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Table of Contents: | Main Menu | Forward | Biography | Part 1 - Trance Teachings | Part 2 - Spirit Writings | Part 3 - Stainton Moses |
 

Part II

 SPIRIT WRITINGS

PREFACE TO SPIRIT WRITINGS

The Spirit Writings of Stainton Moses were first collected by him in 1883 into a volume, entitled Spirit Teachings. Of the many which had been already sent by him to Light, Imperator wrote: "They have demonstrated to such as can receive it the independent action of spirit on your mind. An active mind, ready to weigh and prove all that is said, is seen in communion with an Intelligence external to itself, and the fact of spirit-communion receives another proof."

In the Spiritualist of April 10, 1874, it is said that "the one through whom are given Spirit Teachings can read a book and pay attention to its contents, while the spirits are writing through his hand upon other subjects, and most remarkable proofs of identity are being given through his mediumship."

Stainton Moses himself writes of his Spirit Teachings as coming "demonstrably from an external source, for a year and a half (he says in September, 1874), written out with unfailing regularity. With a precision that is absolutely automatic, each communicating spirit preserves its style of communication, and even of writing. This never varies, and the covering of the hand with a handkerchief, or the occupation of the mind by reading, produces no change. The communication is written out to the end under any circumstances. Here, then, is prime facie evidence of external agency."

His Teachings informed him that his occupying his mind with other matters showed a very rare quality of mediumship, and that such results could only be had in a rare combination of mental, physical and spiritual gifts.

 

SPIRIT WRITINGS

"We are Intelligences of varying degrees of power and capacity and development; of varying measure of influential and impressive power. So we have varying work proportioned to our varying powers. Some command; others yield obedience. Some preside over sections of the work; others work under their direction.

We are truthful and accurate in all things. We are the preachers of a Divine Gospel. We told you of an organised band of forty-nine spirits who were concerned in working out our plans. Though a communication may be signed by one spirit only, very frequently many are concerned in its production. As our teaching will be devoted to the rectification of theological error, and to the revealing of further Truth, many Intelligences will be concerned in revealing what they have special means of knowing."

"I was delayed by a conference of spirits at which my presence was necessary. It was one of our usual meetings for prayer and praise and adoration of the All-Wise. We meet thus when we need support from mutual counsel, and from the efflux of spirit influence from those who are yet higher and wiser than ourselves."

"We have but now returned from a great council of the angels and spirits of the blessed, wherein we have taken counsel and offered up solemn adoration to the Supreme. With one accord our voices swelled in an anthem of praise, and so we received the efflux of divine aid which shall support us in the conflict."

"Can you tell me about your business in the spheres?"

"We had been summoned, each from his mission in your earth sphere, to meet and unite in a great act of worship of the Supreme.

It is our custom, now and again, to join together in the praise of the Almighty. So we refresh our own selves, worn and wearied by the toilsome work of guiding erring souls. So we renew our power and gather fresh stock of gracious influence.

None below the third sphere were permitted to join in our solemn service of praise and adoration. Nor were any with us but those who are joined in a mission to others. Not to earth alone, for many there are - and they the noblest and grandest Intelligences, the purest and most loving - whose mission is to spirits who have cast aside the body, and who cannot rise from being earthbound by the affections, or from the effect of an evil, base or sensual body in which their spirit was enshrined; or, to those, again, who have been prematurely ushered into the life of the spheres, and need careful and tender guidance.

Frequently it chances that a guardian continues to guide a spirit after it has left the body, and carries on in the spheres the education begun in earth-life."

S. M.: "Do I understand you to say that you act under the immediate authority of Jesus Christ?"

"You understand aright. I have before told you that I was myself the recipient of influence from a spirit who had passed beyond the spheres of work into the higher heaven of contemplation. That Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. He is now arranging His plans for the gathering in of His people; for further revelation of Truth, as well as for the purging away of the years of error which have passed. He chooses His messengers in the spheres, and allows us to select our instruments. He is the head of this new endeavour."

"It is necessary that man be constantly reminded to seek spiritual gifts. We are come to teach, not merely to amuse or astonish. But we cannot teach where man will not be taught.

The scanty interest that the higher revelations excite render it very difficult for even the most advanced Intelligences to make satisfactory communication with your world. Men care little for being taught; they seek rather to be amused. We do what we can, hampered by many disadvantages, attacked on the one side by the ceaseless machinations of spiritual foes, and hindered from advance on the other by the dead, cold faith of man, or by his undeveloped and unreceptive spirit."

"We wish we could impress on all friends who come within our influence that, in communing, in proportion to the loftiness of their aspirations, is the character of the spirit who come to them."

"To the purest may come assault from the adversaries, which their guardians will enable them to repel. Saving this, the law is absolutely without exception. Like attracts like."

"Does it not always do so?"

"Usually, but not invariably. Evil attracts evil. A curious, vain, frivolous or bad man will draw round him frivolous or undeveloped spirits; but it is at times not true equally of the pure and good. They may be subject to attack from the undeveloped, either as part of their training, or from the machinations of the adversaries."

"The voice of the higher spirits communing with the soul is silent, noiseless and frequently unobserved; felt only in results, but unknown in its processes. For all inspiration flows direct from Him Whom you call God; that is to say, from the Great,

All-Pervading Spirit, Who is in and through and amongst all.

You live, indeed, as we live, in a vast ocean of spirit from which all knowledge and wisdom flow into the soul of man. This is that indwelling of the Holy Spirit, of Whom it is said in your sacred records that He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. This is that great truth of which we have before spoken, that ye are gods, in that you have within you a portion of that all-pervading, all-informing Spirit, which is the Manifestation of the Supreme, the indwelling of God.

From this vast realm of spirit the spirit-body is nurtured and sustained. It drinks in its nourishment from it, as the physical body is nurtured by the air it breathes. This ether is to the spirit-body what the air is to the physical. And from this pervading realm of spirit all human store of wisdom is derived; principally through the aid of ministering spirits. They drink it in best who are most receptive, most spiritual. They who are called geniuses by men are such; they who make useful discoveries, who invent that which is of service to mankind. These all derive their inspiration from the world of spirit. The invention has existed there before man has discovered it. The flashes of genius are but reflected gleams from the world where ideas germinate."

"Mediumship is a development of that which is, in another soul, genius. Genius, the opened and attentive ear to spirit guidance and inspiration, shades away into mediumship. . . . Manís individuality must be lost, as yours is now, before truthful and clear instruction can be given, and therefore it is that such messages, so given as we now give this, are the voice of spirit speaking with the minimum of human error admixed.

The opening of spiritual being to spiritual influence is what you call mediumship; it must be used for spiritual purposes, not for gain; nor for satisfying curiosity, nor for base or unworthy ends.

The peculiarity is one of spirit only, not of body, seeing that it occurs in all varieties of physical frames; male and female, magnetic and electric, in the short and robust as well as in the puny and thin, in the old and the young. This alone would lead you to see it is not physical matter, and that conclusion is strengthened for you by the fact that the gift is perpetuated even after death of the earth-body. Those who on your earth have been mediums retain the gift and use it with us. They are the most frequent visitors to your world; they communicate most readily, and it is through them that spirits who have not the gift are enabled to communicate with your world. They are mediums for us, as you are for man.

Remember all gifts of talent or mediumship are precious, priceless helps to progress; to be fostered and tended with prayerful care; to be abused or prostituted with terrible risk. They do but mean that their possessors live nearer to God and the angels; are more readily impressed by them; more open to assault by evil; more amenable to influence for good; and so to be cared for and protected more earnestly."

"Leave behind all that is of earth, so far as that may be. Quit even the personal views which only hamper us; and reach steadily forward to the enduring and eternal. In most cases that which is personal ends in the selfish and trivial. With such we have little to do. . . . We led you to put out ideas on our teaching as they affect religion. It was under our guidance that it was done, and we wish you to turn your mind to such questions."

"It is most curious to trace your plans and see how you know all I do. . . . I begin to see that all acts are guided, and that the whole life is moulded by unseen power."

"You ask if it is possible for us to reveal to you Truth, and say that the conflicting statements made by spirits lead to the idea that there is no such thing as exact Truth, and a waste of time to endeavour to arrive at it. . . . If by Truth you mean accurate and precise statements about matters which, from their nature, transcend human knowledge, then no doubt neither we nor any can reveal to you exact Truth, seeing that you are not capable of understanding it. But if you mean, as you should, a higher revelation of facts which concern man to know, which will develop his intelligence, and raise him to an advanced plane of knowledge, then we have come for no other purpose than to reveal to you such Truth. It is the very object of our mission. We come neither to amuse nor to astonish, but only to instruct and develop. All that we do has for its end the revealing of higher and more extended views of Truth."

S.M. asks explanation of the text, "I and My Father are One."

"Friend, there is no claim of divinity there. Very far from it. The claim put forward is precisely ours. We come to you, teachers sent from God, the bearers of a special message, and we point, as Jesus did, to the divine character of the message and to the works which attest to divine origin. Controversial points we wish to avoid. You err, in common with many others, in that you attach a fictitious importance to the phraseology employed in your Bible. It is not allowable that you extract a translated phrase from the writings of John, and proceed to build upon it so portentous a dogma. You are bound to use the same fair means of interpretation which you would apply to other books. You must remember, too, that the books on whose words so much is built are the utterances, more or less accurately reported, of different men in different ages of the worldís history, and that they were spoken to men far other than you in thought and need and habit, and that, moreover, with all their defects, they have suffered this additional danger that they reach you only through the medium of a translation more or less inaccurate. The very sentence which you have quoted does not bear the interpretation of unity of Persons which is grounded upon it. The gender used is the neuter. Not one in person, but one in aim, one in interest. I, Jesus, am in union with the Father in the work which He has given me to do."

