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Tfc« HP ttWM 

TMMSBI 2310 














Author of ^^ Fm'ty Years of American J«/<?,** ^* Biography of tJie Brothers 

Davenport,'* ^c., ^c. 




By F. pitman, 20, PATERNOSTER-EOW, E.C. 






A BrooaAFHiCAi. Sketch of Bkv. J. B. Fkrqvson . 




Early Observations op Physical and Psychical Phenomena 49 


Spiritual Communications, containing Proofs of Personal 



Mr. H. B. Champion as a Medium. — Indian Spirits ai^d 
Spiritualism.— Identity of Spirits. — Modes op Spirit 



Spiritualism among the Shakers 




port AND Wm. M. Fay 



Formation of Matter by Supramundane Power 








Spiritual Intelligence .—Sympathy and Trust .141 




Education by Supramundane Influences .161 

Sympathies and Antipathies 167 


Of Providences and Guardla.n Care . . .173 


Prophecies of the Revolution 186 


The Philosophy of Spirit Intercourse • . . . 198 


The World of Spirits 212 


Specimens of so-called Spiritual Communications, Selected 

from Mr. Ferguson's "Records." 227 


In the prospectus for this book the editor promised a 
volume of 500 pages. It will be seen that this extends only 
to 264. ITie amount of matter, however, is the same as 
promised, the page being larger, and moat of the quotations 
are in smaller type. The bubscriptiona for the book do not 
justify, although Mr. Ferguson's " Eecords " furnish ample 
material for, a larger volume. 


I liad neTer seen Mr. Ferguson. He was not in 
Memplds at the period of my brief sojourn there — 
his own residence being at Nashville, the State capi- 
tal. I had, however, heard and read enough of him 
to know that he had for many years occupied a pro- 
minent position in the South-west, and had become 
famous as an eloquent preacher, and a vigorous and 
independent thinker. I was prepared, therefore, by 
his public reputation, as well as by the letter of 
my friend, to consider him a man worth knowing. 
And I was not disappointed in the expectations I 
bad formed. Frank, genial, and sympathetic, and 
blending in his character and manners some of the 
finest traits of the people of the South-west, among 
whom he had spent his life, he justified the enthusi- 





Spiritual Intelligence. — Sympathy and Trust 



Prophecies of the Revolution 

. 18G 


The Philosophy op Spirit Intercourse • 



The World of Spirits 



Specimens of so-called Spiritual Communications, Selected 
from Mr. Ferguson's "Records.** 



In the autumn of 1864, wkile residing in London, 
engaged in literary pursuits, I received a letter from 
a friend in Memphis, Tennessee, a gentleman of 
character and position, introducing to me his friend. 
Rev. Dr. Ferguson, of whom he spoke, not only with 
the warmth due to personal esteem, but in such 
terms of admiration as can be applied with truth and 
the sincerity which marks his character to very few 

I had never seen Mr. Ferguson. He was not in 
. Memphis at the period of my brief sojourn there — 
his own residence being at Nashville, the State capi- 
tal* I had, however, heard and read enough of him 
to know that he had for many years occupied a pro- 
minent position in the South-west, and had become 
famous as an eloquent preacher, and a vigorous and 
independent thinker. I was prepared, therefore, by 
his public reputation, as well as by the letter of 
my friend, to consider him a man worth knowing. 
And I was not disappointed in the expectations I 
had formed. Frank, genial, and sympathetic, and 
blending in his character and manners some of the 
finest traits of the people of the South-west, among 
whom he had spent his life, he justified the enthusi- 



astio appreciation of those who had known him and 
enjoyed his friendship. 

The mission on which he had come to England 
on this, his second visit, seemed to me, I may con- 
fess, somewhat bizarre and startling. I was a little 
astonished to learn that he had come with the express 
object of introducing to the people of England and 
of Europe certain striking evidences of the existence 
of supramundane, or supernatural powers, mani- 
fested in the presence of the Brothers Davenport, 
and their companion, Mr. Fay, who for a period of 
ten years had been, in America, the." mediums" of 
various wonderful manifestations. 

Having formed an acquaintance with Mr. Fergu- 
son, it was natural that I should take some interest 
in the young men to whom he had come to stand 
almost in the relation of a father. I therefore became 
acquainted with them, and satisfied myself, by care- 
ful observation, of the genuineness of the phenomena 
of which they are, in some mysterious way, the pas- 
sive instruments. It was then proposed, I forget by 
whom, that I should write — perhaps edit would be 
the best word for a work of so little originaUty — a 
biography of the Brothers Davenport. It was written 
from documents placed in my hands, from long 
conversations with the two brothers, whose lives I 
traced by careful questionings, and the statements of 
Mr. Ferguson, and other witnesses, and the reports 
of American and English newspapers. 

The critics have disagreed, as usual, as to the 


merits of the work; one declaring that "it could 
not have been done better," and another equally high 
authority asserting that it could scarcely have been 
worse. In Blackwoody lam the "Plutarch" of an 
infinity of " rubbish '/' which, if not utterly false, 
must be utterly wicked, I have only, to say that a 
considerable portion of the volume consists of articles 
written by some of the cleverest men connected with 
the London dailies, monthlies, quarterlies, and distin- 
guished in other departments of literature. It seems 
certain, therefore, that the book, whatever its faults, 
must have some good work in it. It contains, also, 
the testimony of many very careful and competent 
observers. The Tablet, a Roman Catholic weekly, 
while giving me credit for what it seems to consider 
an extraordinary amount of moral courage in placing 
my name upon the title-page of such a book, admits 
its facts, but attributes them to diabolic agency. 
The PresSy on the other hand, denies the facts, and 
calls upon the police for their suppression. 

If apologies were as much in vogue as formerly, 
I should say that no one ought to incur ridicule or 
blame for " the publication of the truth, with good 
motives, and for justifiable ends." This is all I have 
done in the Biography of the Brothers Davenport ; 
and this is all I propose to do, so far as my 
modest editorial fimction is concerned, in the 
foUowing pages. If these " supramundajie facts" 
are genuine, they must have some value. As a 
matter of science, they cannot be safely ignored. If 

B 2 


ponderous objects can be moved by invisible forces, 
nnusual and unrecognized in nature, it is an im- 
portant fact in physics. If substances are sometimes 
produced, as if by condensation from the atmosphere, 
without visible or tangible agents or apparatus, it is 
an important fact in chemistry. If there are con- 
stantly occurring around us manifestations of unseen 
intelligences, the fact is one of the highest interest 
in the domain of psychology. 

There can be nothing more important to man than 
the proof of his own immortality ; and the value of 
this proof — ^the proof of a spiritual existence — 
remains substantially the same, whether it is given 
by high means or low, worthy or unworthy, by good 
spirits or bad, by angels or demons. He who spat 
on the ground and anointed the eyes of the man 
who was bom blind, worked sublime miracles by the 
humblest means, and chose the weak things of this 
world to confound the mighty. A table rising from the 
floor may give as clear an evidence of supramundane 
power — of force guided by intelligence — ^to those 
who observe the fact, as would the removal of St. 
Paul's from its present locality to the apex of Prim- 
rose-hiU. The terms, great and small, noble and 
vulgar, worthy and unworthy, do not properly apply 
to the facts of science. The microscope may be as 
important as the telescope, and an atom as worthy of 
investigation as a planet. 

Such considerations as these — a sense of the im- 
portance of evidences of the spiritual nature and 


continued existence of man, whatever the nature 
of those evidences — ^induced Mr, Ferguson to come 
to England with the Brothers Davenport and meef 
the incredulity, ridicule, abuse, and in some cases 
violence, which he must have known awaited him 
in a country where materialism appears to be the 
rule, and a living faith in a spiritual life the exception. 
I honour the courage and devotion of a man who 
could undertake such a mission. He was sure to 
be misunderstood, misrepresented, and vilified. He 
should have expected, and I suppose he did expect, 
that while the ignorant and incredulous would be 
ready to throw mud or stones, the polite would 
sneer, and that even those who believed in the 
reality and value of the truths he presented, would, 
with a few honourable exceptions, carefiiUy refrain 
from compromising themselves by unpopular avowals. 
I can imagine the sort of tragicomic perplexity 
of some Americans in London the past winter, who 
had known Mr. Ferguson in Tennessee and Ken- 
tucky any time during the past twenty years, when 
they read, let us say, the Morning Star or the 
Daily Advertiser, to say nothing of the penny 
weeklies conducted by Mr. W. G. M. Eeynolds and 
other enlightened members of the republic of letters, 
in which the preacher and orator they had so much 
admired was represented as a showman and con- 
federate of a party of Yankee jugglers, who had 
crossed the Atlantic to humbug John Bull with 
some stupid rope-tying tricks which had been worn 


out in the circus, grown stale in the streets, and 
could be seen for sixpence in every music-hall, and 
practised by amateurs in every drawing-room. 

And this confederate of a party of " sorry mounte- 
banks," this showman of vulgar and commonplace 
"jugglers," out Bamuming Bamum in audacious 
imposture, as represented by so respectable a por- 
tion of the English press, could he really, be the Rev. 
Dr. Ferguson they had listened to so often with 
delight, whose learning and eloquence had made 
him admired by thousands, and whose fervour and 
charity had made him universally beloved ; a man 
to whom senates had Kstened, whom states had 
trusted, whom imiversities had honoured — could this 
be their Mr. Ferguson, who had the right to put 
"^Eeverend" before his name, and "A.M., LL.D.," 
after it, and could aflford, where he was known, to 
dispense, as he habitually did, with all titles, and 
stand in simple dignity upon the character he had 
won? Yes, it was the same Mr. Ferguson, who 
had the courage to accept and become the missionary 
of the truth, without very much regard to imme- 
diate or even ultimate consequences. 

In avowing my own belief in the genuineness of 
the facts presented by or through the Brothers 
Davenport, and in the substantial verity of the wider 
range of supramundane facts contained in the follow- 
ing pages, I can claim credit only for that degree of 
honest frankness which I think every man should 
exercise in his intercourse with his fellow-men, and 


which I also think every man of letters should use 
upon proper occasion vrith his readers. It may be 
said that the truth is not to be spoken at all times, 
and pearls are not for swine. I also believe in the 
fitness of things, and the virtue of a prudent re- 
ticence, but I do not see that any man can always 
withhold his testimony to important truths, without 
incurring a fearful responsibility. For a conscien- 
tious man, it may be an act of greater moral courage 
to conceal than to confess a truth, however un- 
popular. I trust that there are great numbers of 
men who would rather stand alone in what they 
believe to be right, than to win the applause of 
millions by what they know to be wrong. 

In selecting, arranging, and preparing for the 
press the statements of facts contained in this 
volume, I have thought best to present them partly 
in a natural order of relation, and partly in the 
order of time, since there are facts of various classes 
in single narrations which cannot well be divided. 
I have, however, endeavoured to group together 
many of the physical manifestations by which in- 
visible intelligences have made their existence known 
by appeals to the senses. The facts which prove 
that invisible intelligences sometimes control the 
hands of passive and sometimes unconscious persons 
to write, draw, paint, and play on musical instru- 
ments, and use their organs of speech to communi- 
cate with* their fiiends, and convince them of their 
personal existence and identity, or make them speak 


languages with which the passive mediums were 
wholly unacquainted, or so act upon their whole 
muscular systems as to make them look, speak, and 
act like persons whom they had never seen, are all, 
as I think, as worthy of the attention of men of 
science and thought, as the much disputed sources 
of the Nile, or the amiable peculiarities of the 
gorilla. And when we find evidences of a watchftQ 
care exercised by invisible beings over mortals, pro- 
tection fi^om dangers, foresight, clear predictions of 
future events, and providential guardianship ; when 
we read of what may be considered as almost miracles 
of healing and other works of beneficence, we are 
compelled, at least, to entertain the question — 
whether there may not be some important uses to 
be served in the communications between the visible 
and invisible worlds, even if we consider their 
absolute proof of the existence of an invisible world 
as quite unnecessary, and in view of the teachings 
of revealed religion, place no value upon direct 
testimony to the fact of immortality. 







He who carefiilly observes and truly reports a fact of an 
extraordinary and supramundane character, must expect 
denial, ridicule, and abuse, and to be treated, with more or less 
civility in the expression, as either a knave or a fool — either a 
liar or a victim of imposture. From Blackwood and Fraaer 
to the penny weekly he may look for every kind of injustice, 
from lofty scorn to vulgar billingsgate. After all, the fact re- 
mainSj and he who has reported the fact may be none the 
worse for this unfriendly criticism. 

All this opposition is based upon certain foregone conclu- 
sions. Materialists have settled for themselves the laws of 
matter, and shut out the possibility of any fact not in accord- 
ance with those laws. The Sadducees believe neither in angel 
nor spirit. It is of Kttle use to argue with such people ; only 
solid, coarse, material knock-down facts, appealing to their own 
senses, will convince them that there are intelligent forces in 


the universe not subject to material laws, as they understand 

There are also objections to the reality of the facts nar- 
rated in these pages, made by those who have some faith in a 
supernatural or spiritual Kfe, which may be worth consider- 
ing. One of the most common is that many of the so-called 
spirit communications or manifestations are not in accordance 
with their ideas of the character and conditions of departed 

But their ideas of the conditions and states of departed 
spirits may not be true ones. The individuality and identity 
of a spirit require that he should be the same person in the 
other world that he was in this. WS do not look for sudden 
or even very rapid changes. A fool may not become wise, nor 
a bad man good, the moment he gets rid of his body. Con- 
sider what the spirit in the body is, and what it is likely to 
be when it has merely dropped off its outward covering. 

The world of spirits must contain a vast variety of characters 
and conditions. The ignorant savage, or the, perhaps, more 
debased helot of civilization, may enter upon a condition of im- 
provement and progress, but it would be contrary to all expe- 
rience and all analogy to imagine an instantaneous change into 
an angelic state of holiness and enlightenment. By the law 
of universal analogy, we must conclude tbat men, women, and 
children — ^the wise and the ignorant, the coarse and brutal, 
and the refined and cultivated— enter upon the next stage of 
life with the same characters, thoughts, feelings, and all that 
constitutes real individuality — ^the same beings they were in tbe 
last hours of their earthly existence. They are still human, 
and do not become, by the act of dying, or by their birth into 
another stage of existence, either angels or demons. 

One fact in this matter, as elsewhere, is wortb a thousand 
theories of probability. Nothing seems so improbable to 
idealists as the truth. A benevolent man cannot conceive of the 


cruelties he reads of in the police reports. An honest man 
finds it very hard to believe in the crimes which are dailjc com- 
mitted. Scarcely a week passes in which we do not read of 
some horror, which in a romance would have shocked our 
ideas of probability. 

A man is shocked at the fact that his departed son, so 
cherished and idealized, should rap to him on a table, when, 
probably, the last time he ever saw him he did rap on the 
table, and did many other things quite as undignified. It 
may be a comfort to a man to think of his noble boy, who a 
year ago was full of fun and geniality, being a glorified spirit, 
solemn and awful, and far removed from all human ideas, 
emotions and expressions ; but is it natural or reasonable P 
Are we to look for such changes, and is the world of spirits, 
necessarily, any more solemn and awful than the world of 
bodies ? We are said to go into the presence of our Maker, 
as if we could ever escape from the Infinite. 

The objections that relate to liability to deception in regard 
to the phenomena of spiritual manifestations are better 
grounded. As we are daily deceived in all kinds of earthly 
matters, Ued to, and imposed upon in a hundred ways, it is 
natural to think that in the matters under consideration there 
may be even a greater chance for mistake and delusions. But 
it is to be observed that as lies, deceptions, and impositions 
in mundane matters do not make us entirely disbelieve in 
truth and reality, they need not in supramundane. For 
example : counterfeit sovereigns and bank-notes may make us 
careful, and even lead us to suspect the genuine, but no one is 
so absurd as, on account of them, to believe there are no 
genuine notes or coins. We have adulterated flour, wine, 
medicines, &c., as we have false reports and partizan histories, 
but the genuine and the true exist notwithstanding. Collu- 
sions, illusions, &c., are no doubt possible, and are, in all 
matters, mundane and supramundane, to be carefully guarded 


against, but the liability to error disproves no truth, and 
should not hinder investigation. 

It may be for this reason that we have what some are 
pleased to call the lower forms of manifestation — ^the simpler 
would, perhaps, be a better designation — such as direct appeals 
to the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and sometimes of smell. 
In these physical manifestations there is less liability to decep- 
tion than in what are called the higher forms. But this 
liability to deception is greatly exaggerated. One person, in a 
state of disease, may be subject to an optical illusion, but it 
Is against all probability to find three, much less thirty persons, 
who would all imagine they saw what did not take place ; and 
we cannot conceive of a whole company, and a series of com- 
panies, made up of all kinds of people, all the subjects of a 
particular illusion. 

In the same way the power of persons to deceive is greatly 
over-estimated. It has been represented, for example, that 
the Brothers Davenport had the skill to tree themselves from 
the most thoroughly contrived fastenings of ropes, &c., because 
jugglers performed a trick of tying and imtying themselves. 
But any one who considers the matter a moment will see that 
in the case of the jugglers the tying is a part of the trick, and 
that the ropes must always be tied so that they can be imtied, 
while it is equally evident that any skilful person, a sailor or 
rigger, for example, could tie every juggler in London so that 
he could never free himself. But no person, of all the hun- 
dreds who have tried, has ever tied the Davenports or Mr. 
Fay so that they were not freed in a few minutes, nor so that *1 

the manifestations, which must have been made either by them 
or by an intelligent, invisible force attending them, did not occur 
in two seconds. And this force, it is to be noted, has acted i 

when they were held as well as when they were bound, and 
when witnesses of the highest credit have been seated with 
them, who testified that the Davenports took no active 


part in the manifestations^ while collusion was simply impos- 

In regard to the physical manifestations, there is no 
difficulty whatever in being satisfied of their genuineness or 
the reverse. Any man of sense, with an ordinary knowledge of 
physics or mechanics, laying aside his prepossessions, can 
satisfy himself in one hour's examination. If the writers in 
certain organs of opinion had given an hour to personal exami* 
nation, they would have seemed more like philosophers, but it 
is not their business to observe facts for which there is as yet 
no market. 

The difficulty respecting the identity of commumcating 
spirits is, perhaps, greater than that of possible deceptions by 
pretended mediums. Granting that spirits— invisible intel- 
Kgences — do communicate, how can we be sure that they are 
the individuals they represent themselves to be ? 

From the natare of the case, ahsolute certainty is impossible. 
We can have only that degree of probability which amounts to 
moral certainty. This difficulty is not pecuUar to spirit commu- 
nion. Men have been hanged in mistake for others whom they 
so much resembled as to deceive witnesses, court, and jury. 
Women have been imposed upon by false husbands, and rela- 
tions by false heirs. Twins are often so alike as to be mistaken 
for each other, or not readily distinguished. Robbers have been 
so alike that one was always able to prove an alibi, by 
witnesses who had been in the employ of the other. How do 
we assure ourselves of the identity of our relatives whom we 
have never seen, or whose features we have forgotten P By 
certain facts which, put together, produce in us a conviction 
of moral certainty. So a spirit, by the mention of certain 
facts, by some familiar form of expression, and more, perhaps, 
by an undefinable impression, convinces us of its identity. It 
is not absolutely certain. We do not know what power of 
deception spirits may have, or may be permitted to exercise. 


but there is a reasonable probability^ and often an overwhelming 
conviction ; and we may trust that those whose motives are 
good will be protected from any harmful deception. There is, 
no doubt, a true meaning in the legend that the devil, in 
spite of all his disguises, must, in some way, betray himself. 
However angelic he may seem, there is always a hoof, horn, 
or tail, or smell of brimstone ; which means that if we closely 
watch the hypocrite and deceiver, in this or any state of being, 
he will betray his true nature. And we may trust, moreover, in 
the supremacy of good over evil in all the worlds of the imiverse. 

The religious or theological objections to what is known as 
Spiritualism are as various in their character as are the forms 
of Mth. Protestants, who constitute, perhaps, one-fourth or 
fifth part of what is called Christendom, tell us that revela- 
tion from the spiritual world and miracles, which lasted from 
the creation of the world until the days of the apostles, ceased 
at that period, and have never been renewed, except in the 
case of necromancers, wizards, and. witches, who were burnt 
or hanged until about a century ago, sometimes in great num- 
bers, in England and elsewhere, as is now supposed by mis- 
take ; they also having gone out of vogue at an earlier period. 
Consequently, all spiritual communications are now impossible ; 
or, if they exist, they must come from evil spirits, which in- 
volves another contradiction. 

On the other hand, Roman Catholics, the Greek Church, 
&c., constituting three-fourths or four-fifllis of Christendom, 
believe that revelations from the spiritual world are still given, 
and that miracles are still performed, and that these are the 
permanent gifts of the Church, and the manifestation of its 
power, as in the days of the apostles. The lives of the saints, 
through all the past centuries, are records of supramimdane 
facts, of revelations, spirit communications, and miracles. The 
objections of Homan CathoUcs to what is now called Spiritualism 
differ, therefore, from those of most Protestants. They do not 


care to dispute the facts, which they regard as probable. They 
may or may not be true. That is a matter to be settled by 
observation. But, occurring out of the pale of the visible 
Churchy and not apparently connected with its ordinances and 
ministrations, they are disposed to attribute them to evil spirits. 
The rash and ignorant — and people are commonly rash in pro- 
portion to their ignorance — denounce them as diabolism. Better 
informed and wiser Roman Catholics, and among them veiy 
enlightened prelates and theologians, look upon these mani- 
festations more diaritably and hopefully, and the fact that a 
considerable number of infidels and materialists, after becom- 
ing spiritualists, have been brought into the faith of the 
Church, may have had some effect in inducing them to recog- 
nize the providential character of such manifestations. 

And the true doctrine of the Catholic Church, as held and 
taught by its most eminent divines, would seem to justify this 
hopeful belief. The Bight Bev. Dr. Manning, Prothonotary 
Apostolic, in his letter to Dr. Pusey, says : " According to 
the &ith and theology of the Catholic Church, the operations 
of the Holy Spirit of God have been from the beginning of the 
world coextensive with the whole human race." .... 
*' As a dogma, theologians teach that many belong to the 
Church who are out of its visible unity ;'* and he quotes St. 
Augustine, who says : " MuUce oves forts, multi lt4pi intus.'' 
If the soul of the Church extends beyond its visible body, and 
includes all good souls, it will hardly be pretended that aU 
supernatural manifestations are of necessity, or, in fact, con- 
fined to its visible pale. If a man may be a good Catholic with- 
out knowing it, he may be a saint without .knowing it, 
and may be a medium of spiritual and miraculous manifesta- 

It is imagined by some that the Church has condemned 
spiritualism. It has not, and could not, since its whole history 
is one of spiritual communications and manifestations. This 



would be to condemn all the saints, whose lives were full of 
physical and intellectual phenomena of a supramundane 
character ; who held constant intercourse with the souls of the 
departed ; who knew events happening at great distances ; who 
foretold future events ; whose bodies were raised into the air ; 
who appeared and ministered to persons at a distance from 
their natural bodies, for whom substances were foimd miracu- 
lously ; who healed the sick, and at whose prayers the dead 
were raised to life.* The Church can only condemn vsrhat is 
evil, and the evil must be known to be such, before it can be 
condemned. Dealing with evil spirits, for evil purposes, the 
Church condemns. The only question with the honest Roman 
Catholic, then, must be, are these manifestations evil ? That 
is a question which cannot be settled without examination. 

The Protestant religious objections may be easily disposed of. 
In the first place, in the exercise of the right of private 
judgment, every one can decide the matter for himself, without 
impertinent interference. The statement that all revelation is 
closed is a mere assumption. As God is for ever the same, 
whatever He has done in the past. He may do, and it is likely 
that He will do, in the present and the future. There is no proof 
that miracles are at an end, or that they ended eighteen cen- 
turies ago, but an immense body of evidence to the contrary. 
The assertion that miracles have ceased is a begging of the 
question, and an assertion without authority. No Protestant 
Church claims infallibility. A church which does not claim 
to be infallible, is liable, by its own confession, to lead us into 
error ; and we are not, therefore, bound by its decisions, though 
they may take the form of an act of Parliament or a decree of a 
privy council. All Protestantism, by its renunciation of infal- 
libility (for a fallible authority cannot be safely regarded), 
throws us back upon individual private judgment, and so leaves 

* See Lives of St. Philip Neri, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Theresa, 
ei muUis aim. 


the whole question exactly where it found it. I^ therefore, 
four-fifths of the Christian world believe in the super- 
natural, and the other fifth has declined any right to pass judg- 
ment in the matter, we are at liberty to " try the spirits," and 
we can " know them by their fruits ;" and, trusting in the power 
of Him who said, " Lo, I am with you always," we need not 
fear that the devil, under whatever disguise he may appear, 
will have power to harm us. 

For me, the solution of all difficulties, and answer to all 
doubts, is contained — as what is not P — in the first sentence of 
the creed of the apostles : " I Believe in God the Fatheb 



Jesse Babcock Ferguson was bom in the city of Philadelphia, 
state of Pennsylvania, United States of America, January 19, 
1819. His father^ Robert French Ferguson, was of Scottish 
descent, and his mother, Hannah Champlain Babcock, of 
English. His grandmother, on the father's side, was of the 
Quaker family of French, among the early settlers of New 
Jersey, while he was connected on the mother's side with the 
Babcocks and Champlains of Rhode Island, mingling thus 
Scotch and English, Puritan and Quaker. 

Tliough bom in Philadelphia, Mr. Ferguson was taken in 
his childhood to the Valley of Virginia, better known in 
England as the Valley of the Shenandoah, a fertile and beau- 
tiful region between the Blue Ridge and the main chain of 
the Alleghanies, since so ruthlessly desolated by its Northern 
invaders. His father resided near Winchester, of late so often 
occupied in turn by hostile armies. At the age of eleven he 
was placed at Fair View Academy, and after three months' 
attendance was selected by the principal as his usher or 
assistant, and by diligent study was able to keep so much in 
advance of the entire school as to be qualified to teach the 
branches he was studying, to the satisfaction and admiration 
of the principal and his patrons. 

It has been often remarked that the most zealous and 
successful teachers are those who keep just in advance of their 
pupils, and the success of young Ferguson was so great, and 
the character he established, both intellectual and moral, so 


remarkable, that it soon opened for him another sphere of 
usefulness of a still more extraordinary character. 

At that day there were wild valleys of the Alleghanies 
where the settlers had preceded the preacher and schoolmaster^ 
and religion and education had been alike neglected. The 
Presbyterian Missionary Society of Shenandoah and Frederick 
counties having established a mission in one of these regions, 
wished also to open a school, for which they required a teacher, 
and young Ferguson, now a boy of thirteen, was considered 
the best qualified and most suitable person that could be 
selected for that situation. With the consent of his father, a 
firm, religious man, he entered upon his duties, and opened 
the school in a log-house, one end of which was separated 
from the rest by a thin partition, and occupied by a shoe- 
maker ; an arrangement the young teacher did not understand 
at the time, but which was intended to be of service in case of 
any dfficulty with some of his older and rougher pupils. No 
such difficulty occurred. The boy of thirteen, of his own 
volition, opened his school every morning with an extempore 
prayer, and by his kindness and dignity won the love and 
respect of all his pupils, among whom were young men and 
women of twenty, to whom he taught the alphabet and first 
rudiments of learning. So successful was this school of the 
backwoods, that the county trustees paid most of its expenses« 
and the magistrates sent the young teacher a gratifying testi- 
monial and pecuniary reward. 

At the age of fourteen, young Ferguson met with a severe 

disappointment. His elder brothers had been educated at 

William and Mary College, one of the oldest educational 

institutions in Virginia, and he had expected, in due time, to 

take his turn as a student. But some pecuniary reverses 

having overtaken his father, he was told that he must abandon 

his ambition to acquire a classical education, and learn some 

trade that would ensure him a living. The lad and his 

c 2 


mother found it very hard to yield to this decision. They had 
no doubt acquired something of the Southern feeling on this 
subject, but the father was firm, and yielded only so far as to 
give his son his choice of a trade, and ft trade in America 
means some branch of mechanical industry. An American 
boy with a love of learning and Kterature, and an ambition for 
distinction, and yet obliged to learn a trade, chooses that one 
which oflEers him the readiest means of mental improvement 
and advancement, and becomes, like Franklin and many other 
distinguished Americans, a printer. Yoimg Ferguson made 
this choice, and went alone to Winchester, the principal town 
in that region, offered himself as an apprentice in the printing 
office of the Republican newspaper, and was accepted, receiving 
from the first sufficient wages for his support. 

The editor of the Republican was James Gordon Brooks, a 
poet and author of considerable ability, but lacking those 
business habits necessary to success. A year after young 
Ferguson had entered the office as an apprentice, his employer, 
who had also become his Mend, failed in business, and was 
obliged to relinquish the publication of the newspaper, and to 
leave Winchester. Before doing so he released the youth from 
his obligations, and telling him that he had already acquired a 
sufficient knowledge of his trade, advised him to obtain a 
classical education. But his Scotch- Quaker father was not to 
be baulked of his determination, and insisted that he must 
complete his knowledge of the " art preservative of all arts,^* 
and found him a situation in a book-printing establishment of 
one of his friends in Baltimore, Maryland. He had been there 
but a few weeks, however, when his health gave way, and he 
went home to endure a long, painful, and, as his friends 
believed, a dangerous illness. This disease was scrofulous 
periostitis of the tibia, commonly called white swelling, with 
deep-seated ulcers and exfoliations. After three months of 
great suffering he was able to resume his studies, but was sup- 


posed to be lame for life. An account of the extraordinary 
cure of this disease will be found in a subsequent chapter. 

At this time an elder brother — H, F. Ferguson — was editor 
of the Woodstock Sentinel, and one of the most promising 
young lawyers and politicians of the Valley of Virginia. To 
him Jesse, as soon as his health was sufficiently restored, 
applied for a situation, in which, by superintending the printing 
establishment and keeping the books, he might support himself 
and pay for his education ; and he spent the regular hours of 
study at the Woodstock Academy, kept up with, and often in 
advance of, his classes ; and, while sustaining himself by his 
labour, became a good Latin and Greek scholar. 

Having completed the course of study he had laid out for 
himself, and attained his majority, young Ferguson, seeing no 
suitable sphere for his ambition in Virginia, crossed the 
Alleghanies, to seek his fortunes in the great West. He made 
his first visits to the fast-growing States of Ohio and Indiana, 
but found the manners and customs of the people so different 
from those of the frank and hospitable Old Dominion, that he 
turned his steps homeward again, disheartened with the 
prospect. But, before leaving Ohio, he met with a congenial 
spirit in a clergyman, the Rev. Arthur Crichfield, of Logan 
county, whom he visited, and who induced him to open a 
school in the village in which he resided. He soon became 
distinguished as the editor of a religious miscellany which 
gained a large circulation. Giving his attention to theological 
studies, and taking an active part in religious exercises, it was 
not long before he became one of the most eloquent and popular 
preachers of the West, 

While engaged in these labours he married a daughter of 
James Mark, Esq., one of the early emigrants from Kentucky 
to Ohio, and a highly respected magistrate of Madison county. 
But he was not destined to remain long in that imcongenial 
northern latitude; Many of his friends and relations kk 


Yirginia had crossed the Alleghanies, and found a beantifal 
home in Southern Kentucky, and Mr. Ferguson was invited to 
become a missionary to what is now one of the finest portions 
of that great and fertile State. He declined the offer of a 
handsome salary at Harrodsbury, Kentucky, and began his 
missionary labours. These extended over several counties, his 
family finding a home on the plantation of Dr. Charles 
Merriweather ; and for five years there was scarcely a day in 
which he did not preach once or oftener, and five large places 
of worship were erected in one county, chiefly by his influence 
and labours, and perhaps twice that number in the counties 
adjoining. He was welcomed and esteemed by all classes as an 
eloquent and devoted preacher, free from the trammels of party 
or sect. He had no regular salary, but the voluntary contri- 
butions of his friends were not only sufficient for the support of 
himself and his family, but enabled him to give relief to the 
helpless and destitute. 

When the missionary labours of these five years had resulted 
in the building up of religious societies, able to support regular 
pastors, Mr. Ferguson accepted a call to Nashville, the capital 
of Tennessee, which he had often visited, and where he was 
highly esteemed. The house of worship which had hitherto 
sufficed for the congregation which had invited him to become 
their pastor, was soon found much too small to hold the crowds 
who flocked to hear him. The aisles, and even the space 
around the building, were crowded. A new and splendid 
edifice was erected, with sittings for 1,500 persons, and he 
became the most popular preacher of that region. 

While engaged in his pastoral duties he also became the 
editor of the " Christian Magazine/^ commenced by hiin in 
Nashville, 1848, and which, from its containing for several 
years many of his sermons, lectures, and other writings, gained 
a very large circulation. 

It was not only by the religious community with which he 


was connected that Mr. Ferguson was held in high estimation. 
He was honoured with the esteem and confidence of the entire 
pubKc, and filled some of the most responsible positions. At 
the age of twenty-five he received the honorary degree of Master 
of Arts from Bacon College, Kentucky, and at thirty-four, the 
degree of Doctor of Laws from Franklin College, Tennessee, and 
was imanimously offered the presidency of the latter institution, 
an offer he felt obliged to decline, because it woidd have taken 
him from more congenial labours. It is proper to say that 
though entitled to write, A.M., LL.D., after his name, Mr. 
Ferguson has always modestly disclaimed these honours ; and 
his name, as attached to all his published writings, has been 
simply " J. B. Ferguson." 

While residing in Nashville he was appointed by the 
Governor of Tennessee trustee of the State Asylum for the 
Blind and the State Lunatic Asylum, and visitor to the State 
Penitentiary, and by the city authorities was often made the 
almoner of its public charities. He was constantly called 
upon to* deliver orations, lectures, and sermons before the State 
Legislature, Conventions of the People, and the most distin- 
guished literary societies in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, 
Louisiana, and Ohio. When the Southern Convention met 
ID Nashville, in 1849, he was unanimously elected its chaplain, 
and invited to preach a sermon in his own church to its 


To give any considerable portion of the printed discourses 
and essays of Mr. Ferguson, during his residence in Nashville, 
would require a much larger space than can here be spared to 
them, and we must content ourselves with a few brief extracts, 
which will show something of the earnestness of piety and 
philanthropy, as well as the zeal and eloquence, which gave 
him for so many years, and down to the terrible desolation 
which fell upon his country, an almost unbounded popularity 
and influence. 


The first extract we give is from the fourth volume of the 
*^ Christian Mc^azine/' 1851^ apparently a portion of a sermon 
from the text, " Beware of an evil heart of unbelief, in depart- 
ing from the Living God." It is a good example of the spirit 
of his teachings at that period: — 

" Weak and wavering, may be written over the arch of every 
man's faith who does not practically and daily rely upon, not the 
God of some dogmatic and mysterious theory of hmnan wisdom, but 
the Father of our spirits. There is no sohd comfort in the worship 
of an unknown God with the Athenians ; for such need Paul to 
declare Him as the God who built the heavens, and as not far from 
every one of us. But we must worship the revealed Father and 
appreciate the meaning of the name. Not merely the God of 
nature either, who created rock, bird, and flower, but a God who 
not only brought them and us into being, but who still exercises a 
benignant Providence over all His works ; Our Father ! true to 
every parental attribute, and filling out the deficiencies of all earthly 
parents by His own all-embracing fulness. He exercises a care and 
supervision vast enough to uphold the entire universe, and minute 
enough to protect each creature and bring it into a relatioi^ of per- 
sonal communion with Himself To establish this communion the 
mission of Jesus was ordained, and the possession of His Spirit 
makes us not only sons of God, but sons with the Spirit of sons, 
the filial Spirit, whereby we say Abba, Father. Our baptism is the 
sacred investiture of our adoption, for by it we put on Christ and 
enter into the name of the Father, But with all the evidence of 
our intimate relationship, how many in seasons of prosperity and 
pleasure forget their Creator, or in times of disappointment and 
suffering regard His goodness and compassion as questionable ! 
When the light of His presence shines gloriously, they shut their 
eyes to it ; and when the robes of darkness fall over their spirits,' 
they doubt its existence. The good things of the world they receive 
without gratitude; the evil they charge upon their'God. When 
their business goes on in accordance with their wishes, they take it 
as a matter of course, they feel no need ; when the calamity comes, 
as come it often wiQ to such, in a moment, they know not where 
to look for help ; and if God do not speedily interpose for their 
release and reinstatement, they fear His judgments and forget His 


goodness, His loving-kindness, which may be better than life. Fear 
is the legitimate child of doubt. Men fear enough, sometimes too 
much (*.e., they do not reverence), the Creator. We cannot dread 
impiety, ingratitude, or sin, too much ; but a literal, constant dread 
of the Almighty Father is as impious as it is weak. It destroys 
the very life of religion, the life of the affections. That name 
which was revealed as a solace and a joy, which should be, for it is, 
the dearest object in the universe, the actualized Father and Friend, 
to become the source of continual apprehension and unrest, is to 
take from us the very hope of man and fill its place with the fear 
of demons. It is the childish reversal of the only correct rule of 
judgmeoit, ' As a child judges a parent's love through his punish- 
ments, so judge of the Eternal Parent. Judgments are to be 
interpreted through love — ^not love through judgments. Threaten- 
ings are to be neutralized by promises — not promises by threaten- 
ings. Earth is to be illuminated by the Hope of Heaven — not 
darkened by the Fear of Hell. It would seem at times as. though 
it would be a relief to some minds if the idea of God were stricken 
from the universe — so sadly wrong are all their ideas of His nature. 
Dark and awful forebodings perpetually embitter all the pleasures 
of their life. And this fear they call religion ! Sad religion truly ; 
fruitful only in dissatisfied feelings and wretched fears. Slavery, 
rather, let it be branded, whose bonds are error of judgment and 
whose cords are perversions of mind. It is from this very slavery 
that religion proclaims a freedom. Its truth makes free. Its love 
casts out fear. Who can dread a God he Idves ? Who can be 
tormented with an idea of a Being whose essential nature is good- 
ness, love 1 We must believe more, we must know more of God ; 
our own vision must rise above the fogs of human prejudice or 
ignorance, if we would see a goodness which eternity only can 
fully disclose — if we would discover the workings of a love that 
can meet and will meet the darkest and strongest catastrophes, the 
bitterest and most mysterious ills of life. We carmot trust God 
too much; for it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.' God 
is even better than the highest conception of our thought. His 
tender mercies are over all His works, and they will secure the 
glory and happiness of all who seek Him as an everlasting refuge. 
In every hour of sorrow, as in every season of joy, let us with the 
inspired one of old say, ' How excellent is thy loving-kindness, 


O God ! therefore the children of men put their trust under the 
shadow of thy wings. They shall he abundantly satisfied with the 
fatness of thy house ; and thou shalt make them drink of the river 
of thy pleasures; for in thee is the fountain of life.' And 
let all who have entered that house, or family, or church rejoice, 
and let all who have not entered enter, for the Spirit says to those 
without, * Come ;' and to those within, * Pariahe of the water of 
life freely: "J. B. F." 

Equally characteristic and prophetic of his progress in new 
fields of thought and investigation is the following passage, 
which occurs in a series of lectures on Exodus, delivered in 1846, 
nearly twenty years ago, and published in the " Christian 
Magazine," 1851 : — 

" Before we dismiss our review of the magian miracles, we have a 
single observation to make, in relation to the communication which 
spirits and demons have obtained with the people of the earth, by 
their power over the internal forces and laws of nature. There 
are a variety of facts found in the records of all history which 
in their number and character are startling to every collected 
examiner, and which cannot be ascribed to the fantasy of the imagi- 
nation, however great that may be. I have no theory to propound 
upon the subject ; I bow before the facts. I am neither sceptical 
nor superstitious. Everywhere around me I see a strange mingling 
of apparently opposite and extreme substances and powers, which 
are as singular as the intercommunication of spirits with the ever 
strauge and intangible mind of man. In the crude and inanimate 
forms of matter that rustle beneath my feet, I recognize impalpable 
powers, imponderable agents, invisible realities. Something of the 
spiritual flows into all the dull forms of earth. There are living 
forces pervading every particle of matter, along the enduring lines 
of which the volitions and powers of spirits may glide and operate 
without contradiction or impediment. All power seems to have 
its origin in mind, which acts in man, ordinarily, through organic 
instrumentalities ; but in the spiritual world, through unperceiv- 
able agents. 

" Eecent discoveries in science show experiments where the voli- 
tion of man may cause the oscillations of the needle to vary from 
thirty to fifty degrees. We see heavy bodies moved every day by 


the disturbance of the imponderable fluids that pervade them, as in 
the generation of steam ; and, indeed, of all gases. When, there- 
fore, we connect with these facts the scriptural revelation that 
spiritual beings are in constant contact with the men of this world; 
we may have some faint idea of their power and the manner of its 
use. It is in vain to tell us that the laws of nature are fixed and 
uniform ; we speak of the power in the law, and not the mode of 
its manifestation. The law flows from the power, and is only the 
mode in which the power acts. There is no power in the law, and 
what we call the law, as of gravitation, for example, is only the 
imiformity with which the power acts. In tracing every law and 
every power, we at last arrive at the divine, the Supreme Being ; 
and the innumerable mediums in which the divine power termi- 
nates, we call the laws of nature and of being. Spirits, angels, 
demons, are the higher laws of His power, and the lower orders of 
life are the lower ranges of the same power. When, therefore, we 
consider how near the human mind is to the border of spiritual life, 
and remembei^ that the imponderable and internal forces of nature, 
such as magnetism and electricity, permeate every object and have 
good centres in the human brain, which, by a complicate network 
of affinities no mind has yet been able to fathom, may connect • 
itself with the next order of spiritual beings above it, we are pre- 
pared not only to admit the possibility of spiritual communications, 
but also to form some conception of the manner of their manifesta- 
tion. But the subject is infinite, and this is not the place to dis- 
cuss it I have distinct and somewhat satisfieu^tory views upon it, 
and in the proper place will take pleasure in laying before you the 
result of years of patient research and investigation. To conclude, 
you will discover that I do not coincide with that wholesale dogma- 
tism which denies the possibility of magian miracles, and limits 
every phenomenon to its own obstinate and narrow circle of obser- 
vation ; for unless I were to adopt the infidel theory of Hume and 
reject all testimony on this subject, I must believe not only that 
they have been performed, but that they still may be and are, and 
that they will be acknowledged whenever our science in the depart- 
ments alluded to shall be perfected." 

For eleven years Mr. Ferguson resided in Nashville, oc- 
cupying the same pulpit with undiminished popularity and 


success, and serving the pubKc also in many highly responsible 
situations. It should be explained here, that those to whom 
he preached were called simply " Christians." They had no 
written creed, and professed to take the Holy Scriptures alone 
as the basis of their faith. But the doctrines which Mr. 
Ferguson drew from the Sacred Volume did not the less stir 
up, after a time, a sectarian spirit of animosity, and those who 
claimed the greatest possible toleration for their own views of 
truth, were the first to denounce those held by him as heretical. 
Very strong eflforts were made to separate him from his con- 
gregation by these denunciations, but they stood firmly by 
their beloved pastor. When he was slandered, and demanded 
an investigation of the charges brought against him, his people 
were still equal to the occasion, and the most distinguished 
and best men of all parties in the community came to his 
support, and testified to the purity of his character, and the 
zeal and ability with which he had laboured for the public 
good. The investigation which he had felt himself compelled 
to demaiid as a matter of justice, resulted in his being unani- 
mously recalled to the pastorate he had resigned, and his 
reputation only shone the more brightly for the ordeal through 
which it had passed. 

The time came, however, when Mr. Ferguson recognized so 
much of a divergence between his own views and those held 
by the majority of the society of which he had been considered 
a member, that he felt it his duty to voluntarily resign the 
church edifice erected for him to those who might have been 
called its doctrinal claimants. He had advanced beyond many 
of his flock, and while not ready to leave those who had been 
the companions of his progress, he would not stand in a false 
position towards those who had not been able to make the 
same advancement. 

This voluntary abandonment of a property to which he had 
probably a good legal claiai disarmed all opposition, and 


enabled him to take what he considered a higher and broader 
position, in which he claimed the world as his church, and all 
mankind as his brethren. 

In 1860, when the revolution was approaching its crisis, 
and the long gathering animosities between the North and 
South were about to culminate in a desolating and sanguinary 
contest, Mr. Ferguson was waited upon by the most distin- 
guished men in Tennessee of both parties. Union and Secession, 
and invited to give a public address on the duty of the people 
of Tennessee and of the South in that crisis of their fate. His 
address was delivered in the hall of the House of Represen- 
tatives in the State Capitol, to an audience of several thousands, 
and was circulated in a printed form over the whole Southern 
States. As candidate for a seat in the Legislature of 1861, 
Mr. Ferguson also gave a series of most eloiijuent and stirring 
addresses throughout the district of which Nashville is the 
centre, which will be found in the local newspapers of that 
stining period. 

He was also invited to address the people throughout Middle 
and West Tennessee, Kentucky, and a portion of Arkansas, 
and was heard with respect amid the violence of party feelings, 
and recognized as the Patrick Henry of a new revolution. 
The city council of Memphis called upon him to deliver an 
address on the completion of Fort Harris, the first fort built 
after the war began, and the city of Nashville sent him to 
address the State troops gathered at Fort Cheatham. He also 
addressed the first brigade of Arkansas volunteers, encamped 
at Mound City. As he had done his utmost to unite the 
South to prevent the war, he now exerted all his impetuous 
eloquence to unite the South in prosecuting the war that could 
no longer be avoided. In this work he won the respect and 
confidence of Southern statesmen and generals. When Fort 
Donaldson was attacked, he was called upon to address the 
State Legislature at NashviUe, and he predicted the capture of 


the fortress when his hearers believed such an event im- 
possible. His prediction was fiiLBlled^ and the enemy was at 
the gates of Nashville. 

In this hour of supreme dismay, when the whole city 
was a mob, the authorities called upon Mr. Ferguson to use 
his influence and eloquence to calm the popular excitement. 
Mounted upon his horse, he rode from street to street, and 
square to square, addressing the people, and giving them such 
counsels as the case demanded. When order had been brought 
out of confusion, he devoted himself to the mitigation of the 
horrors of invading war. 

The establishment of the Federal military authorities in 
Nashville was the signal for the imprisonment of many of her 
best citizens. Scores of the best men in Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee have suflfered not only imprisonment and banishment, 
but ignominious death, for no crime but patriotism. No man 
in Tennessee had been more active and influential than Mr. 
Ferguson. He had addressed the people in their public meet- 
ings, urging them to unity and patriotism, and the soldiers in 
their camps, inciting them to devotion and heroism. The press 
of Tennessee bore witness to the eloquence and effectiveness of 
his appeals, and published at fall length his spirit-stirring 
addresses. It was not to be expected that when so many pro- 
minent inen were arrested and imprisoned he would be allowed 
to escape, but he did so in a very remarkable manner, and 
made his way to Canada, whence he was commissioned by his 
friends to visit England and present his views of the poUcy 
which he believed should govern the Confederate States to their 
commissioners and their friends in Europe. Returning from 
England, and seeking to find his way to Richmond, with the 
object of urging his views upon the Confederate Government, 
his safe transit through the lines was imconsciously pro- 
moted by an order of General Rosencranz for his arrest 
and banishment to the Confederate States, within whose 


military lines he was safely esoortedi whence he proceeded to 

While at the capital of the Confederate States, where he 
had the opportunity of stating his views upon the war, slavery, 
and ttie policy of the Confederacy, Mr. Ferguson embodied 
some of these views in a pamphlet, entitled " The Times ; or, 
the Flag of Truce, dedicated to the Cabinets at Washington 
and Richmond, by a White Republican*' (Richmond, 1863), 
In this pamphlet he described the wrong and evils of war, its 
violation of all human ideas of justice, its waste of energy, 
resources, and life, its utter uselessness and barbarism. He 
called upon both governments and peoples to do at once what 
they must do finally, enter upon negotiations for peace. It 
was the interest of all, and could be attained without difficulty 
or sacrifice. Union, a treaty union of the two Confederacies 
for mutual benefits was still possible, and preferable to the no 
longer posdble union of all the States in one federation. And 
he asked both governments to unite with all civilized powers 
to form an International Congress, which could settle all differ- 
ences, and inaugurate an era of universal peace, which was 
the highest earthly interest of all humanity. In such a 
congress he would have every nation, large or small, strong or 
weak, equally represented, because their rights are the same. 
Such a congress, backed by the aggregate power of all the re- 
presented nations, could keep the universal peace, and in 
securing the harmony, promote the interests of all nations. 
The millions of men now kept in arms, wasting the strength 
and wealth of nations, would be set free to engage in produc- 
tive employments. The genius, skill, energy, force, and 
resources all wasted in wars or preparations for war, the armed 
truces of civilized and Christian peoples, would be turned to pro- 
duction instead of waste and devastation. I^ations would save the 
cost of war and warlike preparations, and they would gain a 
vast amount of mental and physical power for works of utility. 


These philanthropic and — ^may we not also say ? — statesman- 
like views were presented at a later day to members of the 
British Cabinet and to the Emperor of the French. An 
European Congress was proposed by the Emperor, but the 
British Government declined to engage in it. At a later date, 
after a war had begun upon the Continent, the British Cabinet 
summoned a Congress to deal with the single question at issue. ^ 
Its failure may be attributed to the policy which had induced 
English statesmen to refuse to join in a broader and more 
promising movement, which might have resulted in universal 
peace, free trade, and the disarmament of nations. 

Having fulfilled his mission at Richmond, Mr. Ferguson 
returned to Memphis, from which point he had been banished, 
and was of course re-arrested. 

On being summoned to the presence of Major-General 
Hurlbut, the Federal commandant of the Memphis district, Mr. 
Ferguson made the most frank avowal of his opinions and 
actions ; a statement of so remarkable a character that it 
deserves to be given at some length. Mr. Ferguson said he 
had long foreseen the present crisis — ^the deplorable and san- 
guinary conflict between the North and South — and had in his 
writings and speeches endeavoured to procure an entire union 
of feeling and action among the Southern people. He wished 
all the Southern States and people to stand together in 
securing peace, if possible ; and if not, in resisting aggression, 
and in a solid phalanx defying death, poverty, and starvation. 
Now war was in our midst. Carnage sweeps its tide of 
ensanguined desolation over the land, and where was their 
safety but in council and peace P Sooner or later, council must 
establish peace. Shall it leave us a divided nation, weakened in 
the presence of the, great Powers of Europe P Only in union 
was there safety ; but there could be no restoration of the old 
Union. The attempt to restore it by force of arms must bring 
a long night of desolation on both South and North. No 


submission could be expected firom a people who had for two 
years bravely and successfully resisted the power, intelligence, 
and perseverance of the North. But concession might restore 
a fraternal harmony. The South, even after its conquest — ^if 
that result were ever attained — could not be ruled by force, as 
a subject people. Union was the interest of both sections ; but 
the only union now possible was a union of Confederacies in 
alliance offensive and defensive, free trade, and reciprocity of 
commercial relations, leaving aU questions of a purely local 
character to the Governments of the respective Confederacies. 
He was for peace — in principle opposed to war. It was waste, 
destruction, dismay, and desolation to every hope for the good 
of his country and kind^ It was unjust to all. Widows and 
orphans, the maimed and wrecked are its sad trophies. Its 
continuance would open tlie way for outlawry, murder and 
brutality in every form, to the destruction of all civilization. 

In giving his reasons for peace, he said : '' I am for peace, 
because I believe in one God and one family of man ; because 
without peacQ there is no freedom. No amount of blood shed or 
treasure expended can ever settle, the questions which lead to 
war; the slaughter of millions {^ld the impoverishing of a 
nation settle nothing. War is the culmination of passion and 
frenzy, the dethronement of reason, alienating man from his 
brother, and blasting the idea of a common Father. Civiliza- 
tion has established tribunals for the redress of grievances, and 
if it is wrong for an individual to appeal to force and violence, 
how can it be right in a nation P I have laboured to secure — 
1st, an armistice; 2nd, negotiation, which is another namc> 
for national reason; 3rd, the free, unfettered voice of the 
people of all these States as to how this war shall cease.^' 

Failing this, Mr. Ferguson said he had no hope but in the 
establishment of an International Congress, such as he had 
already proposed to the Cabinets of Washington, Richmond, 
and the two chief European Powers* 




General Hurlbut, who, acting under General Rosenci^nz, 
had given ther orier for his banishment, now permitted him to 
return to his family at Nashville, demanding of him no oath of 
allegiance, but, after a personal interview, giving him the follow- 
ing letter to the Federal Military Governor of Tennessee : — 

*' Sib, — This will be handed you by Eev, J. B. Ferguson, who 
was banished south of our lines some few weeks sinco. I have had 
a full, free, frank interview with him, and I am satisfied he is a man 
of both truth and character. He has very peculiar views of the 
nature and tendency of this revolution, worthy of any man's con- 
sideration. If permitted to remain at home or go where he pleases, 
he will do good and not harm. As his home is Dear Kashyille, I 
send him to you, and commend him to your distinguished con> 


" I have the honour to be, yours, &c., 

" S. A. Hurlbut, Major-General. 

" Hon. Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee," 

Governor Johnson had long known Mr. Ferguson, and had 
been one of his most ardent admirers, though they were 
supposed to differ widely in their relations to the unhappy 
struggle which had involved their country. He received Mr. 
Ferguson courteously, however, and gave him every liberty he 
desired, and he was not from that time molested. 

This reception and treatment by Governor Johnson caused a 
report to be spread that Mr. Ferguson had deserted the 
Southern cause and people. He was even, while residing 
quietly at his farm, some distance from Nashville, announced 
as the chief speaker at a convention called " to restore Ten- 
nessee to the Union." The following card, published in a 
Nashville paper the day following this unauthorized announce- 
ment, was his sufficient answer : — 

"Note from Eev. J. B. Ferguson. 
" To the Editor of the Nashville Dispatch. 

