BUCHANAN'S JOURNAL OF MAN.
VOL. I. MAY, 1887. NO. 4.
CONTENTS OF JOURNAL OF MAN.
The Prophetic Faculty: War and Peace Clearing away the Fog The Danger of living among Christians: A Question of peace or war Legislative Quackery, Ignorance, and Blindness to the Future Evils that need Attention What is Intellectual Greatness Spiritual Wonders—Slater's Tests; Spirit Pictures; Telegraphy; Music; Slate Writing; Fire Test MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE—Erratum; Co-operation; Emancipation; Inventors; Important Discovery; Saccharine; Sugar; Artificial Ivory; Paper Pianos; Social Degeneracy; Prevention of Cruelty; Value of Birds; House Plants; Largest Tunnel; Westward Empire Structure of the Brain Chapter III. Genesis of the Brain To the Readers of the Journal—College of Therapeutics Journal of Man—Language of Press and Readers
THE PROPHETIC FACULTY: WAR AND PEACE.
In our last issue, the psychometric faculty of prophecy was illustrated by predictions of peace, while generals, statesmen, and editors were promising a gigantic war. In this number the reader will find a grand prediction of war, while statesmen and states were anticipating peace, and a southern statesman, even upon the brink of war, offered to drink all the blood that would be shed.
The strength of the warlike spirit and prediction at the time psychometry was prophesying peace was conspicuous even as late as the ninth of March, when the London correspondent of the Sun wrote as follows:
"An eminent Russian general with whom I have talked believes the plan of Russian attack on Austria is fully developed. Galicia is to be the battleground between the two countries. Russia will enter the province without trouble, as there is nothing to hinder her. Then she will make a dash to secure the important strategic railroad which runs parallel with the Galician frontier, and seek to drive the Austrians over the Carpathians.
"That Galicia will witness the first fighting is generally admitted, as also that the possession of the strategic railroad, running as it does just at the rear of the Austrian positions, would be the most vital question. It may be interesting to say that military men of whatever nationality look upon an early war as a certain thing. They are not content to say they believe war is coming; they are absolutely positive of it, and each little officer has his own personal way of conclusively proving that this sort of peace cannot go on any longer.
"Meanwhile there are lots of straws floating about this week, which indicate that international winds are still blowing toward war. From Russian Poland there is reported an interruption in all kinds of business, owing to the war scare. Manufacturers refuse to accept orders from private persons, and financial institutions have still further weakened business by reducing their credit to a minimum. A letter from St. Petersburg tells of the tremendous enthusiasm of the troops at the review by the Czar on last Saturday, of the wild cheering for his imperial Majesty, of the loud and strident whistles audible above the roar of the cannon with which the officers command their men, and of the general blending of barbaric fierceness and courage with modern discipline and fighting improvements.
"In Vienna the troops are hard at work practising with the Numannlicher repeating rifle, with which all have been provided. The Sunday observance act, usually rigorously enforced, has been suspended, that the government orders for military supplies may be completed two weeks earlier than contracted for.
"The business of the Hotchkiss gun-making concern is shown to have increased one hundred per cent with the war scare, and the eagerness to secure the stock, which now stands at thirty per cent premium, shows a conviction among monied men. The capital has been subscribed fifteen times over."
The persistent prediction of peace was speedily fulfilled. March 12 my statement was sent to the press, and March 22 Bismarck said to Prince Rudolph of Austria that "peace is assured to Europe for 1887," and newspaper correspondents announce that the war alarm is over. Mr. Frederick Harrison, who is travelling on foot in France, writes that he has found no one who desires war, and that the people are not even thinking of it.
What is the popular judgment, or even the judgment of popular leaders worth upon any great question? The masses of mankind have their judgments enmeshed and inwoven in a web of mechanical habituality, compelling them to believe that what is and has been must continue to be in the future, thus limiting their conceptions to the commonplace. Their leaders do not rise to nobler conceptions, for if they did not sympathize with the popular, commonplace conceptions and prejudices they would not be leaders.
"We deem it safe to assert," says Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten in her most valuable and interesting "History of Modern Spiritualism," "from opinions formed upon an extensive and intimate knowledge of both North and South, and a general understanding of the politics and parties in both sections, that any settlement of the questions between them by the sword was never deliberately contemplated, and that the outbreak, no less than the magnitude and length of the mighty struggle, was all, humanly speaking, forced on by the logic of events, rather than through the preconcerted action of either section of the country. We say this much to demonstrate the truly prophetic character of many of the visions and communications which circulated amongst the Spiritualists prior to the opening of the war."
Not only was it prophesied by the Quaker Joseph Hoag thirty years in advance, but more fully prophesied from the spirit world by the spirit of Gen. Washington, and again most eloquently predicted through the lips of Mrs. E. Hardinge Britten in 1860. Yet who among all the leaders of the people knew anything of these warnings, or was sufficiently enlightened to have paid them any respect? The petition of 15,000 Spiritualists was treated with contemptuous ridicule by the American Senate, and even the demonstrable invention of Morse was subjected to ridicule in Congress. Congressmen stand on no higher moral plane than the people who elect them, and it is the moral faculties that elevate men into the atmosphere of pure truth.
But ah! could we have had a Congress and State Legislatures in 1860, composed of men sufficiently elevated in sentiment to realize the state of the nation and the terrible necessity of preserving the peace by conciliatory statesmanship, that four years of bloody horror and devastation might have been spared.
Will the time ever come when nations shall be guided by wisdom sufficient to avoid convulsions and calamities? Not until there is sufficient intelligence and wisdom to appreciate the science of man, to understand the wondrous faculties of the human soul, to follow their guidance, and to listen to the wisdom of our ancestors as they speak to us from a higher world.
The prophecies to which I would call attention now, came from the upper world, and came unheeded and unproclaimed! Great truths are always buried in silence, if possible, when they first arrive. It is probable that the grandest prophecies in their far-reaching scope will always come from such sources, and the grandest seers will be inspired. The grandest prophecy of the ultimate destiny and power of "Anthropology" came to me direct from an exalted source in the spirit world, and no human hand had aught to do with its production. But the human psychometric faculty has the same prophetic power in a more limited and more practical sphere. We have no reason to affirm that the wonderful personal prophecies of Cazotte on the brink of the French Revolution, stated in the "Manual of Psychometry," were at all dependent on spiritual agency.
The prophecy of our great American calamity, which purports to have come from the spirit of Gen. Washington, appears in a book published by Josiah Brigham in 1859, of which few of my readers have any knowledge. The messages were written by the hand of the famous medium, Joseph D. Stiles, between 1854 and 1857, at the house of Josiah Brigham in Quincy, Mass., and were published at Boston in 1859, in a large volume of 459 pages, entitled "Messages from the Spirit of John Quincy Adams." The medium was in an unconscious trance, and the handwriting was a fac-simile of that of John Quincy Adams. But other spirit communications are given, and that which purports to come from Washington was in a handwriting like his own, though not of so bold and intellectual a style. I quote the portion of his message which relates to the war of secession, as follows:
"The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, when they had attained the summit of imperial wickedness and licentiousness, as the Bible informs us, fell from their high estate by the visitation of natural penalties, and the righteous judgments of an overruling Providence. The fall of Rome and other large cities proves to us that no individual or nation can disobey the irrepealable enactments of the Infinite Father, and escape the fixed penalties attached to such transgression!
"And can boasting, sinful America indulge in the flattering, delusive hope, that the heavy judgments which fell upon those ancient cities will be averted from her, whose guilt is equal, if not even greater than theirs? Does she think that Cain-like, she can escape the vigilant, sleepless eye of that Divine Parent,
'Whose voice is heard in the rolling thunders, And whose might is seen in the forked lightnings,'
and that He will turn a deaf ear to the cry of 'mortal agony,' daily borne on the 'four winds of Heaven' to His throne of justice, from the almost broken hearts of His slavery-crushed children?
"Far from it; America can no more expect mercy in her prosperous wickedness, from the hand of Deity, that can the most degraded child of earth expect to enjoy equal happiness and bliss with the more refined and exalted intelligences of heaven. The Parent of all cares not for the unity or perpetuation of a family of States, where the prosperity or welfare of a single child of His is concerned.
