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in his youth : a medium in each household would play havoc with domestic
peace and order. But the class of spirits which communicate can be tested by the doggerel of so-called poets, the twaddle of so-styled sages, the vapid trash which passes for fine sentiment in the literature of mediumship. As compared with the elevated and sustained thought of earth's best and wisest, it could only be stigmatized. Is the fault laid to the charge of the defective mediums ? Who can think that Socrates or Plato, Shakespeare or Milton, Bacon or Newton, Pascal or Swedenborg, would use such mediums ? The spirits which could thus communicate, must be the lowest and most materially minded, nearest to the boundary of the spiritual world, and who, from love of dominion, and earthly lusts, sought to rule the thoughts and hearts of men. They were the vagabonds, the scatterlings of the world of spirits, pretenders, personators, and cheats. Mr. T. L. Harris, one of the most highly developed of mediums, most strongly warns people from mediumship, and denounces, in lurid terms, the dangers of such intercourse. Nor is it difficult to see the moral deterioration which spiritualism effects in so many of its votaries ; the spiritual pride which it inspires, and contempt of others, till Mrs. Hardinge speaks of mediums as being “the elect” who are to be the instruments of regenerating the world (!); the fascination it exerts on minds thirsting for novelties, and insidiously led along to make constantly new experiments; the loss of calm reason it entails, and the disposition it fosters to rely on “spirit guidance,” to believe in such “spirit guides,” to appeal to spirits instead of “ to the law and to the testimony.” Even in the case of those who only occasionally practise it, and in whom, consequently, spiritualism does not evolve its most deleterious characteristics, the formation of circles, and “getting the raps,” are resorted to, half out of a frivolous desire to be amused, and half out of a curiosity equally frivolous. Again : circles seek for such manifestations, they do not come unsought; from table-rapping or tilting they aspire to “develop” into something higher and better, and thus, by persistent mediumship, they seek to scale the ramparts of the other world, and, with burglarious pick-locks and crowbars, to force their way into the presence of the invisible, and, instead of striving to become heavenly-minded, they endeavour to drag down heaven to earth. At best, what do they obtain ? Andrew Jackson Davis' lucubrations ? They deny the divinity of the Saviour, and assert that He was only an advanced medium! They deny the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and place them on the same low level as any other inspirational talk ; thus,
without divine revelation, they set the mind of man wandering through the mazes of inexplicable mystery and insoluble doubt. A few valid descriptions of the other life? Compare all that they have got in this way with the written results of Swedenborg's twenty-seven years of open communication with the other world, and he is seen to come down, like a giant among pigmies, scattering and treading under foot their paltry, and, at best, relatively insignificant communications. The spiritualists can find in his writings all, and far more than all, the little of this sort that they attempt laboriously to acquire by mediumship; and that too, without mental, moral, or spiritual danger of any kind. If we may judge from the few definite ideas which many of the spirits are said to communicate, we must conclude that the spirits who thus come at call are really desirous of leading men and women to deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and to substitute their guidance for the teachings of the Word. Thus M. Cahagnet pretends to have communicated with the spirit of Swedenborg, and affirms Swedenborg to have acknowledged that his teachings concerning the sole Divinity of the Lord were erroneous !
In perfect contrast with all the pretensions of spiritualism is the grand statement of Swedenborg- “ Now it is allowable to enter intellectually into the things of faith.” The ensign of a new age was that splendid declaration, full of comfort and hope. It involved that every earnest and devout student of the Word might thenceforth receive illustration from the Lord while seeking to know “the mind of God.” It introduced no fascination, no false glare of the quasi-miraculous, no subtle undermining of the grounds of a rational faith, no interference with human liberty ; it appealed to the reason and to the heart, and while it shows the possibility, and in future ages the probability, of a reinstatement of “open communication with the spiritual world,” it serves by contrast to render only ludicrous the mediumship of spiritualism. The only strong argument that spiritualists can urge in their own defence is, that spiritualistic phenomena have served, and may still serve, to convince sceptics of the reality and nearness of the spiritual world. This is really more specious than strong. The demoniacs of the Gospels might equally subserve the same purpose ; but who would argue, from that accidental circumstance, that therefore demoniacal possession was either orderly or good? Such a use might be evolved from spiritualism, as nothing is permitted which cannot be overruled to some good end; but such a use is collateral with, and not essential to spiritistic manifestations. The Word predicts that a
beast should rise up with the horns of a lamb, but which should speak like a dragon, which should have power to deceive them that dwell on the earth by the miracles (wondrous things) which he should have power to do (Rev. xiii. 11-17); that three unclean spirits, like frogs, should proceed out of the mouths of the dragon, of the beast, and of the false prophet, which should be the spirits “of devils working miracles,” or wondrous things (xv. 13, 14). Whenever these things should be ultimated in the world, serving, though they may, to convince men of the reality and nearness of the spiritual world, will not compensate for the injury they will work, or mitigate the danger of becoming their tools. In the Word, no prophecy save one of warning could be found which would at all fit in with the irruption of spirits which spiritualism evokes; while the other and true spiritualism, that of studying the Word, of making earnest prayer, of seeking to cultivate Christian virtues and graces, of striving for communion with the Holy Spirit, the power of the Saviour operating in the hearts, minds and lives of men, was expressly taught and continually urged. This true spiritualism was full of safety, while, at best, the other was full of danger, and at worst, it had proved to be in many known cases the wiles of the devil, seducing the souls of the people. We may wisely conclude thence, that in the spiritualism taught and urged in the Scriptures, “We have also a more
we sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do dwell that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day-star arise in your hearts."
