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It is painful to record that the solemn and affecting ceremony was interrupted by the gratuitous interference of a policeman, calling upon the speakers to end a proceeding unsanctioned by the presence and co-operation of a priest.

Permit me to remain, yours faithfully, Woolston Lawn, Southampton,

Rich. BEAMISH. April 7th, 1869.


I have just received the following account of the career of M. Allan Kardec. The facts have been supplied to my correspondent by Madame Kardec herself.

The statement might form an interesting appendix to the notice of M. Kardec's death, if not too late for your next publication.

Allan Kardec was born at Lyons, October 4th, 1804. His family name was Rivail

. By that name he lived, worked, and wrote previous to his connection with Spiritualism. Of the reason for the change I may speak another time. His father

a barrister, of a highly respectable family, the senior members of which had discharged the duties of the magistracy during many generations. His mother, to whom he was deeply attached, and for whose memory he cherished an impassioned recollection, seems to have possessed not only great personal beauty and attraction, but to have been a highly accomplished woman, and one of the most brilliant ornnaments to the Society of Lyons.

Allan received his early education at the Pestalozzian Institution of Youdem, Canton de Vaud. He very soon exhibited his aptitude in acquiring knowledge as well as his love for dispensing it; few things affording him more pleasure than being permitted to assist those of his schoolfellows who were less advanced than he was.

His love for nature was intense. He has been known to spend whole days on the neighbouring mountains in making collections for his herbarium.

leaving school, he devoted himself to teaching, and in translating various French works into German. The more effectually to carry out his educational views, he, in 1824, took up his residence in Paris, and four years afterwards he purchased a large boys' school, which he conducted with so much ability and success, that in 1830 he hired a large apartment in the Rue de Sêvres, to which he transferred his scholars, and in which he delivered, gratuitously, lectures on Chemistry, Astronomy, Comparative Anatomy, Phrenology, and Animal Magnetism, to all who desired information upon these important subjects.

The classes numbered upwards of 500, and included many highly distinguished individuals. Notwithstanding the large amount of labour thus self-imposed, he yet found time to discharge the duties of secretary to the Phrenological and Magnetic Societies, and to contribute a series of elementary works in Grammar, Arithmetic, and French History to the University Schools of France, which are still retained in those schools. He also drew up a Memoir on Educational Reform, which was laid before the Legislative Chamber, discussed, admired, and neglected.

In 1862, having become convinced of the reality of spiritual phenomena, he abandomed all other pursuits, and devoted himself exclusively to the elucidation of the complex problems which Spiritualism presents. To this task he brought large acquirements, matured judgment, unusual opportunities, and a truly elevated and devotional spirit which enabled him to treat the questions as they arose with a philosophical acumen and affectionate earnestness, which have operated powerfully in directing the minds of his countrymen to the knowledge of their higher destiny.

Seven admirable works now followed one another in rapid succession, from his pen, viz.: Qu'est ce que le Spiritism? ; Le Spiritism à sa plus simple expression ; Le Livre des Esprits ; Le Ciel et l'Enfer ; Le Livre des Médiums ; L'Evangéle selon le Spiritism and La Genése. Nor did these special labours exhaust either his enthusiasm or his zeal. He not only organized the “ Societé d'Etude Psychologique," to the Presidency of which he was from year to year unanimously re-elected, but he continued to edit the Revue Spirité to the last.

It only remains for me to add that M. Kardec is succeeded in the Presidency of the Societé d'Etude Psychologique by his valued friend Colonel Mallet (not de Mallet), who has announced his determination to leave the army, to sell a fine estate at Douai, and to devote himself to his new duties, in which he is supported by the sympathy of his amiable wife, who is herself an excellent writing medium.

Rich. BEAMISH. April 19th, 1869.

Notices of Books.


THINKERS on all sides of us, absorbed in regarding, and thus in magnifying differences, instead of seeking for and loving points of agreement, fill the ears of listeners with the sharp babble of dispute, contention and opposition. If in pitiful regard of human nature we should be prepared to find this noisy babble not altogether hushed in the world we call the religious world, we should yet scarcely be prepared when we wander there, to hear its voice most harsh, its murmur of contention most loud and shrill; and yet such is the sad scene a wanderer beneath the shades of theological discussion will encounter.

First, in number and in importance, he will observe those who adhere to the letter of Scripture and look to it for all inspiration, men who endeavour to circumscribe life by a literal interpretation of " the Word,” rather than to read in that Word a spiritual meaning growing and expanding with the increasing growth of humanity. First, observing those who thus would mould their life in narrow framework, he will find them looking with fear and anxiety toward the thinkers he next observes. These are men who uphold the authority of the Church, and preach the saving power of a priesthood—the sole efficacy of a miraculously chosen race to open the doors of heaven, and lead therein the train of fallen fellow mortals who, treading faithfully behind, they find themselves elected to save.

