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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

The Evidences of Spiritualism

page 2

The Evidences of Spiritualism,

Mr Donovan held his promised Religious Service at the Rifle's Orderly Room last, evening, the subject of his discourse, or lecture, being, "The Evidences of Spiritualism." The hall, shortly after the hour announced for the service, was quite filled with an audience including a large number of the principal citizens of Sandhurst, notably of all the religious denominations, whilst the front seats, especially, were thronged with ladies. The service was commenced by Mr Denovan giving out, Byron's hymn, "The Prayer of Nature"—"Father of Light! on Thee I call." We may mention the psalmody was accompanied throughout by Mr Hallas, on his cornet, and by Mr Collins, on a fine and very powerful harmonium, which swelled the voices with all the grandeur of tone of an organ. The opening hymn being closed, Mr Denovan read portions of Scripture from the 3rd Chapter of Proverbs, and the 5th 6th and 7th Chapters of Matthew. He then, lifting up his hands, repeated the words of Jesus, "After this manner pray ye," and said the Lord's Prayer. The second hymn was then sung, being also selected from the works of Byron, of which the first verse was as follows:—

If that high world, which lies beyond
Our own, surviving love endears;
If there the cherished heart be found,
The eye the same, except in tears—
How welcome those untrodden spheres!
How sweet this very hour to die!
To soar from earth and find all fears,
Lost in thy light—Eternity!

"The Home of the Soul":—

Though fur o'er the wide earth our footsteps may roam,
The soul ever pants for its glorious home, &c., &c.

was sung at a subsequent part of the service.

Before commencing his lecture, Mr Denovan announced that shortly after the commencement of the new year, he would deliver a companion lecture to his present one, the subject of which would be "Objections to Spiritualism Considered." During the interval, he added, he would be happy to reply to any ladies or gentlemen who were desirous of satisfying their doubts on the subject, or of seeking further information upon any topics connected with it,—and for this purpose he would, for the next three weeks, hold himself in readiness to be addressed by letter, by any lady or gentleman, the address of his office in town being well-known.

Mr Denovan then said:—

Friends,—In all ages of the world of which we have any record, there has existed, in one shape or other, a belief in a Supreme Being and a life beyond the grave. This belief has assumed as many phases as there are races on the earth. Amongst savage nations it has, like themselves, been low and grovelling, their gods being gifted with the earthly and devilish attributes of their "medicine men," and the people the slaves of their own credulity and superstitions; whilst among civilised and cultured-nations it has, from the force of circumstances, been more exalted and spiritual. That this belief had its origin in our natures and has not been acquired, is proved to our senses by its universality. It is no argument against its truth that it has been turned from its legitimate purposes, for thousands of years by portions of the clerical order and the selfish classes; for the supreme influence which it has always exercised over the destinies of all nations whether for good or for evil, is rather a proof than otherwise of its being inherent in us. This belief has survived all the changes incidental to the rudimentary condition of man. It has nerved the arm of the Patriot to deeds of prowess in defence of his home and country; it has fired with a spirit of lofty ardour and holy zeal the breast of the missionary, making him leave all that he held dear to him in this life so that he might carry to the dark places of the earth the glad news of his faith (see the life of Dr. Livingstone); and it has brought consolation in trial and affliction to millions. But, on the other hand, it must be acknowledged it has excited feelings of hatred and page 3 fanaticism unbounded, causing men and women to become cruel and merciless towards each other. Hence the wars of the Jews, the dreadful persecutions of the early Christians by the Roman emperors, the Mahommedan conquests, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and the imprisonments, torturings, burnings, and exterminating broils of the Christians themselves. But notwithstanding the capricious character of this wonderful ideal power in the heart of man which has shaken the thrones, principalities, and powers of this world—it is destined to lead all the races of the earth to a state of amity; when knowledge shall run to and fro, encircling the globe with its golden chain; when wars, selfishness, vice, and crime shall have ceased; when men shall know and love God, from the least to the greatest and from the rising to the setting sun. The painful and bitter experiences which natiors as well as individuals have to pass through are lessons, it is felt, which fit and prepare them for the enjoyment of higher slates of existence. By such lessons they are purified. The persecutions of the dark ages, the burning of "witches" in England and America, the forcible seizure of the land of the Catholics in Ireland, for no other reason then that they were Catholics, have all been productive of good, inasmuch as through all this wrong-doing, sorrow, and suffering, the principles of civil and religious liberty have been nursed into life and vigor, bringing in their train untold blessings to the sons of men, and crowning the present and future ages with laurel wreaths. "Let the people praise thee, oh, God! Let all the people praise thee! Let the whole earth rejoice, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."

The same power too which conferred upon men and women the intuitive and perceptive faculties, enabling them to know of the existence of a Supreme Being and an after-life, and to provide for their own sustenance, also gave them the desire and ability to hold daily converse with the spirit inhabitants of the higher spheres. We have no record of how or when this delightful spiritual intercourse commenced; but we have ample written testimony to prove that it was begun and continued for thousands of years, both in India and Egypt, prior to to the Christian era. Writing of these countries, Sir William Jones says:—

"I am persuaded that a connection existed between the old nations of India, Fgypt, Greece and Italy, before the time of Moses."

I am indebted to J. M. Peebles's "Seers of the Ages," for the following quotation from Emmanuel Rebold, who, writing of the occult practices of these nations and their intercourse with the spirit world says:—

"That occult science designated by the ancient priests, under the name of regenerating fire, is that which, at the present day, is known as animal magnetism—a science that, for more than three thousand years, was the peculiar possession of the Indian and Egyptian priesthood, into the knowledge of which Moses was initiated at Heliopolis, where he was educated; and Jesus, among the Essenian priests of Egypt or Judea; and by which these two great reformers, particularly the latter, wrought many of the miracles mentioned in the scriptures.'

Indeed, it has been proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, that what is now known amongst us as Spiritualism, was far more familiar to the ancient nations of India, Greece and Egypt, and by and through them to the Jews—especially the Essenians, and of whose sect Jesus of Nazareth was a member—than it has ever been to modern Spiritualists. Not only was this the case as regards the priesthood of India and Egypt, but it may, with equal justice, be said of that of Greece and Persia. Pythagoras, who, like Jesus, was born in Syria, but live I some 600 years before him, and who also had been initiated into the same mysteries as the latter, was a great spiritual teacher. Having spent many years of his life both in India and Egypt, he was thoroughly versed in all the occult sciences of the priesthood of those countries, and lived in accordance with their divine teachings. So pure and holy was the life of this sage, that he enjoyed the reputation of being divinely inspired. His birth was foretold by the Pythian oracle; and Godfrey Higgins writing of him says:—"Pythagoras was known by the same identical title as Jesus, namely, the Son of God." This good and great man, like the seer Swedenborg, of later times, held daily spiritual intercourse with the departed sages, his spirit being so much en rapport with theirs as to be permitted to leave the body and visit them. He was also conversant with the Spiritualism of the Persian Magi. The seers, indeed, of all these ancient races professed to hold communion with the spirits of the departed page 4 great, who acted towards them in the light of guardian angels, protecting them from evil spirits, healing the sick, foretelling events of national importance, giving warning or the approach of danger, inspiring armies as in the case of Constantine the Great, who saw such words in the Heavens in the form of cross, as "By this Conquer," to deeds of valor, and leading them on to victory. And although some writers have attempted to throw discredit on the genuineness of these occurrences, they are too well authenticated by impartial historians, to be set aside. Newton, writing of them says:—"Ancient mythology is nothing but historical truth in a poetical dress." And Jamblichus adds:—

"The gods and demons of the mythologic ages, were the good and heroic of earth's inmortalized, yet giving oracles to the living."

