Imperator's New Revelation

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Last revised: 14 December 2008

Contents

Imperator and His Exalted Circle

God Has Sent Me for a Special Work

Imperator and the “Seventh Sphere”
The Group that Works with Him
Angelic Help Available to the Group
Imperator’s Mission
Jesus Directs the New Revelation

The New Revelation

A New Revelation is Unfolding
On God
On the God Within
On Angels
On Humanity
On the Spirit World vs. the Physical World
On Human Duty
On the Relation Between Humanity and God
On Jesus
On the True Significance of the Life of Jesus
On Its Spiritual Symbolism
Spirit Life is Determined by the Outcome of Bodily Acts
On Sin and Its Correction
There is No Vicarious Atonement
We May not Save You from Personal Labour
On Natural Law
Life is Progressive
Our Progress Leads to and Culminates in Union with God
On the Life of the Progressive Soul: The Old Dies; the New Rises from the Grave
On Truth
On Prayer
On Worship
On Acts
On Faith
On Guidance
On Spiritualism, According to Imperator
On the Medium
On the Seeker
Estimating the Merits of Our Revelation
Our View is Pure, Divine, Ennobling

The False Shell of Orthodoxy

On Dogma in Earthly Theology
On Dogma in Spirit Theology
On The Nature of Revelation and the Character of Inspiration
Revelation is Progressive
A New Revelation Must be Made Slowly, Gradually
Not Everyone Accepts a New Revelation
Sometimes We Build on Faith; Sometimes Destruction Must Precede Construction
It may Take Long for the Harvest, but It will Come

From Earliest Times to Jesus

When God was Made in the Image of Man
From Melchizedek to Jesus
A Religion of Scribes and Pharisees
Errors in the Bible, Its Translation, and Its Interpretation
Alterations in the Conception of God

Other Religions

Each Religion has but a Fragment of the Truth
The Relevance of Other Religions
Significance of Certain Religious Occasions

Reviewing the Work

The Medium’s Development
Imperator Summarizes the New Revelation


Imperator and His Exalted Circle

Ed. I personally have found “Imperator’s” New Revelation to be so compelling that I have decided to devote a separate book to it. Imperator and his colleagues spoke through Rev. Stainton Moses (1839-1892), an English clergyman, beginning from the early 1870s. Imperator claims to have been the prophet Malachi in his last lifetime, responsible for assembling the Old Testament in the form in which it has reached us today. He is joined by forty-nine other exalted spirits who include Plotinus, Al Ghazzali, Hippolytus, and Alexander Achillini.

The first thing that struck me about Imperator’s teachings was the thorough renovation he carried out on western contemporary religion, tearing down the old and fabulous, salvaging what could be saved, and discarding the rest. Imperator claimed to be doing for the Christianity of today what Jesus did for the Judaism of his day. He laid bare the anthropomorphic views of God in the Old Testament and showed the impossibility of God being vengeful, bloodthirsty, and so on. He traced revelation from Melchizedek to Jesus and demonstrated the progressive nature of revelation. He showed the personal filter through which each of the prophets viewed God and revealed the extent to which each vision was partial and personal. Only one who had been a prophet in his day, it seems to me, could have done so extensive a reinterpretation.

There is often a marked contrast between Imperator’s speaking and that of the other members of his band. However, despite the often-detectable difference, Stainton Moses and his amenuensis (Mrs. Stanhope Speer) do not always identify the speaker. I have available to me no way of knowing with certainty who gave which teaching. Thus, it may be well to see “Imperator” as a group name, unless otherwise specifically stated, and not limit its reach simply to the individual, Malachi.

“Imperator” says that his mission is carried out in a group manner and explains how the process of communication often takes place:

In many cases the messages given you are not the product of any one mind, but are the collective influence of a number. Many who have been concerned with you are but the vehicles to you of a yet higher influence which is obliged to reach you in that way. We deliberate, we consult, and in many instances you receive the impression of our united thought. (1)

Though a communication may be signed by one spirit only, very frequently many are concerned in its production. As our teaching will be devoted to the rectification of theological error, and to the revealing of further Truth, many Intelligences will be concerned in revealing what they have special means of knowing. (2)

Imperator himself was not the spirit in charge of mentoring Stainton Moses or monitoring his actions on a daily basis. That task fell to the enlightened Sufi sage, Al-Ghazzali, known in the spirit circle as “Mentor.” Of Imperator, one unnamed communicator among his band states that “special individual control is not [Imperator’s] work. He rather directs general movements.”

He is one of the chiefs among the higher spirits, of whom but few return to you directly. Most of them impress their commands on intermediate spirits. Only for a great work do the higher ones return, and their work is of direction, control, plan, rather than of guiding the individual soul. (3)

The comments that “Imperator” makes on the conditions of life after death have been integrated into New Maps of Heaven. Here I am more interested in Imperator’s “New Revelation.” This book is more prescriptive than descriptive. The New Revelation frees spirit teachings from the trammels of contemporary religion and provides a realistic religious foundation for an understanding of spiritual realities.

Imperator himself would undoubtedly say that he is speaking to a generation in terms it can understand and at a level to which its understanding can extend. Perhaps in a few generations, Imperator’s “New Revelation” will itself need renovation to accompany the expansion in understanding that will have doubtless taken place. It is as much truth, I would think, as we can manage and understand, but, as Imperator would note, it is not, and never could be, the truth.

I am impressed with what Imperator and his group say. I have not heard anything yet that I care to dispute, either from my background in spirit teachings or in enlightenment studies.

Imperator says that he resides in the Seventh Sphere, but I have no Rosetta Stone that would allow me to correlate this numerical description of his location to, say, the naming system used by Theosophists. For the moment, I can merely present his words on locale with no explanation of my own.

There is a positivism about Imperator’s way of speaking that may offend some readers. Some may find it rather reminiscent of, well, an Old-Testament prophet (without experiencing the sense of the privilege we have in actually hearing one). Others may associate it with a shallow, positivistic way of speaking current in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which was destroyed in the world wars. If we can get below our own preference for a more relativistic way of speaking and accept that we are listening to a truly lofty soul, his gospel has infinitely much to recommend it. It is very deep. It is very revealing. It is a powerful corrective to matters that we often feel below the surface of consciousness, over certain parts of the Bible and outmoded laws and customs.

It presents the case for modern spirituality in a way that no ordinary human being could and in a way that no one prior to Imperator, to my knowledge, has presented it. Speaking for myself, I give Imperator’s New Revelation a place of honour among spirit philosophies as being the first globally-relevant and modern spirit teaching. It deserves to be placed squarely in the spotlight. Soon I hope to place alongside of it sections on Silver Birch, White Eagle and other exalted voices from the spirit side, who might not have received their ready reception were there no Imperator.

Footnotes

All sources used in this book are fully cited in the
Bibliography.

(1) Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.
(2) Loc. cit.
(3) Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.



God Has Sent Me for a Special Work

Imperator and the “Seventh Sphere”

I, myself, Imperator Servus Dei, am the chief of a band of forty-nine spirits, the presiding and controlling spirit, under whose guidance and direction the others work.

I come from the seventh sphere to work out the will of the Almighty; and, when my work is complete, I shall return to those spheres of bliss from which none return again to earth. (1) But this will not be till the medium’s work on earth is finished, and his mission on earth exchanged for a wider one in the spheres. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 22.)

(1) Imperator refers to what he calls the “Spheres of Contemplation,” beyond the “Spheres of Probation.”

When first controlling Stainton Moses, Imperator said he had been with him nearly all his life. At first he was in the sixth sphere, later in the seventh sphere. (Mrs. Stanhope Speer commenting on Imperator in Moses, MST, 5.)

After my ministry with him is over, I go whence I can never again personally return to earth. I shall only be able to influence through other spirits. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

During my earth-life I was a prominent actor in scenes of difficulty not unlike those which preceded the life of the Christ, and which are now recurring. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 87.)

Stainton Moses.asks as to the name of Malachi, given by Imperator as his earth name. Is it symbolical in any way?

No, friend, it is not so. What has been said is real, and not symbolical. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Imperator’s presence has always a most solemnising effect on the circle, and we feel in the presence of a great and very good spirit. …

Imperator’s conversation and prayer were so solemn that they left on our minds an earnest desire to do all in our power to advance the sacred work. (Mrs. Stanhope Speer, Moses’ amenuensis and a sitter in his circle, on Imperator in MST, 6.)

[The discarnate Bishop Wilberforce] describes Imperator: …

Imperator’s robe now is of dazzling white, as though composed of purest diamonds lit up by rays of vivid splendour. Round his shoulders he wears a vesture of sapphire blue, and on his head is a crown of glory set in crimson circlet. The circlet indicates his love, the vesture of blue is his wisdom, and the brilliant robe his exalted state of purity and perfection.

Stainton Moses: How magnificent! What is the crown like?

It is seven-pointed, and each point is tipped with a radiant star of dazzling brilliance. (Bishop Wilberforce in Stainton Moses, MST, 39.)

The crown which you see round the head of the Chief typifies his exalted state, his purity and love , his self-sacrifice and his earnest work for God. It is a crown which belongs only to the noblest and most blessed. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

The Group that Works with Him

During the time Imperator was entrancing S. M., and conversing, we saw a large, bright cross of light behind S. M.’s head, and rays surrounding it. After this, it culminated in a beautiful line of light of great brilliancy, reaching several feet high, and moving from side to side. Behind this column of light, on the floor, was a bright cluster of lights in oblong shape. These remained for more than half an hour. On asking the meaning of the lights, Imperator said the pillar of light was himself, the bright light behind him his attendants, and the numerous lights seen in the room belonged to the band. The light round S. M.’s head showed his great spiritual power. (Mrs. Stanhope Speer, Moses’ amenuensis and a sitter in his circle, on Imperator in MST, 6.)

Our council is finished, and most of us have betaken ourselves to our work. Imperator is still in the spheres, but he will return ere long. Imperator, the Chief, has work which draws him at times to the spheres. Special individual control is not his work. He rather directs general movements.

Does he hold a high place?

Yes, friend, he is one of the chiefs among the higher spirits, of whom but few return to you directly. Most of them impress their commands on intermediate spirits. Only for a great work do the higher ones return, and their work is of direction, control, plan, rather than of guiding the individual soul. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Under me is my deputy and lieutenant, Rector [Hippolytus], whose business it is to superintend in my absence, and especially to control the band of physical manifesting spirits.

Associated with him is a third high spirit, who is the inspiring spirit, Doctor [Athenodorus], the Teacher. He guides the medium’s thoughts, influences his words, directs his pen. Under his general superintendence there are the spirits of wisdom and knowledge, to be hereafter described.

Next come the guardians whose care it is to ward off and modify the baneful influences of earth, to drive away the hurtful, temper the painful, to shed around an influence. The inward yielding to evil can alone destroy their power. Yet again, there are two guardians whose care it is to ward off the evil influences of the spheres, the allurement of the lower spirits who would draw the medium from his allotted work and divert him from his sacred mission. These four guardians are my personal attendants, and these complete the first circle of seven, the whole band being divided into seven circles of seven spirits; each circle composed of one presiding spirit with six ministers.

The first circle is composed entirely of guardians and inspiring spirits—spirits whose mission is general and concerned with the supervision of the whole band.

The next circle of seven spirits is devoted to the care of love — spirits of love. Religion, love to God; charity, love to man; gentleness, tenderness, pity, mercy, friendship, affection; all these are in their charge.

They minister to the affections, inspire feelings of gentleness and mercy; love to God, the Universal Father; love to man, the common brother; tenderness for all who grieve; pity for all who suffer; desire to benefit and help all.

Next comes a circle — one presiding, with six spirit ministers — of wisdom. Under their care is intuition, perception, reflection, impression, reasoning and the like. They preside over the intuitive faculties and the deductions made from observed facts. They inspire the medium with the spirit of wisdom and drive away influences fallacious and misguiding. They plant intuitive wisdom.

Next in order is a circle which presides over knowledge — of men, of things, of life, whose charge is caution and comparison, of causality and eventuality, and the like. They guide the medium’s steps through the tortuous paths of earth-life, and lead him to practical knowledge, complement to the intuitive wisdom, of what is beneficial and profitable. To these kindred groups, wisdom and knowledge — which are under the general supervision of Doctor [Athenodorus], the inspiring Teacher — succeed:

A circle who preside over art, science, literature, culture, refinement, poetry, paintings, music, language. They inspire the thought with that which is noble and intellectual, and lead to words of refinement and sublimity. They incline to that which is beautiful, artistic, refined and cultured; which gives the poetic touches to the character and elevates and ennobles it.

Next comes a circle of seven who have charge of mirth, wit, humour, geniality and joyous conversation. These give the lighter touches to the character, the sparkling, bright side, which is attractive in social intercourse, which enlivens the word spoken or written with flashes of wit, and relieves the somber dullness of daily toil. They are spirits attractive and genial, kindly and lovable.

Last of all come the spirits who have charge of the physical manifestations, which it is thought right at present to associate with the higher message. This circle is composed principally of spirits on their probation under the guardianship of Rector, lieutenant of the band. It is his care to teach them and to allow them, by association with the medium and his circle, to advance from a lower to a higher sphere. These are spirits who from divers causes are earthbound, and who, by the manifestations which they are permitted to work out, are purifying and elevating themselves.

So you see the band divides itself into seven groups, each with its peculiar charge. Spirits of love, of wisdom and knowledge; spirits refined and noble; spirits bright and genial, who shed a ray of that light which is not of your earth on the drudgery of existence in a lower sphere; spirits whose privilege it is to progress from an inferior grade to one higher and nobler through association with you, to whom such manifestations as they furnish are yet necessary.

In all these various circles there are spirits who are progressing, who are giving experience and enlightenment, who are living the medium’s life, and mounting upward as he mounts; learning as they teach, and soaring as they raise him to their sphere.

It is a labour of love, this guardianship of ours, a labour which brings its own reward, and blesses us, even as we bestow blessings upon the medium and, through him, upon mankind. (Spirit leader “Imperator” in Moses, ST, 22-3.)

S.M., perplexed as to identity of spirits and names given by them, is told:

These names are but convenient symbols for influences brought to bear upon you. In some cases the influence is not centralised; it is impersonal, as you would say. In many cases the messages given you are not the product of any one mind, but are the collective influence of a number. Many who have been concerned with you are but the vehicles to you of a yet higher influence which is obliged to reach you in that way. We deliberate, we consult, and in many instances you receive the impression of our united thought. (Unnamed spirit teacher, member of spirit leader Imperator’s group, in Stainton Moses, MST, 51.)

We are Intelligences of varying degrees of power and capacity and development; of varying measure of influential and impressive power. So we have varying work proportioned to our varying powers. Some command; others yield obedience. Some preside over sections of the work; others work under their direction.

We are truthful and accurate in all things. We are the preachers of a Divine Gospel. We told you of an organised band of forty-nine spirits who were concerned in working out our plans. Though a communication may be signed by one spirit only, very frequently many are concerned in its production. As our teaching will be devoted to the rectification of theological error, and to the revealing of further Truth, many Intelligences will be concerned in revealing what they have special means of knowing. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

My teaching comes from my great Master, [Elijah] whom I see face to face, and he has his teaching from his great Master [Moses], I cannot yet enter into the spheres of Contemplation, but my Master descends to me, and has given me this mission. We are all links in a great chain which extends even to the Most High. The spirits who are under my direction receive their orders from me, and meet from time to time to hold converse with me. All is order with us, and self-will is not exercised with us. (Spirit Teacher Imperator in Stainton Moses, MST, 10.)

[Stainton] Moses continually asked for the earthly identifications of Imperator and the others. Imperator initially refused, informing Moses that revealing their earthly names would result in casting additional doubt on the validity of the messages. However, Imperator later revealed their names, advising Moses that they should not be mentioned in the book he would write. It was not until after Moses’s death that the identities were made public by A. W. Trethewy in a book, The Controls of Stainton Moses. Imperator was Malachias, the Old Testament prophet. Rector was Hippolytus and Doctor was Athenodorus. Imperator took directions from Preceptor, who was Elijah. Preceptor, in turn, communed directly with Jesus. Other communicators in the band of 49 included Daniel [Vates], Ezekiel, John the Baptist, [Theologus] (1) Solon, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Plotinus [Prudens], Alexander Achillini [Philosophus], Algazzali [Mentor], Kabbila, Chom, Said, Roophal, and Magus. (Mike Tymn to Brother Anonymous, E-mail, 15 March 2008.)

(1) The inclusion of John the Baptist separate from Elijah does raise questions. Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah who was to come:

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. (Matthew 17:1-3.)

And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. ...

Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:10-13.)

The identity of the communicators was only gradually disclosed and Moses was much exercised as to whether the personalities of the band were symbolical or real. They asserted that a missionary effort to uplift the human race was being made in the spirit realms and, as Moses had the rarest mediumistic gifts and his personality furnished extraordinary opportunities, he was selected as the channel of these communications. Like "Imperator'' and "Preceptor'' every member of the band had an assumed name at first. The biblical characters included the following names, as revealed later: "Malachias'' (Imperator), "Elijah'' (Preceptor), "Haggai'' (The Prophet), "Daniel'' (Vates), "Ezekiel,'' "St. John the Baptist'' (Theologus). The ancient philosophers and sages numbered 14. They were: "Solon,'' "Plato,'' "Aristotle,'' "Seneca,'' "Athenodorus'' (Doctor), "Hippolytus'' (Rector), "Plotinus'' (Prudens), "Alexander Achillini'' (Philosophus), "Algazzali or Ghazali'' (Mentor), "Kabbila,'' "Chom,'' "Said,'' "Roophal,'' "Magus.'' (WSMB, n.p.)

The spirit known as Daniel on earth was a very powerful medium, and an incarnation of a very high spirit. Great spirits are sometimes incarnated and re-incarnated, but this is the exception, not the rule. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Many of us have told you of our earthly identity, and have given to you proof that ought to be conclusive that we are fully acquainted with the earth-lives of those whose names we bear, even in the minutest particulars. If that is not convincing to you, if you reply that such information might have been gained by false and deceiving spirits, who might have gathered the facts for the very purpose of deluding, we point to the tenor of our intercourse with you, and remind you of the standards of judgment set up by Jesus Himself, “By their fruits shall ye know them.” “Men do not gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles.” We fearlessly refer you to the whole tenor of our teaching for proof that it is Divine. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 69.)

In all cases of yearning souls thirsting for true knowledge of God and of their destiny, the opinions of earth rapidly fade, and the spirit sees how baseless and unreal they were. It is only when there is no desire for truth that error is permanent. So you see, friend, that truth is the exclusive heritage of no man, of no sect. It may and does underlie the philosophy of Athenodorus, as he yearned after the refining of the spirit and the subjection of the flesh in ancient Rome. It was as really existent in the groping after union with his Master [Jesus] which enabled Hippolytus to endure the loss of earthly existence in sure anticipation of a real life, even though he only dimly saw its characteristics.

The self-same seeking after truth elevated and ennobled Plotinus, and raised him, even in earth-life, above and beyond the earth-sphere. It dwelt in the breast of Algazzali, in spite of the errors by which it was dimmed. It — the same blessed germ of Divine truth — lightened the speculations of Alessandro Achillini, and gave force and reality to the burning words which fell from his lips. The same pure jewel shines now in one and all of them. It is the common heritage which enables them to be banded together in a common work and for a common end — the purifying of that deposit of the truth which man has from his God, and the ennobling and elevating of man’s destiny by the outpouring of more spiritual views of God and of the destiny of spirit.

To them their earth-opinions are of little moment now. They have vanished long ago, and have left behind them no trace of the prejudice which clouded the soul on earth and hampered its progress. They have died and are buried, and over their grave no tear of sorrow is dropped. No resurrection awaits them: they are forever done with: (1) but the jewel which they once enshrined shines with ever-increasing lustre, and is imperishable and eternal. In its illuminating influences, in the aspirations which its presence inspires, lies the mysterious bond of sympathy which is powerful to unite in one work spirits who, in earth-life, were so apparently divergent in opinion.

This may serve to suggest for your consideration reasons why it may not be so strange as it now seems to you, that we should be now banded together for a common object, consecrated to a common work by one earnest desire to spread abroad the knowledge of a higher and purer religion, through an instrument chosen by us for special indications of fitness, of which we are the best judges. We are confident that continued thought will lead you to recognise the reasonableness of what we say. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 70.)

(1) Most probably, Imperator means that they need no longer reincarnate.

Angelic Help Available to the Group

We have but now returned from a great council of the angels and spirits of the blessed, wherein we have taken counsel and offered up solemn adoration to the Supreme. With one accord our voices swelled in an anthem of praise, and so we received the efflux of divine aid which shall support us in the conflict. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

We meet thus when we need support from mutual counsel, and from the efflux of spirit influence from those who are yet higher and wiser than ourselves. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

It is our custom, now and again, to join together in the praise of the Almighty. So we refresh our own selves, worn and wearied by the toilsome work of guiding erring souls. So we renew our power and gather fresh stock of gracious influence. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

If the eye of man could have seen the vast concourse of the shining ones, massed together for consultation, and for the reception of the larger efflux of the Divine Spirit, they would have been of good cheer. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Imperator’s Mission

I have left this earth a very long time [ago], and only returned to impress this medium. It is my mission. Very few spirits can return to earth from those distant spheres, but God has sent me for a special work. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

We are truthful and accurate in all things. We are the preachers of a Divine Gospel. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Our work is an organised missionary effort to disseminate Truth, without which the spiritual life of your world would die. Of religion there is but little amongst you, and what little there is has, in most cases, lost its power to influence life and action. The vitality has gone, and the appearance alone remains. As it was in the time of the Christ, so now. Men are anxiously looking for something that is to come. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

We have before us one sole aim, and that alone has brought us to your earth. You know our mission. In days when faith has grown cold, and belief in God and immortality is waning to a close, we come to demonstrate to man that he is immortal, by virtue of the possession of that soul which is a spark struck off from Deity itself.

