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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14

How and why I Became a Spiritualist

page break Vol. I. No. 1. January 10, 1885.

The Independent Pulpit.

decorative feature with building and title

Published by George Chainey, No. 310 Shawmut Ave., Boston, Mass.

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We take pleasure in presenting many new friends, as well as old ones, with this the first number of The Independent Pulpit. This lecture contains a brief account of former religious experiences, and narrates the facts that enabled me to pass from the company of the Don't Know's to that of the I Know's.

Former Subscribers.

I send a copy of this number to each of the subscribers to This World. I cannot, of course, expect you all to follow my example. What I have said to Col. Ingersoll, I repeat in my heart to each one of you. I shall take it as a great kindness if you will read this, and, whether you subscribe or not, let me know just how it impresses you. If you are not sufficiently interested to subscribe, will you be kind enough to hand it to some good Spiritualist of your acquaintance,

Present Subscribers.

I send an extra copy to each subscriber, hoping that they will be able thereby to procure me at least one new subscriber. If you will send me names and addresses of sincere and earnest Spiritualists, I shall be glad to send them sample copies free.

Chickering Hall.

The title page contains a cut of the building in which the lectures are delivered every Sunday afternoon at 2.45 P. M. This hall is probably the finest one of its size in the country. It is fitted up with all modern improvements, and lighted by the Edison electric light. The ventilation and acoustic properties are perfect. Its seating capacity is four hundred and sixty-two, all numbered, leather folding scats. We hope our friends at a distance will be present with us in spirit while we try to find the Perfect Way. Material contributions to the support of the lectures and work of the Society of the Perfect Way are needed, and will be gratefully received and acknowledged.

The following are some of the subjects that will be published during the year:—"The Ministry, Old and New." "Is Spiritualism a Religion?" "The Sphinx, or the Problem of Life." "Medusa and Perseus." "The Perfect Way, or the Finding of Christ." "Spiritualism in Shakespeare." "Walt Whitman." "Rosicrucianism." The Four-fold Nature of Man." "Lights and Shades of Spiritualism." "Ingersollism." "The Philosophy of Delsarte." "The Church of the Future." "Spiritual Gifts." "Immortality." "The Prodigal Son." "Black and White Magic." "The Occident and Orient." "The Light of Asia." "Soul Culture." "Theosophy." "Excelsior."


Boston Hermetic Lodge of Theosophy, George Chainey, President. Anna Kimball, Corresponding Secretary. Regular meeting Thursday, 2.30 P. M., at Theosophical Parlors, 310 Shawmut Avenue.


We take great pleasure in recommending all who wish, through this wonderful gift of soul sight, to know themselves, to send to Mrs. Kimball for a reading. Her terms are as follows; Character Readings, $2.00; Medial Faculties and their Culture, $2.00; Prophetic Readings, $3.00; Messages of Counsel from Guardian Teachers, $2.00; Examination of Minerals, $3.00. Personal Readings from 12 until 4 every day, except Sunday, $2.00. Enclose stamp for all letters, please. For all delineations, the requirements are some earnest thoughts, in own handwriting.


Mrs. Anna. Kimball,

310 Shawmut Av. Boston, Mass.

As I purpose for a time to send out many sample copies to strangers, I venture to publish the following Testimonials, as giving me some right to hope that my lectures may be interesting and instructive to those who read them:—


Col. Robert G. Ingersoll says:—

"Mr. Chainey is one of the best thinkers in this country. He has a wonderful command of language, is full of imagery, comparison, anthithesis, logic and beauty. He feels what he says with his whole heart, and perceives it with his entire brain. He is perfectly honest, and for that very reason is intellectually keen. Downright honesty in such a man is genius. He gives a true transcript of his mind, and gives it with great power. His lectures stir me like trumpets. They are filled with the loftiest spirit. Eloquent, logical, and poetic, they are as welcome and refreshing as the breeze of morning on the cheek of fever."

"Mr. Chainey is a large, well-formed though round-shouldered man, wears no beard, and in these days of crops would be called a long-haired man. He has a big head and a broad face. He is an orator. His eloquence is his chief fascination. His periods are models of oratorical beauty, and though ordinarily unimpassioned, he occasionally becomes intensely strong in his dramatic effects. He is singularly graceful of gesture. His methods inspire one with a conviction of his honesty. His elocution is masterly. His voice is magnetic, powerful, flexible, very pleasing. He would make a famous actor."—Scranton Daily Republican.

