More Spirit Teachings Through the Mediumship of William Stainton Moses




His Personality
Some Phenomena
Remarkable Experiences
Extracts From Writings


“He was a natural nobleman. He had a quiet dignity of modesty that was by no means the least of his lessons. His literary capacity, his full acquaintance with the subject his life was devoted to, his rare spiritual gift might well have made him arrogant, and produced impatience, even repulsion. But that was never so. Always Stainton Moses was sympathetic, gentle, sweet, reasonably agreeable.”


His one-time pupil, Mr. Charlton Speer, writes of “the depth and warmth of his nature, the kindliness of his disposition, the genuineness of his sympathies, and his utter unselfishness, when he felt that, by a personal sacrifice, he might be enabled to benefit others. His loss to the Cause cannot as yet be fully appraised. He was, indeed, a burning and a shining light. In all probability, we shall not look upon his like again.”


Mrs. Speer writes:


“His great love of Nature and travelling with congenial companions, also his quiet humour, helped to make him a charming companion; combined with a vast knowledge of places, things and people, and, I may add, literature of every kind and sort.


But for his delicate health two years ago, he would have prepared and published another volume of Spirit Teachings, and republished those of his works that were out of print. This was the work he had set before himself, had health and life lasted; and, doubtless, his wishes are still that those who are left behind should carry on the work he has so nobly commenced.”


“There was an intense spirituality about Stainton Moses’ Spiritualism. To him the Summerland was nothing. There was the constant reaching forward to what was higher and better. To him the next world and the next after, were not mere reflexes of this, but states of progression, conditioned only at their outset from this by the value of the education received here. Indeed, his objection to the doctrine of re­incarnation was mainly founded on his belief that, if a spirit’s course through this world had failed to educate once, it would fail again.”




In an account of the fairy bells, introduced when Benjamin Franklin first manifested at the circle, Mrs. Speer says:


“It was an exquisite manifestation, something like a musical-box, but more ethereal and the notes sweeter. We used to hear it playing about us very often at this time. Especially when out in the garden late at night.” (They were at Shanklin.) “It was our habit to open the casement window and step on to the lawn after our seance was over, and I have often heard these fairy bells playing at midnight among the trees, the effect being very beautiful and unearthly.”


Another time she writes:


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“Before meeting this evening we heard the fairy bells playing in different parts of the garden where we were walking. At times they sounded far off, seemingly playing at the top of some high elm-trees, music and stars mingling together; then they would approach nearer to us, eventually following us into the seance room, which opened on to the lawn.


After we were seated the music still lingered with us, playing in the corners of the room, and then over the table round which we were sitting. They played scales and chords by request with the greatest rapidity, and copied notes Dr. Speer made with his voice. There was no instrument in the room. After Stainton Moses was entranced the music became louder, and sounded like brilliant playing on a piano.”


A remarkable manifestation of spirit power to remove objects took place when Stainton Moses was staying in the Isle of Wight. He writes:


“On returning from church I found on entering my bedroom (which adjoined the drawing-room on the first floor), that certain objects had been removed from the toilet-table, and placed on my bed in the rough form of a cross.”


Later in the day other things were added from the dressing case and absolutely symmetrically placed. Another time articles were laid out in the form of a crown.


The remarkable production of jewels and of scent is described by Mr. F. W. P. as follows:


After dining with S. M. at his rooms a sitting was held. The gas was put out, and after a few minutes was re-lit. S. M. at once walked up to a table, where a strong light had previously been visible, and pointed out a small ruby lying on it. The light was again put out, and Mentor controlled S. M. He stroked Mr. P’s arm, took his hand, and, after putting something into it, went back to his seat. Mentor then spoke, and said he had made a turquoise for Mr. P., which was his special stone. He added that these stones were not “real” in our sense, as spirits were not allowed to bring stones of value which could be sold. At the next meeting of the circle they were told that spirits can crystallise from the atmosphere objects which are formed in our world by natural processes.


On the occasion of Mr. Speer’s birthday, Mr. P. says they dined together, and S. M. became entranced. Walking up to the sofa, he began to search for something in an antimacassar. He soon found a small ruby, which he solemnly presented to Mrs. Speer. He began to search again, and found a second one; and, finally, after much searching, he found a third. He returned to his seat, came out of his trance, knowing nothing at all of what had occurred.


On a former occasion, a ruby was found in a glass of soda-water which S. M. was drinking after a seance at Dr. Speer’s house.


Describing a seance, Mr. P. says it commenced with a shower of bead pearls of various sizes and they were told to strike a light in order to collect them. After the seance S. M. walked round the circle, and put one of his hands on the head of each sitter in turn; the result of which was that a stream of scent fell on the head of each.


