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    There is implanted in the hearts of men by nature, a sense of right and a sense of wrong. Even those who know not God, nor Christ, nor the gospel, possess this power of discrimination. This is what Paul, in Romans 2:15, calls “the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.” That this distinction should now be denied by a class in a civilized community, professing to be advanced thinkers and teachers, among whom are found the learned, the refined, and the professedly pious, shows that we have fallen upon strange times. To be sure, many of them talk fluently of the beauty and perfection of divine laws; but in the sense in which they would have them understood, they rob them of all characteristics of law. The first great essential of law is authority; but this they take away from it; the next is penalty for its violation; but this they deny, and thus degrade the law to a mere piece of advice. The “Healing of the Nations,” an authoritative work among Spiritualists, pp. 163, 164, says:-MOSP 95.1

    “Thus thy body needs no laws, having been in its creation supplied with all that could be necessary for its government. Thy spirit is above all laws, and above all essences which flow therein. God created thy spirit from within his own, and surely the Creator of law is above it; the creator of essences must be above all essence created. And if thou hast what may be or might be termed laws, they are always subservient to thy spirit. Good men need no laws, and laws will do bad or ignorant men no good. If a man be above law, he should never be governed by it. If he be below, what good can dead, dry words do him?MOSP 96.1

    “True knowledge removeth all laws from power by placing the spirit of man above it.”MOSP 96.2

    A correspondent of the Telegraph said of this work, “The Healing of the Nations:”-MOSP 96.3

    “According to its teaching, no place is found in the universe for divine wrath and vengeance. All are alike and forever the object of God’s love, pity, and tender care - the difference between the two extremes of human character on earth, being as a mere atom when compared with perfect wisdom.”MOSP 96.4

    This is a favorite comparison with them, - that the difference between God and the best of men is so much greater than the extremes of character among men, - the most upright and the most wicked, - that the latter is a mere atom, and not accounted of in God’s sight. That there is an infinite difference between God and the best of men, is all true; for God is infinite in all his attributes, and man is very imperfect at the best. But to argue from this that God is inferior to man, so that he cannot discern difference in character here, even as man can plainly discern it, seems but mad-house reasoning. What would we think of the man who had the same regard for the thief as for the honest man, for the murderer as for the philanthropist? To ignore such distinctions as even men are able to discern would destroy the stability of all human governments;- what then would be the effect on the divine government? God has given his law - holy, just, and good - to men, and commanded obedience. He has attached the penalty to disobedience: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” “The wages of sin is death.” Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23. And in the judgment, the distinction God makes in character will be plainly declared; for he will set the righteous on his right hand, but the wicked on the left. Matthew 25:32, 33.MOSP 96.5

    This view of the failure of law, and the absence of all human accountability, naturally leads to a bold denial of sin and the existence of crime. The “Healing of the Nations”, p. 169, says: “Unto God there is no error; all is comparatively good.” The same work says that God views error as “undeveloped good.” A.J. Davis (“Nature of Divine Revelation,” p. 521) says “Sin, indeed, in the common acceptation of that term, does not really exist.”MOSP 97.1

    A discourse from J.S. Loveland, once a minister, reported in the Banner of Light, contained this paragraph:-MOSP 97.2

    “With God there is no crime; with man there is. Crime does not displease God, but it does man. God is in the darkest crime, as in the highest possible holiness. He is equally pleased in either case. Both harmonize equally with his attributes - they are only different sides of the same Deity.”MOSP 98.1

    In “Automatic Writing” (1896), p. 139, a question was asked concerning evil, meaning sin and crimes among men. The spirit answered that these were conditions of progress, and were so necessary to elevation that they were to be welcomed, not hated. The questions and answers are as follows:-MOSP 98.2

    “Ques. - Can you give us any information in regard to the so-called Devil - once so firmly believed in?MOSP 98.3

    “Ans.- Devil is a word used to conjure with.MOSP 98.4

    “Q. - Well, then, as the word itself doubtless arose from the word “evil,” which means to us unhappiness, can you give us an explanation of the existence of evil?MOSP 98.5

    “A. - Evil - as you who are the greatest sufferers from it, name one of the conditions of progress - is as necessary, aye, more so, than what you call good, to your and our elevation to higher spheres. It is not to be hated, but welcomed. It is the winnowing of the grain from the chaff. Children of truth, don’t worry over what to you seems evil; soon you will be of us and will understand, and be rejoiced that what you call evil persists and works as leaven in the great work of mind versus matter.MOSP 98.6

