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LIGHTS AND SHADOWS



SPIRITUALISM



/



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS



SPIRITUALISM



Bv D. D. HOME



" Light — more light ! " — Goethe



S/^COXD AXD CHEAPER EDITIOX



LOXDOX

VIRTUE cS: CO., Limited, 26, IVY LANE

PVrERNOSTER ROW

1S78

[,i// R lights rcsct-ved\



1 tti'JC.
^ PSYCH.



TO MY WIFE,

Whose loving sympathy and constant care have soothed mo in
many hours of trial and pain, and whose superior counsels have
aided mo in composing a work, the end and aim of which is to
l)Iace a much-insulted Truth on a plane where honest lovers of
such Truth would not have cause to blush in avowing themselves
to be what she is, a Christian and a Spiritualist,

I, IN AFFECTION AM) KSTKEM,

DttJicate
THIS BOOK.



286



CONTENTS.



PAET I.

ANCIENT SriRITUAI.LSM,

CHAPTER I.

THE FAITHS 01' ANCIKNT PEOPLES.

PAOK

spiritualism as old as mu- Planot. — Fjights and Shadows of Piigaii
Times 1

CHAPTER II.

ASSYIUA, CHALDEA, EGYPT, AND PERSIA.

" Ghaldca's Sccrs were good." — The Prophecy of Alexandor'a Death. —
Spiritualism in the Shadow of the Pyramids. — Sethon and Psammeti-
(•113. — Prophecies regarding Cyrus. — The " Golden Star " of Persia . 7

CHAPTER III.

INDIA AND CHINA.

ApoUonius and the Brahmins. — The Creed of "Nirvana." — liao-tsi;
and Confucius. — Present Corruption of the Chinese . . . . ^0

CHAPTER IV.

GREECE AND ROME.

Tlic Famous Spiritualists of Hellas. — Communion between World and
World Three Thousiind Years ago. — The Delj)hian Oracle. — Pausanias
and the Bj'zantinu Captive. — " Groat Pan is Dead." — Socrates and his
Attendant Spirit. — Vespasian at Alexandria. — A Haunted House at
Athens. — Valcns and the Greek Theur-nsts. — The Days of the Ca-saiM 27



VUl CONTENTS.

PART II.

SPIRITUALISM IN THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN ERAS.



CHAPTER I,

THE SrmiTUALISM OF THE BIBLE.

I'AciK

Science versus Religion.— Similarity of Modern and Ancient Pheno-
mena. — The Siege of Jerusalem. — '' The Light of the "World." —
Unseen Armies who aided in the Trinmiih of the Cross ... 51



CHAPTER II.

THE Sn RITUAL IX THE EAKLY CHRISTIAN" CHURCH.

Sign8 and "Wonders in the Days of the Fathers. — Martyrdom of
Poly carp. — The Eetum of Evagrius after Death. — Augustine's
Faith. — The Philosophy of Alexandiia 71

CHAPTER III.

SPIRITUALISM IX CATHOLIC AGES.

The Countei-feitiug of Miracles. — St. Bernard. — The Case of Mademoi-
selle Periier. — The Tomb of the Abbe Paris. — The Lives of the
Saints. — Levitation. — Prophecy of the Death of Ganganelli . . 8.5

CHAPTER IV.

THE SHADOW OF CATHOLIC SPIRITUALISM.

< 'limes of the Papacy. — The Record of the Dark Ages. — Mission and
.Alai-tyrdom of Joan of Arc. — The Career of Savonarola — Death of
Urban Grandier . . 1 OG



CHAPTER V.

THE SPIRITUALISM OF THE WALDEXSES AXI) CAMISARDS.

The Israel of the Alps. — Ten Centuries of Persecution. — Arnaud's
March. — The Deeds of Laporte and Cavallier. — The Ordeal of Fire.—
Knd of the Cevennois War 126



CHAPTER VI.

I'llOTESTANT .si'UUTf ALIbM.

