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7th (Militia) United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment.

Standing orders of the Seventh regiment, National guard, for the regulation and government of the regiment in the field or in quarters. A. Duryee, colonel online

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Online Library7th (Militia) United States. Army. New York Infantry RegimentStanding orders of the Seventh regiment, National guard, for the regulation and government of the regiment in the field or in quarters. A. Duryee, colonel → online text (page 6 of 7)
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very few cures are recorded by them, and they
were not so conspicuous as those of Christ.

Certainly the pens that wrote statements such
as this, know nothing of the history of the Apos-
tles or of early Christianity. The texts already
quoted from St. Paul prove conclusively that the
Apostles and first Christians held no communi-
cation with evil spirits, nor did they indulge in
any form of Spiritistic communication; they



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108 Spiritism

never evoked the souls of the dead, but con-
forming to the Old Testament prohibition and
policy and example of Christ, they worked
miracles and cast out devils and warned their
followers to have nothing to do with dark room
methods.

It was necessary for the Apostles to perform
miracles to guarantee the divinity of the Chris-
tian religion, and this working of miracles was
predicted by Christ/^^ That this forecast was
realized in the most public manner is evident
from the Acts of the Apostles, the first history
of the infant Church/"^ Among the most strik-
ing of the innumerable miracles of the Apostles
were the healing of the lame man at the gate of
the temple,^^^^ as well as that of the paralytic,^¬Ѓ^
the healings performed by the mere shadow of
St. Peter,^"^ and the deliverance of St. Peter by
an angel.^*"^^ We read also of the many miracles
worked by St. Paul at Ephesus and elsewhere,
even by the mere touching of handkerchiefs
brought to him^^^ and of the resurrection of a
young man, Eutychus, at Troyas.^"^ The conver-

(50) John xiv. 12; (52) Acts iiL (55) Acts xiL
Mark xvi. 17. (53) Acts ix. (56) Acts xix.

(51) Acts V, 16. (54) Acts v. (57) Acts xx.



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The Modern Satanism 109

sion of St. Paul alone would be sufficient to prove
the divinity of the Christian religion. It oc-
curred in daylight, and worked in him a com-
plete moral revolution. From an enemy of
Christ, he became his passionate friend and
Apostle, sealing with his life his energetic
belief in the Divinity of Christ Christ ap-
peared to Saul, then to Ananias, then Saul was
cured of his blindness, he was baptized and re-
ceived the name of Paul, and worked ever after
with unwearied love and fidelity for the conver-
sion of the world. The reality of all these events
is testified by the full accounts in the Acts of the
Apostles.^""^

During the first centuries of Christianity, the
progress of the Church was marked and en-
couraged by the continuance of the power of
performing miracles in the name of Christ. All
the Fathers and writers of this period are unani-
mous in referring to these prodigies, which oc-
curred before the eyes of the then scoffing world ;
they even invited the pagans to examine the cases
and they were challenged to deliver to them any
one possessed of a devil and they would speedily

(68) Acts ix.



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110 Spiritism

liberate the unfortunate, as Christ guaranteed.
The enemies of Christ themselves never
dreamed of denying the fact of the miracles.
They always admitted and acknowledged the
reality of the fact itself, and hence the constant
insistence of the Christian apologists that these
facts were due to the divine intervention. In the
following centuries, there is a vast number of
authentic miracles to testify to the continuance
in the Church of this power of working miracles
in the name of Christ, yet not a word is ever
uttered regarding Psychic Research, communi-
cation with the souls of the dead, or any Spirit-
istic Phenomena. The Acts of the Saints and
the great historians of the early centuries give us
an account of the striking miracles performed at
their own particular period of history and
worked under their very eyes, to which they had
been ocular witnesses. Nor has the power died
out as Spiritists would have us believe. Rome
today has a special tribunal for the examination
of all miracles and they subject every case to a
rigorous scientific scrutiny and investigation.
Before this court, the most august and competent
in the entire world, many miracles in



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The Modern Satanism 111

the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
were proven, which make the modern
world a parallel to the wonders operated
during the time of Christ, and prove true the
prediction of Christ that this power would never
fail. Yet in the face of all this testimony, run-
ning through nineteen centuries, we are told by
Spiritists that the teaching of Christ was in many
most important respects lost by the early Chris-
tians, and has not come down to us! I



