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Spirit Manifestations Examined and Explained 1854

Spirit Manifestations Examined and Explained 1854

By: John Bovee Dods

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Published in 1854 | 260 pages | PDF reader required

CONTENTS

DEDICATION.
INTRODUCTION.
 
LECTURE 1.
PUBLIC OPINION OF SPIRIT-MANIFESTATIONS AND MEDIUMS STATED AND CONSIDERED.
The author urged to explain the spirit-manifestations—They are not produced by the agency of departed spirits, are not a humbug, but the effect of a natural cause—Three classes of minds—the credulous, the sceptical, and those who calmly investigate—Origin of rappings in the family of Mr. Fox, March, 1848—Intelligence discovered; the a-b-c process, rapping and -writing mediums; they are sincerely honest—The mysterious nature of the subject—The public divided into believers and sceptics; both are in error; the manifestations may be true if not caused by spirits—The character of its mediums and advocates : their respectability, their number; rapidity -with which the doctrine is spreading—Periodicals in its defence—It portends a new revelation.
 
LECTURE 2.
INVOLUNTARY RAPPING HOW PRODUCED, AND THE FORCE OF HABIT ARGUED.
Two points to be considered, viz. : Motion and intelligence connected with it—Nervous impressibility through passivity, and the result—The state of the two brains; the involuntary nerves electrically charged more than the voluntary is the cause of electro-magnetic sounds being given off—Case of the Seeress of Prevorst, and Miss Slaughter, of Virginia—Case of a lady reported in Professor Silliman's Journal who gave off electric sounds—Mediums produce sounds in a similar manner—Sound is propagated and conducted—The force of habit; the stuttering boy; the performer on the piano; he plays by instinct.
 
LECTURE 3.
INVOLUNTARY MOTION IN GENERAL CONSIDERED.
Involuntary motion among the Greeks, Romans, Druids, and savage tribes—The Pythian priestess and spinning dervishes —Dr. Babbington's account—The cat-mewing nuns; the biting nuns—Barclay's account of Quaker tremblings and shakings; a Quaker lady in Salem, Mass.—Seeress of Prevorst—Dr. Stone on the progress of fanaticism—The devil-chase, marble-playing, and stick-riding—The jerks among converts—The spirit-rapping mania is from the same origin as all other involuntary motions.
 
LECTURE 4.
THE INSTINCTS OF MAN AND THE INVOLUNTARY POWERS OF HIS MIND CONSIDERED, AND THE INTELLIGENCE CONNECTED WITH SPIRIT-MANIFESTATIONS EXPLAINED.
Every part of the human system is double; the brain is double, and the mind that pervades is double; the cerebrum, or front brain, considered; the cerebellum, or back brain, considered—The office of each as the organ of the mind; the front brain contains the voluntary powers of the mind, such as thought and reason—The back brain contains the involuntary powers of the mind, such as instinct and intuition —The senses involuntary—Instinct itself considered in brutes and in men—Pope on instinct; creatures have both reason and instinct; man has both—Presentiments—All the intelligence in spirit-manifestations is from the involuntary power of instinct—The medium has no will in writing Clay—Webster; their communications—Writing in Hebrew, Greek, German, French, and Indian languages.
 
LECTURE 5.
THE INSTINCTS OF MAN; HIS INVOLUNTAHY POWERS OF MIND AND THE INTELLIGENCE CONNECTED WITH THE SPIRIT-MANIFESTATIONS CONTINUED.
Mesmerism, psychology, and catalepsy rouse instinct into action; in one of these states mediums must be—Seeress of Prevorst—What constitutes a good medium; false mediums —Psychological impressions and experiment stated—Fits—The whole subject of the spirit-manifestations brought to the test—Proof that it is psychology or mesmerism under the energy of which the whole is done—Objections stated and met in every form—Contradictions pointed out— How tables are tipped, moved, and raised—Mediums appeal to Scripture—The angel announcing the birth of Christ to shepherds; the splendour of the scene—The transfiguration—The angel in Gethsemane—The crucifixion and resurrection.
 