We wish to teach him the errors of the past, to show him the life that leads to progress, to point him to the future of development and growth. (1) (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 162.)

(1) Compare with the mission of Sri Krishna:

When goodness grows weak,
When evil increases,
I make myself a body,
In every age I come back
To deliver the holy,
To destroy the sin of the sinner,
To establish righteousness.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 50.)

What you are now witnessing are the signs and wonders that prelude the opening of a new dispensation, the advent of the Lord, not as man has fancied and as your teachers have vainly taught, in bodily presence to judge an arisen humanity, but in His new mission (the fulness of the old), through us, His messengers and ministers, in the declaration of a new evangel to your world.

In those events which even now transpire among you we bear our part. It is our mission, under the sacred guidance of Him in whose name we speak, to tell to a world only partly able to bear it a new Gospel which, in after ages, shall take its place among the revelations of the Supreme to man, and shall be valued as the outcome of the past. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 167.)

Christ came to inaugurate a new era, to teach man simplicity and sincerity. What you now see is the dawning of a new epoch which will teach you higher and diviner truths from the spirit-world. It is no passing phase. It is part of our coherent plan to enlighten and develop man in a spiritual direction.

The present epoch is chiefly influenced by the operation of spirits from without, and a few progressed spirits are now incarnated on your earth. The spirit of Christ had never before incarnated on your earth. When exalted spirits are incarnated they have no remembrance of a previous existence. The incarnation of such is an act of self-abnegation, or what may be termed expatriation. …

Christ has passed into the spheres of Contemplation; but He may personally return when our work is completed. But much must be accomplished before the harvest will come, and the time of sowing and growth will be long.

Ye know not how great is the work that is being done; how vast the vista that is being opened. Never before has there been such an outpouring of Divine Love as now. Silent influences are at work in men’s minds. All over the world they are being prepared to receive the teaching we are giving you here.

Should it be necessary for the furtherance of this mission other great Intelligences will return, and bring their magnetic force to bear upon the earth. At present it is not needed, as the work is progressing. You are living in one of the remarkable epochs of the earth. The old creed must die before the new can be received; but it will die hard, as round it still linger the associations of many ages; but it is fast dying out, never to live again. Happy are ye, living in this age, and learning these new truths, if ye rightly appreciate and use the blessing. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

You ask if it is possible for us to reveal to you Truth, and say that the conflicting statements made by spirits lead to the idea that there is no such thing as exact Truth, and a waste of time to endeavour to arrive at it.

If by Truth you mean accurate and precise statements about matters which, from their nature, transcend human knowledge, then no doubt neither we nor any can reveal to you exact Truth, seeing that you are not capable of understanding it.

But if you mean, as you should, a higher revelation of facts which concern man to know, which will develop his intelligence, and raise him to an advanced plane of knowledge, then we have come for no other purpose than to reveal to you such Truth. It is the very object of our mission. We come neither to amuse nor to astonish, but only to instruct and develop. All that we do has for its end the revealing of higher and more extended views of Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Jesus Directs the New Revelation

SM: “Do I understand you to say that you act under the immediate authority of Jesus Christ?”

You understand aright. I have before told you that I was myself the recipient of influence from a spirit who had passed beyond the spheres of work into the higher heaven of contemplation. That Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. He is now arranging His plans for the gathering in of His people; for further revelation of Truth, as well as for the purging away of the years of error which have passed. He chooses His messengers in the spheres, and allows us to select our instruments. He is the head of this new endeavour. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MST, 32.)

“Have you ever seen Him? And the others?”

Yes, friend, I have seen both my Master [Elijah] and the great spirit [Moses], who was the mouthpiece of God to His chosen people. I have conversed with them, and have also received from them direct instruction.

But not till I became connected with my present work was I ever brought into contact with Jesus. Not till I was called to attend at a gathering of great Intelligences, for the very purpose of organising this movement in its future, did I ever see Him. So far as I know, He has never visited the spheres of probation until of late. (1) Nor have the exalted spirits whom I then saw. They have descended, I believe, for the first time since the era when Jesus was born into your world to work a similar work.

“To what meeting do you allude? You once said, I think, that Jesus had never returned.”

The meeting was one which took place at the time when I was absent from you, as you know. And I never speak with positive assertion save of that which I know. Jesus had passed beyond the sphere whose denizens operate directly with man. And it was not till necessity called Him that He came again to work out a further portion of the work which He began in the flesh. I do not know that He has even now manifested Himself on the earth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MST, 63.)

(1) Imperator’s acknowledgment that he had not met Jesus until the inception of his present project and that Jesus had never come down to a sphere of probation seem to suggest that Imperator does not reside in the Christ Sphere, where Christ is often seen. Therefore the “Seventh Sphere” where Imperator resides can safely be said not to be the Christ Sphere.

We continue to preach that same evangel [as that of Jesus]. By commission from the same God, by authority and inspiration from the same source, do we come now as apostles of this heaven-sent gospel. We declare truths the same as Jesus taught. We preach His gospel, purified from the glosses and misinterpretations which man has gathered around it.

We would spiritualise that which man has hidden under the heap of materialism. We would bring forth the spirit-truth from the grave in which man has buried it, and would tell to the listening souls of men that it lives still; the simple, yet grand truth of man’s progressive destiny, of God’s unceasing care, of Spirit’s unslumbering watch over incarnated souls. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 109.)

The New Revelation

A New Revelation is Unfolding

The days are approaching when a new ray of light shall be shed on this mist of human ignorance. This geographical sectarianism shall give place before the enlightenment caused by the spread of the New Revelation, for which mankind is riper than you think. They shall be made to see that each system of religion is a ray of truth from the Central Sun, dimmed, indeed, by man’s ignorance, but having within it a germ of vital truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 98.)

The time draws nigh when the sublime truths which we are commissioned to proclaim, rational and noble as they are, when viewed from the standpoint of reason, shall wipe away from the face of God’s earth the sectarian jealousy and theological bitterness, the anger and ill-will, the rancour and Pharisaic pride which have disgraced the name of religion, and have rendered theology a byword amongst men. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 98.)

You are gradually coming to know an Omnipresent and Omniscient Loving Father, and you will have a new revelation, which will blot out the old falsehoods and give you new ideas of God. The revelation, of which we are the bearers from the Almighty, will supersede all the old creeds and philosophies, and will give you Truth instead of fiction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

When [our revelation] does spread among men, and they can yield its precepts an intelligent obedience, we do not hesitate to say that man will sin less in hope of a cheap salvation; that he will be guided by a more intelligent and intelligible future; that he will need fewer coercive regulations, fewer punishments by human law, and that the motive-spring within him will be found to be not less forcible and enduring than the debased system of heavenly inducements and hellish deterrents, which can stand no serious probing, and which, when once rationally examined, ceases to allure or to deter, and crumbles into dust, baseless, irrational, and absurd. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 93.)

We teach religion of body and religion of soul; a religion pure, progressive, and true; one that aims at no finality, but leads its votary higher and higher through the ages, until the dross of earth is purged away, the spiritual nature is refined and sublimated, and the perfected spirit—perfected through suffering and toil and experience—is presented in glorified purity before the very footstool of its God. In this religion you will find no place for sloth and carelessness. The note of spirit-teaching is earnestness and zeal. In it you will find no shirking of the consequences of acts. / Such shirking is impossible. (Spirit leader Imperator in SRE, 22-3.)

The time is far nearer than you think when the old faith which has worn so long, and which man has patched so clumsily, will be replaced by a higher and nobler one—one not antagonistic, but supplementary—and the pure Gospel which Jesus preached shall find its counterpart again on an advanced plane of knowledge. For know, good friend, that no effort which, as this, is the plan of the Supreme, is entered on untimely, or with disregard of the correlation between God’s Gospel and man’s wants.

What comes to you from us is coming to others too. This is but one among many branches of one great plan. It will go on gradually and spread steadily among the children of faith who are fitted to receive it. The Master has so willed it. His time is not yours, nor is our vision circumscribed as yours. In due time the knowledge which we come to spread will be known among men. Meantime, progressive souls are being educated; precious seed is being sown, and the reaping and garnering shall come in their course. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 72.)

As it was in the days which preceded the coming of the Son of Man, as it has been in the midnight hours which precede every day dawn from on high, so it is now. The night of ignorance is fast passing away. The shackles which priestcraft has hung around struggling souls shall be knocked off; and in place of a fanatical folly, and ignorant Pharisaism, and misty speculation, you shall have a reasonable religion and a Divine Faith.

You shall have richer views of God, truer notions of your duty and destiny; you shall know that they whom you call dead are alive amongst you; living, as they lived on earth, only more really; ministering to you with undiminished love; animated in their unwearying intercourse with the same affection which they bore to you whilst they were yet [incarnated]. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 99.)

That which we present for your acceptance is the complement rather than the contradiction of the old; the growth to a fuller stature; the development of a wider knowledge. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 83.)

It is our task to do for Christianity what Jesus did for Judaism. We would take the old forms and spiritualise their meaning, and infuse into them new life. Resurrection rather than abolition is what we desire. We say again that we do not abolish one jot or one title of the teaching which the Christ gave to the world. We do but wipe away man’s material glosses, and show you the hidden spiritual meaning which he has missed. We strive to raise you in your daily life more and more from the dominion of the body, and to show you more and more of the mystic symbolism with which spirit life is permeated. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 108.)

Spirit ministers will be able to teach mankind the conditions under which incarnated souls should enter your world and how they should be trained when in it. All this belongs to the age which you are now entering. Many old prejudices must die, but the coming light will be as the blaze of the noonday sun, if only man’s obstinacy can be overcome, and man’s adversaries driven back. (Spirit leader Imperator in MSTTT, n.p.)

You are the recipients in no ordinary degree of a great development of spirit power. The spiritual sense is increasing amongst men, and, step by step, the presence of spirit agency is manifested. The wave of spirit influence now passing over your earth is analogous to that which passed over the world during the life of Christ. Happy for the race if the teaching now revealed be not hereafter adulterated, as was that which came through Him.

Those who now teach in His Name often preach doctrines quite unlike what He taught. The truth we are now bringing fresh from the Divine Source will meet with the fate that all truth meets with at first. The time is drawing near when men will receive it. We dread apathy more than opposition to our work. Dead, cold, lifeless indifference which care, not to question, and has not sufficient interest to doubt.

We were told that in such a democratic age it would not do (as in the case of the Christ) for only one prophet to be raised up. Now the truth was coming to many in many different ways, and what was suitable for one class of mind was unsuitable for others. We must all be prepared for great opposition; no new unfolding of truth ever came into the world without it. (Spirit leader Imperator in MSTTT, n.p.)

On God

We have not yet attempted to set before you an exhaustive outline of the religion which we desire to see rooted among men. This we propose to do now, so far as it is possible. We commence with God, the Supreme, All-Wise Ruler of the universe, who is enthroned over all in eternal calm, the Director and Judge of the totality of creation. Before His Majesty we bow in solemn adoration.

We have not seen Him, nor do we hope yet to approach His presence. Millions of ages, as you count time, must run their course, and be succeeded by yet again myriads upon myriads, ere the perfected spirit—perfected through suffering and experience—can enter into the inner sanctuary to dwell in the presence of the All-pure, All-holy, All-perfect God. But though we have not seen Him, we know yet more and more of the fathomless perfection of His nature, through a more intimate acquaintance with His works.

We know, as you cannot, the power and wisdom, the tenderness and love of the Supreme. We trace it in a thousand ways which you cannot see. We feel it in a thousand forms which never reach your lower earth. And while you, poor mortals, dogmatise as to His essential attributes, and ignorantly frame for yourselves a being like unto yourselves, we are content to feel and to know His power as the operation of a Wise and Loving and All-pervading Intelligence.

His government of the universe reveals Him to us as potent, wise, and good. His dealings with ourselves we know to be tender and loving. The past has been fruitful of mercy and loving-kindness; the present has been instinct with love and tender considerations; into the future we do not pry. We are content to trust it in the hands of One whose power and love we have experienced.

And we do not, as curious mortals please themselves with imagining, picture a future which has its origin in our own intelligence, and is disproved by each advancement in knowledge. We trust Him too really to care to speculate. We live for Him and to Him. We strive to learn and do His will, sure that in so doing we shall benefit ourselves and all created beings whom we tend; the while we pay to Him the honour which is His due, and the only homage which His Majesty can accept. We love Him; we worship Him; we adore Him; we obey Him; but we do not question His plans, or pry into His mysteries. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 111.)

We teach that there is one Supreme Being over all: one who is not manifested as man has fancied, but who has always announced to His creatures from time to time such facts about Himself as they are able to comprehend; or, more strictly, has enabled them to develop in their minds truer views of Himself and of His dealings. We tell you, as Jesus told His followers, of a loving, holy, pure God, who guides and governs the universe; who is no impersonal conception of the human mind, but a real spiritual Father; who is no embodiment or personification of a force, but a really-existent Being, albeit known to you only by His operations, and through your conceptions of His nature and attributes. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 91.)

We know more of the operations of His love—more of the operations of that beneficent Power which controls and guides the worlds. We know of Him, but we know Him not; nor shall know, as you would seek to know, until we enter on the life of contemplation. He is known to us only by His act. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 28.)

[Jesus Christ] had received conceptions of Deity far clearer than any which His followers have grasped; His religion was simple, plain, and earnest. His theology was equally plain. The cry to “Our Father who art in Heaven,” how widely does it differ from the elaborate dissertions on theology in which the Supreme is first informed of the character which man has assigned Him, and then is requested to act up to it with especial reference to the wants or fancied wants which the ignorant worshipper puts forward! God!

Ye know Him not! One day, when the Spirit stands within the veil which shrouds the spirit world from mortal gaze, you shall wonder at your ignorance of Him whom you have so foolishly imagined! He is far other than you have pictured Him. Were He such as you have pictured Him, were He such as you think, He would avenge on presumptuous man the insults which he puts on his Creator. But He is other, far other than man’s poor grovelling mind can grasp, and He pities and forgives the ignorance of the blind mortal who paints Him after a self-imagined pattern. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 77.)

We would speak of the true perception of God. Not as a personal being, human in His attributes save Omnipotence; not as a glorified humanity; but as the All-Pervading Spirit permeating the universe. Man is now ready to receive a more enlarged conception of God. We present to you a Deity Whose Name, as revealed in Love. Love, confined within no limits.

The notion of a personal Deity was the outcome of that idolatry which once pervaded the human race. To correct these errors is part of our mission. God is no Person. He is enthroned in no place, but is all-pervading, ever-existing: guiding and loving all.

Man in the body pictures a god confined by limits. God, so far as we have known Him, is not a limited personality, nor was He ever enshrined in a human body, or amenable to human influence. The Deity operates by general laws. Prayer is good, as by it man moves forces which act on those through whom God operates. It is good for all to pray. The hard, prayerless soul cannot be reached by the angel ministers. The heavenly messengers are always attracted to the praying soul.

On the one hand, we have to avoid the fatal error that seeks to reduce God to a Force; and, on the other, to guard against the anthropomorphic delusion which pictures a humanity with man’s failings and necessitates an insatiable craving for power. In early days man framed a god for himself, a human tyrant, yea, worse than man can be. God is really an informing, energising Spirit. He supplies the light and love that give beauty to all around you. The Divine Life is brought home to you in the life of Christ. God is not a force, nor the impersonal entity you call Nature.

Try and regard Him as the Informing Spirit, permeating all. The word Father is the true conception. Nature is not God, but a manifestation of the Supreme. The hand is not the body, but it is the manifestation of that which makes up the body.

The falsest views of the Great Father have obtained among His children. He has been regarded in the past as an angry God, Who was to be propitiated by tears and cries for pity: a God Whose pleasure it was to throw His children into eternal misery. The God that we know (not that we imagine), is a God of Love perfect and perpetual: love that embraces the erring and the good – a God Who looks down with pity on all His children; Who knows no distinction of race or clime, but is tender and loving alike to all who call upon His Name.

If man could see, as we see, the unresting love that tends and cheers the lowliest and most despised of His children; how, verily, legions of angels encircle those He loves; if, for one moment, their eyes could be opened to see the air around them filled with the legions of the shining ones – surely their hearts would be touched and their voices would break forth in praise.

Would that the so cold, stony heart of man, so utterly unresponsive to the influences from on high, could be touched by the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, and give forth the cry of praise to the Giver of all, the God of universal love. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

On the God Within

We propound to man no saviour outside himself. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Within the spirit-body dwells the pervading essence of Deity, and, by living much in prayer and meditation, and by the zealous discharge of active duties, the spiritual life may be developed, as that which is used becomes strong; this being universal law. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

You live, indeed, as we live, in a vast ocean of spirit from which all knowledge and wisdom flow into the soul of man. This is that indwelling of the Holy Spirit, of Whom it is said in your sacred records that He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. This is that great truth of which we have before spoken, that ye are gods, in that you have within you a portion of that all-pervading, all-informing Spirit, which is the Manifestation of the Supreme, the indwelling of God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

If there be nothing said of that external and formal duty which is made so much of by the Pharisaic mind, both now and heretofore, it is not that we do not recognise the importance of external acts. So long as man is a physical being, physical acts will be of importance. It is because we have no fear that sufficient importance will not be attached to them that we have not dwelt on this side of the question. We are concerned rather with spirit, and with the hidden spring, by which, if it be working aright, the external acts will be duly done.

We carry throughout the principle on which we have always dealt with you, of referring you back to that which is your true self, and of urging you to consider all you do as the outcome and external manifestation of an internal spirit, which, when you leave this sphere, will determine your future condition of existence. This is the true wisdom; and in so far as you recognise the spirit that animates everything, that is the soul of all, the life and reality which underlies Nature and Humanity, in all their several manifestations, are you actuated by true wisdom. This being the duty of man in such sort as we are now able to put it before you, we have now to deal with the results of the discharge of that duty, or its neglect.

He who fulfils it according to his ability, with honesty and sincerity of purpose, and with a single desire to discharge it aright, earns his legitimate reward in happiness and progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 113.)

Within the spirit-body dwells the pervading essence of Deity, and, by living much in prayer and meditation, and by the zealous discharge of active duties, the spiritual life may be developed, as that which is used becomes strong; this being universal law. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

On Angels

The ladder between Heaven and earth has always been, but man’s unbelief cut him off from the ministry of angels. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The angels, as of old they called them, ‘spirits’ as ye know them, who traverse the space between you and your God, bring down blessings from Him, while they carry up your prayers to His Throne. These are the steps between God and Man, the channels of influence. There is angelic influence round incarnated souls. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

We come to you as the exponent of the ministry of angels. The Great Father, mindful of His Children’s wants, sends them the angel ministry of consolation, guidance and love. From the eternal realms of glory we come to minister to mankind. Angels, spirits, friends passed before, (1) coming to minister to those left behind. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

(1) In my view, the three elements of Imperator’s group – angels, advanced spirits, and friends passed before, some of whom know Stainton Moses and his circle. All three play a useful role.

We desire to show you that God Himself is the center of influence, and that His influence, flowing through intermediary agencies, permeates humanity; and those influences (angelic, you call them) influence mankind. We wish to show you how the angelic influence surrounding the center of light diffuses itself round those it is able to reach; and how the Spirit of the Most High, traversing those channels, reaches all who are able to receive it.

Man becomes the means of disseminating the knowledge of which he is the unconscious recipient. Man may cultivate the power given to him and aid the work he is chosen for, fostering the dwelling of the Spirit of God among men. The power of God comes from on high, descending through the angel ministers, permeating His chosen messengers, showing men how they may be fellow-workers with God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

On Humanity

Man becomes the means of disseminating the knowledge of which he is the unconscious recipient. Man may cultivate the power given to him and aid the work he is chosen for, fostering the dwelling of the Spirit of God among men. The power of God comes from on high, descending through the angel ministers, permeating His chosen messengers, showing men how they may be fellow-workers with God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Of man we know more than we are permitted to tell, as yet. We are not charged to gratify curiosity, nor to open out to you views and speculations which would but bewilder your mind. Of the origin of man you may be content to know that the day will come when we shall be able to tell you more certainly of the spiritual nature, its origin and destiny; whence it came and whither it is going. For the present you may know that the theological story of a fall from a state of purity to a state of sin, as usually detailed and accepted, is misleading. Few, perhaps, even of those among you who have pondered on the subject, have not given up all attempts to reconcile with reason so distorted a legend. You may better direct your attention for the present to man’s condition as an incarnated spirit, and seek to learn how progressive / development, in obedience to the laws which govern him, leads to happiness in the present and advancement in the immediate future.

The far-off spheres, into which only the refined and purified can enter, you may leave in their seclusion. It is not for mortal eye to gaze into their secrets. Sufficient that you know that they unfold their portals only to the blessed ones, and that you and all may be ranked within them after due preparation and development. It is more important that we speak of man’s duty and work in the earth-life.

Man, as you know, is a spirit temporarily enshrined in a body of flesh; a spirit with a spiritual body which is to survive its severance from the earth body, as one of your teachers has inculcated rightly, though he erred in minor particulars. This spiritual body it is the object of your training in this sphere of probation to develop and fit for its life in the sphere of spirit. That life, so far as it concerns you to know, is endless. You cannot grasp what eternity means. Sufficient now that we demonstrate to you enduring existence, and intelligence existing after the death of the physical body. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 111-2.)

On the Spirit World vs. the Physical World

Everything has spirit underlying its substance. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The spirit-body is the real man; the earth-body being only its temporary clothing. The dead body of earth thrown aside leaves the real man with all his individuality untouched. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

You must learn to … view your external life only as the preparation for the inner and truer life. Ours is the reality, yours the shadow world. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

The spirit-body is the real individual; and, though for a time it is clothed with fluctuating atoms, its identity is absolutely the same when these atoms are dispensed with. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Spirit is the real substance; matter is only one of the modes of its presentation. You regard spirit as eminently insubstantial, vapoury and formless; it may be that mist will symbolise your idea. Spirit is a substance, having form and shape. So the spirit-world is real and substantial, surrounding and underlying the material world; organised of spirit substance in various grades and degrees, from the most impalpable vapour up to the densest solidity.