"Mr. Chainey has great ability, a most vivid imagination, a vast poetical capacity, a marvelous power for word painting, a command of the choicest flowers of rhetoric that language can furnish, together with high moral culture, a generous disposition, and a loving heart."—Charles Watts.

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How and Why I Became a Spiritualist.

Nothing exists in this world alone. Each is related to all and all to each. To-day is colored by every yesterday. It would be in vain to try to make you understand how I became a Spiritualist without prefacing it with a brief description of former religious experiences. Some of these having been published, no doubt some have read them; yet I feel that I could not be just to those who have not, or to the subject, without somewhat of repitition. I commenced my religious career as a Methodist; but this was simply my birthright, and came to me as naturally as measles or the whooping cough. I was so thoroughly cradled in Methodism that I hardly realized there was anything else to believe. Hell was beneath my feet, and heaven over my head. The world was a doomed ship just ready to sink, out of which I was to save as many as possible before she went down for good, and all the pleasures of life were, the fearful rapids that lurk at the brink of eternal ruin. In my eighteenth year I was minister of a church, with no thought or purpose in life but to save as many as possible from hell.

I cannot stop to enumerate the various influences that combined to open my eyes to a far different and far nobler interpretation of life. Suffice it to say that the time came when the principal doctrines of Methodism became to my mind false, to my conscience immoral, and to my heart utterly repulsive. Still, I was some time halting between two opinions. My reason called on me to go out, my heart to stay in. It was the church of my parents. It was their greatest joy and pride that I was one of its ministers. In it were hundreds of good and sincere people who loved and honored me truly. It seemed the store-house of all my affections. Outside the world was all strange, and for aught I knew unfriendly. Why should I, for the sake of a mere difference of opinion, sacrifice all the wealth of love and friendship gathered by years of devotion? Why should I pierce my own mother's heart with the sword of disappointment, and endanger the support of my loved ones for a few intellectual speculations? It is not possible to describe the struggle of such a position. The power of the heart to enforce its claim is mighty. The remembrance of a mother's prayers, the most sacred associations and tender memories of life, hold captive the intellect. The gathering tears of pity and love blind the eyes of truth. It seems as wrong to go as to stay. Remembering what I suffered, I have not one word of condemnation to utter against those who decide to stay. I can only tell them that to me there came a time, when I could no longer respect myself and stay, and so came out. . I can also add that from that day to this I have never regretted it. I can not tell you what I suffered at that time. Do you know what it is to be time to your highest vision of duty and have some dear friend whom you love with all your heart come and weep over you, upbraid and charge you with pride and vain glory? You stand together in the first meeting heart to heart and hand to hand, and you begin to talk in gentle words. He is sure he can convince you that you are wrong, and you are sure that he is so good and true that he must at least see that you are honest, and continue your friend page 2 though he cannot agree with your opinions. So you begin to talk. But a little stream begins to flow between you, and it grows wider and wider. You can no longer hold each other by the hand. The clash of argument rises above the gentle entreaties of the heart. The distance becomes wider and wider, and the waters grow deep and strong. You shout to each other in words of despair across the chasm, and then the sad desolation comes over you that the flowers of friendship are dead and that you are parted forever. You little realize how many of these tragedies of faith there are going on all over the land. The sad, silent pain of the heart, the conscious integrity, the noble purpose, the manly courage and the heroic sacrifice you have made—all regarded as a crime in the eyes of your dearest friends. The price of liberty of thought is no longer the sword and the flame, but it is almost as great when all your honor is treated with contempt. You who have been loyal at so great a cost called a traitor; you who having lost much that was dear to you discovering in your desolation that those whom you had thought it would ever be your privilege to love have become in their narrowness and bigotry objects only for your pity and contempt.

