Joseph Hartman has published a book of 378 pages in which he recounts his experiences as a Spirit medium (led into it by Swedenborg's teachings), his debasement almost to the loss of reason by spirit obsession, and his final recovery from its ensnarement of his will; but strange to say, he is still a firm believer in Swedenborgianism and Spiritism, altho, like others, he cautions every one to be on guard against their wicked devices. Poor deluded man, he still believes that these are good spirits.

Mr. H. had come in contact with the "Planchette," a wooden device which holds a pencil and moves readily under the hands of certain mediums or "sensitives," even children, writing answers to questions propounded to it; and he had attended several tipping and rapping seances, and was convinced that they were not frauds, but the operations of invisible, intelligent spirits. He became actively interested while endeavoring to convince doubting friends of the genuineness of the manifestations. Next he tried it in his own family and developed the fact that his little son was a drawing and writing medium. Next he was curious to investigate the phenomena of spirit materialization. About this time his daughter "Dolly" died, and he was deeply interested in the apparitions or materializations which professed to be "Dolly." He, however, was incredulous, and, in his own words, "gave it up under a cloud, and a suspicion of fraud." But after five; years of experience he says, - "Whatever doubts I may have entertained respecting the phenomena, I am clearly of the opinion that honest materializations are now of frequent occurrence. Who the forms are, or whence derived, is a mooted question." We have just seen that if the manifestations are "honest" so far as the mediumship is concerned, they are frauds so far as the persons represented are concerned - simulations of the dead, by the fallen angels.

Later the table-tipping and rapping and drawing and writing test were revived at Mr. H.'s home, two of his children becoming adept mediums, and finally, he himself became a writing medium, to his own surprise and without expectation or solicitation. Now he could and did hold frequent converse supposedly with his daughter "Dolly," but really with demons who personated her, and others, he was caused to smell pleasant odors, etc. As a later development he became a speaking medium, and "under control" would speak and act without his own intention or volition; but with full power to refuse to be a medium to such "spirits" as he chose to refuse, because of their former rudeness or obscenity. Next he was granted the "inner ear," "Clair-audience," or ability to hear sounds not audible to others, and thus to hold converse with the "spirits" without any outward agency, such as writing, rapping, etc.

Of his "spirit friends" he says, - "They described to me that their controlling circle consisted of 'twelve spiritual gifts or virtues' which composed a 'band' of very great strength; and under their guidance, they declared, I would become one of the greatest mediums ever known. I revolted - had not the least ambition for fame of that sort. - They were the more determined."

Thus gradually was Mr. Hartman brought, against his wish, more and more under the "control" of the wicked spirits which finally obsessed him. The next experience was with a peculiar clairaudient "Voice" which represented itself to be the Lord and took full control of him, directing his every act. It pictured all his errors and weaknesses in darkest shades; and endeavored to destroy all hope. He was told to pray, and when he attempted to pray he was given such conflicting suggestions as to words as made it impossible. He was fast in the snare of the "wicked spirits; "possessed," and controlled by "spirit-mesmerism," as he calls it.

But finally he escaped their bondage; - a once strong will reasserted itself, and he wrote the account to hinder others from being similarly entrapped. But he does not understand the matter, notwithstanding his remarkable experiences. His experiences had proved that all the "spirits" which he had come in contact with were "wicked," lying, profane, and a majority of them vulgarly and disgustingly obscene: Yet, believing these to be the spirits of dead men and women, he surmised that he had met a band of evil ones only, and that there were other bands of good, truthful and pure spirits of good people. If he had but known the Lord's testimony on this subject, it would have put the entire matter in another light.

After gaining will-control of himself he was still attended by these evil spirits whose character he now fully knew; and they tried repeatedly to bring his will power again under "control," but had no power that he would not grant. He did, however, grant them liberty to use his hand in writing communications, and in reply to his questions respecting how and why they had abused his confidence, lied to him, were obscene and sought to bind and injure him, they answered that they were constitutionally and thoroughly bad and that they were "devils;" - again contradicting this and declaring that they were spirits of dead human beings. But to confirm him in Swedenborgianism they told him that there were no Swedenborgians among them. And Hartman evidently believed these self-confessed "lying spirits," for he concludes his book by quoting proofs that Swedenborg had passed through experiences of obsession somewhat like his own. He quotes from Swedenborg's Diary 2957-2996 as follows: -

"Very often when any one spoke with me, spirits spoke through me....This occurred many times; for instance twice to-day. I cannot enumerate the times, they are so many....Moreover, they have laughed through me, and done many things....These are those who introduce these things into my thoughts, and while I am unconscious of it, lead my hand to write thus."

