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which appeared to us to be subject to no rules of physics with which we are acquainted.
The editor follows this with an account of a visit he paid to the Marshalls. The séance was, without doubt, a failure, and was confessed to be such by the medium. He concludes by remarking:
If we have found the "manifestations" at the house of the Marshalls unsatisfactory and inconclusive, we are equally bound to express our opinion that the travestie of Spiritualism at the Polytechnic is a signal failure.
SINGULAR STORY. The death of Mr. F. H. Wiggin, proprietor of the Northumberland Arms, Bermondsey, took place on Thursday morning, the 8th inst. Mr. Wiggin retired to bed the previous night in his usual health and spirits, but at 5 o'clock in the morning he ruptured a blood-vessel, and in six hours he expired from exhaustion. It seems a remarkable presentiment of his death was made known to him two months previously, when, to amuse his children, he drew upon a slate a coffin, and wrote an inscription, a verbatim copy of which was inscribed on his coffin plate on his interment, as follows:-“ Frederick H. Wiggin, died October 8th, 1868, aged 40." This sketch and inscription he showed to his wife, and others who happened to be present. The remains of the deceased, who was much respected, were, on Monday, taken from London to Horton, for interment by the side of his father's grave.—Daily News, 19 October.
THE REV. T. L. HARRIS AND " THE BROTHER
HOOD OF THE NEW LIFE."
We have watched with interest all the little that has become known, of the interior workings of this experimental seeking after the inner life. With all the more interest, as the personal claims of Mr. Harris to infallible utterances have become more and more developed, and his rule over the new community has in consequence become more and more absolute. On former occasions we have had the opportunity of stating our opinion of these claims, and whilst fully admitting and delighting in the beauty and the truth of much that Mr. Harris has written, we have felt it our strongest duty to protest against the infallibility of his utterances. Many of his more earnest friends, too earnest as we thought them, objected to the line we took, which was necessarily a stringent one, inasmuch as it compelled us to put forward instances in disproof of his pretensions, and which were
not palatable nor easily reconciled with his being the very truth itself. We did this too at a time when we thought that it was needed in the interest of some, who were evidencing a too complete reliance upon Mr. Harris, and in the hope that what we brought forward might save a too late discovery by them.
We hear recently that our strictures were not un-needed, though they were disregarded, and that subsequent events have proved their truth. Our only antagonism is against infallibility, whether it be of Harris or of Swedenborg, or of any other man; and our object is to warn against the acceptance of any utterances whether spiritual or otherwise, excepting upon their own intrinsic merits.
We shall not be surprised if a full account of the interior working of the “ Brotherhood of the New Church" as it is developed at Erie, when it shall come to be published, will put this question of infallibility in a light which will be quite satisfactory to those who have given these warnings, and which will prevent others from being misled by their inconsiderate zeal, and search after a truth, which must evidently be sought by another method.
Notices of Books.
THE SPIRITUAL HARP.*
The Spiritualists of America are very mindful of the Apostolic injunction not to forsake the assembling of themselves together. Besides their Conventions—of which there is always one on hand—and their grove meetings, picnics, and other occasional gatherings, they have whenever practicable their periodical meetings and lectures :—in some of the principal towns the largest halls that can be obtained are used for these purposes. Then there are the Children's Lyceums which they have founded, and which promise to become, as they certainly should be, highly popular. They find that music is an essential element in education and in school government, and they also fully appreciate its special importance at their meetings harmonizing and blending the hearts as well as ve those who meet together. And in order that all effectively in these exercises, books have been specially for them; they have their “Psalms of Life,'
* The Spiritual Harp. A Collection of Vocal Music gregation, and Social Circle. By J. M. PEEBLES and J.O.B Musical Editor. Boston: WHITE AND COMPANY, Banner be had of J. Burns, Camberwell.
Spiritual Devotion,” and “Spirit-Minstrel — a Collection of Tunes and Hymns appropriate to meetings for Spiritual Intercourse;" and now we have from the Banner of Light Office a large handsome volume of nearly 300 pages, containing about as many Harmonies, Songs, Choruses, Chants, Anthems, and
Spirit-Echoes” as there are days in the year; the words being accompanied (as they always should be) with the music of the tune to which they are to be sung.
We have often noticed that for want of this each person at church seems to consider himself at liberty to sing the tune he likes best, or perhaps the only one he happens to know ;-and so the congregation, with jangling and imperfect articulation, too often“ sing to the praise and glory of God” in a style that must make even an Italian organ-grinder shudder.
In the “Greeting” which takes the place of the usual “ Preface” it is stated, that " at least one-third of the poetry and three-quarters of the music is original." We regret this, and wish that these original compositions had been more sparingly used, so that in their place we might have had a little more of the music of the old masters and of the best modern composers, and of the words of our great poets—the mating of perfect music unto noble words.
