[After a long trance address on the
subjects dealt with in the last communication, the writing was resumed
on the following day, by the same spirit, Imperator using the ordinary
amanuensis, who was known as Rector. After this was written, a séance
was held in which some discussion took place on what had been said.
Something further was added, and especially an attempt was made to
refute the charges that I brought against the teaching given. From the
standpoint that I then occupied it seemed to me that such teachings
might be called by opponents atheistic or diabolic; I, at any rate,
should call them latitudinarian, and I maintained, at some length, views
more nearly approaching to orthodox teaching.
In order to follow the argument which I
was now entering upon, it is necessary for the reader to remember that I
was trained in strict accordance with Protestant Church principles: that
had spent much time in reading the theologies of the Greek and Roman
Churches, and that I
had accepted, as most nearly according with the views at which I had
arrived, the tenets of that portion of the Church of England called
Anglican. I had seen cause to revise some of my strong beliefs, but
substantially I was what would be called a sound High Churchman.
From this time commences that state, to
which I shall have often to refer, of great spiritual exaltation, during
which I was profoundly conscious of the presence and influence of one
commanding Intelligence, and of an action on my mind which eventuated in
development of thought amounting to nothing short of spiritual
You have objected to our teachings that
they are not consistent with the received creed of orthodoxy. We have
more to say on this subject.
Religion, the spirit’s healthful life,
has two aspects—the one pointing to God, the other to man. What says the
spirit-creed of God?
In place of an angry, jealous tyrant it reveals a loving Father who is
not loving in name alone, but in very deed and truth; into whose dealings naught
but love can enter; who is just and good and full of
affection to the lowest of His creatures.
It does not recognise any need of propitiation towards this God. It
rejects as false any notion of this Divine Being vindictively punishing
a transgressor, or requiring a vicarious sacrifice for sin. Still less
does it teach that this omnipotent Being is enthroned in a heaven where
His pleasure consists in the homage of the elect, and in the view of the tortures of the
lost, who are for ever excluded in quenchless misery from light
No such anthropomorphism finds any place in our creed. God, as we know
Him in the operation of His laws, is perfect, pure, loving, and holy,
incapable of cruelty, tyranny, and other such human vices: viewing error
sorrow as knowing that sin contains its own sting, but eager to
alleviate the smart by
any means consistent with the immutable moral laws to which all alike
are subject. God, the centre of light and love! God, operating in strict
accordance with those laws which are a necessity of orderly existence!
God, the grand object of our adoration, never of our dread!
We know of Him as you cannot know, as you cannot even picture in
imagination: yet none has seen Him: nor are we content with the
metaphysical sophistries with which prying curiosity and over-subtle
speculation have obscured the primary conception of God amongst men. We
pry not. The first conception with you even is grander, nobler, more sublime. We wait for
higher knowledge. You must wait too.
On relations between God and His
creatures we speak at large. Yet here, too, we clear off many of the
minute points of human invention which have been from age to age
accumulated round and over the central truths. We know nothing of
election of a favoured few. The elect are they who work out for
themselves a salvation according to the laws which regulate their being.
We know nothing of the potency of blind faith or credulity. We know,
indeed, the value of a trustful, receptive spirit, free from the
littleness of perpetual suspicion. Such is God-like, and draws down
angel guidance. But we abjure and denounce that most destructive
doctrine that faith, belief, assent to dogmatic statements, have power
to erase the traces of transgression; that an earth lifetime of vice and
sloth and sin can we wiped away, and the spirit
stand purified by a blind acceptance of a belief, of an idea, of a
fancy, of a creed. Such teaching has debased more souls than anything
else to which we can point.
Nor do we teach that there is a special and potent efficacy in any one
belief to the exclusion of others. We do not believe that truth is the
perquisite of any creed. In all there is a germ of truth; in all an
accretion of error. We know, as you know not, the circumstances which
decide to what special form of faith a mortal shall give his adherence,
and we value it accordingly. We know exalted intelligences who stand
high in spirit life, who were enabled to progress in spite of the creed
which they professed on earth. We value only the earnest seeking after
truth which may distinguish the professors of creeds the most widely
dissimilar. We care not for the minute discussions which men delight in.
