Our Homes and Employments in the Spirit World.
Mr. Thomas Walker, the Spirit Medium, delivered a lecture on this subject in the Lorne-street Hall, Auckland, on Friday night, the 18th May,—the Rev. Samuel Edger in the chair.
The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, said: Ladies and Gentlemen,—I am here to-night under quite peculiar circumstances—unexpectedly, and at considerable inconvenience to myself—having other engagements, which I have been obliged to defer, which I would not have done, and which it would not have been right for me to do, but for the peculiar circumstances in which we are met here to-night. (Hear, hear.) At the special request of Mr. Walker I shall defer all remarks upon these particular circumstances until the close of his lecture. I have only to appeal to your good feeling and your candour, and, I think, your sense of justice, at least, to give Mr. Walker again to-night, as you have done on former occasions, a fair hearing. (Cheers.) All the feelings of my heart—all the principles of my life, I hope—are on the side of justice towards any and every man. (Cheers.) We are not bound even to form any opinion as to the influence under which Mr. Walker speaks unless we wish. I am not prepared to give any opinion. I have seen Mr. Walker frequently he letter in the Star to-night, to those who have read it, will show what led to my connection with him—what led me to take any part in his public meetings. All I will say here is just this, and which you will accept, perhaps, on my word, as I think there are not many who would be disposed to accuse me of speaking untruthfully. (Cheers.) In all the intercourse I have had with Mr. Walker—having met him three or four times, privately and publicly—I will confess candidly that I have not seen or heard anything that convinces me that there is any supernatural power or influencing his utterances; but only as far as I can see that there is something quite abnormal, and which he could not do in his natural condition. I will candidly acknowledge that, and I am bound to say that the more I have seen the more I have been convinced of Mr. Walker's simplicity, sincerity, and integrity. (Cheers.) The best man on earth, perhaps, is liable to be deceived. I do not set myself up as the keenest of judges on the face of the earth; but I say this—if Mr. Walker has deceived me he is the most accomplished deceiver that I could imagine to exist in the universe. (Cheers.) I have as much confidence in his integrity as I have in the integrity of gentlemen I meet commonly in private life. If he could be proved to be an impostor I feel that I could never trust man more. More will have to be said presently, as I have already indicated, in reference to the subject which I must not touch upon now. Therefore, I have only for the present to ask your candid, fair, and patient hearing for Mr. Walker, as you have given on page 2 previous occasions. (Cheers.) I may here also express my confidence that this evening's meeting will be fairly reported.
Mr. Lambert performed a musical selection upon the harmonium.
Mr. Walker closed his eyes and pronounced the following invocation:—Eternal and Beneficent Parent of Good—Thou Divine Soul of Universal Life—Thou Being Incarnate in all Nature, Living in all Life, we would ask Thee, thou Infinite and Above All, to be near to our heart, that we may receive the kindness and goodness enunciated in Thy divine precepts. We would ask that Thou may be present and ever daily lead us towards Thy virtuous and truth-loving attributes, so that we may become more and more Godlike—godlessness being unprofitable in all ways, not only for the mortal, but for the eternal career. Give progress to humanity for thy glory. Amen.