Hartman says of Swedenborg further: -

"It is a matter of history that Swedenborg's maligners, not understanding interior temptations or spirit control, published that he was crazy, and that he did several foolish and insane things while living in London....He was under control of spirits who acted through his body, speaking through him and moving his body as if it were their own....During a part of this transitional period he was unquestionably controlled by evil spirits. He says he had 'tremors and was shaken from head to foot, and thrown out of bed on his face'...'I was in the temptation,' he says, thoughts invaded me that I could not control,...and full liberty was given them....While I had the most damnable thoughts, the worst that could possibly be, Jesus Christ was presented visibly before my internal sight.'"

Mr. Hartman comments: - "This we believe was an evil spirit pretending to be Christ, as in our own case the spirit pretended to be God."

To us it seems evident that Swedenborg was a Spirit-medium and was an advance agent for promulgating and establishing the "doctrines of devils" respecting "seven heavens and seven hells," etc., etc., ad nauseam. Yet Mr. Hartman closes his book with a eulogy of Swedenborg; who, altho admittedly possessed of devils at times, he thinks was sometimes possessed and controlled by good spirits: while Hartman's own experience corroborated the Scriptures, that they are all "wicked," "seducing," "lying" spirits.


In a pamphlet entitled - "The Nature of Insanity; its Cause and Cure", - by J. D. Rhymus, the author shows that in many cases insanity is merely demoniacal possession or "obsession." He says, -

"In my own case I know that the brain was not diseased at all; my whole nature seemed to be intensified by conflicting emotions raging within my breast. I was completely enveloped and pervaded by thought, or in other words thought came as something impinged upon me, seeking expression through me, without being coined or generated by the action of my own brain, altho fully conscious at the time, as I am now, that I possessed a strength within me not my own will and brain power so-called; - yet it was so blended with, and manifested through my own powers of action, that I felt great exhaustion of nerve force and mental prostration when the conditions subsided."

After detailing his own case and his release from the thraldom of evil spirits, whom he supposed to be the spirits of wicked dead men (apparently he also was a follower of Swedenborg), he quotes a letter from a Philadelphia physician, dated Nov. 12, 1884, as follows: -

"The young lady to whom you refer in your letter is a Miss S—, who was once my patient and quite intimate in my family. Her father was a sea captain, and was lost at sea, no one knowing when or where. Her anxiety to learn something of his fate, led her to apply to a spirit medium. She was found to be very 'susceptible' and a remarkable medium. She did nothing to encourage the approach of spirits; but they came all the same. They almost tormented the life out of her for a long time - how long I do not remember. They often made her get out of bed at night and perform all sorts of grotesque antics. She finally drove them off by repeating the Lord's Prayer on their every approach. Your sincere friend, —."

The same writer says: -

"Judge Edmonds of New York [a noted Spiritist and both a Clairvoyant and Clairaudient medium - now deceased], has recently expressed the opinion that many so-called lunatics in asylums are only under the influence of spirits." The Judge himself said, - 'Some fifteen cases of insanity, or rather obsession, I have been instrumental in curing. This I said to the Academy of Science, in New York.'

"The Judge has had Catholic priests, after a thorough trial of their 'holy water and prayers,' send [to him] their mediumistic members when wickedly disordered, to be demagnetized and released from the grasp of obsessional spirits."


Few are aware to what extent Spiritism is now active; how it is gradually reviving. Here is an account of Dr. Peebles' visit to Melbourne, Australia, this year, 1897. He writes to The Philadelphia Journal as follows: -

"Altho I had come for a rest, I was immediately pressed into active service, and have been lecturing every Sunday evening either in the Masonic hall (which seats 1300) or the Lyceum (700), both of them being filled at times to overflowing. I have also spoken in the Unitarian and Swedenborgian churches, and the Australian (Presbyterian) church, on vegetarianism and other reform subjects.

"Several mediums speak about coming to Australia. Before leaving, let me tell you that the Melbourne press says there are already 500 mediums in the city and suburbs, while others say 200, but I see none who compare with Mrs. Freitag, and others. I cannot, conscientiously, encourage mediums to come to Australia, unless they are absolutely first-class test mediums. That's what the people clamor for - tests, tests, tests. Old, bald-headed Spiritualists, who had tests years ago want them renewed, and so seek for tests instead of going on to a higher plane of harmony, beauty and spiritual truth, becoming their own mediums."

