-atmosphere of our home.”

Then one of our number, who was a poet, superior to us all, said he had
had a singular and painful experience, and we demanded to hear it.

THE POET’S STORY.--I had been enthroned, and as I came up the pathway
leading to this eminence, I met a boisterous throng of people. Strange
faces they had, and yet they were familiar. I looked closely, and
imagine my surprise when I found they belonged to me. They were the
thoughts I had expressed in my earth-life. Some were dark, repulsive and
inexpressibly ugly, while others were exquisitely beautiful. What a
horde they were, and though some were pleasing, the greater proportion
caused my cheeks to blush with shame.

“Father! father!” they called, rushing toward me.

“Away!” I cried. “I know you not!”

“Then we will follow you. We belong to you, and wherever you go we will
go. We will not desert you.”

“If this be so,” I cried in despair, “then I am burdened beyond
endurance, and immortality becomes a curse. If I must remain with this
throng of tormentors, reminding me continually of early follies, then
extinction is preferable.”

What shall I do with this miscreant crowd, deformed and rude? I can not
take them home to my companions. If these are embodiments of my earthly
thoughts, how they would scorn me. If this is to be my retinue, then I
must seek a new home where I am unknown. I must cast aside the
companionship of this company. My punishment is terrible. I threw myself
down in a paroxysm of grief and remorse. An angel came by, and pausing

“Would you escape from your thraldom?”

“Escape!” I cried. “Can I escape?”

“Do you not see that the most repulsive of these spectres are fashioned
of the thoughts which are of yourself, recording your former vanity,
pride, uncharity, selfishness and forgetfulness of others? See you that
lovely being representing a deed of self-sacrifice?”

“Oh! that they were all like her!” I cried.

“Then listen. You must act in such a manner that the good will eclipse
these shadows, when they will disappear.”

Saying this he vanished, and I, reflecting, said that I would at once
free myself from the dreadful following. Opportunely there came a spirit
moaning past me. Her brother on earth was contemplating a horrible
crime. He had determined to take the life of his mother in order to
become possessed of her estate. The sister had vainly attempted to give
a warning or to influence him, and in despair at her failure she had
left them to their fate. I said to her:

“Come. I will go with you, and perhaps together we can prevent this

She fervently expressed her gratitude as she conducted me to her
mother’s house. It was midnight when we arrived, as I saw in the dim
lamplight by the tall clock, and the mother was sleeping.

“We can only watch,” said my companion, “and if he should come, we can
do nothing to save her.”

“Do you not know that sometimes sleep unlocks the avenues of the spirit,
and we can approach much nearer than in waking hours? When we thus come,
people say they have dreamed.”

I bent over the mother, her white locks fell from beneath her cap over
the pillow, and there was something in the expression of her lips and
cheeks reminding me of my own. I tested her sensitiveness and found that
her mind responded. Then I willed these words:

“Edward intends to kill you with a knife. He will come into your room,
and you must awake and charge him with the crime, and say to him that
his sister came from heaven to tell you!”

She started as if by a blow, and with a horrified expression, she sprang

“Who is here?” she cried. “Who spoke to me? I have had a fearful dream,
so vivid that I thought it reality.”

She sank again on the pillow, and there were light footsteps at the
door, which slowly swung open, and the brother entered. The mother
waited only a moment when she arose and addressed him in the words of
her dream. It came so suddenly that he admitted his intentions, and
pleaded for forgiveness. He had been made the victim of bad men, and if
he could escape from them he might be saved. By nature he was not so
bad, but he was weak.

Leaving them to each other, I started again for our home, my heart full
of gladness, for I had followed the advice of the angel, and expected to
thereby escape my companions. Judge of my surprise when on looking
back, I saw a new form, more ugly than any of the others, the result of
this act from which I had expected so much. As I gazed in despair, the
angel came again, and with a smile said to me:

“It was a selfish act!”

“Selfish?” I asked.

“Aye; you had not the good of the woman or the salvation of the son or
the happiness of the daughter at heart. You had only your own pleasure
and gain. You would thereby relieve yourself of a burden. The world is
ruined by such benevolence. You will have a long and weary road if you
travel in that direction.”

