Part 3 out of 4
without any warnin' or noise of any kind, all around began to look about
the color of a yaller sun-flower, and I began to scent a powerful smell
of roses and violets.
The female sank down in the golden air, and I kept cluss beside her, and
as she kept droppin' she suddenly changed, like the old woman in the
fairy-book, into a bouncin' girl, the very pictur of the goddess of
Arter this, she turned and smiled on me. She looked just like alabaster
cream; the most dazzlingest creetur that ever startled the beholder!
I was took quite aback when she held out her little hand for mine; I felt
kinder delicate like that she should see my big jints. But howsomever,
"here goes," said I, and I stuck out my bony fist, and, by Jupiter, it
was kivered with flesh, jest as soft and delicate as Uncle Sam's
I stood starin' from my hands to her about a minit, and then she bust out
a-laughin', and I bust out a-laughin' too!
"How shaller you be!" said she.
"It's duced amoosin'," said I.
"Who be you?" said she.
"Artemus Ward, the great lecterer on 'Women's Rites and Mormons,'" said
At this she seemed mighty tickled.
"I heerd you speak on those momentous subjects in Liverpool," said she.
"And arter that when I read the affectin' account of your death in a
strange land, I cried."
"Cried?" said I, "I'm much obleeged to you, but there's nothin' to cry
for as I know."
"So there be'nt," said she, puckerin' up her pretty little mouth; "but
tell me, now, is this reely you?"
"I don't know," said I, "whether its reely myself or not, for I haven't
seed myself--how do I look?"
She naterally blushed and answered:
That was too much for me. I took her round her waist and whispered--I
wont tell you what. She shook her head so that the ringlets fell downall
over her neck like the ashes from a tobaccy pipe, and in a mighty
reprovin' manner said:
"Artemus Ward, I am a poetess!"
(By Jupiter! that was a stunner.)
"Is it Mrs. _Browning_?" said I, ready to drop on my knees (thinkin' of
She shook her head agin, and moved off, and I follered, kinder ashamed of
bein' so abrupt. Lookin' loftily at me, she said:
"I must leave you."
"Leave me!" said I, "You cruel monster of beauty! Leave when I am
_sealed_ to you?"
(That kinder frightened her--I learned suthin' from bein' among the
"You may foller me," said she, while descendin' in the midst of a garden
which opened rite before us. I did as she advised, and stepped rite down
in a place where there was a mighty display of trees, flowers, and
fountains, and a pretty big sprinklin' of people.
Good Heavens! thought I. Is this the New Jerusalem? and lookin' around
timidly for the man with the key, fearin' I might be turned out, but
seein' nothin' but common lookin' men and women, and no "flamin'
cherubim," and creaters with wings stuck on their heads, and no bodies,
such as I had naterally expected to find in such a place, I took courage
and stept forward boldly.
The people all commenced cryin' out as loud as they could:
"Artemus Ward! Artemus Ward!"
I felt kinder abashed at this, but advanced and called out, "Hear! hear!
Friends, it's an amazin' mystery how you know'd my name." (I felt
diffident at not havin' my lecter in my pocket, and not bein' accustomed
to speakin' verbatim.) Howsumever, as they continooed to clap their hands
and shout, I got together all the brass I used to carry "down East," and
jumped right atop of one of the roarin' fountains--the very biggest on
'em all. I surmised it was kinder dangerous, havin' always experienced a
religious awe of the "water of life," and not knowin' but what this might
be it. "Here goes," said I; "faint heart never won fair lady," for rite
at the foot was that bootiful poetess to whom allusion has been made,
lookin' straight at me with all her eyes.
I wanted to make a grand impression and let 'em know that I cum from a
nation that could fight for the Constitution, and wasn't afeard of
spirits. And as for the "gold and pearls," the "jasper and the sardonix,"
they needn't expect to snub me off with this, for I had been all through
the gold and silver regions of Ameriky, and could tell as big a story as
any on 'em.
"The fact is, friends and nabors," said I, "it is one thing to read of a
place, and another to see it. Now I must say, that geography and book of
travels called the 'Bible' is suthin' like 'Gulliver's Travels,' rather
loose in description; and, for all I see around me, the grand nation of
Ameriky can beat you all holler in wonders."
Havin' thus spoken a good word for my country, I dismissed them, and
hurried back to commence these lecters, which is only a beginnin' of what
I intend to do for the Amerikan People.
It is remarkable to what a degree woman develops her intellect in the
Freed from the cares of maternity, she seems like some young goddess
fresh from the hand of Jupiter. All nerve, electricity, and motion--her
thoughts sparkling and full of flavor, and light, and life, this new-born
Eve of the celestial kingdom inspires the down-trodden Eve of earth, and
kindles to a blaze the whole male population of the spiritual globe.
Prominent among the women of the times who have emigrated to these shores
from populous America, stands Margaret Fuller--a tall and impressive
blonde--a woman of strong bias, and resolute as a lion when she has set
foot upon a project. Earnest, passionate, and brilliant in conversation,
she wields a powerful influence over many minds of a peculiar order; and
through the few mediums whom she selects to represent her
characteristics, she displays a calmness and coolness of reasoning and an
excellence of judgment such as few are able to exhibit thus second
She has, through the exercise of her genius, erected a beautiful villa
upon a southern island, wherein she has displayed her poetic taste to
advantage. There, in the midst of a luxuriant garden, she resides with
her beautiful Angelo, a child of graceful form who was washed ashore from
the sad wreck years ago, but now approaching the years of manhood, and in
his looks the very personification of a young Mercury, blending the fire
and passion of a Southern nature with the zeal and activity of the
Count Ossoli and his noble wife tear themselves away from the pleasures
of this delightful state of existence and devote their sacred energies to
the enfranchisement of Italy.
No Roman patriot, neither Garibaldi nor any of his compeers, equals them
in their efforts for the freedom of that sunny land.
Madame Ossoli is sanguine of success.
Defeat she considers merely the plough and harrow for the ripe harvest of
victory which will follow.
From her own eloquent lips I have heard her address to the Italian
soldiers who, defeated and killed, marched to the spirit land.
She told them how she, in the midst of her new-born joy, in sight of her
own native land, fought the fierce battle of the briny waves, and felt as
she sat dying on the sinking wreck, that all she had striven for was in
vain; how she had found that defeat, that engulping billow, had proved in
the end a victory, and had placed her where she could watch over the
destiny of Italia, her adopted country, and work for its regeneration,
and fight for its liberty, as she could not have done had she been more
successful in her plans on earth.
Another American woman, of less note, but also a reformer, is Eliza
Farnham. She is not so emotional, has less sentiment and considerable
originality, and is honest in her opinions and determined in her efforts
to uplift her sex and ameliorate their condition.
She wields a powerful influence over a certain clique in the spirit world
and on earth, and therefore deserves to be noticed among the women of the
times. In person she is of dark complexion, with black hair and eyes, and
strongly-marked brows, possessing much vivacity and caustic wit.
She is matron of a large Institution, or Circulorium, erected for the use
of those spirits who make a practice of communicating with the
inhabitants of earth. They there meet to converse upon the various means
which they employ for transmitting intelligence, and to relate their
successes and defeats with the various trance and clairvoyant mediums
through whom they operate. There congregate those lecturers and orators
who discourse through the organisms of numerous trance and inspirational
mediums on earth. There also convene physicians and "medicine men" who
control the large number of healing mediums who exercise their power
throughout the United States and Europe. There, also, gather the prophets
and seers, who, with vision clearer than that of ordinary spirits, warn
mankind of danger and impress individuals to pursue certain courses of
action, to go or come, to undertake and prosecute great designs for the
seeming weal or woe of humanity.
From this lofty aviary she still sends forth her delicious, strains. The
children of earth hear them in fainter notes through young poets who
catch her inspiration. What she is doing for women in the world she
inhabits will be felt ere long in both the continents of Europe and
Another remarkable person in this coterie of illustrious women must be
mentioned--Charlotte Bronte--a lady who feels the true dignity and
intellect of her sex with a force akin to manliness. Modest and retiring,
she would yet pick up the gauntlet like any knight against the man who
should say of a work of literary merit, "that it could never have been
penned by a woman."
Soft and delicate, yet strong and full of heroism, she represents woman,
quicker to perceive the right than man, and capable of undergoing greater
perils in executing her duty.
Charlotte Bronte is a slight, brown-haired girl, with an eye full of
clairvoyant power. With her father, sisters, and poor reprobate of a
brother, all united like a cluster-diamond, she lives in a home which
they have selected, remarkable for its wild and picturesque beauty.
As a family they are like the ancient Scots, clannish--not in a vulgar
acceptation of the term, but for the reason that they are kindred souls.
The torch of genius flames in every member of that family, but Charlotte
is the mover, the inspirer of them all. She possesses a greater degree of
concentration and energy, and is more chivalrous and venturesome. She is
exceedingly interested in woman, and devotes daily a portion of her time
to visiting earth and suggesting ideas and thoughts to those whom she can
In her new home she draws around her a circle of chosen spirits, among
whom may be mentioned Thackeray (who esteems her as about the finest
specimen of womanhood he has seen), Prince Albert, Scott, Hawthorne, the
German Goethe, De Quincy, and others.
Few writers of romance have done more than she towards raising her sex
above the frivolities of dress and fortune, and placing them where they
shine conspicuous for their intellect and noble affections.
Bold and unsparing in analyzing woman's heart in its uncontaminated
simplicity as well as in its subtlety, she lighted a torch in behalf of
her sex which flamed throughout the literary world, startling and
dazzling the beholder--a light which will never be quenched.
