Seções: Índice Geral   Seção Atual: Índice   Obra: Índice   Anterior: 6. “Violacionismo,” ou Feitiçaria na Ciência   Seguinte: 8. A Constituição do Homem



(p. 170)



            IT is proposed in this paper to offer some remarks which may serve as a contribution towards the utilisation of modern spiritualistic experiences, by showing the relation borne by them to the two great needs of human life – a System of Thought and a Rule of Life. It is proposed to indicate in what manner the facts and phenomena with which the last thirty years have made us personally acquainted, and which are usually, but erroneously, regarded as constituting Spiritualism, may be made to serve as a basis for the construction of a Philosophy which shall be at once a Science, a Morality, and a Religion. Now, a Rule of Life is obviously impossible without a System of Thought; and, equally obviously, a System of Thought includes and involves a Rule of Life. For as it is the function of a Rule of Life to enable us by its observance to make of our existence the most and best that we have it in us to be, so it is the function of a System of Thought to supply such explanation of the nature of existence as will make such result possible. Only when we have learnt how and of what we are constituted, can we at all hope to realise the potentialities of our nature. And knowledge, if it be real, involves being and doing.

            Of no Knowledge which the world holds are these axioms so predicable as of that which demonstrates the spiritual nature of Life and in particular of Man, its highest manifestation on this planet. For this is a Knowledge, not of accidents, but of essentials; and it bears relation, therefore, to our conduct in all departments of activity. A Spiritualist in this sense of the term – the only true sense – is not merely one who accepts a certain hypothesis, as affording the most probably correct solution of certain special isolated phenomena, and in respect of all other subjects and departments of Knowledge is left free and unaffected by his hypothesis; but he is one who, knowing the

(p. 171)

nature of Self, and consequently of the Kosmos, occupies a comprehensive and unassailable standpoint, from which all human sciences and practices must be judged. Having such conception of the high purpose and use of the knowledge he holds, the true Spiritualist is emphatically a Philosopher, a religious man; being, after the Latin root of the word, of a piece throughout, bound together, a whole, harmonious, consistent personality, at one in himself, and therefore at one with all existence; and like the Sun in the solar system, ranging round himself as centre all that appertains to his own system. And precisely in so far as a man fails thus to systematise knowledge and truth, he fails in being a true Spiritualist. For this noble and dignified name belongs of right only to the man who understands that Spirit is the Real, and Matter the Appearance, and that while the second exists in Time, the first is eternally. Just as he is a Materialist who, unable to penetrate beyond the Phenomenal, contents himself with the study of causes and effects which can never be other or more than secondary, and therefore inexplicable in themselves, so he is a Spiritualist whose thought transcending the Material reaches and finds room for God, and relegates all other secondary knowledges dealing with Matter to the domination and direction of spiritual knowledge. But the title of Spiritualist is no fitting designation for the mere habitué of the séance-room, who, having satisfied himself of the genuine character of the various manifestations of which he has been witness for a more or less lengthened period, and added to his collection of acquired facts the certainty that there are such things as ghosts, and that the current hypothesis of modern schoolmen is inadequate to classify the phenomena of talking tables, trance-mediums, and “materialisations,” regards such knowledge as technical merely, and differing from other specific knowledges only as geology, for instance, may differ from botany or from physiology. Such, nevertheless, is the meaning which, unhappily, has become attached to the name of “Spiritualist,” and with which meaning both scoffers and believers appear, for the moment, content. Hence it is that even the adherents of the movement frequently exhibit an inclination to treat of Spiritualism as of a special branch of study, comparable to any other at present recognised by the world; accidental, or, at best, complementary in its character, and strictly limited in its range and its subject-matter. Thus, Spiritualists are exhorted, not by outsiders, but by those professing to be of their own number, to confine themselves