    “Q. - But it seems to us impossible that brutal crimes like murder, assassinations, or great catastrophes, by which the innocent are made to suffer at the hands of malicious and cruel persons, should work for ultimate good?MOSP 98.7

    “A. - Percipients of the grand whole of Being can understand but may not state to those on your plane, the underlying good making itself asserted even through such dreadful manifestations of human imperfections as the crimes you name.MOSP 98.8

    “When asked why certain wrongs were allowed to be perpetuated, this answer was given:-MOSP 98.9

    “There is a law of psychical essence which makes necessary all these ephemeral entanglements which to you seem so severe, and you will yet see from your own standpoint of reason why such hardships must be endured by questioning souls on the highway of progress.MOSP 99.1

    “Q. - But do you from your vantage ground of larger knowledge grow careless that such injustice is done?MOSP 99.2

    “A. - We do care, but cannot remedy.MOSP 99.3

    “Q. - Why can’t you remedy?MOSP 99.4

    “A. - Because humanity is but an embryo of existence.MOSP 99.5

    “Q. - If you can perceive the trials and sorrows of mortals, and can interfere to save them, why do you not more often do so?MOSP 99.6

    “A. - When undeveloped souls pay the price of development, we stand aloof, and let the play go on. Interference will do no good.”MOSP 99.7

    In view of such a confession, what becomes of the many claims put forth by other spirits that they are ever hovering near their friends to assist and guard them, to help and inspire them, and keep them from evil and danger? These say that those terrible crimes (and this would include all crimes) are all necessary, that they are tending to develop souls, and bring them to higher spheres, and thus are just as laudable as good actions; so they settle back in a gleeful mood, and “let the play go on:” let wicked men cultivate and develop and practice their evil propensities and the innocent suffer. Well may men pray to be delivered from such a spirit assembly as that.MOSP 99.8

    In “Healing of the Nations”, p. 402, Dr. Hare says:-MOSP 99.9

    “That anything should, even for an instant, be contrary to his will, is inconsistent with his foresight and omnipotency. It would be a miracle that anything counter to his will should exist.”MOSP 99.10

    A lecture on the “Philosophy of Reform,” given by A.J. Davis, in New York City, bears testimony to the same effect:-MOSP 100.1

    “In the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, it is affirmed that sin is the transgression of the law. But by an examination of nature, the true and only Bible, it will be seen that this statement is erroneous. It gives a wrong idea of both man and law.... It will be found impossible for man to transgress a law of God.”MOSP 100.2

    Thus they very illogically assume that if God has the will or the power to prevent evil, it could not exist, and therefore, if there is such a God, he is responsible, forgetting that God is long-suffering, and bears long with vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, before they pass beyond the limits of his mercy and perish. But Mr. Davis says further:-MOSP 100.3

    “Reformers need to understand that war is as natural to one stage of human development as peace is natural to another. My brother has the spirit of revenge. Shall I call him a demon? Is not his spirit natural to his condition? War is not evil or repulsive except to a man of peace. Who made the non-resistant? Polygamy is as natural to one stage of development as oranges are natural to the South. Shall I grow indignant, and because I am a monogamist, condemn my kinsman of yore? Who made him? Who made me? We both came up under the confluence of social and political circumstances; and we both represent our conditions and our teachers. The doctrine of blame and praise is natural only to an unphilosophical condition of mind. The spirit of complaint - of attributing ‘evil’ to this and that plane of society - is natural; but is natural only to undeveloped minds. It is a profanation - a sort of atheism of which I would not be guilty.”MOSP 100.4

    The Bible says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness.” Isaiah 5:20. And it makes another declaration which finds abundant confirmation in the sentiments quoted above: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11.MOSP 101.1

    Having thus attempted to destroy in the minds of men all distinction between good and evil, all being alike in God’s sight, and all equally good, they try to make the way a little broader and easier for men to give full rein to all the propensities and inclinations of an evil heart, by teaching that there is no Lawgiver and Judge before whom men must appear to give an account of their deeds, but that they are responsible to themselves alone, and must give account only to their own natures. Thus Hon. J.B. Hall, in a lecture reported in the Banner of Light, Feb. 6, 1864, said:-MOSP 101.2