Charlotte Bronte was on earth what is now known as a medium. Her belief
in the supernatural she evinced in her works. If she had not indicated so
much intellect, the critics would have termed her superstitious. They
have inferred that it was the loneliness and sadness of her life which
caused her to imagine she saw her beloved dead and heard unearthly voices
calling her. But she has since told me that those mysterious influences
were not morbid fancies, but realities. Being thus endowed clairvoyantly,
and not only receptive but able to impart that which she receives, she
exerts at the present moment an influence in the world of letters little
dreamed of on earth.
I may here, without infringing on the requirements of good taste, allude
to the tale she has dictated through this medium. That it is a story of
powerful interest, all who read it will confess.
To many minds it will prove that her power is unabated, but every
reader will perceive the characteristics of the Bronte family in the
tale--characteristics which cannot be imitated--which are individualized
in that family, and breathe of the lone moor on which they spent their
earth ife, one of sad struggle of genius against circumstance and
_THE LOCALITY OF THE SPIRIT WORLD, AND ITS MAGNETIC RELATIONS TO THIS_.
How near is the spirit world to earth? is a question often put by the
inquiring mind. Some suppose it lies contiguous, just in the suburbs;
others imagine the spirit world to be within the atmosphere of this
earth; others again set it afar off in a given locality.
The last theory is correct, and the spirit world is really several
billions of miles from earth; yet the suppositions are true (in a certain
sense), for the inhabitants of the spirit world are migratory, and there
are many millions of them living within the earth's atmosphere, drawn
thither on errands of pleasure and duty.
But there is a spiritual earth revolving around its spiritual sun, just
as this earth revolves around its sun.
It has shape and form like this planet, and is indeed the spiritual body
of the earth.
It existed before the creation of man on this globe, and was ready for
the reception of the soul or spirit of the first human being who perished
As a spirit's body is constructed from the spiritual emanations of man,
so the spiritual globe is formed of the magnetic emanations of the earth.
The refined gases which were thrown off during the process of the
formation of the material globe which man now inhabits, form the basis of
the spirit earth.
Each planet in the vast universe has its correspondent spirit world, and
invisible magnetic rays are constantly exchanging between the spirit
planet and its earth.
These magnetic currents or rays, like waves of silver light, constantly
transmit thoughts from the spirit world to this.
All spirit is matter.
The spirit globe, being primarily composed of gases, in revolving around
its central sun ultimates in a substance which is similar to the soil of
The same system which marks the development of the material world also is
displayed in the development of the spiritual world.
Order is God. No spirit world can exist without form, neither can it
exist without motion. Motion produces the spheroid, and the rotation of
the spheroid produces atmosphere and diversity of surface; all these
variations characterize the spirit globe.
When these facts are carefully reflected upon and understood, the majesty
of the Creator assumes a magnitude most stupendous.
The astronomer searching through space for undiscovered planets and suns,
has failed to fix his telescope upon these spiritual worlds, but the day
will come when science will discover their existence.
The spirit world is not an arid desert. As I have said, it has soil. It
is not a thin, vaporish flat, without depth or density; and its
circumference exceeds that of the earth.
One of the component elements of its soil is magnetism. Its vegetation is
of rapid growth and beautiful beyond anything that your planet can
As the atmosphere of the spirit world is not so dense as yours, and as
the rays of the spiritual sun are not obliged to penetrate through so
much cloud and vapor, the colors of all objects are sparkling and
beautiful in variety and tone.
The specific gravity of the spirit upon his globe is not so great,
comparatively, as that of man in the natural world. He can rise in his
native air with little difficulty, and can dart with unerring accuracy
upon the magnetic current flowing from the spirit world to the one he
The investigator in searching for the spirit world has but to direct his
attention to the north star and his eye will embrace, unwittingly, the
locality of that world. The north pole is the great gate which leads to
The aurora borealis or Northern lights is an electric current which flows
from that world to earth, and is sent in through the great gate. The
scintillations of these rays are caught up by the clouds and vapors and
are repeated in many portions of the globe, and faint rays from them are
seen even in this temperate climate.
ADAH ISAACS MENKEN.
_HOLD ME NOT_.
Up to the zenith mount!
Far into space--
Ah! all thy tears I count,
Sad, loving face.
Clasp not my garments so,
Love of my soul;
Clinging, you drag me low,
Where tortures roll.
Soil not my angel wing;
Keep not from rest;
How can I upward spring,
Clasped to thy breast?
Hold me not, lover--friend--
Earth I would fly;
Passion and torture end
In the blest sky!
Life brought but woe to me,
Even thy kiss
Gave me but agony--
Remorse with bliss!
Let go thy earthly hold--
Fain would I fly;
Voices with love untold
Call from on high.
Farewell--the dregs are drank
Of life's sad cup;
It proved but poison rank;
Life's lease is up!
Since my friend Morris joined me, we've been as busy as Wall street
brokers in a gold panic--eyes and ears, and every sense filled with the
novel sights and sounds that greet us on every side in this most
delightful, charming, incomparably beautiful summer land.
Whom have we not seen, from Napoleon down to the last suicide?
I have a memorandum which would reach from here to Idlewild, filled with
the names of notables and celebrities, whom I have met in the short space
of a year.
We do matters quickly here, among the celestials. I used to think life
sped fast in the great cities of London, Paris, and New York, but we live
faster here. With every means of travelling which human ingenuity can
invent--flying machines, balloons, the will and the magnet--we fairly
outdo thought and light, which you consider emblems of rapidity on earth.
Morris and I made a point of visiting Byron, Moore, Hunt, Scott, and that
clique. You must bear in mind that we do not all live on one point of
space _here_; among so many thousand million, billion, trillion,
quadrillion, sextillion, and countless illions, there must be some
persons who are further apart than Morris and I, who are side by side!
It is a peculiarity which you Yankees seldom think of, that Englishmen
can't endure to live in America. Well, that peculiarity is just as active
after they "shuffle off the mortal coil." They must have their little
England, even in the spirit world.
So I telegraphed to that quarter of the celestial planet that two
strangers from the great emporium of intellect, and civilization, New
York City, were about to visit that locality. We so arranged our journey
as to arrive about a day after the dispatch had reached them.
It was proposed that we should meet at the beautiful villa belonging to
the Countess of Blessington.
I can assure you that on arriving there it was with a slightly
palpitating heart I ascended the noble steps of her residence. The
Countess met us graciously, and by her vivacity and charming candor
dispelled the feeling of modest diffidence as to our merits, naturally
awakened by the thought of being presented to those illustrious persons
who so long held sway over English literature.
Ere we were aware, we were ushered into the midst of a hilarious group of
authors, who welcomed us in a most cordial manner.
I did not need to have them introduced to me by name, as I recognized
each readily from likenesses I had seen on earth.
Lord Byron's countenance is much handsomer and more spiritualized in
expression than any portrait of him extant. I noticed that the deformity
of his foot, which had been a severe affliction to him on earth, was no
Scott looked as good and as jovial as ever, and Tom Moore, the very pink
of perfection and elegance.
As for the Countess, when I last saw her on earth I thought her
incomparable. But whether it was through the cosmetic influences of the
spirit air, or from other causes, she had now become bewitchingly
After we had conversed awhile on general topics and I had answered their
questions in regard to the changes which had occurred in certain
terrestrial localities with which, they were familiar, the Countess
invited us out to survey the landscape from her balcony.
The view from this point was extremely romantic. Just beyond the spacious
park extended a lovely lake, whose waters were of a rich golden-green
color. Upon its limpid bosom several gondolas floated, and gay parties
waved their handkerchiefs to us from beneath the silken hangings as they
"Countess," said I, after my eye had surveyed the fine landscape and
noble residence, "I am but a wandering Bohemian, and you must excuse my
audacity if I ask how it, is possible that in this "world of shadows" you
have surrounded yourself by so much that is beautiful and substantial?
You could not bring your title and your lands with you from earth. Your
jewels and costly raiment you must have left behind; then whence comes
all this wealth and luxury?"
The Countess smiled. "Ah," said she, roguishly, "you did not study your
Bible lesson well if you did not learn that you could 'lay up treasures
in heaven.' Why, all the time I was living on earth I had friends working
for me--admirers who had been drawing interest from my youthful talent
and had laid it up to my account. We go upon the tithe system here, and
'render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
She told me that works of interest which are published on earth are
reproduced in the spirit world and the author credited with a tithe of
what accrues from them.
Byron, Scott, and Moore have also been doing double duty while on earth,
and have been recompensed for their industry in the spirit world.
Byron, she privately informed me, had been united to the Mary of his
early love, and under her sweet womanly influence had lost much of the
misanthropy which had annoyed his friends in this life.
As my stay was short, I had only opportunity to converse with these men
of mark on general topics.
On the whole, we spent a very interesting morning, and, after partaking
of refreshments, we left, having inquired after Count D'Orsay, whom we
learned was then on a trip to earth. Bidding adieu to the Countess and
her friends, we started for the celebrated island called the "Golden
Nest," which lies in a south-westerly direction from the Countess's
After having travelled some hours in our own diligence (i.e., driven
through the air by our own will), moving along quite leisurely that we
might survey the country beneath us, we reached a group of beautiful
lakes, reminding me strongly in size and appearance of lakes Erie, Huron,
Michigan, and Superior, the famed lakes of my own native clime.
In the centre of the largest of these lakes lay the island we were
seeking. We descended like skilful aeronauts into the centre of a group
of happy children, who were playing like little fairies amid the flowers
blooming profusely everywhere.
Singling out two of the prettiest, we addressed them.