The realm of spirit pervades your earth, animates all things, and gives to animal and plant and vegetable its real existence. All that seems real to you is only the shadow of the true. The spirit is the life, the reality, the eternal and essential substance.

And just as spirit underlies man, so does it underlie and inform all matter. All forces that hold the world in place, and carry them in their orbits, are spiritual. Light, heat, magnetism, electricity, are only the outer coverings of one inner spiritual force. Spirit underlies all. The elements of matter can have no power to assume form and shape; one of the essential properties of matter is inertia. The marble cannot roll out of the quarry sculptured in human form. The action of spirit must be brought to bear on it before that can be. The law is but the external expression of the energising force. Wherever you turn you see evidence of spirit action, from the worlds that roll in space to the tiny fern. It energises all, and, by a subtle process of chemistry, distils from dew and rain and air and light the delicious juices and fragrances; and moulds the lovely forms to which you are so accustomed that you heed them not. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

What is nature? And what are her processes? You know not. You have erected an idol, and called it Nature, and labelled it with some formulae and called them laws; devices to conceal your ignorance.

Nature is spirit, and her laws are spiritual. All your material forms - vegetables, animals, minerals even - are the outer mask which encloses spirit. Man is a spirit and the spiritual holds together the corporeal. The fluctuating mass of atoms which form the physical body are kept in place and vitalised by spirit. When spirit is withdrawn, they fall into corruption, and pass into other combinations. Spirit is the man, and conversely, man, by virtue of his being a spirit, dominates all creation. He is in advance of all, being endued with powers which other created beings do not possess. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On Human Duty

As man discharges the duties of life, bodily, mentally and spiritually, so will he become happier and more God-like. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

It is a bounden duty in each to accept and act up to the highest view of Divine Truth which is revealed in him, and which he is able to accept. By this his progress will be judged. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156.)

This Being, temporarily enshrined in the body of earth, we regard as a conscious, responsible intelligence, with duties to perform, with responsibilities, with capacities, with accountability, and with power of progress or retrogression. The incarnated spirit has its conscience, rude frequently and undeveloped, of inherent right and wrong. It has its opportunities of development, its degrees of probation, its phases of training, and its help in progression if it will use them. Of these we have spoken before, and shall say more hereafter. For the present we tell you of man’s duty in the sphere of probation.

Man, as a responsible spiritual being, has duties which concern himself, his fellow-man, and his God. Your teachers have sufficiently outlined the moral code which affects man’s spirit, so far as their knowledge has extended, and has been communicable to you. But beside and beyond what they have taught you lies a wide domain. The influence of spirit upon spirit is only now beginning to be recognised among men; yet therein lie some of the mightiest helps and bars to human progress.

Of this, too, you will learn more hereafter; but for the present we may sum up man’s highest duty as a spiritual entity in the word PROGRESS —in knowledge of himself, and of all that makes for spiritual development. The duty of man considered as an intellectual being, possessed of mind and intelligence, is summed up in the word CULTURE in all its infinite ramifications; not in one direction only, but in all; not for earthly aims alone, but for the grand purpose of developing the faculties which are to be perpetuated in endless development. Man’s duty to himself as a spirit incarnated in a body of flesh is PURITY in thought, word, and act. In these three words, Progress, Culture, Purity, we roughly sum up man’s duty to himself as a spiritual, an intellectual, and a corporeal being. Respecting the duty which man owes to the race of which he is a unit, to the community of which he is a member, we strive again to crystallise into one word the central idea which should animate him. That word is CHARITY. Tolerance for divergence of opinion; charitable construction of doubtful words and deeds; kindliness in intercourse; readiness to help, without desire for recompense; courtesy and gentleness of demeanour; patience under misrepresentation; honesty and integrity of purpose, tempered by loving-kindness and forbearance; sympathy with sorrow; mercy, pity, and tenderness of heart; respect for authority in its sphere, and respect for the rights of the weak and frail: these and kindred / qualities, which are the very essence of the Christ-like character, we sum up in the one word Charity, or Active Love. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 112-3.)

We know naught of that sensational piety which is wholly wrapped up in contemplation, to neglect duty. We know that God is not so glorified. We preach the religion of work, of prayer, of adoration. We tell you of your duty to God, to your brother, and to yourself—soul and body alike. We leave to foolish men, groping blindly in the dark, their curious quibbles about theological figments. We deal with the practical life. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 53.)

Our creed may be briefly written:—

Honour and love your Father, God (Worship) [which is your] Duty to God.

Help your brother onward in the path of progress (Brotherly Love) [which is your] Duty to [your] Neighbour.

Tend and guard your own body (bodily culture)[;] cultivate every means of extending knowledge (mental progress)[;] seek for fuller views of progressive truths (spiritual growth)[;] do ever the right and good in accordance with your knowledge (integrity)[;] cultivate communion with the spirit-land by prayer and frequent intercourse (spirit nurture) [which are your duties to Self].

Within these rules is roughly indicated most that concerns you here. Yield no obedience to any sectarian dogmas. Give no blind adherence to any teaching that is not commended by reason. Put no unquestioning faith in communications which were made at a special time, and which are of private application. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 53.)

Awake and arise from the dead. Cast aside the gross cares of your lower world. Throw off the material bonds that bind and clog your spirit. Rise from dead matter to living spirit; from earthly care to spiritual love; from earth to heaven. Emancipate your spirit from earthly cares which are earth-born and unspiritual. Cast aside the material and the physical which have been the necessary aids to your progress, and rise from engrossing interest in the worldly to a due appreciation of Spiritual / Truth.

As the Master said to His friends, “Be in the world, but not of the world.” So shall those words of your Sacred Records be fulfilled in you: “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 167-8.)

The soul that gains most is the soul that keeps ever before it the work that has been allotted to it, which has laboured zealously for its own improvement and the benefit of its fellows, which has loved and served God, and has followed the guidance of its guardians. This is the soul which has least to unlearn, and which progresses rapidly. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 33.)

All vanity and selfishness in every form, all sluggishness and indolence, all self-indulgence mars progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 33.)

On the Relation Between Humanity and God

No one ever gets near to God; He sends spirits to act between Him and you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

As to the relation between man and his God, it should be that which befits the approach of a being in one of the lowest stages of existence to the Fountain of Uncreated Light, to the great Author and Father of all. The befitting attitude of spirit before God is typified for you in the language of your sacred records when it is said that the exalted ones veil their faces with their wings as they bow before His throne. This in a figure symbolises the REVERENCE and ADORATION which best become the spirit of man.

Reverence and awe, not slavish fear. Adoring worship, not cowering, prostrate dread. Mindful of the vast distance that must separate God from man, and of the intermediary agencies which minister between the Most High and His children, man should not seek to intrude himself into the presence of the Supreme, least of all should he obtrude his curiosity, and seek to pry into mysteries which are too deep for angel-minds to grasp.

REVERANCE, ADORATION, LOVE; these are the qualities that adorn a spirit in its relation to its God. Such, in vaguest outline, are the duties which man owes to himself, to his fellow, and to his God. They may be filled in by future knowledge; but you will find that they include within them those qualities which fit a man for progress in knowledge, and render him a good citizen, and a model for imitation in all the walks of life. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 113.)

On relations between God and His creatures we speak at large. Yet here, too, we clear off many of the minute points of human invention which have been from age to age accumulated round and over the central truths. We know nothing of election of a favoured few. The elect are they who work out for themselves a salvation according to the laws which regulate their being. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

On Jesus

We have told you … of the mission of Jesus, and of His present work among you through His messengers. We have shown to you the true Divinity, the real grandeur of the Lord whom you had ignorantly worshipped.

We have shown Him to you as He was, as He always described Himself, a man like yourselves, only the noblest of the children of men, the likest God, the truest and purest ideal of man’s perfection. If we have taken from the Christ the halo which a foolish and human creed had spread around Him, we have shown you the man Christ Jesus in divinest form, the full realisation of human perfection on this earth. His body has not indeed been raised, but He has never died, and in spirit He manifested to His friends, walked with them, as we may one day walk with you, and taught them of the truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 167.)

It is sufficient to say that the Incarnation of an exalted spirit for the purpose of regenerating mankind is not confined to a single instance. The special salvation which mankind derives from these special Saviours is that of which at the time it stands in need. These special Incarnations you will know more of hereafter.

For the present we say only that they are in degree different from that of ordinary men, even as among men there is every grade of nationality in the body: some gross and sensual, others refined and ethereal. The human body of Jesus was of the most ethereal and perfect nature, and it was trained and prepared during thirty years of seclusion for the three years of active work that the spirit had to do.

You err in supposing [the thought had crossed my mind, How disproportionate the preparation to the work!] that the work done by an incarnated spirit is to be bounded by the span of earthly existence. It is very frequently, as in the case of Jesus of Nazareth, the after-effect of the life that is the truest part of the work. So, though the work was begun during these three years, it has been carried on ever since.

It was the union of the majestic with the humble that was the note of His life. Majesty and meanness combined. The majesty shone out at seasons—at His birth, at His death, at intervals during His life, as at Jordan when the attesting voice of spirit sanctified His mission.

Men knew of Him, all his life through, that He was not as other men: that His life was not bound by social or domestic ties: though the harmony of the social circle was pleasant to Him. Men knew this: and your Bible gives you, in this respect, a most imperfect idea of the influence He exercised on all who came near Him. It dwells too little on the moral effect His words and actions caused, and too much on the ignorant misconceptions of the learned and respectable classes who then, as always, were bitterest foes of new truth.

The Scribes and Rulers, the Pharisees and Sadducees, were the ignorant foes of the Christ, even as your learned men and doctors, your theologians and men of science so-called, hate, and would persecute, the mission that springs from Christ now. When you come to write the story of our work, you would not seek for its records among such classes of men; and the fault is, that those who have given you the only record you have of the life of Jesus have insisted too much on His persecution by learned ignorance, and too little on the moral dignity of His life amongst those who lived with Him. They had not access to the original recipients of His teaching, and borrowed at tenth hand stories that were rife. It is as though, centuries hence, men should compile a history of these days from the current stories of society.

It is important to mark this. The life of Christ, so far as it was public, was comprised within three years and a few months. For that the previous thirty years had been a preparation. During all that time He was receiving instruction from those exalted angels who inspired Him with zeal and love for His mission. He was a constant communer with the world of spirit; and was the more able to drink in their teachings that His body was no bar to His spirit. In the case of most incarnate spirits, who have descended to minister on earth, the assumption of corporeity dims spiritual vision, and cuts it off from remembrance of its previous existence. Not so with Him. So little did His ethereal body blind the sense of spirit, that He could converse with the angels as one of their own order, who was cognisant of their life, and remembered His own part in it before incarnation.

His remembrance of previous life was never blunted, and a great part of His time was spent in disunion from the body and in conscious communion with spirit. Long trances, as you call the interior state, fitted Him for this, as you may see in some distorted passages of your records—the supposed /, for instance, or that which speaks of His habit of meditating and praying alone on the mountain-top, or in the Garden Agony. You may also detect by the light we now give you flashes of recollection of His state before incarnation, even, as He is recorded to have said, in the glory of the Father before the world began. There are many such.

His life, but little hampered by the body—which, indeed, was but a temporary envelope to His spirit, assumed only when it was necessary for the spirit to come in contact with material things,—was different in degree, though not in kind, from the ordinary life of man—purer, simpler, nobler, more loving, and more loved. Such a life could never be understood aright by those who were contemporary with it. It is of necessity that such lives should be misunderstood, misinterpreted, maligned, and mistaken. It is so in a degree with all that step out from the ranks, but especially with Him. Prematurely was that Divine Life cut short by human ignorance and malignity.

Little did men grasp the significance of the truth to which they carelessly give utterance when they say that Christ came into the world to die for it. He did so come: but in the sense of these enthusiasts, He came not. The drama of Calvary was of man’s not God’s devising. It was not the eternal purpose of God that Jesus should die when the work of the Christ was just commencing. That was man’s work, foul, evil, accursed. Christ came to die for and to save man in the same, though in a higher, sense that all regenerators of men have been their Saviours, and have yielded up bodily existence in devotion to an overmastering idea. In this sense He came to save and die for men: but in the sense that the scene on Calvary was foreordained to occur when man consummated his foul deed, He came not. And this is a mighty truth.

Had the full life of Jesus been completed on earth, what vast, what incalculable blessings would men have reaped? But they were not fitted, and they pushed aside the proffered blessings, having but just tasted them. They were not prepared. So with all great lives. Men take from them only that which they can grasp, and leave the rest for after-ages: or they push them impatiently aside, and will have none of them: and after-ages worship and revere a spirit [incarnated] too soon. This too is a mighty truth.

It is not permitted us, nay, it is not in the counsels of the Supreme Himself, to force on man a truth for which he is not ripe. There must be, throughout God’s universe, orderly progression and systematic development. So it is now. Were men fitted to receive the truths we tell of, the world would be blest with a revelation such as it has not had since last the angels shed on it the beams of Divine Truth. But it is not prepared: and only the few who have learned wisdom will receive now what future ages will drink in with gladness.

In this sense the Christ life was a failure during His existence on earth, and a potent vivifying influence among men afterwards. Guided by angel-influence, the Church, that bears His name, has gathered up the germs of truth that that life typified, though now, alas! long custom has familiarised men too much with the old ideas, and they have lost their chief power. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 170-1.)

You cannot realise the vast power which Christ possessed. The entire abnegation of self enabled Him to live as a God amongst men. His miracles were performed by the aid of angel ministers; and His ideas were concentrated upon one great purpose – devotion to the cause of humanity.

He was an incarnation of one of the Higher Spirits of previous long existence, and was filling a high position in the spheres. To Him all efforts for the benefit of man may be traced. His blessed influence irradiates many of the darkest spots on earth, and it will spread more and more as the spiritual faculties of men are opened to receive it. In His name we come; by virtue of His power we speak, and His blessing we leave with you, even peace, peace, peace. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

In the case of the Christ a high form of hitherto unincarnated spirit temporarily entered a body for the good of humanity, and to gain experience. Such as these are spirits from the higher spheres, sent forth with a mission to instruct mankind. They act also on mediums, and some of the largest views of Truth which have been poured into this medium’s mind have come from a spirit, ‘the Revealer of Truth,’ who has never been incarnated, and has instructed him while he has been asleep.

He does not remember this instruction, but is able to assimilate it. Such spirits as these would more frequently communicate if questions were not put to them about your world of which they are completely ignorant, for they can only impart spiritual knowledge. These spirits sometimes become incarnated of their free will; they accept as volunteers the mission of mercy, and, while incarnated, they lose their identity. . . . Many high spirits have incarnated themselves. They return to the spheres with increased knowledge of a peculiar phase of existence. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

We have led you to regard the Incarnation of Christ from a new point of view, and we will now enlarge upon this.

The Spirit of Christ was the highest that could descend to earth and He incarnated Himself in order to regenerate the human race.

All spirits are not incarnated on your earth, but there are some special experiences that can only be obtained on your planet. In all worlds there are capacities for spiritual development, and all of them are inhabited. From time to time the higher spirits descend and become incarnated in order to teach and elevate mankind. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Christ was sent into the world to inaugurate a new spiritual epoch, and He was chiefly influenced by a high spirit never incarnated. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

In the Man Christ Jesus the spiritual principle was most fully evoked, and fitly was He called the ‘Son of God’ in the language of Eastern hyperbole. The Son of God He was in the sense of being the most godlike of any who have walked this earth.

As in the case of the Buddha, the idea of Christ’s divinity did not arise till many years after His death. The prophet was exalted at the expense of the message which He delivered. He never claimed any such position as His followers have assigned to Him. He was the mediator between God and man in the truest sense for He was able to make manifest God’s Truth to the age in which He lived, and, through it, to succeeding ages.

Throughout His whole life He was in direct antagonism to the prevailing spirit of the age, and He met the fate all such must meet with; first maligned, then falsely accused, falsely condemned, and finally executed.

Legends you can put aside, but the beneficent life of Jesus, and the Gospel that He preached you must not put aside. The principle which underlay His teaching were Fatherhood of God, involving His worship; the brotherhood of man, involving the relations between man and man, the bonds which go to make up society; the law of worship and the law of self-sacrifice; namely, doing to others as you would they should do to you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

On the True Significance of the Life of Jesus

Jesus, when He lived amongst men, was a grand and magnificent instance of the highest self-abnegation and earnestness of purpose. He lived with you a life of pure self-denial and practical earnest work, and He died a death of self-sacrifice for truth. In Him you have the purest picture that history records of man’s possibilities. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 40.)

If you will read the records which so imperfectly record the earth life of Jesus, you will not find that He claimed for Himself any such position as the Christian Church has since forced upon Him. He was more such as we preach Him than such as the Church called by His name has made Him. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 55.)

It has been a long and very gradual work, and now we wish to carry you further, and to show you the ideal truth, spiritual, impalpable, but most real, which underlies all with which you are familiar.

We would strip off the earthly body, and show you the real, vital truth in its spiritual significance. We would have you know that the spiritual ideal of Jesus the Christ is no more like the human notion, with its accessories of atonement and redemption, as men have grasped them, than was the calf ignorantly carved by the ancient Hebrews like the God who strove to reveal Himself to them.

We wish to show you, as you can grasp it, the spiritual truths which underlie the life of Him who is known to you as the Saviour, the Redeemer, the Son of God. We would tell you of the true significance of the life of the Christ, and show you, as we can, how low and mean are the views of Him which we are striving to do away with.

You ask how the sign of the Cross can be prefixed to such teaching [as ours]. Friend, the spiritual truth of which that sign is typical is the very cardinal truth which it is our special mission to declare. The self-denying love which would benefit humanity even at the sacrifice of life and home and earthly happiness—the pure spirit of Christ, this is what we would declare to you as the godlike spirit.

This is the true salvation from meanness and self-aggrandisement, and self-pleasing and luxurious sloth, which can redeem humanity, and make of men the children of God. This self-abnegation and incarnate love is that which can atone for sin, and make man like to God. This is the true atonement! Not, indeed, a reconciliation of sin-stained humanity to an angry and holy God, purchased by the sacrifice of His sinless son, but a higher and truer atonement in the ennobling of the nature, the purifying of the spirit; the making of the human and the divine, ONE in aim and purpose:—the drawing of man’s spirit, even whilst [incarnated], up nearer and nearer to the Divine.

This was the mission of Christ. In this He was a manifestation of God: the son of God: the Saviour of man: the Reconciler: the Atoner: and herein we perpetuate His work, we carry on His mission, we work under His symbol, we fight against the enemies of His faith, against all who ignorantly or wilfully dishonour Him, even though it be under the banner of orthodoxy and under the protection of His Name. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 61.)

Much that we teach must still be new and strange even to those who have progressed in knowledge; but the days shall come when men shall recognise the oneness of Christ’s teaching on earth with ours; and the human garb, gross and material, in which it has been shrouded, shall be rent asunder, and men shall see the true grandeur of the life and teaching of Him whom they ignorantly worship.

In those days they shall worship with no less reality, but with a more perfect knowledge; and they shall know that the sign under which we speak [i.e., the cross] is the symbol of purity and self-sacrificing love to them and to their brethren for all time. This end it is our earnest endeavour to attain. Judge of our mission by this standard, and it is of God, godlike: noble as He is noble: pure as He is pure: truthgiving as He is true: elevating, and saving, and purifying the spirit from the grossness of earthly conceptions and raising it to the very atmosphere and neighbourhood of the spiritual and the divine.

Ponder our words: and seek for guidance, if not through us, then through Him who sent us, even as, in earlier days, He sent that exalted spirit of purity, charity, and self-sacrifice, whom men called Jesus, and who was the Christ. Him we adore even now. His Name we reverence. His words we echo. His teaching lives again in ours. He and we are of God: and in His Name we come. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 61-2.)

His early life was, throughout, a period of preparation. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The Lord Jesus was controlled and animated by spirits who had never been incarnated. His influence permeates your world now, and all spiritual light comes from Him, reaching you through innumerable links connected in one vast chain of influence. It is rare for any high spirit to control directly as we are controlling now. In such cases the medium’s spirit must be considerably developed, and such mediums are rare. The control can be conveyed through a number of links; but when the medium is mentally undeveloped the higher spirits will not endeavour to influence him.

It is not possible for a spirit, as far progressed as the Christ, to directly control mediums on this earth. He was the immediate expression of a separate spiritual phase of the Divine Will. He has left no successor, nor will any ever spring from Him. His influence is entirely devoted to the enlightenment of your globe, for to each globe is assigned its own source of spiritual light. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

You cannot realise the vast power which Christ possessed. The entire abnegation of self enabled Him to live as a God amongst men. His miracles were performed by the aid of angel ministers; and His ideas were concentrated upon one great purpose–devotion to the cause of humanity.

He was an incarnation of one of the Higher Spirits of previous long existence, and was filling a high position in the spheres. To Him all efforts for the benefit of man may be traced. His blessed influence irradiates many of the darkest spots on earth, and it will spread more and more as the spiritual faculties of men are opened to receive it. In His name we come; by virtue of His power we speak, and His blessing we leave with you, even peace, peace, peace.

In the case of the Christ a high form of hitherto unincarnated spirit temporarily entered a body for the good of humanity, and to gain experience. Such as these are spirits from the higher spheres, sent forth with a mission to instruct mankind. They act also on mediums, and some of the largest views of Truth which have been poured into this medium’s mind have come from a spirit, ‘the Revealer of Truth,’ who has never been incarnated, and has instructed him while he has been asleep. He does not remember this instruction, but is able to assimilate it. Such spirits as these would more frequently communicate if questions were not put to them about your world of which they are completely ignorant, for they can only / impart spiritual knowledge. These spirits sometimes become incarnated of their free will; they accept as volunteers the mission of mercy, and, while incarnated, they lose their identity. . . . Many high spirits have incarnated themselves. They return to the spheres with increased knowledge of a peculiar phase of existence.