He then spoke as follows:—Man while he exists will be eternally conceiving, if left to himself, the joys, the happiness, the pain and miseries, not only of this, but of his after career. Once lie becomes convinced that he has such a career—once a man becomes actually persuaded that beyond the mortal veil there is another world, unexplained and unknown to his physical vision, or rather to all his physical senses—once he becomes fully convinced that beyond this mere earthly plane, beyond his merely mortal life, there are scenes and existences, realities as tangible and actual as over he had before become acquainted with while he lived in the enjoyment of these senses—he will for ever be endeavouring to conceive the nature of those realities. While this is so, if he can, he will summon all the resources of his being to aid his vision, the powers of his senses to enlighten him; and if he cannot receive it from them, he will look beyond for those messages which will enable him to conceive and conjecture in the sphere of imagination what these existences and realities may be. He will endeavour to conceive where they are in reality, and of what parts they are composed and, if left to his own unaided action, he will, in all respects, picture to himself such a heaven or such a hell—such an immortal state as his own internal nature will admit of. All nations, in all times, in all ages, in all parts of the world, have made their "immortal homes" just accordingly as they have lived, accordingly as they have been surrounded, just as they have been in themselves delighted or gratified by a certain surrounding exterior—in the circumstances we have stated—so they have pictured, so they have painted, so they have unfolded and described their immortal existence. The Grecian manifested all his delight and gratification in beauty—beauty of form—beauteous scenery. His mind was filled with the forms of the living hills, delightful valleys, the splendors of flowers and foliage, and gushing fountains—and he pictured Heaven as a place containing all these beauteous objects. For the Greek, his Elysian Fields were still earthly, a place where mortals became deified—where men, in his imagination, became gods mid rosined with him through fields of pleasure. He took delight in all that gave pleasure to the sense of beauty; but that sense was part physical and animal, and by this he conceived that men were made perfect. And, so, the Greeks pictured such a Heaven as their own natural state admitted of. If we .go on to the ancient Brahmins, we will find that they had such a Heaven as they could have conceived from the conditions by which they were surrounded. They conceived that probably in this mortal life there were spiritual entities, which, either by reason of some imperfection or unfitness, were not yet prepared to enjoy the immortal state as angels, and they assumed sometimes the mortal shape; that, having degenerated from their higher forms, they had to live again the lives that should make them fitted to enjoy the immortal sphere for which they were created. Hence, the ancient Hindoo held that having fallen it was necessary in the immortal state that man would revive his experience upon earth. The page 3 poor untutored Indian sees his God in the clouds. His good and evil are beyond the clouds. He forms his hell according to his conception of the suffering and terrors of his mortal life. But the government of Heaven, if left to the nature of such conceptions, would be full of gross passions, from the worst forms of sensuality to the unchristian thirst for gold. In fact, the human mind is ever dwelling on those joys, on those pleasures; and it can see its possessions when the mortal shall be laid aside, or, rather, when it may be placed in such a position that all its physical encumbrances shall have disappeared, and when all the desires properly assigned to its spiritual life compels it to look into the upper kingdom, where it may enjoy all the happiness and pleasure of its future possession. Some have said that the immortal in the other world is a purely physical state. Some have come to this materialistic view of the matter, so that they conceive it to be impossible for the immortal life to be enjoyed without the resuscitation of the physical body which you possess—that it is impossible you should, not at least experience it to its full extent unless you have the same body to give you those deserts or those rewards which you would receive in the physical world, and which were instrumental in the performance of those acts with which they were connected. This is carrying the mortal into the spiritual life. According to the word of St. Paul, when be says there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body—the first is the natural body, the second is the spiritual—the first seems to be carnal, the second gives birth to the leaf, to the new grain, to the new idea to the immortal and eternal spirit. The mortal part seems to be the leaves that die, the flowers that droop and wither in your mortal career. But nothing can be understood from this to elucidate the point, unless we came to deliberate reason on the matter and you have the actual facts as detailed by those who have lived and enjoyed the spirit world. First, as to the reason. Let us see if the notions of the old Jewish nation of the immortal world are well-founded. We will see if on that side these notions will stand the crucial test of cool and calm investigation. It is said by those theologians who