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The Nature and Tendency of Modern Spiritualism

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    Says the Scripture, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1 John 2:23. To give the name or ascribe the honors and power to others that belong to Christ, is surely denying him; for, according to the Bible, it is impossible to find his equal in nature and office. But Spiritualists deny him both in his person and his offices.NTMS 45.2

    1. In his person.—The following is the testimony of a spirit as given in a Spiritualist paper:—NTMS 45.3

    “What is the meaning of the word Christ? ‘T is not as is generally supposed, the Son of the Creator of all things. Any just and perfect being is Christ. The crucifixion of Christ is nothing more than the crucifixion of the spirit, which all have to contend with before becoming perfect and righteous. The miraculous conception of Christ is merely a fabulous tale.”—Telegraph, No. 37.NTMS 45.4

    This, of course, prepares the way for every kind of infidelity, and opens a way for the introduction of many christs, in fulfillment of our Saviour’s prophecy—There shall false christs and false prophets arise. The prospectus of the Truth Seeker contained the following:—NTMS 45.5

    “It shall be the organ through which the christs of the last dispensation will choose to speak.”NTMS 46.1

    Dr. Weisse, before the investigating class of Spiritualists in New York City, said:—NTMS 46.2

    “Friend Orton seems to make rather light of the communications from spirits, concerning Christ. It seems, nevertheless, that all the testimony received from advanced spirits only shows that Christ was a medium and reformer in Judea; that he now is an advanced spirit in the sixth sphere; but that he never claimed to be God, and does not at present. I have had two communications to that effect. I have also read some that Dr. Hare had. 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 46.3

    According to this testimony of spirits, Christ is now in the sixth sphere. When “Rev. C. Hammond, medium,” wrote the “Pilgrimage of Thomas Paine,” that noted libertine and blasphemer was in the seventh sphere! One scripture is undeniably fulfilled: “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” Psalm 12:8.NTMS 46.4

    Dr. Hare made the following remarks in the same class:—NTMS 46.5

    “He said that he had been thus protected from deception by the spirits of Washington and Franklin, and that they had brought Jesus Christ to him, with whom he had also communicated. He had first repelled him as an impostor; but became convinced afterward that it was really him. He related that he had learned from that high and holy spirit that he was not the character that Christendom had represented him to be, and not responsible for the errors connected with his name, but that he was, while on earth, a medium of high and extraordinary powers, and that it was solely through his mediumistic capabilities that he attained so great knowledge and was enabled to practice such apparent wonders.”NTMS 46.6

    So Christ is reduced to the level of mediums, of whom there are now many showing signs, etc. In the Banner of Light of Dec. 30, 1865, through Mrs. Conant, it is said:—NTMS 46.7

    “Greater works than he did are performed every day now. Distance lends enchantment to the scene. The works that Jesus did are every way inferior to the works that are being done in your midst to-day.”NTMS 47.1

    A. J. Davis, speaking of Ann Lee, gives a comparative estimate of Christ as follows:—NTMS 47.2

    “She unfolded a principle, an Idea, which no man, not even Jesus, had announced, or perhaps surmised.”—The Thinker, page 190.NTMS 47.3

    He condescends, however, to put Jesus in the “Pantheon of Progress,” with Confucius, Plato, Theodore Parker, etc., and after ridiculing those who put their trust in him, adds:—NTMS 47.4

    “The ‘divine’ and ‘human’ natures of Brahma, of Krishna, of Buddha, of Zoroaster, of Pythagoras, of Jesus, and of—all the favorite ‘incarnations.’ The story is oriental, and worn out.”—Id., page 117.NTMS 47.5

    2. In his offices.—It would seem to be some relief to this dark picture if the utterance of such sentiments were confined to open blasphemers—to those who scoff and mock at all that is good. But it is not. He who declares the end from the beginning has described those who have a form of godliness, that they shall depart from the faith, giving heed to doctrines of devils. And his words are fulfilled. From lectures on “Spiritual Science,” by “Rev. R. P. Wilson,” we extract the following:—NTMS 47.6