We have led you to regard the Incarnation of Christ from a new point of view, and we will now enlarge upon this.

The Spirit of Christ was the highest that could descend to earth and He incarnated Himself in order to regenerate the human race.

All spirits are not incarnated on your earth, but there are some special experiences that can only be obtained on your planet. In all worlds there are capacities for spiritual development, and all of them are inhabited. From time to time the higher spirits descend and become incarnated in order to teach and elevate mankind.

Christ came to inaugurate a new era, to teach man simplicity and sincerity. What you now see is the dawning of a new epoch which will teach you higher and diviner truths from the spirit-world. It is no passing phase. It is part of our coherent plan to enlighten and develop man in a spiritual direction. The present epoch is chiefly influenced by the operation of spirits from without, and a few progressed spirits are now incarnated on your earth. The spirit of Christ had never before incarnated on your earth. When exalted spirits are incarnated they have no remembrance of a previous existence. (In Spirit Teachings, p 251, Imperator says the Christ was an exception to this law.) The incarnation of such is an act of self-abnegation, or what may be termed expatriation. … Christ has passed into the spheres of Contemplation; but He may personally return when our work is completed. But much must be accomplished before the harvest will come, and the time of sowing and growth will be long. Ye know not how great is the work that is being done; how vast the vista that is being opened. Never before has there been such an outpouring of Divine Love as now. Silent influences are at work in men’s minds. All over the world they are being prepared to receive the teaching we are giving you here. Should it be necessary for the furtherance of this mission other great Intelligences will return, and bring their magnetic force to bear upon the earth. At present it is not needed, as the work is progressing. You are living in one of the remarkable epochs of the earth. The old creed must die before the new can be received; but it will die hard, as round it still linger the associations of many ages; but it is fast dying out, never to live again. Happy are ye, living in this age, and learning these new truths, if ye rightly appreciate and use the blessing. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MST, 13-4.)

You inquire from us what position we assign Jesus the Christ. We are … careful [not] to enter into curious comparisons between different teachers who, in different ages, have been sent from God. The time is not yet come for that; but this we know, that no spirit more pure, more godlike, more noble, more blessing and more blessed, ever descended to find a home on your earth. None more worthily earned by a life of self-sacrificing love the adoring reverence and devotion to mankind. None bestowed more blessings on humanity; none wrought a greater work for God. It is not necessary that we should enter into curious comparisons between God’s great teachers. Rather would we give to all the meed of praise that is their due, and hold up the example of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and love to the imitation of a generation which sadly needs such a pattern.

Had men devoted their energies to the imitation of the simplicity and sincerity, the loving toil and earnest purpose, the self-sacrifice and purity of thought and life which elevated and distinguished the Christ, they had wrangled less of His nature, and had wasted fewer words upon useless metaphysical sophistries. Those of your theologians who dwelt in the days of darkness, and who have left to you an accursed heritage in their idle and foolish speculations, would have turned their minds into a more useful channel, and have been a blessing instead of a curse to mankind. Men would not have derogated from the honour due to the great God alone, but would have accepted, as Jesus intended, the simple Gospel that He preached. But instead of this they have elaborated an anthropomorphic theology which has led them to wander further and further from the simplicity of His teaching; which has turned His name and creed into a battle-ground of sects; and has resulted in a parody on His teachings—a sight on which His pure spirit looks with sorrow and pity. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 73.)

Friend, you must discriminate between God’s truth and man’s glosses. We do not dishonour the Lord Jesus—before whose exalted majesty we bow—by refusing to acquiesce in a fiction which He would disown, and which man has forced upon His name. No, assuredly: but they who from a strict adherence to the literal text of Scripture—a text which they have not understood, and the spirit of which they have never grasped—have dishonoured the Great Father of Him, and of all alike, and have impiously, albeit ignorantly, derogated from the honour due to the Supreme alone.

Not we, but they dishonour God! Not we, but they, though they have the prescription of long usage, though their words be coloured by extracts from writings which they have decided to be Divine: and though in those writings there be found words which pronounce a curse on any who may disagree with what is stated there. We do not regard such curses save with pity. We do not labour to upset belief when it is a harmless error, but we can lend no countenance to views that dishonour God, and retard a soul’s progress. The attributing to a man of Divine honour, to the exclusion in very many cases of personal honour and love for the Great Father, is a mischievous error which derogates from the duty of man to his God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 74.)

On Its Spiritual Symbolism

You have learned how the life of the Man of Christ, Jesus, was a symbolic representation of the progress of spirit. It may be well that we remind you here of this symbolism.

Descending from His spiritual life in the spheres of bliss, the Anointed One came to your earth to fulfil His Divine mission. Veiling in human form the radiance of His pure spirit, He took a body in the manger of Bethlehem, and became man, with all the imperfections and frailties of humanity, subject to the sorrows, the temptations, the discipline through which alone progress is gained. In this read a type of the descent of spirit into matter as its sole means of progress. Spirit, existent in the ages past having won for itself the requisite development, descends to incarnation, so that by conflict and by discipline it may be purified and made fit for the progress it cannot otherwise gain.

Born thus into the sphere of humanity, the Anointed One became subject at once to persecution and assault from a Prince of the world. The powers of the sphere into which He came were arrayed against / Him, and sought to try and prove Him. The word went forth to slay the Anointed One because His royal claims were thought to be in conflict with the pretensions of the earthly monarch. A type this of the conflict that besets the incarnate spirit from the moment of its entrance into the sphere of earth. At the threshold of every new sphere of development stand, as we have told you, the guardians from whom the benefits to be gained by entering it are won only after wrestling and agony [i.e. as afterwards explained, conflict].

These blessings are not to be gathered idly and dreamily, without risk and strenuous labour. Were it so, the benefit would cease to be. It is in the conflict that the blessing lies, in overcoming the foes, in victory after the battle is over.

Lay it to your account that this is so, and that for the incarnate spirit there is always a persecutor who seeks to slay. Threatened by these enemies, the young child was withdrawn to Egypt, where He was safe, and where from a full storehouse He gathered in a rich store of knowledge. Egypt had been, since earliest days, the receptacle of mystic knowledge, and there was derived much of that mystic knowledge that the Anointed One displayed in after years.

You will not need to seek far for the significance of this type. Where shall the spirit, beset and threatened by the foes that throng around it, find its sanctuary at once and its armoury more surely than in the mystic lore stored up for it by those who have preceded it in trial, and have left for it records of their experience? In the Egypt of esoteric lore is that armoury whence the militant spirit may find power to overcome, thoroughly furnished and equipped for the conflict, instructed and edified by what it has learned.

For, be it known to you, the withdrawal to Egypt has a double significance. It is not only a retreat to a place of safety, but a sojourning in a school of instruction. The spirit that seeks to withdraw into the esoteric sphere of instruction, so as to be edified there, draws from the edification its spiritual weapons of conflict, the while it rests and refreshes itself in an atmosphere of comparative peace. Meditation, edification, growth to the full stature of the warrior—even as the Anointed One grew from puny childhood to the vigour of youth, and was edified in mind by the knowledge He acquired in proportion as His body increased in strength. He increased, as it is said, in wisdom and stature.

This closes a typical epoch in the symbolic life of the Anointed One. The seed-time closes with the commencement of the public life. The spirit that has nerved itself for the life of progress and for development during the time of incarnation beyond what is sought by the mass of its fellows is permitted to pass through a process of preparation, during which it receives so much of truth as it can assimilate, prior to the second period, as we may call it, of its life on earth.

You do not need to be told that it is an essential condition of spiritual progress that selfishness in all its forms be crushed out, that no gift be kept for private and isolated use, but that in all things the precept be obeyed, Freely ye have received, freely give. So that which has been given must be shared with those who seek to partake of it. The truth, in its exoteric form at least, must be proffered to the world; while the inner and diviner secrets must be cherished and kept pure, so that the soul may refresh itself in the intervals of conflict, as the Anointed One retired to the solitudes of the mountain-top, that He might commune with Himself in lonely meditation, and be refreshed by association with those who were not of earth.

For Him no / companionship then. His spirit soared too high, His associates were too exalted for the gaze even of His nearest friends, save one, who on many occasions was privileged to see the glories that surrounded the chosen Messenger of the Most High in His moments of chiefest exaltation. [This was afterwards explained as referring to Saint John, who, on many occasions not specifically named, enjoyed a near view of the glory of his Master.] Blessed in this respect are they who can journey with a kindred soul, and derive mutual support and joy from an earthly as well as a heavenly communion. The esoteric truth loses no bloom by such handling. The lamp shed no less light, and that light no less pure, because another eye beholds it, if only the eye be single and the sympathy sincere and perfect.

But it is rare that two can walk thus, even if they be agreed, and there must always be, for those who aspire, the mountain-top of silent reverence and prayer, to which they resort alone, knowing that for each there is the peculiar path which it is necessary for his feet to tread.

The life of instruction, complemented by the life of aspiration, prepares for the public life of ministration. When the Anointed One came forth from the seclusion of His preparatory training, instructed in the wisdom of Egypt, and nurtured in silent meditation, clothed in purity, animated by charity, instinct with zeal, He went forth to His people to preach the gospel He had learned.

There glowed within Him a holy boldness for the truth, but He was no iconoclast. Not to destroy, but to fulfil, was His aim. Not to lay desolate and to waste, but to plough, and to till, and to sow the seed, so that the crop might spring up, and the desert and the waste place might blossom and be glad. The materials ready at hand were used, the dross was purged away, and the lifeless ceremony, touched by the magic of His word of truth, was transmuted into the symbolism of a living verity.

The dry bones lived, the spirit returned to the corpse, the dead arose and stood upon their feet. In all this, be it observed by the faithful watcher, there was no rude severance, no harsh closing of an epoch, no gulf between the present and the past. All was transition and gradual awakening, just as it is in Nature now. There is no rude severance between the death and the resurrection of the year.

You hardly know what power has rolled away the stone from the sepulchre in which the year lay buried. One day all is cold, lifeless, cheerless, and you mourn over the glories that seem to be past and gone for ever, replaced by abiding gloom. But, by-and-by, the change comes, not by might, nor by power, as man sees, but by the potent spirit. The sun shines forth, and his rays unlock the prison-house in which the dead year has lain, and buds begin to peep, and flowers to lift their heads shyly and half in fear, and the emerald carpet grows beneath your feet, and the mantle of tender green is spread around, and behold! The dry bones live. The season of resurrection has burst upon you, or rather has grown upon you silently, a development of the dead past. It is Nature’s yearly parable of regeneration.

Read the lesson in the life of the Anointed One. When He came forth to teach His people wisdom, the whole of the spiritual life of the Jewish nation was cold and bare as the leafless tree in winter. The sap had ceased, it seemed, to flow. The branches were bare and gaunt, devoid of their seemly covering of leaves. The weary traveller should look in vain for fruit, or seek a stray flower to gladden his eyes. The death-plague was on all.

He came, the Anointed Messenger of God, the chosen Messiah, on His missionary labours, the Sun of Righteousness and Truth—the Son who was also the Sun, for there was / no difference there—shed His beams of enlightenment and warmth on those dead, dry, naked branches, and see the change!

Empty formalism glowed again with spiritual truth, cold precepts were vivified again into exuberant life. What had been said by them of old time gained a new and extended significance. Social life was elevated, reformed, ennobled. Religion was raised to a pitch of spirituality it had never reached before.

In place of selfishness there was taught charity; in place of formalism, spirituality; in place of ostentatious ritual, silent, secret prayer; in place of open parade of religion—the seeking to be seen of men—the seclusion of the secret chamber, the lonely communing between self and God. In a word, vulgar, empty, proud, unreal externalism was abolished and replaced by the meek, spiritual, aspiring life of the soul, the truest exemplification of which was not in the market-place, but in the silent chamber; not in the Pharisee, but in the Publican; not in the eyes of men, but before the searching scrutiny of the Supreme.

The parable of Nature and of the Pattern Life runs through the life of spirit too. Duly prepared, educated, edified with such knowledge as it has been able to acquire, the spirit that has passed its probation goes forth on its journey in the new life. The dead past of formalism, of externalism, it transmuted by the touch of spirit, and a new life opens. The veriest physical fact gains a new significance as the spiritual meaning that underlies it becomes plainer to the purged eye of faith. The bare boughs are clothed with the living green: the dry bones of externalism that lay apparently dead arise under the quickening touch of spirit, and live a new life.

It is not that the old is abolished; it is that it is transmuted. It is not that the duties of life are neglected: rather are they discharged with a quickened zeal and a more loving care. It is not that the weary round of toil is shortened: it is that its lengthened path is cheered and dignified by the spiritual significance of even the meanest act. Those dry and sapless forms of devotion that seemed so cold and dead that the soul has often cried in despair, “O Lord! can these dry bones live?” are found to be touched with life, and warmth, and reality, as the resurrection spirit quickens them.

The old forms that have served their purpose are regenerated into a life more suited to the new conditions. They live again with more than the old vitality, with a loveliness more spiritual than that of the past. They have renewed their youth, and it is seen by the spiritually-enlightened that no atom of truth can perish, but is renewed and re-combined as there is need of it in the laboratory of the Master.

And so the spirit shares in the general resurrection that surrounds it. It renews its life, soars to higher planes of knowledge, to teach to others the Divine methods of enlightenment, development, and growth. Not as man sees does it see: not as man acts does it act. Beneath the most unpromising exterior it sees Divine possibilities. The veriest cumberer it would not cut down, save in so far as pruning may facilitate growth, and the lopping off of dead wood may allow the young and living branches to find place.

Side by side with this public work is the unceasing esoteric life of growth in spirit, a life of aspiration and development, of communing with the spirit of truth, of rising more and more above the material and the earthly, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Anointed One. Silent spiritual growth is the source of public spiritual teaching.

The closing scenes of the earth life of the Anointed One carry their symbolic meaning too. It is the lot of a teacher who combats the prejudices of an age to incur the enmity, the scorn, the persecution, that is the world’s requital for unwelcome truth. You, who regard these records of the Pattern Life as a matter of / history, can see now how impossible it was that teaching such as His should meet with other fate than it did. That prosperous shams should have been laid bare without those who made gain by them being arrayed against the daring innovator—that pompous and pretentious Pharisaism should have been denounced in terms more vigorous than were bestowed on the Magdalene and the Publican without setting the Pharisee in outraged wrath against his accuser—that the national religion, with its cheap ceremonialism, and its easy path for those who could pave it with gold, should be reformed, and the path made easier for Publicans and harlots than for Scribes and Pharisees, without bringing down the wrath of those in place and power on the despised Nazarene, who dared to lay His impious hand on God’s own ark—this you can see to be impossible.

He was too pure and good to escape envy, too uncompromising and earnest not to provoke jealousy. His doctrines were too searching to be popular; His life precepts too spiritual to suit an age of luxury and ease. And so the age that could not receive the advanced truth crucified Him who taught it. The age of hollowness and impurity revenged itself on the pure and holy Son of Truth by hanging Him on the tree of shame between the representatives of crime.

So it was. So in many cases it is still in intent, if not in deed. There have been reformers who have meted out to an age, over which a wave of Divine enthusiasm has just passed, that aspect of truth which commends itself to them, and so have found acceptance for their message, and have won honour and renown in its preaching. There have been others, too, who have had more of the world’s wisdom and discretion, and so have been of higher service. But these are rare.

To most, as to the Anointed One, death comes with contumely and open shame as the reward of truth. Death to the teacher, but resurrection and new life to His teaching. It is not till the instrument is lost sight of that the value of the message is realised.

We need not draw out the parable at length. Hanging on the cross, the friends of the Christ were few indeed—a few women whose readier instincts and affections were true and firm in the hour of deepest darkness; and two of those who should have been nearest at hand, Joseph and Nicodemus, the two, be it known, who had made least open profession, and had even seemed most cowardly. All the rest were fled. The Teacher of new truth, the preacher of a new dispensation, where was He? Dead. And where was His gospel? Dead, too, to all appearance. None rememberd, none heeded it or Him.

But men judge hastily. None knew who rolled that stone from the tomb’s mouth, save that it was done by that might of Spirit wherewith ever and anon your world is regenerated, and death turned into new life. An angel did it; and the same power that opened that tomb and stirred its occupant whom men thought dead and buried out of sight availed to vivify His message, and to nurture it through evil and good report, until it dominated the nations, and became in its age a mighty engine of spiritual truth.

Turn now to the individual soul. Its lot is much the same. Whether its message of what to it is Divine truth is one that makes its impress on the age or not: whether, if it do, it be received as the needful word in season, or as the impertinence of a meddling innovator, it will, almost surely, have to make its way through conflict to acceptance. Such is the Divine method of sifting. And in proportion to the severity of that conflict will be the vigour with which it will be found to have taken hold of men. The roots will be all the deeper and firmer fixed in proportion as the ground above has been trampled down by contending feet.

Whether the life of conflict ends as did the life we contemplate, or whether feebler zeal or larger / discretion preserve the teacher from the same fate, matters little. The word of truth must pass through the conflict to final victory, even as the soul in its solicitude and isolation must contend with tempters and with foes till it becomes perfect through suffering, and wins the crown by the cross.

The life of the Christ during such time as He remained on earth after His resurrection was symbolic of the change that passes on the risen life of spirit. In the world, but not of it: moving in it as a visitor who conforms to but does not belong to it. He was animated by that most potent law of spirit which you may trace in all the ways of spirit-influence—the law of love. Whenever He appeared, whatever He did, this was the motive. The records left to you, both meagre and erroneous as they are, are yet sufficiently full to show this.

He fulfilled the law of love, and then ascended to His own proper sphere: no longer seen, but felt: no longer a personal presence, but an effluence and influence of grace. So the souls who voluntarily linger around your earth are those whose motive-spring is love, or they whose mission is animated by the same master principle. Personal affection or universal love are the motives that draw the higher spirits down to you.

And when the duty is discharged they too will ascend to the common Father and the Universal God. Be of good hope! You are too apt to fancy that truth is dead. When the cold dark days of winter are with you, you are chilled. You forget the spring that has dawned on many a winter past. You forget that death leads to resurrection, and on to regenerated life—life in a wider sphere, with extended usefulness, with nobler aims, with truer purpose. You forget that death must precede such life—that what you call death, so far as it can affect Divine Truth, is but the dying of the grain of seed which is the condition of abundant increase.

Death in life is the spiritual motto. Death culminating in a higher life. Victory in the grave, and through death. In dealing with spiritual truth do not forget this. In times of brightness and calm you may fear. When the air is stagnant and the heat scorching, when the moisture is dried up, and the fierce sun beats down with untempered splendour, the tender plant may wither and fade. And so in days of ease and smoothness, when all goes swimmingly, when all men seem to speak well of the Word of Truth, you may with good reason fear lest it fade, and its outlines be blurred, and its tone assimilated to the conventional fashion of the world. You may settle with yourselves that if all accept unquestioned the truth presented to them, then that phase of truth needs changing, and some stronger form is requisite.

But when it is born in conflict, be of good cheer, for by such birth-pangs man-children are brought forth, whose vigour and energy shall suffice to resist attack, and to carry on the Divine standard to a further vantage-ground. It was in some such sort that the life of the Anointed One began and ran its course to the final consummation. It is a parable for all time. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 175-80.)

Spirit Life is Determined by the Outcome of Bodily Acts

Yea; even the deeds done in the body have their issue in the life disembodied. Their outcome is not bounded by the barrier which you call death. Far otherwise; for the condition of the spirit at its inception of its real / life is determined by the outcome of its bodily acts. The spirit which has been slothful or impure gravitates necessarily to its congenial sphere, and commences there a period of probation which has for its object the purification of the spirit from the accumulated habits of its earth-life; the remedying in remorse and shame of the evil done; and the gradual raising of itself to a higher state towards which each process of purification has been a step. This is the punishment of transgression, not an arbitrary doom inflicted to all eternity by an angry God, but the inevitable doom of remorse and repentance and retribution, which results invariably from conscious sin. This is the lash of punishment, but it is not laid on by a vengeful Deity; a loving Father leads his child to see and remedy his fault.

Similarly, reward is no sensuous ease in a heaven of eternal rest; no fabled psalm-singing around the great white throne, whereon sits the GOD; no listless, dreamy idleness, cheaply gained by cries for pity, or by fancied faith; none of these, but the consciousness of duty done, of progress made, and of capacity for progress increased; of love to God and man fostered, and the jewel of truth and honesty preserved. This is the spirit’s reward, and it must be gained before it can be enjoyed. It comes as the rest after toil, as the food to the hungry, as the draught to the parched, as the pulsation of delight when the wanderer sights his home. But it is only the toil-worn, the travel-stained, the hungry, the parched traveller who can enter into the full zest. And it is not with us the reward of indolent, sensuous content. It is the gratification which has been earned, and which is but and additional spur to future progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 114.)

On Sin and Its Correction

Sin, in its essence, is the conscious violation of those eternal laws which make for the advantage of the spirit.

God cannot view sin as a personal injury. He regards it as we regard the offences of a child, which will bring sorrow and retribution in their train. Sin is not in itself any offence against the Creator. The punishment is not wreaked on a defenceless creature. Sin is itself its own punishment, as the transgression of immutable law. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Sin contains its own sting. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 51.)

In this religion you will find no place for sloth and carelessness. The note of spirit-teaching is earnestness and zeal. In it you will find no shirking of the consequences of acts. Such shirking is impossible. Sin carries with it its own punishment. Nor will you find a convenient substitute on whose shoulders you may bind the burdens which you have prepared. Your own back must bear them, and your own spirit groan under their weight.