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CHAPTER IV

SPIRITISM AT THE BAR OF REASON AND
REVELATION

"And this is the victory which overcomcth the world, our
Faith." <i)

"That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness
of men, by cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to de-
ceive." <2>

SPIRITISM CONTRARY TO HUMAN REASON
Those who on earth were quite choice about
their company are not likely to be supremely
happy in the Spiritistic heaven where the souls
of the good and bad mingle so promiscuously as
they do in seances. Who would wish to go to
heaven if all the unrepentant villains of the earth
were there, mingling intimately with them, and
turning heaven into hell? What one believes on
earth seems to mal^e little difference in the realms
of the Spiritistic heaven. It is quite useless to
be a Christian at all, to practice virtue, to be self-
sacrificing, to follow the counsels of perfection,
or to aim at a devout life, because murderers,

(1) I John V. 4.

(2) Eph. iv. 14.

112



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The Modern Satanism 113

adulterers and blasphemers will get just as much
reward as those who lead an upright life. Inger-
soll, Paine, Voltaire, and Renan who spent their
lives scoffing at the divine Christ will fare just
as well as those missionaries and martyrs who
gave their lives that historic Christianity might
be propagated. If the future life must be spent
with the idiotic spirits who are manifested in the
modern seance room, then immortality has no
object. Certainly it is not an everlasting exis-
tence to which sane and saintly persons will be
attracted. Spiritism will have a tendency to de-
stroy, rather than to confirm belief in a future
life as Christians understand it, or else it will
have just the opposite tendency, namely to en-
courage those whose souls are racked with doubt
and uncertainty to commit suicide so as to arrive
at the truth which the human mind justly craves.
The spirits and mediums do not agree about
conditions in the next life. Some say they have
no hands; others indulge in athletic sports and
piano playing, they live in brick houses, there
are cigar factories there, and they get mud on
their clothes 1 1 So we are assured by no less
authorities than Sir Oliver Lodge and Sir Ar-



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114 Spiritism

thur Conan Doyle, None the less there is some
compensation for those who find "dry" America
a hardship, for the spirits assure us that there is
an abundance of whiskey and soda over there.
Prohibitionists and those of a Puritanical turn
of mind are not likely to be altogether at peace
in this spiritistic heaven where there are cigar-
ettes and the demon rum. The Spirits are rather
a dull, gross, material lot. Their conversation is
invariably of things that are not at all spiritual.
From authentic spiritistic photographs we ob-
serve that they have their pets and domestic ani-
mals in the next world. Of course some spirits
say there are no animal pets in the next life, but
this only adds to the confusion, and is one of the
very curious things about Spiritism, the lack of
unanimous consent about conditions in the future
life. The trivialities and nonsense, the obsceni-
ties and blasphemies, the lies and contradictions
of the seance room are notorious. The so-called
spirits of the great ones of the earth that are
evoked seem to forget their former existence, and
act and talk as if they were lunatics. So evident
are their lies and contradictions that Spiritistic
leaders are forced to find some excuse for the



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The Modern Satanism 115

contradictions into which they are involved. For
instance Milton cannot scan, Shelley is unable to
make a rhymed couplet, and the Bard of Avon is
a poorly educated simpleton. But the chiefs of
the modern spiritistic cult draw a parallel be-
tween the liars on earth, and those in the next
life, warning us not to demand more hereafter
than we can secure here 1 1

Mediums claim that they can foresee the
future, yet they could not foretell the sinking of
the Titanic, on which their great admirer, Mr.
William T. Stead, was a passenger. They did
not forecast the Great War, either its beginning
or its end. They are unable to save from sickness
or financial disaster those who consult them, and
were they possessed of a vision into the future,
they would not remain poor, as most of them are.

