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still alive. Spiritualism said that ordinary human beings can do the same, manifesting in less tremendous ways if their strength and the conditions do not allow of the full visible and tangible presence which Christ's greater power achieved, but still manifesting sufficiently to establish their existence and their identity. These things, indeed, had been happening all along the centuries, more or less, but had been neglected or reprobated by an uninquiring and prescientific age, largely dominated by a priesthood which naturally did its best to keep authority and power in its own hands. But now, in the modern atmosphere of free inquiry, the facts were plain to all who would seek.

Swedenborg had laid the foundations, by his own experiences—sometimes "evidential”—and by his doctrine of the similarity of the two worlds. In America his teaching coalesced with that of Mesmer and his disciples, and the popular mind was ready for the clairvoyant revelations of A. J. Davis and the objective phenomena of the Hydesville knockings. Davis taught a Swedenborgian continuity between the two worlds, but departed from the Swede's system by adopting a more Pythagorean, or more Early Christian, or more Indian scheme of progression through many heavens.

This was upheld, with variations, by Tuttle, Hare, and other later spiritualists.

In England there had been considerable interest in mesmerism, but a definite spiritualistic element was introduced from America in the eighteen-fifties, when several mediums came over. These were mostly of the rapping variety, this form of mediumship being aimed at by those “developing,” in consequence of the

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early manifestations having been of that type; but D. D. Home showed almost the whole gamut of mediumistic phenomena, and his genuine powers were attested by many legal and scientific men, among them Sir William Crookes (afterwards President of the Royal Society), Sir David Brewster, and Lord Dun

Most of Home's sitters seem to have been converted to a spiritistic belief, and the most sceptical were forced to admit-if they investigated patientlythat a supernormal agency was at work. “That certain physical phenomena, such as the movement of material substances, and the production of sounds resembling electric discharges, occur under circumstances in which they cannot be explained by any physical law at present known, is a fact of which I am as certain as I am of the most elementary fact in chemistry. But I cannot, at present, hazard even the most vague hypothesis as to the cause of the phenomena.” 1 The distinguished chemist and courageous psychical investigator advanced to a spiritistic position after his remarkable experience of materialisation with Miss Cook.

The mediumship of W. Stainton Moses was the next notable event, and in his case there was no comprehensible motive for fraud, his sittings being given only to friends, without fee. Home similarly never asked a fee, but he probably received gifts and certainly received and enjoyed the hospitality of famous people. Mr. Moses, on the other hand, lived a quiet and hardworking life, supporting himself first as a

Sir Wm. Crookes: "Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism," p. 3.


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curate and afterwards as a schoolmaster, and earning the respect of all who knew him. Fraud, moreover, was often apparently eliminated by the circumstances of the case, and it is impossible to account for the experiences of Mr. Moses' sitters without either admitting the agency of discarnate beings or inventing hypotheses of the most tortured kind regarding the assumed powers—and wickedness of the incarnate "subliminal.”

Meanwhile these strange happenings had begun to be seriously considered in academic circles, and, under the influence of Sir William Barrett the Society for Psychical Research was founded, with Professor Henry Sidgwick as President, and F. W. H. Myers and Edmund Gurney as chief workers. Starting very

. cautiously and without creed except that certain alleged phenomena were worthy of investigation, the Society did good work in hypnotic and thought-transference experiments, but speedily passed to wider fields in its investigation of Mrs. Piper. Dr. Richard Hodgson, who came to know more about her phenomena than any other living man, and who was utterly sceptical at first, grew completely convinced not only that the phenomena were supernormal, but that the communicators and controls were spirits, as they claimed to be. Several other leading members were equally or almost equally convinced—e.g. Sir Oliver Lodge and Mr. Myers—and the others fell back on telepathic suppositions. These, however, became increasingly difficult to maintain when the elaborate cross-correspondence evidence occurred later; and in consequence of this, added to very complex evidence of classical knowledge given through non-classical automatists, even the sceptical wing which may be considered as represented by Mrs. Sidgwick and Mr. G. W. Balfour, admitted the reasonableness of a spiritistic interpretation of some of these curious happenings. Meanwhile, Sir William Barrett and many others had been convinced by their own experiments with private sensitives, quite apart from Mrs. Piper or the cross-correspondences.

Other lines of evidence point in the same direction, such as the haunting of houses as in the Wesley case and others similar, the physical phenomena of Eusapia Palladino, Miss Goligher, and the mediums investigated by Dr. Joseph Maxwell, and—very notably~ the direct voice phenomena of Mrs. Wriedt, described by Admiral Moore. And strong support was also afforded by veridical apparitions and the like, dead people appearing to persons who were unaware of the death, or even, in some cases, of any illness or danger.

The same or similar mediumistic phenomena are stated to occur in India among people who are unacquainted with Western affairs, thus furnishing further support from an independent quarter. And the same claim is made, that they are due to departed human beings.

But belief in such things is a complex matter, and cannot be coerced by any possible evidence. Alternative hypotheses—subliminal memory, or telepathy, or other things if necessary—are always possible. And even among believers there are degrees. Some psychical researchers approximate closely to the spiritualists who believe, e.g. that all trance controls are genuine spirits, while others, though believing in survival and communication, are in doubt about "controls,” who seem more like channels in the medium's subliminal than separate entities—though indeed in a sense they may be both, for the unitary nature of the human spirit can hardly be considered certain, and we may each be a congeries of spiritual parts. This, however, like other problems, is for the facts to decide. Those who have faith in scientific method are willing to follow wherever the facts lead, in this as in other questions. For the present it is sufficient that psychical research, however its workers may differ on points of detail, has certainly brought those who have had the most experience to a position of belief in human survival and at least occasional communication, and the difference between spiritualist and psychical researcher has consequently become a difference in amount of caution in face of each new phenomenon rather than any serious divergence in ultimate opinion.

Spiritualism, however, is a wider thing than mere belief in survival and communication, as Christianity was a wider thing, even in its beginnings, than belief in the Resurrection; though in each case the phenomena furnished the basis or nucleus. Spiritualism is a religion or cult, teaching the existence of God, the essential Brotherhood of Man, personal responsibility, rewards and punishments for the life lived in the body, and an endless progression. It is a form of Christianity, as the Greek, Roman, and Anglican Churches are, on a larger scale. And when one reads the works of the Ante-Nicene Fathers—the great Christians of the first three centuries of our era-one


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