Outside these, regarded with equal dread by both, he will behold the world of science, men who seem preparing to storm the citadel of religion-men, who, on their part, assert the foundations of religious faith a baseless phantasy--that our labour and our thoughts are wasted on any studies which profess to extend beyond the seen and the known—that a greater wealth of knowledge may be extracted by a student from a bit of chalk, than from all the records of humanity;

To those whose life is bounded by the limits of an antagonistic class,—who seek truth in one department only of human knowledge—the book before us will offer little attraction. In the class, however, of thinkers, which we believe is large and increasing, a class which desires to be bound by no system or party, and is inclined to believe the intensity of human enthusiasm in any direction pre-supposes the possession of a portion, at least, of the truth, the broad and catholic tone of the book before us will

* A Home for the Homeless : or Union with God. By Horace Field, B.A. London: LONGMANS & Co., 1869.

find welcoming listeners. The spirit of the book to which we thus refer, is in part expressed in these words :

If a man has acquired a nature admirable to me, as a consequence of the nourishment derived from any faith, this fact is a proof that the vitality I desire exists in that faith: the fact is not merely a guide calling my attention to the faith, but an actual proof of vitality in it.

How far the book fills out its programme, we must leave such readers as peruse it to judge,-it is however a programme broad and universal—an endeavour to find the leading and fundamental truth in every class and system of theology, to eliminate the falsehood, and to combine the whole into one general scheme of thought.

Whether Mr. Field has found the true principle on which to combine all religious thought-as he thinks he has or whether he has failed, be has at least produced a volume most suggestive to all thinkers, and it is one written in so reverential a spirit, that even if we disagree with portions of it, we can yet scarcely rise from its perusal without feeling refreshed and exalted.

The evangelical Christian will find respect for the word of Scripture, and faith in the individual revelation of its spirit, permeating the book from end to end. In special illustration of this statement however, we may quote the following passage on the consciousness of sin :

That all religious feeling begins with a sense of sin, is a leading dogma. In all I have written I have upheld the truth of this dogma. I have impressed on my reader, page by page, the conviction that the end of evil is to impress on us this sense, and thus clearly part distinguish us, to our own perception, from God, our Creator. Every evil and painful thing-all we most abhor, is here, I say, to force on us this sense. Until it is created, until we feel this sense of sin in every member, we cannot reverently kneel to God, and ask of Him, a life which, that it may be ours, He must perforce give only in answer to such request, uttered or perhaps only felt. He must withhold union with Him-one thought, one will, one act-until crime, death, and pain, repeated and repeated, force us upon our knees, make us cry out for life, not only individually, but as a

When such is the attitude of all men towards God, our life may be felt by us in every vein to be His life, but not before.

The High Churchman, also, will find in the book a love of symbolism, and a belief in the eternal authority of the Church of God, as handed down through the growing faith of ages. For proof of this general statement we must refer to the book itself. We can only here quote in illustration, the following pretty tribute to the beauty of the Christian year :

Before leaving this subject, I must also refer to the beauty that lies in the " Christian year"-in the arrangement of the year into periods corresponding with the history of the life of Christ. All who thus regard the year, live each day, as it passes by, in company with Christ. In the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, they breathe, as it were, his body, which stretches its mystic form over the Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer of that portion of man's life we call the natural year.

The man of science also, will see his latest, and as some


think his most subversive discoveries, eagerly hailed as certain to throw light upon all spiritual truth. After stating that the course of his study leads Mr. Field to understand the man of to-day, by pressing his enquiries back into the early history of the raceto see a redeeming work performed upon mankind which seems to man the result of his own labour—to look for the change redemption produces as a change in the human body itself, Mr. Field proceeds:

To developing this line of study—to walking along and relating what I see in the three paths I have described-my book is devoted ; and my reader may likely expect to find me accompanying in my walk, the mystics and visionaries alone of past and present times. I may be with them - I hope, indeed, I am, but I am certainly not with them only, for I find myself side by side on each of the paths with Professor Huxley, Dr. Maudsley, and other scientific authorities of the day.

Claiming, thus, fellowship with the man of science, Mr. Field also points out, as a warning to him, that the primary negation of the unseen, is a rock on which all possible faith in it is needfully wrecked. We thus read :

This profession of the man of science (that of displacing wholly the worship of God, as anything apart from nature), must result in the denial of God, because man's organization giving home to thought and reason, is the highest of all natural organizations. God, therefore, as revealed in man, appears in a higher form than elsewhere in nature. The scientific man, therefore, looking for God in nature, and not identifying his thought with the presence of God, makes God in reality inferior to himself, who seeks for Him ; and thus, the search is practically founded on the denial of the object sought for.

In his doctrine of appearances also, in fact, in the whole tone and treatment of the book, Spiritualists will find ample justification for their researches into a land over which the mere man of science can have no control-a land, faith in which (our author shews) gives a soul to the world' we inhabit, and a spiritual meaning to every event. The very name of one of his chapters, Earth the body of heaven," indicates what we mean ;-not, however to leave this statement without more direct confirmation from the pages of the book itself, we transcribe the following sentences :

Regarding the world thus—every mountain and every tree, every event small and great has its soul-a soul distinct and individual, like man's own soul. * * Images and events are the bodies that clothe all our ideas, the ideas being their souls.

In further confirmation of our last statement, we will quote two of the verses with which the volume is interspersed. These verses—many of which, we must warn our readers, are rather metaphysics in rhyme than poetry--occur at the commencement of the book, and between each of the seven parts into which it is divided, and consist of conversations between two friends (one of whom is obviously intended to personify the author of the book) and comments by a body of angels who step in to assist their

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