(p. 172)

to their ghosts, and to leave all such questions as vivisection, vaccination, vegetarianism, marriage laws, women’s rights, and other matters, characterised as “extraneous,” to “experts” who can discuss them from a standpoint of knowledge appropriate to each. I wish to say, very strongly and earnestly indeed, that I entirely dissociate myself from any such conception of Spiritualism or of Psychology as is implied by such advice as this, recently set forth in an organ professedly dedicated to the interests of spiritual teaching; and that, for my part, I distinctly refuse to accept such a view of the “whole duty of Spiritualists.” Were Spiritualists really no more in their science than the geographer, anatomist, or the astronomer in his, then the gamut of the whole subject would be soon enough learnt and exhausted. The utmost the science could do for a man would be to convince him that in some undefined way, existence is prolonged beyond the period of life in the body, – whether for eternity or for a limited time only, however, no ghost would be able to tell him, – for inaccuracies, opinions, and prejudices abound with the “dead” as with the living, – and that man may become possessed by study and cultivation of certain powers, vulgarly regarded as miraculous. With such a poor and mean view of the scope and destiny of Spiritualism, however, no earnest mind will for a moment rest content. Spiritualism really represents, not a new branch of experimental science, but a new platform from which to view and to examine all other sciences. It is quite reasonable to require the geologist to stick to his “minerals and not to meddle with the department of the botanist or of the architect, for all these are representatives of physical sciences, and all alike occupied with analysis or synthesis on the material plane. But the Spiritualist is on this plane no longer; he has passed through and above it, and for him the whole face of human history and human motive is changed. As one viewing a landscape from mountain altitudes sees far otherwise and far more widely and comprehensively than one surveying the same tract of country from the level ground, so the Spiritualist from the philosophical standpoint to which he has attained must needs conceive of Life in its entirety a very different idea from that entertained by the mere physicist. It is therefore in the last degree unreasonable to exhort a man whose whole being is “lightened and lifted higher” to refrain from concerning himself with subjects which, if he be a true Spiritualist, he must find it impossible to expunge from the range of his illuminated vision.

(p. 173)

Why, indeed, it may be asked, is he a Spiritualist at all, if it be not to obtain the right and the power to judge the comparative values of things, and to discern what is truly worth the labour and the devotion of the human mind? Why should the traveller give himself the trouble and fatigue of ascending mountain-passes, and of encountering the difficulties and inconveniences of the journey, if not for the vantage-ground he will thus attain, from whence to survey the surrounding valleys and reaches which from lower ground would be beyond his horizon? Precisely then as we reasonably claim that the psychic man should rule and control the physical man, in other words, that the spirit or mind should direct and legislate for the body, so it is reasonable that we should claim the right of the Spiritualist to direct and order the courses of mere physical research. For, since the knowledge which constitutes the Spiritualist is, as already stated, a knowledge not of accidentals capable of isolation and separate treatment, but of fundamentals and universals, it follows that no subject possessing a practical application can rightly be regarded as outlying the cognition of the Spiritualist, or belonging to a department into which his entrance would be an intrusion. Indeed, the very nature of his science is such that he cannot, if he would, refrain from bringing it to bear upon all the relations and aims of Life. The possession of a universal truth imposes an obligation of a royal nature, and makes its initiate at once an overseer and an arbiter. It is to set forth in succinct terms the nature both of this truth and of the obligations it imposes that this paper has been prepared. In other words, it is desired to supply, as clearly and concisely as may be, a “schema” on which to construct a System of Thought and Rule of Life based on the facts collectively known as Spiritualistic. It will be seen, in the unfoldment of this schema, why the writer regards Spiritualism not merely as a new knowledge, but as a new Criterion of knowledges; the Rod in the hand of the Angel, wherewith to measure and gauge the value and soundness of all human toils and structures.