    “Although as a believer in true spiritual philosophy, we cannot receive the orthodox views of salvation, yet we recognize the birth of a Saviour and Redeemer into the universal hearts of humanity, wherein truly the deity is incarnate, dwelling in the interior of man’s spirit. We believe that each soul of man is born with his or her Saviour within them, for as man is an embodiment of the universe in epitome, he contains in his central nature an incarnation of deity. The germ of immortal unfoldings resides within the spirit of it, which needs only appropriate conditions to call forth the expanding and elevating powers of the soul.”NTMS 47.7

    The “Healing of the Nations” says:—NTMS 48.1

    “Man is his own saviour—his own redeemer. He is his own judge—in his own scales weighed.” Page 74.NTMS 48.2

    Were this last sentence true, it is fair to presume there would be but very few “found wanting.” Not that their characters are made to conform to a perfect balance, but “their own scales” are adjusted to suit their characters.NTMS 48.3

    And they not only make the Atonement of Christ unnecessary, but consider a belief in it a detriment to progress. Says Dr. Hare:—NTMS 48.4

    “Since my spirit sister’s translation to the spheres, she has risen from the fifth to the sixth sphere. It has been alleged by her that her ascent was retarded by her belief in the atonement.”—Spir. Set. Dem., page 229.NTMS 48.5

    Again he says, on page 215:—NTMS 48.6

    “Nothing can be more inconsistent with the religion inculcated by my spirit friends than the idea of atonement for sin by faith in any religion, true or false.”NTMS 48.7

    Prof. Brittan is another illustration of a departing from the faith. As quoted by Dr. Ramsey, he says:—NTMS 48.8

    “It is readily granted that Spiritualism rejects the common notions respecting the fall of angels, total depravity, and the atonement.”NTMS 48.9

    “Deacon John Norton,” a spirit, reported in the Banner of Light, said:—NTMS 48.10

    “I used to believe in the atonement; I honestly believed that Christ died to save the world, and that by and through his death all must be saved, if saved at all. Now I see that this is folly—it cannot be so. The light through Christ, the Holy One, shone in darkness; the darkness could not comprehend it; and thus it crucified the body, and Christ died a martyr. He was not called in that way, that by the shedding of his blood the vast multitude coming after him should find salvation. Everything in nature proves this false. They tell me here that Christ was the most perfect man of his time. I am told here also that he is worthy to be worshiped, because of his goodness; and where man finds goodness he may worship. God’s face is seen in the violet, and man may well worship this tiny flower.”NTMS 48.11

    In the estimation of Spiritualists, the “tiny flower” or any other object in nature is as worthy of worship as Christ.NTMS 49.1

    In the “Pilgrimage of Thomas Paine in the Spirit World,” by, or through, “Rev. C. Hammond, medium,” it is said:—NTMS 49.2

    “Thy wisdom will be increased when thou shalt see the atonement in thyself, and not hope for it because another has it.NTMS 49.3

    “When thou shalt agree with thy Bible, in regard to the atonement, then thou wilt find the atonement in thy works, as thou seest it now in Christ.” Page 120.NTMS 49.4

    A. J. Davis says:—NTMS 49.5

    ”—Your atonement to be the very climax of a deranged imagination, and one that is of the most unrighteous and immoral tendency.”—Nature’s Div. Rev., page 576.NTMS 49.6

    The following, in a correspondence of Mrs. Wilcoxson, appeared in the Banner of Light, Oct. 21, 1865:—NTMS 49.7

    “In the town of B—, Conn., I was introduced to a lady in membership with the Presbyterians, who gave me a long account of manifestations in her family, said to be through the mediumship of a daughter of some nineteen years. She seemed much interested in the angel dispensation, and said there was only one thing which troubled and perplexed her, and that was, that Spiritualism rejected the doctrine of the atonement. She ‘could not feel sate without that.’ And like thousands of others, this dogma of the Dark Ages, with its bloody hand, writing the fancied doom of millions, cast its dark and fearful shadow upon the brighter revelation of her life.”NTMS 49.8