have made this subject a perfect study, that in the afterlife we have a system of rewards and punishments, that the soul of man, having lived a life of virtue and usefulness and having done all that was possible to benefit humanity, it was impossible to deny, would receive the blessing and the joy of an eternal message that while on earth they did well in the after-life they should live with the Deity himself; where he would be represented to their vision. It was said that they would enter into most celestial homes, with paths paved with gems and gold, with houses quite as wealthy as men ever imagined, having gates of jasper, and adorned with the most brilliant jewels that ever earth could furnish. There, it was said, the immortal should for ever and eternally be related to the good. On the other hand, it was said that those who had become depraved, those who led a life of wickedness, that man who did all lie could to injure his follow-beings, and who in doing so not only injured them but himself, that such a character upon entering there would receive his reward and deserts, that lie would enter a place of suffering and terror. This, if not believed universally today, was believed two centuries ago, and was believed by some down to the present time. The reward of such a one was to be eternal burning for ever and for ever. Here let us see, for the moment, if we bring forward this argument, what says the Scripture in support of it. Let us give this part of the subject our notice for a few moments. It is asserted that Lazarus and Dives—the good man and the evil one—the one who had on earth no earthly possessions: the first was low and humble, his good deeds were noble characteristics, and this character went with him to the after-life; the second, it is asserted, was selfish and abused his wealth. It is asserted that Lazarus came to the bosom of Abraham, but the other when he died was doomed to eternal torments. This parable was sometimes used as an page 4 argument to show that it is impossible for spirits to communicate with the earth. It is asserted that when Dives asked for a messenger to go and warn his brethren on earth, it was answered, "No, you have Moses and the Prophets, and if you will not believe these you will not believe though one should rise from the dead." But let it be understood that the teaching of this parable is not to show the impossibility of spirits communicating with the earth, for the parable itself implied the possibility of such a communication, but its purport was to show the vast gulf that exists between the good and the bad. The parable was only intended to show a state of existence associated with happiness to one who had been ill-treated in his mortal life, but now receives the rewards of his virtues. On the other side it was intended to show a different state: the doom, the suffering, and the misery into which the evil-doer had entered. Abraham, who speaks, shows rather the possibility of spirit communication with the earth, for it is said that "if one went." The words were "between us and you,"—between the good and the bad, "there is a great gulf fixed." If it were not possible before, by this parable it is shown to be not impossible. It referred rather to unbelief of the brothers of the condemned Dives, for if they would not believe Moses and the Prophets, neither would they one who was risen from the dead. But here is a beautiful illustration it self of the different states into which the souls of men enter in the after-life. And while discussing this matter, you must mind the assertion of Jesus—that "the kingdom of God is not here or there, but that the kingdom of God is within you." It is a state of your eternal nature over which you have control, and which you more or less govern. Use who describes what shall take place, says that the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, and he describes hell as a place where the worm dies not, and where the fire is not quenched. And it is always alluded to as such. But you must understand this thoroughly, that you must consider the state that the Jews were in while Jesus lived. You must remember that they had had very few lessons with reference to their immortal state. There were classes among them who did not believe in a resurrection neither of angel, spirit, or body. Many of them did not at all believe in an immortal life, or in rewards and punishments of any kind. In fact, they were steeped in the grossest materialism. They knew nothing but forms and ceremonies. They could only conform to ritual. They had no spiritual possession. If Jesus wished to instruct them, He must do so through the medium of their physical appetites. To appeal to their spiritual nature was out of the question. They could not comprehend the things of the spirit. It is said the natural man comprehends not the things of the spirit, which he says are foolishness to him. To characters like these at death there should be an entire reaction, either for happiness or misery. They could not conceive why Jesus should, as He nearly always did, invent some figure, or give some practical illustration, bringing the subject vividly before their eyes, so as to let them see, in its material aspect, that transgression and violation of the law induced suffering and induced pain. Now at the time of which we are speaking the place of fire was called Gehenna. Here a fire was continually burning day and night. It was here the Jews carried all their refuse; hero, all infectious things were taken; here, the