At another seance they were given a wonderful manifestation of scent in which they were told over fifty spirits were directly employed. Scent came in various ways. First wafted in their faces, then blown as if in a strong gale by a pair of bellows. Next sprinkled from the ceiling in gentle showers. Lastly (which they were told was very difficult to manage), it was poured upon the hands, which were joined and held palms upward. A stream of scent, as if poured from the spout of a teapot, fell on Mr. P.’s hand, and ran down on to the table. Stains were afterwards seen on the table.




He darkened the room, and, as there was no sofa, he put himself on his bed. Musical sounds took place, and globes of light appeared. He then lost consciousness, and when he awoke it was just midnight. He was impelled to get up and write the following description.


“I have no recollection of losing consciousness, but the darkness seemed to give place to a beautiful scene which gradually unfolded itself. I seemed to stand on the margin of a lake, beyond which rose a


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chain of hills, verdant to their tops, and shrouded in a soft haze. The atmosphere was like that of Italy, translucent and soft. The water beside which I stood was unruffled, and the sky overhead was of cloudless blue.


I strolled along the margin of the lake, meditating on the beauty of the scene. I met a person coming towards me I knew it was Mentor. He was clad in a robe of white of a thin texture, like very fine Indian muslin, and of a peculiar pearly whiteness. On his shoulders was a mantle of deep sapphire blue; on his head a coronet which seemed to me like a broad scarlet band, studded with bosses of gold. His face was bearded, and wore an aspect of benevolence and wisdom. His voice as he addressed me, was sharp and decisive in tone: ‘You are in spirit-land, and we are going to show you a scene in the sphere’s.’ He turned and walked with me along the margin of the lake till we came to a road which branched along the foot of the mountain. A little brook flowed by its side, and beyond was a lovely stretch of verdant meadow, not cut up into fields as with us, but undulating as far as the eye could reach.


We approached a house, very like an Italian villa, situated in a nook, amidst a grove of trees like nothing I ever saw before; more like gigantic ferns of the most graceful and varied description. Before the door were plots of flowers of the most lovely hues and varieties. My guide motioned me to enter, and we passed into a large central hall, in the middle of which a fountain played among a bank of flowers and ferns. A delicious scent filled the air, and the sound of sweet music, soft and soothing, greeted the ear.


Round the hall ran a kind of balcony from which I could see doors that led to the several apartments. The walls were painted in a sort of design, which was a continuation of the scenery through which we had passed. There was no roof but the cloudless azure of the sky. As I stood wondering at the beauty of everything that met my eye, a door opened and a figure advanced towards me. It was Imperator, as I have before seen him. On his head was the diadem with seven points, each point tipped by a star of dazzling radiance and each of different colour. The face was earnest, benevolent and noble in expression. It was not aged, as I should have expected, but wore an aspect of devotion and determination mingled with gentleness and dignity. The whole air and mien was most dignified and commanding. The figure was draped in a long robe of brilliant white. It seemed to be composed of dewdrops, lit up by the morning sun. The whole effect was so dazzling that I could not look steadfastly at it. It reminded me at once of the description of the Transfiguration, and of the angels who stood at the sepulchre in shining raiment. I instinctively bowed my head, and a voice soft and earnest, with a strange, melancholy cadence, fell on my ear: ‘Come and you shall see your friend, and we will try to touch that heart of disbelief.’ He held out his hand, and I noticed that it was jewelled, and seemed to shine with an inner phosphorescent light.


I was astounded at the vision. The most solemn strain I ever heard fell on my ear. A door at my side was thrown open, and the sound of music drew nearer, and I saw the head of a long procession coming towards me. At the head marched one clad, as all the rest were, in robes of pure white, girt with cincture of crimson. The cinctures varied in colour, but the robes were all white. He bore aloft a cross of gold, and round his head was a fillet on which was inscribed ‘Holiness.’ Behind him, two and two, came the white-robed choir, chanting a hymn of praise. As they passed us, the procession paused, whilst each turned and saluted Imperator, who stood a few paces in front of me.”


Among the procession, S. M. noticed several he recongnised; his guides, Mentor, Rector, Prudens, Philosophus and Swedenborg; his friend S. and Keble, Neale and others. A long procession followed. Then six figures came out, who advanced towards him. Five were those he had known on earth. The procession filled the balcony of the large room, of which the walls and roof were formed of the lovely flowers and a creeper which threw out tendrils in all directions. He says : “They faced inwards, looking towards Imperator, who offered an elevated prayer to the Supreme. The strain of praise burst forth again, and the procession retired as it came.”


Explanation given by spirit writing: S. M. “Was that scene real?”


“As real as that on which you now gaze. Your spirit was separated from its earthly body, connected only by the ray of light. That ray was the vital current.”


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S. M. says he was astonished at the wall being no barrier the scene seemed to be unfolded instantly. At once he was in spirit-land.


“The spirit-world is around you, though you see it not. Your eyes being opened, you saw the things of spirit-life, and no longer beheld the things of earth-life.”