Directly a merry band gathered about us, answering our questions
intelligently and skipping before us to lead the way to the "Golden
Nest," as the superb structure was called in which these little
soul-birds were sheltered.
Everywhere, as we advanced, our eyes lit upon pretty bands of children;
some swinging in the tree-boughs like birds, some waltzing in the air,
others sitting upon the green, chattering and singing, filling the
surrounding air with their melody.
Certainly it was a most enlivening sight to witness their enjoyment.
After having amused ourselves for a while with their gambols, we turned
our steps toward the Home.
The building was oval in form, and composed of a golden fleecy
incrustation from which it derived it, name. Within, the "Nest" was like
Innumerable compartments, hung with silks and tissues of tender and.
harmonious colors, and decorated with birds' plumage of varied hues,
arrested the eye. These spacious alcoves were each furnished with a domed
skylight, adorned with hanging tassels and glittering ornaments. Ladies
were busy in nearly all of these compartments in instructing children
under their care.
In some that I entered I was shown new-born babes not an hour old, torn
from their mothers' bosoms on earth, and lying upon fleecy pillows,
attended by lovely women, who looked the angels which they were.
One of these gay baby-nests in which I lingered was decorated with
peculiar tastefulness, and seemed like a perfect aviary. Singular birds
of splendid plumage were perched on various projections about the
spacious apartment, warbling away like silver bells.
The lady of this chamber was engaged in teaching a little girl of some
two summers to mount to the skylight by her will.
This lady, I was informed, was the noble lady R----, so famed for her
charity on earth.
She was very gracious and communicative, and told me that some children
exercised their ability to rise in air more readily than others; that the
difficulties their instructor had to guard against were the fickle,
versatile nature of their wills, and their inability for continuous
thought. Their wayward minds could not be directed long at one point.
They would wander from the path like the poor little Babes in the Wood,
and on their way to special destinations, would change their thoughts,
unharness their will, and come suddenly down, sometimes in lonely and
Owing to this dereliction, it was found difficult to make frequent
excursions to earth with them. Those attracted to their terrestrial homes
were attended by ladies who had them in charge, and who would kindly
accompany them, for one or two weeks, to visit their friends upon earth.
I told her that I had lost a child some years ago, and had thought till
recently to find it still an infant.
Many cases of this kind, she said, had occurred under her observation.
People did not view the matter rationally. Ladies had called at the
"Golden Nest" to inquire for children that had left earth twenty or
thirty years ago, and it was painful to witness the distress they
exhibited when told that their children were grown men and women.
One lady had called there some three days since, and claimed as her own a
little child, an infant about two months old, who had been brought from
earth three weeks previous, while the child she had lost had been in the
spirit world seventeen years!
But no amount of argument would convince her that her child had grown up,
and that the infant she selected was not her own.
She was finally permitted to take the child away, as they knew it would
be properly cared for. Many of the children while young were thus
"It appears marvellous," remarked this noble lady, "that any parent
should wish to cramp the body and soul of his child by keeping it in a
state of infancy, when, if it had remained on earth, it would necessarily
have arrived at years of maturity.
"Nature does not suspend her operations in transplanting from earth to
heaven! The soul is formed for expansion, and surely the spirit world is
not the place to suppress unfoldment!"
As I listened to her intelligent conversation, I blushed to be reminded
of my own error in supposing my own darling, who had reached the spirit
world so long before, would greet me with the prattling talk of babyhood!
Pleased with our visit and the information we had received, we bade adieu
to Lady R. and the "Golden Nest," and pursued our flight in another
"Do let us next find out," said I to Morris, "what they do here with
criminals; there must be many a wicked reprobate who arrives here from
earth fresh from murders and villanies of all sorts."
As I spoke, two grave-looking gentlemen, whom I took to be either doctors
or judges, crossed the path before us, and I proposed to make these
inquiries of them.
Who should they prove to be but William Penn and the omnipresent
"Yes, yes," said Penn, in reply to our questions shaking his head
deprecatingly; "'tis too true; we are obliged to have what Swedenborg
calls "our hells," for you send your criminals from earth so hardened
that we are compelled to keep them under guard. Come with us and we'll
show you how we treat them."
We were very glad of this opportune meeting, and followed with alacrity.
Presently, leaving the beautiful country far behind us, we came upon a
desert waste, and as I am extremely sensitive to conditions, I felt
somewhat like a criminal in passing through it. Having got safely over,
however, there burst upon our sight a scene of surpassing beauty; as far
as the eye could reach extended a most highly-cultivated district of
Groves of fruit resembling the oranges and pineapples of our tropics,
noble trees like the palm, the fig, and date, were to be seen in every
quarter, rearing their boughs against the summer sky. The air was laden
with fragrance from tree and vine.
Great bunches of purple grapes like the fabled fruit of Canaan in the Old
Testament, a single bunch of which required two men to bear it, drooped
heavily from twining vines, while from many a bough and twig swung
golden, crimson, and cream-colored fruit, which fairly made one's mouth
It was a picture rich enough in color for a Claude or Turner.
"This is delicious," said I to Penn. "Do tell us to what fairy prince
this magnificent land belongs!"
"We will show you the fairy prince himself, very soon," said he. "Do you
see the tip of his castle yonder?"
I looked, and as we moved swiftly in the direction indicated an
unexpected spectacle loomed in sight. It was a building so delicate and
perfect in its structure that it appeared like a vision.
Pillars and arches, dome and architrave, were wrought in a style
exquisitely beautiful; the material of which it was composed seemed like
polished sea-shells, so transparent that you could see through it the
forms of the inmates.
"This," said William Penn, "is one of our prisons. Let us enter."
We followed in amazement, and were ushered into a hall hung with
paintings rich in design and color, while distributed around in various
alcoves were cases containing books and articles of curious workmanship,
of which I had not yet learned the use.
This hall formed the court within the main building.
From where we stood we could see hundreds of men in white suits moving
about. Some seemed engaged in conversation, others in sportive games, and
others in various employments.
"You do not mean to tell us that these men are prisoners," said I.
"Yes; they have passed for years on earth a life of evil, yet all the
beauty you behold here is the work of their hands. Idleness is the mother
of crime. We teach them to become industrious, and surround them with
beauty to develop their love of harmony.
"Ignorance and poverty are supposed to be the principal causes of evil on
earth. But many fearful offences have been committed in high places from
thwarted love and ambition. We have many of that character in this
prison, but they are young. This is intended as a place to educate and
restrain men who would return to earth and incite impressible beings to
"The material of which this building is composed, though seemingly so
fragile, is a non-conductor of thought, and while detained within it the
inmates gradually free themselves from their old influences and
"Cultivating the fruits of the earth calls into action only their most
harmonious organs. A great mistake made by the legislators of earth is in
employing criminals in stone-cutting, or placing them in gangs, as they
do on the Continent, to work the rugged road.
"Employment of this kind awakens the very propensities which should be
subdued. The composing, softening influences induced by tilling the soil
would go far toward converting your evil men into good citizens."
I was struck with the truthfulness of his suggestions, and put them down
in my note-book for the benefit of humanity, and now hand them over to my
readers for consideration.
After leaving this place we paid a visit to Edgar A. Poe, whose
unfortunate life on earth you are all familiar with. His brilliant
imagination we found as active as of old. He welcomed us
enthusiastically, and eagerly led us into a small theatre which he had
constructed and filled with most marvellous creations from his own fancy.
He inherited from his father and mother, who were actors, a love for
dramatic effect, and in theatrical impersonations he found some vent for
his exuberant imagination.
"Stand here," said he, placing us near the entrance; "I have something
curious to show you." He then suspended upon the stage a curtain, whose
peculiarity was its pure, soft blue color, like an Italian sky.
"Watch," said he, pointing his uplifted finger to the hanging. Presently
appeared upon it figures like shadows on a phantasmagoria.
One form was that of a female sitting upon a low chair, apparently
reading a book.
"That," said Poe, "is Miss D. I can control her and will her to reflect
her figure upon the curtain; and that man is T.L. Harris. It is my own
invention," said he; "I studied it out and applied chemicals to my canvas
till it produced this sensitive surface. All I have to do is to send my
thoughts to them, and will them to appear, and there they are. Coleridge
has a similar curtain, and some few others. But it requires a peculiar
spirit brain to magnetize the subject sufficiently." He offered to show
me in the same manner any friend of mine with whom he could come in
This proposition delighted Morris and I, and we spent an agreeable
evening in seeing certain of our friends on earth thus revealed.
Some were busy eating at the time, the _gourmands_! Others, more
studious, were poring over books and papers, and one, whose name I shall
not mention, was reproduced in the very act of making love!
The, dear old faces awakened such sad memories, and the occupations in
which they were engaged were in the main so ludicrous, that we were held
between tears and laughter till after midnight. But that is an Irish
bull--for you must know that we have no night in the spirit world. Our
diurnal revolutions are so rapid, and the atmosphere so magnetically
luminous, that it is never dark here. But, however, according to earth's
parlance, it was midnight before we got through.
I will now bid adieu to my friends and readers until we meet again.
_CITY OF SPRING GARDEN_.
I am at present domiciled with my excellent friend Abraham Lincoln, in
the beautiful city of Spring Garden. This place contains between sixty
and seventy thousand inhabitants, a majority of whom are engaged in
literary and artistic pursuits. It might vie with ancient Athens for the
wealth of mind which is concentrated within its precincts. It is not
compactly built, the city covering about thrice the surface of ground
that would be occupied by one on earth of the same number of inhabitants.