lepers cast their clothes into the flames, and performed their devotions. Here the Jewish mind conceived what for it embraced the whole domain of terror. Jesus, in alluding to it, called it the everlasting fire, because its flame never went out. Day and night it burned continually,—hence also the name "everlasting." When Jesus wanted to appeal to their sense, and to show the consequences of the violations of virtue and truth, he would naturally bring forward this illustration as being most in conformity with their experience. He could not explain to them the power of the spirit page 5 by means of metaphysics. He could not appeal to their spiritual sense. He could only teach them by a simple description which could be appreciated by their intellect—a description of something that they were practically acquainted with, or with which they were every day associated. Then, again, it is said here that the word employed to denote eternal punishment is the same as that employed to bestow immortal life and happiness. In other words, that the doctrine of happiness and misery is expressed by some Greek words—Ionos zwn. (2.) It must be remembered that while ibis word is often employed to signify the idea of eternal, that is not its strict meaning. The "Ionian" Isles are referred to a like signification. They are not eternal. The same words come in time to denote different things, and we may conclude, from the whole relation of this parable, that its purpose was to show the effects that would remain after a life of evil doing, but which in the end might be removed—that a real, tangible, continuous state of pain and suffering might yet be removed, and still there would eternally remain the remembrance of these transgressions. Now, there are words that are never employed to denote eternal punishment (as Kataleuptw), which denote happiness, but never punishment. So, if we take the Scriptures, it would seem that there are none which mean an eternity of suffering. Those who will not take this view,—who believe in the literal rendering of the Bible,—who cling to every literal expression the Bible contains,—with all due respect for you, with every feeling of charity for you, you will pardon no for using a little reason. We know that man is a responsible being; we know that if he suffers it is not because of any divine influence; that his suffering is caused by the influence of his own neglect or violation of his duty. If torture conies to a man it is not because of some external agency employed by the Omnipotent Being for that purpose, We know, indeed, that God is the author of all things, and therefore that he must, in one sense, be the author of pain and suffering; yet, in another sense, we know that man alone is responsible for every act he does, and that lie is rewarded for every act he does with either joy and pleasure or with pain and suffering. If he acts in unison with law—in accordance with the law which makes him acquainted with every other law of his own nature and the nature surrounding him—then, so long as he shall remain in harmony with this great law, he will be happy and will receive all joy; but if he once set himself in discord with this law and transgress, that moment he sets himself in opposition with powers which because suffering, and until he returns to the domain of harmony with them he will continue to suffer. Be it remembered that all suffering is corrective; that it is intended to better mankind. It must be remembered that all things tend together for good that all things are moving towards good; that all things are growing better each day; that we are becoming ameliorated in respect to every phase and aspect of nature. If we suffer, therefore, it is not in the form of revenge; it is not as a matter of retribution; not because anger is worked upon us; but because we are undergoing a state of correction, or rather that we are endeavouring to return to the position, state, and condition which we have lost. Suffering, if properly understood, does not tend to make man worse; it tends to make him better, while that suffering is the legitimate consequence of his own act. When a man becomes diseased, it is not the disease itself that is the cause of the suffering. Outside and beyond that, there has been some violation of nature's laws. There has been something that caused that state of disease—something of which the disease is effect and consequence. The disease is only the purifier. Just as you would take a solution or amalgam of precious metals with all kinds of grosser metals, and throw them upon the fire; the fire will purify and separate the gross from the pure and good. In like manner, all suffering may be termed "fire," because it page 6 purifies the nature; it takes away the bad, and leaves only the good of all things, and this is the object of it. If you suffer here, it is because you make amends for your past transgression. If you have pain here, it is, perhaps, that you may have happiness hereafter. If you have sorrow, it is because you have had occasion to weep, but soon will smile. If you suffer in the morning, you may rejoice in the evening. So, if you suffer in the spirit world, it is been use you must be repaired—the bad moat be separated front the good. It is that you may improve; that you may commence to enter upon that stage of progression designed to every human being. You shall be exalted, because you are the child of faith. All suffering is purification. Nature is strictly impartial. None can be doomed to eternal