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Questions Answered Extempore by Miss Emma Hardinge 1866

 

Question 6

 

HOW is it possible that things future, and not depending on any necessary sequence of cause and effect, such, for instance, as the upsetting of a boat can be foreseen or predicted?

 

Answer

 

BECAUSE there is no time or space with the spirit, but all things in the universe are one universal present. Imagine that you can behold with infinite eye the vast panorama of eternity. There you will see successions of periods, and the long chain of causation, ultimating in a ceaseless round of events, whose actions form the links in the chain of eternal cause and effect. All that is or ever was or can be on the canvas of eternity, is fully represented. Could you behold this eternal totality, you would see one infinite present: no past, no future! But you are finite, and as you move through this unchanging panorama, you take cognizance only of that which your mortal eye enables you to perceive. Something of the past that you have left you remember; something of the future to which you are advancing you realise. No more. Now, imagine that you vision is more than mortal; imagine that it has a wider radius - that you can behold a larger space in the panorama than is granted to the finite eye. It is merely a larger amount of memory; a larger amount of prophecy, you say. I say it is a larger amount of vision of that which is - a wider perception of the infinite scheme. And now extend your vision yet further, till you arrive at that knowledge which enables you to comprehend the panoramic perceptions of ages. Such is the condition of many of the inhabitants of spirit-land. In proportion, at least, to their degree of development. You behold that which is within the circle of your vision, as they of theirs; but as that circle widens, and the spirit throws off the veil of mortal magnetism, and, passing from sphere to sphere, becomes more and more sublimated, it perceives in the vast extent of the panoramic view of God’s creation, that which appears to you to be almost as vast as a vision of eternity. And now for the mode in which these perceptions reach you in the form of prophecy. Admitting that there are spirits in sublimated spheres of existence, whose vision is so fine and so vast that they can behold immense circles of the eternal panorama of that which is; when they approach spirits of a lower sphere they communicate something of their influence, and with it something of their intelligence, to the beings with whom they thus come into rapport; and these again (assuming that they are in the sphere of your guardian spirits) approach you, and you becoming receptive to their influence, realise something of their knowledge by what the Scientists call induction. And thus the sudden glimpses of knowledge which they possess, passing into your atmosphere, and for the moment impressing your mind, compels that form of unpremeditated speech which you call prophecy.

 

Prophecy is not calculation. All the calculation of the laws of cause and effect which you possess, would not enable any one of you to determine that you should ever quit this chamber alive, as the phrase of mortality is spoken. Which of you could


 

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determine that you will still remain in mortal form until the moment that you must pass from this chamber? To calculate this, accurately, you must be in the thorough knowledge of all the causes of the stability of the building around you; of the atmospheric laws that may act upon this building, and cause it destruction. You must have a perfect knowledge of your own organic system, to determine how long it will maintain its integrity. You have not this knowledge: you cannot determine even that the flower you plant in spring shall blossom in summer, unless you know the various causes that may affects its growth or decay. Prophecy is not the knowledge of cause and effect; it is the perception of that which is - it is the rapport which receptive beings on earth can sustain to those who live the spheres of knowledge that enables mortals to prophecy. Sometimes this knowledge is communicated by the guardian spirit, or some controlling mind, under circumstances favourable to the reception of the knowledge. More frequently it is an impress received from the presence of the spirit that is possessed of the knowledge - an impression upon the person who is capable of receiving it. The conditions of the atmosphere, the conditions that influence the medium, must all be favourable to the reception of the impression. When they are so, there come the mournful monitions of the calamity at hand, or the joyous foregleam of some approaching good. You cannot tell whence the knowledge comes; but your spirit recognises it as truth.