S. M.: "Then, what do you make of the many passages in which plain claims of divinity seem to be made?"

"We are rather inclined to believe that the claims of Jesus were overstated in earth-life, and that the disciples who heard the words recorded them in a sense far stronger than He Himself would have used. Doubtless, He did claim for Himself a divine mission, as, indeed, it was. He claimed in hyperbolical Eastern metaphor honour and respect as the Messenger of the Most High. And His followers, ignorant and uneducated, magnified His claims in the light of the Crucifixion and Resurrection and their attendant wonders. And so the story grew until it has reached the marvelous dimensions which now astonish reflecting men."

S. M. asks for light, as what his controls teach is contradicted by others. He says: "If I have rightly understood you, you deny the divinity of Christ, inspiration of the Scriptures, and re-incarnation."

"Your two points resolve themselves into a theological creed and prevision of the future as tests of truth in a spirit. For the divinity of Christ and inspiration of Scripture belong to the domain of dogmatic theology. It is by no means impossible that a spirit may go on for ages honestly entertaining beliefs in themselves erroneous, though not pernicious. The guides see that other instruction is of more moment, and so the beliefs and opinions which have been formed in another state of being lie dormant.

But when such a spirit is brought again within the atmosphere of earth, all its old opinions, which have been dormant, are quickened into new life and come forth as of old. This is a necessary consequence of returning to the old associations, and is part of the same principle which causes the spirit to take on its old form and habit and even outward nature when it presents itself on the earth-plane again. You are familiar with the working of the same law. The flash of recollection when a chord is touched that has long ceased to vibrate; the memory recalled by a faded flower or a long-forgotten scene. This is why dormant error, not yet purged away, frequently becomes vivified and energetic when a spirit mingles again with old associations.

Theological belief is no test whatever of the truth of the communications. The weaker and more unreliable the spirit, the more likely it is to take its colour from those around, and acquiesce in any strong belief the medium may hold.

Doubtless, unprogressed spirits do teach in error much that you learned to know as error. They are but disembodied men, and share their fallacies.

S. M.: "It is startling to hear of spirits going on for ages with erroneous theological beliefs. Is this frequent?"

"It is not very usual. But the spirits who most frequently choose to communicate through mediums are not on any advanced plane of intelligence. They do not know better. The very fact of their returning unbidden to the earth-sphere would show they are not progressive spirits.

Those spirits who come to us much encumbered with human theology are amongst the least progressive.

True theology is Godís revelation of Himself to man as man can grasp it. Your creeds and Churches and various forms of faith are all more or less in error. A large class of spirits progress slowly, and do not know that they are in error. Spirits of that class band together with us as with you, and foster one anotherís errors frequently. Ignorance and prejudice and speculative guesses prevail in the lower spheres with us as with you. Many deluders come bearing a mission from the adversaries, and such are not infrequently pious in their tone and orthodox in their words. They would bar progress and stifle truth. They do not Godís work, but the adversariesí, in that they bind down the soul, and clog its aspirations."

"Re-incarnation of spirits in the future belongs to the question of fore-knowledge or prevision. . . . Only the most advanced Intelligences will be able to discourse on such matters. It is not given to the lower ranks of the Spiritual Hierarchy to know the secret counsels of the Most High. There are still mysteries, we are fain to confess, into which it is not well that man should penetrate. One of such mysteries is the ultimate development and destiny of spirits. Whether in the eternal counsels of the Supreme it may be deemed well that a particular spirit should or should not be again incarnated in a material form is a question that none can answer, for none can know, not even the spiritís own guides. What is wise and well will be done.

Re-incarnation, we have already said, in the sense in which it is popularly understood, is not true. We have said, too, that certain great spirits, for certain high purposes and interests, have returned to earth and lived again amongst men. There are other aspects of the question which, in the exercise of our discretion, we withhold; the time is not yet come for them. Spirits cannot be expected to know all abstruse mysteries, and those who profess to do so give the best proof of their falsity."

"Occupations are varied. The learning and knowing more and more of the sublime truths which the Great God teaches us; the worship and adoration; the praise and glorifying of Him; the teaching to benighted ones truth and progress; the missionary work of the advanced to the struggling and feeble; the cultivation of our intellectual talents; the development of our spiritual life; progress in love and knowledge; ministrations of mercy; studies in the secret workings of the universe, and the guiding and direction of cosmic forces; in short, the satisfaction of the cravings of the immortal being in its twofold aspect of intellect and affection."

"The spheres are pictured to your minds as places like your world, and it is, perhaps, impossible for you to realise them otherwise.

But you know that even in your world there are many souls who are distinguished for different virtues and excellencies, and who are yet on a similar plane of moral and mental condition.

There are states and conditions to which souls naturally gravitate, and in those states or spheres there are divisions. Souls attract souls by congeniality of pursuit, by similarity of temper, by remembrance of previous association, or by present work. To some, life is more active; to some, more contemplative. They are different, yet equal in grade.

The spheres are, indeed, separate states, and each has its own characteristics and peculiarities. They differ from each other, though not so widely as from your earth-sphere. The occupations are varied by loss of the body, but occupation there is for all. Time and space, as you know them, are gone; no provision for the body remains to be made; the energies of the spirit are more concentrated and less selfish."

SM.: "Have you food? Movement?"

"Not as you understand it. We are supported by the spirit ether which interpenetrates space, and by which your spirit-bodies are even now supported. It is the universal food and support of the spirit, whether incarnated or not.

Will-power suffices for our movements. We are attracted by sympathy, repelled by antipathy, drawn by desire on our part, or on that of those who wish for our presence.

The spheres are states, not places, as you understand them. Spirits are not governed by conditions of time and place as ye are. Neither are they confined to one locality. The difference between the spheres is caused by the moral, intellectual and spiritual state of the inhabitants. Affinities congregate, and rejoice in congenial society. Not from neighbourhood or locality, but from similarity of tastes or pursuits.

Into the spheres of the higher spirits none that are unholy enter. Into the lower are congregated those who yet require teaching and guidance, which they receive from higher spirits who leave their own bright homes in order to add a ray of light to groping, earth-bound spirits.

The first three spheres are near about your earth. They are filled thus. The first with those who, from many causes, are attracted to earth. Such are they who have made little progress in the earth sphere; not the wholly bad, but the vacillating, aimless souls who have frittered away their opportunities and made no use of them. Those, again, whom the affections and affinity for pursuits of their friends restrain them from soaring, and who prefer to remain near the earth sphere, though they might progress. In addition, there are the imperfectly trained souls whose education is still young, and who are in course of elementary teaching; those who have been incarnated in imperfect bodies, and have to learn still what they should have learned on earth. Those, too, who have been prematurely withdrawn from earth, and, from no fault of their own, have still to learn before they can progress."

"Ye cannot picture the beauties of our spheres; the grateful odours, the lovely flowers, the scenes of gladsome delight that surround us."

"Are your homes material?"

"Yes, friend, but not as you count matter. Things are real to us, but would be imperceptible and impalpable to your rude senses. We are not fettered by space as ye are. We are free a light and air, and our homes are not localised as yours. But our surroundings are, to our refined sensations, as real as yours."

S.M. asks a friend, recently passed. "Are the spheres like this world?"

"In every way similar. It is only the change of condition that makes the difference. Flowers and fruits and pleasant landscapes and animals and birds are with us as with you. Only the material conditions are changed. We do not crave for food as you, nor do we kill to live. . . . We have no need of sustenance save that which we can draw in with the air we breathe. Nor are we impeded in our movements by matter as you are. We move freely and by volition. I learn by degrees and as a new-born babe, to accustom myself to the new conditions of my being. . . . We can no more tell you of our life than you can convey to a deaf and dumb and blind man the true notions of your world."

His friend, known as "S," identified as Bishop Wilberforce on earth, describes his new life:

"We have gatherings as you have. We are banded together, and live under the government of wiser and higher spirits, even as ye are governed. All is common; all acts are governed by a spirit of universal love. Disobedience of the laws is punished by the higher Intelligences, by pointing out the bad results, and by a course of instruction. Repeated errors causes removal to a lower plane, till experience has fitted the spirit to rise."

With reference to this, Imperator adds:

"Your friend gives only his impression of what he has seen in lower spheres. There spirits live in community, and are prepared under the guidance of higher Intelligences for a state of superior existence. Such spheres are states of probation and preparation, where spirits are in training for higher work. It is impossible for a spirit to be in a condition or sphere for which it is not fit."

"Where are those spheres?"

"They are states. Your friend has not left the neighbourhood, the immediate neighbourhood, of the earth. But there are similar planes, in other localities, near other planets. Spheres are conditions, and similar conditions may and do exist in many places. Space, as ye call it, is full of spirit dwellings."

The same friend describes Imperator:

"I thought it strange at first to see the shining garments in which the elevated spirits are clad. Imperatorís robe now is of dazzling white, as though composed of purest diamonds lit up by rays of vivid splendour. Round his shoulders he wears a vesture of sapphire blue, and on his head is a crown of glory set in crimson circlet. The circlet indicates his love, the vesture of blue is his wisdom, and the brilliant robe his exalted state of purity and perfection."

"How magnificent! What is the crown like?"

"It is seven-pointed, and each point is tipped with a radiant star of dazzling brilliance."

"Friend, we invoke for you the ministry of consolation and the protection of the Supreme.

Thou Adorable and Ineffable Creator, Sustainer and Guide of the spirit, Helper of all that cry to Thee, we approach Thee in confidence and trust, in the spirit of humility and love.