torture or to eternal punishment. Punishment must be for the purpose of benefiting or bettering the individual so suffering. If it be for correction, it is legitimate; but if it is because of certain acts done on earth, that can never be forgotten, restrained, the effects of which can never be taken away, it is revenge. If it be for this we are consigned to eternal punishment, viz., because God is angry with the majority of men. If we say to you we have a conception that God is the Eternal and Beneficent Parent of the Universe, those other conceptions are but littling him almost to the extent of blasphemy. By such mean conceptions, you make us understand that God is less than the human father; that he is less than mortal mind, for a mortal can forgive; that part of divinity which is awake in man can speak with charity; can exercise benevolence; can bestow mercy; can look with compassion upon the sufferer, and ameliorate his condition. Will you make God less loving, less charitable, less forgiving? But here seine one will object. "Men, we know, can drink—can swear, can cheat—can do evil because they are permitted." The carnal and ordinary state suggests this. But it is not so for we here tell you plainly, and repeat again, as we have done ninny times before, that you cannot violate one single law without entailing punishment upon yourself. You must suffer. Surely this ought to be a greater inducement to good living than any other system of theology. For, if all your states of misery depend upon your acts, mid you must live hereafter, you should to day begin to sow the seed which will result in those joys, and wait patiently for the future' walking in noble footsteps, putting off the selfish nature, living to benefit and better the condition of others. In all other respects you are directly responsible for every act, for every thought and aspiration, for every wish that you may give expression to, or that may float through your eternal soul; for everything that may result front any transgression against the harmony of the divine law. Therefore, reason will permit us to say that man is not eternally placed in one condition or another; that he is not eternally happy immediately on his entering into the Spiritual world; that he does not become for ever miserable. But this remember, that some people, on leaving your earth life, go into states and conditions even worse, than they were in on earth—in other words, a gulf is separating them from good. The gulfs and chasms become more marked and extended. As we have said on another occasion every thought and every wish is a reality in connection with the Spiritual life. Man is for ever forming around him facts and consequences exterior to his own internal state. He is adorning his external life with adornments existing within him. The external is depicted upon the internal. Not only in respect t, his body, but in his whole external environment, in respect to the land he occupies, the house he lives in, the furniture he has in that house. You will oftentimes read a man by visiting, him. You can often know the nature of an individual by observing what exists around him. For he seems to have placed himself, as regards his external circumstances, in harmony with his internal nature in other words, be causes nature to conform to his internal state.page 7
The man whose soul joys in the beauties of external nature will surround himself with all that is in accord with his disposition, glittering streams, the smiles of summer, beautiful flowers, level and nicely ordered walks, gushing fountains, and green fields. But the man who has nothing but discord in his internal nature, the reveller who thirsts for carnal pleasure, will have nothing but weeds in his garden, and disorder everywhere. Life which is true in your mortal career is more true, if possible, in the Spiritual world. It seems to gravitate towards the harmonies of its surrounding. If it loin discord then its suffering is intense. Its associations will then be like those of the man in delirium tremens, who tells you that he perceives devils, snakes, and horrible things. Here it is simply the truth of his own internal thoughts, which are projected before him. His whole stature imagines these objects, and they are actual realities for Isis soul. Although entry into the Spirit world seems to materialise its dwelling-place, it is simply that our thoughts take, character, them the thought of some kind act performed in your mortal life will go to decorate your immortal hams; there your kind deeds may go before you as beautiful and resplendent budding roses. There is smoothing in the feeling that your aspirations to bless and do good to others may be carried by angels to construct and perfect the edifice that shall yet be your home. And now you would ask what kind of homes have you Spirits in the Spirit world? You ask if these homes are like to yours? It has been thought that Heaven is a beautiful city—a golden city; but this thought is now extended. We have seen the beauteous fields and lofty mountains, joyous rolling shining streams, flowers ever budding and flourishing its bloom, luscious fruits delicious to the taste, and every joy and every luxury that you possess on earth, save that it is more Spiritual. Understand this fact, and you can understand the arrangement of the Spirit world—that the Spirit world is counterpart of the physical world, or, more plainly, your physical earth is the shadow, so to speak, of the Spirit world. You may ask then if it be