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proclaimed in the language of a seer and teacher of the nineteenth century; and it is worth more than all the “ New Gospels” of_the “uncanonized Saints," with which in this volume Mr. Davis has favoured us.
Many portions of the work-interesting as they are—are only held together by some slight thread of association in the personal experience of the writer, and would well admit of detachment and separate publication. Such is the case with the chapter entitled “God revealed to Intellect," which in certain quarters might be circulated with advantage, and which we would especially commend to the consideration of those professed disciples of Mr. Davis who teach that “our theology may admit of a personal God or not,” as though it were quite a matter of uncertainty or indifference; and as if without the recognition of a personal God, theology were even possible. The circumstance which led Mr. Davis to the construction of his argument is thus related by him :
One beautiful evening in May I was reading by the light of the setting sun in my favourite Plato. I was seated on the grass, interwoven with golden blooms, immediately on the bank of the crystal Colorado of Texas. Dim in the distant West arose, with smoky outlines, massy and irregular, the blue cones of an offshoot of the Rocky Mountains.
I was perusing one of the Academician's most starry dreams. It had laid fast hold of my fancy without exciting my faith. I wept to think that it could not be true. At length I came to that startling sentence, “God geometrizes." “Vain revery!" I exclaimed, as I cast the volume on the ground at my feet. It fell close by a beautiful little flower that looked fresh and bright, as if it had just fallen from the bosom of a rainbow. I broke it from its silvery stem, and began to examine its structure. Its stamens were five in number; its green calyx had five parts; its delicate corol was five-parted, with rays expanding like those of the Texan star. This combination of five three times in the same blossom appeared to me very singular. I had never thought on such a subject before. The last sentence I had just read in the page of the pupil of Socrates was ringing in my ears—"God geometrizes.". There was the text written long centuries ago; and here this little flower, in the remote wilderness of the west, furnished the commentary. There suddenly passed, as it were, before my eyes à faint Aash of light. I felt my heart leap in my bosom. The enigma of the universe was open. Swift as a thought I calculated the chances against the production of those three equations of five in only one flower, by any principle devoid of the reason to perceive number. I found that there were one hundred and twenty-five chances against such a supposition. I extended the calculation to two flowers, by squaring the sum last mentioned. The chances amounted to the large sum of fifteen thousand six hundred and twenty-five. I cast my eyes around the forest; the old woods were literally alive with those golden blooms, where countless bees were humming, and butterflies sipping honey-dew.
I will not attempt to describe my feelings. My soul became a tumult of radiant thonghts. I took up my beloved Plato from the grass where I had tossed him in a fit of despair. Again and again I pressed him to my bosom, with a clasp tender as a mother's around the neck of her sleeping child. I kissed alternately the book and the blossom, bedewing them with tears of joy. In my wild enthusiasm, I called out to the little birds on the green boughs trilling their cheery farewells to departing day—“Sing on, sunny birds; sing on, swuct minstrels; Lo! ye and I have still a God!" Thus perished the last,
doubt of the sceptic. Having found the Infinite Father, I found also myself and my beloved ones—all, onee more.*
The collection of so-called “Gospels” which Mr. Davis has incorporated in Arabula as illustrating its spirit, consists of passages mostly interesting and some valuable, from various writers, ancient and modern, chiefly American, thrown into a shape which we think is not indicative of good taste, to say nothing of the respect due to the sincere, if mistaken, religious feelings of the community in general. In name, form, headings, type, and division into chapter and verse, it suggests a travesty of the New Testament writers: the extracts from Theodore Parker being called “The Gospel according to St. Theodore;" those from Eliza W. Farnham, “The Gospel according to St. Eliza,” and so forth; the whole thing looking like the irreverent joke (not an original or a very brilliant one) of some smart pupil of the Children's Lyceum; and is quite unworthy of Mr. Davis, as a philosopher. It is a blunder, too, the more to be regretted that it will confirm the prejudices needlessly excited against the book by the stale objections to the Bible which År. Davis therein goes out of his way to retail at second-hand.
In these works we note also an occasionally vague and shifting sense in the use of terms with which, if not very careful,
* The above anecdote calls to mind the touching incident related by the celebrated African traveller, Mungo Park. He says:
“After the robbers were gone, I sat for some time looking around me with amazement and terror. Whichever way I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage.
I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once on my recollection, and I confess that my spirits began to fail me. I considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative bat to lie down and perish. The influence of religion, however, aided and supported me. I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could possibly have averted my present sufferings. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still under the protecting eye of that Providence who has condescended to call himself the stranger's friend. At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly, caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsula, without admiration. Can that Being, thought I, who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image ? Surely not. Reflections like these would not allow me to despair. I started up, disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed. In a short time I came to a small village, at the entrance of which I overtook the two shepherds who had come with me from Kooma, They were much surprised to see me; for they said they had never doubted that the Foulahs, when they had robbed, had murdered me. Departing from this village, we travelled over several rocky ridges, and at sunset arrived at Libidooloo, the frontier town of the Kingdom of Manding."
the reader may be much perplexed, as in the words, “ Matter," “Mind;”. “Nature," “ Spirit;" which are sometimes used as inconvertible antitheses, sometimes as correlatives.