"God, the eternal Father, has commissioned us, His ministers of truth and justice, to a great and important undertaking! He has invested us with power and authority to influence and guide the actions of mankind, and aid them in their struggles for right and truth. He has bade us arm ourselves with the weapons of love and justice, and hasten to the rescue of our struggling brother man. His call is imperative and binding, and we must and WILL obey!
"We are able to discern the period rapidly approximating when man will take up arms against his fellow-man, and go forth to contend with the enemies of Republican liberty, and to assert at the point of the bayonet those rights of which so large a portion of their fellow-creatures are deprived. Again will the soil of America be saturated with the blood of freedom-loving children, and her noble monuments, those sublime attestations of patriotic will and determination, will tremble, from base to summit, with the heavy roar of artillery, and the thunder of cannon. The trials of that internal war will far exceed those of the war of the Revolution, while the cause contended for will equal, if not excel, in sublimity and power, that for which the children of '76 fought.
"But when the battle-smoke shall disappear, and the cannon's fearful tones are heard no more, then will mankind more fully realize the blessings outflowing from the mighty struggle in which they so valiantly contended! No longer will their eyes meet with those bound in the chains of physical slavery, or their ears listen to the heavy sobs of the oppressed child of God. But o'er a land dedicated to the principles of impartial liberty the King of Day will rise and set, and hearts now oppressed with care and sorrow will rejoice in the blessings of uninterrupted freedom.
"In this eventful revolution, what the patriots of the past failed to accomplish their descendants will perform, with the timely assistance of invisible powers. By their sides the heavenly hosts will labor, imparting courage and fortitude in each hour of despondency, and urging them onward to a speedy and magnificent triumph. Deploring, as we do, the existence of slavery, and the means to be employed to purge it from America, yet our sympathies will culminate to the cause of right and justice, and give strength to those who seek to set the captive free, and crush the monster, Slavery. The picture which I have presented is, indeed, a hideous one. You may think that I speak with too much assurance when I thus boldly prophesy the dissolution of the American Confederacy, and, through it, the destruction of that gigantic structure, human slavery! But this knowledge was not the result of a moment's or an hour's gleaning, but nearly half a century's existence in the seraph life. I have carefully watched my country's rising progress, and I am thoroughly convinced that it cannot always exist under the present Federal Constitution, and the pressure of that most terrible sin, slavery!"
Had the people of this country been sufficiently enlightened to investigate these messages fairly, they would have seen that there was sufficient evidence that this warning really came from Washington, and the pulpit would have enforced its solemn truths. But our destiny was fixed; Washington knew that his voice would not be heeded, and that war could not be prevented.
Again came the warning in 1860, through the lips of a more intellectual medium, more capable of expressing the bright thought of the higher world. Mrs. E. Hardinge Britten tells the story in her "History of American Spiritualism," pages 416-419. She refers to the stupid and criminal action of the Legislature of Alabama; and a similar piece of brutality has been recommended by a committee in the Pennsylvania Legislature recently. The following is quoted from the History.
THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE AND THE SPIRITS—PROPHECY IN THE ALABAMA LEGISLATIVE HALLS—RETRIBUTION.
Sometime about the month of January, 1860, the Legislature of Alabama passed a bill declaring that any person or persons giving public spiritual manifestations in Alabama should be subject to a penalty of five hundred dollars.
We have given the substance, though not the exact wording of this edict, which was met by considerable opposition, not only on the part of great numbers of Spiritualists resident in the State, but also by the governor himself, who refused to give his sanction to the bill.
Mr. George Redman, the celebrated physical test medium, had just passed through the South, and remained long enough to create an immense interest throughout its length and breadth.
The author was already engaged to deliver a course of lectures in Mobile, and numerous invitations were sent to her from other parts of the State.
As Mrs. Hardinge's visit was anticipated at the very time when the bill above named was in agitation, its friends in the Legislature considered themselves much aggrieved by the governor's refusal to sanction its passage, and deeming either that he was suspiciously favorable to the cause it was designed to destroy, or that their own case would be aggravated by the advent of the expected lecturer, they passed their bill over the governor's veto, just twenty-four hours before the explosion anticipated on her arrival could take place.
On landing in Mobile, Mrs. Hardinge was greeted by a large and enthusiastic body of friends, but found herself precluded, by legislative wisdom, from expounding the sublime truths of immortality in a city whose walls were placarded all over with bills announcing the arrival of Madame Leon, the celebrated "seeress and business clairvoyant, who would show the picture of your future husband, tell the successful numbers in lotteries, and enable any despairing lover to secure the affections of his heart's idol," etc. Side by side with these creditable but legalized exhibitions, were flaming announcements of "the humbug of Spiritualism exposed by Herr Marvel," with a long list of all the astonishing feats which "this only genuine living wizard" would display for the benefit of the pious State where angelic ministry might not be spoken of.
Mrs. Hardinge passed through Mobile, leaving many warm hearts behind her, who would fain have exchanged these profane caricatures for the glad tidings which beloved spirit friends were ready to dispense to the world.
In passing through the capital city, Montgomery, a detention occurred of some hours, in forming a railway connection en route for Macon, Georgia, when Mrs. Hardinge and some friends travelling in her company, were induced to while away the tedious time by visiting the State House. The Legislature was not sitting that day, and one of the party, a Spiritualist, remarked that they were even then standing in the very chamber from which the recent obnoxious enactment against their faith had issued.
The day was warm, soft, and clear. The sweet southern breeze stirred a few solitary pines which waved on the capitol hill, and the scene from the windows of the legislative hall was pleasant, tranquil, and suggestive of calm but sluggish peace.
At that period—January, 1860—not an ominous murmur, not the faintest whisper, even, that the war spirit was abroad, and the legions of death and ruin were lighting their brands and sharpening their relentless swords to be drenched in the life-blood of millions, had made itself heard in the land.
The long cherished purposes of hate and fratricidal struggle were all shrouded in the depths of profound secrecy, and the whole southern country might have been represented in the scene of stillness and tranquility that lay outstretched before the eyes of the watchers, who stood in the State House of the capital city of Alabama, on that pleasant January afternoon.
There were present six persons besides the author, namely: Mr. and Mrs. Adams, of Tioga County, Pennsylvania; Mrs. Waters and her son, a Scotch lady and gentleman from Aberdeen; Mr. Halford, of New York City; and Mr. James, of Philadelphia. All but the mother and son from Scotland were acquainted with the author, and more or less sympathetic with her belief; all are now living, and willing to testify to what follows.
Suddenly Mrs. Hardinge became entranced, when the whole scene, laying outstretched before her eyes, appeared to become filled with long lines of glittering horse and foot soldiers, who, in martial pomp and military discipline, filed, rank after rank and regiment after regiment, through the streets of Montgomery, and then passed off into distance, and were lost to view.
Meantime the crash of military music seemed to thrill through the clairvoyant's ears, at first merely marking the tramp of the vast bodies of infantry with a joyous rhythm, but anon, as it died off in their receding march, wild, agonizing shrieks commingled with its tones, and the thundering roll of the drums seemed to be muffled by deep, low, but heart-rending groans, as of human sufferers in their last mortal agony.
At length all was still again; the last gleam of the muskets flashed in the sunlight and melted away in the dim horizon; the last echo of the strangely mingled music and agony ceased, and then, over the whole radiant landscape, there stole an advancing army of clouds, like a march of tall gray columns, reaching from earth to the skies, and filling the air with such a dense and hideous gloom that the whole scene became swallowed up in the thick, serried folds of mist. In the midst of these cloudy legions, the eye of the seeress could discern innumerable forms who seemed to shiver and bend, as if in the whirl of a hidden tempest, and flitted restlessly hither and thither, aimless and hopeless, apparently driven by some invisible power from nothing to nowhere.
And these mystic shadows, flitting about in the thick grayness, were unbodied souls; not like visitants from the bright summer land, nor yet beings resembling the dark, undeveloped "dwellers on the threshold," whom earthly crimes held bound near their former homes, but they seemed as if they were misty emanations of unripe human bodies, scarcely conscious of their state, yet living, actual individualities, once resident in mortal tenements, but torn from their sheltering envelope too soon, or too suddenly, to have acquired the strength and consistency of a fresh existence. And yet the numbers of these restless phantoms were legion, and their multitude seemed to be ever increasing, when, lo! this weird phantasmagoria too passed away, but not before the seeress had, with entranced lips, described to the listeners every feature of the scene she had witnessed.
