Spiritism Identifies Itself
SPIRITISM, as one of the manifestations of the workings of
the prince of ruin, has unwittingly identified itself in numerous ways.
The Bible, which is the Word of God, has given us some of the
characteristics by which we may know Spiritism as one of the modes of
operation in the campaign of the fallen angels. We find one of those
characteristics in the following scripture:
"When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have
familiar spirits [spirit mediums], and unto wizards that peep and that
mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the
dead? [or, "on behalf of the living should they seek unto the
dead?" R. V.] " Isa. 8:19.
Some of the people at a certain time would be seeking to the dead by
means of Spiritism, or necromancy, to learn about the living; and God
says that when they are doing that, it is time men should be seeking
Him. The warning is particularly emphatic, because when such
manifestations are strikingly prevalent in the world, the Lord Himself
is doing His closing work for man prior to the culmination of the
controversy with sin and the coming of the Redeemer. This fact is
plainly set forth in verses 15, 16, and 17 of the chapter from which the
last scripture was taken. Let us consider them:
"Many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and
be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My
disciples. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from
the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him."
It is a time of great danger -- a time when eternal destinies are
being decided -- that is brought to view in that scripture. It is a time
when God's law needs to have its seal, the whole Sabbath-observance
command, restored to it; a time when "the testimony ," God's
whole Book of truth, which has been broken and mutilated in the hands of
the "higher critics," needs to be bound up; it is a time when
some will be waiting for their Lord and looking for His return; and a
time when some will be urging others, in their perplexity and distress
and anxiety, to seek to the dead for knowledge and direction. That is
the culminating deception, and we are warned against it in these words:
"Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the
devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth
that he hath but a short time." Rev. 12: 12.
He knows that at the coming of Christ his activities must cease.
Therefore he pours distresses and deceptions upon the world in
overwhelming torrents, and Spiritism is the veritable ne plus ultra
of his evil ingenuity.
Now as to the identity of the thing against which the Lord's prophet
warns us. That delusive demonstration of satanic activity would be
characterized by communications from those who represent themselves to
be the spirits of the dead through those that have "familiar
spirits" (spirit mediums), and "wizards that peep, and that
mutter." Do spirit mediums in their communications "peep"
(or "chirp," R. V.) and "mutter"?
In the book "Raymond," on page 192, Sir Oliver Lodge
reports communications received through Mrs. Leonard, and a spirit
called Feda takes possession of the medium to get a message through from
the spirit of the dead boy Raymond to his father, Sir Oliver. The
opening paragraph of this report reads:
"Feda soon arrived, said good evening, jerked about on the
chair, and squeaked or chuckled, after her manner when indicating
pleasure. Then, without preliminaries, she spoke."
The medium, under possession of this familiar spirit, "squeaked
Again in the report of the same sťance, Sir Oliver records:
"Here Feda [that is, the medium controlled by the spirit Feda]
gave an amused chuckle with a jump and a squeak."-- "Raymond,"
"(Feda here gave a jerk, and a 'good-by.') Love to her what
'longs to you, and to Lionel. Feda knows what your name is, 'Soliver,'
yes. (Another squeak.)"-- Id., p. 204.
This is not very illuminating, not very elevating, and we wonder that
a great scientist does not turn away from it in disgust. One thing it
does, however, it identifies Spiritism as the movement against which the
prophet of God warns the world.
Another work, previously quoted from, furnishes us with evidence of
the same character. It is given to prove Spiritism true, but it proves
it to be something against which God considers it very important to warn
us. The report in question has reference to the experience of the
medium, Dr. T. d'Aute Hooper, who was at the time under the control of,
or "possessed" by, a spirit known as the "Indian
Fakir." It was announced that the fakir (through the medium, of
course) would perform fire worship, but that the medium would be
safeguarded. The report reads:
"The interpreter retired and the fakir controlled. There was a
lot of waving of hands [on the part of the medium], shouting, twisting
and turning, incantations and squealing. Then he [the
medium] left the circle and squatted in front of a good fire. He said
a 'prayer' with a lot of rapid talk; in fact, he never ceased to chatter
the whole time."-- "The Proofs of the Truths of
Spiritualism," p. 65.