Why should a mere change of opinion produce such division between those who were once friends? The world is constantly changing. One form of civilization gives place to another. Systems of religion come and go. Nothing can be just the same to-day as it was yesterday. Why should we not expect our friends to change and be proud of them when they do? Why should not parents expect their children to have opinions as well as faces of their own? The differentiations of nature are infinite. No two leaves in all the countless forests are exactly alike. The idea of intellectual conformity to a creed is at discord with every law of nature. On leaving the Methodist I entered the Unitarian ministry, with the understanding that what was wanted was a man who would simply give his honest thought from Sunday to Sunday about life and duty, untrammeled by any creed. At this time I believed in God as the tender, loving Father and Mother of us all; in the Bible as containing the divine truth in a great deal of human error; in the immortal life; in Christianity as the highest ethical standard of conduct. Rejecting the idea of the Divinity of Jesus, I still saw in him the most perfect man, whose life might be taken as the light of the world.

But the spirit of growth, of progress, was ever urging me onward. Now the honor of all progress and civilization is claimed for Christianity. In calmly scrutinizing this claim I found that our art, our literature, our science, our education, our liberties had all been torn from its covetous grasp, from time to time, in moments of sheer desperation, as starving men have sometimes snatched food from the jaws of a cruel tiger. Reaching this conclusion, I gave up all right to the Christian name. The Christian doctrine of immortality is based on the literal physical resurrection of Jesus. That story is so contradictory and absurd, according to all laws of evidence and nature, that as soon as I thoroughly understood the evidence I lost my faith. I clung to it as a hope. But I did not know whether death was night or day, the folding or the unfolding of wings, eternal rest or eternal life and progress. Sometimes my hope shone like a star, and at others vanished like a meteor's ray! When life was bright and fair the thought of annihilation seemed absurd. When dark and troubled with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, it seemed sweet to think of death as the dreamless sleep of eternal rest. Hearts of dust do not break; eyes that are closed forever are no more scalded with the hot, bitter tears of grief. Welcome to many might be the placid waves that lave the shadowy shore of the silent continent of death. In the gloomy land of annihilation crawls no worm that never dies, and burns no lurid fire that is unquenched. page 3 We might die, but the race might go on growing grander, nobler and happier every day.

Better a million times that we reappear only in the grass or flowers, or be a part of the dust of the most common highway, along which living feet run on errands of mercy and justice, than to wail in hell, or sit with folded hands eternally singing psalms in an Orthodox heaven.

I also lost my faith in God. Prayer seemed but the offering of incense to infinite silence and nothingness. The purpose of this lecture makes it impossible to describe all the causes of this effect. But again, with great pain and discomfort, I was compelled to surrender my relations with a church. Again the stream of a divided faith parted me from dear friends. Again my best and noblest motives were misunderstood and maligned.

But believing that I still had a gospel to preach, I came to Boston and started an independent lectureship.

I felt it my duty to do my best to inspire and elevate people on the plain of this world. I saw thousands who had drifted away from the church, scattered like sheep without a shepherd. I felt that even without faith in the future, or in God, there was ample inspiration to the noblest loyalty in duty and consecration to all that is true, beautiful and good in this world. When I first asked the Directors of the Paine Memorial to aid me in this enterprise all prophesied failure with the exception of that noblest Roman of them all, Elizur Wright. Though he has been for many years a Materialist, we may say of him:—

"His life is gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him,
That nature might stand up and say to
All the world:
Here is a man."

But I had just leaped the last ecclesiastical fence, and was now a free rover on the broad, bright, breezy, unfenced prairies of the universe. I had broken the last, fetter that bound me to a creed, and felt the full flush of liberty, flooding life with boundless joy and enthusiasm. While feeling thus I was bound to succeed. For the accomplishment of my purpose all causes had to give way. For the first two years Paine Hall was crowded summer and winter; sometimes there was not even standing room. People went early to secure a seat.

But by this time I was heartily sick of destructive work, and sought earnestly for grounds of construction. We drew up plans of work, and offered to labor with the Paine Hall Directors to make that building for the Agnostics what the Christian Union is to the Unitarians.