Then the influence seemed to deepen upon her, and she pronounced words which the young Scotchman, Mr. Waters, a phonographic writer, transcribed upon the spot to the following effect:
"Woe, woe to thee, Alabama!
"Fair land of rest, thy peace shall depart, thy glory be shorn, and the proud bigots, tyrants, and cowards, who have driven God's angels back from thy cities, even in this chamber, have sealed thy doom, and their own together.
"Woe to thee, Alabama! Ere five drear years have fled, thou shalt sit as a widow, desolate.
"The staff from thy husband's hand shall be broken, the crown plucked from his head, the sceptre rent from his grasp.
"Thy sons shall be slain, thy legislators mocked and bound with the chains thou hast fastened on others.
"The blind ones, who have proscribed the spirits of love and comfort from ministry in thy homes, shall be spirits themselves, and ere those five years be passed, more spirits than bodies shall wander in the streets of Alabama, homeless, restless, and unripe, torn from their earthly tenements, and unfit for their heavenly ones; until thy grass-grown streets and thy moss-covered dwellings shall be the haunts of legions of unbodied souls, whom thy crimes shall have violently thrust into eternity!"
When this involuntary prophecy of evil import was read by the young scribe to the disenthralled medium, her own horror and regret at its utterance far exceeded that of any of her aghast listeners, not one of whom, any more than herself, attached to it any other meaning than an impression produced by temporary excitement and the sphere of the unholy legislative chamber.
How deeply significant this fearful prophecy became during the ensuing five years, all who were witnesses to its utterance, and many others, to whom it was communicated in that same year, can bear witness of.
Swept into the red gulf of all-consuming war, many of the unhappy gentlemen who had legislated against "the spirits in Alabama," became, during the ensuing five years, spirits themselves, and have doubtless realized the inestimable privileges which the communion they so rashly denounced on earth was calculated to afford to the inhabitants of the spheres.
In other respects, the fatal prophecy has been too literally fulfilled. Many a regiment of brave men have marched out of the city streets of Alabama, only to return as unbodied souls, and to behold the streets grass-grown and deserted, and the thresholds which their mortal feet might never again cross, overspread with the moss of corruption and decay.
Alabama has truly sat "as a widow, desolate." Her strength has been shorn, her beauty gone. No State has sent forth a greater number of brave and devoted victims to the war than Alabama; no Southern State has suffered more fearfully. May God and kind angels lift the war curse from her widowed head!
The following extract from a letter, written by Mr. Adams, one of the witnesses of the above scene, to the author, in 1864, from New York, during a temporary sojourn there, will carry its own comment on the fulfilment of the fatal prophecy:
"Now that my two poor boys are in daily danger of themselves becoming 'unbodied spirits,' Emma, I continually revert to that terrible prophecy of yours uttered in the assembly chamber at Montgomery. Heaven knows I was then so little prepared to expect war or any reasonable fulfilment of the doom, that I could only look to see some great pestilence, fire, or other sweeping calamity falling on poor Alabama. Last night, when I read in the Herald of the sweeping extermination that had visited those two fine Alabama regiments, I could not help going to Mrs. Adams's desk, where she keeps the copy that young Waters made us of your prophecy, and reading it aloud to the whole company.
"Our friend J. B., who was present, insisted upon seeing the date, and when he saw that it was January, 1860, they were all fairly aghast, and said if ever there was genuine prophecy it was contained in that paper."
CLEARING AWAY THE FOG.
An esteemed correspondent writes, "For several years I have been a reader of some of the treatises you have published in the interest of progressive thought, and have found much to admire and reread; yet an occasional paragraph containing the formula of orthodox theology, with its dogma of God and Jesus, interwoven into your sequences of argument, mystifies and perplexes my reason and judgment, and I indulge in much speculation regarding your exact position,—whether Christianity is to be vitalized and conserved by the discoverer of modern science, or the Bible dogmas and traditions reinterpreted to coincide with scientific method."
I am not aware of having ever written anything that could make my position at all doubtful, nor do I see how doubts could arise in any one who attends carefully to my language, and does not indulge in drawing inferences therefrom which my language does not warrant. Upon this very question I have expressed myself fully in published lectures. I have never manifested any sympathy with the theology of the churches, have never failed to speak of it in terms of absolute denunciation, and see no reason why any one should suspect me of leaning in that direction.
As to the recognition of God to which my correspondent objects, I think science, as I understand it, sanctions the idea that the basic power of the universe is spiritual and not material; that spirit may evolve, create, and modify matter, but matter never originates spirit, though they have a continual interaction, which it is the function of scientists to investigate, in which investigation, anthropology, especially in its department of sarcognomy, is a long step of progress. My investigations have given me some additional evidence as to the Divine existence beyond what has been recorded, but do not sanction the personal anthropological conceptions of Deity, which bring the Divine within the conceptions of narrow and superstitious minds.
Having discarded the whole scheme of Christian theology, there is no reason why I should reject the fundamental principles of religion, which are at the basis of all religions, and which are sanctioned by the study of man's religious nature. The spirit of the Christian religion as it appeared among the founders of Christianity appears to me a more perfect expression of religion than I find in any other of the world's religions, more spiritual, devoted, loving, and heroic, more in accordance with the true religion which belongs to man's noblest faculties.
As for Jesus, I think the general opinion of historians and scholars as to his historic existence is correct, but whether the historic accounts are reliable or not I am entirely certain of his existence to-day as one of the most exalted beings in the spirit world,—the spirit of the Teacher who appeared in Palestine, whose principles and purposes are the same advocated by myself, and who like all the other exalted and ancient spirits is profoundly interested in human welfare and in the progress of spiritual science, and reformation of the so-called Christian Church. I have had sufficient psychometric perception at times to realize the present character of such beings as Jesus, Moses, St. John, John the Baptist, St. Peter, Confucius, Joan of Arc, and Gen. Washington, as well as many other admirable beings whose influence falls like dews upon many sympathetic souls.
I realize most profoundly and sadly the absence from all the high places of society of those nobler qualities which I recognize in the higher world, but I labor in the hope that when mankind have advanced into the light of anthropological science they shall become enlightened enough to sympathize with the supernal life in reverent love, and to organize a social condition here which will bring even the lowest classes into so satisfactory a condition that philosophizers will no longer have to wrestle with the problem of evil and explain the great mystery that a universe so full of the marks of a grandly benevolent purpose should still be marred and dishonored by human misery and degradation. It would be an unsolvable problem to-day did we not perceive through spiritual science the immense preponderance of good in the glorious plan of life of which this world shows only the beginning.
As an anthropologist, I cannot but esteem and cherish the religious element of human nature. Sincere worship is simply the most exalted love, and fills human life with nobility and benevolence; let those who can, worship the divine; let those who shrink from the thought of the Infinite, worship the most exalted beings they may conceive, and let those who cannot quite reach the exalted beings of the spirit world, worship their parents or children, or conjugal companions,—for worship is but unlimited love,—and they who recoil from humanity may perhaps find something to adore in the beauty and grandeur of nature on this globe, which every summer arrays in beauty, and in the grandeur of stellar worlds. From love and adoration come obedience,—which is the perfect life, for it is not slavery, but harmony and delight.
Profound science does not take away religion, as superficial or false science does, but develops a far nobler, holier, and more beneficent religion than any churches comprehend. It corresponds to that ideal religion which belongs to the higher realms of the spirit world, and which has sometimes appeared on earth in inspired mortals, and most often in women whose souls were devoted to love. That this religious sentiment appeared in the time of Jesus among inspired men, I believe, and their lives and sentiments have been to me an inspiration, enabling me to believe in the practicability of that which philosophy teaches concerning the religious life, which without those illustrious examples might have seemed an unattainable excellence in the present conditions of society.