Father, receive Thy children who flee to Thee for succour. Tossed on the sea of doubt, bereft of rudder and compass, they have no help but in Thee. Thine is the power. Thine the love. O in the plentitude of that love stretch out Thy power to save them. Suffer the angels of comfort and hope to minister around them. Shed into their hearts the power of conviction and faith. May the rich stream of assurance flow into their spirits, uniting them in heart to those who, themselves unseen though not unfelt, minister to them, raising their souls to higher planes of progress, and fitting them for the reception of nobler and purer truths.

Spirit of Truth, inspire them! Spirit of Hope, enable them! Spirit of Harmony, dwell in their midst!

Oh, Loving, Tender Father, grant them the benediction of Thy Peace. Amen.

The prayer, heartfelt and earnest, of Imperator S.D."

"Spirits grow in light and beauty as they progress in knowledge and love. The crown which you see round the head of the Chief typifies his exalted state, his purity and love , his self-sacrifice and his earnest work for God. It is a crown which belongs only to the noblest and most blessed.

The spirits of wisdom are typified by their robes and auras of sapphire blue in their appearance to other spirits; the spirits of love by the crimson which typifies their self-sacrifice and devotion. There is no power of disguise. All shams are stripped off. Hypocrisy and pretence are impossible. None can disguise his fault or merit; none can pretend to that which is not his. This is an inherent property in spirit existence."

"Our council is finished, and most of us have betaken ourselves to our work. Imperator is still in the spheres, but he will return ere long. Imperator, the Chief, has work which draws him at times to the spheres. Special individual control is not his work. He rather directs general movements."

"Does he hold a high place?"

"Yes, friend, he is one of the chiefs among the higher spirits, of whom but few return to you directly. Most of them impress their commands on intermediate spirits. Only for a great work do the higher ones return, and their work is of direction, control, plan, rather than of guiding the individual soul.

If the eye of man could have seen the vast concourse of the shining ones, massed together for consultation, and for the reception of the larger efflux of the Divine Spirit, they would have been of good cheer. And yet there is the opposite; the legions of the adversaries, gathered together in serried ranks, ready to stop all progress and thwart all revelation of Godís Truth."

S. M. asks as to the name of Malachi, given by Imperator as his earth name. "Is it symbolical in any way?"

"No, friend, it is not so. What has been said is real, and not symbolical."

"You speak of the Reformer?"

"Nehemiah, with whom my earth-life was associated. Probably no more perfect mediums than Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel ever lived; at least, among the Jews whose writings have been preserved for you.

Jehovah was in reality, as He was constantly called, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; not the Only God, but a family deity."

S. M., perplexed as to identity of spirits and names given by them, is told:

"These names are but convenient symbols for influences brought to bear upon you. In some cases the influence is not centralised; it is impersonal, as you would say. In many cases the messages given you are not the product of any one mind, but are the collective influence of a number. Many who have been concerned with you are but the vehicles to you of a yet higher influence which is obliged to reach you in that way. We deliberate, we consult, and in many instances you receive the impression of our united thought.

You must learn to cultivate the powers of your spirit, to subdue the flesh, and to rise above your earth surroundings; to view your external life only as the preparation for the inner and truer life. Ours is the reality, yours the shadow world."

"We insist on the distinction between that which is normal and that which is abnormal; i.e., the direct work of spirit external to the medium, which paralyses and deposes his spirit, and the substitutes for it an intelligence, which more or less controls his physical organism. This we call abnormal, and we compare it to the control exercised by a mesmeriser over his patient.

What we call normal mediumship is that wherein the spirit is now entrusted with wider powers, and has its own capacities exalted and supplemented by the aspiration poured in upon it. No longer lulled to sleep, deposed from its throne, but supported and strengthened in the exercise of its powers, the soul is admitted to the counsel of those who have been its guides but are now its instructors. It is now educated in passivity, trained to moderation of thought, and to purity and singleness of intent and act. The soul is open, with all its perceptions, to the breath of inspiration. Ideas, conveyed painfully before by abnormal means, flow in upon it naturally. Its own inherent powers develop and abound instead of being dwarfed and stunted."

"What do you mean exactly by inspirational mediumship?"

"We mean the suggesting to the mind the thought which is not framed in words. It is the highest form of communion only practicable when the whole being is permeable by spirit-control. In such cases, converse with spirits is maintained mentally, and words are not necessary; even as in our higher states we have no voice nor language, but spirit is cognisant of spirit, and intercourse is perfect and complete."

"You now write, in words such as you would naturally employ, ideas conveyed by us to your brain. There are concerned in this work four spirits who fence you round from external influence and preserve the proper harmonious conditions. The handwriting is selected solely as an evidence of individuality. The words used are such as you would use, only the thoughts are ours."

"The great mission which we have in hand is above all. It is the great work of God, and man must not thwart it. We have tried to show you in progressive teaching, the truth we reveal. And we have testified by signs, even as Jesus did, to the divine nature of our mission. But we have also warned you they are subsidiary to the great work, that you seek not too ardently after them nor rest in them. They are but the husk. The manifestations of objective phenomena you call physical are important to us only in so far as they testify to our mission. They are necessary in the present stage of our work, and for some minds will always be necessary. Therefore we have produced for you from time to time marvels. We have warned you not to fix too strong an interest in them, and have told you that in many cases they are harmful. In all they are but secondary."

"Excessive use of medium-power is exhausting. That which we do of this (physical) sort is strictly subsidiary to your work in the receiving of information from us, systematising and arranging it, and conveying to enquiring souls the information they long for."

"You err in fancying that objective mediumship is the real. Frequently it is but the lowest form, dangerous to its possessor, and serviceable only to those who are learning the alphabet of spirit communion."

"The mediumistic aura to spirit gaze is of golden hue. The sympathetic tint is crimson, the colour of the affections. The tint of the learned and powerful agent for development of truth is blue, the colour of the intellect."

"What does the violet signify?"

"It would indicate a progressive spirit who might be developed. The spirit that is hard and unreceptive of sympathetic influence a green aura encircles, and we cannot approach."

"To spirit eyes, does it declare the character?"

"To the more developed and progressed it does; hence, too, concealment is not possible in our spheres. The spirit carries its character impressed on the very atmosphere it breathes. This is a law of our being; a great safeguard, knowing we are open to the gaze and knowledge of all."

"Photographs of spirits are pictures of spirit substance, and not of the spirits themselves. They are moulded models, so framed as to invite recognition. For this reason, too, it is necessary that they be draped. It is not easy to keep the substance used in position and shape without that aid."

S. M. asks if the spirit substance used in photography is the same as, or analogous to, that generated in materialisation.

"No, it is of similar kind, but not so material. It is more akin to the light which is seen in the room during a sitting, and which is capable of more or less condensation."

"You say a recognised photo is no proof of the presence?"

"It is no absolute proof of the presence. Your ideas of presence are material. We have told you that spirits can operate from a distance, and though it is no proof of presence it is usually intended as evidence of the return of the departed friend to the earth-sphere. The photographs are pictures of spirit substance, made for the purpose of recognition. They would be made either by the spirit himself or by some spirits who are acting under his direction, save in cases where deceptive agencies are at work. We warn you again against deceptive agencies, which abound and will be increasingly active. You must expect many such assaults. Our mission is too important not to challenge envy and attack. We warn you."

"The flesh must be subdued to the spirit before the aspirant can gain truth. The aspirant to true spiritual knowledge must be pure in all things, brave in spirit as well as body, single-minded in the search for truth, and self-contained. Purity, simplicity, singleness of purpose, and love of progress and truth; these conduct the aspirant to the domain of spiritual knowledge. But, for the impure, whose sensual nature dominates the spiritual; the selfish, who would use the knowledge for base ends; for these there is in the pursuit danger deep and real.

Many unstable minds are attracted to the mysterious. They fancy they would like to penetrate the veil from mere curiosity. They are vain, and would fain have power and knowledge which others have not; and so they seek to pry. To such is danger. To the truth-seeker there is none."

"Short of absolute evil, much ground for assault is given by an ill-regulated, disordered mind, by minds unhinged and unbalanced. Avoid all such. They are frequently the ready agents of spirit influence, but of undeveloped and unwelcome guides. Beware of immoderate, unreasoning, excited frames of mind."

"In calmness, in earnestness, in prayerfulness, and with a body peaceful, healthy and unexcited, seek for a message with us."

"You all need appreciation of the delicate conditions under which alone true communion is possible. When these are not present, all we can do is to fence you round from the dangers into which you have obtruded yourselves, and in which, it seems to us, that men do not believe, because they are unable to see them; even as the ignorant do not dread the subtle, infectious poison of whose existence they can take no cognisance by their rude senses. You see not; therefore you know not."

"Development in mediumistic power is accompanied by risk as well as by blessing. And when a strong band does not surround the medium the risk of invasion by undeveloped spirits is increased. Care and prayer are requisite."

 

"None should seek for mediumship but those who are selected, and round whom a protecting band ministers. For these alone are safe in the work; and they only as long as with honest and true hearts they seek to do the work of God to His honour. Self-seeking, self in any form, vanity, pride, ambition, these are fatal snares."

 

"The dangers atendant on the lower forms of mediumship are very real. First, because this phase of mediumship is so apt to fall into use as a mere gratification of wonder or curiosity, to be sold for gain. Next, because the mixed circles and want of proper conditions invite the presence of the lower and more material spirits, who are more fitted for the work needed than the more progressed Intelligences are. The lack of proper guidance and protection for the medium leaves him open to deterioration. He is liable to become the sport of the elementary spirits who are attracted to him.

In many cases the atmosphere breathed in your seance rooms is to us as a wall to you., impenetrable and poisonous too. We cannot breathe it. The grosser spirits can, and the earthbound can use it too."

