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Post by Admin Wed May 28, 2008 5:40 am

What Is Spiritualism?

Ancient and Modern Spiritualism; Modern Spirit-Manifestations
The Spiritualist Register, By Mr. & Mrs. Uriah and Eliza Clark, Auburn, N. Y. U.

What is Spiritualism?
Those who would know what Spiritualism teaches, must learn of those who are acknowledged to be its believers and representatives. Yet every believer may have some phrase of opinion peculiarly his own, corresponding with his own individuality: Hence, an individual opinion, or a number of opinions by different individual opinion, or a number of opinions by different individuals on a given point, may not fairly and fully represent Spiritualism as a whole, as received by the mass of the most advanced Spiritualists. All who are called Spiritualists agree in recognizing the fact of Spiritual intercourse between the earth-sphere and the world invisible to external senses; and this constitutes them Spiritualists—at least, in theory, without any regard to opinions on other points, and without regard to creed, character, or standing.
1. Spiritualism, as generally understood, teaches the existence of a supreme Spiritual Intelligence, unfolding, pervading and animating the Universe; a God of infinite attributes and perfections, and the Father of all Spirits, whether in or out of the mortal form.
2. It teaches that man is the Spiritual offspring of God—“made in his image and likeness.”—with God-like attributes, individualized and immortal.
3. Man having a Spiritual nature, God-derived and God-sustained—a compound of all the essences of subordinate objects in creation—in that nature is eternal and progressive.
4. As a personal, essential, intelligent being, man is a Spirit; in this earth-life as an individual, clothed with a material form or body, and made to pass through a state of discipline initiatory to other spheres of existence.
5. When the Spirit has fulfilled its mission in this earth-life, and the body has done its office work, the material form is thrown off in the process of death, and man enters the spheres of Spiritual being.
6. In proportion to his unfoldment in Truth, Wisdom, and Love, man on entering the Spirit-world, may so control certain imponderable elements and influences, under certain conditions, as to come back to earth—in various ways communicate with those who are still in the body, and produce manifestations to demonstrate to the internal and external senses of mortals, the presence, the identity, the power, the intelligence of Spirits; ministering faith to the unbelieving, light to the darkened, joy to the sorrowing, strength to the weak and weary, comfort to the mournful, love to the lonely and neglected, hope to the despairing, and eternal life to the dying.
7. While still in the body, man, according to his spiritual culture and unfolding, may hold direct communication with the Spirit-world, may realize the influences of the Holy Host of heaven, may commune with the ever revealing, ever-inspiring Father-Spirit of the universe, may read the souls of his fellow men, with an interior eye, may sometimes penetrate time and space with a prophetic glance, may have such command over the invisible elements, in co-operation with unseen intelligences, as to control disease, heal the sick, bless the unfortunate, and dismantle death of its dreads.
8. On entering the Spirit-world, man takes the plane or state corresponding the nearest to the plane, the interior condition, the predominant character of his earth-life; though opposed by nothing in the Divine Economy to prevent the overcoming of all evil, the eternal progress of the Spirit, and the ultimate reign of harmony throughout the empire of Him who shall become all in all.
9. The bond of all true Unity, is, Love, the essence of God, the element of the angel-world, the life current of all spiritual communion, the test of Jesus, the touchstone of all noble souls whose deeds have blessed humanity, the criterion of all faith, all fraternity, all forms, all mediums, and all fellowship with earth and heaven.
10. Spiritualism is in harmony with all sound Revelation, Reason, Philosophy, and Religion; and without seeking any direct antagonism with seemingly opposite systems, seeks rather to recognise the good and the true in every thing, and to harmonize all things according to the laws of eternal progress as under the guidance of him who governs supreme, through men and angels, over all worlds and intelligences.
11. It recognises the Sacred Histories and Scriptures of all ages and nations; accepts Christianity in Spirit—not as embodied in creeds, but as taught and exemplified by Christ and his apostles; each believer claiming the Protestant right of private judgment to read and interpret for himself, accountable for his opinions to none except God at the bar of his own conscience.
12. It claims that modern spiritual manifestations, in their multiplied forms and phases, are in entire harmony with so-called miracles, revelations, inspirations, angel-visitations, and demonstrations of invisible power and intelligence recorded in the Bible; that both are accounted for by the same laws; that the same laws are eternal and unchangeable in their operations; that in each grand epoch in the history of the world, manifestations have been and will continue to be adapted to the needs of man as a being of unending progress; that the Past, Present and Future are indissolubly linked as one; and that no contempt is thrown upon the Past, with all its noble heroes, martyrs, seers, sages, saints, mediums and Messiah, in accepting the manifestations of the Present, and in contending that the same Heavens whose light shone on the brow of Olivet, are still open to-day for man to commune with God and angels, and receive foretastes of the Divine life.
13. To thousands who have no faith in the Past, who are without hope, without God, Spiritualism gives demonstrations of immortality, and they go on their way rejoicing.
14. To thousands who have only a faint and feeble faith, it gives like demonstrations.
15. To those who mourn in Zion over the coldness of religion, it gives new life, and inspires them with a glowing consciousness that God and the Holy Host have not withdrawn from the world.
16. It demonstrates anew, and re-affirms with life-quickening power, all the divine precepts of Christ, and those who have gone before, making them the living truths of to-day, and enforcing them home on the heart and life, with all the pathos, the unction, inevitable in realizing the presence of loving spirit-friends and of angel beings pleading in the name of the Father and the holy dead.