    “I believe that man is amenable to no law not written upon his own nature, no matter by whom given... By his own nature he must be tried - by his own acts he must stand or fall. True, man must give an account to God for all his deed; but how?—Solely by giving account to his own nature—to himself.”MOSP 101.3

    At a seance reported in the Banner of Light, May 28, 1864, the following question was proposed, and the answer was by the communicating spirit:-MOSP 101.4

    Ques. - To whom or to what is the soul accountable?MOSP 101.5

    Ans. - To no Deity outside the realm of its own being, certainly; to no God which is a creation of fancy; to no Deity who dwells in a far-off heaven, and sits upon a white throne; to no Jesus of Nazareth; to no patron saint; to no personality; to no principle outside our own individual selves.”MOSP 101.6

    The “Healing of the Nations,” p. 74,says:-MOSP 102.1

    “Man is his own saviour, his own redeemer. He is his own judge - in his own scales weighed.”MOSP 102.2

    A little over twenty years after the birth of Spiritualism, Aug. 25, 1868, the Fifth National Convention of Spiritualists was held in Corinthian hall, Rochester, N.Y., at which a formal “Declaration of Principles” was set forth. From the seventh and eighth paragraphs, under principle 20, we quote the following:-MOSP 102.3

    Seventh, To stimulate the mind to the largest investigation ... that we may be qualified to judge for ourselves what is right and true. Eighth, To deliver from all bondage to authority, whether vested in creed, book, or church, except that of received truth.”MOSP 102.4

    This is the same principle of man’s responsibility to no one but himself, authoritatively adopted. What a picture have we now before us! Destroy man’s belief in, and reverence for, God and Christ, as they do; lead him to ridicule the atonement, the only remedy for sin; make him disbelieve the Bible; take away from his mind all distinction between right and wrong, and assure him that he is accountable to no one but himself; and how better could one prepare the way to turn men into demons. All this the spirits, by their teaching, seek to do. And can any one fail to foresee the result? Comparatively a small proportion of the inhabitants of this country have committed themselves to these views; consequently but little of the legitimate fruit as yet appears; but take human nature as it is and suppose all the inhabitants of this land to act on these principles, and then what would we have? - A pandemonium, a scene of anarchy, riot, bloodshed, and all depths of rottenness and corruption - in short, a hell so much worse than that to which the Devil is popularly assigned, that he would at once change his location and here take up his abode.MOSP 102.5

    That this statement is none too strong, will appear as we look a moment at some of the results which have already developed themselves among the friends of such views, and as their inevitable fruit. The tendency can by no possibility be otherwise than to atheism, and all immorality. As has been already remarked, the repulsive features were made much more prominent in the early stages of Spiritualism than at the present time. They are now held in the background. The literature touching these points has been remodeled, and an air of respectability and religion assumed. Most of the quotations therefore date some years back, and would be charitably withheld were there any evidence of reform either present or prospective. But where or when have these principles ever been officially repudiated, and evidence given that the consequent practices had been abandoned? That there are many Spiritualists of upright and moral lives, and honorable members of society, in the best sense of that term, we gladly believe; but is not this because they are living above their principles; and due, not to the influence, but rather to the non-influence, of real Spiritualism upon their lives? The quotations given are from those who have been prominent among Spiritualists as authors and speakers. If they overdraw the picture, the responsibility is with them. Dr. B.P. Randolph, author of a work “Dealings with the Dead,” was eight years a medium, then renounced Spiritualism long enough to expose its character, then returned to it again, unable to break entirely away from the spell it has fastened upon him. He gives his opinion of it in the following scathing words:-MOSP 103.1

    “I enter the arena as the champion of common sense, against what in my soul I believe to be the most tremendous enemy of God, morals, and religion, that ever found foothold on the earth;- the most seductive, hence the most dangerous, form of sensualism that ever cursed a nation, age, or people. I was a medium about eight years, during which time I made three thousand speeches, and traveled over several different countries, proclaiming its new gospel. I now regret that so much excellent breath was wasted, and that my health of mind and body was well nigh ruined. I have only begun to regain both since I totally abandoned it, and to-day had rather see the cholera in my house, than be a spiritual medium.MOSP 104.1

    “As a trance speaker, I became widely known; and now aver that during the entire eight years of my mediumship, I firmly and sacredly confess that I had not the control of my own mind, as I now have, one twentieth of the time; and before man and high heaven I most solemnly declare that I do not now believe that during the whole eight years, I was sane for thirty-six consecutive hours, in consequence of the trance and the susceptibility thereto.MOSP 104.2