“I am a fool,” I said, overwhelmed by my imbecility and want of
spiritual understanding. “What can I do?” I implored.

“If I direct you, there will be no merit. You must determine for

As he spoke he vanished, and I sat down, resting like a weary pilgrim,
overburdened. Then I saw a spirit coming rapidly toward me, and on
approaching she hurriedly said:

“I am told you can influence mortals. My son is captain of a steamer,
and having lost his course, is sailing directly on a rocky coast. Come
and save not only him, but the hundreds of his slumbering passengers.”

Without a moment’s delay, I followed her, and came to the steamer. The
gray of morning was flushing the sky, and the crests of heavily rolling
seas gleamed in the cold light. Everything was quiet on deck, for the
passengers were asleep, and nothing was heard but the steady pulsations
of the engine. I looked beyond the bow, and saw the shore some distance
away. It was a high promontory of black rocks, against which the surf
was violently beating, and the ship was headed directly on the point
where it was most violent. Whatever was to be done, must be done
quickly. We went into the cabin where the captain sat with his head
resting on his hands, between sleeping and waking. Could I impress him
with his danger? I made the attempt and failed. I repeated several times
with no better success. I became anxious, as the danger increased, for
every pulsation of the engine brought the ship nearer to the rocks. The
sleeping passengers, strong men, helpless women and children, how soon
they would be called to face certain destruction. What agony the now
quiet decks would witness! What waiting and hoping against hope there
would be in hundreds of desolate homes! The contemplation unnerved me,
and I was unfitted to exercise my skill in impressing thoughts on mortal
brain. I was recalled by the voice of the mother:

“Can you not save my son?”

I confess that when the picture of agony I have sketched came to my
mind, in my wish to prevent the catastrophe, all selfish considerations
were forgotten, and I would unhesitatingly have given my existence for
the safety of the ship, were it possible to have done so.

“I can do nothing unless I have aid,” I replied, and with my whole
strength I invoked our elder brother. Instantly he came. He understands
the methods of impressing thought so perfectly that, as you know, he
rarely fails. He placed his hand on the captain’s head, and the thought
he gave was:

“Ship ahoy, breakers ahead!”

The captain sprang to his feet, and rubbing his eyes in a bewildered
manner, rushed on deck.

“Who hailed us?” he demanded of the drowsy watch.

“No one, sir; all is quiet.”

“We were hailed,” he said firmly, and gaining the bridge he sought to
penetrate the darkness. He listened, and his face paled, for distinctly
came the boom of the surf.

Swift were the commands, and the ship by a sharp curve doubled on her
course, the rocky ledge being so near that a few revolutions more and
there would have been no escape.

A great many of the passengers came up on deck, aroused by the unusual
motion of the ship and the shouting of orders, and when they understood
the peril they had so narrowly escaped, they embraced each other and
cried for joy.

As I again sought our home, forgetful of everything but the benefit I
had conferred by my journey, I glanced behind me, and saw a shining
light, and afar off, in dim outline, the group of beings I so strongly
desired to escape. Unconsciously I had performed an act that had placed
a light between me and them. Rejoice with me, dear friends, I am enabled
to be unselfish.

Then the elder said: “Our brother adds to his other good qualities, that
of humility.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“The angel-life became more complete and perfect as year by year the
loved ones came up from the shadows of earth, until our family circle
was almost restored. After a time its old members will take their new
places, and when my earth-friends are all here, there will be little
attraction for me in the old life.

“It is yet new and strange, and cannot be described to mortal
comprehension. Language itself must be spiritualized, and words given a
new meaning.

“I have mingled tears of pity with those who have been bereft, at the
same time knowing that their loss was gain to the departed ones.

“Activity is our happiness, and thinking right and doing our very best
are the gateways to heaven. Earth-life is a joy only when the end is
known. Here its infinite possibilities are realized. Not in a year or a
century, but in the fullness of time can all this come. Weep, for it is
human, when your loved ones pass the shadowy portals, remembering,
however, that the spiritual sun on the other side will, by comparison,
make your brightest day on earth a rayless night.”


    The mists are falling on the purple sea,
      The sun is sinking in the clouds aflame;
    For many a day the far receding sea
      And melting sky have seemed almost the same.

