Spirit Teachings thought The Mediumship of William Stainton Moses



[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 I 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 a development of thought amounting to nothing short of spiritual regeneration.]


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 and hope.


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 with 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.


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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 satisfaction.


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.


We 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


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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



Tend 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



Do ever the right and good in accordance with your knowledge. Duty to Self (Integrity)      


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 any 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!