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merely fashionable standards of the day, and look only to what is substantial and of permanent excellence. His success may be slow, but it will be sure.

Professor Goodrich hints at the publication of a volume of American Eloquence. Judging by the good sense and taste which he has evinced in the present work, we know of no one to whom a selection of the kind could be entrusted with more confidence; and we hope that he will be encouraged to proceed with his design.

2. Philosophy of Mysterious Agents, human and mundane: or the Dynamic Relations of Man. Embracing the Natural Philosophy of Phenomena, styled "Spiritual Manifestations." By E. C. Rogers, &c. &c. In Five Numbers. No. 1. Boston: Redding & Co., &c. Bela Marsh, &c. 1852. 8vo.

3. "To Daimonion," or The Spiritual Medium. Its Nature Illustrated by the History of its uniform_mysterious manifestation when unduly excited. In Twelve familiar Letters to an Inquiring Friend. By Traverse Oldfield. Boston: Gould & Lincoln, &c. 1852. 16mo. pp. 157.

4. Mysteries; or, Glimpses of the Supernatural. Containing accounts of the Salem Witchcraft-the Cock-Lane Ghost-the Rochester Rappings-the Stratford Mysteries-Oracles-Astrology-Dreams -Demons-Ghosts-Spectres, &c. &c. By Charles Wyllys Elliott. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1852. 12mo. pp. 273.

These are some of the rational works that have been called forth by the prevailing excitement on what is now vulgarly called "Spiritual Manifestations," or "Spirit-Rappings." Mr. Rogers brings together quite a number of cases in which appearances of the kind have been authenticated by competent and credible observers in Europe and in America, in former years as well as in these few last years. These cases he carefully analyzes, and distinguishes first those phenomena which are obviously of a physical kind only, noting the conditions under which they were produced, the attending circumstances, and the influences by which they were apparently modified. He recognizes the fact, however, that there are other phenomena which might seem to indicate the presence of intellectual agency; these he reserves for analysis in a subsequent number. His work is as yet so incomplete, that we cannot form a final judgement with respect to the light it will throw upon this curious matter. But thus far, it is one of the most thorough inductions that we have seen of the facts belonging to the subject. It is written in a scientific spirit, with just discrimination, with candor, and evidently with the aim of presenting "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" in the case. hope much from the future numbers.


The second work is less thorough in its induction of facts, but more general in its scope; embracing a cursory view of the peculiar phenomena of this kind, as they have appeared in all nations, ancient as

well as modern; suggesting the probable cause in the yet unexplored mysteries of the nervous fluid; and pointing at the moral and religious evils of exciting it unduly for purposes of magic, necromancy, and divination. One of the most important features of the work, is, the clearness with which the character of our recent "Manifestations" is identified with that of the old wizard-practices, ghost-raising, heathen Oracles, thaumaturgy, and witchcraft, conjuration, &c., of which the world has always been full. These truly "familiar letters to an inquiring friend" will be of much service to any person, capable of sober thought, who has become a little mystified by the spirits." He will find the subject treated with candor, and with unaffected sympathy in his perplexities, but with so much commonsense, and with so many illustrations from ancient and modern examples, that he can hardly fail of finding relief in the perusal.

In Mr. Elliott's book, we meet with statements of several important facts in the cases that have recently agitated the public, as well as in cases of an older date, and some valuable considerations are suggested. He often uses, however, a tone of banter, which, though well deserved by the credulous followers and devotees of the spiritoracles, will only aggravate their infirmity, and will not aid in convincing even such as are weak enough to be in doubt. He seems also to discredit the phenomena themselves. Doubtless, there has been a great deal of imposture in the exhibitions; but that there have been, in all ages, many things which "are not dreamt of in our philosophy" is too evident to be questioned.

With respect to the subject at large, we suppose it is now clear to every cool thinker, who is tolerably well informed in the matter, that the several phenomena which came up successively among us, under the names of Mesmerism, Clairvoyance, Biology, Spirit-Rappings, Spirit-Communications by signs and by writing, Spirit-Movements and Breakings of furniture, &c., are all of them effects of one and the same agent, only in different manifestations. When any one of these shall have been adequately accounted for, all will be accounted for. There is another consideration of no little importance. Now, we suppose that some persons look upon these late Manifestations" as altogether new, taking it as a thing of course that they were never known before, that they first broke out in our age and country, and that they mark the beginning of what is called a new era. But it is not so. The world has always been full of such phenomena. As far back as human records extend, from the remotest antiquity downward, the page of history is written over with them. We find abundant mention of them in all the Greek and Roman Classics; they formed a leading feature in ancient heathenism. We find them in the Old Testament, where they are always treated as the manifestations of heathenism, and are rigorously reprehended. We find them recognized in the New Testament, and disapproved of, as hostile to

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the gospel. In the early Church-fathers, we find them perpetually alluded to, as prevailing among the heathens. Among the ancient Neoplatonics, especially among the followers of Apollonius, of Tyana, who were the most determined and insidious of all the enemies of Christianity, we find these theurgical arts cultivated for the same purposes as they are now practised by many, and with the same pretensions. In the Dark Ages, they abounded, usually in avowed opposition to Christianity. And, to come nearer home, if any one will read the contemporary accounts of the epidemical withcraft that broke out in Salem, more than a hundred and fifty years ago, and that spread through the Province, he will be tempted to suppose them fabrications of our day, intended for descriptions of what is passing among us. For the last half century, or more, we had grown so wise as to conclude that the whole was a mistake,-that no such phenomena ever appeared. But the world has always declared that these strange facts did take place; and so far the world was right, for men have always had eyes to see.

