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Its fundamental purpose is, to rightly generate, educate and spiritualize all the races and nations of the earth.
Its worship is aspiration; its symbols, circles; its prayers, good deeds; its incense, gentle words; its sacrament, the wine of holy affections; its baptisms, the fervent pressure of warm hands and the sweet breathings of guardian angels; its mission, human redemption, and its temple, the universe.
Spiritualism, considered from its philosophical side, is rationalism, from its scientific side naturalism, and from its religious side the embodiment of love to God and man, a present inspiration and a heavenly ministry. In the year nineteen hundred it will be the religion of the enlightened world!
It underlies all genuine reform movements, physiological, temperamental, educational, parental, social, philanthropic and religious; and spanning all human interests with holy aim, it seeks to re-construct society upon the principles of a universal brotherhood—the strict equality of the sexes.
Desirous of greater knowledge touching the relations of spirit with matter, and of men with God and the intelligences of the surrounding world of spirits, Spiritualists study and reverently interrogate the laws and principles that govern the phenomena and occult forces of the universe; the histories of the past, and the experiences of the present, anxious to rightly solve those psychologic and spiritual problems of the ages—man's origin, capacity, duty and final destiny.
Interrelated with spirit and matter in their varied evolutions, and with the highest interests consciously connecting all worlds, Spiritualism is neither supernatural in philosophy, nor sectarian in tendency; but broad, catholic and progressive—the voiced truth of God through nature to the rational soul-a science, philosophy and religion.
Seen from this mount of vision, it is the “second coming of Christ;” not in person, but in principle—the divine principle—the indwelling God—the Christ-principles, of wisdom, love, truth. Since the physical coming in Bethlehem, the
revolution of a religious cycle has been completed. The
New Jerusalem” is descending; the “hope of Israel," and the promised kingdom of heaven,” that must be preached to all nations.
The prophecy is now fulfilling. It is waking to higher life the inhabitants of India and China; shedding its kindling glories upon the hills of Hindostan; beaming in splendor along the vine-clad foot-hills of South America; crossing blue oceans, it is unfurling standards of progress in the peopled isles of the deep, and looking down in its might from the thrones of England, France and Russia.
Positive science consists in the discovery, co-ordination and practical application of natural laws. All phenomena subject to the natural laws are for the same reason susceptible of becoming the subjects of real science. When once admitted that all phenomena, including those of human existence, physical, mental, spiritual, are the subjects of unchanging natural laws, the circle of scientific research and religious aspiration is complete, whether geometrized by the inductive or deductive method of reasoning. Spiritualism, tolerant as divine, clasps and consecrates to human good the true and the beautiful in both science and religion. Seeing more to love in the Jove of the Greek than the grim Jehovah of the Jew-more to admire in the smiling Olympus than thundering Sinai—more truth in the teachings of the old Platonists than the creeds of “liberal” Christians, and more true worshipers, after the pattern of the meditative Nazarene, in the living Temple of Nature opening as the Pantheon of truth for all races, than in the rented pews of bigoted sectarists, it comes to the thinking millions of the nineteeth century, joyous with immortality demonstrated, jubilant with proofs of the future identity and recognition of the “ loved gone before,” and brilliant with precious prophecies of the ceaseless march of all conscious intelligences toward the higher and purer, even the Infinite.
“If a man die, shall he live again?” was the question of old. With the masses it has been the problem of all the
centuries. The mourner, blinded by tears, propounds it to the preacher still. In sepulchral tones he breathes only the word “Hope," and that tremblingly. But Spiritualism, born of heaven and pouring its celestial tides of divine life into human souls till they become clear as the crystal waters of Paradise, answers the inquiry in the affirmative, and sustains it by tangible demonstrations and the testimony of living witnesses.