The streets are handsome, the pavements being covered with a gay enamel
which is formed by dampening a certain yellow powder, which, when
hardened, shines like amber. They are laid out in circles, surrounding a
large park of several acres, which forms the centre of the city. This
park is embellished with trees and flowering plants of every description,
and does not differ materially from the extensive parks to be found on
earth, except in its management.
Booths are erected at the various gates, which are supplied with fruits
and confections free to all who present a ticket to the keeper. These
tickets are furnished by the city authorities to those who desire them.
This class is composed chiefly of children, and of grown persons who are
incompetent to supply by their labor their own wants. Here they can walk
through the pleasant grounds, rock themselves in swings, which are
numerous, and, when weary with exercise, their appetites stimulated by
the refreshing air, which circulates through its hills and dales as
freely as in the open country, they can apply for refreshments at any
one of the booths or tables within the park. A very delicious drink
manufactured from the exudence of a flower not known on earth may here be
procured. The grounds are provided with various other apparatus for
amusement and pleasure, among which are elegantly-formed sleds on
galvanic runners, which glide over the ground with swiftness most
exhilarating to the senses. Air carriages are also furnished, and, in
short, nothing is wanting for the pleasure and entertainment of the
visitors who throng daily the extensive avenues.
Forming an outer circle to the park is the main thoroughfare of the city.
The streets, as I have said, are laid out in graduated circles which
increase in circumference as they recede from the centre. The outermost
circle is bordered by trees, which form a natural wall. This city might
be called the circle of palaces, from the numerous magnificent edifices
which adorn it at every point.
The buildings are of a light, graceful style of architecture, adapted to
the climate and the out-door life which the people generally lead.
The street facing the park is devoted to the display of commodities and
creations of the spirit world and its inhabitants.
In this section are exposed to view beautiful fabrics, finer than the web
of a spider, glistening like threads of sunbeam and ornamented with most
exquisite floral designs taken from nature. Some of these fabrics
emblemize the blue heaven glittering with silver stars; others the
clouds, with sunlight shimmering through them.
Some have shadowy designs of birds and curious animals strown over a
ground of amber or violet. These beautiful devices are photographed on
the material; or, as the transcendentalist would say, they are projected
there by the will.
Electricity with us is so potent an agent that it is used for this
purpose, transferring the image and stamping it there.
These fabrics are more delicate and gossamer-like than any with which you
are familiar on earth.
Exquisite materials are not only indulged in by ladies, but _male angels_
robe themselves in attire more fanciful and gorgeous than they have been
accustomed to wear in their first life; except, indeed, the Orientals,
who more nearly approach us Celestials in that particular.
I will state for the benefit of ladies that we have no millinery
establishments, as the females wear simply their own beautiful hair,
which they adorn with flowers and a peculiar lace, as thin as a breath.
The hair, owing to electrical conditions, is usually abundant and of
beautiful texture, forming the chief ornament of the head.
On the street I have described are also many studios for artists. These
_attelliers_ are very ornamental in appearance, being placed in the
centre of a large court. They are of various fanciful shapes, according
to the design of the artist, generally open on the sides, with a dome
supported by pillars, and resembling in form an ancient temple. Within,
they are hung with rich draperies, which are adjusted at pleasure. The
open dome admits the light and may be covered by a screen when necessary.
These studios are all on the ground floor, and usually with airy
reception rooms attached, opening upon a court gay with flowers, birds,
and fountains, making it a pleasant retreat for the artist and his
friends. As my friend H---- gaily suggests, these accessible studios
compensate the artist for the _attics_ which he occupied on earth.
The art of painting is here carried to greater perfection than it ever
has been on earth.
As the development of the intellect in the material world depends upon
the subservience of matter to mind, so in the spirit world, the same
principle is the great motor power; for there we have matter (that is,
spirit matter), and this we work into forms of beauty as we desire.
Speaking of art, I must digress to allude to the _fete_ which we held in
our park in honor of three quite eminent artists, who have recently
arrived in the spirit world and taken up their abode in this city.
As they were all new-comers, and but slightly acquainted with our manners
and customs, we gave this celebration to surprise them, and also as a
token of our appreciation of their efforts to spiritualize humanity; for
art we regard as one of our most spiritualizing agencies.
In the centre of the park, I had forgotten to state, we have a temple
erected, somewhat resembling those of ancient Greece, and which is for
the use of orators and public singers. This temple was beautifully
decorated with garlands and paintings by spirit artists. Within it were
seated the visitors and a few friends, and without were stationed
musicians, with curious instruments of melody, such as are unknown to
Various ingenious machines for locomotion and amusement attracted general
attention. Another source of interest were the graceful and picturesque
groups of children moving in the air. At intervals, one of the most
fascinating of their number would descend with offerings of fruits and
flowers for our guests. The amazement expressed by our visitors, as these
lovely children would suddenly sweep down through the air like graceful
birds of radiant plumage was delightful for us older inhabitants to
This city contains several institutions of learning which are accessible
to all; not only those can become inhabitants of this city who have a
taste for the beauties and refinements of life, but needy aspirants from
earth may be introduced by them into these establishments.
Previous to entering the spirit world I had supposed everything here
would be free, but I have found here, as on earth, that nothing can be
attained but by exertion, and that the great diversity of talent and of
gifts necessarily enforces a system of exchange.
All men are not alike inventive in the spirit world. The inventor, by his
fertile brain, constructs an article which the majority desire to
possess, and for that article they give him an equivalent. It may be a
picture or it may be a song.
Here the artisan is not hampered as on earth; his time--the mere time
employed in mechanical labor--is of short duration. Our facilities for
creating are so immensely superior to those of earth that but a brief
period is required for producing a result. The remaining time is devoted
mainly to the development of the mind, to amusement, and to scientific
I stated in the beginning of my letter that I was visiting the home of
Abraham Lincoln. He is residing here with some members of his family, and
appears very happy and contented. The son for whose loss he grieved amid
the honors of the White House, is now his friend and companion.
Matters of state, as I learn from conversation with him, occupy his mind
but little; but he is deeply interested in humanity, and is anxious to
elevate and harmonize the whole human family.
His influence for good is powerful, and he exerts it constantly.
Theodore Parker and Hawthorne both reside in this city. Parker, as I have
been told, when he first came here, decided to devote himself to the
cultivation of land; but he has drifted again into the rostrum, and twice
a week you may see the fair maidens and gallant swains of Spring Garden
wending their way to his beautiful little home and garden in the suburbs,
where, amid the flowers, he descants to them, in his eloquent way, on
life and the attributes of the human soul, and also upon his earth
So you perceive he exemplifies by his own actions the wise saying, "Once
a prophet, always a prophet." His original mind cannot keep silent, and
his thoughts find readiest utterance in speech.
Hawthorne is living here with his beautiful daughter, who devotes her
attention to art.
His mind is as active as ever. He informs me that many of the mysteries
that seemed inexplicable to him while on earth are now cleared up.
I have spoken of the noble buildings of this city, surrounded by spacious
gardens and beautified by trees and flowers, fountains and singing birds;
but I have not alluded to the way in which property is held, and the
reader will naturally inquire if these handsome dwellings are owned by
They are not, but are simply loaned to them. Spirits congenial to those
at present residing here lived in them ages agone.
It is true, each individual taste may alter and embellish the buildings
and surroundings, but these improvements belong to the city and not to
the individuals. The titles are vested in the community, and its members
can vote, as in the case of Abraham Lincoln, in reference to any
individual coming among them.
There are three daily papers issued in the city, and only three. One is
especially devoted to reporting news from earth,--revolutions that
transpire, changes in state and national politics, recent accidents which
have thrown individuals suddenly into the spirit world, and to recording
the names, as far as possible, of persons who have deceased from earth.
Disasters that occur on sea and land are immediately telegraphed to the
newspapers in Spring Garden and published for the use of the community.
It may be interesting to the curious to know that in cases like the
sinking of a vessel, where fifty or a hundred individuals are suddenly
ushered into the spirit world, delegates are sent out from this and other
cities to meet the sufferers and offer them the hospitalities of the
city, in accordance with their individual merits and degrees of
Our method of printing newspapers differs materially from that in vogue
Our papers might be termed photo-telegrams. A much less space is occupied
by a communication of a given length than the same would require in your
papers. We have a system of short-hand, understood by all, similar to
that used by your telegraphic operator.
We have various places of public amusement, two fine theatres which are
devoted to dramas originating with the inhabitants of our world, and
another appropriated to the representation of dramas familiar to earth.
Our places of amusement are of large capacity, hence but few are needed;
and the people of this city being congenial in their natures, as many as
possible like to assemble in one place.
The several actors who have been famed on earth appear at the theatres in
Spring Garden. Garrick, Kean, Kemble, Booth, Vandenhoff, Cooke, Macready,
Rachel, and Mrs. Siddons, visit us from time to time.
Among our distinguished actors are many who on earth were clergymen,
politicians, and of other occupations.[A]
[Footnote A: I am told that the Rev. Newland Maffit is at present a
distinguished actor in the spirit world. ED.]
People are fools in religion, and worship as divine the most stupid
monstrosities ever conceived of! Only tell the masses that St. Luke, St.
John, or Mary Magdalen was the author of some absurdity, which, if you or
I had originated, they would scoff at, and they will clasp their hands in
mute admiration over that miracle of art!
So it seems to me to be with Spiritualists. Drawings devoid of taste,
hard, and out of proportion, are received by them with acclamations of
joy, and credited, if they are figures, to Raphael, and if landscapes, to
Claude Lorraine or some other great master of art.