As an example of what was passing, in ancient times, look at the account recorded in 1 Samuel xxviii. When king Saul saw the armies of the Philistines gathering against him, he first inquired of the Lord what the event would be. But no answer was returned; he had grievously sinned, and departed from the Lord, who also had forsaken him. "Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a wo"man that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire "of her. And his servants said unto him, Behold, there is a woman "that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, "and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, "and they came to the woman by night. And he said, I pray thee, "divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up whom "I shall name unto thee. . . . Then said the woman, Whom shall "I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel, [who had been dead about four years.] And when the woman saw Sam"uel, she cried with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul,



saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul, [whom she had not known before.] And the king said unto her, Be not afraid; "for what sawest thou? ... What form is he of? And she


said, An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. "And Saul perceived [from her description,] that it was Samuel; "and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. "And Samuel said to Saul, [that is, a voice was heard, saying,] ". . . . To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me; the Lord "also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philis66 tines," ‚”—all of which came to pass the next day. We really think there must be some lack of spiritual discernment, when all "Endor " has broken loose upon us now, to mistake it for the kingdom of heaven. There may be a question, also, whether it betokens a very

high degree of intelligence, to consecrate oneself to the old heathen magic, taking it for a new light just bursting upon the world.

What course ought we, as Christians, to pursue in relation to this matter? We cannot suppose it sinful to make experiments on the phenomena, if we do it as rational creatures, in the same temper of mind, and with the same objects, with which we would make experiments in corresponding branches of nosology, or in chemistry; that is, if we have nothing more important to attend to, than these wonders. Doubtless, they will be traced out, in the course of time, and become scientifically understood, as has been the case with other phenomena, that were once thought to be supernatural. It is remarkable, that there is not even a single class of operations, in the whole realm of physics, however familiar to us now, but was at first attributed to the agency of spirits. Their true character was discovered only by degrees. And so it will be with Mesmerism and the Rappings. But we must consider that it will take time for such a result. It is very slow work, at the beginning, to investigate the laws by which any class of facts are produced; and Science will not be hurried in her processes, let men be as impatient as they may. If she is hurried, she makes blunders, and finds at last that she has to go back again, and proceed more slowly. When attention was first directed to certain departments of chemistry, it took several centuries to rescue it from the popular imputation of being the domain of spirits. And it may require as long a period of experiment and discovery, in the present case; though, considering our increased facilities, it seems probable that the matter will be laid open in a much shorter time. Still, we shall have to wait awhile, or else fall into boundless absurdities, as men always have done, at first, in their hasty attempts to account for all natural operations. It is the penalty which God has attached to credulity pluming itself on its superior discernment. But if, instead of examining for scientific ends, we find that we are beginning to run wild with demoniacal influences, with a dotage for mysteries, or with silly surmises of some new sort of dispensation that shall supersede the old gospel of Jesus Christ, it is time for a prudent man, not to say for a religious man, to pause. We should remember that, when the practices alluded to, are followed under the notion that we are really holding communication with the spirits of the dead, they are severely reprehended and condemned, both by the Old Testament and by the New. No man has a moral right to befool himself.

5. The Christian Victor; or, Mortality and Immortality: including Happy Death Scenes. By J. G. Adams, &c. &c. Boston: Published by A. Tompkins, 1851. 18mo. pp. 216.

We overlooked this volume, at the time of its publication, supposing it to be a new edition of the author's former volume, bearing as it does a title somewhat similar. But on having our attention directed

to it, we found it to be a new work throughout, and to be designed, more especially than the other, "as a companion for the sick-room, and as a gift for the bereaved and mourning." About a hundred pages, at the beginning, are occupied with short chapters, offering a great variety of appropriate suggestions on sickness, bereavement of friends, death and immortality. Following these, there are more than sixty instances of "Death-Scenes" among Universalists, arranged under the heads of Trust and Resignation- Joy and Peace-The Needed Hope found - Deaths of Ministers. From the contents of the volume, thus briefly indicated, and from the author's well known ability to treat subjects of this kind efficiently, the value and interesting character of his work will be anticipated by those who have not yet read it. We commend it to all, and especially to mourners. They will not be disappointed in its perusal.

6. The Howadji in Syria. By George William Curtis, Author of "Nile Notes," &c. New York: Harper & Brothers, &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 304.

7. Lotus-Eating: A Summer Book. By George William Curtis, &c. Illustrated by Kensett, &c. New York: Harper & Brothers, &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 206.

With a masterly skill, Mr. Curtis presents to us the scenes of his various wanderings. With him, the glowing plain and the dreary desert, the sunny wave and the rushing cataract, and the sullen and deadly sea, sing songs which find correspondence in the history and the daily experience of man. Yet much as we admire the graceful Howadji, we find ourselves in many passages, desiring a higher and purer ideality of representation than his pages afford us. His style is too uniformly Venetian-too luxurious to do justice to the loftier themes of which we are occasionally reminded. And then again, after revelling long amid flowers and Syrian dreams, one aspires for the chill and stern, but pure, invigorating mountain air. We would not make our home in the warm south, where Howadji delights to dwell.

The Howadji is a youth who loves to sing of flowers and beautiful forms. He chooses not to deal with rugged themes and thoughts which aspire to loftier and colder regions. Ever and anon, as he is borne unwillingly from the summery present into the sere and wintry future, his spirits droop with vague forebodings. But the Howadji's sympathies will deepen and rise with ripening years; the morning song of flowers and beautiful birds, the noon's hot glow, and the sunset's brilliant hues, are the universal lessons of man. But none the less is the northern snow, and the pure, chill winter. None the less the untainted silence of the vast night, and the myriad stars, which sing to us of eternity, and the final harmony into which melt the ever varying strains of earthly toil, and pain, and pleasure.

G. H. B.

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