Educated in such schools, it was not surprising that the pure and holy religions of Moses and Jesus should rest upon a common foundation; or that these two great spiritual teachers should make use of their knowledge of those occult mysteries into which they had been initiated, to impress their followers with their divine mission, and by which, no doubt, they were enabled to perform the many mighty works so intimately associated with their names.

Within the compass of a single lecture I cannot be supposed to dwell at any length on the evidences of spiritualism, as it prevailed amongst the ancient nations, as it would interfere with the object I have in view, namely, to lay before you a few of the primary evidences of Modern Spiritualism as it has appeared in our own age. Yet, having duo regard to the importance of such evidence in the discussion of this subject, I cannot pass it over without considerable notice. You will pardon me, therefore, before proceeding with the more immediate subject of the lecture, for asking your attention a little longer, to another epoch in the history of this wonderful spiritual movement—the Mosaic and Christian dispensations, the incidents of which you are, no doubt more conversant with than with those of earlier times. As most of you are aware, the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are little more than the records of the sayings and doings of men, angels and spirits with each other, in days when the Jewish Jehovah was said to hold converse with men. When, finding that man fell from his first estate and became wicked, God destroyed the world, only saving Noah and his family; when Moses, by command, led forth the children of Israel from the house of bondage, and the waters of the Red Sea were cleft in twain so that they might pass over on dry land; when amid the thunders of Sinai the law was delivered and Israel becan.e "the chosen of the Lord." Showing how after sojourning? and sufferings in the wilderness for forty years, they wore, after being the recipients of God's favors, finally brought in safety to the promised land; how kings and princes of the earth were made to do homage to the anointed of the Lord" how the Temple was built in which sacrifices were offered up, and a magnificent priesthood celebrated in accordance with Jewish ritual, the worship of "the Most High." And how in the fulness of time, when Israel had, notwithstanding their deliverances and blessings, rebelled against Him, and had become subject to the power of the Roman Empire, there appeared—heralded by omens, stars, dreams, and other wonderful occurrences—a long promised deliverer in the shape of a child; how "wise men of the east" came to worship him; how he was said to be conceived by the power of "the Holy Ghost" and born of a virgin; how he excelled in wisdom and purity all his predecessors; how he, notwithstanding his being "the son of God" and working such miracles as raising the dead, opening the eyes of the blind, cleansing the lepers, walking on the water, and many other miracles, was rejected by bis nation, and crucified by them. How after three days he was raised to life again, appeared among men, and afterwards ascended to Heaven as the Prince of Peace, and in ercessor with his Father for all the world; and how he appointed Apostles to preach his Gospel to all nations, promising to be with them; and, as a token of their divine mission, they were to be endowed with power to work similar miracle's to him. And how these scriptures have been received by millions of the human family as the veritable "word of God," which "holy men wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost."

It is not my purpose to-night to enter into a discussion of the question as to the truth of the claims set up for these scriptures, but rather to deal with them as the source from whence these millions draw their consolations and belief's. The Bible being "the infallible word of God" to all such, it becomes necessary on their part page 5 before condemming spiritualism, to see what it says on the subject. If I can prove to Jews and Christians, to-night, that their Bibles are full of spirit-manifestations, and that spirits in the days of Moses and Jesus visited this earth, were seen of men, and made them the instruments of the divine purposes, I think, in that case, to be consistent, they must either acknowledge themselves to be spiritualists, or deny the truth of their own scriptures. Because if spirits did visit this world in former days by the force of the great natural laws of God, it will be incumbent on the opponent? of those who know—and believe as the result of that knowledge—that spirits can and do visit men in our day, to prove whether the suspension of this law occurred by whom it was suspended, and under what circumstances such an extraordinary interference with a wise and beneficent provision of nature, took place. Let us now, therefore, "to the law and the testimony." During a period of 4000 years, extending all through the Jewish and Apostolic period, and for several hundred years beyond the latter, according to the scriptures, it was customary for the Great Spirit himself, or for Jesus, the Holy Ghost, angels and spirits, to visit mankind; to make themselves known to them, and to perform through them "mighty works." In the Bible it is stated that God walked in the garden and talked with Adam; that the devil, in the form of a serpent, talked with Eve; that an angel appeared with a flaming sword; that God spake to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; that angels in the form of men visited Lot; that Moses spake face to face with God as a man speaketh to his friend; that an angel appeared to Hagar in the wilderness; that angels touched Elijah and Daniel; that destroying angels slew the first-born of the Egyptians; that Jacob wrestled with an angel, and that angels gave Gideon cakes and a young kid. Saul was tormented by an evil spirit. He visited "the woman of Endor," and through her mediumship, the spirit of the departed Samuel was made to appear, and was seen both by the King and the woman. A spirit appeared to the Temanite and addressed him; and when the three Hebrew children were in the fiery furnace, a fourth person "like unto the son of God," was seen in the flames with them. A spirit hand was seen to appear at Belshazzar's feast, and to write on the wall. In New Testament times, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream; Jesus talked with the spirits of Moses and Elias on the Mount; at the crucifixion the spirits of the departed were seen to walk in the streets of Jerusalem; at the resurrection an angel rolled away the stone from the sepulchre; a young man in white was seen there; Jesus appeared in spirit form after his death to certain of his disciples as they were walking, and afterwards to his disciples in an upper room—the doors and windows being shut; he ascended to Heaven visibly in the presence of some of his disciples, two spirits in white appeared whilst they were gazing up after him. The Lord stood by Paul and spoke to him, and the Pharisees said that if a spirit or angel had spoken through him, let them not be found fighting against God. Spirits released Peter from prison; and Paul whilst on his way to Damascus, was overshadowed by a light in the heavens, and a voice said to him: "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." The spirits of John and Paul were taken out of their bodies, and wafted to the Heavens, where they saw wonderful visions, and John says:—"Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God." Thus clearly showing to every unprejudiced mind, that spirit-intercourse prevailed in his time. As some instances of spirit power, I may mention the carrying of Philip through the air, the healing of the lame man at the gate of the Temple, the casting out evil spirit?, the cloven tongues of fire which rested on the heads of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, speaking in strange tongues, curing the palsy, cleansing the lepers, and making the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear and the blind to see. The cases are to numerous forme to enumerate. They were the signs which were to accompany the preaching of the disciples of Jesus, and were to be the conclusive proofs to the world that they were his true followers. These facts are so familiar to you, that I have not stopped to quote chapter and verse. Those who would care to do so can, by examining, find out for themselves, and they will find much more of a similar character.

And now friends, having traced the progress of what is known to us as spiritualism from the earliest ages down to the closing scenes of the lives of the apostles, I must refer you to William Howitt's "History of the Supernatural," and Robert Dale Owen's "Footfalls on the Boundaries of another World," for full accounts of its progress from then till its revival in 1854, in the Fox family, in the little village page 6 of Hydesville, Now York, America. During the eighteen intervening centuries, you will learn from these most interesting and instructive works, that in various shapes, the spirit-world was brought near to us, and communications with its inhabitants kept open. The Roman Catholic Church has always declared that her ministers retained the power bestowed on the Apostles of working miracles; and her history abounds with instances of wonderful cures, levitations in the air and other marvellous occurrences, so well attested as to be unassailable. And the surprising history of the Protestant Waldenses whilst suffering the most awful persecutions, affords conclusive evidence of spirit-presence and protection. In England and America, too, as is known to many of you, the wholesale burning of so-called "witches," was simply the destruction of what, in our day, is known as mediums. I refer you also to the same books for an account of the strange noises caused by spirits in their efforts to communicate with mortals, which were for a long time heard in the parsonage of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, rector of Epworth, and father of the celebrated John Wesley. These occurrences took place in 1716 and 1717, and caused much excitement in the family.