"Why cannot such be kept away?"

"You invoke them, and then complain of us that we do not keep them away. They can only be kept away by your own hearts and lives and motives being purified, and also by such attention to conditions that we tell you of. You cannot keep the electricity from the conductor. If you do certain things, certain results will follow. This axiom applies to spirits too. Because you cannot see these spirits, you doubt their power. One day you will wonder at your folly. You do not know how far it extends; what results it produces; how far-reaching it is."

"We deal with what is, not what you fancy ought to be. Deceptive spirits exist, and will continue to exist; nor will your ignoring them prove anything but a source of mischief to you."

"They who evoke physical marvels to please wonder-seekers are too frequently the sport of spirits intellectually and morally on a low plane. You cannot even rely that you are at different times conversing with the same spirits; for they will assume names and forms, and take pleasure in deceit."

"We look to the future with apprehension. We doubt our power to persuade men to rise above the material; and so long as that is not done, pure spiritual truth will make little way.

It is the attempt to bring spirit down to the plane of matter that we deplore. If you would do that, the spirit you bring will be a curse to you. Rather should you endeavour to rise to the plane of spirit; and then you will gain both proof and truth.

We would urge you to cast away every material means of communion. Even this (automatic writing) is poor compared with the voice of spirit communing with us.

Be fellow-workers indeed with us; and allow us to co-operate with you in the use of the highest faculties of you triune nature. Condemn us not to the weary, weary round of material work. Rise to the full dignity of the mission we have in charge.

Those who seek to penetrate the mysteries and are the chosen vehicles of truth must needs be open to attack."

"The transference of your powers from the material plane, the quickening of the perceptions and the development of the inner spiritual faculties, the recognition in a normal way of our nearness, and the ability to see and converse with us without the dangerous conditions of trance, these are to us splendid. They are the inception of the most perfect form of life possible to man; that Enoch life, in which he walks with God.

We rejoice that you are relinquishing the phenomenal side and are developing your faculties to their higher use. We have already told you that, in directing your development, we were compelled to allow you to be used for phenomenal manifestation for a time. When it was possible for us to stop that phase, we permitted you to be brought in contact with others, that you might learn of the power of your own spirit."

"You are conscious now of a new element of instruction. By slow degrees the dogmatic hedge that fenced you in was broken down and you learned to grasp truths which before had escaped you. You learned to forget much that you had held sacred. You were led to study that which was to you previously a sealed book.

We began with you on the material plane. We showed you the powers of spirit over matter, and enabled you to observe the phenomenal results of unseen agencies at work through you. At first material phenomena sufficed you. By degrees we taught you of ourselves, and instilled into your mind new views of revealed truth. Your mind was enabled to see that not to any one race, or person, or place, or age, has the whole of Divine Truth been given. We showed you the germ of truth that underlies every religion that man has framed for himself.

These were the two parallel lines of investigation which we guided you to. The first is the material or physical phenomena, which are the outward evidence of a hidden power wielded by us. The second is the doctrine and significance of our message. So long as man is enshrined in a body of flesh his mind will revert to phenomenal evidence. We have encouraged you to view it only as subsidiary, and to regard it only as proof of our work."

The guidance of S. M.ís life, in preparation for his great work, is reviewed.

"One ray of light from the Sun of Truth dawned on your soul when you learned that the dead, as you thought them, could be helped by the prayers of the living; and that purgatorial punishment was something more than a theological figment. You were learning that God regards with favouring eye the groping efforts of all who yearn after Him, and that honesty and sincerity are with Him of more account than faith and creed.

You learned to know that God spoke to man elsewhere and otherwise than in your Bible, in that He spoke to Greek, Arab, Egyptian, and Hindu, and to all His children. You were learning that God accepts the heart and intent rather than the creed. Plato grew into your being, and his words lived again in your mind. Yet you knew not that Godís word, whether revealed to Plato or Jesus, is of equal value.

You saw what were the teachings, the beliefs, of those who were the Fathers of the Christian Church. You saw, and you turned aside. The mind had outgrown the theology of the first Christian ages. The spirit had soared to a higher plane than that which was satisfied with a stereotyped theology, and could rejoice in the curses of an Athanasian creed. You dared to cast aside that which was irrational and anthropomorphic. You thought, as you would say, for yourself. Nay, friend, but we thought for you, and moulded your conclusions. We judged it wise to withdraw you, in time, from the public position of a teacher in a Church which no longer represented your intellectual and religious plane of thought. We withdrew you from a place where your work was done, and prepared you for another phase of your earth-life. The tempering effect of bodily illness had been in all your life an engine of great power with us. We have maintained a wholesome control thereby."

"Has the whole of my life been a preparation for this?"

"It has. We have guided and planned it for no other purpose. We have wished to secure a medium duly prepared. The mind must be prepared, and stored with information, and the life must have been such as to fit the progressive mind to be receptive of Truth. This can only be by prolonged training.

You were guided by one to whom we could gain access best, to look into Spiritualism. You were influenced powerfully. We have led you on and on; taught you directly a gospel of God, far in advance of that you had.

How much truer are your conceptions of the Supreme! His all-abounding love you now see is not confined to a favoured people or a favoured land, but is co-terminous with the universe, boundless as infinity. Trammelled by no considerations of creed, you see that mankind is one vast brotherhood, children of a common God, Who has revealed Himself from time to time in all ages according to their wants.

You have come to see that anthropomorphic views of God are born of manís ignorance; that the revelation of God is frequently but the imagination of man; that the incarnation of the Supreme in a body of flesh is a human figment; a superstition which advanced knowledge puts aside, with its erroneous doctrines, its degrading views of God.

You have learned that man needs no external Saviour, and that duty honestly performed to self, brother, and to God is the only passport to happiness. You are beginning to realise the truth which spirits teach of retribution in the future for present sin; of happiness and satisfaction in the spirit-world as the consequence of progress and beneficence. If you desire to estimate what spirit teaching has done for you, meditate on what you once thought, and contrast it with what you now know, and see how you have been brought out of darkness into the marvellous light of Godís Truth.

You have dimly seen how that lives are moulded by external power, and you have suspected that spirits may influence more than man suspects. So it is. The whole race of man is in some sort the recipient of guidance from the world of spirits. We are not permitted to interfere in the chain of cause and effect; to save man from the consequences of his sin; to pander to idle curiosity; to change the world from a state of probation. We are not permitted to discover to you what the All-Wise desires to keep hidden. We cannot force on you knowledge. We can but offer, and protect and guide and train, and prepare the willing mind for future progress.

We have told you of our mission, which is but the renewal of Godís intercourse with man. The leaders of old are still concerned in operating on man, and we have not watched and guarded and guided you for aught else than this, that you might receive our message and labour to convey it to man. It has been our work to fit you. It will be your work to receive the Gospel, and, when the time shall come, to convey it to man.

"Then this is a religious movement?"

"Assuredly it is. We claim now, as ever, that we are the apostles of Divine Truth, preaching to man a gospel which he needs. Our concern is with matters of moment to the mission, and we concern ourselves with none else. We pray you note this. For the present, we resist all attempts to develop you as a medium for communing with your personal friends; we dare not so expose you. You forget that one so developed is liable to be seized on by all the host who desire to commune again with earth. In proportion to the sensitiveness of his organisation, is he in risk of possession by the undeveloped who are nearest earth. It is a terrible risk, and one that we dare not expose you to. You have seen what the undeveloped may do. You are most sensitive to their attacks, and we might not be able to protect you."

"Each circle is to spirit gaze a centre of light, visible from afar, frequented by crowds who fain would talk with the denizens of earth. Some of these spirits are powerful in their ability to use the elements. They are, in truth, more powerful than highly developed spirits. In proportion as we progress, we become less able to wield the forces, and restore more to mental impression and distinct intellectual guidance and direction."

"It is a literal fact that the spirits who frequent circles from which the spiritual element on your side is absent are unprogressed or undeveloped spirits, attracted by the dominant temperament of the sitters - earthbound spirits who love to bewilder and perplex, or to lure to vice and sin. Think of the philosophy of spirit intercourse, what it is intended to be, and what it has been degraded to. We tell you it is impossible for anyone to allow himself to be made the vehicle of spirits who are attracted to open circles without sinking, sooner or later, to their level - without mental, moral and physical deterioration. You go to a pest-house, and expect to escape scot-free; but one day you will find you have gone too far; a vampire has fastened on you, and you are possessed by a loathsome fiend, whom you must emancipate yourself from by laborious purification, or to whom you must become victim."

S. M. says he has seen plain and silly fraud in the midst of genuine manifestations.

"Wishing to accomplish a certain end, a low class of spirits would use the readiest means without any thought of fraud. In the case of the materialisation of the full form, which is one of the cases in which inferior agents must act, the spirit would have no notion of deception in using the mediumís body in any way. It would do its work in the easiest way. Hence the mixture of open fraud, as it seems to you, with what you call genuine phenomena.

You may be watching the manifestations of the presence of a being without soul, and so without conscience. You will regard them as you would regard conduct of an untrained animal. With the lower grades of spirits you must make allowances, and expect nothing from them save certain evidences of power, which you must judge on their merits, sifting and probing, and not being dismayed if good and false are mingled. Such phenomenal manifestations are necessary to reach men who can assimilate no other evidence. They are not any sort of proof of our claims, no evidence of the moral beauty of our teachings; but they are the means best adapted to reach the materialist.