Now I, for one, wish people would use their brains, and not be so easily
It is truly wonderful that a spirit can make a person draw a straight
line who never could draw any but a crooked one. It partakes something of
the miraculous, I admit; and that spirits should produce likenesses, and
representations of flowers, scrolls, and ornamental designs, and
unearthly landscapes, through mediums whose powers of representation and
artistic talents have never been developed, is indeed marvellous! but
that these drawings should be called works of art, and looked upon as the
genuine offspring of those immortal painters, is ridiculous, and a thing
to be deprecated by every intelligent spirit and Spiritualist, either
here or in any other world!
Why, God Almighty himself could not take a raw, unschooled, undisciplined
hand, and produce a work of art!
If a medium is content with what he has done, if he does not comprehend
the faults of his work, if his eye and brain are not educated
artistically,--then he must stand like a machine working in a groove.
Neither Phidias nor any of his descendants could inspire a high
production through such means!
Now I do wish that _educated artists_ would seek to be controlled by us
spirits; or that those mediums whom we do influence would go to school,
and submit to the drudgery that is necessary to give them skill in design
Then could we hope to represent something of the progress of art in the
spirit world; and would be enabled to depict marvels of landscapes, and
the seraphic beauty of the human face with its grace and perfection of
form, as it meets us in this artistic land.
Yon ask if we have galleries of art here. I should think so: art-love is
immortal! You do not suppose that Benjamin West, Washington Allston,
Henry Inman, Copely, Stuart, and we Americans who loved our art, would be
satisfied with laying down the brush, and would have contented ourselves
with singing and playing on cymbals constantly for the hundred years or
so that we've been here? Now, where there is a will there is a way, and
having the will, we have found the way to exercise the genius which God
Speaking of music, the gift is cultivated here to an extent that would
set the _dilettanti_ of earth wild with ecstasy!
_Music, Poetry, Art, Oratory_, and _Scientific Research_, form the
principal occupations of the beings in this immortal world of ours, and
language is incapable of conveying an idea of the perfection which our
noble and glorious faculties have attained.
Art is about to undergo a revolution. At present too much attention is
given to the literal rendering of a fact, and imagination, which is
merely a faculty for reaching the immaterial, is checked; but ere long
painters will turn their attention to representing scenes in spirit life,
and the inspiration which attended the old masters when they gave wings
to their fancy and cut loose from identical imitation, will return.
Let the camera and the photograph reproduce the exact outline and
minutiae, but let the artist paint with the pencil of imagination and
inspiration! Only permit imagination to have root in the material world.
As no man can become a good angel who has not developed his physical
nature in harmony with his spiritual, so neither painter nor medium can
represent the artistic beauties of the natural world, nor of the spirit
world, unless he has had a good physical training. It is only through the
_physical_ that the imagination can express itself with beauty and
correctness. Truth is beauty, and is always proportionate; the light
equalizing the dark, precisely as in the perfection of art a mass of
shadow is balanced by a proportion of light.
One of the most agreeable places of rest or there-abouts is the artists'
rendezvous--a building larger than St. Peter's at Home, magnificent in
structure, and filled with wonderful paintings.
Here artists and authors of all nations are to be found. You can step in
any morning and have a chat with Lawrence, Reynolds, Lessing, Delaroche
Hazlitt, Coleridge, Charles Lamb, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Rossini,
Willis, Irving, Anthon, Sigourney, Osgood, Booth, Kemble, Kean, Cooper,
Vandenhoff, Palmerston, Pitt, O'Connel, Lamartine, Napoleon, Margaret
Fuller, Charlotte Bronte, Lady Blessington, and others of note, who have
made themselves illustrious during the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. People of congenial tastes and aspirations can readily obtain
admittance, and all freely engage in conversation on topics connected
with art and literature.
A large garden is attached to the building, filled with every manner of
fruit-tree, and is accessible to all; any poor devil of an artist can go
there and some bewitching Houri will present him with all the delicious
condiments which his taste or fancy can demand.
In these matters the inhabitants of earth need to take a lesson from us.
I prophesy that America will be a pioneer in these reformations, and
will, in some Central Park, erect a building similar to this, where
aspiring artists may receive food for the soul and the body, and where
artistic minds can meet and interchange ideas.
The Christianized world supposes that the form of government now existing
in the heavenly system is that of a monarchy; that God is the supreme
ruler of the whole universe, embracing not only the little planet Earth,
but the countless starry worlds and invisible systems that roll through
space. But more directly in its imagination does it place him as the sole
monarch and kingly ruler of the spirit world. It seats him in fancy upon
a gorgeous throne, material in every aspect of its magnificence; a throne
of gold and jewels, as described by that Miltonic poet, St. John, in his
This is the prevailing faith of Christendom; a faith which to the
majority seems knowledge as positive as the fact that Victoria rules the
British people, and sits upon the English throne.
Yet this is the conception of a people fond of barbaric pomp and
splendor. A conception unsupported by reason and at variance with fact.
Nearer to the truth was the old Greek nation; a nation which embodied the
intellect, the wisdom, and the refinement of the present age.
That nation, in its belief in the government of the spiritual universe,
was wholly Polytheistic, believing in many gods, and, as I have said,
approached nearer the idea of the form of government as existing in the
spirit world, for it is a Republic of Gods.
It is a law of the universe that all vast bodies must be divided and
subdivided into smaller ones. Every system is a constellation and every
constellation is a congeries.
In accordance with this law, the universal world of _spirit_ is broken
up, is divided and subdivided.
In these divisions and subdivisions forms of government ensue, differing
slightly one from another, according to the progressive development of
the people; and an unlimited monarchy is not known in the spirit world.
There are some clinging to their old habits, associations, and education,
who would fain raise the representatives of royalty on earth to the same
positions in the spirit world when they become residents there. But the
effort, when made, cannot be sustained. The one-man power is incompatible
with spiritual laws and spiritual justice.
In a world where the external trappings are torn away and the internal
nature of man is exposed to observation, the prerogatives of earthly
kings have but little power.
The republican form of government is destined to overthrow all the
monarchies of earth. As the world progresses and knowledge becomes
universal, individuals will be able to govern themselves.
It has been only through ignorance and superstition, and the limited
knowledge of the masses, that the kings and emperors of earth have been
enabled to sway their jewelled sceptres over the necks of the people. But
their reign is drawing to a close; their glories have culminated; and the
day is rapidly approaching when earth will be governed even as the
heavens above are governed. As in the world of nature, "the same chance
happens alike to all," and every child in time may become a man and every
infant a father, and the experience of one becomes the experience of all,
so in the government of the spirit world, every man can rise and become
for a space of time the patriarchal dictator of a republic.
The prevailing form of our republic differs from that of the American
republic in many particulars. Our term of office is of shorter duration
than with you. Our directors while in office make friendly excursions to
other republics. Matters of state with us are not so weighty or
complicated as with you, nor are encroachments and reprisals so common.
We are not compelled to sustain such vast armies and navies, involving
the necessity of directing and superintending them.
As a rule, people who have entered the second stage of existence desire a
change. They desire to live with more simplicity and freedom, and are
eager to begin their new life with nobler aspirations. Therefore, they
assimilate with comparative ease with our form of government.
Our directors are our fathers. The nearest approach to our system is the
government of the Mormons in Utah. Pardon me, if, in making this
statement, I offend any delicate sensibility. I allude not to their
creed, but to their mode of public administration.
As I have stated, the inhabitants of the spirit world are divided and
subdivided into associations, or bodies, which in your world would be
termed nations and states. For example, the nation to which I belong is
represented by the American people. The nationalities of earth present
different traits and characteristics which set them apart, though in a
general aspect they present one whole. Even as in the ornithological
world different species of birds represent the feathered race, and though
differing in many particulars and forming separate varieties, yet
assimilate as a whole, so nations migrating to the spirit world form
separate nationalities. And, as I have stated, some of them, educated in
the belief of the divine right of kings, choose a form of rule nearer
approaching the monarchial than the republican. Among such often arises a
Napoleon, a man of powerful intellect, a mind to grasp all circumstances,
and a will to direct, who succeeds in placing himself in a position which
he retains for years.
But as the hereditary right of kings cannot exist in the spirit world,
the emperor or dictator is chosen by the people, as was the custom of the
Intercourse of nations with us is not bounded by the obstacles that exist
on earth. Prominent ideas prevailing among the most intelligent masses of
spirits become the views of the whole. This your own world exemplifies.
As the means of communication become more facile, as the various arts of
locomotion obliterate distance, the remote and barbarous nations, brought
into proximity with the civilized, assume their habits, adopt their modes
of action, and follow their form of government.
I can safely predict for you a similar result. In the spirit world those
nations once most tenacious of kingly rights and of the majesty of the
throne, lay quietly down their regal crowns, and assume the
unostentatious cap of the republic. So will all the nations of earth
follow their spiritual leaders and hurl out from the round globe the
crumbling thrones and sceptres of kings and emperors and the tottering
papal chair of Rome, down, down, into the vast tomb of antiquity!
_FLIGHT TO MY STARRY HOME_.
I was in Stockholm when the ambassador, who is sent by the all-wise
Father to pilot his children to the unknown land of roses, called for me,
and I was obliged to part with the body which, though homely and
unattractive, like the dear, good "family roof,"[A] had rendered me
service in many a stormy day.
[Footnote A: Swedish term for umbrella.]
The feeling I experienced in taking my departure was like that of going
out into a pitiless storm, and it was followed by an intense prickling
sensation, similar to that familiarly known as the "foot asleep." This, I
afterwards understood, was occasioned by the electrical current passing
through my spirit as it assumed shape upon emerging from its old frame.