Sir Oliver Lodge, in a sitting with the medium Mrs. Kennedy, on Oct.
10, 1915, records this:
"Please listen carefully now. I want to speak to you about
Norman. There is a special meaning to that because we always called my
brother Alec Norman, the (muddle . . . ).
"K. K. [the medium] said that she couldn't get the rest
clearly." -- "Raymond," p. 147.
Here was muttering again. When God has a message to give to man,
there is no muddling, no "squealing," no "chirping."
The mouthpiece of God does not have to record that though he had
something to which he wished us to listen carefully, he must break off
in the midst of his message because he "couldn't get the rest
clearly." The pitiable drivel that "comes through" in
spiritistic sťances makes one wonder whether those in attendance can
have any respect whatever for their own intelligence, or any
appreciation of the value of the time (worse than wasted) which such
unprofitable gatherings consume.
Sir Oliver Lodge gives us another glance at the self-accusing
characteristics of Spiritism. The sitting this time is with the medium
Mrs. Clegg, March 3, 1916. He describes how the medium went off into the
trance, and then continues:
"For some time, however, nothing further happened, except
contortions, struggling to get speech [probably peepings, chirpings,
and mutterings], rubbings of the back as if in some pain or discomfort
there, and a certain amount of gasping for breath. . . . Presently the
utterance was distinguished as, 'Help me, where's the doctor?' After a
time, with K. K.'s [Mrs. Kennedy's] help, the control seemed to get a
little clearer, and the words, 'So glad, father; love to mother; so
glad,' frequently repeated in an indistinct and muffled tone of voice,
were heard. . . .
"The medium, however, went through a good deal of pantomime,
embracing me, stroking my arm, patting my knees, and sometimes
stroking my head, sometimes also throwing her arms round me and giving
the impression of being overjoyed, but unable to speak plainly.
"Then other dumb show was begun. . . .
"After a time, utterance being so difficult, I gave the medium
a pad and pencil, and asked for writing. The writing was large and
sprawly, single words: 'Captain' among them."-- Id., pp. 238,
Not very satisfactory, these communications with intelligences
representing themselves to be spirits of the dead -- not much like the
clear, incisive communications that have come to us from the living God.
Spiritism has thus inadvertently admitted its own identity as that
agency against which God has warned His people. It paints its own
picture before us with the brush of its own mutterings and splutterings
and chirpings and squeakings.' Do we need further identification? It is
ready to hand.
God warned His people anciently against necromancy -- communication
with the dead by calling up the dead to inquire of them. One clerical
Spiritist, Rev. H. H. B. Yerburgh, rector of Breedon, England, has been
publishing a series of apologies for Spiritism in the Church Family
Newspaper, a Church of England publication, extracts from which are
published and commented on in the Harbinger of Light for October,
1921. Speaking of necromancy, the rector says:
" Necromancy is calling up the dead. In former days it had
certain horrid rites connected with the dead body. In the practice of
Spiritualists the dead are not called up; they appear ready and eager
to get through, to make themselves known, and crowd in. They do this
quite independently of the sťance room."
This is one of the most striking examples of "a distinction
without a difference" that one is likely ever to see. In ancient
days necromancy was communication with the dead, the living taking the
initiative by having witches and wizards ''bring up" or "call
up" the spirit of the departed individual. Now those who wish to
hold communication with the dead go to a modern witch or wizard (spirit
medium), and they find the supposed spirit of the departed friend or
relative already there and waiting to get into communication with them.
What is the difference? Two parties are getting into communication: one
is a living person; the other is supposed to be the spirit of a dead
person. They two get into communication through the same agency, a
medium (witch or wizard). They talk to each other, even as the living
and the supposed dead did in the days of Saul and the "woman of
Endor." All this is admitted. The only difference is that more from
"the other side" are seeking to "get through," and
do not have to be called up, but are already up and waiting for
communication. It is necromancy just the same -- just as much opposed to
the commands and purpose of God, and just as ruinous to the souls that
permit themselves to be ensnared in its deceptive meshes.
Yet this evil thing, forbidden of God, is Spiritism's substitute for
what is known among Christians as the "communion of saints."
