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number can be formed. This being so, it becomes sensible men to be modest and guarded in their statements on this subject, and to discountenance loose rhetorical flourishes in which a few million more or less seem to be thought of no consequence. It would be a useful exercise to persons of sanguine temperament who are given to this weakness to cunt a million: they would then realize more clearly what that number signifies, and so their patience would be rewarded, and their time not altogether
THE LONDON CONFERENCES. These Conferences grow in interest, and the attendance at them, despite the inclement weather, has steadily increased, so that it has been sometimes difficult to find even standing room. The committee have agreed to vary the programme by the occasional delivery of short lectures, with answers to questions. The first of these lectures was given by Mrs. Emma Hardinge on “ The Science of Spiritualism," and this formed the subject of conference on the Monday following: Mr. Harper, of Birmingham, opened the subject of “Spiritual Sight " in an able address; and in the course of the evening Mr. Cromwell F. Varley made a most clear and convincing speech, with illustrations from science, and from his own personal experience.
r. D. D. Home introduced the question“What is Spiritualism?” and also the subject of “ Spirit-mediums, ancient and modern.” At each Conference opposition, in a friendly spirit, has been invited: this invitation has in some measure been responded to, and has secured additional spirit and interest to the Conferences.
NOT THE DEVIL.
Mr. Horace Greeley, in a chapter of his “Recollections" devoted to Spiritualism, writes :
Nor can I unreservedly accept the hypothesis which ascribes the so-called “ spiritual” phenomena to a demoniac origin. That might account satisfactorily for some of them, but not for all. For instance: in the township of Wayne, Erie county, Pa., near the house of my father and brother, there lived, twelve or fifteen years ago, a farmer well known to me, named King, who had many good traits and one bad habit, that of keeping a barrel of whisky in his house, and dealing out the villainous fluid to neighbours. Having recently lost a beloved daughter, he had recourse to “ Spiritualism," and received many messages from what purported to be his lost child -
--one or more insisted that the aforesaid whisky barrel must be expelled from his premises and never be reinstated. So said, so done, greatly to the benefit of the neighbourhood Now, I feel confident that the devil never sent or dictated that message; for, i he did, his character has been grossly belied, and his biography ought to re-written.
A. J. DAVIS'S CLAIRVOYANT VISION OF WILLIAM AND MARY
HOWITT. In his last published work-Memoranda of Persons, Places, and Events, Mr. Davis records the following experience: it is extracted from his private journal :
PORTLAND, ME., March 10, 1854. What keen, cold weather ! The very atmosphere seems to sparkle and crackle like a silk dress loaded with diamonds.
There is something mysteriously delicious in this frosty, crispy air; it fills me with live lightning, so to say, and promotes lucidity of clairvoyant vision. Yesterday I had a trans-Atlantic observation.
Saw many places and persons of renown. I penetrated the shadowy walls, and had a pleasant view of William and Mary Howitt, the noted authors and translators of several volumes from the German.
There was a sick person in the house and a child. I could not clairvoyantly approach Mr. Howitt without feeling an influence from his sphere. He possesses a wonderful concentration of mind-few things disturb him; yet he is remarkably sympathetic, and alive to the nobler impulses. Music imparts a sense of pleasure to his mind, but chiefly phenomenal displays of divine guidance, with some philosophical investigations absorb his thoughts. He is a very excellent judge of human nature; and sometimes can almost perceive and scan the motives of men. The organization of his person is extremely well balanced. His mind is deep and reflective; and the spiritual and intellectual nature predominates over the public and social. He seems to be a bright and beautiful spirit, and his sphere delights
He could have been a kind-hearted and much-beloved minister of the Established Church. He has a keen appreciation of true wit; takes a peculiar delight in what others term “ vagaries ;" he sincerely loves the fine arts and good society; and the Truth he worships, but is not independent of precedents and accredited authorities. Another person I perceive.
Mrs. Mary Howitt, a self-poised, lady. like, matronly, finely organized woman. Her round body, is wearing away somewhat under the industry of her feeling, sentiments, and thinking powers. Not selfish, but is rather easily absorbed in the comfort and education of others. She causes others to feel brighter, happier, better than herself. Her magnetism is stimulating, and acts tonically upon those she is moved to aid. Is fond of retirement; is spiritual (religious) in feeling; loves poetry better than philosophy, and beautiful word pictures better than either.
I see harmony and much independence in the life of these noble persons.
My visit to-day over the Atlantic was of short duration—about thirty minutes.