The mediums suit themselves to the fancy of
their sitters, adapting themselves to the tastes,
habits and desires of those who consult them.
They take into account the national, racial, in-
tellectual, social and political aspirations of
various individuals and peoples. They are pious
when the devout appeal to them ; they are loving
when consulted by the affectionate, and they



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116 Spiritism

adopt a statesmanlike attitude when approached
by politicians. They are businesslike when their
wisdom is sought by merchants, brokers and
commercial leaders. They assume a learned air
with an intellectual and scientific audience, and
they do not hesitate to be vulgar and obscene
with those to whom such thoughts and language
make an appeal. In France they believe in re-
incarnation; in England they deny it, while in
Italy the favorite doctrine savors of Pantheism,
Atheism or Materialism. Thus it comes to pass
that Spiritism has a tendency to make the devil a
fool, rather than the source of all evil, which is
the historic Christian belief. Spiritists rob
Satan of his inherent and unwearied malice, and
they deceive the world into thinking that the
devil is not as bad as he is painted. Truly this is
a plan worthy of Lucifer, and in the opinion of
sagacious observers it is one of the most subtle
of all the evils of the new cult.

THE PERILS OF SPIRITISM

The physical dangers to mediums and sitters
attendant upon the cult of Spiritism have al-
ready been alluded to in previous chapters. The



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The Modern Satanism 117

fact is openly admitted by friends and foes of the
new cult. But too much emphasis cannot be laid
upon the wrecked homes, the ruined lives, the
unbalanced minds, the shipwrecked careers, and
the thwarted peace and happiness of those who
became involved in this most insidious of all
modern perils.

The intellectual dangers are no less menacing.
The mind enmeshed in the experiments of the
seance room is kept in a state of anxiety and sus-
pense, constantly awaiting fresh disclosures, ever
hoping, and never having those hopes realized.
Soon all intellectual activity is crushed. Lunacy
is not infrequently the issue in some, while in
others there is a total neglect of the natural
powers of the mind, resulting in lazy, listless
habits, impairing the mental faculties and unbal-
ancing the judgment. This state of conflicting
doubt and uncertainty prevents any fixed and
settled convictions, either in religion, science, or
in the ordinary affairs of life.

Morally the practice of the new cult weakens
the will to such an extent that the result is the
fullest yielding to impulse, without strength of
character or energy to resist temptation, or an



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118 Spiritism

opportunity for the play of the normal processes
of thought and action. Thus all moral respon-
sibility perishes, and the operations of the will
are paralyzed. The mind passivity requisite in
all mediums and sitters soon becomes an open
door for the entrance of evil spirits, and as a con-
sequence we observe again the ancient phenom-
enon referred to so often in the Gospels, the
devils taking bodily hold of those who give
themselves up to spiritistic practices.

EXPLANATIONS OF SPIRITISTIC PHENOMENA

1. The most common Spiritistic interpreta-
tion of the phenomena of the seance room is that
all communications with the other world are
with the dead, the discarnate souls of human
beings who once inhabited the earth.

2. As opposed to this, there are three other
views. Some writers assert that all, or nearly all
of the phenomena of Psychic Research can be
explained by purely natural laws. They even go
so far as to say that the phenomena for which no
natural law is yet known may still be due to the
action of the unknown forces which will doubt-
less be made known by further experimentation.



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The Modem Satanism 119

3. Others advance the opinion that many of
the phenomena reported arc due to fraud, trick-
ery and cunning. This opinion is rapidly being
abandoned as no longer tenable. The evidence
of a great body of serious investigators whose in-
tegrity is unimpeachable prevents us from even
thinking of deliberate fraud or deception,
either by them, or upon them, extending over a
course of many years.

4. Finally there is a group of very distin-
guished investigators who admit most of the
phenomena claimed by Spiritists, but they give
an entirely different explanation of the facts ad-
duced. Spiritists claim it is the souls of the dead
who communicate with us, whereas this last
group of authorities claim it is diabolic interven-
tion, the action of unseen evil intelligences, com-
monly known as demons. There is no doubt that
some of the phenomena of Psychic Research
have been and are now due to deceit, deception,
fraud, lying, cheating and roguery, and that
some of them are due to the operation of purely
natural forces, partially known and partially un-
known, but which further investigation will
doubtless reveal to us in all its phases. Over and



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120 Spiritism

above all this, there are spiritistic phenomena
which cannot be explained either by fraud or the
operation of natural laws. To account for them
the operation of unseen, spiritual intelligences
or demons must be offered as the only explana-
tion that fits all the facts of the case.