We shrink from those curious pryings into mysteries transcending
knowledge which characterise your theologies. The theology of the spirit
is simple and confined to knowledge. We value at nothing mere
speculation. We care not for sectarianism, save that we know it to be a
mischievous provoker of rancour, and spite, and malice, and ill-will.
We deal with religion as it affects us and you in simpler sort. Man—an
immortal spirit, so we believe,—placed in earth-life as a school of
training, has simple duties to perform, and in performing them is
prepared for more advanced and progressive work. He is governed by
immutable laws, which, if he transgresses them, work for him misery and
loss; which, also, if respected, secure for him advancement and
He is the recipient of guidance from spirits who have trod the path
before him, and who are commissioned to guide him if he will avail
himself of their guidance. He has within him a standard of right which
will direct him to
the truth, if he will allow himself to be guided to keep it and protect
it from injury. If he refuse these helps, he falls into transgression and deterioration. He is thrown
back and finds misery in place of joy. His sins punish themselves. Of
his duties he knows by the instinct of his spirit as well as by the
teaching of his guardians. The performance of those duties brings
progress and happiness. The spirit grows and gains newer and fuller
views of that which makes for perfect,
satisfying joy and peace.
This mortal existence is but a fragment of life. Its deeds and their
results remain when the body is dead. The ramifications of wilful sin have to be followed out, and
its results remedied in sorrow and shame.
The consequences of deeds of good are similarly permanent, and precede
the pure soul and draw around it influences which welcome and aid it in the spheres.
Life, we teach you, is one and indivisible. One in its progressive
development; and one in the effect on all alike of the eternal and immutable laws by which it is
regulated. None are excused as favourites; none are punished
mercilessly for error which they were unable to avoid. Eternal justice
is the correlative of
eternal love. Mercy is no divine attribute. It is needless; for mercy
involves remission of a penalty inflicted, and no such remission can be
made save where the results have
been purged away. Pity is Godlike. Mercy is human.
know naught of that sensational piety which is wholly wrapped up in
contemplation, to neglect duty. We know that God is not so glorified. We preach the religion
of work, of prayer, of adoration. We tell you of your duty
to God, to your brother, and to yourself—soul and body alike. We leave to
foolish men, groping blindly in the dark, their curious quibbles about
theological figments. We deal with the practical life; and our creed may
be briefly written:—
Honour and love your Father, God. (Worship).............................................
Duty to God
Help your brother onward in the path of
progress. (Brotherly Duty to Neighbour
and guard your own body. (Bodily culture)........................................
Duty to Self
Cultivate every means of extending knowledge.
(Mental Duty to Self
Seek for fuller views of progressive
truths. (Spiritual Duty to Self
ever the right and good in accordance with your knowledge. Duty to Self
Cultivate communion with the
spirit-land by prayer and frequent
intercourse. (Spirit nurture)........................................................................
Duty to Self
Within these rules is roughly indicated most that concerns you here. Yield
no obedience to any sectarian dogmas. Give no blind adherence to any
teaching that is not commended by reason. Put no unquestioning faith in
communications which were made at a special time, and which are of private
application. You will learn hereafter that the revelation of God is
progressive, bounded by no time, confined to no people. It has never
ceased. God reveals Himself as truly now as of old He was revealed on
Sinai. God does not shut off the progressive revealing of Himself in
measure as man can bear it.
You will learn also that all revelation is made through a human channel:
and consequently cannot but be tinctured in some measure with human error.
No revelation is of plenary inspiration. None can demand credence on
other than rational grounds. Therefore to say of a statement that it is
not in accord with what
was given through a human medium at any stated time is no derogation
necessarily from the truth of that statement. Both may in their kind be
true; yet each of different application. Set up no human standard of
judgment other than that of right reason. Weigh what is said. If it be
commended by reason, receive it; if not, reject it. If what is put before
you be prematurely said, and you are unable to accept it, then in the name
of God put it aside, and cling to aught that satisfies your soul and helps its onward progress. The
time will come when what we lay before you of divine truth
will be valued amongst men. We are content to wait, and our prayers shall
join with yours to
the Supreme and Allwise God that He will guide the seekers after truth,
wherever they may be, to higher and more progressive knowledge, to richer and fuller insight
into truth. May His blessing rest on you!