" Mount Hope, Tennessee, 17th Jan., 1864. 
** Your paper of yesterday was handed me to-day, in which I 


find the following sentence, closing a notice of a ^ Meeting at the 
Capitol:' ^The chainnan announcing that at the next meeting 
the Rev. J. B. Ferguson would make a public recantation of Eebel 
principles !' Allow me to say, that I have not at any time authorized 
or in any way sanctioned such an announcement. There must, there* 
fore, be some mistake on the part of the chairman or that of your 
reporter, and you will, I think, do me the justice to publish this, 
my disavowal of the report. 

" Quietly pursuing my daily toil on the farm, I knew neither of 
the meeting to which you refer, nor of the one at which it is 
announced I will make a ' recantation.' I only add, therefore, that 
I have no recantation to make either in public or private. The 
stormy era in which we are actors, I had for years anticipated, 
and, consequently, all my actions connected therewith were delibe- 
rate, and the result of my most solemn and best matured reflections. 
I have not in the past, nor do I n(^ shirk, any legitimate respon- 
sibility therewith connected ; and, although desiring no public 
notoriety, I hold myself ready, at any proper time and place, to give 
a full and frank avowal of my estimate of the grave and weighty 
questions that now press themselves upon every well-wisher of his 

kind or country. 

^ "I am, very respectfully, etc., 

"J. B. FERausoN." 

It was naturally expected that the publication of this card 
would cause Mr. Ferguson to be again arrested, and perhaps 
banished, but conciliation happened to be the policy of the 
hour, and he was not molested. 

It has been mentioned that Mr. Ferguson, after the capture 
of Nashville, went to Canada, and thence to England, to lay 
his views before the Confederate and European diplomatists 
on several important subjects, and especially on the interest- 
ing and important one — the relations of the Confederate States 
to negro slavery. Educated a Southerner, advocating Southern 
independence in the interests of peace, he advocated it no less 
in the interests of the African race, for whom he has a true 
and generous sympathy, which is found, as every one 



acquainted with America knows, more commonly in the 
Southern than in the Northern States. 

The views of Mr. Ferguson on this subject are so original 
and striking that we give, entire, the memorandum or brief 
which he prepared on his first visit to England for the purpose 
of bringing the subject to the notice of the British and Conti- 
nental Governments : — 

'' There has been no legitimate legislation in the United States 
on the subject of slavery for forty-five years. The reason, so far 
as the Southern section is concerned, is obvious. The agitation of 
the question in the National Congress, a common theatre, has 
served to divert attention from the condition of the African popu- 
lation to a question of State rights, and the necessity, supposed 
or real, of resisting a fanatical interference with national and con- 
stitutional rights, which has now ended in a dissolution of the 
Union and a fratricidal and most desolating war. Fear for the 
safety of both races has thrown the South upon the defensive, and 
all that development of Southern statesmanship which in the early 
history of our country was directed to the rapidly-increasing 
number of the coloured race, to the amelioration of its condition 
and its ultimate emancipation, has not only been diverted, but a 
forced legislation has taken its place. Prior to the agitation in 
the National Councils — a common theatre, which, constitutionally, 
had nothing to do with the question of slavery — the subject was 
one of investigation and free discussion, alike in our legislative 
halls and at every altar of thought and service throughout the 
country. The proof of this statement may be found in almost 
every book, pamphlet, and speech of abolition literature ; from the 
Jays to Helper ; from Lloyd Garrison to * Uncle Tom's Cabin.' 
Each of these publications abounds in quotations from the speeches 
and writings of such men as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, the 
Pinckneys, Marshalls, Randolphs cum multis aliis, all of which 
were written, or spoken, anterior to the national agitation 
of the question. The South has ceased to discuss at home, because 
it felt threatened abroad, and endangered in the dearest national 
rights by an unconstitutional, not to say impudent, intermeddling. 
Had she been let alone, we insist that she would, ere this, have legal- 
ized the marriages of her negroes; passed laws to prevent the 


separation of mothers and children of tender years ; established 
civil umpires to decide and effectually prevent cases of cruelty ; 
and, I solemnly believe, in the natural and unrestrained course of 
events, made umpires to decide cases of freedom ; or rather, capacity 
for the enlargement of the privileges of such as were capable of 
taking care of themselves. To appreciate what we mean, allow us 
to state a few plain principles and facts. 

" We can never abolish slavery by civil enactment. We but 
change the condition from one of dependence upon the superior civil 
development of the white man to that of dependence on the 
bounty of chance, amid the fierce and intense rapacity which the 
vast rewards of skill and industry of modem material conquest have 
organized over the whole area of so-called civilization. To free 
without provision for his enlargement^ is but to victimize the negro, 
and send him down to a deeper barbarism than any now marking 
his worst condition in slavery. 

'^ Again, it is capacity, not resolutions of Congress or emancipation 
proclamations, that gives right. My right to see is an eye, and not 
a law of human enactment. The law can but recognize the right, 
and provide for its free and full exercise. Among our negroes, 
individuals do arise every way capable of a higher condition. Prior 
to the national agitation many such were freed by Southern 
masters ; but since the step has been justly considered impolitic, 
and not even humane. The reason is clear. In all our vast terri- 
tory, the gift of Heaven for humanity at large, despite the agitation 
of abolitionism, not a county, not a township has as yet been set 
apart for the enfranchised negro — not a place where he can enjoy 
social equality — ^not one where his ignorance and even colour does 
not expose him to enormous trespass. And the strauge anomaly 
presented to-day is, that the negro — ^the only innocent party in the 
terrible conflict in America — he who has felled our forests, reaped 
the abundant harvests of our grain for our use, and woven, so to 
speak, the very fabric of our greatness, has not a place in all the 
territory we have wrested, in many instances from another and a 
savage race, for the safety of the sole of his foot. 

" We ask, then, in view of these patent facts, is it strange that 
our own heritage is becoming a wide and deep desolation ? And it 
is well to inquire, where is the remedy ] 

" Grant a Southern nationality. The South becomes but one 


inember of the great family of nations. She becomes so beneath the 
full blaze of the intellectualism of all nations now rife with oppo- 
sition to her peculiar institutions. She at once must take and feel 
the responsibility and dangers, if there be any of her social system. 
She must provide an outlet to unfolding capacity ; but as she cannot 
do this alone — as she nerer could do it while the Union existed^ 
because the question was so urged as to destroy all right, all 
freedom of thought and action — she will rejoice to have the question 
considered internationally, as the nations alone can say where 
the free coloured man may find a place free from trespass. 

*' Grant her nationality. She is but one among many. Every 
advantage is on the side of freedom. She cannot hope to exist £ree 
from the common influences of national relationship. Having her 
rightful position recognized, she must and will feel its responsi^ 

''Forty-five years of national agitation has not benefited the 
negro. It has often only placed him between the upper and nether 
millstone. It has made him a fyigitive in a foreign and, to him^ 
inhospitable clime. It has intensified sectional prejudice, and 
brought on a fratricidal war of unprecedented malignity and deso- 
lation. And it has revealed the blunder, not to say curse, of 
American statesmanship, in that, with all its cry against slavery, 
it has made no provision for the outgrowth of the coloured man's 
capacity. Moreover, it has anew demonstrated that the slavery of 
a tribe or race cannot be abolished, because, like childhood, it is 
natural It may be outgrown, is so ontgrown in individual 
instances, for which outgrowth all just governments wiLl^and must 
make provision. This could not be done in the Union. It wHl be 
done in a Southern nationality, because the rights of the Southern 
people to their own dangers and responsibilities being granted, as 
in any case of a just distribution of responsibility, they must provide 
for them. I end, therefore, all I have said in one sentence, which 
the experience of the whole world confirms : Slavery cannot be 
abolished — it may be, and will be, outgrown. It cannot be 
abolished, because it is natural to a lack of civic development ; it 
may be outgrown, because any condition under nature or provi- 
dence is but the promise of unfoldment into a higher. 

" The South will give up every negro rather than yield in her 
struggle for independence from what she considers the tyranny of 


the North. It is for the world to say how or in what manner this 
should be done. If done ruthlessly and suddenly, the interests of 
Europe, nay, of humanity at large, strangely connected with the 
products of slave labour, must suffer, and untold misery, with no 
near approach to a better condition of the coloured man, will be 
the inevitable result" 

These statesmanlike views were not unappreciated, but the 
time had not come for their acceptance, neither were the 
nations ready for an international congress which should be 
potent enough to secure universal peace, and he was forced to 
find other wort 

But business was prostrated, his home and his state de- 
solated by the scourge of war, and every avenue of usefulness 
being closed to him, he came to New York to seek the means 
of providing for his family. There he was soon offered respon- 
sible and sufficiently lucrative positions, but a path of duty 
seemed to him to open before him, involving much of sacrifice 
certainly to a man who had so long been honoured and 
applauded, but a path he did not hesitate to pursue with 
unfaltering courage and trusi In the spirit of faith and 
obedience to the highest sense of duty, he accepted a mission 
to make known to the people of England, and to the world, 
some of those supramundane facts which are the present and 
tangible evidences of immortality. 

It would have been easy, from the materials before me, to 
have very much extended this sketch of the life of Mr. Ferguson. 
I might have copied many eloquent and suggestive passages 
from his published sermons, essays, lectures, and political 
addresses, which would have illustrated the character of his 
mind, his genius, and shown something of the basis of the 
position he has occupied and the popularity he has enjoyed. 
Few men in America occupied a more enviable position, were 
more trusted, or more worthy of trust, than Mr. Ferguson, 
His testimony to any fact within his observation or knowledge 


is not to be lightly questioned. His opinions or deductions 
from those facts are entitled to as much respect^ as his character 
may warrant, and I believe there are few men whose opinions, 
judged by this standard, are entitled to more consideration 
than those of Jesse Babcogk Ferguson. 





Some of Mr. Ferguson's earlier observations and experiences 
of supramundane facts were published at Nashville^ in 1854, 
in an octavo volume of some 300 pages, entitled "Spirit 
Communion: a Record of Communications from the Spirit- 
spheresy with incontestable evidence of personal identity, by 
J. B. Ferguson." In the introduction to this volume, various 
objections to the credibility and utility of spiritual communi- 
cations are answered with force and pertinence ; but these 
answers, however needAil they may have been at the time 
and under the circumstances, do not now seem necessary. The 
first question to be answered respecting these manifestations and 
communications is, do they reaUy exist ? Let the fact be 
established, and its use will appear in due season. The 
believers in what is called Spiritualism have no occasion to 
explain its uses, or defend its morality, until its genuineness 
is acknowledged. It is nonsense to say a thing cannot be or 
ought not to be, while it can be proven that it is. The true 
method is to settle the fact, and then look to causes and con- 

A writer in Bhuskwoody February, 1865, ridicules and 
denounces the facts related in the life of Mr. Home, and of 
the Bi^oihers Davenport. They are humbugs, impostures, 
absurdities, and rubbish ; but before we get to the end of the 
article we have a solemn warning against the awful wicked- 
ness and danger of such manifestations. The facts are utterly 


denied, and in the next breath we are told that they imperil 
our eternal salvation. In the first 'part of this article the 
writer hunts with the hounds ; in the last he runs with the hare. 
When it has been fairly and philosophically settled whether the 
phenomena to which has been given the name, « Spiritualism '' 
are real, other questions will be in order. 

If these apparent manifestations are the results of imposture 
or delusion, affecting some millions of honest people, wise and 
good men can scarcely engage in a more important work than 
demonstrating the imposture and dispelling the illusion ; but 
this cannot be done by ridicule or denunciation. 

If, in the progress of their inquiries, learned and scientific in- 
vestigators who are too wise to be imposed upon, and too strong- 
minded to fall into any delusion, should, by possibility, become 
satisfied that the facts of so-called spiritual mcmifestations do 
really occur, then they can teach us as to their uses, or warn us 
against their abuses. 

Our business at present is with the facts ; and we have no 
fear that any fact, element, force, or action, in nature or above 
nature, mundane or supramundane, will be found without its 
proper use. 

In giving an account of his earlier experiences, Mr. Ferguson 
says : — 

" In the years 1842-3 we prosecuted, in the privacy of family 
relationships, a thorough investigation of what was called animal 
magnetism, in which, under repeated experiments — alone and in 
the company of respectable witnesses — ^we fully established the 
following facts : — 

^^ First. The possibility of mind acting through the outward 
senses of other bodies besides its own. 

*^ Second. Of its acting apart from its own and all external 
senses ; and of holding communion with disembodied mind. 

" All who witnessed our experiments were fully satisfied of the 
truth of our first conclusion, of which they had evidence — ^solicited 
and unsought — of a nature and amount that did not admit of a 


qaestion. Of the second conclusion, myself and the indiyidual 
through whom our new demonstrations were made were alone 
satisfied, for the evidence was of a character that did not admit of 
a clear or satisfactory statement. Still no sooner did the recent 
developments of modern spiritualism command the popular atten- 
tion, than every witness to our happy experiments was led to say, 
' If these things be true, Mrs. F. (the subject of these experiments) 
is a medium!' 

" Years had passed away, bringing new relations to almost every 
member of our social circle, and the subject had ceased to occupy 
our attention. Yet, when oppressed by any serious event, Mrs. F. 
would manifest a degree and precision of intuition that would 
always astonish and sometimes overwhelm our attention. 

" I wrote in my portfolio, in the year 1844, and published in the 
' Christian Magazine,' in the year 1849, as follows :— 'If we may 
be allowed an opinion, where an opinion is scarcely allowable, we 
would say that from the invisible world there will be such a mani- 
festation of the saints, that the veil of flesh and sense will be rent 
away and the connection wHl be permanent. The cherubim, or 
" living creatures,'' will appear upon the eartL The angels of God 
will ascend and descend as Jacob saw, and as Jesus promised, and 
the tabernacles for which Peter asked on the Mount of Glory will 
be granted to alL' 

" We confess that our experience and observation so deepened and 
confirmed our faith in the reality and nearness of spirit presence, 
that it gave a character to our ministrations that was marked by all. 

^'When the spiritual manifestations of Bochester and other places 
were claiming popular attention, I was so occupied in pastoral, 
editorial and other duties, that I passed them by for the most part, 
and was disposed to regard them as the minglings of fanaticism and 
imposture^ There was one exception to this statement. When 
attempting, in company with a medical friend, to relieve a case of 
physical suffering, finding the subject in the state usually called 
clairvoyant, I asked her in relation to the Eochester manifesta* 
tions, and received this response : ' The manifestations are from 
spirits, many of whom lived before the present nations of the 
earth existed ; they are seeking access to the world by the agency 
of spirits recently departed. This is true, and you will find it so.' 

*^ This remarkable declaration did not pass from my memory ; 


and I made a note of it among my records, but I was disposed to 
attribute it to a mesmeric reflection of the mind of my friend upon 
that of the patient He always protested, however, that I was 
mistaken. This was in May, 1849. 

'' Time passed on w|th its changing influences, and I found myself 
with its every advance more and more confident of the reality of 
man's spiritual relations — so much so indeed that my statements 
from the pulpit and the press frequently required explanations to 
my friends. So full, so positive, and so unmistakeable were they, 
that the opponents to my heresies pronounced me a spiritualist, 
and with the usual confidence of men who never doubt their own 
decisions, stated that I was in correspondence with spiritual 
mediums. This was not true in any sense in which they used the 

'^ I allude to these things that I may mark my own progress in the 
details that follow, with reference to place, time, and event, and 
not to create any combative opposition, such as I have from the 
beginning avoided as alike incompatible with the claims of 
humanity and truth. My subsequent experience and obser- 
vation are detailed in the following letters and communications, 
which I now offer to the public as an imperative duty I owe alike 
to truth and right, and to the responsibilities that grow out of 
privileges I regard as the highest and holiest ever granted to man. 

*' Springfield, Ohio, Oct. 24, 1853. 
" Mr. W. D. M. : 

"My dear Friend, — In accordance with my promise, I proceed 
to present you, in as concise a form as possible, my observations 
on * spiritual manifestations.' 

" The chief object of my present visit to Ohio was to secure the 
privilege of personal observation of these strange phenomena. 
Much to my disappointment, I was informed upon my arrival that 
the excitement with respect to them had died out, and that it 
would be difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute my designs. So 
frequently was this fact stated to me, that I had well-nigh given 
over the search, when, quite unexpectedly, I introduced the subject 
in the house of a worthy friend, who informed me that himself 
and his brother were mediums. They had not been exercised 
for eighteen months ; had just come in from the corn harvest to 
pay their respects to me; and, though anxious to gratify me, 


evidcntiy wished I liad sought some other gratification. By per- 
suasion, however, they consented, and we sat down seriously to 
the 'table.* We had not been seated long until we had the 
'raps,' the 'tipping of the stand,* and decided changes in their 
nervous systems. We received, also, responses by the aid of the 
alphabet, and the name of an aged and deceased preacher-companion 
of mine was spelled out. The manifesting power answering 
to this name gave answers to audible and mental questions, 
somewhat remarkable in their character, but by no means satisfac- 
tory as to the degree of intelligence in the replies. There was 
enough, however, to excite all my powers of inquiry, and to 
command my most serious attentiou. I had not thought of the 
deceased &ther in Israel ; but having loved and honoured him in 
the flesh, had no objection to communing with him in spirit. The 
afternoon, however, was wearing away, and my friends were 
expecting me at the house of a relative. I persuaded my friend, 
the best medium, to accompany me there. We opened the 
examination again at night, with like results. Spirits that had 
departed in the room we occupied were said to be present ; and 
among many strange things revealed to us was that I myself would 
receive unmistakeable manifestations shortly, and manifestations of 
some degree of palpability during the ensuing twenty-four hours. 
Those who witnessed the proceeding concluded that all we had 
seen and heard were involuntary effects produced by the medium. 
We retired to rest, dismissing the subject. Late in the night I 
awoke from a most delightful dream, when I recognized distinct 
* raps ' upon my right shoulder and breast. Of course I was all 
attention. Satisfying myself that I was entirely awake, I directed 
mentally several questions to the rapping power, and received not 

very remarkable answers. . 

" I arrived in Springfield at ten o'clock at night, and found all 
my family were gone to Madison County. On Sunday a gentle- 
man called and assured me we could have a meeting with a 
medium at night. The meeting was arranged to take place in 
my room ; and after tea at another house, I returned, and found 
quite a number gathered, and three mediums present. I mention 
these particulars, because there was much at this meeting that, to 
say the least of it, revealed remarkable coincidences. With the 
exception of one individual — a Methodist clergyman, formerly 


from Tennessee — I was a total stranger to all present. They 
neither knew me, nor knew of me. Some of them had come in, 
they scarcely knew why ; and one of the mediums was a total 
stranger to us all, who came, as he said, under the impression that 
he 'must come to this place to<night/ The coincidences of desire 
and unexpected meeting were so remarkable, that, but for my 
knowledge of all that had been done towards the meeting, I would 
have feared collusion. On this point, however, I was fully 

" The meeting was opened by prayer, at the suggestion of my 
clerical friend. All the company were professedly religious — one 
of the mediums a Methodist preacher, and a majority, members of 
that Church. 

" We were soon seated around a table, and joined in a good old 
song of Zion, as they said, to produce passivity and harmony of 
mind. Our clerical medium stated to us, what we had previously 
heard, that he was a man of embarrassing timidity in the presence 
of strangers, and had been so all his life ; that he enjoyed spiritual 
communications best alone, and that in company, even when he 
felt the influence most powerfully, he hesitated to act. We 
encouraged him, and did all in our power to make him feel at 
ease. Soon his arm was singularly agitated, and, taking a pencil, 
he wrote what seemed to be an admonition to himself, as 
follows : — * You should do your duty at all times, and under all 
circumstances. What if you are in the presence of strangers ? 
You are also in the presence of heavenly messengers, who are ever 
ready to help and assist you. We know the state of your mind. 
Be passive. We will think ; you must write. Say to all who 
look on, God is present by His messengers, and we wish to 
show that writing may be done intelligibly by one who is not 
willing to do his duty. You cannot be made to write now. You 
are too much excited. — R. F. Millbb.' 

" This gentleman continued nervously agitated, occasionally wrote, 
but would not allow us to see his communications. He folded 
them up carefully and put them in his pocket, and could not be 
prevailed on to exhibit them. He is an amiable, timid man, of 
the most respectable character, universaUy beloved ; and, though 
thought to be demented on this subject by some, he is auditor of the 
county, and a man of information. The name to the above com- 


IN OHIO. 65 

munication is that of his son, deceased, with whom, he says, he 
enjoys daily communion. 

''Our stranger medium, whom we shall call Mr. S,, was all the 
time nervously agitated. He evidently passed into the state called 
clairvoyant, when, in a very collected and pleasant manner, he gave 
us the following, which I took down from his Jips : — 

" * The spirits will speak. Mortals are too anxious. We can 
communicate, but our communications take the cast and colour- 
ing of the instrument's mind. The instrument cannot always 
connect the words as we impress them ; and a very slight alteration, 
made by the bias of their mind, causes error instead of truth. We 
must therefore be cautious. The " truth is mighty and will prevail." 
Were we possessed of perfectly passive instruments, we could over- 
power all minds in the body.* 

*' At this moment another medium commenced speaking, who 
had responded to all said by Mr. & We will call him Mr. L. He 
seemed to take up the last remark of Mr. S., and proceeded as 
followEf, in the German language, which was translated for the 
benefit of all present : — 

" ' Love in the heart, and a strong desire for wisdom, connected 
with a going out of the mind towards God, the all-good, unites all 
present in a chain of sympathy, by which spirits in the body come 
in contact with spirit-minds. If supreme love of God were in you 
all, and reverence for His will over you, a perfect chain of sympathy 
would be established with you and all spirits throughout the 
universe, whether in the body or out of the body. Then why will 
you not submit to His will in the flesh, that your progress may be 
increased when you leave the body ? Why waste so much of your 
precious time and privilege 1 Why not progress towards the Great 
Centre of the wisdom and the love principle ? 

" * We do not know everything ; nor can we do everything. We 
do all that can be done with the mediums we influence. Spirits 
out of the body are often not much further advanced than those in 
the body. Many spirits are, also, unwilling to reach forward. 
But wherever they do desire to advance towards the great perfec- 
tion, there are ever those who will assist them. Be cautious. 
Believe not every spirit that purports to come from the Spirit- 
world. Believe no spirit that boars not the impress of God's 


'^ Mr. L., in the natural state, cannot speak German at all. 

"After another address from Mr. S. of a useful and impressive 
character, Mr. L. sang us a most beautiful German song, music 
and poetry purporting to be composed by a German ancestor, 
deceased more than a hundred years, for the occasion. The ideas 
were certainly good — the music very good. What made it 
remarkable was, that all his acquaintances declared that he knew 
not, in his natural state, one word of German. 

" After singing, the Spirit again spoke : — 

" * The medium's mind is difficult to impress. He resists our 
power, owing to his fear of the criticism of superior minds present. 
The thoughts he tries to express are the views and experience of 
many spirits. We wish to say, through him, that whenever you 
seek spiritual communion you should divest the mind of all preju- 
dice, and fill it with a desire for progress in wisdom. If you come 
with idle curiosity, your good friends in the Spirit- world leave you 
to inferior spirits, who will also have sympathy with you, and 
perhaps gratify you, but deceive you. It cannot be otherwise. 
Like loves like. With a good object spirits everywhere have 

* " Think not that your good friends, at death, go far off. Give 
up the false idea. Look not to the grave. There is neither father, 
mother, brother, sister nor friend there. They are around you ; 
and could they express their happiness and their interest in you, 
you would never look agnin for them in the dark grave. Your 
sorrow and grief would pass away. 

" * Bear up under your lot. In every trial you have Spirit- 
friends who sympathize with you. Many honest men will not 
receive this truth, because of its simplicity. They will ask for 
greater manifestations. When they receive these, they will still 
ask for greater. But remember the weakness of our instruments, 
and kAp good objects before you. Live right, and your eyes will 
be opened to heavenly visions.' 

'^ Here Mr. S. said he desired to speak to me. He said : 

** * You are often under spiritual influence. We direct you 

in many things. In your daily walk and private devotions 

we are near you. We whisper things to you contrary to your 

former convictions, and we see the growth of your mind. We 


have led you from the beaten path, you think at times, too far. 
Look not back, we pray you. Fear not Press onward and 

*' Thus they continued alternately, speaking in Grerman and 
English, singing and gesticulating, till the evening had grown quite 
late, when what purported to be the German Spirit sang a parting 
hymn through the medium, bidding each of us good night, and 
assuring us we would meet again. 

'' The whole proceeding was to me strange and remarkable. I 
was left without doubt as to the clairvoyant power of both ; but as 
to the spiritual origin, you will allow me still to suspend the expres- 
sion of my opinion for a short time. 

'^ With assurances of the highest respect^ 

" Believe me, dear Sir, very truly, &c., 

«J. B. F." 

In respect to this wonderful fact of supernatural use of un- 
known languages, Mr. Ferguson elsewhere relates that he once 
met on the Red River a pilot of the name of Wingard, well 
known on the Great Western rivers as Captain Wingard, 
whom he saw write with both hands at the same time, holding 
a pen in each hand, sentences in different languages, 
of which he was entirely ignorant. He saw him, as did many 
other persons of undoubted credibility, write sentences in French, 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic. These manuscripts were 
preserved at the time by, and may still be in the possession of, 
Dr. Hyde, a physician of New Orleans. 

Nor can this be set aside as a single fact of doubtful authen- 
ticity. Judge Edmonds, of New York, in a letter to the New 
York Tribune^ July, 1859, gives the names of thirty-five 
persons who have spoken, under what they believed to be spirit 
influence, languages with which they were unacquainted. He 
says, " My daughter, who knows only English and French, 
has spoken in Greek, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, 
Hungarian, and several dialects of the Indian, sometimes not 



understanding what she said, though it was understood by the 
auditor to whom it was addressed/** 

** Nashville, Tennessee, 10th November, 1864. 

« W. D. M. : 

"My dear Friend, — ^While I remained in Springfield, Ohio, 
during a period of six weeks, I was regularly engaged in the exami- 
nation of spiritual phenomena, under circumstances every way 
favourable to a calm and candid investigation. After witnessing 
what I have detailed to you in a previous letter, I requested the 
privilege of investigating what were denominated * physical mani- 
festations.' A meeting was immediately called for that purpose ; 
a large company of ladies and gentlemen of the highest respect- 
ability were present, and a circle of sceptics and believers sur- 
rounded a large dining table, weighing, I suppose, not less than 
fifty pounds. My attention was directed to a little girl of some 
fifteen years, perhaps more, very small of her age, who was declared 
to be the medium of these wonderful appeals to the outward senses. 
I learned that she was an orphan and a day labourer in a fSeictory, 
for her own support and that of an aged grandmother. She was 
well known to two of my brothers-in-law who had accompanied me 
to the meeting, but who had never witnessed a spiritual demonstra- 
tion. They spoke of her kindly, said she had been in their 
employ, was uncultivated, but worthy of the highest commendation 
for industry and kindness to an aged relative, and that they 
regretted to see her engaged in a work they regarded as deceptive 
and dangerous. She appeared awkward and timid when introduced 
to the company, and evidently manifested a desire to retire from 
the gaze of so many strange eyes. Her confidence was soon gained, 
and she took her seat at the table. We had been seated but a few 
moments, when I discovered a sensible agitation of the table under 
our hands, which I was ready to ascribe to the unconscious pressure 
of the party, or some person in the circle. Soon, however, our 
little ' Mary' — the only name of the medium with which we were 
favoured — evidently passed through a strange transformation, that 
gave regularity to her features, kindness of expression to her coun- 
tenance, and exquisite grace to her general demeanour. She lifted 
her hands as if to catch some invisible influence descending from 

• " The Two Worlds,'' p. 341. 


above, and placed them upon the heads of several persons present, 
and among the rest that of Mrs. F. Her eyes were closed, and I 
was impressed by her entire manner that she was the most adroit 
deceiver, or was entirely unconscious of her movements. After 
completing this pantomimic anointing she again placed her hands 
on the table, and the following effects immediately succeeded. The 
table was thrown suddenly from her and against the persona 
opposite ; it was tipped down on each side and again elevated with 
a rapidity almost inconceivable. Our hands were thrown above it 
by a power we could not appreciate, and several of the party 
present were made to clap theirs above their heads, among whom 
was one of the most confirmed sceptics present, who has since 
become a remarkable writing medium. I prescribed several move- 
ments of the table which were made as with the velocity of thought, 
and loud raps were heard under and upon it to the astonishment 
of all present. This character of demonstration was carried on fur 
some twenty or thirty minutes, when * Mary' said. * Mr. M. cannot 
rise from his seat' We examined the gentleman referred to and 
found him firmly seated, his feet and chair riveted to the floor. 
Several persons of great physical strength attempted to remove his 
chair and failed. A number of experiments of this kind were 
repeated, and repeatedly examined by all the scrutinizing powers 
our company could command. The company seemed confounded. 
At length, a Mr. F., a connection of mine, who was present, and an 
open denouncer of spiritualism, spoke and said, * If Mary can have 
that table moved without our or her hands upon it, I will believe.' 
Of course I did not expect that this could be done. Immediately, 
with graceful gesture, she motioned every person from the table 
to a distance of not less than four feet. She seemed to examine — 


eyes still closed — to ascertain that neither human foot nor dress 

were near it. She sat down in her chair at the table, and was 

suddenly moved six ' feet from the table, her chair carried, as it 

were, by invisible hands. She then remarked that her chair was 

fastened and could not be moved. A gentleman attempted to move 

it and confirmed her statement. She ordered all to be seated and 

quiet, with an air of authority that would have provoked a smile 

on a less serious occasion, had it not been for the true dignity of 

her manner. Then pointing to the table she commanded it to 

*come.' It moved more rapidly than any two men could have 

E 2 



moved it, over a rougb. carpet, no hanian hand nor any dynamic 
power, that we could recognize by the external senses, being near 
it. She commanded it back again, and it obeyed her order ; when 
the alphabet was called, and a name, which was said to be that of 
her deceased mother, was distinctly rapped, each rap answering 
to the letters as she called them. My sceptical relation spoke 
out and said, ' It is enough, I am convinced.' I need not describe 
the effect upon our company, as his honest conviction was theirs, 
and many who were then present are now avowed believers. 

^^ I have since witnessed many similar demonstrations, at my 
own house and that of others, and could refer to gentlemen, who, 
with me, have heard distinct sounds, made at our request, upon 
doors, furniture, the floor and ceiling of rooms ; have felt them 
upon their own clothing and persons, and under circumstances 
that admitted of no doubt' 

" Allow me to say, however, that while we regard these physical 
demonstrations as intended to prove the existence and presence of 
spiritual intelligences, we never rely upon them for satisfactory 
information, and they seldom occur, perhaps never, in so remark, 
able a manner as detailed above, when you are engaged in receiving 
communications through more highly developed — that is, more 
mentally opened — mediums. You will I'eadily see that a table 
cannot be made as intelligible a mode of moral and intellectual 
communion as a human mind and its bodily vocal organs, and it 
should not be expected. Much of the foolish questioning, such as 
^ fortune-telling,' <&c., that, alas ! characterize the highest standards 
of many human desires, we regard as entirely unreliable, and a 
silly abuse of a knowledge of a presence that might, were the 
mediums to go forward in their own development, be turned to the 
loftiest and holiest uses. We have found, also, that where naught 
else is sought than an idle pastime, in witnessing these unmis- 
takeable evidences of spirit-presence, they cease to occur, or occur 
under such conditions as confuse those seeking them, and almost 
force them to go forward, or abandon their efforts. 

" You will now allow me to sum up briefly the phenomena 1 
have witnessed since my investigations began. 

*' First. I have seen tables and other furniture moved, with and 
without hands ; heard distinct and sometimes loud raps on the 
ceiling, floor, and furniture of various rooms, which were changed 


from one locality to another, as doubts arose as to any unobserved 
causes, to which we would have attributed them but for the tran- 
sition ; have had them upon my person, clothing, pillow, pulpit, 
and still have them in almost every serious hour of thought and 
meditation, and have them near me as I write ; and I find this 
experience to be that of hundreds who, with me and others, 
believers and sceptics, have witnessed or realized all I here state to 
be true. 

" Second. I have heard— in the presence of scores, whose names 
are at any man's command who may desire them for an honest 
reference — native Americans, who never spoke a word of German, 
discourse for hours in that tongue, in prose and poetry, in the 
presence of native Germans, who pronounced their addresses pure 
specimens of the power of their language. I see, daily, lengthy 
essays and books, written under what claims to be spirit-intelli- 
gence, above, far above the capacity and cultui'e of the instruments 
through whom they are written. There is scarcely a day in which 
I do not receive such communications ; and if a day passes without 
it, it is my neglect, not that of the intelligence, that seems ever 
ready to speak when a proper medium can be secured. At home 
and abroad, in the houses of strangers and acquaintances, such 
mediums have described the age, appearance, time of death, and 
the peculiarities of character of the deceased' Miatives of persons 
present, and where they could have had no acquaintance with 
them, and^ in many instances could not have known of their 
existence or death. I have had meetings of mediums who knew 
nothing of each other occur at my house, and elsewhere, without 
their knowledge, and to which they were brought from a distance 
of miles, and which seemed ais inexplicable to them as to me, until 
after some effect, for their benefit, was secured by their meeting, 
and explained by their spirit-monitors. To prove the identity of 
spirit-intelligences communicating to me through others, they have 
detailed private conversations held with me during their earth-life ; 
referred to incidents and events of which the mediums could have 
known nothing ; described, accurately, occurrences taking place at 
a distance of hundreds of miles; answered questions that had been 
written in my private records for future investigation mouths after 
they had passed from my active memory; stated the state of my 
investigations of various subjects, with the folly or wisdom, as 


they regarded it, of my difficulties; leaving me, on the whole, no 
choice as to whether I would regard them as what they claimed to 
he, save that of honest conviction, or the most shameless hypocrisy. 
Allow me to say, therefore, that there is no event of history, no fact 
in mental philosophy, no conclusions in logical dialectics, more 
fully and forcibly established, in my convictions, than the 
following : — 


" You will not be surprised, therefore, at my willingness to risk 
reputation, the dearest ties of friendship, and prospects of earthly 
gain and honour, if need be, in the avowal and propagation of this 
faith, and the results to which it must inevitably lead. God 
knows, and every intimate friend on earth knows, that I would 
hesitate, long and seriously, to avow a faith that was doubtful in my 
own mind, or of doubtful influence for good in my dim foresight, 
where so much is apparently at stake. I think I may safely appeal 
to my past life as proof, that the dearest personal and earthly con- 
siderations have often been sacrificed, where it was thought my 
action would affect the interests or happiness of others. Ejiow, 
then, that it is from the maturest consideration of duty, and the 
obligation that every man owes to truth and right, and especially 
when truth and right are ridiculed and denounced, that I detail to 
you these results of a long experience and the most serious and 
solemn investigations of my life Willingly, I cannot find it in my 
heart to disappoint a friend or injure an enemy. And with such 
friends as in the Providence of God have surrounded me, who 
have proved themselves true and enduring when every form of 
bigotry and animosity were aroused against my position, reputation 
and influence — with all this pressure of enmity and friendship 
upon me, you must know, and all will hereafter know, that nothing 
but loyalty to conviction and a desire to preserve privileges I have 
learned to esteem above what men call life or death, could induce 
me to lay these facts before the world. 

^' If it be asked what good we expect to effect by the statement 
of these facts, we answer, the spread of truth upon the dearest, 
purest and holiest relations of man, and the breaking away of the 
clouds that gather round the mind of man in view of death and 


futurity, the darkness of which can nowhere he more distinctly 
felt than in the asking of such a question. The purity, angelic 
loveliness and divine holiness that such a faith, if iirmly hased, 
must secure, inspires the loyal soul, as with heavenly beatitudes, in 
the contemplation. Its. power to restrain and reform ; to soften the 
hard heart of evil indulgence ; to expose the still harder heart of 
bigotry and religious detttunciation ; to moisten the eye of criminal 
effrontery, which the hypocrisies of the world have made stern and 
fixed ; to bring the :strong man of selfish apathy, as a child once 
more in company with his brother-children, at the feet of maternal 
or sisterly tenderness, whose earthly bodies have long since been 
entombed ; to keep • down the unnatural separations of families 
beneath the manly wisdom and fatherly affection of one who claims 
ill as his, and still n^ding his care ; to turn the scoff of Godless 
ribaldry into loving faith, and the shame of pulpit curses pro- 
nounced upon human brethren and by human beings, of eternal 
doom, into blessings of eternal help ; to make all — yes, all, realize an 
inner religion, which worships at the altar of eternal truth and un- 
changeable love. With such aims and prospects before us, to ask 
what is the good of general, tangible Spirit-intercourse is to ask the 
good of Immortality, of Heaven, and of God. 

" I beg leave to present you a brief referei^ce to the character of 
the mediumship of the persons through whom most of the commu- 
nications that follow were received. I believe you are personally 
acquainted with all, and are intimately so with three. And, sir, it 
affords me high pleasure, after our long and friendly intercourse, to 
hail one so candid, so truth-loving and so free to express his con- 
victions, as yourself, as a believer in spiritual intercourse ; and 
especially when I remember that this result is that of personal 

'' Mr. Champion is both a writing and a speaking mediumu He 
was developed as a speaking medium, very unexpectedly to him- 
seK, at my house, Sept. 25th, 1854. He frequently, by interior 
vision, sees spirits — is carried by them through a variety of 
pleasing and mournful scenes, and seems to live, for a few hours, in 
the magnificence of the spirit-state. His experience in this respect 
would make an interesting volume. The process of death ; the 
re-forming of the spiritual body after its freedom; its rank and 
habits, its power and pleasures, are often presented before him ; 



and the effect of beholding their serenity, harmony, and elevation 
swells his heart with gladsome emotions, altogether inexpressible. 
Most of the communications from him have been given me without 
solicitation, and on occasions that neither he nor I provided. They 
seemed accidental, but were evidently arranged by his spirit^ 

" Mr. C. has been associated with Mr. W. W. Finn, of this city, 
who has the high honour of first calling his attention to the 
subject, and to whose zeal and sacrifices the cause of spiritualism in 
Nashville is more indebted than to any other man. He is himself 
a medium. 

" Mrs. Feirguson is a medium for visions as well as writing. She 
always sees the spirit while communicating, whether through 
herself or others. Frequently, while engaged in her household 
duties, she receives a request from some spirit-friend to give forth a 
communication. In such cases she sometimes refuses, and again^ 
after her duties are over, will sit down, and in a few moments pour 
forth the wishes of her invisible visitants. She often recognizes 
them while engaged in ordinary conversation with her friends ; 
while visiting among her neighbours ; at church, and in the street ; 
and refers to such greetings only in the sacred privacy of con- 
fiding friendship, and then with evident wonder that all do not 
realize their presence. She sees them come and go ; marks their 
pleasure and disappointment ; and were it not for the materialistic 
scepticism she meets, would, perhaps, never meet an earthly friend 
without calling attention to a presence near them they may still 
cherish in their memory, or may have forgotten. We would delight 
to give you many of her visions, but have failed to secure her 
consent. Nothing but the highest sense of religious duty, and that 
after repeated admonitions from her spirit-monitors, could induce 
her to allow even this brief notice, and the use we make of the 
communications that follow. 

"Miss Agnes Morrison was developed under your own observation. 
She has felt the retarding influence of ridicule from those who 
knew nothing of the difficulties attending a development so 
extraordinary, and those who indulged it, now wonder why she has 
not advanced more rapidly. She is what we would call a pictorial 
medium, and presents at times the highest psychical and spiritual 
truths under symbols most beautiful and impressive. She has 

- t 



never failed to conyince all who have taken the time and paina 
necessaiy to an honest investigation. 

"My daughter Virginia both writes and speaks under spirit 
impressions. Her manner, voice, and language are graceful and 
appropriate in the extreme. We had no thought of her as a 
medium till we were advised of her peculiar organization and 
capacity from the Spirit-world. She seems not as yet aware of her 
strange privileges when in the normal state, and is more in- 
terested in what she has been writing or speaking than even the 
astonished listeners who witness her happy and impressive 

" To the honest objector we would offer a suggestion. Spiritual 
communication is a divine institution or appointment, or the 
foundation of every religion in this land is baseless. The Bible 
is a collection of spiritual communications, made through 
angels or spirits, extending over a history of thousands of 
years. If its claims in this respect be true, spiritual com- 
munications must be the result of Etenial law: the law 
of God, respecting the unfolding and perfection of mind. 
We are not surprised to find, therefore, spiritual commu- 
nion marking the tablets of every age, reaching over the unsearch* 
able past^ and antedating all reliable history. Its altars stand, or 
moulder, in silent eloquence, upon the hill-tops of every land. Not 
a sacred book of any people that does not recognize it. Ever since 
death removed human beings from external vision, spirits have 
returned to influence and help those left behind. Hence, we find 
impressible persons, through whom spirit-messages of wisdom and 
love have been received, among all nations, and in all ages. All 
along the line of the centuries we see spiritual light striving to 
enter the institutions of the world. Avarice and selfish assumption 
first denounce its mediums, then flatter, and, alas ! too often bribe 
them into the shameless purposes that characterize the superstition 
and tyranny of every clime. Now, the den of lions *opens to a 
Daniel, and then he is seated among the nobles of the realm. Now, 
Joseph is a dreamer in prison, and then Viceroy of mighty Egypt. 
Now, Paul and Barnabas are mobbed by a rabble, and then 
worshipped as gods. Now, Anaxagoras is followed by the pxoat 
powerful Athenians as a philosopher, and then persecuted and 
driven into exile for impiety to the reigning divinity. Now, 


Socrates is honoured as a moral philosopheri the wisest of men ; 
then ridiculed in a comedy for magical arts, and then doomed to 
drink the hemlock. ' But wisdom is justified of her children,' and 
the eternal laws of mind and matter make themselves known to all 
who desire to obey them. Except, sir, in periods of great and 
general corruption, such as have usually x)receded some tremendous 
revolution in society, and the downfall of some world-encumbering 
^tate, whose vice has long exerted an unrestrained power, and 
whose hypocrisy walks unblushingly upon the high places of the 
earth, the mass of mankind never are Sadducees ; never doubt of 
'angel or spirit.' The reasoning head and the feeling heart every- 
where admit that our claims to the sensual world are but temporary ; 
that we belong essentially to a higher world, from which we have 
a divine birth, and towards which, through new scenes of develop- 
ment, unfolding new powers of action and enjoyment^ we are 
pressing towards that perfection and purity we call God — more in 
adoration than in comprehension. Our spiritual affinities are in 
everything proclaimed. The order and regularity of the universe, 
the wonders and beauties of nature find a response in every 
uncorrupted and cleansed heart, which utters its fSaith by day and 
by night Faintly it is heard amid the monstrous creations of 
Oriental mythology, and its light steals through the veil of error 
and fable that swells the soul of the occidental hunter and warrior. 
The elegant and graceful forms of Grecian art proclaim it, and the 
rude Pagoda of Indus hides it not beneath its gorgeous trap- 
pings. It is the wisdom of the Old Testament and the faith of 
the Kew. 

** But if it still be asked how it is possible for spirits to return, 
I answer, by the same method through which they leave the world. 
How do they leave ] Let the sceptic answer. If it be asked, how 
can they converse ? we answer, how can men converse on earth, 
thousands of miles apart, by an earthly telegraph 1 Are we told 
by the medium of electricity ? You have then our answer. And 
we would press the inquiry by asking if men, by the knowledge of 
an eternal principle of nature, can daguerreotype a human counte- 
nance upon a metallic plate, think you it must be impossible for 
spirit-friends to stamp an idea, a thought, a sentence, a book, upon 
a human intellect ? And which is the most reasonable, to suppose 
that God, in the constitution of His universe, left no means of com- 



munication for His children, or that He has giyen to all the agencies 
of reciprocal approach and friendship 1 

"Yours, &c., 

"J. B. F." 

Nearly two years later Mr. Ferguson made the following 
record :— =• 

"21st May, 1856. 

"Last night, amid the usual addresses and privileges of our 
regular 'meetings, our large piano was moved without mortal hands ; 
its strings were repeatedly touched while the lid was down, and no 
mortal hand near the keys ; our little altar, a small table, was 
carried over the room, no one present touching it ; hard raps, con- 
firmatory of important spiritual impressions, were made upon the 
table, several articles of furniture, glass, and the walls of the room, 
so hard as to be heard in the rooms above us ; and all in the 
presence of eight persons, no one of whom had anticipated or 
thought o( though each was delighted with such evidences. An 
orphan girl, who was evidently the medium for these manifestations, 
had come in by spiritual impression, and amid some of these 
wonderful demonstrations, was carried to the piano, upon whidh 
she performed, improvising three very beautiful songs, although 
without an ordinary education, or the advantage of a single lesson 
in music. Her name is Miss Nannie West, a destitute orphan, 
whose father received his death by violence, and who has since 
been cared for by the kindly and truly Christian charity of 
Mrs. Lee Coleman, of this city, at whose house, whenever she is 
present in the circle, the same or similar manifestations have been 
made repeatedly during a period of months, and in the presence of 

" I seek only to give a plain statement of facts on these manifesta- 
tions, and therefore forbear to offer a commentary. They are true." 




The volume from which the letters contained in the previous 
chapter are taken consists largely of communications which were 
written, or spoken by, or through, various mediums, and which 
were recorded at the time with great care and fidelity. As it 
is the chief object of the present work to present illustrative 
facts rather than doctrines, I shaU give only such portions of 
these communications, and the circumstances attending them, 
as will, in my judgment, aid the inquirer after truth — the first 
truth to be established in the matter — ^namely, that spirits, or 
disembodied intelligences, exist, and are able to give us proofs of 
their existence ; that the so-called dead reaUy do live, and 
have sometimes, and under certain conditions, power to com- 
municate with their kindred in the earth-life. 

These commimications appear to have been given from July 
to November, 1854. In one of the first, from a relation who 
had died a few months before, Mr. Ferguson states that, aside 
from the evidences of genuincDess and identity belonging to 
character, feeling, and expression, three distinct facts were 
given which were unknown at the time to himself and to the 
medium — Mrs. Ferguson — ^which he afterwards verified. 

A communication of a still more remarkable character, as 
giving numerous proofs of genuineness and strong evidences of 
identity, was received also through Mrs. Ferguson, from what 
asserted itself to be the spirit of 0. F. Parker, who died at St. 
Louis, Missouri, August 5, 1854. The communication was 


given on the following day, August 6, at Merjrville, Kentucky. 
It is of so remarkable a character, in many respects, that I shall 
give the greater portion, omitting only a few passages, interest- 
ing no doubt to the relations of the deceased, but not important 
for the present purpose. 


^* ' I died young ; yes, in the morning of life. Like a fresh flower 
my sphit was transplanted to a more genial clime ; and I can 
heartily say, Glory to my Eedeemer ! who has provided for all the 

[ exigencies of human experience. As my hour of departure drew 

near, I looked inwardly and beheld three spirits near me. They 
came still nearer, and, oh, the gloiy they brought to my sinking 
soul! My father, my grandfather, and grandmother. Oh, that 
hour ! What new wonders opened to me then ! They spoke me 
peace as I felt the struggles of a wearying dissolution. They 
showed me that the time of my departure had really come. They 
remained with me till my spirit was freed. With them I lingered 

over my dying bed and heard Mr. remaik : " Thus died all 

this young man's hopes, talents, and promise." I replied, prompted 
by my new spirit-companions, but he did not hear me. No ; all 
of promise I possessed is ready now to be carried where it shall 
have more free, and full, and happy development. 

<<<My dear cousin, you doubt that the spirit now communi* 

1 eating is your relative, and you ask for the evidence of identity. I 

^ will give it, so that you cannot doubt Did I not tell you, before 

my departure, that I had triumphed over all sexual temptations 1 
You know I told you.' 

'^ I replied, I remembered a strange conversation with him on 
that subject, but could not tell where or when it took place. 

y ** * It was between your house and Bosley's Spring, immediately 

after crossing the little bridge, as we were ascending the hilL You 
know what you thought. You thought it might be so, but you 
• doubted me. I told you I had preserved a pure life. Many 
temptations in profligate cities and private walks had been set before 
me, but I triumphed over them alL I overcame and have my 
reward. You have desired some evidence by which to know me. 
I give you this, and you cannot doubt that I am your cousin. If 


you object to tlie nature of the reference, remember you desired 
something that would remove all doubt. 

" * I need not tell you that I love you and all connected with you. 
With you I had a home of peace, such as I never had realized on 
earth. With you I found congenial associations, and it was like 
severing my heart-strings when I gave them up. You did not 
desire it — that I knew — but you consented because you hoped my 
happiness and usefulness would be promoted. 

*' ' But you shall have other evidence. My books I ordered to be 
sold to defray my funeral expenses ; but it was not done. I am 
afraid, too, that there will be some flaw picked in my life policy, 
and if so, I wish you to order my books to be sold to pay my debts, 
and if they fail, do not fail from any delicacy of feeling to write 
my mothier, and she will have all properly settled. The policy now 
is in the hands of Mr. Hitchcock. 

" ' To show you further that I am he, I will remind you of the 
bill you paid Mr. Hough. The medium, I know and you know, 
knows nothing of- that. I disHked, in your condition, pressed as I 
knew you were with your own obligations, to have you add that 
to your many kindnesses to me. You must pay yourself.' 

" To this I replied, ' You owe me nothing. I did no more than 
you would have done under like circumstances.' He answered : 

" ' Yes ; it must be so. You and your children need it. You 
must have it ; and more you ought to have. You were my friend 
in a strange land. ** A stranger and — (you ill) — ^you took me in." 
You have won to yourself many spirits you have similarly served 
in huts of wretchedness, where no eye witnessed your ready relief, 
and I see them hovering around you. They will ever be interested 
in your progression, and they long to satisfy your longing for 
spiritual knowledge, and they do satisfy it to some extent. 

" ' One more evidence. You remember what I said of Theodore 
Parker. You will recollect I told you often he was nearer the 
truth than any one. I do not think so now. 

" ' Do you remember your dream last night ? I was near you all 
day and tried to impress you. I wished to show you that I had 

no evil feelings towards , my enemy, as you remember him to 

have been. No hatred, no malice, no envy here towards even the 
worst of mankind. Ix>ve, mercy, benevolence, and charity towards 
all. You dreamed that — extracted a sound tooth for you 


and wiped away the blood with his own kerchief, which was dark 
— unwilling to soil yours, which was white. That tooth represented 
me as your friend, dear as a tooth to the body. The blood, your 
suflfering on my account His handkerchief received it all, which 
foreshadows an event that will come upon him and his family. 
Eemember I have told you. Do not forget this. I have with- 
drawn all feeling against him and every human being. But I tell 
you this, that you may know it is your cousin-friend now commu- 

** * To my friend, W. M., I would say, let me address you as one 
desiring to come into close spiritual communion with you. Did 
you not hear a loud rap upon your wardrobe and on your floor on 
last Wednesday night 1 Did it not arouse you from your sleep ? 

" * I would address you as regards my indebtedness to you, but 
I can see you would not like it. But I have ordered my friends in 
St. Louis to attend to that matter. Oh, that I could have spoken a 
word to you before I departed, to tell you how your many kind 
favours had cheered my heart ! I found you a stranger, but more 
than a brother. I know now that you loved me because I appre- 
ciated you. I still admire your noble benevolence and charity. 
You, my decor sir, have cheered many a desponding heart. . Tou 
have helped forward many a soul that would have wept many 
bitter tears in the straits of poverty. " God ever loveth a cheer- 
ful giver." Your means and advice have been contributed to build 
up man as man, and for so doing, already you are repaid tenfold. 
Your mind and heart are clear before me. You will not thank me 
for saying both are noble. Here is a word for your mother, as the 
medium is becoming fatigued. She will soon receive a communi- 
cation through a departed brother — not a fleshly brother. I could 
say much to her. Oh, the joy and brightness of this land ! Take 
courage, my good mother (if you will allow me so to call you). 
Take courage in your spirit. Believe more in spirit-communion. 

*' ' Oh, the brightness of 4;his glorious abode ! Your weak imagi- 
nation could neither imagine nor anticipate what you often see. 
Why shrink and startle at the approach of death 1 It is as though 
our spirits were advancing from a dark and gloomy dungeon into 
the glorious sunshine. Do not sorrow for my early departure. 
Bri^t, bright is my future. 

" * But before I close this, I must say to those I have left behind, 


God has designed us for longer life than I lived. Violations of the 
laws of nature ; inherited disease from our parents, brings upon 
man premature death. God does not will it, as many suppose. 
But He provides for it when it must follow. By living longer on 
earth we would make much more rapid advances in this state ; 
that is, our expeiiences on earth would help us readily to appre- 
ciate what otherwise we have to be taught. This I say, there- 
fore, " Be prudent. Live out all your days." 

" ' I will ever visit and Idve my earth-friends. Love and cherish 
me, and I can commune with you more easily. Never forget your 
spirit-friends, for in so doing you will lose their influence. I see 
my presence will be appreciated ; therefore I can take possession 
of those who will place themselves under and desire a spiritual 

" * And now have your minds open for a brighter day, when all 
mankind will receive spiritual lights leading to the union of nations 
and individuals, both for this life and the one to come. More 
TTnion is the cry of the spirits — Morb Union* How deficient are 
all Christian bodies in a rational and an improving union. Wh^ 
now I view them from my spirit-home, my soul almost sinks 
within me at the shameless hypocrisy of their professed love for 
all mankind. 

'' ' The medium is fatigued, and I must not weary her. By so 
doing I might injure her health. Adieu ! adieu ! my dear cousin. 
Preach I but I can say no more. Peace ! peace ! ' 

« MeryviUe, Kentucky, Aug. 6, 1854." 

To the record of this communication Mr. Ferguson added 
the following remarks : — 

'* Truth and candour require me to state that the evidence of 
identity presented by the above communication was overwhelm- 
ing. At the time it was received the only account we had respect- 
ing his death was a brief telegraphic despatch. We have since 
had every particular confirmed, and I will also add that his state- 
ment respecting my privileges in Spiritualism, which at the time I 
did not and could not understand, is now literal truth, as scarcely 
a day has since passed in which I have not received from every 
variety of mediumship clear and inspiring spirit communications. 


enabling me to bear an amount of care, and perform labours, I 
would then have regarded insupportable. 