            Utility is a word which conveys two different meanings to two different classes of men. To the Materialist, the highest conception of utility bears, necessarily, relation only to material objects and to secondary conditions; the Spiritualist, equally necessarily, connects such idea with spiritual ends and applies it to primary causes. Now it is a fundamental truth, recognised by Spiritualists from prehistoric times, that the apparent

(p. 174)

interests of the physical or sense-man are often in diametrical opposition to those of the psychic or spirit-man. Necessarily, therefore, the Spiritualist will apply to the examination of human sciences and customs a test altogether different in kind from any that can be framed by the Materialist. And the nature of the test thus applied is, in itself, a criterion of the standpoint occupied by the critic. It is impossible for the Spiritualist, occupying the loftier platform, to lower his point of view to that of the Materialist, and to compare notes with him upon the respective values to physical humanity of certain practices, the nature of which renders them wholly unlawful and unacceptable to the spirit-man. Such practices may indeed have their “experts,” just as may robbery, brigandage, fraud, false coining, assassination, seduction, sorcery, poisoning, and the like, but they are, in their primary out-birth, Satanic, and with their secondary utilities the Spiritualist can have no concern. All the evil sciences just named have secondary utilities which bring bread to the hungry, relief and pleasure to the miserable, wealth to the poor, vengeance to the outcast. No Materialist can, by any possibility, be a just judge in such issues. His noblest standard of right is formulated in the words: “The greatest good of the greatest number.” And by “greatest. good” he always means either physical or intellectual good applicable to temporary ends. Both these belong to the sense-and time-man, the first kind to the body merely, the second to the mundane mind. But the measure of right formulated by the Spiritualist is expressed in the Italian axiom: Farvi migliori; questo ha da essere lo scopo della vostra vita.” And to do the best, in disregard of, or even in the teeth of, all the interests of secondary utilities will, in the long run, prove the only true and real service. It is bound to prove so, by the very constitution of the Kosmos, and by the Nature Itself of God. “He,” says Christ, “who will save his life shall lose it, and he who shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall find it.” Here we have a succinct statement of the paradox ever confronting Man; the conflict between the apparent interests of the illusory, and the real interests of the permanent. To see only the apparent and illusory is to be in the position of a man following a marsh-light circling hither and thither without goal or definite intent. At one time, one course may appear to him safest and best, at another, conclusions may seem to him to lie in a quite different direction. Yet, all the time, he may be, according to his knowledge, honest and earnest. Of all classes of mankind, the Spiritualist alone

(p. 175)

is able to systematise knowledge, and to trace for his feet a rule of life. He may be likened rather to the Wise Men in sacred story who, guided not by an earth-light, but by a heavenly Star, followed its steadfast leading to the abode of the Christ.

            These prefatory remarks will suffice to suggest what manner of counsel it is I desire to press on my hearers. I would earnestly recommend to them to be constructive and consecutive; not to be content with having acquired, here and there, a few isolated and scattered facts of a more or less occult nature, but, having once assured themselves that these facts are trustworthy, and essential in their nature, and therefore part of the Divine order, to seek out for themselves their sequences, and not to rest until by reason, study, comparison, and thought, they have arrived at a comprehension of the three Unities of the Kosmic Drama – (action, time and place) – and, consequently, at the formulation of a System. The lines upon which such systematisation should be attempted are indicated by the terms of the basic doctrine of Spinozic and Swedenborgian philosophy – borrowed from the old Hermetic teaching, – that everything existing in Time and Space has a subsisting correspondence of eternal and infinite nature. That therefore nothing material and ephemeral is without a substantial Idea, preceding, interpreting, and surviving it, and that no merely physical or transient entity is conceivably possible in a real Kosmos. Hence, to know the character, value, and place of any object or action, it must be transferred in thought to the spiritual or noumenal plane, and judged, not according to that which it seems, but that which it is. We have thus to deal with a world within a world; and the study of the Spiritualist should be so to regulate his conduct as to be in immediate relation, not with the outer and phenomenal, but with the inner and true. Forms interpret and reveal Ideas, and only Ideas are related to the Spirit of Man. Therefore, while for the Materialist forms may represent the absolute, and he may model his behaviour to suit the secondary utilities related to these; for the Spiritualist, Ideas alone are absolute, and the course of his action must be related wholly to them; realising thus the Pauline axiom: “Our conversation IS in Heaven.”

