"God is spirit, and they who
worship Him must
worship in spirit and in truth." - Jesus.
"Now brethren, concerning Spiritual gifts,
I would not
have you ignorant." -St. Paul.
Millions of Spiritual beings walk the
earth both when
we wake and when we sleep." -Milton, Hesiod.
"A little cloud is rising in the west not
a man's hand, which will one day over spread the earth; that cloud is
"I have not had time in the midst of my
busy life, while
solving the problem of human freedom, to, investigate the phenomena, of
Spiritualism, nevertheless, I believe Its philosophy and phenomena are
true, and that Spiritualism will be the religion of the future."
"Sooner than we imagine the day will dawn
when a godless
science will be an unscientific absurdity." -Giles B. Stebbins.
Spiritualism, as a name, is
with all that relates to the spirit:
1. The universal spirit
and governing the universe as Universal Intelligence;
2. The individual spirit,
expressed in the earthly environment or in the larger freedom of the
Specifically, the name
the religious, philosophical and phenomenal aspects of a movement that
had its modern beginnings in a series of manifestations, spiritual,
and physical, forty-five years ago. 
This movement and these
came unsought by those in mortal life; they appeared almost
in the different portions of this country, and very soon after in
parts of the world.
The manifestations and the
in fact, the movement as a whole and in its several parts, were the
of impelling intelligences outside of and manifestly beyond human
in the earthly state.
For convenience only, and
any intention of dividing any portion of the subject from the whole,
without forgetting that the name in its entirety signifies all that has
ever been expressed from the realm of spirits to those in mortal life,
and all that has been unfolded by aspiration and inspiration from
the human spirit, the writer will divide the subject into three general
1. The Phenomenal
2. The Philosophical
3. The Religious Aspect.
The writer is convinced that
method of presentation will better represent all classes of minds who
interested in this stupendous movement either as a whole or through any
one of these especial departments.
In the presentation the writer will reverse the
order by considering first
THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT
If, as Saint Paul
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence af things not
the most exalted faith must be synonymous with the most positive
and the word "faith" must have been misinterpreted in its essential
by most denominational religionists.
Those who accept
as a new manifestation of, or a new religion (always using the word
in the largest interpretation) do so upon the following bases:
1. The Supreme Intelligence;
God; the Over-Soul; the Divine Parent, or any other name or term that
individual may choose as synonymous with Infinite Good, the Love, and
2. The soul (or spirit) as
entity, forever en rapport with the Eternal, Infinite Good,
seeking and receiving evidences of the loving All Presence; as the sun
is the light of the visible universe, so this Infinite Love and Wisdom
is the light of all souls.
3. The recognition of the
from God to Man, either by direct perception awakened in Man or by
from higher realms of spirits and angelic beings.
4. The recognition of the Great
Messianic Teacher or, Teachers as the voice of truth to the
Those who receive
Spiritualism in its
religious aspect are:
1. The Christian
accept the Christ life as impersonated in Jesus of Nazareth as the
expression of religious revelation of truth and who consider that
denominational or sectarian definitions, the life and works of Jesus
the highest guidance, but who also recognize that every age has been
with spiritual teachers chosen to bear to earth the message of
and love of God to Man.
Most of these Christian
are members of different Christian churches. There are to be
in every denominational church in Christendom those who accept spirit
as taught by Spiritualism as a part of their religion.
2. Spiritualists who accept
"religion" in the broadest possible interpretation of its meaning, who
recognize the religions of every age as having their primal basis in
and who are willing and ready to accept the truths received in
and every form of faith; who consider that Zoroaster or Zardhust,
Buddha, and Jesus were the interpreters of truth to the ages in which
lived; that the prophets, seers, and others endowed with spiritual
in every age have been the means of presenting spiritual truths to man;
that spiritual gifts as witnessed today among the media for spiritual
are similar (making due allowance for the difference in the general
of humanity) to those that have occurred in past times, especially
accompanying every new dispensation or manifestation of religious
and are particularly similar to those mentioned in Paul's epistle on
3. There are still others
Spiritualism to be a new dispensation of religion; not only as a new
of old revealments perpetuating the good in all past religions, but a
and living inspiration from the Infinite as the light of this day, and
they believe that Spiritualism, in its entirety of phenomena,
and revelation, forms the basis of the new religion.