Dr. Adam Clarke, writing of them, says:—"The accounts given of them are so circumstantial and authentic as to entitle them to the most implicit credit." Similar cases have constantly occurred in all parts of England, and indeed in all lands trod by human pilgrims. Friends, many of you, if not in your own experience, have heard your parents or grandparents speak of strange occurrences in their families, unacountable to them; but still links in the chain of evidence of the presence of spirits amongst us, and of the deep interest our dear departed ones continue to take in our welfare. "Ministering spirits sent forth by God to minister to the heirs of salvation." A perusal of the books I have already named would well repay the earnest inquirer. Some objection has been taken for your reading this class of books; but with all due respect to the objectors, I say to you, improve your minds by reading and free thought. Learn the merits of a question before venturing to condemn it. This is eminently an age of progress and investigation, when men will no longer be content with the beliefs of their great grand parents without free enquiry an age in which old dogmas are being "weighed in the balance and found wanting" and in which the churches of Christendom must either drive back the education of the masses to the dark ages or remain content to lose their influence over them. Already, friends, this is, to a large extent, the case. What theologians call "infidelity" is rampant everywhere. Can you wonder at it? Is it not the natural effect of shutting up the human intellect within "infallible" churches, bibles and creeds,—saying to it thus far but no farther shalt thou go? Within the churches themselves, how many of the more educated of their attendants believe in the doctrines preached to them? How many, for instance, believe in eternal punishment for finite offences? How many believe in a personal devil? I venture to assert that out of every hundred persons who attend church, not twenty believe in either: for if they did, society would either become a vast prayer meeting, or our lunatic asylums would be too small to hold those who sought admission to them. And if I am right, what then becomes of the other cardinal points of faith built upon these other? Friends, you cannot shut your eyes to these things. You know that every-where our men of science and intellect are turning away from the churches, and are driving God out of the world, having—many of them, at least—ceased to believe in a life beyond the present. And with millions of nominal christians, what more than this does their belief amount to? Do they know themselves? Is their daily walk and conversation evidence of their belief? How much of their time do they give to the pursuit of wealth, and how much to the service of their fellow creatures (for this latter service is really the service of God)? For what do they continue to attend public worship; and what do they know in these days of the spiritual life so nobly exemplified in the life of Jesus, and of whom they profess to be followers? Can it be wondered at that in the presence of a dead faith and so many mammon worshipping professors, this revelation of the divine love to man, which, in the present day, is manifesting itself anew to all nations, and known to us as spiritualism should be received by most of us with scorn and derision? Why this alarm of the Christian church at the re-appearance of those spirit and angelic manifestations which, it is admitted, prevailed, in that church in its early days; which, according to the Scriptures, were in all ages to accompany the preaching of the gospel? Has a secret disbelief in a page 7 future life any thing to do with it? Or because it comes to us in forms and shapes different from what in these days of fashionable "Lord Dundrearys" and "girls of the period" we expect it to have, must necessarily be untrue? To what cause, if net to a wide spread infidelity, are we to attribute the general indifference of men to subjects of a religious character? Nor is it to be wondered at, considering what they from Sunday to Sunday have, as a rule, to listen to, and what the clergy are bound down to preach to them. Of course, there are still many devout and sincere believers in their respective faiths; but is this the case with the majority who attend church on Sundays, sit in comfortably cushioned pews, listen to the sermon, return homo and eat their roast beef and plum pudding and never trouble their heads on the subject until Sunday again comes round? Is it because of this formality, of going to church, which some ladies and clergymen so rigorouly enforce upon the male portion of humanity—so that an outward show of religion may be kept up, that honest convictions are stifled, and a cold blooded hypocrisy stalks abroad like a grim and gaunt spectre over the land? Is it the fear of Mrs Grundy that makes so many people conform to that which they do not believe? Or is it still worse—an outward observance to secure and retain a good business connection amongst the "unco guid"? Alas for our poor country should such traits of character ever become the mainsprings of action of her people. Rather give me the consistency of cold but honest Materialism itself, than such hollow-hearted lifeless religion as that. Oh, such was not the spirit that animated the breasts of our worthy forefathers! There wore examples of patriotism, zeal, and sincerity in the midst of the most dire privations and persecutions for righteousness' sake, of which the world was not worthy; noble hearted men and women yielding up worldly advantages, and even life itself, from a sense of duty, and for what they believed was the truth. To create a purer and more spiritual worship, Moses left the attractions of the Egyptian court, casting in his lot with the despised family of Israel, and sojourning with them in all their wanderings and sufferings in the wilderness, that he might the better prepare them for the joys of the promised land. Jesus Irking a step in advance, and with no place in which to lay his head, taught the formalists of his day that "God was a spirit, and must be worshipped in [unclear: spirit] and in truth," and gladly gave up his life as a pledge to all of his sincerity. The apostles followed him it their lives of self denial, and in latter times, when Europe was ruled by priests, and the ecclesiastical power held the civil power in subjection, Luther arose, and fought and won such a victory for liberty and humanity as has never been fought and won in Europe before or since. So was it in our own native lands, when lion-hearted men grappled to the death with high-handed tyranny, proudly raised the banner of truth: "For God, for country, for liberty;" and forgetting all else in their devotion to the cause, sacrificed everything for it; thus helping to mould the national character by the force of their example, creating a healthy public opinion, and leading others up the rugged ascent of divine truth. Such men were true patriots; and as long as Britain's story shall be told, will the records of; heir heroism remain to shed an imperishable lustre over their names. Therefore, to all those of you who prefer to follow truth to bring in the fashion I would say, "Courage, brother, courage, sister. If you have to bear a cross to-day trust in God and do the light, and you will be crowned with roses to-morrow."

The clergy have arrayed themselves against modern spiritualism, because they perceive in it danger to their own pretentions, but as I have already shewn you by quotations from the Bible itself, they cannot consistently do so without condeming their own religion; for the evidences by which it is sustained, are precisely the same as those advanced by spiritualists in support of theirs. Writing on this very subject, the author of a very able little book, culled "Hints for the Evidences of Spiritualism," after speaking of the scripture spiritual manifestations says:—

Now, in the minds of those who believe in the truth of the occurrences just mentioned, there cannot be even a sense of feeling of general improbability as attaching to spiritual manifestations. There can only be a sense of its being improbable that they should occur at the present day or in the future; since it is not open to them to dispute the past generations, and indeed, whole nations have had experience of them."

Permit me now, friends, to draw your attention to some of the evidences in support of Modern Spiritualism. Many of you are aware that the spiritual manifes- page 8 tations which first attracted the notice of the public in our day, occurred in the Fox family some twenty-five years ago. Unknown to themselves the daughters of Mr and Mrs Fox were very powerful physical mediums; and as the spirits were aware that "witch" burning was no longer a fashionable pastime with judges, and juries, and the church, and, therefore, their mediums were comparatively safe, they, no doubt, thought the time and place opportune for renewing their acquaintance with their friends on earth. So just as they were in the habit of doing when in the body on going to see their friends, they began in their own way, to knock for admission. One writer gives the following graphic account of these manifestations:—

"From the first, the family was disturbed by noises in the house: but these they attributed for a time to rats and mice. In January, 1848, however, the sounds became loud and startling. Knocks, so violent as to produce a tremulous motion in the furniture and floor, were heard. Occasionally there would be a patter of footsteps. The bedclothes would be pulled off; and Kate Fox would feel a cold hand pass over her face."

