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and metaphysical discussion. However useful these may be in carrying the mind forward from some ground of existing conviction, they can do little in displacing primary convictions and implanting new ones. Where the only outlook is from sensuous perception, and the mind rests in phenomena alone, it is vain to appeal to considerations which, however strongly they may affect ourselves, bear with no force upon those whose principles and methods alike are fundamentally different from
It is here that Modern Spiritualism renders an important service. It meets the Materialist on his own ground.
He clamours for facts which his senses can take note of. Spiritualism meets that demand in the most simple and direct way. It gives him the very kind of evidence he needs—plain, palpable facts, and plenty of them. Not facts of history inerely, but contemporary facts, which he may see, hear, and feel, and to which, or the like of which, he may recur again and again. Of the sufficiency of this method for the end in view and its superior efficacy there can be no question with those, who, from a knowledge of its results, are competent to judge. It has demonstrated itself. Its statistics (making all allowance and abatement for possible error) are conclusive on this point It is on this ground then, that we ask our readers—many of whom must now be familiar with the facts and arguments we are accustomed to present—to bear with us in our persistent efforts to press them upon public attention, for the sake of those who may still need them. We shall be glad when the more general acceptance of their truth shall render their reiteration by us no longer necessary or desirable; and when we, or better qualified successors, shall be more free to trace out the higher teachings and philosophy of Spiritualism, which, (as it seems to us) in their ultimate aim, embrace no less than the entire renovation of the individual and collective life of humanity, and their fit preparation for that immortal life of the Spirit, which the facts of Spiritualism so fully demonstrate.
With the New Year we trust our Friends will with new earnestness aid us in our work, and so help to extend a knowledge of those truths to which our pages are devoted. It is becoming evident to all thinking men that education is the great work, as it is the great hope, of the future. But education is of many kinds, and works by many methods. Our work we believe to be educational in a most important sense ; seek to draw out into consciousness, to exercise and strengthen, man's highest nature,—to elevate his character and his aspirations, and enable him to realize that Earth is the Seminary for Heaven. So, in sincere fellowship with all carnest co-workers,
we would labour for that “good time coming”—the World's HAPPY NEW YEAR whose glad bells shall
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the darkness of the land;
NEW WORKS BY THOMAS LAKE HARRIS.
1.-- The Breath of God with Man: An Essay on the Grounds and Evidences
of Universal Religion. By Thomas LAKE HARRIS, New York and
London, pp. 104. 2.-Arcana of Christianity: An Unfolding of the Celestial Sense of the
Divine Word, through THOMAS LAKE HARRIS. Part III.
MR. HARRIS has made a long visit to England apparently for the sole purpose of dictating and printing these new volumes. We suppose this to have been his sole object, as this appears to have been the sole result. Mr. Harris isolated himself, or hid himself carefully from all, or nearly all, of those friends who on his former visit received him with open hands and hearts, and exerted themselves to insure success to his mission which then was to lecture publicly on the great topic of Spiritualism, or at least, on his peculiar view of it. As in these volumes Mr. Harris takes every possible opportunity of treating Spiritualism and its phenomena as emanations from the hells, we suppose he regarded contact with his former friends who still adhere to their more charitable, more general, and more logical views of this power, as the height of contamination. Supposing this to be the fact, we cannot sufficiently marvel at the inconsistencies of the man. If Spiritualism be the diabolical system which Mr. Harris now proclaims it, it is at the same time a system and dispensation through which he himself has passed from beginning to end, and by which he has arrived at the ground, whatever it be, on which he now stands. From it he has drawn his experiences, his lights, his strength and his reputation. But whilst kicking down the ladder by which he rose, he expresses no regrets, remorse or repentance for having ascended so criminal a machine, nor
attempts to explain the many mischiefs that he has done. All his earlier works were avowedly dictated to him by individual spirits assuming great names in the literature of this world. His great poems, the “ Lyric of the Golden Age,” and “ Lyric of the Morning Land,” were according to his own statement, dictated by the spirits of Byron, Shelley, Keats, Pollok, &c. Now, every one of these spirits, according to Mr. Harris's present belief, and indeed, a belief which he held when he visited and lectured in London, in 1861, are devils and impudent impostors. But has he, therefore, on making this discovery, in any way denounced these impositions and devilish dictations of which he had been made the unconscious medium ? Has he done all in his power to put a stop to the circulation of these devilinspired books? Has he burnt those in his own possession ? On the contrary, he suffers them most complacently to go on, and himself as complacently to reap the benefit of their sale. At the very time that in his lectures at the Marylebone Institute he was denouncing all dictations by individual spirits, as emanations from the hells, he had these very books daily exposed at the door of the lecture-room that he might sell as many as possible to the attendants of his lectures, and thus to spread as far as possible the knowledge of them. Still more, before this time, he had made himself the willing mouthpiece of Satan, and at his dictation wrote down and published a set of the most diabolical effusions, which, collected into a volume, he entitled “ The Song of Satan,” but more properly the “ Songs of Satan, of which a second edition appeared in 1860, the year preceding Mr. Harris's visit to England, In no work that has come under our observation is the practice of every sensuality and every blasphemy inculcated with more satanic recklessness than in this volume. Many of the songs are worse than any Rochester ever wrote in their debased principle and hellward tendency, Take a stanza:
The juggler has his tricks, they say,
With a ha, ha! and a ha, ho!