Says the editor of the Harbinger:
"We have often stated in these columns that it is to the
Church of England we look to take the lead in indorsing the
fundamental claims of Spiritualism, and in proclaiming, in particular,
that a much more literal interpretation must be given to the doctrine
of communion of saints than has hitherto been allowed"-- Harbinger
of Light, October, 1921.
Who are these "saints" that are communicating from the
other side? Every leading Spiritist of experience knows that only a
portion of those who speak as the spirits of the dead appear in the
slightest degree "saintly." I have already quoted the warnings
of some Spiritists against believing all that "comes through,"
and against inexperienced persons' taking up the practice of
communicating with the dead. Surely we ought not to be afraid to
communicate with saints. It is a most inexcusable travesty on the
real things of the gospel to claim that this modern necromancy is what
Christians understand as the "communion of saints."
The Lord, through the apostle Paul, has given a warning to all
Christendom that is perfectly applicable in this case:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion
hath light with darkness?" 2 Cor. 6: 14.
Spiritism is of the darkness. The most, and the most striking, of its
manifestations are produced in the darkness. And the inspired testimony
of the apostle John declares that men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil." John 3:19. Jesus Christ was and is
the light of the world. His gospel is the perpetuation of that light.
Neither He nor it can have fellowship with that which works in darkness
and finds darkness necessary to its success. His followers can be termed
such only when they follow Him. Moreover, Spiritism is unbelief. It
denies the atonement; denies salvation through Christ; denies the divine
sonship of Jesus Christ; denies every claim that He made for Himself to
Deity. Spiritism, as already shown, tempts individuals -- and leads
individuals -- to suicide. Leading Spiritists have often admitted that
the spirits are sometimes conscienceless liars. It is impossible,
therefore, that the practice of modern necromancy should be in any
degree whatsoever entitled to the appellation, "the communion of
saints." By representing itself to be what it is not, Spiritism
identifies itself as one of the works of darkness.
God has warned mankind against adding to or taking from the words of
the Sacred Volume. Rev. 22:18, 19. Whoever does that, despite God's
warning, identifies himself as one who is disobedient to God -- in
rebellion against Him. How does Spiritism stand related to the integrity
and the inviolability -of the Book? In the introduction to Book 1, page
xxxv, of "The Life Beyond the Veil," we find this paragraph:
"And is it [Spiritism] subversive of old beliefs? A thousand
times No. It broadens them, it defines them, it beautifies them, it
fills in the empty voids which have bewildered us, but save to narrow
pedants of the exact word who have lost touch with the spirit, it is
infinitely reassuring and illuminating.
"Narrow pedants of the exact word" are those who do not
feel at liberty to add to or take from what God has given through His
inspired penmen. Spiritism, in that declaration from "beyond the
veil," labels with the unkind epithet, "narrow pedants,"
those who reverence and hold to the Bible. Therefore Spiritism
deprecates adherence to the exact Word. It would add to the Bible and
would take from it, and thus shows itself an enemy of that Word,
denounced by that Word, and resting under the curse of the divine Author
of that Word. One leading Spiritist declares of the Bible that "it
is absolutely worthless in the teaching of spirituality as recognized by
Spiritualism;" that "Spiritualism should recognize it as a
slough in which man's spirituality has been mired and swamped for these
thousands of years; "that the Bible "has brought about the
very conditions that we as Spiritualists are so determinedly fighting
against;" and then, in the most shameless cruelty of wickedness,
accuses the Bible of being the fount and origin of crime. (See C. F.
Evans, in the Progressive Thinker, Jan. 22, 1921.)
The Bible has been given us as a lamp to light our path out of sin
and into righteousness; out of a wicked world and into the eternal home
of happiness and peace; out from under Satan's dominance and thralldom
and back into the freedom of our Father's home of love. To accuse that
Word of being what Spiritism says it is, is the acme of blasphemous
falsehood, the bitterest refinement of unjust accusation.
But such accusations as this tell us in language most plain and
emphatic what Spiritism is and who is its author.