The question in all its bearings is too complicated to bring in here. Suffice it to say that the treatment we received led us to go to Horticultural Hall. But I was loosing faith and interest in my work, and you know lack of enthusiasm in a leader will weaken any cause. I saw that many did not care a fig for constructive work. After I had given them my heart's blood for two years, if I could not continue to tickle their fancy with gibes and sneers at the old theology, they were ready to fling me away with as little remorse as they would a squeezed lemon. As I grew more and more constructive in my lectures, these staid away in disgust, or ran after other novelties. I saw the ground of support slipping from beneath my feet, and so made haste to study for the stage, so that when compelled to abandon the lecture-field, I might still do something to keep the wolf from the door. Much of my time was of necessity given to my weekly publication, which was started soon after I commenced to lecture. The first year, through lack of business experience, I published it too cheap and ran in debt. At the end of the second year I was less in debt, and as ray subscribers owed me three thousand dollars I thought I should pull through. But the worry and anxiety of my position, the performance of labor in which I took no delight, broke me down physically. My principle trouble was insomnia, I was a page 4 whole week without sleep. I had to retreat or go mad. As he that runs away lives to fight another day, I ran away. I had no chance to go away and rest unless I left my wife and children to starve, so I went West on a lecture tour. In doing so I slowly recovered my health.

During the last year I established a circuit in order to speak in Boston and other important points once a month. But I have steadily lost faith in the Agnostic and Materialistic position as a base of constructive work. Though I long refused to believe my own sight, I found the majority of them generally indifferent to the propaganda of their own principles. I felt this rust growing surely but slowly on my own sword.

It now becomes necessary for me to give you the particular facts that made me a Spiritualist. Quite recently I received a letter from Col. Ingersoll, asking me to tell him just what made me a Spiritualist. I will therefore close my lecture by reading you Mr. Ingersoll's letter and my reply to the same.

Chico Springs, N. M., Oct. '84.

My Dear Chainey:—I see by the papers that you have become a Spiritualist. of course you did not reach your present posi-tion by a simple course of reasoning upon facts common to the world. You must have seen something or heard something that satisfied you not only of the existence of spirits, but that those spirits were once human beings, and can and do communicate with the inhabitants of this world. I read your speech that you delivered at the convention, but you did not give an account of the evidence you had received. I should like to know what facts caused you to embrace Spiritualism, and, if not too much trouble, I wish you would write me an account of your experiences. We are all well, and all send regards.

Yours truly.

R. G. Ingersoll.

—I need not tell you, that I join in no hue and cry against you.— 310 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, Mass.,

