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than others. The same was the result at another factory, where Adams could have had no guide from what he saw, and could not have got information otherwise.”—“ Stick (not Table) Turning," in All the Year Round.
POPULAR DEFINITION OF SPIRITUALISM. On this subject Dr. R. T. Hallock, of New York, has the following sensible observations:
“The popular use of the word, at best, is always in its smallest sense, but most commonly with no sense at all. That is to say, the word Spiritualism or Spiritualist conjures up before the popular imagination a variety of phenomena which are at once ascribed to common jugglery or automatic action of the brain, (or to other wise words having no relation whatever to the real facts they are used to explain,) and—that is all. Spiritualism and Spiritualists, by this easy, popular conclusion, are thus easily swept out of the popular regard.” Our American Dictionary indicates a broader meaning. According to Noah Webster, Spiritualism is the doctrine in opposition to the Materialists. That is it. The popular imagination has simply mistaken the proof of Spiritualism for Spiritualism itself. The facts are not the doctrine; they are simply the proof, and the only and all-sufficient tangible proof that there is a doctrine utterly opposed to that materialistic one, styled Rationalism, which that it may be rational is obliged to close its understanding against the Spiritualism of the past, and its senses against the daily evidence of its existence in the present.”
MAX MULLER ON THE CONTINUITY AND GROWTH OF
RELIGION. In his “ Essays on the Science of Religion” this learned professor writes :
“ There is to my mind no subject more absorbing than tracing the origin and first growth of human thought, -not theoretically, or in accordance with the Hegelian laws of thought or the Comtian, but historically, and like an Indian trapper, spying for every footprint, every layer, every broken blade that might tell and testify of the former presence of man in his early wanderings and searchings after light and truth. In the languages of mankind, in which everything new is old, and
everything old is new, an inexhaustible mine has been discovered for researches of this kind. Language still bears the impress of the earliest thoughts of man, obliterated, it may be buried under new thoughts, yet here and there still recoverable in their sharp original outline. The growth of language is continuous, and by continuing our researching backward from the most modern to the most ancient strata, the very elements and roots of human speech have been reached, and, with them, the elements and roots of human thought.
“ But more surprising than the continuity in the growth of language, is the continuity in the growth of religion. Of religion, too, as of language, it may be said that in it everything new is old, and everything old is new, and that there has been no entirely new religion since the beginning of the world. The elements and roots of religion were there as far back as we can trace the history of man; and the history of religion, like the history of language, shows us throughout a succession of new combinations of the same radical elements. An intuition of God, a sense of human weakness and dependence, a belief in a Divine government of the world, a distinction of good and evil, and a hope of a better life, these are some of the radical elements of all religions.
THE DAVENPORTS. The numerous charlatans who attacked these mediums, and said “they knew how the Davenport tricks were done,” have not taken advantage of their re-appearance in London to expose them. A Mr. Thomas Joseph Lee was so far deluded by the misrepresentations of “the fraternity," that he recently sent the Davenports a challenge in the following terms:-He, Mr. Lee, agreed to pay the Davenports their usual fee, provided he might furnish his own cabinet, ropes, and musical instruments; to select his own time and place for an exhibition, and invite his own friends only, who were to be chiefly members of
The Davenports at once accepted Mr. Lee's challenge, and found him out. He was only playing at “ Brag,” and though he lost the game, we are told he did not pay the stakes; and thus he leaves the Davenports to add this to the numerous instances they will have to report to their countrymen of an Englishman's notion of "fair play.”
THE SPIRITUAL CHURCH. The following Address was presented to Mrs. Emma Hardinge, on Sunday, May 10th, at the Polygraphic Hall,
King William Street, Strand, at the conclusion of the series of Sunday Evening Services at the above place :
To Mrs. Emma Hardinge, -We, the members of the Spiritual Church, and others who have been privileged to attend the services at the Polygraphic Hall, cannot let these services close, though it be, as we hope and trust, for a brief period only, without expressing to you our deep sense and grateful appre iation of your most valuable labours.
We feel how much we owe you—not only as the able public representativethe eloquent exponent and advocate of our deeply-cherished and muchmisunderstood faith, but also for the instruction we have ourselves received from your Discourses; for the light you have shed upon our difficulties, and the healthful stimulus you have given to our higher and better natures.
We gladly recognize the free, reverent, catholic spirit, and the generous sympathies which have distinguished your ministrations; and we would cherish in ourselves, and promote in others, a like disposition and kindred feelings. The Spiritual Church-the Church of the future-the Church you have laboured to build up-must be no narrow communion; must rest on no shifting sands of human opinion; but on principles firm as the Earth, eternal as the Heavens, wide as Humanity. With loving heart acknowledging God as our Father, and all men as our brothers, and immortal life-with all its glorious opportunities of knowledge and of progress—as the destiny for all, we would be in fellowship with all true, earnest, devout souls of every clime and creed.
May the noble inspirations with which you are so greatly gifted, and by which we have so largely benefitted, be to you an ever-present strength, joy and consolation,
In conclusion, we beg you to accept this assurance of our hearts' best wishes and most affectionate respect. Signed, on behalf of the members and friends of the Spiritual Church.