" His life policy to which he refers was, from some neglect, with- 
out an endorsement of the payment of his premiums, which fact 
was not known to any of us till six weeks after his death. It was 
allowed, however, by the generous justice of the company, without 
difficulty, and without the knowledge on their part of this fact. 

** At the time Mr. P. gave us the spiritual communication, I 
supposed the policy to be in the hands of Mr. W. Merriweather, of 
Kentucky, for whose security it was issued. In the last conversation 
with respect to it with Mr. P. in life, he informed me it was his 
intention to leave it with Mr. M., and on his way to St. Louis he 
stopped in Kentucky for that purpose. I mention these facts and 
leave tbem to make their impression, which no honest man can 

'^ It should also be stated that at the same moment, upon my 
return to Kashville from Kentucky, where the above was received, 
some eleven days after the death of Mr. P., when I handed it to 
Mr. M. C. C. Church, he handed me letters from St. Louis detail- 
ing the circumstances of Mr. P.'s death and the state of his effects, 
confirming the particulars given from the Spirit-world. Of course 
no language could express our gratification at the incontrovertible 
evidence of the reality of our intercourse with the spirit of our 
worthy relative. There are no less than eleven distinct particulars 
stated in the communication, which could not have been stated 
under the circumstances by any other than the spirit of our cousin 

A few days afterwards, a communication was given through 
Mrs. Ferguson, purporting to be from the same spirit, in 
which, besides some personal matters, he gives the following 
account of his spiritual condition : — 

" How we desire to communicate with you, but we find the 
mind of the medium hard to impress. Did I not say to you in 
life I would come to you again VI will be with you and your 
house. I have just come from a lar[»,e assembly of spirits. We 
meet in immense congregations. We ourselves undergo spiritual 




training, as much necessary as physical training in your sphere. 
But our advancement is much more rapid than you can possibly 
imagine. We desire to come near and communicate this morning 
as regards our spirit-home. Its brightness, beauty, and glory trans- 
cend the loftiest imagination. But I cannot impress your mind 
so as to attempt a description. We are constantly urged by the 
higher spirits to press onward. The lower seldom desire to visit 
the higher. I have again received a visit from my three com- 
panions. They have opened to me many mysteries They have 
carried me to those moving congregations referred to above, where 
■we receive necessary instruction. Here I see many advancing with 
great rapidity, while others remain almost stationary. StiU all 
advancement is more rapid here than with you. 

" ' Could my relations view each other as I view them from my 
spirit-home, they would soon learn to meet in love, and the more 
advanced would instruct the less advanced, and all feel pure sympathy 
together. I would speak to them all, peace, comfort, and progres- 
sion. They must be true to each other, or they cannot inherit 
the higher spheres together. 

" * How many a rude savage have I met here, whose condition 13 
far more advanced than many who made large boasts of their 
position and advantages in your sphere. We are advanced 
here according to the use we have made of our opportunities 
yonder " 

" * My duty will be to visit the lower spheres, and help others 
upward. It is my inclination and pleasure, and in so doing I 
shall advance my own spirit 

** * Peace be with you. All is well. We will guide, comfort, and 

" * Look at a small whirlwind, rapidly passing round and round, 
gathering up a few sticks and much dust. JS^otice, all falls to the 
ground. So with the movement of your enemies. They cannot 
harm where angels protect. 

" * Commune often with the spirits. Place yourself under direct 
spiritual influence. Read and meditate upon spiritual things.' '* 

The following, of a similar character, is extracted from a 
communication from P. W. Martin, in respect to which Mr. 


Ferguson has addressed the remarks which will be found 
below : — 

" Man is the creature of God. God has created in man a nature 
which desires the pure and immortal life. He has it within his 
mortal body. It cEumot die. And in proportion as he overcomes 
the trials and imperfections of his life, his immortal spirit goes on 
to enlarge itself beyond anything he can imagine. You know not 
how spirits in our state are held back in their onward progression, 
owing to the abuse of their gifts in yours. Therefore we come to 
those we can best influence that they may point out the wrong and 
instract others 

" It will be some time before we can so develop the medium 
as to utter what would be satisfactory to your enlightened aspira- 
tions. Mediumship has its degrees. The atmosphere around you 
has a great deal to do with our communications. We need spirit 
atmosphere. Therefore, when you have a thought not congenial 
with your spirit nature, cast it to the swine. It is only fit to be 
consumed, as all imperfect things will sooner or later be." 

" Dr. Martin was a physician of Nashville, to whom I was often 
indebted for kind professional services. A few months before his 
death, he asked me for a candid opinion as to the probability of his 
recovery. I informed him that I believed him on the verge of dis- 
solution. He at once said : * If I die before you, and it is possible, 
you shall hear from me in the Spirit- world.' This was our last 
conversation, and occurred befoFe my investigations of medium 
spirit manifestations. It should also be recorded that his excel- 
lent widow, in the above and subsequent communications made in 
her presence, received such assurances of his identity and continued 
interest in the welfare of his family, as left her without doubt, and 
gave unspeakable consolation." 

Through the same medium, an Indian spirit gave an account 
of his experiences in the Spirit-land : — 

" You desired to know somewhat of our employment in this 
spiritual life. Immediately after leaving this world we go to that 
society we are best prepared to enter. We are placed under spiritual 
teachers. God has thus provided. If we have not the proper 
training in your life, we are not driven off from the face of the 



Father, who created and sustains all. He places as under spiritual 
guides. If they fail to influence and instruct, we pass into other 
circles, to receive a training, such as we can best appreciate. Our 
employment is to learn spiritual things. We are trained by those 
above us. We have various amusements, diflfering according to our 
advancement As we sow, wo reap. But, then, we do not live 
upon the death of other animals, as in your state. When we enter 
here, we leave all desire for fleshly things. Some of us, dying un- 
developed, and having degraded our privileges in your life, are not 
so happy as those who have been true to their spiritual nature. Tt 
is so with the red man and with the white man. Oh, could we so 
impress the medium as to better give you instruction ! Perhaps it 
would have been better to have left off" our savage appearance, but 
we desired to appear in the red man's costume, that you might know 
us as we once were." 

On the same subject, and on the desire of spirits to influence 
mortals, we have, through Mrs. F., the following communica- 
tion : — 

" Men think were they to embrace spirit intercourse, it would 
dethrone their reason ; it would do away with the inspiration of the 
Holy Bible ; break up their churches ; and disorganize society. We 
see that these are the fears of large and benevolent minds around 
you. To them we say — ^Xot so. We would build up all that is 
noble in man, pure in the Bible, and .useful and improving in all 
organizations of society, religious or otherwise. We would have 
even those who think thus of our teachings cast off much of their 
fleshly nature. We would search the inmost depths of their thoughts. 
We would make them familiar with their own souls. We would 
ask, Do you believe in the spiritual communion of the ages past P Is 
not the mind of man the same ? Is not God the same now as then 9 
Are spiritual intelligences degenerate in their interest in their human 
brethren, that they will not impart light to any age, or people, or 
man that will receive it ? 

" You may well fear for the position of many churches. They 
stand upon a trembling foundation — ^the foundation of arrogant 
assumption over free thought, and action, and aspirations. We 
would not destroy, but rather purify your communion. We would 
not tear down, but build up your churches. We would enter them. 


and make your worship a true and holy worship. We do not desire 
to create a new Church. We have sects enough, in humanity's 
name. But if you cut off from your church fellowship the men we 
have enlightened for your good, what is left for them but to form 
other societies? We will elevate man. We would inspire his 
teachings with heavenly aspirations. We would enlarge his mind 
and spirit ; and if your churches are too narrow, or too fleshly to 
permit this Grod-ordained work, rest assured the present generation 
will look upon their falL They need elevating thoughts, duties, 
hopes. They need more ; they need communion with the divine 
influences that lead the upward way of an infinite universe to its 
great centre — God. They must have it, or no power of money, 
ministers, or fleshly energy can prevent their ruin. 

" Can the supply of this need of spiritual communion destroy the 
mind of man ] No, sirs ; it alone can make and preserve the mind ; 
it points out and exposes the insignificant mummery that destroys 
all free and inspiring association. But, do you say, you cannot 
believe. Then we would say, Do not ridicule. The time is not far 
distant when you will have to embrace it. Your teachingig are so 
fleshly, so low, so unworthy, they^ust be, and they will be dis- 
placed by the pure embodiment of spiritual truth. The high-born 
spirits — flesh once of your flesh, and spirit still of your spirit — now 
call to you from their elevated homes, saying, hear us I HEAR 
US ! Do not denounce us till you have investigated what we 
say : You doubt us from the influence of your fleshly and not your 
spiritual nature. Throw this off, and you will appreciate our teach- 
ings. We call upon you to think of your departed ones. Think of 
those God made you to love with an everlasting love, but who have 
gone from earthly vision. Think you they ever forget you ? 
Think, rather, they are ever near you, and learn to bear their re- 
membrance and image within you. These loved ones are now 
trying to communicate with you. These loved ones are now trying 
to communicate with this people. Let your desires be purified, 
your thoughts devotional, and you will realize this truth. Could 
you see how calmly your best thoughts are wafted to the Spirit- 
world, to give hope to our longing desire, that we may yet create 
within your minds more noble and spiritual power to correct the 
fleshly and imperfect, you would often think of us. 

" Were we to thunder with the terrific power that opens wide 


the flaming jaws of a volcano, and amidthe darkening smoke and 
burning lava utter our voices of alarm, you would believe. But 
Would you be improved 1 We call upon you peacefully, and say, 
Give play to your own nature. We want a willing mind. The 
voice of thunder would alarm and degrade you. We desire your 
best and dearest power of examination. It would relieve you of 
dread superstitions that have darkened your earthly path ; and it 
would come as with the sweet breathings of angel voices to relieve 
your declining years. You have lost fathers and mothers, 
liusbands and wivfes, brothers and sisters, helpers and friends — each 
has lost some kindred spirit. Would you deprive that one, bound 
to you by eternal ties of existence, and to the Father of all, from re- 
newing that kindred made sweet in death ? Ah I yes. Ask yourselves 
if you would deprive these cherished ones of coming into close 
communion with you. It is our right — ^we demand it of you. We 
are the only ones who can speak you peace, when you feel the 
wearisome burdens of life upon you. We hold the power that can 
calm the sinking soul, and will ever use it where we are allowed. 
Will you reject us 1 Could, oh ! could you desire to reject us, were 
you to realize the pure and holy mission we have to this land and 
people 1 

** We come to enlighten and make you as one band of brothers. 
If we fail in this, we fail in our most cherished and blissful objects. 
We desire to bind together all mankind, that they may feel and act 
as one brotherhood. Instead of separating, as you suppose, we 
have come to draw together. Look at a large diamond encased by 
the smaller ones, cemented inseparably together. Each has its 
light of never dimming beauty : so would we have the race of man ; 
so would we have you, so that all who come within your atmo- 
sphere, however humble or exalted, would feel the heart of a brother. 
We would not insinuate that we would make all minds as one mind. 
Man must allow of difference. We were made to differ, and should 
expect to differ. Without this, all progress would stop ; the mind 
would become dwarfish, and God would be robbed of His ends in the 
human creation. The rarest power and beauty of mind is called 
forth by our differences. Let us differ, then, in love. We differ in 
this life, but love rules the spiritual spheres. 

"Allow us, while this idea is before you, to present you an 
earthly view of death. You have witnessed the opening of a 


panoramic painting, combining scenes of nature, imagination, and 
history. You enter the hall ; you wait with patience the opening 
of the scenes. One enters, and extinguishes light after light, till 
you are involved in darkness. You see nothing but a dark curtain. 
Perchance you hear a strain of sweet music. You wait ; you listen ; 
your anxiety increases. Suddenly the curtain is lifted, and your 
eyes rest upon a lovely landscape. So in death ; but we do not 
call it death. As you approach near the close of life, your vision 
becomes dim— dim with age, with care, and fear — dim as it regards 
your heaven-born life. You rejected the heavenly influences that 
would have opened your minds to the bloom and glory of the, to 
you, far-oflf Paradise ; and now your hope sets in darkness, and 
your feet tremble, where you should stand firm to behold the glories 
of eternal day. 

" Let me assure you, you can make your declining days brighter 
than any picture we can draw. You may so commune with your 
own soul and the kindred souls around you, that you wUl feel the 
welcome that awaits you in the glad home of spiritual and undying 
affection. You will feel and embrace tbeir presence. If you will 
now live a life of self-sacrifice, you will feel more than all we, your 
holy visitants, could bring before you. 

" But, reluctantly, we must close this communication. Oh, could 
we speak to you without raising your selfish prejudices, how the 
darkness of your minds would clear away, and the shout of joyful 
triumph re-echo through all the vaulted courts of an unfolding 
universe ! Do you believe in God, and yet believe not in the 
communion of His holy spirits 1 It cannot be. Keject not what 
alone can ennoble and hallow your desires. True, much that 
professes to come from spirits ought not to be countenanced. But 
is this our fault or yours 1 Rest assured you must judge ; but how 
can you judge when you are not true to the purest and deepest 
thirst of your own souls 1 Eemember spirits have to use imperfect 
mediums. Remember your own imperfections, of which you need 
no better evidence than your unnatural and sinful prejudices against 
what you know ought to •secure your highest good. Be true to 
yourselves, and you will know how to discriminate. Know that 
nothing but the pure can come from God and His holy messengers. 
We come from Him to invite you to brighter thoughts, hopes, and 
visions, than have over blessed the walks or ways of the most 


enlightened mortals. And now may the Spirit of God rest upon 
this American people, and bind them as one congenial band of 

"From the presence of Emanuel Swedenborg, to all who are 
alarmed at the thought of spiritual communion. 

"September 26th, 1854." 




A LARGE portion of the recorded experiences of Mr. Ferguson 
in his investigations of supramundane facts consists of either 
the spoken or written communications of Mr. H. B. Champion, 
or accounts of the modes in which he appeared to be subjected 
to spiritual influences. Before giving such brief notices of these 
as may be practicable, it may be well to copy Mr. Ferguson's 
account of the medium as written in 1854. The facts 
here stated are of a very extraordinary character, and they are 
of a kind not very difficult to verify. Admitting the facts to 
be genuine, upon what hypothesis can we deny their supra- 

" It is known to the spiritualists and many others of Nashville, 
that Mr. Champion has been developed, in the past two years, as 
one of the most remarkable mediums of the age. The nature of 
his development will be fully presented in a volume now preparing 
under the direction of the spirit of Dr. Channing- The volume 
referred to is a commentary upon the Bible, critical and expository, 
and is regarded by all who have examined it, as a volume worthy 
of the highest commendation. He has already reached some one 
thousand six hundred pages, and it will be published so soon as 
the spirit communicating it shall direct 

'' Mr. Champion was some two years since informed that he was 
a medium, at a time when he regarded the pretension of spiritual- 
ists as an immitigated imposture. He makes no pretension to 
literature — had not read the Bible for fifteen years, and scarcely 


ever looked into any book. When he received a communication 
from the spirit of Dr. Ghanning, he did not know that such a man 
had ever lived. Under his influence, he frequently sent me, con- 
trary to his own desires, for we were strangers to each other, but 
by an almost irresistible impulse, communications, criticisms upon 
my sermons, and details of my investigations of various metaphy- 
sical and theological subjects, conceived in a comprehensiveness of 
idea, a beauty and force of style, and an appropriateness of applica- 
tion, that would compare with any documents ancient or modern. 
Of course I sought him, and to my astonishment found him able to 
converse with me, when under spirit direction, so as to appro- 
priately and forcibly answer questions, and offer criticisms upoa 
treatises he had never seen nor heard. I have held interviews for 
hours at a time, without uttering a syllable, writing my questions 
at one table in a room, and receiving answers from him at another, 
in the presence of the most respectable witnesses, that left me 
without a shadow of doubt as to the reality of his claims. Questions 
as to why he was selected — for he had been unfortunate in business, 
and lay under the censure of many ; whether justly or unjustly, it 
was not for me to say — were answered with a force that no honest 
mind could resist, of which answers he knows nothing to this day. 
I could publish a small volume of communications received from 
him, but as the great work upon which he is engaged will be given 
to the public, it is not necessary. The following, as making a part . 
of my records, is presented as worthy of the attention of all honest 
and candid men. I ought also to say that Mr. C. will write in 
two hours, more than any ordinaiy clerk can copy in two days. 
I regard him as the most remarkable psychological phenomenon 
of the age. After making his acquaintance, I found, to my 
astonishment, that he could, and did quote whole chapters of the 
Bible, and critically examine every phrase, fact and bearing of each 
verse without the book before him ; that he could, and did the 
same with the ancient classics of Greece, Rome, and the Primitive 
Church ; and when not under the iniuence of what purported to 
be the spirit of Dr. Channing, he could not converse intelligibly 
upon either. Indeed, he did not know their names, much less 
their statements and opinions. I do not hesitate to make these 
statements, because there are numbers of respectable men who 
know them to be true, and to their truth would be willing to make 


the most solemn asseverations. Besides, the evidence is open to all 
who will take the pains impartially to investigate it " 

Among the remarkable phenomena of what is called Spirit- 
ualism in the Western, and therefore more recently settled 
portion of America, is the frequent influence or possession of 
persons called mediums by what claim to be the spirits of the 
Indians, who a few years ago owned and peopled the forests 
and prairies of that vast region. Many mediums, susceptible 
of such entire control, give their communications in the Indian 
I languages, of which, in their natural state> they are entirely 

ignorant. Others, in air, gestures, manners, and customs, 

V show the influence of the controlling spirits, whose thoughts, 
however, are translated into English. 

Mr. Ferguson records that while standing in the twilight 
near a rail fence he was startled by a sound which seemed 
that of a blow from a hatchet cutting into the top rail close 
beside him. No person was near, nor was there any apparent 
cause for the sound. But a little later, a medium, seemingly 
under the influence of an Indian chief, addressed him with a 
wonderful power and eloquence. 
I On another occasion, when the circle had assembled, after a 

few minutes waiting Mr. Champion said, " I am impressed 

V that we should remain quiet and see what will follow." 

In a few moments Mr. Champion's head was moved gently 

to the table. His hands, as if under irresistible, yet pleasuiable 
power, were crossed upon his back. His body was then turned 
into a graceful and commanding attitude ; his hands and head 
released. A loud sound was heard upon the door, when he 
was moved into the highest attitude of the orator, his eyes 
closed and his whole nature entranced. After a few moments 
of breathless silence he commenced an address which filled 
its hearers with admiration. 

Mr. Ferguson says of one of these addresses : — 

" There was not a sentence that was not uttered with a power 



of Yoioe and manner superior to any oratorical display I ever heard. 
It frequently drew tears, and commanded our full, almost wrapt 

While adverting to the fact of the frequent appearance of 
Indian spirits to those who occupy their former earthly 
residences — and manifestations of this kind may be found in 
the early records of the New England colonies — it may be 
interesting to learn that the Indian tribes still living west of 
the Mississippi are spiritualists, and familiar with the pheno- 
mena of spirit manifestations. On this point Mr. Ferguson 
gives the following curious testimony : — 

" On the night of the 7th May, 1856, Eev. James Tanner, a 
native of the forest, and a member of and missionary to the 
Chippewa tribe of North American Indians, visited me under very 
peculiar circumstances. We had met for our usual spiritual com- 
munion, when he came in, an entire stranger to us alL He 
modestly introduced himself, and when informed of the purpose of 
our meeting, consented to remain. We had not been seated but a 
few moments, untU another stranger gentleman present came under 
spiritual impression, and addressed our Indian Mend, recognizing 
Viinn as a spiritual medium, and detailing the circumstances which 
led to his coming among us, many of which could not have been 
known to any other heart but his own. He was then addressed 
by each of our mediums, in most pointed, eloquent, and impressive 
orations. He sat in unmoved silence, apparently deeply absorbed 
in meditation, and no one could judge from his manner or counten- 
ance what was passing in his mind. The meeting adjourned about 
midnight, and he left us for his hotel, refusing to remain with 
us overnight, and promising to call upon us on the morrow. 
He had never been in a spiritual circle among the pale faces 

'' On the morrow he called again, when he informed us that all 
that had been said to him on the night previous was strictly and 
to the letter true, and that he had realized then, and afterwards, 
the presence of several spirit-friends, although for years he had 
been struggling in his mind to evercome all such experiences as 
inimical to the views of his Christian missionary brethren and 



fellow labourers, and as tending, in their opinion, to the destruction 
of the hopes of his people. 

" We gave him all the information on the subject we could in an 
interview of four hours, and found, to our astonishment, that we 
were but detailing an experience coincident with those of his 
nation from time immemorial. Kot a fact, principle, or distinct 
point in spiritual philosophy could we state as ours, or the result 
of our experience or observation, but what he either anticipated or 
confirmed by a simple and lucid account of the usages of his 
people. He remained with us several days, during which time we 
had constant interviews, he receiving, and we receiving through 
him, the most inspiring and consolatory communications. He spoke 
to the experience of every one of our circle, confirming to them 
truths they had been led to doubt, and showing, under the 
high and pure influences that seemed ever to attend him, a 
familiarity with the duties, difficulties, trials, and prospects, of 
all he met. 

" We found him a most interesting and well-informed man, of 
large and varied experience, and devoted with apostolic zeal to the 
elevation and interests of the oflP-cast Indian. He had been for 
many years a missionary in co-operation with the Baptist Mission ; 
had become fully satis6ed that the sectarian policy of that and other 
missions tended rather to the injury than the help of his nation. 
He had secured a treaty with the Government of the United States, 
by which his people had the privilege of citizenship opened- to 
them for the future, and the moneys appropriated for the education 
and civilization of his tribe were taken from the direction of the 
Baptist Board, and placed at the disposal of the chiefs of the tribe. 
He was now engaged in finding mechanics and agriculturists as 
teachers to establish shops and farms, instead of churches of sectanan 
strife, and for his praiseworthy work in this regard, was suffering 
the reproach of denunciation for heresy his former brethren were 
heaping upon him. We had every assurance of the purity of 
his motives, and the sublime and patriotic purposes of his life, and 
now feel that he was brought to us that the slumbering customs of 
his people, which by a slavish and ignorant priesthood had been 
denounced as devilism, might be revived and purified, to open a 
new hope to a despairing and persecuted, but never cowardly or 
forsaken people." 


At this period (1854) Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Champion 
made a visit to several families of Mr. Ferguson's former 
acquaintance in Kentucky, to whom Mr. Champion was a 
total stranger, he being in equal ignorance of the persons 
he visited and of their relations. Yet we are told in this 
record that Mr. Champion, when he fell into the stated called 
trance, addressed them as from deceased relatives, whom he so 
dramatically personated as to leave no doubt of their identity. 
In a note appended to the record made by Mr. Ferguson of 
their visit to the family of Mr. W. M. Merriweather, at 
Meryville, Kentucky, he says : — 

" There were other descriptions of attending spirits, and personal 
recognitions by those present. But we were at a loss to recognize 
the spirit that represented itself as kindred to the family, and as 
having served in the councils of the nation. While discussing his 
probable name, several having been suggested, Mr. C. came under 
spiritual influence, and after describing most accurately Dr. Merri- 
weather, President Thomas Jefferson, and delivering a noble speech 
from the latter, and appealing to a gentleman present, who was the 
only one of our compiany who knew him in life, for a recognition, 
he told us that W. H. Crawford was the relative the family were 
inquiring after. It was not known to any one save Mrs. M. and 
Mr. W. D. Merriweather that he sustained any relationship to the 

" To, sum up what was remarkable in these recognitions of deceased 
kindred, we would have the reader observe — 1. Mr. Champion had 
no acquaintance whatever with this family. 2. He arrived but a 
few hours prior to this interview. 3. He met persons here whom 
he had never seen, from places of which he knew nothing. 4 The 
meeting was as unexpected to the family as to himself, and he was 
induced, by spiritual impression, to accompany mo there, neither 
of us knowing whom we would meet, or what would be the nature 
of the demonstrations. And yet he accurately described deceased 
relatives, their peculiar relationship to the strangers present, the 
time and place of their death, and gave appropriate messages from 
each In addition to this, he gave a description of Mr. Jefferson, 
and his relation to the republic, represented him as an associate of 


Dr. M., not knowing, what we afterwards learned from the family, 
that Dr. Merriweather and Mr. Jefferson were intimate acquaintances 
in life, and greatly devoted to each other. He gave the name of 
Mr. Crawford as a relative, and his speech above, when I, though 
I had resided in the family five years, had never learned till this 
interview that he was a relative. 

" Are we not warranted, then, in saying that no honest mind 
can put these facts together — and of their verity I refer to the 
family, and am ready to furnish the names of many respectable 
ladies and gentlemen who were present, and will never forget the 
impressiveness of that occasion — ^and not admit the reality of 
spirit intercourse ? 

** But the demonstration did not stop here. On the next day 
Mr. C. came under the direction of an Indian chie^ and com- 
manding me to follow him, wended his way directly to the family 
cemetery, and there pointed out to us the tombs of many whose 
spirits, he said, had greeted us the night before. Some of the 
graves he designated had no marks ; and yet he gave the sex, the 
relationship, and general character of each, with an accuracy of 
description that was irresistible. When he had finished here, he 
again commanded us to follow. He sought a spot^ which he bid 
me mark, and then, taking a distinct survey of a forest some 
distance from us, followed a line, not varying a foot, through fields 
and over fences, and then on through a dense wood, till he came to 
a mound I had never previously noticed, whereon he stood, and 
delivered a description of the habits, power, and disappearance of 
the aboriginal tribes. of this country, that was commanding and 
interesting in the extreme. I had no materials with which to 
preserve the oration, as the whole proceeding was unexpected, and 
could not have been anticipated. When he had completed an 
address, sentences of which are still imprinted upon my memory, 
he was released, feeling much invigorated, and seemed as uncon- 
scious of what he had been doing as if he had been in a dream. 
He knew not where he was ; knew not the way back to the mansion 
we had left ; and such was the difficulty of a return, even to myself, 
that, losing sight of the marks I had made by his direction, we 
found ourselves, when emerging back again from the wood, several 
hundred yards from the point where we had entered it. I record 
these wonderful demonstrations of spirit-presence, alike for the 


gratification they afiPorded me at the time, and as a duty I owe to 
truth. I leave them without a comment, believing they will make 
a proper impression upon all sincere men. 

" At night Mr. C. addressed the venerable lady of Meryville, 
from her deceased husband, and also her son, making reference to 
incidents known only to them, and leaving them without question 
as to the reality of the presence and interest of him whose noble 
form they laid away some twelve years before. The scene was 
beautiful, hopeful, almost heavenly, and I feel it one that I should 
not record in its particulars, at least for the public eye. It will 
never pass from my memory while I have mind to appreciate the 
high thoughts of wisdom, or a heart to move to the pure emotions 
of undying love ; for there was a calm spiritual meeting that 
revealed the inseparable union of kindred souls in undying 

In the very interesting and remarkable account of certain 
manifestations witnessed by Mr. Ferguson during a visit to the 
Shakers, Chapter V., will be found further examples of the 
character of Mr. Champion's mediumship. 

" The evidence of a supramundane intelligence influencing 
difiPerent persons at the same time, although widely separated 
by distance from each other, I have had demonstrated beyond 
a shadow of doubt. 

" With Mr. Champion I sustained the most intimate and con- 
fiding relations. We were together in the recognition of these 
evidences in all that makes united life sacred and confiding. 
We were so from our mutual attraction, and by direction and 
guidance which we both recognized as the brightest assurances 
of divine alliances, making and guarding the highest forms of 
fellowship upon earth. He often gave me communications 
that claimed the presence of an individualized intelligence that 
had passed from earthly visibility. At the same time there 
were others who did the same upon similar subjects and for 
similar purposes. 

" Among these there were none whose supramundane reflec- 
tions to me so much commanded my respect and interest as 



those of George W. Harrison, a young gentleman who had 
resided in my family, and with whose parents I enjoyed most 
delightful relations. They had recognized with me these 
evidences in various forms, and took deep interest in them, 
and especially in those reflected through the elevated nature of 
their own son. With the father. Captain H. H. Harrison (an 
officer of the United States Government), I arranged that at 
the same hour of a given day, he with his son in Nashville, 
and I with Mr. Champion on a visit to Kentucky, should seek 
some evidence of communication, and both record the result. 
We did so, and we were both compelled to admit that through 
two organizations — ^Mr. Champion^s and Mr. G. W. Harrison's 
— a similar or the s|me intelligence was reflected, at the same 
time, and when they were separated a distance of forty-five 
miles. This was not contrary to my conception of the subject, 
but was so to his, and led to much thought and discussion on 
the phenomena, with him, myself, and many others. 

" Some months afterwards, Messrs. Harrison and Champion 
were with me on a visit to Kentucky. One night we were 
seated in the drawiiig-room with the family we were visiting, 
when both Mr. <3hampion and Mr. Harrison were deeply 
entranced. Yery appropriate addresses were delivered by each, 
emd the meeting became one of inexpressible interest, when 
Mr. Champion, still entranced, left the room and house, 
peremptorily refusing the company of any one or to tell us 
where he was going. When he had gone, and the company 
became again composed, Mr. Harrison, still entranced, directed 
me to get pen and paper and take down what he would 
deliver. It was eleven o'clock at night, and very dark. He 
described all Mr. Champion's movements with the utmost 
particularity — also his mental reflections — and, finally, the 
place at which he would stop, and when he had reached it. Then 
he said that the spell on Mr. Champion would be broken at a 
given minute, and directed that our host should go or send a 
servant to guide him back, as, in the dark, being a stranger, 
he could not find the way. This was done by the host, who 


brought him back^ to confirm all that had been stated to all 
present ; while Mr. Champion, not knowing what had been 
said in his absence, seemed confused by the recognition of the 
company. He had passed through the family cemetery, over 
the garden walls, through a thickly-planted orchard, and into 
the centre of a large wheat-field^ just denuded of its harvest. 
He had, under the spell which held him, marked the spot 
where his walk terminated in the field, and whHe marking it 
he was brought into his normal condition. 

" Next day, Mrs. Ferguson and Miss King came to the same 
spot under a similar spell, and took Mr. Champion to show 
him his own mark. It was remarkable that bothladies walked 
to it backwards as if to convince us that they were directed by 
another intelligence than their own^ and that it was the same 
as the one which directed Mr. Champion in the dark, and that 
revealed through Mr. Harrison in the house at the same time 
the course he had taken. The spot became one of interest 
to the family, and neighbours and many foolish persons insisted 
that there was buried treasure there, and were with difl&culty 
prevented from digging. What was proved to myself and 
Mr. Champion in the premises was — 

" 1. That a supramundane intelligence can guide two or more ' 
persons at the same time. 

"2. That it can guide to the same mental and physical 

Mr. Ferguson has related to the editor the following inci- 
dent, not contained in his records, but which is a fact of so 
curious a character that it deserves to find a place in this 

During the residence of Mr. Ferguson in New Orleans, Mr. 
Champion left Nashville by steamboat to join him. The 
river was low ; the boat was detained by grounding on sand- 
bars, until Mr. Ferguson became anxious for the safety of his 
friend. While in this state of mind he called upon a gentle- 
man of New Orleans, whose wife happened to be a medium. 


She knew nothing of Mr. Ferguson, or of Mr. Champion, or of 
the anxiety of the former respecting the latter ; but, sitting at 
a tahle, she wrote a letter to Mr. Ferguson, dated on the 
steamboat on which Mr. Champion was expected, at a place 
twenty-four hours' distance up the Mississippi, stating that the 
writer was well, and expected to arrive in New Orleans the 
following day. The letter was signed " H. B. Champion," 
and was apparently in his handwriting, and contained several 
of his peculiarities. The next day the boat arrived, and Mr. 
Champion confirmed the message, of which, however, he had no 
consciousness, except that at or about the hour it was written 
he was thinking of Mr. Ferguson, and had a strong desire to 
relieve his anxiety. 

This fact may be considered as a form of clairvoyance ; but 
if so, it must be allowed to have been a singular manifestation 
of that faculty ; besides, we are not very much enlightened as 
to the modus operandi of clairvoyance. It is also to be observed 
that those who attribute professed spirit communications to the 
clairvoyance of the medium, were probably engaged not long 
since in denying and denouncing the very facts by which they 
now seek to explain others of a perhaps more difficult 




The editor looks upon the following narrative as one of the 
most remarkable and instructive to be found in the literature 
of modem spiritualism. In the exercise of the trust reposed 
in him^ he has suppressed the name of the Shaker village, one 
of fifteen or twenty similar communities existing in the 
American States. 

The Shaker communities in America were founded near the 
end of the last century by Ann Lee, an emigrant from Lanca- 
shire, England, who is believed in and worshipped as a female 
Messiah, and fourth person, or incarnation of the feminine 
principle, in the Godhead, sent to open a new manifestation, 
form the true Church, and gather the saints into religious and 
industrial communities. The costume of the Shakers is like 
that of the primitive Quakers. They live in societies, having 
all things in common, like the early Christians, and profess to 
live in perfect chastity, increasing their numbers by conver- 
sions and the adoption of poor children and orphans, whom 
they take from dissolute parents or overseers of the poor. They 
are governed by elders, and are imder a strict rule and rigid 
discipline. Selecting large tracts of fertile land, which they 
cultivate skilfully, carrying on also many lucrative manufac- 
tures, and having no expenses beyond the bare support of their 
members, they are prosperous and rich, and seem to have 
solved, at least, the practicability of communistic associations. 
In their religious worship they sing hymns to rude and lively 
tunes, with energetic, though not graceful dancing. They 





profess to have spirit communications; with prophetic and 
other miraculous gifts. They are very hospitable to strangers, 
and use every means to attract them to their society. Their 
industry, sobriety, economy, neatness, and the honesty of their 
dealings with the world are most commendable. Their domains 
are models of good culture, and their stock of horses, cattle, 
sheep, &c., the best that can be procured. Their products, 
from their excellence, bring the highest price in every market. 
A Shaker village is plain, neat, cleanly, and in perfect order ; 
but the aesthetic element is entirely omitted. There are no 
flower gardens, shrubberies, fountains, pictures, statues, or 
musical instruments. The only music is the singing of hymns, 
and the only dancing is that which belongs to their fantastic 
worship. On the other hand there is no poverty, no intem- 
perance, or appearance of any vice. There is no tavern, grog- 
shop, pawnbroker, policeman. They live together in large 
buildings, professedly as brothers and sisters ; and when 
married men and women join them, they are obliged to sepa- 
rate, and conform to the strict rule of chastity. 

With this explanation the reader may be better able to 
appreciate this wonderful narrative, which is evidently a 
careful record of facts down to its minutest particulars. 

"On the night of the 25th December, 1855, a member of the 

Shaker communion, from the village of , visited our circle, 

under circumstances of a very remarkable and interesting character. 

We became much attached to friend who, so unexpectedly 

to himself and us, was developed as a medium at his first visit to 
our home. That visit led to quite an interest both on their part 
and ours in each other, and we frequently enjoyed the privilege 
of extending hospitable attentions to our Shaker friends. In 
return, they invited us to their village, and we became, before the 
waning of the summer moons, quite anxious to see them in their 
own quiet homes, and rather agitating worship. Both Mrs. Ferguson 
and Mr. Champion, under spirit impression, were directed to go, 
and it was said to us that the time, circumstances, and pur- 


poses of our visit were arranged by the highest influences attend- 
ing us. 

*' I cannot say that I had of myself any distinct purpose in 
the visit, other than a retreat to the quiet of the country, and a 
desire to see what of spiritualism these singular people claimed. 
As a people, from their plain habits, their skilful and industrious 
husbandry, their meek and humble demeanour, their freedom from 
vice and from poverty and destitution, the evidences of plenty 
and comfort surrounding their societies, and above all, their 
profession of purity above the degrading sensualism of married 
and single life in our own civilization, so called, we were more 
than ordinarily drawn to them. Indeed, I do not hesitate to say, 
that from our experience of the hostile prejudices of our immediate 
acquaintances, and the general irrational opposition to the spread 
of pure spiritual communion, with the many harassing annoy- 
ances we had met in the unworthy, not to say selfish and sensualistic, 
tendencies of many who claimed spiritual light and mediumship 
above the commonalty of religious sects, there was no one of us 
that would not readily have accepted the retirement of Shakerdom, 
could we have been assured that its forms, habits, and character 
would tend to the greatest good of mankind generally. In a word, 
we were ready to become Shakers, if Shakerism could establish 
the divinity of its origin, the spirituality of its intentions, and the 
humanity of its manner of life, and so far as our feelings were con- 
cerned, they were more in their favour than against them. 

** Accordingly, when my connection with Nashville, Tennessee, 
was dissolved, we turned our faces towards Kentucky. While at 
Meryville we proposed to pay the long projected visit to the 
Shakers. We were encouraged to do so by learning that several 
of that people had, while engaged in selling their fowls, seeds, &c., 
among our friends and relatives, expressed much confidence in our 
spiritual guidance, and anxiety that we should fulfil our promise to 
visit them. But as our meeting with them in the first instance 
was the result of spiritual direction, and our chief desire was to 
understand their claims to the same, we waited for spirit intelli- 
gences to arrange the time and the number of persons for the 
occasion. We had been at Meryville over two weeks, and at every 
spiritual meeting we were told that we would have no manifesta- 
tions, save as they related to our preparation for a meeting with the 




Shakers. This, of conrse, tended somewhat to arouse our interest^ 
biit we waited patiently for the time and persons to be selected. 

" On the 17th of June, Mr. Champion, Mr. W. D. Merriweather 
(the gentleman whose hospitality we were enjoying), Miss Frances 
King, my daughter Virginia and myself, were taken to the orchard 
and woods, where the following evidences of spirit-presence were 
given. Miss King, Virginia, and Mr. Champion were seated, as was 
afterwards observed, so as to form the points of an equilateral 
triangle, while each seemed deeply entranced. Impressive and 
interesting addresses were made by each, calculated to awaken the 
spiritual nature and aspiration of all men ; at least so I esteemed 
them. We were then carried to the woods near by, where the 
mediums again formed their triangle, and knelt in solemn prayer. 
They changed their position^ and called me to tbem. I was re- 
quested to kneel with them ; i.e., with. Miss King and Mr. 
Champion, who were deeply entranced. I did so. Then speaking 
in the most measured and direct terms, I was asked to pledge 
myself, beneath the unobstructed dome of heaven, near to the silent 
trees as divine witnesses, to take both mediums under a care that 
would prove paternal in any trial ; and they assured me a severe one 
was before them, Mrs. Ferguson and myself. I could not imagine 
what the proceeding meant; but as nothing unreasonable was 
required, I gave the pledge. It was repeated thrice, and I never 
witnessed a more solemn scene. 

" On returning to the house, Mrs. Ferguson, who had remained 
there during our absence, came under spiritual influence, and 
detailed what had occurred in the orchard and forest, and gave its 
general import. She said that on the morrow we — 1,6., Mr. 
Champion, Miss King, herself, and myself — must set out for 
Shakertown ; and that while there, and after leaving there, I would 
see and realize the purport of my pledge — the meaning of the 
triangular position — ^and we would all witness among the Shakers 
much to inspire the noblest sentiments and hopes, and also much 
to render our common humanity low, degraded, nay, *i«/awot«.* 
She peremptorily forbade any one from joiningour company, although 
several were ready to do so, alike for the pleasure of the visit and 
the interest awakened by her communication, which was all that 
any of us disclosed of the events of the orchard and woods. 

** Carriages, by the kindness of our host, were in readiness on 


the evening of the next day, and our company of four set out , It 
should be said that for one week previous to our starting, Mr. 
Champion had not tasted food, nor did he taste food of any kind on 
the way, or at Shakertown, until the end of our visit there, which 
embraced three days. Although a man of most delicate physical 
organization, he was, to my knowledge, without food for ten days, 
and during that time seemed to possess the strength of three men, 
when under direct spiritual influence ; but when not, he was as 
feeble as an infant, and needed all the care I had promised in the 
foveBt 'pledge, 

" When within five miles of the village we stopped to bait our 
horses, I was taken alone into the woods again by Mr. Champion, 
and under similar circumstances asked to renew my pledge. It was 
then told me that at Shakertown spirit manifestations of a novel 
character would attend us in the streets, in the gardens, in the 
fields, and in the houses, and that J must not manifest surprise, 
but give myself wholly to the protection of the three mediums com- 
mitted to my care, whose health and life were intrusted to my 
instrumental protection. I was assured that by impression un- 
mistakeable I would be guided, and I renewed the pledge. 

" Towards the decline of the day, covered with dust and wearied 
with beat and fatigue, we arrived, and received a most hearty greet- 
ing from the elders, sisters, and brethren, who seemed fully aware 
of our coming, and were ready to receive us into their hearts and 
homes. Our greeting, and the kindly and yet not officious attentions 
that followed, made a happy impression on our mediums, and would 
have done so on me but for the warnings I had received. As it was, 
I felt free and cordial, but was constantly impressed to watch as well 
as rejoice. As the shades of evening came on, amid pleasing and 
cheerful conversation, maugre a little of flattering compliment that 
did not comport with the unworldly aspect of the * believers,' as 
they called themselves, in the ' region of God upon earthy' quite a 
company — ^but, as I remember, mostly of aged persons — came together 
as by concert. They formed themselves in the large hall, where we 
sat in a sort of semicircle, not unlike in shape to an extended horse- 
shoe. There were, perhaps, fifty beside our company. To my 
surprise, I found our little band forming the triangular position in 
the seats they had chosen, and myself seated much as I had been in 
the orchard, where it was first formed. I say surprise, for it was 


■wdtliont concert on the part of either, and was unobserved by all till 
the close of our protracted interview with the Shakers. 

'' A song of much animation was sung, all joining in its easy 
flowing strains, and all keeping time to the music with rather 
elegant gesticulation on the part of the women, and not very 
ungraceful on that of the men. A rather striking and constant 
motion of the hands and feet was kept up. At its close several 
addresses were delivered by the leaders of the society bidding us 
welcome, recognizing the gifts attending our circle, and their hope 
from the spread of such, long known to their society, while it was 
stated that the song they had sung had been given them for us in 
anticipation of our coming. From a most deeply inspired condition 
Mr. Champion responded to their welcome in most happily chosen 
terms, and assured them we were there for purposes of high and 
holy meaning. He besought them to be free, and assured them 
he would be so. He was followed by addresses from Mrs. F. and 
Miss King, of a very affectionate and generally consolatory cha- 
racter, in which the personal appearance and character of several 
of their Spirit-brethren were given with marked accuracy. The 
night was thus passed till a late hour, much to the satisfaction and 
apparent edification of all. Our own party seemed carried away, 
when in their normal state, with the kindness, apparent unworld- 
liness, and spiritual atmosphere of Shakertown, and not un- 
frequently expressed their opinion that they were finding a heaven 
upon earth in miniature there. 

" In the morning came eight of the brethren and sisters, two for 
each of our company, to conduct us through the spacious buildings 
and neatly kept grounds, gardens, and fields, of their ' retreat from 
a sinful world.' We had passed through one of their most com- 
modious homes, built, as they told us with an air of gratified hope 
as they looked upon and spoke of the spiritual manifestations of 
this time, for those who were soon to be brought to their Zion, 
when we were conducted into a very humble, though quiet, neat 
building or buildings, called the Dairy. While there, amid the 
many evidences of plenty and tidiness, much interested in the 
regularity of their allotted and, to all appearance, pleasant tasks, 
there came running from the harvest field, covered with the sweat 
and dust of his labour, a stout athletic man of youthful mien, 
leaping the fence at a bound> and devouring the ground as a swift 



courser. He came as if in the highest glee, and embracing Mr. 
Cliampion, they commenced a regular Indian dance, which was 
kept up for some minutes, interspersed with a song and conversa- 
tion, in what seemed to us an Indian dialect, and which was an 
unknown tongue. At its close, assuming a solemn air, this Shaker 
youth addressed his fathers and mothers around him, and pointing 
to Mr. Champion, said,. ' Behold the prophet selected and sent to you 
from on high. See that you regard the message Tie brings 1 ' The 
whole proceeding struck our Shaker-friends with surprise, and 
made upon us all a profound impression. 

<< We were next carried to a large culinary room in the basement 
of an extensive building, and while making an observation there, 
Mr. C. was entranced and delivered a very forcible address 
upon the unitary interests, duties, and privileges of man, and at its 
close, with an air of authority, demanded of our kind Shaker 
attendants, ' Where is Clarissa ? We must see Clarissa I * As 
we were ascending to the higher rooms of the building, the elderly 
Shakers drew near me and asked, ' What shall we do f* * Have 
you such a person among you as Clarissa ? ' I asked. They said, 
* Yes ; she is sick and blind.' When we had passed through the 
spacious corridors opening into neat and airy chambers, where we 
saw many infirm and aged women, all of whom gave us happy 
greetings, and many expressed, what had become to us from its 
repetition rather an officious desire, that we should cast in our lot 
with them, we were conducted into a room where we found Clarissa 
in the person of a woman of fifty, with rather a noble-looking face, 
bearing many traces of patient suffering ; feeble she was, and blind. 
Mrs. Ferguson, under spiritual influence, advanced and embraced 
her, and made to her in kind and sisterly accents a moat beautiful 
and affectionate address. The tears from sightless eyes coursed 
freely down her furrowed cheeks, and she very timidly invoked a 
divine blessing upon us all. Mr. Champion, at its close, delivered 
a stem rebuke to the aged persons accompanying us, closing it by 
saying, ' Had you been true to the nobler instincts of your souls, 
this suffering had not been ! ' The scene became painful, and I 
was relieved when he closed an address that seemed to contrast 
strangely with the hearty welcome everywhere greeting us. Among 
other things he stated that there were twelve persons in their 
village he must see, and appointed three o'clock of that day as 


the time to meet them and the leaders of the society, when he 
commanded, as it were, that at half-past six the whole village 
should be called together for the purposes contemplated in our 
yisit. When he came from under the influence attending, he 
seemed wholly unconscious of what had occurred since the meeting 
with the medium at the Dairy, and our usual friendly conversaF- 
tion and proposed walk were resumed. 

'^ Meanwhile I was taken on one side in consultation as to how I 
was in the habit of acting when appointments such as had been 
delivered through Mr. C. were made. I answered, * I always obey, 
for they are generally agreeable, and always profitable.' But I 
assured them we had no disposition to dictate their movements, and 
they must feel free either to make or refuse the proposed meetings. 
Besides, it was mid-harvest, and labourers were scarce. The 
meetings were, however, appointed, and at three o'clock we met 
some thirty aged Shakers, with the twelve mediums Mr. C. had 
named, all persons whose names neither he nor any of our com- 
pany had ever heard. They were gathered soon around a table, 
where our company, again as a triangle, took their seats. 

"Mr. C. was again entranced, when various descriptions of 
spirit-friends, acquaintances, and associates of the aged men and 
women present were given, acknowledged, and gratefully, though 
somewhat fearfully recognized. Mr. C. then informed them that he 
was made to see their system in all its departments, of which he said 
there were four. With almost breathless interest they heard him 
describe the ceremonies of the first, second, and third ; but when 
he came to the fourth, there was manifest uneasiness, with much 
muttering among the more prominent members. The medium 
proceeded. He described a strange and secret ceremony. He spoke 
of himself as being carried through a subterranean passage till he 
came to a door. ' Shall I open that door ? ' demanded he in tones 
of authority irresistible. Consternation seemed to seize one or two 
of the company, but deathlike silence prevailed. One less wise 
than the others said, * We know not what thee means by a door, 
which is not a door.* * It is a vault,' said the medium ; * do you 
know what that means 1 Shall I enter it 1 ' he sternly continued ; 
' for here is that which sickens the soul, and blights the fairest 

flowers of Immortal planting ! ' He continued 

his address in most affectionate but p6i]ited appeals, and all he 


said was sanctioned by tiheir own mediams, under a deop entrance* 
ment, and the meeting, much to the relief of all, closed. 

'' As it closed, the cleanly dressed companies of women in one 
band, and men in another, followed by children, arranged according 
to size and age, were passing to the general meeting at half-past 
six. Mr. Champion informed me in our private room that a work 
had now been done that had stirred the feelings of the leaders 
and aged sinners of that people, and excited their fears. He 
besought me, as I valued his life, and that of those I had solemnly 
pledged myself to protect^ to be cautious, calm, and prepared for 
any Emergency. We must regard ourselves as in danger from that 
hour. Our meeting with the village would be prevented if it were 
not too late to countermand the order. * Their only hope now, 
he said, ' is that you did not understand the descriptions, and that 
my mind was made unconscious of what was disclosed through it. 
They will do all they can to magnetize us, with a view to an 
obliteration of thQ whole from our memory, or to gain us to their 
society, which is now the blinding hope God bestows upon them 
for our defence. Let us be true, if we die in our duty.' 

^' With such assurances we met the whole village in their capacious 
meeting-house or chapel, upon their backless seats, and in their 
strange costume. Our triangle was again unconsciously formed, 
and Mr. Champion and each of our mediums became fully 
entranced. I addressed the company, by request, for one hour 
and a half, and was heard upon the general philosophy and aspects 
of modern spiritualism with marked attention by young and old. 
Mr. Champion then addressed them in their four divisions, recog- 
nizing the fourth as a secret order, but so recognizing it that 
novices would not understand what was meant. He called by 
name for the leader of the society, who came forward, and was 
seated by his order. He delivered to him a most extraordinary 
address— -extraordinary in that he administered rebuke and stem, 
yet kind, reproof to a man who was an autocrat in that assembly, 
where strangers never spoke, and were seldom admitted. Each 
delivered addresses. The scene was solemn, not to say awful. 

"When a farewell warning had been delivered, the elders 
approached me, and asked the privilege of engaging in their usual 
worship. Of course we had no right to object, and were curious 
to witness it. I was at once informed privately by Mr. Champion 


that their object was to magnetize our mediums, and that as they 
were the most expert magnetizers in the world, they would 
succeed if we were not very careful ; and, if they did succeed, the 
most disastrous results would follow. While their benches were 
being removed, our little company, by spirit-direction, was formed 
into its usual triangle, my seat being placed a little in advance 
of it towards the assembly. In regular files of two, four, and 
six abreast^ the whole assembly was soon formed, with a few in 
the centre to lead in the singing, when, by singing, marching, 
dancing, and a constant gesticulation of the hand, the whole 
company would pass by us with an effort to concentrate all their 
magnetic power upon us. By every effort they sought to change our 
position, and bring us into the centre of the room, but they failed. 
They laboured in this way for a full hour, and I never felt such an 
amount of electrical or vital magnetical influences in any assembly 
of any kind. But, strange to say, and almost incredible to believe, 
whenever they would approach our little band. Miss King, a fine, 
delicate lady of twenty-five, who made the apex of the triangle, 
with one wave of her hand would send that whole company 
reeling backward to the opposite wall. They at length became 
wearied with their efforts, and proposed an adjournment. 

" We retired, but when we had reached our room, I found our 
mediums, who had manifested such immense power when under 
spiritual influence, feeble as puling infants, perfectly exhausted, 
and requiring my unremitting care for the whole night and the 
next day and night. Mr. Champion had not tasted food in the 
village, nor for seven days preceding. Imagine my condition — I 
will not say anxiety, for how could I be anxious under such 
evidences of supreme power as had been given to us in word and 
deed that day 1 Our Shaker-friends — i.e,, their leaders — slept not. 
They were officious in their kindness. Women and men came to 
our rooms, and at each visit, under pretended spiritual influence, 
sought to magnetize our mediums. They often succeeded in 
making them deathly sick. They brought the key of the vault 
Mr. Champion described, and sought by some superstitious use of 
it to obliterate the memory of what he had spiritually seen. In 
little and troubled conversations they gathered, aU day and for two 
nights, but could agree upon no plan. They suggested brandy 
as necessary for Mr. Champion's feeble condition, but when they 


sent it, it was foand to be drugged with a view to his further 
prostration. They, sent their best mediums into our room with a 
view to induce us to join them, but they became spiritually affected 
by the sad condition of the Secret or ^ Holy Order.* On the 
morning of the third day we were able to leave, and did so, much 
to the relief of all concerned. It was more than a week afterwards 
before our mediums recovered from the effect of Shaker-magnetizing 
efforts to drown their memory or unite them to their society." 

In recording the above facts in my experience, I owe it to 
truth to say, that I know nothing of this people that would 
warrant such a reflection upon their manner of life as was so 
unexpectedly to us and all them given. The intelligence making 
the reflection is alone responsible. Of its truth or falsity it is 
not my right, but theirs to judge. Neither of my companions 
in the normal state, nor myself, feel that we or any one has a 
right to judge of the life and character of any man or people, 
save from facts brought under our own observation. And so far 
as this people is concerned we know nothing to their dis- 
paragement, and much that commends them to the highest 
esteem and consideration. 





The arrival of the two brothers, Ira E. and Wm. H. Daven- 
port, with their companion, Wm. M. Fay, in England, accom- 
panied by so able and distinguished a gentleman as Mr. 
Ferguson, opens a new era in the history of what some have 
preferred to call ** the supernatural " in this country. These 
young men, already known for eleven years in America as the 
mediums, so called, of wonderful physical manifestations, differ 
in some striking respects from any previously known to the 
British public. They differ in that the manifestations never 
fail under any tolerable conditions. Out of hundreds of 
seances in England, only on one occasion, when they were 
exhausted by contest and confusion, was there a partial failure, 
which, however, extended only to what is called the dark 
seance. In every other instance the usual manifestations have 
taken place. This does not, of course, include the cases in 
which they have been prevented by violence, as at Liverpool 
and Huddersfield. 

The manifestations in presence of the Davenports and Mr. 
Fay, it is also to be observed, have been but little, if at all, 
affected by the numbers, the character, the incredulity, or even 
the conduct of the auditors and spectators. They have been 
witnessed by hundreds, and some cases, thousands of persons, 
and at the University of Oxford, which can furnish the noisiest 
congregation ever seen or heard on this planet, when it was as 


useless to talk as in a typhoon^ the manifestations proceeded 
without the slightest interruption. 