Some twenty minutes perhaps elapsed after the breath leaving the body
before I became perfectly conscious in my new form. Upon recovering the
use of my senses, my whole attention was drawn from myself to the friends
who had gathered in the room which had so recently been my sick chamber.
As I watched them combing the hair and attiring the white, stiff figure
that lay so solemnly stretched upon the couch, my emotions were
indescribable. I endeavored to speak, but my voice gave but a faint
sound, which they evidently did not hear--as a spirit, I attracted no
attention. This caused me deep grief, for I desired them all to see me
My sad emotions were presently dispelled by the sound of most mellifluous
music bursting upon my senses; and as I turned my eyes to discover the
source from whence it proceeded, I beheld, resurrected before me, a group
of dear old friends, whose bodies were already dust and ashes in the
Swedish grave-yards, and in the cemeteries of the old and new worlds. A
hearty burst of joy escaped from my lips as I recognized them. We
laughed, cried, shook hands, and kissed first on one cheek and then on
the other, with the same enthusiasm and naturalness we would have shown
had we been inhabitants of dear old mother Earth.
"Come, Frederika! Dear Frederika! don't stay gazing on that old body!
Leave friends who cannot talk with you and come with us!" they clamored
on all sides. Their voices were like a full orchestra; besides, some had
instruments of music, upon which they improvised little songs to my
honor. I was fairly bewildered. Presently they formed a circle about me
and commenced whirling rapidly around and around. I felt as in a hammock
swayed by the wind; a dreamy lethargy stole over me, and I gradually
became unconscious; and thus, I am told, they bore me through the earth's
atmosphere, out in the stellar spaces, to a new world--a world not of the
earth, earthy, but the New Jerusalem which I had so often pictured to my
A soft, pleasant breeze blowing directly upon my face, restored me to
consciousness. I opened my eyes, and, lo! I was reclining upon a divan in
a great pavilion. The friends whom I had previously recognized were
around me, some making magnetic passes over me, others engaged in
preparations for my comfort. Upon seeing me awaken, several friends
approached with flowers and fruits. The term "flowers," though a
beautiful appellation, gives but a faint idea of these marvellous
My attention was particularly attracted to one whose corolla was of deep
violet striped with gold, having long silvery filaments spreading out
from the cup in lines of light like the luminous trail of a comet.
In a state of delicious languor, I watched the varied wonders before me.
The pavilion, which was of silver lace or filagree woven in the most
exquisite patterns, was a hundred or more feet in circumference, and
adorned with open arches and columns on its several sides. These columns
and arches were of coral and gold, which contrasted with the silver
network, and the blossoms and foliage of curious plants and vines which
graced the interior, forming altogether a structure of singular elegance
Numberless forms like the fabled peris and gods of mythology glided in
and out of these arches, and approached me with offerings of welcome. One
blooming Venetian maiden presented me with a crystal containing a golden
liquid, which she said was the elixir of the poets and painters of her
nation. The name she gave it was "The Poet's Fancy," and she informed me
that it was distilled from a plant which fed upon or absorbed the
emanations which the active mentalities of these poetic beings exhaled.
This information was quite new to me, and gave me pleasure, as it
accorded with my ideas of correspondence. So I sipped the "Poet's Fancy,"
and imagined that its delicious, aromatic flavor vivified me like rays of
sunshine. If, previously, I had been charmed, I now certainly experienced
a power of enjoyment and quickness of perception tenfold increased.
I then inquired for Swedenborg, Spurzheim, and Lavatar. "You will meet
them further on," said she, smiling. "They are not here." I was so well
pleased with her that I twined my arm around her fairy-like form and we
glided away together. As I desired to obtain a peep at the outside of the
beautiful pavilion, my companion led the way, pausing here and there to
present me to groups who had advanced for that purpose. The company I
found to be composed of writers and painters, interspersed with a few of
my own personal friends; and I felt gratified to find myself so well
received by those whom I had known on earth as celebrities.
"'Tis strange," I remarked to my companion, "that such choice minds
should all be gathered together in one place."
"They are spirits congenial to your own," said she. "Like attracts like,
and they have come from their respective homes in the spirit world to
welcome you here."
"Ah," said I, "I now begin to understand what all this fine company
means! This is my reception."
As we were leaving the pavilion we were joined by Herr Von ----, the
celebrated Swedish naturalist who had recently entered the spirit world.
He congratulated me upon my safe arrival, and kindly offered to act as
_cicerone_ and to point out to me the marvels by which I was surrounded.
To my astonishment, on reaching the open air I discovered that the
pavilion was located upon the summit of a lofty mountain. The face of
this mountain was of many colors and glistened like precious stones. My
friend led me to the point of a precipice on one side and bade me look
down. This I did, and beheld phosphorescent rays issuing from the sides.
"What wonder is this?" I asked. He informed me the mountain was magnetic
in its character, and that it was, so to speak, the first station from
earth, and a point easily attained by a spirit newly arriving from that
planet. He said I was not permanently to remain upon the mountain, but
was placed there until I should become acclimated to the spirit
atmosphere, and to acquire strength before travelling to that portion of
the spirit land which would form my permanent abode.
The apex of the mountain formed a flat plain about two miles in extent.
We walked onward some distance, when he pointed out to me another
pavilion, much larger than the one to which I had been borne. The
exterior form of each was alike, and resembled a Turkish mosque; the
crown-like canopy which formed the top being surmounted by a ball so
dazzling in brightness that I was obliged to turn my gaze from it. This
ball was composed of an electric combination, which shed its rays far
through space. "And," said the good Herr Von ----, "as the pavilion is
used for the reception of the friendless and the homeless, they are
attracted and guided to it by its coruscations."
We proceeded some steps further, and he showed me how the mountain, which
is steep and precipitous on the northern exposure, sloped into broken
chains and lower elevations on the southern; and from this point, looking
down, I beheld through the clear atmosphere a billowy landscape, clothed
with soft, rich verdure, more fresh and green to the eye than that which
covers dear mother Earth.
"How wonderful are thy works, O God!" I exclaimed, as we retraced our
steps. And I could not but reflect upon the singular trait exhibited by
Jesus of frequenting a high mountain to pray. Surely, altitude elevates
one into the spiritual state, and no doubt Christ felt nearer to the
spirit world when elevated far above Jerusalem, on the mountain-top, amid
the clouds. Thus, looking down from the sublime height, I realized for
the first time that I too was a spirit and an inhabitant of the world in
which Jesus dwelt!
In the days of my ministrations on earth, it was pretty generally
believed that the Sabbath day was one of peculiar sanctity; and that the
Creator, having completed the creation of the earth in six days, had
rested upon the _seventh_ from the labor attendant on that work. But
science, which is ever at war with the Jewish record, has established the
fact that the world was not created in that short space of time.
The multiplicity of worlds created also disprove the idea that the
Creator could have rested during any set period of time.
Some zealous skeptics, to counteract the belief in the sanctity of the
Sabbath, have asserted that mind can never rest, and that as _God_ is a
spirit, rest to him is impossible.
Even granting this hypothesis, history and research have proven the
wisdom and utility of the Jewish Sabbath, as established by the great
The Jews at that time were an active, restless, laboring people. Their
industry had enriched Egypt, and having escaped from her oppressive
bondage, they were liable, in their efforts to found a nation of their
own, to carry their habits of industry to excess.
Probably they overworked their slaves, their cattle, themselves, and the
"stranger within their gates." Their wise lawgiver, under the direct
influence of spiritual guides, promulgated this law: "Six days shalt thou
labor and do all thy work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord; in
it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy man-servant, thy
maid-servant, thy cattle, nor the stranger within thy gates."
And this commandment has been handed down from the Jewish to the
Christian nations. With the early Jews it was a day of recreation, of
dancing, and of song. The early Christians employed the day at first in
social intercourse, afterwards it became a day of sacred ordinance; and,
as copies of the Scriptures were rare, they met on that day to hear them
read, and in their simple faith would select passages and apply them to
their own necessities.
When the Christian religion invaded Pagan countries and became
established, the days which had formerly been appropriated to feasting
and sacrificing to the gods and goddesses became the fast-days of the
When Protestantism arose, she swept off from her calendar these
fast-days, and returned to the simplicity of the Jewish Sabbath.
Puritanism followed and gave a literal meaning to the text, "Thou shalt
do no work." Under her reign, all labor was suspended on the seventh day.
A strict watch was set upon the actions of the individual: household
duties were neglected: fires were not lighted or food cooked. The great
world of activity stood still.
Rest so severe embittered men's judgment, and the Sabbath became a day
for prying into the derelictions of each other. A rigid observance was
placed upon men's actions, and stringent laws were made to punish the
offender against this enforced rest.
So tyrannous and exacting did the Puritan observers of the Sabbath
become, that their rigid formulas created a rebellion in the minds of the
succeeding generation, and so great has been the reaction, that in our
day it has become a common assertion that "all days are alike," and the
steam-car and the horse-car, the coach, and the hack, ply their busy
wheels through the streets of our large cities, and the church-goers
travel thereon to their different sanctuaries.
"All days are alike to God," says the reformer; "why should we observe
the Sabbath more than any other day?" I will tell you why: a
concentration of the spiritual nature of men throughout Christendom
necessarily creates a magnetic atmosphere through which spiritual beings
can approach. The sincere and devout worshippers in every land
congregating in churches upon one day, send forth waves of magnetic light
which extend into the world of spirits. The music and the prayers are
borne upward on this current, and great batteries are thereby formed that
cannot but affect the souls in Paradise. They respond to the music and
the prayers, and worshippers in the churches feel their magnetic
influences. Those who are sincere in their religious faith say that they
feel "heaven opened to them." Even those who attend church from fashion,
or for the purpose of meeting their friends and neighbors, are there
brought in contact with spiritual influences which could reach them in no
The experience I have gained since my entrance into my spiritual home has
given me more liberal ideas of the uses of the Sabbath, and taught me
that to the working man it is a necessary day of recreation. But I lift
my voice against its becoming one of beer-drinking and boisterous sports.