Col. R. G. Ingersoll:—My dear friend; Your letter is an oasis in a desert, and most sweet surprise, though I had already declared that I knew no word of disparagement or mockery would ever pass your lips. In a naturally serious life the event you refer to has been the most serious experience that has yet befallen me. I have been greatly pained and shocked at the amount of illiberality shown by former associates. Tortured and stung by all manner of gibes and jokes and unjust accusations of false motives, I fear I may have been less discriminating than I ought to have been in my replies. I thought that in leaving the Methodist first, and afterwards the Unitarian ministry, I had safely passed all danger of suffering for opinions sake. But that was mercy in comparison with what I have endured in the past six weeks in private letters and public ribaldry. Let me then thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wave of kindness you send me so generously from your far Western home. Though I have often felt the overflow of your great, loving soul before, it never seemed so truly great as now. Before giving the facts you solicit, let me make one or two observations. I have no right to expect that my experience will convince you. I had heard in my association with Spiritualists many equally startling narratives, and yet had remained honestly unconvinced. So then may you. Then it is much easier to suppose another the victim of an illusion than to admit the same touching an experience of your own. It is also utterly impossible to put into the scales again, all that helped to turn the beam. I was surrounded by hundreds of bright, intelligent, happy Spiritualists. They all had marvellous experiences to relate, and many of them gave me the benefit of the same. Precious sacred joys, screened from the eyes of unbelievers, were, for some reason or another, freely confided to me. Through the free page 5 and delightful social intercourse of the camp life I had a far better opportunity for forming a correct judgment of the people than one does in the ordinary course of life, so that the conditions by which I was surrounded all helped to produce conviction. I hold that we do not believe as we want to, but as we are compelled. From their appreciation of my lectures I also had golden opportunities of investigation pressed upon me, without money and without price. I have seen and sympathized with the sufferings of mediums such as no money could have tempted them to endure. I have seen those who, when I first came on the ground, could hardly exercise their gifts by reason of the positive influence I exerted over them, bathed in tears of joy when from the platform I told the story of my experience. I could hardly tell that story for tears of joy myself, while the impression made upon the audience was simply indescribable. I have seen people happy under the excitement and emotion of Methodism, but this was altogether of another character. But these are not the facts you want. I went to this meeting quite by accident. You know yourself of what I had told you of my discouragement with the great majority of professed Liberals. That feeling had grown still stronger, and so I had thoroughly resolved to go on the stage. 1 have been studying with this in view for two years. But my dear friend Putnam was most desirous of leaving business and entering the field of Liberal propaganda. I tried hard to dissuade him. from it. He felt then that his chance was dependent on joining forces with me. Under an impulse of gratitude and sincere friendship I consented to try it for a year, if the conditions I mentioned in a former letter to. you should be complied with on the part of the National Liberal League. Having to go to Canada, I went around to Salamanca in order to consult with Green in reference to our plan. While there I quite accidently resolved to visit the Camp, so as to engage accommodations during the forthcomingmeeting for myself and friends in advance. They invited me to lecture. I spoke to them on "The Church of the Future." They liked it so well that they invited me to speak again the next day. I gave them the "Genius of Shakespeare." They wanted some more, and so the following day I gave them "Leaves of Grass." of course they talked to me about Spiritualism. I said, as you often do, "I don't know." I had no proof, and all the proofs I had been taught to trust were broken reeds. To use your own beautiful words, I did not know whether death was night or day, a prison wall or a door, the folding or unfolding of wings. I said to them: "I have no objection to another life, but at present that is my position." At the close of my lectures, what they called public tests were given. A young man, who sees clairvoyantly, stood up and described spirits he saw, giving their names, and the time and place of their death. He would also frequently go into distant homes and describe the furniture of rooms, contents of bureau drawers, containing relics of the departed, such as a locket or a picture, or articles of clothing, so minutely as to produce a most startling impression. These descriptions were generally witnessed to as being strictly true by some one in the audience, nearly always an avowed stranger to the young man. Still I set them down to a judicious selection of epitaphs on gravestones, carefully culled obituary notices from the Spiritual papers, coupled with mind reading. I was invited to a seance. Most striking and exciting things were done. It was in such company and under such conditions as made the thought of trickery impossible. We had not sat in the circle a minute before each one was patted on the knee, hands or face by hands not belonging to any one of us, while beautiful starlike lights flitted like fire