Thus, Mr. Davis tells us “ Mind has been called 'immaterial;' but it is as much material as anything else. All things are really the same thing. Matter and soul, though said to be so different, actually consist of the same principle, though in different degrees of development. Soul is a more attenuated form of matter, this accounts for the imperceptibility of soul by the physical eye." This looks explicit; mind or soul (in the foregoing extract the two terms are used indifferently) it would seem are regarded only as highly refined matter, and as you convert ice into water, and that again into steam, so you have only to apply a sufficient degree of heat to further convert steam into soul; and by the reverse process to reconvert a soul into steam, and thence condense it into a block of ice; as “the two actually consist of the same principle, though in different degrees of development.” Mr. Davis indeed anticipates and expressly guards against a misconception that would land us in such an absurdity, assuring us that " This is not our meaning; nor is it true in any logical sense. Our philosophy is that the universe , is a twofold unity—two eternal manifestations of two substances which, at heart, are One, but eternally twain in the realms of Cause and Effect.'! But in the very next sentence to that in which this correction occurs, Mr. Davis lapses into the same confusion of expression which he foresees would, if uncorrected, lead to a misapprehension; and again speaks of Matter and Mind as "interchangeable, convertible, essentially identical.” What we apprehend Mr. Davis really means is this :- there is one primordial substance proceeding from Deity (not“two eternal manifestations of two substances') discreted into two forms of manifestation-Spirit, and Matter. Is there no term to difference these ?
Mr. Davis tells us (and puts it in capitals), Spirit is SubSTANCE; and he speaks of the “ Substantiality of the Summer Land." He cautions us that matter is a word which ought to be applied not to the original substratum of things, but, only to the form or body of things. The distinction between spirit as substratum, permanent substance, as distinguished from evanescent body or form, is one on which Coleridge (following the best philosophers of Germany) strongly insisted; it guards alike against the abstractions of the metaphysician and the Naturalism of the Materialist and the Pantheist. This distinction strictly and unifornily adhered to would have precluded such terms as “ material immateriality,” the physical structure” of the Summer Land, and so forth. The charge of Materialism and Pantheism
has often been brought against the writings of Mr. Davis, and they are perhaps generally regarded as having this tendency; a conclusion which, so far at least as these his latest writings is concerned, we believe to be without foundation,-a misconception which probably a more careful use of terms would have gone far to have prevented.
The error, we may even say the absurdity of regarding matter and spirit as the same thing, but in different stages of development, matter being only a grosser form of spirit which can, and is by sublimation transformed into spirit, is evidenced in the clairvoyant experience of Mr. Davis and other seers.* When physical dissolution occurs, the body of man is not sublimated into a spirit, but the spirit is separated from the material body which is buried in the earth, while the spirit comes into its own sphere of existence; thus demonstrating a perfect distinctness between the natural and the spiritual part of man. The spirit is eliminated from the body,--drawn forth an entire man, leaving behind all of the material body. And therefore the two are distinctly separate substances, which are not to be confounded together.
Now what is true of the relative nature of the spirit to the material body, is also true of all spiritual substances in relation to matter. They are distinctly separate from each other, “ Ever separate, yet for ever near. There are intermediates—connecting links between the spiritual and the natural world; yet both worlds are so separated that the one can never merge into and become the other.
Reverting to our original point of view, and regarding these latest works of Mr. Davis as an autobiography of the inner life of the writer, they, on the whole, indicate a marked growth in knowledge, in culture, and in power; and as compared with his former writings, they evince a spirit of reverence, a deeper moral and spiritual insight, and, consequently, clearer, larger, higher perceptions of Truth and Duty.
PROFESSOR K-, of Strasburg University, M.D., at a dinner party at Frankfort on the Maine, warmly combated the idea of supernatural visitations,—while one of the guests, an army captain, argued in favour of their appearance. The latter requested the Professor to accompany him to his country house, near which the former traced a large circle on the ground, and left the Professor by himself, with the following caution :
* See, for instance, The Philosophy of Death, reprinted from Mr. Davis's work, The Great Harmonia, Vol. I., p. 163.
If you step beyond this circle it will be your immediate destruction.” Shortly afterwards a small spark of fire seemed to approach the circle, when the Captain " seemed surrounded with a fiery atmosphere, every object became invisible except a remarkable figure, with a terrific brilliancy gleaming from its eyes.” He fell prostrate on the ground, and, shortly afterwards, the light gradually disappeared, and the host re-appeared. After supper, K. explained the whole circumstance to the Captain, who-shortly afterwards--saw the entrance of the same figure, with a terrific frown. A large dog whined and trembled, and both K. and his friend followed the apparition to the spot where the circle was traced. There the figure stopped, and a sudden bright column of light shot up. Å shriek was heard, and a heavy body seemed to fall from a considerable height. Darkness prevailed, and, upon obtaining light, the almost lifeless body of the Captain was found on the ground, and he died a few days afterwards. “Down one side, from head to foot, the flesh was livid and black, as if from a fall or bruise. The affair was hushed up in the immediate neighbourhood, and the sudden death (according to the narrator in the European Magazine for the year 1821,) was attributed to apoplexy.
Dr. Yarborough, Rector of Tewing, Herts, received the following story from General Sabine, Governor of Gibraltar :“A person of honour, veracity, and good sense, once when dangerously ill of his wounds, as he lay awake with a candle lighted in his room, he saw the curtains drawn back, and his wife then in England-presented herself to his view at the opening of the curtains, and then disappeared. He was amazed and deeply affected at the sudden sight. Shortly afterwards he received from England news of her death at about the same time when he had seen the phenomenon. He continued ever afterwards convinced of the certainty of apparitions. This event occurred about the year 1780, and was much noticed at the time of its