J. C. LUXMOORE, Chairman.
REMOVAL OF COFFINS. At Staunton, Suffolk, in the early part of this century, several leaden coffins, with wooden cases, that had been fixed on biers, were found to have been displaced. The coffins were again placed as before, and properly closed, when another of the family dying, they were a second time found to be displaced. Two years after, the biers were viewed, when one coffin, heavy enough for eight men to be required' to carry it, was found displaced, and on the fourth step that leads into the vault. No satisfactory reason appeared for this displacement of coffins.
Ebenezer Elliott, in a note to his Rhymed Rambles, published in 1840, says :-“ About five years ago a young lady came from London' on a visit to Bolton Abbey, and with a presentiment that she would be drowned in the Strid, of mournful memory. For some time she refused to see it; but at last, overcome by the persuasion and ridicule of her friends, consented to do so.
On approaching the water, which was forty-five feet deep, she threatened, with seeming levity, to leap in, exclaiming, “ I am gone!". A piercing shriek followed. She had taken the fatal plunge! A gentleman, a few yards below, caught hold of her bonnet, but the strings broke, and she was drowned.
TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF MODERN SPIRITUALISM. Modern Spiritualism, as a public movement, began in the little village of Hydesville, New York, on the 31st of March, 1848. How eventful has been its history during the 20 years that have since elapsed !-how startling the facts !-how strange the controveries! -how great the revolution of ideas it has inaugurated! No modern movement can compare with it, either as regards the character of its facts—“stranger than fiction"or the effect they have produced, and are still producing in the world. On the 31st of March last, its twentieth anniversary was celebrated throughout the length and breadth of the United States. The American papers that have reached us give full accounts of the large, enthusiastic meetings this celebration has called forth in all parts of the land. What a contrast! But 20 years ago, the poor children, who were the first mediums, hooted and mobbed ! To-day, millions of earnest men and women meet to rejoice over the once-despised “Rochester knockings”—the heralds of a New Dispensation of Spiritual Truth, which has lightened many a heavy heart, and brought conviction of the great truth of immortal life to many a doubting soul, and joy and blessing to innumerable households. Neither the hostility of foes, nor the indiscretion of friends, have availed to stay its progress. Let us, then, thank God, and take courage. Truly, the world moves.
THE COMIC PAPERS (?) AND LYON v. HOME. This case bas afforded an opportunity for diagrams and jokes in the comic papers of which they have largely availed themselves, caricaturing Mr. Home in a manner most insulting to him. We don't know how the conductors of these periodicals justify to themselves such scandalous attacks on character and motives; but in the case of Mr. Home, and of anything relating to Spiritualism, nothing seems to be too gross. It would be a curious question why this is so, because surely the mere fact that these phenomena occur to Mr. Home, is not anything against his moral character, nor are they of such a nature as to deprive him of the ordinary rights or position of a gentleman. Even the Lord Chief Baron, who has succeded to the dignity once held at the “Coal Hole Tavern” by the originator of that
entertainment, flooded London with his advertisements of the mock trial at which he presided, until as we are informed he was stopped either by the police or the Lord Chamberlain.
SPIRITUALISM IN NORTHAMPTON.
The following letter from a clergyman gives additional evidence to that furnished in a previous number of the progress Spiritualism is making in this town and neighbourhood :To the Editor of the “ Spiritual Magazine."
Northampton, March 27, 1868. Dear Sir,-For some months past spirit communion has been steadily increasing in this town, until at last it has gained considerable attention from all classes. I am personally acquainted with many "believers,” and I have heard upon good authority that there are a great number of circles in various parts of the town, and among all classes. But at present they are scattered and we do not know our strength; this state of things, however, we hope will not last long, as we are just about to form a society, the object of which will be to gather the private circles into one general organization, and to hold weekly meetings to investigate, discuss, and disseminate the great truths connected with ancient and modern spiritual manifestations.
The growing interest in Spiritualism is further shown in the controversies of the local press. A correspondent of the Northampton Mercury writes :
I have seen a table weighing perhaps 20lbs. resist the efforts of a strong man to raise it from the floor; I have seen a table weighing a hundred-weight, lift itself with ease in answer to questions, and move to different parts of the room ; I have seen a table answer questions “intelligently” for hours together; and I ask Mr. Harris for the “natural cause ?" He says the late Professor Faraday "fully investigated the subject; I say Professor Faraday did no such thing, and I challenge Mr. H. to the proof. Professor Faraday endeavoured to prove from the known laws of physics, and from certain mechanical experiments and tests which he instituted himself, that table-turning was the result of “unconscious muscular agency." But he never investigated the facts given in evidence. In fact, he had never witnessed any of the manifestations ;” and after the public cation of his paper he absolutely refused to go to a séance, to which he was invited in order that he might test his “theory” in presence of the “facts." I have no hesitation in saying that the conduct of Professor Faraday in relation to this subject was unworthy of him as a scientific man.
Spirit communion is based upon facts which invite and demand investigation. If those facts can “ be traced to natural causes,” let those causes be pointed out; but, in the meantime, it would be well for those who have not personally investigated the matter to refrain from imputing either“ credulity". or “superstition” to those who believe-upon what, to them at least is sufficient evidence-that “the effects produced are due to supernatural agency."
A Mr. Christopher Scott writes in the Northampton Herald concerning the connection of certain mesmeric phenomena with spiritual agency, acknowledging that,
It is surely impossible thus (on purely natural grounds) to account for the more extraordinary, but equally well-attested facts, such as foresight of future events, knowledge of distant places and things, of medical science and foreign