« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Poetry, Shelley more fully developes this sentiment, and says:“ Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts on the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpet that sounds to battle, and feels not what it inspires; the influence which is moved, but moves not. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world! They measure the circumference, and sound the depths of human nature with a comprehensive, all-penetrating spirit, at the manifestations of which they are themselves, perhaps, the most sincerely astonished.” -Medwin's Life of Shelley, Vol. II., p. 144.
BIRDS AS CONNECTED WITH DEATH.
Amongst the numerous curious anecdotes of birds as appearing at the window of sick chambers, and even in the chambers themselves before death, and in other circumstances of a like nature, there is one which deserves mention as occurring at the burning of the body of the poet Shelley, near Lerici, in the Bay of Spezzia. It is related in Medwin's Life of Shelley, Vol. II., p. 286:
“ Lord Byron, with some soldiers of the Coastguard, stood about the burning pyre; and Leigh Hunt, whose feelings and nerves could not carry him through the scene of horror, lying back in the carriage; the four post-horses panting with the heat of the sun, and the fierceness of the fire. The solemuness of the whole ceremony was the more felt by the shrieks of a solitary curlew, which, perhaps attracted by the corpse, wheeled in narrow circles round the pile, so narrow that it might have been struck by the hand. The bird was so fearless that it could not be driven away."
LE SALUT." - CURES BY DR. NEWTON. Numbers III. and IV. of " Le Salut (Salvation), published by an Association of Spiritualists at New Orleans," has just reached us. It is published bi-monthly (and will be issued weekly as soon as arrangements permit) in eight pages, four in French, and four in English, and so arranged that they form two distinct papers. It is to be “an advocate of Spiritualism in its broadest sense,” embracing material, as well as moral and spiritual reforms, and expounding the ideas and teachings of Spiritualism, and recording its progress. We learn from it that Dr. Newton has been at New Orleans, treating successfully (and
for the most part gratuitously) a large number of cases. We quote the following:
As we were in the doctor's office, the two following persons called nearly together to express their thanks for the good they had received :
John Knight, 94, Notre Dame Street, nearly total blindness, and general health much impaired. He could not read the largest size letters of a poster. He read a small card which happened to be on the table. John has an arm amputated. He said that, since the doctor operated on him, not only his health was much improved, but he felt as if the lost arm was restored, and he could move his fingers.
Mrs. Rebecca Helfrich, 220, Derigny Street. Great inflammation of the eyes, extending all around on the face. Total blindness. She could not walk alone, and was brought to the doctor's office. The next day she was enabled to go home alone; and when we saw her, no trace of inflammation appeared, and she was going, basket in hand, to buy her marketings, unassisted by anybody.
Mrs. Mary H. Barnes, Jefferson City, had a very bad rheumatism. She had been a sufferer and invalid for many years. She was carried into the doctor's office, and, after his treatment, she went back to her carriage, and stepped into it without assistance. She is now cured.
We witnessed the two following cases:
Miss Margaret Truckwell, of Algiers, La., was brought to the office by a lady friend. Her attendant had to speak very loud to make her hear. After three minutes' treatment, she could hear the smallest whisper, and she went forth rejoicing:
Mrs. Burke, corner St. Thomas and Edwards Streets, had a sore foot that she bad not put on the ground for three years. She walked with a crutch. The doctor made her quit her crutch, and walk around the office. In ten minutes she went off, and is now cured.
We know of many more cases that we will publish in our next number.
Notwithstanding that Parliament is sitting and the consequent pressure on newspaper space, the daily and weekly journals continue to report incidents of spirit manifestation, of which specimens are attached :
“SPIRIT RAPPING. (?)