    At first we met the bitter storm and cloud,
      With little sunshine on the darkling mere,
    The waves were high, the icy winds were loud;
      The days were dark, the nights were full of fear.

    By every trial having gathered strength,
      And hopeful conquered every adverse gale,
    We now have reached a calmer sea at length,
      And with full hearts unbend the flowing sail.

    Behind, the sinking sun reveals no shore
      Illumed with glory of his purple light;
    The land we left has passed forever more
      Beyond the reach of longing mortal sight.

    A boundless sea on every side expands;
      We’re drifting slowly toward the glowing east;
    In faith expecting yet more welcome lands,
      When toiling care, and mortal life have ceased.

    Behold, it comes in robes of azure light!
      As sinks the sun behind the sullen waves,
    And on the pearly shore, enchanting sight,
      Are all the friends we thought within the grave.

    And now, oh ship, your weary pinions fold,
      And rock to sleep upon the harbor’s breast;
    This is the home, by faith our hearts foretold,
      Where we shall find activity and rest.


After death, 215

Angel life becoming perfect, 244

Angels, guardian, 117

Anger affecting the secretions, 185

Animals have no souls, 205

Aspirations for a future life, 221

A spirit prevents a disaster, 243

A sullen spirit, 229

Atom, the, 11

Atomic theory, 12

Beauty of the spirit, 224

Beecher, H. W., 158

Better Methods, 194

Blind Tom, 157

Brain and Nerves, 197

Buchanan, Dr., 65

Bunyan, 160

Charlatanism and mesmerism, 178

Christian science, 189

Clairvoyance, 53
  artificial and normal, 57
  from dreams, 57
  examples of, 60
  Mollie Fancher, 57
  Eliza Hamilton, 60
  Laura Bridgman, 62
  favored by disease, 56
  independent of the senses, 55

Concentration, 162

Continuous earth-life, 210

Cultivation of sensitiveness, 220

Curse of false belief, 189

Death, 215
  appearance after, 142
  warnings of, 128
  Garfield’s, 131

Degradation of prayer, 167

Denton, Prof., 67

Dissolution of a spirit, 208

Divine motherhood, 186

Doing for others, 227

Double presence, 100

Dreams, 86
  predict death, 139
  Prince Leopold’s, 140
  Lincoln’s, 138
  life saved by, 79, 126, 128
  correct errors, 127
  Stanley on, 89
  of Dr. Holbrook, 90
  clairvoyant, 83
  shipwreck prevented by, 78
  sensitive, 80
  prophetic, 88
  of Mary Hudlett, 80
  of Stanton Moses, 84

Earth-life enough here, 217

Ether, physic, 114
  illustrations of, 116

Evolution, 27-31

Faith cure, 180

Finney, Pres. prayer for rain, 167

First day in spirit life, 225

Force, theory of, 23

Forewarnings, 173

Gulf between matter and spirit, 211

Hallucinations, 70

Happy and perfect lives, 191

Hypnotism, 50

Ideas not words transmitted, 65

Idiots and immortality, 208

Illness of mind, 185

Illusions, 68
  subjective, 68
  suggestive, 69
  of Prof. Hitchcock, 70

Immortality, want of evidence to prove, 10

Impressions, 77

Increase of skepticism, 10

Individualization of force, 213

Influence, law of, 116

Influence of mind over secretions, 182

Influencing mortals, 232

Inspiration, 156

Inspiration at its height, 219

Is mental cure a sham, 183

Leaving the aching body, 238

Life, 15
  moner theory of, 16
  and mind, 17
  the future, 36
  without immortality a sham, 200

