Spiritism; the origin of all religions
In presenting this little book to the public, I must ask the kind indulgence of the reader, for it has been the work of my leisure hours; a recreation of the mind from the dry details of the law, which teaches us to deal with facts according to law, and to reason out its relations with the many conflicting, interests of mankind. In trying to trace out the origin of these laws customs and usages, it has led me far back into the night of time, when a man emerged from the obscurity of barbarism.
Like the explorer of some great river, as he ascends he beholds the stream branching off into many little rivers, and they grow less and less, until at last, he finds its source in some far-off mountain, fed by the melting of the snows or springs that gush from out the granite rocks.
So it is with law and religion, they both come from the invisible source — the mind of man. One teaches him his relations to his fellow man, and the other to his Creator; one relates to his social nature, the other to his moral and spiritual nature.
They are closely allied and have much to do with each other, the religious status of a people have had much to do with shaping their government and civilization. Where a liberal religion has prevailed the laws have partaken of its nature and the people prospered and were happy; when illiberal it has tyrannized over man and made him a slave to caste and priesthood.
In all religions, there are good moral precepts, and if a man would live up to them he would be wiser and better, but his animal nature is so strong that it often tempts him to violate them, but they act upon and tend to restrain him. It is contended by some that man could not be governed without religion. It makes but little difference what a man's religion is if he is honest and will respect the rights of another. No one should say, "
My religion is orthodox and yours is heterodox;" we should all be willing to let everyone worship God in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, for we are all in the fog and know but little of the life to come. We now and then catch a stray bit of evidence that goes to confirm us in the belief of the immortality of the soul. It comes like the whispering voice of spirits and angels, to tell us that we are immortal and will live beyond the grave. Is it our imagination? Whence come to these thoughts? Did we inherit them from the teaching of our ancestors?
They had no better evidence of the facts than we see around us every day. They tell us these things happened thousands of years ago, in benighted Asia, among people just emerging from savagery, who had no knowledge of the arts and sciences, geography, astronomy, geology, chemistry, botany, biology, etc.
They believed the world was flat; that the sun, moon and stars moved around the earth; that the earth was created in six days; that man was made of dust, and that God breathed the breath of life into him; that he caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and took a rib out of his side and made it into a woman. These infantile stories of the creation of man and the remarkable revelations made by God are conflicting and bear upon their face the evidence of exaggeration and credulity.
The evolution theory has swept from us the myth of Adam and Eve and the eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, which does away with the necessity of a redeemer and the vicarious atonement and original sin. It has opened our eyes to the knowledge that there is no one standing between us and our Creator; that everyone must work out his own salvation and be his- own saviour, answering for his sins according to the law of compensation; that the laws of nature are unchangeable; that the same force that shapes a dewdrop will round a world; that suns and stars float in space, and are held in their place by the same law that guides the earth in its course around the sun; that spring comes to gladden the earth and make it green; that winter's frost robes it in a white winding-sheet of snow ; but the vegetable world is not dead, it is only asleep to blossom again. Will man live after death?
This is a question that has time and again been asked by the most learned sages and philosophers of all ages. Men have sacrificed their lives to prove it, they have been deified and churches and temples have been reared to honour their sainted names, and a vast multitude of humanity bowed down in their praise.
Still, it is an open question and one that is hard to demonstrate. The only evidence we have is what Spiritism has been able to give us, but it is so conflicting that men of science differ as to the value of its evidence, and the only solution to the question is, each one must investigate for himself, in a spirit of fairness and candour, and he will find much that will convince him of the fact. I have examined > 8 the religions of all ages, and I find that it had its origin in the same intelligent force one hears in the mysterious rapping, the tipping of the table, the invisible pencil writing on a slate, the trance, the clairaudient and clairvoyant mediums, which is the only solution to all the stories we have read about gods, angels, ghosts and devils, that have ever manifested themselves to man; and the object of this book is to show that Spiritism is the origin of all religions; that all the knowledge of the life beyond has come to us through the same channel, whether it purported to be from gods, angels, saviours, prophets, seers, inspired men, or mediums; it is one and the same thing under different forms and different names, in different ages and different countries.
The object of the author is not to attack any religion, but to give a fair and impartial statement of facts, that will remove the veil that, for ages, has mystified man and shut him out from the knowledge that he is a part of the divine mind, and if he will but listen to his better nature he can hold converse with those who have preceded him, which will take away all fear of death and damnation and fill the heart with hope and joy.
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