ITS PROMISES: HOW FULFILLED
IT is fair to call Spiritualism to account as to the
fulfilment of the promises involved in its challenge to the world when
it stepped upon the stage of action. No movement ever opened with more
magnificent promises. It posed before the world as an angel of heavenly
light. It claimed to be the second coming of Christ. It claimed to have
been sent to regenerate mankind, and renovate the world. We give
herewith a few of its spirit-inspired pretensions. Its "Declaration
of Principles," Article 20, says: --
"The hearty and intelligent convictions of these truths [the
teachings of spirits] tend to energize the soul in all that is good
and elevating, and to restrain from all that is evil and impure, . . .
to quicken all philanthropic impulses, stimulating to enlightened and
unselfish labors for universal good."
In behalf of the cause of woman it says: --
"Spiritualism has done more for the advancement of true
womanhood than the Church or any of its accessories."-- Dr.
Watson, in Banner of Light, April 16, 1887.
Miss A. L. Lull, in the Religio-Philosophical Journal of Jan.
23, 1886, said: --
"Spiritualism is the saviour of humanity, because it is
reaching out toward the criminal, and in its effort to lift humanity
to a higher plane, it is laying the foundation for future generations.
. . . Spiritualism comes to cleanse out the dregs and wretchedness of
Mrs. Cora L. V. Richmond, in a mediumistic discourse reported in the Banner
of Light, April 3, 1886, said: --
"The Great Reformer of the world is Spiritualism. When modern
Spiritualism made its appearance, it said in so many words, I come to
reform the world Spiritualism came to put the ax at the root of the
tree of human evil, it came to decide upon the most important and
vital thing connected with existence; i. e., Is man only an
evanescent, material, earthly being, or is he immortal? . . .
Spiritualism came to reform death, to resolve it into life; came to
reform fear, to resolve it into trust and knowledge; came to reform
the darkness which rests upon humanity concerning the nature of man's
In the same paper, April 6, 1887, was given the following prediction
of the future of Spiritualism: --
"Modern Spiritualism will grow, and deepen, and broaden, and
strengthen, until all false creeds and dogmas shall be swept from the
earth -- when faith shall be buried in knowledge, when war shall be
known no more, when universal brotherhood shall prevail to bless
In "Nineteenth Century Miracles," p. 79, M. Jaubert speaks
as follows: --
"Affirm to your people that man never dies, that his
immortality is proved, not by books but by material and tangible
facts, of which every one can convince himself; that anon our houses
of correction, and our prisons, will disappear; suicide will be erased
from our mortuary tables; and nobly borne, the calamities of earth
shall no longer produce madness."
Mrs. R. S. Lillie, in a speech at the Thirty-eighth Anniversary
services in Horticultural Hall, Boston, Mass., and reported in the Banner
of Light, of April, 1886, said: --
"Christianity never had a Pentecost to be compared with modern
Spiritualism. The latter is as far in advance of the former, as the
electric light is in advance of the tallow dip of the past; for it is
nineteen centuries ahead of it."
These are most astounding claims; and if there is any truth in them,
Spiritualism ought to have shown itself as a great uplifting moral
power, provided it has been able to get any foothold among the people.
We therefore inquire what its success has been. On this point Professor
Keck, at the Thirty-ninth Anniversary of Modern Spiritualism, at
Bridgeport, Conn. (Banner of Light, April 9, 1887), said: --
"It [Spiritualism] has made converts of more scientific men
and profound thinkers than any other sect in the world. In thirty-nine
years it has grown to ten or fifteen millions of believers, with
thousands of mediums, a literature printed in every known language,
and converts in every quarter of the globe."
