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The lights burn blue: it is now dead midnight,

Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh,

Methought the souls of all that I caused to be murdered

Came. . . .”

The Prince of Hohenlohe, so famous during the first quarter of our century for his healing powers, was himself a great medium. Indeed, these phenomena and powers belong to no particular age or country. They form a portion of the psychological attributes of man — the Microcosmos.

For centuries have the Klikouchy, the Yourodevoy, and other miserable creatures been afflicted with strange disorders, which the Russian clergy and the populace attribute to possession by the devil. They throng the entrances of the cathedrals, without daring to trust themselves inside, lest their self-willed controlling demons might fling them on the ground. Voroneg, Kiew, Kazan, and all cities which possess the thaumaturgical relics of canonized saints, abound with such unconscious mediums. One can always find numbers of them, congregating in hideous groups, and hanging about the gates and porches. At certain stages of the celebration of the mass by the officiating clergy, such as the appearance of the sacraments, or the beginning of the prayer and chorus, “Ejey Cherouvim,” these half-maniacs, half-mediums, begin crowing like cocks, barking, bellowing and braying, and, finally, fall down in fearful convulsions. “The unclean one cannot bear the holy prayer,” is the pious explanation. Moved by pity, some charitable souls administer restoratives to the “afflicted ones,” and distribute alms among them. Occasionally, a priest is invited to exorcise, in which event he either performs the ceremony for the sake of love and charity, or the alluring prospect of a twenty-copeck silver bit, according to his Christian impulses. But these miserable — are never molested because of their misfortune. Why should the clergy persecute them, or creatures — who are mediums, for they prophesy and see visions sometimes, when the fit is genuine people hate and denounce them as damnable witches or wizards?

Common sense and justice surely suggest that if any are to be punished it is certainly not the victims who cannot help themselves, but the demon who is alleged to control their actions.

The worst that happens to the patient is, that the priest inundates him or her with holy water, and causes the poor creature to catch cold. This failing in efficacy, the Klikoucha is left to the  will

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 of God, and taken care of in love and pity. Superstitious and blind as it is, a faith conducted on such principles certainly deserves some respect, and can never be offensive, either to man or the true God. Not so with that of the Roman Catholics; and hence, it is they, and secondarily, the Protestant clergy — with the exception of some foremost thinkers among them — that we purpose questioning in this work. We want to know upon what grounds they base their right to treat Hindus and Chinese spiritualists and kabalists in the way they do; denouncing them, in company with the infidels — creatures of their own making — as so many convicts sentenced to the inextinguishable fires of hell.

Far from us be the thought of the slightest irreverence — let alone blasphemy — toward the Divine Power which called into being all things, visible and invisible. Of its majesty and boundless perfection we dare not even think. It is enough for us to know that It exists and that It is all wise. Enough that in common with our fellow creatures we possess a spark of Its essence. The supreme power whom we revere is the boundless and endless one — the grand “CENTRAL SPIRITUAL SUN” by whose attributes and the visible effects of whose inaudible WILL we are surrounded — the God of the ancient and the God of modern seers. His nature can be studied only in the worlds called forth by his mighty FIAT. His revelation is traced with his own finger in imperishable figures of universal harmony upon the face of the Cosmos. It is the only INFALLIBLE gospel we recognize.

Speaking of ancient geographers, Plutarch remarks in Theseus, that they “crowd into the edges of their maps parts of the world which they do not know about, adding notes in the margin to the effect that beyond this lies nothing but sandy deserts full of wild beasts and unapproachable bogs.” Do not our theologians and scientists do the same? While the former people the invisible world with either angels or devils, our philosophers try to persuade their disciples that where there is no matter there is nothing.

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