 

I do believe that so long as our perceptions of God’s infinite wisdom is bounded by ignorance, - and you cannot recognise here in this mortal pilgrimage how very good, how wise, how beneficent, are all His lessons of adversity, - I do believe that the veil of mortality is wisely drawn across our human eyes to shield us from the view of coming events too mighty in their foregleams for us to hear, although adapted to the strength of the hour of trial. But this veil is fast becoming subimated. In this age, when magnetism is in the air, and electricity is being determined by our investigations more and more towards the various organs of the brain - in this age, when the working of the spiritual telegraph is sounding at our doors and knocking at our hearts, and flashing in spiritual lights athwart our eyes - the scales of matter are falling fast from our vision, and, as the world of spirits becomes more present and real to our perceptions, so does the knowledge, which they are enabled by spiritual vision to obtain, become more and more impressed upon us, and hence the spirit of prophecy is daily growing with us.

 

It is in that spirit that we now close the exercise of this night by declaring that the day shall come, - and that within a score of years, - when our eyes “shall behold our teachers,” when the spiritual form, that is now immersed in the fine atmosphere of its own realm, shall become palpable to our human sight, for day by day we are creating the new earth around us. These very exercises, by the determination of our spiritual force and nerve aura, in the contemplation of spiritual things to the realm of influential causes, is weaving lines of magnetism, that are traversing the earth. We know not how this great irruption of modern Spiritualism has arisen, scarcely whither it is tending, by what mysterious power it has set up its telegraphic lines from pole to pole, until we find Spiritualism in all parts of the earth makings its mark everywhere, and, like the viewless army, whose marching foot-prints we only see when they have passed away, shall fresh phenomenal light of spiritual presence thicken around you. Yourselves are a part, too, of the builders of this great spiritual temple, for, by your own acts of earnest investigation and magnetic experiments, you are determining your magnetism into more and more force and power, and filling the very atmosphere with


 

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mediumistic emanation. Thus every earnest thought which you send forth in search of knowledge to the realm of spirits, returns to earth recharged with the spiritual influence which binds and connects the working telegraph, and so you fill the earth, and charge the air, and bind the elements in chains of magnetic influence.

 

We hear that “Spiritualism is exploded.” “Some say that it has died out;” “that its mediums are exposed;” its viewless hosts all driven back and powerless. We have not heard this news in spirit-world, nor here on earth find evidence that spirits’ work is flagging. We see the individuals fail, but not the power; we miss the waymarks, but we find the broad path opening wider and wider before us; we realise the fallibility of the instruments, but the master-hands are still striking the harp of the human heart and the music of immortality is still chiming in the air. Therefore we claim, upon the basis of a science no less than upon that of spiritual love, tenderness, and affection, which is now as ever drawing your kindred and all that you have lost nearer and nearer to your side in missions of love and guidance, that to work the great mystic telegraph that has been built between the natural and the spiritual world by the law of affection, by the law of science, by the law of growth, by the eternal laws of Him who is manifested in all other laws is the mission or aim of Spiritualism; that as its motive powers are eternal so will be its manifestations of growth and progress. Are you not even spiritualising matter? Shall not the new earth, which progress is ultimating, be arched by a new heaven born of the spirits’ progress who depart from this earth of renewed and glorious life? Fear not, but the day is even now at hand when you shall recognise the fulfilment of the prophecy of ancient times, “Behold I make all things new,” and, “The former shall not be remembered nor come into mind.”

 

MR LUXMOORE, in proposing a vote of thanks to Miss Hardinge, stated that whatever might be the opinion of the audience in regard to the influence by which they were enlightened - whatever might be their notions on Spiritualism or non­Spiritualism, they could not but admire the excellence of the precepts that had been inculcated, tending as they did to produce that love towards God and man, which, if fully carried out, would almost turn earth into heaven. He had never left the room on any occasion after listening to Miss Hardinge without feeling his mind elevated and improved. He begged to thank her for the benefit he had derived, or which he knew he ought to have derived, from listening to her discourse.

 

[The vote of thanks was carried by the enthusiastic acclamations of the audience.]

 

ADDRESS  February 19th, 1866