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power of healing by the laying on of hands,” are very numerous throughout the States; but very few are vouched for. Dr. J. R. Newton is still the most renowned. In every city where he has visited there are numerous well attested cases of instantaneous cures of almost every description of disease and deformity.
The testimony as to the miraculous cures performed hy Dr. Newton is overwhelming, and admits of no doubt that he is endowed in an eminent degree with this, perhaps the greatest of all spiritual gifts.
Dr. Newton has written to me to say that he has built himself a large establishment at Newport, Rhode Island, his native town, which he describes as the most beautiful and most healthy spot on the American continent. At this establishment he has settled, and there he continues his practice. He also informs me that a reverend friend of mine, who bore a letter of introduction from me, was present and witnessed a very remarkable case of cure performed in a few minutes, the particulars of which I shall doubtless learn from my friend on his return home. Dr. Newton says that he has a strong desire to visit England, and he hopes to do so at no distant day; in that event he will bring his family with him, and remain in London for a year.
I have ventured to assure him that he will be heartily welcomed here by many who have perfect faith in his sincerity and benevolent character.
Public lecturers and inspirational speakers of both sexes are numbered by hundreds; but, as in the case of healers, few are distinguished. Mrs. Emma Hardinge (now in London), Mrs. Cora Daniels, and Miss Lizzie Doten, are the inspirational speakers who have held the most prominent place before the American public for several years. Miss Doten frequently delivers at the close of her addresses an impromptu poem, spiritually dictated, and many of these poems are very beautiful. To shew the peculiar and sensitively impressionable character of Miss Doten's mind, Professor Gunning, of Boston, related to me the following fact:Mr. Wiseman Marshall, of Boston, who possesses strong magnetic or will power, wrote out a short lecture and took his place in the audience unknown to Miss Doten. When she came upon the platform Mr. Marshall fixed his attention upon her, and in obedience to his will she repeated every word he had previously written.
In the lecture field there are several men of mark, including the venerable and highly respected Judge Edmonds, Robert Dale Owen, Professor Denton, Andrew Jackson Davis, Professor S. B. Brittan, Rev. J. M. Peebles, Thomas Gales Forster, and Dr. R. T. Hallock. Had
space permitted I should have given extracts from addresses delivered recently at Convention
Meetings of Spiritualists by the two last-named gentlemen, which are unusually well reported in the Banner of Light. Mr Forster appears to be a highly educated scientific man, and a very popular lecturer; and Dr. Hallock's original and very eloquent addresses are worthy of the best days of the controversy so ably conducted by himself—Judge Edmonds, A. E. Newton, S. B. Brittan, Dr. John Gray, and others, 10 or 15 years ago, in defence of the claims of Spiritualism, and which as I have more than once said can never, in my judgment, be surpassed in this or any other country.
Andrew Jackson Davis, the Poughkeepsie Seer, is well known in all countries where Spiritualism has penetrated. The early history of his life forms the most remarkable page in American Spiritualism. His name, too, will go down to posterity in connection with one of the most useful and practical movements, originated by him in 1863, in the establishment of The CHILDREN'S PROGRESSIVE LYCEUMS, which are now in successful operation in most of the leading cities of America.
When Mr. Davis proposed the plan, he described it as " An association for the mutual improvement of children of all ages, and of both sexes—an attempt to realise, partially at least, an ideal assemblage of young minds, which is actualised in the SUMMER LAND, where such children are constantly going from earth, and where they are received into groups for improvement, growth, and graduation.
Mr. W.A. Danskin, of Baltimore, a highly respectable and intelligent citizen, who has for many years been known as a prominent Spiritualist, writes to the Banner of Light attesting a very remarkable phenomenon which he has recently witnessed. Mr. Danskin prefaces his account by saying that though this particular class of spiritual manifestations has no special attraction for him, yet he extends his aid to uphold all classes of media who honestly and fairly submit their manifestations to candid examination, whether the phases be of an intellectual, sympathetic, or physical character. It appears that a youth about 20 years of age introduced himself to Mr. Danskin and said that he, like the Davenports, could be freed without any effort of his own however securely he might be tied.