With all these facilities and all this success, it surely has been
able to make good its claims, and fulfil its promises, if its nature is
such as it assumes, and its promises are good for anything; and its
course should be marked by a great decrease of crime, by the promotion
of virtue and a general improvement in the moral tone of society,
wherever it has gone. For over one hundred years it has now been
operating in the world; and with all its glowing professions of what it
was able to do, and its millions of converts, "energized to all
that is good and elevating," its impress for good should everywhere
But what are the facts? -- Just the reverse of what has been
promised. Free love, which is free lust, has followed in its wake; homes
have been ruined, families scattered, characters blighted; while
insanity and suicide have been the fate, or the last resort, of too many
of its victims. And outside of its own ranks, in the world at large, the
one hundred plus years since the advent of Spiritualism have been years
of increase of crime and every evil in a fast growing ratio. Liquor
drinking, tobacco using, gambling, prostitution, defalcations,
robberies, bribery, municipal corruption, divorces, thefts, insanity,
suicide, and murder, have increased in far more rapid ratio than the
The reader will remember the
testimony of Dr. Randolph, p. 105, that five of his friends
destroyed themselves, and he attempted it for himself, by direct spirit
influences. The Philadelphia Record, of Feb. 17, 1894, speaks of
the suicide of May Brooklyn in San Francisco, Cal.: --
"The letters and papers left by the dead woman show plainly that
in her grief over the death of Lovecraft she had dabbled in
Spiritualism, and had finally reached the conclusion that her only
chance of happiness lay in joining her lover in the other world."
A few figures, as samples, will be given just to emphasize the
general statements. The following is from the Chicago Tribune of
Jan. 1, 1893:--
"The number of persons who have committed suicide in the
United States during the year (1892)' as gathered from telegraph and
mail report to the Tribune, is 3860, as compared with 3331 last
year (1891), 2640 in 1890, and 2224 in 1889. The total is much larger
than that of any of the eleven preceding years."
The Christian Reformer gives the following figures of murders,
suicides, and embezzlements from 1891-1893: --
"Murders in 1893, 6615; increase over 1891 of 709.
"Suicides in 1893, 4436; increase over 1892, 576; 1891,1105.
"Funds embezzled in 1893, $19,929,692; increase of 100 per
cent. over 1892."
It may be asked, What has this to do with Spiritualism? -- It is a
test of the value of its promises. Spiritualism has been posing for more
than one hundred years as the "world's reformer," the great
energizing, uplifting force to elevate mankind, the mighty power which
has come to empty our workhouses and prisons, abolish suicides and all
crime, the "electric light" compared with the "tallow
dip" of the gospel. And yet with all these claims, with its
millions of adherents, and the funds and influence at its command, it is
allowing, year by year, crime to increase much faster than the
population. Now if Spiritualism was the purifying, renovating power
which it claims to be, such results could not have been seen. It is very
evident, that, as a power in the world in behalf of righteousness and
humanity, it has been of no account; and as between the forces of good
and evil, its weight has been on the side of evil instead of good. It is
thus that the author of Spiritualism, the father of deception, fulfils
the promises made through that channel to deceive mankind. What
organized, aggressive efforts against evil has Spiritualism ever shown?
Where are its schools and colleges? Where are its hospitals and
benevolent institutions? Where are its organized charities? and what are
its millions of members doing to relieve suffering and distress, and
turn men to better ways of living? The very aspect it presents to the
world to-day, stamps the brand of Cain upon its brow. The Boston Herald
of Dec. 17, 1874, said: --
"Let Spiritualism produce some idea, utter some word, or
perform some deed, which will have novelty, and yet be of manifest
value to the human race, and it will make good its claims to our
serious consideration. But it has not done this. For nearly thirty
years it has been before the world in its present shape, and in all
that time, with all its asserted command of earthly and
superterrestrial knowledge, it has never done an act, or breathed a
syllable, or supplied an idea which had any value as a contribution to
the welfare of the race, or to its stock of knowledge. Its messages
from learned men who are dead, have been the silliest bosh; its
stories about life upon the planets are wretched guesses, many of
which can be proved false by the astronomer; its visions have
frightened scores of people into madhouses, and made semilunatics of
hundreds of others."
If this charge was good as late as 1874, it is equally so at the
present time. And thus are we forced to the conclusion that
Spiritualism, judged by the light of its fair promises, is one of the
most lamentable of delusions, and most stupendous of failures.
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