These extraordinary occurrences increased in intensity, disturbing the rest of the family, and at length attracting the attention of the neighbours, who crowded from all parts of the country for miles round, to witness them. Mrs Fax and her daughter Kate began to rap in response to the raps, and thus was commenced the popular method of communicating with the spirits by rapping. The alphabet was called, so many raps to constitute yes or no. By this means the number of the family, their ages, the death of one of them, her name and age were all correctly given, until conviction was forced upon them that their strange visitors were the spirits of the departed. The clergy took alarm as the interest increased. The press held it up to ridicule, and separate committees of ladies and gentlemen were formed for the express purpose of investigating the phenomena, as they were supposed to be the result of some trickery on part of the family; but these committees were compelled, after the most searching investigation, to report: "That they were unable to trace the phenomena, to any known mundane agency." Thus was commenced the most wonderful movement of modern times. It spread like wildfire to all the principal cities and towns of America, becoming more startling as the mediums became better developed, exciting the wonder of all, the hostility of many, and the support of hundreds. Circles were formed for investigation, and so great was the interest in it, that at one time it was computed that there were no fewer than 1500 circles assembled weekly in the city of Boston alone. The manifestations by means of many of the mediums were truly astonishing; mediums increased in number too, and some of them such as Miss Kate Fox, D. D. Home, and the Davenport brothers, were of such susceptible temperaments and organisations, as to allow of the spirits not only making themselves visible to mortals through them, but likewise speaking in their presence to friends still in the flesh, writing messages indifferent languages, shaking hands with them, joining audibly in vocal and instrumental concerts, and producing such marvellous phenomena as to attract the notice and rivet the attention of many of the first minds in the country. In addition to these mediums for physical manifestations, there were other phases of mediumship, such as trance speaking, motive, test mediums, healing mediums, drawing and writing mediums, and many other kinds, all more or less of an extraordinary character, and all serving to bring home the fact to the witnesses, of the existence of a spirit world not far away, in which our loved and lost ones still lived and preserved their identity; through means not generally known, were able, under certain conditions, to communicate with us. When, after repeated tests with these mediums, the conviction was forced upon investigators that the phenomena were caused by the disembodied spirits of the departed, their joy and gratitude to God, our Heavenly Father, was intense. Hundreds and thousands of all classes—especially the educated, became Spiritualists, renounced Materialism, joined with others in spreading the good news everywhere, and in devoting their time and means to works of benevolence and mercy. So great has been the effect on the public mind in America, and so wonderful the progress made, that, in the short space of twenty-five years, the spiritualists have increased until they number eleven millions. This is the estimate given of them by the Catholic clergy of that country. Robert Dale Owen's estimate is 7,500,600; but for the sake of being within the truth let us accept the lower one, and still the fact remains, that no religion was ever known to have spread so rapidly in any country before. Our page 9 American cousins are a shrewd, clever race, require strong evidence to convince them on any question placed before them for their consideration; and unless this evidence has been forthcoming, depend upon it, spiritualism would not to-day have been the power it is amongst them. The spiritualist literature, too, is immense; and in addition to several ably conducted magazines, a very considerable portion of the daily and weekly newspapers are devoted to their cause. The Spiritualists of America have also established Lyceums or Sunday schools for the young, and thousands upon thousands of children are being educated in them. These noble institutions for the children have been attended with great success and received the enthusiastic support of the young themselves, which may be taken as a pretty correct criterion of their usefulness. Nor has this great spiritual movement been confined to America. In England it has also taken root, and is already to be found in the palace, in the churches and in the mansion of the peer, as well as in the cottage. Lately it has been making progress both in London and the provinces, the most astonishing and convincing manifestations taking place in the presence of all classes of the community, and creating a deep impression on the minds of even the most sceptical, In France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, India, as well us here, in Australia, its roots are spreading, and the young oak is progressing as rapidly as its best friends could wish. For detailed proofs of these statements of mine, I beg to refer you to the following works, namely, Emma Hardinge's "History of Modern Spiritualism in America;" Robert Dale Owen's "Debatable Land," J. M. Peebles's "Seers of the Ages;" Judge Edmonds and Dr. Dexter's "Spiritualism;" E. Sergeant's "Communications from Another World;" Clarke's Plain Guide to Spiritualism Home's "Incidents of My Life the Davenport Brothers; Dr Ashburner's "Animal Magnetism and Spiritualism;" and the "Report of the Dialectical Society of England, and many others of a similar character. If you will read these books, you will get a mass of valuable information on the subject, besides ample proofs of the evidences which induced the writers to become spiritualists, and of the truth of the statements I have made concerning the progress of the great movement itself. In the meantime, let me give you a few short quotations from these and other authorities. William Howitt writes:—"I examined the phenomena thoroughly. Silly but playful spirits, came frequently. I heard accordions play wonderful music as they were held in one hand, often by a person who could not play at all. I heard and saw hand-bells carried about the room in the air; put first into one person's hand and then into another's. Taken away by a strong pull, though you could not see the hand touching them. I saw dining and drawingroom tables of great weight, not only raised in the air, but when placed in a particular direction, perseveringly remove themselves and place themselves quite differently. I saw other tables answer questions as they stood in the air, by moving up and down with a marvellous softness, I heard sometimes blows, apparently enough to split the table, when no one could have struck them without observation; and I breathed perfumes the most delicate." Mr Howitt goes on to say:—

"Many persons that we know draw, paint, or write under spiritual agency, and without any effort or action of their own minds whatever, some of them never having learned to draw. Several of my family drew and wrote. I wrote a whole volume without any action of my own mind, the process being purely mechanical on my part. A scries of drawings in circles, filled up with patterns, every one different from the other, were given through my hand one evening: the circles were struck oil' as correctly as Giotto or a pair of compasses could have done them; yet they were made simply with a pencil. Artists who saw them were astonished, and, as is generally the case in such matters, suggested that some new faculty was developed in me; when, lo, the power was entirely taken away, to show that it did not belong to me. The drawings, however, remain; but I could not copy one of them in the same way if my life depended on it."

Mr Howitt further says:—"I may add that I have never visited paid mediums, but I have seen most of the phenomena exhibited through Mr Home, Mr Squire, and others. I have seen spirit's hands moving about; I have felt them again and again. I have seen writing done by spirits, by laying a paper and pencil in the middle of the floor, and very good sense written too. I heard things announced as about to come to pass, and they have come to pass, although appearing very improbable at the moment. I have seen persons very often, in clairvoyant trances, en- page 10 tering into communication with the dead, of whom they have known nothing, and giving those who had known them the most living descriptions of them, as well as messages from them. * * * * * * * * These are things which are not only going on in England, and amongst my own friends every day, but have been going on for these forty years; ten years in America, and thirty before that in Germany. But in America, the wide diffusion and constant repetition of these phenomena have convinced some millions of people, and some of them the first men of scientific and legal ability in the country. These persons," adds Mr Howitt, "have not believed on mere hearsay, or more hocus pocus and delusion, but upon the familiar evidence of facts; and, as I have observed for thirty years before that in Germany there existed a considerable body of the most eminent philosophers, poets and scientific men, familiar with most of these things. Amongst these, no less a man than Immanual Kant, also Gorres, Ennemoser, Eschenmayer, Werner, Schubert, Jung Stilling, Kerner; and preeminent amongst women, Madame Hauffe the Seeress of Prevorst, who professed not merely to have spiritual communications, but to tee and converse daily with spirits; and she gave continued proofs of it, as any one may see who reads her story."

I have quoted from William Howitt's testimony at considerable length, as he being an Englishman and a man of high standing, as an author, such evidence will probably have some weight with a British audience, though in Australia. Dr Ashburner, of London, in his work "Animal Magnetism and Spiritualism," writing of these spiritual phenomena, and what took place in his own house in the presence of himself and friends says:—

"There were but three of us at the dinner table (Ashburner, Sir William Topham, and Foster, the medium). The servant placed the souptureen on the table, and no sooner had I helped my friends to soup, than Sir William, who had preferred the seat with his back to the fire, requested permission to alter his mind, as the fire was too much for him. He went to the opposite side of the table forgetting to take his napkin. Immediately a hand, apparently as real as the hand of any one of us, appeared, and lifted the napkin into the air, gently and gracefully, and then dropped it carefully on the table. The appearance of hands was by no means an unusual phenomenon. One evening I witnessed the presence of nine bands floating over the dining table."