Spiritualists have no
articles of faith, or statement of belief excepting the truth as
by the individual, each according to others the privilege of
God according to the dictates of consciousness.
There is a feeling of
all and they meet on the common ground of universal Spiritual truth.
God as manifest in Infinite
Universal Fraternity of Souls.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECT
"There are more things in heaven
and earth Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy" - Shakespeare, in Hamlet.
All religion is love (love
to God, human
"We are all parts of one stupendous whole,
Nature is and God the soul." - Pope
As science is demonstrated truth
knowledge, so philosophy is wisdom.
The philosophy of Spiritualism
the inblending into the one perfect whole of all its parts; the union
its phenomena, and spirit, the meeting and merging of its body and soul.
To many, perhaps a great
thoughtful minds than most people are aware, the philosophical aspect
Spiritualism is its most enchanting, and as it seems to them, its most
comprehensive side. To the writer it is the one side of the equilateral
triangle of which the phenomenal portion is the base and religion the
side, which triangle solves the circle of immortality.
The logical perfection of
of Spiritualism is the primal statement.
Its harmony with the
in the undoubted elevation of purpose of the individual, and the whole
human race by the substitution of individual growth and unfoldment into
Spiritual perfectness for any other method of attaining the
good here and hereafter. Its propositions are:
1. That the present and
existence of the conscious Spirit, the ego, inheres in the
and is not an especial bestowment of the Infinite or the result of
with the human organism.
2. That whatever may
ideas of individuals or classes concerning a conscious, a priori existence,
or previous state of the individual intelligence embodied in each human
life, there is but one philosophical conclusion, based on the
and intuitional evidences of Spiritualism, i.e., that the change called
death (or separation from the body) is not only a natural change
in all organisms,) but it is the next step in the existence of the
releasing or setting free its activities in the next state or realm,
as perfectly in accordance with the Divine plan as is the birth into
In fact that the next step
is the legitimate sequence of existence here, and that each human
takes up its line of active individual life in spirit existence, just
as an individual spirit, the thread seems broken or disturbed at
3. That the spirit realm
whatever spirits are, or need, in that state of existence, as the earth
state includes whatever is needed for earthly expression.
4. That the fixed states of
or misery are not possible in any state of the spirit expression, but
each spirit, according to growth, continues the individual activities
unfoldments, and all advance from lower to higher conditions by gradual
states of progression through unending cycles.
5. That no Spirit or
too exalted or holy to reach and assist those who are beneath and none
to low to be aided by those above.
Cycle on cycle must the ages
Onward and upward must all spirits tend, Seen in the perfect light of
love, All in one supreme purpose ever blend.
6. That the various
which spirits find themselves after their release from the environment
of the sensuous organism, the relative and absolute
governing those states, the inter-blending of spirits in more
with those in less perfect conditions of unfoldment; the communion with
and ministration to those in earthly existence; in fact, that the
governing the Spiritual realm and the wisdom by which that realm
encircles and governs the whole of life are made known.
The Philosophy of
the Philosophy of Life.
Material science has claimed
the indestructibility of the primal atom, or whatever is the ultimate
Spiritualism does prove the
of individual soul by bases, deductions and proofs as undeniable as the
principles of mathematics.
its final definition, it is the Philosophy of Philosophies, as it
is the Religion of Religions, and (if need be) the Science of
It includes the
final statements of matter, the primal and final terms for mind, the
and final principles of spirit in the eternal entity, the soul
all that relates to states and conditions, degrees, and stages of
all that relates to being, and includes every portion and factor in its
statement of the whole.