“Then, are the spheres all round us?”


“The spirit-world extends around and about you, and interpenetrates what you call space. We wished to show you the reality of its existence. The spirits were gathered by Mentor at my request in the second sphere. They came from various spheres and conditions, and were assembled for a special purpose.”


S. M. notices that his friend’s robes were violet, shot with green, whereas the rest were in white.


“He wore the robes from which you would recognise him from his description. The green typifies the earth condition which has not faded, and the violet typified progress. All with us is symbolical. The house open to the sky shadows forth the spirit’s dwelling with no bar to its upward aspirations. The flowers and scenes of beauty show the alleviations and pleasures which divine love casts round the lot of each. The procession of praise shows the onward march of the progressive spirit, with praise to its God as the voice of the daily life. The preceding cross typified purity, and the harps and music were symbols of perpetual praise. The girdles of divers hues showed the special pursuits and attributes of the wearers, and the crowns and fillets on their heads were emblematical of their characters.”


“Did I see you as you are seen always? I shall never forget the dazzling robe you wore.”


“You saw me there as others see me. But I do not always present the same appearance. And you could not gaze upon the scene which the highest spheres would present. Not in your present state.”




“I wish we could impress on all that in proportion to the loftiness of their aspirations is the character of the spirits who come to them. The mental influences of a circle reach even to the world of spirit; and, according as they are directed, so are the influences that gather round them.”


He writes: “During the whole time this communication was written, my spirit was separated from the body. I could see, from a short distance, the hand as it wrote. In my own room I felt an impression to write, such as I have not felt for nearly two months. I sat at my desk, and the first part was written. I presume I then passed into a state of unconscious trance.


The next thing I remember was standing in spirit near to my body, which was seated holding the pen before the table on which this book was placed. I looked at it and the arrangements of the room with great interest. I saw that my body was there, and that I was joined to it by a thin line of light. Everything material in the room looked shadowy, and everything spiritual seemed solid and real.


Behind my body, with his own hand held over the head, and the other over the right hand which held the pen, stood Rector. In the room, besides, were Imperator and several of the spirits who have influenced me for long. Others whom I did not know passed in and out, and appeared to regard the experiment with interest. Through the ceiling streamed down a mild, pleasing light, and now and again rays of bluish light were shot down on my body. When this was done, I saw the body jerk and quiver. It was being charged, as I may say. I noticed, moreover, that the daylight had faded; and the window seemed dark, and the light by which I saw was spirit-light. I could hear perfectly well the voices of the spirits who spoke to me. They sounded very much as human voices do, but were more delicately modulated, and sounded as though from a distance.


Imperator explained to me that I was seeing an actual scene, which was intended to show me how the spirits operated. Rector was writing; and it was not done, as I had imagined, by guiding my hand nor impressing my mind; but was done by directing on to the pen a ray which looked like blue light. The force so directed caused the pen to move in obedience to the will of the directing spirit. In order to show me that the hand was a mere instrument, not essential to the experiment the pen was removed


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from the hand, and kept in position by the ray of light which was directed upon it. To my great surprise, it moved over the paper, and wrote as before. A great part of what is written above was really done without the intervention of a human hand. I was told that it was not easy to write without human aid, and that the spelling of the words was wrong. I find that is actually the case in the part written as I describe.


I remember mentally wondering how such spirits spoke English; and, in reply to my thought, several addressed me one after another in different languages. They were not intelligible to me, but were interpreted by Imperator. He also showed me how spirits commune with each other by transfusion of thought. Imperator explained that the sounds could be made in the same way, without aid from anything material. I heard the sound of fairy bells at the time, and the air was pervaded by a subtle perfume. The spirits were dressed as I have seen them before, and moved about quite independent of the material obstacles round them. Some of the spirits formed a circle round the table at which my body sat. I seemed to myself to be garbed in white, with a blue cincture. There was some purple too, a sort of over-robe, I think. Every spirit was self-luminous, apparently, and the room was very light. I was commanded to return and write down what I saw. I do not remember the return to my body. I am perfectly certain as to what occurred, and report it simply and without exaggeration.”


EXTRACTS FROM OTHER WRITINGS BY STAINTON MOSES Writing in Light of August, 1889, he says:


“Since I have published Spirit Teachings, I have heard a good deal about the unconscious self, and have listened to many speculations as to the extent of the knowledge that may be concealed somewhere deep down in my inner consciousness, without my being aware of it. I must leave my readers to settle for themselves the knotty question how far they think that the consecutive series of communications made to me are explained by this recondite theory, or are more simply and naturally accounted for by the account always put forward by my instructors. Spirits these people call themselves, having an existence independent of my life and consciousness; and as such, I accept them.


All these messages were certainly written out without any conscious knowledge on my part, and many of them after I had taken extraordinary precautions to prevent my seeing what was being written.”