Even Spiritists themselves admit that Spiritism as we know it is only
a modernization of practices which were common among ancient heathen
peoples. God has strictly enjoined upon mankind that there must be no
worshiping of any being or thing but God Himself. But the ancients
worshiped many things, among which was fire. The Parsees were, and are
still, fire worshipers, as were some of the nations that surrounded
Israel. It was evidently some species of fire worship in which the
ancient Canaanites indulged when they made their children to pass
through the fire to Moloch. Certain islanders practise a species of fire
worship when, after incantations, they walk barefoot over glowing hot
In Dr. T. d'Aute Hooper's experience as a spirit medium, he was
frequently taken possession of by a spirit called the "Indian
Fakir," and a species of fire worship was performed.
Says Lord Lindsay, in speaking of the fire phenomena performed by D.
"I have frequently seen Home go to the fire and take out large
red-hot coals and carry them about in his hands and put them inside
his shirt. Eight times I myself have held a red-hot coal in my hands
without injury."-- "Man's Survival After Death," p.
Sir William Crookes testifies to the fire feats of D. D. Home when
under spirit control:
"At Mr. Home's request, whilst he was entranced, I went with
him to the fireplace in the back drawing-room. He [the influence
controlling Home] said: 'We want you to notice particularly what Dan
[i. e., Home] is doing.' Accordingly I stood close to the fire, and
stooped down to it when he put his hands in. . . . Mr. Home then waved
the handkerchief about in the air two or three times, held it above
his head, and then folded it up and laid it on his hand like a
cushion. Putting the other hand into the fire, he took out a large
lump of cinder, red-hot in the lower part, and placed the red part on
the handkerchief. Under ordinary circumstances it would have been in a
blaze. In about half a minute he took it off the handkerchief with his
hand, saying, 'As the power is not strong, if we leave the coal
longer, it will burn.' He then put it on his hand, and brought it to
the table in the front room, where all but myself had remained
seated."-- "The Proofs of the Truths of'
Spiritualism," p. 66.
We need not question these statements as records of actual
happenings. They doubtless were such; but they do not prove that the
dead are alive. Such things do not prove that the spirits controlling
the medium and causing him to perform these acts were the spirits of the
dead. They claim to be; but as they have been proved falsifiers in
numerous cases, which Spiritists themselves admit, it is more than
probable from their own showing that they are lying when they make the
claim that they are spirits of the dead; and when we bring the Word of
God into the witness box, the probability resolves itself into an
absolute certainty. Moreover, Spiritism, in such demonstrations, is
clearly disobedient to the law of God, which forbids the worship of
anything other than God Himself. In practising and encouraging fire
worship, Spiritism proves itself an exponent of idolatry, a breaker of
God's law, and thus a rebel against His government. Thus again does it
identify itself as the enemy of God and the deceiver and destroyer of
Spiritists admit with the utmost unconcern the identity of the
Spiritism of today with the practices of ancient days that are forbidden
in the Sacred Volume. Note this paragraph:
"Dr. Lombroso refers to the witch of Endor, and quotes from
various writers proving that necromancy, or what we now call
Spiritualism, was common in Greece, not only as a belief among the
lower classes, but held by philosophers, especially by the Platonists
and Pythagoreans, 'who expressed a wonder if any one said he had never
seen a daimon;' i. e., the spirit of a deceased person."--
Id., p. 73.
Concerning this, the author of the book makes the following
observation in a footnote:
"Whenever devils are mentioned in the 'Gospels as 'possessing'
human beings, daimon or daemon is the right
Spiritism therefore admits, seemingly with perfect sangfroid,
that the spirits with which it is getting into touch are really the
devils whom Jesus cast out of the afflicted persons who were being
tormented by them; that the spirits who control mediums are the devils
whom Jesus commanded to "come out" of certain
"possessed" ones, and enter no more into them. The admission
is a sweeping one, and leaves every Christian without excuse for having
anything to do with Spiritism
Again, on the same page of the same work, appears this statement:
"The story of the witch of Endor will be recognized as
identical in all the features mentioned as characteristic of a modern
So Spiritism links itself up with the witch of Endor, and so with all
witchcraft practised in those days. It identifies itself as the same
Let us see now how that ancient practice was, and therefore this
modern practice is, regarded by the God of Israel, the God whom
"When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God
giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of
those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh
his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth
divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a
charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a
necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the
Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive
them out from before thee." Deut. 18: 9-12.