            It is not then permitted to the Spiritualist, as it is to the Materialist, to be without a system. It is not permitted to the Spiritualist to be in any sense a specialist, or to “run with the hare and hold with the hounds.” It is not permitted to him, for instance, to believe in the undying quality of the human soul,

(p. 176)

and in the righteousness of God, and yet to have vague and dubious notions about the definition of Divine Justice, the ordering of the Kosmos, and man’s moral duties, differing in nowise from the notions of his materialistic neighbours. It is not permitted him to hold that God is just, as he conceives justice, to himself and to his kind, and unjust, as he conceives injustice, to other creatures not yet man. If he find himself content to let such things rest in doubt, to conceive it possible that some of God’s ways may be evil, and that man therefore may be Godlike in pursuing and abetting injustice; that it is right certain knowledges or apparent benefits should be suffered to increase by means which he would not willingly see employed by a divine personage; if he is able to quiet his conscience with the reflection that it is enough for him to have ascertained the immortal nature of himself and of his friends, and to believe that reform, in virtue of that knowledge, is no business of his, – then such a man, whatever else he may be, is certainly no Spiritualist. To be a Spiritualist is to hold, first, the basic Principle of Existence to be pure Being, the “Substance” of Spinoza, the Brahm of the Hindus. Secondly, it is to hold that this Principle is Good, and that consequently that which is called evil is not essential but accidental, not real but illusory. Thirdly, that as the constant and unvarying aim of the Spiritualist is to struggle back through Matter, through Accident and Illusion into Spirit, this aim compels him to conflict with the opposing wave which meets him in one continual outflow from Spirit to Matter, from Good to Evil. These fundamental knowledges will lead him to catalogue as good all actions and thoughts (which are internal actions) the basic principle of which is pure, and applicable to true essentials and to the human Ego stripped of its externals. Such actions only are calculated to hasten the return to Spirit, and the coming of the “Kingdom of God.” On the other hand, he will be led to catalogue as evil “all actions and thoughts the basic principle of which is impure, and by its character inapplicable to essential and heavenly states. Such actions are calculated to perpetuate Maya, or Illusion.

            Thus judgment is, for him, at once pronounced on such practices as Vivisection, Flesh-eating, Inoculation of Disease, and every class of gross, luxurious, and impure living. Cleanliness and Justice are the two factors of the Godly Life. The direction of the good or Spiritual impulse is towards the Volatilisation

(p. 177)

of the Fixed, that of the evil or Material impulse is towards the Fixation of the Volatile. Thus are posited the two hypothetical modes of force – Centripetal and Centrifugal; of which the first has the Sun, or God, for its point of attraction; and the second has the orbit of Saturn. (He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.) Thus, also, is posited an illustration of the two modes of personality belonging respectively to heavenly and to mundane men; – the Divine, and the Satanic. The Divine personality, (a better word is needed, for the signification to be conveyed is that of being, not of seeming,) consists in the perfection of the interior or essential consciousness; the Satanic personality is the strengthening and fixation of the exterior or material consciousness. The first of these personalities is by nature Eternal, the second, Temporary. An action is good in proportion as it leads inwards towards the development and manifestation of the Son of God, or spiritual Ego in man; an action is bad in proportion as it leads outwards towards the development and creation of the devil in man. The good action has therefore a tendency towards a focus, towards permanence and light; the bad action has a tendency towards void, dissipation, and darkness.

