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THE COMING MILLENNIUM.
taking the shape of hands, arms, dress, &c., and even of an entire person, dressed, &c.
16. “ That, nevertheless, the high thought, philosophy, independence, conciseness, and deep reflection evinced by many of the answers and sentiments expressed by the Odylic fluid, point to its connection with a general thought atmosphere, as all-pervading as electricity, and which possibly is in itself, or is in intimate connection with, the principles of causation of the whole universe." *
But this Author is not the only person who has investigated these “modern spiritual manifestations," and who, seeing and believing the phenomena, yet does not believe in " the spirits.” A Mr. William Robert Bertolacci has written a little book, called “ Christian Spiritualism," in which he details his experiences. He seems to think that the time is come, or fast coming, when God is about “ to pour out His Spirit on all flesh.” He says, “ It is thus that, at this time, when the resources of material science, in their all but miraculous nature and the astounding rapidity of their succession, seem to be drawing to a close, that the most widespread inanifestations of an invisible power that have ever been heard of, are sent to this globe of ours, to show us that there still exists an order of things far surpassing the sphere of our temporal reason, and capable of subverting all the theories which we, in the vanity of our material science, have laid down as the laws of nature.'”
“ Should we not consider these uncalled-for, spontaneous manifestations as forming, at least, a portion of those “ signs of the times” which are immediately to precede the spiritual reign of Christ on earth ?”+
* Mary Jane; or, Spiritualism Chemically considered, p. 354. + Christian Spiritualism, p. 86.
He rejects the intervention of “Souls of the departed," but ascribes most of the phenomena to our own occult spiritual power.
This power he considers is to be developed by training, and he has used it in the education of his own family, in the extension and quickening of their natural powers.
" Alter some trials,” he says,
my young people were thrown into the magnetic sleep, and in that state could read in books with their eyes bandaged and well padded up-could see and hear things in far-distant places — were made insensible to pain, and deprived of their memory on being awakened, or retained a perfect recollection of all that had passed during their somnambulic state."
It was made known to us by the spirit, (not the spirits,) that this power to obstruct or retain the memory could be vastly extended; that the memory with the faculties of perception could be so strengthened as to make the education of our young people the easiest of all things-- an amusement, a real recreation - instead of being, as it is now, a slow, tedious and fatiguing
The acquirements of the somnambulic condition could, with a little pains and perseverance, in the great majority of subjects, be transferred to their normal waking state." By this species of training, by the use of hypnotism, and the power of faith, the abnormal conditions of mesmerism were brought into common daily use, without, so far as I understand, injuring the health or weakening the natural faculties. We are told that whole pages can be retained in the memory by a process of instantaneous “ Psychotyping," and the whole process of this kind of clairvoyant education is given at some length. I give only an illustration. “ The students are also by the faculty they acquire for receiving inspiration, so perfectly identified with everything belonging to the places spoken of in their study of geography, that they feel as though they were on the
CURES BY THE SPIRIT OF COMMUNION.
spot. So correct are the impressions made by the ubiquitous power of their souls on all the organs of the body in their temporarily perfected condition, that they appear to themselves to be, not where the lessons are going on, but in the very places therein referred to; seeing, hearing, and feeling all that they are required or desirous to see, hear, or feel.”
But Mr. Bertolacci not only aided the development of our “latent spiritual faculties” by training and “ initiation”, but he alleviated pain and cured diseases by communion of the souls of the living. He tells ús that “the most miraculous cures can be, and have been lately performed upon persons whose maladies had set at nought all medical science.” This has been brought about by the “ laying on of hands or by a certain number of persons forming a chain round the sufferer. Of these cures he gives many instances both within his own family and upon persons without, whose faith in his " spirit of communion” was sufficiently strong. 6. It is manifest,” he says, " that the souls of two or more persons can, during their life on earth, unite and form one soul — union is strength; and when that strength is constituted upon the conditions laid down by the Christian Doctrine, it becomes divine power, omnipotent in its principles, and without any limitation in its effects other than that imposed upon it at the time by the degree of the faith of its constituents."
“In consequence of the present degeneration and helpless state of that Church of Redemption,- primitively established by Jesus' direct disciples, but divided at the present day into all sorts of sects, and totally absorbed in vain forms, --every new demonstration of invisible forces is termed, improperly, supernatural, by a very great majority of those who witness them, and who, having sought for the cause of them in the erroneous philosophies of bygone ages, have adopted the fallacious creed, that these things are produced by the intervention of the Souls of the departed, to the exclusion of all participation in them by our own occult spiritual power.” — (p. 82.) “ The Communion of Saints," he says, “although on the lips of Christians, has never lately been understood and appreciated, and therefore not in their hearts. They have been taught to understand that Saints are exclusively such persons as, having led a very pious and pure life on earth, are after their death, received up into a local heaven in the presence of God infinite, who, however, is there seated on a throne surrounded on all sides by angels, &c. (p. 62.) Whereas the Apostles taught that they and their strict adherents and followers were Saints. “ Our Saviour," he says, “ told the Samaritan woman at the well of Sichar, that • God is Spirit,' (not a Spirit, which he shows from the Greek to be a misinterpretation), and that what should be worshipped as God was the Spirit of Truth. Among the teachings we have received in the inspired writings given to us by the spirit of our communions, has been the following: . God is not an extraneous, individual, isolated Being, but the internal collective, and contiguous life and constitution of all things; not a heterogeneous force, but the intrinsic strength; not concrete, but abstract; not relative but absolute, as to the principle. I trust that what I have said will go some way towards dispelling, in my readers' minds, those narrow ideas of a materialistic education which leads them to look upon the Deity as of a nature distinct' from that of creation; a species of outward looker-on, instead of being, as He is, the intimate constitution, action, life, and intelligence of all things." Mr. Bertolacci admits that it is only by the most determined Will, of which strong faith is the main ingredient, that we can hope to attain to and to persevere in, the new life in the Spirit.” “ I have, he says, had to arm
DIVINATION AND MAGIO.
myself with the most undaunted determination,”—a Will and determination, I fear, to which very few at present will be found equal; but as I have said before, the power of Will, and of joint Wills, has yet to be tested.
History Confirms the Existence of the Phenomena.
But speaking of the phenomena to which we have adverted, Professor de Morgan tells us very truly, “that historical enquiry shows their existence never to have been entirely unknown.”
Thus we have it on the best authority that the Brahmins exhibited before Apollonius of Tyara, who was born four years before Christ, most of the phenomena of modern spiritualism, such as the moving of furniture, levitation, &c., and Apollonius himself is reported to have performed many miracles, and to have wrought many cures. In the East, in his time, these things were Divination and Magic; in the west, especially during the middle ages, Witchcraft. The practice of Magic by the Magi or wise men of the East, was originally the development of the occult powers to which we have referred; it was a reference to a certain vital or spiritual sympathy in the universe, and the attracting of, or union with, these influences or invisible powers, by devotion, and religious rites. Taylor, in his Notes to Pausanias, observes : 16. He whose intellectual eye is strong enough to perceive that all things sympathise with all, will be convinced that magic, cultivated by the ancient philosophers, is founded on a theory no less sublime than rational and true. Such a one will consider, as Plotinus observes, the nature of soul everywhere easy to be attracted, when a proper subject is at hand which is easily passive to its influence.”