Spiritism says that it is the same thing as that which the woman of
Endor represented and practised. It must therefore rest under the same
condemnation. God called it an "abomination" then, drove it
out of the land, and made its practice punishable by death. He says that
because of those abominations He drove out the original possessors of
Canaan. He tells us, furthermore, that He is the "same yesterday,
today, and forever." What was an abomination then in His eyes is an
abomination still; and the person who practises it, whether he call
himself Christian or unbeliever, places himself under the frown and the
curse of Almighty God. Israel could not practise that abomination and be
God's chosen people and inherit the temporal Promised Land. Likewise,
the Christian cannot practise that abomination, and be an accepted child
of God and an inheritor of the eternal possession.
From what is called a "psychograph," a photograph of spirit
writing, presented by Archdeacon Colley to the author of "The
Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," I quote these statements as
further proof that Spiritism identifies itself as the necromancy and
demon possession of ancient times:
"It is only necessary to read history and the sacred works of
ancient peoples and nations to know that what is termed modern
Spiritualism is as old as the world. Sacred history teems with
abundant evidence of the fact. The media were prized by the Medes and
Persians. The Delphic Oracles, the Cyprian priestesses who were
brought forward at certain feast days that the populace could
communicate with their Ad Patres! . . . We wonder why it is
that the denizens of earth will read and think contrary to the
teaching in their Holy Writ. It is only necessary to read and calmly
compare the phenomena of older days chronicled therein and modern
happenings to prove they are one and the same, only given in different
times of the world's history."-- "The Proofs of the
Truths of Spiritualism," pp . 202, 203.
This purports to have been written by a spirit, and therefore
Spiritism must admit that it speaks authoritatively. It leaves no
loophole for doubting that Spiritism is identical with the witchcraft,
the necromancy, the fire feats, and the heathen practices generally
which were so -specifically denounced by Jehovah in the days of Israel.
The author of the psychograph would lead us to think that because
those things are mentioned in Holy Writ, we are permitted and expected
to practise them. But not so. They are mentioned only to condemn, to
denounce, and to warn us against having aught to do with them.
The author of the psychograph then directs attention to a number of
passages of Scripture, among which is 1 Samuel 28: 6. That verse reads:
"When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not,
neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets."
So Saul turned to a source from which he hoped he might get an
answer. Certainly, if God would not answer him, he could not expect to
receive a reply from any agency under God's direction or control. He
knew that he must go to an agency which was in opposition to God, an
outlaw. He sought out a spirit medium; and he must himself practise
deception in order to accomplish his purpose. So he disguised himself
and went in the night. It was a deed of darkness and deceit, and it
received the reward which was meet for such deeds.
The result of that action we find recorded in words of Holy Writ:
"So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against
the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and
also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire
of it." I Chron. 10:13.
Saul lost his life for his sins, and one of those sins specifically
mentioned was that of attending a Spiritist sťance to inquire of the
dead. It is strange that the author of the psychograph in question
should refer us to this scripture, which so specifically condemns the
whole Spiritist movement.
Saul was not the only offender in this particular whose record has
come down to us. Of Manasseh it is said:
"He made his son pass through the fire, and observed times,
and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he
wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to
anger." 2 Kings 21: 6.
A similar statement concerning him is recorded in 2 Chronicles 33: 6.
It will be interesting, therefore, to read what is said of one of
Israel's kings who took an opposite course to that taken by Saul and
Manasseh. This is the record of the good king Josiah:
"Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards,
and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were
spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that
he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book
that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord." 2 Kings
The question will naturally arise as to whether Josiah offended God
in putting a stop to the practice of spirit medium-ship throughout his
realm. The above scripture declares that he did it in order "that
he might perform the words of the law;" and the verse following
"Like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to
the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his
How different, then, is the record left us concerning the two classes
of kings! The one class practised that which was an abomination in the
sight of God, and was condemned by Him for doing so; the other class put
away that abomination, and received heaven's approbation. And what the
one practised and the other prohibited was that which today is known as
Spiritism or Spiritualism. It has, beyond question, identified itself as
that thing which Jehovah abominated and prohibited, the fire-worshiping
necromancy of the ancients, the cult of witchcraft, the perpetuation of
the falsehood first uttered by Satan in Eden, the most subtle of all the
deadly deceptions invented by the prince of ruin for the destruction of
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