flies about the room, and a guitar was taken from the lap of one of the sitters and passed all around the room, beyond the reach of any of us, and all the time discoursing sweet page 6 music. Though startled and perplexed, this would not have convinced me. I met next Mrs. Anna Kimball, a celebrated Psychometrist. As Prof. Denton, who made a special study of this subject, testifies to her accuracy in this field, I gave her a ring I had been wearing, to hold. She soon made me feel like the woman of Samaria, who said of Jesus: "Come see a man who told me all that ever I did." As a seer or clairvoyant she described the spirit of two young ladies standing by my side, who gave their names, and said I visited them when they were sick, and preached their funeral sermons, all of which was true. She also described another spirit, standing by, who was my guardian angel. But more of this anon. I began to be somewhat shaken and to catch myself saying, "Great Heavens! Is it all true?" But then I thought of all the trickery and fraud that has been exposed in Spiritualism, and all I must undergo should I proclaim myself a Spiritualist, and said quietly to myself: "No, it won't do. You have changed around enough. It seems to be true, but I will just keep this to myself and say nothing about it." Being under engagement I attended another seance. This time the manifestations were still more wonderful. The room seemed to be full of spirits, audible voices speaking all about us, giving names and messages fully recognized by some of the sitters. Next I saw the phenomenon of independent slate writing. To deny that it was the work of an invisible agency was utterly impossible. That it was done by spirit friends seems probable, as in most instances the message was written in the handwriting of the person signing. I was, of course, still more excited by each additional marvel. Still I persisted in my purpose not to be converted. At this time I had been on the ground a week. It was Sunday. I arranged to leave next morning bright and early, and so went around bidding the new friends I had made good-bye. This kept me out until eleven o'clock. When I reached the hotel I found the door locked. Just as I was about to knock at the door I seemed to hear a voice saying, "Go and sleep with Jack." Now, Jack was a very nice fellow, the musician of the camp, and husband of Mrs. Lillie, a most interesting inspirational speaker. They lived in a lovely tent, and as Mrs. Lillie was away, I knew that Jack would like my company, and so went. We lay awake talking some time. It was a bright, beautiful night, and the tent, in consequence, almost as light as day. Finally Jack fell asleep, but there was no sleep for me. I was going away in the morning. All that I had seen and felt during the past week passed through my mind. I felt more sure than ever that it was true, and yet I resolved more firmly than ever that I would not be a Spiritualist. Suddenly I became aware that some one was there in the tent besides Jack and myself. It was a most strange feeling. Words were put on my lips to the following purport: "You have been brought here to be convinced of the truth of Spiritualism. Those that love you see that this is all that can make life for you now worth living. You must stay here until every cloud of doubt and haunting shadow of despair is cleansed from your mind." Long I reasoned against it. Finally, in despair, I yielded the point, and fixed upon a plan by which I might stay. The moment I did so I felt a soft hand placed upon my brow. I cannot tell you how I felt. It was at once the strangest and most beautiful sensation I ever experienced. It thrilled me through and through with indescribable ecstasy. I can assure you that it was no dream, but a most sweet reality, amply confirmed by many subsequent experiences.. As soon as it was known that I had changed my mind about leaving I was again invited to lecture. A voice seemed to come and whisper in my ear: "This is to give you an appropriate chance to confess what you have seen and felt, and swear allegiance to the faith." I resolved to do so. The manner in which it was received was as page 7 great a miracle as anything that had happened. I never dreamed that such an effect could be produced by a simple recital of my religious experience. It gave me new ideas about oratory. From that time on the revelations have continued to increase in power. Through three different mediums my guardian spirit claimed to be the one who had touched my brow in the tent. From the fact that she was seen one time to place a bunch of lilies on my breast, and another time a dove, I called her Lily Dove. I have had the strangest and most wonderful dreams, in which I have been with her in a beautiful country. All that I have done of importance since has been foreshadowed in dreams. These dreams are unlike anything I ever had before. But this letter would stretch out to a cyclopedia should I tell you all. Two of the leading persons attending the camp meeting were Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Skid-more of Fredonia, N. Y. Mr. S. is a successful railroad contractor, and a man of large brain and heart. His wife is a most sweet and royal lady. Several years since they lost a beautiful daughter by consumption, just as she had blossomed into womanhood. Her name was Kitty. The love between her and her parents must have been much like that between your own sweet daughters, Maude and Eva, and their parents. But they lost their Kitty. She was married to the man of her heart's choice a week before she died. They were beside themselves with grief. Life hardly seemed bearable. They had all that money could buy. But the pride of their hearts and light of their home had gone out in the darkness of death.