I went entirely for another object, a use, to obtain a fact in geology for one of my lectures; but, incidentally, under invitation of their guardians, I could not refuse to look into that home. For some reason I did not observe London as a great city, but only this family by itself.
MRS. L. M. CHILD ON
UNACCOUNTABLE THINGS. Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, author of The Progress of the Religious Ideas (a work which deserves to be republished), has written in The Independent of New York, an article on “ Unaccountable Things," in which she condenses the account of a “Remarkable Case of Physical Phenomena," which we reprinted in our February number from the Atlantic Monthly, and shews that though such phenomena are identified with Modern Spirit
ualism, they are of much older date ; and concludes by
" It is neither wise nor kind to treat with contempt any who testify of what they have seen or heard. It is far better to receive their testimony with equal candour and caution, and be ready to profit by any truth that may be evolved therefrom. Though science has been groping about with her lantern for thousands of years, and though her lamp is often newly trimmed and burns brighter and brighter, yet she has merely discovered a few things that lie on the surface; of the interior depths she knows nothing. Since she cannot explain how the smallest insect came to be a living thing, it is surely presumptuous to assume cognizance of all the relations of men with the Universe. Coleridge spoke wisely, as well as beautifully, when he said: . There are errors which no wise man will treat with rudeness while there is a probability that they may be the refraction of some great truths still below the horizon.
TEACHINGS OF THE TALMUD CONCERNING ANGELS.
Dr. Emanuel Deutsch, in a recent lecture on the Talmud, thus speaks of its teachings concerning angels :
Next to women, angels were the most frequent bearers of some of the sublimest and most ideal notions in the Talmud. “ Under the wings of the seraphim," said the Talmud, " are stretched the arms of the Divine mercy, ever ready to receive sinners." Every word that emanated from God was transformed into an angel, and every good deed of man became a guardian angel to him. On Friday night, when the Jew left the synagogue, a good angel and a bad angel accompanied him, If, on entering the house, he found the table spread, the lamp lighted, and bis wife and children in festive garments, ready to bless the holy day of rest, the good angel said, “ May the next Sabbath and all following ones be like unto this; peace be unto this dwelling--peace !" and the bad angel, against his will, was compelled to say " Amen.". If
, on the contrary, everything was in confusion, the bad angel rejoiced, and said “May all your Sabbaths and week days be like this ;" while the good angel wept and said, “Amen." According to the Talmud, when God was about to create man, great clamouring arose among the heavenly host. Some said, “Create, O God, a being who shall praise Thee on earth, even as we sing Thy glory in heaven." Others said, “O God, create no more! Man will destroy the glorious army which Thou hast on earth, as in heaven.” Of a sudden, God turned to the contesting host of heaven, and deep silence fell upon them all. Then before the throne of glory there appeared, bending the knee, the Angel of Mercy, and he prayed, “O Father, create man. He will be Thine own noble image on earth. "I will fill his heart with heavenly pity and sympathy towards all creatures; they will praise Thee through him.” And there appeared the Angel of Peace, and wept: “O God, man will disturb Thine own peace. Blood will flow; he will invent war, confusion, horror. Thy place will be no longer in the midst of all Thy earthly works.” The Angel of Justice cried : " You will judge him, God! He shall be subject to my law, and peace shall again find a dwelling place on earth.” The Angel of Truth said: “Father of Truth, cease! With man you create the lie Out of the deep silence then was heard the divine word : "You shall with him-you, my own Seal, Truth; but you shall also remain a denize heaven-between heaven and earth you shall float, an everlasting link bet both." N.S.-IV.
SPIRITUALISM IN BRAZIL.
We have before us the translation of a letter from Lima, in Peru, written by & person of character and standing, in which is given the art of natural, or magnetic healing, by certain classes of doctors in Brazil. The writer is conversant with the people of that part of South America, and recites facts of great and general interest. They are of special interest also, because the system of curing diseases which is followed by these native doctors is based on the acceptance of great spiritual truths. Their practice may be more or less confounded with rank superstition, but any one at all conversant with the laws of communication and influence will be readily able to separate what is real and true from what is exaggerated and the offshoot of mere mysticism.
There are classes of these doctors, who are in reality mediums. They hold themselves subject to the direction of a leader, whom they style their Master Spirit, and who does not hesitate even to use corporal punishment in order to keep them in subjection. On stated days the sick are brought to a designated place of meeting, usually in a scattered neighbourhood outside of a city, where the circle of doctors is to be held. The time chosen is usually just at night, and the healing process consumes the whole of the time until morning. The lights are turned down as low as possible for the larger portion of the session. Several spirits dictate modes of cure, and present themselves to the different doctors as called for.