In a letter he speaks of the various phases of his mediumship:


“I communicated with Imperator originally through automatic writing. I communicate now by the voice. I hear the voice as of a distant person, borne on a breeze, always calm and passionless, as of one not stirred by human gusts. I can in special moods ‘sense him’ and his thoughts, and am conscious of a transfusion of them direct. Imperator let me go through all the physical mediumship, predicting its cessation when no longer required. Then the writing, then the voice, then the face to face communing which I sometimes enjoy. Lastly, what he calls normal as distinguished from abnormal mediumship, which I take it is that sometimes called inspirational.”


In a letter, published in the Theosophist, written, probably, to Colonel Olcott, and quoted in Light, after his passing, he says:


“I do things one day, and especially say things, of which I have no remembrance. I go to bed with no lecture prepared. In the morning I get up and go about my work as usual, lecture a little more fluently than usual, do all my business, converse with my friends, and yet know absolutely nothing of what I have done. One person alone who knows me very intimately can tell, by a far-off look in the eyes, that I am in an abnormal state. The notes of my lectures so delivered, as I read them in the books of those who attend my lectures, read to me precise, accurate, clear.


My friends find me absent, short in manner, brusque and rude of speech. Else, there is no difference. When I come to myself, I know nothing of what has taken place; but sometimes I gradually recollect. I am beginning to realise how completely a man may be a ‘gas-pipe,’ a mere vehicle for another spirit. Is it possible for a man, to ordinary eyes a common human being, to be a vehicle for Intelligences from above, and to have no separate personality?”


(It is suggested that S. M. here meant “individuality.”)


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“Can it be that my spirit may be away learning, perhaps leading a separate life, while my body is going about, and is animated by other Intelligences?


Once, lately, in the Isle of Wight, my interior dormant faculties awoke, and I lost the external altogether. For a day and a night I lived in another world, while dimly conscious of material surroundings. I saw my friends, the house, the room, the landscape but dimly. I went about as usual, but through all, and far more clearly, I saw my spiritual surroundings, the friends I know so well, and many I had never seen before. The scene was clearer than the material landscape, and yet blended with it in a certain way. I did not wish to talk. I was content to look and live among such surroundings. It was as I have heard Swedenborg’s visions described.”


On spiritual evolution, S. M. writes:


“There is, as I learn, a system of spiritual evolution akin to that known by that name on earth. Manifestly, we do not arrive here on the same plane of progression though we cannot remember the events which have trained and developed us. Probably we are the result of various experiments; our characters the outcome of different experiences in different states of existence.”


His spirit photographed in Paris.


S. M. writes in Light of a letter received from a French gentleman concerning the spirit photography of his sister and other relatives during their sleep in America, the photo being taken by Buguet in Paris. Mentally, the Frenchman had asked his sister for her family’s picture; and on one plate she was there with three girls, and on the other with two boys. Another time she, in answer to his request, brought her mother, who was living miles away from her. There were also messages written on a card which she holds in the photo.


As a result, S. M. arranged to have a photo of a friend taken in Paris on a Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, hoping to be there in spirit. He awoke late, heard church bells, then became unconscious till 11.47. The experiment was successful. On the second exposure there was a perfect likeness of S. M., with eyes closed as in sleep. Also, on the plate, was an old man, a sage well-known to him as one of his band, Prudens (Plotinus).


At a subsequent seance Imperator said that the medium’s spirit had been carefully entranced, and was then transported by its guides from London to Paris, the cord which unites body and soul being extended from one city to the other.


Do spirits talk twaddle? S. M. writes:


“A common objection of men of the Huxley type is that the ‘revenants’ talk such twaddle. Well, they do not as a rule; unless the assembled company invite and appreciate platitudes and little vapid jokes. I have conversed frequently with spirits who enunciate great truths in a befitting manner; and I have sat in wondering disgust and amazement at the stuff that educated ladies and gentlemen, who ought to know better, will address by the hour to some poor spirit, who, at any rate, is in evidence as proof of a tremendous fact - perpetuated life after death. Never mind that such spirits talk twaddle. Like consorts with like.”


Careful conditions develop a wonderful medium.


In writing of the development by a Mr. Rees Lewis of the wonderful medium, Mr. Spriggs, S. M. says: “One condition was that the seance-room should be set apart consecrated to its own special use. Another was that medium and circle should lead a life of abstinance from flesh-food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco. The circle was selected and arranged with the utmost care, and the medium led a simple plain, pure life. The circle never varied; no fresh elements were introduced into it; and, as far as possible, regular attendance was enforced. During the seances the light was always sufficient for accurate observation.


After four years of success, some members of the circle craved for publicity. They wished to engage a hall, admit strangers, gain notoriety. As a consequence, the phenomena deteriorated, and the flow of


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them was interrupted. The mediumship of Mr. Spriggs suffered deterioration. The wonder-seekers had their day, and the result was disastrous.”