    Some communications, it is true, have been made through mediums, which favor the idea that Christ died for man, and Gov. Tallmadge quotes one in the introduction to the “Healing of the Nations” which speaks of the race for which Christ died, and himself says that Spiritualism is not contrary to the gospel of Christ. But we find no intimation there that his death was vicarious; nothing to lead to the belief that Jesus died for the race in any other sense than other good men have died for it who have been martyrs for the truth. We are obliged to look with caution at such an expression as that introduced by Gov. T., as it is contrary to the general teachings of the best spiritualistic authorities, as our quotations in these pages show. We have learned that Spiritualism is full of evasions. All believers of the Bible have, no doubt, considered that Revelation 1:18, contains evidence of the superior power and authority of Christ in his present exalted state. Woodman, on this passage, says:—NTMS 49.9

    “The spirit, or Christ by the spirit, makes the declaration that he had the keys, to signify that, notwithstanding his death, he was able by the power of his will, through the mediumship of John, to open the gates and come and converse with him. The fact that the spirit of this prophet had, or that Christ had, the keys of hades, so that he could return and converse with men in the material form, furnishes no evidence that other spirits have not keys also, whereby they can come and communicate also.”—Reply to Dwight, page 22.NTMS 50.1

    But if Gov. Tallmadge believed, or if the spirits have communicated to him, that Christ is, in any special sense, the Saviour of men, why this discrepancy, if not to suit their teachings to the various tastes of inquirers, and thus more completely to deceive and seduce? Judge Edmonds denies probation and the atonement; and Dr. Hare contradicts the declarations of the governor at every step. Which is the best authority? We shall yet raise the question of reliability and spiritualistic authority, and quote the evidence that Dr. Hare is the exponent of Spiritualism, authorized by a convocation of the highest spirits. His declaration, often made, is in harmony with the majority of spirit communications, that Jesus Christ was only a man, and that the doctrine of the atonement is false.NTMS 50.2

    Joel Tiffany, in a lecture on the “Philosophy of Christianity,” remarked concerning the power of Christ and the work of his apostles:—NTMS 51.1

    “He inspired them with the belief that by using his name they could command his power. Under that conviction they went forth, clothed with the power of faith, and when they said to the sick, ‘Be whole,’ they confidently expected the result to follow their command. Could he have given them confidence in any other charm, it would have answered the purpose equally as well. To exercise this power, the end to be attained, is to give the requisite intensity to the spirit will; that intensity can only be given by awakening in the operator a conviction that he can command the power necessary to success. That conviction might be awakened by the use of the name of Christ, or by the use of anything else in which they had equal confidence.”NTMS 51.2

    So, according to Mr. Tiffany, who claimed to be a “Christian Spiritualist,” and who affected to reprove the tendency to infidelity with Spiritualists, there was no more power in the name of Christ than in any other “charm”!NTMS 51.3

    The following is from Judge Edmonds’ work on Spiritualism:—NTMS 51.4

    “High up in the heavens, and far distant, I saw the cross of our Redeemer painted. Rough and unhewn itself, it was surrounded by a halo of golden light, and on one of its arms a majestic spirit, clad in dark-colored and rich garments, stood leaning. High over it all flashed, in rays of sparkling silver light, ‘God is Love.’ Directly over the summit of the cross was a scroll which seemed to spread abroad a feeling of solemn awe. On it was inscribed, ‘He saved mankind by living, not by dyino.’ Below the transverse piece was a small scroll, on which was written, ‘Do thou likewise.’”NTMS 51.5

    Thus the Bible truth that we are redeemed by his blood is contradicted; and when the judge gives him the title of “our Redeemer,” it is only in a sense in which the title may likewise be applied to himself!NTMS 52.1

    We have, in another place, shown that they deny God, as the “Judge of all” (Hebrews 12:23); this is also a denial of the power and office of Jesus Christ, as the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son; John 5:23-27; in other words, God will judge the world by Jesus Christ. Romans 2:16. Every office and prerogative of Christ is denied by Spiritualism.NTMS 52.2

    Intimately connected with this subject, and especially in its relation to the warning of the Saviour in Matthew 24, is the following fact:—NTMS 52.3

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