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is, of concomitance ;* and, secondly, that these objects of the senses, or clusters of sensations, have a permanent existence; but the truth is, that these objects of the senses, or clusters of sensations, have no permanent existence, but are changed as often as we have new sensations, nor have they any existence at all besides that of being sensations of a sentient being or mind at the moment of being felt, and no longer than he perceives or is conscious of them. From this, the rational faculty proceeds in its slavish submission to, and, as it were, death, under the dominion of the natural man, mind, or faculty, to make a third false supposition, namely, that the objects of the senses, or clusters of sensations, are independent of sentient minds, existed before they existed, and would continue to exist, if there were no sentient beings having the clusters, called objects. No true theological doctrine can be firmly built on such a sandy foundation as this. Rational theology, founded on a Divinelygiven Faith, quickening and instructing the rational faculty, teaches that God or the Divine Life, received by the sentient faculties, is continually creating the sensible universe through the sentient faculties of created sentient beings by uniform laws, and discards the notion that once upon a time He began and finished creating a sensible universe of which there was no created being to be sensible. The first created being is man, and, the next, (if we must imagine a succession of time), man's sensations, the various combinations of which sensations seem to him to be what he calls external objects. This rational theology teaches that the sensible universe is changed as often and as far as the sensations of sentient beings are changed; but the sensations, their combinations, and the entire aggregate of them, being constantly alike or nearly alike, the aggregate is presented to the sentient faculty (and the natural rational faculty basely consents) as one and the same permanent, self-existent universe, independent of its Creator and of His sentient creatures through whom it exists. Such teaching is rational theology and the first step towards the rational understanding of Divine Truth. To embrace it and to reason from it, and to live according to it, is resurrection from the dominion of the perishable natural or sentient faculty to the dominion of the imperishable Life of God in man. This is a position from which it seems not irrational to suppose that we ought to be able to give a rational meaning to post mortem resurrection and spiritual existence.
In yonder field there are sheep bleating with bells on the ringing. The sounds which I hear are sensations which I ha and nothing else. They appear to come from the sheep
* See Mr. James Mill's Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Jind.
the bells, and so they do. But where are the sheep and the bells? They are at a certain distance from me. But the notion of extension or distance, is that of a motion of the muscles continued for a longer or a shorter duration.'* And what else are the muscles and their motion but clusters of sensations ? All the phenomena, then, that is, all the things perceived by me, the sheep, the bells, the sound, the distance, are nothing but my sensations connected together under some invisible and unknown governing law, so that any one else in the same state as mine will have the same sensations according to the same invisible and unknown law. What is this invisible and unknown law ? Clearly something that can be only rationally discerned, never naturally, for natural discernment would be mere sensations as before. Can it be rationally discerned with irresistible assurance without a Divinely given Faith (the substance or support of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen) in Him in whoi we live and move and have our being, now naturally, as well as hereafter spiritually ; In Him who is the Arche (the beginning not merely as to time but as to substance) of the creation of God, (Rev. iii., 14); In whom all things visible and invisible are created and stand together (that is as one thing), (Col. i., 16) though they appear as separate things, by which appearance conscious beings acquire consciousness and a sense of individuality, and a natural belief of independence of one another and of God?
This fact (of being constituted as one body in God, but appearing to ourselves consciously as several members of such body, in this world without a natural belief in God) can be conceived to exist also when the belief in God is a perfect rational assurance, the feeling of independence of one another and of Him still existing but never being attended to ; and this state, it is rational to believe, constitutes post-mortem existence. The post-mortem member of the one body may exist in Him as easily then as it lives and moves and has its being in Him now ; having a body, organs of sensations, and sensations, then as now; but never thinking of the sensations (as he now does) as objects external to him, but solely as representative effects (in his sensitive faculty) of their corresponding causes in and from the body of which he is a member; and this is what I mean by spiritual existence. Now we think from
appearances or effects. Then we shall think from causes, from realities, suggested by sensations, but no more consciously attending to the sensations than one attends to the sensations of the letters when one sees the meaning of the word.
W. P. G.
* Mr. John STUART Mill's Examination of Sir W. Ilamilton's Philosophy.
THE SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE.
TWELVE MONTHS' SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
By J. H. POWELL.
I was called to Rochester, N. Y. State, where I met many who had seen the first manifestations through the Fox girls in 1848, and listened with deep interest to their recitals. Amongst others with whom I became acquainted were Amy and Isaac Post, whose names are associated with the early history of modern Spiritualism, and with the movement for the abolition of slavery. They are members of the Society of Friends, in the decline of life, and prominent as heretofore in advocacy of Spiritualism, and in befriending the coloured race. I stayed some portion of the time I was in Rochester at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Burtis, whose experiences in Spiritualism, some of which Mrs. Burtis read me from her diary, have been as remarkable as any of which I have heard or read.
She, at one time, had in her house a German girl, in the capacity of servant, who proved to be an excellent medium; most of the communications she received appearing in large legible letters on her arm. On one occasion, Frederick Douglas, the slave orator, sat with this girl, when lo! on her arm appeared the picture of a slave kneeling, with chains on his wrists. I mention this en passant, simply to give one fact to shew the character of the manifestations through this girl, who was both ignorant and uninterested in her own mediumship. Mrs. Burtis showed me likewise some spirit-photographs taken by Mrs. Butler of Buffalo, N. Y., of whom I shall say more anon.