Of the danger of promiscuous circles, S. M. writes:


“It is the abuse, not use, that is dangerous. The psychic emanations of a promiscuous circle, held under the conditions that too often obtain, are poisonous to the sensitive, and harmful to all.


What care is exercised in promiscuous circles to secure conditions of health, physical, mental and spiritual? Usually, none whatever. Men and women come to see what is to be seen; to amuse themselves after dinner; for any and every sort of reason. The atmosphere is loaded with impurity; the darkened room is closed and oppressive to the outer sense; how much more to the inner spiritual sense? Those who are sensitive to spirit influence go away wondering that they are unstrung and nervous and ill at ease. They have been drained of vitality or have imbibed a poison; or, possibly, subjected to the influence of some undeveloped spirit that saps their life. No wonder they suffer.”


Concerning spirit impostors, S. M. writes of a case of elaborated imposture carried out by unseen agents giving, he says, “as good evidence as I know of the existence of spirit disembodied, with power of communicating, and, apparently, of reading human thought, and of getting up special facts so as to personate a human being: the calculated falsehood of a personating spirit. Such spirits there seem to be on the confines of the unseen world. Experience abundantly proves that the borderland is haunted by a class of spirit that finds pleasure in communicating with earth; probably on account of the tie that binds it being unsevered, and because no magnetic attraction upward has yet been established. Such spirits are in a state of desolation, vagrant, homeless, and, with the affections (such as they are) still bent earthwards. They find their pleasure in posturing as some great man, or in playing a part that they see to be desired. These are the Shakespeares who cannot spell, etc. Few circles escape torment, and, indeed, risk of being broken up, by their falsehood and vagaries.


I have frequently wondered whether such spirits be not the emissaries of powers antagonistic to the higher spirits whose charge it is to disseminate truth to this world of ours. There is no simpler way of breaking up a circle where truth is being instilled into receptive minds, than to introduce falsehood and fraud. Many are the warnings I have received from those with whom I have been in communication. They have always spoken strongly of the machination of those they call the adversaries, and warned me their efforts are most vigorous at times of earthly disturbance and unrest.


How do these spirits gain access to a circle composed of elements with which they have no affinity? It seems to be a question of the power as well as the wisdom of the unseen guardians. I believe that to enter into close relations with the unseen world without the protection of a powerful as well as wise guardian, is an extremely dangerous and foolish thing. Curiosity is no suitable excuse for meddling with unknown forces which may be deadly. We have been preoccupied in attempts to force on an unwilling world recognition of plain facts, of the phenomena objective to the senses, which Spiritualism offers for investigation. It is time that we point to the dangers attendant upon playing with that which, though spiritual, is not therefore always desirable; and to the curse that too often lights on those who rashly expose themselves to the risk of obsession by spirits whom, could they but see them as they are, they would avoid with might and main. It is well that the enthusiastic Spiritualist who talks glibly of angels and proofs of immortality should recognise the fact that there are sometimes other agencies than angels at work. Suggestions of evil, incipient traces of deception, should be repressed at once. The time has surely come when the dangers and difficulties of spirit communion should be acknowledged. I by no means regard Spiritualism as a general panacea for humanity: nor even as a general plaything for the curious.”


Of spirit foes, S. M. writes:


“My teachers have always spoken of the adversaries who contend against their work and strive to thwart and ruin it. Personally, I have been for prolonged periods brought face to face with spirit foes, with whom I have consciously striven for the mastery.


The soul is, unquestionably, trained in such ways. Alone with itself, in its Gethsemane, it learns to pray and to draw spiritual strength by communion with its guardians.”


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Of the power of prayer to assist unhappy spirits, S. M. writes:


“I have had long personal experience of spirits who habitually came and asked for prayer. I have heard of such cases from others. They have repeatedly expressed themselves as benefited by prayer, and by association with spirits on a higher plane of progression than themselves. They are elevated and blessed by such intercourse. Who shall say that is not sufficient reward for any little trouble we may take, or annoyance we may suffer, from the presence of these undeveloped spirits?”


Of indiscriminate proselytising, S. M. writes:


“Spiritualists, as a rule, are enthusiastic proselytisers. Their zeal is not always, or even generally, guided by discretion. They are so possessed by a sense of the reality and importance of their facts that they find it hard to understand that these may be quite uninteresting to their neighbours. Or they chafe at the general imputation of credulity under which they labour, and are anxious to prove to the world that they are sane and sensible. Or, possibly, they are animated by the missionary spirit, and would save the souls of the ignorant by enlightening their darkness.