Yes; the tests, rapping, writing, table-tipping, and even materialization tests are only the beginnings of Spiritism, and not the desired ends sought by the spirits. The end sought is possession "obsession;" and those who by strong self-control constantly resist absolute spirit-control are used as "test mediums," to catch others, and to exhort others, as above, to go "on to a higher plane of harmony" with lying, seducing, enslaving and demonizing spirits.

An English journal called Black and White gives a detailed and illustrated account of recent apparitions at the town of Tilly-sur-Seulles, Normandy, France. It says that the apparitions are of the Virgin Mary and have continued for several months, and are thoroughly vouched for. It adds: -

"The appearances, which seldom or never resemble each other even to the same voyants, always either ascend from the earth, as in the case of those of the Witch of Endor, or appear gradually bit by bit, first a leg, then an arm, and so on, at a slight elevation. All this is very queer reading.

"The trampled field of oats, the elm tree stripped of its branches by relic-hunters, the torn hedge protected by barbed wire and decorated with statues pictures, rosaries, pots of flowers and votive tapers, remain to testify to a belief in the supernatural not less strong than it was in medieval times."

Black and White, after quoting from the Croix du Calvados (the official organ of the Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese), that, "Altho it cannot doubt the fact of the appearances, it is inclined more and more to attribute them to diabolic intervention," adds: -

"If anything, this is calculated to lend them still greater interest in the eyes of the world which, at the end of the nineteenth century, shows itself especially ready to dabble in Satanism, crystal-gazing, astrology, theosophy, spiritualism and magic, both black and white. The chief points in favor of this clerical decision seem to be that one Vintras, who lived in an old mill, still standing on the banks of the Seulles, below the older village of Tilly, prophesied these apparitions about the year '30. Vintras was condemned as a sorcerer and incarcerated at Caen by request of Pope Gregory XVI. He claimed to have been 'inspired' by the Archangel Michael. Curiously enough, another 'prophet,' claiming to be inspired by another Archangel, Gabriel to wit, - namely Mlle. Cuedon, who has made a stir in Paris lately, and whom a certain Abbe declared to be 'possessed' rather than 'inspired,' prophesied these same apparitions at Tilly a fortnight before they began." Satan's motto seems to be, anything to deceive and bewilder humanity and to hinder the truth now due to them from reaching them. From an English Spiritist journal Light, we quote a recent statement of a seance, as follows: -

"At a sitting which was being held one evening at the invitation of a mother who had just lost a dearly loved son, amongst other phenomena a remarkable light was seen. It was in the form of a beautiful radiant globe, the center of which was a bright blue of great brilliancy. It was apparently an immeasurable distance away, the wall of the room offering no obstruction to those who watched it, and it remained for about half an hour, when it gradually faded from their sight.

"All present were filled with a sense of deep reverence and veneration. The control [i.e., The spirit controlling the medium] explained that this was indeed the Light of Christ, who, in verification of the belief which is now very generally held by Christians of every denomination, is gradually approaching this earth; and in fulfilment of His words, spoken nearly two thousand years ago, is coming to establish his Kingdom, the reign of universal love and brotherhood, amongst us.

"The control further said: 'Write thus to the editor of Light, Tell him that light is coming to all men. It grows brighter day by day. This light is the Light that should lighten all men that come into the world. Love is embodied in it. Truth is bringing it. Wisdom teaches it. Faith reveals it. Hope nourishes it. Justice craves for it. Glory attends it. Peace claims it. Power waits for it. This remarkable light is attended by hosts of angels; by dwellers in the spheres of the Blest; by mighty conquerors; by those whose sins, being scarlet, now shine radiant in this Light. Perfected good, perfected man, perfected light.

"Beautiful angels surrounded the medium. The Light appeared behind her; but she was pleased to know that the greatest glory shone when she spoke of Christ's power. Altho not herself viewing the greatest glory of the Light she saw it, far, far away, having a star like radiance."

Just as at his first advent the evil spirits acknowledged Jesus, saying, "We know thee, who thou art." "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?" and as they testified of the apostles, - "These be the servants of the most high God which show unto us the way of eternal life; so to-day, as we have seen, some of them will testify occasionally to the truth, commend Scripture Studies, etc.; but it is safe to assume that it is all for a purpose; as a "bait" for those who are interested or seeking light along these lines, to eventually lead them off into some gross darkness. Let us constantly remember that these deceptions will become so bold, and be apparently so backed by advanced truth that they will, "if it were possible, deceive the very elect." - Matt. 24:24-26.

Under such circumstances there is but one safe course. It is not to stand still with closed eyes, panic stricken: that will be impossible, very soon. It is to fully accept of Christ Jesus the redeemer, the ransomer of the race as your Savior and your Teacher, and to be controlled only by his spirit of truth expressed to man through his Word - the Bible. So doing you will be kept by the power of God from all the snares of the wicked one; for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that [obediently] believeth."