true that the Spiritual world is a shadow of the physical, how you insist enter into immortal life; if death from the physical world constitute birth into the next; you may ask why are we not borne into the Spirit world Why end here in physical death? The fact is that you are placed in this physical tenement during your short career that you may become matured sufficiently to enter into the Spirit world. When you first enter the Spirit world the Spirit is delicate. You must remember that the human ear can only detect certain sounds to a certain pitch or height, having a certain number of vibrations. Beyond that the car cannot go. The eye serves to analyses the rays of light. The human soul can only know according to its capacity. Every physical sense seems, as it were, to be a modifier of the Spirit, arranging the Spirit according to its perception in mortal life. If it were to be plunged into Spirit all at once, useless tenderly protected—unless blessed and assisted by some guardian angel mother,—it would become dwarfed and deformed in the spirit land. Shall we contemplate the suicide who would end his life here because there is no joy but weariness on earth, and would terminate his responsibility and would end his opportunity of doing good by severing his existence, as he thinks, from his identity? Remember this, that the moment you enter the world, in such a condition you go where you are not wanted—where you are not desired—where you are unprepared to go—where you will receive is joyous welcome, and where you would be exposed to existing forces which the human soul can scarcely battle with—where you will have to suffer and repent the wrong you have done. Here let us remind those who imagine that we ought not to pray. Let us say that prayer is one of those blessings which uplift the human soul. Wherever the human heart indulges in this—not merely verbal prayer; not merely addressing souse deity that you may suppose to exist; otherwise, not page 8 addressing rivers and flowers as did the Greeks, or idols, as many ancient and modern nations, but prayer is the soul's sincere desire after noble aspirations, that gives form to our highest thought, that enables the human soul to climb higher and higher, and proceed on and on; which digs about the roots, which ascends like the branches of the tall trees, climbing higher and higher until it associates with the angels. Prayer is one of the great preparations which enables the spirit to enjoy happiness eternal. It places man in a condition of reception to all that is pure and good, and puts the soul in that state that virtue is its great delight. Then remember, the soul is constantly building its house in Spirit land. Our homes there are exactly as they are in your world. They partake of our own internal nature—they are not material but presentations—they are the realisations of actual thought and ideas, they represent the condition of the Spirit. Before a house or dwelling can exist in solid substance, it must have existed in the architect's mind. He must have conceived its form and arranged its plan. What he has conceived it will become. So in the Spirit world, if your thoughts are good and noble; if the interior is pure and virtuous and partakes of the nature of the Divine soul, then shall your homes be beauteous and divine. There are those there who enjoy such homes, who have dwelling houses surrounded with the most beauteous flowers; every Hewer the emblem of some virtuous deed; every blade of grass the emblem of some noble act, everything the symbol of some spirit; while those which are gross, groveling, and sensual, enter into a place where darkness is their lot—the darkness arising from the darkness of their state, which is reflected on their home. There are men who perhaps were associated with you on earth; these will approach you to learn, if not to receive light. It is not until the souls which occupy the lower tenement receive light, that they rise from their inferior state. But oh! how often the Spirits in the higher state desire to raise those up. You have heard of the mother who loves her son, who is taken from her in infancy, how she pictures the joy of his baby home in Spirit land. You have heard of the soother in Spirit land, of that son who grows up, who becomes reckless, and enters into all the conditions of crime and avarice. At last his life terminates, sent before his time, when he is not welcome. She will up rise, and, through her affections, assist him all she can. Yet she cannot come near to him, for there is a gulf between the good and the sinful anti wicked. But that mother will endeavour to raise up her child by some means. She remembers that above all things else he had one redeeming virtue—the love of flowers. She makes a bouquet for him with her own hands, she weaves a silken cord and attaches it to the bouquet, and while ho is in his depth of suffering and sorrow endeavouring to repent the wrongs he has done, this mother drops the bouquet to him, and he receives it. Tears stream down his face, which she sees full of love, and with a heart full of charity she beckons to him. He cannot go to her, but the memory of some good deed enables him to make some progress. His suffering is correction, and the time comes when step by step he advances; until at last, in sweet unanimity hands are clasped, and the mother's heart is pressed to that of her son. Many re-unions like this take place in Spirit land. It behaves all those who would enjoy great happiness hereafter, to lead