THE PHENOMENAL ASPECT
This phase of the subject
designated scientific, although the writer does not think,
that the words science and scientific, as usually
can be applied to the investigation of even the phenomenal phases of
Forty-five years ago,
like Professor Robert Hare, of Philadelphia; James J. Mapes, of New
and, later, Alfred R. Wallace, Professor Crooks and Mr.
of England; Camille Flammarion, of France; Professor Zollner, of
Germany, and scores of other scientists of note, investigated the
phenomena of Spiritualism and have uniformly declared that there is no
law of material science with which they are familiar that can explain
phenomena; and that they have recourse only to the solution always
by the manifesting intelligence, viz: That the source of
phenomena is disembodied spirits working through means and methods
unknown in any human science.
As the result of the
investigating the phenomena of Spiritualism, made by so many eminent
men in all parts of the world, extending over the entire period of
years in which Spiritualism as a name and manifestation has been in the
world, from the small rappings near Rochester, N. Y., to the
and multitudinous phenomena of today, there has been but one conclusion
among scientific men, viz: That the cause of the phenomena is
in the phenomena, that both are demonstrated beyond the possibility of
a cavil or a doubt; and that to investigate the physical, mental
or intuitional phenomena of Spiritualism separately from the whole
with a view of ascertaining another cause than that of the action of
is as much a work of supererogation as to investigate the phenomena of
the light of day with a view to finding another source of light
The phenomena, philosophy
focalize around persons who are called "Mediums," that being the name
upon them by the manifesting intelligences, the spirits who act upon
through them. At the present writing there is no knowledge among
Spiritualists as a body, or investigators within or outside of the
of Spiritualism as to what constitutes mediumship.
Mediums are chosen by
intelligences desiring to manifest, from among all nationalities,
races, classes, and conditions of people. Although the
gift or phase of mediumship may seem to depend upon, or be modified by
the mental and physical or other states of the individual, the
se or action of the spirit intelligences governing the
The difficulties to be
met in approaching
this investigation from a purely scientific standpoint are very clear,
even if the word "scientific" shall be made to mean every kind of
These difficulties we
Physical phenomena are usually the basis of scientific investigation,
naturally, along that line the investigation must be from effect to
therefore, from the first the investigation must be confined to results
merely. Sometimes science arrives at a perfect knowledge of
usually only approximately at causes. With the phenomenal
well as other phases of Spiritualism the cause is immanent from the
and science has nothing to do but to make a statement.
This may be illustrated
if one hears a rap at the door of his room or dwelling, and on opening
the door he finds a friend, or any person or thing whatsoever, as the
of the sounds, he at once loses interest in the phenomena of the
and is occupied by the larger interest of receiving his friend.
is nothing to be solved. If, however, he repeatedly hears the sounds,
on going to the door, discovers no person or thing that could have
them, he commences his investigation to discover the cause.
From the very first manifestation of the
Spiritualism to the last, the cause or source of the phenomena has been
as manifest as the phenomena.
By as intelligent methods as
signals, or any established system of communication between mind and
in human states, these spiritual intelligences have been
Invariably they have declared themselves to be individual spirits who
lived in earth forms, accompanying the declaration by evidences of
identity entirely separated from and independent of any individual in
earth form at the time of the manifestation.
The cause of the phenomena
so clearly identical with the results as to make a scientific
on the basis of discovering a new cause, entirely impertinent. To
the knowledge already gained is totally unscientific as well as
Therefore all investigations of Spiritualism de nervo, claiming,
priori, that the source of the manifestation is still unknown is
to ignoring the whole subject.