In a biography of the Brothers Davenport, by the present 
writer, an account is given of the whole period of their mar- 
vellous history. In that work Mr. Ferguson gave his testi- 
mony to the reality and character of the phenomena he had 
had such excellent opportunities for observing. At my sugges- 
tion he has prepared for this work another and, in certain 
respects, a more particular statement, which also contains facts 
of a more recent date. Every word of this statement is 
literally true, and all the important facts can be attested by 
the sworn testimony, if required, of hundreds of intelligent and 
honourable Englishmen, who cannot for an instant be supposed 
either so weak and ignorant as to be deceived, or so wicked as 
to lend themselves to a base imposture. Mr. Ferguson says : — 

"The Brothers Davenport and Mr. Wm. Fay have in my 
presence been relieved, without any action of their own, or the 
aid of any mortal, from every form of fastening which could be 
devised by hundreds of persons, sailors, riggers, skilled artizans, 
and others, in the cities of New York, "New England, Canada, and 
England, and I am fully warranted in saying that there is no method 
of fastening ever devised, from which they cannot be relieved, 
without the slightest active effort on their part, or by any one 

" In hundreds of instances, after being so loosed, by a force and 
intelligence sufficient for the work, they have been again bound, 
without mortal aid, and usually in a more thorough and perfect 
manner than by the most skilful committees chosen for that 

" While thus bound, hands and feet immoveable, without the 
possibility of any action on their part^ and enclosed in a cabinet 
in full view of the spectators, and without the possibility of decep- 
tion by confederates or otherwise, I have heard in the cabinet as 
many as six musical instruments playing together a succession of 
five tunes, while at the same time two hands were displayed at an 
opening, and heavy blows were heard upon the sides, back, and 
floor of the cabinet. The doors of the cabinet have all been thrown 



open while the music was still sounding, the instruments were seen' 

to he thrown out with force upon the floor, while the young men 

were instantly examined and found to he securely fastened, so 

as to remove all douht of the fact that they took no active part 

in the concert to which all had listened. It would take three 

or four pairs of hands, at the lowest estimate, to play upon the 

various instruments. The only hands helonging to living human 

heings in the cahinet were two pairs hound together too firmly 

to allow them to participate in the performance. 

"In these cases the time occupied in opening the doors and 

examining the young men hound in and to the cahinet, does not 

exceed two seconds from the full action of the instruments, so 

that there is not the shadow of a possibility that if they could have 

got out of their fastenings they could have returned to them. More 

than this, it has occurred hundreds of times, that when they had 

been hound with the utmost care and skill, before the doors had been 

closed, or a second had elapsed, when only the shadow of the door 

fell upon one of the Davenports or Mr. Fay, hands would be shown, 

or heavy instruments thrown from the cabinet. I have witnessed 

the same feicts in kind, though less forcible, when but one person 

was bound in the cabinet. To place this matter beyond a doubt, 

I have on numerous occasions invited gentlemen well known to 

the audience, and of the highest character in England in various 

departments, to enter the cabinet, and be seated between the 

persons bound within it, with a hand resting upon each, so that 

they could detect the least motion. Those gentlemen have testified 

that they felt the pressure of what seemed to be human hands, 

from head to foot ; that the instruments were carried and sounded 

all around them ; that their requests were instantly complied with, 

the instruments being played near their feet, in their laps, or on 

their heads, as they desired. Finally, when the doors were opened, 

the audience has seen the tambourine upon the head, and the other 

instruments piled upon or behind them, while it was evident to all 

that neither of the persons in the cabinet, nor any other in mortal 

form, could possibly have done what they saw and heard. This 

placing a witness in the cabinet removes the last reasonable doubt 

respecting fraud, jugglery, or collusion. Of hundreds of persons 

who have had this test, only one has ever expressed a doubt of the 

perfect passivity of those who were bound with him in the cabinet. 



A genUeman at Eastbourne said he thought the hand he felt must 
have been that of Mr. Fay — because it couLdrCt he anybody* s else ! 

" In hundreds of cases, when the Brothers Davenport, or one of 
them and Mr. Fay, were bound in the cabinet, in the most thorough 
and complicated manner, I have witnessed perhaps even a more 
satisfactory test to the spectators than the one last described. After 
the knots and fastenings have been examined 1 have placed flour, 
coins, or other substances in both hands of each. The doors of the 
cabinet are closed ; sounds are made which denote the presence 
and action of intelligent forces \ ropes are heard rattling ; and in a 
few moments the two are seen completely freed from their bonds. 
They open their hands, and show that the flour, coin, shot, or 
whatever had been placed in them, still remain ; proving that 
they had been entirely passive in what had taken place. 

'* In the presence of from two or three persons to two or three 
hundred, and on hundreds of occasions, when two of the young 
men, usually Mr. Fay and one of the Davenports, have been bound 
to their chairs, and all the other persons present so held or secured 
as to remove the possibility of collusion, I have seen and heard 
musical instruments moving through the air over areas of from Ave 
or six to thirty or forty feet diameter, sometimes with immense 
velocity, producing strong currents of air, making circular or 
eccentric movements which have been compared to the flights of 
bats or swallows, sometimes passing high above the heads of the 
company, sometimes playfully gambolling at their feet, often gently 
tapping, and in a few cases violently striking persons present. 
Two guitars often fly in this wavy mcmner in different parts of the 
room, both twanging rapidly as they go, while a bell and tam- 
bourine are sounding. The flight of the instruments can be clearly 
seen by placing upon them a little phosphorated oil. 

" More inexplicable and astounding than any fact I have yet 
mentioned in this connection, perhaps, is the following, which I 
have observed hundreds of times, and in which I cannot by any 
possibility be mistaken. The young men are fairly tied, their 
wrists being tied together, and also to the chairs in which they 
are seated. The knot at the wrist is sealed with sealing-wax, to 
place the slipping or untying of the rope beyond a suspicion of 
possibility. Then, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, with 
the velocity of thought, in no appreciable time, the coat of Mr. 


Fay is removed fiom his body, it (the coat) and the knots and seal 
remaining intact. Here is what natural philosophers will call a 
physical impossibility, yet I have seen it hundreds of times, and it 
has been seen by thousands, I may say hundreds of thousands of 
persons. By the flash of a match in my hand I have seen the coat 
flying through the air, and the coat and the knots and seals have 
been instantly examined. To remove any doubt of the marvellous 
character of this fact, the coat of some person present, lent for the 
purpose, has been put on in the same way, under the same circum- 
stances, and with a lightning-like rapidity, which of itself would 
not be humanly possible if there were no ropes or sealing-wax. 
On several occasions, not only have coats been removed or put on 
in this manner, in defiance of all ordinary ideas of possibility and 
the laws of matter, but the waistcoat of one of the Brothers 
Davenport has been instantl}*^ removed while his hands were tied 
together and his coat remained upon him. In this case there could 
be no question of the fact, since the light was struck instantly, and 
his coat seen in its place. 

"I have seen the rope removed from the wrists of Mr. Fay 
and W. H. Davenport, while the knots remained unloosed and the 
seal unbroken. This rope, with the knots and seal, is still kept as 
a curiosity at one of the hotels of the great American watering- 
place, Saratoga Springs. In England, as related by Mr. B. Coleman, 
in a statement published in the Biography of the Brothers Daven- 
port, a rope, tied and sealed by an officer of the British Navy, had 
every knot untied, except the one which was sealed, and which, 
being towards the ends of the rope, was the key to all the others. 
To understand this, take a rope or cord, and, beginning at the 
middle, tie a series of knots, such as would confine Mr. Fay*s 
wrists to each other and the chair in which he was seated. Seal 
the last knot, and imagine all the others untied without the seal 
being broken. It is, like the removal of the coat, inconceivable, 
yet it was done in the presence of many witnesses. 

" I have also witnessed the movements and playing of the musical 

instruments while the faces and persons of those present were 

manipulated, while the Davenports and Mr. Fay were not tied but 

firmly held hand and foot by men chosen from the company, and 

when the doors were locked, and every one so secured as to make 

deception impossible. This has been done many times, in the 

H 2 


piesence of hundreds, and also of three or four persons trying this 
experiment — myself in that case, making one of them. I have 
also witnessed similar operations when these so-called mediums 
were asleep, and no one with them but myself. 

"Furthermore, I have in their presence had articulate and 
audible conversation with a voice which was not theirs, nor that of 
any living person. With this voice, or the intelligent power of 
which it was the expression, 1 have conversed as a man talks with 
his friend, while the power or being from which the voice pro- 
ceeded made its presence and reality known to me by other physical 

" I have seen large dining tables, with all the dishes for dinner, 
raised from six inches to two feet in the air, no one aiding in the 
slightest degree, and not a dish being removed from its place, while 
all present were touched by hands while the table was elevated, and 
before and after. 

" In railway carriages, when in company with the Brothers Daven- 
port and Mr. Fay, in passing through dark tunnels, I have been 
manipulated all over my body by hands seemingly human, some- 
times unexpectedly, at others at my request, when no one present 
could have touched me without my knowledge. 

" It would require a volume to describe the various tests applied 
by myself and others, which have proved to me and them, beyond 
the possibility of doubt, that all these occurrences were without 
the active agency of these young men, but that they were the work of 
dexterous, intelligent powers, usually invisible and impalpable, but 
who could, under certain circumstances, make themselves heard, 
seen, and felt. In the full exercise of all my senses, I have heard, 
felt, and seen all that I have stated, and much more of a kindred 

"From as good testimony as I have for any fact that I can 
accept without personal knowledge, I believe that these young men 
have been raised into the air to the ceilings of rooms, and have 
been transported a distance of miles by the same force and intelli- 
gence, or intelligent force, that has for eleven years worked in their 
presence so many marvels. I have heard and considered every 
doubt and denial that scepticism has urged wherever it has been 
my duty to present these facts, and I can say that not one of them 
is founded upon accurate observation or philosophical deduction, or 



can weigh the weight of a feather against the thousand times 
demonstrated reality of the facts above stated. 

" There are some other facts, not often observed, of perhaps a 
more remarkable character than any I have yet given, and which 
may at some time help to throw light upon the mode in which 
certain manifestations are made by the intelligences producing 
them. "No doubt the unseen world has its laws, or mode^ of action, 
as well as the one with which we are better, but not too well, 

** I have seen, with my natural vision, the arms, bust, and, on two 
occasions, the entire person of Ira E. Davenport duplicated at a 
distance of from two to five feet from where he was seated fast 
bound to his seat. I have seen, also, a full-formed figure of a 
person, which was not that of any of the company present. This 
spectre, which appeared in the flash of a match which it caused to 
be struck, seemingly for that purpose, was seen in the house of an 
English nobleman, by himself and four others, his friends, as well as 
by me. The form appeared for a moment and faded while we 
looked at it. That this phenomena was not of a subjective 
character, or an illusion of the senses, was proven by the 
number of persons who saw it, when nothing of the kind was 

'^ In certain conditions, not yet clearly understood, the hands, 
arms, and clothing of the Brothers Davenport and Mr. Fay are 
duplicated alike to the sight and the touch. In other cases, hands 
which are visible and tangible, and which have all the characteris- 
tics of living human hands, as well as arms, and entire bodies, are 
presented, which are not theirs, or those of any one present. In 
both cases, the presentation, or manifestation, may be considered a 
projection made by an invisible intelligence, by such a power over 
matter or forces which are by some considered as the essence of 
matter, as in the present state of physical science cannot be clearly 
conceived, much less definitely 'stated. 

"For twelve years these young men, now about twenty-five 
years old, have been before the. public, subjected almost daily, and 
often several times a day, to tests the most intelligent and scientific, 
and also to those of a boorish and barbarous character, and they 
claim that they have triumphed in all, and have never been de- 
tected in any fraud, and have never been tied, by all the appliances 


of human art^ so that the ' powei^ attending them has not been 
able to untie them. 

« The theories which have been formed respectmg the philo- 
sophy of these exhibitions of power are as various as the minds 
that have formed them. I have not heard any that seem to me 
fully explanatory of the facts. I have my own theory, but it may 
meet with the same objection. Still I will state it. 

« 1. Spirit, as it ascends, or in its progressive development, 
holds subordinate all the conditions through which it has passed. 

*' 2. Every condition has its alliance with one higher, and is in 
its measure a reflection thereof ; consequently — 

^' 3. Spirit, ascended above fleshly form, is capable of all of which 
it was capable in form and more ; and in association with certain 
convenient or kindred conditions called mediumistic, makes known 
its superior power alike in thought, expression and action. 

'* It is not, and has never been, pretended that the physical mani- 
festations which are given in the presence or by means of the 
Brothers Davenport and Mr. Fay are peculiar to them. There may 
be scores, perhaps hundreds, of persons in America in whose pre- 
sence similar manifestations are given, and there is little doubt 
that as many might be found in this country in whom such powers 
exist, or will become developed. One such case may be given as an 

" Mr. Edwin Woolford, of South Clifton, for seventeen years a 
churchwarden of the parish of which Eev. George Harper is curate, 
having heard of the Davenports in London, and read an account of 
the manifestations, retired to his room, and had the following ex- 
periences, which have been witnessed by his family and neighbours, 
who in unqualified terms testify to their reality. 

" He laid a violin on his table, which, without contact with any 
one, was moved back and forward upon the table, and then raised 
from it and placed upon his arm, when a sudden flash of light from 
the fire stopped its motion, and it was left resting upon bis arm. On 
the next trial it rose from the table, floated around the room, was 
raised to the ceiliug, and touched all present, frequently moving as 
requested by one or other of the spectators. These marvels were 
repeated on other occasions, and paper and a pencil being laid on 
the tabloy plain, intelligible writing was found on the paper, no one 
present having touched either pencil or paper, while all distinctly 

-r^mmmmg^ mmmmm^^mmt^Bmam^^BKm^oaimma^am 


heard the process of writing. The table was lifted three feet from 
the ground, and was moved hack and forth, touching all present. 
Sparks of light were seen falling from the ceiling sufficiently bril- 
liant to show t* <e position of each one present, with other manifesta- 
tions of a similar character. 

** These experiences induced Mr. Woolford to visit the Daven- 
ports and Mr. Fay in London, and observo the manifestations in 
their presence." 

While travelling in the North of England, Mr. Ferguson 
became acquainted with a blind collier, residing in or near 
Huddersfield, who, he was assured by many witnesses, was 
accompanied by manifestations of a physical character, similar 
to some of those attending the Brothers Davenport. He had 
allowed himself to be tied by the wrists, and the cords carried 
through holes bored in a plank and fastened on the other side, 
of course beyond his own reach to unfasten. This was done 
while he was in a trance state, and consequently insensible, 
and curious and incredulous persons had taken such a cruel 
advantage of his helplessness as to produce wounds on his 
wrists, in tying them, which had required weeks to cure. It 
was beyond question that he had been freed by some power not 
his own, or that of any being in the flesh. 

The manifestations usually given in the presence of the 
Brothers Davenport in their public and private stances are by 
no means the most remarkable which attend them. In their 
hours of relaxation or privacy they are not unfrequently 
accompanied by very extraordinary phenomena, and often 
when nothing of the kind is expected. 

For example : in a Mr. Dixon's billiard-room at Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin, where the young men were amusing themselves, 
the proprietor, who had witnessed the public stances, proposed 
that the room should be darkened, and that all who were 
present should place their hands on the raised border of the 
table and await the result. After a few moments the balls 



were heard to roll and click against each other^ as if propelled 
by expert players. The cues moved, the game appeared to be 
regularly played, and it was marked and counted. No person 
moved, and in the darkness no mortal could have played the 
balls as they were played, or have marked the game. . This 
experience, first had at Milwaukee, has since been often 
repeated, and several times in London. Even when playing 
themselves, in the full light, the game is often accompanied by 
audible signals. 

In a private room of an hotel in Manchester, in the presence 
of Mr. Ferguson and a gentleman from London, there occurred 
some curious evidences of the powers of invisible beings. The 
poker was taken from the fire-place and carried across the 
room, and placed upon the canopy over a bed. A small closed 
box was placed under the table at which they were sitting by 
the gentleman above referred to, and on opening it, after a 
few moments, an inscription was found written on the inside 
of the cover which had not been there previously. To be sure 
that no trick had been practised upon him, the gentleman went 
immediately to a shop and bought another box, which he 
securely fastened and placed under the table. On opening it 
a similar and more startling inscription was found written. 

Willing to experiment further, the gentleman poured a glass 
of spirits into a tumbler and held it under the table. The 
tumbler appeared to be touched, and moved as if some one 
were drinking, and when the tumbler was brought into the 
light the liquid had vanished. The closest inspection of the 
carpet did not show that a drop had been spilled. This 
experiment was repeated three times, with the most careful 
examination in each instance, the tumbler also being held by 
different persons. The room was lighted, and the falling sides 
of the table-cover were repeatedly raised by what seemed to be 
hands beneath. 

It does not follow from this fact of the disappearance of 


liquids that invisible beings drink, any more than that they 
are nourished by earthly food, because, as related in the 
Biography of the Brothers Davenport, they seem to eat. It 
has been abundantly proved that substances, both solid and 
liquid, are apparently created by invisible forces, and they as 
certainly cause them to disappear. Heat changes solids into 
liquids, and liquids into gases or invisible vapours. There is 
needed only a suspension of the attraction of the atoms of 
matter to each other, or an increase of repulsion — ^in other 
words, a change in the action of certain forces — ^to cause the 
instant disappearance, or seeming annihilation, of all visible 

But no manifestation connected with the Brothers Daven- 
port, and others similarly gifted, has seemed to the editor of 
this work so remarkable as the fact that the intelligences which 
attend them are able to speak with a human voice, and hold 
conversations in articulate language. This fact has been 
attested by Mr. Ferguson, by Mr. Coleman, and many others. 
Such conversations have been heard by scores of persons in 
England, and by hundreds in America. 

The case in which I heard such a conversation between men 
in the flesh and an invisible intelligent being was of a character 
that deserves to be carefully recorded, and in the interests of 
science I wish to make a faithful record of my observations. 

On the evening of Feb. 28, 1865, 1 received a telegram from 
Dr. Ferguson, asking me to come to Room 120, Great Western 
Hotel, Paddington. I took a cab, found him at the place 
appointed, and heard from him an account of the riot at Leeds 
the night before. 

The two Davenports and Mr. Fay came into the room, but 
the latter, being ill, soon retired. An English gentleman of 
property residing in the hotel, interested in a scientific exami- 
nation of the phenomena attending the brothers, was also 


When the matter of the riots and outrages at Liyerpo^, 
Huddersfieldy and Leeds had been discussed, and we had 
consulted on the steps proper to be taken in view of so violent 
an opposition, the brothers, Ira and William, proposed that 
*' John '' — the name by which they designate what seems to 
be the chief of the invisible intelligences attending them — 
should be invited to take part in the council. 

The conditions necessary to an oral converse with the 
invisible "John" were darkness and a speaking-trumpet — 
horn — ^tube of pasteboard — ^in short, a smaU, hard tube. The 
gentleman above mentioned, whom I will designate as Mr. X., 
volunteered to go in search of such an instrument. In his 
absence the window was darkened, and the fire in the grate 
extinguished. He returned with the only thing of the kind 
he could find, a common tin funnel. This was placed upon a 
small table. The two brothers, Ira and William, sat on each 
side, Mr. X. reclined upon a couch, and Mr. Ferguson and I 
sat fronting the brothers some six feet distant. The door had 
been locked, and the light was extinguished. 

Observe that here was no question of money, and no interest 
to deceive. The brothers, for their own sake, wished to ask 
about the riots, and to be advised respecting the course to be 
taken in an emergency. Mr. Ferguson had the same interest, 
while Mr. X. and myself were the only other persons present, 
and neither of us had any interest but curiosity. I would 
observe, also, that I was thoroughly acquainted with the pecu- 
liarities of the voices of every person present. As a physiologist, 
and as an elocutionist and musician, I have studied the voice* 
and its capabilities. I also imderstand ventriloquism, and 
can produce all its illusions. 

The light had not been extinguished twenty seconds when 
the tin funnel was heard to rattle on the table, and a voice, at 
first coarse and indistinct, came firom it. Mr. Ferguson said 
that he was touched several times, both with the funnel and 


what appeared to be the hand of some person, and two large 
soft finger ends, as they seemed to me, were pressed de- 
liberately upon the back of my hand. 

Then commenced a conversation between the voice and Mr. 
Ferguson, and sometimes Ira» The voice was formed in the 
funnel, for its metaUic ring could be distinguished, but it 
seemed to be formed not at the small end, but where it begins 
to broaden. The words wfere well formed and clearly articu- 
lated, but as if by organs somewhat thick and soft, a little 
like those of a fat person or a negro. Statements were made, 
questions answered, and advice given. I do not caxe to report 
the words. The persons interested, Mr. Ferguson and the 
two Davenports, were told that they would probably meet 
with more difficulties, but that they would be protected as 
they had been. 

The voice was not that of any of the persons in the room. 
It was not the ventriloquial voice. Every voice has its own 
chai'acter. Every observing person can distinguish an educated 
from an ignorant man, a weU-bred from a Tulgar man, by the 
tones of the voice and modes of enunciation. Many shades of 
character are revealed by the speech. Many think the ear 
judges better than the eye. The blind are thought by some 
to be as -weU able to judge of character as those who see. 
For my own part I can never form a satisfactory idea of a 
person until I have heard him. 

This voice, then, was that of no person I had ever seen. 
It was that of a plain, sensible, common man, rather below 
the middle class in culture, but earnest, and^ if one could so 
pronounce from a voice, honest. If, the room being dark and 
the door unlocked, a stranger had entered and spoken in the 
same way, I should have considered him a plain, practical, 
earnest, weU-meaning man, who might be a master mechanic^ 
mariner, or man of business in any similar occupations. 

I watched carefully not only every tone and inflection of 


this voice, but the place from which it seemed to come. It 
was not more than four feet from me, in front of Mr. 
Ferguson, and not above a yard from the floor. When the 
last word had been said, and a candle lighted, Mr. Ferguson 
sat still with his hands clasped together resting on his knees, 
and the funnel was seen placed over them. It is very certain 
that not one of the five persons present had moved from their 
seats. It is as certain that the funnel was brought from the 
table by some force and volition not belonging to either of 
them, and I am as certain as it is possible to be of any fact 
whatever that the voice, distinctly heard in a conversation of 
ten or fifteen minutes' duration, was not that of any one of the 
only five persons present. 

Many hundreds of persons have observed the tying and un- 
tying of ropes, and the tuning and playing upon musical 
instruments, by forces which must be intelligent to perform 
such complicated operations. They have seen also the exhibition 
of hands and arms during the cabinet stances, and the removal 
of coats while the wrists were tied together in the dork stances. 
The j)roduction of a voice and its use in speech, to my mind, 
go beyond any of these operations. It is probable that most 
persons will avoid the difficulty by denying the fact. It is a 
fact notwithstanding, but one for which I will oflPer no ex- 
planation. I must say, however, that the usual theories of 
sympathy, transference of mental impressions, involuntary and 
unconscious action, duplication of spirits and bodies, do not, in 
my view, present or even give a cue to a satisfactory solution. 

Mr. Ferguson, since * he has been in England, wishing to 
offer to a friend a test of what he believes to be spirit power, 
placed a sheet of white paper in a cigar-box, without a pencal 
or any means of writing upon it. The box was then covered, 
and paper carefully fastened over the whole box. In five 
minutes the box was opened, and a legible inscription found 
written upon the paper, apparently with a lead pencil, and of 


a character beyond the intelligence of either of the four persons 

Many other cases could be given, and there is no doubt 
that these evidences will soon be so many and so overwhelming 
as to shame, if anything can shame, those who from cowardice, 
or bigotry, or mere stupidity, have denied their verity. 

" The distinguishing characteristic of the Brothers Davenport 
and Mr. Fay," says Mr. Ferguson, " is that they are able to 
give their palpable and unmistakeable demonstrations of supra- 
mundane power before promiscuous audiences at all times and 
in all places where the requisite conditions can be attained. 
Others have, as a rule, been able to exercise or enjoy this gift 
only in select companies ; have been liable to failure, and were 
never able to meet the buffetings of the storm of opposition 
which so strangely rages around every manifestation of supernal 

" The Davenports and Mr. Fay, on the contrary, never fail, and 
their extraordinary powers seem at times even to increase with 
opposition ; and in the degree in which timid or inconsiderate 
friends tremble for their success, and obstinate opponents seek 
their defeat, they rise to the occasion, and give more powerful 
and triumphant evidences of truth. This may be, in fact, the 
eflFect of long experience, reaching from their childhood to the 
present hour ; of such an education or training on their character, 
and the calm and solid faith in a Power which guides and 
governs supramundane manifestations, and which has made 
them equal to every occasion and every emergency. 

" They have met and have triumphed over every form of oppo- 
sition. The boorish demands of the vulgar, the absurd tests of 
the conceited and presumptuous, the affectations of pretended 
science, the meanings and fearful forebodings of the would-be 
conservators of morality and religion, the pretensions of jug- 
glers, and the jargon of those who talk of 'low forms of 
spiritual manifestations,' and the benighted brutality of those 


who would appeal to the law and- revive against them some 
antiquated statute against witchcraft, and so revive the horrible 
persecutions of past centuries ; all these they have successfully 
encountered, and the character of Ihe evidences of supra- 
mundane power given through them has been made so 
evident that only the wilfully blind can fail to see in them 
solid and unquestionable proof of its existence and action^ 
and beneficent purpose. 

" I can truly say that I have never seen these young men 
disconcerted before any form of opposition. They have shown 
imder the most trying circumstances a manly resolution above 
all praise, and whether the intelligence by which they are 
guided be considered high or low, good or evil, vulgar or 
refined, I have found in them abundant evidences of wisdom 
and inspiration. It has not unfrequently happened that those 
we might expect to be their friends, professed spiritualists, have 
repudiated or denounced them or their manifestations, and not 
only from prudential reasons avoided all responsibility, but 
attempted direct opposition, when a sudden and unexpected 
triumph would fill their papers with the praises of the Daven- 
ports from the very men who had deserted them in their 
severest trials. Often their success has been attributed to 
adventitious circumstances. Many have tried to flatter me 
with the idea that some ability of mine had brought the mani- 
festations to a successftd recognition. It was not so. If I did 
my duty, or in any way secured attention to the facts pre- 
sented, it was the reality of these facts and the evidence they 
gave of the power attending the Davenports which gave the 
basis of all success. I learned to act in union with their 
impressions and experience, and the most delightful assurance 
I have to-day in connection with my relation to these evidences, 
to these men, and to the cause they represent, is, that a Power 
Supreme has directed and overruled in all that we are and in 
all that we meet. Nothing but this assurance could sustain 


either of us a single day or in a single exhibition, and all 
knowledge and ignorance, passion and prejudice, folly or 
wisdom, our own or that of others, we had to encounter. 

"My association with the Brothers Davenport and Mr. 
Fay, and my relation to the manifestations, is of a very 
remarkable character in this : that such has been the uncon- 
scious adaptation of my experience to the' recognition of 
these evidences, we have never found it necessary to consult 
together in respect to a single exhibition, or even an incident 
of such exhibition. From the time I first witnesssed the 
manifestations I have been impressed witt their nature and 
purpose, and I feel bound to say that since my connection 
with them we have never been placed in any emergency for 
which there was not a manifest supramundane adaptation. 
Formerly, the Davenports had been perplexed by the inability 
of the well-intentioned persons occupying a position similar to 
mine to receive invisible direction ; in my own case there has 
been no such difficulty. Every experience of my past life has 
been brought into requisition, and in no part of that experi- 
ence do I see a more perfect ordering of a supernal Power and 
Providence than in this perfect adaptation of my past life to 
my present work, of my powers of intuition or capacity for 
receiving impressions, to the daily demand for the exercise of 
such powers, and of this harmony of present action to what I 
believe will be its result in the divine unfoldings of the 

Since the most of this chapter was written, the Brothers 
Davenport have been subjected to a series of extraordinary 
outrages in some of the provincial towns of England, which 
show that the spirit of opposition manifested by a portion of 
the public press is ready to take more violent forms when it 
falls into a lower stratum of society. The facts connected 
with the riots at Liverpool, Huddersfield, and Leeds are very 
clearly stated in the following address of the Brothers Daven- 


port to the British public, which, as a portion of the history 
of tho movenent, deserves a place in these records :■ — 


"We appeal to the free press and the enlightened and fair- 
dealing people of the British Empire for a candid consideration of 
the following statement, and for the even-handed justice usually 
given in this country to all persons, rich or poor, citizens or 
strangers. We ask, also, as a matter of justice, that journals which 
have published accounts of the recent riots at Liverpool, Rudders- 
field, and Leeds, of which we were the victims, should also give 
the facts contained in tlus statement. 

" We beg, furthermore, most respectfully to commend to the 
consideration of the Eight Honourable Sir George Grey and the 
magistracy and police aufhorities of the United Kingdom, the fact 
that within two weeks, in three of the most important provincial 
towns in England, without any fault of our own, transgressing no 
law of the realm, and offering no violence or injury to any person? 
we have been made to suffer in property, and have been menaced 
with extreme personal injury, with apparent danger to our lives, 
as will appear by the following statement of facts : — 

"After having given over two hundred public and private 
sBanceSy or exhibitions of physical phenomena, such as have been 
described in all the leading journals of Europe and America, and 
in our published biography, at the Queen's Concert Booms, London, 
and the mansions of the nobility and gentry of England, we visited 
Liverpool on the 13th of February, and, as is our custom, gave a 
private seance, to which the members of the press and others were 
invited, who reported the satisfcustory character of the -exhibition. 
February 14th we gave two public seances at St. George's Hall 
with like results ; a private stance at a gentleman's mansion and a 
public morning performance on Tuesday were alike satisfactory. 

" On Tuesday evening we were proceeding with another exhibi- 
tion, when two persons, a Mr. Hulley and a Mr. Cummins, acting 
as a committee from the audience, in attempting to tie our wrists, 
caused so much pain that we were compelled to protest against the 
torture they were inflicting. We were willing to be tied with 
entire security, as we have been many hundreds of time%by 
riggers, sailors, engineers, and other skUled persons, or to give any 


reasonable test in proof that we have no active part in the 
phenomena witnessed in our presence ; we had no fear of a ^ Tom* 
fool knot/ or of any mode of fastening that did not inflict unbear- 
able torture. We declined to be bound by a committee whose 
unfairness and even brutality were soon manifest. Hulley and 
Cummins refused to retire and give place to another committee ; 
the audience was made to believe that it was the form of a par- 
ticular knot, and not the cruelty of its application, to which we 
objected, and we were compelled by an unappeasable tumult to 
return the money taken for tickets, and postpone further pnv 

'^ On the following evening printed regulations were given to 
every person entering the hall, and read from the platform, in 
which we distinctly claimed the right of rejecting any person on a 
committee whom we should find acting with unfairness. This 
would be our right were we criminals on trial for felony. Before 
commencing, we invited all persons who were not satisfied with 
these regulations to retire from the hall, and receive the money 
they had paid for entrance. 

"Messrs. Hulley and Cummins, backed by a crowd of their 
friends, came again upon the platform, and, from their previous 
unfairness, were promptly rejected by us as a committee. They 
insisted upon tying us, and appealed to the audience to support 
them in their demand. They refused to leave the platform when 
requested, took possession of our cabinet, and in various ways ex- 
cited violent manifestations in the audience. 

" We were then assured by a gentleman of Liverpool that unless 

we submitted to the demands of these men there would be a furious 

riot. He promised that they should not be permitted to injure 

us, and we finally yielded to his assurances. £ut they had no 

sooner placed the cords upon our wrists than they inflicted a degree 

of pain which could not be endured. We protested against this 

violence, but in vain, and, refusing to submit to it longer, had the 

cords cut from our wrists, and left the platform, which was instantly 

invaded by the mob ; our cabinet was broken in pieces, and Hulley 

and Cummins, the heroes of this assault of some hundreds of brave 

Englishmen upon four unarmed, unoffending, and unprotected 

foreigners, were borne from the hall upon the shoulders of their 

friends, apparently proud o£ their triumph. 



'^Our cabinet destroyed, and onr business interrupted, witb heavy 
pecuniary damage in Liverpool, we returned to London, had a new 
cabinet constructed, and on the following Monday repaired to 
Halifax, where we gave our usual public and private exhibitions, 
without interruption. 

<' Our next engagement was at Huddersfield, February 21st. On 
our arrival we were informed that Hulley and Cummins, the heroes of 
the Liverpool mob, had been telegraphed to, and were coming with 
a strong deputation from that town, to break up our exhibition 
The infuriated mob was the common talk of the town. We ap- 
pealed to the police, and we are happy to say that, in this instance, 
a sufficient force was promptly sent to the hall for our protection. 
The crowd that assembled gave many indications of being prepared 
for violence. When our representative had stated the regulations 
adopted, and that we proposed simply the presentation of certain 
facts, without any theory, and asked for the appointment of a com- 
mittee, two gentlemen, instructed, it was said, by Hulley and 
Cummins, came upon the platform and commenced to tie our wrists 
together behind us, which they did with needless severity. We bore 
the pain, however, until carrying the ropes through the hole in the 
seat, they drew the backs of our hands down upon it with such 
violence as to threaten dislocation, placing their knees upon the seat» 
and in one instance upon the hands of one of us to give them greater 
purchase. This torture, deliberately, and to all appearance mali- 
ciously inflicted, we of course could not bear, and at our demand the 
cords were instantly severed. We exposed our livid wrists, in which 
every strand of the cord was visibly imprinted, to the audience, 
who, to the credit of their humanity, cried out '«hame !' But the 
mob organized to break up our exhibition had no such feeling, and 
made a simultaneous rush for the platform, where, however, an 
efficient police force saved our property from destruction and us from 
a violence, which, under the stimulating addresses of the heroes of 
the Liverpool outrage, expended itself in hootings and bowlings. 

" We had engagements for two nights at Hull, but on our arrival 
we were informed by the gentleman who had engaged us, the chair- 
man of the hall committee, and the police superintendent^ that there 
were such indications of a violent mob, that we could not be per- 
mitted to give our exhibition, and we received from the gentleman 
chiefly interested the following note : — 


** * Music Hall, Jarret-street, Hull, 

" • 22nd February, 1865. 
** * Sir, — As I believe there is reason to apprehend a disturbance 
at the hall this evening, if the stance of the Davenport Brothers 
takes place, I have come to the conclusion that it would be advisable 
to postpone the stance. I am sorry to do this, particularly as your- 
self and the Messrs. Davenport have arrived in Hull, and are ready 
to fulfil your engagement ; but 1 am driven to do so by the organized 
attack which I am given to understand is in preparation. I am 
also urged to do so by the proprietors of the hall, who are alarmed 
lest their property should be damaged by any disturbance. 

" *I remain, yours faithfully, 

" * Egbert Bowser. 
" * Eev.. Dr. Ferguson, Royal Station Hotel, Hull.' 

" Failing to find at Hull that protection in our legal rights which 
we had supposed was extended to every man on English ground, we 
went to meet our next engagement at Leeds, where the scenes of 
Liverpool and Huddersfield were re-enacted with increased violence. 
We were met by an organized mob, and were refused the protection 
of the police when it was demanded. "When the ringleaders or 
agents of the mob, taking possession of the stage, had subjected us 
to the same violence that had been planned and prcustised upon us 
at Liveri)ool and Huddersfield — the mob again destroying our pro- 
perty, smashing the cabinet and breaking up or purloining our 
musical instruments, and we were protected from personal violence, 
amid the smashing of door panels and the howling of an enraged 
populace, by the tardy arrival of a detachment of police and the 
brave and firm conduct of one of its members — our agent, contraiy to 
all justice, was compelled to order the return of the admission money 
paid by those who had come for the very purpose of making the riot 
from which we suffered. On the same day we had given a public 
stance, attended by the members of the press and some of the most 
respectable citizens of Leeds, in which the famous ' Tom-fool knot' 
was used, and in which, so far as we were able to judge, the pheno- 
mena exhibited gave entire satisfaction. 

"It remains but to state two or three facts which may throw 
further light on these proceedings. 

" In Liverpool, as reported in the Mercury, Mr. HuUey, when 

I 2 


accused of acting unfairly to, and being an enemy of the Daven- 
ports, said, 'I avow it. I am a bitter foe to the Davenports.* 
After such an avowal, what right had he to act on a committee whose 
duty was strict impartiality ) 

" We wish to be just to the police. At Huddersfield, though 
they could not give us order, we were protected from actual violence. 
At Leeds such protection was withheld until too late to save our 

*' At Liverpool the Mercury says : — 

'" The appearance of inspectors Valentine and Southwell, with 
a force of thirty men, did not stop the process of demolition. The 
police, indeed, did not attempt to interfere 8o long as only the pro- 
perty of the Davenports was threatened,' 

" The Leeds Mercury^ reporting the violent proceedings against 
us at Huddersfileld, says : — 

" * Mr, Walker, not considering that his hands could pull the rope 
tight enough, tised his hnee to assist him, and the brother he was 
operating on again protested. • • . . Several persons had at 
that time gone to the cabinet, and Davenport showed his wrist to 
some of them. It had a livid mark filing ed with red, about the 
breadth of a finger, and in the hollow of this mark there were the 
marks of the individual strands of the rope,^ 

*^ Yet some have been found to insist on inflicting this brutal 
torture upon us, with howling mobs to back them, as if we were 
malefactors or wild beasts. It may be doubted if such an amount 
of violence, wrong, and outrage has been inflicted on any un- 
offending man in England since Clarkson was mobbed by the 
slave-traders of Liverpool, and Priestly by the mad bigots of 

" And for what reason 1 What evil have we done 1 Of what 
wrong can any man accuse us ) How have we offended the public 
or any individual ) If there were anything immoral or unlawful 
in our exhibition we could understand the feeling which has 
prompted so much lawless violence, which has been so largely 
excused by the press and tolerated by the police authorities. We 
are called humbugs, but if every humbug in England is to be 
mobbed, it may be well for both the Grovemment and the people 
to consider the possible consequences. But we solemnly and earnestly 


deny that we have ever deceived auy man in this matter, or made 
any false representation, and we can appeal to many thousands of 
intelligent persons on both sides of the Atlantic who will testify to 
the reality of these manifestations. It was said to us at Liverpool, 

* Admit that you practise deception, and we have nothing to say 
against you/ How could we admit what is not true ) For eleven 
years we have constantly asserted that the physical facts exhibited 
in our presence are not produced actively or consciously by our- 
selves, nor by confederates, nor by any trick or deception whatever ; 
and we have submitted to hundreds of tests, and are ready to sub- 
mit to hundreds more, to satisfy any reasonable mind of the truth 
of this declaration. 

" It is utterly false that we have refused to be tied with a par- 
ticular knot. "We hav6 simply and only refused to be tortured. 
We have been covered all over with the most complicated fasten- 
ings that could be devised ; we have been held hand and foot by 
persons above all suspicion of fraud, and tested in every conceivable 
way, without affecting the manifestations which occur in our 
presence. In eleven years we have never been fastened so that the 

* force ' attending us, whatever it may be called or considered, has 
not released us, "We do not believe we can be, unless placed in 
such pain as to destroy the conditions under which this * force ' is 
able to act. "With or without fastenings this power attends us; 
single or together, awake or asleep, bound or held, and in whatever 
way our passivity is procured, the manifestations alike in kind, if 
not in degree, attend us. There is no fraud, no trick. 

" "Were we mere jugglers we should meet with no violence, or 
we should find protection. Gould we declare that these things 
done in our presence were deceptions of the senses, we should, no 
doubt, reap a plentiful harvest of money and applause. As tricks 
they would transcend, according to the testimony of experienced 
observers, any ever exhibited in Occident or Orient. The wonders 
of the cabinet, or still more of the dark seance^ surpass all preten- 
sions of conjurers. We could safely defy the world to equal them, 
and be honoured for our dexterity. But we are not jugglers, and 
truthfully declare that we are not, and we are mobbed from town 
to town, our property destroyed and our lives imperilled. 

* What is the possible motive for these outrages, which some of 
the enlightened organs of public opinion have incited and excused 1 


Breaking no law, we claim the protection of the law, which, we 
repeat, even were we criminals, would save us from illegal outrage. 
If we, asserting physical facts interesting to every man of science, 
and doing our hest to demonstrate their verity, and satisfy a laud- 
able curiosity respecting them, are to be treated as we have been 
this past fortnight in four large English towns, who can be safe 
from similar outrages? We have ventured to appeal to her 
Majesty's Secretary for the Home Department, and we appeal also 
to every member of the British Parliament, as we do to the 
whole British people, to give our case a proper investigation. 

" It in spite of our solemn declarations of entire good faith, and 
all our efforts to demonstrate the reality of the phenomena which 
attend us, we are disbelieved, every man in England has the right 
to absent himself from our exhibitions. "We do not ask the 
attendance of any person who is not ready to give a fair and candid 
examination to the tests to which we submit and the facts pre- 
sented. There is no reason for excitement, and no excuse for 
violence. There is as much call for riot against electricity, or a 
mob to put down oxygen. We have not even an opinion to 
support or a creed to promulgate ; only certain curious, or, it may 
be, important facts to exhibit. 

"Shall we be allowed to do this ] This is the question now to 
be decided. The riots at Liverpool, Huddersfield, and Leeds have 
excited and alarmed all England. In scores of places where we 
have engagements, involving many thousands of pounds, our agents 
or those interested have become frightened, and their and our 
interests are placed in jeopardy. Shall they be sacrificed ? It is 
for the people, the press, and the Government of England to 

" It is our intention to go on in the work in which we are, in 
perfect sincerity, engaged. We are ready to give in every town 
in the United Kingdom the proofs that we have given in London 
of the reality of the phenomena we exhibit, and with which the 
tying of ropes, on which so much stress is laid, has so little to do, 
that they might be entirely dispensed with, substituting many other 
tests of an equally or more satisfactory character. We are ready, 
in good faith, to fulfil every engagement ; but we demand, as we 
think we have a right to demand, the protection of the laws under 



which we have volantarily placed ourselves, and a little more of 
boasted ' English fistir play/ of which we have heard so much, and, 
in a few cases, experienced so little. 

''Ira Erabtub Davenport. 

"Wm. Henry Davenport. 

** (Known as the Brothers Davenport.) 

"London, Feb. 27, 1865." 



When we pass out of the range of the common operations 
of jj^ture, to which we are accustomed, at which we have 
ceased to wonder, and for which we have discovered causes, or 
to which we have given names, which seems to answer nearly 
the same purpose, we find phenomena surprising or astounding 
in various degrees. A rapping on the wall is comparatively 
simple. The raising of a table from the floor requires only the 
exercise of a force sufficient to overcome that by which it is 
usually held in its place — the force or fact called gravitation. 
"We have such an invisible force in magnetism, and are, 
therefore, better able to conceive of a similar force being 
exercised by unseen intelligences. But it is more difficult to 
conceive of the production, formation, or apparent creation of 
matter where it did not exist, and apart from any conceivable 
sources from which it could be derived. Mr. Ferguson has 
given an example of such production in the following narra- 
tive: — 

"Among the numerous remarkable displays of supramundane 
power I have been called upon to note, there are none more worthy 
of intelligent regard than those in which substances are produced 
in the presence of persons of peculiar organization and under 
special conditions, without any possibility of deception or mistake 
as to their origin. 

" In the summer of 1854 my daughter was on a visit to our 
friends at Meryville, Kentucky, the coimtry seat of Dr. Charles 




If erriweatber. She had been tbere two weeks prior to a proposed 
visit by her mother and myself. She was a favourite of the 
family, but was not then recognized either by them or us as a 
medium for any form of what they called spiritual manifestations. 
When we arrived we were surprised to learn from the venerable 
matron of the mansion and from Mr. W. D, Merriweather that our 
daughter had exhibited a fact more astounding than any we had 
recorded or witnessed. Her mother heard it with evident pain, 
for it was the desire of her heart that no one of her children 
should be called upon to bear the reproaches attached to medium- 
ship before an ignorant and prejudiced people. I heard it with 
grave suspicion that all my friends were trying to deceive me. I 
had told them such strange experiences, that I feared they were 
disposed to set off my truthful representations with an effort 'fo see 
how much I could believa Indeed, I was offended at their 
story, and felt that I was not treated as I deserved, or as was 
their wont in all matters of truth and honour. So seriously did I 
feel this that I determined not to remain even with tried friends 
where there was a trifling with great truths, and especially as I 
had gone to them for a respite from the foolish and distracting 
jargon of the city upon this great subject. 

'* They saw and felt my condition of mind, and assured me they 
were never more sincere. Their manner confounded but did not 
convince me. It served, however, to relieve me from all idea of 
trespass upon my serious method of treating the subject, and I 

''These persons averred that my little daughter, standing in the 
centre of the drawing-room, in the presence of eight or ten 
members of the family, came under a deep and strange spell, 
which imparted a beaming expression to her countenance, and 
gave a womanly self-possession to her manner ; that she ordered 
a clean tea-cup and silver spoon. When brought she subjected 
each to the scrutiny of every individual present, and required each 
to examine and pronounce them clean. Then selecting Miss King 
to stand by her side, she resumed her place in the centre of the 
room, and in gleeful spirits commenced stirring the spoon in the 
vacant cup. All of this seemed meaningless enough, and she 
joined them in their playful remarks respecting it, all the time, 
hcy^ever, exhibiting a manner clearly not her own. Suddenly she 


claimed to be acting under the direction of an invisible chemist, 
once the head of this family, and deceased some ten years, and an 
Indian chieftain ; and required, as with authority, that all remain 
unmoved in their places, and said that a power of spirit over form 
would be presented, such as no one present had ever witnessed. 

" She continued the stirring of the spoon in the cup, and again 
subjected it to the observation of each one present. Then returning 
to the centre of the room, in what they supposed was about five 
minutes, she presented the cup with over a teaspoonful of an oint- 
ment, dark in colour, and distinctly odorous all over the room, 
with which she anointed the face of the gentleman of the house ; 
he was suffering from neuralgia and professed to have received 
immediate relief. 

'^ She then demanded to see every patient on the plantation, 
young and old (in a negro family of over one hundred souls), for 
each of whom she prescribed as if with a full knowledge of the art 
of medicine. Among the number was a lad of fourteen, who in some 
encounter had dislocated his arm at the shoulder joint They were 
on the eve of sending for the family surgeon, a distance of 
six miles, when she replaced the dislocated arm, bound it and 
fastened it securely to the body, with professional skill, and was 
then relieved from the spell or trance in which she had acted, with 
every evidence that she knew not, save in some indefinite vagueness 
of impression, of anything that had occurred since she came first into 
the drawing-room. 

'' Again, I must record that her mother seemed deeply pained in 
hearing the circumstantial narrative of these facts, and said to me, 
' I would rather bury our dear bright child than see her a medium.' 
I felt all the mother said ; but as in all true experiences in life I had 
learned to know that a Power Supreme directs our destiny, I 
accepted the strange experience. The child seemed to feel this, and 
nestled to me, when agaiji she became entranced, and produced 
before me and four other persons the same result. In this case she 
prescribed also for a man who happened to come in at the time, and 
was much emaciated from loss of blood caused by a terrible wound 
infiicted upon him by an enraged negro some months before. She 
directed that he should seek and make free use of chalybeate 
water, and as there was none near, she ordered a glass of rain water 
to be brought^ which she stirred for some minutes with a spoon, pro- 


nounced it chalybeate, and gave him to drink. He also pronounced 
it such, but we had no other evidence of the fact. He is a physician 
to-day in that neighbourhood, and has often avowed his belief that 
what he drank was as distinctly chalybeate as that which he after- 
wards sought and by which he was benefited. 

" These facts, with all our efforts to conceal them, became generally 
known, and were treated with ridicule or respect, according to the 
character of the journals that gave them circulation. They were, of 
course, inaccurately stated, and I was appealed to by scientific men 
in many parts of the Union for a true statement. This I made, and 
it was published in the !N'ew York Spiritual Telegraph over my 
own signature and with the attestation of all who witnessed the 
manifestation. It is due to truth to say that this manifestation was 
repeated but once afterwards, and then when no one was present but 
myself and an invalid friend. It was never given upon demand, and 
in each case it was evidently the result of a care and direction supe- 
rior in every respect to that of either parents or friends. 

" One day, some months afterwards, when this daughter was at 
school in the Academy of Females at Nashville, she was found by 
her teacher weeping inconsolably, and was sent home, refusing to 
give to any one but myself a reason for her grief I was sent for, 
when she said with deep sobs, * It is gone ! ' * What, my child ? » 
said L 'The power!' she replied. I soon understood hor trouble, 
and assured her hope and confidence, more perhaps by my manner 
than by anything I said, for I never felt more at a loss than in the 
strange and now sad experience of a most lovely and dutiful child. 
A week passed, and all noticed that she seemed as one who had lost 
a parent or friend. My residence was near the academy. One day 
returning from the city on foot, my little girl came running all alive 
with joy, and on taking her in my arms she exclaimed, * I have got 
it again, pa ! ' * What % ' was my question. ' I can't make the medi- 
cine, but I can write,' said she. ' To-day I was called on in my class 
for a composition. I could not write one. I thought I would ask 
you to do it for me, when the teacher required that each one of the 
class should retire and bring a composition to her. I went away, 
and while grieving that I could think of nothing to write, my hand 
felt just as it did when I made the medicine, and I wrote a compo- 
sition, which Miss S. says is beautiful, and she asked me if I had 
not committed it to memory from some book,' This power of writing 


continued, and its blessing to myself and to as need not be farther 

" I have never personally met this experience since ; but a similar 
kind of manifestation through other mediums I have witnessed^ 
as have many others. The parents of the Davenports relate many 
facts quite as remarkable, and going to show that real substances 
are generated in the presence of mediumistic persons ; articles are 
carried from room to room with no perceptible avenue opened for 
either ingress or egress, and whatever may be our philosophy or 
lack of it, our faith or unfaith, the facts I have stated are true. If 
it be asked, how can these things be 1 I can only answer — they are. 
I believe upon accepted principles of so-called science I can give 
as good, perhaps a better, philosophy of them than that which 
commonly is resorted to ; but I prefer as yet to give the facts with- 
out respect to theory, my own or that of others.*' 

In the chapter on healing will be found an account of the 
production of a caustic substance in, to say the least, a very 
extraordinary nianner. 

In cases which are beyond our powers of belief, or for which 
we cannot find some plausible reason, the simplest and, to many 
persons, the most satisfactory proceeding is to deny the facts, 
and assert that the witnesses are deceiving or were deceived. 
There are, however, in the case of this class of phenomena too 
many facts of a similar character, and too many witnesses, to 
make such an explanation satisfactory. 

In a curious recent work, entitled " Mary Jane," written by 
a well-known resident of the British metropolis, the author 
gives a circumstantial account of the production of numerous 
drawings and coloured pictures, fac simile copies of several of 
which are given in the book, which were produced without 
visible agency, and the colouring matter, and, in some cases, a 
varnish covering it, came from no known source. In some 
instances these drawings, which resemble coloured crayons, were 
produced on sheets of white paper laid under the table around 
which the author and his friends were sitting ; in others, the 


papers, brought and marked for the purpose, were placed in a 
box, which was itself wrapped carefully in paper and sealed up, 
to remove any chance of deception. Yet the pictures were pro- 
duced in seven colours in some cases, with no known sub- 
stances even in the vicinity from which they could be made. 
The author of " Mary Jane'* is well known to Mr. Ferguson 
and to the writer hereof, and there is no reason to doubt his 
testimony, which is also abundantly confirmed by other 

There was in New York, some years ago, what was called a 
^' miracle circle," several members of which are now residing in 
London, and some occupying distinguished positions. At this 
circle, pictures of a remarkable character were produced, the 
materials of which seemed to have been condensed from the 
elements. While these works of art, created with a wonderful 
rapidity, were taken from beneath a table around which the 
members of the circle were seated, letters, addressed to various 
persons, were seen to float down from the plastered ceiling of 
the room. Doors and windows were closed ; there were no 
openings through which they could have come ; they became 
visible near the ceiling, and as they came to hand were found to 
contain letters addressed to members of the circle in the hand- 
writing of their deceased friends. The production and the disso- 
lution, or apparent annihilation of matter of various forms, 
though not among the more frequent supramundane manifesta- 
tions, are yet frequent enough, and sufficientiy authenticated, 
to leave no doubt whatever as to the facts, however they may be 
accounted for. 



Delineation of character, without seeing or knowing the 
person whose character was deUneated, has been a very 
marked and frequent fact in my experiences. To show what 
I mean I will give a history of a few instances, and I select 
those that relate to myself because they were more distinctly 
noted, and became no small aid in whatever may have dis- 
tinguished my observations in this department of psychological 

When, despite all our efforts to prevent the knowledge of 
the facts heretofore related, they became very widely circu- 
lated, among many letters of inquiry I received respecting 
them, there was one from Rev. Mr. H., of Chattanooga, 
Tennessee. This gentleman wrote me that he had witnessed 
with Judge Edmonds, of New York, much of what was called 
spiritualism ; that he believed the manifestations veritable, 
but generally from " evil spirits ; " but that could I give him 
an evidence like that of the formation of substances, he would 
Not being much disposed to enter upon a correspondence 
that promised so little with a man who, because he did not 
understand a fact or find it consonant with his conceptions of 
good or evil, must ascribe it to evil spirits, and feeling in 
myself that there could be no greater absurdity than the idea 
of evil as attached to any spirit, I replied very briefly, and 
stated that if what he had heard of our experiences were true, 
he must see that they did not depend upon our wish, and, 


therefore, however happy I would be in affording him or any 
one the evidence I had received, as it came from above and 
beyond me, I could not command it. Would he visit me as 
he proposed, and if it were given, I would rejoice ; if not given, 
I would not be disappointed. 

After writing a letter politely embracing the above thought, 
I was pondering whether to send any reply or not, seeing that 
a plain statement of the truth would only involve such a mind 
in further doubt, and leave him to think I only wished to 
evade the responsibility involved in what had been reported as 
having occurred under my own observation, when there came 
into my study a young man, who, without recognizing me, took 
a seat opposite me at my writing table, and was almost 
instantly entranced. He directed me to take my pen and 
paper and write down, word for word, what he would dictate. 
I did so. He commenced by describing a house with great 
minuteness of detail ; then a man with similar particularity, 
even to his exact weight, his physical, mental, and moral 
characteristics. Closing his description, without the slightest 
knowledge of any fact here detailed, he ordered that I send 
my letter to Mr. H., with what he had given added. I 
did so, appending the description as a postscript, and requesting 
if there were found any application that Mr. H. would be kind 
enough to let me have the evidence. 