I do not object to any worship of Jesus and his illustrious associate reformers, for true worship will lead to the imitation of their heroic lives. They were not divine, and were too heroically faithful to truth to put forth any such false claims, nor could they in that dark age be profound in science, or correct in all their opinions, as they are now in a higher world. As they were on earth I honor them; as they are in heaven to-day I honor them far more. They silently invite us to reach that higher plane of life on which their beneficent influence and inspiration may be felt. Fortunate are they reach that plane.
THE DANGER OF LIVING AMONG CHRISTIANS.
A QUESTION OF PEACE OR WAR.
It is seldom that any of the great questions of the time are treated from an ethical standpoint. Old opinions and old usages furnish the standpoint for our press writers, our politicians, and our clergy. The question of national defence has been under discussion for years, and Samuel J. Tilden, who was regarded by millions as the ablest of our statesmen, gave his whole mental power to urging its consideration upon the American people; but if this question has ever been seriously discussed from the ethical standpoint it has escaped my notice. The nearest approach to the ethical view was the suggestion of the Boston Herald that in putting on the full armor of national defence the effect might be to stimulate the haughty and warlike impulses of our people, and thus increase the danger of war, while a defenceless seacoast would tend to inspire prudence and moderation in our national government.
There is a great deal of truth in this view. We have a score of prominent politicians whose sentiments on international questions are too much like those of a bully in private life, and they have a dangerous amount of influence in public affairs.
Turning aside from these popular discussions, the JOURNAL OF MAN maintains the ethical standpoint for the consideration of such subjects; and its first suggestion would be, Why should the people—of this country spend $120,000,000 as a preparation for slaughtering our brethren the Christian population of Europe, the only people from whom any danger can be apprehended—our brethren in civilization and Christianity, our brethren too by the ties of blood?
Do they not all maintain the Christian religion (at least nominally) by all the power of their governments and public opinion? Would not our good people in visiting them or they in visiting us be invited to participate in the communion service which commemorates the martyred Teacher of the law of love? Are they not our brethren, the neighbors to whom the command applies, "Love thy neighbor as thyself"? Is this our Christian love, to spend a hundred and twenty millions for the assassination of our beloved brethren—avowedly for that purpose? It is needless to object to the word assassination,—wholesale murder by armies is substantially the same thing as separate murders by each individual of the army.
But, it is urged, we are in danger of invasion, and the bombardment of our cities. Does any one seriously believe that a powerful nation intent on peace—the strongest power in the world, the friend of all mankind, ready to submit any international question to arbitration—would be in danger of an unjust, lawless, causeless assault from the Christian nations of Europe, who have so much to lose and nothing to gain by war, and who have already, in their groaning, tax-burdened people, a sufficient reminder of the folly and criminality of war? They have not money for another war, which would bring on the dangers of bankruptcy and the revolt of the oppressed masses.
It must be that this is seriously apprehended, or else that it is feared that the arrogant and bullying temper of our own people or our politicians may originate and exasperate international irritation to the insane extreme of war.
What a horrible theory is this! Is all the civilization, statesmanship, and Christianity of the leading nations of the earth incapable of withholding them from such gigantic crimes? Is Christendom the only dangerous portion of the world, where an honorable and peaceful nation cannot exist in safety?
The heathen nations are not a source of danger. If Christendom were annihilated to-morrow, there would be no occasion to speak of defending our coasts or building up a powerful navy. It is apparent, then—it is confessed—that it is very dangerous to live among these Christian nations, or in other words, it is very dangerous to live among Christians, as they are called! But do our statesmen or our clergy suggest this view? Do they recoil from war or inspire the people with thoughts of peace? Never! One of the conspicuous clergymen of England was the fiercest advocate of war with Russia. The fundamental principle of the Christianity of Jesus is dead in the so-called Christian church, except in that little fragment, the church of the Quakers, who, for their fidelity to the fundamental principle, were scourged and hanged in Boston by the pious predecessors of our present churches, until they were forbidden by the unsanctified monarch, Charles II. Has the old spirit died out? Look at the hostility to Theodore Parker—to spiritual investigation, even. See the scornful and hostile attitude of the descendant of Cotton Mather, Col. Higginson.
It may be a shocking proposition to say that it is dangerous to live among Christians, but it is a sober reality, to which I invite the attention of clergymen and moralists who wish to live up to their profession, and who have enough of the ethical faculty to realize the central principle of true Christianity.
If our statesmanship, religion, and education cannot protect us against such horrors, may we not justly say it is a false statesmanship, a false religion, and a false education? Indeed, our whole fabric of opinion and morals is fundamentally false, and the JOURNAL OF MAN goes to record as an indictment at the bar of heaven against the polished barbarism of modern society, against which we hear only a feeble and almost inaudible protest.
Boston has a highly respectable and immensely perfunctory Peace Society, amply endowed with names and numbers, of which our late postmaster was the president, and whose presidency was vastly more inefficient than his postmastership.
A peace society might possibly be established in Boston, if its best people could be roused, but the society that we have is little better than a piece of ornamental nomenclature. When there is anything to be done it understands how not to do it. When Mr. Gladstone had performed the most glorious act of his life in the preservation of the peace of Europe against the fierce opposition of the turbulent element in England, an act which will make the brightest jewel in his crown of honor, there was an opportunity of sustaining him by American sympathy. The voice of Americans, if they cared aught for peace, should have been heard in Europe in commanding tones,—the voice of the people, the voice of Legislatures, the voice of the Federal government. An effort was made by half a dozen or less of enlightened gentlemen in Boston to have a fitting response emanate from this city. Dr. Miner and Hon. Stephen M. Allen realized its importance when I first suggested it, but on that occasion the Peace Society was a lifeless corpse. The society might have been waked up if Mr. Lowell, then returning from England, could have been induced to co-operate. He was approached on the subject, but would not respond,—he only said that he desired rest! Alas for the hollowness of American religion and philanthropy!
There is a nobler religion than that of American churches, a nobler statesmanship than that of Mr. Tilden (which is a good specimen of the popular sort), a nobler education than that of our American schools and colleges—an education, a statesmanship, and a religion which will wash the blood from the sword, bury the sword in the earth, and proclaim the fraternity of man in all the nations of the earth.
Ah! when shall the demand for the supremacy of the moral law be anything more than "the voice of one crying in the wilderness"? Is it not possible to have a protest against the barbarism of war from men of influence, who have sufficient mental power and strength of character to command the attention of the nation? When Elihu Burritt and Robert Dale Owen were alive I thought it might be possible, but it was not attempted. Is it possible now? Is all the genius and energy of the American people bound in fidelity to the Moloch of war? I do not believe it, and would invite correspondence from those who share this belief and wish to co-operate in such a movement.
We have to-day a practical subject of discussion: Shall we, the people of the United States, tax ourselves $120,000,000 at once and an unknown amount hereafter, to place ourselves upon a par with the homicidal nations of Europe, and sanction by our example the infernalism in which they have lived from Caesar to the Napoleonic period, or shall we endeavor to introduce a true civilization, lay aside the weapons of homicide, and urge by our powerful mediation the disarmament of Europe, relieving the oppressed millions from accumulating war debts, and from that infernalism of the soul which makes the duel still an established institution in France and even in German universities? Shall we move onward toward humane civilization, or cling to a surviving barbarism?
The measure now proposed is an abandonment of Divine law, and a practical pledge of this country to the infernalism of war. It is a declaration that we do not believe peace attainable at all, and that we indorse and seek to renew forever the blood-stained history of the past.
Is there not among our politicians who sustained the Blair Education bill some one whose voice may be heard in behalf of peace? Is Col. Ingersoll too much of a pessimist to believe that American moral power will be sufficient in time to calm the world's agitation? Let him espouse this cause, and he will find it more practical by far than riding down the ghosts of an effete theology. Let Henry George turn his attention to this question, and he will find in it even more than in the question of sovereignty over the land; for every acre on the globe, if confiscated to-day, would pay but a portion of the boundless cost of war. The blood alone that has incarnadined all lands is worth vastly more than the dead soil into which it has been poured. Let Dr. McGlynn, who has already entered on the perilous path of the reformer, look at this question in the light of religion and philanthropy, and he will find it more worthy of his attention than any other practicable reform, for it is practicable now and here to roll back the warlike policy from its approach to our national government.