" To the Editor of the Reading Mercury. “Sir, — Will you please give the following account a place in your Paper ? At Pishill Bank, mid-way between Henley and Watlington, in an old house, lives J. Beisly, a man about 73 years of age, his housekeeper, who is a cripple, and a young girl, aged about 14 years. Beisly has resided in the house undis. turbed about 53 years, but for the last eighteen days the inmates have been continually alarmed by rapping on the front and inner doors: upon the doors being opened no one is to be seen; the rapping is continued at irregular intervals through the afternoon and evening: at first the family thought that it was some person playing a trick upon them, and Beisly and a neighbour loaded a pistol and gun and fired out at the front door, but as soon as the door was again shut the rapping was repeated with increased violence; from that time the occupants of the house have ceased to consider it caused by human agency. On hearing of these facts from Beisly (on whose veracity I could rely), I went myself to the house, accompanied by a respectable neigli bour, and looked thoroughly over the premises to see if it were possible to solve the mystery. While in the garden in front of the house, we heard 'rap rap' on the front door. We then moved towards the door, and again came the 'rap rap;' my friend opened the front door, and whilst lie had the door in his hand, there came the “rap rap' on the inner
door; he then went in the room and sat down, and I remained outside. The 'rap rap' was again repeated; he then came out and I went in and took a seat close to the door, and then again there was the clear and distinct 'rap' three or four times. We came away both satisfied that it was no human trick. I have been several times since, and have heard the rapping very loud on the door; I bave also heard rappings upstairs and at the end of the house. A number of persons who have visited the house have also heard the same noise, and although some have accused those residing therein of being the cause of the mystery, there has been no discovery made up to the present time to prove it a trick.
“I am, Sir, yours faithfully, “Pishill Farm, Feb. 13th, 1868.”
A WELSH GHOST.
Wales has always been noted for its ghosts, fairies and knocking spirits. A very recent instance of ghostly haunting at Abernant, near Aberdare, is going the round of the papers.
The People's Journal (Dundee), of March 7th, under the above heading, tells us that the ghost is “locally certified as the spirit of the deceased wife of a workman who had threatened her husband before her death that she would haunt him if he illtreated her children, and who seems to have had reason for keeping her word. The spiritual influence is chiefly manifested by jugs, chairs and tables jumping about in the house.; but the ex-parish constable, who was sent for to lay the ghost, was made the subject of a different manifestation. In reply to a solemn request, he received a blow with a stone, and was laid himself instead of laying the ghost. The police were sent for, and they tied deceased's daughter's hands, thinking she was at the bottom of the affair, but the latest accounts say the ghost continues its manifestations."
Reynolds's Newspaper, of the 15th of March, contains the following:
A REMARKABLE VISION.
" A young German lady (still living) had arrived with a party of friends at one of the most renowned hotels in Paris, and occupied an apartment on the first floor, furnished with unusual magnificence. Here she lay awake, long after the hotel was wrapt in slumber, contemplating by the faint glimmer of her night-lamp, the costly ornaments of the room, until
, suddenly, the folding doors, opposite her bed, which she had secured, flew open, and the chamber was filled with a bright light, as of day. In the midst of this, there entered a handsome young man, in the undress uniform of the French navy, having his hair dressed in the peculiar mode á la Titus. Taking a chair from the bed
side, he placed it in the middle of the room, sat down, took from his pocket a pistol with a remarkable red butt and lock, put it to his forehead, and, firing, fell back apparently dead! Simultaneously with the explosion, the room became dark and still, but a low, soft voice uttered these words—Say a word for his soul.' The young lady had fallen back, not insensible, but in a far more painful state—a kind of cataleptic trance, and thus remained fully conscious of all she imagined to have occurred, but unable to move tongue or hand, until seven o'clock on the following morning, at which hour her maid, in obedience to orders, knocked at the door. Finding that no reply was given, the maid went away, and returning at eight in company with another domestic, repeated her summons. Still no answer, and again, after a little consultation, the poor young lady was delivered over for another hour to her agonized thoughts. At nine, the doors were forced—and, at the same moment, the power of speech and movement returned. She shrieked out to the attendants that a man had shot himself there some hours before, and still lay upon the floor. Observing nothing unusual, they concluded it was the excitement consequent upon some terrible dream. She was therefore placed in another apartment, and with great difficulty persuaded that the scene she so minutely described had no foundation in reality. Half an hour later, the hotel proprietor desired an interview with a gentleman of the party, and declared that the scene so strangely re-enacted had actually occurred three nights before. A young French officer had ordered the best room in the hotel, and there terminated his life-using, for the purpose, a pistol answering the description mentioned. The body, and the pistol, still lay at the Morgue (dead house) for identification, and the gentleman, proceeding thither, saw both; the head of the unfortunate man exhibiting the 'Í'itus' crop and the wound in the forehead, as in the vision."