The phenomena are produced by spirits who can produce them best. Those spirits are the lowest and most earthly; either those who have passed through incarnation without progress, or those who have reached but not attained to it. These last are most powerful agents, but they know no distinctions of morality. It would be absurd and foolish to you if the progressed spirits of humanity were to be put forward as the agents in what you contemptuously describe as a moving of furniture. The mighty ones, who even in the flesh were spirits sent from God to enlighten your world, are not the agents who can be used in bringing home evidence of the kind needed by the materialist. They have no longer any power over gross matter, and would be unable so to act."

"You should confine the phenomenal to circles where the best evidence can be given by spirits who are most able. From them you should ask nothing more; even as from the higher spirits you should not ask any evidence of the material kind. If material and physical ends are sought, they are obtained at the cost of spiritual progress as a rule. Hence it is that circles should be graduated, and the purely physical relegated to where it is needed. The higher spirits will not frequent the circles where such an atmosphere prevails. No information should, therefore, be asked; only material evidence. But in the circles where such manifestations are not desired, information should be sought, and it should be the aim to raise as much as possible the spiritual tone by cultivating communion with the higher spirits, and by recognition of their mission of instruction and enlightenment."

S. M. asks if the physical should be isolated.

"That is absolutely necessary if progress be desired. From such spirits no true information or instruction can be had. We want to impress on you the necessity of separation between the two, the physical, and the spiritual. Aim to raise yourselves to spirit, not to drag spirit down to matter."

"You saw once, friend, how an undeveloped spirit could seize on a medium to her hurt and sorrow. Careless communicating causes mischief to her, and she is still in danger. We would warn you that such danger besets all who are not guided and guarded rightly. We see that which you cannot."

"When ill or worried, seek not to commune with the spheres. A sick, ailing, or mentally disturbed member of the circle is a bar. The aura is violated, and objects take a distorted appearance. Harmonious and loving minds, pure and holy thoughts, healthful and cheerful bodily conditions, earnest seeking after truth, these are our best aids.

What hurts most is jealous mistrust, angry feelings, unhealthy conditions of body or mind; chief of all, a prying, suspicious mind, bent on believing nothing, and proving all to be an elaborate lie."

S. M. has been plagued by an undeveloped spirit. He is told:

"You seek too persistently to evoke communications when you are not fit for them. Evil will ensue, as we have told you. No trustworthy communication can be held with you when mind and body are alike prostrate.

Withdraw for a time from communication with us. You must perforce do so, for we have decided to withdraw from you the power of communing, as it is in danger of being seized upon by the adversaries, and you yourself are in risk of possession by them, should you continue to seek communing with the spheres. You have seen somewhat of this. You know not how dire is the risk. We save you from it, in spite of yourself."

S. M. given rules for sitting.

"Do not sit in circle soon after a heavy meal, or when mind or body is tired out, or when the spiritual atmosphere is inharmonious.

Do not, before sitting, enter into any argumentative conversation, nor any that requires severe mental exertion. The mind should be passive, the body easy.

Do not meet in a room that retains in it a loaded atmosphere. Just before sitting, pass a current of fresh air through it.

If possible, exclude light three or four hours before you meet. Burn in the room a little (only) aromatic gum when you close it.

In sitting, seek not curiously for anything; it mars our plans to have a strong positive will present, fixed on any point. Maintain a serious and attentive mind. Above all, be earnest and prayerful, ready to hear, anxious for higher knowledge; soaring up, not bound to earth.

At times it is desirable to isolate you, and to preserve your aura intact. This is what is secured by isolation in a cabinet."

S. M. asks about music at circles. Does it help?

"Music, if good, is well, but not necessary. We prefer quietness and attention. Music helps the lower manifestations and inferior spirits. But such musical sounds as we usually hear do not help us, rather the reverse."

After a sitting when unpleasant scent had been manifested:

"The odour was unpleasant because of the state of the spiritual atmosphere. . . . Our friends will learn that, before sitting, all conversation which may lead to argument or disagreement, or which is painful or exciting, is to be shunned. It is for this reason that retirement and meditation and fasting and prayer, are so often the attendants on successful spirit influence. The seers and mediums of the past have so found it. We have frequently told you that the body should be in quiescence and the mind in peace, or there is danger in sitting."

"The force used by us in manifesting is only available when not denuded by bodily functions. When the brain is active, then the vital force is drawn to the brain. When the brain is passive, the force flows to the nerves, and is available for us. When the digestive organs are in active operation, it is required there. By a sudden shock the nervous balance is upset, and vital force temporarily dissipated. When passivity degenerates into apathy, it is bad. Sustained interest in what is being done causes a pleasant, regular flow of the magnetic aura, which establishes a perfect rapport between us and you. One who speaks in public is able to convey ideas more effectively when the sustained interest of his hearers keeps up the magnetic rapport. Anxiety is bad, because it is a positive state, and antagonistic to passivity."

His guides having objected to his staying at a certain place where he was between two cemeteries, S. M. asks: "How does that hurt me?"

"You are more and more sensitive to the exhalations which hang around graveyards. You ought not to sleep near or breathe air perpetually that is near them. It is charged with gases and exhalations which would not injure persons less susceptible, but which are hurtful to one so developed."

"But they are not near."

"You are between two, and the air is heavy with poison to your system.

The decaying body throws out its exhalations and mingles with the air which feeds the living, and the earth-bound spirit hovers near. In all ways it is bad. And for the sensitive whose inner sensibilities are developed it is worse."

"You do not like churchyards. Would you approve of cremation in preference to burial?"

"Anything would be preferable to the folly of entombing the moulding body in the midst of great living centres, so that the air they breathe may be poisoned. . . . When men know better they will cease to poison themselves thus."

ĖSigned: Rector. (Known as Hippolytus on earth)

Referring to one getting deceptions, S. M. asks: "Could you not detail some help to him?"

"Let your friend avoid intercourse with the spheres, lest he become a prey to the adversaries. We operate on none outside our chosen circle. Each is under his own guide, and must act under their guidance. We can but say that none should cultivate communion with the undeveloped. That course is fraught with risk. Flee the risk. Flee the spirits that lie and deceive."

"Did you ever know a case of a spirit, lately passed over, going to the seventh sphere in a few years?"

"Never. It may not be. It is deceptive throughout. Flee such."

"Can mediumship be developed by an evil agency, for an evil purpose?"

"Assuredly, seeing that unprogressed spirits are more powerful than the higher ones in dealing with your earth. The power would not be used by them for good. Rather they bring hurt to the medium, and discredit to the Cause. It is perilous, most perilous."

"It is true that Benjamin Franklin did discover means of communication by raps, and that he was greatly aided by Swedenborg in awakening interest among spirits in the subject. At the time of the discovery it was believed that all denizens of both worlds would be brought into ready communion. But, both on account of the obstinate ignorance of man, and of the extent to which the privilege was abused by spirits who assumed well-known names and personated them and so deceived men, that privilege has been greatly narrowed. Moreover, the guides of spirits have found frequently that it is not well, as in the case of your friend, to allow a return to a sphere which would prove too attractive for them. They are withdrawn to other planets and spheres, and so do not use the power of communicating."

S. M.: "Thus the discovery was made in the spheres before we knew of it."

"It was made exclusively in the spheres, and not at all on earth, being communicated to men by spirits. In the old days no such means of telegraphy was known. The raps are peculiar to your days. In days previous spirits communicated to men in ways less material. It was not necessary to act through matter, save in rare cases. Spirit spoke to spirit. But, as men grew more and more corporeal, material system of telegraphy was invented."

Ė Signed: Rector and Benjamin Franklin.

"Frequently, those you call mad are but instruments of undeveloped spirits, who try in vain to control the physical body, and cause ravings and incoherent utterances to issue from the medium."

"You err in supposing it necessary for a person or an individuality to be present in order to affect your atmosphere. In the case of sensitives, such disturbance is frequently caused by the projection of thought merely. Thought is, with us, a mighty engine. It is in its various forms the instrument by which we work. Perception is our sense; will is our instrument."

S. M. is reminded how people in the body are influenced by those with stronger wills, and told:

"When a spirit is disembodied the influence is far more readily exerted, seeing that projection of thought is the usual way of holding converse, and the recognised means of communication and intercourse. Bodily presence is done with. Soul can commune with soul independently of time and space, which are your human inventions."

S. M.: "It seems a spirit released from the body is carried whither its thoughts turn; that thought is motion; and that effects can be produced without the actual presence (as we understand it) of a spirit in the room; that manifestations may be directed without the actual presence of the spirit who purports to make them. Is this so ever? And in our circle?"

"Frequently in this way great spirits operate through inferior agencies without themselves being present, as you understand the term. This is very frequent, and directions are sent and acted upon without the presence of the controlling spirit. But in our circle, when certain spirits are said to be present, they really are. We do not leave our friends unguarded. But, in spite of all, the projection of thought does cause disturbance in the spiritual atmosphere. Not infrequently, it is from that cause we are unable to manifest successfully at a circle. We cannot approach you to convey information. We then advise you to leave off.

Circles where many meet are more liable to disturbances from the adversaries gathering round, as well as from the efforts of the spirits to force an entrance."

"The majority have not yet reached the plane of knowledge where they can take in this truth. Hence it will come to pass that Spiritualism will be known as communing with devils, or as a curious form of mental or bodily disease, or as hallucination or fraud.

There is another side, the esoteric, where far other evidence is had of the beauty of spirit communion, where two or three meet in faith and sincerity to receive the word that comes to them. Where such circles meet, where the mind is pure and sincere, the aspirations exalted, and the plane of thought spiritual - where due preparations are made to purify the atmosphere and provide conditions into which the higher spirits can come - then results are commensurate.