A week or two brought another letter, in which the reverend 
gentleman informed me that his friends thought the description 
of himself very accurate ; that he himself admitted that his 
house, person, and general mental tendencies were truthfully 
described, but that morally he certainly was not the person 
"the spirit'* portrayed. But he also enclosed a letter, 
very carefully sealed, and so marked that no one could open 
it without detection. If that letter, he said, held in the hand 
of "the medium,'* would bring forth a description, the gentle- 


man who wrote it was well known, and the truth would be 

Again I felt that I did not desire fiirther correspondence 
with a total stranger who seemed to appreciate so little the 
proper methods of arriving at truth. But again, almost pre* 
cisely as before, my medium friend came in entranced. I 
handed him the sealed letter. He placed it on his forehead, 
and commenced another minute description, first of a house, 
then of a person, very different from the first description. I 
confess I had not the remotest suspicion of the person he was 
describing. At its close he came up to me, took me by the 
hand, and asked me what I thought of the picture. My reply 
I do not remember. " Send that to the preacher," said he, 
" with the same letter as you received it, as all the answer it 
deserves." I did so. One year elapsed, and I never in all that 
time heard from Rev. Mr. H. Then he wrote me that the 
sealed letter was my own, and that truth and candour com- 
pelled him to acknowledge that the evidence was perfect. He 
came to Nashville to visit me. But when there I was absent 
at New Orleans. I never saw him ; nor did the " medium" ever 
hear his name until his descriptions were given, and then with 
marked indifference. The foUowing is the description given 
while holding what Mr. H. said was my first letter to him,^ 
sealed and returned. 

H. B. Champion, holding the above-mentioned sealed letter, 
said: — 

" I do not know why I am disposed to recognize in the writer 
of this letter a friend. He is a man of strong proclivities, and 
not easily discouraged. He is in the full vigour of mental health. 
He sets great store by axioms of faith, and would like to outgrow 
them. In this conflict he is firm, but not exactly comfortable. I 
esteem this letter highly from some cause. I feci there is an in- 
terior nature in what this man says — an essence about this person 
which is heartfelt and sympathetic. His best and noblest efforts 
have failed to accomplish what he most desired. I know of no 



man whose associatioa I would esteem more highly than this man's 
and I am judging from a deep interior heart, and not from the 
world's ephemeral estimate, although I feel that even the world 
would bend beneath the power of his mind and heart. He is 
whole-souled, universal. He has met with many reverses, but will 
come out untarnished from them alL He is subject to deep, 
poignant depression, but he keeps all such feelings to himself. I 
hesitate to speak my full impressions, for I see no application. 
Indeed, I am a little perplexed, and dislike to go on. 1 feel like 
I must stop to weigh an expression, and such effort always con- 
fuses me. But I will describe him. He is tall ; rather slender ; 
quick of speech ; thinks a great deal, and would rather have ocular 
demonstration than hearsay. He does not see things from the 
direct side of the picture. He is honest, and capable of much 
good. He has a high sense of right ; is free to think and act on 
all subjects. He is ever guided more by right than by external 
appearances. Still he has excessive pride. It was this impression 
that confused me before, and now I doubt it, but I will speeik it 
to get rid of it He is kind, sociable, free. Something says to 
me, ' I don't know why you do not see who it is.' I love him any 
way, and do not care whether I know him or not. His letter is 
to me more pleasant than any letter I ever held. There is, Mr. 
Ferguson, but one objection to it, and that is, the secrecy of sealing. 
The man who did that did not know the writer. I prefer its 
secrecy, however, where the motive is good. Send this to the 
man who sent the letter, as the response it deserves. 

" iN'ashville, Tennessee, February, 1866." 

Again, at a time when all that man can cherish in his life 
upon earth was placed in jeopardy by the position I was sup- 
posed to sustain to what the world called spiritualism, and 
what I myself regarded as the brightest evidences of divinity 
in and to man, my heart sad and every earthly hope 
threatened, a true friend of mine, to whom the trying condi- 
tion my public avowals had exposed me was unknown, intro- 
duced a sealed and enveloped letter, in a seance, near Mem- 
phis, written by me, some two hundred miles from where I 


resided, which was placed in the hand of a person who had 
never seen me, and who was to me equally unknown, when a 
communication was given, which is copied below. There are 
feelings no language can describe, and all efforts at description 
are but mockery. Such were mine on receiving and reading 
this strange document ; for however it may appear to others, 
to me it was a picture in symbol of my highest aims, my 
holiest endeavours, and my saddest realizations, amid the vain 
adulation and equally vain denunciations of men, I only at that 
time too much felt. 

The communication was as follows. Others must decide, 
and the future must show how far it may be considered 
truthful or prophetic : — 

" The letter enveloped is like thyself— child of the strong hand. 
Like a gem of brilliant lustre is the prisoned soul of the writer. 
How eloquent is the silent appeal of this soul for some master 
hand to break the iron casing of cold, formal life, and permit the 
cramped wings a free flight. 

" Flutter on, caged eagle with the dove eye ; thy bars shall yield, 
and thou shalt yet perch on high. Thou art an individualized 
centre in the plastic human mass about thee. Every impulse, 
act, thought, and word of thine bears distinct and strongly marked 
features of thy peculiar individuality. 

"There are two cardinal points in this character — childlike 
susceptibility to kindness, and indomitable opposition to wrong. 

" Language finds in you a full and beautiful exponent of her 
mystic symbols, but speech is your weakest mode of expression 
when inspired by sympathy for human sufifering. The magnetic 
power of your eye is most efficient. For brief and energetic action 
in emergencies I see not your equal. This mind has a lightning 
rapidity in mental action, and should be regulated by the con- 
sciousness that the multitude do not fly, but toil laboriously along 
by-paths and ill-made roads. 

"There is large development of conscientiousness and a corres- 
ponding smallness of self-esteem, which produces unequal action. 
By following the strongest mental proclivity, you may establish 


a fixed point, to which the scattered, tangled, and broken threads 
of life may attach themselves, as the sun is the centre of the 
planetary system within the circle of its rays. But so long as 
you respond to the call of every child to come and put its play- 
house in order, you will feel the divine impulse goading you with 
needed pain towards the laying of the corner-stone, even in one 
human soul, of a house in which the Father may meet His 

''To your interior vision earth's mutable and heaven's immutable 
laws have been revealed, whilst they are a sealed book to those 
around you. 

'' The maimed, robbed, and spoiled of earth await the eloquent 
advocacy of your newly-baptized soul — await the appeal of a living 
heart to a living Grod — await an appeal not for mercy, but for 
justice to the servant who buried his talent for fear.* 

*^ Estimate what you must be by what is, 

" He who would stand as a beacon light to every vessel upon 
the dark tide, must bury deep in his soul the casket containing 
the jewels of affection. He must lock it therein, and give 
the key only to the sovereign good of the universe, the Eternal 

" Thus only can he become a centre with power to transmit 
the harmonic law, by which diverse individualities of men and 
nations become the union of brotherhood. From the altar of this 
unity incense shall arise, and fall again a dew of blessing upon 
the bloody fields of passion. Prone, bleeding, headless to-day 
lies the universal child of the Father." 

The faculty of describing the physical and mental condi- 
tions of persons from an impression produced by or coincident 
with contact with their writing closely enveloped, or a lock of 
hair or other " relic," is not very rare, and its exercise has 
received the name of psychometry. But there are facts of this 
kind which show either that the human mind has powers of 

* The fear that hath torment, and which perfect love casts out, is no 

more sin than the imperfect utterance or the tottering steps of the 

infant. — Ed. 



its own little suspected, or that it is sometmies aided by 
superior intelligences, or those in superior conditions. The 
power of prevision most certainly exists, but where or with 
whomP Either foreknowledge must be attributed to the 
mundane mind, or it is the result of supramundane enlighten- 

These delineations of character and life are very much extended 
in Mr. Ferguson's records, but they ore couched in a language 
of symbolism which would require extended observations 
to make them intelligible to the general reader. They 
fiilly justify all he says of them ; but at his suggestion we copy 
only enough to present the fact that character and purpose in 
life can be reflected through a mind entirely unacquainted with 
the mundane history of the person whose state and condition are 



The following narration of facts in the life of Dr. Ferguson 
is full of marvels of a very interesting cliaracter, some of which 
can be verified by the testimony of others, while others will 
find their support in the experience of many readers : — 

** In the month of May, 1859, 1 accepted an invitation to deliver 
a course of lectures in Memphis, Tennessee. One of the largest 
halls of the city was procured, and a suite of rooms secured for me 
at the Worsham House. In a word, everything was done to make 
my visit agreeable, and by parties with whom I had no personal 
acquaintance. To a very large and highly-respectable audience I 
delivered an address, not allowing myself a thought as to its matter 
or manner. I yielded myself literally to the occasion, and what- 
ever influence my nature and condition might spontaneously reflect. 
My theme opened in my mind as I ascended the rostrum with a 
depth and beauty of imagery which was alike novel and unsought 
It took the form of a proposition — The Unity of Man in the Diversity 
of Human Manifestation. The audience heard me with unabated 
interest for over two hours, when I retired to my rooms at the hotel, 
exhausted physically, but in a serene flow of spirits that was to me 
ample compensation, whether what 1 had uttered were appreciated 
or not I had scarcely recovered from my physical feebleness when 
four gentlemen entered my room and introduced themselves : Chan- 
cellor Scott, of Mississippi, Judge McKeamon, of the Criminal Court 
of Memphis, Major Penn, the Cashier of the Planters' Bank of 
Tennessee, and W. J. Worsham, proprietor of the hotel. Chancellor 
Scott, after the formalities of the meeting were over, inquired — 
" Mr. Ferguson, are you a Mason V 
'* F. : * No, sir, in no technical sense of the word.' 


** Ch. S. : * Did you never read any work on Freemasonry f 

•'F.: 'Never! Why do you ask]' 

" Ch. S.: * Because your speech to-day was a most able and lucid 
exposition of the grand principles of Masonry — equal, sir, to any 
I ever beard, and in some respects superior. We are Masons. I 
have taken its thirty- third degree, and have written several books 
upon the subject, and I assure you that you have surprised me by 
your speech, and now surprise me much more when you say you are 
not a Mason. 

" F. : * I am not, only so far as I may succeed in being a man in 

nature bom. I find myself threading the ways of many forms of 

human development, though I have never found it necessary to be 

confined by any. With me God speaks in all, but is confined to 


*' Mr. Worsham then proposed that we all visit a lady two 

miles from the city, who, he informed us, had given spiritual 

communications to many of the craft — himself included. He was 

lavish in his encomiums upon this lady, and all seemed especially 

anxious that I should see her. A carriage was soon ordered, and 

our party drove from the hotel to the house of the ' spiritual 

medium.' It was a plain log-house in a beautiful grove, and amid 

vines, arbours, and summer blossoms, it seemed a delightful retreat 

from the dusty city. Here we were met at the door by the lady of 

the house, who at once addressed me by name, and with every mark 

of hearty welcome. 

" As I had never seen her before, nor she me, this recognition 

surprised my Masonic friends very much. She took the company 

into a large room she called, for some reason, * the world,' and me 

she took into her own room, called by her * the east room.' Here 

her action was not only that of an acquaintance, but it was as if 

we were one in thought, confidence, and mutual understanding. In 

a few moments she took my hand and led me into the presence 

of the Masonic Brothers, and introduced me as a Natural Mason 

— the only one, she averred, that had been brought to her. She 

seated the Chancellor iu what she called the east, and addressed him 

with deep irony as Grand Master. She placed Major Penn in the 

north, Worsham in the west, and myself and Judge McKeamon in 

the east. Then she addressed all, and I am free to say I have never 

heard an address from mortal lips which I considered its equal 


either in thought, language, or manner. The Masons asked many 
questions. All were answered ; but I could not say how appropri- 
ately, as I knew nothing of technical Masonry. When we were 
about to leave she invited me to visit her house again on the fol- 
lowing Tuesday, but gave no invitation to my good company, lliis 
they noted. 

" On my way to the city all were for some time silent When I 
inquired of the Chancellor, ' What of the address 1 ' his answer 
was, ' Kone, sir, but lips inspired could make such an address.' 

" F.: ' Was it consonant with Masonic symbolism V 

" Ch. S. : * Yes ; I never read or heard anything as much so, and 
it transcends all the imagery I know anything about.' 

^' Each expressed himself in high praise ; and the Judge, who 
had received a most severely rebuking speech from the medium, and 
who had maintained a profound silence ever since, said, ' Gentlemen, 
this day I shall remember to my grave. I never heard such a lesson 
on judicial clemency.' My own opinion was asked, when I said, 
* There is nothing in this proud city comparable to the evidences of 
wisdom, truth, and good I met there, and that independent of the 
Masonic symbols. The one is a gilded semblance of greatness ; the 
other, what we saw to-day, is reality — God speaking to man.' 

^* On Tuesday I returned to the log house in the woods, and 
there met Mr. James Hart, the artist, and Mr. Watson Freeman, of 
N^hville, both friends of mine ; but we all met without any inten- 
tion on the part of either. We had not been seated many minutes 
when Mrs. W., the medium, came in, and falling on her knees 
before me, under deep entrancement, she gave in form her whole 
earthly estate to me, and called solemnly upon both these gentle- 
men to be witnesses to the fact. Then I learned for the first time 
that it was this lady who had been the medium for the delineations 
referred to in another chapter. When relieved from the trance, she 
did in her natural state formally, and, as time has since proved, 
really, give me her entire material estate, which consisted of one- 
third of one of the largest landed estates of Tennessee. She was the 
widow of Major Marcus B Winchester, whese father, in conjunc- 
tion with Judge Overton and General Andrew Jackson, President of 
the United States, were the founders of the city of Memphis, and 
who had been the State senator of that county, and for most of his 
life held responsible offices under the general Government. He was 


a man noted for liis intelligence, large and practical charities and 
liberal sentiments. He had died three years previous to the 
time of my meeting with his widow, and for some years prior to 
his death he and his children, by a former marriage, had been 
the recipients of these supramundane evidences, mostly through the 
raediumship of his wife. So many and varied were they in their 
forms of presentation to them, that at one time hundreds and even 
thousands of people were drawn to visit him, all of whom heard her 
remarkable addresses, and they are remembered to this day. The 
shrines of the old saints were not more places of resort than was this 
quiet woodland home, where all, of all classes and conditions of life, 
from the most eminent statesman and clergyman of the nation to the 
humblest slave, received the bright evidences of human hope and 
man*s immortality. 

" I visited at this place every day for two weeks, and I must say 
that in all my wonderful experience I have met nothing that tran- 
scended what I here witnessed. The associations of persons on our 
continent for so-called spiritual evidences were called circles. I wish 
to describe the circle at the house of Lucy L. Winchester. It con- 
sisted at the time I was so strangely called there, of herself and a 
daughter of Major Winchester, Miss Louisa M. Winchester, who 
acted as scribe to the circle, for which she was admirably 
qualified by superior intelligence and high educational culture ; 
James E. Chadwick, an English gentleman ; Erasmus T. Eose, 
M.D., nephew to President Madison, a distinguished physiologist ; 
Young Allen Carr, professor of chemistry in the Memphis Medical 
College ; Arthur K. Taylor, professor of anatomy, &c. ; James Hart, 
an artist of national reputation ; and Andrew J. Wheeler, clerk and 
master of one of the courts of law. 

" To these men, and the company they brought, Mrs. Winchester 
had discoursed regularly from this abnormal trance condition on all 
the questions of recognized science, physical and metaphysical, on 
government, society, and, in a word, almost every theme that 
interests mankind ; and that without interruption to her household 
responsibilities or their regular duties. Large manuscript books of 
her records were presented to me then for examination, and since her 
death placed at my disposal. Here, after the death of her husband, 
she set apart the room referred to above, and no person for over 
three years ever entered that room who did not receive some 



evidence of spirit power. Here men and women of fashion and men 
and women of poverty's lowliest vale resorted ; and here, without 
money and without price, they received what no one of them will 
ever forget. I will not mention the evidences given me there, as 
they were not of that character that admit of a formal record. 
Sufl&ce it to say, that I received there a preparation for all that can 
be called by the sacred name of duty that may have since marked 
my life, and it is to me a most grateful thought that no time, no 
conditions of mortal care or immortal behests can ever efPace the 
memory and living power of what I then, and through that noble, 
Godlike woman, received. 

" The material estate committed to me at her death she gave by 
will to me as sole heir and executor; but I received it then, as I did 
when spiritually given, as a trust for those who were likely to be 
defrauded out of their natural rights, which I trust T may be able to 

** From the day I met Mrs. Winchester till the day preceding 
her death, which took place November, 1860, there was scarcely a 
mail that did not bring me a letter ; and with some acquaintance 
with the literature of the world, I can say I know nothing either 
for depth of thought or classic beauty of expression, to say nothing 
of their high spiritual tendency, superior to these writings. Since 
her death, which was revealed to myself and Mrs. Ferguson spirit- 
ually, just one hour after the event, and that at a distance of 200 
miles, by her appearance to us, there has been no serious trial 
or experience of my life in which evidences of her presence are not 
given ; not always as often, indeed, as I would wish, but always as 
I have needed help for a life that few can lead." 

It may be proper that I should here give a more particular 
account of the manner in which this lady gave us an intimation 
of her departure from tiiis mortal sphere. 

" Mrs. Ferguson, who held Mrs. Winchester in the highest esteem 
and affection, had been very anxious as to her condition, and felt 
that a woman so gifted and useful ought not to die in the prime of 
life. On the morning of the day of her death we had all conversed 
freely and most feelingly of her disease and its probable issue. At 
three o'clock Mrs. F. went into the city of JS'ashville, and on her way 


was met by Mrs. Winchester, who said to her, * I shall live to bless 
you all.* Such was the effect of these words coming from the appa- 
rition, that she returned all joyous to tell us that Mrs. W. would get 
welL We believed her, for her power in these recognitions was very 
accurate. The next morning a telegraphic despatch from Marshall 
Ferguson, Esq., Mrs. Winchester's brother, announced that she had 
died at about two o'clock on the very day in which at three she had 
appeared and said to Mrs. F., * I will live to bless you all ! * Mrs. 
F. was heartbroken in the event, and for some weeks refused to 
understand the announcement of the apparition as one of life beyond 
and after death. But so it was. 

" During the life of Mrs. W. she constantly reflected to me from 
the interior condition, that a revolution was impending in which I 
would have to take an active part. Nothing could have been more 
contrary to my taste and habits than to be forced to address the masses 
of impassioned people on questions that involved the sundering of all 
political and social bonds, and threatened the deadly strife of fraternal 
armies. She had ever associated these events with her own death, 
and often uttered in solemn cadence the warning that I was being 
prepared for a day of battle, when my pulpit would be in the forum 
and the fields. It was not more than one week from her death till 
my whole State was calling on me to speak upon the crisis of the 
revolution. As I went up the hill upon whose summit the capitol 
of Tennessee stands, to address the leaders of the people in the 
Hall of Eepresentatives, lit up for that purpose, with some feeling 
of trepidation, growing out of the new position I was called upon to 
fill, just as I entered the long marble hall she appeared to me, 
holding an emblem of strength and a shield of brilliancy that gave 
to me a power of thought and action no language can express. I 
have since addressed senates and mobs — have met every class and 
condition of society — but no time or occasion has been without that 
living power of divine administration to me and my work since that 
night And I feel it the brightest evidence of an intelligent care 
transcending all earthly estimate, that my acquaintance, friendship, 
and spiritual recognition connected with this great and noble woman, 
in life and in death, was so formed in purity, trust and confidence, 
that no vibration of distrust can ever be felt. In life she was ever 
admired as the soul of truth, and her moral courage was equal to any 
emergency. In every truly moral reform requiring the action of 


moral principle against custom, she was stronger than any professed 
servant of Christ it was ever my lot to meet ; and I feel it an honour 
to say I have met and acted with many whose nobleness of self- 
sacrifice no changing vicissitudes of human association can ever 
efface from my memory; while of course we all meet many who seem 
desirous to speak and do the right, but who take great care not to offend 
the eye df mammon or fashion in so doing. The place where she 
dwelt was humble and unpretending, but no one ever entered it 
after her consecration to the spiritual good of all mankind, who did 
not feel that an Almighty care overshadowed it. Her altar might be 
considered lowly, but an Eternal Spirit ever administered there. 
And before men and angels, I believe to-day that but for the inspira- 
tion of this woman, long since I at least would have hid my little 
lamp beneath the accumulating cares and sorrows that swept away 
all of earthly hope in the mad struggle that now lays waste a conti- 
nent of unequalled bounty and blessing to man ! Let my life and 
not my words record my gratitude. 

" When I was engaged in public speaking in most of the chief 
cities of the Southern people, and my life and labours were sub- 
jected to great trials and dangers, I ever felt that some undefinable 
connections secured by my association with this woman before her 
death, and, indeed, by her death, gave me wisdom, knowledge and 
power I had never before realized. Certain it is there was nothing 
of a purely external character that sustained me. And there was no 
realization of the state of our people, of the progress of the revolution, 
the new and trying events that attended the arousing of a mighty 
Confederacy of States to determined war, or in my individual or 
social relation to them, to which there was not often a direct interior 
reflection given, and always some guiding direction that could not 
be attributed to mortal wisdom." 



If it can be shown that the extraordinary powers to which we 
have given the designation of supramundane, not only make 
raps, move tables, write messages, paint pictures, play on 
musical instruments, &c., but also heal the sick and comfort the 
afflicted, those who ask, " What is the good of all this ? '' have 
t) this extent an answer. The experiences of Mr. Ferguson 
in this respect have been remarkable, and to some extent 
peculiar ; but it must also be remembered that what are called 
" healing mediums " are to be found in coDsiderable numbers 
wherever there has been a development of what we may call 
supernatural gifts. 

At the age of fifteen Mr. Ferguson was affected with the 
disease commonly known as white swelling — ^periostitis— of the 
tibia, or larger bone of the leg. 

The form and virulence of the disease indicated a scrofiilous 
diathesis, and threatened in its progress consumption and pre- 
mature death. When relieved of pain by medical treatment 
he suffered from ulcers nesir the knee joint, from which spiculae 
of bone were frequently extruded. His grandfather had died 
of a similar disease, and he was naturally affected by the 
general belief that his own life would not be of long duration. 

At this period he was studying the classics at an academy 
in Virginia, and at the same time superintending the printing 
establishment of an elder brother, who was the popular editor 
of a political journal. One of his friends and class-mates was 


the son of the family physician. Reflecting on his diseased 
condition one night, when his lessons in Greek and his business 
occupations were finished, he fell asleep, if sleep it could be 
called, in which his mind continued to be oppressed with 
anxiety and filled with prayer. 

He awoke in the morning with a strange and unaccountable 
assurance that he would be cured, and with a strong impression 
that he must not communicate his hope to any one, not even his 
brother or his mother. This state of secret hope continued for 
weeks, when, rising one morning full of cheerfulness, he told his 
brother that he must be absent from school a few days. His 
absence brought his friend, the physician's son, to see him, and 
young Ferguson, directed as by an inaudible voice, asked his 
companion to inquire of his father what article in the materia 
medica would produce the same effect as a b;urn. The answer 
brought him was, oil of vitriol — sulphuric acid. He procured 
an ounce of this article, and was then told in his sleep to ask 
for an antidote, which his friend told him was sweet oil or 
cream. He procured both, and then, unknown to anyone, 
he applied the potential cautery to the seat of his disease, 
bearing the pain as long as possible, and then suspending the 
operation of the acid by applying oil and cream. He was 
confined to his room three weeks, repeating the cauterization 
until he removed all signs of the old ulcers, guided in his diet 
and regimen by the voice which came in his sleep, and keeping 
the whole matter a secret from every one, and at the end of this 
period the ulcers were all healed, and he had no returning 
symptom of the disease for fourteen years. 

This is not claimed by him as a miracle of healing, but as a 
scientific care wrought by natural agencies under the wise 
direction of unseen intelligences. 

Of the later experiences and observations of Mr. Ferguson 
in this important branch of supramundane evidences, he has 


given the following statement, which may be worthy of the 
attention of the most scientific inquirers : — 

" During the years 1854 and 1855, while sustaining the relation 
of pastor to a large and highly-respectable congregation in Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, my mind was constantly exercised in experiences 
and observations upon the evidences of an unseen power attendant 
upon human eflfort for good* There was in that city, as there is in 
all, a large class of persons not connected with any church or 
fenced fold of the Good Shepherd. These, for some reason, called 
constantly upon me to officiate at their marriages and funerals, and 
often sought my advice in sickness and other serious embarrass- 
ments of their life. At a time when the whole community was 
interested in the more hopeful estimate of human destiny reflected 
from my pulpit, I was permitted not only to keep up that interest 
and meet the discussions that seemed to threaten all that man holds 
dear upon earth, but also to secure ministration to neglected wants 
and demands of the most neglected portion of the community at 
large. I well remember one Sabbath night as I was riding with 
Mrs. Ferguson to the church, where a congregation of over one 
thousand persons were in waiting, we were stopped by a sad- 
looking woman, who appealed to me on behalf of her husband, said 
to be dying in an opposite direction. She addressed me as an 
acquaintance, and on inquiry I found that some years before I had 
secured for her, as an orphan child, a place in the House of Industry, 
where I had officiated at her marriage to a worthy labourer. Express- 
ing my regret to Mrs. Ferguson in a conscious inability to meet the 
demand she made, Mrs. Ferguson at once, under a direct spiritual 
influence, said, * The man will not die j we can raise him up and 
save him to his family.' The services ended, I proposed to her to 
accompany me to the room of the sufferer. She consented ; and 
when we arrived we found a strong, athletic form prostrate, and to 
all appearance breathing its last. A large company of sympathiz- 
ing friends was present, crowding the room, and evidently awaiting 
the act of death. The distracted wife, however, had not yielded her 
hope. With two infant children in her arms she made her appeal 

to us, saying, * I hear you can save my husband ; you saved , 

and she was dying ! * Neither of us spoke in return ; but Mrs. 
Ferguson, motioning the company from the bed, took my hand, 


and placing it with her own on the breast of the man, offered prayer 
in sOence. We held our position to the patient till he seemed to 
breathe as we did, when, after an hour or more, he passed into a 
sweet sleep. We then retired, and learned that his physicians had 
predicted his death that night ; and one of them, the professor of 
theory and practice in the Medical University of our city, my 
personal friend, had made a contribution for what he considered a 
widowed wife and the infant orphans. The case was typhoid fever. 
The patient's eyes were set and glassy ; his breathing that of a man 
in death ; his pulse scarcely perceptible, and his power of recogni- 
tion gone. We left, Mrs. Ferguson promising to see him in the 
morning, no one believing we would see him alive. Momiug came, 
and on our return Mrs. Ferguson again laid her hands upon him, 
and gently rubbed his chest, when he spoke in devout thankful- 
ness for the good he had received, although still unconscious of the 
persons around him. We revisited him in the evening, and next 
day. His physicians, hearing of the result, came to see me, and my 
friend, the professor, assured me he must die, and that we only 
exposed ourselves to ridicule to attempt his relief. I replied by 
insisting on his accompanying me to his patient, which he did re- 
luctantly, when we found him sitting up in bed, and with every 
evidence of convalescence. In three weeks he was entirely restored, 
and all admitted that a marvellous cure was effected, and many 
claimed that a great miracle had been wrought. His father and 
mother, wife and sister, never forgot us for what they had seen, and 
the man still lives to bless a Power Divine, acting through human 
agency. Many exaggerated accounts were circulated, such as that, 
after he had actually died, he was brought to life ; but the real state 
of the case was well known and accepted. My friend, the pro- 
fessor, detailed it to his class of students, then numbering hundreds, 
and while saying he did not believe the nonsense of spiritualism, 
he did believe that God Almighty, by Mrs. Ferguson, delivered a 
dying man. Frequent conversations with his physician assured 
me that however the credulous and fearful may be disposed to ex- 
aggerate the alarming symptoms of dissolution, and, on the other 
hand, magnify a cure, this man was dying, would in all probability 
have died in a very few hours or minutes, and that no ordinary 
or accepted methods of medical relief could have reached his 



" An aged and highly-respectable gentleman, whose interest in 
me and my pastoral labours led to a yearly contribution to the 
service of my church of £200, seemed much grieved at what some 
religious journals called my heresy and intidelity, and often in a 
very fatherly manner expressed his fears for my reputation and 
usefulness. I of course felt all he said, and it commanded my con- 
stant and most tender consideration. Still, I knew that in the end 
he would not fail to realize the justice or good of the enlarged hope it 
was my duty and honour to reflect. He was a large planter, and 
much devoted to the comfort of his slaves. He had recently buried 
a very valuable house-servant, who left an only child some eight 
years old, which the aged, lonely man had treated as a pet. This 
little girl accompanied him in all his walks, and was admitted for his 
sake among all his friends. She was beautiful, almost white, very 
sprightly, and, as he was quite deaf, often interpreted for him the 
addresses of those he met whose voices he did not hear. In a word, 
she was ears, eyes, and feet to him, and the sight was beautiful to 
see that grey-haired sire of eighty led and ministered to by a little 
mulatto girl of eight. He was a widower, she recently an orphan, 
and their companionship seemed an adaptation to each other's needs 
no one could fail to admire. Many other servants he had ; he could 
count them by hundreds ; but ' Kizzy ' was ever with him. He 
resided in iN'ashville, but his plantations were in Arkansas, on the 
Mississippi, some 500 miles distant. Old as he was, his own family 
all admirably settled in life, his only son a gentleman of marked dis- 
tinction and influence in the politics of the State, he often spent a 
month on his plantation in Arkansas. "No solicitation or interest of 
his children and friends could prevent this recurring demand of his 
habituated nature. It chanced that at the time to which I refer he 
was absent, and had left * Kizzy.* In his absence the child was bru- 
tally treated by a woman slave, and by a blow upon the spine w<as 
lamed, as it was supposed, for life. I well remember the old man's 
grief as he told me the condition of little * Kizzy.' In addition, 
the child was seized with typhoid fever, and was dangerously ill at 
the time he appealed to me. Calling with many affectionate apolo- 
gies to Mrs. Ferguson and myself for his past expressions of fear for 
our usefulness, he appealed to us to know if 'Kizzy' must die. I 
told him I thought she would, for this was my opinion after seeing 

IN MR. Ferguson's family. 153 

lier ; and I confess, such was the child's deformed condition and seem- 
ingly hopeless state, that I felt it would be a relief for the little 
creature to die. But the old man did not yield to despair. He said he 
believed Mrs. Ferguson could cure ' Kizzy.' He had met the man 
cured as described above ; knew him well ; and if one could be re- 
lieved from his condition, another might Mrs. Ferguson knew 
and loved 'Kizzy,'and had herself been most tenderly nuraed through 
a dangerous and protracted illness by the child's mother, who had 
served her with great fidelity and affection years before. The old 
man accompanied me to my home, and I joined him in an appeal to 
Mrs. F. to try. She gave him no promise, save that she would, as 
a friend, visit the child. She did so alone, refusing the company of 
either of us. She was gone over an hour, while the old man re- 
mained with me. She returned to bless the old man's hope by saying 
she could relieve the child, and would do so. He gave the case 
into her hands ; called his physician to assure Mrs. Ferguson that 
she should be protected from any foul aspersions, such as, alas ! too . 
often come from the profession upon those who succeed where they 
fail ; and seemed as fully alive to the cure as if it were accomplished. 
Mrs. F. allowed no person to accompany her at any visit, and selected 
a negro servant to attend the child. In eight days the child was 
pronounced cured by her physician and master, and in two weeks 
the latter brought her to us, all gleeful in smiles, leading the old 
man again, to return thanks for her wonderful restoration. She is a 
young woman to-day, and there is no curvature of the spine ; and 
when I saw her two years since, she gave every evidence of a healthy, 
sound constitution. 

" This case, for many reasons, I noted in all its particulars, for it 
led to much I am not yet disposed to present to the public. One 
fact I wiU state. It was the means of leading us to receive and 
regard spiritual communications from the coloured portion of our 
people, for Mrs. F. ever assured us that all she did was done under 
the direction of the child's mother, who when living was a slave. She 
gave her particular and unmistakeable evidences of her presence and 
of her interest, not only in the child's recovery, but in the hope 
such evidences must bring to all mankind when appreciated in 
purity of purpose and sincerity of design. The name of this 
gentleman is John Harding, Esq., of Nashville, Tennessee, whoso 


family still reside there among the most worthy and respectable 
of Tennessee society. 


** Mr. Watson Freeman, of Nashville, was and is a merchant of 
high credit and character, of that city and also of Philadelphia, Pa. 
He was as a father to a large family of brothers and sisters, who, with 
a widowed mother, looked to him and another brother for protection 
and education. His own immediate family was also large and 
dependent His business, under his wise and industrious direction, 
afforded all that was necessary to their comfort ; but all seemed to 
depend upon him. He was an active, useful member of my congre- 
gation, and there was no one in it upon whom I relied more in any 
work of real usefulness and charity. Many very wealthy men were 
of that congregation, but no one man of his wealth gave more of 
time, labour or money to actual need than this noble-souled, true, 
and devoted man. 

" A fire broke out in a large furniture factory near the city, and 
was consuming all the results of the labour and capital of some enter- 
prising young men in whom Mr. Freeman took heartfelt interest. 
He arrived at the fire only to see that all was gone, when he dis- 
covered that by a bare chance the books and valuable papers in an 
upper room might be saved. Fearlessly he rushed up the stairway 
beneath the blazing roof and ceilings, threw the books and papers 
out of the windows, and attempting to return, found his way cut off 
by the flames. He came to the window, called for the help of a 
ladder, but seeing none on the ground, leaped from the third floor, 
landing on a bed of rock, and was taken up severely bruised, and 
unable to stand upon what was supposed to be a broken limb. He 
was conveyed to his home, and a surgeon pronounced him probably 
lamed for life. His limb was not brokenj but there was such a 
straining of the sinews and of the leg that he was confined to his 
bed and room for fourteen months. The opinion of his surgeon, 
Dr. J. O. Jennings, than whom no man stood deservedly higher in 
his profession, was that hjB would be lame for life. Business, family, 
and all dependent on his cure often engaged my deepest sympathy 
and desire for help. He had received in his own person many 
evidences of supramundane aid. Eeturning one day from his room, 
oppressed with the thoughts arising out of his condition and that of 

IN MR. Ferguson's family. 166 

many depending upon him, I was overjoyed to hear Mrs, F., from 
deep entrancement, say, * We can relieve Mr. Freeman, and he will 
walk forth again in all his manly vigour and usefulness.' She directed 
that he should be brought to our home, and that without giving 
any other reason than his relief from his confinement in his own. 
I took my carriage and servant and called upon him, and very care- 
fully guarded all my expressions of desire to have him return with 
me. He at once consented, his amiable wife expressing much fear 
for the result, no one dreaming of the object. He came. Mrs. F., 
being entranced, announced to him his prospective cure, com- 
manded that he be seated as she directed, his leg resting on my 
knee, his body in an easy, reclining position She had scarcely 
done this when Mr. H. B. Champion came in and was soon entranced. 
A few moments more and Mr. Freeman gave every evidence of the 
same state being superinduced upon himself. Imagine me there ; my 
doors locked by command of an Unseen Power ; a cripple in a coma, 
his limb upon my knee ; two other persons deeply unconscious to all 
around. The eifort at relief commenced. In a few minutes Mr. 
Freeman was commanded to arise and walk. He sprang to his feet, 
leaped, walked, marched through the lengthened rooms, held by the 
arms by both Mr. C. and Mrs. F., for one full hour. Beautiful, im- 
pressive, most instructive addresses were delivered by each in a 
trialogue, far above the culture or habits of thought of either. All 
was joy, hope, brightness of realization. When the mental spell 
was broken he verily shouted for joy, but was admonished by Mrs. F. 
that it was borrowed strength he felt, and that all was not effected 
yet. He was directed to meet us at Mr. Champion's, where the cure 
would be made permanent I think it was two nights after. We 
met ; he came on foot. We went through a similar experience, 
when some half-dozen others were added to the circle, and he is a 
sound, healthy, active, useful man to this day. 

" Among many strange occurrences attendant on this cure I wish 
to mention, for the benefit of so-called scientific men, that not a drug 
or chemical of any kind was used, or brought near him during these 
sittings, and yet my trowsers, where his leg rested on mine, were 
destroyed as by some powerful liquid caustic ; so were those of Mr. 
Champion, and a large salver near by gave every evidence of corro- 
sive application to its silver plating. It was clear to me and others that 
some liquid was generated through the human organisms used for 

K 2 


his relief from the atmosphere, or at any rate not from any known 
sahstances, equal to vitriol in its effects upon clothing. This expe- 
rience I have had in several instances, but in none so remarkable as 
in the case related of my daughter. 

" On the following Sunday, to a congregation of fifteen hundred 
persons, only a few of whom had heard of the miraculous cure, but 
most of whom knew of my recognition of the intuitive power and 
alliances of the human soul, and looked upon me with more than ordi- 
nary apprehension as an invader of the sacred precincts of supposed 
divine claims, I read the 3rd chapter of Acts, spoke at length and 
with much freedom upon the universality of inspiration and divine 
help, closing my address with words that were remembered by many 
for years, viz., * There is no disease that cannot be cured ; no grief 
that a proper sympathy may not relieve.' My discourse was ac- 
ceptable even to the professedly orthodox of my hearers. Some of 
them seeing Mr. Freeman in the congregation approached him, and, 
expressing great gratification in the discourse, said, * JN"ow, sir, if 
you could be healed as the apostles healed the cripple at the 
beautiful gate, we would believe in your spiritualism.' Instantly, 
as if inspired, he arose, s-ood upon his feet, and told the story of 
his cure. It was, and is known to hundreds of that city to this 


" Miss Frances King was governess in a highly respectable family 
in Todd county, Kentucky, for many years, and was regarded by 
those who knew her best as very capable of reflecting these 
evidences. We had often resided for months in this family, and we 
had mutually recognized the wonderful facts that have arrested so 
much attention in our age and time. By some casualty. Miss King 
had trodden upon the upturned point of a needle, and it had pene^ 
trated and was broken in her foot. She suffered much and long, 
alike from the disease that ensued and the many attempts at surgical 
relief. At that time my family and myself were spending the 
season in New Orleans. She constantly asserted that if Mrs, 
Ferguson or Mr. Champion could see her she would be relieved. 
Mr, Champion, visiting the family, was made to realize her condl- 
dition, and also felt she could be relieved by a visit to us. But the 
distance was twelve hundred miles, and her protracted illness 

IN MA Ferguson's family. 157 

threatened paralysis of the limb, and indeed general prostration. 
He offered to take her under his charge, and she consented — nay, 
was anxious to go. They arrived, and she was conveyed to an hotel. 
There she was relieved, without the use of knife or medicine, and 
returned to Kentucky in six weeks, and is to-day, as a letter from 
her before me, just received, testifies, in good health, and engaged in 
highly responsible duties. 

^' These cases are selected from a large number quite as remark- 
able, and they are selected because T noted them in their details at 
the time, and can, therefore, more accurately describe them than 
others. Indeed the time would fail me to relate all I have seen and 
known in this direction. I have seen partial blindness restored by 
a touch ; a child with a weeping eye from birth restored without 
contact, Mrs. F. simply telling the mother and grandmother that the 
night on which they applied would not pass without the cure, and 
it was so. Other cures have required frequent and long-continued 
administration. But in no single case, save one, did I ever meet a 
failure where a cure was promised, and in that I saw more of the 
ministering of the i)ower than in any other, though relief was never 
effected. It was a case of deafness of fourteen years' standing, and 
to this day the person who promised the cure believes it fiiiled only 
through the unfjMthfulness of some who were selected as the instru- 
ments of cure. Of this of course I form no judgment. J am more 
than content to state the fact. I do not mean by this that many 
who have sought cures have not failed ; but I do mean that in my 
own family circle, where the desire to administer was never allowed 
to take the place of a clear supramundane evidence that we should 
believe and act upon, there was never a failure save in the case referred 
to, and a larger volume than this would not record the number of 
actual cures. I can also say that in no case was there a trespass 
upon the legitimate knowledge, rights, or o%ces of that most 
useful and honourable class of any community — the true physicians. 
I enjoyed at the time, and have preserved ever since, the companion- 
ship and friendly regard of tbe most eminent of that profession, 
alike at home and abroad ; and with no class of men have I been 
so free in my communications upon this subject as with them. Of 
course we had to meet the suspicions of quackery ; but as we never 
made a charge for a cure, made no profession of ability, and acted 
only as directed by a higher power no member of the legitimate profes- 


sion would accuse of invading its rights, that suspicion gave way to a 
confidence that accepts truth wherever found, and gratefully accepts 
aid in humanity's relief. Besides, there is no conflict in the relief of 
actual disease. Medicine does not cure in any case. It but changes a 
condition. Nature cures ; and, therefore, if by a higher direction 
any man is relieved, or placed in a condition for relief, the true 
physician only preserves his tmth by accepting and, if he can, 
understanding the conditions of cure." 

It remains but to record the cure of a third attack of the 
disease from which Mr. Ferguson had been relieved in so 
remarkable a manner. He returned from New Orleans to 
Nashville in the spring of 1857, very much broken in health, 
with the disease of the upper part of the larger bone of the 
right leg worse than it had been at any former period. He was, 
however, able to preach in Memphis, and later in Ohio ; but on 
going to St. Louis in the spring of 1858, he became, after a few 
weeks of labour, utterly prostrated with the violence of the 
disease. He was visited by the most distinguished surgeons of 
that important city, who took a deep interest in the case, and 
were of opinion that he must submit to amputation. He 
refused alike medicine and the knife, and waited patiently for 
the release of death, which his advisers considered inevitable. 
The relief which came when all other hope failed is best 
described in the following record : — 

" On Monday, June 7th, while utterly prostrate, my sick couch 
was visited by Mrs. Eliza Tanner, sister-in-law to the gentleman 
whose kindly hospitality I am receiving. She sat at my bedside 
with another friend, while I was in an unconscious stupor, arising 
from the exhaustion' of a sleepless night of agonizing pain. I felt, 
without seeing her, that she was sent for my recovery. I expressed 
my consciousness in general terms that assumed the form of a 
prayer. When I opened my eyes I found my visitors in tears. Mrs. 
F. withdrew from the room, apparently overpowered, and evidently 
anxious to conceal her feelings. My own could not be described. 
I simply remarked to my nurse, * That lady (Mrs. Tanner) can be 


IN MR. Ferguson's experience. 169 

wade the divine instrument for my relief, if she will,' My nurse 
responded, * Yes ; we all know that ; but she has suffered so much 
by the false estimates of the selfish and time-serving, that although 
the best healing medium in the city, she is no longer willing to 
exercise her gifts. She had to leave or undertake your cure.* * She 
will yet consent,' said I ; * but I desire that no one request it, nor 
move a finger to secure it. If my restoration is divinely appointed 
through her, it will come, and no opposition of the ignorant 
or true delicacy of her own sensitive and pure nature can 
prevent it' 

" The day and night passed, and nothing was heard from Mrs. 
Tanner. She went home, as we afterwards learned ; described, under 
deep entrancement, my disease, its locality, nature, progress, and 
cure ; asked her family to assist her, by enabling her to give me a 
room then occupied, and proposed, with their external help, to 
undertake the cure. She returned to my bed on Tuesday, and 
Tuesday evening I was removed to her house. I remained there 
three weeks — was removed at her instance to the country for six more, 
where she attended me, during which time I was entirely restored 
to health, and remain so to this hour, the wonder of my friends and 
the miracle of the community. The process of restoration was, exter- 
nally viewed, quite severe, and there are some facts connected with 
it worthy of note. It should be remembered that the disease was 
periostitis of the upper portion of the tibia, and necrosis^ as the 
surgeons had alleged. For sixty hours, with most of my body 
bandaged with bandages saturated With salt, an application of un- 
slaked lime and soap was applied to a space two inches square. 
This space was burned to the bone, my system sustaining the 
shock by the constant presence of an invisible, but not intan- 
gible power, that soothed, nay, even at times sweetened my pain. 
Every want and wish was met. The regularity of my digestion was 
preserved by food daily prescribed and prepared under spiritual 
direction. It were impossible to enter into the details of these 
strange weeks. My days were days of almost continual inspira- 
tion, and my nights were glorified by visions no language can ever 
portray. In the very cridis of my treatment my friend Champion 
was spiritually brought from Nashville, without knowledge of what 
was being done, only ^ he realized it spiritually, and apparently 
only to assure my confidence that all was divinely ordered for results 


long expected but now certainly at hand. My surgeon friends came 
to tell me that my limb could not be saved, and that my life was 
endangered ; but they left, acknowledging that they never witnessed 
a more skilfully conducted process, and one of them at last acknow- 
ledged that Mrs. T., although an uneducated lady, reflected a know- 
ledge of the anatomical structure and physiological functions rarely 
witnessed in the most accomplished chair of the profession. My 
death was predicted, but my life was restored." 



Among what may be denominated the uses of spiritualism, or 
supramundane influences, there is scarcely one more interesting 
than*the education or development received by many persons 
from such influences. There are artists whose hands have 
been moved to make drawings of exquisite beauty. There are 
musicians who have been made to play on instruments and 
improvise music until their own faculties were developed. 
There are accomplished speakers and writers who owe all their 
training to some guiding intelligence. On this interesting 
subject Mr. Ferguson has made the following record of facts 
within his own observation :— 

'^ Supramundane influence in the unfolding and education of 
mind has been a common and most interesting experience since my 
own attention was called to this subject In the case of Mr. H. B. 
Champion, already mentioned in these pages, we have a very 
remarkable instance. This gentleman, now distinguished for his 
comprehensiveness of thought on all subjects connected with mental 
and moral philosophy, and for unrivalled force and beauty of 
expression, was, to my personal knowledge, educated entirely under 
these iofluences. He was not educated even in ordinary braoches, 
such as the orthography of his native tongue ; was never at school 
but a few months in his life ; was deprived of the care of a father 
when three months old and left to the support of a widowed 
mother, and was deprived of all the opportunities of scholastic 
training. Tet, when entranced by these influences, he was a 
speaker of unexampled power, and interested the most cultivated 
men and women in his addresses as they were never interested 
before. He has dictated orations, metaphysical treatises, books of 



commentary, critical and expository, on the ancient Greek classics, 
on the Hebrew literature, and on law and order in society, equal, 
if not superior, to any that ever came under my notice in any 
period of my most studious research. In these states of trance his 
sentences were perfect, and would be marred by any change even 
of punctuation, cadence, or arrangement Indeed, I know nothing 
in our language superior either in thought, style, or logical force. 

*' I have been most intimately associated with Mr. Champion for 
some twelve years. In that time I have observed his progress with 
the greatest care and interest until now, when his association with 
men of the first eminence in literature only reveals his power equal to 
any, and superior to most, in what is considered classical attainments. 
That which was at first the gift of a supramundane power is now 
his own ; and unless his history were known, he would be con- 
sidered, as he often is, as a man of the highest accomplishments. 
Although seemingly without ambition, he is bringing out an 
elaborate work, which will be soon before the British public, every 
word of which has, to my knowledge, been given through his sus- 
ceptibility to the influence of an allied power of mind, entirely 
without any of the ejffects of what is called scholastic culture. 

"The case of "Mr. George W. Harrison is another marked 
instance. When a lad he often visited and sometimes resided in 
my family. From ill health in early life he was without the 
advantages of schools. He was soon discovered by his parents, 
when their attention was called to this subject, to be possessed of 
that peculiarity of organization that gives what has been termed 
the mediumistic power. His history is most marvellous. He has, 
in hundreds of instances, under my own observation, given unmis- 
takeable evidence of these and kindred facts. His improvisations 
of poetry, his orations and essays, given under influence, have com- 
manded my most sincere admiration. Many of these I have in my 
possession, but have not his consent to their publication in this 

" The first recognition of his susceptibility to supramundane 
impression occurred thus : — His mother, a member of my congrega- 
tion, hearing that I gave credence to the facts and privileges of 
spiritual intercourse, called on me to make some inquiries respecting 
them. She had never witnessed the phenomena. I informed her 
that they were true, and that it was within the power of any family 

MR. G. W. HAKRISON. 163 

to realize the privileges my own had learned to prize, and that 
demonstrations could be witnessed by all who would seek them 
with that patience and candour necessary in every investigation of 
man's nature. She asked me for a demonstration, but I insisted 
she could find it at her own home and in the sacredness of her own 
family relations. She heard me with evident confidence in my 
sincerity, and equally evident doubt of what I promised I read 
her some communications I had received. She left me, and in a 
few days returned, delighted to assure me that both her daughter 
and son had been similarly influenced, and that the most unmis- 
takeable evidences had been given in her family circle. Two 
members of her family, who treated the whole subject with an 
unconcealed contempt, were convinced in their own persons^ and 
her distinguished husband, Captain H. H. Harrison, wrote me a 
letter of grateful acknowledgment, closing it by saying he had 
witnessed in his own children what had challenged his admiration 
and assured his perfect confidence. From that time to this his 
family have recognized, and in a most eminent and commendable 
manner reflected these evidences to many otLers. 

"Mr. George W. Harrison has been educated by the power 
governing these manifestations. I have received from him evidences, 
unsought at my hands and not designed or provided for by him, 
that transcend all estimates and standards of estimate recognized 
either in our schools or churches. Often we have met without 
concert from a distance of hundreds of miles ; often he has spoken 
to me from a deep entrancement on subjects known only to myself; 
often reflected to me a direction without which some of the most 
important and responsible duties of my life would have miscarried ; 
and, although much my junior in years, I never met him that I did 
not find him companionable in thought, feeling, and aspiration in 
the very highest degree. 

" Having instanced these cases selected from many others, I desire 
to record a general experience that may throw some light on many 
points similarly observed. 

** Whenever a gentleman or parties of gentlemen were present 
at our sittings, distinguished in any department of science, such as 
anatomy, physiology, chemistry, geology, &c., persons like Mr. 
Champion or Mr. Harrison would deliver addresses on these 
departments of science. Their addresses were always recognized 


by the representatives of the subject discussed, and admitted to be 
fully up to the standard of knowledge In these departments, often 
beyond it, and always with extended thought and expression that, 
as they admitted, could only be commanded by Ipng and diligent 
study. So true was this, that persons hearing of these facts, but 
not witnessing them, ever attributed them to reflections of the 
minds of the parties. For ten or more years some of the most 
constant of my friends professed to believe that these mediums 
reflected my own mind ; and admitting the undeniable character of 
the facts, sought to account for them by ascribing them to my 
power of impressing them upon the brains of those through whom 
they were reflected. The result was that I gave direct and 
systematic attention to this estimate of the phenomena, only to be 
assured that it was not the case, only so far as all thought has its 
connections in all human organizations. That is-^ 

" 1. These men could deliver speeches that embraced my modes 
of thought and manner, when I was present. 

'* 2. My presence was often an aid, as was that of any mind 
present in any degree of harmony with the subjects upon which they 

" 3. But under favourable conditions they ever transcended my 
thought, my investigations, and my conclusions ; so much so, that it 
required months, and in some cases years, for me to advance to the 
full realization of what they had reflected. 

"4i, Hence, while it is true that one mind aids another to an 
extent that cannot be too highly esteemed where mutual confidence 
prevails, it is equally true that the gain ofsupramundane conditions 
or alliances of thought transcends all surrounding attainment, and 
opens up avenues of knowledge that will extend and purify all that 
we recogtiize as educational, whether considered physical, mental, or 

^' These gentlemen are to-day highly educated men. They speak 
and write our language with great precision and accuracy. They 
converse with men of the flrst attainments on all the questions that 
engage cultivated thought. They are sought by men distinguished 
as professors in various departments of science ; and where their 
history is not known, as it is to myself and others, they are recognized 
at once as men of a very high, order of culture.'' 

UNDEB MIL Ferguson's observation. 165 

Some of the facts in this relation are too snggestiYe to be 
lightly passed over. That mind stimulates and influences the 
action of mind is a fact observed certainly as early as the days 
of Solomon. In every company of intellectual people we feel 
the effects of this stimulus of the atmosphere of thought. 
Aside from motives of convenience, this is the reason that 
persons of certain pursuits are gregarious. Artists, who are of 
sensitive organizations, make and feel an atmosphere of art. 
Lawyers, who also group together, make an atmosphere of law. 
A speaker gets invisible hints and ideas from his hearers. An 
orator speaks with ease and inspiration to a sympathetic 
assembly ; and an actor owes half his success to the inspira- 
tion of a genial audience. It is very difficult to speak or act 
where there is general coldness or opposition. 

Furthermore, one of our delights in listening to an extempore 
speaker is to hear him express our own thoughts, which we 
have unconsciously given him. Those are the passages we are 
sure to applaud. We recognize their truth, because they are 
our own. A sensitive orator reflects the thoughts of his hearers, 
but he combines many thoughts in his reflections, so that all 
are gainers by the process. 

Now if one human mind in the body has this power of 
stimulating, impressing, and magnetizing another, is it strange 
that a human mind out of the body should have the same 
power, even in a higher degree P And this is what every poet, 
every man of genius, has felt, and what they have called inspi- 
ration. All mental phenomena point to the fact that not only 
the material of thought, but thought itself, flows into the mind 
from other minds ; and if from minds in the body, still more 
readily from minds emancipated from the shackles of mortality; 
from the body so useful for a time, but which in time becomes 
a hindrance, a clog, and a burden. 

