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Questions Answered Extempore by Miss Emma Hardinge 1866

 

 Question 1

 

WILL you explain your own case, as to when and how far you are influenced by an attendant spirit, and how far and in what way this influence mingles with other sources of information? And how do you recognise the spirit communication? It is of primary importance and interest to all to be made aware of the exact nature and specialty of a fact before us.

 

Answer

 

WHO is to prove the fact of the inspiration which your speaker is known to claim for her discourses? There are those here present, as elsewhere, who readily accept of, and believe in such facts as were recorded, two, three, or even four thousand years ago; and provided they are found in the record which by such believers is deemed sacred, they question them not. By what authority do those who accept of these facts as truth, question your speaker of the fact of an inspiration of a parallel description? One arises two thousand years ago, and says, “Thus saith the Lord.” You believe it, you endorse it, and pin your soul’s salvation upon the truth of that utterance - Why? Because it is so asserted in a record in which you have implicit faith, and you believe in the record because it comes from what you pronounce to be the highest spiritual source. Again, you believe in the permeation of this natural world by a spiritual world, you affirm that all mortal existence is the result of, and ultimates in, besides being controlled by, an immortal existence mightier than that of earth. You realise the inevitable necessity for the mightier existence in your own weakness. You recognise its action and influence upon yourselves in the strength of the invisible but potential links that connect you with Deity and a world of ministering spirits. All these are revelations of your own nature, which confirm the records of the Spiritualism of past ages, to you as sacred and indisputable truth, and yet how much of this testimony depends on the individual witness of your own spirit. If you accept, without this interior witness, the truth as proved of any facts which were recorded in human history, without other


 

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testimony than that of the assertion of those who were in its experience, you may accept any human assertion as truth. If, on the contrary, recorded history only becomes assured truth to your mind, when witnessed by the evidence of your own spirits, these should also assure you of the veracity of all spiritual facts. No phenomenon can ever occur in the order of nature, but that which is founded on eternal laws. God’s laws never change; hence the recurrence of all phenomena require only parallel conditions to present parallel facts of recurrence. - No spiritual or material facts then can ever have transpired in the order of the universe but what prove the existence of the law that subsists in eternity, and through eternity may be constantly manifesting its action, and under similar circumstances be repeated again. Those who in ancient times claimed that the spiritual power whom they worshipped, whose monitions they felt to be stronger than the perceptions of their external sense, and whom they call “The Lord,” those ancients who claimed in the name of the power they called God, that a supra-mundane existence stimulated their own natures, this inspiration which spoke with them by a voice and revealed itself to them in dream, trance, oracle, vision, and unpremeditated utterance - those are the precedents for the facts that are displayed to you on this rostrum. It is in deep reverence for God’s law, in all times and all ages, in the realisation that it is never partial, and in all places and all persons is sufficient for all purposes in existence - it is in this abiding faith, in the equal law and action of the Father of Spirits, rather than in presumption, that your speaker claims that a power which she believes to be an individualised spirit action upon her mediating between herself and the Infinite, from whom as a source, all inspiration flows, stimulates her utterance, and by the philosophy of magnetic control, by a power which first magnetises her organism and then psychologises her brain, prepares by neutralising the external form and stimulating the internal, to produce the Addresses which have been given in this place. She claims, too, in this same connection that her own unaided efforts cannot control her efforts on this rostrum, and that a ministering spirit’s power does. Of this claim as a “fact,” your speaker can give no other evidence than her word, and the inferential testimony of the great mass of spiritual phenomena, some of which corresponds to her own state, to which we have alluded in the ancient record given by those whom you accept as the authors of your religion. She has the same deific source of inspiration to draw from as had the Jews of old, the same claim to the gifts and ministrations of God’s angels, the same right to demand of you the credence that you render to those whose assertions, unsupported by other evidence than their own, you accept as the divine and incontrovertible truth. Your speaker not only bases her assertions of a spiritual source for her Addresses on the incommunicable witness of her own spirit, but also on the fact that a spiritual world, permeating this world, can and does under favourable circumstances effect a rapport with mortals, and that as that rapport is effected by magnetic control of your speaker (as a demonstrated subject of animal magnetism), so she is now the subject of a higher or spiritual magnetism. Magnetic control operates between the positive and negative electricities of spirits and susceptible human beings whose magnetic condition renders them receptive as mediums. Such rapport once effected, the mortal beomes, first, the subject of spiritual magnetism, by which the organism is subdued, individual consciousness in part or wholly neutralised, and its place supplied by the psychological power of the spirit. In this state the controlling and operating influence externalises whatever latent powers are hidden within the subject. The whole rapport between spirit and mortal is effected by the laws of psychology and magnetism operating between the controlling spirit and the subject mortal, called the medium. Under the category of these laws of magnetic control your speaker ranges herself. She


 

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has no evidence to offer you of the truthfulness of her assertions except the witness of those who from earliest childhood to the present day have recognised that in her given testimony of spiritual phenomena on favourable occasions, her eyes have beheld the forms of those whom the world called dead. Her ears have drank in the tones of spirit voices, and time has verified the veracity of the intelligence communicated. Even in this place are witnesses present who have had some proofs of these occult gifts of your speaker under yet more favourable circumstances than the last few months of her life have afforded. The facts of test mediumship and spiritual gifts have been so commonly associated with your speaker’s name and experience, that it seems difficult now to prove what to herself and her associates have been long accepted as proven facts. For the peculiar character of the influence which now controls her, your speaker can render you no other definition than such as to her spiritual sense appears to be the magnetism of spirits operating on her brain, and subduing it into partial unconsciousness, and the psychology of spirits prompting her utterances. Those who are familiar with the philosophy of magnetism are aware that the magnetised subject can give forth intelligence, and frequently produce evidence of powers that were apparently utterly beyond those of that subject’s normal state. Somnambulism often yields similar evidences. A partly somnambulic, purely magnetic, and somewhat psychological state, is that in which your speaker addresses you. It may not be possible to prove it except to those who, familiar with ordinary manifestations of magnetic control, can realise in her case a difference both in the matter and manner of the control, which is not ordinary to herself. But beyond and above all this, she claims credence upon the fact that “Thus saith the Spirit!” through her lips; and never until men are reasonable enough to demand the same external facts, and the same array of senuous evidence for the support of all those systems of religion which are founded upon the “Thus saith the Lord” of the ancients, as they seem to require for the assertion of the living witnesses of the day - never should reason and justice question the testimony or doubt the veracity of the magnetised subject of spirits, though she is unable to offer any other evidence than that of her own individual assertion. This is all of personality that we consider it necessary this night to render on this subject.

 

Question 2  February 5th, 1866