Dr Ashburner adds:—"One evening in my drawing room a hand, as palpable as my own hand, appeared a little above the table, and soon rested upon the thumb and four fingers on the surface of it. Several persons were seated round the table. Mr Foster, addressing me, said, 'The person to whom that hand belongs is a friend of yours. He is a handsome man, with a portly presence, and is very much gratified to see you and to renew his acquaintance with you. Before, he mentions his name, he would like to know if you remember his calling your father his old friend, and yourself his young friend.' I had forgotten it; but I remembered it the moment the name was mentioned. 'He calls himself Sir Astley Cooper," said Mr Foster, and wishes me to tell you that certain spirits have the power, by the force of will, of creating from elements of organic matter in the atmosphere facsimiles of the hands they possessed on earth.' Shortly the hand melted into air."

Dr Ashburner further say:—"I have myself so often witnessed spiritual manifestations, that I could not, if I were inclined, put aside the evidences which have come before me."

Mr Livermore, the well-known and wealthy New York banker, gives the following account of extraordinary manifestations which he witnessed, through the mediumship of Miss Kate Fox:—

"The lights being extinguished, footsteps were heard as of persons walking in their stocking feet, accompanied by the rustling sound of a silk dress. It was then rapped out by the alphabet, 'My dear, I am here in form; do not speak'—(meaning the spirit of Mr Livermcre's late wife). A globular light rose up from the floor behind me; and, as it became brighter, a face, surmounted by a crown, was distinctly seen by the medium and myself. Next the head appeared, as if covered with a white veil. This was withdrawn after the figure had risen some feet higher; and I recognised unmistakably the full head and face of my wife, surrounded by a semicircle of light about eighteen inches in diameter. The recognition was complete, derived alike from the features and her natural expression. The globe of light was page 11 then raised, and a female hand held before it was distinctly visible. * * * The figure disappeared several times, the recognition becoming each time more nearly perfect, with on expression of calm and beautiful serenity. I asked her to kiss me if she could; and to my great astonishment and delight, an arm was placed round my neck, and a real palpable kiss was implanted on my lips, through something like fine muslin. A head was laid upon mine, the hair falling luxuriantly down my face. The kiss was frequently repeated and was audible in every part of the room. The light then moved to a point about midway between us and the wall, which was distant about ten feet. The rattling increased in vigor; and the light gradually illuminating that side of the room, brought out in perfection an entire female figure facing the wall, and holding a light in her out stretched hand, shaking it at intervals, as the light grew dim. My name and her name were repeated in a loud whisper, and among other things which occurred during this remarkable sitting, the figure at the close stood before the mirror, and was reflected therein" The spirit form of the celebrated Benjamin Franklin also appeared at the same circle, and was fully recognised by the sitters. Mr Livermore says:—"I now aver, that no doubt of the identity of this spirit longer remains upon my mind. * * His presence was a wonderful and startling reality, seated in the chair opposite me at the table, vividly visible, and even to each article of dress, there could be no mistake." The medium, Miss Kate Fox, Dr Gray, a gentleman of unimpeachable integrity and high social position in New York, writes:—"She has been intimately known to my wife and myself from the time she was a very young girl. * * Miss Fox is a young lady of good education, and of an entirely blameless life and character. At the spirit rooms of Jonathan Koons, Ohio, spirits manifested themselves to thousands who flocked from all parts of America to see them. A band of spirits, under the leadership of a spirit named King, attended at these rooms, and through the mediumship of Mr Koons and his eldest son, audibly joined in vocal and instrumental concerts, carrying the instruments through the air above the heads of the sitters, exhibiting their spirit hands as they did so, writing messages to friends present and at a distance, and shaking hands with hundreds. For proofs of this see Emma Hardinge's "History of Modern Spiritualism in America." Judge Edmonds and Dr Dexter, both gentlemen of high attainments, and who are esteemed and loved wherever they are known, in their able work, entitled "Spiritualism," have testified in the strongest manner to the facts which have conic under their own observation in connection with the progress of this great spiritualist movement. Judge Edmonds writes in his introduction:—

"I have known Latin, French, and Spanish words spelled out through the rappings, and I have heard mediums who knew no language but their own speak in those languages, and in Italian, German, and Greek, and in other languages unknown to me, but which were represented to be Arabic, Chinese, and Indian, and all done with the ease and rapidity of a native."

Dr Dexter writes—"During the time I abstained from sitting in any circle, I was twice lifted bodily from my bed, moved off its edge, and thus suspended in the air. * * During the whole time, from their earliest endeavour to write, they have used my hands as the instrument to convey their own thoughts, without any appreciation on my part of either ideas or subject. I know nothing of what is written until after it is read to me; and frequently, when asked to read what has been communicated, I have found it utterly impossible to decipher it.

At the circle attended by Judge Edmonds, the following beautiful teachings came from the spirits, through the medium:—"The spirits see and rejoice at every deed of kindness to humanity that you perform. Wouldst thou know more of heaven—know more of the spirit world? Wouldst thou be happy in the performance of thy duty? Be guided by the spirit of love, and justice and equity, and angels will follow thy footsteps, and good spirits surround thee. To see the friends we love on earth happy, adds greatly to our happiness here. These manifestations are given to mankind to prove their immortality, and teach them to look forward to the change from one sphere to another with pleasure. There are great changes now being made. The spirits of just men made more perfect are knocking at the door of your understanding, and the work which God has commenced will bear its way gloriously. No human power can hinder its progress."

The gift of healing has been bestowed upon many mediums in England, America, Australia, and elsewhere, wherever the spiritual gospel is being preached. Dr New page 12 ton has by the laying on of hands cured hundreds. For particulars, I must refer you again to Emma Hardinge's book. In the presence of the medium Home, at the house of Mr Jencken in England, a lady was cured of paralysis, the spirits being the direct agents in the cure themselves. The cases of healing by means of spirit power, through what is known as healing mediums, are so numerous and well authenticated, that you have only to refer to any of the authorities I have quoted, to find out for yourselves. It would be quite impossible for me in the course of a single lecture to go into details. I must not forget, however, to notice that this power of healing is being successfully exercised in this colony. The successful cures which have already been effected, both in Melbourne and Sandhurst, have awakened the attention of numbers of thinking persons to the subject of spiritualism, It is destined to excite far more attention yet, as the power grows stronger and the mediums better developed. I have thus endeavoured to demonstrate to you, my friends, the truths of spiritualism, by quoting the testimony in its favor of a number of high authorities, who testify to what they have seen. That testimony is corroborated by such men as the late Professor Hare, who, before an audience of three thousand persons, declared his belief in spiritualism, and renounced his adherence to materialism; by the late Robert Owen, the philanthropist, who, after living for the greater part of his life a materialist, was converted to a belief in God and the immortality of the soul, by what he saw at the residence of Mr Rymer, in London, many years ago; and by the late Professor Mapes, who, after investigating the subject for five years, he and all his circle became converts. In England such men as Professor Wallace, Lord Lindsay, Benjamin Coleman, Cromwell Varley, Signor Damiani, Gerald Massey, and many others, have declared before the committees of the Dialectical Society their belief in the genuine character of the phenomena and their firm conviction that they are caused by the spirits of the departed. And hundreds of distinguished men and women in both Europe and America likewise publicly announce their belief in spiritualism. Mr Home held a seance in the presence of the Emperor and Empress of the French at which a spirit hand was visible and wrote its name, Napoleon the 1st. The autograph was recognised as his by all present. Jules and Leon Favre. Guizot, M. Thiers, the President of the French Republic, and many other illustrious men in France, are all pronounced spiritualists. And in Italy and Spain, the cause is making rapid strides. Baron Kirkup, an Italian nobleman testifies in a letter to William Crookes, of England, that a spirit conveyed a letter by spirit power from his house in Florence to that of a friend in Leghorn, and brought back an answer. The Baron says:—"The spirit had made two journeys of sixty miles each besides waiting for the writing of the answer (fifteen lines) in the short space of an hour and four minutes." In the presence of such a fact as this, what becomes of the "unconscious cerebration" theory? the late Professor Hare, while delivering the lecture I have already mentioned, related a very interesting test of spirit power which he received while on a visit to Cape Island. Says the report:—"Being by means of the spiritoscope in reiterated communion with his spirit sister, on the 3rd July at one o'clock she was requested by him to go to Philadelphia and ask Mrs Gourlay to send her husband to the Philadelphia Bank, to ascertain on what day a certain note would become due. It was half-past 3 o'clock when the answer was received. When he reached Philadelphia, upon enquiring of Mrs Gourlay whether she had received a communication from him, she replied, 'your spirit sister came and interrupted a communication from my mother to my brother, and ray husband went to the bank.' The clerk of the bank confirmed the statement as to the enquiry having been made, and as to the time the note became due. Thus at Cape Island, about one hundred miles from Philadelphia, he had in two hours and a half, put four people in motion in Philadelphia."