)>A(1K

rrocinsovs of tlic Krfoniiation. — T.iitluT and Satan. — Calvin. — Wisharl's
Martyrdom. — AVitcluTaft. — Famous AurountH of Appaiitioiis. —
HuTiyaTi, ]'\)x, and Wesley ......... 143

CHAPTEK VII.

.THE SriKIlUALlSM Ol' CKIUAIN GREAT SEERS.

•"The Ivcveriosof Jacob Bclrmcn." — Swcdenborg's Character and Te;ieh-
ings. — Narratives regarding his Sijiritual Gifts. — Jung-StUliug. —
His Unconquerable Faith, and the Providences accorded Ilim. —
Zschokke, Uberlin, and the Secrcss of Prcvorst 102



TAET III.

MODERN SPmiTUALISM.



CHAPTER I.

INTKODVCTOKV 177

CHAPTER II.

IJELUSIOXS.

American False Prophets. — Two ex-Reverends claim to be the Witnesses
foretold by St. John. — "The New Jerusalem." — A .Strange Episode in
the History of Geneva. — "The New Jlotor I'ower." — A Society
formed for the Attainment of earthly Immortality .... 190

CHAPTER 111.

DELUSIONS [continued).

'J'he Revival of Pythagorean Dreams. — Allan Kardec's Communication
after Death. — Fancied Fvocation of the Spirit of a Sleeper. — Fallacies
of Kardecisra. — The TheosOphical Society. — Its vain Quest for Sylphs
and Cinomcs. — Chemical Processes for the !Manul'actuie of Spirits. —
A ilagician Wanted 223



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.

PAIIIC
MANIA 21;)

CHAPTER V.

PEOPLE FROM THB OTHER WORLD.

A Pseudo-Investigator. — Gropings in the Dark. — The Spirit whose naniL-
was Yusof.- — Strange Logic and stranger Theories . . . . '2;>2



CHAPTER VT.

SCEPTICS AND TESTS.

Mistaken Spii-itualists.' — Libels on the Spirit- World. — The Wliitc-
washing of Ethiopians . . . . . . . . . 'lid



CHAPTER VII.

ABSURDITIES.

■When Greek meets Greek." — The Spirit-Costume of Oliver Cromwell.
— Distinguished Visitors to Italian si'auces. — A Servant and Prophet
of God. — Con^-ivial Spirits. — A Ghost's Tea-party.— A Dream of Mary
Stuart. — The Ideas of a Homicide concerning his own Execution. — An
Exceedingly Gifted INIedium. — The Crystal Palaces of Jupiter. — Hc -
incarnative Literature. — The Mission of John King. — A penniless
Archangel. — A Spirit with a Taste for Diamonds. — The most wonder-
ful Medium in the World 2'X.



CHAPTER VIII.

TRICKERY AND ITS EXPOSURE.

Dark Stances. — A Letter from Serjeant Cox. — The Concealment of
'Spirit-drapery.' — IJope-tying and Handcuffs. — Narratives of Ex-
posed Imposture. — Various Modes of Fraud <')24



CHAPTER IX.

TRICKERY AND ITS EXPOSURE [continued).

Tlu! Passing of Matter through Matter. — "Spirit-brought" Flowers. —
Tlu; ordinary dark Seance. — Variations of " phenomenal " Trickery. —

, " Spii-it-Photography." —Moulds of ghostly Hands and Feet. — Baron
Kirkup's Experience. — The reading of Sealed Letters



cox TENTS. XI

CHAl'TER X.

THE HIGHEn ASPECTS OF SriUITUAT.lSM.

I'AOE

'I'iie Tlieological Heaven. — A Story regarding a Coffin. — An luciileiit
with ' I^.jM.' — A London Drama. — lilackwood'f Magazine and soiwo
faiiiiis ill Geneva .......... ;;7 1

ClIAPTER XL

THE HIGHER ASPECTS OK SPIHITCALI6M (coilfillUed).

"S(rlla" 396



AiiiADix ............ 40,5



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SDIRITUALTSM.



PAET I.

ANCIENT SPIRITUALISM.



. CHAPTER I.