Where the tone is one of pure affection, the friends who have gone before can oft return and identify themselves; or like-minded souls can come and speak words of consolation and good cheer. Or they who, like ourselves, are charged to enlighten and elevate the seekers after truth can come and instruct you in the science which crowns all other knowledge.

With due care, such circles might be made the vehicle for much enlightenment. But alas for the frailty of manís purpose! The concentrated aspiration which is needed becomes irksome. The world engrosses, business presses, cares and troubles enter in, and the medium becomes worthless for our purpose; or friends soon learn all they can assimilate, and so our work flags. Hence it is that no circle can long endure, unless under circumstances rare to find. Development is slow, and many causes hinder. But so long as these sacred meetings are perpetuated among you, so long will there be an esoteric band, who know that the common notion, gained in ordinary circles, is not all the truth.

We have spoken of the better side of Spiritualism as founded on the affections. In proportion as the affections are brought into play in pure and sincere aspiration, the best results are obtained.

Occultism is the intellectual side of Spiritualism, and teaches the student the latent powers of his own spirit, and its place in the great world of Spirit which surrounds it on every side. There is no room for affection in its simpler developments, but Wisdom governs all."

"Our spirit dress would be imperceptible to you, and our spirit forms unrecognisable; consequently, we array ourselves in such sort as you would expect us to appear. If the spirit is showing itself to its own friends, it would appear in the semblance of the dress it was in the habit of wearing in earth-life; and would specially exaggerate, or draw attention to, any peculiarity of gesture, dress or demeanour which would identify it. It is a bitter disappointment and sorrow when a spirit is unrecognised by its loved friends to whom it has so longed to manifest itself, and when it has so striven for success. It is one of the sorrows which hang round the spirits who are attracted to earth by longing desire to minister to loved ones left behind. They hover round them, tend and care for them, yet they cannot communicate. They search around, and at length find a medium through whom they can reach their friends. After infinite pains they are enabled to show to them their real selves, to demonstrate their existence, to show their love. Alas! What bitter pangs they suffer when they find their efforts scoffed at, themselves unrecognised; and, possibly, the whole subject of communication with spirit-land laughed at as an idle and baseless vision. This is pain, corresponding to the intensity of joy with which a spirit finds itself still loved and recognised."

S. M. thinks it a weak point that so few disembodied friends have communicated at the circle.

"Your mission is of another sort, and we do not permit the circle to be used for purposes of private communication. In no case do we permit that, save for a higher purpose than the gratification of curiosity, or even of private affection. The circle must not be used for such purposes. It is devoted to a far higher use. Wait till you rise to the full dignity of the mission allotted to you. You will then see the reason of our refusal."

S. M.: "Mentor (In earth-life the Arabian philosopher Algazzali) has never materialised a body."

"We do not allow it. We permit only that which is necessary. The gems are needed, and the odours, and the musical sounds for the purpose of enabling us to manifest, and so to give you a portion of the message which it is our business to bring. We do not permit phenomenal manifestations beyond what is necessary."

S. M. asks if his mission is directly organised by the Lord Jesus.

"We have already said that two great spirits have been intimately associated with every such movement as this - Moses and Elijah. My immediate inspiration has been derived from my great Master Elijah. He it was who animated me when I trod the earth, and through me influences you. But he and we all act in direct subordination to the exalted spirit men call Jesus."

"Have you ever seen Him? And the others?"

"Yes, friend, I have seen both my Master and the great spirit (Moses), who was the mouthpiece of God to His chosen people. I have conversed with them, and have also received from them direct instruction.

But not till I became connected with my present work was I ever brought into contact with Jesus. Not till I was called to attend at a gathering of great Intelligences, for the very purpose of organising this movement in its future, did I ever see Him. So far as I know, He has never visited the spheres of probation until of late. Nor have the exalted spirits whom I then saw. They have descended, I believe, for the first time since the era when Jesus was born into your world to work a similar work."

"To what meeting do you allude? You once said, I think, that Jesus had never returned."

"The meeting was one which took place at the time when I was absent from you, as you know. And I never speak with positive assertion save of that which I know. Jesus had passed beyond the sphere whose denizens operate directly with man. And it was not till necessity called Him that He came again to work out a further portion of the work which He began in the flesh. I do not know that He has even now manifested Himself on the earth."

"Are there others who are being prepared as I am? Do you influence any other?"

"I influence directly none but you. Many are being gradually prepared and wrought upon by missionary spirits. We have developed in you the most considerable means of intercourse between the higher spheres and earth which has yet been opened. Many will come to greet you as your mind grows more settled, and your doubts vanish. They cannot approach you as it is. We shall endeavour to find suitable exponents of different sorts of instruction."

"The progressed spirits whose care it is to teach and educate, are in a spiritual sense one with those to whom they impart knowledge. The pupil drinks from the spiritual fount of the masterís knowledge, and is united with him. This is the union of spirit."

"Is it perpetuated?"

"Yes. It is the eternal law of interdependence. In spirit-life we do not talk of independence. That is a fallacy of earth. Spirits are in union and communion mutually interdependent. They are joined in rapport with those from whom they have learned, or to whom they have taught somewhat." - Signed: Magnus.

S. M. asks about the Second Coming of the Christ.

"You must be warned not to attach too great importance to the wording of records which are, in many cases, obscure and erroneous; which record the vague impressions of men who frequently did not understand what was being said to them; which have been badly translated, and which must frequently convey erroneous impressions. With these restrictions, there is much that the Lord Jesus spoke of in the days of His Incarnation which is finding its fulfillment now, especially as regards the general outlook for a new revelation; even as in His own days on earth, and as regards His return to your world."

"The return, then, is purely spiritual?"

"It is. The return of the Lord Jesus to your earth is in process amongst you. He operates by His intermediary agencies; though He Himself may personally come to influence men if it be necessary; but not in the flesh. This is the age of spirit, and the influence is spiritual. The influence is akin to what it was in the days of the Incarnation.

On the Mount of Transfiguration He talked visibly with those potent spirits through whom the channel of influence had been given; and who have been, and who are, intimately associated with this and all other similar movements. They - Moses and Elias - acting under the commands of the Lord, inspire and direct this movement. You will see then why we have spoken of it as religious."

"Armageddon, the mystic conflict between good and evil in the world, is being fought out. And, in your midst, for the eye of faith to see, stands the Risen Christ. It was to prepare His way that we returned and spoke to men. It was to pave the way, not, indeed, for the material manifestation of the arisen Jesus, but for the spiritual return of the Christ that we came to earth.

Learn, friend, that it is not the Jesus of history, but the Christ-principle that is revived among men. Divest your mind of materialistic ideas, and learn the mystic truth.

The return of the Christ, which the world has confounded with the second advent of Jesus, is solely the resurrection and re-development of the principle of which the Christ was the incarnate representation.

It was not the first time, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that the principle which He represented was manifested among men. In all ages, and among all people, God has taught them of Himself. The popular notion of the coming Messiah took form and shape from the words of ancient prophecy. Here, then, you see the prevalent error as to the method by which it was to be inaugurated. It is the same with you in this present day.

You have the same expectation of a new dispensation; the same misconception as to its real character. The Jew looked for his second Solomon who should regain for him the splendour and prosperity which had departed from him. The Christian looks for his Lord to come in the air, attended by legions of angels, to inaugurate a reign of universal peace and glory in which he hopes to have his full share. As the Jews found it hard to believe that the meek and lowly son of the carpenter was the monarch they desired, so your wise men find it hard to fancy that the truth which is everywhere spoken against is, in very deed, the Gospel of the Risen Christ. The dispensation of the Spirit is being evolved amongst you; the reign of the Comforter; the development of the highest truth that men can know. No open establishment of an earthly kingdom, but the silent setting up of a spiritual one.

The Christ-principle which we declare is that return of the Christ which His followers expect; only it is spiritual, whereas their ideas are earthly and material."

"I gather that Jesus Himself has not appeared on earth, but may do so."

"Not the man Jesus as He was. He has passed beyond the state when that would be possible."

"More as an influence?"

"Yes, as a spiritual effluence from the higher spheres, temporarily concentrated on you. His work is done by us, who have more power to abide with you. All this strife that surrounds you is the sign of the conflict that attends the new development of Truth. The birth-throes of Truth are ever accompanied by pain and distress.

"The little that is projected on the material plane is but the shadow of the real spiritual work which is going on ceaselessly in the domain of spirit. It is there that our operations centre. We labour to throw round you spiritual conditions of harmony and peace. The world of spirit is the world of cause; and what you now deplore is but a faint shadow of the strife that rages in it.

We are passing through an epoch in which great efforts are being made by the adversaries. The powers antagonistic to us vex and harm us and you. Just as great and noble ideas have their inception in the world of spirit, so it is with the disturbing influences which work among you evil and unrest. They are all spiritual."

S. M. asks about the future of the good.

"We told you in a parable of the progress of the spirit through seven states, during which it was working out its own salvation, and labouring either to purge away the contracted impurities of earth, or to gather such added store of knowledge as would fit it for the life of contemplation. In the spheres of contemplation, as we called them, the inner heaven of contemplative wisdom, the home of the Infinite and the Absolute, is perfect peace. Why should the beatified cross its threshold, to come back to the unrestful atmosphere of the purgatorial spheres, unless it be to bring some of their own blessed peace with them? Some there are who have so returned at great spiritual epochs, and have animated and inspired men by their vast and tranquil wisdom; but it is rare. Sufficient for you to know now that spark of Deity dwells within your soul, and that infinite possibilities are within your grasp."