My habit has invariably been not to attempt to proselytise at all. I believe the inner sense of want must precede the possibility of acceptance, or even, any interest in the subject that is worth speaking of. Curiosity may be aroused, and blaze up and go out. Antagonism of a very bitter kind may easily be excited in certain minds. Any real interest must proceed from within, and spontaneously. Given that interest, I hold it to be a sacred duty to satisfy, as far as may be, all reasonable enquiry. One of the truths that is clearest to my mind is the absolute necessity for a prepared mind in the recipient before any proselytising efforts can be successful. I expect nothing from the promiscuous introduction of persons to seances for materialisation. In almost every case, no good can come of such introduction.”


On spiritual healing, S. M. writes:


“Spiritual power may be that of a spirit in or out of a body. The influence may be that of the unaided human spirit; or it may be that those unseen beings who impinge upon our lives in a way, and to a degree, of which most of us have very little conception. We find the great motive power of spirit in man is the Will. It is the great energising power. Another potent faculty is the Imagination. Combine the will of the operator with the imagination of a patient, and you set curative agency at work; nor is there any bounds to the conceivable action of these potent principles.


Imagination, enthusiastically stirred, or influenced from without by will, does demonstrably relieve, and sometimes cure, nervous ailments, and give more or less permanent relief to chronic diseases, such as rheumatism and even partial paralysis. Further, it is stated by various witnesses that cancers have been treated psychopathically with complete success.


On such cases I am not competent to offer an opinion. Sergeant Cox considered the cure is effected by directing the attention of the patient to the ailing part. Passes, when used, serve to do this, and so increase the flow of nerve-force or vital force to the effected part. As a result of this stimulated flow of vital force, the restorative processes of Nature are set in action. Again, we come upon the factors of faith. It seems that faith is a necessary pre-requisite. What is this mysterious quality, and how does it operate? It seems dimly probable that there is a connection traceable between the power of faith and this same imagination that is so potent. The act of faith may exalt and stimulate the imagination and set its power in action.”


A bishop having attributed the vices of the age to scepticism, S. M. writes:


“Scepticism, if honest, is the outcome of mental processes which have nothing to do with morality. A man may assent to every dogma, and lead a vile life. The national Church is ceasing to be the Church of thoughtful men; therein its condemnation is written broadly across its face. If it would gain the ear of those who now hold aloof from it, it must be by abandoning claims on blind and unreasoning faith, and by submitting to the experimental method of demonstration those great problems of the future life and the best preparation for it in the present, which can be reasonably approached in no other way. It is no longer any use to cry with shrill iteration: ‘Believe this, or take the consequences.’ Men have made their choice. They will take the consequences.


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If the Church is wise, it will lose no time in approaching these matters from the position - the impregnable position - of the Spiritualist.”


Of a clergyman who refused to attend a circle, S. M. writes:


“He poses in a most extraordinary attitude for one who has entrusted to him a cure of souls. He must know that all around him are men crying out for evidence of a future life. He must have had addressed to him the earnest request for some stable proof of continued existence. It is not men’s fault that they cannot believe as he tells them they ought. They want evidence such as commends itself to their minds; with Thomas, they would prove and test for themselves, and they have a sacred right to do so. But the method of the Christ is not the method of Mr. G. He condescended to say: ‘Reach hither thy hand.’ Mr. G. draws himself up, and pharisaically replies: ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’”


In reply to attacks, S. M. writes:


“It may be worth while to say that Spiritualism is not necromancy, but that it is, in its complete sense, the intervention of the spiritual with the material world, of which intervention the Bible is one long record. It is no new thing, and was known as well to the prophets and seers of Israel as to us.”


On Spiritualism and religion, S. M. writes:


“Does not the average man get out of Spiritualism, assuming him to make acquaintance with something more than its phenomena, a view of truth and duty, and spiritual development, clearer and higher than an average man gets out of his special, sectarian Christianity? In my opinion, the clear-cut, new and impressive teachings enforced by a man’s personal experience of a spirit-world near and above him, will be more potent than any glib familiarity with the well-worn shibboleth of a hereditary faith. He will find his greatest helps to personal religion from those who have preceded him, and returned to stretch out a helping and guiding hand to those who need and can appreciate the help. As a most valuable means of re-stating Eternal Truth in terms suited to present day need; in the sense, it is in very truth a religion.


It appeals to the mind that has severed itself on intellectual grounds from old religious beliefs. To such it offers scientific demonstration of perpetual life after death. From various points of view, it is a science, a philosophy, a religion.


It having been suggested that theosophists were an ally of spiritualism against Christianity, S. M. writes:


“Heaven preserve us! We want no ally against Christianity. We need rather a closer and more intimate alliance with a system which our philosophy could greatly illuminate, and our facts abundantly illustrate. There is no talk of any antagonism between Spiritualism and Christianity. Spiritualists are fully alive to the moral excellence of the Christian code; they reverence the pure life of the Christ. A few make the mistake of confounding the essential principles of the system with the disfigurements which time and man’s meddling have put upon it.


