A Great Pioneer of Modern Spiritualism: Emma Hardinge Britten
Emma answered questions from the audience in San Francisco in 1897. Question – Do spirits go immediately to another world after leaving the body of mortal flesh? Answer – This planet earth is surrounded with overlying zones and spheres, which belt and enclose it successively until they impinge upon those of other planets, suns, stars or astral systems in the grand system of universes. Each is centred upon another until they reach the great central sun, whence all are permeated with light and force by the great Heart of the universe, without which naught that is could exist. The specific attraction of individual souls, as revealed in the quality of light that shines through their individual spirit bodies, built of such particles as their tastes in earth life have attracted to them as nourishment, will place them in the only place in the spheres where their surroundings are similar and consequently the only place where they have any feeling of rest and equilibrium. Everyone’s condition in the spheres is determined by their moral state. Between two mortals under the same roof there may be an impossible gulf. In spirit life, all are delicately inter-sphered. Each gravitates at once to their proper sphere. All spheres to which souls go, when released from earth bodies, are, strictly speaking, within this world, which means not the material ball, but the world of spirit, within which a crystalline globe is the kernel only. Spirit is the mould in which matter is cast. Question – Has prayer any effect to ameliorate the human condition here or hereafter? Answer – God is our nearest kindred. The immensity of His providence includes man as well as the sparrow and the lily. All of God’s power has been manifest to earth through a long chain of agencies. The higher good souls ascend in spirit life, the nearer they are to God and to all His children. The more deeply they love their fellow creatures, left struggling between good and evil on earth, for in helping them, they recognise their highest duty to the Infinite Father. God’s ministering angels ever gather about us to afford the aid we ask when we do so in conformity to the universal law of God, which neither angels nor men can break with impunity. Every human thought, well directed by the will, can reach its object through a change of agencies engaged in answering prayer. Man must not attempt to dictate to God. The focalisation of thought in prayer advertises your wants so as to draw to you those ministering spirits who, when attracted to you in conformity to known principles of law, can psychologically impress upon your minds means to satisfy your urgent desires, provided they are such as can be approved. Man must work out his own salvation, but the spirit may impress his mind with wisdom necessary to accomplish the good object sought after. Prayer can never change law, but when our desires are in harmony with law, angels will administer to us better than we ask if our petition comes in simplicity and truthfulness of purpose from a humble or contrite heart. As blossoms purify the air, so prayer purifies our lives and all holy aspirations are answered by truthful inspirations in human hearts. Question – Are Human Beings Free Moral Agents? Answer – Consider the character of man’s condition in the flesh. Matter is bound by laws in all its parts and possibilities, and subject to force impressed upon it. Spirit is free and we little dream the possible powers of the human will. There is no horizon to the power of man’s spirit but ignorance; this ultimately melts and is consumed in the fervent heat of knowledge. Man is both bond and free, being in the flesh, under bondage of physical powers, developing a force of spirit the potency of which he has not yet explored. Faith is the realisation of spiritual knowledge. Did we know our powers, we could determine the character of the future generation. Question – Can Spirit enter a Closed Room? Answer – It enters and leaves the human body, so can it not as readily pass through other material substances? Particles of spirit are fine enough to draw through the closed wall or door, as the breath of man traverse through a sieve or as a simple force passes through a substance without disturbing the organisation of its particles. Bolts that secure the body cannot retain the spirit, which is as permeating as force. Angels penetrated the thickest dungeons of dark ages to comfort holy martyrs. Walls were no impediment. Neither are they any hindrance to any but the very lowest and most undeveloped dwellers upon the threshold. Question – What Good has Spiritualism Ever Done to Mankind? Man and spirit are as inseparable as God and the universe, but we suppose the questioner means, “What good has Modern Spiritualism done?” Spiritualism is the only power that can ever fully demonstrate to man the existence of a God. The far-seeing telescope may lead to inferences, but never alone proves more than a belief. At spirit circles, the intelligent manifestations of higher powers teach it. Spirit proves God by displaying to man an intelligence that created worlds as well as minor structures. The fragment, manifest to human sense, proves the whole as the first grain of gold found in our rivers proved the wealth of our mountains. Thus a simple grain of intelligent spirit proves the existence of God. Spiritualism has proved the immortality of the soul by its numerous communications from the departed friends and demonstrated the existence of spirit and, therefore, God who is spirit. It proves the immortality of the race, for saints and sinners have both conveyed to man by spiritual telegraphy a knowledge of their present condition. It makes man realise that in every moment of his life, he is in judgement according to infinite law and thus offers a fresh incentive to all to live good and acceptable lives. Question - Do Spirits Regard Sunday More Than Other Days? The observance of Sunday was inculcated by Moses. Before his day, one day in seven was dedicated for rest of the physical frame of man. Its observance is a physical law and one necessary to the labouring man. It is not a law of spirit. God is a spirit. His spirit never sleeps or rests in the acceptation we mean. It worketh ever, for planets roll on Sundays and flowers grow as well as on days dedicated to other planets. There is no Sabbath in the skies, where all are aiming to do good, and that is an occupation in which none should weary. All and ever advancing and toiling upward on Sundays as well as other days, for all these are the Lord’s days and equally holy.