    “For seven years I held daily intercourse with what purported to be my mother’s spirit. I am now fully persuaded that it was nothing but an evil spirit, an infernal demon, who, in that guise, gained my soul’s confidence, and led me to the very brink of ruin. We read in Scripture of demoniac possession, as well as abnormal spiritual action. Both facts exist, provable to-day; I am positive the former does. A.J. Davis and his clique of Harmonialists say there are no evil spirits. I emphatically deny the statement. Five of my friends destroyed themselves, and I attempted it, by direct spiritual influences. Every crime in the calendar has been committed by mortal movers of viewless beings. Adultery, fornication, suicides, desertions, unjust divorces, prostitution, abortion, insanity, are not evils, I suppose. I charge all these to this scientific Spiritualism. It has also broken up families, squandered fortunes, tempted and destroyed the weak. It has banished peace from happy families, separated husbands and wives, and shattered the intellect of thousands.”MOSP 104.3

    The following is an extract from the writings of J.F. Whitney, editor of the New York Pathfinder. His view of the subject accords with that of Dr.Randolph:-MOSP 105.1

    “Now, after a long and constant watchfulness, seeing for months and for years its progress and its practical workings upon its devotees, its believers, and its mediums, we are compelled to speak our honest conviction, which is, that the manifestations coming through the acknowledged mediums, who are designated as rapping, tipping, writing, and entranced mediums, have a baneful influence upon believers, and create discord and confusion; that the generality of these teachings inculcate false ideas, approve of selfish individual acts, and endorse theories and principles, which, when carried out, debase and make men little better than the brute. These are among the fruits of Modern Spiritualism, and we do not hesitate to say that we believe if these manifestations are continued to be received, and to be as little understood as they are, and have been since they made their appearance at Rochester, and mortals are to be deceived by their false, fascinating, and snakelike charming powers, which go with them, the day will come when the world will require the appearance of another Saviour to redeem the world from its departing from Christ’s warnings.... Seeing, as we have, the gradual progress it makes with its believers, particularly its mediums, from lives of morality to those of sensuality and immorality, gradually and cautiously undermining the foundation of good principles, we look back with amazement to the radical change which a few months will bring about in individuals; for its tendency is to approve and endorse each individual act and character, however good or bad these acts may be....MOSP 105.2

    “We desire to send forth our warning voice, and if our humble position as the head of a public journal, our known advocacy of Spiritualism, our experience, and the conspicuous part we have played among its believers, the honesty and the fearlessness with which we have defended the subject, will weigh anything in our favor, we desire that our opinions may be received, and those who are moving passively down the rushing rapids to destruction should pause, ere it be too late, and save themselves from the blasting influence which those manifestations are causing.”MOSP 106.1

    Every one who knows anything about Spiritualism has heard of Cora Hatch, who traveled extensively, and manifested her powers as an extemporaneous lecturer before astonished multitudes. One of her husbands, Dr. Hatch, renounced Spiritualism, and the following is from the testimony he bore concerning it:-MOSP 106.2

    “The most damning iniquities are everywhere perpetrated in spiritual circles, a very small percentage of which ever comes to public attention. I care not whether it be spiritual or mundane, the facts exist, and should demand the attention and condemnation of an intelligent community.... The abrogation of marriage, bigamy, accompanied by robbery, theft, rape, are all chargeable upon Spiritualism. I most solemnly affirm that I do not believe that there has, during the last five hundred years, arisen any people who are guilty of so great a variety of crimes and indecencies as the Spiritualists of America.MOSP 106.3

    “For a long time I was swallowed up in its whirlpool of excitement, and comparatively paid but little attention to its evils, believing that much good might result from the opening of the avenues of Spiritual intercourse. But during the past eight months I have devoted my attention to critical investigation of its moral, social, and religious bearing, and I stand appalled before the revelations of its awful and damning realities.”MOSP 107.1

    Much testimony of this nature might be given from those who have had similar experiences and equally favorable facilities for judging of the character of Spiritualism. We present only a few extracts more.MOSP 107.2

    Dr. Wm. B. Potter of New York, in an article under the head of “Astounding Facts,” and also in a tract entitled, “Spiritualism as It Is,” gives the result of his experience and observations. His testimony is the more valuable, since he writes not from the standpoint of one who has renounced Spiritualism, whose feelings may for the time be overwrought, and his language stronger than would be used in calmer moments. When he wrote, he was still an advocate of Spiritualism, and spoke as a friend who would, if possible, induce Spiritualists to reform their faith and their manner of living. He says:-MOSP 107.3