Did time permit, I could relate many equally convincing proofs of spirit power; but let these suffice at present. And now friends, those of you who are orthodox christians have hitherto denied the truth of these things, and set them down as either "imposture, delusion, mesmerism, or the devil." Those, like myself, who have investigated the phenomena, and have, as the result of their investigations, been compelled to believe in their spiritual origin, have been laughed at, sneered down, pitied and prayed for, and this too by persons who have never investigated the subject lor themselves, have never studied it, but because it chanced to be something out of page 13 the beaten track was not fashionable, and as the clergy condemmed it, must be wrong So the world has treated every now truth. Now, you must confess from the facts I have placed before you to-night, that there is much, very much to be said in favor of spiritualism, and if we are wrong, we err in good company. Side by side with our own faith, have I placed the evidences of Spiritualism, and if you are to reject the living evidence attested by thousands of credible witnesses in favor of the truth of these things, upon what grounds do they believe in the dead evidence of similar things which were said to have occurred hundreds or thousands of years ago? A year or two ago, Mrs Guppy, the wife of a retired London merchant, of independent means, was carried by spirits from her own house to a distance of three miles to a circle. The phenomenon was attested by a number of highly respectable witnesses at the time—most of whom are still living; but both the press and people laughed the thing to scorn, and refused to believe it. Now, in the New Testament there is an account of Philip having been carried by spirit power thirty miles. You believe that. Upon what evidence do you believe it? Is the dead evidence stronger than the living? And if such a thing was done in the days of the Apostles, is there not a strong probability of its being done now? I apply the same reasoning to the speaking in strange tongues, to the healing of the sick, the appearance of spirits, the spirit writing, &c., &c. You cannot place your linger on a single passage of the Old or New Testaments which forbids this spirit intercourse, or that says when it was to conic to an end; and, as I have shown, that intercourse which has been renewed in a very prominent manner in our day, was not only begun thousands of years before the days of Jesus, but has been continued uninterruptedly from then till now. I am aware that oftentimes the power was weak and capricious through the wickedness of nations; but in one shape or other it has always existed, and has in various ways—both inside the church and outside of it—made itself seen and felt. It is scarcely two hundred years since—in those two enlightened nations, England and America—Judges and Juries were engaged trying and condemning innocent men and women, and even children, for "witchcraft," the very crime of which thousands of the mediums of the present day are guilty. Barrington says that "30,000 people were burned for witchcraft within 150 years." And yet to-day the truths attempted to be taught by these poor persecuted ones of former days, are now forcing themselves upon the notice of everyone in all lands, and are yet destined to pervade the world. Nor will it long carry weight with the majority of thinking persons, for a portion of the press to continue holding such a movement, supported by such disinterested evidence, up to ridicule and obloquy. It is not difficult to divine the cause of such opposition, seeing that so large a number of the gentlemen connected with the press are—were their real opinions known—either sceptical of the truths of revelation, or materialists. On the other hand, these of us who, by reading and investigation, have become believers in Spiritualism must not forget, in judging others, that when our attention was first called to the subject, we acted towards it just in the same way that others who have not honestly investigated it, are now doing, laughing at its advocates as "crazy and wondering how so many sensible persons could possibly believe in such a delusion." Let a knowledge of this, therefore, teach us to be charitable in our condemnation of others, and let us quietly continue to sow the seed, leaving it to time and freedom of thought amongst our fellow citizens, to open the eyes of their understanding as our own were opened. Many people, no doubt, will laugh at us, the clergy will rail at us in the pulpits and call us backsliders and infidels; the press will misrepresent us; but spiritualism carries its own motive power, and will make its way into the hearts and heads of the people in the face of all such opposition. There is always a largo class of reflecting, honest-minded persons in every community, and the truth cannot long be withheld from them. They will not willingly believe that so many thousands and millions of all classes in all countries in the world, can be misled in such a matter; and after they have first laughed at it and perhaps cursed it, they begin to think after all that "there must be something in it," will become interested, read up on the subject, and finally end in honestly investigating it in their own home circles. The result in all such eases spiritualists can foretell. It has been asked by numbers: "What good is it even were it true?" Our reply to that is simple enough: It is to teach the men and women of the present day that their departed friends live in another state of existence, can communicate with them under certain conditions hitherto but im- page 14 perfectly understood by us, and this knowledge so conveyed will bring thousands back to a belief in God and the immortality of the soul. Besides acting as a curative agent in the healing of many diseases, spirit-power has brought consolation sweet and enduring to the hearts of bereaved parents and children. The knowledge, too, that our departed friends are near us, know all our thoughts and actions, serves to act as a check on our conduct, and the beautiful lessons they are constantly teaching us of the lives we should lead here, fit and prepare us for our journey to the better land. Hundreds of "infidels" who have witnessed the manifestations at Mr Keilor's residence in Moravia, through the mediumship of a humble Irish peasant girl named Andrews, at which the spirits have been so able to materialise their bodies as to be recognised by their friends, and to converse with them, have been so agreeably astonished and delighted at the knowledge, that they like many before them, have renounced their unbelief and become sincere and devout spiritualists; and as an earnest of their belief consecrating their lives and substance to the advancement and happiness of their fellow creatures, thus glorifying God by loving their neighbor as themselves. Judge Edmonds before his conversion to spiritualism, said he did not know what to believe, so conflicting were the creeds and dogmas of the churches; but he as well as thousands of other honest souls have by ocular demonstration, had the truth brought home to their consciences by the evidence of their senses, and as a natural consequence now rejoice in the sure and certain hope of a glorious immortality. For all those, therefore, (and their name is Legion) who desire to live beyond the present checquered state of existence, such a knowledge is beyond all price; its value to mankind is inestimable; and the very fact that so many in the present day have become so dead to divine things as to treat it with indifference, proves the necessity of such a revelation from Heaven. I take the following apt quotation from an ably written pamphlet, entitled:—

"Can These Things be True," from the facile pen of "W.I.R," of Melbourne:—"It is not to be denied that we are at the present time in the midst of a great religious crisis The educated classes, it is said, are renouncing Christianity; scepticism is widely spread in the universities; the highest intellects are no longer at the service of religion, and even the clergy themselves are making shipwreck of faith. During the last ten years we have been compelled to give up positions which we once thought were the strongholds of Christianity. We have entered upon a new era, and all men are musing in their hearts what the end is going to be."

The Rev. J. Hunt, Contemporary Review, 1871. Here then is powerful testimony from what might be set down as a prejudice I source, as to the wide-spread unbelief in divine revelation of the present day, and yet Christians, of all others, in the face of such a state of things, can ask the question, "What is the good of Spiritualism?" Is the language of one of old applicable to the Church of the present day:—"They have eyes, but they see not; ears, but they hear not."