I beg, also, to add another observation, which may be made 
here as well as elsewhere. I have observed that where minds 


were in such sympathy as to give mutual help to each other, 
the action of one may interfere with or paralyze that of another. 
Two persons in such sympathy cannot write in the same room 
on different subjects. The strongest mind will take all the 
powerof both. They become positive and negative to each other. 
In what are called spiritual circles, in which several persons 
gather to receive spiritual communications or manifestations, 
the mind of the medium requires to be in certain relations to 
the minds of others, and in sympathy with them. Those who 
aid in making the circle require to be passive, merely contri- 
buting to the sphere or aroma of nerve-essence, so to speak, by 
means of which an influence is given. If this is disturbed by 
the absorption or use of this element, the communication is 
suspended. It is as if a spiritual telegraph wire had been 
formed, but any disturbance or other use of the wire suspends 
the communication. 



Among the facts of our mental or spiritual experience we 
find traces of laws in which further investigation may perhaps 
discover a theory or system. Among the most curious of these 
facts are those to which we give the name of sympathy and 
antipathy, which are the attraction and repulsion of our spiritual 

By sympathy, however, something more is meant than a 
liking based upon obvious qualities ; and by an antipathy, more 
than a dislike produced by obvious defects. Naturally a 
beautiful and graceful person is pleasing and attractive ; as 
naturally an ugly and iU-mannered one repels; but it is well 
known that people often feel an attraction not so justified by 
external and apparent qualities, and a repulsion amounting to 
abhorrence, for which it would be very difficult to find any 
external reason. 

- An infant of three months sometimes manifests its attrac- 
tions and repulsions in a very striking manner. Of two persons, 
resembling each other in dress and appearance, it shows a 
strong disposition to go to one, and an equal repugnance to the 
other. It is probable that every reader may find in himself 
Kkes and dislikes to persons, for which it would be very difficult 
to account. We love and we hate without a known reason. 
But there is no efiect without a cause, and when we are at- 
tracted to or repelled from a person, if th^e is nothing in the 
appearance or manners to justify our like or dislike, we must 


go deeper and look into the moral or spiritual nature of one or 
both the persons for the ground of sympathy or antipathy 
between them. 

There are persons known to the writer so sensitive to quali- 
ties which are not revealed to the ordinary senses, that a letter 
coming from a disagreeable person, or written in an unpleasant 
state of mind, gives paih by the mere touch before its contents 
are known or suspected. A scrap of paper reveals a character 
or a life. A person who would seem to many indifferent or 
even agreeable, tortures by his mere presence. The sphere of 
another is a delight. Love at first sight, which often seems so 
inexplicable, may be considered a phenomenon of this kind — 
the sudden discovery of a mutual sympathy between two sus- 
ceptible beings. 

But attractions and repulsions are not felt alone for animate 
beings, as I have intimated in the case of a letter. The letter 
conveyed pain even by its contact, apparently because it con- 
veyed in some way not yet understood the character or feeling 
of the writer. A room or a house may have the same pain* 
inflicting power. I know a lady who was made very unhappy 
by residing in an excellent and very pleasant house. In the 
nicest room of the house she was especially miserable. She 
had even a strong desire to throw herself from the front window. 
When she went into the street her bad feelings, depression, 
misery, and tendency to suicide all vanished, but returned again 
on returning to the house, and she was finally obliged to find 
another residence* Wishing to get some clue to this seemingly 
baseless antipathy, and the suffering and even danger attend-^ 
ing it, I made inquiry respecting the house, and found that it 
had been recently vacated by a gentleman whose wife had been 
afflicted with a suicidal mania, ending in her throwing herself 
with fatal effect from a window of the best room, whose sphere 
had produced such an unhappy effect upon the lady who was its 
next occupant* 


This lady, I may say to prevent any misg^pprehension, was a 
stranger in the city in which the house is situated, and had 
never heard in any way of its former occupants, and her state 
was inexplicable to herself, her friends, and her physician, until 
the above facts were ascertained. 

How shall we account for such facts P for this one does not 
stand alone by any means. Can a good or bad, a happy or 
miserable person impart his qualities or feelings to a piece of 
paper, or a room — to any material object, as the magnet imparts 
to a piece of steel its power of attraction P Do evil communi- 
cations not only corrupt good manners, but the very matter of 
the world about us ; and has misery the power of creating a 
sphere of misery P Are there also holy places, full of blessing, 
sanctity, and prayer, which have an absolute influence for good 
on those who visit them P Are rings and charms and amulets 
magnetic, to use an analogue for what we cannot otherwise 
explain, and has the immemorial belief in the power of relics a 
natural, not to say a scientific basis ? 

If so, beware of evil influences. A bad man or woman has 
many ways of using and diffusing badness; while the good radiate 
goodness all around them, and bless even the paths they tread 
and the mansions they inhabit. 

To return to personal influences : the lady who was so much 
troubled by the sphere of a house was visited one day by a 
popular clergyman, who rivalled Coleridge in being a wonderful 
talker, preacher, and writer. On being addressed by the 
clergyman, the lady said, " I cannot talk with you ; there is 
poison between your soul and mine." The gentleman persisted 
in wishing to enter into conversation with her. She repeated 
the remark she had made about the poison at every attempt, 
until, to her astonishment, he took from his waistcoat pocket a 
box of opium, and gave it to her, confessing that it was by its 
influence he had made his reputation in the pulpit and in society. 
Warned in this strange manner he promised to abandon its use, 


and left it for a time ; but, as is usual in such cases, returned to 
the drug, and died miserably in consequence. 

Here was an antipathy to which a name may be given instead 
of an explanation. The smatterer in psychology will say, " Oh ! 
that is a case of clairvoyance." Very good; but what is clair- 
voyance P It is a power of seeing in some extraordinary manner, 
as into a box in a gentleman's pocket. But the name does not 
in the least explain the fact any more than the word gravitation 
expleuns the fall of an apple. The word as in most cases is the 
sign of a fact, but not of the cause of the fact. The lady had 
no consciousness of box or opium ; but there came into her 
mind the one feeling, "poison" — ^notby sight, orsmeU, or taste, 
but either by some power of the spirit to perceive, without the 
use of its ordinary instruments, the senses, or by information 
communicated by some other spirit. 

Antipathies very marked are sometimes felt in the presence 
of criminals or wicked persons, but not always towards those who 
have committed crimes, as the criminal will or character may 
be wanting. A coward full of hatred may be worse than an 
actual homicide. The one has blood on his soul ; the other, on 
his hands. 

The lady above referred to was one day introduced to a 
gentleman, and saw the whole air about him filled with blood ; 
but the sight was accompanied by no antipathy, but by a feeling 
of deep pity. She felt that he was not a bad man, his only 
guilt being that of anger, and said to him, " You would kill 
your best Mend in a moment of passion, and spend a life of 
remor^ for it." He left the company, and she was told by one 
who knew him that he had killed his Mend in a sudden quarrel' 
and been tried and acquitted, but had never had a happy hour 
afterwards. It is not easy to say how this revelation was made 
to the lady, or why. Did this unhappy homicide carry about 
with him such a vivid consciousness of his deed as to impress in 
this manner the spirit of a sensitive person who came into his 


presence P Granting this, we have no distinct idea of the 
rribdtis operandi of such impressions. 

In the experience of this lady such impressions sometimes 
take almost whimsical forms. She was shown one day, and 
took into her hand, a letter written hy a man of some celebrity, 
whom she had never seen. It was before the day of cartes de 
msite and multitudinous photographs, but instantly there rose 
before her a vision of the man, more perfect than any picture, 
and she recognized him the moment she saw him. She has 
described with perfect accuracy the personal appearance and 
characteristics of persons whose names were mentioned in her 
presence, so that every one who knew them recognized the 

Sympathies and antipathies, if free to declare themselves, 
and be regarded, might be to the harmony of society what 
attractions and repulsions are in the arrangements of the 
harmonies of nature. In au artificial society they are often 
violated, always with loss and pain, often with misery. But 
even in society as it exists attractions group whatever is 
pleasant and enjoyable, and repulsions or antipathies are often 
protective. There are persons in whose society sensitive 
persons feel a chill, or a sensation like choking, and there is an 
instinct, like that of animals, to avoid what is disagreeable or 
dangerous. The wicked are like the rattlesnake, only that 
their rattles are felt, not heard. 

The mediums of spiritual communications are often, perhaps 
always, highly sensitive to what has been called spheres and 
personal influences. The higher classes of spiritual manifesta- 
tions cannot be given in a discordant circle. A person 
antipathetic to the medium will derange the conditions of 
communication as a storm deranges the magnetic telegraph. 
This is not always true in the same degree in physical 
manifestations, as those of the Brothers Davenport are given 

amid the tumult of a mob and the most violent opposition. 

L 2 


There seems to be two kinds of antipathy and protection — one 
against evil, the other testifying of disagreement and discord. " A 
bad man or woman may have many attractions for very good 
persons, and good people may be very antipathetic to each 
other. Then good is a relative term, and only positive to the 
individual. The highest good I am capable of may be very 
low to a saint or an angel, and my measure of virtue might be 
very oppressive to one who had not reached my power of doing 
or receiving good. 

The nearer we live to the law of right in the heart — the more 
tender our conscience and the more true our lives, the greater 
is the protective power about us. Our antipathies are more 
surely protective than our attractions when obeyed. The 
heathen named God " The Infinite Check ;" a wonderfully wise 
definition, in my opinion. 



Particular and personal providences make an impressive 
portion of the lives of many persons. Where most persons 
live from knowledge and experience, and lead what are termed 
rational lives, the man or woman who lives by faith is com- 
paratively rare. The many distrust this kind of life, and are 
apt to confound it with the dependent laziness of those who lay 
their burdens upon the shoulders of others and talk fluently 
and falsely of relying upon the Divine Providence. 

But amid the want of faith that makes over-anxiety and 
over- work, and the easy-going indolence that simulates faith, 
there are instances of a true reliance on Providence. A 
religious person who feels a mission to do something for the 
good of the world or the Church, from the inflowing divine 
impulse of the sovereign good, our Heavenly Father, may well 
say, I give all, and in ofiering all I must receive all. By the 
law of universal circulation of the spiritual and material life, 
those who give all they are, and all they have or can acquire, 
wisely for God, in the good of man, may expect infallibly to 
receive all they need for their work of charity, whether it be 
sustentation and success, or stripes and imprisonm^ts, or 
death. The folly of the cross is only equalled by its success. 
The crucifixion gave Christianity and all its beneficences, and 
the Holy Spirit, with all its treasures of divine power and 
wisdom, to the world. To the haughty Roman the folly and 
assumption of the Nazarene, his pretended miracles and his 
ignominious death, were but the madness and misery of one of 


the vulgar rabble. The martyrdoms of the first apostles, and 
afterwards of multitudes of Christian men and women, were but 
the continuation of the madness, folly, and misery of the 
ignorant and deluded in the opinion of aristocratic unbelievers. 
The highest civilization, the best system of mordls, law that is 
the perfection of human reason, and a charity that is more 
than human, because it is divine, have been the gifts of 
Christianity to the world; and if it be said, how wicked 
Christians are with all these, we have only to ask, what would 
they be without them P The sublime mystery of suffering may 
not be explained to any in this world, but so far sacrifice and 
suffering have been as the breath of life and the condition of 
wisdom and power to those who have been apostles of great 
good to our race. Not that they have always wept ; not that 
bloody sweat has been continually exacted in their labour of 
love ; but that they have for a longer or shorter period hung 
on the cross with the Saviour of men, that they have been 
united to the Immanuel by suffering, and that only thus 
hav^e they been called to reign with Him, and to dispense 
good gifts to the children of men. Great is the mystery of 
suffering for good, and great the power given to those who have 
been united by it to the life of our God. 

When once the soul has been brought into this divine unity, 
it may be said to have reached the haven of rest. Such a 
one does not live firommen, but for them. He or she does not 
ask for the goods of this world in credit, praise, fame, or gold, 
but cahnly receives what Providence gives, seeking only to 
live from the law of God in the heart, to make all things 
according to the pattern seen in the mount. Such persons 
may not seem to live differently from others ; they may not do 
any wonderful work ; they may not fast voluntarily, or by 
force of poverty ; we may not know them from their neighbours, 
aud when they accept our hospitality we may entertain angels 
unawares. All things are easy to those who have vital faith 

-w-cr — ■"•^mmmr^Tr 


and live a true life. God is omnipotent if He exists ; also 
all- wise and all good ; in a word, God. What, then, is to 
hinder His care and sustentation of those in unity with His 
will and purpose P - 

The late Cardinal Wiseman said that he never had a doubt 
or the shadow of a doubt respecting his faith. How such a 
man could feel for Deists, Atheists, and dead Christians, one 
can hardly see, but he was ever the helpful friend of every 
doubting Thomas who came to him. Of modem spiritual 
manifestations he spoke as a man of faith. To a woman who 
had come into the church through the ministry of the Jesuit 
saints, Ignatius Loyola, and Francis Xavier, he was frankly 
kind, and after having expressed his gratitude to Almighty 
God for having thus brought souls into his church, he said, 
" I should deny my faith if I were to deny these manifesta- 
tions. If any one thinks less of you for being led in this way, 
I can bring you to people who will not do so." And then he 
spoke of a lady, who, he said, always followed interior 
guidance or impression, and he remarked simply, " It always 
does well ; she always comes out right." 

To have particular providences it is needful to follow par- 
ticular impressions and guidance. If a man is impressed that 
he ought not to take passage on a certain ship or go on a 
certain railway train, and he does not obey the impression, if 
he loses his life in the one or the other, there is no special 
providence, because there has been no special obedience. 

We take note of what is pleasant or seemingly fortunate for 
us. A special providence may kill or cure, starve or feed with 
equally beneficent purpose, and we are not to judge of purposes 
or ends by limited segments of our own or others' lives. 
Wisdom and experience both teach us that no folly is greater 
than our most agonized prayers, and that to grant them would 
be consummate cruelty in our Almighty Father and Friend. 
The lesson taught in the lives of the faithful is simply this : 


Do your best, and leave results and all else to Infinite Wisdom, 
and not to finite folly. The best of all prayers is to have no 
will but God's will. The best of all efforts is often to do abso- 
lutely nothing. The best charity is often to give, not what we 
have, but what we have not. As the apostle said, " Silver and 
gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee. In the 
name (or power) of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 
The gift of power, of energy, of self-help, which is not ours, 
but God's, is the soul of all true giving. It is charity, which 
alms may be or may not be. The soul true to itself is not left 
in doubt as to duties. It does not give because gifts are asked 
from without, but it obeys the law of life in the interior, giving 
or withholding in obedience to the Infinite Check. Many give 
as falsely as they hoard, and it is probable that a pure charity 
is as rare as a true life from the grace that seeks to govern and 
guide us all. 

Among the records of Mr. Ferguson we find the following 
narrative of singular experiences, bearing date November 25, 
1856 :— 

'' It is now quite six months since we have made a record of the 
evidences of spiritual life, inspiration, and power that have attended 
our family circle for years past. In that time our circle has been 
severed from two of its regular members, and we have removed from 
Nashville, Tennessee, to New Orleans, Louisiana. These events 
have been preceded, attended, and followed by the most signal 
instances of spiritual manifestation, requiring at our hands a faith- 
ful, though it must needs be a brief narrative. 

'* These manifestations have furnished us the most unmistakeable 
proofs of the prescience and superior power of spirit-intelligences, 
holding all mortal relations and external things in subordination to 
their divine and beneficent sway. All power is of God, and is 
administered by and through the various conditions and intelli- 
gences of the universe, in the degree of their ascension, on a scale 
where moral rectitude and ends form the standard. 

"We left Nashville 16th August, 1866. Two months previous 
to our departure, the time and manner of that departure were dis- 

IN MR. Ferguson's life, 177 

tinctly pointed out, with the circumstances leading to and attending 
it. For example : it was said we would sever our relations to the 
public, owing to the fact that some of our most trusted friends 
would prove treacherous, under the fear of spirit-knowledge of some 
of their selfish designs ; would, as they supposed, secretly betray the 
trust reposed in them in their nominal Church relations, so as to 
make it appear that we were usurpers of the rights of others in the 
house of worship we held ; and that, while professing the strictest 
friendship for ijie personally, and confidence in our purposes for the 
common good, and while really desiring us to continue as their 
often-chosen public teacher, they would, from temptations of worldly 
gain, so act as to make it anything but honourable for us to continue 
our occupancy of the house which had so recently been built for our 
use. We had no suspicion of anything of this character at the time, 
and still we found every statement true to the letter, and we were 
enabled to do what for many months we had fondly desired, but 
were prevented from doing by our sense of obligation to the profes- 
sions of friendship of the very men who were secretly surrendering 
our position, viz., to give up freely and for ever the property our 
opponents were claiming, on the ground that we did not represent 
the religious opinions they had when the house was erected. Our 
course was at once clear. We surrendered all claim, vacated the 
premises, the scene of so much contention, and were left free to adopt 
such course as our own judgment and sense of our obligation to this 
divine cause might warrant. 

" The meetings of our opponents and their plans, so far as they 
affected us, were pointed out. Their purpose to sue us at the law, and 
the ground upon which they would predicate a lawsuit, were definitely 
revealed, so that we prevented them at every point, and to such an 
extent that it was supposed we were constantly in the advice of the 
best lawyers of the city, and yet no man living could say we had 
ever mentioned the matter to him in any way with a view to legal 
or any other advice. Peace was restored to those who loved it, and 
truth and right vindicated without the sacrifiice of any man's claims, 
so liar as we were concerned, which we are fully satisfied could no 
have been secured by any wisdom we possessed in the difficult and 
aggravated disputes which had arisen, for the most part, from reli- 
gious differences, and which had been increased bj^ religious hate 
for years. 


" We were advised by those who had cast off the form of flesh, 
and whose unselfish nature and divine purposes enabled them to 
guard the rights and interests of all, whether friend or enemy, and 
secure the highest ends of each, honestly seeking truth and right. 
I may safely say that there was not an incident of any importance, 
not a movement of any one connected with either party, that was 
not anticipated and pointed out to us often weeks and months before 
we were called upon to act with respect to them. And while the 
perverse disposition, injurious designs, and misdirected acts of many 
were necessarily exposed to us, whenever we honestly sought divine 
direction — ^purposes and acts that may be imagined when it is 
remembered that even the house of worship was set on fire at three 
different times ; that no character, however pure and tried,- was safe 
from reproach — still, no disclosure was ever made so that any, even 
of the most perfidious, were injured. Their reputation was guarde c' 
for the sake of their families. 

'* Among a number of instances equally remarkable, my mind in 
now turned to one which I record as illustrative of what I mean, 
and because it came under the observation of all concerned. The 
property of the house was still held in the name of Mr. James 
Walker, who originally owned the lot of ground on which it was 
erected. The house had been paid for by those who were then my 
friends, but a debt for the ground was still owing. Our immediate 
friends would have paid the debt at any time, but were not assured 
that they would not, by so doing, purchase a long suit at law with 
those who claimed all the property on the ground of their doctrinal 
consistency. It was thought advisable, therefore, to allow him to 
hold his debt on the property, nominally at least, till the dispute was 
settled. He was a firm and devoted friend of mine, and had done 
as much towards building the house as any other man. He regarded 
the movements against us as originating in envy, and degenerating 
into malice, under the direction of men for whom, as a man of the 
world, he had no respect. On a certain Monday morning I was 
informed spiritually that the opposite party would proffer Mr» 
Walker the money due to him for the lot, knowing at the time he 
would not receive it, and then proceed at law to recover the pro- 
perty. I was told it would be done before eleven o'clock of that 
day. I had no other intimation, for the proposition had been made 
by a few cautious men on the Saturday night previous. They had 

IN MR. Ferguson's life. 179 

agreed, from motives of interest, to keep it a profound secret, as we 
afterwards learned. At nine o'clock I induced two of my friends, 
as tlie representatives of those occupying the house, to offer Mr. 
Walker, in gold, the amount he claimed. He refused it, of course 
as we expected, and he and my friends alike thought me needlessly 
concerned in the premises. At ten o'clock the other party came 
and made the same offer, and were overwhelmed in astonishment to 
find themselves anticipated in what they supposed no man had 
suspected. A suit was by this means prevented, and all concerned 
acknowledged that we had sources of information which could not 
be defeated, but the majority dishonoured the name of their God by 
ascribing them to the devil. 

''We will remark another instance, because we are directed to do 
so, and which comes still nearer home to our bosoms as a lesson of 
violated confidence and misguided affection. Two of the mediums 
in our happy, and yet sorely-tried circle, proved false to their high 
trust and the friendship that had brought them and held them to it. 
We enter not into particulars, for it would be alike painful and 
profitless to relate them here. They flattered themselves with a 
vain ambition ; supposed that earthly glory, perhaps wealth, were 
at their command in the use of their novel and wonderful experi- 
ence. They forgot that everything depends upon its appropriate 
conditions. We loved them with more than ordinary affection ; 
they loved us, but knew not how to preserve our happy and har- 
monious union. We had nurtured them as our children ; taken 
them away from the world's scorn into our own home of affectionate 
trust. We had enjoyed, as our records will show, many a happy 
season together. We thought we were united for life. But in a 
tempted hour, when it was seen that we had given up a salary for 
our support, and almost every means of temporal sustenance contrary 
to their wish, though in accordance with their unconscious inspira- 
tion, they betrayed our confidence, and were separated from us. 
Private communications, made in the sacredness of the most holy 
confidence, affecting the character of persons we were asked tp 
benefit, they gave to the parties only to beget contempt for them- 
selves, and they were thus engaged and otherwise occupied in efforts 
to destroy confidence in one whom they could honour only by their 
envy, for months without the slightest suspicion on our part. They 
were often most solemnly and affectionately warned in our presence. 


but in such, to us, vague (but to them pointed) terms, that we were 
not allowed to see their purpose, until finally, although they had 
pledged each other by an oath not to reveal it, one of them was 
made to take an over-dose of laudanum at the house of his parents, 
for which neither he nor they could ever account, and was then by 
invisible power brought to our house, where he came under 
spiritual influence, and disclosed all their purposes, and gave us the 
means of knowing the truth beyond all question. We could not 
even then believe, but in the course of a few days were left without 
will in the case by the development of their plans, since signally 
defeated. We were, most painfully to ourselves, and, we fear, to 
them, separated from them, and taught the folly of all human 
fellowship based upon any personal or selfish consideration or hope. 
We saw, also, that however susceptible to spiritual influence 
men may become under favourable circumstances thrown around 
them, their sense of right, their love of truth, their convic- 
tion of honour, and their true virtue, must come as a growth 
amid the trials and discipline of a common providential culture. 
Spiritual revelation is not incompatible with degraded moral 
character, but the instrument in such cases is always self- 
exposed, and his gifts depart if he seek not to improve. A 
hundred examples of this character have come before the 
American public in the past five years of persons selling their 
inspiration by the minute or hour, and seeking position as authors, 
fortune-tellers, and * spirit-rappers,' so called, for public entertain- 
ment, all going to prove that old but inexorable truth, that they only 
are spiritual who live in and of the Spirit of all truth, wisdom, and 
love. Such persons -have their place and answer an end, but it is 
not the highest place of moral power, nor is the end that to which 
every effort of the human being, living as he does from hour to 
hour upon the divine bounty, should be directed. 

•* We were told that we would leave Nashville in the middle of 
August, by the Cumberland Kiver, two months prior to our starting, 
at a time when no boat could ascend it, owing to its low stage of 
water, and when every probability was that it would be still lower. 
It rained on the 13th and 14th, and we left on the 1 6th, on the only 
rise, with one exception, of that river for over three months of the 
season. We were told that the purchaser for our property, a house 
and lot and furniture, was spiritually selected, that I need not 

IN MR. Ferguson's life. 181 

advertise, and that I should act as though it were sold in all my 
business arrangements, which wore necessary if we removed, as 
expected. We sold to John Branham, a worthy farmer of Sumner 
county, and completed the sale just two days before our departure, 
while the rain was falling that had been predicted two months 
before, and which enabled us to give immediate possession, by 
removing all our excepted property. We were told that one of our 
company would be taken sick, and that the sickness, though severe, 
would not end in death, but in the high spiritual good of the person. 
We were not allowed to know who it was, but were told who it 
was not^ with respect to those most likely to be sick. I was taken 
with fever the last week in August ; was perfectly prostrated for 
over thirty days ; the only attack of fever I had had for twenty-five 
years. This prediction was given over two months before our 
departure, and three months before the attack, when I was enjoying 
the most perfect health. I was sent to Illinois to see after some 
lands that a friend of mine had entered for the benefit of my 
children three years before* I had no means of knowing where he 
had made the location, and did not know, and yet by spiritual 
direction was set down right at the place, much to my surprise and 

" We left Nashville, knowing spiritually that we would locate in 
the south. We supposed of ourselves that we would select a lake- 
shore home on the coast between New Orleans and Mobile. We 
had visited that coast, and had made it the place of our choice. In 
our removal we started there with our goods. We arrived there 
according to our plan, but in passing through New Orleans we were 
directed to leave our goods in the city. We could not understand 
the direction, but accepted it on the ground that we might move 
from plade to place on the coast tOl our permanent home were 
selected, but still could see no reason why we should leave our goods 
there any more than at any eligible point on the coast. Two months 
on the coast satisfied us that it would not be wise for us to live 
there. We purchased a home in New Orleans, and found our goods 
had been left; there very wisely, both as regards convenience and 
economy. The purchase of our new home, the time, the maimer, the 
place of location, the methods of meeting the difficulties in the 
way, were all clearly and pointedly revealed to us by spiritual 
attendants. Not in recorded history, many of whose pages I have 


devoutly scanned and studied, neither in sacred nor profane, so called, 
have I seen or read brighter evidences of divine rule superintending 
all — yes, all things^ than have been given us, even us, unworthy as 
we are. We are overwhelmed with their nature and number ; we 
are elevated in their enjoyment and power. God, of His infinite 
mercy, make us faithful to the sacred responsibilities they daily 
involve. Aye, the time would fail us to record the unnumbered 
instances of direction, protection, and consolation given us during 
this period, mixing as they did with, and in many instances 
directly controlling, our daily duties, responsibilities, and privileges. 
" To show somewhat the confidence our small degree of faithful- 
ness had secured, in that it brought to us so many and such varied 
evidences, I remember that while ill, and to all appearance very 
dangerously so, my friend Champion was directed to purchase a 
property in my name involving all my means, when also I had no 
income, and no prospective source of any ; when every day seemed 
to involve me more and more in straitened circumstances ; far from 
our former home ; our lot among strangers, and our name associated 
with a cause much abused by its professed friends, much feared and 
affectedly despised by its enemies. We made the purchase, which 
has proved to be in every respect the most advantageous one we 
ever made. The character of the professed spiritualists of New 
Orleans ; the degree of their progress ; the circumstances necessary 
to their further advancement ; the warning that if we connected 
ourselves with either of their parties we would not benefit themi 
and would cripple the very purposes for which we had been directed 
to the south ; all this was pointed out to us at a time when we 
were both anxious and willing to engage with them in any method 
that would properly reach the public, and the future has, both to 
them and us, confirmed the wisdom of the advice. Their little 
parties came to naught of their own agencies, or lack of them ; their 
mediums had already seemingly lost their gifts, and their people 
generally were disappointed and disheartened." 

To this record of providential facts we append the following, 
which may properly be considered as belonging, for the most 
part, to the same class of manifestations : — 

*' Mrs. Ferguson, while residing in Southern Kentucky, during 


IN MR. Ferguson's life. 183 

her husband's mission in that region, far from home, and separated 
a larger portion of the time from her husband, lost a sister by- 
death, under very afflicting circumstances. Her silent grief was 
rapidly undermining her health. The head of the family whose 
guests they were was an aged man of high intellectual culture^ a 
physician retired from practice, who had ever been as a father to 
Mrs. F. He was considered a sceptic in religion of the school of 
Hume. He had spent five years in Edinburgh to complete his 
scientific education; was the companion of the first men of our 
nation ; and no man's advice or opinion had more weight in the 
circle in which he moved. 

** One day, seated with him and Mrs. F., we observed that Mrs. 
F. was in a very strange state, which, as a physician, he thought 
threatened catalepsy. Her arms were rigid ; she was speechless, 
but still sat upright, and refused, by resistance, to be cared for ; 
her eyes fixed, bright and beaming. After a few moments or 
minutes of suspense, she motioned him near her, when her right arm 
relaxed and she took his hand. Soon the left was similarly placed 
in mine. With great effort, seemingly, she commenced speaking. 
In measured, clear, and distinct sentences, she spoke to that aged 
philosopher on themes he had written about, but she never had 
studied ; then, turning to me,* she said that she saw and conversed 
with her deceased sister; and from that hour her distress was gone, 
and her health returned. She, to confirm to us the truth of what 
she said, described conditions of members of the sister's family 
several miles distant, which were found to be accurate ; made known 
and replied to most difficult questions in my own mind and his ; 
described scenes in both lives no one could know but ourselves ; 
and announced arrivals at the mansion, of whose coming no one 
knew. In a few weeks all noted a bright and beautiful change, 
and to this day I have never known her to grieve for that sister's 
absence, while often she has given clearest evidence of communion 
with her. 

" Similar and equally strange experiences were noted in Mrs. 
Ferguson and others for ovtr seven years. For example: Mrs. F. 
could know where Mr. F. was at a distance of miles ; could antici- 
pate to a minute any unexpected return from his field of labour. 
She described for a physician, son of the head of the family, the 


state of his patients she had never seen ; predicted their demise or 
recovery, and often in direct opposition to the doctor's belief." 

I will give one instance among many to illustrate Mrs. 
Ferguson's power of knowing events at a distance. Mr. 
Ferguson had written that he would be home from a long and 
laborious term of labour. The day had arrived and passed, and 
the whole family circle gathered to meet him were breaking up 
in disappointment. Mrs. Ferguson, without expressing disap- 
pointment, was noticed retiring from the company to the 
chamber of the matron of the mansion. There she was soon 
joined by the young physician and his wife and mother 
Seeing her in an abstracted state, which^they attributed to dis- 
appointment, they said, " We think Mr. Ferguson will not 
come.'* " Yes, he will," said she ;] " he stopped on his way to 
see a sick friend ; I have seen him mixing something for him 
which will give him relief. He will stop also for the letters at 

the post-office, and will be here at o'clock." All she said 

the doctor wrote down. Mr. F. arrived at the hour ; he had 
stopped and made some camphorated ointment for a brother 
preacher suffering with a painful contusion ; had rode out of his 
way to bring the letters of the family and his own from the 
neighbouring post-office, that he need not send a servant ; of all 
of which he informed them before a hint had been given of what 
Mrs. F. had stated. 

These events excited a great deal of curiosity and interest. 
By Mr. F. they were noted and somewhat classified ; but they 
were never exhibited or detailed merely to gratify the ear of 
idle curiosity, and Mrs. F. avoided and refused to give what she 
clearly saw, save as it unconsciously escaped her, or some 
acknowledged good object called it forth. One other example 
we record : — 

" During the autumn of 1845 Mrs. F. insisted that Mr. F. and 
her family, then consisting of herself and two children, must go to 
Ohio to her father's home, or she would never see him again upon 


earth. Her anxiety was attributed to filial affection and natural 
apprehension. Her letters spoke of her father as in his usual health, 
and there was no indication of any illness in the family. However, 
at length, for other reasons, we made the visit. We arrived ; found 
•all well save the father, who, though not seriously ill, was neverthe- 
less suffering from an old disease. We remained two months, 
during which time we were witnesses to the most painful suffering, 
which finally closed in a serene and hopeful departure of the father, 
whose death, at a distance of five hundred miles, she had antici- 
pated four months before it took place. When we left our former 
home she told Mr. F. that her brother, then a seemingly healthy man 
of twenty-two, would soon follow, and that her aged mother and 
youngest brother would live alone at the family seat, for she had so 
seen them. She spoke of these facts with deep distress, and gradually 
they seemed to fade from her memory. Two years later her brother 
died after a very brief illness, and the younger brother and 
mother are to-day occupying the old seat, as they have done in com- 
parative loneliness for nearly twenty years ! '^ 

To give all the evidences of this and a kindred character 
that attended the lives of these persons would require volumes. 
We give but an example here and there, and such only as 
received the acknowledgment of many disinterested persons. 
Mr. F. claims that his most painstaking studies of the gravest 
questions were often anticipated, aided, and matured by the 
reflections of Mrs. F. from this highly interior condition, and 
that if he has any claim to-day to consideration in metaphysical 
or religious teaching, it is the result of his measure of fidelity to 
the administering of a Power above and beyond all the books 
and treatises it was his care, as it was his profession, to study, 
and perhaps master. 




" The certain approach, and, to some extent, the character of 
the present terrific revolution in American society and politics 
was often foreshadowed to my own mind, and to me through 
other organizations with which I was associated. So true is 
this, that I can now say in all honesty that most, if not all, its 
strange and generally unexpected events were panoramically 
portrayed to me years before they were actualized in the expe- 
rience of our people and before the gaze of the world. I was 
not engaged in politics. True, I was a student of our own 
system of government and those of other countries, but not 
with reference to place, position, or partizan triumph in any 
direction such as modem policy has taken. I loved my country 
— ^my whole country — and was not insensible to the disjointed 
character of our institutions, nor to the disasters which coloniza- 
tion and emigration from all quarters of the globe threatened. 
It was clear to my mind from common observation that our 
statesmanship, degenerating into mere partizan strife for spoils 
and power, would be unequal to the task of legislating for the 
natural and imavoidable diversity of sentiment and purpose 
that our great contrariety in soil, climate, and culture was pro- 
ducing, and must ever spontaneously produce. But as my duties 
were all that one mortal man, in my surroundings, could 
perform, I avoided all political strife, and was content to nerve 
myself against approaching danger, and hold my mind ready 
for an inevitable change. 


'' Constantly, however, the impending straggle was portrayed 
before me by these supramondane evidences, as all my records 
will show, and my speeches, sermons, and indeed all my public 
addresses, were marked with what my friends have since chosen 
to call Prophecies of the Revolution. For example : in my 
last address before my congregation, in voluntarily surrendering a 
large and beautiful church that was built for my use, in a 
valedictory sermon that was preached at the time, I used these 
-then appareutly meaningless-words :-' Iliave offered you, 
my friends, to-day some thoughts that, although they live in my 
soul and can never be separated from my life, may not be 
verified in my day nor perfected in my generation. But when 
your sons shall live for the Ood of avarice that threatens to 
rule over this fair land, and die slaughtered for their devil of 
ambition^ you will begin to realize that they are not fancy's 
dream of the night, nor the ebullitions of what some might 
regard ideal fear for our future. I tell you that civil war is 
inevitable. I tell you that this proud nation will go to war 
with itself. I tell you that not the slavery of the African, but 
the power that wields the consciences of men as so many toys 
will involve you in another struggle of arms for mental freedom. 
The men who to-day trifle with the grave questions your 
condition as a people involves, are as dogs that prowl at night 
to invade the habitations of peace. Your peace is already 
invaded, and no power can stay the impending storm. It 
would be to make myself a dog not to tell you so, and 
that in language plain and common as the language of your 

" Almost every reflected evidence given at my own family 

altar of truthful communion was filled with these warning 

admonitions. I will select one, fr*om many that are quite as 

distinct and unmistakeable, that bears the date of 1859, given 

through Mrs. L. L. W., and addressed to me before she knew 


M 2 


" Eecoid it in your hearts, record it in your capitol, for, as sure 
as God reigns, the era of justice has dawned, and the upheaving 
soul of humanity will reveal to you, man of the fetr-seeingeye, 
a heap of ashes where the altar of your people now stands. In vain 
does the most enlightened vision opened to your gaze sleep. In 
vain your country folds its arms and cries, 'All is welV The 
mother, to that sound of ' All is well,* folds her arms about the 
infant and rocks it to sleep. The father with his iron-heeled boot 
walks on the edge of the volcano, nor feels the shell tremble beneath 
his feet Heaven knocks at the door, and still the enlightened 
vision sleeps. Agonized mothers and anguished fathers are leagued, 
not to overcome an obstacle of Spirit-land, so called, but the 
mountains of earth, that they may reach the hearts of men. It is 
for this your Washingtons, your Jefifersons, your brightest constel- 
lations, left silent their harps in highest heaven, and came down 
barefoot as it were, with the stench of earth filling and sating 
eveiy sensibility, knocking at the door of eveiy heart Prostrate at 
the feet even of the prostitute, threading every fibre of the human 
heart, they have pleaded and sought to awaken a recognition. But 
with all the lights which cluster about him, and though the vision of 
all past times is unfolded before your generation, the statesman 
refuses to hear. We have knocked at the door of the mother, the 
woman, the man, and at last we have taken up our station at the 
open heart of the prostitute soul, and that is why God has sounded 
His note so long in the so-called lower spheres. 

" Then after a full description of the revolution and its world- 
wide direction and influence, the address continues : — 

« This is a mere outlining of the picture which should arise to 
the statesman's vision were it not obscured by the death-stroke of 
passion. And while the domestic, the social and political aspect of 
your country is blazing with stars of mighty brilliancy, should one 
break out from the dark cloud, how around it the wanderers in 
darkness would cluster^ expecting to receive light &om this source ! 
But no sooner do they approach than it is gone out, and the dark- 
ness is deeper than before. Lo 1 in the Southern horizon another 
looms to view, but the children no sooner ask of its light than it 
too is swallowed up in darkness, and another flock is dispersed, 


until there is presented to view one vast herd of sheep scattered in 
wild dismay ; while from the North comes the shout of ' Wolf, 
wolf ! ' and they flee in mad terror to the South ; hut here also 
is the shout of ' Wolf, wolf ! ' which hurries them in confuBion to 
the West ; hut yet again, * Wolf, wolf I ' till at last, ohscured in 
gloom, they turn wolf and devour each other ; until even from the 
Masonic East, where the grand master takes his seat, there is dark- 
ness and confusion, and the cry goes up, ' The temple is demolished, 
the craft dispersed, the instruments are worthless, the compass lost, 
the square broken, the plumb-line gone,' and no Mason rises up to 
say, * God is established, and I am firm.' 

" Again, in an address delivered in Dr. Clapp's church, in 
New Orleans, 3rd March, 1856 (reported in the New Orleans 
Delta)y to a large audience, in which were some of the most 
distinguished men of the country, many of whom observed the 
singularity of my extempore utterances, I remarked : — 

'* These solemn and undeniable considerations leave me to survey 
my country from a human stand-point, independent of sectional and 
selflsh estimates, whether regarded as great or otherwise. We love 
our country without seeking or sharing her offices of honour or 
emolument. We rejoice in her unparalleled prosperity, her ascend- 
ing greatness, and love to contemplate her destiny, under God, as 
the protector of the rights and privileges of all her people. But we 
are not blind to the dangers that threaten her peace and progress, 
now being fearfully felt by all sincere lovers of our kind over the 
civilized world. She stands upon the brink of civil and perhaps 
foreign war. Yes ; civil war will be but the ripening of the seeds of 
sectional jealousy and sectarian animosity, sown over all her fairest 
fields of promise. The so-esteemed religious organizations of the 
country are powerless before this spirit, for they are kindred with 
it and increase its fury. The political will culminate in wild 
anarchy and its consequent distrust. The spirit of human brother- 
hood both affect and both despise. The unity of God in a diversified 
humanity neither seem able to recognize, much less to exemplify in 
the assertion and promotion of the sublime principles, precepts, and 
practices that ever tend to justice, which is peace. And h3nce the 


perilous attitude of our country over the most horrible of all whirl- 
pools of passion and desolation is the result of the enthronement of 
an old Daemon, which has despotised over the fairest fields, and 
blighted the brightest prospects of human hope in all ages. Not 
the slavery of the African, nor the propositions to precipitately free 
him ; not Missouri compromises, nor Nebraska-Kansas bills ; not the 
predominance of Whig, Democratic, Free soO, or American oiganiza- 
tions. No ! These are subordinate issues, and are the occasions, not 
the causes of the danger ; and the angry and dangerous conflicts 
that grow out of them have a deeper root. Avarice is that root. 
Our people are sold to an all-grasping, and consequently an all- 
defeating avarice ; and its seed of dissension is growing the tree 
which bears the fruit of bitterness and discord, that disrupts our 
friendship, disorganizes our society, corrupts our legislation, renders 
hypocritical our religion, and must desolate before we can revive 
our hope. It will, my good friends, whether we believe it or not, 
precipitate us into a fratricidal or parricidal war ; a war against the 
Government, and a war of States against States. God has said in 
every noble impulse of the human heart and every fallen monu- 
ment of mortal greatness, the oppressors of the poor shall perish in 
their power I Upon the lofty eminence of eternal right the spirit 
of truth and justice has her everlasting throne from which to spread 
her guardian care over the homeless and weak. It inspires their 
hope in poverty and unrequited labour ; it arouses their indignation 
under legalized frauds; it renders them restless and passionate 
under oppression ; ay, and it watches over that very passion and 
its ignorant direction, and guides to a tempest that sweeps with un- 
relenting power till all is prostrate before it. It deserts them not 
amid the pestilences of the sinking cities they live and die to feed, 
and never abandons them to the merciless fate their oppressors 
anticipate, save to upturn and destroy the instrumentalities of such 
polluted power. Oh ! that I were lost, as it were, in the infinite 
realm of thought, that I might portray the lesson that humanity ever 
indites as the behest of God Eternal to man universal ! As a dim 
picture, it rises now before me by a Power I cannot reflect in its 
fulness of wisdom ; I can only faintly discern and picture. As with 
the voice of God from behind the black cloud of their wrongs, the 
inspiration that overtumeth proud cities and states, and levels Inxu- 
rious wrong in the dust, ever speaks to the outcast children of a 



common bounty, saying, GouRAa£ ! The double eye of pity and 
wisdom bendeth over them and says to the oppressor, Beware ! for 
the day of thy power is short, and there will be a time when tern 
porary greatness will be naught. Commiseration for the homeless 
and friendless is the guarantee of safety to any Government, be it 
great or small. It opens the heart ; it bindeth it in unity with the 
divine purpose of social peace and individual progress, and the 
turbulent passions of envy and malice are then fed no more. Yes ; 
I know that civil war is now inevitable. The power that trampleth 
a fellow mortal beneath its feet disgraces itself and defies its GK>d« 
Oh ! dreadful day. Is there not virtue and patriotism, humanity 
and philanthropy enough in this heaven-favoured land to avert a 
calamity so fearful 1 Shall the glory of our country, destined^ as all 
have hoped, to be great and wondrous in the annals of the world, 
fade beneath the dark clouds of differences and conflicts that make us 
less than men 1 Must our slaughtered sons redden the earth with 
their blood to commemorate some fancied wrong — some momentary 
supremacy of pretended right 1 Shall brave men and honest hearts 
made to lead forward the army of progress to the conquest of the 
earth for a common brotherhood, the union of all the children of 
God, anU the opening of the very gates of Paradise in the know- 
ledge of a spiritual nature in all, and a Godlike destiny for all, 
whose evidences are so signally manifest to this age and this people^ 
breathe forth their last as miserable poltroons, fiEincying themselves 
aggrieved because their political and religious usages are not accepted 
by men who, however unfortunate in the meagemess of their earthly 
possessions, dare to he men ? 

'^ Again, in an address delivered in the New Masonic Temple 
of Nashville, December, 1860, on the * Nature of the Human 
Mind,' in the midst of my subject I made a sudden and 
marked digression, and said : — 

" Ladies and Gentlemen, — You are vastly beyond the compre- 
hensive view of what I conceive to be a duty, if you fail to com- 
prehend the unmeasured and immeasurable importance of a subject I 
have now proposed for your contemplation. I know of nothing, 
high or low, broad or less, that does not take within its scope an 
idea that cannot be measured. That idea ever stands to the human 


gaze as immensity, as both high and low, without beginniiig, without 
ending — the Infinite in degree. And why shall I grasp it 1 Be- 
cause we know it not, and still have it most. What pulsation of 
the human soul that acts contrary that is not the executive to the 
thought that breathes its joy, inspires its hope, and looks cherish- 
ingly even upon its dissolution ? Where ? What power ? What 
breath 1 Where is Nature or her God, if not in the impulses of 
the man or the soul that speaks the dictum of human kind ; and 
upon what and where rests the nature that speaks in presence 
before you to-night, but in the links that make the chain that girds 
time, eternity, death, desolation, devil, heaven 1 I speak, Grand 
Master of the East, from the western wilds, and I look to heaven 
and soar in earth, and in the mid-realms of my nature, and what do 
I behold ? What do I behold in other lands ] But especially, 
what do I behold here 1 Man's efforts building monuments whose 
only inscriptions are everlasting shame to their progeny. 1 see 
forms of government, state or national — so called — around me* 
But I behold the land of promise bedewed with the blood of its 
Bii*es in its very birth. And alas ! what less 1 The approaching 
eve of the ministering hand of desolating time brings her sequel ; 
sequel to my, your country ! My hope ! my love ! my joy ! 
my future ! All that makes the manhood of my heart breathe 
lieavily, while it labours most seriously to encompass the divinity 
that perpetuates the growth, that burdens the natural condition of 
my country. The hope I would cherish, the life I would live, the 
duty I would feel well performed for my day and my generation, 
my time and my kind, like the sun of life and the immortality of 
nature, is beclouded in open day, and sinks before my vision and 
holds me spell-bound. I am lost amid the realities of myself, and 
anew taught that humanity is frail, and the uncontrollable events of 
time are immortality, the insignia of God. Heaven to this people 
seems masked in dismay, and no man knows true day. Time, the 
unfathomable, the unseen, the unknown, the height, the depth, 
the broadcast, where is thy resting-place 1 Upon what altar dost 
thou breathe thine incense, that we may know that thou art and 
hast a God ) For diversified, beyond all that falls to the finite, 
we fail to comprehend and encompass thee. Shall we then still 
seek thee or seek thy origin 1 — the birth of thought, the home, 
the pinnacle that ascends above the object and holds in supreme 


reverence the day that crowns thy exit as the memento of thy birth 
divine, and of thy omnipotence as hallowed 1 Or shall we leave 
the God of our fathers, and call humanity a fiend and death 
nothing 1 Then I give you this emblem of my thought, of my 
nature and my kind : viz., The inspiration of the human mind 1 It 
wafts man over a sea unknown, and bids him return to his native 
bome, whose treasures are immortal, unexhausted by convulsions 
deep and wide of erring nature or human tide, in which a nation's 
birth will speak in this fair land, or a cold and dark embrace clasp 
all that we have or are known to be. . . . Then let it be our 
province to allay all fear, and march boldly forward to the conquest 
of the unity of those indissoluble ties that bind and interbind the 
instincts of all human kind — of life, of love^ of liberty ; for all are 
scintillations of the human mind ! " 

Perhaps a still more noticeable order of supramundane 
direction may be seen in the manner in which Mr. Ferguson 
was sent to the Chicago Convention that nominated Mr. 
Lincoln for the Presidency. He knew there was to be a con- 
vention of the Republican party, but he did not know where 
or when. On the night of the ISth May, at a distance of 700 
miles from Chicago, and in the midst of duties of quite another 
character, he was waked out of his sleep by a voice saying,. 
"You must attend the convention." Next day he inquired 
for a convention, and found there was none in the city where 
he dwelt or in its vicinity. The next day and night his mind 
was constantly impressed, " Go to the convention." He arose 
and determined to make a call in the country to get rid of the 
indefinite direction if possible. As he was getting into the 
carriage for hfe country drive, he was forcibly stopped by an 
unseen hand, when, an old friend approaching, he asked his 
usual question, " Is there any political convention near here P " 
"No," said the friend; "but the Republican Convention 
to nominate a President comes off the day after to-morrow at 
Chicago, Illinois, and I have come to tell you of it." " I will 
go," was Mr. Ferguson's response, and he left in an hour or 


two and arrived at Chicago, the only man from his State that 
attended the convention. What he did there it is needless to 
record ; but while there he received a message, dictated, as he 
afterwards learned, from what proved to be the death-bed of 
the person through whom it was given. It was addressed to 
him '' al the Chicago (Lincoln) Convention." These were its 
exact words of address. It should be remembered that Mr* 
Lincoln was not thought a prominent candidate at that time, 
and it is said that his name was actually unknown to the person 
who sent the letter to Mr. Ferguson : — 

" From the Spirit of the 16th May. 

" Greeting : 

'* The crown hath &llen from the brow of Judah and settled in 
brilliancy upon the forehead of the wandering child of Ishmael. 

** The dove hath folded its wings over the ark of the covenant of 
the God of Abraham. 

" The within is sacred and pure. The casket is locked and the 
key placed in the hand of the master. Blindness hath fallen upon 
the hosts of Israel The standard bearers have fallen from the 
mount, and the citadel is invaded by the host clustered so long and 
eagerly around the mount. 

''Alas! alas! that the beating of drums and the sound of 
martial music should make the last band forsake the altar of the 
living God 1 But 'tis even so ! A camp fire lit by the hand of 
nature bath gone out in midnight darknese,. and the conflagration 
upon the surrounding hills shall ere long reserve to your sight, 
O man of the far-seeing eye, but a heap of ashes where the ark 
of our God rested. 

*' The hewers of wood and drawers of water will cease their 
work, and there are none to replenish the fires. 

" From the sentinel on the western wall, 
'* Whose name is Death beneath the pall ! 

"Addressed to J. B. F., Chicago (Lincoln) Convention. Dated 
15th May, 1860." 

This document, though written in highly figurative language. 


came to Mr. Ferguson as a distinct and genuine prophecy^ 
corresponding with alt his impressions and premonitions ; the 
forebodings of conflict and desolation that had come to his own 
mind or been received from or through the minds of others. 

On this very curious and most interesting subject, the editor 
hereof received, on the ISth of February, 1865, a letter from 
Mr. Ferguson, of which the following is a copy. It will be 
observed that the letter, hastily written, was not intended for 
publication, but, in the exercise of the discretion permitted him, 
he has thought best to place it in this record just as it was 
written. The unknown future will decide its value as an 
evidence of prevision. No one will pretend that the 
events here predicted could be calculated upon as those which 
might naturally have been expected : — 

"Liverpool, 12th February, 1865. 

" My dear Friend, — For one week I have been pursued by a 
thought I shall now attiempt to express, and that withoat respect 
to the book or my personality, or that of any other mortal entity. I 
wish you to know it distinctly, and your * knowledge thereof is 
the full and entire object of this writing. 

" First, then, last March (1864) in unison with all the evidences 
of perfect and undeniable guidance of my entire life, amid the 
scenes of revolution in America, I was made to know and msike 
known that Grant would not take Eichmond, when an entire nation 
believed, either from fear or hope, that he would, in the then pro- 
jected campaign ; that terrific battles would be fought, ineffective 
in all the ends contemplated, and in no way tending to the cessation 
of slaughter and desolation. 

" Secondly. That the South would, in the end — that is now at the 
door — ^form an alliance with France, which alliance would first be 
sanctioned and then sustained by England, Austria and Spain. 

" Thirdly. That France, failing in her most commendable efforts 
to unite nations so diverse in interests as England and Russia in 
an offer of mediation, and then failing in her own offer of such 
mediation, would establish in a legitimate and orderly course of 


events her authority and legalized right over large portions of 
American territory. 

** Fourthly, That the inevitable course of events would lead her 
and her allies to send fleets and armies to the ports of Mexico, and to 
the breaking up of the blockade of the ports of the Southern States; 
to war with the Northern States ; the taking of San Francisco on 
the Pacific, of Washington city in the east, and an undesigned and 
undesired invasion of Federal territory beyond the boundary claimed 
by the Confederate States, — all of which would be justified to English 
and European conceptions of humanity and international justice by 
the rejection of all ofifers of mediation and pacification. 

" Fifthly. That these events would place the people and property 
of the entire Union — so called — ^under military rule and direction, 
drafting every man capable of bearing arms, and controlling, by 
forcible seizure, all the resources of the States under a military 

*' Sixthly. That when these events and their natural concomitants 
were manifested, revolution in Europe would lead England to break 
her alliance with the Continental Powers, and cause the European 
armies to be withdrawn from American soil, but not until the most 
destructive battles had been fought there that time has ever re- 

'* Seventhly. That then the full use and abuse of so-called spiritual 
manifestations would be seen and recognized in displays of power, 
destroying embattled hosts, and verifying all the visions of all the 
seers of God, in all ages past, and in the inauguration, out of mate- 
rials being prepared, of a Government that would be in fact, as well 
as in name, human and divine, and that all this would occur between 
the present time and 1871, and most of it during the years 1865, 
1866, and 1867. 

** Xow, I believe all this and much more, and my every act is 
regulated by the living consciousness of the ripening of events, con- 
ditions, and agencies, that look to these and kindred results. 

''This is only too specific, and yet not enough so ; but it is all 
that imperfect writing, as I am now placed, can portray. I do 
not write it for your beb'ef, or for the book, or any purpose other 
than to lay it before you as an index of my horoscope of coming 
events. God wills the future, and I own my God by bowing to 
His present, whatever that may be. All 1 have said to Confederates 


or Federates is in this line, and every line thus Deit has been verified 

even with and beyond my fedth. Bead, reject, or regard as you 

may form or mature your own intuition or trust. Let the book 

be your estimate of me and the truths for which you may see me 


'^ In good hope and fulness of love, yours, 

"J. B. F." 



The reasonable man, having become satisfied of the reaKty of 
a fact, next demands a theory. An effect must have a cause 
and a mode of action. To everything there must be a why 
and a wherefore, though both may be for the present beyond 
our reach. As a matter of fact, the causes of all natural 
phenomena are beyond our reach. We give names to facts, 
(K5currences, or phenomena, as Newton gave the name of 
gravitation to the fact that masses of matter tend to each other 
with a certain force ; but he neither knew nor pretended to 
know the nature of that force or its mode of operation. If we 
cannot tell how a blade of grass grows, or how the hand is 
moved by an act of the will, how can we be expected to explain 
the actions of thought and sympathy, and the modes by which 
spirits communicate P 

In our sciences we observe facts — ^we arrange them — we dis- 
cover analogies ; and finding that certain phenomena occur 
with considerable uniformity, we call such uniformity of action 
a law, while we may be very far from the heart of things, and 
mistaken in many of our theories. This is our condition 
respecting physical science. I have a very vague idea of what 
constitutes the hardness and elasticity of the steel pen with 
which I am writing.* I know much less of the brain by which 
it is guided, and still less of the mind, of which the brain is an 
instrument. It is manifest, then, that an attempt to give the 
philosophy of spirit-intercourse must be, from the nature of the 

MR. Ferguson's theories. - 199 

case, a failure, and can only consist of guesses, suggestions, and 
deductions more or less reasonable. I propose, therefore, in 
this chapter to give such observations as I find in the writings 
of Mr. Ferguson committed to my charge, as I may consider 
most pertinent, with such comments, if any, as they mayseem 
to require. 