I was present at the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of modern Spiritualism held in Rochester, and at which Isaac and Amy Post, Mr. and Mrs. Burtis, and other of the early pioneers gave their experiences, which were all full of interest.
On Sunday, April 26th, when I entered the hall to deliver the morning's discourse, I was attracted by a couple of pictures which hung on each side of the platform. Before, however, I had time to inspect the pictures, I was introduced to Dr. H. Slade of Michigan. After a while, I took a minute survey of the pictures. One is a portrait, in colours, of a female, painted in Scotch style; the other, in pencil, is said to be a correct portrait of Omasao, the spirit controlling the doctor in the physical demonstrations through his mediumship. I learned on inquiry that each picture was produced within a single hour,
the medium wholly unconscious at the time. The longer I looked at the coloured portrait, the more wonderful appeared to be the statement as to time. It is said by the doctor himself and others to be a perfect likeness of his departed wife. Every lineament appeared so natural, I almost fancied that I was looking at flesh rounded and glowing with life. Dr. Slade declares his inability to produce of himself anything approaching it.
In the afternoon, at the Children's Lyceum, Dr. Slade, under spirit influence, played and sang to his own accompaniment a pleasing improvised production on “spirit life.” In the evening before my lecture, the doctor offered, under influence, an invocation, and closed the proceedings by sitting at the piano, and executing a piece to the delight of the audience.
The next day, Monday, April 27th, at two o'clock, I sat by appointment with the doctor at his room, No. 42, at the National Hotel, Rochester. No other person was present. The medium was provided with a slate, a piece of slate pencil, an accordion, and a common hand bell. The table at which we sat was a cominon flap four-legged sitting room table. The doctor taking the slate pencil, broke a piece off scarcely as large as the fourth of a pea, certainly not large enough for the thumb and fingers of a man to hold, so as to write with force and legibility. Before, however, testing the slate experiment, the doctor placed his hands on mine; immediately there commenced a series of light and heavy rappings--some muffled, others sharp. I had several distinct evidences of force, my coat being more than once pulled; the pulling not being done by any visible hand. At the time, both hands of the medium were visible to me. The doctor now took the slate, and threw the small piece of pencil on the top of it. He then desired me to observe minutely his position, and how he held the slate. He drew his chair right back, so that I could see his feet, and pulled off his boots to shew me that nothing was attached to his toes. He then held the slate almost three-parts under, close to the table top. I saw all the time the hand that held the slate, and could perceive a force applied to the slate, making it difficult for him to keep firm hold, and I heard the small piece of pencil scratching. When the doctor showed me the slate, there was written on it my surname, with a Christian name I could not decipher. This sort of thing was repeated with variations, then the medium placed the slate with the little piece of pencil on my shoulder; I could see not only his hand that held it, but a portion of the slate as well, yet still the scratching of the pencil was heard, and there was written," J. Powell.” The slate and pencil were placed again on my shoulder, and there was written rapidly and distinctly, “ All is well for you—have hope.” The small piece of pencil was somewhere on the floor. "The doctor asked the spirit to be good enough to restore it. This was done in the twinkling of an eye. It was next written, “ We will play.”
Dr. Slade held the accordion at the opposite end to the keys, placed the hand bell under the table, and drew back his chair, so that his feet could not in any way aid. The concert commenced, the accordion taking the lead, accompanied by the bell. The beautiful tune, " Home, sweet home” (very appropriate to me, often sighing for home), was sweetly played by the mysterious musician.
This sitting could not have been more satisfactory; every chance was given for full and thorough investigation; and all took place in broad daylight.
The doctor desired me to call and have a second sitting, more time not being available for my special benefit. Accordingly, I set apart Thursday, April 30th, and on that occasion, sat with the doctor and a lady, in the same room, at the same table. Loud knockings were first heard all over the legs of my chair, and once on the wall several yards from where we sat. The doctor, as on a former occasion, provided himself with a small piece of slate pencil, and held the slate under the table, giving every opportunity for examination.
The first communication in writing was for the lady :-“ Tell Mr. that he must come here." " Will he come?". Loud knocks signifying an affirmative. Next was written, “ Mr. Powell go West. said, “I feel dull to-day-want sympathy. Can you not say something to cheer me?" The answer came rapidly written with the small piece of pencil, “ Have hope. All is well.-J. P.” The slate at my request was again placed upon my shoulder. I could see, as before, Dr. Slade's hand that held it, and a portion of the slate. The lady could see nearly the entire slate. The scratching of the pencil commenced, and a communication was written.
I said to the doctor, “ I think you should go to England. Such manifestations as these would paralyse the scepticism of the scientific. Those who would turn away from dark circles might possibly be staggered by such as yours in the light.” The slate and small piece of pencil were again in vogue, and there was written, “ This medium will go to England within two years.'
Immediately following this, the doctor took the accordion, and held it as before with the keys facing us. The tune emitted this time was equally beautiful and well executed. instant, the force applied drew the accordion from his hand, and broke it. The slate was again taken up. The doctor took from his pocket a silver-bladed knife, and placing it on the slate,