Light in the heart, 218
  waves of, 21

Limits of power of mind over body, 186

Limitation of languages, 216

Limitation of the power, 168

Man a dual being, 201

Man alone immortal, 206

Material science--views of nature, 14

Matter, 13
  is there more than one kind of?, 12

Medical student’s prayer, 170

Mental cure, 180

Mesmeric state, 47

Mesmerism, moral effects of, 52

Mind and life, 17
  independent, 116

Mothers’ influence over unborn child, 186

Murder prevented by a spirit, 241

Napoleon, 162

Narrative by a spirit, 222

Nature, 14
  and the supernatural, 171

Necessity of knowledge, 9

Nervous systems, 198

Ole Bull, 156

Omens explained, 131

Origin of spirit, 204

Our sins follow us, 240

Paganini, 156

Pains of spirits in earth sphere, 233

Persecution, 193

Physical senses, 55

Physical theories fail to solve the problem of life, 8

Prayer, who answers it?, 169

Predictions, 130

Premonitions, 3, 79, 122
  why not received by all, 136

Power of mind over body, 181

Presentiments, 79

Pre-existence, 209

Priests and jugglers, 166

Promethean curse, 190

Properties of matter, 13

Prophecy by dreams, 81, 8

Protoplasm, 30, 199

Psychic growth, 207

Psychometry, 67

Regeneration of a spirit, 230

Reincarnation, 203

Returning to earth, 231

Sacred shrines and holy places, 74

Saving souls, 192

Scientific method of study, 31

Sense--the sixth, 44

Senses, limitation of, 21, 2

Sensitiveness, 37, 40-1-2, 104, 162
  what it is, 37
  relation to culture, 43
  during sleep, 76
  unconscious, 156
  of spiritual beings, 42, 164

Sickness a mark of ignorance, 187

Sight, a race without, 38

Skepticism, increase of, 10

Sleep, 46

Society of Psychical Research, 99

Somnambulism, 50

Sound waves, 20

Spirit regretting her death, 237

Spirit watching his funeral obsequies, 237

Spirits confusion after death, 236

Spirits in despair, 239

Spirits know not age, 229

Spirits meeting mortals at death, 235

Spirits traveling by will power, 234

Spiritual ether, 19
  existence, 217
  understanding, 242

Spotless lives, 191

Strength in weakness, 228

Struggle for existence, 28

Superior intelligences, interference of, 79

Survival of the fittest, 29

The animal in man, 195

The arch complete, 205

The body a staging, 205

The celestial body, 202

The immortal state, 188

The sensitive’s sufferings, 218

The terrestrial body, 202

Thought atmosphere, 113
  transference, 77, 80, 99, 102

Trance, 53
  conditions of, 53

Untutored minds, 195

Warning voice, 135

Weakness of new born spirits, 226

What is back of force?, 212

Worlds, dead, 22
  end of, 23



Founded on Evolution and the Continuity of Man’s Existence Beyond the

Part I.--The Career of Religious Ideas.

Part II.--Ethics of Science.

This volume unfolds the Progress of Religious Ideas through Fetishism,
Phallic Worship, Polytheism and Monotheism to their emergence into the
light of science, divested of superstition, and elaborates the natural
system of ethics founded on knowledge of the physical and spiritual


300 PAGES. PRICE $1.25.





250 PAGES. PRICE $1.25.


Transcriber’s Note:

Minor errors (e.g. misprinted, missing, or extra punctuation, missing
spaces) have been corrected without note. Inconsistent hyphenation (e.g.
life-time and lifetime) and spelling (e.g. bark and barque) have not
been changed. Other than those noted below, errors in the Index have not
been corrected.

Decorative italics (e.g. on chapter headings) have not been represented
in the plain-text versions of this book.

The following corrections and changes were made:

p. 5: luminifereous to luminiferous (luminiferous ether)

p. 6: recepient to recipient (while the recipient)

p. 12: indestructable to indestructible (indestructible atom was arrived

p. 18: conbustion to combustion (the combustion of tissue in the lungs)

p. 20: phycho to psycho (distinguish it as psycho-ether)

p. 29: Froisart to Froissart (Froissart was not more garrulous)

p. 34: Incomprehensively to Incomprehensibly (Incomprehensibly great)

p. 43: transferrence to transference (thought transference or

p. 46: oriflame oriflamme (the oriflamme of the spiritual conception)

p. 53: clairvayant to clairvoyant (trance or clairvoyant state)

p. 53: Clazomeneæ to Clazomenæ (Hermotimus, of Clazomenæ)

p. 53: ecstacy to ecstasy (in a fit of ecstasy)

p. 55: ecstacy to ecstasy (religious ecstasy and trance)

p. 55: phycho to psycho (the psycho-ether)