No portion worth a thought is disposed to seek an alliance against what they trust to see purified and purged of error, simplified and confirmed in its essential elements of the Truth by the increasing spread of a pure, spiritual philosophy. We have better work to do than to run amok against the religious beliefs of any man.”


On Biblical inspiration, S. M. writes to a friend:


“Anything can be got out of the Bible. It must be remembered that we have no accurate report of the teaching of our Lord: only the interpretation of it which some of His disciples carried away and wrote down long after it had circulated orally among the faithful. The accretions and changes and developments incidental to that process would be, and are, enormous. I do not accept any theory of verbal inspiration. God does not so deal with us. Nor do I believe our Bible to be our only revelation of Him. God had revealed Himself in many ways to many minds. When minds trained in exact thought, come to apply to tabooed subjects the processes they use logically in daily life, they find that many ideas, current because crystallised into dogmas, will not bear examination.”


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On the devil theory, S. M. writes:


“Theology framed for itself long ago a devil which has been a convenient lay-figure ever since. I do not see why such a devil as Calvanists, Puritans, and narrow school of Evangelicals believe in should not account, on the most comprehensive principles, for the whole mystery of evil.


He is practically an omnipotent god of evil, powerful for evil as the Supreme for good, restrained by no laws, trammelled by no compunction from within . . . a merciless, sleepless, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god of evil. No power can exclude him from man’s most secret life, for he is lord of all man’s passions. No power can fetter him until a mysterious, far-off day, when he is at last to be disposed of for ever.


Our heart sickens at the notion that this personage is loose in the world, malignantly trying to delude confiding folks. If this be so, then we are indeed accursed. But we take heart of grace, and boldly strip the mask from this gruesome fiend. He has been a steady growth. Oriental love of imagery and personification crystallised him first into shape. He was furbished up, dressed and rendered hideous, by the morbid fancies of mediaeval monks, whose minds, from a long, unnatural course of fasting and maceration and loneliness, had become warped. The creation was then taken in hand by such poets as Dante and Milton, further embellishments and adorned by poetic fancy, until he has come forth the convenient fetish of popular theology such as we hear of now in the full-flavoured fire and brimstone theology of the Calvinist.


When the theory is taken to pieces and examined it simply evaporates, and the Devil merges into one of the undeveloped spirits who abound, both in and out of the flesh. And this is probably the truth. In the world to come, as in this, the evil and good are mingled; change of condition works no magic change of nature. “He that is holy is holy still, and he that is filthy is filthy still.” Evil men become in their turn evil spirits, and act accordingly.


Far be it from me to deny that undeveloped spirits may and do cause vast mischief, both in the flesh and out of it. But we are now fighting against the notion of an arch-fiend of evil, such as mediaevalism has pictured and modern Christianity has adopted. While there are devils many in the sense of undeveloped spirits in the body and out of it, there is no such arch-devil as theology has evolved for itself.”


On the value of Spiritualist teaching, S. M. writes:


“Spiritualism asserts far more than the two facts of continued existence and communion with the departed. To them I would add the consentient teaching that man is the arbiter of his own destiny, forms his own character, and makes his future home. That is the most tremendous moral incentive, and I cannot conceive any religious system possessing one stronger. If Spiritualism proves to a man that he will live after death, just the man his life has made him; that his friends, all whom he holds dear, can still watch and love him; that his sins and errors must be atoned for by himself, and that no bribe can purchase immunity - if it does this, and it does more, it has in it the germs of deep religious influence on the age.”


On the importance of the daily life, S. M. writes:


“Man is engaged ceaselessly, by the acts and habits of his daily life, in building up a soul - a spiritual nature, rudimentary and imperfect now, but indestructible, and susceptible of infinite development in the future. This is the real man, the immortal being; and it is on himself that the responsibility rests, primarily and principally, of his future state. He is the arbiter of his own destiny, the architect of his own future, the final judge of his own life. This is a truth too little heard from the pulpit; and yet how far-reaching is its import, how necessary the knowledge of it for us all, how stringent its effect in the whole domain of morals and of religion.”


On Man’s Future Destiny, S. M. writes:


“The future life, differing from the present one only in degree, and, in the states immediately succeeding this, only in a very slight degree, is a life of continued progress, in which the sin-stained


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spirit will be compelled to remedy in sorrow and shame the acts of conscious transgression done in the body . . . The penalty must be paid somewhere and sometime, and by personal effort.”


On the spirit creed, S. M. writes:


“The idea of a good God sacrificing His sinless son as a propitiation for man is repudiated as monstrous. Equally strong is the rejection of the notion of a store of merit laid up by the death of this incarnate God, on which the vilest reprobate may draw at his death, and gain access to the society of God and the perfected. In place of this it is said that man can have no saviour outside of himself. That no second person can relieve him from the consequences of the conscious transgression of known laws: that no transference of merit can wipe out in a moment a state which is the result of a lifetime’s work, nor counterbalance that which is indelible, save by slow process of obliteration, even as it was built up: that man stands alone in his responsibility for his deeds, and must work out his own salvation, and atone for his own sin. The material resurrection and the material heaven and hell go too. The resurrection of the body, long since given up by scientific men, is superseeded by the resurrection of the spirit body, the real individual, from the dead matter with which it has been temporarily clothed. Not in a far-off future, but at the moment of dissolution.