17. Spiritualism recognizes the foreshadowing of some truth in all the false mythologies, superstitions, forms, creeds and religions of the Past and Present, and instead of first making aggressive war on these, proposes to lift man up and out of them, and build up in him the true church, and a temple fit for the indwelling of the Divine Spirit and of angel guests.
18. It maintains that spirits produce audible concussions or raps, accompanied by tests convincive of spiritual agency; move material objects not in contact with any human organism; present spirit forms and spirit scenes; hold intercourse with mortals; communicate messages manifesting super-human intelligence; make impressions on the minds of mediums; read, write, speak, think, act and personify through persons, who are suitably susceptible; identify themselves to their earth-friends; read and transmit to a distance, thoughts and messages; describe distant objects, scenes and persons; sometimes make accurate predictions, and give reliable counsel; speak in tongues, and interpret languages unknown to the mediums; examine, describe and cure diseases; raise persons and ponderable bodies without regard to the law of gravitation; exhibit spirit lights; touch persons and cause them to feel their influence; execute music audible to the sense of hearing; and in the hour of closing nature, reveal themselves to mortals and welcome them home to the spheres.
19. It teaches that all mortals have within themselves the elements of mediumship to commune with the spirit-world; are more or less in communication with spirits in and out of the form and measurably influenced by them, either for good or ill, whether they are conscious of it or not; and the influences, manifestations, impressions and communications they receive, will in a measure if not entirely correspond with the moral plane mortals occupy, the affections that predominate, and the life they lead: and, hence, the need of a true life in order to attain a true, harmonic Spiritualism.
20. While it prescribes no ceremonies or creeds to coerce or cramp the conscience, it recognizes the doctrine of individual liberty and responsibility; the duty of individual regeneration, in conformity to physical and spiritual laws; the self retributive elements of wrong; the self recompense of the right; the necessity of practicing Love, Purity, Justice and Humanity in the attainment of Harmony, Happiness or Heaven either in the Present or Future life; and the right and duty of every man to seek all the light he needs as his guide, and settle for himself all matters between his own conscience and God.
Ancient and Modern Spiritualism
Men in all ages and nations have claimed more or less communication with the Spirit-world, and have their Miracles, their Revelations and sacred Scriptures, each varying according to prevalent enlightenment. Chinaman, Hindoo, Persian, Arabian, Turk, Greek, Hebrew and Christian, each has his Bible. The Anglo Saxon race is most familiar with the Hebrew and Christian Bible. Spiritualists claim that the Bible did not close when St. John completed the Apocalypse. There is abundant evidence that Spiritual manifestations like those recorded in the New Testament and those now occurring, were common in the earlier ages of the Christian church.—In the family of Rev. John Wesley, during the last century, strange sounds were heard which he declared must have been produced by Spirits. Many others concurred with him. Most of our grandsires and mothers relate similar occurrences. Mrs. Crowe in her Nightside of Nature gives hundreds of reliable cases of manifestations demonstrating the agency of spirits and the spiritual nature of man. The Seeress of Prevorst, Germany, 1825-28 was an acknowledged clairvoyant and medium for raps and other spirit demonstrations.
Capron in his valuable history of Modern Spiritualism, says the manifestations first began in 1844, Hydesville, Arcadia, Wayne Co., N. Y., in a small house then occupied by Mrs. Ann Pulver and her daughter, who testified as to the hearing of mysterious knockings. Little, however, was said or done, till 1847, when Mr. M. Weekman lived in the same house, and remained till the family were alarmed. Mrs. John D. Fox with Mrs. Fox and three daughters moved into the house in Dec. 1847, and the knockings began to attract attention in March 1848. On learning a method to communicate intelligently with the sounds the neighbors flocked in, and multitudes came from a distance to return with the wonderful story that the Spirits of the departed could come back and break the silence of death.
From that lowly advent in 1848, Spiritualism, with its unnumbered manifestations adapted to every plane of mind, has spread its circles abroad, until, within the brief space of nine years, it has swept to the remotest bounds of civilization, and now numbers more gladdened disciples than many of the religious orders which began centuries since.
Modern Spirit-Manifestations.
The Bible manifestations [. . .] are generally accredited, on the testimony of witnesses on earth centuries ago; the following facts are substantiated by reliable living witnesses. The phenomena occurred under circumstances rendering trick, art and illusion impossible.
A murder is exposed by spirits—Spirits speak in audible voices; write, touch persons; move heavy objects; lift large billets of timber, with no human contact—They make loud noises on doors and roofs to call attention—They telegraph a death, sixty miles.—They counsel George Willets well, and give remarkable predictions which prove timely and true—The Rochester committees are unable to account for the raps, without admitting spirit agency.—The spirits in Auburn, make music, move tables, etc.—They prevent a fire.—Some imperfect mortals are supposed to be misdirected in the Mountain Cove movement.—Rev. Dr. Phelps is besieged by hosts of spirits.—Bancroft, Hawks, Francis, Willis, Marcy, Cooper, Ripley, Bryant, and other literati are unable to account for the rappings.—Gordon is lifted up bodily.—Judge Edmonds becomes a seer.—The spirits work an instantaneous cure of the lame. [Capron’s Modern Spiritualism . . .] A medical spring discovered.—Spirits cure a cancer.—Spirit lights made.—The spirits seek out a lone suffering orphan child.—A spirit warns and protects.—The soul is read. [Telegraph Papers . . .] Cholera cured.—The dying restored. Mourners comforted by a spirit.—A prodigal saved.—A spirit recognized.—A saw vibrated.—Fore warning of death.—House illumined, and converse held with spirit-friends.—Spirit proclaiming the gospel of peace. [Spiritual Clarion . . .].

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Post by Left Behind Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:14 pm

Mr. Clark sums it up pretty well, I'd say! Smile


Left Behind

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