p. 59: adminstered to administered (Dr. Spier administered)

p. 59: adminstering to administering (after administering the test)

p. 62: pyschic to psychic (conceal the higher psychic faculties)

p. 64: conscienciousness to conscientiousness (conscientiousness,
truthfulness and hopefulness)

p. 67: pschometry to psychometry (Really psychometry)

p. 68: Abercombie to Abercrombie (Dr. Abercrombie)

p. 69: Audral to Andral (M. Andral)

p. 72: Perthleven to Porthleven (Vicar of Porthleven)

p. 75: Guinasi to Ginnasi (Count Ginnasi)

p. 79: Biddleford to Biddeford (The Biddeford (Me.) _Journal_)

p. 79: Kinnebunk to Kennebunk (near the mouth of Kennebunk River)

p. 83: See to She (She threw an old coat)

p. 84: double quotes to single quotes (‘_Immediate_,’)

p. 87: corollation to correlation (the perfect correlation)

p. 88: single quote to double quote, and missing close quote added (I
said, “I have been to a small village ... ‘No, sir; but his widow is.’”)

p. 92: fantacies to fantasies (Laugh at the fantasies)

p. 111: occurence to occurrence (This strange occurrence naturally)

p. 112: sufficent to sufficient (with sufficient light)

p. 115: stewn to strewn (strewn with sand)

p. 116: undiscernable to undiscernible (colors being undiscernible)

p. 116: corelated to correlated (correlated harmony between minds)

p. 117: McKendee to McKendree (Bishop McKendree)

p. 120: unconciously to unconsciously (unconsciously those who by study
... are continuously made unconsciously)

p. 130: extra “it” removed (assuring him that it was no news)

p. 131: embarassment to embarrassment (to overcome his embarrassment)

p. 133: Minnie to Minie (shot in the breast by a Minie ball)

p. 135: be to he (he seemed to be in a jolly mood)

p. 146: villian to villain (the villain escapes)

p. 154: unfortuate to unfortunate (and this is most unfortunate)

p. 156: rythmic to rhythmic (expression of rhythmic motion)

p. 157: ecstacy to ecstasy (the ecstasy of all true musicians ... the
meaning accepted of ecstasy)

p. 166: strenghthens to strengthens (harmonizes and strengthens)

p. 168: ativism to atavism (as Darwin would say, atavism)

p. 175: ministeral to ministerial (the ministerial conference)

p. 176: Muller to Müller (George Müller, its founder)

p. 178: correllate to correlate (correlate the facts of spirit)

p. 181: Hipocrates to Hippocrates (time of Hippocrates)

p. 182: inocculation to inoculation (sure consequence of inoculation)

p. 183: enobles to ennobles (that ennobles and elevates)

p. 183: baccilli to bacilli (millions of bacilli)

p. 184: micrococus to micrococcus (the micrococcus brings on fever)

p. 185: insiduously to insidiously (insidiously sapped its foundation)

p. 188: glipse to glimpse (often catches a glimpse)

p. 189: Pharoah to Pharaoh (Pharaoh might command Egypt)

p. 198: Illiad to Iliad (wrote an Iliad)

p. 199: period to question mark (of the animal world?)

p. 199: consectuive to consecutive (its consecutive links)

p. 200: extra “of” removed (huge saurians of the primeval slime)

p. 200: architype to archetype (archetype is complete)

p. 201: nonenity to nonentity (pass into nonentity)

p. 201: habilament to habiliment (is its habiliment)

p. 204: interelationship to interrelationship (the wonderful

p. 204: phenemena to phenomena (phenomena connected with man)

p. 206: megotherium to megatherium (the huge megatherium)

p. 212: mainfestation to manifestation (the first manifestation of life)

p. 217: sustainance to sustenance (draw their vital sustenance)

p. 219: etherial to ethereal (destroy all ethereal influences)

p. 219: unconciously to unconsciously (may unconsciously produce)

p. 236: missing “o” added in “onward” (bore her onward with us.)

p. 247 (Index entry): Buchannan to Buchanan (Buchanan, Dr.)

p. 248 (Index entry: Dreams, life saved by): 79-126-128 to 79, 126, 128


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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.