Are not such questions as these worthy of the profound attention of such men as Rev. Dr. Miner, Rev. M. J. Savage, Rev. J. K. Applebee, and Rev. W. H. Thomas of Chicago? They are not theological dilettanti, but earnest thinkers. Should not every Universalist and every Quaker realize that it is time for them to stir when our nation's destiny is under discussion, and that their voices should be heard at Washington?
The proposition is made and sustained by the influence of Mr. Tilden, to place this country in the list of mail-clad warrior nations, and it is rather a fascinating proposition to those who entertain pessimistic ideas of man, and believe that all nations are ready to slay and rob when they have a good opportunity.
Capt. F. V. Greene, late of the U. S. engineering corps, appears as the advocate of American fortifications, and at the Massachusetts Reform Club he presented his views substantially as follows: The United States have 3,000 miles of Atlantic and Gulf coast, 2,200 on the lakes, and 1,200 on the Pacific, and have cities on these coasts aggregating a wealth of $6,000,000,000—all exposed to a hostile fleet, which could in a short time destroy everything within cannon-shot from the water, and drive five millions of people from their city homes. The fortification board estimates $120,000,000 as the sum necessary to supply cannon and forts for protection, which is but two per cent upon the amount of property protected.
This is a very satisfactory statement of the case from the average standpoint, which is not the ethical. But in the first place I consider it morally sure that this country will never have a foreign war if it models its national policy on the Divine law; and secondly, whenever war is foreseen as probable in consequence of an intolerable spirit of aggression and the refusal of the hostile party to submit to arbitration, a sufficient number of cannon can be cast and placed on floating batteries or behind iron walls to protect every endangered point. It would be necessary only to know that our foundries were adequate to the task; and the fact that such an armament was preparing would be a sufficient warning to avert a hostile movement. Yet the costly steel cannon, which require such enormous appropriations to prepare for their manufacture on a large scale, are not absolutely necessary. It has been shown by recent experiments that dynamite shells of 150 pounds can be thrown two miles and a quarter by air pressure or steam pressure from light, slender-built cannon, or steel tubes of unusual length, which may be enlarged to compete with the most formidable artillery. A single steel-clad vessel of the Monitor type with such an armament could destroy a squadron.
But let arbitration be known as our fixed national policy—let us secure also the co-operation of other nations pledged to the arbitration policy, and war would be almost an impossibility.
Capt. Greene's exposition of the necessity of coast defence was clear and forcible, but his concluding remarks gave a glimpse of peaceful purposes. "He supplemented his speech by remarking that the United States will probably be called on before long to be the arbitrator between the nations of Europe. The latter cannot stand the financial strain much longer, and inside of twenty years we shall probably be the equal in population and wealth of any two, if not three, nations of Europe, and to us will be referred all their disputes for settlement. When we become the referees of the world we must have the force behind us, so that when we give a decision we shall be able to enforce it; and this can only be adequately effected by a perfect system of coast defences."
Commander Burke of the U.S. Navy, who followed Capt. Greene "thought that if the Irish question be settled satisfactorily, there will be no danger of a war with England unless we desire war. He had been advised that the English people, Great Britain and her colonies, look to the Americans to assist them in case of war with any foreign powers, and there is a strong sentiment of friendship for the American people for that reason, if for no other. He believed that the use of high explosives, by which war could be rendered more dangerous, would result in reducing the probability of war."
Certainly if the United States would lead in a pacific policy, Great Britain, under Gladstone, would unite in the movement, and arbitration would ere long become the policy of the world, and would not long be the established policy before disarmament would follow and the sword be buried forever.
LEGISLATIVE QUACKERY, IGNORANCE, AND BLINDNESS TO THE FUTURE.
In Iowa, by the management of a medical clique, a law has been juggled through the Legislature, under which the founders of Christianity would have been criminals, and prolonged imprisonment might have been as effective as crucifixion. That any class of men could have been mean enough and shameless enough to ask for such a law is a sad commentary on the demoralizing influence of medical schools, from which they derived their inspiration; and that any legislative body could have yielded to the demand is another illustration of the well known corruption of political life.
The Iowa papers state that Mrs. Post, of McGregor, Iowa, has been twice arrested, convicted, and fined fifty dollars and costs for praying with the sick and curing them. European tyranny is eclipsed in Iowa. The old world is freer than the new, if the medical clique are allowed to rule. G. Milner Stephen performs his miraculous cures in London with honor, and Dorothea Trudell had her house of cure by prayer in Switzerland, which has been made famous in religious literature. All over Europe the people enjoy a freedom in the choice of their physicians which has been prohibited in Iowa.
The Legislature of Maine which adjourned March 17 was induced, by the newspaper comments on two bogus institutions which had been chartered some years ago, to depart from their settled policy and pass a law prepared by the medical clique, but not quite as stringent as that of Iowa. Gov. Bodwell, however, vetoed the bill, pointing out its objectionable features, and the Senate, which had passed it unanimously, after being enlightened by the governor rejected it by a nearly two thirds majority, showing how thoughtlessly a great deal of our legislation is effected.
Under the laws which the colleges and their clique seek to establish, Priessnitz could never have introduced hydropathy, Pasteur could not have inoculated for hydrophobia without danger of imprisonment, and the great American Medical Reformation, which abolished the lancet and mercurial practice, and which is now represented by seven colleges, would have been strangled at its birth, for its primitive origin was outside of college authority. There are other great ideas, great discoveries, great reforms, not yet strong enough to be embodied in colleges, which medical legislation is designed to suppress, to enforce a creedal uniformity.
Another piece of legislative quackery is revealed in the action of Congress as stated in the following paragraph concerning "a new bureau."
"One of the acts of the retiring Congress has not been noted so far, but, though not a large item in itself, it is the entering wedge of subsequent legislation which will be of the highest importance to the country. It is the item in the legislative appropriation bill which allows of the expenditure of $10,000 by the bureau of labor "for the collection of statistics of and relating to marriage and divorce in the several states and territories, and in the District of Columbia." This gives the opportunity, which has heretofore not existed, to obtain reasonably accurate statistics of what is going on as concerns the integrity of the family throughout the whole country. This will be a department under Col. Wright, in the work of the bureau of labor, and is one of the results of persistent work which the National Divorce League has done, under the direction of its secretary, Rev. S. W. Dike. Col. Wright has already formulated plans which are likely to make this new branch of the labor bureau the channel for one of the most valuable reports which have yet come from his hands. It will be the gathering of facts whose study will suggest wise legislation in the future."
It may not be absolutely unconstitutional for Congress to collect such statistics, but it is contrary to the spirit of the constitution. Congress has nothing whatever to do with such social questions, which are exclusively matters of state legislation. It has allowed itself to be made a cat's paw by the National Divorce League for its retrogressive policy. The welfare of society is deeply concerned in breaking up all unhappy, discordant marriages, which are simply nurseries of misery and crime. Every generous sentiment should prompt us to go to the relief of the large number of women who suffer in secret from tyranny and brutality, while from poverty, timidity, helplessness, and a dread of publicity or censure, they endure their wrongs in silence, and continue to bear children cursed from their conception with intemperance and brutality. And when they seek to escape, a barbarian law comes in to give the brutal husband the ownership of their offspring; and thus they are bound fast as galley slaves in their unhappy position.
The Legislature of Massachusetts had the opportunity of redressing this wrong at their present session; but, like other masculine legislatures in the past, they were deaf to the voice of mercy, and the press quietly reports (March 18) that "Inexpedient was reported by the House judiciary committee on equalizing the respective rights of husband and wife in relation to their minor children, and on equalizing their interest in each other's property."
The ladies who are so active in behalf of woman suffrage might have taken more interest in this vital question, which was so easily disposed of. A great wrong remains unredressed.
The barbarous policy of the church of Rome, which has been finally abolished even in Catholic France, where divorce is now permitted, our clerical bigots would revive in this country, as if it were the business of the state to encourage or compel the propagation of the worthless and criminal classes!
It is not the interest of the state to encourage human multiplication at all, for it is already too powerful and progressive. It is the public interest to check all propagation but that of good citizens, and to protect all women from enforced maternity, whether enforced under legal powers or by the arts of seduction and libertinism.