SPIRIT-RAPPING AND TABLE-TURNING." Under this head, the Northampton Herald, of March 4th, has the following; which furnishes an instructive instance of how the facts of modern Spiritualism carry conviction even where it is least welcome, and where the mind's eye is still covered with the thickest scales of theological prejudice. In this case, the old cry of " evil spirits" is avowedly raised to prevent investigation, and we submit that this is much stronger evidence of the “evil spirit” of Sectarianism, than Dr. Scott either has given or can give of " diabolical agency,"—the recognised priestly method of “accounting for facts which could not be got rid of”—but the thorough investigation of which it fears would be fatal to its influence.
For some months past spirit-rapping, table-turning, &c., has been the topic of much discussion and experiment in this town and neighbourbood, especially amongst the artizan class. Large numbers of persons have become converts to it, and séances are held nightly in various parts of the town. The subject has taken so deep a hold on the minds of many that the Bishop and Clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in this town have thought it desirable to warn the members of their Church against any participation in the séances that are now so common, and on Thursday night a lecture on the subject was delivered by the Rev. Canon Scott, in the School-room in Woolmonger-street, the Bishop being present.
Dr. Scott gave an interesting history of the rise and progress of spiritrapping in America and in Europe, and read an account, published a few years since in the pages of the Cornhill Magazine, of one or two séances at which the writer was present.
Many persons said spirit-rapping, was all humbug and nonsense, but persons who said so were either those who knew nothing about it, or those who did but who would not acknowledge preternatural agency.
The Cornhill was fiercely attacked for having published such an account, but Dr. Gully, of Malvern, the eminent medical man, wrote to the newspapers the next day and corroborated the account in the Cornhill, stating that he was present, and that the account of what took place was a truthful one.
A committee of literary and scientific men was appointed to investigate the phenomena, and the conclusion at which they arrived was, that the facts could not be denied or explained. They had been asked, but bad refused, to publish the evidence on which they had formed their opinion. They did not venture to do so. The facts could not be denied, but men were so unwilling to believe in the supernatural that they would not believe the phenomena to be the work of spirits. Indeed, one gentleman, who admitted the facts, said he would not believe in a miracle if it was worked before his eyes. He believed, he said, in Christianity, and the miracles recorded in the Scripture, but he believed the miracles because of Christianity, not Christianity because of the miracles. The facts could not be got rid of, and how were they to be accounted for? By diabolical agency. The supernatural and the preternatural had existed in all ages of the world. Instances of it were to be found in all parts of the Old Testament and of the New; and God, in Holy Scripture, had forbidden dealings with evil spirits. It was not in Holy Scripture only that they read of it. Tertullian and the early fathers wrote of it, and in their controversies with the heathen, appealed as a proof of the veracity of their religion, that they had exorcised the evil spirits from those who were brought to them.
The samo things were done then which were done now. Persons were put in mesmerio sleep, the spirits of the dead were said to be called up, and all the phenomena that were witnessed now were witnessed then. What was taking place now had been predicted in Holy Scripture, and was to have been expected. These were the " lying wonders" that were to come. The spirits, however, by whom these phenomena were wrought were not the spirits of dead relations but evil spirits, and Christian men and women ought not to have anything to do with them. Catholics must avoid being present even at any of their meetings. Not only was dealing with evil spirits forbidden in Holy Scripture, but any connection with spirit-rapping, &c., was denounced aš mortal sin by the Church.
At the conclusion of the lecture a vote of thanks was given to Dr. Scott, on the motion of the Bishop (the Right Rev. Dr. Amherst), who repeated what Dr. Scott had said, that any connection with spirit-rapping was, in the eyes of the Church, a mortal sin.