            As on the physical plane the law of progress has been from the impersonal to the personal, and from unorganised to elaborate, so the order of spiritual evolution is from the void and chaotic to the formulated; from vague good – which we call evil – to distinct and perfected good. Spiritual or heavenly personality becomes stronger with every good thought and action, as it is weakened by every evil action. In proportion as an action is distinctly human, that is, distinctly of the spiritual character, insomuch it tends away from rudiments towards perfection. In ethics, the “survival of the fittest” means the “survival of the best,” because the tide of tendency in spiritual evolution is towards Righteousness, and this in invariable, and in the main, consistent inflow, ever centralising and personalising. I say “in the main,” because, from point to point, there is a back tide, a retrogressive stream towards Negation and Loss, and this it is which represents Evil. The inflowing stream represents Order and the Obedient Will; the reflux, Disorder and Sin. To flow inwards and upwards is to tend towards Spirit and Essential Being; to flow outwards is to tend towards Matter and Illusive Existence. Thus man, in the first act of sin, depicted in Genesis, is not to be regarded as choosing a positive (evil) in preference to a positive (good), for there cannot be two positives:

(p. 178)

but as preferring Substance under its aspect of Maya (Matter) to Substance under its essential aspect. For, as all is God, evil in the popular sense is an absurdity. Evil is then simply circumferential or remote good, and as such its characteristic is impersonality, or absence of organisation. It is unreasonable, blind, insane; and philosophers in all ages have identified wickedness with madness and disease.

            One of the fundamental principles of the spiritual Evolutionist necessarily is that Man is the outcome and therefore the purposeful result of Genesis; and therefore, that there is in the whole Kosmos nothing but Man, either in the making or the marring. The making is represented by the in- and up-flowing main-stream; the marring, by the back-flow. This proposition is a self-evident corollary of physical evolution, keeping pace with the latter, and underlying its manifold transmigrations and vicissitudes. Like a distinct silver clue unwinding and revealing itself in ever-increasing strength and brightness, the gradual evolution of Personality leads the soul onward through a labyrinth filled with monstrous and ghastly shapes, chaotic gloom and vistas of bewildering mirage, – onward by means of suffering, – which is but another name for experience, – until she reaches the daylight of Humanity. The recognition of this law of spiritual progress entails upon Man the obligation of considering all creatures as his rudimentary selves, with unblossomed potentialities of humanity lying latent in their inner being. Such knowledge gives him new views of his relations towards them, and of their claims on his regard and brother-love. Moreover, the recognition of the higher spiritual evolution flowing side by side with that of the physical, and being itself the propelling cause of the latter, must influence all considerations of mere physical relations and benefits in a manner impossible to the conception of the Materialist. Such recognition must inevitably tend to lower the value of secondary or physical knowledges relating to the exterior existence, while bringing into prominence spiritual knowledges, and to enhance the value of these last so greatly as to render them all-sufficient to human needs.

            And such, assuredly, they will prove in the end, because essentials involve derivatives, and the greater includes the less. All knowledges on whatever plane are attainable by Divine methods. The only condition for such attainment is that the Divine method should first be diligently sought and mastered. The Kingdom must first be established, then shall come the

(p. 179)

power and the glory of it. As it is written: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

            For Love is the universal Solvent; and Love’s method is in all its unfoldings, consistent with its object and intent.

            Such as these, faintly and inadequately traced, are the lines of the Royal Way by which the Spiritualist passes from Earth to Heaven. Co-worker with God, he heads the stream rolling ever inward towards the “Sea of crystal mingled with Fire.” With this inward-flowing stream, the new tendencies of modern scientific methods constitute in many respects a directly colliding element, a retrograde movement in diametrical violation of the advancing and spiritualising impetus of the Kosmic force. Thus it becomes the immediate business of the Spiritualist, against whose breast this backward wave first breaks, to warn those behind him of the coming danger, and so prevent them from being carried away by it, or, at least, to take care that it does not implicate him, and sweep him out of his steadfast course.

            The name of “Spiritualist” should therefore before and above all things signify “Anti-Materialist,” if Materialism be understood to imply a method of thinking which, attributing to accident and to fortuitous arrangement of merely phenomenal and automatic atoms the genesis of Life, is necessarily incapable of assigning to the religious sense any real value or meaning. Regarding Man as sprung from and returning to Negation, at once the product and the heir of the Void, the Materialist must necessarily view all moral sentiment as merely utilitarian in character, and therefore he naturally enough expects such sentiment to yield with a good grace to arguments based on temporary expediency. He is a “dead man,” in the Apostolic sense of the phrase, because for him all Nature is but a corpse in whose arteries no Divine pulse-beats thrill.

