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vol. 3, p. 157
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)


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< A Strange Adventure (continued from page 3-156) >

await you at the tribunal,” he said. “Go, and tell them to come here; I have a revelation to make them,” I replied, giving a last touch to the face of the assassin, who appeared almost alive and breathing. The jailor left me, and a few minutes later the judges appeared. Trembling from head to foot I pointed to the sketch and said, “Behold the assassin.”

Baron S—— examined it quietly and carefully, and then said, “His name?” “I do not know it,” I replied. “But at this moment he is in the market, cutting up meat, at the third stall on the left, in entering by—— Street.” “What do you think of this?” said my judge to his colleague. “That we ought immediately to send and seek the man,” he replied in a grave tone. He went into the corridor and gave orders to the gendarmes who were there on duty. During their absence, the judges remained standing, looking at the sketch, while I sank on the ground under the weight of my emotion, and remained with my head between my knees.

Soon steps were heard along the corridor. Those who have never awaited the moment of their deliverance, who have never counted the minutes, that seem like centuries; those who have never experienced the poignant emotions of uncertainty and terror, hope anti doubt, cannot realize the intense agony of that moment. I could have distinguished the step of the murderer from among a million. The judges even were moved. I raised my head, but a hand of iron seemed to press upon my heart. My eyes were riveted on the door; it opened, and the man entered. His cheeks were red and puffed, his large jaw was contracted and the muscles swollen even to his ears, his eyes small, black, and restless, sparkled through his red eyelids. Baron S—— silently pointed to the sketch, on perceiving which, the strong sunburnt man became pale as death; he uttered a how that startled us all, opened his arms, sprung back anti rushed out, knocking down his guards. There was a terrible struggle in the corridor; we could hear the panting breath of the butcher, fearful imprecations, interrupted words and stamping of many feet. At last the assassin was dragged into the cell, his head sunk upon his chest, his eyes became bloodshot, and the limbs stiffened. Once more he gazed at the drawing on the wall, appeared to reflect, and murmured “Who then could have seen me at midnight?”

* *

Many years have passed since this terrible adventure. I am thankful to say I no longer dread want, nor am I obliged to make portraits of Burgomasters and old women. The nocturnal drawing has never lost its place in my memory, and I often sit for hours pondering over that strange event. How was it possible that a crime committed by a man utterly unknown to me could have been faithfully represented in its most minute details? Was it by chance? No. Schiller was perchance right in saying, “The immortal soul does not occupy itself with the exhaustion of the body, but spreads its radiant pinions and floats off God knows where. What it then does no one knows, but inspiration betrays from time to time the secret of these nocturnal voyages. Who knows? Nature dares more in reality than imagination in its caprice.”

"Sleeping Stones"

At the regular meeting of the Psychological Society of Great Britain, Enmore Jones said, “I have had twenty years experience, and mediums have told me plenty they knew nothing about. Once I bad a servant girl residing in my own house. Passing over several phenomena which would take me twelve or fourteen hours to tell, I found that when she I was in the clairvoyant state she gave evidence that there was a ‘ghost power’ in stones and shells, or what you call psychic force; ‘she told me there were certain curative powers in particular stones, and that she could tell me where the stones were. I was fool enough sometimes to get a cab, she with her eyes closed entered the cab, and thus we made many journeys in search of stones which she had previously seen at a distance clairvoyantly. I did not like the idea of being in a cab with this sleeping girl, so I lit up a wax candle, and thus we travelled over the hills and far away. When we got out she would jog along with her eyes shut until we arrived at the place. She would then put her hand down and pick up a stone which she had previously described. I would then mark it and wrap it in paper. She told me that certain stones would put mesmeric sensitives to sleep whilst others would wake them up. Once in walking along a road while I was carrying the candle, she stopped with a shock, and I said I ‘Lizzie! what’s the matter?’ She replied, ‘O, that stone! That stone!’ and it woke her up; she had stepped on it in walking. I put her to sleep again with a sleeping stone. Unconscious cerebration will not explain these things. We want less theory and more practice. I found that these stones possessed the same powers over other sensitives which she asserts them to have, and I could tell you of many experiments. I found that the stones had a peculiar power within themselves, and a distinctive color, by which sensitives could identify them when in a clairvoyant state. If any man tells me that unconscious cerebration explains these things, he is not so wise as I am.