Neither will you find encouragement to live a life of animal sensuality and brutish selfishness, in the hope that an orthodox belief will hide your debased life, and that faith will throw a veil over impurity. You will find the creed taught by us is that acts and habits are of more moment than creeds and faith; and you will discover that that flimsy veil is rent aside with stern hand, leaving the foul life laid bare, and the poor spirit naked and open to the eye of all who gaze upon it. (1)

Nor will you find any hope that after all you may get a cheap reprieve—that God is merciful, and will not be severe to mark your sins. Those human imaginings pale in the light of truth. You will gain mercy when you have deserved it; or rather, repentance / and amendment, purity and sincerity, truth and progress will bring their own reward. You will not then require either mercy or pity. This is the religion of body and spirit which we proclaim. It is of God, and the days draw nigh when man shall know it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 115-6.)

(1) A possible reference to the Judgment; a possible reference also to the fact that the acts of one’s life are discernible in one’s auras.

This mortal existence is but a fragment of life. Its deeds and their results remain when the body is dead. The ramifications of wilful sin have to be followed out, and its results remedied in sorrow and shame. The consequences of deeds of good are similarly permanent, and precede the pure soul and draw around it influences which welcome and aid it in the spheres. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52-3.)

Each act in this, the seed-time of your life, will bear its own fruit; … the results of conscious and deliberate sin must be remedied in sorrow and shame at the cost of painful toil in far distant ages; … the erring spirit must gather up the tangled thread and unravel the evil of which it was long ages [ago] the perpetrator. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 92.)

There is No Vicarious Atonement

In the case of the Christ, the general conception is that by a fiat of the Almighty there was born in a district of your world one who was an embodiment of the Almighty Himself, for the salvation of your race; which salvation was consummated by the summary execution of the vehicle of the Almighty! A crude idea indeed!

Nevertheless, the conception of the vicarious atonement is based on an essential truth; for what has been termed the Christian principle is the true salvation of everyone, and, in proportion as a man evokes his spiritual nature, he is guided and elevated by influences from without. (1) (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

(1) I.e., Christianity speaks a truth when it envisions a final “salvation,” or enlightenment, for everyone. See here for cross-spiritual validation that all will be “saved.” Moreover, Imperator says, that developed Spirits should interest themselves in the lives of those who evoke their spiritual nature is also a truth. Therefore, the theory of vicarious atonement is based on an essential truth, but is not true in its broadest outlines.

Bitter repentance and profound restitution are alone the result of sin. There is no hope of escaping the consequences of conscious transgression. We recognise none. Hysterical cries for mercy will never be rewarded by an immediate entrance into the presence of God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

No tears and cries can purify the soul. It must pass through a long course of remedial process. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Analyse this. (1) As you quote it, you imply that God sent His Son, of Whose existence you know nothing, into a life of degradation, that the outpouring of His blood might ransom from everlasting burning those who simply assented to the fact that such salvation was prepared for them.

Set aside a doctrine so cold, so hard, so bitter, and take the spiritual meaning that underlies Christ’s life and teaching. The pattern life is to you the model of what man may become, pure and holy, ennobled by suffering, and elevated by charity. To that life you may look; following it will rescue you from sin, and lead you to that which is noble. You err in following too closely the words of fallible men, or building on them an edifice the foundation of which is error, and the superstructure fallacy. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

(1) Dr. Stanhope Speer has just cited a passage that says that the blood of Christ cleanseth all sin and asked for an explanation.

The life of the Man Christ Jesus on earth was a pattern life, intended for the example of man. But, in so far as it was deemed to be an atonement by way of sacrifice for sin, this was foul falsehood, degrading to God, degrading to that pure and stainless Spirit, to whom such things were falsely attributed, and misleading to souls who rest on blind faith, and falsely imagine their credulity would be accounted a virtue.

One day you will wonder how such a baseless fable could have obtained credence. The Truth we are commissioned to declare will render all human inventions unnecessary. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

In all this you will see that we have dealt with man as a living intelligence, alone in his responsibilities, and alone in his struggles. We have not thought it necessary here to touch upon the aid ministered by guardian spirits, nor upon the impulses and impressions which flow in upon the receptive soul. We are concerned now with that phase of man’s existence which is open to your inspection, and which is manifested to your eye.

Neither have we made any mention of a boundless store of merit laid up for him by the death of the sinless Son of God, or of the Co-equal Partner of the Throne of Deity—a store on which he may draw at will to make up for his own shortcomings. We have not spoken of such an atonement of magical potency and universal application in answer to a cry of faith. Nor have we told you that a death-bed repentance has power to obtain for man—base, evil, grovelling animal as he may be— an entrance in the very society of God and the blessed ones, by the charm of imputed righteousness bought by vicarious suffering. We have not pointed to any such conception of a debased and foolish imagination.

Man has helps, powerful, near, always available. But he has no reserve fund of merit on which he can draw at large at the close of a lifetime of debauchery, sensuality, and crime, when he has drunk to the very dregs the cup of physical enjoyment, and so go straight to the holy of holies and the sanctuary of God. He has no vicarious sacrifice on whom he can call to suffer in his stead when his coward heart is wrung with fear at the prospect of dissolution, and his base spirit trembles at the prospect which remorse conjures up. Not for such base uses would any of the messengers come; not to such would the ministers bring consolation. They would let the coward feel his danger, if perchance he may see and repent him of his sin. They would let the lash be laid on, knowing that so only can the hard heart be made to feel. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 114.)

Yet for such, your teachers tell you, the Son of God came down, and died! Such are the choicest recipients of mercy! the most appropriate subjects for divine compassion! No such fable finds a place in our knowledge. We know of no store of merit save that which man lays up for himself by slow laborious processes. We know of no entrance to the spheres of bliss save by the path which the blessed themselves have trod; no magical incantation by which the sinner may be / transformed into the saint, and the hardened reprobate, the debased sensualist, the purely physical animal become spiritualised, refined, glorified, and fitted for what you call heaven. Far from us such blasphemous imaginations.

And while man feigns for himself such ignorant and impossible fancies, he neglects or ignores those helps and protections which encircle him all around. We have no power, indeed, to work out for man the salvation which he must work out for himself; but we are able to aid, to comfort, and to support. Appointed by a loving God to minister, in our several spheres, to those who need it, we find our power curtailed, and our efforts mocked at by those who have become too gross to recognise spirit-power, and too earthy to aspire to spiritual things. These helps man has ever round about him; helps which he may draw to himself by the mighty engine of prayer, and knit to him by frequent communion with them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 114-5.)

Stainton Moses: And the Atonement: What do you make of that?

It is in some sense true. We do not deny it; we do but fight against the crude human view which renders God contemptible, and makes Him a cruel tyrant who needed to be propitiated by His Son’s death. We do not detract from Jesus’ work when we disavow the false and dishonouring fables which have gathered round His name, and have obscured the simple grandeur of His life, the moral purpose of His sacrifice. We shall have somewhat to say to you hereafter on the growth of dogma until an assumption becomes established as de fide, and its rejection or denial passes for mortal sin. Were God to leave man to his own ends (1) it would be held to be a mortal heresy, deserving of eternal burnings, to deny that the Supreme has delegated to a man one of His own inalienable prerogatives. One great section of the Christian Church would claim infallible knowledge for its head, and persecute in life, and condemn in death, even to everlasting shame and torment, those who receive it or not. This is a dogma of late growth in your very midst; but so all dogmas have grown up. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 55.)

(1) I.e., were man seen to have free will.

We proclaim to you purer and more rational ideas than are contained in the orthodox notions of atonement and vicarious sacrifice. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 74.)

Imperator’s chief point is that a wrong conception of God’s attributes does affect our conduct on earth because we are taught to believe in the Remission of Sins to the penitent, through the virtue of Christ’s sacrifice and atonement. This doctrine Imperator vigorously combats in a score of passages throughout the book. It is difficult to select passages for quotation which do not run into the hundreds of words before the subject is covered, but here are some exceptions:

“Eternal justice is the correlative of eternal love. Mercy is no divine attribute. It is remission can be made save where the results have been purged away. Pity is Godlike. Mercy is human.”

Also: “We know nothing of the potency of blind faith and credulity. … We abjure and denounce that most destructive doctrine that faith, belief, assent to dogmatic statements have power to erase the traces of transgression; than an earth lifetime of vice and sloth and sin can be wiped away and the spirit stand purified by a blind acceptance of a belief, of an idea, of a fancy, of a creed. Such teaching has debased more souls than anything else to which we can point.”

And again: “Man makes his own future, stamps his own character, suffers for his own sins, and must work out his own salvation.” (Lord Dowding quoting Stainton Moses’ spirit communicator Imperator in MM, 107-8.)

We May not Save You from Personal Labour

We do not leave you [to grope blindly]. We help, but we may not save you from personal labour. You must do your part. When you have laboured, we will direct and guide you to knowledge. Believe us, it is best that you do this. In no other way can you learn the truth. If we told you, you would not believe us, nor would you understand. There is much outside of this question of the Christian revelation that you must look to; other Divine words; other spiritual influences; but not yet. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 139.)

On Natural Law

Immutable laws govern the results of deeds. Deeds of good advance the spirit, whilst deeds of evil degrade and retard it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

[Man] is governed by immutable laws, which, if he transgresses them, work for him misery and loss; which, also, if respected, secure for him advancement and satisfaction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

We would fain impress on you the paramount importance of obeying ever those unalterable laws which God has laid down for you, and which you violate at your own peril. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 32.)

Happiness we know is in store for all who will strive for it by a consistent course of life and conduct commendable to reason and spiritual in practice. Happiness is the outcome of right reason, as surely as misery is the result of conscious violation of reasonable laws, whether corporeal or spiritual. Of the distant ages of the hereafter we say nothing, for we know nothing. But of the present we say that life is governed, with you and with us equally, by laws which you may discover, and which, if you obey them, will lead to happiness and content, as surely as they will reduce you to misery and remorse if you wilfully violate them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

Life is Progressive

Life is unending and progressive. The soul never stands still; it must improve or retrogress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The law of Progress [is] invariable. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 46.)

Happiness is found in progress and in gradual assimilation to the Godlike and the perfect. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

Life, the totality of your being, is progressive throughout; and its early stages are but preparatory to its later development. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 138.)

Such is the life with us ever learning, teaching others and progressing onwards and upwards. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Our Progress Leads to and Culminates in Union with God

[The soul] is refined until the dross is gone, and the pure spiritual gold remains. We know not of its life in the inner heaven. We only know that it grows liker and liker to God, nearer and nearer to His image. It may well be, good friend, that the noblest destiny of the perfected spirit may be union with the God into whose likeness it has grown, and whose portion of divinity, temporarily segregated during its pilgrimage, / it so renders up to Him who gave it. These to us, as to you, are but speculations. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156-7.)

S. M.: You do not know what becomes of it then? Does it lose identity?

We do not know. It would naturally lose much of that individuality which you associate with independent existence. It would lose the form which you associate with personality. And the spirit would be proportionately developed, until it was fitted to approach to the very Centre of Light and Knowledge. Then, indeed, it might be that individual existence would be for ever merged in that great Centre of Light . . . . We only know that ceaseless progress nearer and nearer to Him, may well assimilate the soaring spirit more and more to His nature, until it becomes verily and indeed a son of God, pure as He is pure, stainless as His own immaculate nature, yea, perfect with some measure of His infinite perfection. This is our vision of glory; assimilation to the Divine; growth in knowledge and in grace; approach nearer and yet nearer to the Essence of created Light. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

S. M. feels that if the final cause of life is absorption into the Source of Life, it seems we toil in vain.

Life! What know you of it? Its very meaning is narrowed down in your mind to that miserable shred of existence which is all you know as yet. What know you of the future glories of being, which even in the surrounding spheres make being a blessing?

What can you picture of the existence of the higher realms where the emancipated spirit lives in union and communion with the godlike and sublime? How can you hope to picture the still grander life of contemplation, the very conditions of which are the reverse of all you now experience; where the avenues of true knowledge are indefinitely enlarged, and where self and all that cramps and binds is for ever lost: and where that which you now call individuality, personal identity, or some such synonym of self-hood, is gone for ever?

And if, when the countless ages which no finite mind can grasp are at last exhausted; when the fount of lower knowledge has been emptied of its contents, and the spirit has done with the things of sense, and has been perfected through labour and suffering, and been made fit to enter on its heritage of glory, and to dwell with the God of Light in the heaven of the perfected; if that loss of self-hood to you seem now annihilation, loss of individual existence, or absorption into the eternal Sun of Truth, what is that to you? Lower your eyes lest you be blinded.

Trust us, the knowledge gained by the journey of life, throughout its vast extent, will amply compensate for the toil of having existed. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

We say progress, because man is apt to lose sight of this enduring fact, that in progress man’s spirit finds its truest happiness. Content is, in the pure soul, only retrospective. It cannot rest in that which is past; at best it views the achievements of the bygone days only as incentives to further progress. Its attitude to the past is one of content, to the future, of hope and expectation of further development. That soul which shall slumber in satisfaction, and fancy that it has achieved its goal, is deluded, and in peril of retrogression. The true attitude of the spirit is one of striving earnestly in the hope of reaching a higher position than that which it has attained. In perpetually progressing it finds its truest happiness.

It is well that you recognise your own ignorance. It is the first step to progress. You are but now standing in the outmost court, far away from the temple of truth. You must walk round and round, until you know the outer precincts, before you can penetrate the inner courts; and long and laborious efforts must precede and fit you for eventual entrance within the temple. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 143.)

To ground on texts the doctrine of everlasting punishment is blasphemous and terrible; they are perverted and distorted statements which more or less reflect a modicum of truth. You have in your world the evil and the good. To say that any soul leaves your world fit, either by vicarious atonement or by personal holiness, for the society of the blessed and the Supreme, or fit for the fabled devil and accursed ones, is mere human invention.

You cannot roughly divide souls into bad and good, as each soul is in a state of progression, and is not fitted for either of these conditions. The great God does not gather round Himself spirits dragged up from the lower plane of progression (on which you now live), redeemed by the outpouring blood of His Son; nor does He hurl down into hell spirits whose worst faults have often arisen through unfortunate associations.

The man who leaves your world was born into it under conditions of which you know nothing, the victim of vices over which, most frequently, he had no control. Some spirits leave your world of whom we say they progress with excellence and rapidity; but they would tell you that the idea of immediate association with the Deity is the mere romance of a human mind. There is, indeed, a hell in the remorse for what has been lost. Material fire could have no effect save on your material bodies. (Unnamed Egyptian spirit in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Ye are spirits placed for a while in a garb of flesh to get training for an advanced spirit-life, where the seeds sown in the past bear their fruit, and the spirit reaps the crop which it has / prepared. No fabled dreamy heaven of eternal inactivity awaits you, but a sphere of progressive usefulness and growth to higher perfection. Immutable laws govern the results of deeds. Deeds of good advance the spirit, whilst deeds of evil degrade and retard it. Happiness is found in progress and in gradual assimilation to the Godlike and the perfect. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 65-6.)

We say progress, because man is apt to lose sight of this enduring fact, that in progress man’s spirit finds its truest happiness. Content is, in the pure soul, only retrospective. It cannot rest in that which is past; at best it views the achievements of the bygone days only as incentives to further progress. Its attitude to the past is one of content, to the future, of hope and expectation of further development. That soul which shall slumber in satisfaction, and fancy that it has achieved its goal, is deluded, and in peril of retrogression. The true attitude of the spirit is one of striving earnestly in the hope of reaching a higher position than that which it has attained. In perpetually progressing it finds its truest happiness. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 113.)

You know well that the whole existence is steadily progressive or retrogressive. The spirit incarnated in your world settles for itself its position after it has been freed from the body, by the deeds done in the body. According as they have been good or evil, they cause it to gravitate to a higher or lower sphere, or to a higher or lower state in the sphere for which it is fitted. When the place is settled it comes to pass that those who are entrusted with the mission educate it, and purge away false notions, and lead it to ponder on former sins, and so to desire to remedy their consequences. This is the first step in progress. The purification continues until the spirit has been so far cleansed as to rise into a higher state, and there again the process is continued until the spheres of purification are passed, and the spirit, refined and purified, rises into the spheres of education. There further knowledge is instilled; the soul is refined and made fit to shake off still more of the material, and to undergo a further process of sublimation. And this continues until the material is entirely purged away, and the spirit is fitted to enter into the spheres of contemplation. Then we lose sight of it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

There is no finality; none, none, none! And this applies not only to the fragment of existence which you call life, but to the totality of being. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 113.)

On the Life of the Progressive Soul: The Old Dies; the New Rises from the Grave

The whole course of the typical life of the Pattern Man is emblematic of the progressive development of the life begun on earth, completed in heaven (so to use your terms), born of self-denial, and culminating in spiritual ascension. In the Christ life, as in a story, man may read the tale of the progress of spirit from incarnation to enfranchisement.

Thirty years and more of angelic preparation fitted the Christ for His mission: three short years sufficed to discharge so much of it as man could bear. So man’s spirit in its development progresses through the course covered by the Festivals of the Christian Church, from the birth of self-denial to the festival of the completed life. Born in self-denial, progressing through self-sacrifice, developed by perpetual struggles with the adversaries (the antagonistic principles which must be conquered in daily life, in self, and in the foes), it dies at length to the external, and rises on its Easter morn from the grave of matter, and lives henceforth, baptized by the outpoured spirit of Pentecost, a new and risen life, till it ascends to the place prepared for it by the tendency of its earth life. This is spirit’s progress, and it may be said to be a process of regeneration, shortly typified by crucifixion and resurrection. The old man dies, the new man rises from his grave. The old man, with his lusts, is crucified; the new man is raised up to live a spiritual and holy life. It is regeneration of spirit that is the culmination of bodily life, and the process is crucifixion of self, a daily death, as Paul was wont to say. In the life of spiritual progress there should be no stagnation, no paralysis. It should be a growth and a daily adaptation of knowledge; a mortification of the earthly and sensual, and a corresponding development of the spiritual and heavenly.

In other words, it is a growth in grace and in knowledge of the Christ; the purest type of human life presented to your imitation. It is a clearing away of the material and a development of the spiritual—a purging as by fire, the fire of a consuming zeal; of a lifelong struggle with self, and all that self includes; of an ever-widening grasp of Divine truth. / By no other means can spirit be purified.

The furnace is one of self-sacrifice: the process the same for all. Only in some souls, wherein the Divine flame burns more brightly, the process is rapid and concentrated; while in duller natures the fires smoulder, and vast cycles of purgation are required.

Blessed are they who can crush out the earthly, and welcome the fiery trial which shall purge away the dross. To such, progress is rapid and purification sure. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 173-4.)

Begin within. The ancients were wise in their description of the enemies. A spirit has three foes—itself; the external world around it; and the spiritual foes that beset the upward path. These are described as the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Begin with self—the Flesh. Conquer it, so that you are no longer slave to appetite, to passion, to ambition: so that self can be abnegated, and the spirit can come forth from its hermit-cell, and live and breathe and act in the free scope of the universal brotherhood. This is the first step.

Self must be crucified, and from the grave where it lies buried will rise the enfranchised spirit untrammelled, free from material clogs. This done, the soul will have no difficulty in despising the things which are seen, and in aspiring to the eternal verities. It will have learned that truth is to be found in them alone; and, seeing this, it will maintain a deathless struggle with all external and material forms, as being only adumbrations of the true, too often deceptive and unsatisfying.

Matter will be regarded as the husk to be stripped off before the kernel of truth can be got at. Matter will be the deceptive, fleeting phantasm behind which is veiled the truth on which none but the purged eye may gaze. Such a soul, so taught, will not need to be told to avoid the external in all things, and to penetrate through the husk to the truth that lies below. It will have learned that the surface-meanings of things are for the babes in spiritual knowledge, and that beneath an obvious fact lurks a spirit symbolic truth.

Such a soul will see the correspondence of matter and spirit, and will recognise in the external only the rude signs by which is conveyed to the child so much of spiritual truth as its finite mind can grasp. To it, in veriest truth, to die has been gain. The life that it leads is a life of the spirit; for flesh has been conquered, and the world has ceased to charm.

But in proportion as the spiritual perceptions are quickened, so do the spiritual foes come into more prominent view. The adversaries, who are the sworn enemies of spiritual progress and enlightenment, will beset the aspirant’s path, and remain for him a ceaseless cause of conflict throughout his career of probation. By degrees they will be vanquished by the faithful soul that presses on, but conflict with them will never wholly cease during the probation-life, for it is the means whereby the higher faculties are developed, and the steps by which entrance is won to the higher spheres of bliss.

This, briefly, is the life of the progressive spirit—self-sacrifice, whereby self is crucified; self-denial, whereby the world is vanquished; and spiritual conflict, whereby the adversaries are beaten back. In it is no stagnation; even no rest; no finality. It is a daily death, out of which springs the risen life. It is a constant fight, out of which is won perpetual progress. It is the quenchless struggle of the light that is within to shine out more and more into the radiance of the perfect day. And thus only it is that what you call heaven is won. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 174.)

[Herein] is the struggle, as He Himself said, to be in the world, but not of the world. The high ideal is well-nigh impossible for those who have upon them the care of daily toil. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 175.)

Life is threefold: of meditation and prayer; of worship and adoration; and of conflict with the threefold enemy. The meditation is necessary to self-knowledge. It is an element of steady growth. With it goes prayer, the communion of the prisoned soul with the Father of spirits, and with us His ministers.

Worship and adoration, in any of the countless phases that the soul seeks out for itself, whether in silent solitude beneath the heavens that speak to him of his God, or in communion with Nature, the external and material manifestation of Deity, or in the solemn service of song within some stately temple which man has separated for God: or in the upward aspiration of the heart unuttered and unheard of man—in any or all of these ways the instinct of adoration divinely implanted may find its vent. These are the necessary helps for the sustained conflict. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 186.)

On Truth

All truth is mixed with error. The dross will be purged away. …

You will know one day that evil, as you call it, is but the reverse of good. You can have no unmixed good in your present state. It is an idle dream. Truth to you is relative, and must long remain so. Be content to crawl before you walk, to step before you run, to run before you soar. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in ST, 148.)