            But the Spiritualist is, as I have attempted to shew, essentially a living man. Seeing in Matter but the vehicle and manifestation of Spirit, and in the primary Divine Being the source and centre of all the manifold expressions of existence, it is his prerogative – nay, his obligation – to test all beliefs and customs, social and secular, by reference to essential principles, and to translate every action and rule of conduct to the spiritual plane. Hence he becomes a universalist, and everything his immediate and proper concern. It is impossible for him to have “opinions”; he alone of all men has a right to certainty, and is bound by virtue of his

(p. 180)

system to decide with certainty the issues of all controversies. And the test by which he thus decides is Principle.

            Now of Principle in its true and primary sense the Materialist can obviously know nothing. Living in time, and for secondary utilities, his only guide and standard of action must needs be Expediency, and in regard to Expediency there may, of course, be many and widely differing opinions. For Expediency is kaleidoscopic, and every new shake may give a new pattern, but Principle is one and indefeasible. Expediency is of this world, and all its relations are ephemeral; Principle is prophetic and absolute. It is the universal “Thus saith the Lord” of the old Hebrew “man of God.” On the lines of such conception of the comprehensive character and application of Spiritualism was based the Theocracy of Moses. No subject was too secular or too remote to be brought within the reach of the “Lord’s” immediate instruction. The “Lord,” of course, stands for the Divine in Man; and though such records as we possess of the ancient Hebrew legislation do not, obviously, represent the original Mosaic system, yet the formula still remains as evidence of the universal and all-including application of the Divine Word. But the Material tendencies of the day in which we now live have changed all this. We are told not to mix up secular science and mundane interests with things sacred and spiritual; and to keep distinct places in our minds for week-day opinions on one hand, and for Sunday certainties on the other. Thus it naturally comes about that with the old universalism we have lost the old unanimity. Spiritual knowledges have ceased to interpret for us intellectual problems, and we allow men occupying a totally different plane from ours to be our umpires and autocrats in matters which ought to be decided by the Divine Oracle.

            Now of Principles, – which though spoken of in the plural number are, it must be remembered, as integrally one as the spectrum rays are one light, – the first and foremost, and that which constitutes the stability of the Universe, is justice. And forasmuch as of Justice the root is Wisdom, – for none can be just unless he first understand, – Wisdom is one with Love, and God is Love. So is Justice one with God, and is God. And man is God-like, precisely according to the degree in which he loves and practises Justice. Therefore, whether in the domain of science, morals, politics or sociology, the nearer we get to Principles the nearer we get to Essentials, and, consequently, to the Divine. And, on the contrary, the more we incline to Expediency

(p. 181)

the lower the ground we take, and the less likely it is to prove firm under our feet. Building upon Principle, we build upon the Rock, and neither storm nor flood shall prevail against our house. But Expediency is as the shifting sand, which the ever-varying tides of Time and Custom suck and undermine, and drive hither and thither, and on which no wise man sets his habitation. Principles alone are real and eternal, and a man may know his grade in respect of Divine things by the degree of his preference for Principles above persons, things, and circumstantial accidents. These essential truths, faithfully followed even in narrow way’s and dark places, will at length bring a man safe to the footstep of the Throne. Whereas he may gain a whole world of expediencies, and yet lose his own soul.

            To become a Spiritualist simply in order to converse with ghosts implies a very poor kind of advantage. But to be a changed man, to take new and illuminated views of Life, to look with the “larger other eyes” of the Gods on Life’s problems, duties, and ordeals, to hear a Voice behind us saying – “This is the way, walk ye in it; and go not aside to the right hand nor to the left,” – to have exchanged doubt for knowledge, hesitation for decision, strife for peace, expediency for principle; – this is to have systematised and applied Psychic Knowledge, and to have become a true Spiritualist.