His Opinion on Materialization of Spirits

It has been constantly urged by the believers in Swedenborg’s doctrines that nothing could be found in his writings to warrant the supposition that spirits can clothe themselves again with matter, after having once left the material body— so most of them have been unable to rest in the belief of the present materializations of spirits. A writer in a recent number the New Jerusalem Messenger says, —

“This is true, as far as 1 know, of all the writings published by himself. But in ‘Adversaria,’ 1457 (pointed out to me by a friend) he treats of the angel who wrestled with Jacob, and refers to the Messiah and two others (ipse Messiah cum duobus aliis) who appeared to Abraham and ate with him, and the same with Lot in Sodom, and were visible to the inhabitants of the city, and closed the door aganst them. He then gives quite a full account of the way in which the soul gathers the necessary materials, first in the ovum, then in the womb, and afterwards in life, and forms of them a material of body; and then goes on as follows, —

“‘If now these things are considered, and those innumerable things which relate to the nourishment of the body and so to its composition and conservation, then it may be seen most clearly, that an Angel of Messiah or His Spirit, whenever it pleases Messiah, may induce a human form (for they are almost men, but without flesh and hones) with its ultimate texture, which is called flesh, with muscles and the like, which then comes to pass in a moment when it pleases Messiah, for in the air and ether are streams of such parts which at once serve in composing these things which relate to the ulterior texture; perpetual material principals are there, from which all composition may be given Thus, because their souls is only from Messiah, hence, whenever it pleases (him) he inspires into them such an effort as is in the soul of man, and thus in a moment all things are perfected. These things seem indeed obscure; but that they are thus is so evident from the human texture itself scrutinized as to its minor tissues, that there can be nothing more evident. But because they subsist only in exteriors and investigations are now made in outermosts. I cannot conjecture otherwise than that these things will appear to be paradoxes, when yet they arc most true. These things are such that they cannot be ranked among miracles, tor they follow immediately as often as it pleases Messiah, from the laws of order which are in Nature itself, thus from causes according to these laws; but never unless it pleases Messiah.’”

Now who can say the Lord docs not please that they shall occur now and hereafter more and more, as spirits tell us? Who can say it is not a “law of order in Nature” which has now come, or is now coming, to its fulfillment? That our present materializations are not a part of the grand plan for human advancement towards its final goal?

The Facts and the Opposition

A writer in Blackwood's Magazine (said to be W. W. Story, the American artist and author) has the following appropriate remarks on the present attitude of Science toward the facts of Spiriturlism: —

“The real question Is, ‘Do the facts of so-called Spiritualism exist or not?’ If so, how are they to be explained? If the facts clearly take place, it is idle to reject them because a foolish theory is advanced to explain them. Repeated failures or repeated cheating prove nothing. No scientific man would investigate any other question in the same spirit as he does this. If the matter were worthy of consideration at all, he would not be stopped in his researches by repeated failures to obtain his end. He would try again and again. Suppose the experiment fails a hundred times and succeeds once, the important fact is the one success, not the hundred failures. There is no reason either for or against the existence of any phenomenon a priori. The mere fact that it is contrary to our experience is no proof that it does not exist.

“But now if you recount to the man of science any phenomenon perfectly material and physical, as having occurred in your presence under conditions contrary to his preconceived opinions or experience, he says, ‘It would not have <... continues on page 3-158 >

Editor's notes

  1. "Sleeping Stones" by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 5, No. 15, December 14, 1876, p. 159
  2. Swedenborg by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 3, March 25, 1875, p. 27
  3. The Facts and the Opposition by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 5 No. 8, October 26, 1876, p. 91