Doubtless the methods of
between the two states of conscious existence, the one proceeding and
other following the change called death, will be formed into an
branch in the future study of Spiritualism, or will be revealed from
same realm by the same intelligences from whence the movement as a
has been impelled into mortal life. Possibly that study may
lead to scientific data upon which to predicate knowledge of the
by which disembodied spirits communicate with those in the human
Thus far there has been no
of facts, because none was needed, each particular manifestation being
given for the specific purpose of conveying the intelligence desired
disembodied spirits to than in human life; and since the philosophy, or
the whole subject includes both cause and result, and since these
themselves into the one word Spiritualism, the subject in its entirety
is before the world, and the subdivisions may be open to study.
The conclusions are
same, whether arrived at from the supposed scientific method or the
of philosophical deductions, or revealed by distinct inspiration, viz:,
individual human intelligences existing beyond human states, (and
presumably immortal) do manifest under conditions not known by those
in human life. The demonstration of this and what it naturally
to in all that pertains to the relation of Spirits, embodied and
to each other and to the whole universe, constitutes the realm of
That there is no solution
the phenomena, physical, mental or spiritual, in the known realm of
and that, while the methods of communion between the two states are
unknown, the evidence of the existence of disembodied spirits, and of
communication with this world, is demonstrated.
Spiritualists are by
tenacious as to terms, and the writer is perfectly willing to state to
those who pursue the investigation along the lines of exact science
is the fullest appreciation of their work: but the majority of
in viewing the whole subject, consider that the whole subject is beyond
the realm of exact science and within the realm of revealed or
Whatever view may be taken
investigation, of the whole subject or of its physical phenomena only,
it is the proper place here to state that all scientific minds who have
investigated the phenomenal phases of this movement readily admit that
Spiritualism will compel a restatement or the re-creation of scientific
bases and terms: in the recognition of a vast unexplored realm between
the realm of spirit and the heretofore recognized domain of science,
that realm shall included a "fourth dimension of space," as suggested
Professor Zollner, or whether it will be found to be a realm of occult
forces impinging on the material and spiritual states, and inter
blending with each, or whether the results will prove the methods of
to be simply free of individual volition. The final adoption of
of these methods, or of any other not named, must be determined by
revealments, and in any case the new statement will be incorporated
Spiritualism as a portion of its entire statement.
Scientific minds in
the whole subject as follows: 1st., the existence of the
human spirit; the continued conscious existence of the individual
after the change called death: the intercommunion of the two
by the voluntary action of individual disembodied spirits to and
those existing in human form; by automatic action upon the brain or any
part of the human organism without the conscious concurrence of the
acted upon: 2nd., by action upon sentient or non-sentient
objects without the intervention of any human being, excepting that
manifestations usually occur in the presence of a medium who does not
aid in their production: 3rd., by action upon all bodies and
upon the earth or in its atmosphere, without the intervention of any
agency, and by methods not known in any existing science.
The scientific statement is
of a future life, demonstrated truth of immortality.
A RESUME OF ITS WORK AND INFLUENCE
movement wholly impelled
from the realm of spirit and borne forward on the wave of inspiration,
although intelligently met and aided from the first by many among the
minds of the earth, it is utterly impossible to name or number all
whom it has reached.
Societies have been
organized in every
State in the Union, and in all parts of the world as centers for those
who have had individual experiences, and to receive the manifestations
and ministrations from the spirit world: but Spiritualism has spread
by individual experiences than by organized efforts.
As early as 1860, the late
Hughes, of New York, estimated that there were ten millions of
in the United States alone: pro rata there should
be thirty millions. Spiritualists claim no definite number, and
are unimportant in a statement of truth. If its principles and
manifestations be perceived by but one, all the world must follow.
The organization of
local societies and now into a National Association is rather for the
of fellowship and mutual protection than for any sectarian purpose, and
also for the purpose of making the manifestations and ministrations, as
well as the Spiritual teachings given through the media.
As a whole movement, the
its influence is measureless. Its manifestations extend into
department of human thought; its presence in the world has changed the
entire attitude of thoughtful minds concerning the problems of death
the after life, and their relation to human states, at the same time
up for investigation a vast inter-realm, including the latent
of the human spirit while in the earthly environment.