The maiden has many a string to her bow,
Is to dance while you may, and to kiss while you can,
Now curses on the Man divine,
With a ha, ho! follow me down;
To light us through the devil's town.
Through death a milk-white angel's crown;
To serve us in the devil's town.
Then dance by night, and dance by day,
With a ho, ho ! follow me down ;
Men travel to the devil's town.
Fear not the monk with shaven crown ;
Who once have found the devil's town. Mr. Harris tells us that he condescended to be the devil's amanuensis in order to shew us what a devil he is. Did any one need
any such instruction? Don't we know pretty well by all the murders, wholesale and retail, by all the violences and oppressions, the frauds and rascalities, the hypocrisies, and the nastinesses that riot through the earth, and through what we call civilized society, what are the doctrines and the doings of the hells? Yet Mr. Harris, with all this pandemonial demonstration in the world, willingly took up the devil's censer, and scattered abroad a fresh outpouring of blasphemy and moral defilement, at the very time that he was branding all conscientious and pure-minded Spiritualists as dealers with the devil! What a fine example of the privileges of saints, as Hudibras had set them forth long ago :
The saints may do the same things by
The one, in t'other is a sin. But the inconsistencies of Mr. Harris do not end here. In the Apocalypse, p. 396, he gives us this description of the moral and social condition of England :-“ Age after age, the guiltiness of the people has been absorbed as a poison, till the elements reek, and the earth is tainted thereby. Over well nigh extinct feudalism, all victorious Mammonism, in this last age, erects its throne.
It is a social hell. Every man who sins through the body, infuses, through bodily sin, bodily poison into the body of nature. What then must the body of this terrestrial England be? It is this all-pervading elemental taint that benumbs the rational faculties, and that makes even the just connivers at the iniquities of the unjust, till Christians take pleasure in the triumphs of aggressive war, and benches of bishops uphold slavery and the slave trade; that makes this nation esteem itself the best and purest on the globe; that
causes it to sit in lordly places, the Pharisee of peoples. It is rich and increased in goods; it enlarges its store-houses; it is the fool that saith in his heart there is no God.' But the crimes that are buried in its soil are coming forth to take possession of its body; the judgment of this nation is at hand.
- This is the land of common-sense; the hard, shrewd, practical, bargaining, money-getting, power-holding country, that has undertaken to be the merchant, the manufacturer, and middleman for all the globe; the land of the heavy purse and the strong arm. Well has it thriven upon its traffic in human flesh. Men dimly discern in this hour the sins of their fathers. We now see what accursed wretches were the Crusaders, who met Mussulman cruelty with a worse cruelty and wickeder lust. We see what thrice-besotted tools of despotism were the old Tory priesthood, who grovelled for preferment at the feet of king's mistresses, and held that every crowned oppressor was the Lord's anointed, who grew fat from the spoils of rapine and butchery, till the oppressed were maddened with scepticism, and no God was believed in but that false god who helps the strong against the weak. There is a judgment in this world. The enlightened conscience now re-hears, and sets aside the decisions of the past. Righteousness, that always was a sentiment, is fast becoming a science. The thunders of the four Gospels are loosening their voices. Lips, crushed into dumbness for generations, and trodden into dust, are faintly heard 1 and lo, all around us, it is the cry of our brother's blood that goeth up from the ground. The invisible Hades has broken loose, and like a subterranean torrent, men hear the hollow voices of the under world. Men stand upon an earth that is crumbling, and beneath a firmament that is being cleft asunder, by the swift down-rushing of the final breath of fire.
" Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented before that preaching of Divine Love which proved ineffectual in Capernaum and Jerusalem ; in other words, the nations grow harder as they grow older, and the world grows old about them. The truth that would reclaim an African and transfigure a Japanese, provokes, in stiffened, antiquated lands, like this, the sneer of derision and the cold smile of incredulity. In fine, we have marched in the progress of civilization, and by the outgrowth of nationality from nationality, to the Spiritual West, as the men of the age of bone, to the edge of the Material West of the known world. We have graded and terraced the precipitous mountain-sides, and planted our gardens, and built our palaces thereon, but they overhang the pit. For this land in the future there is but one of two things possible; utter abnegation of self, utter abjuration of vices, utter casting out of devils, utter acceptance