To what great dangers the people of Christendom are exposed we may judge when we remember that nearly all are laboring under the delusion of Satan, first enunciated to Mother Eve in Eden, - to her deception and fall. He then said, "Ye shall not surely die." He has kept up his side of the controversy since then,and the majority of God's people believe Satan's statement and disbelieve the Lord's word; - holding that no one really dies, but that when death apparently takes place the person is thereby made "more alive than ever." Believing that none are really dead, we cannot wonder that Christendom totally rejects the Bible doctrine that the only hope for a future life rests in God's promise of a "resurrection of the DEAD," and makes nonsense of it by claiming that it is merely a resurrection of the body that died - which the Apostle declares will never be resurrected - but a new body be substituted when the soul, the being is resurrected. - I Cor. 15:12-18 and 36-38

In evidence of the dangers along this line we note the fact that in a very recent issue of "The Ram's Horn," a radical orthodox journal of Chicago published on its outside cover a colored engraving representing a Christian mother with clasped hands, praying beside a little grave decorated with flowers, while just before her is shown the shadowy outline of her child approaching her. The editor of The Ram's Horn and his readers are like all other nominal Christians who neglect the teachings of God's Word on this subject; - just ready for Satan's delusions to ensnare them.

Note also the following, clipped from the Jan. 2, '97, issue of The Philosophical Journal (Spiritualist). Under the caption "Progressive Thought", the editor quotes from Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage's discourse of Dec. 6, '96, as follows: -

"Even Talmage has progressed from the old faith, and now believes in the return of the spirit to this world of ours after death. On December 6 he preached a Sermon at Washington on the 'Celestial World,' showing the employment of 'the departed' in that state of existence. In answer to the question: 'What are the departed doing now?' he said: 'That question is more easily answered than you might suppose,' and adds: -

"'Their hand has forgotten its cunning, but the spirit has faculties as far superior to four fingers and a thumb as the supernatural is superior to the human. The reason that God took away their eye and their hand and their brain, was that he might give them something more limber, more wieldy, more skillful, more multipliant.'

"Dr. Talmage says that the spirits, freed from the material body, are 'more limber, more skillful,' and 'are at their old business yet,' but with vastly improved faculties. He argues it thus: -

"'Have you any idea that that affluence of faculty at death, collapsed and perished? Why so, when there is more for them to look at, and they have keener appreciation of the beautiful, and they stand amid the very looms where the sunsets and the rainbows and the spring mornings are woven.

"'Are you so obtuse as to suppose that because the painter drops his easel and the sculptor his chisel, and the engraver his knife, that therefore that taste, which he was enlarging or intensifying for forty or fifty years, is entirely obliterated?

"'These artists, or friends of art, on earth worked in coarse material and with imperfect brain and with frail hand. Now they have carried their art into larger liberties and into wider circumferences.

"'They are at their old business yet, but without the fatigues, without the limitations, without the hindrances of the terrestrial studio.'

"In answer to the question as to what the physicians are doing, since they passed to 'the beyond,' he says they 'are busy at their old business,' and adds:

"'No sickness in heaven, but plenty of sickness on earth, plenty of wounds in the different parts of God's dominion to be healed and to be medicated. Those glorious souls are coming down, not in lazy doctor's gig, but with lightning locomotion.

"'You cannot understand why that patient got well after all the skillful doctors had said he must die. Perhaps Abercrombie touched him. I should not wonder if he had been back again to see some of his old patients. Those who had their joy in healing the sickness and the woes of earth, gone up to heaven are come forth again for benignant medicament.'

"Then he propounds another question, as to what all the departed are doing now - who in earth-life were 'busy, and found their chief joy in doing good.' He replies: They are 'going right on with the work.'

"John Howard visiting dungeons; the dead women of Northern and Southern battlefields still abroad looking for the wounded; George Peabody still watching the poor; Thomas Clarkson still looking after the enslaved - all of those who did good on earth, busier since death than before. The tombstone is not the terminus, but the starting-post.'

"He then concludes with this very emphatic language: -

"'To show you that your departed friends are more alive than they ever were; to make you homesick for heaven; to give you an enlarged view of the glories to be revealed, I have preached this sermon.'

"Without the slightest doubt then, Dr. DeWitt Talmage is a Spiritualist. He does not claim that cognomen, but he teaches the grand tenets of our philosophy and admits the consequent phenomena of the return of the spirit to visit mortals - spirit physicians to touch those given up to die by mortal physicians, and to heal them - to visit those in dungeons in order to relieve their distress - to watch the poor - to look after the enslaved - and in this work to be 'busier since death than before!'