THE FAITHS OF AXCIENT PEOPLES.

Theke descend to us, among the fragmentary records vrbicli, with
shattered temples and decaying cities, form the only remaining
proofs that such nations as the Assyrian and the Egyptian were
once great upon the earth, many evidences of the vividness with
which light from another world broke in upon man during the
earlier ages of our own. Eveiy spiritual phenomenon which
has in the present day startled the Christians of the West was,
centuries ago, familiar to the Pagans of the East. On tho
common foundation of a belief that spirit visits were neither few
nor far between every mythology of those far-back times was
based. The most superhuman virtues, and abominable crimes, of
Chaldean, Phoenician, Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, and Roman, arc
ti-aceable to a spiritual source. For then, as since, the good of
the truth that man cannot " die, to live again," but, living once,
lives eternally, was at times largely perverted to evil. Side by
side with noble natures, made yet higher and purer by communion
with high and pure minds that no longer tenanted the flesh, were
demons doing the behests of demons — evil creatures of both sexes,

B



2 A.\'CIENT SPIRITUALISM.

and all ages and conditions, wlio, instigated by spirits still fouler,
worked ceaselessly to fill the earth with bloodshed and uncleanness.
By intercoui'se with spirits the cheerful assurance of immortality
was perpetuated through all times and nations, and the dark
vestibule of the grave brightened with a glory from beyond.
Through intercourse with spirits also the awful rite of human
sacrifice — men seeking to appease imaginary deities by the murder
of their brethren — had birth. It was natural that when, at the
touch of the departed, the clouds that^veil our hereafter shrank
away, man, gazing on the newly revealed morning-land, should
imagine he saw gods walking there. Thus the power of the spirits
for good and evil became immeasurable. The valiant phalanx of
the Greeks rushing down upon the Persian multitude at Marathon,
every breast thrilling with the thought that around thronged the
spirits of their ancestors, and the deities of their nation, inspiring
a,nd encouraging them to the combat, supplies an example of the
best phase of spiritual influence. The same Greeks, solemnly-
hewing in pieces or burying alive unhappy captives, whose torments
would, they supposed, win them favour in the sight of evil beings
crringly exalted into deities, may stand as an instance of the worst.
But the dark and the bright phases alike witness to the
intensity of faith which primaaval man had in the invisible.
Even when we know little else of a nation we know generally
that the corner-stone of its mythology Avas a belief in the
return of the departed. Heroes and sages were not, Vvhen
death snatched them, lamented as having for ever passed awa}'.
Their spirits hovered still above the land they had loved and
served : at times visibly appearing to the posterity by whom
they were adored, counselling them in the moment of danger, or
leading on their hosts to victory. If a spirit were frequent in his
appearances and mighty in the services he rendered, he speedily
became worshipped as a god. Again, when it was discovered that
only in the presence of certain persons could spirits manifest them-
selves, these mediums were set apart, 'and priesthood had its origin.
Immortal man is immortally ambitious — peculiarly liable also to
mislead and be misled. The priest speedily aspired to bo the