Prostitution, in the light of political economy, is far less of an evil than the enforced maternity of wretched and discordant families, which becomes the fountain of an endless flow of crime, while prostitution shows its evils only in the parties immediately concerned, and effectually purifies society in time by arresting the propagation of its most worthless members. In the same manner it may be said that some epidemics are an advantage to society, by cutting off the feeble and worthless constitutions so as to leave a better race. Any one who recollects the history of the Jukes family, and the number of criminals infesting society who were descendants of one depraved pair, will not believe that such a propagation of crime should be permitted. The worthless class should not be allowed to marry, and the criminals whom the state finds it necessary to confine in the penitentiary should be permanently deprived of the power of parentage.
Few ever reflect upon the necessary consequences of the growth of population. The great wars, famines, and pestilences as in the past will not be able to keep down population, and where it has free course under favorable circumstances it doubles in twenty-five or thirty years. In two centuries more we shall begin to feel a terrible pressure, and that pressure will be aggravated by the exhaustion of coal mines, of petroleum, of gas, and of forests. In Great Britain alone 120,000,000 tons of coal are annually mined.
It may be safely assumed that one thousand to the square mile is about the limit of population of the world, a limit at which population must be arrested. Massachusetts is already within less than a century of its utmost possible limit. It has at this time about 250 to the square mile, and at the American rate of growth it would reach its utmost limit by the year 1950, and begin to realize the crush and crisis of a crowded population, which must either cease to grow or encounter the horrors of famine and social convulsions arising from the struggle for life, or the calamities arising from unfortunate seasons which in China and India have in our own time hurried millions into their graves.
If Massachusetts is within sixty years of this collision with destiny, other countries are still nearer the dead line of the coming century. Italy is parallel with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but Great Britain and Ireland are considerably further advanced. British India and the Netherlands are still further advanced, and half a century, if they had the American ratio of growth, would bring them to their limit, while Belgium's progress would be arrested in thirty years.
A wise statesmanship would not seek to hurry mankind on to this great crisis, the results of which have never been foreseen or provided for, but would realize that the greater the amount of inferior and demoralized population the more terrible must that crisis be when it comes—a crisis which can be safely borne only by elevating the entire population to a higher condition than any nation has ever heretofore attained.
Calculate as we may, the crisis must come, as certainly as death comes to each individual; and whether our social system can bear the strain of such conditions is beyond human ken. Look even two centuries ahead, and what do we see? At that time the prolific energy of the people of this republic, if continued as it has been in the past, will give us more than twice the estimated population of the entire globe at present—more than three thousand millions.
It is possible that our vast territory (including Alaska) of three million, six hundred thousand square miles may, with the greatly improved agriculture of the future, maintain such a population, especially if relieved by overflow to the north and south.
If the evil elements at work to-day predominate in our population, which retrogressive legislation would promote, it will be a time of calamity and social convulsions; but if the benevolent and enlightening influences now at work predominate (as we may hope), two centuries hence will bring us to a consummation of prosperity, enlightenment, and happiness, of which the pessimistic and sceptical thinkers of to-day have no conception. A thorough comprehension of the science of man will lead us in the path of enlightened progress.
EVILS THAT NEED ATTENTION.
The public mind has been greatly stirred upon the subject of monopolies and legislative abuses; but there are some glaring evils, which a short statute might suppress, that are flourishing unchecked.
Speculative dealers in the necessaries of life have learned how to build colossal fortunes by extortion from the entire nation, and the nation submits quietly because gambling competition is the fashion. The late Charles Partridge endeavored to show up these evils and have them suppressed. We need another Partridge to complete the work he undertook.
A despatch to the Boston Herald, March 5, shows how the game has been played in Chicago on the pork market:
"'Phil Armour must have been getting ready for this break for three months,' said a member of the board of trade to-day. 'Since September last he has visited nearly every large city in the country. He knows from observation where all the pork is located, and, having cornered it, his southern trip was a scheme to throw his enemies off the scent, and enable his brokers to quietly strengthen the corner. His profits and Plankinton's cannot be less than $3,000,000.'
"But if Armour and his old Milwaukee side partner have made money, so have hundreds of others here. A messenger boy in the board of trade drew $100 from a savings bank on Monday last at 11 o'clock and margined 100 barrels of pork. To-day the lad deposited $1,000, and has $300 for speculation next week.
"Those poor snorts who are expecting to have pork to-day to make their settlement, paid $21. Anything less was scouted. 'You will have to pay $25 next Saturday night,' was all the comfort afforded.
"An advance of 2 cents a bushel in wheat was also scored by the bulls to-day. The explanation is that the several big wheat syndicates encouraged by the action of pork have made an alliance. The talk at the hotels to-night is that Armour has started in to buy wheat."
We have laws that forbid boycotting, and they are enforced in New York and New Haven by two recent decisions. Financial extortion is an equal crime, and needs a law for its suppression. Why is the metropolitan press silent? Have the syndicates too much influence? Will editors who read these lines speak out?
In the last North American Review, James F. Hudson, in an essay on "Modern Feudalism," says:—
"The conquest of all departments of industry by the power of combination has just begun. But the mere beginning has imposed unwarrantable taxes on the fuel, light, and food of the masses. It has built up vast fortunes for the combining classes, drawn from the slender means of millions. It has added an immense stimulant to the process, already too active, of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The tendency in this direction is shown by the arguments with which the press has teemed for the past two months, that the process of combination is a necessary feature of industrial growth, and that the competition which fixes the profits of every ordinary trader, investor or mechanic, must be abolished for the benefit of great corporations, while kept in full force against the masses of producers and consumers, between whom the barriers of these combinations are interposed."
WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL GREATNESS?
A large amount of that which the world calls greatness is nothing more than vigorous and brilliant commonplace. Taine, who is the most splendid writer upon Bonaparte, ascribes to him intellectual greatness, but it was greatness on a common plane—the plane of animal life. He had a grand comprehension of physical and social forces, of everything upon the selfish plane, for he was absolutely selfish, but of nothing that belongs to the higher life of man, to the civilization of coming centuries. To him Fulton was a visionary and so was Gall. It was not in his intellectual range to see the steamships that change the world's commerce, and the cerebral discoveries that are destined to revolutionize all philosophy.
The pulpit orator, Beecher, who has just passed away, was estimated by many as intellectually great; but Mr. Beecher never took the position of independence that any great thinker must have occupied. He never moved beyond the sphere of popularity. He never led men but where they were already disposed to go. Upon the great question of the return of the spirit, one of the most important and fundamental of all religious questions, Mr. Beecher was silent. That silence was infidelity to truth, for Mr. Beecher was not ignorant of the truth he concealed. Nor was he faithful to any true ideal of religion. With his princely salary he accomplished less than other men, living upon a salary he would have scorned. He lived for self—he spent thousands of dollars on finger rings, and a hundred thousand on a fancy farm, but little if anything to make the world better.
The Boston Herald estimates very fairly his intellectual status, saying: "He spoke easily. His stories were well told, his points well put. He invested people with a new atmosphere, but he did not set them to thinking, and can hardly be called a thinker himself. Much as he has done to forward the vital interests of humanity, he has contributed nothing to the vital thinking of his generation. The secret of his power is the wonderful combination of animalism, with a certain bright way of stating the thoughts which are more or less in the minds of all men. Few preachers have lived with their eyes and ears more open to the world, and few have better understood the art of putting things. Mr. Beecher knew supremely well two persons—himself and the man next to him. In interesting the man next to him he interested the multitude. He had in a great degree the same qualities which made Norman McLeod the foremost preacher of his day in the Scotch pulpit. Such a man lives too much on the surface to exhaust himself. He has only to keep within the sphere of commonplace to interest people as long as he lives.... Mr. Beecher lived on the surface of things. He never got far below the surface. If he ever was profound it was only for a moment at a time.... His work was to illustrate the ideas which were operative in the world at the time, not to originate or formulate them."