That evil spirits, or fallen angels, exist, has
been known as long as the world has been
created. It is a fact admitted by Spiritists them-
selves. Many investigators, whether champions
or antagonists of the Spiritistic position, such
as Sir William Barrett, Doctor Carrington, Pro-
fessor Flammarion, Doctor Viollet, Doctor Lap-
poni, and Mr. Godfrey Raupert, go so far as to
say that the cases of demoniac possession spoken
of so frequently in the New Testament are par-
alleled today in many cases of modern me-
diums, where the evil spirits take possession of
human beings and employ them almost at will
for their nefarious purposes. Such for instance
are the numerous cases of automatic writing,
when the obsessed persons are compelled by the
demons to write day and night, without rest, and
to write the foulest things that can be imagined,
and against which they rebel, but in vain.



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The Modern Satanism 121

It is sometimes difficult to convince Catholics,
who are not familiar with the literature or
phenomena of Spiritism, that the facts in the
case point unmistakably to the intervention of
unseen evil intelligences in worldly affairs, and
that they are accountable for much of the
phenomena obtained in the seance room. This
should not be. Catholics, of all persons, should
have no hesitation in believing in the existence
and nefarious activity of demons. After the
Mass, celebrated daily in countless churches
throughout the world, a public prayer is recited
to God, imploring his Divine protection against
the malice and snares of the enemy, Satan, and
the other evil spirits who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. This is a continuous
act of faith in the existence of demons, and an ex-
pression of the conviction that they can and do
harm us.

SPIRITISM CONDEMNED BY THE CHURCH

The Catholic Church has always recognized
the possibility of demoniacal possession. The
Roman Ritual, which lays down regulations for
Exorcisms that are centuries old, provides mcth-



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122 Spiritism

ods for determining whether the obsession is by
devils or not, and formulates rules for expelling
demons. Countless times throughout the last
1900 years the Church has legislated regarding
devil worship, obsession, black magic, necro-
mancy, spiritistic practices, seances, and all other
similar methods of holding communion with the
unseen world. The Canon Law of the Church
contains innumerable references to the legisla-
tion enacted by the Ecclesiastical authorities in
Rome and elsewhere throughout the world to
guard the faithful from the evils of Spiritism.

As far back as 1585, Pope Sixtus V issued a
Constitution on the subject, in which he discusses
the whole matter, and warns Christians of its
perils. On July 28, 1847, Rome again issued a
decree warning Catholics of its dangers and pro-
hibiting them from attending seances. The eyes
of Rome are ever upon the signs of the times,
hence on March 30, 1898, we were given a fur-
ther decree by the Holy See reaffirming the
previous prohibition, taking into account new
methods of spirit communication, and forbid-
ding Catholics to practice them. Finally, by a
decree dated April 24, 1917, Rome prohibited



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The Modern Satanism 123

even a passive assistance at a spiritistic seance,
and interdicted under severe penalties even the
idle curious visiting such seances merely as a
spectator. Hence for a Catholic to practice
Spiritism, to engage in Psychic Research, to at-
tend its seances, even out of curiosity, to assist
even in a passive and indifferent way, without
any active cooperation is to run counter to the
laws of Church. It is in the eyes of Ecclesiasti-
cal authorities equivalent to paying divine honor
and tribute to departed spirits, or demons, and as
such the Church is competent to condemn it, just
as she is competent to condemn any heresy or
assault against the deposit of faith entrusted to
her by Christ.

THE SPIRITUALISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

There can be little doubt that the present
craze for communication with the unseen world
is due to a natural craving in the heart of man to
be in touch with God. Man was made for God,
and only in him can he find rest. Hence a right
knowledge of God must convince us that the re-
ligion he has established to be his representative
on earth must have within it everything calcu-



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124 Spiritism

lated to satisfy the legitimate cravings of the
human heart. Among these insatiate longings is
the desire to know something certain about the
unseen world. The "Communion of Saints" has
been an essential part of the Catholic creed from
the very beginning of Christianity. The Church
firmly believes in the possibility of communi-
cation with the unseen, but she does it in a man-
ner utterly at variance from the dangerous meth-
ods practiced by Spiritists.