S. M. asks about a spirit that grows worse instead of better.

"The spirit that had developed the bodily tastes, and neglected the spiritual, grows more and more earthly; the guardians are less and less able to approach it, and it gravitates further and further from light. We have said that there are six spheres below this earth, though we have never penetrated below the fourth. Below that are the miserable, abandoned spirits who sink down deeper and deeper, who become unable to rise, and who gradually lose their personality; even as the purified, when they near the presence of the Supreme.

Such undergo what your sacred records name the second death. They do not emerge from the hell they have created. They are lost." - Signed by Rector, Doctor, Prudens.

S. M. "Who dwell in the first sphere below the earth?"

"In the first sphere below you dwell those who have cultivated the animal part of their nature to excess; and who, in so doing, have crushed the spiritual. These are they who have no aspiration beyond the body; who have injured others by their animalism; and who still frequent the haunts of their former pleasures. Such are gluttons, gamblers, misers.

In the second sphere (below) are those who have still further debased and degraded their bodies, and have even more completely missed their souls. In divers sections of this sphere, under the tutelage of such spirits as can reach them, are the besotted and debased drunkard, the loathsome sensualist who has cursed himself and ruined pure lives by his lusts. These are they who cannot rise because they have no desire for progress. They are permitted to return, if they desire it, in order that the prayers of those to whom they come may aid them. Nothing but prayer can make them better and save them from sinking lower and lower into depravity."

"Do we really work out our sins and blunders hereafter?"

"Yes, verily. No sins go unatoned for. No idle blunder is passed over. It is atoned for by the soul in its future state; its consequences are wiped out as far as may be. Be sure, friend, that every willful wrong will cost you many and many a bitter tear. The seed of wrong sown, ye know not how terrible may be the crop. You must reap it, garner it in sorrow and shame."

S. M. feels that some revival meetings he had attended did harm.

"Divers agencies are at work in spiritualising your world; and, among them, are some that are rude and undeveloped. Different agencies are used to reach different minds. We prefer any amount of spiritual disturbance to stagnation. They are mistaken in many points. We do not mind. They are right in stirring the masses to revived spiritual existence. It is well that people who are slumbering to death should be stirred up to life, and we are not very careful as to the means used.

Do not be over-scrupulous over the means used to stir the dead masses of your city. It is not for you. Leave it to work among those who need it. It is part of the great wave of spiritual influence which is now passing over your world in many ways. There is excess in all, but a use too. Cultivated taste may be shocked, but souls are stirred and saved from ruin. We rejoice, though you be shocked."

S. M. who is in Ireland, desires to help a sick friend.

"We are not able to use the influence which you generate beyond a certain distance; nor are we able to overcome the obstacles which oppose us in reaching those around whom the influence is contrary.

You may do much by earnest prayer; not for what you think best, but for the ministry of good angels round the suffering body. Pray for that, and your prayers may be potent alike in sickness or in death. In sickness spirit ministers may alleviate when human help fails. They have power, when they can reach the sufferer, to do very much to alleviate, and to keep up the vital forces which make for recovery of bodily strength, and, if the spirit is to go to its new life, it is even more desirable that we should be enabled to provide friends who shall receive and welcome it, and guide it amid its new and strange surroundings.

In any case, neglect not to offer up earnest and active prayer for blessings which spirits can minister. Did ye know the power of prayer, ye would use it more. Not as vain man prays for that which he thinks best, but for the ministry of those who can soothe his sorrows, alleviate his woes, and bring down blessings on him, richer than any he can picture."

 

"We know little of the effect of prayer, and are neglectful I know."

"Yes, it were better that man should know that spirits surround him ever, and that they can become to him the ministers of blessing, if he will, no less than the agents of mischief, if he places himself in the power of the undeveloped."

S. M. asks about a friend, now in spirit.

"She is being gradually roused from the torpor into which she fell. She will continue long in a state of weakness and development, and gradually gain spiritual strength before being removed from her present state. She is tended by spirits in the place set apart for those who need fostering care. Many who are withdrawn prematurely or roughly, are tended by those spirits who devote themselves to the work in a special sphere set apart for them near the earth on which they have been incarnated.

This is the intermediate sphere of rest, in which spiritual functions are developed, and that which is lacking is supplied. Such a sphere there is near to each world, and into it the weary and suffering, the spiritually famished, the prematurely cut off, are gathered, that they may be nourished and tended by ministering angels. There they must needs remain till they are fit to progress. Then they go to their sphere, take up their progress, and are developed by degrees. A harbour of rest after a stormy passage. None from that sphere can be permitted to manifest on your earth. They are housed in the garden of the Lord, and may not be exposed to the rude blasts of you air. Cease to wish. The effect of your wish is but to disturb. Pray, rather, that your friend may fare well in the charge of her guardians."

S. M. asks about the future of a friend just passed on.

"She was one of those who go unprepared to the life of the spheres. The life which her angels say she led was but a poor preparation for the harmony and peace and joy of the spheres. No more fruitful cause of delay in spiritual progress exists than a joyless, inharmonious life. It deadens and starves the spirit, blunts its aspirations.

The true life on earth is one of harmony, love and progress. In a loveless life the spirit is prisoned, cramped and injured. They who have missed and failed of harmony and progress in the earth-sphere do oft return and minister to those who are suffering, even as they once suffered.

She will, we think, return and minister to the dwarfed and chilled souls the balm of affection which they lack. She will soothe and cheer, and instill a heavenly peace. She will be a ministering spirit of love."

"Spirit is the real substance; matter is only one of the modes of its presentation. You regard spirit as eminently insubstantial, vapoury and formless; it may be that mist will symbolise your idea. Spirit is a substance, having form and shape. So the spirit-world is real and substantial, surrounding and underlying the material world; organised of spirit substance in various grades and degrees, from the most impalpable vapour up to the densest solidity.

The realm of spirit pervades your earth, animates all things, and gives to animal and plant and vegetable its real existence. All that seems real to you is only the shadow of the true. The spirit is the life, the reality, the eternal and essential substance.

And just as spirit underlies man, so does it underlie and inform all matter. All forces that hold the world in place, and carry them in their orbits, are spiritual. Light, heat, magnetism, electricity, are only the outer coverings of one inner spiritual force. Spirit underlies all. The elements of matter can have no power to assume form and shape; one of the essential properties of matter is inertia. The marble cannot roll out of the quarry sculptured in human form. The action of spirit must be brought to bear on it before that can be. The law is but the external expression of the energising force. Wherever you turn you see evidence of spirit action, from the worlds that roll in space to the tiny fern. It energises all, and, by a subtle process of chemistry, distils from dew and rain and air and light the delicious juices and fragrances; and moulds the lovely forms to which you are so accustomed that you heed them not.

What is nature? And what are her processes? You know not. You have erected an idol, and called it Nature, and labelled it with some formulae and called them laws; devices to conceal your ignorance.

Nature is spirit, and her laws are spiritual. All your material forms - vegetables, animals, minerals even - are the outer mask which encloses spirit. Man is a spirit and, the spiritual holds together the corporeal. The fluctuating mass of atoms which form the physical body are kept in place and vitalised by spirit. When spirit is withdrawn, they fall into corruption, and pass into other combinations. Spirit is the man, and conversely, man, by virtue of his being a spirit, dominates all creation. He is in advance of all, being endued with powers which other created beings do not possess."

"It all seems to work in with an orderly process of development."

"Yes! Matter on your globe has gone through divers stages from crystallisation - the rudest form of organisation to man. The rock and earth yield to the plants. Vegetable life supersedes mineral. Sensation added, a nervous system given, and another form of more highly organised life is found progressively, being developed from the lowest zoophyte up to man. Each step is an advance from the last, and man crowns the labour of creation. Man differs in kind, as well as in degree, by virtue of his divine soul."

S.M. wonders if scientific enquirers should be told the facts about elementaries and physical circles.

"Let them understand the facts are presented as evidences, cognisable by material senses, of the operation of a force of which they are ignorant. The air is full of spirit-life. The elements swarm with various phases of spirit. The world, the universe, man, God Himself, is spirit.

Man conceives of spirit as his disembodied self. We found in your mind a conception of spirit no wider than this. Spirit to you, meant human spirit, disembodied, living in some far-off sphere, where it was placed on emerging from incarnation. Spirit-land, to you, was far away, and the new phase of your life meant no more than the setting up of a telegraphic communication between your sphere and ours.

Men know nothing, can picture nothing of the true state of spiritual surroundings amid which we exist. To them, spirit is man, only in another state. Did they know the universe is one vast home of spirit, in all its multiform phases of progression, from the formless germ up to the brightest angel, that man is but one of myriads of manifestations of spirit, and that below him are countless kinds of spirit growth, infinitely divergent in kind and degree, various as the forms of animal creation -nay, ten thousand times more various - they would find themselves unable to credit it.

Did they know that these forms of spirit-life, infinitely more various than your mind can understand, act on their own state, influence their lives, modify their actions, and are very real factors in their development, they would not credit the statement. ĎLet us see them,í they would say. As though the material eye were the final channel of intelligence. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

Let men of science take such facts as fall within their province, and leave the rest. If they wish to know, tell them they are surrounded by embryonic forms of spirit-life; by the formless growths; by the more developed elemental spirits; by the higher forms who are themselves minus their souls and their conscience; you may say, without their conscious vices too.

If they wish to know more, tell them that round them gather the earthbound spirits of humanity, who are too often attracted to them by the grovelling sentiments that fill their minds; that they act and re-act on the manifestations which they seek to elicit by sitting in circle with a medium.

 

If they do not like that company, tell them that the ascended spirits of humanity do not voluntarily enter such an atmosphere. They live in purer air, in spheres of thought other than these. Perchance a minister of mercy may descend, or a friend be lured down; but it must be on a way prepared by pure and sincere desire, for some loftier motive than an experiment, or to be cross-questioned by an investigator in all the pride of sceptical assumption."

