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the prophets of Hebrew history, — like the apostles and martyrs of the better dispensations, are—in their hours of abstraction or loftiest contemplation, beautifully inspired. As one among these, “doomed to-day,” we take a manly pride in acknowledging our helps from the world of spirits.
There is a general and a special inspiration—both natural. Our spirit guides inspire us, either by willing a magnetic current to touch, as with regenerating fire, our brain faculties; or—the conditions previously prepared—by approaching and breathing the inmost feelings of their own heavenillumined souls into ours. God, being infinite and impartial, all humanities, constituting a fraternal unity in diversity of individualities, are inspired from higher or lower planes of conscious existence. The truer the aim, the diviner the purpose, sweeter the nature and holier the aspiration, the more exalting and ecstatic is the inspiration. Plato, mantled in Grecian grandeur, gathered his highest inspirations while summering upon the cloud-piercing Hymettus; Mahomet, from Arabian summits ; Confucius, from Asian mountains, and Jesus, tearful and prayerful, from Kedron’s valley, and Olive's mountain.
Inspiration comes obedient to the law of attraction; it is as natural to the mental affections as air to the lungs. It is ever ratioed to the plane of our moral status of character. Only the active, thinking, loving, aspiring mind is truly inspired. We get here what we seek. There are spiritual strata of inspiration as there are natural strata in our material atmospheres for each grade of sentient being. We may, therefore, be inspired in the department of passion, of reflection, of invention, of music, of poetry, of patriotism, of philanthropy, of the loves of childhood, of moral justice, of divine recognition, just as we adjust and habituate these functional organs and faculties. The lower the plane the grosser is the qualitative inspiration; the higher the plane the purer is the inspiration. Our status of love-life determines the degree of our heaven or spiritual sphere of use.
would be ushered into holy light, the holiest purpose must aniinate the will to corresponding activities. Thus, and thus only, do we drink of the immortal fountains of undimmed and celestial goodness. Under such an inspiration, we are able to discover defects in our forces of character, creating a keen, sharp pain in a tender conscience that rouses up to focalize those dormant faculties to higher points of mind and heart, that then loom up in visions as an attainable glory. The holiest spirits have the deepest pain when any taint is found upon their inner life. When admitted to inspirations and consociations of such spirits, our unstrung or untouched chords of love are attuned to heavenly order, when our whole being is at length spiritually musicalized, heard and felt in raptured gratitude to the “white-vestured” come to lead us into their Edens of Innocence and Beauty.
Believing in inspiration, then, we would go up day by day on to the Mount of Transfiguration ; would open the windows of our souls to the constant reception of higher truths ; would be charitable to all fresh thoughts, from whatever source, to all newly conceived ideas, for they may have traveled as blessings down from sunnier zones. Behind even the faintest corruscation of some wierd, halfexpressed truth, there may gleam a star silver-shrouded, or a celestial sun awaiting earthly recognition.
God is in the present. The books of inspiration are not closed and sealed. Ideas, principles, the laws of pure intelligence, require no crutches. Americans can stand erect without spinal stiffenings from Asian monuments. Prayer need not float to heaven on the breath of ancient memories; nor assume oriental attitudes to secure a hearing.
"Where'er there's a life to be kindled by love,
Wherever & soul to inspire,
Our granite-hills and highlands, are sacred as Israel's mountains; our rivers holy as the Jordans of Asia, and our
forests beautiful as the olives and cedars that shaded Lebanon. God did not speak his first word to Moses in the Old Testament; nor pronounce his last to John on Patmos. The aspirations of true men cannot be held in slavish subjection to the letter of past revelations. Souls must have living bread. They must bathe in living streams, branching from the “River of Life.” They must be free as God's winds—free as the loves of the angels.
Inspirations can never know a finality, being manifest in all forms of life ; in the progressive movements of the ages; in religion, art and science; in the moral heroism of reformers; in the tender affections of woman; in the ministry of spirits ; in the sincere devotions of the prayerful, and in the sweet trust of a pure and holy life.
“The soul's vague longing-
As I look upward to the heavenly hills !” The acceptance of the sciences is based more upon the investigations of others than personal research. Christendom, rejecting the inspirations and spiritual manifestations of the present, rests its bony head upon the old grayed monuments of antiquity, and strives to fill its leanness upon histories and doubtful facts connected with ancient Jewish feasts. It piously prefers dipping from the “Dead Sea,” than drinking from America's gushing fountains. This is an abuse of faith. Spiritualists understand the import of these teachings—“Give us this day our daily bread”_"a well of water within you springing up into everlasting life”-“LO! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world!”
Faith is perpetual. When its “substance of things hoped for” is swallowed up in fruition, like the bud blossoming into the flower, it unfolds a yet higher life—ever higherpreluding immortal progress.
Faith often used in a subjective sense for personal belief, is elemental in the human soul, and may be defined an assent of the mind to propositions based upon the testimony of others, or an acceptance of such truths as seem legitimately deducible from the investigations of physical and
moral science. Faith, differing essentially from mere belief, is graded upward from the more external to the divine, corresponding relationally to the outer and inner conscious
The latter is closely allied to intuition. It is a glimmering from the star of destiny. Faith is essential to successful communication with ministering spirits. The adjustment of the spirit batteries, under this law, is most delicate and beautiful. The spirit has to employ our magnetic sphere -enters into rapport with us sympathetically—and if we are any ways deceptive and tricky, gloomy and unbelieving, our very mental and moral condition defeats the object; for then a pure and truthful spirit, who would communicate, finds it very difficult to reach our sphere, it being so magnetically repellant. Honest doubt does not imply un-faith; in fact, it is faith in embryo. The candid inquirer always gets light; for such a sphere attracts the angel who comes to bless “the poor in spirit.” Faith, then, is rooted in innocency. “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” How beautiful it is under the effulgence of this spiritual light! When our purpose is sincere, Faith-angels come, administering “good tidings of good” to those who “seek immortality—eternal life!”
Louis Napoleon landed upon the French coast with a few adherents, shouting—“Long live Napoleon.” The thoughtless called him a madman; but to-day he guides the destinies of an empire. Garibaldi put his foot down firmly in Sicily, raised the cry of revolution, drove out a ruling tyrant, and offered a kingdom to Victor Emanuel—a kingdom that shall yet call Rome its capital, and send sunshine into every Italian heart. Joan D'Arc, fired with enthusiasm and inspired by avenging angels, led the French army against the English to victory—a sample of faith and will-force. Columbus, dreamy and visionary, conceived of continents and islands in the West. We see him drafting his course; now a weary pilgrim at the king's gate, and now at royal courts pleading for ships. At length, the wish attained, the sails are hoisted and the prows turned; he puts out into the great deep, under the loftiest inspiration of faith. The needle trembling, turned from its