The medium doctors never attempt cures while in their natural state, but use certain charms for inducing a condition much like somnambulism. They smoke tobacco, and blow the smoke over their arms and person. After they sit silent for a while, they walk to the nearest wall of the room and strike it hard with the palms of their hands. The medium doctor personates always the spirit which is supposed to take possession of him, and not himself but the spirit is addressed by those present. A variety of superstitious incantations are practised, and movements are made in the same spirit. The sick are minutely examined, passes are made, and the prescriptions ordered for their diseases. The remedies are generally herbs, barks, and resin. So wonderful are many of these cures, people from choice pass by the educated doctors and apply to these natural magnetic physicians.
That the laws of magnetic influence work in tropical countries with amazing effect is no new fact in the history of modern scientific investigation. Climate and habits of living make everything different from what it is in the temperate belts.
A DREAM AND ITS FULFILMENT.
A correspondent writes to the Edinburgh Courant:—In 1850 I was a salesman in a large West India house in Glasgow, and, though not a part of my duty, was commissioned with our head bookkeeper to find out a trifling error in the ledger which had already cost a great amount of unavailing labour. What our governor
said he meant—" The balance must be made ere I return to-morrow, and you two must work all night, if need be, to find out this error.” The sum, I think, was 13s. 6d. I need hardly add
I that the books were kept by double entry. We toiled on till past midnight, when my eyes got so wearied I could with difficulty trace the figures in ledger or journal. I made Mr. F., my companion, aware of this, and added, “I shall knock you up (our lodgings were in the same street) at 5 a.m. to resume the work. On reaching my bedroom, I hurriedly doffed my clothes, and was almost asleep as soon as my head was on the pillow. With an almost equal amount of speed I shuffled on my garments at 4.45 a.m., and was knocking at F.'s bedroom window at five. I could not then, while waiting for him, resist the idea that I had actually gone over all this before-every action was stamped on my mind, but I said nothing. When we reached the office and I was in the act of lighting the fire, I could resist the impulse no longer, and told Mr. F. what I was certain had been a dream. Passing from this point, I told him I had dreamed all this procedure, and that then we sat down to the books, and I took the ledger and allowed it to open at any page, and in this folio was the long looked-for error. Mr. F., with the natural impetuosity of an Irishman (for he was one) exclaimed, “By St. Patrick, we will try it." We did so. The account was that of a respectable sugar refining firm in Greenock still in existence, and in less time than I can take to write it, we discovered the 13s. 6d. mistake.
BRAIN WAVES.-A THEORY. Mr. Woolner, the sculptor, tells me the following story of two young menone of them a personal friend of his own, now living. These two men lived very long as great friends, but ultimately quarrelled, shortly before the departure of one of them to New Zealand. The emigrant had been absent for many years, and his friend at home (Mr. Woolner's informant) never having kept up correspondence with him, had naturally almost lost the habit of thinking about him or his affairs. One day, however, as he sat in his rooms in a street near Oxford Street, the thought of his friend came suddenly upon him, accompanied by the most restless and indefinable discomfort. He could by no means account for it, but, finding the feeling grow more and more oppressive, tried to throw it off by change of occupation. Still the discomfort grew, till it amounted to a sort of strange horror. He thought he must be sickening for a bad illness, and at length, being unable to do anything else, went out of doors and walked up and down the busiest streets, hoping by the sight and sound of multitudes of men and ordinary things to dissipate his strange and mysterious misery. Not, however, till he had wandered to and fro in the most wretched state of feeling for nearly two hours, utterly unable to shake off an intolerable sort of vague consciousness of his friend, did the impression leave him, and his usual frame of mind return. So greatly was he struck and puzzled by all this, that he wrote down precisely the date of the day and hour of the occurrence, fully expecting to have news shortly of or from his old friend. And surely, when the next mail or the next but one arrived, there came the horrible news that at that very day and hour (allowance being made for longitude) his friend had been made prisoner by the natives of New Zealand, and put to slow death with the most frightful tortures. Of this samo kind, though happily different in result, is a story of his own experience, which Mr. Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, tells me, viz., that some years ago he was induced to try (successfully) the curative effect of mesmerism by passes of the hands upon a patient, who became so sensitive as to be aware on one occasion of his approach by railway two hours before he reached the house, and when his coming was entirely unannounced and unpremeditated. On another occasion, the same patient positively asserted to a third person that Mr. Tennyson