"You say well that your work now is not with scientific men. The work that presses on you now is not the work of proselytising, nor of publicity, so much as it is the steady collection of facts and their collation; the gathering up of a store of truth from which, in the future, theory and law may be deduced. You are but laying the foundation. What is necessary truth to one is so far being necessary truth to all, and it may even be prejudicial to some. They may not need it; possibly cannot assimilate it; and so reject it. It is not good to scatter pearls of truth broadcast, for there be souls, as Jesus said, who will not accept them, but will turn and rend you for your services."

"But when people seek, they should find."

"Such will find. It is a holy duty to aid such. But it requires discrimination and discernment, and is not to be lightly done. The inner faculties need to be open before such duty is performed. A discerner of spirits who goes warily and with discretion is needed. The seeking soul will find in the end; but man is too impatient, too ready to force on the work of development."

"The spirit-body is the real individual; and, though for a time it is clothed with fluctuating atoms, its identity is absolutely the same when these atoms are dispensed with.

To us the spirit-body is clear and plain. Our view is not hindered, nor are our movements impeded, by matter as it exists on your plane. What seems to you solid is to us pervious. The atoms which the spirit-body attracts to itself, and which it keeps in a state of perpetual change around it, are no real part of the personality. They are not even permanent for the time of existence in this sphere, and when they are replaced by others no change is perceptible to you. We see otherwise. To our eyes those atoms, accidents of earth existence, are no bar. We see the spirit-body."

"Does the spirit-body lead a separate existence? For instance in sleep?"

"Yes, at times it may. Its existence is independent; but without the earth-body it would live under different conditions. Generally during the sleep of the body the spirit-body rests, but does not sleep. The confused remembrances of incidents which the spirit does not fully recollect go to form what we call dreams. The spirit cannot recall all it sees, and the impressions, left on the mind are mixed with the impressions derived through the bodily senses, and so make the incoherent dreams.

Dreams are sometimes accurate reminiscences of what has already occurred, and may be prophetic or warning. Such are sometimes the suggested voice of the guardian, who cannot approach the soul when in the body through lack of power. It talks with the spirit during the sleep of the body, and, by protecting from intermixture with surrounding bodily impressions, leaves the remembrance clear upon the mind. In such cases the spirit can and does faithfully remember; but, usually, the recollection is cloudy. In rare cases the spirit-body is endued with separate vitality for a time. In such cases the spirit may be conducted to the spheres; may be permitted to see somewhat of its future home, and learn its duties. It may even drink in draughts of the higher wisdom, and bring them down to earth."

"The spirit-body is enabled by a process of magnetic attraction, to attach to itself particles of gross matter from your plane, and so to render itself temporarily visible to your eye."

"The spirit-body is the real man; the earth-body being only its temporary clothing. The dead body of earth thrown aside leaves the real man with all his individuality untouched. The spirit-body, after leaving the earth-spheres, enters upon a course of purification, in process of which it passes through many changes analogous to death. Even as from the earth-body is eliminated a body more refined than it, but not dissimilar from it: so, from it again when the spirit has advanced sufficiently, is eliminated a more refined body; and so on, till the process of refinement has fitted it to enter the spheres of contemplation. At each successive stage the spirit accretes to itself a similar body, and throws aside owe which has become unsuited to it. Hence each change of state is accompanied by one somewhat analogous to death.

Immediately on its release from the body, the spirit gathers a new body from its new surroundings, and is clothed with a refined substance like to the flesh it has cast off. The spirit is always encased in a body of matter, as you would say; but matter impalpable to your senses, though as perceptible to us as is the grossest material substance to yours."

"The spirit-body, your real self, has clothed itself for a time with atoms of matter which are in a state of perpetual change. When the process of earth education is complete, these changeful atoms are cast aside, and your resurrection takes place. The rising - an instantaneous vivifying of a confined individuality; a bursting of the bud, a releasing of a prisoned and hampered spirit - at no distant period, after a sleep in the unknown, but instant, immediate."

ĖSigned : Doctor (In earth-life the philosopher Athenodorus)

"The fact that Christians celebrate year by year on Easter Day, however ignorantly, is an underlying truth. Men foolishly imagined that the mouldered earth-body should be gathered together again piece by piece and withdrawn from its after-combinations, should be re-united to its original elements, and so the body should be resuscitated and restored to its pristine state. In fabricating such a theory they have missed the truth, though they have partially enshrined it in their dogma. The body of earth, friend, cannot be restored when once it has been resolved into its elemental state. It is dissipated once and for ever, and in future combinations becomes the perpetual constituent of other forms of matter. The fabled resurrection cannot be. But men have taken no count of another body . . . the Spirit Body. The real man rises from earth and is transported to his real home."

"What of Christ?"

"The appearance of Jesus was of the Spirit Body, which He was enabled to manifest in tangible form. The earth body never rose."

ĖSigned ; Doctor.

"The three archangels who were concerned in governing the life removed the body. Gabriel, who announced the birth, and Michael and Raphael, aided by spirit power, removed the body, even as before they had removed the body of Moses. These three angels were concerned with your world in all its phases."

Ė Signed : Doctor.

S. M. asks about the onward progress of the spirit.

"We can add little to what we have said save in the way of explanation. You know well that the whole existence is steadily progressive or retrogressive. The spirit incarnated in your world settles for itself its position after it has been freed from the body, by the deeds done in the body. According as they have been good or evil, they cause it to gravitate to a higher or lower sphere, or to a higher or lower state in the sphere for which it is fitted. When the place is settled it comes to pass that those who are entrusted with the mission educate it, and purge away false notions, and lead it to ponder on former sins, and so to desire to remedy their consequences. This is the first step in progress. The purification continues until the spirit has been so far cleansed as to rise into a higher state, and there again the process is continued until the spheres of purification are passed, and the spirit, refined and purified, rises into the spheres of education. There further knowledge is instilled; the soul is refined and made fit to shake off still more of the material, and to undergo a further process of sublimation. And this continues until the material is entirely purged away, and the spirit is fitted to enter into the spheres of contemplation. Then we lose sight of it."

S. M.: "You do not know what becomes of it then? Does it lose identity?"

"We do not know. It would naturally lose much of that individuality which you associate with independent existence. It would lose the form which you associate with personality. And the spirit would be proportionately developed, until it was fitted to approach to the very Centre of Light and Knowledge. Then, indeed, it might be that individual existence would be for ever merged in that great Centre of Light . . . . We only know that ceaseless progress nearer and nearer to Him, may well assimilate the soaring spirit more and more to His nature, until it becomes verily and indeed a son of God, pure as He is pure, stainless as His own immaculate nature, yea, perfect with some measure of His infinite perfection. This is our vision of glory; assimilation to the Divine; growth in knowledge and in grace; approach nearer and yet nearer to the Essence of created Light."

S. M. feels that "if the final cause of life is absorption into the Source of Life, it seems we toil in vain."

"Life! What know you of it? Its very meaning is narrowed down in your mind to that miserable shred of existence which is all you know as yet. What know you of the future glories of being, which even in the surrounding spheres make being a blessing?

What can you picture of the existence of the higher realms where the emancipated spirit lives in union and communion with the godlike and sublime? How can you hope to picture the still grander life of contemplation, the very conditions of which are the reverse of all you now experience; where the avenues of true knowledge are indefinitely enlarged, and where self and all that cramps and binds is for ever lost: and where that which you now call individuality, personal identity, or some such synonym of self-hood, is gone for ever?

And if, when the countless ages which no finite mind can grasp are at last exhausted; when the fount of lower knowledge has been emptied of its contents, and the spirit has done with the things of sense, and has been perfected through labour and suffering, and been made fit to enter on its heritage of glory, and to dwell with the God of Light in the heaven of the perfected; if that loss of self-hood to you seem now annihilation, loss of individual existence, or absorption into the eternal Sun of Truth, what is that to you? Lower your eyes lest you be blinded.

Trust us, the knowledge gained by the journey of life, throughout its vast extent, will amply compensate for the toil of having existed."

Of the following prayer, which is signed: "I. S. D. and many others." S. M. is told: "The words were the language of the Chief who wrote it through your hand by means of Rector, as being more accustomed to do so."

"The exalted Intelligences, who have been permitted to manifest to you, have commissioned me to write for you a prayer which we have composed for you, as the expression of the wishes and aspirations of our spirits; and as a fitting model for the frame of mind in which you should join us in approaching the great God. It is well that you attune your devotions to the adoration of the angels. Meditate on the prayer, and use it as a model for your own devotions. Ye know little of prayer as we know.

Eternal Father, Supreme, All-Mighty Lord! Pour down on these Thy waiting children the spirit of Thy love, that they may be in harmony with Thee, and with Thy holy angels and ministering spirits. Grant them, Thou God of Truth, the spirit to follow on even to the end the pursuit of Truth, which comes from Thee and is of Thee.

Unchanging, Eternal Lord! Grant them the spirit of zeal and earnestness, that they may with unwavering purpose reach onward and upward to Thee, the Fountain of eternal Light.

Thou pure Spirit! Keep them unspotted and unstained. Cleanse their thoughts, purify their motives, elevate their desires.

Spirit of Wisdom! Make them grow in wisdom and in knowledge, and still to thirst for more.

God of all graces! Shower on them the plentitude of those gifts which Thou seest to be profitable for them. Eradicate error, strengthen love of truth, inspire knowledge, infuse charity, and increase progression, that each in some sort may join with us Thy ministering angels and spirits, in the harmonious anthem of ceaseless praise.

Glory and honour and adoration be to Thee, Supreme, All-loving, All-holy God."