This body goes to the place for which it has fitted itself. Its heaven is a state of development and consciousness of duty done, knowledge gained and progress made. Its hell is the remorse of cleared perceptions, of knowledge of opportunities wasted and graces lost; the awful, terrible state wherein the spirit is led to see itself, its foul sins, its sensual lusts and disfigurements, as the Pure and Holy see them; the lonely sense of wasted life; the sight of loved ones soaring away and leaving it alone with the depraved; the feeling that the great work has yet to be done; the burning flame which shall eat out the past, and leave a future of renewed, helpful effort to be begun anew. Material fire and brimstone are gone, but does no hell remain?”


On changed conditions after death, S. M. writes:


“The man is unchanged. The character laboriously built up by the acts and habits of a lifetime, suffers no alteration from the fact that that lifetime is over. But the state of the man, the condition in which he finds himself, his surroundings - these are infinitely changed; so much so, indeed, that those who find themselves in communion with spirits able to instruct and inform them, are fain to confess that but little idea can be gathered of that land from the language of allegory and parable in which the inhabitants convey their thoughts to us.


It may be we have no power of grasping a state of life we are unable to imagine. Few Spiritualists will deny that the change which death makes is one that cannot be translated into the exact language which accurately conveys human thought, though we gain some faint and fanciful idea of it from symbolical and allegorical spirit teaching.


No doubt the life is one of energy and effort for long after this state of existence is quitted, and till the spirit, purged from dross, is fitted for the Heaven of contemplation.”


On the God Idea, S. M. writes:


“Spirits who return to earth have little to tell, apparently, of God. The general drift of spirit teaching is curiously in the direction of a refined and spiritualised Pantheism. We hear little of the Great Judge, the King of Heaven. We hear much of the tender care of the guardians, of their benevolent interference with this world, of the educational methods they employ. To their listening ear comes the cry that brings willing aid and loving sympathy. Not as it seems, and is indeed, probable enough, to the ear of the Supreme. Yet they say much of the blessing that comes of earnest prayer and inculcate that duty upon us. The reflex benefits, as well as its direct blessings, are uniformly insisted on. But it is the intermediary agent that hears and responds.”


Quoting from Tennyson’s “Despair,” S. M. writes:


“What is to be done with one who has come to scorn a God whose infinite love has made an eternal hell? He must be won back to a sound mind by demonstrating to him that these ideas, against which his inmost soul rebels with passionate fury, are figments of man’s invention; by proving to his mind, by


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scientific methods of demonstration, that this life is not the end of all; that mind, intelligence, can exist apart from the body; that men live on after they are said to be dead; and that these facts can be proven to demonstration.


This is the Mission of Spiritualism, and a blessed work it is that it has to do. Purged of all that defiles it and holds it back from this sublime work, it will take its place as the great religious, purifying element in our modern thought, doing that which can be done in no other way, uniting Science and religion as exponents of Truth.”


In reviewing a book by Epes Sargent, S. M. writes:


“In bringing to light the blessings stored up by a life of purity, sincerity, simplicity and love, Spiritualism points out the excellent way which blesses alike the life and the community which it adorns, and which will do honour to the God of its worship and adoration.


In demonstrating man’s absolute accountability for his acts, and his formative power in moulding his character and preparing for himself his place in the life to come, it enunciates a principle which is inferior to none in its binding and corrective and essentially religious power.


And in preaching the gospel of hope of union and communion now, and of re-union hereafter, with those so dearly loved that without them life, whatever other boons it had to offer would assuredly be not worth living, it lightens the weary load of the present, and gilds the prospect of the future.”


Rejoicing that Truth is now being revealed to many, S. M. writes:


“It is indeed, cheering to find efforts at the promulgation of Truth from the world of spirit so frequently now. It leads to the conviction that the Unseen teachers are finding vehicles for their messages in the most unlikely and divergent quarters. Through no one medium can the whole message be transmitted. To no one mind is it given to grasp the many-sided truth. He will get most who lends a listening ear to most that comes through these various channels. He will learn who thinks that he knows most already.


Broken lights of the Sun of Truth are flashing all around us. The time is ripe for a philosophy of our complex subject, and efforts are being made in nearly all lands to supply it from all points of view.


It is because I believe that the religion of the future will be founded on the science which is now being demonstrated by occultists and Spiritualists, and that so Science and Religion will meet together, and walk hand in hand, that I am hopeful and trustful as to the future.”