It has reached the man of
his laboratory, or study, and within its rare Alembic, has rewrought
demonstration of immortality.
It has walked into the
al denominations, religions and tongues; as stood beside the clergyman
or priest or ministrant, and has whispered the message of immortal
saying: "Are they not all ministering spirits?"
It has proved itself a
all religions and philosophies by correcting erroneous ideas born of
human interpretations concerning a future life, and substituting
It has restored spiritual
made them a portion of the recognized opinions of the human race.
It has made thousands and
of thousands to acknowledge by name within and without the churches;
and without established schools of philosophy; within and without the
of science, by knowledge alone; and thousands of others to accept its
in the form of belief based upon testimony of others.
It sources of inspiration
It teachers and messengers
great, the wise, and the loved ones who have passed on.
It has opened a royal or
to knowledge for many who are its chosen instruments, by touching child
minds with facts and data, with scientific and philosophical knowledge,
with wisdom far beyond their years, and with eloquence unknown to
It not only has created a
of its own, in hundreds of volumes of experience and philosophy, and
of periodicals publishing its demonstrations and advocating its
but it has pervaded the best literature of the age, touching and
illumining the minds of such writers as Dickens, Thackery, Longfellow,
Phelps and scores of others with its living presence.
Its uplifting influence is
every life that accepts its truths, and in the whole world by making
aims of life here consistent with a continued existence, primary steps
in the external pathway, and by making the basis f life Spiritual,
To a materialistic and
age, it has demonstrated the existence of the human spirit beyond the
To those who had "hope" and
through any form of religious belief in a future life, it has added
and to both has opened the gateways that had not even been left "ajar"
between the spiritual and material realms.
It has removed the
fear of death,
and of what might come to the spirit after dissolution of the body by a
knowledge of the states and conditions of these who have passed beyond
that change as declared by the testimony of disembodied spirits, who
be in the very nature of the case the only authentic sources of
upon subjects pertaining to that future existence.
It has bridged the chasm,
the gulf between the two states of existence by the Iris archway of
Immortal messengers have
knowledge of their state of existence and have announced in
ways the nearness of that so-called "undiscovered country."
Invisible hands have
fires upon the altars of inspiration that had long been desolate.
Angels and ministering
anew attuned the voices of mortals to immortal songs.
And they have "rolled away
from the door of the sepulcher" of thousands of human hearts who
their dead lived not.
Its authority is truth
Its sacred books the
Its Oracles and Priests,
the truth anoints and inspiration calls; its creed the unwritten law of
knowledge, wisdom, truth, and love.
Its ceremonials the service
of a noble
Its communion is with
and its fellowship with all;
Its altars, the human
temples, living souls;
It is the open door, the
the demonstration, philosophy and religion of the immortal soul.
"Is not this the light that lighteth
that cometh into the world?"
Calm-browed and unafraid
open-visioned Presence views the heretofore and the hereafter, the
and the future, with equal interest and courage born of perfect truth.
The "well-springs of eternal
are hers, and she bids mortals drink fearlessly at their living
The "bread of life" is hers,
bids all spirits partake freely from the all-bounteous store.
From the vintage of the
wine of her everlasting kingdom is distilled in streams of living
Poets quaff as this golden
is pressed to their lips and sing the songs of the spheres.
Sages gather from its open
house the wisdom of the skies.
Seers and prophets, inspired
reveal again the forever old, forever new, immortal theme.
The mourner forgets her
dries her tears while listening to the messages of love.
The weary find their rest in
reposeful and eternal ways.
The weak find strength in
Crime, sin and all human
and shadows fade gradually, yet surely, before its all potent light.
The whole world touched,
thrilled, aroused from the lethargy of material propositions and
assertions, from charnal houses of the senses, the tombs of death and
from sepulchers wherein their hope and faith and highest love were well
nigh buried, turns toward this anew day-dawn saying,