Think for a moment how you would feel if Eva were your only child, and you should lose her. As you would feel so felt they. They had no faith in the teachings of the church. Your lectures have a more honored place in their home than the Bible But they turned in their despair to Spiritualism. They received message after message on closed and locked slates in her own familiar hand, full of the perfume of the same loving nature she revealed in earth life. They saw her materialize, felt her arms around their necks, and then saw her simply fade from their sight without moving from the spot. Since then she has come to them in. so many different ways that they feel that she makes one of the home circle almost as much as while in the visible form. They have a lovely little seance room, and whenever a medium comes that way he or she is called in, and they commune with her as of old. The tent that I occupied in camp was furnished by their kindness. The easy chair I sat in was the one Kitty was married in a week before she died. She was seen several times, by clairvoyants, to come into the tent and sit down in that chair. During life her favorite flower was a white rose. Mr. Prang, of Boston, kindly sent me a package of picture cards. On one of them were some white roses. I gave it to Mrs. Skidmore, saying, "That is for Kitty." That night while I was talking with Mrs. S., Kitty was seen by a medium to enter the tent, kiss her mother, and then come and place a bunch of white roses on my breast. After the camp, Mr. and Mrs. Skidmore invited myself, Mrs. Anna Kimball and Mr. Mansfield", the slate-writing medium, to spend a few days at their home, during which time we had two seances, with only ourselves and two relatives and members of the family present. Just as soon as we sat down the first night, Mr. Mansfield was entranced, and the most startling phenomena commenced. Kitty came and covered her father and mother with tender caresses. Things were taken out of our pockets and passed to each other. I felt two soft hands touching my forehead and toying lovingly with my hair, while all the others in the circle were being touched by other hands. When I felt them on my forehead I said mentally, "If that is you, Lily, please touch my lips with your fingers." It was done immediately. The next day I went into Dunkirk and bought a box of flowers—white roses, a lily, some jessa- page 8 mine, heliotrope, sweet peas and carnations, appropriate presents, I think you will say, for such sweet angel visitants. When we sat down, the box of flowers rested in Mrs. Kimball's lap, whence it was immediately taken and placed in mine. I then asked if that was to indicate that they knew I had brought them the flowers. At once I felt three gentle touches on my forehead, while at the same time three distinct raps were made on the box, which in spirit telegraphy means yes. I then formed the mental request that if Lily was present she should put the lily in my hand. It was done as quick as a flash. I then said mentally, "Kitty, if you are here, I brought the white roses for you, and would like you to put one where you placed the spirit roses. Immediately I felt something placed there, and when the light was turned on, there was seen the white rose. Ever since I had the experience already related, of the hand touching my forehead, if I happen to be mentally tired I am almost sure to have it repeated. At the first touch of those magical fingers, the pain and weariness vanishes. The emotion this gives is all I can stand and live. I feel now so sure that much sweeter experiences will follow death, than can come to us in this life, that I think of that otherwise gloomy event with the most joyful and intense expectation. But this letter is growing too long. If I had far greater marvels to relate, I should expect you to reply. I might not this believe without the sensible and true avouch of my own eyes. So far as I am concerned, I can say, my life upon the ghost. She has told me many things and never played me false. She inspires and strengthens me constantly. I would not part with the joy of this experience for all the gold of earth. I do not think I shall be any more sure of immortality when I am dead, than I am now. I wish I could have seen you face to face, or sat in the dear family circle while I told my strange story, and answered all the questions which might arise, and See just how it affected you. I have not written it in such fulness before, from a feeling that some of it was too sacred and personal, that it would be almost sacrilege to give it to the general public. Your letter, however, shines so grandly and beautifully alongside of most of the comments of my old friends, and inspires me with such perfect confidence, that I cannot resist the temptation to give both the question and answer to the public. I feel sure that it will do much to restore the good feeling marred by the unjust censure of others and my own somewhat strong remarks under the intense excitement in which I was thrown, first by my experience, and next by its unfriendly reception. If you will write a short reply, and say just how it presents itself to your mind, I am sure that also will do a world of good. If you can explain it away on any hypothesis, that does not demand more credulity than the theory of spirit return, please do so. I have no wish to be deceived. Spiritualism is not Christianity. It courts investigation. If you think I am insane please say why. If you have any questions to ask touching the possibility of my being deceived I shall be glad to answer them. You may put me on the witness stand and cross-examine me in this trial, and I shall be delighted to take any pains to give you all the light I can. If your confidence in my sincerity causes the star of hope your loving eyes saw gleaming above your brother's grave to shine with a steadier ray, and brings to your ears, so thirsty for the grandest and sweetest music, the sweeter music of the rustle of a wing from a world that conquers death, and gives back to the heart all its desire, then I know that thousands, through your help, will be cheered by the same sweet music. With ever faithful love to you and yours, I am now, indeed, yours always and afterwards,