The workman who is confined to the bench or the workshop, in the midst of
a crowded city, for six days of the week, will certainly be benefited by
seeking the green fields and healthful influences of the country; but on
reaching that desirable Eden, let means be provided for his instruction;
so, while sitting under the leafy trees, his mind may be benefited, and
his bodily organism rested, rather than injured by feasting and rioting
in the public gardens and parks.
Field preaching should become a regular institution of the Sabbath; and
discourses instructing the mind in morals and sciences should be given in
the tent, or under trees, in parks and woods set apart for that purpose.
Then would, the object of the Sabbath be attained. As I have said, the
spiritual nature is more open to the reception of truth on that day.
The state of sleepiness, which is a well-known attendant on the Sabbath,
is indicative of the magnetic influence; and those who discard the day,
and secretly pursue their active employments, would do well to heed the
remarks I have made.
Before I close, I wish to make some observations upon the present style
of preaching as compared with the sermonizing of my day. When I occupied
the pulpit, the doctrines of election and predestination were the
principal themes that engaged the attention of ministers.
Free will and coerced will were questions which puzzled the theologian.
Looking upon the Bible as an inspired book, the most careless sentence
therein expressed became a word of weighty import. We engaged the minds
of our hearers with abstract questionings and reasonings. But we never
could make the doctrine of predestination accord with that of free will.
Nor could we clearly account for the presence of evil, while we believed
the Creator to be all wise, all powerful, and cognizant of the end from
the beginning. Yet these were the topics which the minister of my day
discussed and endeavored to make clear to the comprehension of his
hearers. We did not treat of every-day life; the pulpit we considered too
sacred for such topics. Religion with the masses became an abstract state
of holiness. Men assumed long faces and sober bearings upon the seventh
day; but their every-day life was something different, which the minister
and his ministering did not reach.
But the pulpits of to-day are platforms of another kind. They have
altered, even as their shape has altered. Their outward construction
corresponds to their teachings. In my day the pulpit was narrow and
straight, and was lifted high above the people. But at the present day a
step only separates it from the congregation. It is broad, low, and open.
The teachings received from it correspond with its change of form. The
ministers of to-day are one with their flock. Their discourses are
practical, relating to every-day affairs. They no more discuss the
questions of Satan, of angels, and archangels, nor arouse an undefined
fear by descanting on the mysterious prophecies of Daniel: they talk to
you like _human beings._
I remember being somewhat shocked while listening to sermons preached by
my son, H.W. Beecher. I recall sitting near his pulpit, and longing to
get up and tell the congregation my views of texts and matters of which
he was discoursing. I thought then it was because the race was going
backward--becoming less intellectual--that men should be content to
listen to sermons that contained so little theology. But experience in
spirit life has caused me to change my opinion.
I now see that Beecher, Spurgeon, and a vast host of others, are teaching
human souls the great truths which will fit them for life hereafter. I
have done now with endeavoring to solve improbable problems, and with
simple faith in man's efforts for his own progression, I give my
testimony as to the uses of the Sabbath, and the advantages of religion
in advancing their progress, and in preparing the spirit for its future
PROFESSOR GEORGE BUSH.
_LIFE AND MARRIAGE IN THE SPIRIT WORLD_.
The two worlds--the spiritual and the material--are like twin sisters
whom I have seen, so similar that their acquaintances could not
distinguish between them, and yet so dissimilar that an intimate friend
would wonder why one should ever be mistaken for the other.
I propose to give a short account of the society and conditions of life
in the spiritual spheres.
The Swedenborgian Society of which I was a member while on earth,
continues to exist as a body in the spirit world, though Swedenborg, the
great seer and founder of that sect, is not a leader among them. He has
his country seat in Swedenborgia, a beautiful and intellectual settlement
named after him, where he retires within himself, and directs his great
mind in developing his science of correspondences, which he proposes to
arrange so systematically that it will become a part of the teachings of
It was never his design to become the leader of a sect, but his desire
was simply to reveal like a telescope that which was unknown. He is
deeply interested in the political condition of Sweden, Norway, and
Germany, and exerts his vast intellect towards emancipating the minds of
those nations from the bondage of church and state.
It is curious to witness with what fidelity Swedenborg described in many
instances the condition of the soul after death; and also to perceive in
other instances how utterly he misinterpreted the visions presented.
Such discrepancies are incidental to all clairvoyant states; and this is
not surprising, for it is incidental to humanity.
Man sees clearly when the prejudices of education and the influence of
his loves do not pervert his vision.
What political economist, strongly biased in favor of one mode of
government, can contemplate dispassionately an opposing form?
The theological belief which Swedenborg imbibed in his early youth,
tinctured his description of the heavens and hells of the spirit world,
causing him to represent the soul as reaching a period in its love of
evil when it cannot retrace its steps. The hells of the spirit are
similar to the hells of earth, being like them the result of the
ignorance and perverted loves of animal man.
What hell more fearful than the hell of licentiousness? Yet it is merely
the animal side of the heaven of love.
Swedenborg discovered hells in spiritual existence, where the inmates
lived lives of prostitution. His statement concerning such hells is true.
Individuals who have lived such lives upon earth cannot suddenly be
transformed. Their habits become _spiritual diseases_ with them.
Now, as to marriage, the mere form does not make the wife different from
the courtezan, but her love exalts her above that condition. If she be
united to a man who is repulsive to her nature, and yet submits to his
embraces for the considerations of family, or home, or public opinion,
she is on the same plane with the courtezan.
It is a proposition generally believed, that there is a soul-mate for
every human being, and it is usually supposed that in the spirit world
those mates are found, and that those united there live together
inseparably. But as there exists in the spirit world the same states, the
same variety of progressive development among men and women as in this
world, so unions are formed there in which one soul develops beyond the
capacity of the other, and in such cases changes must ensue.
I will now speak of marriages more in detail.
In the summer land the union of the man with the woman occurs from very
similar causes to those which bring about like unions upon earth--the man
is drawn to the woman and the woman to the man through the operation of a
natural law. If instinct were not so impaired by the cultivation of the
external faculties, there would arise but little difficulty--on earth in
selecting partners adapted to each other. Considerations of wealth and
position are permitted to influence your selections rather than the idea
of congeniality and adaptability.
In spirit life this method is reversed, and the marriages formed there
are productive of greater happiness than those among men in the first
condition of life.
But as I have stated, marriage in the spirit world is not an indissoluble
bond. Some minds associate together in harmony and expand in the same
direction, and with these the union is permanent. I have seen such in the
spirit world,--beautiful and noble souls intertwined and aspiring
There be others whose states and conditions after a time become changed.
Such seek new companions, and this is permitted without discredit to the
Many forms of marriage ceremonies are extant in the different societies
and countries. Garlands of flowers and symphonies of divine music are
bestowed upon the bride and groom. Bright bands of spirits from the
celestial heavens attend them, for they represent in their love and in
their wedded joy the harmonies of nature!
While they love, sin, sorrow, darkness, and all evils shrink from sight.
From these spiritual marriages are born soul attributes. Human beings are
never generated in the second condition; they need what is known as the
material world for their nurture and growth; and yet I understand that in
some of the more refined spiritual existences births have occurred. The
beings born there are indigenous--not generated by earth parents, but
offspring of those refined conditions.
I know not of this as a fact; yet if we take the old Jewish Bible as a
history, we find an analogous statement there in the assertion that
Christ was born of God in a spiritual state of existence previous to
entering this earth plane.
Spirit soils and atmosphere interblend and produce trees, shrubs,
flowers, and the cereals, but the human being, after the second birth,
ceases to reproduce his species. His children are thoughts born of the
spirit. After birth succeeds death. The soul passes through many stages
of existence in the process of refinement. The next state of existence to
the material, I term the spiritual, and the one beyond that the
celestial, and beyond that the seraphic.
In the next state, to which I in common with all men who have not passed
some hundreds of years in the spirit world belong, individuals pass
through a condition analogous to death upon the earth.
Spiritual bodies are subject to a process of refinement and decay; and
the soul, as the winged butterfly to which it is likened, throws off its
cerement and assumes a new form.
But with us the transmigration is not veiled in darkness and mystery as
with you. We can watch the transformation; we can see the spirit emerge
from its old casement more ethereal than ourselves, but still visible;
and we can hold communion with it.
So slight is this change with us that your mediums seldom touch upon the
Spirit is inseparable from matter, and can give neither form nor
expression without it.
The Great Invisible Creator of the Universe must have thought of trees,
flowers, beasts, birds, fish, and the wonderful exhibitions of form
through the vast realm of matter, previous to their existence.
But he had to give them shape in matter--perishable but re-creative
matter; and if the Master-mind of all cannot express his thought
otherwise than with this ever changing, yet ever reconstructing thing
called matter, how can the human soul manifest but through a
spiritualized condition of matter, ever changing yet ever re-creating and
refining, mounting higher and higher, from the earthly to the spiritual,
from the spiritual-to the celestial, on--on--till finally reaches
JUNIUS BRUTUS BOOTH
All great actors are media for spirit influx. It would be a marvellous
sight if the curtain which hangs between the spirit world and the stage
were uplifted, and the invisible drama which is being enacted exposed to
view. Then would you behold "the airy spirits" to whom Shakspeare so
truthfully alludes, moving like comets in gorgeous light around the
Inspiration is _motion, acceleration, intensity_; it has no part or
parcel with lethargy.