The youth having assented to Mr. Danskin's conditions, was handcuffed and tied with 96 feet of small rope run through a board made to his size and perforated with a number of holes through which the cord was passed and knotted at the back, and one part of the rope was knotted round the boy's neck in two loops. The boy being placed in the dark in an adjoining room, walked forth to Mr. Danskin and his friends in four minutes and a half carrying the rope, fetters, and board in his hands, none of
the knots being untied; the loops which passed round his neck were just as they had been tied, and six or seven inches smaller than the medium's head. This fact made such an impression upon a gentleman who was present, that he had an iron ring made, seven inches smaller in circuinference than the size of the boy's head, and brought it to Mr. Danskin asking him at his next séance to place it by the boy's side with the ropes and handcuffs, to see what would be done with it. This was tried several times without effect, but about 10 days after the iron ring was first brought, the boy, who was sitting in a dark room, Mr. Danskin and a number of bis friends waiting in another, after a lapse of forty minutes called Mr. Danskin, who found the boy greatly excited, tied securely to a chair with the iron ring round his neck, and a portion of the rope around the ring. After carefully examining the ring the light was again extinguished, and upon entering the room in a few minutes they found the boy released from his fetters. This manifestation being repeated five or six times with the rope and handcuffs, they tried the experiment with the ring alone, and several times the iron ring was placed around the boy's neck in two or three minutes, whilst at other sittings 15 or 20 minutes would elapse before this extraordinary feat was accomplished, and occasionally the effort was unsuccessful.
The Rev. Mr. Forbes, the gentleman_who suggested the ring, had another made, unknown to Mr. Danskin or the boy; this ring was marked by four indentations, and substituted by Mr. Forbes in the dark for the first ring, without the knowledge of any one except the smith who made it. The manifestation was successful, though it occupied a longer time and caused great exhaustion to the medium.
Mr. Danskin says, “ The first ring had been thoroughly magnetised by the invisibles and this had not. Had I known the intention of the parties, I would not have permitted it; for although it was probably not meant to be unkind, it might have caused much annoyance and injury to the medium."
On another occasion, Mr. Danskin, a friend of his and the medium only being present, they joined hands, having thrown the ring some distance from them on the floor, and whilst sitting in this position, never having loosened their hold of each other, the ring was suddenly placed around Mr. Danskin's arm.
Most of these manifestations took place at Mr. Danskin's residence, and great interest having been excited by the wonderful phenomenon thus exhibited, he invited a party of twenty gentlemen, including one of the most learned and scientific celebrities of Baltimore to witness the fact. This gentleman, with two others, formed a committee to conduct the séance. The
ring was carefully examined and privately marked. The result was the same: after a few minutes, the boy walked into the room with the ring around his neck, and remained among the assembled guests for some twenty minutes to enable them all to make careful scrutiny of the astounding fact, that a solid iron ring, seven inches smaller in circumference than the boy's head, had, by some means, been placed around and taken off his neck in a few minutes. Mr. Danskin appends to his narrative a certificate, signed by thirty-one gentlemen, who attest the fact, and whó say, there was no possibility of fraud or deception."'*
Mr. Horace Greely, editor of the Tribune, in his “Recollections of a Busy Life,” gives a chapter upon his spiritual experiences, in which he admits that "the jugglery hypothesis utterly fails to account for occurrences which I have personally witnessed," and that “certain developments strongly indicate that they do proceed from departed spirits.” But he complains that nothing of any value is obtained by the investigations—that “they did not help to fish up the Atlantic cable nor find Sir John Frankin,” that Spiritualism has not made the body of believers better men and women.