We look to the future with apprehension. We doubt our power to persuade men to rise above the material; and so long as that is not done, pure spiritual truth will make little way. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Even as the spirit soars in freedom from the body of death from which it has been emancipated, so does the enfranchised spirit, set free from the trammels of the past, soar aloft in liberty, the liberty of the truth which, Jesus said, alone can make man free. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 83.)

Honesty and fearlessness in the search after truth are the first prerequisites for finding it. Without these no spirit soars. With these none fail of progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 107.)

The minds of men cannot discriminate between Truth in the abstract and Truth in such portions as they are able to receive it. Truth is spiritual food, and must be suited to the mind and assimilated to its condition, just as food must be to the body. You must never forget that the mind of man is governed by the conditions of his incarnation, and that, until his spiritual faculties are more opened, he can only accept a certain amount of Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

No frame of mind is more pleasing to the Supreme than that which seeks earnestly and intelligently for truth; refusing mere dogmatic statements from whatever source they come; weighing all in the balance of right reason, and prepared honestly to accept the result. Far from wishing to quarrel with such a temper, we hail it as the evidence of a receptive and honest mind, which will not resign a former belief without substantial reason, but which, yet, is willing to learn new views of truth so they be authenticated by reasonable internal and external evidence.

Such doubts and difficulties are worth far more to us than the credulous frame of mind which gulps down indiscriminately all that comes under specious color; far, far more than that stagnant temper which no storm can stir, whose glassy surface no breeze can ruffle, and on whose impassive, uninterested content no word of spirit warning can make any impression.

We hail your doubts as the best evidence of our successful dealing with you; we welcome your arguments as the intelligent proof that you have seen the full proportions of the claims we make as the messengers of the Most High. Your difficulties shall be answered so far as we have power to answer them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 68-9.)

Ah, friend! religion is not so abstruse a problem as man has made it. It is comprised within narrow limits for the intelligence that is domiciled on earth. And the theological speculations, the dogmatic definitions with which man has overlaid the revelation of God, serve but to perplex and bewilder, and to involve the spirit struggling up to light in the mists and fogs of ignorance and superstition. The groping after truth which has been characteristic of the progressive spirit in every age has been but the same story, different, indeed, in detail, but identical in issue. As with the blinded eye of sense, so with the spirit that gropes blindly to the light. The mazes of superstition bewilder it; the mists of human ignorance close around it. It staggers and wanders on its devious way, now here, now there, now cast down to earth and trodden under foot by the adversaries, but rising anon, and with outstretched arms struggling onwards still. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 69.)

It is only when the veil is removed that the fog lifts; the speculations die with the body of earth, the opinions shift aside, and the purged eye sees what it has dimly pictured, and corrects by the quickened senses the impressions of earth. Then it sees how the germ of truth is at the base, helped in some to progress by a receptive mind and a clearer spiritual vision; hampered and clogged in others by a cramped intelligence and a debased earth-body.

In all cases of yearning souls thirsting for true knowledge of God and of their destiny, the opinions of earth rapidly fade, and the spirit sees how baseless and unreal they were. It is only when there is no desire for truth that error is permanent. So you see, friend, that truth is the exclusive heritage of no man, of no sect. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 70.)

None anxiously look who do not find in the end, though they may have long to wait—yes, even till they reach a higher sphere of being. God tries all: and to those only who are fitted is advanced knowledge granted. The preparation must be complete before the step is gained. This is an unalterable law. Fitness precedes progression. Patience is required. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 24.)

No doubt there is for you, in your present imperfect state, no such thing as absolute truth, as there is no such thing as absolute perfection. You surely do not expect that your eye can gaze undimmed into mysteries which dazzle the vision of the highest intelligences. Surely you do not hope that your circumscribed mind can grasp the Infinite and Incomprehensible; that which to us in remotest cycles shall still remain a subject of adoring wonder. The suggestion can but be born of ignorance caused by the imperfect state of development in which you now live.

For you truth must be variable, not to be grasped in its entirety, not to be viewed in minute detail, but seen only in shadowy outline through an encircling veil. We do not even pretend that we reveal to you absolute truth, seeing that we ourselves are yet ignorant, longing to dive deeper into much that is still mysterious. We do but give you such aid as we are permitted in shadowing forth for yourself conceptions of the Supreme, which are less widely removed from truth than those which have passed current among you as the immediate revelation of the Most High. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 91.)

The days will never come to your world when all equally will know of the truth. There will always be many for whom it has no charms, for whom it would be fraught with danger to tread the upward paths of progress, and who prefer the beaten track worn by the feet of those who have trod it through the ages past. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 187.)

So do not hope that the open vision will ever be the same to all. No such dream of equality is possible. Nor is it more desirable than possible. To some are given powers that can safely pry into mysteries which others must perforce avoid. These must be the leaders and guides among men. And those who are so called are they on whom lies the most solemn duty of personal preparation and earnest, life-long struggle with self, until it is dominated and subdued, and the free soul soars untrammelled. …

Do not be discouraged that so much of what most believe as truth seems to you hollow and uncertain. It is so. There are divers degrees of truth. From the many-sided crystal gleams are shot off in many directions. And it is not every soul that can receive even one ray of unclouded. To few, very few, comes more than a stray glimpse, and even that is filtered through many a medium, until its clearness is all dimmed. It must needs be so.

Hence the varied views of truth. Hence the divergent notions, the errors, the mistakes, the fallacies that pass current among you. Men think they see a momentary gleam. They grasp some view, enlarge on it, add to it, develop it, until the tiny light is quenched, and what was a ray of truth is distorted and destroyed. And so the truth is maligned, whereas it should be the imperfection of the intervening medium that is blamed.

Or, to take another view. That which came as the answer to the yearnings of some aspiring soul is deemed to be of universal application. The truth was so beautiful, so ennobling, so pure and holy in its essence, that it must surely be so to all. And the jewel is dragged out from its casket, and prepared for open exhibition. The lily is plucked from its stem, and paraded before men. And it loses it purity; its vitality diminishes; it withers and dies; and he to whom it was so fair, so lovely, wonders to find that it loses its freshness in the heat and dust of the world’s busy strife. He marvels that what was so pure and true to him in the heart’s secluded temple should seem tame and out of place when advertised to the world. He learns, if he is wise, that the dew of Hermon is distilled in the silence and solitude of the heart; that the flower springs up in the gloom of night, and withers beneath the noon-day beams; that truth, the holiest and purest, comes direct from spirit to spirit, and may not be proclaimed on the world’s housetop.

Doubtless there are coarse views of truth, rude blocks which man has hewn, and which all may use alike. These are the foundation-stones which every builder must use. But the richest and purest gems must be preserved in the spirit-shrine, and be gazed upon in silence and alone. So when John the Seer told of the jewelled walls and pearly gates of the Heavenly City, he spoke of the outer truths which all must see; but in the inner temple he placed nor jewel nor purest ray of light, but only the Presence and the Glory of the Lord. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 188.)

That which to you is Divine Truth is only that atom, that speck of the whole unbroken circle which has been cast off in answer to your cry. You needed it, and it came. To you it is perfection; it is God. To another it would be incomprehensible, without a voice to answer to his cry, without any beauty that he should desire it. You cannot parade it if you would. It would die, and its hidden charm would make no convert. It is yours and yours alone, a special creation for a special want, an answer from the great Spirit to the yearning aspiration of your soul.

This Truth will always be esoteric. It must be so; for only to the soul that is prepared can it be given. Its fragrance is too evanescent for daily common use. Its subtle perfume is shed only in the inner chamber of / the spirit.

Remember this; and remember too that violence is done to Truth by forcing it on unprepared minds, while harm, great and far-reaching, is done to those who cannot receive what is a revelation to you but not to them.

Moreover, remember that the pursuit of Truth for its own sake as the altogether lovely and desirable end of life is the highest aim of spirit on your plane of being, higher than earth’s ambitions, nobler than any work that man can do. We do not now take note of any of the vulgar aims that fill up human life. The struggles and ambitions that exercise mankind, born of vanity, nurtured in jealousy, and ending in disappointment—these are plain to view as Sodom apples.

But there is a subtler temptation to more refined souls—that of doing good to their fellows and adding another stone to the cairn that the pioneers of the past have raised. To them comes the desire to proclaim in accents of enthusiasm some truth which has taken hold upon their lives. They are possessed with it; the fire burns within them, and they speak. It may be a noble word they utter, and, if it meets the needs of men, it is re-echoed and taken up by other souls like-minded, and developed till men are stirred and benefited by it.

But it may be the reverse. The Truth, so true to one, is true to him alone, and his voice is the voice of one crying in the wilderness, a proclaimer of idle tales. He speaks in vain, and it had been well that he had saved his energies for the quest of Truth, and have learned more before he spake to men. It is well to teach, but better still to learn: nor is it impossible to do both. Only remember that learning must precede teaching: and be sure that the truth is one that man needs.

The student who dives deep into mysteries that enshrine Truth will not recklessly violate the seclusion in which alone she dwells at ease. He will tell of her beauties, and proclaim to those who have ears to hear the words of healing which his inner sense has caught from her lips: but there will always be to him a sacred reserve, a holy silence, an esoteric revelation too pure, too dear for utterance. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 188-9.)

The flesh must be subdued to the spirit before the aspirant can gain truth. The aspirant to true spiritual knowledge must be pure in all things, brave in spirit as well as body, single-minded in the search for truth, and self-contained. Purity, simplicity, singleness of purpose, and love of progress and truth; these conduct the aspirant to the domain of spiritual knowledge. But, for the impure, whose sensual nature dominates the spiritual; the selfish, who would use the knowledge for base ends; for these there is in the pursuit danger deep and real.

Many unstable minds are attracted to the mysterious. They fancy they would like to penetrate the veil from mere curiosity. They are vain, and would fain have power and knowledge which others have not; and so they seek to pry. To such is danger. To the truth-seeker there is none. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

You ask if it is possible for us to reveal to you Truth, and say that the conflicting statements made by spirits lead to the idea that there is no such thing as exact Truth, and a waste of time to endeavour to arrive at it.

If by Truth you mean accurate and precise statements about matters which, from their nature, transcend human knowledge, then no doubt neither we nor any can reveal to you exact Truth, seeing that you are not capable of understanding it.

But if you mean, as you should, a higher revelation of facts which concern man to know, which will develop his intelligence, and raise him to an advanced plane of knowledge, then we have come for no other purpose than to reveal to you such Truth. It is the very object of our mission. We come neither to amuse nor to astonish, but only to instruct and develop. All that we do has for its end the revealing of higher and more extended views of Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On Prayer

Ah! you know little what power you neglect when you omit to foster, by perpetual prayer, communion with the spirits, holy, pure, and good, who are ready to stand by and assist you. Praise, which attunes the soul to God, and prayer, which moves the spirit agencies—these are engines ever ready to man’s service. And yet he passes them idly by, and makes his hopes of future bliss rest on a faith, on a creed, on an assent, on a vicarious store of merit, on any shadowy, baseless figment rather than on fact. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 115.)

You know not in your cold earth atmosphere, so chilling, so repellent to spirit life, how the magnetic rapport between your spirit and the guides who wait to bear its petition upwards is fostered by frequent prayer. It is as though the bond were tightened by frequent use; as though the intimacy ripened by mutual association. You would pray more did you know how rich a spiritual blessing prayer brings.

Your learned sages have discussed much of the value of prayer, and have wandered in a maze of opinion, befogged and ignorant of the real issue. They do not know—how could they?—of the angel messengers who hover round ready to help the spirit that cries to its God. They know not of the existence of such, for they cannot test their presence by human science in its present state; and so, with crude effort, they would reduce the results of prayer to line and measure.

They try to gauge its results, and to estimate its effect by the compilation of statistics. And still they find themselves in difficulty, for though they grasp the shell, the spirit eludes their ken. Such results are not to be so measured, for they are imperceptible by man’s science. They are spiritual, varying in various cases: different as are the agencies at work. Frequently it is the unspoken petition which is not granted that is the cause of richest blessing to the praying soul. The very cry of the burdened spirit shot forth into the void—a cry wrung out by bitter / sorrow—is an unknown relief. The spirit is lightened, though the prayer is not granted in the terms of its petition. You know not why: but could you see, as we see, the guardians labouring to pour into the sorrow-laden soul the balm of sympathy and consolation, you would know whence comes that strange peace which steals over the spirit, and assures it of a sympathising and consoling God.

The prayer has done its work, for it has drawn down an angel friend: and the bursting heart, crushed with its load of care and sorrow, is comforted by angel sympathy. This, the magnetic sympathy which we can shed around those with whom we are in close communion, is one of the blessed effects which can be wrought by the cry of a human soul reaching upward to its God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 80-1.)

It is the spirit that is most spiritualised that alone can enter into the secret chambers where the angels dwell. It is to the soul that lives in frequent communion with us that we are best able to come nigh. This, friend, is invariable: another part of that unchangeable law which governs all our intercourse with your world. To the spiritual soul come, in richest measure, spiritual gifts.

Nor is it always the answer which man in his ignorance expects that is the truest response to his petition. Many times to grant his request would be to do him grievous harm. He has asked ignorantly, petulantly, foolishly: and his prayer is unheeded in its request: but it has availed to place his spirit in communion with an intelligence which is waiting an opportunity of approach, and which can minister to him strength and consolation in his necessity. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 81.)

Prayer to be real must be the heart-cry, spontaneous and impulsive, to friends who hover near. The fancy of a prayer to the ear of an ever-present God who is willing to alter unalterable laws in response to a capricious request has done much to discredit the idea of prayer altogether. Believe it not! Prayer—the spontaneous cry of the soul to its God through the friends who, it knows, are near, and are ever ready to catch up the unuttered petition and bear it upwards and ever upwards till it reach a power that can respond—this is no matter of formal preparation. It consists not in any act of outward show. It is not necessarily syllabled in utterance: far less is it trammelled by conventional form, or bound up in stereotyped phraseology.

True prayer is the ready voice of spirit communing with spirit: the cry of the soul to invisible friends with whom it is used to speak: the flashing along the magnetic line a message of request which brings, swift as thought, its ready answer back. It is the placing of a suffering soul in union with a ministering spirit who can soothe and heal. It needs no words, no attitude, no form. It is truest when these are absent, or at least unstudied. It needs but a recognition of a near guardian, and an impulse to communion.

To this end it must be habitual: else, like the limb long disused, the impulse is paralysed. Hence, it is those of you who live most in the spirit who penetrate deepest into the hidden mysteries. We can come nearest to them. We can touch hidden chords in their nature which vibrate only to our touch, and are never stirred by your world’s influences. ’Tis they who reach highest in their earth-life, for they have learned already to commune with spirit, and are fed with spiritual food. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 81.)

For them are opened mysteries closed to more material natures: and their / perpetual prayer has wrought for them this at least, that they live above the sufferings and sorrows from which it cannot exempt them, seeing that such are necessary to their development. Alas! alas! we speak of that which is little known.

Were this grand truth better realised, man would live in the atmosphere of the pure and elevated spirits. His spiritual attitude would drive from him the base and baleful influences which too often beset those who pry unbidden into mysteries that are too high for them, and which, alas! beset and annoy even the best at times. If it prevailed not to obtain exemption, it would provide protection, and do more to strengthen us than all else that man could do. It would avail more to sanctify the acts, to purify the motives, and to keep alive the reality of spirit communion than anything which we know of.

Pray, then; but see that you pray not with formality, heartlessly, and with unreal supplication. Commune with us in communion of the spirit. Keep a single eye to the issues of such communion as respect your own spirit. The rest will follow in due course. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 81-2.)

Questioned if it is right to pray to Jesus Christ:

It is quite right to pray to [Jesus] unless you can realise God the Father, the Eternal Spirit, dwelling in unsullied light. If you can do this, then pray direct to Him; but, if unable to grasp this idea of God, then pray to any intermediary agency you can realise, and your prayers will ascend to the Great Father through such agency. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The leaders of thought in your world have lost all faith in prayer. At this time it is very necessary; not merely conventional prayers, but a bending of the will, and asking the assistance of the higher spirits. Prayer must be the earnest cry of the spirit which knows it can bring a friend to its aid, and not mere recitation of a certain form of words. (Philosophus [Alexander Achillini] in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The present crisis demands earnest prayer; and by prayer we do not mean that curious recitation of ancient formularies which pass current among Christians as an address to the Deity. There need be no outward act; the cry of the troubled soul is enough to bring help and comfort in time of need. Prayer should be merely aspiration – the striving after a high ideal by means of the spiritual assistance of the guardians around you. Prayer does not reach within the Sphere of Contemplation. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

You must each ask God to guide you. If you trust to yourselves you will fall, fall, fall. (This was said in a solemn, impressive voice.) God never yet left a man who cried to Him for light and guidance – never, never, never. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Thou Adorable and Ineffable Creator, Sustainer and Guide of the spirit, Helper of all that cry to Thee, we approach Thee in confidence and trust, in the spirit of humility and love.

Father, receive Thy children who flee to Thee for succour. Tossed on the sea of doubt, bereft of rudder and compass, they have no help but in Thee. Thine is the power. Thine the love. O in the plentitude of that love stretch out Thy power to save them. Suffer the angels of comfort and hope to minister around them. Shed into their hearts the power of conviction and faith. May the rich stream of assurance flow into their spirits, uniting them in heart to those who, themselves unseen though not unfelt, minister to them, raising their souls to higher planes of progress, and fitting them for the reception of nobler and purer truths.

Spirit of Truth, inspire them! Spirit of Hope, enable them! Spirit of Harmony, dwell in their midst!

Oh, Loving, Tender Father, grant them the benediction of Thy Peace. Amen. The prayer, heartfelt and earnest, of Imperator S.D. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On Worship

Our worship consists in doing His work and will, helping to raise and elevate man. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

On Acts

We attach little importance to individual belief: that is altered soon enough by extended knowledge. The creed which has been fought over with angry vehemence during the years of an earth lifetime is surrendered by the enfranchised spirit without a murmur. The fancies of a lifetime on earth are dissipated like a cloud by the sunlight of the spheres. We care little for a creed, so it be honestly held and humbly professed; but we care much for acts. We ask not what has such one believed, but what has he done? For we know that by deeds, habits, tempers, characters are formed, and the condition of spirit is decided. Those characters and habits, too, we know are only to be changed after long and laborious processes; and so it is to acts rather than words, to deeds rather than professions, that we look. The religion which we teach is one of acts and habits, not of words and fitful faith. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 115.)

On Faith

You are mistaken in supposing your faith to be as strong as it will be. When enlarged and purified it will be a vastly different power from that cold, calculating, nerveless assent which you now call Faith.

The faith you now possess would pale and fade away before real obstacles. It has no hold upon your mind, is no factor in your life. In one way it would be strengthened by opposition, but a severe spiritual attack from the adversaries would well-nigh extinguish it.

Faith to be real must be outside the limits of caution, and be fired by something more potent and effective than calculating prudence, or logical deduction, or judicial impartiality. It must be the fire that burns within, the mainspring that regulates the life, the overmastering force that will not be at rest. This is that faith that Jesus spoke of when He said of it that it was able to move mountains. This is that which braves death and torture, braces up the feeble knees for long and hard endurance, and conducts its possessor safe at last through any perils that may assail him to the goal where faith finds its reward in fruition.

Of this you know nothing. Yours is not Faith, but only logical assent; not spontaneous living faith, but hard-wrung intellectual assent weighted always with a mental reservation. That which you have would move no mountain, though it might suffice to select a safe way round it. It would be powerless to animate / and stir the spirit, though it would be fitted to estimate evidence and weigh possibilities. It would suffice for purposes of intellectual defence, but it is not the faith that springs unceasing in the innermost soul, and becomes, by virtue of its power, an overmastering leader, a mainspring of action, of high and holy purpose, at which the world may sneer, and the wise may scoff, but which is the central spring of all that is best and noblest in man’s life. Of this you know nothing.

But, mark us, the time will come when you will marvel how you could have ever dignified this calculating caution by the name of faith, or have dreamed that to its hesitating knock can ever be unbarred the portals of Divine truth. You must wait, and when the time comes you will not set up that pale marble statue in place of what should be a living body, instinct with conviction, and energised by the loftiest purpose. …

You have a way of putting things, which, however true, is slightly discomfiting. However, since “Faith is the gift of God,” I can’t see how I am to blame. I am as I was made.

Nay, friend, but you are what you have made yourself through a life which has been moulded both from within and from without. You are what external circumstances, and internal predilections, and spirit guidance have made you. You misunderstand. We did but rebuke you for your vaunting that as faith which has no claim to the name. Be content. You are on the road to higher knowledge of a nobler truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 168-9.)

On Guidance

[Man] is the recipient of guidance from spirits who have trod the path before him, and who are commissioned to guide him if he will avail himself of their guidance. He has within him a standard of right which will direct him to the truth, if he will allow himself to be guided to keep it and protect it from injury.

If he refuses these helps, he falls into transgression and deterioration. He is thrown back and finds misery in place of joy. His sins punish themselves. Of his duties he knows by the instinct of his spirit as well as by the teaching of his guardians. The performance of those duties brings progress and happiness. The spirit grows and gains newer and fuller views of that which makes for perfect, satisfying joy and peace. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

Spiritualism, According to Imperator

Spiritualism, or, as we prefer to call it, the voice of the spirit-world, is the answer that comes to the cry of many an anxious soul. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

We wish to urge upon you the fact that Spiritualism is a system of religious teaching, and we wonder much at those who argue against this. Others regard Spiritualism merely as a system of communication with their own friends who have passed to the other life. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

One of the cardinal facts underlying your life is religion, by which we mean the intercourse of your spirits with the Great Father of spirits, through the innumerable ranks of spiritual beings which extend upwards and upwards to Him. When you pray, you must believe the ministering spirits receive your prayers and answer them according to their own discretion. The very inception of spiritual communion is a veritable act of religious worship. The pursuit of Spiritualism is not safe or likely to be followed with advantage if this truth is not accepted.