such lives as will not create a chasm between them and the good and noble whom they love. We have here such society as you have on the earth. Those in certain states of progression associate together; as poets associate with poets, missionaries with missionaries, and students with students. These form altogether one great united society, who have all the joys the earth could give. Here is every aspiration of the divine soul, here there is no misrule, no sensual gratification; you give your faculties full action, and you cannot abuse those faculties here as upon the earth. For you must act in harmony with the Spirit's laws, otherwise your sufferings become more intense. As you progress, page 9 and gradually rise, you become more angelic until you seem to blend with the Divine thought itself. Your happiness is doing good, and blessing others. In these virtues and blessings all the clays of Spirit life exist. You may ask how then is it possible that you have so many spheres, and are so separated, and have no actual world like that of ours. You may say, if the Spirit world is like to ours, and you have these separations and divisions as in the physical world:—you say, " We have the good and bad mingling and associating together, good men and bad men living under the same roof, and there is no crucial test for arriving at a conclusion as to the character of men until acquainted with their whole being." We tell you again, that the Spirit world is the counterpart of the physical world. We have no spheres, such as one being a little higher, or a little lower. This is not the sense in which we wish to be understood. The sense in which we wish to be understood is this: that the progression of the soul is the state of mind naturally assigned to it; it is only state and condition. All souls have the like standard, they have the like state of progression, and they naturally gravitate, like as the law of gravitation; goodness seeks goodness, just as the good man and the gentle wife, and thus the good become better until some soul rising up from an inferior condition, is lifted as it were by a gentle wave into its progressive position. Thus all from a little springs up, flowing through streams and rivulets and rivers until it merges in the ocean of Divine Being. The conclusion of our argument is, that happiness is not a race; that all human beings are destined to eternal salvation, though all do not arrive at this by exactly the same means.
Mr. Walker resumed Isis seat amidst general applause.
The Chairman rose, and said: I have a few remarks to make before the meeting separates, which I could have wished to be spared the trouble of making—I was about to say the pain—but I mean more than even that—the pain of having to make. As I mentioned at the outset, I came here for the express purpose of doing what I could to gain justice for one whom I consider a very ill-used young man. (Cheers.) Whether his claims to inspirational teaching stay be right or wrong, he at least has a right to ask from Englishmen common fairness. (Cheers.) He has not received it. One fact has struck me much. There has been heaped upon him denunciation, condemnation, suspicion, ridicule, and abuse of nearly every kind. But I Image not heard from Mr. Walker one solitary, ungenerous, uncharitable, or unkind word towards anyone (Loud cheers.) If I have to judge men by their deeds, Christianity is on his side. (Cheers.) I suppose most of you have read that article in the Star of last night. It is that brought use here to-night. I know the origin of that article, and I know the writer of it. (Cries of "Horsewhip him!" "Bethany!") I would ask you to keep yourselves calm until the close of what I am saying. I think you will consider that I am right in asking you to hear me to the end of what I have to say. I know the writer. (Cries, "Name him.") You will know that soon enough. I know a little about it. I know far more, perhaps, than they wish me to know. I now say that that article—that the allegations in that article—ought to be proved. (Cheers.) It will not be Mr. Walker's fault if they be not proved. (Hear, hear.) It will not be my fault if they are not either proved or withdrawn. Whatever I have to stake upon it, I will not stand by and see a comparatively helpless and unoffending young man trampled to death by those who hold all the power in their hands. (Cheers.) Now it has been asked, "Will Mr. Walker meet any of his opponents?" The answer is, "Yes, as many as like to appear—(loud cheers)—and whenever they like to appear." (Cheers.) Mr. Walker challenges the proof of the allegations in that article in this way: he is prepared to lay down £50, to be distributed amongst the charities of Auckland, if anyone will undertake to prove them. page 10 Now if they are true, they can be proved. You have no need to go out of Auckland for the proof. Nearly everything in that article has originated from what has taken place in Auckland, from what Mr. Walker himself has said, and what he has done. To-morrow morning, at 11 o'clock, all the individuals concerned in that article are invited, or requested, or challenged to meet together face to face—accuser and accused. I have myself undertaken the responsibility of doing that. I shall take good care that all should be recorded. If Mr. Walker's accusers do not appear, that is their condemnation. If they do, everything shall be challenged—
A Voice: Where?
The Chairman: At my house. I am quite willing that it be here or anywhere else.
A Voice: Make it public.