This is a just estimate. Brilliant commonplace is not greatness, but the man who is thoroughly commonplace in his conceptions, who expresses well and forcibly what his hearers think, is the one to win applause and popularity. Had Beecher been a great thinker, a church of moderate size would have held his followers. But he was not and thinkers knew it. The Rev. George L. Perin, of the Shawmut Universalist Church, Boston, said of Beecher, "As we have tried to analyze the influence of his address we have said to ourselves, 'There was nothing new in that, for I have thought the same thing a thousand times myself;' and yet at the same time everything seemed new, and we have gone away thinking better of ourselves because he taught us to see what we were able to think but had not been able to express. He had the remarkable faculty of dressing up the things that everybody was thinking, and making us see that they were worth thinking. And there was something contagious about his wonderful faith in human nature. He believed in the divinity of man and made others believe in it." In other words, he added much to the sentiment of his hearer, but little to his thought. This was greatness of character and personal power, but not intellectual greatness. Beecher was a great man, but not a great thinker. The great thinker overwhelms his hearers with new and strange thought. The multitude, fixed in habit, reject it all. Clear and dispassionate thinkers feel that they cannot reject it, but it is too new even to them to elicit their enthusiasm. They sympathize with him only so far as they had previously cherished similar thoughts.
Hence we see it is ordained that the teacher of great truths must struggle against great opposition; and in proportion to his resistance by his contemporaries is the grandeur of his reception by posterity; in proportion to the power arrayed against him is the remoteness of the century in which that power shall be extinct and his triumph complete.
SLATER'S WONDERFUL SPIRITUAL TESTS (described by a Brooklyn newspaper correspondent).—"I have something to say to that gentlemen with the black hair and high forehead," he continued, turning to another part of the house; "you have a business engagement to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock with two men. I see you go up a flight of steps into a room where there are two desks. In the second drawer of one of these are the papers of the transaction which you had in your hand to-day. You are going to invest $4,000. Is that all so?"
"Perfectly," said the man, in amazement.
"Well, now, these two men are sharpers, and if you want to save that $4,000 keep out of that bargain. Legal advice is good, but mine is better."
"I believe it," said the man, emphatically. His name was C. G. Bulmer, and he lives at 229 Macon Street, Brooklyn. Your correspondent has since verified the accuracy of the test.
"And don't you suffer with your limbs?" he inquired of a lady just in front of him.
"Well, not now; I used to; I feel it now."
"Well, I am going to show you that I know all about your limbs. The pain is here," he continued, touching the calf of his leg. "You have a peculiar feeling of drowsiness and then sharp pains run through you, right there. Is it true?"
"I'll tell you something else. You missed what your sister called a big chance when you were seventeen years old, and she said you were a great fool to let it go by. Is that so?"
"It is," said the lady reddening.
"There's a man in the hall," he continued, pacing restlessly up and down with clasped hands. "He has been sitting here and saying to him self, 'Well, this is all mind-reading. Now, if he will tell me something that is going to happen I may believe something in Spiritualism.' He has been rather scoffing me. Now, I want to know if this is true. I am talking to you," pointing his long, thin finger at a gray-haired man who sat on his left. "All correct?" The man bowed his head. "Well, I tell you, that one Christmas day," he continued, so solemnly that a hush fell on the audience—"I don't think the spirits ought to tell these things, but I am forced to say that one Christmas day a member of your family will die." A startled look passed over his face, and a shiver ran through the audience at the uncanny message. The man's name could not be learned, but on the succeeding Sunday your correspondent heard two women get up in the audience and admit that the young Spiritualist was correct.
SPIRIT PICTURES.—Henry Rogers, a slate writing and prescribing medium of established reputation, recently located at 683 Tremont Street, Boston, has wonderful powers in the production of spirit pictures of the departed. His most recent success is certainly a fine work of art, resembling a crayon portrait of a young lady. His previous pictures are entitled to a high rank as works of art. They are purely spirit productions, no human hand being concerned. San Francisco has similar productions under the mediumship of Fred Evans, but the pictures have not the artistic merit of those produced by Rogers, whose beautiful pictures, however, require many sittings for their production; while those of Duguid of Glasgow, and Mrs. De Bar of New York, are produced in a few minutes and are also highly artistic. One of the very finest works of art at San Francisco is the portrait of Mrs. Watson, made by a medium, Mr. Briggs.
Our highest productions in art, music, poetry, philosophy, and medicine, are destined yet to come from the co-operation of the spirit world. We have no music at present superior to that of the medium Jesse Shepard.
SPIRIT TELEGRAPHY.—In 1885 we were informed of the success of spirits at Cleveland, Ohio, in communicating messages by the telegraphic method in rapping, in which our millionaire friend, Mr. J. H. Wade, has taken much interest. A little apparatus has been constructed, with which the spirits give their communications in great variety. I have repeatedly stated that the diagnoses and prescriptions of deceased physicians have always proved in my experience more reliable than those of the living. This has been verified at Cleveland. The late Dr. Wells of Brooklyn has been giving diagnoses and prescriptions through the telegraph. One of these published in the Plain Dealer exhibits the most profound and accurate medical knowledge. The full account of these telegraphic developments in the Cleveland Plain Dealer I expected to republish, but my space was already occupied. It may be found in the Banner of Light of April 9. But we shall have other reports hereafter.
SPIRITUAL MUSIC.—Maud Cook, a little blind girl nine years of age, at Manchester, Tenn., is an inspired musical wonder,—a performer and composer. She is said to equal Blind Tom, and the local newspapers speak of her in the most enthusiastic terms. She needs a judicious and wealthy friend to bring her before the public in the best manner.
SLATE WRITING.—Dr. D. J. Stansbury, of San Francisco, is very successful in obtaining spiritual writing in public as well as in private. The Golden Gate says:—
"There came upon the slates at Dr. Stansbury's public seance, last Sunday evening, the following message from Judge Wm. R. Thompson, father of H. M. Thompson, of this city: 'The essential principles of primitive Christianity and the precepts of Modern Spiritualism are essentially one and the same, which, if practised, would lead to the highest standard of morality and be the means of grace by which all might be saved.'"
THE FIRE TEST.—At the great spiritual convention held at Cincinnati for several days at the end of March, (the spiritual anniversary) the report states,—
"Mrs. Isa Wilson Porter, under control of an Oriental spirit, held her bared hands and arms in the flames of a large coal oil lamp. She also heated lamp chimneys and handled them as readily as she would in their normal condition, and made several gentlemen cringe and some ladies screech by slightly touching them with the hot glass. The test was made under supervision of a committee of doctors and well known physicians, who reported at the conclusion that previous to its commencement they examined the lady's hands and arms, and that they were in their natural condition, and that her pulse beat was seventy. While the test was in progress the pulse indicated forty. After its conclusion the pulse beat was sixty-five; the arms and hands were a little red, but unscorched, and the hair upon them not even singed. This incident seems weak in the description after witnessing the fact of tender flesh and blood held in such a flame for several minutes."
ERRATUM.—In the April number, the view of the upper surface of the brain, by mistake of the printer, was turned upside down—see page 29. The engraving on page 31 must be referred to, to illustrate the description in this number.
CO-OPERATION is making great progress. A colony similar to that at Topolobampo is to be established on 3,000 acres at Puget Sound. Manufacturers are beginning to adopt the principle of giving a share of profits to their employees, but space forbids details. Topolobampo has 400 busy colonists, and is not ready yet for any more.
EMANCIPATION.—Brazil has about a million of slaves. Emancipation is proceeding slowly. It may be thirty years before slavery shall be entirely extinguished.
INVENTORS.—A correspondent remarks very justly that "Inventors have rescued the race from primitive barbarism. They have transformed the primeval curse into a blessing. True saviors they, whose every gift has multiplied itself a thousand-fold by opening new fields of industry, and scattering luxuries even among the poorest. To the inventor, and not to the statesman, politician, or warrior, do we owe our present prosperity."
IMPORTANT DISCOVERY.—"Tests were recently made at Louisville of a new and not expensive process for hardening and tempering steel, by which hardness and elasticity are carried forward in combination. A drill made of the new steel penetrated in forty minutes a steel safe-plate warranted to resist any burglar drill for twelve hours. A penknife tempered by the process cut the stem of a steel key readily, and with the same blade the inventor shaved the hairs on his arm. The inventor is a young blacksmith. He has also a new process for converting iron into steel."