On the grave of Orthodoxy it is the green couch, arched with flowers, for the weary pilgrim. In the worshiping temples of “Liberal Christians," wherever an automatic Rationalism is brilliantly cold and clammy in heart, or a fierce iconoclasm destroys but builds not, it prophesies “change, speedy change!” and invites the bewildered devotees to listen to what “ The Spirit saith unto the churches ”—what the angel with the seven seals of destiny in hand, saith : “I would that thou wert cold or hot, but because thou art lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Spiritualism, the blossom now of all religions, the soul of the body which the past has developed, is adapted to the genius of the age and the entire human constitution. It addresses his reason and his aspirations. It enlarges the understanding, and gives vigorous activity to the intellect. Its benefits are not exclusively for the rich or poor, virtuous or vicious, happy or unhappy, civilized or savage, but for the race of humanity in all its variety of endowments, culture, character, needs and circumstances.
Authoritative, so far as it expresses truth to individual consciousness, it stimulates all instinctive aspirations, awakens the divinest emotions, enkindles the most maguificent aims, and, purifying the imagination, strives to perfect the whole being. Showing the naturalness of the converse with the spirit-world by sympathy, vision, trance, clairaudience, impression and inspiration, its tendencies are to elevate and spiritualize the affections. Bearing the olive-branch of peace, it comes with manifestations and inspirations from heavenly worlds, and strives to maintain the republic of God in every
heart. It is not destructive alone, but constructive. It brings from the chrysalis of old forms, risen men and women “clothed in their right minds." It invites the children of earth to daily walk the mount of Beatitude, and commune with the transfigured who softly glide along the summer landslopes of eternal progress. It extends the shining hands of angels who talk of love and sing of the high birth. It wipes the tears of sorrow from weeping eyes, breathes the sweet breath of tenderness into starving souls, and, sweeping away the lingering clouds of death, bids all God's dear humanity tread the pearl-paved paths traversed by the triumphal armies of heaven. Oh, how resfreshing, burdened with cares and crosses, to catch occasional breezes from Eden-lands, and songs of encouragement from immortalized hosts of reformers, martyrs, apostles, prophets! Lifting the glass of memory and reverting backward, it reveals the eternal purpose of good from seeming evil—of sorrow blossoming into joys, of thorns transformed into roses, and tears crystalizing into pearls of matchless brilliancy. Musical with the loveministries of angels, it is a perpetual baptism from on high, a continual regeneration, a succession of higher births and endless privileges, a gentle dispensation of divine love guided by wisdom, the strength of the weary, the balm of healing for the sick, the consolation of the dying, the comfort of the mourner, and the sweetest answer to prayer! As a moral power in the world, its influence is exalting, its purpose uplifting, its work apostolic, its inspiration continuous, and, with improved implements suitable for all redemptive purposes, its great design is to lift humanity, through angel ministry, into higher physical, mental and spiritual conditions, preparatory to that future, progressive existence that stretches in increasing love-lines along the measureless eras of eternity
Spiritualism, the desire of all nations, symbolized by “ light,” beautifully expresses the out-flowing love of God
the divine principle of holiness—the indwelling Christ-principle of love and salvation—the Arabula—the comforterthe divine guest—the Savior of the world.
Incidentally, Spiritualism incites unflinching action on the plane of moral principle; renders one tenderly sympathetic; reasonable and rational, and, subjecting the passions to wisdom and virtue, it awakens holy, emotional affections, rooted in God. It induces fidelity to promise, and abounds with charity.
“There is a grandeur in the Soul that dares
Live out all the life God lit within ;
Facing the frowning Alps, the impassioned Napoleon said: “ Officers! soldiers ! the eyes of all Europe are upon youconduct yourselves accordingly!”
Spiritualist! the eyes of the church, of the world, of the angels, are upon thee; conduct thyself accordingly! Quit thyself like a man. So guide thy bark, that though it flounder in tempestuous seas, it may right itself again for a safer voyage. Live to-day for to-morrow, for eternity. Be above the commission of an unworthy act. Tread not on the threshold of thy neighbor only with the purest and loftiest intentions. Filch no entrusted secrets from others. Indulge in no ignoble insinuations. Take no selfish advantage of another's weakness. Be candid and sincere. Affirm thyself. Celebrate thyself in goodness. Testify of thyself in integrity. Be a practical reformer. Seek no praise, nor fulsome flattery. Intrigue for no office. Fail of thy purpose rather than secure it by dishonorable policy. Partake of the bread of honest labor. Administer reproof in gentleness and love. Forgive as thou wouldst be forgiven. Kind