The Chairman: I do not think that would be wise. It will be all published. I think you can trust to my truthfulness. I undertake to give you the result of that inquiry. I know certain things stated in that article to be deliberately false. There may perhaps be a slight vein of truth in it, as in the history of the "Three Black Crows." (Laughter.) But whatever comes of it there is one thing which I can never forget, and it is, that all on which that article was built up was obtained privately, in violation of private friendship and confidence. (Cries of " Shame, shame!") And even if every word were true, the manner of drawing that article would stamp the man who did with such a name as I would not like to utter. (Hear, and cheers.) I do not know that I need say more. I have already expressed my conviction that be Mr. Walker what he may, he himself is genuine. I may think, and you may think, that it is utterly out of the question to admit spiritual influence. He sincerely believes that he is under that Spiritual influence. He has been again and again asked by persons in private and in the Auckland papers why he did not come out as a lecturer Olson the faith of his own natural powers. The answer is simply that he cannot. He wishes to do it, but he cannot. He at least is sincerely conscious that he speaks under the influence of something beyond his present natural powers. All you have to do, and all I ask you to do, is to give Inca credit for sincerity. Call no man rogue until you have proved him such. (Cheers.) Prove him such if you can, and then let him take the consequences. Now I need say no more but that the usual collection will be made at the door. (Laughter.) I do not know that there is anything in that to cause such laughter. Which of you would like working for nothing and pay his expenses? I am, people say, an enthusiast, and sometimes they say I am fanatical; but I may tell you that the doctrine of my life has been that no man should ever want to be paid for anything. (Oh! Laughter and cheers.) People who are not patient sometimes find that they have made fools of themselves by laughing too soon. I have believed that a man if he went to his work and did it in the best, noblest and most manly way, and appealed to his work done, would be safe to get his recompense. There was once a very great and renowned lecturer,—it was an honour to me to know him and to take tea with him. It was my privilege to propound this fanatical doctrine of mine. What do you think he did? He laughed at it. This was the celebrated George Dawson, who would take 20 guineas or 10 guineas all the way down to 5 guineas. If Mr. Walker lectures here I do not think that any of you can see a reason why you ought to make him pay the expenses of this hall. He has at least the sanction of so great a man as George Dawson, if he were to require to be paid for his lecture. Another thing I have to announce, is that a number of Spiritualists will meet this evening in the ante-room, for what purpose is best known to themselves. I have no doubt it is a wise one according to their idea of wisdom. I wish them well. I wish all men well. page 11 I wish you well. I hope that this young man will never get anywhere else the treatment he has received here. I hope that you men of Auckland will never treat any other man in exactly the same style in which you have treated this man. I have now, as on other occasions' to thank you for your patience in listening, and on your behalf, to thank Mr. Walker for his lecture to us.
Mr. Wesley Spragg: I would ask you, sir, whether you hold yourself responsible for the payment of the £50 you have spoken of?
The Chairman: I do not quite understand the distinct force of the question. I hold myself responsible for Mr. Walker's sincerity, that he will bring it forward if required.
A Voice: Will Mr. Walker meet any other man to discuss this question Scripturally? (A laugh.)
The Chairman: The answer is, that Mr. Walker will meet any man, whether of the Press, or any other man you like, and will discuss this or any other question connected with the subject.
Mr. Tremaine: did not think that all the citizens of Auckland should be condemned. There was a good number who treated Mr. Walker with the greatest respect, and were willing to contribute to their utmost towards the expense incurred. The blame should be laid on the right shoulders.
The Chairman: I am quite willing to admit that there are a good many who have assisted Mr. Walker to the fullest extent in their power.
Mr. Wesley Spragg: I want to know whether Mr. Walker has been speaking himself, or whether lie has been speaking under the power of some authoritative spirit?
The Chairman: Mr. Walker affirms that he could not give the lecture which he has given to-night, or any other night, in his normal condition, that is, by the exercise of his own unaided powers. That is his conviction, and according to his conviction he speaks under the guidance of another mind.
This concluded the proceedings, and the meeting separated.
Printed by Wilsons & Horton, Wyndham Street, Auckland.