    “Fifteen years of critical study of Spiritual literature, an extensive acquaintance with the leading Spiritualists, and a patient, systematic, and thorough examination of the manifestations for many years, enable us to speak from actual knowledge, definitely and positively, of ‘Spiritualism as It Is’. Spiritual literature is full of the most insidious and seductive doctrines, calculated to undermine the very foundations of morality and virtue, and lead to the most unbridled licentiousness.MOSP 107.4

    “We are told that ‘we must have charity,’ that it is wrong to blame any one, that we must not expose iniquity, as ‘it will harden the guilty’, that ‘none should be punished,’ that ‘man is a machine, and not to blame for his conduct,’ that ‘there is no high, no low, no good, no bad,’ that ‘sin is a lesser degree of righteousness,’ that ‘nothing we can do can injure the soul or retard its progress,’ that ‘those who act the worst will progress the fastest,’ that ‘lying is right, slavery is right, murder is right adultery is right,’ that ‘whatever is, is right.’MOSP 108.1

    “Hardly can you find a Spiritualist book, paper, lecture, or communication that does not contain some of these pernicious doctrines; in disguise, if not openly. Hundreds of families have been broken up, and many affectionate wives deserted by ‘affinity-seeking’ husbands. Many once devoted wives have been seduced, and left their husbands and tender, helpless children, to follow some ‘higher attraction’. Many well-disposed but simple-minded girls have been deluded by ‘affinity’ notions, and led off by ‘affinity hunters,’ to be deserted in a few months, with blasted reputations, or led to deeds still more dark and criminal, to hide their shame.”MOSP 108.2

    The same writer also mentions a fact which shows where the responsibility of all this looseness of morals belongs. He says:-MOSP 108.3

    “At the National Spiritual Convention at Chicago, called to consider the question of a national organization, the only plan approved by the committee, especially provided that no charge should ever be entertained against any member, and that any person, without any regard to his or her moral character, might become a member.”MOSP 108.4

    The fact that no plan could find approval which did not provide that they should never be blamed nor called to account for any of their deeds, shows on what points they felt the most anxious, and plainly proves that they belong to the class of which Christ spoke, who loved darkness rather than light, and who would not come to the light lest their deeds should be reproved. John 3:19-21.MOSP 108.5

    It is unpleasant to wade through pools of filth, and we therefore spare the reader quotations from those Spiritualists who have not only avowed the most revolting practices of free love, but openly advocated the same, and endeavored to induce others to come out likewise, on the ground that they were only honestly and publicly admitting what the others believed and practiced in secret. For the same reason we pass by the notorious Woodhull and Claflin, and Hull and Jameieson episodes, in this field, which, in the illustration and language of another, “burst upon the country like a rotten egg three thousand miles in diameter!”MOSP 109.1

    It may be said that these things are in the past and the situation has now greatly changed. For the benefit of those who thus flatter themselves we introduce one more quotation. It is from “The Law of Psychic Phenomena,” by T.J. Hudson (A.C. McClurg & Co., Chicago, 1894). The language is candid and conciliatory, and the author cannot be accused of any undue prejudice on the question of which he speaks. On page 335, he says:-MOSP 109.2

    “I do not charge Spiritualists as a class with being advocates of the doctrines of free love. On the contrary, I am aware that, as a class, they hold the marriage relation in sacred regard. I cannot forget, however, that but a few years ago some of their leading advocates and mediums proclaimed the doctrine of free love in all its hideous deformity from every platform in the land. Nor do I fail to remember that the better class of Spiritualists everywhere repudiated the doctrine, and denounced its advocates and exemplars. Nevertheless the moral virus took effect here and there all over the country, and it is doing its deadly work in secret in many an otherwise happy home. And I charge a large and constantly growing class of professional mediums with being the leading propagandists of the doctrine of free love. They infest every community in the land, and it is well known to all men and women who are dissatisfied or unhappy in their marriage relations, that they can always find sympathy by consulting the average medium, and can, moreover, find justification for illicit love by invoking the spirits of the dead through such mediums.”MOSP 109.3

    We have italicized that passage in the foregoing which shows that the deadly evil is still working in secret, and that a large and constantly growing number of professionals are aiding and abetting the iniquity.MOSP 110.1

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