Many have missed this central point, and thus the internal cravings of their nature have not been satisfied; for some form of religion is necessary to every child of man. If they fail to grasp the religious aspect of the subject, they say that this or that phenomenon is curious but unsatisfactory. Thus, those who might have derived from us the greatest comfort have turned aside and said that Spiritualism is illusory or deceptive, that Spiritualists are dealing with powers that are low and diabolic. So they pass on, reject the truth of God, and pin their faith to the inventions of man.

The voice of the Supreme is speaking to man, and there are many intermediary agencies between Him and you. In your day the spiritual food which has sufficed for nearly two thousand years has ceased to satisfy, and a new influx of spiritual power is coming. Spiritualism is, in very deed, the message of the Supreme to an age that sorely needs it, and a message that is in its essence religious in its effects and all its bearings.

It is a message to teach man that he not only eats and drinks, sleeps and dies, but that he has within him that which will not, die; to teach him that, as he sows here, so will he garner hereafter. Hence it is that we speak of Spiritualism as the one regenerating influence in your world. You live in the inception of a great movement. The progress of it will be what you call republican, and the leadership spiritual. Jesus Christ was the head of a sect which, if it arose in your day, you would regard as composed of mere fanatical enthusiasts. The disciples believed in a temporal power, hence many inconsistencies. … (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

As in the days of the development of the knowledge of God, in whatever age it may occur, there are many silent devotees of whom the world knows little, who grow steadily up to more and more perfect knowledge, so we have told you it is now. Many there are, very many, who deplore the unlicensed vagaries which shock and distress them, (1) but which have no power to alter or diminish the faith, which is founded on experience. (2) (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 93.)

(1) I.e., the excesses of Spiritualist circles of the day.
(2) The “unlicensed vagaries” have no power to alter or diminish the faith, which for the silent devotees, implicitly clairvoyants, I imagine, is founded on their own undeniable experience.

This your world, in its social and religious aspects, has come to its last gasp, and needs some new power to give it vitality. We regard what you call Spiritualism as the only possible antidote to this festering mass of corruption, the only means of purifying your world.

We tell you plainly that your age is hollow, flashy and unreal. As the blessed air of Heaven keeps natural things pure, so the spiritual air from our world purifies and invigorates your spiritual life. Religion of some kind is needed by all.

The Cause in which we and you are interested has made very large progress. It is in the development of pure spiritual Truth, in the growth of toleration, and the breaking down of hard and fast barriers, in the spread of the Christ-spirit, instead of that of theology, that progress has been made.

While you have been puzzled and dismayed by the deceptions and fraud which are rife in public manifestations, the foundations remain unshaken, and the foul air will be blown away, leaving the spiritual atmosphere cleansed and purified. Your age is an enquiring one, and is a period for sowing the seeds of Divine Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Long ago we told you that attacks would be made on the existing embodiments of order in each country; Spain, Germany, Italy and still more in Russia. This has been the case, and a still more terrible manifestation of discord is to come. (Socialism, communism, atheism, nihilism–different names for the same insidious malady–are on the increase in your world.) Possibly these forces may be used for good when they have spent their powers; but at present they are wielded by the adversaries who animate the principles of disorder, in order to oppose our work.

Look at all great leaders, and you will find they have been men possessed with a burning sense of some wrong against which they contend; or with an earnest desire for some reform, for which they were ever ready to fight. There must be an end in view to make a man strenuous and earnest in opposing evil or contending for good. But in the case of men with strong views and strong character, the danger is that they may work only for their own ends, and so become selfish. Selfishness is the one great centre of spiritual disease. He who contends for himself becomes selfish, while he who contends for Truth becomes one of a vast brotherhood. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Of the hidden, silent votaries of a faith which comes to them from the God who is revealing Himself to them in ways which come home to their several necessities, you hear and know nothing. Such are outside of your ken; though they may and do exist all around you, the faithful communers with the spheres, who know in what they have believed, and who drink in, hour by hour, fresh store of grace and knowledge, waiting for the time when they, too, shall be emancipated from the prison-house of the body, and rise to take their part in the glorious work. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 93.)

We are disposed to question your conclusion as to any phase of Spiritualism being bad or mischievous in its outcome, while we deny altogether your ability to pronounce any opinion upon the broad question in its ultimate issues. For what is the real truth? The operations of the Supreme are uniform in this as in all things else. The evil and the good are mingled. He does not use great messengers for that work which can be accomplished by more ordinary spirits. He does not send the high and exalted ones to minister conviction to an undeveloped and earth-bound spirit.

Far otherwise: He proportions his causes to the effects which they are intended to produce. In the operation of the ordinary processes of nature, He does not produce insignificant results from gigantic causes. So in this domain of spirit agency. They who are crude in intellect, and undeveloped in aspiration, whose souls do not soar to heights of moral and intellectual grandeur, such are the charge of spirits who know best how to reach and touch them; (1) who proportion their means to the end in view; and who most frequently use material means for operating on an / undeveloped intelligence. To the uneducated in mind and soul, the spiritually or intellectually unprogressed, they speak in the language most intelligible to their wants. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 93-4.)

(1) I.e., the crude and undeveloped are best served by spirit guides who know best how to reach them, rather than by the spiritual giants whose services are best used on a broader scale.

The physical operation of force that can be gauged by external sense is necessary to assure some—nay, very many - of existence beyond the grave. Such receive their demonstration, not from the inspiring voice of angels, such as those who in every age have spoken to the inner souls of the man who formed and guided that age, but from spirits like unto themselves, who know their wants, their mental habits and altitudes, and who can supply that proof which will come home to and be acceptable by those to whom they minister. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 94.)

Not to every soul is the spirit voice audible. Not to every spirit is the same proof made clear. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 94.)

Nature is not changed all at once as by a magic wand. Idiosyncrasy is gradually modified and elevated by slow degrees. Hence, to one who has been born with mental faculties in a high state of development, and who has improved them by perpetual culture, the means employed to reach the uneducated and unrefined must needs seem coarse and rude, even as the issues seem rough and undesirable. The voice is harsh, and the zeal evoked is not according to discretion. The nature is being gradually changed from a blank and cheerless materialism, or a still more hopeless indifferentism, and there springs within them an enthusiasm at the new life which they feel swelling in their souls.

They give vent to the joy they feel in tones not cultured but not less real, not pleasing, perhaps, to your critical ear, but not less grateful to the ear of the Good Father than the cry of the returning son who has wandered from his home and disowned his kindred. The voice is real, and that is what He and we regard. We are not scrupulously nice to mark the exact accents in which the cry is syllabled. So to the spiritually undeveloped the means used to ensure conviction are not the voices of the angels who minister between God and man, for they would cry in vain. Means are used which may lead the spirit to ponder on spiritual things, and guide it to discern them spiritually. Through the agency of material operations the spirit is led up to the spiritual. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 94.)

In the army of the spirit-messengers there are ministers suited to every want. There is for the hard materialist who knows naught but matter, the spirit that can show him of an invisible force superior to material laws. To the shrinking, timid soul which cares not for great issues, so it can be assured of the welfare of its own loved ones and of reunion with them, there comes the voice of the departed, breathing in recognisable accents the test needed for conviction, or conveying assurance of reunion and of affectionate intercourse in the hereafter.

To the spirit that is best approached through the avenues of the mind by processes of logical argument, there comes the voice that demonstrates external agency, evolves orderly and sequential proof, and builds up by slow degrees an edifice of conviction founded on the indisputable fact. Aye, and above all, to those who have passed beyond the alphabet of spiritual agency, and who long to progress further and further into the mysteries which are not penetrable by the eye of sense, to such come teachers who can tell of the deep things of God, and reveal to the aspiring soul richer views of Him and of its destiny. To each there is the suitable messenger and the appropriate message, even as God has ever adapted His means to the end in view. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 95.)

Yet once again. Remember that Spiritualism is not, as was the Gospel message of old, a professedly external revelation, coming from the spiritual hierarchy to mankind: proclaimed as a revelation, as a religion, as a means of salvation. It is all this: but it is also other than this. To you, and to such as approach it from your point of view, it is this: but to the lowly and suffering, the sorrow-laden and ignorant, it is other far.

It is the assurance of personal expectation of reunion; an individual consolation, of private application first of all. It is, in effect, the bridging over, for divers purposes, of the gulf which separates the world of sense from the world of spirit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 96.)

Could you see, as you now see, the signs which have attended and followed similar movements in other ages of the world, you would not fall into error of supposing that these signs are exclusively confined to our mission. They are inherent in your human nature, inseparable from anything which deeply stirs the heart of man.

They attended the mission of Moses to the Israelites of old, of the Hebrew Prophets, as well as of the Christ. They have appeared at every fresh epoch in the history of man, and they attend the present development of divine knowledge. They are no more a sample of our work than in your political history are the ravings of the excited demagogue evidence of real and influential political opinion. You must distinguish: and to one who lives in the midst of a great movement it is not always easy to do so. It will be easier when, in the time to come, you look back upon the struggle which is now seething around you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 96.)

We may not save you the exercise which is part of your discipline. Be content to walk in the path. It leads direct to truth; but you must tread it in care and pain. We have directed you to it because it is well for you to garner up the wisdom of the past and to learn of those who are gone before you. We foresaw long ago that those who should faithfully pursue the study of the intercourse between our world and yours, would receive rude shocks from the follies and falsities that cluster round the subject in its most exoteric aspect. We looked with confidence for the time when these should force themselves into prominence and we prepared for it.

We would teach you that there are, and ever must be, two sides to this science, as there were in the mysteries of the ages past. Having passed the one, it is necessary that you penetrate the other. To this end you must learn who and what are those who do communicate with men. Not otherwise can you read aright the riddle that now perplexes you.

You must know how and under what conditions truth can be had: and how error and deceit, and frivolity and folly may be warded off. All this man must know if he is safely to meddle with our world. And when he has learned this, or while he is learning it, he must see, too, that on himself depends most or all of the success. Let him crush self, purify his inmost spirit, driving out impurity as a plague, and elevating his aims to their highest possible; let him love Truth as his Deity, to which all else shall bow; let him follow it as his sole aim, careless / whither the quest may lead him, and round him shall circle the Messengers of the Most High, and in his inmost soul he shall see light. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 189-90.)

Beware how you submit to the guidance of unseen intelligences without ascertaining if they are what they pretend to be. We have nothing to fear from investigation made by honest and pure minds. The miracles you have seen here are the same in kind which Christ was enabled to work. The utterances you hear are precisely the same as those given by the Hebrew prophets. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Belief in Spiritualism will spread, but not as the creed of any Church. Our revelation requires neither bishops, priests nor deacons; but the association between the spirit guardians and the soul alone. Christ taught that the time would come when no special place nor person would be held more sacred than another. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

We almost despair of bringing home to men any knowledge of the way in which affairs in your world are governed by spirits. You have no conception of it, as it does not appeal to your senses, and its workings are not visible.

We have sought to direct your attention to Divine Truth and to the fact of the intercommunion between spirit and matter, rather than to questions of merely personal interest; not that we would undervalue the strong conviction that is often produced by the return of friends. The mental bias of friends gives colour to communications, and they become affectionate rather than precise, effusive rather than true.

Thus we have endeavoured to put evidence before you which rests on catholic rather than personal grounds. The experience of the individual may seem slight and unimportant, but the progress of Divine Truth has been great. There are many who have come out of the material Church, and have become recipients of spiritual knowledge. These have found a newer and a truer Church, which receives inspiration from the Supreme, and is brooded over by the Divine Spirit. From such as these shall be built up hereafter the true Church, which shall receive the ministry and a divine revelation. (Unnamed Egyptian spirit in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

There is in Spiritualism a growing and most fatal influence, a spiritual form of materialism which results from the study of phenomena only. Men care only for the force, and refuse to recognise the various forms of intelligence that underlie it. Matter is an accident, spirit is reality. All the religious systems of the world rest on a belief in the future life. Owing to the materialistic atmosphere round the world, there is too great a tendency to smother Divine Truth under a whole host of phenomena. If people rest content with these only, it would have been better for them to leave the subject alone. We hope, however, that many will rise above the phenomenal aspects of the subject and seek for those higher spiritual truths to which the former have only served as an introduction.

Spiritualism is on its last trial, and will probably pass into another phase. In time to come the hidden and inner form of Spiritualism will take its place, but not yet. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

It is true that Benjamin Franklin did discover means of communication by raps, and that he was greatly aided by Swedenborg in awakening interest among spirits in the subject. At the time of the discovery it was believed that all denizens of both worlds would be brought into ready communion. But, both on account of the obstinate ignorance of man, and of the extent to which the privilege was abused by spirits who assumed well-known names and personated them and so deceived men, that privilege has been greatly narrowed. Moreover, the guides of spirits have found frequently that it is not well, as in the case of your friend, to allow a return to a sphere which would prove too attractive for them. They are withdrawn to other planets and spheres, and so do not use the power of communicating.

S. M.: Thus the discovery was made in the spheres before we knew of it.

It was made exclusively in the spheres, and not at all on earth, being communicated to men by spirits. In the old days no such means of telegraphy was known. The raps are peculiar to your days. In days previous spirits communicated to men in ways less material. It was not necessary to act through matter, save in rare cases. Spirit spoke to spirit. But, as men grew more and more corporeal, material system of telegraphy was invented. (Spirit communicator Rector [Hippolytus] and Benjamin Franklin in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On the Medium

Mediumship is a development of that which is, in another soul, genius. Genius, the opened and attentive ear to spirit guidance and inspiration, shades away into mediumship. . . . Man’s individuality must be lost, as yours is now, before truthful and clear instruction can be given, and therefore it is that such messages, so given as we now give this, are the voice of spirit speaking with the minimum of human error admixed.

The opening of spiritual being to spiritual influence is what you call mediumship; it must be used for spiritual purposes, not for gain; nor for satisfying curiosity, nor for base or unworthy ends. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

You speak of the Reformer?

Nehemiah, with whom my earth-life was associated. Probably no more perfect mediums than Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel ever lived; at least, among the Jews whose writings have been preserved for you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

The life of Christ was abnormal, like that of all who enjoy intercourse with the world of spirits. Their lives are less known than His, and no halo has been thrown around them, but you must not therefore doubt that there are some here and there who can hold communion with the spirit-world. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

What is man? Verily, he is but the vehicle of inspiration. The highest and noblest intellects you revere were but the means by which God made known to man that portion of His Mind which He saw fit. All that they did, great and noble, was but the influence of the guardian angel. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The medium is selected for special qualities, but they are not those which you are wont to hold in reverence. The suitable instrument is chosen, and to him is confided the deposit of revelation. He is not the glory; nor does the faithful servant claim it. He is the vehicle, the honoured instrument of Divine Revelation, honoured among angels, but not amongst men.

He is honoured with us as God’s medium – the chosen recipient of the Divine Message. In proportion as the work is rightly done does the medium derive benefit, and become fitted to be, in his turn, the messenger of God to man in the future. The vessel is impregnated with the perfume it has contained, and is nobler for the use it has served; worthy of honour from men and angels as a casket which has worthily enshrined the jewel of Divine Truth.

But if there be impurity or falsity or cowardice or idleness in the selected instrument, or if he be unduly puffed up by that which is given to him; if he arrogate to himself the glory that belongs to God alone; if there be time-serving or pride or impure motive, then, so far from being benefited by the service for which he has been selected, he is so much the worse for the abuse of his opportunities! It is the unalterable law of God. Great privileges, great responsibilities!

He who has great opportunities of good and fails to use, or wrongly uses them, in wilful sin, on him rests the curse of the servant who knew his Lord’s will and did it not. He sinks as surely as the other rises. The talent is withdrawn, and he becomes morally and intellectually deteriorated. He has cast away a privilege, and, behold, a curse, instead of a blessing, rests upon him.

So that, should such an one return to the earth sphere, the communication through him will necessarily be of a lower order than you would expect from his reputation in earth-life. On earth he spoke not his own words but the words of inspiration. But the Spirit of the Lord has been withdrawn, and now he speaks the congenital utterances of the society to which he has been drawn. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The Divine Spirit never acts immediately through mediums. You can no more communicate directly with Him than you can communicate with the blades of grass around you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Truth has hitherto centred itself in a single representative, but hereafter it will not be so. It will not run in one groove and so become cramped and confined, but it will be given through many mediums, purged of all that is individual, permeating the world and animating recipient souls.

The times of exclusiveness are over; the times of open vision have arrived, when democracy rather than aristocracy shall be the leading principle. Divine Truth has ever had what man calls a lowly origin. Self dominates less; vanity and pride holding less sway. (Theophilus in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Leave behind all that is of earth, so far as that may be. Quit even the personal views which only hamper us; and reach steadily forward to the enduring and eternal. In most cases that which is personal ends in the selfish and trivial. With such we have little to do. . . . We led you to put out ideas on our teaching as they affect religion. It was under our guidance that it was done, and we wish you to turn your mind to such questions. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

It is the attempt to bring spirit down to the plane of matter that we deplore. If you would do that, the spirit you bring will be a curse to you. Rather should you endeavour to rise to the plane of spirit; and then you will gain both proof and truth.

We would urge you to cast away every material means of communion. Even this (automatic writing) is poor compared with the voice of spirit communing with us.

Be fellow-workers indeed with us; and allow us to co-operate with you in the use of the highest faculties of you triune nature. Condemn us not to the weary, weary round of material work. Rise to the full dignity of the mission we have in charge. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On the Seeker

It is necessary that man be constantly reminded to seek spiritual gifts. We are come to teach, not merely to amuse or astonish. But we cannot teach where man will not be taught.

The scanty interest that the higher revelations excite render it very difficult for even the most advanced Intelligences to make satisfactory communication with your world. Men care little for being taught; they seek rather to be amused. We do what we can, hampered by many disadvantages, attacked on the one side by the ceaseless machinations of spiritual foes, and hindered from advance on the other by the dead, cold faith of man, or by his undeveloped and unreceptive spirit.

We wish we could impress on all friends who come within our influence that, in communing, in proportion to the loftiness of their aspirations, is the character of the spirit who come to them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Estimating the Merits of Our Revelation

Religion, to be worthy the name, must have … two sides — the one pointing to God, the other to man. What has the received faith, which is called orthodox by its professors, to say on these points; and wherein do we differ in our message; and how far is such difference on our part in accord with reason?

For, at the very outset, we claim, as the only court to which we can as yet appeal, the Reason which is implanted in man. We claim it; for it was by Reason that the sages settled the list of the writings which they decided to be the exclusive and final revelation of God. (1) To Reason they appealed for their decision. To Reason we appeal too.

Or do our friends claim that Divine guidance prescribed for them what should be for all time the body of revealed truth? We, too, are the messengers of the Most High, no less surely sent than the spirits who guided the Hebrew seers, and who ministered to those whose fiat settled the Divine word. We are as they: our message as their message, only more advanced; our God their God, only more clearly revealed, less human, more Divine.

Whether the appeal be to Divine inspiration or not, human Reason (guided doubtless by spirit agency, but still Reason) sways the final decision. And those who reject this appeal are out of their own mouths convicted of folly. Blind faith can be no substitute for reasoning trust. For the faith is faith that either has grounds for its trust or not.

In the former case the ground is reasonable; in which case Reason again is the ultimate judge; or it is not, in which case it would commend itself to none. But if faith rest on no ground at all, we need not further labour to show it baseless and untrustworthy. To Reason, then, we turn.

How far are we proved reasonably to be of the Devil? How far is our creed an evil one? In what respect are we chargeable with diabolic tendency? These are points on which we will instruct you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 50.)

(1) Remember that “Imperator” revealed himself later as the prophet Malachi. I accept his testimony on the subject. Therefore, he has a unique vantage point on the events he talks about here.

You have objected to our teachings that they are not consistent with the received creed of orthodoxy. We have more to say on this subject. …

What says the spirit-creed of God? In place of an angry, jealous tyrant it reveals a loving Father who is not loving in name alone, but in very deed and truth; into whose dealings naught but love can enter; who is just and good and full of affection to the lowest of His creatures. It does not recognise any need of propitiation towards this God. It rejects as false any notion of this Divine Being vindictively punishing a transgressor, or requiring a vicarious sacrifice for sin.

Still less does it teach that this omnipotent Being is enthroned in a heaven where His pleasure consists in the homage of the elect, and in the view of the tortures of the lost, who are for ever excluded in quenchless misery from light and hope. No such anthropomorphism finds any place in our creed.

God, as we know Him in the operation of His laws, is perfect, pure, loving, and holy, incapable of cruelty, tyranny, and other such human vices: viewing error with sorrow as knowing that sin contains its own sting, but eager to alleviate the smart by any means consistent with the immutable moral laws to which all alike are subject.

God, the centre of light and love! God, operating in strict accordance with those laws which are a necessity of orderly existence! God, the grand object of our adoration, never of our dread! We know of Him as you cannot know, as you cannot even picture in imagination: yet none has seen Him: nor are we content with the metaphysical sophistries with which prying curiosity and over-subtle speculation have obscured the primary conception of God amongst men. We pry not. The first conception with you even is grander, nobler, more sublime. We wait for higher knowledge. You must wait too. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 51-2.)

We know nothing of the potency of blind faith or credulity. We know, indeed, the value of a trustful, receptive spirit, free from the littleness of perpetual suspicion. Such is God-like, and draws down angel guidance. But we abjure and denounce that most destructive doctrine that faith, belief, assent to dogmatic statements, have power to erase the traces of transgression; that an earth lifetime of vice and sloth and sin can be wiped away, and the spirit stand purified by a blind acceptance of a belief, of an idea, of a fancy, of a creed. Such teaching has debased more souls than anything else to which we can point.

Nor do we teach that there is a special and potent efficacy in any one belief to the exclusion of others. We do not believe that truth is the perquisite of any creed. In all there is a germ of truth; in all an accretion of error. We know, as you know not, the circumstances which decide to what special form of faith a mortal shall give his adherence, and we value it accordingly.