Pray, pardon me friends, for being somewhat plain spoken with you on this subject. You do not know, in your hasty condemnation of spiritualism, the happiness you are denying yourselves, To know for a certainty that your friends live, and that when you shall have "shuffled off this mortal coil" you will also live, is joy unspeakable. You wonder at the spread of spiritualism and the general interest excited by it, but knowing as you must know the uncertainty which prevails in the public mind concerning a future life, and the contradictory doctrines taught by it, is it surprising that intelligent responsible human beings (despairing of ever obtaining reliable information or repose for their souls in the decaying churches) should seek after that which brings home to the senses the very evidence they are in search of? Twelve months ago, or little more, whilst agreeing with the other religious teachings of spiritualism, I laughed at the idea of spirits demeaning themselves to communicate with mortals at all, far less at their doing it at tables; but I listened to what its pronounced advocates had to say, and, being naturally of an enquiring turn of mind, became impressed with their sincerity and good sense, thought I ought to know more of it before refusing to believe it, and that I would read and investigate for myself. Having come to this resolution, I resolved honestly to abide by it, to learn all that could be learned on the subject, irrespective of trouble or expense (for I at once saw if it really were true its importance to my fellow creatures could not be over estimated), and to decide after an impartial investigation according to the evidence. I am here to-night to pronounce judgment. And that judgment is now unreservedly in favor page 15 of spiritualism. I cannot if I would deny its truth. I have road all the standard works of spiritualists—as well as many of the minor ones—which I could lay my hands on, have read them carefully, and digested their contents; and my decision is, that the evidence in favor of the truths of spiritualism is overwhelming. It is not because the bulk of the evidence has been attested by living witnesses of high social position,—for the honest poor man's word is as good as the word of the proudest peer in the realm,—but because it nearly all comes from disinterested sources, from persons who were actuated by the same motives as myself in conducting their investigations, and who, therefore, could have no motive in deliberately deceiving themselves, or lending the strength of their honorable names to the deception of others. In addition to this book evidence, and what was related to me by others who had confirmed it in their own experiences, I resolved to form a circle and test if possible the truth of it as others bad done, so that I could say when speaking on the subject—"and I have seen those things with my own eyes." Friends, holding you all in the bonds of high esteem and affection, and being desirous that you should share in the comfort and happiness which a knowledge of spiritualism brings with it, I say to you—"Go thou and do likewise." But you wish to know the result of my twelve mouths investigation. Well, it amounts to this:—Our circle, of course, were but new beginners, and had much to contend with. There was a great difficulty in obtaining a suitable place of meeting, and being all of us entirely ignorant of what course to follow, we had just to learn as best we could. Most of us were in earnest, and have persevered through good report and through bad report. By degrees evidence upon evidence has been coming to us. We were not long commenced ere we were all able to avow openly that the table phenomena were genuine; that they were neither produced by imposture nor brain force. Subsequently, evidence came to us through a motive medium, a young girl of highly respectable parents, that these phenomena were caused by unseen intelligences, who seemed very willing to communicate with us, but had great difficulty in doing so. With a kerosene lamp burring brightly on the table, and in the presence and sight of some fifteen persons, we saw a half-crown dropper! into the open hand of the medium; and three persons who were present have since publicly attested, with their signatures, the fact that they saw near the ceiling a spirit hand, draped in white, drop the money. I did not see this, but I saw the money fail into the girl's hand. And I, nor any of us, were not deceived. Deception, under such circumstances, was out of the question. That money, along with more which came the same evening, was found to have been brought by invisible intelligences (I believe by spirits of the departed) from the house of the medium's parents, half a mile distant from where the circle were sitting. The lady at whose house we were, in the clairvoyant state, foretold the latter portion of the manifestations of that evening. Months afterwards, by the same means, a lady's work-box was brought into the circle. We have also had even stronger evidence of the presence of spirits at our circle. A most respectable young man, who is our principal medium, is usually entranced by his controlling spirits, is made to write instructions and messages to us; and about two months ago he was suddenly controlled by a strange spirit, who made the medium write in the dark whilst entranced, with his eyes shut, in a clear bold hand, altogether different from that of his own. This spirit, perfectly unknown to anyone in the circle, announced himself as follows:—"My name is Alfred Longmore, aged 35 years; died fifteen years ago at a place called Brompton, London." This spirit promised, if we would have patience, that we should have as good manifestations as the Fox family, but would have to wait a little longer for them. Since he has controlled our medium, our circle meetings have become doubly interesting. One night, he brought a red rose to a lady present, who had been promised a flower, and, as is usual with all flowers brought by spirits, the stem became black, as if burned by electricity. Another night there was placed on a table before me a copy of the London Spiritualist, which, on opening, I discovered, to my amazement, was my own copy, with my name written on it, and which I had sent to a friend on Saturday afternoon, who resides at Quarry Hill, with a request that he would return it on Monday. On his calling on that day—the circle having all agreed not to tell him what had occurred—he said that he had called to inform me that he had lost or mislaid my Spiritualist. He missed it on Saturday night, when he wont to change his coat. On putting his hand in his inside pocket, expecting to page 16 have a quiet read, he found it gone, he could not account for it, but he wished to purchase another for me. Having thus heard his statement I then to his utter astonishment, pulled the paper out of my desk, and explained the whole occurrence to him, which, you must all admit, was a very extraordinary one. A gentleman was present in my office at the time my friend called, and can verify the truth of what I have just told you. The circle are the witnesses respecting the arrival of the paper. The spirit made the medium write: "I found the paper." The distance from Quarry Hill to the house of Mr Mart ell, where the circle was sitting is, I should say, at least three quarters of a mile. I leave you, as wise men to judge of what power it can be that thus can go into people's houses unseen, bring out things and convey them through the air for long distances, into rooms with the doors locked, and the windows bolted. Nor is this all. One evening, at the same place, and quite unexpectdly to all the circle, raps came for the light, all our hands being on the table at the time, when we found the medium with his coat off, his hands behind his back, and tied together at the wrists with his handkerchief in a most extraordinary manner, and so tight as to be painful. Not one of the circle including the medium—who was in a deep trance all the time—were clever enough to have produced the phenomena; nor, without the assistance of a knife, could they have untied the knot. I, fortunately, had read of similar phenomena occurring at the seances of the Davenport Brothers, and asked the spirits to untie the medium for us. We put out the light, and in about ten seconds on relighting, we found him unbound and sitting in his chair with his coat on. Since thou, at many sittings, he has been tied to his chair, one evening horizontally to the legs of it without the chair moving from its equilibrium, and on others in all sorts of ways. A member of the circle has several times been made to tic him in the light, and in a few seconds we have found him untied and retied by the spirits themselves in an entirely different manner. On one occasion a lady, who is clairvoyant, informed me as chairman of the circle, that she saw the coat of the medium held up by some unseen presence, and saw the medium himself put his hands into it just as anyone of us would do who had ours held up for us to put on. The same lady saw "a very large, coarse, spirit-hand" in the dark as if beckoning to me. She was not deceived, for she saw both occurrences quite plainly. I, myself have been repeatedly touched by invisible intelligences, and on one occasion a spirit-hand, warm, but softer than our own hands, came over my hand. Later the same night a similar hand, but malformed as if to remove all doubt from my mind, again covered mine. Lately brilliant lights have been seen for a moment by several members of the circle, and cloudy figures near to or on the table but, as yet, too vague and fleeting for us to be able to say with any degree of certainty what they arc. Thus friends, you will see that, hero in Sandhurst, we are gradually and surely accumulating evidences for ourselves, of the leading facts of spiritualism. We only now want the connecting link to be able to say, that in our own personal experience, spiritualism is true. What I mean by the connecting link is this, seeing the spirits materialised, conversing with them, and shaking hands with them, all of which has been done thousands of times in other lands, and is now being done in several circles in old England. That link, I hope, our circle will receive before long. We have been promised it, and I have every confidence that as soon as the conditions are there, there and then will that promise be fulfilled. Respecting the controlling spirit, Alfred Longmore, I may state that we have sent—per "the Melbourne Harbinger of Light"—the account which he gave us of himself to the London Medium, with a view of having him traced, because you will see if his statements, on enquiry, are found to be correct, it would indeed be a powerful test. Just such a test was given to our excellent friend Mr Peebles. Some years ago, a strange spirit controlled Dr. Dunn in America, and addressed Mr Peebles as follows:—"I am a stranger to you, but not you to me. My name is Aaron Nite. My birth-place is Yorkshire, England. I departed this life when nineteen, and have been in the spirit-world about 170 years."