            And because the percipience and experience necessary to make such theoretical and practical application of his system come to the Spiritualist only by means of thought, study, and heart-searching, it is, I submit, of the strongest urgency that those burning questions with which the lay and scientific worlds are now ablaze should be examined and argued by Spiritualists from the platform which is peculiarly and exclusively theirs. Of what use to be “the salt of the earth” unless we give forth our savour? Of what good to be the candle of the world if we submit to be put under a bushel instead of giving light to all that are in the house? And of what avail will Spiritualism prove to ourselves or to the age unless it make the world purer, sweeter, more just and more Godly?

            Wherefore I at least, as one Spiritualist among many, will be instant in season and out of season, with voice, pen, and desire, to hasten the advent of the Kingdom of God, and the age of the “new heavens and new earth in which Justice dwelleth.”


            In the following number of Light (p. 270) the Editor, “M.A. (Oxon.),

(p. 182)

referring to this magnificent appeal by Anna Kingsford to Spiritualists to take their stand against vivisection and other inhuman practices, said: “I hope it is not a sign of unregenerate cruelty of heart, or something worse, that I cannot without a strong sense of the extreme inappropriateness of such language hear ‘practices’ that it is not difficult to identify with experiments which, at least in a vast majority of cases, have a beneficent and useful end in view, compared to ‘robbery, brigandage, fraud, false coining, assassination, seduction,’ – there is more, but this will, perhaps, do. I do not know how high that platform may be whence this higher criticism finds its way to us; but the vituperative language, when it does get down to us, is ‘of the earth earthly,’ with a very human tendency to mere scolding, etc.” To this Anna Kingsford replied as follows: (1)

            To the Editor of Light.

            Sir, – Permit me to tell ‘MA. (Oxon.)’ that he mistakes in supposing Light to be the journal alluded to in my paper recently read before the B.N.A.S.

            He mistakes also in imputing to me vituperative language. If he will read my paper he will find that the comparison made between vivisection and the crimes he cites is made only to confute the plea that vivisection is useful, by demonstrating that the worst malpractices have likewise their utilities, ‘beneficent’ to those who engage in them. As for this charge of ‘scolding,’ it is, alas, a word which has been applied in various shapes to all earnest reformers. That which to the man who agrees with the reformer is noble and uncompromising indignation, becomes to his opponent vituperation and abuse. So was it with our Lord, whose anger against the false teachers of His day led Him to heap on them such epithets as ‘children of the devil,’ ‘liars,’ ‘vipers,’ ‘hypocrites,’ and the like; and, not satisfied with words, to proceed even to the use of physical force, driving out of the Temple with scourges the purveyors of sacrifice dues, and violently upsetting their seats and their goods. Noble vituperation was this! – the violence of a great heart; the rage of a true revolutionist. All real reformers have done the like, for without enthusiasm no cause is won. Therefore, if such be ‘scolding,’ I too will ‘scold’ with Jesus, with Paul, and with all who in the

(p. 183)

earlier ages withstood evil in high places and carried their protest unabashed into the presence of princes and magistrates. Or, coming to later times, I too will ‘scold’ with such men as Joseph Garibaldi and William Lloyd Garrison in the service of a cause which is equally that of freedom and humanity, and than which I know of none more righteous. – I am, Sir, yours,




            10th June 1882.”





(170:1) Lecture given by Anna Kingsford, on the 22nd May 1882, to the British National Association of Spiritualists, and published in Light, 3rd June 1882, pp. 264-267 (see p. 8, ante). – S.H.H.

(182:1) Light, 1882, p. 289.



Seções: Índice Geral   Seção Atual: Índice   Obra: Índice   Anterior: 6. “Violacionismo,” ou Feitiçaria na Ciência   Seguinte: 8. A Constituição do Homem