"If 'the departed are more alive than they ever were' - as Dr. Talmage affirms in his closing remarks - then it is evident that he was correct in saying that 'the tombstone is not the terminus, but the starting post" - the 'door' to the higher life, the entrance to the state of endless labor, grand possibilities, and eternal progression.

"If Dr. Talmage thought more of these grand truths than of his clerical standing, he would frankly avow himself a Spiritualist.

"All the churches are rapidly becoming permeated with Spiritual philosophy, and soon must either add to their structural confession these grand and inspiring verities, or sink into oblivion in the twentieth century, when the cycle of evolution shall be completely rounded out."

Who can deny the logic of the Spiritualist editor in claiming Dr. Talmage as a Spiritualist, who refrains from fully acknowledging his identity? Who can doubt that the hundreds of thousands who read that discourse in the many journals which publish Dr. Talmage's discourses regularly, accepted every item of its poisonous, unscriptural suggestion as gospel; because in full accord with what they had been taught from other pulpits, and especially at funeral services? Alas! the millions of Christendom are ready, ripe, for the evil work of these seducing spirits.

Note the following hand-bill announcement of Spiritist performances and tests, given at Muskegon, Michigan, recently: it is in display type and illustrated etchings showing shadowy forms, etc. - and was sent to us through the Lord's providence just in time for a notice here. It reads thus: -

"Opera House, under the auspices of the Religiou-Philosophical Society of Boston, Mass., Sunday night, April 11, 1897.

"Spirit materializations, marvelous superhuman visions, Spiritualistic rappings, slate writing, floating tables and chairs, remarkable tests of the human mind, a human being isolated from surrounding objects floating in mid air. Behold the marvels of to-day! Reflect on the one great question of the hour: Is there a spirit land? and what is the destiny of man? Do you want to be convinced that there is a hereafter? Do you believe in immortality? Do you believe in a soul world? or do you believe that death ends all?

"Dr. Loyd Cooke, preeminently peer of spirit mediums, assisted by a number of mediums of note, on the open stage, will produce some of the most wonderful materializations ever witnessed in this country.

"The following are some of the tests that usually take place in the presence of these mediums: A table rises 4 to 5 feet and floats in mid-air. Spirit hands and faces are plainly seen and recognized by their friends. A guitar is played and passed around the room by the invisible power. Flowers are brought and passed to the audience by hands plainly seen. Bells are run, harps are played, and other tests of a startling nature take place in the presence of these wonderful mediums, if the conditions are strictly complied with.

"A night of wonderful manifestations! The veil drawn so that all may have an insight into the spirit world and behold many things that are strange and startling.

"The clergy, the press, learned synods and councils, sage philosophers and scientists, in fact, the whole world has proclaimed these philosophical idealisms to be an astounding fact. You are brought face to face with the spirits. A large piano is played upon without a living soul touching it. And many spirit forms upon the stage - sometimes eight or ten at a time - are proof positive of the genuineness of these mediums. They have been three years developing for the special purpose of demonstrating the facts of spirit power in full gas light!

"The invisible powers are constantly producing new and startling manifestations to convert the skeptical and strengthen the believer. Come and see for yourself. Take no one's word. Investigate and believe your own eyes. Be guided by your own reason. Believe nothing you hear! Every man and woman has a right to see and think.

"Many ask: 'Is there any truth in Spiritualism?' If you should attend this seance with these new mediums, you would never doubt again that the spirits do re-visit the earth, and can be seen and recognized by their friends. They will stand beside you and shake hands with any one who will ask them. Remember, this seance is not like others you have attended. The forms seen here are not afraid of you, but will come so close to you that you cannot doubt their identity, and will satisfy you that they are not flesh of this earth. No one who has ever attended these seances can doubt the genuineness of these mediums. Remember, these are newly developed mediums, just arrived at this place, and are recognized by all that have seen them to have the most powerful circle that has ever been brought to this country. Not in darkness, but in open light. You feel their touch. You see their disembodied forms. In plain, open light! Every possible means will be used to enlighten the auditors as to whether these so-called wonders are enacted through the aid of spirits or are the result of natural agencies.

"Committees will be selected by the audience to assist, and to report their views as to the why and wherefore of the many very strange things that will be shown during the evening. This is done so that every person attending may learn the truth regarding the tests, whether they are genuine or caused by expert trickery. Doors open at 7:15. Commences at 8. A small admission will be charged.

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