'HIE FAITHS OF AXCIKXT IFiOPLKS. - ,

romulcr of a sect — the builder up of some system of tlict)lo!::;y
or government. He walked among men as ono with tbcm but not
of tliem ; clothed with distinctive garments ; hedged round by the
sanctity of mysterious rites. From among the invisibles who
surrounded him he selected as his peculiar guardians and guides
those whoso counsels wore agreeable to his soul. It leaves a
dubious impression of the majority of spirits and mediums in
ancient days, that in every land of which we have knowledge we
find altars dripping with human blood ; prisoners of war butchered
ruthlessly, as acceptable offerings to the gods ; temples pol-
luted with licentiousness ; the most unblushing vice ; the most
systematic cruelty. These things all sprang from the abuses of
communion between world and world ; abuses for which spirits
-alike with men were blamablc. Were the beings anciently wor-
shipped as gods in reality devils '? If by devils we understand
human beings depraved to the lowest pitch, then many probably
might be accounted so. It is not to be doubted that then, as
now, the messengers of God — high, holy, and pure spirits — con-
stantly watched over and communicated with the better children of
earth. But to that end mediums were necessary, and the mediums
were usually ambitious and often depraved. Loth to be but the
servants of the spirits, they foohshly and uselessly aspired to
govern them. The entreaties and admonitions of their good angels
were neglected and contemned, until these in grief held aloof,
and seemed to have forsaken the earth. The dangerous beings
who counselled pleasant things, and, while seeming pliant to the
slightest Avish, held their victims firmly to the service of evil,
reigned almost unchecked. Dwellers in darkness, they desired,
with the malignity of unrepentant wretchedness, that souls yet on
earth should enter the spirit-realm tainted with a leprosy deep as
their own. Through their fancied masters and real tools, the
priests, nation after nation was led away from faith in the Ono
God to worship his creatures. What these deities were, the
records that have descended to us irrefragably prove. Eesembling
men, they are depicted as possessing the passions and attributes
of fiends. In every mythology it was a cardinal point that to

B 2



4 ANCIENT SPIRITC'ALIS.}r.

avert their wrath hlood was necessary. Fearful penalties were-
denounced against such as offended these pseudo-gods. Among^
the light lively peoples of the South of Europe the idea of punish-
ment after death took the shape of confinement in silence and
eternal night ; with sterner nations it was a vision of unhappy
faces looking up from a hurning tomb. The infamous doctrines
that have disgraced our own age — doctrines which seek to sap the
very foundations of society, and, taking from love all that is
beautiful and endearing, leave only its filthy and debasing mockery
— were inculcated by these deities ; enforced in their temples by
precept and example, and disseminated through nations with the
effects of a pestilence. What society was two thousand years ago
history witnesses but too well. Good, and good spirits, seemed
almost to have fled from the earth. The servants of evil were
everj'where. All temples of all deities had become offences to the
eye of heaven — plague-spots of bloodshed and Hcentiousness. The
many accepted, as they have in all ages done, the deities offered ta
them, and, obedient to their behests, cultivated the evil of man's
nature and carefully repressed the good. The intelligent and
gifted perceived that, living or fabled, the beings to whom the
nations erected temples were assuredly not gods, and the creators
of the universe ; but either monsters of the imagination, or
creatures of a scale somewhat beneath that on which they
themselves moved. They sought refuge accordingly in epicurean
negation, and attention to the things of this life. At length the
evil grew to an unendurable height. That period when the Eoman
power had attained its zenith, was the nadir of the morality and
happiness of man. Then the forces of good in the invisible world
began once more to stir. Upon an earth enervated with wicked-
ness and convulsed with strife ; upon nations where the most
hideous vices stalked the land openly and unashamed ; upon
nations where the stake, the cross, and the scourge were in hourly
use, and where man plotted how to be most inhuman to his fellow-
man ; upon the century of Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero, of
Messalina, Agrippina, and Locusta, — the great awakening of the
-Christian gospel dawned. Founded in miracle, attested by prodigy,



THE FAIJ'liS OF AXCIEXT PEOPLES. 5

Spread by apostles "wliose touch healed the sick, whose words
•caused the maimed to become whole, and the cripple to arise and
walk, and to whose eyes was revealed the whole radiance of the
l'nseen,it conquered rapidly region after region, setting at defiance
the possible and the common, and discovering by burning proofs
that the ladder which Jacob beheld was but faintly typical of that
immortal one stretching, from earth to heaven by which multi-
tudes of the departed have in all ages continually ascended and
<lescended.