We could, for their sakes, well have spared a number of pieces and tunes by the long list of obscurities whose names appear in the index, where they will be seen by many for the first time. To name only a few of the pieces which we think might appropriately have been introduced into the volume there are Vaughan's “ They have all gone into the world of light;" Herbert's “ Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright;" Addison's “ The spacious Firmament on high ;” Dryden's “Creator, Spirit, by whose light;" Longfellow's “ Footsteps of Angels," and " Psalm of Life;" Holmes's “The Living Temple;" Whittier's “ The Over-Heart," and the verses “O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother;" Cowper's “God moves in a mysterious way;" Elliott's “Forest Worship;" Nicoll's “ High Thoughts," " Arouse thee, Soul,” and “The bursting of the Chain;" Lynch's "Heart of Christ, О cup most golden;" Bryant's "Hymn of the City;" Vedder's “ Temple of Nature;" Peabody's “Hymn of Nature ;" Wordsworth's “ Labourer's Noonday Hymn;" Barton's “ The Divine Omnipresence," and first four stanzas of “The Spirit's Aim;” Moore's “O Thou who dry'st the Mourner's tear;" Harris's “Oh! lone is the Spirit on Life's troubled ocean;" Wotton's "How happy is he born and taught;" Harriet Martineau's “All men are equal in their birth," and "Beneath this starry arch ;" and Mrs. Browning's The Sleep;"— based on the text which forms the refrain to
each stanza—“He giveth his beloved sleep.” A few pieces too, that are anonymous, or whose authors are unknown to the reviewer, might have found a place in the volume; we name only two—both we believe American—" Over the River" and “Evermore.” Stanzas, too, might well have been selected from longer poems—such as Byron's “ The Prayer of Nature" and Tennyson's “In Memoriam.” Surely, too, some pieces, or selections, might have been given from such poets as Milton, Akenside, Thomson, Campbell
, Coleridge, Bowring, and Trench. Nor need such orthodox hymnologists as Wesley, Doddridge, Heber, Keble, Madame Guion, and James Montgomery, have been wholly ignored. Some of their compositions all Spiritualists might surely join in singing; and we submit they would have been more suitable for general purposes than pieces so purely local as “Washtenong," and have furnished better poetry than many pieces that might be pointed out in this compilation. For instance, while we make no objection to people being as enthusiastic as they can-boisterous if they will
— in praise of the pump and in renouncing wicked tipple and all its ways, we think such sorry verses as—
“ Fools may combine to sing of winc,
Of whisky, gin, or porter ;
To sing of pure cold water," might well have given place to the higher poetry we have indicated. Then, too, we must respectfully protest against giving “improved readings" of great poets. If, for instance, Tennyson's noble bugle song—as he wrote it—was deemed unsuitable, it should have been omitted altogether; and the statement of the editors that “the selected poetry is culled with the most scrupulous fidelity,” have been rigidly adhered to.
We hope we shall not be considered hypercritical in these remarks. We consider that the book, as a whole, is far above the average of such collections, and that it will be found very suitable for those for whom it has been prepared. We know that in a compilation of this kind there are always difficulties in making selections to give general satisfaction; but while we accord the editors credit for the pains they have taken, we feel assured that neither they nor our readers would respect inconsiderate or indiscriminating eulogy :- a course which makes literary criticism a mere pretence, and tends only to bring it into contempt. We think so well of the work, and deem it so useful, that we would wish to see it made as nearly perfect as possible; and these hints are thrown out with a view to its improvement in a second edition, which we hope will soon be called for. Perhaps it might be found practicable instead of
having in use three or four separate collections of the same kind, to combine in this the several excellencies of each, and to issue a cheap edition of it for those who may not require the music.
A VOLUME OF SPIRITUAL POETRY.*
The poetry of this volume is preceded by the following introductory words to the reader : The verses contained in this volume flowed from the pen of the writer unasked for, unpremeditated, and without study or effort. She believes their source to be in the spirit-world. They are here given with very little alteration from the original manuscript. To her they have afforded pleasure and comfort, and she hopes they may not be without interest to others."
A personal friend, in whose house nearly the whole of these songs were written, writes to us concerning it :-“ It is exactly what the preface says it is, and the writer has never written any other poetry than that from which these are selected.” He adds that the publisher was directed to advertise it as a volume of spiritual poetry: which, probably from business considerations, he has omitted to do. That it is so, will, we think, to those at all familiar with such productions, be evident, from intrinsic evidence, apart from external attestation.
But whatever its origin, it is a book for quiet hours, for seasons of calm religious thoughtfulness and pensive meditation, when the cares of the world are shut out, and the spirit hushed and still, is left alone with Nature and feels its spiritual suggestiveness, or recalls the memories of long ago, or listens to the earnest questionings which spring up within it. We should like to present the reader with several of these gems of spiritual song, bút must be content to give only the following one:
A world of beauty lies,
Seen by the spirit's eyes.
Amongst those flowerets moves,
Which the watching spirit loves:
By man's interior life;
Which cannot live in strife.
* Songs of the Spirit. By “ H. H.," London. F. BOWTER Kitto, 5, Bishopsgate Without.