Recognizing the validity of man's desire to
communicate with the supernatural, she has safe-
guarded this holy aspiration by wise regulations;
they are no mere arbitrary decrees, but shaped
and guided under the authority of the Holy See,
and tested by the experience of long centuries,
they have a double claim upon our interest and
our obedience. The Church has plotted the
course, laid out the lines of travel, set beacon
lights along the highway; she mounts guard over
the entire process of keeping in touch with the
next world, thus protecting her children from
the grave perils that otherwise wo.uld accompany
the seeker after a knowledge of God. That is
what Pyschic Research lacks ; it has no author-



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The Modern Satanism 125

ized control ; it has no traditions, no precedents,
no tribunal set up to supervise those who are its
devotees, and as a consequence there is nothing
but subjectivism, egotism, error, heresy, false-
hood, atheism, agnosticism, and in the end devil
worship, with the consequent impairment or
total loss of spiritual and bodily health.

The Mystical Theology of the Catholic
Church is earnestly recommended to all those
who long to communicate with the unseen world.
The history of the Catholic saints whose lives
and whose writings entitle them to be classed as
mystics would make thrilling reading for all me-
diums and attendants at spiritistic seances. Such
were the lives of St. Teresa, St. Gertrude, St.
Catherine, St. John of the Cross, St. Bonaven-
ture, St. Francis de Sales, Blessed Angela of
Foligno, St. Paul of the Cross, St. John of
Cupertino, or Venerable Marie De I'lncarna-
tion, to mention only a few of a vast number of
mystics. Nor did all ecstatics live in the dim
and distant past. One of the most noted ones was
Gemma Galgani of Lucca, Italy, who died in
1903. In the mystic theology of the Catholic
Church will be found explained the extraordi-



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126 Spiritism

nary forms of prayer practiced by the great
ecstatics of history. The higher forms of con-
templation in all their varieties, as well as the
gradations of private revelations, the visions
granted to the Saints, and the union growing out
of these between God and the soul are all set
forth with clarity and sanity. All this rich and
solid literature will furnish the criteria laid
down by the wise and saintly writers of thie
Church for facilitating the mystic union of the
soul with God, while at the same time preserv-
ing the soul from lapsing into error or heresy.
They indicate maxims to prevent self delusion
and the soul's deception, mistaking the powers
of darkness for those of light, or the promptings
of their own weak selves in place of the Divine
voice, dividing the true from the false, and sep-
arating diabolism from the true worship of God
Those interested in Psychic Research will find
pleasure and profit by reading above all the
works of St. Teresa. This extraordinary woman
was one of the greatest saints the Church has
produced; her uncommon good sense, sound
judgment and practical sagacity united in her
the mind of a man, and the delicacy and tender-



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The Modern Satanism 127

ness of a woman. Before her time mystic theol-
ogy had neither logical nor chronological devel-
opment. It was not in any sense a science. It
was she who first treated in systematic form all
the phenomena of mysticism, organized and
classified all we know about it, and made it a real
science. Before her mystic theology concerned
itself with ecstasies, visions and revelations;
whereas St. Teresa addressed herself to a thor-
ough analysis of the various processes by which
the union of the soul with God is achieved.

Many of the saints of past ages have been
ecstatics, and it is highly interesting to institute
a brief comparison between the ecstasies and
visions of the Catholic saints and the trance
states of Spiritistics mediums.

In mediums during a trance there is a lessen-
ing of intellectual power, whereas, in the ecstasy
of a saint this power is immeasurably increased
by a process of illumination; and the pose and
attitude of the body is a noble one, not repulsive
or repelling as is characteristic of spiritistic me-
diums. One is attracted by the ecstasy of the
saints, whereas one is repelled and disgusted at
the facial and bodily contortions of mediums.



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128 Spiritism

The hallucinations in the case of mediums are
usually representations of the imagination ; that
is they are visual, auricular or tactual, affecting
the senses, whereas, in the case of the saints in
ecstasy, there are no hallucinations, the vision
being purely intellectual. The mystic saints have
been noted for their strong intelligence, their
keen minds, and their lofty and noble projects
for the good of religion and society. This
is notably the case in the ecstatic founders of Re-
ligious Orders. They were men and women of
large and liberal ideas, of great plans for God
and humanity. But we will look in vain through
the chronicles of history for any distinct
achievement originated, carried on, or encour-
aged by any spiritistic medium. Furthermore,
the loss of will power in mediums is notorious,


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Online Library7th (Militia) United States. Army. New York Infantry RegimentStanding orders of the Seventh regiment, National guard, for the regulation and government of the regiment in the field or in quarters. A. Duryee, colonel → online text (page 6 of 7)