LECTURE 6.
THE INSTINCTS OF MAN—HIS INVOLUNTARY POWERS OF MIND, AND THE INTELLIGENCE CONNECTED WITH THE SPIRIT-MANIFESTATIONS, CONCLUDED.
Man is capable of double consciousness; if not, where do spirits get the power to communication—Positive proof that man has instinct and intuition in the back brain—Mesmerism proves it—The involuntary power never reasons, but knows; through this, God has inspired men—From the instincts of the lower animals man has obtained his first idea of the arts and improvements—History testifies it, and poets sing it—By instinct the medium writes; by it the somnambulist walks safely where he could not by reason when awake —Mesmerism and psychology useful in their place : not needed to make a new revelation of moral truth—Mr. Davis and the Bible—Swedenborg and the Bible.
 
LECTURE 7.
THE BIBLE CAN NOT BE SUPERSEDED BY A NEW REVELATION OF MORAL TRUTH—THE MAGNANIMITY OF CHRIST.
Improvements may be made in the arts and sciences, but not in moral truth—The moral precepts of Christ—Mr. Davis' description of other planets and their inhabitants is no revelation of moral truth—The globe contains more of natural science than man can learn: the Bible more of moral truth than man has yet practiced—Christ's revelation transcends all others—Christ came from heaven and knew man's moral wants—His power; his greatness; his intelligence; his moral grandeur—His reign and its consummation—He is the First and the Last.
 
LECTURE 8.
NOTICE OF JUDGE EDMONDS' BOOK, AND HIS ARGUMENT CONSIDERED.
Judge Edmonds, Dr. Dexter, Governor Tallmadge, authors of the work called "Spiritualism," pages 505—The candour of the writers—Swedenborg's communications considered; also Bacon's—The character ascribed to Christ—Communications from Clay, Webster, and Calhoun—Dr. Adin Ballou—The beauty of Charity—Andrew Jackson Davis' book—Spirit intercourse the Judge thinks will uproot infidelity, and unite all denominations in one harmony—Mrs. Fish; the first medium, her candour—Effects of the gospel in 1600 years—All magnanimous objects move slowly—The volumes of nature and revelation contrasted; the human race are the students of nature; their progress slow; the same in revelation—All men differ in nature, and why not in revelation?—All are progressing and approximating a common goal of sentiment—To accomplish this union may require thousands of years—The agent will not be spiritual intercourse by which it will be effected, but the power of the press—The spirit-manifestations the Judge makes older than the Christian era, and what have they done compared with the gospel? Nothing.
 
LECTURE 9.
CONSIDERATION OF JUDGE EDMONDS' ARGUMENT CONTINUED.
Physical manifestations considered; the bell is taken from M.'s hand and rung; comb taken from the hair; shawl from the shoulders, and feet tripped up by the spirits—Table moved and bass-viol and violins placed in the Judge's hand and hung about his neck and played upon, and the Judge struck with the fiddle-bow—Ladies tied together with a handkerchief—Spirits requesting lights to be put out—Legerdemain; tricks with cards; bell-ringing examined—Were the rooms well lighted?—The Judge is a writing-medium and sees visions—He is in the electro-psychological state, and sees and hears all these things—Clairvoyants told the secrets of his bosom—The chair jerked from under the Judge—All these things should be performed before an audience of four or five hundred persons to be proved true.
 
LECTURE 10.
THE EXISTENCE OF EEICHENBACH'S ODIC-FORCE EXAMINED.
Electricity substituted for odic-force—Spirits may communicate with mortals—Revelation finished—Swedenborg consistent— Davis against the Bible—Professor Grimes—Judge Edmonds' queries with spirits as to understanding how they communicate with men—It is by the odic-force of Von Reichenbach— Sympathy of magnetiser and subject as to feeling, tasting, swelling, hearing, and seeing — Experiments at Clinton Hall—It is all by sympathy—Magnetiser is unnecessary—Let the subject go into the state by a mental abstraction with that substance in his hand he desires to investigate and write it all down while in the state—He should be ignorant of human opinions—Swedenborg went into the state right—Somnambulists also, and so do mediums—The various modes by which to get into communication with the subject. Of this Reichenbach is ignorant—If the odic-force be real, why have not all clairvoyants seen it?—Since Reichenbach's book has been read, all clairvoyants have seen it, and lastly Judge Edmonds has seen it.
 
APPENDIX.
The appendix concluding with a letter to Professor Bush should be carefully read, as it contains valuable matter recording many wonderful cases of intelligence, prophesy, and without the aid of spirit-communications.
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