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The Nature and Tendency of Modern Spiritualism

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    THEY DENY THE BIBLE

    Mr. J. M. Peebles, a preacher of Spiritualism in Michigan, lately published a work on this subject, in which he says:—NTMS 35.2

    “The policy of importing our religion from Asia, even though booked and labeled, ‘Holy,’ is exceedingly questionable.”NTMS 35.3

    A. J. Davis says that nature is “the true and only Bible.”NTMS 35.4

    Dr. Weisse read a lengthy paper before the “investigating class” of New York, to prove that the Bible is a mere transcript of heathen fables, and remarked:—NTMS 35.5

    “If I am wrong in my views of the Bible, I should like to know it, for the spirits and mediums do not contradict me.”NTMS 35.6

    Dr. Hare exalts Spiritualism above the Bible, because the former teaches the immortality of the soul, and the latter does not; he says:—NTMS 35.7

    “The Old Testament does not impart a knowledge of immortality, without which religion were worthless. The notions derived from the gospel are vague, disgusting, inaccurate, and difficult to believe.”—Spir. Sci. Dem., page 209.NTMS 35.8

    Again he says, page 138:—NTMS 36.1

    “The Bible of the Spiritualist is the book of nature-the only one which by inward and outward evidence can be ascribed to divine authorship.”NTMS 36.2

    Deacon John Norton (a spirit), through Mrs. Conant, medium, says:—NTMS 36.3

    “I can assure my friends on earth it is very hard for me to give up believing in the Bible....NTMS 36.4

    “The Bible is a record of certain things that did take place, and certain things which did not occur. Imagination was quite as busy as to-day, and the writers were as likely to get a dangerous error, for every truth.NTMS 36.5

    “The Christian would say, You must not alter one word of that book. I once believed thus, and I do not blame the people of your day for doing so; for the tide is mighty, and the multitude is being borne that way. A few have stemmed the torrent, and are struggling against wind and water. When a majority of the souls shall perceive the new light [Spiritualism], the tide will flow the other way” [against the Bible].NTMS 36.6

    Of this we have no doubt. We think “the spirits” are laboring for this end.NTMS 36.7

    Says Warren Chase, in a lecture on the “Relation of Spiritualism to Christianity“:—NTMS 36.8

    “Say what you please, do what you can, your Bibles will get dusty, and the large old volumes will be sold for paper makers to work over into new, clean sheets for mediums to write communications from spirits on, to the living.”—Gist of Spiritualism, p. 72.NTMS 36.9

    Abraham Langworthy (a spirit who said he was formerly a Baptist) said:—NTMS 36.10

    “I should like to speak with some of the friends I used to know. I don’t think I shall do them any harm. If I should happen to say the Bible is not all true, they need not believe it if they do not want to. They will, though, when they come here. My son will think this is dreadful, but I’m going to say it-the Bible is no better than any other book.”NTMS 36.11

    Their denial of the Bible direct is not so frequent as their denial of its truths, which, of course, amounts to the same thing. But as they teach that man needs some instruction “from the spheres” they have set up their teachings as a substitute for the Bible. Sometimes they offer to get up more correct versions of the Scriptures, parts of which have at different times been published. But these have been abortive attempts to pervert the testimony of the word on points of vital importance, or a mere display of high-sounding, unmeaning words.NTMS 37.1

    Accounts of the greatest acts and events are given in the Bible in plain, simple language. Take the record of creation for an example: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night; and the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5.NTMS 37.2

    Here are facts, the greatness of which the minds of the wisest can never comprehend, expressed in language that a child can understand. The whole history is a model of simplicity. With this, contrast the first verses of a record of creation professedly given by an exalted spirit, under the imposing head of “Disclosures from the Interior,” through the mediumship of Rev. T. L. Harris. (By request, we give the whole chapter.)NTMS 37.3