The spirit further added that his surroundings was at the River Ouse, St. Mary's Abbey, York Minister. Mr Peebles nor no one in America, could give any information concerning this spirit; but on Mr Peebles visiting England a few years afterwards, he related the particulars to some friends in London, expressed his anxiety in the cause of truth to verify the statement, and set off, accompanied by an antiquairian for St. Mary's Abbey, Yorkshire. There they looked up the old regis- page 17 tors of the church, and found to their delight and astonishment, the exact particulars as given by the spirit. Now friends, in such a case as that, you must admit that neither the brain of the medium, nor that of Mr Peebles could possibly have anything whatever to do with it In Sandhurst, I was a member of a circle which was formed for trance speaking, Mr Martell being the medium; and on one occasion on his being controlled by a strange spirit, I at once recognised the voice which spoke through him, as that of the late Rev. W. Hill, and said so aloud. The spirit replied:—"I was known by that title, friend, when in your world, but here I am plain William Hill, On another occasion at the same house, I recognised the voice of the late Rev. Mr Draper, who was drowned in the London, although I had only seen him and heard once in my life, and that some dozen years ago or so, at Golden Square.

Of course those two cases are not so decisive as the one of Mr Peebles, nevertheless they are at least somewhat interesting, and will serve to show you that, in conjunction with a mass of evidence from all quarters of the globe and from all sorts and conditions of men and women, spiritualism is not a thing to be laughed at; and that so far from being a delusion, the arguments and evidences in its favour are so powerful and convincing as to be conclusive. At all events the most learned men of our opponents such as Dr Carpenter, Professor Thompson, and the great body of the clergy, have not been able to account for the phenomena occurring at thousands of circles in England and America, upon any other reasonable or rational hypothesis than that claimed for them by the Spiritualists. Friends those fellow citizens who rise in the morning and do nothing else all day but devote their energies to money making, and to "what they shall eat and drink, and wherewithal they shall be clothed," cannot understand spiritualism, and think it would be time lost to investigate it; but the time will come for them as well as for us all when they shall be stripped of all they possess, and just as they have sown so shall they reap. God is not mocked. That spiritual life which we have not led here to prepare us for the company of the noble and good in our Father's house of many mansions, will have to be begun there. This law, the spirits tell us is unalterable, and is as inexorably applied to the king who has worn a crown as to the meanest of his subjects. With God there is no respect of persons. If we live hero for our own selfishness alone, shutting out from us those nobler duties incumbent upon us, of ministering to the wants of our fellow-creatures; if we live but to gratify the lusts of the eye and the pride of life, and neglect the weightier matters of the law—justice and mercy—we shall inevitably reap the whirlwind of our own sowing. Paul, addressing the Corinthians, said:—

"Now concerning spiritual gilts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are diversities of gifts but the same spirit. But; the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom—to another, the word of knowledge by the same spirit—to another, faith by the same spirit—to another, the gifts of healing by the same spirit—to another, the working of miracles—to another, prophecy—to another, discerning of spirits—to another, divers kind of tongues—to another, the interpretation of tongues."

If you would desire to possess these gifts, which the Apostle desired that the Corinthians should not be ignorant of (and they are just those of which spiritualists are possessed at the present day) keep your bodies in subjection, lead spiritual lives; be honest and just in your business transactions; train up your children in the way they should go; be virtuous in your public and private lives; be a law to yourselves in everything; make your word as good as your bond; and thus will the spirit-world be brought near to you, and heaven begun on earth. One of old has wisely said:—

"A good name is better than riches."

Let us all strive then, to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other things will be added unto us." There is reason for hope and congratulation that people of all nations and creeds—as the result of increased intercommunication with each other, and the more general spread of education—are begining to see that such teachings are full of wisdom, and that the more nearly they are followed up, the greater the mutual confidence, esteem and happiness between all classes in their several relationships with each other, will prevail. Thus we see in many eases differences between employers and employes amicably settled by the employer's setting the example of concession, and showing by his actions in shorten- page 18 ing the hours of labor and providing for the safety and comfort of those under him that he feels an interest in their welfare, and regards them not as mere beasts of burden by whom he hastens to get rich, but his brethren in the flesh, fully entitled to a fair share of the bounties of God with himself. Only let the philosophy of spiritualism prevail in your hearts, and the wisely adjusted relationship will increase: and thus strikes, civil broils, and all other uncharitableness will cease. It matters not by what religious name we are known, unless we do not unto others as we would be done by. We Progressive Spiritualists altogether reject those priestly inventions: the doctrines of the Trinity and the vicarious sacrifice: but we claim Jesus of Nazareth, the great spiritual teacher, as one of our greatest leaders and our "elder brother," and gladly adopt most of his beautiful teachings as our own. We believe in the one living and true God, the source of life and all good, the eternal parent of mankind. We believe in the perpetual inspiration of all ages; in heaven revealing itself as the human understanding becomes enlightened to receive it. As spirituhsts we belong to no seet or part v. but hold out the hand of brotherhood to all irrespective of their country or creed. If you find your respective beliefs make you happy, in God's name we say continue in them; but if you are mere formalists, and do not believe in the "isms," you continue to give the light of your countenances to, we say to you you tire acting a dishonest part to your own souls, and must have some worldly purpose to serve in doing so. Permit me also to counsel you never to adopt a religion of which you are ashamed. Such conduct is pitiable and deservedly receives the contempt of all honest men. Have the courage of your conscientious convictions. Do not hastily adopt a religion, but once having done so from a conviction, make it the apple of your eye. Friends, those nobler ideas of the character of God and of divne things, which are taught by Spiritualists will, if not unduly propelled forward, gradually grow in the public favour with the growth of free thought and education. Therefore, in the meantime, (no matter by what name they are known) to all who endeavour to love God and their neighbour as themselves, we hold out the olive branch of peace, love, and fraternity. In the beautiful words of a French poet:—

Behold a brighter morning
Than ere in Heaven had birth.
Awakes, ami gives glad morning.
Of Love and Joy on earth.

Now Freedom o'er the world, her burner waving,
Proclaims great Nature's Law, her high design;
With trumpet tongue commotion's storm outbraving.
In concord bids all nations to combine,
Dispels the darkling fears mankind enslaving,
And links all hearts in harmony divine.

Sing, let's sing, and waft the blessing.
Below, around, above;
Every heart expressing
Peace, unity, and love.

Ye powers of every nation,
Heaven's sacred light receive!
One grand confederation
Of brotherhood achieve.

Then art shall reign: war, strife, ambition ended,
And winged by knowledge, man shall claim the skies;
Love, peace, and harmony, eternal blended,
Triumphant, truth and justice shall arise,
Till terror fled, and grief and woe suspended
Shall make of earth a glorious paradise.

Sing, let's sing, and waft the blessing,
Below, around, above;
Every heart expressing,
Peace, unity, and love.