It was while Mr. Ferguson was the minister of a large con- 
gregation at Nashville that he became from experiences such as 
are related in this volume a firm believer in the fact of spirit- 
communion. In a pamphlet addressed to his congregation, " On 
the Relation of Pastor and People," Mr, Ferguson gives a 
"Statement of Belief,'* from which I take the following 
passage: — 

" It has been said, you believe in ipiritualism. I answer, 
unhesitatingly, I do. So far as the word spiritualism represents 
the opposite of the materialistic philosophy, I do not remember 
when I was not a spiritualist. So far as it might represent devo- 
tion to spiritual things, such as truth, holiness, charity, it is my 
profession to be a spiritualist. And so far as it represents now an 
acceptance of the possibility of spirit-intercourse with man, it is 
but candour to say, I believe it without hesitancy and without doubt. 
That there are many absurdities and some mischief connected with 
what claims to be spirit-manifestation I know, but I know also that 
there is much truth and good. My brethren, I have examined this 
question in all the reverence for God and love for truth of which 
my nature and circumstances are capable. At home and abroad, for 
days and weeks together, alone and in company, with believers and 
sceptics,.! have investigated ; and I could neither bean honest man 
nor a philanthropist, did I not say I know that I have had intelli- 
gent and blissful communion with departed spirits I 

call upon heaven to witness that I have no consciousness of ever 
having stated a conviction in your presence that was more a convic- 
tion of my highest reason than the solemn and yet joyous assevera- 
tion, that I believe God has granted spiritual intercourse to these 
times. And this conviction does not lessen any faith I have in 
God, in Christ, in the Spirit of Holiness ; but only enlightens, hal- 
lows, and beautifies it, and deepens my reverence.** 


In one of the notes appended to this pamphlet, Mr. Ferguson 
says: — 

*' In the reference made to our belief in the reality of spirit- 
intercourse, we desire to be understood. We esteem it the height 
of folly to meet this grave subject with ridicule and sneers ; and 
especially so from men whose professed duty it is to guide the faith 
and train the religious sentiments of their hearers. If from no 
other consideration, the fact that some of the wisest and best of 
men, in and out of churches, go by our churches to what are called 
mediums to seek or replenish their faith in spiritual realities, must 
awaken attention in all serious lovers of their kind. We cannot 
fisiil to see that there is a faculty in man which waits and longs to 
lay hold of immortality, and that it will not be put off by vague 
generalities. Has the modern pulpit baffled or met this faculty P 
Has it fed or starved this want of the soul 1 Is the dread future it 
presents a vast inane — a land of selfish separations, clouded in 
superstition, or is it a land of sun-bright and satisfying realities 1 
Have we a consistent pneumatology alike satisfactory to the reason 
and captivating to the imagination of man ? I leave the reader to 

'* There can be but two modes of communication between the 
spiritual world and the natural — one through the reason and affec* 
tions, the other through the external senses. The first is the 
ordinaiy method of Divine Providence, by which our hearts may 
be renewed and our understandings illuminated. By this method, 
I doubt not, the angels of God constantly guide and strengthen us, 
giving light to our minds and love to our hearts. They are with 
us in trial to soothe us ; in the day of conflict to nerve our arms 
with conquering strength ; and as .our nature becomes more 
spiritualized, we will realize that we live in their society, and 
although we may not see them, they encamp as a wall of fire 
around. Such influence tends not to repress but to unfold all our 
highest powers. It ennobles our nature; fortifies or makes our 
manhood ; acts within our own faculties, and gives them growth 
and' compass ; purifies our affections, and opens them as a clear 
mirror of heavenly truth. Thus spirits unfold the angel and 
transform the animal within us, and make our Acuities so clear 
and strong that we anticipate the bliss while we see the divine laws 



of the spiritual world. We do not deny that we have witnessed 
appeals to the grosser nature of man. But these appeals we regard 
as intended to awaken many who could not otherwise be awakened 
from the moral lethargy that pervades their spiritual energies. The 
apostle Paul has laid down the axiom that ' signs are not for those 
that believe, but for those that believe not.' So I have seen the 
physical demonstrations of modern spiritualism. lake index boards, 
they are not the road, but only indicate it. Those who are satisfied 
with signs, doom their moral powers to inaction and bring upon 
themselves all the weakness of the old superstitions. They move 
like too many professed but blinded Christians, among spectral 
shadows, lose their self-reliance and degrade their God-given reason. 
. . . . From my own personal observation and experience, I 
would say to all my friends : — The privilege of spirit-intercourse 
exists ; and it may come to you in all gentle and peaceful influences \ 
in all Christian graces and charities ; in bright and blessed assur- 
ances of immortality ; in faith made full and clear that realizes 
already the solemn ranks and sweet societies of the radiant homes, 
whither the departed have gone ; may come as Christ has ever 
sought to come into the heart of humanity, refining its spirit and 
forming His bright imago within yoiL It will be our own shame if 
we abuse so high and holy a privilega The elements are certainly 
at work by which the objects of immortality will be made as real to 
the soul as matter is to the senses ; and the day is at hand when 
the light of the spirit-world will throw its steady splendours over 
all earthly afiairs. As a Christian teacher I desire more than I 
desire any earthly good to be ready for the crisis that day will reveal. 
My position, then, can be easily understood. I am not a propagandist 
of spiritualism. If true it will propagate itself despite all opposition 
and every mistake of its friends or foes. Knowing it to be a real 
privilege, I stand ready to accept and appropriate its helps, I trust, 
with becoming humility and sincerity, and faith in the benevolent 
purposes of God." 

Later, in the printed volume from which some of these 
records are taken, we find the following observations on " The 
Future Spiritual Life and its Relations to the 
Present" : — 

** The bright evidences of personal identity and individuality 



preserved in, and disclosed from the spiritual world, as recorded in 
the preceding pages, form no ordinary chapter in human experience. 
They fully warrant us in saying, we know, from the clearest intui- 
tions of our souls, and most accurate observations of our understand- 
ing, that the human soul is made to sustain spiritual and eternal 
relationships, sanctifying and making sacied every natural tie of 
kindred and affection. 

" Without these direct evidences of human immortality, we know 
that many minds have accepted the hope of future existence, and 
perhaps no sane mind has been entirely bereft of the desire to live 
after the dissolution of the body ; but the hope has often been made 
to sanction the most enormous assumptions over human consciences, 
and clouds of the darkest superstitions have everywhere gathered 
over it, which have denied to it its natural privileges, and made it 
more a dread and slavish fear, than a buoyant and purifying antici- 
pation. Tobelieve the soul formed merely for the present uncertain 
and unsatisfying mode of existence, to an enlightened mind was to 
believe it created without a worthy purpose, in a imiverse every- 
where displaying most happy adaptation of means to ends. Possessed 
of desires that were never fully gratified ; aspirations never reaching 
their ideals ; loves severed, but not destroyed ; hopes disappointed, 
but not obliterated — it seemed to exist only as a splendid failure 
and tantalization, unless it were regarded as sustaining spiritual 
affinities, yet to be realized, after its present organization was 

** Now, when we add to this the assurance of the power of the 
eternal truth, brought within the reach of every man by spirit 
manifestation, that the future life is but a continuation of the 
spiritual part of the present — when we come to know, and not 
merely to accept, upon the interested or fanatical testimony of 
others, that we only throw oif the mere modes and customs of life, 
and not life itself, at death — our steam engines, railways, ships, 
shops, banks, farms, houses, offices, and apparel, and that even their 
spiritual meanings are as eternal as the spirits out of which they 
were made ; that the outside covering conceals only a part of our 
nature ; and that all our higher faculties can be exercised even now, 
in a purely spiritual direction, and are so exercised in every 
effort to separate truth from falsehood, in all high meditation and 
devout abstraction ; when we are made to see that even those of our 



faculties that are wasting in the using can be made servants to the 
purer life, and the channels of their exercise, in our business and 
pleasure, maybe penetrated by the influencesof our kindred of nobler 
development beyond the fleshly hindrances of the body — ^we may 
make our lives on earth flow, almost without a break, into that of 
the heavenly spheres. And thus we would not so much prepare for 
eternity, as live it now ; not fls the eye so impatiently on the 
distant future as to cause us to stumble over every object before us 
and ingloriously waste our days in needless repinings and disap- 
pointments, but make our every step here an advance to our ideal 
of hereafter. This life would become but a part of that. The 
same law would be found to regulate both. High aspiration and 
holy duty would be seen as the means, the only means, to create 
the atmosphere of unbounded confidence everywhere. And to 
carry out the highest conception of beauty and excellence possible 
to the present condition ; to extract and enjoy the real and not 
the factitious sweets of the passing moments, we would daily feel 
that a wholesome future can only grow out of a healthful present 

*' All good thought elevates ; all evil thought degrades the thinker ; 
and no thought weakens till we almost lose our identity and become 

** The outward appearance of vice is repulsive to all. Spirit- 
communion proves that the inward ought to be more so. If a man 
would not speak a lie, spirit-communion would say, Do not think 
it. The atmosphere of evil-thinking makes the miasma that destroys 
spiritual health. You cannot breathe it freely ; you cannot feel 
while breathing it the immortal beat of a Godlike nature. 

^^ Thus spirit-intercourse opens up hope for all, and provides its 
conditions. It makes every thought and wish of the soul proof of 
its reality. It says to every honest questioner. Examine your 
own soul — in solitude, alone, afar from the grosser considerations 
of fleshly demands — and it will become a mirror of spiritual light 
it could neither create nor destroy. It teaches that a pure thought 
in any soul, however sunken, generates a light that opens up 
glories and attributes that may yet adorn it with brightness and 
beauty eternal. . 

" What an eternal value does this view of man give to his soul ! 
It shows it never mature, but ever maturing, with appropriate 

delights provided for its every step. It reveals that soul as the 

N 2 


ofispring of God, to make the physical form and then wear it out, 
by contact and collision with the gross world in which it has the 
nursery of its being. It makes the material eye, and when it be- 
comes glazed and dim, it opens its spiritual essence to the clear 
vision of eternal light. As its outward ear becomes closed and 
deaf, the spiritual ear opens to the melodies of eternal symphony. 
And when the whole form stiffens and falls as a clod to rise no 
more, the spirit, young and undying, soars gracefully over the bright 
fields and through the joyous scenes that awaken its life anew to 
everlasting sympathy. It finds its home in that bright world, out 
of which every form of beauty in this receives its essential origin, 
and into which, at their decay in form, they return. N"o language 
can describe its boundaries ; no pencil paint its beauties ; no intel- 
lect grasp its grandeur. It is worthy of God ; and our moral and 
intellectual progression mirrors its scenes, as we are prepared to 
receive their grand ideals. Were we really just, and pure, and free, 
we would feel, as these disclosures come to us, a Godlike nature 
opening within that would give us more realizing views than any 
imperfect description can ever command. If the native nobleness 
of our nature were opened, so that its vision wo\ild rise above the 
mists that gather o'er the ways of deceptive and iniquitous 
indulgence and perversion of our passions and appetites, we 
would see a world of meaning in every object of sight or sound, 
and, daily, rekindle the eternal flame of love at altars over which 
no strife nor battle's roar are heard. Little spirits in the flesh 
whose years had revolved but half a score, have given me, in their 
happy trances, brighter visions of the land to which we all are 
rapidly moving, than have ever been open to me along the plodding 
ways of philosophy, or the dark aisles of a formal religion. They 
have said, and seemed scarcely to know why they said it, that its 
mounts were glorious — 'festooned with vines, and blooming with 
flowers ;" that its broad rivers were variegated with cascades and 
cataracts, and flow ever amid the eternal bloom of purest blossoms 
and the bending burdens^of the Tree of Life ; that sweetest strains 
of music pour forth from myriad voices, not one discordant note, 
while hosts of happy spirits move to the melodious notes in offices 
of duty and ecstasies of love. And their little voices, tuned by 
spirit hands, spoke so simply, so sweetly, and yet so grandly of that 
immortal land, that I, even /, with all my unworthy grossness. 


almost heasd the strains that came so gently on their innocent 
ears ; and I, too, longed to pass away from a world and a church 
that had met my best and purest motives, my daily and nightly 
labours in their behalf, with so much of misconception, injury, and 
wrong. But then the strain swelled to clarion notes of victory and 
glory, above as well as within the strife of human passion, and re- 
vealed that it would be servile and traitorous to leave while one 
hope for good remained. Ah ! yes ; spirits have descended from 
their native home, and given to us revelations of the deep indwell- 
ing realities of those expanded fields of Almighty planting, whose 
shining glory penetrates the deep azure by day, and whose myriad 
lights span the dark archway by nighty and they invite our purest 
affections thitherward. Would we but freely exercise these affec- 
tions, we could know that these things are so. If we will not 
purify them^ no amount of evidence can make them realities to 
us. Then 

' Come ! and let the spirits guide 

Where doubt and darkness never come ; 
Where purest blossoms by the side 

Of living streams for ever bloom ! 

) if 

These were among his earliest thoughts on this subject of 
infinite interest. We subjoin one of his latest expressions in 
the following brief essay, which he has entitled " The Philosophy 
of Supramundane Evidences, as recognized in my experience 
and observations " : — 

" To define is to limii To limit is to circumscribe. There is 
that which admits of no definition. There is the unlimited, the 
imdefined, and imdefinable. !Not as a dread secret of nature or 
divinity committed to certain authori2ed agents or agencies, but 
in its own nature unlimited, illimitable. It cannot be defined, 
because it is the definition of all we see, realize, or know. It 
cannot be explained, because it is the explanation of all in, around, 
above, and beneath us. We may call or name it nature. Cosmos^ 
God, immortality — ^no name expresses what the intuition of the 
soul realizes, and therefore no name should be used as a circum- 
scription for thought. Spirit is as good, perhaps to our culture the 
best designation we can use : spirit as divinity ; divinity as power ; 
power as ministering everywhere and in everything. 



'^ Spirit with me, then, is an intangible reality. Mark you, a 
reality ; though intangible, nnmeasnred, and unmeasurable by any 
manifestation, whether considered great or small, good or otherwise. 
Spirit is the all, and all is spirit Form or effect is its manifesta- 
tion — existing, changing, developing by it and for it. Thus man, 
contemplated as form, is a manifestation of spirit, and he receives 
his physical stature from spirit, under a law of progress or ascent, 
and can never in any recognized condition or relation be regarded 
as its measure or standard. He is immortal by this law, for its 
existence is unending. He drinks from its founts ; is constructed 
and reconstructed by its ordering ; and his stature of attainment, 
whatever it may be, is but a stature under the ever-developing law 
of change. 

" Spirit, as it ascends, holds subordinate all the conditions 
through which it has passed. This is true of whatever we con- 
template or analyze, and is expressively so of man to man. To 
illustrate : You hand me a grain of wheat. In that grain I recog- 
nize all the constituent properties of root, solid fibre, sap, stalk, 
blade, blossom, through which it has ascended. Take it to Egypt 
or America, and place it in appropriate conditions, and it will repro- 
duce these and again ascend above them. So of all that we recognize 
in the mineral, vegetable, and animal departments of external nature 
around us. Eminently, and on what is to us a higher scale of 
recognition, is this true of man. Spirit in an infant scarcely com- 
mands a single muscle. The hand, for example, slowly and very 
awkwardly opens. In the child it has ascended to a ready use and 
effect ; still more in adolescence, and yet more in what we call the 
attainment of his stature or maturity. 

'< Let us suppose him what we call dead ; and what is death, so 
far as a matured form is concerned. Follow the law of ascent, and 
by analogy we would expect that all he could once do he can still 
do, and more, by the very fact that he has ascended above this now 
cast-off form. Spirit in him, or by him, has ascended, and holds 
subordinate the conditions through which he has passed. Hence 
in all ages, and now most undeniably in this, the intelligence, force, 
and varied human manifestations we in this book and in kindred 
books choose to call supramundane, are the evidences of this 
ascending power in man ; so they make claim for themselves, and 
so we are forced to recognize them by every analogy of our existing 

M..I ^^^^^icc^^m^mmmmmmi^^mmi 


cognizance and condition. An intelligence, therefore, that has 
ascended above its, to us^ tangible form, can do all it ever did and 
more. Ay, as the matore man can do all he did, or reveal all the 
power he manifested as an infant or a child, or as an adolescent, so 
now he can do all he did in these conditions, and all he could do 
as a man and more in the power of his new condition. He com- 
mands the conditions he was once in, in which we are still, and in 
nature, in God, if you please, still goes forward by the law of 
infinitude, the law of immortality. Death is thus seen to be the 
opening to a new sphere of life, creating new powers and command- 
ing all the conditions already attained, whether considered physical, 
meptal, or moral. 

" There is a law of growth. Man grows as the vegetable grows 
— ^by the same law and in alliance with elements that unfold in 
and promote the attainment of his stature as a man. He moves 
by the same law of locomotion that characterizes all animals, and 
reveals the alliance of his nature with the elements and province 
of all motion. So he thinks, feels, perceives, and reflects by the 
allied power of all thought, of all intelligence, of all emotion. 
Thus the communion of his higher, of his intellectual, his emotional 
nature, is an allied attribute of that nature reflecting his power and 
province in the degree of his ascension in nature. Spirit-commu- 
nion, therefore, is as natural as the air he breathes ; and all thought, 
all motion and emotion are the reflective evidences of an immortal 
origin and destiny in the Infinite. Hence God and man are one, 
eternally the same. 

"If his individuality be inquired for, we answer, he is an indi- 
vidual, discriminated or discreted from every other individuality ; 
but his individuality is under the same law of growth, motion, or 
change ; so that while it is never lost, it is ever changing. As a 
material man in stature, for example, he is the same individual he 
was as a boy, as an infant^ though not a particle of matter now 
composing his body is retained. So of his mind. He has his 
individuality, his personality, his identity. But he has it in unity 
or unison with the whole, which whole is infinite, and therefore 
cannot be measured by his attainment, whether considered with 
respect to his physical or mental condition. The individual runs 
parallel with the universal, and can never invade it. They recipro- 
cate, and their responses make the life, the death, the ascension, 


the relations and glory of the individual, of the whole — unity in 
diversity. Not that man is God, only as atoms of water make the 
ocean, sands the shore. Each atom is a part, a portion, indefeasibly 
such, and though in unison with every other drop, it is only in that 
eternal unity it has its alliance with the whole. For example, the 
unity of my body is in the diversity of every limb thereof. Not 
that my head is my foot, or that any member is another. In the 
free exercise of each member I behold the sublime unity of the 
whole, and yet the distinct office and indefeasible right of each part. 
So is man in nature, in God, and the majesty of this thought makes 
vain and puerile all efforts at definition or circumscription. Man 
is ; the individual is ; therefore for ever will be. He is in unity 
— ^infinite, eternal. He evermore will be, because that unity is not 
invaded, much less destroyed, by his diversity. Whenever and 
wherever man becomes endowed with the consciousness of his own 
being, its alliance to the great ultimate of eternal cause ever asserts 
its claim and power, and that assertion is denominated natural or 
supernatural, according to the degrees and conditions of his recog- 
nitions and culture. No tenets, no forms of expression can fully 
convey this consciousness of the dei(ied impress upon our nature — 
none !*' 

To this statement of spiritual philosophy the editor begs to 
append — claiming for it, however, no authority but that of the 
truth it may contain — the following on 


Among what has been recognized as the teachings of spirits, 
the assertion of the right and duty of every individual to be 
himself, and to act according to the dictates of his own con- 
science and his highest sense of right, has led to more misunder- 
standings and more mistakes, perhaps, than any other. 
Connected with this assertion of the supremacy of the individual 
conscience, we have had various doctrines of the sovereignty of 
the individual, the freedom of the aflTections, absolute individual 
freedom, and the denial of all government, authority, or 

It is forgotten that society has its laws, its rights, its duties, 


and its conscience. There is a unitary conscience, which 
should govern society, as well as the individual conscience, and 
the true social order is the harmony of the unitary with the 
individual conscience. The individual conscience must be 
obeyed, but the individual must consider his duty to society as 
second only to his duty to God, if^ indeed, they can be separated 
from each other. The divine law sums up all duty in love to 
God supreme, and in loving our neighbour as ourself, which is 
the perfect unity of the social and individual conscience. 

The collective conscience of a nation, embodied in its laws, 
customs, usages, and standard of manners and morals, is the 
result of the action of individual consciences. When indi- 
vidual action has become harmful or oppressive, and this harm 
or oppression has become apparent to the Intelligence of the 
nation^ the sentiment of self-preservation has led to preventive 
or punitive laws. The purity and justice of maimers and 
laws depend upon the virtue and enlightenment of individuals. 
The assertion of freedom as the right to do wrong is a con- 
tradiction in terms, and an evident absurdity. There is but 
the right to do right, and there can be no right to do wrong to 
society or to any individual. What is right? That which 
promotes the good of one, in harmony with the good of all. A 
true freedom should secure our physical, moral, and social 
welfare. The good of each one tends to the good of all, and 
the evils and misery of each member of society lessen the 
happiness of all. As the individual sick of plague, or typhus^ 
radiates an atmosphere of disease — as one who is weak is an 
unconscious but not less real burden to those around him, so 
the spheres of moral evil and misery spread over the whole 
community. It is perfectly natural and perfectly true that not 
only the miasma of disease from the fevered pauper of Bethnal 
Green penetrates the richest mansion of Belgravia, lessening 
the health of its inmates, but the misery of the lowest human 
brother penetrates the spirits of the highest, marring his enjoy- 


ments ; and by an absolute law of life man cannot be happy but 
in obedience to the law which commands him to love his neigh- 
bour as himself. 

We do not live — we cannot live wh,olly to ourselves. Hence 
" it is better to give than to receive." Hence the good we do 
returns to us with increase. Hence we best promote our own 
happiness by promoting the good of others, and the happiest 
man in the world is of necessity the one who has done most to 
secure the happiness of others. The hand cannot say to the 
body, I will act independently, because its life is from the body. 
So the individual must refrain from any action which violates 
the right of another, and even in reforming his life, must make 
bis reformation so gradual and general as to include others in 
his good, and thus raise the moral tone of the society around 
him. Violence in right may be a greater wrong than the evil 
we seek to reform, and endurance of evil may be a relative 
good, compared with the mischiefe which may spring fo)m 
partial reforms. As a rule, a fierce individual conscience is but 
a veil for passion and selfishness. 

It may be granted that the commercial relations of the 
sexes in marriage and out of marriage are a fatal gangrene that 
is destroying the life of a nation. It does not follow that indi- 
vidual loves or lusts, breaking up a false order, and violating 
even oppressive laws, will cure the evil. The freedom wanted 
in the relations of marriage is the freedom of health and 
wisdom to form healthy and wise, and therefore happy 

A man lives in the life of a nation as a bud or branch in the 
life of a tree. He adds to and partakes of the common life. 
The good of one is the good of all. Every man rejoices in the 
national happiness and glory, and in its humiliations and mis- 
fortunes every one participates. This fact, which is always 
true, whatever may be the seeming exceptions, is the basis of 
the sentiments of loyalty and patriotism, and it is illustrated in 


the devotion of the statesman^ the heroism of the soldier^ and the 
unselfish labours of every man who labours for the good of his 
country and his race. There is a spiritual reality in a blessing 
when merited, or a curse deserved. The heart expands with 
the sjrmpathy of others, or it withers in the public scorn, unless 
sustained by a consciousness of innocence, and the sympathy of 
more enlightened spirits. 

In a truly constituted society the good of all is the good of 
each ; the highest good of each is the highest good of all. In 
a society so constituted there would be no competitive interests, 
and no sacrifices of the individual to the general good would be 
required. The hand makes no sacrifice to the body ; the twig 
loses nothing for the good of the tree. Those conditions which are 
best for each are best for all ; and what is true of the plant and 
its parts, of the individual man and his members and organs, is 
equally true of the human society or nation, and the individuals 
which compose it. When every Englishman is prosperous and 
happy, England is a prosperous and happy nation, and it cannot 
be truly so considered while any Englishman is left in igno- 
ranee, poverty, and misery, or while he is the victim of oppres- 
sion and injustice. 

The highest condition of a nation is that which is constituted 
by the highest well-being of the individuals which compose 
that nation ; and the perfection of social organization is the 
harmony of individual and general interests, or of the individual 
and unitary conscience. 



Mr. Ferguson, at an early period of his spiritual experience, 
came to the belief that the future, interior, or spiritual world 
was a state or condition of progress and of hope to all souls. 
He has expressed this faith substantially in the previously 
quoted essay on the "Philosophy of Spiritualism," and he 
suffered for it in Nashville in a severe persecution, some of 
the incidents of which have been given in previous chapters. 

That evil — great evil — sin, and misery, exist in the spiritual 
world is to be inferred from the fact that it is, partly at least, 
peopled from this. The uniform testimony of spirits is that 
the two worlds are more alike than we can imagine ; that they 
closely correspond to each other ; that they are as body and 
soul to each other, and that the disembodied spirit is at first 
scarcely conscious of the change. 

It is not my province to dogmatize in this matter. Facts 
and analogy indicate that the spiritual world, like the natural, 
has its good and evil, its more and less perfect, its highest and 
its lowest spheres. On this subject I prefer to give such testi- 
mony as can be obtained, claiming to have a spiritual origin. 

In the winter of 1863-4, a lady, well known to Mr. Fer- 
guson and the editor of this book, then residing in London, 
became the medium of the following communication, which 
purported to be given by the spirit of a deceased foreign lady 
to her sister, a lady of high position in England. The matter 
was written by the medium, while in a passive state, on sue- 


cessive* evenings — she sitting alone, or in circle, for the influ- 
ence or power which gave the communication. The medium 
knew nothing of the spirit from whom, or the lady to whom 
the communication came. The name, country, and religion 
of the deceased were correctly written hy the medium, also the 
relationship that she bore to the lady to whom the communi- 
cations were addressed, and who at once recognized their 
origin and adaptation. 

The production of such a document, in such a manner, is an 
interesting fact in psychology, but still it must stand upon its 
own merits. Its peculiar origin gives it no authority. Its 
testimony is to be weighed, and its reasoning examined as 
carefully as if it were written as other papers are written. The 
evidence given by a spirit as to its conditions and surround- 
ings, employments and enjojrments, is to be received with the 
same care, and with the same regard to credibility, probability, 
&c., as other evidence* If we are satisfied of the identity of a 
spirit, and of his veracity, we give him credence accordingly, 
in a matter of fact ; but in regard to what is beyond his know- 
ledge, his arguments can only appeal to our reason. If a spirit 
tell us, fipom his own observation, what is going on in the planet 
Saturn, it is a question of fact and credibility; but if he 
undertake to solve for us a mathematical problem, we must try 
him by scientific principles. All the spirits in the imiverse 
cannot make the three angles of a triangle more or less than 
two right angles. 

As a matter of curious interest, then, we state the apparently 
supramundane character of the following paper, but we do not, 
therefore, claim for it any supramundane authority. It ought 
to be, and must necessarily be, p,ccepted or rejected on other 
grounds. It is not claimed as a revelation, only as one soul, 
firom a higher sphere, with a wider range of observation, may 
be expected to reveal something of truth and good to those of 
more limited opportunities : — 



** * What can we reason, but from what we know ? ' 

" We know the earth more or less fully when we are in the 
earth-life. I was Catholic and Christian, and my devotions 
took the place of duties. It did not come to me as true that 
Heaven could be the prayer of labour still. To me, in my 
imperfect state, it was to be rest — an idle happiness for eternity. 
A mistake, than which none can be greater. 

" The difference between earth, purgatory, and heaven is 
this : earth may be order, so far as there is development, 
disorder, or the mere undeveloped life, while purgatory is the 
reduction of disorder. When the will is thoroughly united to 
our Lord, then we graduate, so to speak, from purgatory to 
heaven. But do uses cease then ? No ; they most completely 
begin. Then there is no time lost in correcting mistakes. All 
works like the hand of the musician on the perfect instrument. 
Purgatory tones — ^perfects. Heaven uses the perfected instru- 

" Do you wish to know what was my life in purgatory ? It 
was the reduction of pride, or the removal of obstructions 
that hindered the flow of the Divine Spirit into my interior, and 
from thence through my whole spiritual life. Sharp suffering 
was mine, though I was called a saint upon earth. I have no 
words strong enough to condemn the proud folly that makes 
idols and calls them saints — ^idols very miserable, that need a 
fierce and long purgatory. 

" It is only by knowing the earth-life that one can learn the 
life within, and correspondent to this world. You judge of the 
interior of a fruit by the rind. The spiritual life is interior to 
the earth-life. It is more orderly ; but all of the will on earth 
subsists from the interior in order or disorder. Many persons 
with you live badly from habit, not from will. These are like 
children. The child's face is dirty from accident. The face 


that is blackened for an evil purpose is very different. If one 
is in evils from habit^ and not from will^ the moment the clay is 
dropped the spirit is as clear as the newly- washed face of the 
child. Many childlike spirits are in great outward evils, not 
because they wish to be, but from ignorance, absorbing pursuits 
or duties. As the leg broken by accident is still a broken limb, 
and must suffer unless set, so these persons so long as they are 
in the earth-life must suffer, imless a change come and order is 
introduced. What I wish to say is, that a spiritual limb is 
never broken by accident. No one in the spiritual life is wrong 
from habit, but from will. Herein is a great difference between 
the life within and the life without. The laws by which we 
live, labour, suffer, and enjoy, are all contained in one word — 
prayer. In explaining this I shall explain the order of this 
interior world — the order of earth, and its disorder. 

" Prayer is complex. First, it is energy — ^the life of God in 
the soul. The spirit of man is like a musical instrument, more 
or less perfect, more or less comprehensive. Within this instru- 
ment is the divine Ufe. This life is threefold — divine, human, 
demoniacal, according as it is ordered or disordered in the will 
of beings angeUc, human, diabolic. Desire is second to energy. 
It is energy in its first impulsion. We have first to deal with 
desire. After that is elucidated, we may speak of disorder. 

*' Desire, will, impulsion is the life in its beginning of activity. 
This is the material spiritual basis of all prayer. Prayer, in 
its definition of desire, is the most imperfect power or impulse 
of the soul. Only when energy becomes desire, and when this 
wish takes to itself other energies, other wills, and then proceeds 
and actuates itself in doing and in modes of doing, does desire 
really become prayer. Labor are est or are is the true progress 
of prayer. If it progress not to the taking hold on other wills, 
and uniting in them and with them in an ever-ascending series, 
till they take hold on our Lord — on the Supreme Will — and 


then descend in blessed and comprehensive action^ they cannot 
be called prayer. 

** Life is substantially the same in all worlds. It is a mistake 
to suppose that we cease to pray, or, in other words, to work, 
when the labours and trials of earth are done. If these works 
have been wisely done ; if these trials have been worthily 
borne ; then we are by them made worthy to enter into rest — 
that is, into a higher work, which, by grace, is so easily and 
readily accomplished that it is indeed rest. The poor criminal 
who is chained to the galley, and uses all his strength on the 
hard, monotonous stroke,would consider working in an art that he 
loved, a rest almost or quite divine. Disorder makes the burden 
of labour. When we labour, or cause others to do so, to feed wants 
that are false, there is a complex burden and misery in our work. 
False wants are a burden, and thus wring out the life, by means 
of the evils they cause in many directions. They necessitate a 
labour like the rolling of the stone of Sysiphus, that returned 
ever upon him who was upheaving it. The labour that is 
prayer is wise and orderly work which achieves happy results. 
There is selfish prayer and disorderly work. I may suffer in 
wisely working and praying for another, making, in some 
sense, atonement for their sin. If my sister, by selfish indul- 
gence, induced sickness, I might be obliged to bear much of 
the burden of her sin, in caring for her, in nursing her into 
health, and perhaps sacrificing my own health or life in this 
laborious, practical prayer. Thus sisters of charity, in all 
departments of life, offer themselves a sacrifice for sin, uniting 
themselves to our Lord, by His grace, which enables them to 
labour and suffer for others. All sickness is the result of sin 
— of the individual or of individuals who preceded him — the 
progenitors of his or her life. The prayer of faith (that is, 
wise labour and trust in our Lord, and in His Spirit, which 
alone is life) shall save the sick and raise him up. Man has 
lefk the life of wisdom that is lived by grace. He would be 



taught the things that make for peace in all worlds, if he were 
but humble and attentive to the divine life in the soul. 

" Life is not single. The French say, ' To be happy, there 
must be two.* To be holy, there must be many — must be 
unity. Our humanity must be harmonized by being united to 
its Heavenly Head, and its units each to other. Our Lord 
lives in, quickens, and reduces to order, His Church. Hearts 
who are in good faith, become consciously united to God the 
Lord — our Lord. We do not say the Lord, when we become 
conscious of unity, but we say our Lord. He has established a 
law of order for this unity, and the transgression of law brings 
punishment. There is no lack of mercy in punishment, for 
mercy is not predicated of it, but yet exists in it and by it. The 
water flows through pipes and supplies the city. If one 
wickedly or accidentally collapses a pipe, many must suflTer. 
The law is broken by which life is supplied, and suffering is 
induced. This makes us seek knowledge. Knowledge is the 
remedy for evil caused by and through ignorance. Wisdom 
is predicated of good. Knowledge comes by evil. Whoso is 
wise, is in unity with our Lord. His life is a harmony because 
derived from the fountain of life, of love. 

" In order to have wisdom none need sin. We have only 
to cleave in loving humility to Him who is God with us, and 
we are made wise, for love hath wisdom. All love hath all 
wisdom ; and each special love hath its own wisdom, which 
teaches us, draws us, or impels us right, and therefore heaven- 
ward, while knowledge comes of experience and of error. 
When we have gone wrong, we learn to mend our ways for 
our own safety. Alas, for our age, that knowledge is not 
wisdom ! 

" With us, in the world of spirits, life is threefold. We live 
from wisdom, from knowledge, and from a mixture of both. 
Those whose life is not ordered by one, or the other, or both, 
cannot be said to live. Thus you see that our world is but a 


continuation of yours. You may be anxious to know our life. 
With many it hath no greater difference from the earth-life 
than another house or another country in the natural world. 
So far as I know, there are superior conditions here, as civiliza- 
tion is superior to savagism or barbarism. There may be life 
without hope here, but it surpasses my knowledge, and, in my 
belief, is but for a season. I must speak of what I know and 
testify of what I have seen. If others give other testimony, I 
have only to say they speak from their own life to their own 
congeners. Truly we can only speak to our own. No one else 
can hear us in the spiritual world, and no one else can receive 
or understand in the natural world. 

" The difference between the spiritual world, to which souls 
are translated when they pass through the change called death, 
and the world of matter and mind united, which is called the 
material world, is of great interest to all men. The rudest and 
most undeveloped human being testifies great interest in this 
matter. It is true that such souls have mostly the interest of 
terror. They have an undefined dread of the future. They 
people the spiritual world with bad beings ; they give it action, 
but mostly that of misery, or what results in torment. 

" To find the reason of this estimate of the world that is to 
come, we have to look into undeveloped human nature as it is. 
All its consciousness is of imperfection. All its experience 
shows that this imperfectness brings suffering. Knowing then 
itself, in its poverty, and knowing the results of that want of 
what brings peace and joy, how can it look forward to a heaven 
for such souls ? AU its instincts, blind though they may be, 
protest that man must be perfected in order to enter heaven. 
The sinner mmt sink to hell, says conscience, or the instinct of 
perfectibility in the soul. 

" Nothing is more true than this. The wicked, the dis- 
cordant> those who are cut off from the fountain of life, are in 
suffering. Their state ensures it so long as it continues. The 


sinner may sink. It may be that in every hell known to 
humanity there is a lower deep than has been reached, because 
the life of our Lord penetrates and saves to a certain extent. 
What is to be understood, and what is coming now very much 
into the mind of man, is this great fact — that sin alone causes 
suffering of body or soul. It may not be sin of the individual. 
We are not alone. To be holy, we must be many ; that is, we 
must be in unity with our Lord and His body, which is the 
Church — His humanity. We are not alone in good or in evil. 
We have the benefit of the virtue of our ancestors. We have 
also the misery of the vices of those to whom we are joined by 
natural descent. The great good to us is in the will. If we will 
not to be partakers of their sin, then we begin to rise out of it ; 
Our purgation, or purgatory, begins. While we will to be in 
sin, we are in hell. All souls are in hell wbo consciously, 
wilfiilly, willingly sin. So soon as the will to sin is past— so 
soon as the soul aspires in humble prayer that sin shall have 
no more dominion over it, so soon hell ends and purgatory 

" Prayer is the pulse of the circulation of the divine life in 
the soul. Prayer is selfish, useless, and vain, when it draws 
not the infinite blessing of power, the grace of God, into the 
soul. We breathe in this divine blessing when in imity 
with our Lord, as we breathe the air in the natural world. 
Obstruction comes from within and without, as respects the 
divine life in the soul, and the natural life in the lungs. We 
may breathe air poisoned by others who lead impure and filthy 
lives, and we may breathe this impure atmosphere into crippled 
and diseased lungs. So, in the soul of man, selfishness makes 
his prayer a sin, and the sins of others join with his own. We 
are all members one of another. No one lives to himself or 
dies to himself. In an evil life we are joined to many in a false 
and discordant way ; in a holy life we are joined to our Lord 

and His members in a true and harmonic manner. 

o 2 


" * A God all-merciful were a God unjust/ says the mind 
wbich comprehends not the meaning of universal justice. God 
is just to the child that had not sinned but by the parents' sin 
— just in inflicting the penalty of violated law, which is predi- 
cated of humanity, and not of one human being. Cause and 
effect are eternal and co-eternal. Eternally punishment treads 
on the heel of violated law. Oh, my sister, can you believe in 
a God who ordains or administers suffering for no cause, and 
to no end P Despair alone could really believe such a creed, 
and, believing, confer a dishonour on Almighty wisdom and 
goodness^ deep as its own abyss of insane suffering. God can 
have no mercy on such, but by the law of His being, which is 
divine cause, and limited or limitless effect. I assert that, if 
there is aught of the wisdom of grace in my soul, effect is 
eternal as cause, which is only another mode of expressing the 
fact that cause is eternal. That it is cause is demonstrated by 
effect. As God is eternal, cause is also. As effect subsists by 
and from cause, it is also eternal. Cause exists in order or 
disorder. In order, or in the effort to reduce to harmony, is 
purification, purgatory, progress. In discord, evil, sin, without 
even the inception of order, is hell. Perfect order is perfect 
happiness. As sure as heaven is eternal, subsisting by and 
through the divine order, as a divine effect, from the divine cause, 
so sure hell is eternal, subsisting by and through disorder, as a 
discordant or diabolic effect of a disordered cause. Heaven is 
no more surely eternal than hell. Is heaven, therefore, to be 
defeated by hell P Assuredly not. The soul that sinneth, it 
shall die. Its death is as eternal as its sin. Can it rise from 
this death P Ask Him who is the resurrection and the life : 
* If he turn from his evil way, and will to do that which is just 
and right,' the will is accepted for the deed ; the deed follows ; 
the dead is raised, and his soul is saved alive. Still the law 
remains. Punishment, death, and hell are as eternal as sin, 

" Limitless is the power of our Lord. In all worlds He is 


the same— a heart of divine and human love. If we make our 
bed in hell, He is there, the same heart of love. If we turn to 
Him in humble prayer. He is ours — ours in mercy, as He has 
been, and is, in justice. Man, then, is his own judge and 
doomsman. If he love evil and cleave to it, he dooms himself 
to suflfering. If he love good, and implore to be a partaker of 
it, the good becomes his own, and its resulting joy and happi- 
ness. Visibly or invisibly, consciously or unconsciously, human 
beings are saved or lost together. The diseased blood in dis- 
ordered lungs no more surely infects the general health than one 
evil-doer increases the moral disease of many. There is joy in 
heaven over one sinner that repenteth. He is joined to many, 
and they are all made better and happier by the first pulse of 
prayer that throbs in his sin-sick soul. Great is the mystery of 
godliness, but much of mystery may be revealed to the pure in 
heart. Verily, it is the pure in heart who shall see God ; and as 
no one has seen the Almighty essence with corporeal eyes, this 
must mean that the pure in heart see God — the sovereign 
Good — ^in the law of love, which has in it the law of 

" The law of life is, to be amenable to the inner wisdom. How 
is this P Principally it is apprehended in what it forbids. There 
is a sort of unconsciousness in well-doing — unconsciousness of 
pain or evil. We feel no check against doing what is best and 
right, if we are living in interior wisdom and peace. There is a 
check and pain that comes from the outward. What will the 
world say P Those who are in this exterior life are in bondage. 
They are bondsmen and bondswomen, to whom I do not now 
speak. I speak to you, my sister, who have so strong a desire 
to live to interior wisdom. I say to you, that you know God in 
what He forbids through pain as a warning and as a penalty. 
Knowledge, as I said before, is predicated of evil. You knmo 
the grace of God in your interior as a check against wrong- 
doing — as a pain and punishment of wrong acts. When our 


Lord comes to you in peace, you are m'se to do well ; you can 
hardly be said to know. 

" The rule of life, then, is twofold ; the saintly rule, 
which is wisdom — the wisdom of the divine grace in the soul. 
Christ testifies of it when He says, ' My peace I leave with you ; 
my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth.' The world 
giveth knowledge through pain, the pain of wrong-doing teach- 
ing a safer way. Our Lord gives us wisdom, peace. We love 
the right. . We are made wise in our interior to do the right, 
and to keep the peace of our Lord. Happy the soul that dwells 
in wisdom. Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her 
paths are peace. But the tree of knowledge is the tree of good 
and evil. Do you not see, my sister, that, though knowledge 
is good, it is of evil ; it comes by evil, though it leads to good. 
Wisdom is of good, and is unmixed. Cleave, then, beloved, 
to our Lord's presence in your inmost soul. It is no matter 
what name you give this divine love and wisdom, that emanates 
from the divine love and wisdom of our Lord — grace, light, 
love, conscience, peace. All are different forms of expression 
for the same great truth. 

" The childlike soul is wise. It clings instinctively and in 
obedience to what nourishes. The babe does not know its rela- 
tion to its mother. It is related. It lives from her, in obedience 
to natural instinct. There is a divine intuition in the mature 
soul, which is a synonym of this. What I wish to make plain is 
this. The law of life is twofold — that which is predicated of 
wisdom and peace, of unity with our Lord in obedience to the 
law of grace. This is the law of life— of life from our Lord in 
His Church. There is another law, which is the resurrection 
from death through knowledge. Knowledge leads us upward 
to our Lord, but only when we have suffered the pains of death, 
through our evil-doing. This death may be partial, or it may 
comprehend our whole life. In either case, if wilfully incurred 
it leads to hell. Death and hell are as soul and body to each 


other. I am the resurrection and the life, saith our Lord. Only 
by His grace do we rise from the death of sin. Peace is our 
instructor. The law, when violated, becomes the schoolmaster 
that leads us to Christ our Lord. In the maze of sin, of death, 
and hell, the soul is said to be lost. Lost souls ! how sad and 
terrible the words ; but Hie came to seek and to save that which 
is lost. Herein is our joy. The Lord, our God, is a Saviour. 

" The Lord, our God, is a Saviour. This dogma holds 
within it almighty wisdom, which is of the almighty love. 
Love, almighty to achieve infinite good ; wisdom, almighty to 
determine the mode of its achievement ; and power, almighty 
to execute the behest of love and wisdom. If death and hell 
are his ministers, who shall gainsay the Saviour of man ; not 
few or many men, but man, the creature of Almighty love, 
wisdom, and power ; conceived by love, created by wisdom, 
redeemed and saved by power, that contains the Trinity in 

" The wise soul says, let me do the will of God, because it is 
His will. The wise soul clings with love to the Infinite Love by 
the law of likeness. The evil man says, ' If Christ can and will 
save us, let us go down into hell, and learn what are the 
delights of devils.' Fear not for those whose steps go down 
into the pit. The depth of God's mercy is only measured by 
the pains of hell ; in them is penance, a penance that all shall 
know and suffer, if they will to commit the sin that hath not 
forgiveness, but punishment ; and pain that is the sure result of 
sin against the Holy Ghost, the divine truth, the grace of God. 
Whoso hateth his brother, hath the seeds of death in his 
heart. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. The 
depth of the divine mercy is imaged in the pit that is bottom- 
less. Love, infinite, unfathomable, hath ordained death and 
hell, and their infinite use is assured by their infinite author. 
In life, in death, in pain, in the fire that is not quenched, in 
remorse and misery, known only to the chief of sinners, our 



Lord is a Saviour, a just God and holy, infinitely holy. He 
breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living 
soul — ^living from the inspiration of Omnipotence. Let none 
separate man from God. In order or disorder we Kve from the 
Infinite Life. Be not deceived. God is not mocked. What we 
sow we shall reap. If we sow to the fiesh we shall reap corrup- 
tion ; if we sow to the spirit, life everlasting. It is sad and 
terrible to be saved by fire. 

'' The wise shall live by faith, and faith is substance ; infinite 
and divine substance. Those who thus live are the little 
children of whom our Lord said, * Suffer little children to come 
unto me.' When death and hell give up their dead, then 
these are ministers of the Most High, to those who come 
through this resurrection from the dead. Herein we see those 
on the right hand and the left. The wise are on the right ; 
they live by faith, they enter into^ rest — they are partakers of 
the life and joy of our Lord. Those who lose the interior 
wisdom, who live in self-love without reference to their neigh- 
bour, who revel in mortal sin because it is the choice of their 
disordered wills, these are on the left hand. These depart into 
everlasting pain, prepared for evil and false spirits — everlasting 
pain prepared for what is false and evil. In this eternal misery 
are found all those who are on the left hand. Here they pass 
through their lustrations, and only when they repudiate the 
false and evil can they be saved from the eternal pain prepared 
for the wicked. Only when they turn in wiU to our Lord does 
their being change, and the mode and state of their being 
become changed also. There is eternal union between evil and 
misery. Eternal punishment is for the wicked. Only when he 
would turn from his evil way, and do what is just and right, 
can he save his soul alive. Being and state, or mode of being, 
subsist as soul and body. Wicked or disorderly being, by 
inexorable law, has the concomitant of misery. All shades of 
being have their concomitant states, from the life that is in 


unity with God and which lives in the heaven of love and 
wisdom, down through all degrees of disorder to the culminat- 
ing evil and pain which constitute death and hell. The last 
enemy which our Lord shall destroy is the death which never 
dies. It is destroyed as an enemy of the soul, the moment that 
soul turns to our God and wills to do what is just and right. 
The everlasting chains of death and hell are flaxen bonds in the 
fire of the divine love. . Whoso is wise let him understand to 
do the things that make for peace. Whoso are foolish let them 
learn wisdom by the things they suffer. My sister, take this to 
your heart. Be not fearful or unbelieving. The Lord our God 
is a Saviour, and our Saviour is the Lord our God. Therefore 
we may well be content that He should turn His hand upon us 
in wisdom and in judgment, for shall not the Judge of all the 
earth do right P 

" To what end P All energy, faith, and belief are given us 
to serve a use. What is not thus made subservient is turned 
to evil and sufifering. Faith is the primal fountain by which 
the life of man is fed and nourished unto eternal life. Many 
substitute opinion for faith. It is one thing to be based in faith 
— ^to live jfrom the substance out of which are continually evolved 
the things that we hope for, and quite another to be blown about 
by every wind of doctrine — ^to have this opinion to-day and that 
to-morrow, and to find them all equally barren of good to the 
soul. That faith in God as Immanuel, which is in us a fountain 
springing up unto everlasting life, asserts for ever its unity with 
the source or everlasting ocean of divinity. 

" This divine assertion in the soul bears always fiowers and 
always fruitage, like the orange-tree of the tropics. To dwell 
in this faith — ^to have it order our life and exert its orderly 
influence on all around us, is truly to live and to promote life, 
while to be rejecting, wandering, seeking, finding, and rejecting 
again, or hugging to the heart a loss and a sorrow, this is the 
portion of those who have left wisdom for knowledge — ^who 


would know their duty instead of being wise to discern it. The 
just man lives by faith. It is substance. It is God in the soul. 
The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise 
him up, and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven 

" How does the prayer of faith save the sick P How does 
our Lord raise him up, and how are his sins which he has com- 
mitted forgiven him P Love is the fulfilling of the law. If we 
so love the Lord that we can take hold on this life by prayer 
(and remember, prayer contains labour as well as desire), then 
we can infuse life into a fainting brother or sister; and this love, 
which is creative, cures the sick and saves from sin. It is life 
for death. The one sin which cannot be forgiven is that which 
shuts out faith or the grace of God from the soul, and which 
bars the inflowing natural life from the body. Animal life or 
health is the correlative of grace in the soul. Whoso sins against 
his soul by denying faith or unity with God, practically will hate 
his brother — ^will strive to absorb uses into himself — and will 
procure a spiritual apoplexy, or palsy, and consequent death. 
Broken law brings its penalty of pain, but love fulfils all law. 
It is the divine life. It fills the soul, and becomes transfused 
into the body. It is the new birth — ^the new creation. It is 
life from the dead. 

" Our first duty, then, is to seek faith in God, and His 
eternity, which is our immortality. Because God is, we are. 
Because He is eternal, we shall live for ever. WTien ? and haw ? 
then become questions. The first answer is, we live here ac- 
cording to our love. If our love is true, our life is centrally 
joyful, though circumstantially afflicted. When we have 
answered the question, how to live here P we have answered 
it for eternity, for whatsoever truly is exists for eternity. Life 
lives on. Love is undying. Death and change are for what i.s 
false and unloving. Life and immortality, for all that is good 
and true." 





For what follows, the editor is in no way responsible. But as 
frequent allusion is made in the preceding pages to what are 
denominated Supramundaue or Spiritual Writings, Mr. Fergu- 
son has selected from an extended collection a few specimens, 
that the general reader may judge of their nature and char- 
acter. Perhaps no spiritual writing can be properly estimated 
except by the persons to whom and for whom it is given, and 
these only in a just appreciation of their mental status and 
moral surroundings. Different states call forth different 
administering, and the adaptation and application are rarely 
or ever made by the intelligence communicating. I have seen 
men of almost every contrast of creed and condition listen to 
the same communication, and deduce therefrom what to each 
was confirmatory of what he or she regarded as essential 
truth ; when, perhaps, were the communication placed under 
the critical eye of some one isolated &om these, it would not 
have been understood as directed to either. For the most 


part,. such communications are regarded as vague, indefinite, 
and unsatisfactory, when judged by the ordinary standards of 
criticism. This is the case with respect to those that are here 
appended. But I do not regard this as a good reason why they 
should be withheld, at least where we desire to reflect truth- 
fully what we regard as a spiritual administering. Human 
destiny, even for a single day, is vague and unsatisfactory to 
every effort at realization. A direct and personal application of 
any address is in its very nature limited and circumscribed. 
"What we readily and at once appreciate is often but a reflex of 
ourselves, and of our existing condition. Whatever awakens 
deep thought and serious meditation is ever at the first hearing 
more or less vague. Not that it is so in itself, but that we come 
to it with the mind already prepossessed with existing concep- 
tions that may so occupy and hold it as to prevent what a 
further attention may clearly disclose. So with every commu- 
nication unmistakeably spiritual, or reflecting an intelligence 
above the culture of the medium through whom it is given. 
Whenever we attempt to measure, we circumscribe. Not that 
we should surrender our reason or any known truth to what 
purports to be spiritual. This could not be done even if we 
would ; for that to which we would surrender it would not be 
the spiritual, but simply our conception of the spiritual. 
 It must be clear to every reflective mind that the question 
first to be settled respecting so-called supramundane facts or 
writings is. Are they facts P Is the writing what it claims to 
be P This question is established, we think, so far as the facts 
are concerned, in the preceding pages beyond all rational 
denial. When the facts are thus established in the conviction 
of any one, new departments of thought naturally open, and it 
is to be expected that every variety of dogma, doctrine, and 
opinionism will be reflected. A block of wood will cast its 
shadow when standing in the sunlight. A human mind should 
not be expected to do less. All communications will, to a 


greater or less extent, take the form or colouring of the mind 
through which they are reflected. Hence a Catholic or Pro- 
testant medium may be expected to give, or seem to give, a 
Catholic or Protestant mould and hue to what is reflected 
through his or her organism. But in these cases, so far as my 
observation goes, no Catholic or Protestant medium ever gave 
what may be truly called a spiritual reflection that did not give 
a thought that ascended above and transcended all their existing 
conditions or dogmata of faith. For myself, therefore, as an 
eternal principle inherent in man's nature, and marking the 
deific impress upon it above all prescriptive thought or expres- 
sion, I claim the right to ifreedom of conscience. From this 
will flow a liberty of expression on any and all subjects, linked 
to no party, sect, or creed. Now, if this be true of me as an 
individual in a divine whole of humanity — ^if it be a realization 
of the soul of its right in God universal and eternal — if it, in 
a word, be more than mere profession, I will prove it by award- 
ing an equal freedom to my fellow. We cannot be free our- 
selves, only as we grant the boon to others. 