    “1. In the beginning God, the Life in God, the Lord in God, the Holy Procedure inhabited the dome, which, burning in magnificence primeval and revolving in prismatic and undulatory spiral, appeared, and was the pavilion of the Spirit: in glory inexhaustible and inconceivable, in movement spherical, unfolded in harmonious procedure disclosive.NTMS 37.4

    “2. And God said, Let good be manifest! and good unfolded and moral-mental germs, ovariums of heavens, descended from the Procedure. And the dome of disclosive magnificence was heaven, and the expanded glory beneath was the germ of creation. And the Divine Procedure inbreathed upon the disclosure, and the disclosure became the universe.NTMS 38.1

    “3. And God called the Disclosing Firmament heaven, and the disclosed creation he called earth.NTMS 38.2

    “4. And God said, Let Mechanical Procedure be! and movement, rhythmical, harmonical, melodial, unfolded from the firmament. And the movement thereof in the moving creation was time.NTMS 38.3

    “5. And God said, Let there be space! and the firmament was separated from the emanation, and the firmament, unmoved, appeared, and the emanation unfolded within the procedure. And the firmament is manifest Infinitude, and the emanation separated, is encompassed space.NTMS 38.4

    “6. These are the generations of creation in the day that Jehovah God created the heaven and the earth; and behold, the creation was one earth, and the dome of disclosure one heaven.NTMS 38.5

    “7. And God said, Let there be light! and the Divine Procedure unfolded a luminary unto the ethereal which divided the emanation from the firmament. And the intelligence was light.NTMS 38.6

    “8. And God said, Let there be heat! and the breathing life thereof descended.NTMS 38.7

    “9. And God said, Let there be movement of moving Energy! and life descended, interanimate, comprehending Creation, and there was movement spherical from the heaven of disclosure.NTMS 38.8

    “10. And God said, Let there be center given! and from the Divine Procedure descended the arm of strength unto the right, and the arm of strength unto the left; and from the arm of strength at the right proceeded vital electro-motion and communicated polarity; and from the arm of strength at the left proceeded re-attractive, electro-magnetic force, and created the horizontal; and the horizontal became the axis, and the points thereof the poles.NTMS 38.9

    “11. And God made two great lights to rule the Zodiac, and to be for creative disclosure, disclosive manifestation, manifest glory, glorious radiation, interpenetrative aggregation; and thence vortices, vorticle suns, suns of vortices, solariums, vorticle planetariums, planets, floral universes, universal paradises, paradisaical heavens, heavens of spiritual universes, celestial heavens, seraphic habitations, seraphimal universes, cities of heavenly seraphima, and final consociative universal intelligence in unity of innumerable individuality, in triunity of unfolding universes, adoring and ascending in beatification unto eternal life.NTMS 39.1

    “12. This is the Genesis of Nature;—not uncreated or self-originated, but created;—not the progressive, upgrowing, upheaving, upmentalizing, upspiritualizing, upreaching struggle of a germ;—but condescension infinite, creation voluntary, and bestowment merciful, of the Divine Creator; to whom be given adoration immeasurable and eternal! world without end!”NTMS 39.2

    Such a piece of nonsense—such a stringing together of words without meaning, we venture to say, cannot be found beyond the limits of Spiritualism. And it is truly strange that any one that has capacity to pronounce these meaningless phrases should think it an improvement on the Holy Scriptures!NTMS 39.3

    Woodman, in his reply to Dwight, acknowledges the authenticity of the Bible, but only to be understood in its “spiritual sense under the letter” (which, however, is generally assumed to be contrary to the letter), and acknowledges the doctrines of Jesus as recorded in the gospels. But he is careful to state that he speaks for himself alone, while Dr. Hare and others, who directly contradict him, say they speak by authority of, and under instruction from, spirits in the highest spheres. Woodman, also in his summary of the faith or theory of Spiritualism, entirely omits any reference to the atonement, or to the divinity of Christ.NTMS 39.4

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