George Chainey.

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Our Book Shelf.

We give below a few of the best books on Spiritualism, Occultism, Theosophy and Free thought. A, books furnished at publishers' prices and sent post free. Advice given by letter to any one intending to purchase a number of books. Address all orders to George Chainey, 310 Shawmut Ave., Boston, Mass.

Principles of Nature, A. J. Davis $3 50
Great Harmonia, A. J. Davis (5 Vols.), each 1 50
Children's Progressive Lyceum 60
Soul of Things, William Denton (3 Vols.), each 1 50
The Origin of Man, William Denton 1 00
Radical Discourses, William Denton 1 25
Whatever Is, is Right, Dr Child 1 00
Immortality, J. M. Peebles 1 50
Seers of the Ages, J. M. Peebles 2 00
Travels Around the World, J. M. Peebles 2 00
Seership, The Magnetic Mirror, P. B. Randolph 2 00
The Wonderful Story of Ravalette, P. B. Randolph 2 00
The New Mola, P. B. Randolph 60
Soul World, P. B. Randolph 2 00
The Ghostly Land, P. B. Randolph 50
Curious Life of P. B. Randolph 60
Scientific Basis of Spiritualism, Epes Sargent 1 50
Planchette, or The Despair of Science, Epes Sargent 1 25
Proof Palpable of Immortality, Epes Sargent 1 00
Divine Law of Cure, Dr. W. F. Evans 1 50
Mental Cure, Dr. W. F. Evans 1 50
Mental Medicine, Dr. W.F. Evan 1 25
Beyond the Gates, Elizabeth Stuart helps 1 25
Bhagavad Gita. Translated from the Sanscrit 1 75
Defence of Modern Spiritualism, A. R. Wallace 25
Debatable Land, Robert Dale Own 2 00
Experimental Spiritualism, Allan Kardec 1 50
How to Mesmerize, Cadwell 50
Guide to Astrology, Raphael (2 Vols.) 2 00
Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky (2 Vols.) 7 50
The Phantom Form, Nettie P. Fox 1 00
Mysteries of the Border Land, Nettie P. Fox 2 00
Ouinas Canoe, Cora L. V. Richmond 1 00
Oahspe, the New Bible 7 50
Occult World, A. P. Sinnett 1 00
People From the Other World, Alcott 1 00
Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, Crooker 1 50
Rosecruciaus, Jennings 2 50
The Rosy Cross, Dowd 1 50
Statuvolence, Fahnestock 1 50
Transcendental Physics, Zollner 1 50
Esoteric Buddhism, Sinnett 1 50
Mr. Isaac, Marion Crawford 1 50
Ninetenth Century Miracles, E. H. Britten 1 00
Modern American Spiritualism, E. H. Britten 1 50
The Perfect Way 5 00
The Perfect Way in Diet, Dr. Anna Kingsford 1 00
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Spiritual and Liberal Papers.

Banner of Light.—(Spiritualist and Liberal), Colby & Rich Publishers and Proprietors; Isaac Rich, Business Manager. Published weekly, at No. 9 Bosworth street, Boston, Mass. Terras, $3.00 per year.

Colby & Rich publish and keep for sale, at wholesale and retail, a complete assortment of Spiritual, Progressive, Reformatory and Miscellaneous Books. Catalogue of Books sent free.

The Truth Seeker.—Founded by D. M. Bennett. The leading Freethought Journal of the World. Largest, Cheapest and Best. E. M. McDonald, Editor; C. P. Somerby, Business Manager.

Published by The Truth Seeker Company, 33 Clinton Place, New York.

Terms, §3.00 a year. Sample copies free. Liberal Books for sale. Send for Catalogue.

The Spiritual Offering.—A large eight-page weekly journal, devoted to the advocacy of Spiritualism in its Religious, Scientific and Humanitarian aspects.

Col. D. M. Fox, Publisher. D. M. and Nettie P. Fox, Editors.

$1.50 a year. Address, Spiritual Offering, Ottumwa, Iowa.

The Rostrum.—A fortnightly journal of thirty-two columns, devoted to the Philosophy of Spiritualism, Liberalism, and the Progress of Humanity.

Terms, $1.00 a vear. Address, A. C. Cotton, Vineland, N. J.

Sample copies free.

Mind, Cure And Science Of Life.—A Scientific, Progressive Monthly Magazine, of special interest to the afflicted and to every Doctor. Healer and Reformer.

Publisher and Editor. A. J. Swartz, 425 West Madison St., Chicago, III.

Terms, $1.00 a year.

Send a two cent stamp for Sample Copy.

Facts.—A First-class Monthly Magazine, devoted to the Statements of Mental and Spiritual.

Phenomena. Published by the Facts Publishing Company, No. 9 Bosworth Street, Boston Mass. P. O. Box 3,539.' $1.00 a year. Single copies 10 cents.

Light For Thinkers.—The Pioneer Spiritual Journal of the South. Published weekly at Atlanta, Georgia.

A. C. Ladd, Publisher. G. W. Kates, Editor.

Terms, $1.00 a year. Sample copies free.

The Freethinkers' Magazine And Freethought Directory.—A Semimonthly Magazine.

Send name and P. O. address, with 25 cents to H. L. Green, Salamanca, N. Y., and you will receive a copy of Magazine with name in the Directory.

Terms, $1.50 a year.