The evidences of supramundane guidance and protection I 
have never found incompatible with the exercise of every 
faculty of my mind. On the contrary, they have ever served 
to enkindle within a desire for the highest good, which cannot 
be gratified short of the great ultimate of eternal destiny. 
Hence I have never found them circumscribed by any set form 
of thought or mode of action, but to all forms and to all modes, 
ministering not to destroy or subvert, but to purify and 
brighten every true and noble recognition, either in sentiment 
or action. Not, then, to assert any new or old dogma or 
doctrine do I publish the foUowing examples of spiritual 
teaching, but to show how deep and broad their reflective evi- 
dences may become to our most careful and serious thought. 
I could extend them indefinitely, but will not, as my object is 
more to give a specimen than to compile a collection. Any 


mind true to itself and tlie intuitive impress of Divinity it 
bearSf will find what may serve its highest uses as well, or 
better, than any communication I can select, even from a col- 
lection that would make volumes. The first communication 
appended was given March 1st and 2nd, 1857, in the city of 
New Orleans. The gentleman through whom it was given 
was at the time as feeble as an infant, though suffering from 
no recognized disease. It should also be stated that he had 
never written a treatise on any subject, that he was destitute 
of ordinary scholastic culture, and was entirely unconscious, 
during the delivery of sentence by sentence of this communica- 
tion. He bad passed through a strange experience, seemingly 
without object, and was at the time prostrate from that experi- 
ence, needing my constant and watchful care. In that condi- 
tion he directed me to take down word for word what follows. 
Indeed, from the same state and preparation, he delivered 
many treatises on various subjects, which were carefully 
preserved by me, but taken no further notice of by himself. I 
select this one only because it is a fair specimen of the series. 
How others may estimate it I know not. I can only say for 
myself that the years that have elapsed since it was so strangely 
given have not exhausted its interest and value, now that I 
have given to it a re-perusal. 

Section I. 


" Law is infinite in duration and adaptation ; consequently 
we can explain how a spirit may leave the body. 

" Spirit is an intangible reality. It exists as the basis of all 
calculation : inherent in all properties ; divided throughout all 
extent ; adapted and adapting itself as man conceives in proxi- 
mity to an end, to a fulfilment, a realization ; to the under- 
standing mind, to a development, which may be considered as 

^ ^ ^^^ — ^_^_ 


the maximum for which any given property was created. This 
end may be an intangible reality, as regards the very existence 
and object to be attained in the great universe of space. For 
what is time but an annihilator of all the miscalculations, the 
misconceived and erroneous inferences that have been drawn 
from the diversity of existence that has developed in unison 
with the mighty plan, whose fulfilment is God, whose realiza- 
tion is eternity P For the perfectibility of Deity is omniscient, 
and omnipresent every hour. 

'' Man obtains the zenith of his stature. This is the fulfilment 
of his God in the exemplification of his being. So the flowing 
field and the gathered grain display the inherent properties 
that speak in Nature, in Deity. 

" What is end? What is change P It may be, to us, finite, 
but the very act itself proclaims it infinite. We may bring to- 
gether two substances. There may be inherent properties, 
parts, or portions of each which may assimilate, thereby unfold- 
ing the innate powers of each in new and varied forms. But 
the very nature of the two being separate and distinct, marks an 
impress that only breathes one mighty thought. What is 
that P Must we go to the laboratory and throughout the dim 
shades of the past to find it P Must scientific research annihi- 
late within the bosom a kindred interest, and emotions of no 
ordinary conception swell the heart as we behold the varied 
aspect which deep thought and mental agony may realize as 
the tokens awarded for such indefatigable researches P Is this 
the labour of a day P Or does it enkindle within the spirit a 
desire for knowledge, for infinity, for the varied forms which 
each step opens to our view P This may be the boon awarded 
for an investigation so elaborate as the one just mentioned. 

" But our remarks apply to two halves of a substance. Let us 
turn to the other half. If finite expression conveys the whole, 
different in degree, difiering in condition, not the same in part 
or portion, why when tried and subjected to chemical process 



will the action be the same P It may be deTeloping in more 
extended form the inherent energies clothed with what man 
calls mystery ; yet, true to itself, it exists — ^it has its laws. It 
realizes each part or portion as a whole. Here in the two sub- 
stances is an unending variety, like the branches of the mighty 
tree of science, pointing in every direction, but still it points 
upward and onward to its God. Why this variety P Why 
these constituent parts or poiiions forming a whole, and still 
existing upon the subservient law ofconditions? for all ends are 
conditions when adapted to an analytical disposition of each 
part or portion. These parts or portions are distinct indi- 
vidualities. They possess all, and retain less. 

" Here is a wise discrimination. God is in all, but developes 
through the whole. But let us now follow the law of what we 
call assimilation. What is itP It is the law of change. 
There are no circumstances or conditions — ^nay, there is no other 
conception than this. What is nature P Change ; each part or 
portion assimilating to the whole, developing new forms, dis- 
playing unnumbered varieties, joining in one mighty song that 
breathes the spirit of the whole as an embkm of Deity. 

"Now, not to weary your attention, or desiring to trespass upon 
the conditions we purpose to subserve, we propose to draw what 
might be termed a finite condition. If assimilation is change, 
and the very act constitutes the proposition, what relationship 
exists between two parts or portions that may draw or attract 
to each other P The very act of change demonstrates their dis- 
tinctness. If they are two, they are not one. The law of 
assimilation, so called by man, is but an accommodated phrase 
for something realized, but not understood. Upon a thesis 
strictly laid down, tangible in its form, unmistakeable in its 
relation and character, there is no escaping a defeat ; for the 
very purpose and plan thwarts the mighty purpose and end it 
might attain. 

" Now, what forms the whole P It is spirit. Like attracts 


like. Is there an infinite like that permeates all conditions 
— ^that holds the mighty universe together — that binds and 
interbinds the misty ends of the past and the unending ages of 
the future P Is life a stream that flows ever on ? Is there a 
part or portion that forms any less than any other part or por- 
tion on the mighty whole P What circumstances or conditions 
enable the disceroing mind to see where is and where is not the 
active spring that gives voice to the muttering thunder from 
the silent recesses of the so-called cave of thought P Spirit is 
eternal— is universal, unchangeable. The action of that spirit 
upon external power is universal, unceasing. We use the 
phrase external power, as accommodated to man's conception of 
change. Then it is spirit that acts upon external nature, or 
materiality, so called, and developes an adhesive power that 
draws to^er, undi^ded and ur^pent, a new fountain rising 
above the external conditions that it wielded before. A true 
and familiar — no, not familiar to the human, but to the divine 
eye — ^illustration we will present. 

" Water thrown upon your fire extinguishes its vitality. That 
very same fire, conditions being equal, will develope through 
that water agencies that annihilate space, and give vivacity to 
the mind, and chain together the mysterious cords of abundance 
that have been broken, and left humanity a skeleton to loathe 
and be loathed by that very abundance it has brought. 

" Why is God in all thought and transmitted in all mind ? 
Why does darkness cover the heavens P Why is life a burden 
and charity a song, to lull to repose the opulent, the so-called 
richp Rich in death ; rich in desolation ; rich in forged walls 
of adamantine slumber ; for light divine never penetrates the 
recesses where penury and want are strangers. But hoarded 
gain stifles not the voice of God. His unending day only sheds 
more light upon truth and her altars. Her contrasted ends fill 
the heart and speak a new judgment to every thinking mind. 

" What is action ? What is process ? What is time ? What is 


development P What is thought P What is fueling P What 
is affection P What is memory P What is^mindP That i» 
spirit. What is spirit P It is God. 

" Action is work. It is cause administering effect. What 
is process P The chain that links that effect into a subjective 
cause^ that developes whatP What time unfolds to man. What 
is time P An eternity of events ; nothing more.  What is 
thought P It is a reflection from the interior, giving form and 
vivid expression to feeling. Thought comes ; feeling opens and 
administers. What is affection P A spriug of animate action 
that vibrates at every touch, be that touch coarse or fine ; an 
unmeasured something, vacillating in its character, suited to all 
ways and to all conditions. 

" But I have a counterpart ! Is it not a kindred thought, of 
a nature divine P It is not viewed in the general as very 
commendable, and entitled to an authority so exalted as the 
appeUation or expression here given— divine. It is hate. 
What is it P It is just as much a part and portion as the 
whole is one body or manifestation, though opposite. Now, I 
will make what might be esteemed a very ungenerous or un- 
warrantable assertion in connection with these two. But 
there is stiU another— mind— the sensorium of the inteUect. 
It is God. What is God P In order to accommodate that 
expression to a finite conception, we would say, part and 
portion of the whole, but absolutely the whole, the all, 
admitting of no condition, and subjected to no cause, within 
the comprehension of a universe of universes, holding no light 
to foreshadow a distrust upon a claim so unbounded in extent, 
so unending in duration. 

^' But here let me analyze. I possess thought. It changes. 
I possess feeHng. It changes. I possess affection. It is 
delighted. But I love to-day and I hate to-morrow. Is this 
God P It is. Arrange or range it. The very nature of 
eternal cause is action — ^is process — is a development of time. 


There is no law, there is no conception that does not develope 
itself under condition. Even God Himself exists in unison 
with His own instrumentalities. These we call condition. Is 
the active spring of thy brain the same when thy thought 
changes P Does the motive power acting upon the outward 
semblance develope the same P If so^ there will be no change. 
But eternal cause indites its lesson of reflected power, which is 

" What is feeling, in a rational view P Reason from cause to 
effect, and you realize the sensation produced by heat, and the 
opposite by cold. Do the identical same conditions produce 
the same effect P No. Which has the precedence — either in 
an Almighty hand P No. In accommodation to our condi* 
tion, one may develope results more in unison with us. But 
the principle is an opposite one, and adapted to an infinite 
existence which extends throughout the broad plane of time, 
upon which every individualized form has its position. 

" But affection lingers by the bedside of the so-called djdng. 
In a few short hours it breathes its last, and sports in its 
gambols with the memory that it once regarded as scintilla- 
tions from heaven to brighten and enliven its conceptions of 
God and duty. Where has it gone P Am I less true, or is 
God less just P Which of the two P Have not the conditions 
changed P Are not the surroundings different P But does it 
speak in gratitude because I am not prostrate, and unable to 
discharge the duties that nature has brought forth as a 
counterpart to life P But conditions are different, and I pass 
on to the opposite — hate. Did I once hate P No ; I loved. 
Why do I hate P The very proposition marks, with an infinite 
impress, that change is there, and conditions and it are one. 
Without circumstances and conditions, be their nature and 
character whatever they may, there would have been naught 
to describe but a fiend as monstrous as that one that invades 

our peace and dissipates our hopes of the future. 

p 2 



" But memory ! a storied gift, indelibly imprinted upon the 
human soul, acting in imison to all, for it surveys from the 
summit of time the unending links that bind it to the future, 
by recounting the mysteries of the past. It occupies a 
central position. It guards by its treasures what is called by 
mortals, time-honoured experience. It is, so to speak, the 
lamp-post of an infinite realm of association. But let me not 
chide it, because I choose, 

' In heaven's unending way. 

Ever upward and onward to stray.' 

If the light is an infinite rule, developing the same in indi- 
vidualities, I cannot always occupy the same position. Memory 
may aflford me to-day what she cannot to-morrow. Is she less 
true, less in order, because she complies with my then existing 
condition, in place of going back and recounting what once 
might have been the gem I liked and the unfolding laurel of 
my death to a higher reality P No I She is divine, omnipo- 
tent, omnipresent, because she holds together a mighty fabric 
to the whole ; because, when necessity does not want her, she 
brings from her treasured depths that which speaks unerringly 
of the future, by contrasting it to the past which are the positive 
and negative forces of action in life. This is true. 

" Must I say there is no God in one part or portion not equally 
allied to every part or portion, because the north is opposite to 
the south, or the east is antagonistic to the west ? Does this 
prove that God is less in one part than another P Does this 
prove humanity lifeless and bereft of a divine and paternal 
care because these antagonisms exist ? Or will you silence 
such disputants in the human heart, and let treasured thoughts 
ascend to do honour to the soul, and not blacken the scroll of 
humanity with deformities lifeless and dead P It speaks to the 
thinking mind, and will bring man from each part 

' To form the whole. 
And live a life undying to its native soul ! * 


But if mind is God, where is the idiot P He moves. Is there 
no God in him P Is there no God in all this extended space 
that I behold P Is it all confined in mortality P If there is a 
spirit that warms, that nourishes, that glows, from whence 
vibration springs in notes of lullaby to the passing winds, why 
is that spark, undoubting, left a deformity P Is nature defec- 
tive P Is God supplanted by condition or circumstance of His P 
All, then, is not ordained. What link, what part, what portion 
of the great whole of humanity is exhibited here P If God 
is mind and there is no mind here, there is no God ^here. 
If there is an innate something called eternal, be it spirit or 
otherwise, that does the thinking, the feeling, where is it P 
What part or portion is not realized P But he has feeling ! 
Is this of God P Yes. To doubt that would imply an annihila- 
tion, and would separate him from the human form. To doubt 
every exhibition of his nature to be an administration of eternal 
law, just in all its course, would be to doubt the Omnipotent. 
Then he must be of God, and God in him. Yet how frail man's 
judgment — which I will call his condition. Because he realizes 
not in the idiot the same exhibition of divinity, is it less true P 
Does he recognize the same exhibition in the grass that grows 
and the violet that blooms that he does in the native founts of 
himself P If God is external and internal — which is clear to 
every mind that can recognize one thought above another — the 
reality of His existence is in all things. You can separate Him 
from no condition, you can annihilate Him from no circumstance, 
but you can view the unending variety attendant upon forma- 
tion and transformation ; for they are one in nature, but two in 

" Here appears an inexplicable difficulty. Two in a finite 
sense, for it cannot be exhibited to human capacity in any 
other form. If progress were identical there would be no 
change ; it would be a falsity. Now there are two relations of 
that word. One is infinite. And again, there is no progress 


but what is infinite. Why P I will illustrate. One single act 
is a change. I turn over a clod of earth. It does not occupy 
the same position, and does not retain the same relationship to 
anything upon the plane of materiality, upon which every 
created semblance can recognize it as one and the same — as 
identical. Now look at it, as it were, infinitely. If it occupied 
one position before, that condition established its relationship 
to the infinite as it then existed. If it occupies another now, 
its relationship as far as it extends is different, as its position is 
changed. Here arise two reaHties based upon the relative 
situation and condition attained by the action. Now God is 
in and through both, relatively considered, and developing as 
much in one as in the othet. Here is an attainment. That 
attainment is progress. Now suppose an utter annihilation 
of this condition, that progress attained is infinite, though you 
cannot conceive of an utter annihilation. How much greater 
must it be in the fulfilment of natural law, circumstance, and 
condition, as it rises above from one to the other. But annihi- 
lation is an inconsistency. It is not an adhesive t^rm, for it does 
not bring together, but exasperates and destroys all. But we 
purpose not to bring antagonism, for it is not real in the universe 
of God. Unity and strength develope as one throughbut His 
infinite realm. We speak of annihilation as a corroborative 
evidence, as brought to the sense of man in the termination of 
his wpr^a/ existence. We speak of it as a change, as a dissolu- 
tion fij^m whence man in his finite condition may judge and 
estimate the relation he sustains tor the Infinite. We denomi- 
nate change as the substantive evidence that unites the inex- 
plicable decrees of fate to man in the changes he naturally 
sustains in the varied relationships of life. This wo^ks an 
impress upon the great figure-head of form, indelibly fixed, 
eternally indited by the finger of the Omnipotent One. If 
annihilation could come, it would smother the fibres that beat 
Bymphoniously to the tuneful embrace that outbursts from 

i«jai  ^— "wi™. 1. . m ^•"^i^m^^'^^^^^^^m^m 


nature and nature's God in man. But not to substantiate the 
position of change a^ administered in the foregoing^ proves man 
a lie to his being, to his existence, and immortality worthless. 
There is no such thing. This shows that development is change 
in accordance with natural law, which is God. This gives life 
and vitality to the soul, gives breath to the pure in heart, and 
breathes forth emotions of gratitude and love to the true in 

" Sentimentally men believe in God ; proficiently they do not, 
Man should receive according to the light given. You cannot 
develope a whole without parts. This is in accordance with the 
very law of knowledge, which tends to what is and what is not 
a tangible existence or reality. !two parts or substances coming 
in contact make one by the very nature of the adhesive qualities 
that bring them together. There are differences to be measured 
and rightly applied to enforce a conviction that would paralyze 
any effort to overthrow and thwart an end so divine. Mystified 
may be the causes that produce and reproduce, attaining ends 
as well as agencies for a development that can be realized upon 
a mundane sphere. For instance : Two substances come in 
contact. They impart and reproduce — what? Themselves, 
each substance P If both produce, what is the production like 
unto— itself P No ; for they are not alike. Consequently, 
some inherent part or portion of each, forming a combination, 
developes within itself a perfectibility of the two constituent 
elements so brought together, each element being a part or 
portion of the whole. 

'^ To substantiate this declaration : Life is from God. There 
is no such thing as inanimate action. This, in phraseology, 
appears to be a contradiction, as there could be no action 
without life. But we wish to impress upon the mind the 
exact observance of one fact. If all life is Deity, it must be 
the active spring of all action, developed through causes to an 
ultimate, or realization. The animative spark, inhaled and 


exhaled throughout creative munificence, carries within itself 
the unmistake^ble evidence o# its origin. Why ? No man 
can understand it ! Why can he not understand it, if the 
motive power or principle within himseK is a part or por- 
tion of that which constructs and re-constructs all the visible 
evidences of a mighty power P Would you know P Here is a 
thought greater than man. If miud is God, if spirit is G-od, 
if the active principle of formation is God, if I am a part and 
portion of that stupendous whole, why do I not realize its ends 
and its workings P I may be an infinitesimal of the mighty, 
and may possess in a slight degree that part or portion adapted 
and suited to what I caU a realization of time and things. 
That divinity within me may b^ my judgment, my discriminat- 
ing faculties, afiections, feelings, working upon what we call 
external nature, exhibited in acts, denominated good, bad, or 
indifferent, all suited to a condition, all subserving an end ; for 
who can encompass immensity and lay restriction upon Deity P 
This relation here presented I would call the social one 
between matter and spirit. Their connection is intimate; 
their responses endure. 

" But another mighty thought crowds my brain ; but not 
like the Hvid lightning across the summer sky, to leave dark- 
ness with her mantle night. No, no ! But if I possess any 
degree of the Infinite, in what immeasured extent does Supreme 
Power rest P Why not as much here as anywhere P When 
man shall recognize this fact, he will not desire to shift and 
change the responsibilities of each succeeding hour, but will 
know that God dwells in all conditions and inherits all extent, 
as an existence that no time can pervert, nor no action destroy. 
Man may try in vain to prove himself the legitimate from the 
causes and effects he bestows through the iiistrumentalities 
peace has conferred. 

" But why is man finite if a part and portion of Deity P If 
finite, what condition or circumstance is Infinite P Where is 



the distinction P This thought is a gem. Where did you get 
that light froraP From ahove you. Where do you get 
darkness from P From above you. Where do you get rain 
from P From above you. Air, heat, cold, Kfe, existence — all 
come from beyond or above you. This physical illustration 
amplifies most clearly the ends to be attained in its construc- 
tion. If all things tend from a source higher than you, 
though you be a part or portion of Deity, you see in the 
physical world that all light, all life, comes from something 
higher than you, maintaining, at the same time, that you hold 
your relationship ; that very relationship enforces that convic- 
tion. The very thought of a distinction exists right there, 
between an Infinite and a finite. Light from a source higher 
than you enables you to see — ^to realize any tangible reality. 
Without it you could not do it; Here is a- thought that may 
be carried out in all processes of reasoning. God being 
Infinite, there is nothing higher than Him to reflect upon 
Himself; and man being part, and existing through the 
instrumentaUties of that condition, is not the whole. That is 
the difference between finite and infinite — ^between spirit and 
form. This latter expression I mean in an accommodated 

" And what does thought present P Why her mysterious 
wanderings P What prompts her to act in the stillness of the 
night P With mementoes fresh and dear she brings her trea- 
sured bgon. She dwells not in silence. No ; nor does she 
invade the tomb ; but, with thoughts most dear, tends her 
upward and onward course to life. This is God. This is man 
in God. How is thought generated P If all thought is of God, 
it is one, and cannot be lost. It developes according to the 
necessities of the conditions that surround. If a part or portion 
in man has the ascendancy over the material, it developes, pro- 
tects, guides, directs, realizes, throughout its relationships, its 
tendencies, its ends, its consummations. This naturally arises 



from action^ which is the higher or ascendant acting upon the 
lower or diverse part, or portions of the reaKty, called spirit. 
But you say it does not act all the time. What part or portion 
of an infinite principle can cease its action and not destroy its 
reality ? If thought is from God at all, does man always think 
the same P Then, if that very part or portion whose exhibition 
we denote from action does not act always to one direct and 
isolated condition, must it necessarily cease to act at all ? No. 
The fact of existence shows the active principle from life is 
maintained when thought is gone ; shows that it is an infinite 
principle, adapted to condition, to consummate what we con- 
ceive to be an end desirable, with the help and instrumentalities 
it has been our lot to enjoy. To maintain that any exhibition 
of thought is not from the Infinite in thought, whose diversi- 
fied claims are innumerable, would be to say that if the weather 
is pleasant to-day and unpleaisant to-morrow it is not of God. 
It is but the exhibition, and tends to the very position that man 
might seek. This strengthens, maintains, in an unmistakeable 
manner, what we claimed for change or a process, for time, for 
progression, for feeling, for affection, for hatred, for mind, for 


" But, sir, here comes the tidewater of events. What part 

or portion has it P Unceasing in its flow it buries and builds ; 

it desolates and it sustains; nay, it maintains all. It is a 

signet set in these heavens, and- no child of nature was ever 

forbidden to gaze thereon. No angel has ever been found 

sufBLcient to indite its message ; and unburdening ages may 

cease to live ere it can breathe upon man the power sufficient 

for the task. It is hope, that God-spring of action, that never 

leaves when death clings, in her cold embrace, all that would 

tinge the memory with a fit recollection of its treasured march. 

It^bids a welcome to the human heart that inspires our song 

and gives victory to the weak. 

" When we can say that nature is not true to herself, we can 


say that hope is not divine. We can say that God has created" 
and not maintained. We can say that there is no infinity. 
We can set bounds to thought. We can measure conditions. 
We can adapt means to meet every emergency that existence 
bestows. What is hope ? yo men of to-day, where is your 
hope of to-morrow P What instilled visions of thought, can 
give conceptions to this birth of the soul P Ministering angels 
breathe inspired intonations of love and repose ; gently they 
coil their way. They bring to every human heart invitations 
of love, mingling therewith the odours of their nature, which 
enables man to respond amen to what ? To fate P No ; to 
God. It is a guardian care of a protecting agency that lifts the 
veil from mortal eye, and permits a responsive throb to condi- 
tion, to destiny, to God. 

"Why do you say, then, there is an hour when hope has 
sped her way P Is it that God is less pure,' less just, less holy, 
less true ? The condition does not exist. How can condition 
in nature be so fickle, so changeable that one thought inspires 
that hope ? Was not that thought God P Was not that hope 
the instrument, borne by that thought by angel hands to 
minister, to whisper to my condition ; to breathe upon me the 
purified evidence of its kindred nature P What so consoHng P 
Take from the human heart this incentive, and what is left P 
Is God less P No. But the action may cease ; the condition 
may not be there. If so, will Deity act in contravention to 
its own unfoldings P No. 

" You draw from earth all that sustains physical conditions. 
You draw — ^recollect it is a process of Providence— your earthly 
form from spiritual intelligences, that which sustains the spirit- 
ual and the physical. The connecting link between the two is 
here. Why, in the order of existing nature and intelligence, 
do spirits come, minister to, and sustain P From the fact they 
are in condition and unison with us, being the connecting link 
from materiality to spirituality. They are the barriers, also. 


of hope that guard our action ; Inspire and develope condi- 
tions and circumstances strictly in accordance with our relation- 
ships to each other." 

Here the medium ceased. The next day, March 2nd, he 
commenced again as before, taking up the thought precisely 
where he left it, as follows, which I designate- 

Section II. 

•* Any exemplification of truth will give unmistakeably the 
philosophy of life, when time and conditions will admit. 
Assertions are common property ; but a contrast in reasoning 
is an infinite durability. In the communication above there 
was a variety of reasoning, contrasting materiality with spirit- 
uality, God with form. I shall now place before you some 
considerations fraught with inconceivable interest to mankind. 
This day and generation are illy prepared to estimate their 
significance ; but that makes them not the less true. What 
is God in quantity and quality ? No response can be given 
but the tangible proof of existences everywhere. So is man. 
What is the difference P Is he not God ? Yes ; but he is not 
without God. I mean in the existing relation of humanity in 
God ; for humanity is one and the same. If it were not so its 
Deity would be omnipotent, but not divine. If spirit is through 
all form, all form is through all spirit, for the active principle 
is one and both ; or it may be said to be the active principle in 
form or formation. 

" You cannot conceive of an active agency, denominate it 
whatever you please, acting upon anything if all is infinite 
solubility, for then it would have nothing to act upon. This 
developes the thought : God is a rock as much as an elephant, 
forming, adapting, or acting upon, in and through all things, all 
conditions and circimistances. Mark this assertion in all its 
force. There is nothing but what is God in the divinest sense. 


nothing. There is as much of deity in one condition as another. 
Proof: extricate any part or portion of a conceived idea of 
God, and it is not God. Does anything, then, exist without 
Him? Nothing, Burden, hope, joy, sorrow, life, death, 
nature, a harmony of contrasts, a union of visibilities. To the 
outer sense man is but a contrast to the rock ; death is but a 
contrast with tiie life. What measures it all P A perceptive 
faculty, so called. What is that P Just as much a part and 
portion of the whole as the rock ; but the contrast gives the 
definition to perception. It is only a different relation sustcCin- 
ing a different union that presents an infinite harmony. Now, 
if this is true, what is the duty of life ? 

" To study the harmony of contrasts, and the fruits of that 
study, should be to unite and bind together individualities, 
developing infinitely the resources of each. This makes unend- 
ing progression, perfection ; for nothing can be perfect only in 
its own state. God is only perfect as He is God. When you 
conceive of an)rthing less than this it brings to your heart sad- 
ness and regret; for all perfection is Deity. God worketh in 
us a perfect work unto righteousness in Himself. Then if God 
is in all things, the manifestation of that God is adapted to 
perfection. He is perfect in Himself. If so, and lives, breathes, 
vivifies aU extent, is it not perfect in its state or condition then 
existing, relatively considered ? No. Why P This is only 
an apparent clash of propositions. God is life ; life is action. 
If there were no action you would have inanimation. That is 
inconsistent with the idea of an Infinite Being. One would 
destroy the other ; consequently unceasing action is the mani- 
festation of Deity. 

^' God cannot be death. Death, in an appellative sense, is 
non-existence. These expressions of death or inanimation are 
mere hieroglyphics to a language of th ought, of Deity ; for we 
deal with infinite problems, which can only be solved by an 
infinite alphabet, which man must learn at his leisure; for he 


gives not to God the product of His heart. We say leisure, 
because he is estranged from his own ; ' for He came to His 
own and it knew Him not/ Estranged from himself, I would 
say, as it gives more tangible proof of an identity. 

^' Then, if God is infinite action, let us receive the behest 
conferred by an infinite action, that must develope in an ulti* 
mate which extends throughout eternity. Now, sir, this pro- 
cess of reasoning brings us to see our hates, our loves, our dis- 
likes. Do you suppose that in the infinite universe of God hate 
can spring without a cause P — ^that love can be inspired with- 
out a motive P — ^that God can act without an end, which is 
Himself P Then the result of that action is divinity. This 
brings the heavens together. This brings kindred ties. This 
brings infinite unions. 

" Again, should I essay to bring together that which is not 
apart P If GK)d extends throughout all, is He at variance with 
Himself P No. The proposition of an existing difference is 
no proof. There is a rock ; here is a house ; there is a man ; 
yonder .a mighty tree ; mother earth ; the unceasing tide. 
They are all one in an infinite relationship ; but a different 
manifestation of a principle establishes that relationship. In 
water, earth, tree, man, rock, house, the connecting principle 
is the same, though each preserves its relative condition. This 
is an. infinite condition, for it is in all. Being in all establishes 
the harmony of its contrast. So it goes unendingly on through 

" We come now to consider some laws of nature, or the 
affinitizing of the spirit : conjugal life or affinitizing associa- 
tion. God is in materiality ; but in a strict sense is spiritu- 
ality. The difference or distinction is a matter of association ; 
in an external sense, manifestation. We will take for a figure 
materiality and spirituality, their conjoined association, and 
illustrate the union of man and woman. God's manifestation 
in nature is more true than in man-— external nature I mean. 



Her flowery meads but bespeak this truth. It dies from period 
to period, which is step by step to Q-od. That death resurrects 
a new semblance of internal strength. Now, God's manifesta- 
tion, of whatever nature or character, is ever onward. The 
contrast between dead formation, which we will call man being 
spiritually born and renewed, is a contrast between a visible 
death manifested in nature, in the two periods contrasted as 
fall and spring. There is a death in nature, and still it lives, 
radiates, and is vivified again in newness of life. Is man less 
than the external manifestations of God in form ? If this death 
exists in the material world, how much greater in unison with 
its condition in man. Man may die to a greater extent. His 
passions, his desires, his physical force, may be superseded by 
L actiU energizing influence imparted by commg in contact 
with all that assimilates alike to him in spirit. Here a dis- 
tinct difference is to be marked, which we give as merely 
explanatory in relation to what is noted as congeniality or 
spirituality. I wish to draw a distinction. 

^'Suppose a pair of balances. On one side the spiritual 
man ; on the other the animal man. The balance may be 
equal. Spirit being above matter, more readily pervades and 
assimilates through the grosser than materiality ; and in coining 
in contact with its like, though it may not be its like in the 
sense of perfection of oneness; for it is in comparison like 
water. There is the crystal dew and the murky stream : in- 
finite variations, but water is water, and all water when sub- 
jected to like conditions will seek its level. A breath of the 
winds may breathe upon this balance in spirit-life and give the 
preponderance. Now, the leverage here gained is an additional 
strength. Thus the- spirit has the ascent ; the flesh is out- 

"One thought you may never be able to conceive ; but if 
God be ever onward, ever upward, it is true. The spirit, when 
once it has attained the preponderance over the flesh, goes on 


propagating, increasmg, strengthenings realizing, in the same 
manner, under the same conditions, in the same form, to the 
same ends and results, only in a higher degree, as spirit is above 
matter, increasing, strengthening, proportioning through all 
extent, in the same manner as the material, the animal pro- 
pensities gtdn the ascendancy. Thus the spirit, when predomi- 
nating, guides, directs, changes, interchanges its likes, each one 
fulfilling a higher law of generation, developing to a oneness. 

" Now here note. Again, under a new birth it expands into 
another condition, which condition is a relative one to spirit, as 
spirit is to matter in this life, extending through infinite varia- 
tions. Thus two persons spiritually born go on in attainment, 
and as nature perfects each attainment it is but a death, 
because a step to an infinite condition from whence another 
birth is to be attained. Now, what shall be the consequence^s, 
developed, realized by a truly animal man ? He propitiates 
his desires by excessive indulgence. Does he go back ? Is 
not God and spirit as much in him as in another? Yes. 
You'll allow me to say that God's relationships are infinite. 
You'll allow me to say that these relationships were established 
from the beginning. If God is infinite, there can be no change 
in God : His attributes. His character is one. I make this asser- 
tion in order to do away with what will arise as a mystery as 
we proceed. That is, God's justice, that one man's condition 
should be below another's. We cannot stop to recapitulate, 
but say this is false. But we would say that man is in unison 
with the order of nature, which is the order of God. The dif- 
ference between the truly animal man and the spiritual is in 
the manifestation, is in unison with the contrast we made 
some time ago in the rock, the house, the man, the tree, earth, 
water — each subserving its great part, that forms a mighty 

** But now let me show you the detrimental usages of society. 
Let me show you why prostitution brings its endless train of 

,(;n«*w«««M«ww«Vi"«a?«K'*^""^^' " ' ' - '-^ "" '« ^ 


evils. Woman iu unholy association with many men comes 
in contact with what annihilates the spiritual or ascending 
spark. The greater the number the more detrimental the 
reality. Being so gross, so material, it developes itself in 
diseased tumours, from which arise loathsomeness and disgust 
hideous to look upon. This is a caricature of true association 
and a violation of natural existence — ^not law. All flesh is the 
manifestation of God. So is water ; so is earth ; so is spirit. 
Though God is manifested in the water, it is not the earth, and 
you cannot make it so. They are both the manifestation of 
the spirit, but you cannot bring them together and make them 
one. Here is the tree. It is neither the earth nor the water, 
though it may have the constituent parts or portions of each. 
But you cannot bring them together, for their position to each 
other is diflferent in the harmony of contrasts. Now the solu- 
tion. Change their relative positions to each other. The tree 
by the developing process of fire evaporates in smoke. Coming 
in contact with other gaseous substances, forms or is formed into 
vapour distilling dew. Thus you see one part or portion is 
assimilated. This we will call generation of the spirit, bringing 
it in unison and harmony with the then existing conditions. 
Thus it assimilates as water. Thus spirit assimilates with spirit 
or unto spirit as described in the preponderating scale. This 
is a mighty thought, a stupendous whole, but we must go on. 

" Some one will say : Am I to understand that in the process 
of time I, being a gross animal man, I may approach by this 
routine of influence called development, by being scathed by 
the flres of my own passion to realize a condition or perfection 
with a perfectly spiritual being ? In this process of reasoning 
hast thou placed me, Heaven ! where I may realize the ends 
and desires of thy Spirit in me ? God, thou hast in the 
purpose of thy Spirit in me ; but hast not in that attainment. 
Why ? Then there is a point I cannot approach to. No 
Thou mayest approach to it in time Well ; if in time do I 


not meet that spiritual elevation or union with that soul that I 
once desired : my motives being pure, my life, my hope, my all 
being in imison with thy condition, Father P What is the 
hindrance P It is here, my son. God works in the whole. 
While working in your soul He ceases not His action in 
another. It is an infinite whole. If He ceases to act in one 
that you may make a certain attainment, you may be sure it is 
not God. If He works more in thee, it is change and more 
than God ; incompatible with His nature and character. Were 
either of these propositions true, to harmonize what we will 
call the conditions of honest effort the world would cease ; 
all conditions, all existences would run into one — ^would 
form a stagnation in action. Now you can see the ap- 
plicability of our first remarks in regard to the harmony 
of contrasts, the manifestations of Deity. If God had 
an established order from the beginning, it still exists ; 
but, like His Infinite Spirit, being from Him they permeate 
all conditions — they electrify the universe. They must drink 
from its depths. They must draw from its founts. They must 
partake of its unceasing waters. They must wash and become 
pure — tried in the ordeal of the fixed frimace of eternity, de- 
veloping law and order out of chaos. Abstractly, God is 
nothing. Intuitively He is everything, in and over all. 

" Now, what is development P It is being in God through 
all the instrumentalities of His power. A manifestation of His 
power is now made manifest in a figurative expression which I 
will give. There arises before me a column of immense height, 
of imposing grandeur. It pours forth from its summit living 
light. Sparkling founts are opened. Every conceivable hue 
tinges the pearly drops as they fall from the summit so elevated. 
To earth these droppings are but the attributes of heaven. 
They fall in every conceivable form and condition around the 
base of this mighty elevation. Though separate and dis- 
tinct, each drop forms a rivulet ; each rivulet speeds its course 


onward from its parent home. It mingles and intermingles 
with the changeless voices of time — ^recounts the varied forma- 
tions of earth, and spell-bounds the demon strides of annihila- 
tion that so often blast the hope of man in life. But it is an 
infinite elevation. Its presence is the Spirit and power of God 
working upon the heart of man. Each rivulet from this 
mighty throne is an individuality. Each hue of colour is the 
positive and negative principle working in destiny. Now they 
work on, and as they work through the changeless formations 
of time they are equally allied to the whole, partaking of all, 
maintaining their counterpart. From where it springs it 
realizes in spirit the formation of the whole. Now, it is the 
mingling of these crystal drops ; it is the reflection of these 
radiations, whose changeless colours reflect and re-reflect upon 
the varied conditions that bring contrast, that developes the 
rock ; that preserves the soil ; that flows in the streams ; that 
rides upon the winds ; that glistens in the steurs, and inspires 
each motive of truth divine. 

" We have established the relationship of spirit-hope — of a 
spiritual life upon an unending scale. But there is a subser- 
vient principle yet to be developed in what man faintly conceives 
to be moral attainment ; as though he could do anything without 
God; as though that God could sanction wrong. Is it not 
much easier to reconcile the thought that I am frail, my sight 
is dim, my imagination distorted, than to separate myself from 
the Infinite, or thrust home all wrong as a creative energy of 
heaven? — ^to instil wild notions of Deity — of purpose — of 
infinity ? 

" Now, as Spirit is one in God, and its relative condition 
being equally a manifestation of that same God, it acts in 
greater degree upon, yea with spirit, though its condition may 
deaden, may electrify, may destroy, may prostrate the condi- 
tion it comes in contact with. This is the case here in our 

union. It is God's love. 

Q 2 


" One thought in illustration. You behold an infinite mani- 
festation in formation. Let your imagination conceive of 
innumerable elements. Harmony, spiritually, is one of those 
elements. I^ow the manifestation of this element is one and 
the same, not only upon the plane of Deity, but of harmony. 
Being the same external manifestation of Deity, it may be in 
• man, in woman the same, identical. A lamp bums well by the 
application of heat and oil. But mix it with water, it still 
bums ; but how does it burn P You see the scintillations, the 
flickering spark of hope and joy in the human breast. The 
taper becomes sickly. The reverse is at hand. Dark gloom 
is spread over all. Again, a faint ray may shoot athwart the 
imagination ; but it is only to deaden the sensibilities with the 
contrast, and finally dark gloom of midnight wretchedness 
envelopes all that was the hope of God to man. Such is 
nature's lesson when abused. Such is the imprint of Deity. 
Shun it who will ; master it who can. None can do it. It is 
as inconsistent as hell and heaven to thwart nature, for she 
speaks as the roaring wind, and peoples earth a& the drops 
abound in the mighty deep with the desolating gods that bind 
together reversion. God is a willing soul, and works in the 
just. Perfect His truth, and live holy to His light. I am 
done. I will come again on Monday. 

" Joy encircle thy brow, and instil thy breast ; 
Thy slumbering shtUl be awakened, and thy heart at rest." 



In Chapter VIII. of the body of this work, the editor has 
selected . some evidences of psychometrical delineation of 
character, to which I beg to append the following. It is 
worthy of remark that delineations of character, though often 
reflecting the existing condition and past life of the person 
whose character is delineated, always reflect a higher thought 
and purpose than any connected with mere personal descrip- 
tion. This is especially true of all the communications given 
through the late Mrs. L. L. "Winchester, from whose records I 
select what follows. There is always some peculiar principle, 
really or supposed to be, illustrated in the life of the person 
whose character is delineated, to which the delineation will be 
found most happily applicable. For example, in the delinea- 
tion which follows, charity or benevolence is the principle 
embodied ; and expressions that would be extravagant as applied 
to any person, are full of deep meaning, clothed in most striking 
symbols, with this more general application. 

I desire further to remark, that I print these communica- 
tions precisely as given — capitals, punctuation, and formation 
of sentences unchanged. It would be easy to put them in such 
form that they would be in harmony with the rules of the 
" grammar art," as universally recognized, but I prefer to give 
them as written, for to me there was a marked significance in 
the use of capital letters, &c., as used : — 


" Muscogee Camp, near Memphis, Tenn., 

May, 1859. 

" Best beloved and brightest Jewel of our Father's crown, 
hail ! In the name of Brotherhood hail, faithful Servant of the 
Living, Invisible God. Thou bearest upon thy workman's apron 
marks of Vulcan's shop, in which thou hast toiled in the glori- 
ous consciousness that spirit hands upheld and made strong 
your Soul. Brother of my heart, hail ! John of my Soul, hail 
in the name of the dark wilderness through which we have 
gone together, eating wild honey, swallowing Humble Bees, 
Sting and all. 

" My father, my foster-father, my only father, hail, in 
the name of the returned prodigal Judas ! Judas, the outcast 
of the twelve, who hath found in thee an able and willing 
advocate at the bar of both heaven and earth. 

" Brother, my camp fires are burning in the city of Mem- 
phis. My tents are stretched. My Sentinels are posted. My 
position taken, my cannons pointed, my men numbered 
and known. There is no traitor in their midst, for we have 
received Judas as commander-in-chief of the spiritual forces of 

" Brother, I send you greetings in the name of our Father, 

" I know all the bypaths and thorny Roads in which thou 
hast left drops of Heart Blood ! And where thou hast dropped 
one tear, or breathed one sigh of despair, flowers are growing 
which will illumine thy way in Spirit Land. 

" Thou art one of the few working for the reward of 
Heaven. Expect not, then, thy open reward upon Earth ; 
because if we get full pay here we need not expect it there. 

" But believe an old soldier who now and often communi- 
cates with your mind, who has served under Judas and the 
Devil, that the darker the way on Earth the brighter and more 
triumphant the entry into our Land. If thou recognizest me in 


the Medium, Ferguson, send me word. I would establish a con- 
nection between thy camp in Nashville and mine in Memphis. 
If thou knowest the Spirit sending these messages of brother- 
hood to-day write to this my agent on Earth ; for she is a medium 
through whom I am still working in the Battle-field of men, I 
have much to say to thee through this chaAnel. 

" Thine armour is strong and polished by coming in contact 
with the rough stones of the Earth Sphere, and upon thy breast- 
plate is engraved the name of the High Priest of Nature, 
Freedom ! And upon thy footstool is engraven the names of 
the twelve tribes of Israel. Thy helmet is an aggregation of 
the particles of faith gathered from all sources ; and recorded 
thereon, in letters of living, immortal light is the word. Truth ! 
Thou wieldest a Battle-axe upon whose blade ia^graven in 
letters of fire, ' Pioneer of the wilderness of Judas' — through 
which no Christian ever passed on Earth — the handle of which is 
a conglomerate of the metals called gratitude, whose interior 
vitality wUl uphold thee on all seas and convey thee safe into 
that port where thy ship shall anchor in safety, and upon whose 
flag shall float in blazonry of gold. The Snake, every coil of 
which shall bloom for thee a flower of imperishable fragrance. 
For thou, oh ! best beloved Brother and most efficient co- 
labourer, art one of the few who have taken the snake in thy 
hand, and with the instrument of knowledge extracted the 
poison from his mouth and made him what God and Nature 
designed him to be — one of the many channels through which 
His Love and Wisdom are given to man. 

** My Brother, Thou art one of the few who has been strong 
enough to take into thy fold the Lost Sheep f Thou hast dared to 
preach health to those who need it — the sick ! Thou hast girded 
on the armour of Moral Courage and taken into thy church the 
refected stone, without which no Temple can be complete. Thus 
thou art a true and perfect likeness of our Brother the Lord 
Jesus Christ; the true image of God the Father in whose 


name I greet you and bid you hold fast to Freedom's hand. 
You will find it strong when all are weak. 

" This is but a breath, a whisper — an intimation of my 
appreciation of your efforts in the working part of the Spiritual 
Temple. You are known far and wide in Spirit-land, and the 
outcast both here and on Earth never hesitates to come to the 
ever-burning lamp placed on your brow for light. 

" We work at the root of the tree imderground. If you 
can penetrate the disguise in which I come to you I shall 
triumph. For it is thus the Shepherd tests and tries all his 
flock. " 


This was subscribed by a well-designed and beautiful 
hieroglyph? Beneath all its sjrmbolism I saw the clear shining 
of the light of true charity, and so far as it was in any measure 
true in its application to any principle it had been my province 
to illustrate, or any work in the common vineyard of Immortal 
planting it had been my part to perform, it came as an 
imspeakable recognition, and with added strength. The medium 
was at the time a total stranger to me and my work ; but in 
the brief period that elapsed between the giving of this com- 
munication and her death an acquaintance and friendship was 
established that has not been broken, but has been made only 
more pure, more true, and more enduring by death. Below I 
give another : — 


Purporting to be a Spiritual Commimication given through 
the Mediimiship of Mrs. L. L. W., Memphis, Tennessee, 

June, 1859. 
"Behold! From the chaotic ruins of a once mighty 
Temple A Man arises, and defines against the sky of desola- 
tion the outlines of a New Life. The cahn of Jehovah's Self- 
Hood helmets his brow with strength, as the Death Struggles 

I*» » ll » »^<*wow><^ 


of the Old Life roll in seething waves of anguish at his feet. 
The voice of pleading supplication from the ruined Altar of 
the first Eden disturhs not the deep waters which have encom- 
passed the Rock of his Soul. The wild thunders of discord 
and the mad lightnings of passion play harmless around a 
Brow on which Truth hath ^aved its imperishable Signet. 

" In his Left Hand is the Shield of Confidence, burnished 
with the sands of Knowledge, amalgamed with the ore of 
Experience, reflecting to the dim eye of the Past her Infant 
Child, * The Present' restored to his inheritance — the Future! 

" In his Right Hand is a Pen, with which he records upon 
Human Hearts the Landmarks of a Principle by which the 
Soul-bound Slave of Mammon may break his Chain — by which 
woman shall become the Mistress of the cruel tyrant to whose 
use she hath prostituted not only the gorgeous chambers of her 
Brain, the Sacred Altar of her Heart, but the precious fruit of 
her Womb ! 

" Yea, a principle by which the dismembered fragments of 
the human family shall arise like the dry bones of the Valley 
and attract unto themselves a Covering of Manhood's strength, 
Woman's beauty, and Childhood's wisdom. 

" A Principle by which the waves of the Ocean, the sands of 
the Desert, the Snow of the Mountains, the fires of the Earth 
shall recognize the Bonds of Original Brotherhood, and obe- 
dient to the vibrations in the umbilical cord between mother 
and child, return to the Altar of Sacrifice at which officiates no 
longer the dead Heart of Superstition's Priest, but, lo ! the 
mystery of the oneship of God is solved, and in Mother, Father, 
and Child behold the Trinity of Unity ! Behold the Tree of 
Knowledge Canopied over this newly erected shrine. In the 
Roots, the stem, the Branches see the Father — in the Branches, 
the Leaves, the fiowers, behold the Mother — in the flowers, 
the fruit, the Seed, behold The Child. In the Form, Function, 
and Use of the Tree, estimate the duration of the Union be- 


tween the Three. If in this Marriage Ceremony between the 
Adam and Eve of the New Life, the Individual Law runs 
parallel with the Universal, the Union is without end, and 
impervious alike to the heat of the South, the Cold of the 
North, Darkness of the West, and light of the East ! If the 
Altar is composed of Stones from the Universal Quarry, and 
thereon is placed the Individual Child, the extreme influences 
from the four cardinal points may encloud the New Life in the 
despair of Doubt's midnight gloom ; yet through all, above all, 
below all will chime the marriage-bell of union between Soul 
and Soul. 

" This is the Cord of many fibres by which the Anchor hath 
been let down by the Craft above to ascertain if there is oiie 
Eock in the waters of Earth against which The Storm could 
pull without breaking a single hair- wire of the cable I 

" The Captain of our Ship is testing the Cord now on a rock 
in the Bottom of the Ocean ! 

" The Anchor in going down touched the submarine tele- 
graph and brought the Old and New World together in the 
middle of the Atlantic, where they are now holding a Caucus ! 
A Caucus for the purpose of deciding the question of forming 
the first link in the chain by which the tottering child America 
may find its way to the Bosom of the Mother from whence to 
receive nourishment, strength, and courage in the day of 
battle ! 

" What the woman hath done for us in the Heart, the man 
hath done for us in the Head. We know now that in the 
lowest Court of the temple of Justice the outcast hath an 
Advocate to whom we entrust our cause in full faith of acquittal 
at the bar of Nature ! 

" TTe control the Cord of feeling between the Head of Earth 
and Heart of Spirit Land, and the heart which can pulsate 
through our dark sphere and receive an echo back is worthy to 
be the Bride of the Lamb, whose fleece, caught by the 

'■» " '^ ^ ' 


briers of the wilderness, indicate to the flock the Path of the 
Leader ! 

" In receiving us in our various and ugly disguises you liave 
revealed the metal for which we have all been searching — 
called Moral Courage ! 

" This is the stone without which a new temple cannot be 
built. So long as this one is rejected all buildings will be after 
the pattern of the Old, in which Experience testifies God in 
His Unity cannot enter. 

" God, as illustrated in the books of men, was to us a thing 
of fear and horror. "We could not love him any more than we 
could believe ourselves in Heaven while we were suffering in 
Hell. The time hath come when the dark book of Mystery is 
to be illustrated and illuminated through the highest type in 
which God can make Himself known to his Child. 

" A Living book hath been printed and bound for us — ^The 
woman will teach us His Love, the man His Wisdom, and the 
little Child, the Dove with the olive, will combine these two 
elements into food for our immortal souls. And through the 
ministration of these three we will learn obedience to our Father 
in whose upper mansion we, too, hope to sound the notes of The 
Return Song ! 

" From the marriage of the two worlds our Saviour is to 
come. Souls impregnated with the principle of Eternal Union 
will obey the magnet. The waters from the fountain above 
must percolate through our burning sphere to reach the soil of 
Earth ; then, oh ! Severed Mother and Child, Husband and 
Wife, if ye would open a way from the Dome to the Pave of 
the Living Temple, use upon us the intervening Cloud, your 
weapons of Love, Confidence, and Hope ! 

" Oh ! let a branch from the Central wire of Love transmit 
tidings of gladness to us, the watchmen upon this dark road, for 
the silvery thread, though strong, is small, for as yet not many 
seats are filled at the Table of the Lamb's wedding supper ! 


" Upon the shores of the Old and the New the waves ebb 
and flow. A pilgrim weary and travel-stained is embarking 
for a passage across The Oulph ! The sky is dark ; the winds 
whisper prophetically of storm and shipwreck ; but Hope pilots 
the Ship, Faith points the Needle of the Compass, Love fills the 
sails, we hold the tiller ropes ! And who's afraid P 

" So revel in glee ye elements of discord and strife, we've 
made a new Eden and in it placed man and wife ! '' 

Section II. 

"the woman" as she appears to the eye of the 

"dark band." 

" Draped in raiment soft and white, 

A woman's beauteous form 
Stands pictured to my raptured sight, 

An image of the mom ! 
Eepose hath found within her heart 

An Eden resting-place ; 
For suffering's purifying art 

Hath passion's mark erased ! 
And childhood's shield of confidence 

Illumes her placid brow, 
In hues with which Omnipotence 

Eecords His lasting vow 1 
Her eye reflects the light whose oil 

Springs from a living hope. 
Which warms the germ in earth's cold soil. 

And bids its prison ope ! 
About her lips love's nameless power 

Hath throned itself in state ; 
And there, within the sacred bower, 

He guards the pearly gate 1 

" Hail 1 Woman, hail ! In childhood's guise 
We take thee for our guide ; 


Our beacon light shall be thine eyes 

When rises doubt's cold tide. 
The treasures which thou hast on earth 

We'll guard with hearts of steel : 
The hope to which thou'st given birth 

We'll guard through woe and weal. 
Beneath thine ensign we will fight, 

'Gainst error's strong array, 
Till ignorance's host is put to flight, 

By love and wisdom's ray. 
The head o'er which thy pinions strong 

Are canopied in love, 
We wUl protect from every wrong. 

And guide to thee above 1 
Then rest upon this sacred shrine. 

From which frankincense pure 
Uprises from two souls combined, 

And falls on us in dew ! 

" From which the roots of life's great tree 

Shall centre in one stem. 
Whose flowers and fruits shall form for tliee 

A woman's diadem ! 
A diadem of living pearls 

Gathered on hell's hot shore. 
To witness at the bar of Worlds 

That thou didst use the oar, 
By which thy frail and lonely bark 

^ow anchora firm and fast 
Within the hearts of spirits dark. 

Whose heads control the blast ! 

" Against the future's stormy sky 
Thy form stands clear defined, 
A lamp held up by God on high 
To show the path divine ; 

By which the soul returns again 
Unto its Eden state. 


And at the end of life's long chain 
Finds innocence its mate ! 
The only dress in which the soul 

Can enter our domain, 
And from the liquid mass remould 
A paradise regained. 

"Then fear not, child of faith and love, 
We hold thee in our hands ; 
The rock beneath thee cannot more 
When clasped by iron bands ; 
The ore of which from wisdom's fire, 

Came forth from dross all &ee, 
With which we framed a blazing tire. 
Around our centre — Thee ! 

** Thou hast been to us a sun of light 
Where gloom engulfed us all ; 
Thou left us not by day nor night, 
But answered every calL 
Till hate's dark band by love disarmed. 

Like little children came. 
Obedient to the magic charm. 
Embodied in thy name ! 

" The sound of which e'en envy's ear 
Now greets with warm applause, 
While trembling, timid, coward fear. 
Quick advocates thy cause. 
The fiery hosts of jealousy 
Accord to thee the palm. 
For having made true minstrelsy 
'Tween Japheth, Shem, and Ham ! 

" Then in the name of duty done 
We speed thee on the way, 
O'er doubt's dark host the victory's won. 
We ask thee not to stay. 


Thou hast written here a Book of Acts 

For those who blindly linger, 
'Tis God the Father writes the facts 

In love — His index finger ! " 

Section III. 
"the child." 

" United for ever ! for ever as one, 
Before Thee, Father ! we stand, 
A type of the earth, and her bridegroom the sun, 
Thou hast written in woman and man. 

" In Eden once more as Adam and Eve 
We worship at nature's pure shrine. 
Clothed in the dress which innocence weaves 
On a loom whose Maker's divine. 

*^ The mystical veils of death, time, and space. 
No longer with doubt can enshroud 
The light which encircles with glory the face 
Enveloped in love's sacred cloud. 

•'From the heights of ambition to the valley of gloom, 
The dove hath not paused on the way, 
But hath sought in the caverns of earth's darkest tomb 
An altar on which it could lay — 

" The casket of wisdom with love's precious store, 
Grathered from death's stormy clime, 
As a tribute to one whose heart's inner core 
Reflects every feeling of mine." 


In the chapter on " Delineation of Character/^ in the pre- 
ceding pages, reference is made to this medioniy now deceased. 
I wish also to state here^ that while a delineation or manifes- 


tation of the above character might be found significant or 
applicable to some peculiar principle embodied in the life of a 
person to whom it was addressed, and though a circumstantial 
detail of that life was at times given without any external 
knowledge thereof, still every communication of this nature 
I regard as intended more to embody some general principle 
than to measure the character of any one. Without attempting 
an application of the above, or of any communications in this 
book, I present them, and here leave them and the work to 
subserve, I trust, the cause of truth and right, irrespective of 
all personal desires or claims. 

J. B. F.