He thinks that " those who discharge promptly and faithfully all their duties to those who still live in the flesh, can have little time for poking and peering into the life beyond the grave. Better attend to each world in its proper order;" and, he adds, "All that we have learned of them (the spirits) has added little or nothing to our knowledge, unless it be enabling us to answer with more confidence that old momentous question-If a man die shall he live again ?” The Banner comments in just terms of severity upon this strange chapter in a busy man's life. It is enough for me to record it as AN EXTRAORDINARY SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATION from America, so that our excellent journalists may be instructed by one of themselves. Be it known, then, that Mr. Horace Greely, the great Public Moralist, complains that Spiritualism does not make " better men and women-better husbands, wives, and children;" and though it certainly answers " that momentous question-If a man die shall he live again ?" he thinks that is nothing compared with the importance of telling us how to fish up the Atlantic cable.
A SINGULAR DREAM.—THE DOUBLE." We have on record innumerable instances of remarkable dreams, and a goodly number of well-attested apparitional
* The law, whatever it may be, by which this ring phenomenon is accom. plished, is, no doubt, the same as that by which the coat is removed and replaced in an instant with the Davenports, and by which solid substances are apparently brought through closed doors and taken away again.
appearances, both of the living and the dead, but I know of no instance of a dream and, so to speak, its embodiment in a tangible apparitional form, such as the following extraordinary case presents. Strange stories are of no value unless they are thoroughly well attested, and many therefore are not regarded with much attention which come to us upon the authority of chroniclers and witnesses who have long passed away.* The following case, however, I have received from a gentleman who cannot be reasonably discredited. The occurrence is of comparatively recent date, the actors are living in England, and I have their names and places of residence.
The Rev. George Blank lives at B- in Yorkshire, and upon the authority of my informant, to whom he is known, he is described as "a perfectly credible, sensible, matter-of-fact man, not likely to be deceived." His brother John resides at the town of A—, in Northumberland, where the brothers have some house property, Early one morning the clergyman awoke his wife and said, “I have had a very singular dream, and all the incidents are so strongly impressed upon my mind that I am disturbed and puzzled by them. I have dreamt that I found myself standing at my brother's house in A
that I rang the bell, knocked at the door, and made a frightful noise; and that at length arousing John, he appeared at his bed-room window in his night dress, and demanded to know who was creating such disturbance. I then began a long harangue, calling him all
* Mr. Charles Partridge, of New York, a gentleman well known among Spiritualists, with whom I am personally acquainted, related some years ago an incident that occurred to himself, which goes to prove that the spirit of the man, whilst the man himself is sleeping, may perform acts of which he in his normal condition is wholly unconscious. Mr. Partridge had written a note to the gentleman at whose house the celebrated "miracle circle” held their sittings, to ask the favour of joining the party at their next séance, which was granted. When Mr. Partridge came to the circle he was surprised to hear that the gentleman of the house had received a second note from him, couched in very offensive terms, which he, Mr. Partridge, denied having written. It was then shown to him, and he was obliged to admit that it was indeed his handwriting and his usual signature, but he protested that he had no knowledge whatever of i existence, and could in no way explain the fact. He then appealed to the spir present, and the followiug colloquy ensued, the answers being written rapi through the medium's hand :-"Who wrote the letter in question bearing signature ?” “You wrote it." “If I really did write the letter, under w circumstances was it done ?" Perhaps I make too general an assertion wh I say you, as you now are, wrote it." Explain, if you please." "When y enter that state of unconsciousness known to you mortals as sleep, your soul not always in your body. You wrote it when your body was asleep, and your 8 was absent from it! It is not necessary a body should be dead that a soul sho be absent from it. Life, soul, and mind are three entirely different things, er independent of the other. Your soul was absent although your mind and were in your dormant body:" Mr. Partridge was then told the time and when and where it occurred, which tended to satisfy him of the possible but he had, as he avers, no recollection or knowledge of writing the note.