I recall my past experience, portions of which I review with regret. In
endeavoring to obtain this energy, this motion, this acceleration, I was
obliged in my ignorance to resort to artificial means. A knowledge of the
laws of spirit life would have enabled me to have avoided this mistake;
but that knowledge I did not possess.
The actor of the present day is blessed with the knowledge that he has
merely to throw himself into the magnetic state, and become _en rapport_
with spiritual conditions, to find himself inspired--inflated with the
divine magnetic current which flows from the spirit world to the
inhabitants of earth. If a player desires to represent a certain
character,--let it be the subtle, fiend-like Richard III. or the crafty
Richelieu,--the customary mode of studying such characters is to endeavor
to imagine one's self to be the person. That is the first step towards
mediumship; for it is one degree from the natural, towards the superior
state. Usually, through ignorance, the student proceeds no further than
this point; and the spirit assistants can only partially aid him. But an
actor possessing the knowledge of placing himself _en rapport_ with these
characters, whether traditional or real, is immediately cut loose from
his surroundings and becomes the Richard or Richelieu whom he would
From the brain of every spirit medium ascends a blazing sun, which burns
the brighter when the magnetic relations between it and the spirit world
are most perfect. This blazing light, this radiant effulgence, is
perceived instinctively, though not knowingly, by every individual who
listens to a discourse from a "trance medium." So from the brain of the
actor this glorious light throws out its rays into the assembly, and when
he becomes fully inspired, its magnetic influence is felt with
overpowering vividness; and the result is, the audience themselves are
set in motion, and from pit to gallery you hear vociferous applause.
There are actors who are good, and who acquire fame, who have never felt
this divine afilatus. The intellect of the audience appreciates them for
their declamation, for the art and artifice which they manifest; but the
humblest and most illiterate of that assembly know well that this studied
eloquence does not fire the brain.
But it will not do to trust blindly to spirit control; a knowledge and
constant study of human nature is necessary.
It is a well-known fact that a person steadily looking at one point will
influence twenty others to look at that point also, and to imagine they
see some object before them. Understanding this principle, you may work
upon each attribute in the minds of your audience. If fear is to be
aroused, do as your neighbor does as he hastily enters your house after
meeting with a fearful calamity. You become excited before even hearing
the evil which has befallen him. Every faculty can be acted upon in the
same manner--grief and joy alike.
Of the ventriloquial powers of the human voice, many speakers are
ignorant. The tyro on the stage wishing to make the remotest individual
in his audience hear, bawls at the top of his lungs. He is unaware that
the organs of the human voice are a kind of electrical machine, governed
by the will-power, and that the actor has merely to throw his will and
direct his mind to a given point, for his voice to reach that point and
produce a far more startling effect than the loudest blast that any pair
of lungs could bring forth. Thus the lowest whisper can be made to tell
at the farthest corner of the theatre.
But perhaps I have said enough of the methods best adapted to produce
representations of character on the stage. The question may arise in the
mind of the reader, whether there is any opportunity of exercising the
talent of acting in the spirit world, supposing that talent to have been
cultivated in this.
In the remotest ages, and among the most uncultivated nations, as well as
among the most highly civilized, the power of representing human passions
and events has been exercised instinctively, showing this power to be as
much a portion of the soul's attributes as the gift of thought or of
fancy. If one belongs to the immortal condition, the other does also.
One of the chief enjoyments which the all-wise Creator has made
attainable to the inhabitants of the starry heavens is that of dramatic
representations of life, character, and events, transpiring in the
countless worlds that wheel through space.
The field of the actor for depicting the truths of human nature in the
world of spirits is vast and unconfined!
Eloquence is appreciated on earth, but that appreciation is weak and
tasteless compared with the estimation of that "gift of the gods" by the
inhabitants of the summer land.
Some blind, short-sighted investigators tell you there is no speech among
us; they would lead you to imagine that we inhabit a world blank and void
of sound; that stillness more unbroken than the grave pervades our
Conjure up the picture in your fancy, reader--the soul shrinks back from
such a state! The spirit world is _all_ voice. Never have I heard notes
clearer, louder, deeper, than resound through the electric air that
surrounds my home.
The gift of speaking, and of representing individualities separate from
your own identity, is a spiritual gift decidedly; and with us theatres
and amphitheatres are as numerous as churches are with you. I will leave
the description of these structures for the ready pen and speech of our
"_THE DIVISION OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, INTO SEVERAL BODIES, AND ITS
RE-ORGANIZATION INTO ONE GENERAL BODY."_
I will take for my text this sentiment from the New Testament: "I will
draw all men unto me, and there shall be one church and one people."
The church which was organized by our Lord[A] Jesus Christ was designed
to establish a feeling of brotherhood between separate and distinct
classes of people, and to abolish the system of castes, which was the
prevailing sin of the eastern nations.
[Footnote A: The word "Lord" is used in the sense of an earthly lord who
cares for his people.]
Christ made no distinction between the Sadducee and the Pharisee, the
publican and the saint, the high priest of the temple and the lowliest of
his followers. He placed the affections above the intellect, truth and
sincerity above wealth and worldly position.
The church which he originated for many years followed in his footsteps.
But as it increased in numbers it accumulated wealth, and with wealth
came power, and from that power issued discord and separation.
Thus, the church divided and subdivided, and split into a thousand
pieces, formed new interests, created new beliefs, and sowed dissension
and envy with a free hand.
Such has been the condition of the church for the past ten or twelve
centuries. Meanwhile, in the Heaven of Heavens, has arisen a powerful
movement directed towards restoring it to its original state of purity
and simplicity. This great movement, like a mighty river seeking its
outlet, has rushed on, diverging at several points, and at length found
the reservoir it sought in what is termed _Spiritualism_.
The spiritualistic movement opened the gates for the expression of
skepticism, which the formalism, the tyranny, bigotry, and externalism of
the Church awakened in the minds of the people of every enlightened
Christian nation; and the result has been a criticism so pungent, and an
examination so thorough and direct, into the deformities of the Church,
that she has been obliged to contemplate her own condition and the
rottenness of her position, until she fairly trembles at the view of her
On every hand now, at the present moment, efforts are being made to
consolidate--to rejoin. On one side you behold the Protestant Episcopal
Church offering to unite with the Methodists, from whom, since my day,
they have stood aloof, as an illegal and fanatical people whom they could
On the other side, you see them stretching to the Roman Church, forming a
brotherly compact of forms and ceremonies with Papacy.
One branch of the Presbyterian Church wears the robes of the Roman
Church, and thus that is linked to Catholicism.
All these denominations which have stood apart so long, whose theology
has been so antagonistic, are now merging into one Church.
In the face of the great danger which Spiritualism or Liberalism has
brought to their sight, they endeavor to return to their first estate,
but in returning they lose their identity.
This result is sure, though unperceived by them.
One by one, they will give up this point of difference and that point of
difference, this creed and that creed, for the sake of harmony. This
vestment they lay aside, and that form, until they will all be swallowed
up, and neither Methodists nor Calvinists, Baptists nor Lutherans,
Armenians, Jews, nor Gentiles, will remain. Then the primitive Church of
Christ will be revived again upon earth, simple and unostentatious; its
creed will be the creed of Jesus Christ:
"The brotherhood of man, and the love of God for his children."
This creed, you perceive, embraces the whole of the spiritualistic faith,
which is causing these great changes throughout the Church of Christ on
* * * * *
At this point it will not be inappropriate to make some allusion to the
mysterious sounds which occurred in my house in Lincolnshire, England, at
intervals within the space of three or more years during my earthly
These mysterious sounds, even in that day, were supposed to have been
caused by spirit agency. I have ascertained that that supposition was
correct; and my attention has since been directed to the fact in Church
history, that every separation from the Church body which has originated
in a desire to return to the simplicity and purity of the primitive
followers of Jesus, has been attended by similar mysterious
Luther and Mclancthon, Knox and Calvin, and the earnest dissenters and
reformers of every age, have been haunted in like manner. I say haunted,
for they generally have misunderstood the aim of these spiritual
visitants.[A] It has devolved upon the scientific researches and the
skeptical but investigating mind of the nineteenth century to form a
process by which the spirit of the departed can communicate with the
dwellers in Time.
[Footnote A: The spirit of Rev. Dr. John M. Krebbs, of New York, states
through this clairvoyant that the cause of his mental aberration while on
earth was a misinterpretation by him of a spiritual vision which he was
permitted to receive. Thus misunderstanding the aim of his spiritual
visitants, he became haunted with a fallacy which ultimated in his death.
To me this science was unknown. Had I been acquainted with the facts with
which I am now familiar, I might have established a more liberal Church,
but as it was, this daily association with an unseen spiritual presence
enlarged my views of the condition attending the soul after death, and
caused me to give utterance to thoughts which happily have aided in
preparing the world for the Universal Church which ere long will lift its
towering dome toward Heaven.
_A SPIRIT REVISITING EARTH_.
How wondrous I
Through illimitable space, where myriad suns
And systems roll their mighty orbs,
The spirit moves like some strange wingless bird,
Darting through space with rapid flight
Until he nears his native home,
His home no longer;
He has become the denizen of a world
More rare and beautiful than earth.
With quickening pulse and grand emotion
He gazes down upon the globe,
Whose habitations he has left forever!
Cities with their palaces and towers,
Surging seas, leafy forests, and fields of grain,
The towering mountain and the massy
Icebergs of the Polar sea sweep past
His sight like fading visions.