Some questions were asked, and replied to by the lecturer. A reply to the lecture was announced to be delivered on the following Sunday afternoon ; but owing to the manifest inability of the gentleman who undertook to reply to Mr. Hyde's lecture, and the want of tact displayed by the chairman in conducting the subsequent discussion, the meeting broke up in confusion.
Thy name with terrors, that the stout heart fears
Though he would meet thee, nameless, free from tears,
And fainter grows the forms of friends around?
Of changeful earth to be resolved, may be,
The living soul from fleshly garb set free
Like the gay fly that bursts his wintry tomb,
And finds a happier sempiternal home.
Review. The Hexaglot BIBLE. DICKINSON & Higham, 73 Farringdon St. E.C.
HEXAGLOT Among the varied activities of the New Age, one of the most admirable has been the diligence with which Biblical study has been pursued. Ancient copies of the Old and New Testaments have been sought out both in the East and West. The libraries of monasteries in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Arabia, as well as the great collections of books in the capitals of Europe, have been carefully examined, and numerous and valuable manuscripts have been obtained, printed, collected and compared. Knowledge on the subject of the letter of the Divine Word has amazingly increased ; and scholars have now the means of obtaining correct ideas, and illustrating their views on this department of sacred science, to an extent most gratifying to the real friends of the Bible. In various ways, the results obtained are being placed before the Christian student; and if, sometimes, the press presents beautiful specimens of this department of literature, with somewhat of the character of luxury, it is a luxury that is associated with exalted uses, and with our best affections. One of the finest efforts of this class is the splendid work of which the first half-crown part is before us. It is the Bible and Testament beautifully printed in six languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, German and French. These are arranged in parallel columns. It is edited by several eminent Biblical scholars; and thus correctness will be secured. It is quarto in form, on beautiful paper, and admirably printed. It will consist, when complete, of six volumes, and will cost only five guineas. It will be a marvel of excellence and of cheapness. Any student who wishes to bee at a glance how a passage has been rendered in the most important versions can have it here at once. Any gentleman who wishes to have his library completed by the Bible in one of its noblest forms, should have this magnificent copy. Any society desiring to testify to its minister their appreciation of his services in a manner grateful to him, and likely to enhance his future usefulness, would do well to let their affectionate regard take the form of this splendid work, the Hecaglot (six-languaged) Bible. Two volumes are ready for
or any one can commence with Part I., and take the rest monthly. For the sake of the use which will be accomplished by the issue of this noble book, we wish the spirited publishers a wide circulation and the most complete success.
THE VOYSEY CASE. The case of the Rev. Mr. Voysey, which has been so long before the Privy Council, has at length been determined, and in a manner which, we think, must have been anticipated by all who have followed the discussion to which it has given rise. A Church without doctrine cannot long continue to exist, for although the ground of unity is love, the bond of unity is doctrine, and a Church whose members are to unite in works of Christian usefulness, must of necessity have some bond of religious agreement. This bond may admit, and when the Church is governed by Christian charity, will admit of considerable diversity of opinion, but there are necessarily limits to this diversity. The judgment, in the case of Essays and Reviews, which allowed to clergymen of the Established Church an unusual latitude of discussion, has doubtless encouraged Mr. Voysey to a boldness of statement on some of the questions of Christian faith which is utterly irreconcilable with the formulas of the Church. It could scarcely be supposed that statements like the following could be allowed to pass unchallenged:—“Our Lord Jesus Christ is no more very God of very God, than we men are, “No modern Atheist or Socialist could say anything more derogatory of our Lord than to say that He said, 'All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers.'
The only question remains, if our Lord did not say this, how came it into St. John's gospel? I can only answer to this, that this gospel contains made-up speeches composed by the writer for the occasion, and written with a special object to establish certain theological doctrines which Christ himself knew nothing of, and said not a word about in the other gospels.”
The judgment which has now been delivered is distinguished by an treme anxiety to still preserve the liberty of the teachers of the Church so far as is consistent with the doctrines they have engaged to teach. But in its interpretation of these doctrines it has reasserted some of the most objectionable features of the Thirty-nine Articles.
The following passage will, we think, be read with pain by many very sincere friends of the Church. “ The fourth and fifth charges are that the appellant asserts "That mankind are not by nature born in sin and the children of God's wrath, and are not separated from God by sin, nor is there any curse to remove by the shedding of the innocent blood of Christ, and that the doctrine of the fall of man is contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ. Now the 2d Article of Religion asserts that the "Son suffered to reconcile the Father to us, and to be a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men,' and we think that the plain meaning of the 9th Article is to assert the existence of original or birth sin, and to state that such sin exists in every one descended from Adam ; that by it every man is very far gone from original righteousness, and that this sin deserves God's wrath and damnation.' To assert, therefore, that children are not by nature children of God's wrath appears to us plainly inconsistent with the express language of the Articles of Religion. It being also expressly laid down that Christ suffered to reconcile the Father to us, it appears to us to be in contradiction to such statements to say that we are not under
The only ground of judgment is the doctrines of the Church. These doctrines are plainly contravened by the writings and preaching of the appellant, and he is, therefore, condemned in costs, and sentence of deprivation pronounced against him. Time was allowed him, however, to reconsider his position, and to retract his several errors, which he has declined to do.
This decision may be regarded as a supplement to the judgment in the case of Essays and Reviews, and cannot fail to exercise considerable influence in the established Church. The former decision allowed to the clergy the liberty to challenge the inspiration of the Scriptures, the duration of future punishments, and other questions which had long been regarded among the established teachings of the Church. The present, while recognising the validity