I have said that since the founding of our world communion
with another has existed, and that in every fragmentary history
of an ancient nation its tokens peep through. Among the very
lew legends that Time has floated down to us respecting the
mysterious Etruscans is one which ascribes to them devotion to
magic, and the power of raising the dead. Their cognate race,
the almost equally mysterious Phoenicians, had in the highest
degi-ee the belief both in evil and beneficent spirits ; and in their
evocation by means of wild and complicated rites. Other nations,
of whose mythologies but the most slender scraps have been
liauded down — the Scythians for example, the Gauls, the Teutons
and the iSarmatians — appear also to have cherished this universal
faith. In France and our own isles the Druids were acquainted
with the phenomena of clairvoyance and animal magnetism ; they
cultivated the trance, and through visions sought for an insight
into futurity. The histories of Egypt, Assyria, Chaldca and
Persia, of Greece and Home, of India and China, are steeped in
spiritualism. In a later portion of this work I shall dwell upon
the Hebrew annals. It will be sufficient that at present I, under
the head of ancient spiritualism, devote my attention to the
countries already named ; that I bring from the storehouse of
history the best-attested incidents illustrating the communion of
men and spirits, and make clear their relation to the phenomena,
witnessed in our own age. I confess that it is impossible to con-
struct from the imperfect relics of ancient chroniclers narratives of
such weight and authenticity as are available from the rich mate-
rials of more modern times; but enough remains to anqly



f) ANCIKX'J' SPIRITUALISM.

illustrate and verify whatever I Lave already asserted in this
introduction to my task. I shall seek to show that the occurrences-
received with stuhborn incredulity in the nineteenth centurj- Avere
familiar to the first, and perhaps equally familiar to centuries long
anterior to the Christian era. I shall point to the belief in the
supermundane entertained by the mightiest minds of these ancient
ages, and rank as spiritual believers such giants as Homer,
Hesiod and Pindar ; as Alexander and Csesar ; as Virgil and
Tacitus ; as Cicero, Seneca, Pliny, Plutarch, and a hundred more.
Finally, having pointed out the vivid resemblance which the
spiritual phenomena of the past bear to the spiritual phenomena
of to-day, I shall call attention to the fact that the outbreaks
of evil which of old convulsed the earth, were heralded by just
such clouds as, at first no bigger than a man's hand, have rapidly
come to overcast the present spiritual horizon.



CHAPTER II.

ASSYraA, OHALDEA, KCiYPT, AND PKRSIA.

Tin; uncountable j'oars that have elapsed since Xinus shared his
sceptre Avith Semirainis, and the first sage watched on the summit
of the Tower of Belus, have all but whirled away with them into
oblivion the history of the Assyrian realm — the mightiest of the
ancient world. From the scanty fragments of Berosus, and the
more copious remains of Herodotus, together with the Hebrew
scriptures, do we chielly glean what is knoAvn to us of this
remarkable people ; unless we dare trust the Greek historian who
recounts that Semiramis invaded India with an army of two
millions of men. The researches of Layard and Smith, indeed,
have of late greatly added to our knowledge of this antique race.
From disinterred Xineveh come to us the pictures, the picture-
A\Titings, and the sculptures of the mighty Assyrian warriors — the
scourges of all neighbouring nations. We have by their own
hands portraits of the men who devastated Egypt, and carried the
Ten Tribes of the Hebrews into captivity. And, formidable as
was the Assyrian soldiery, the priests wielded a yet more terrible
power over their fellow men. Of the most ancient among them
we know little ; save that they Avero devoted soothsayers, and
respected by all men for their gift of looking into the future.
With the period of the division of the Assyrian empire our infor-
mation begins to increase. Pre-eminent is that awful instance of
spiritual power recorded in the Hebrew annals, and apparently
confirmed by late researches — the passing above the Assyrian
camp of an angel who destroyed silently, and in a single night,
Sennacherib's army of a hundred and eighty thousand men.