SACCHARINE.—This new substance said to be 200 times as sweet as sugar is manufactured from coal tar. It was discovered about six years ago in the laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, by Prof. Remsen and a student named Fahlberg, who has since taken out patents upon it. It is greatly superior to sugar, as it is free from fermentation and decomposition. A small quantity added to starch or glucose will make a compound equal to sugar in sweetness. It is a valuable antiseptic and has valuable medical properties.
SUGAR has been discovered to have great value as an addition to mortar, as it has a solvent action on lime. An English builder wrote an important letter to the authorities of Charleston, S. C., on this subject, after that city had suffered from the earthquake.
ARTIFICIAL IVORY.—We shall no longer need the elephant for ivory. Compounds of a celluloid character, made from cotton waste, can now be made hard as ivory, or flexible or soft as we wish. White and transparent, or brilliantly colored, it can be handled like wood cut and carved, or applied as a varnish. An artificial ivory of creamy whiteness and great hardness is now made from good potatoes washed in diluted sulphuric acid, and then boiled in the same solution until they become solid and dense. They are then washed free of the acid and slowly dried. This ivory can be dyed and turned, and made useful in many ways.
PAPER PIANOS.—Pianos have lately been made from paper in Germany, instead of wood, with great improvement in the tone.
SOCIAL DEGENERACY OF THE WEALTHY.—The Boston Herald says: "The spirit of the age is censorious. There is no doubt of that, or that with every new day the tendency toward pessimism increases. But even taking these facts into consideration, there is no denying that the young man about town of the nineteenth century is a blot upon our boasted modern civilization. His is not a pleasant figure to contemplate, though it is one that we all see very often and know very well—clothed irreproachably in the most expensive raiment that London tailors and unlimited credit can supply. He lives lazily and luxuriously on his father's money and his wife's, and, being after his natural term of days laid away in a tomb at Mt. Auburn, ends his existence without making any more impression upon the world's history than a falling rose leaf, or an August cricket's faintest chirp."
PREVENTION OF CRUELTY.—In Congress, Feb. 14, Mr. Collins, for the judiciary committee, has given a favorable report on the bill and memorial of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, asking the passage of a law to protect dumb animals in the various territories from unnecessary cruelty. In the report Mr. Collins says: "This body occupies the foremost place among the organizations of men and women who in our time have done so much to repress and punish human cruelty, abuse, and neglect in dealing with dumb animals. In all the States, we believe, laws now exist to prevent and punish unnecessary exposure, neglect, or cruel treatment of beasts of burden and other animals. To bring the federal legislation into co-operation and harmony with the laws of the States on the subject, and provide a uniform rule for the District of Columbia and the Territories, your committee recommend the passage of the bill."
VALUE OF BIRDS.—Maurice Thompson contends that the failure of orchards in this country is largely or mainly due to the war upon birds. The mocking bird he considers the most valuable of all. "No Scuppernong vine," he says, "should be without its mocking bird to defend it." Let ladies think of this who patronize cruelty by wearing birds' plumage on their bonnets.
HOUSE PLANTS.—Dr. J. M. Anders has decided after eight years' investigation that house plants are very sanitary agents, and even thinks that they help to ward off consumption and other diseases.
THE LARGEST TUNNEL IN THE WORLD has been completed at Schemnitz in Hungary. It was begun in 1782, and is ten and a quarter miles long, nine feet ten inches high, and five feet three inches wide, costing nearly $5,000,000. Its purpose is to drain the water of the Schemnitz mines, which is worth $75,000 a year.
"WESTWARD THE STAR OF EMPIRE," ETC.—"The Fall River (Mass.,) iron works, which have been in operation for fifty years, have shut down permanently and all the hands have been discharged. It was found impossible to compete with western works that are situated near the base of natural gas and iron supplies."
STRUCTURE OF THE BRAIN.
(Continued from page 32.)
Nevertheless, in men and animals killed in full health there is very little serum in any part of the brain, the blood requiring all the space there is for fluids; and as the blood distends one part of the brain more than another in consequence of local excitement, the other portions of the brain, which are in a passive state, are compressed and deprived of their full supply of blood, so that they are of less nourished and their development declines.
Thus do we hold our destiny in our own hands. If we will cultivate the faculties which are most in need of cultivation, their organs, receiving more blood, will grow faster than any other portions of the brain, while the organs that are kept in check and deprived of activity will gradually decline in power and size, so that the character will become essentially changed. It is in the power of every individual who has the necessary determination to change essentially his own nature for better or worse, as well as to modify and enlarge his capacities, changing the structure of his brain; and this should encourage every young man and woman to make for themselves a noble destiny. Moreover, it is still more practicable to accomplish this by means of education, with all proper appliances for the young; and this should encourage philanthropists to struggle for that social regeneration which is so clearly possible for all the world, as I have shown in "The New Education." The study of the anatomy of the brain and the innumerable experiments I have made on the brain, showing how completely the brain of the impressible can be revolutionized in its action in a few minutes, make it very apparent that society as a whole is responsible for the continued existence of criminals, paupers, and lunatics; for there should not be one, and would not be, if mankind could be aroused from their criminal apathy and ignorance to the performance of our duty in education. But alas! "the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not."
The study of the brain continually leads us into grand philanthropic conceptions by showing the splendid possibilities of humanity,—showing how near we are to a nobler social state from which we are debarred by ignorance, by moral apathy, by ignorant self sufficiency, by intolerant bigotry, and by selfish animality,—qualities which, alas! pervade all ranks to-day.
But returning from this digression to our study of the interior of the brain: the great ventricles of which we have considered the position, and which are called lateral ventricles, are interesting for another reason, that they are the central region around which the cerebrum is developed, as it folds over upon itself in its early growth, and consequently must be borne in mind as its centre when we are studying its comparative development in different heads. The basilar organs lie below the ventricles and the coronal organs above.
If we have inserted a finger under the corpus callosum, the fibres of which are above our finger, we may feel below, the structure which may be called the bottom of the ventricle, and which is likewise the base or trunk of the superincumbent parts from which they spring, as a tree from its stump.
This structure is one mass, called anteriorly the corpus striatum, or striated body, and posteriorly the optic thalamus or bed of the optic nerve, though the optic nerve has its principal origin in another part, called the optic lobes. The thalamus and corpus striatum are called together, the great inferior ganglion of the brain. They are masses of gray substance, with white fibres from below passing through them, and white fibres originating in them to ascend and spread, so that their entire masses of fibres, ascending and spreading out like a fan, constitute an extensive structure which folds together toward the median line somewhat like a nervous sac, inclosing the cavity of the ventricle and sending its representative fibres across the median line,—which are called the corpus callosum. This will be more fully explained when we consider the genesis of the brain as it grows in the unborn infant.
As the reader now understands the principal parts around the ventricles, let him look lower down to complete the survey and understand the plan of the brain, though not its anatomical minutiae. The optic thalamus is indicated in the engraving, but the corpus striatum, being more exterior and anterior, does not appear. Practically they may be regarded as one body.
Where the thalami come together and touch or unite on the median line, the junction is called a commissure (commiss. med.) and the space between them where they do not touch is called the third ventricle (ventric. III), which, like the lateral ventricles, may also hold a little serum. It is unnecessary to consider the small parts above the thalami, the choroid plexus of blood vessels, the fornix or strip of nerve membrane, and the septum lucidum or delicate fibres under the corpus callosum.
Beginning at the bottom of the figure, we observe the medulla oblongata rising from the spinal cord to reach the cerebrum. Behind this we see the cerebellum divided on the median line, and thus presenting where it is divided the appearance called arbor vitae, from its resemblance to the leaf of that evergreen.
As the fibres of the medulla oblongata ascend they pass between the cerebellum and the pons Varolii (bridge of Varolius) mingling with its substance. The pons or bridge (for if the brain were laid on its upper surface the pons would appear like a bridge over the river represented by the medulla oblongata) is the commissure or connecting body of the cerebellum, as the corpus callosum is of the cerebrum. When the head is held erect the fibres of the pons arch forward from the interior of the cerebellum on one side across the median line to the other side, so that a straight line through from the right to the left ear would pierce its lower portion. It looks toward the front, corresponding with the upper jaw, just below the nostrils, through which region it may be reached for experiment.