8 AXCJEXT Sr J RITUALISM.

We know from Ilcrodolus and others that when the Babyloiiian
empire was in the glory of its pov/er, the influence of the Chaldean
sages had also attained its zenith. Every secret of nature which
man had unveiled, the whole knowledge then acquired respecting
the visible and the invisible, was locked in the bosoms of these
famous philosphers. They held in the Babylonian commonwealth
a station equally dignified with that held in a neighbouring country
l)y the powerful magicians of Egypt. They guided the footsteps
of the young just entering upon this present life — they smoothed
the passage of the old just departing to another. Futurity was
their es^^ecial study, and, by diligent comparing and interpreting
of dreams and prodigies, they had established what they believed to
be a complete system of divination. Especially were they famous
for their watchings of the stars. The astronomers of the eighteenth
and nineteenth, and the astrologers of the sixteenth and seven-
teenth centuries a.d., alike recognise predecessors in those
inquiring spirits, Avho from the summit of the Tower of Belus
nightly searched the Assyrian heavens. Even when the Baby-
lonian empire fell before the shafts of the Mede the magi
survived. They flourished in Babylon in unchecked power, from
the era of Cyrus to that of the Darius whom Alexander subdued,
and they made one of their most remarkable prophecies to the
Macedonian hero himself.

At the distance of three hundred furlongs from the great city
Alexander was encountered by a deputation of the most famcus
magi. These warned him that he should on no account presume
to enter Babylon, as the gods had decreed that once within the
v/alls he must assuredly die. So deeply Vv^as the conqueror of Asia
moved by this prediction that, while sending his chief friends into
]3abylon, he himself encamped at a distance of two hundred
furlongs from the walls. But the Grecian philosophers who accom-
panied him, the doubting disciples of Anaxagoras and others, went
into the King's presence, and by their lively ridicule temporarily
cifaced from his mind all respect for the wisdom of the Chaldeans.
Alexander entered Babylon, and in a few months was gathered to
his fathers. Various other omens had foreboded the disappearance



.LXC/ENT SJ'/RJVl'A/./S.]/. 9

of this roy;il moteor from the earth ^vhich lie astonishcil. Shortly
sifter tho maL^niliccnt obsequies of his favourite Hepbaostion, a
Babylonian who bad been placed in coniinement was found by tho
King dressed in the royal robes and seated on the throne. Alex-
ander, amazed, demanded of the man who had advised him to this
act. The intruder answered simply that, " bo knew not bow ho
found himself there." V^y the advice of the soothsayers be was put
to death ; but the omen sank deeply into the conqueror's mind.

Not long afterwards he sailed forth, accompanied by a small
flotilla, to view the harbour of Babylon. A storm arose, and
Alexander's vessel was parted from the rest. After tossing on the
waters for several days refuge was found in a narrow creek choked
with overhanging shrubs. The King's diadem was plucked from
his head by a projecting bough, and flung into the Avaves. A sailor
swimming from the vessel recovered the crowm, and placed it on
his own brow the more speedily to reach the ship. Both by
Alexander and the Chaldeans this second prognostic was considered
ominous, and be was counselled to ofler sacrifices to the gods.
At the feast which accompanied tho proposed rites the great
-conqueror quafl'ed at a draught a huge goblet of wine, sighed,
appeared smitten with an overwhelming sickness, and was assisted
forth to bis deathbed. Two days before, Calanus, an Indian
philosopher, had, on ascending his funeral pyre, announced to
Alexander that the latter must prepare to speedily follow him to
the Shades.

The philosophy of Egypt divides with that of Chaldea the
honour of being the most ancient of which we moderns have
luiowledge. So many centuries have been numbered with the
past since even the decay of either of these civilisations, that it
almost ranks with the impossible to decide on which nation the
light of learning first dawned. The preponderance of evidence,
such as that evidence is, inclines to the side of Egypt. Zonaras,
indeed, asserts that the Egyptians derived their mythology from
the Chaldeans, but this modern researches contradict. It is, in
any case, incontestible that the Egyptian priesthood was the wisest
and the most magnificent of the ancient earth. In dignity they



10 AXCIENT SPIRITUALISM.

Avcre equal to theii- brethren of Chaldea, in wisdom they even
surpassed them. What their temples were, the awful ruins of
Karnac, the city of shrines, even now witness. The avenues of
sphynxes extend for miles ; the desert is crested with columns
whose massiveness no other nation can equal. In these stupen-
dous recesses was once hived that wisdom a few fragments of
which, despite the sleepless jealousy of its guardians, Gi'eek sages
bore back to theii' own land, and embodied in Greece's sublimest



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