We know exalted intelligences who stand high in spirit life, who were enabled to progress in spite of the creed which they professed on earth. We value only the earnest seeking after truth which may distinguish the professors of creeds the most widely dissimilar. We care not for the minute discussions which men delight in. We shrink from those curious pryings into mysteries transcending knowledge which characterise your theologies. The theology of the spirit is simple and confined to knowledge.

Is it nothing that we tell you that words and deeds are as the pebble thrown into the stream which causes an ever-widening ripple, ceaselessly enlarging in its effects, and that for such influence you are accountable; that every word, every act, is of incalculable import in its results and influence; that the good which your influence produces is to you a source of gratification hereafter, while of the ill you must view the baleful effects in agony and remorse? Is it nothing that we tell you that reward and punishment are not delayed till a far-off day faintly imagined, after a period of torpor, almost of death, but are instant, immediate, supervening upon sin by the action of an invariable law, and acting ceaselessly until the cause which produced it is removed? Is this no incentive to a life of sanctity and holiness?

Which, say you, is the most potent incentive to a holy life of progress: that creed which we have indicated? or that which teaches that a man may live as seems to him good, may wrong his neighbours, insult his God, and debase his own spirit, may break all laws, divine and human, may be loathsome in his moral nature, a blot on the name of man, and then, by a fanatical cry, by a fancied faith, by a momentary operation of the mind, may be fitted to enter into a dreamy heaven, where his sole joy is to be that which his nature would view with distaste, but which, now that the magic change has been effected, is to become the congenial occupation of eternity? Which faith will move the degraded most? To tell him that for each sin, discovered or undiscovered by his fellow, he will have to repent; that each must be remedied, not by another, but by himself; and that no happiness is possible for him till he grows a purer, better, truer man ? or, to tell him that, do what he will, heaven is open to the vilest reprobate, and that a dying cry, when fainting nature is wrung with agony, can magically change his spirit, and send it, after a distant judgment, pure and good, in the immediate presence of his God, in a heaven where his unvarying occupation will be that which he would now regard as most insipid and undesirable?

We know and you know which faith is most likely to appeal to a man’s reason and judgment; which would be the strongest deterrent from sin: which would keep a wanderer in the paths of rectitude most surely. And yet you say that we preach a vague religion in place of a definite; a colourless gospel in place of one backed by a definite system of reward and punishment. Nay, nay, We are they who preach a definite, intelligible, clear system of reward and punishment, but in doing so we do not feign a fabled heaven, a brutal hell, and a human God. You are they who relegate to a far-off speck the day of retribution, and encourage the vilest to believe that he may enter into the very presence of the Most High sometime, somewhere, somehow, if he will only assent to statements which he does not understand, which he does not believe, and in truth of which he feels no sort of real interest. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 92.)

Our View is Pure, Divine, Ennobling

We teach religion of body and religion of soul; a religion pure, progressive, and true; one that aims at no finality, but leads its votary higher and higher through the ages, until the dross of earth is purged away, the spiritual nature is refined and sublimated, and the perfected spirit—perfected through suffering and toil and experience—is presented in glorified purity before the very footstool of its God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 115.)

[Is our view] not pure, divine, ennobling, the natural complement of that which Jesus Himself preached? Is it less definite, more vague than the orthodox? It may be less minute in details which are repulsive, but it breathes a nobler and purer atmosphere; it teaches a higher, holier religion; it preaches a diviner God.

It is not vaguer, not less definite. But even were it so, it deals with subjects into which the reverent mind will not curiously pry. It throws a veil over the unknown, and refuses to substitute speculation for knowledge, or to apply the cruder human notions to the very nature and attributes of the Supreme. If it be vagueness to veil the curious eye before the footstool of the divine and incomprehensible, then are we vague in our knowledge and indistinct in our teaching. But if it be the part of the wise to dwell only on the known and the comprehensible; to act rather than speculate; to do rather than to believe, then is our belief dictated by wisdom, conformable to right reason, and inspired by God Himself. /

It will bear the test of rational sifting and experiment. It will endure, and inspire the myriad souls in distant ages when those who cavil at its teachings and insult its authors shall be working out in sorrow and remorse the consequences of their folly and sin. It will have conducted countless myriads of pure spirits, who have progressed in its faith, to happiness and advancement, when that which it is destined to spiritualise shall have shared the fate of the mouldering body from which the spirit is withdrawn. It will live and bless its votaries in spite of the foolish ignorance which would charge its divine precepts on a devil, and anathematise its votaries as the children of darkness. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66-7.)

You know and acknowledge that the words which have been spoken to you are such as you might reasonably expect from a teacher sent from God. They are fraught with a message the need of which you feel, the beauty of which you admit, and the moral grandeur of which commends itself / to all who are fitted to receive it. You know it full well that it originates in some source external to yourself. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 86-7.)

We have succeeded in evolving a system of theology which you admit to be coherent, beautiful, and elevated, and which is acceptable to your mind. We have not ventured to do more. We have shown you a God who commands your adoration and respect. We have displayed to you a rational and comprehensible view of your duty to Him, to mankind, and to your own self; and we have established our moral code not by the persuasive inducements of a heaven and hell such as you are wont to hear of, but by arguments not less persuasive, by inducements which do not come home less forcibly to the mind. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 91.)

Our influence is not for evil; our words are words of truth and soberness. We are the preachers of a Divine gospel, suited to your needs, and elevating to your mind. It is for you, then, to accept the individual responsibility, from which none may relieve you, of deciding whether, being what we are, we are deceivers in matters of vital and eternal import. Such a conclusion, in the face of all evidence and fair inference, is one which none could accept save a perverted and unbalanced mind, least of all one who knows us as you now do. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 145.)

The False Outer Shell of Orthodoxy

On Dogma in Earthly Theology

When your bodies are dead your dogmas die with them, and are dissipated by the rising sun. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Spirit-teaching comes from God; but, as it must blot out much that men have believed and trusted, it must be subversive of what men have called Faith. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The holding of a narrow, cold, dogmatic creed, in all its rigid, lifeless literalism, cramps the soul, dwarfs its spirituality, clogs its progress, and stunts its growth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 74.)

We proclaim to you a spiritualised religion. We call you from the dead formalism, the lifeless, loveless literalism of the past, to a religion of spiritualised truth, to the lovely symbolism of angel teaching, to the higher planes of spirit, where the material finds no place, and the formal dogmatism of the past is for ever gone. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 74.)

We have endeavoured, not to uproot from your mind the views which you have entertained of theology, but to modify them. If you will recall the past, you will see how your creed has gradually widened from a very narrow basis to a comprehensive and rational one.

You have, under our guidance, been made acquainted with the theological tenets of many churches and sects. You have been led to see, in each, the germ of truth, more or less developed, but clouded with human error. You have studied, for yourself, the writings of the teachers of religion among the Christian world, and your own creed has been toned down and softened in its asperities by the divergent views of truth so let in upon it.

The process has been long and gradual from the days when you were influenced to the study of ancient philosophies to later days, when systems of theology filtered through it, and left behind them that which you were able to assimilate. The fixed and changeless creed of the Eastern branch of the Christian Church, with its crystallised dogmas no longer living and breathing truths; the destructive criticism of German scholars who have dealt a much-needed blow to blind belief in the verbal exactitude of human utterances; the speculations of advanced thought in your own country and Church; the ideas of those external to it, and even to the creed of Christendom—of all these have you learned, and have retained from the several systems that — which was serviceable to you.(Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 60-1.)

What, then, is the outcome of our teaching? How far does it square with right reason? How does it teach you of God? How does it help your spirit? / You have been taught in the creeds of the orthodox churches to believe in a God who was propitiated by the sacrifice of His Son, so far as to allow a favoured few of His children to be admitted to an imagined heaven, where for ever and for evermore, with monotonous persistence, their occupation should be the singing His praise. The rest of the race, unable to gain admission to this heaven, were consigned to a hell of indescribable torment, perpetual, endless, and intolerable.

These miserable ones failed of bliss, some of them because they had not faith; and others, because they had evil surroundings by which they were degraded. And others fell, being assailed with fierce temptations, by which they were led away and seduced to sin. And others were [incarnated] in debasing and sensual bodies, and were overcome of ungoverned passions. And others could not understand what was wanted from them, though they tried, and would fain have done what they could. And others had intellectual inability to accept certain dogmatic propositions which they had been taught to believe essential to their salvation. And others had not, when bodily existence ceased, assented to certain statements which were able to secure them the entry into the heaven we have described. And so they perished everlastingly; and on their endless torments, from a height of serene and secure, the blessed who have gained their bliss through a faith in certain dogmatic assertions, though many of them had been men of grievous and degraded lives, look with the satisfaction of undisturbed and changeless repose. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 64-5.)

A life of gross sensuality, or of sloth, or of offence against all law, you are taught, is remediable by an act of faith. The grossest and most sensual ruffian may, by a cry on his deathbed, find himself instantaneously fitted for admission into the immediate presence of the God whom he has all his life blasphemed. He, the impure, base, degraded, earthy spirit admitted to association with the refined, the noble, the pure, the holy, in the immediate presence of the stainless perfection of the all-pure God! And yet the half is not told, but enough by way of contrast.

We tell you nothing of such a God—a God of whom reason cannot think without a shudder, and from whom the fatherly instinct must shrink in disgust. Of this God of Love, who shows His love in such a fashion, we know nothing. He is of man’s fashioning, unknown to us. We pause not to expose the miserable pretence that such a human idol can ever have been aught but the figment of a barbarous mind. We do but ask you to wonder with us at the presumptuous ignorance and folly which has dared to paint such a caricature of the pure and holy God. Surely, friend, man must have been in a degraded spiritual condition ere he could have pictured such a Deity. Surely, too, they who in this age have not shrunk from such a creation must have sore need of a Gospel such as that we preach.

The God whom we know and whom we declare to you is in very truth a God of Love — a God whose acts do not belie His name, but whose love is boundless, and His pity unceasing to all. He knows no partiality for any, but deals out unwavering justice to all. Between Him and you are ranks of ministering spirits, the bearers of His loving message, the revealers from time to time of His will to man. By His spirit-messengers the train of ministering mercy is never suffered to fail. This is our God, manifested by His works, and operating through the agency of His ministering angels. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 65.)

Believe us, so far at least as this, that no frame of mind is more pleasing to the Supreme than that which seeks earnestly and intelligently for truth; refusing mere dogmatic statements from whatever source they come; weighing all in the balance of right reason, and prepared honestly to accept the result. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 68.)

We deal with old opinions as Jesus dealt with the Jewish law. He apparently abrogated the letter while He gave to the spirit a newer and nobler meaning. We do the same with the opinions and dogmas of modern Christianity as He did with the dicta of the Mosaic law, and the glosses of Pharisaical and Rabbinical orthodoxy. Even as He proclaimed the truth, true for all ages, that the letter might well be dispensed with, so that the spirit were retained; so do we, in words drawn from your own teachings, say to you that the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. Rigid adherence to the strict letter of the law is quite compatible with—nay, usually leads to—neglect of the true spirit. The man who begins by observing scrupulously the minutiae of the ritual law ends by becoming the proud, arrogant, unlovely Pharisee, whose religion is swallowed up by his theology, and who yet can thank God that he is not like other men. /

It is against this insidious form of religion that we wage determined war. Better for each struggling spirit that it should grope unaided after its God, trusting in the end to find Him, though after many wanderings, than that it should be cramped and confined by the trammels of an earth-born orthodoxy, which prescribes the God, as well as the way to reach Him—that way being through a wicket of which it holds the only key—which cramps all natural aspirations, drowns all soaring thoughts, and condemns the free spirit to mere mechanical action without a particle of true spiritual religion in it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 105-6.)

Some there are, and they not the noblest of your race, for whom it is essential that deep subjects of religion should be thought out ready to their hand. For them free spiritual thought would mean doubt, indecision, despair, death. They cannot climb the giddy heights where man must gaze into hidden mysteries, and face the unclouded radiance of the Sun of Truth. Not for them the pinnacles which overhang precipices deep down in which lie hid the Eternal Verities. They cannot gaze lest they fall: they cannot endure the ordeal: they must fall back on safer and more beaten paths, where others have walked before, even though the way be tortuous and uncertain. They must be hemmed in between high walls over which they dare not look. They must walk warily, picking their way step by step, and avoiding all inequalities, lest they stumble and fall.

And so they fall back on the prescribed dogmas of unyielding orthodoxy. So it has been decided by the wisdom of the Church is the answer of their priests. Doubt is ruin; thought only ends in bewilderment; faith is the only safety. Believe and be saved. Believe not, and be damned. They are not able to receive these things. How should they? They have not yet grasped the fragments of truth that lie on the very threshold of knowledge. How, then, should they enter in and dwell in the penetralia where truth is enshrined in fulness? (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 106.)

Some there are who are not merely unable, but unwilling, to receive or entertain anything which militates against that ancient and received theology which they have learned to consider as the embodiment of Divine truth. It has sufficed the needs of the saints of Christendom. It has cheered the martyr at the stake, and consoled the dying saint in ages long gone by even as now. It was their fathers’ creed. It was the gospel of salvation which they learned from a mother’s lips. It is that which they have received as the deposit of the truth, and which they are determined to teach their children, that they in turn may hand on the truth whole and undefiled. And so a feeling of heroic determination comes over them that they will not even touch that which seems to contravene this faith of theirs, consecrated to them by so many associations, and endeared by so many memories. They are, as they fancy, defenders of the faith: and all a martyr’s zeal burns within them. They cannot be reached by any influence that we can bring to bear.

Nor would we willingly interfere with so comfortable a faith. Were we to make the attempt, we should need to upset from the very foundations the edifice they have reared. We should need to make war on this faith which they love so well, and hew it down with merciless axe. Their Immutable God and their stereotyped religion, changeless and unchangeable, we should need to attack, and show that though God changes not, yet the mind of man does, and that what was sufficient for the past may be, and often is, quite inadequate for the future. We must show them—what they could never see—the progressive march of revelation, the gradual enlightenment of man in proportion to the freedom of his thought and the enormous mass of purely human fiction which they have dignified by the title of Divine Revelation. The / task would be vain: and we are not so foolish as to attempt it. They must gain their knowledge in another sphere of being. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 106-7.)

Some, again, have never thought about the matter at all. They have a sort of conventional idea about the external profession of religion, because they cannot get on well socially without it. But it is of the slenderest make, and will go into very small compass when not in use. It is indeed but the outside covering, which is not intended for anything but show. So long as it looks well from a distance, it serves the purpose for which they use it.

These and such as these are our bitterest opponents. To force them to think about religion is most irksome and annoying to them. The subject is distasteful, tolerated only in its lightest form from sheer necessity. It is the business of priests to settle what is right, they take as much as is necessary on trust. To force them not only to see the flaws in the old faith, but to admire the excellences in the new, is a double aggravation, involving double trouble. They will have none of it. They cling to the past, and live in it.

They are well as they are. Progress they hate. Freedom they know nothing of save in that conventional sense in which it approaches very near to slavery. Free thought to them means scepticism, doubt, atheism, and these all are not respectable. They are social blunders. Progress means something which politically and religiously is horrible to them. They not only shrink from it, but they view it with loathing and contempt. The good old times enshrine their ideal; and in the good old times such things were never heard of. Hence they are manifestly wicked, and to be avoided. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 107.)

It is, no doubt plain to you that we have no dealings with these three classes, and with the myriads who lie in between them, enclosed within the poles of inability and unwillingness, or positive aversion. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 107.)

We say again that rigid orthodoxy, dogmatic faith prescribed in human words, inflexible lines within which he who walks not is therefore lost—these are human figments, bonds of man’s making to tie down aspiring souls, and pin them to earth. Better, we reiterate, for each struggling spirit to wander forth with no guide but its appointed angel, to pray for itself, to think for itself, to work for itself till the day-dawn of truth rise upon it, than that it should surrender its freedom and accept its religion at the dictation of any. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 107.)

This fearless thinking out of the way to God by those who are enabled to attempt it, will infallibly lead to what we unceasingly proclaim, a spiritual, refined, and elevated religion, in place of a literal, dogmatic interpretation of the words of your sacred records. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 108.)

It has been one of our chiefest difficulties to uproot false dogmas from your mind. It has been steady work, and now we hope that you may find out much respecting the question of revelation which will enable us to clear away false opinions and infuse true knowledge. We can do little so long as traditional reverance for any mere words, however venerable in their associations, is implanted in your mind. We must wait till you can appreciate at its real value each utterance made through man, whether that utterance be contained in your Bible or not. So long as you reply to our arguments with a text we cannot teach you. Any one who can so reply is beyond reach of reasonable teaching. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 138.)

Friend, the sign [of the cross] which is emblematic of the life and work of Jesus the Christ is one that cannot fairly be prefixed to much that now passes current for His teaching. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 56.)

The doctrines taught by the Church are faulty. The views that men have entertained of God partake of the medium through which they have filtered. Men have framed theories for themselves which have been crystallised into dogmas and taught as of binding obligation. Man’s views of his relation to the Creator and of sin are erroneous. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

No doubt it was a current belief, at the time when many of the writers of books in the Bible composed the treatises which you call inspired, that Jesus was God, and harsh denunciations are made against any who should deny the dogma. No doubt also that the same men believed also that He would, in mysterious manner, return in the clouds to judge the world, and that before their generation should die. They were mistaken in both beliefs, and over one at least more than 1800 years have rolled and still the return is unaccomplished. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 64.)

With a theology so framed [as earth’s] we are accused of being at variance. It is true. We have no commerce with it. It is of the earth, earthy; base and low in its conception of God; degrading in its influence on the soul; insulting to the Deity whom it professes to reveal. We have no part in it. We do indeed contradict and disown it. It is our mission to reverse its teachings, to substitute for it true and nobler views of God and of the Spirit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Lord Dowding, MM, 107.)

We value at nothing mere speculation. We care not for sectarianism, save that we know it to be a mischievous provoker of rancour, and spite, and malice, and ill-will. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

We attach little importance to individual belief: that is altered soon enough by extended knowledge. The creed which has been fought over with angry vehemence during the years of an earth lifetime is surrendered by the enfranchised spirit without a murmur. The fancies of a lifetime on earth are dissipated like a cloud by the sunlight of the spheres. We care little for a creed, so it be honestly held and humbly professed; but we care much for acts. We ask not what has such one believed, but what has he done? For we know that by deeds, habits, tempers, characters are formed, and the condition of spirit is decided. Those characters and habits, too, we know are only to be changed after long and laborious processes; and so it is to acts rather than words, to deeds rather than professions, that we look. (Spirit leader Imperator in SRE, 22.)

Another reason why much that is false with respect to God is current among you, as derived from the Bible, is, that the assumption of infallible inspiration leads men not only to lay too much stress on words and phrases, but also to fall into the error of interpreting too literally that which was intended to be spiritual and typical interpretation.

In communicating to your mental plane (1) ideas which are to you inconceivable, we are obliged to use expressions which are borrowed from your ways of thought. We ourselves are very frequently at fault in misusing such expressions; or they are themselves inadequate to convey our meaning. Almost all spirit utterances are typical. Especially when spirits have endeavoured to convey to men ideas of the great God of whom they themselves know so little, the language used is necessarily very imperfect, inadequate, and frequently ill-chosen. But it is always typical, and must be so understood. To press to the end of literal accuracy any spirit-teaching about God is mere folly.

Moreover, the revelations of God have been made in language suited to the capacities of those to whom they were originally given, and are to be so interpreted. But they who have framed for themselves the idea of an infallible revelation applicable through all time interpret every word literally, and so deduce erroneous conclusions. The hyperbole which was intelligible in the mouth of the impulsive seer who uttered it to an imaginative and enthusiastic Eastern hearer becomes overstrained, untrue, and misguiding when coldly interpreted in the light of comment and verbal exactness to those whose habits of thought and language are widely different or even totally dissimilar.

It is [to] this cause that we must attribute many views of the Supreme which are alike false and dishonouring to Him. The original language was inadequate enough; it has become coloured more or less by the medium through whom it has passed, and is then less adequate than before. But interpreted as we have pointed out, it becomes positively false; and is in no sense the revelation of God. Rather it is man’s notion about a Deity whom he has framed for himself—framed as really as the image which the savage forms for his fetish. With such views, again, we have no accord. Them, too, we denounce, and our mission is to substitute for them a truer and nobler knowledge. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 59.)

(1) It may be that Imperator here implies that Stainton Moses is a resident of the Mental Plane or it may be that Imperator is using the term in a general and relative sense; i.e., whatever mental plane one occupies as in a later passage: “His own ideal … is mirrored for him in the utterances of those who spoke for persons on his mental plane.” (ST, 58.)

There are many points to which you may well direct your mind in the life and teachings of the Christ before we throw upon it the light which we are able to give. Your study of the records of His life may lead you to discuss the question of their reliability, the source from which they were derived, the authority which they claim. You may deal with such questions as these: the account of the incarnation; the atonement, as grounded on the words—first of Jesus, and then of those who spoke in His name; the miracles; the crucifixion and resurrection.

You may ponder these points: the teaching of the Christ about man’s duty to God and his fellows as compared with ours; Jesus’ views on prayer, and those of His followers; the duty of resignation and self-abnegation as put forth by Him and them; charity; pardon on repentance and conversion; heaven and hell; reward and punishment. On such questions as these you are now prepared to enter honestly. Prior to this you would have sought only to find a preconceived conclusion.

Weigh first the validity of the records. Settle the exact weight to / be given to their statements; and then select the teaching of Jesus in such way as you would select the teaching and system of a Socrates, a Plato, or an Aristotle. Translate Eastern hyperbole into sober fact. Estimate the utterances of enthusiasm by calm reason. Cast aside that which is merely legendary, mythical, or traditional, and dare to walk alone, untrammelled by any bonds, and unfettered by dread of any conclusion at which you may arrive.

Dare to trust God, and seek for truth. Dare to think soberly, calmly, about revelation. To such a seeker shall come a knowledge of which he little dreams; a comfort which no creed of tradition can afford. He will know of God and of His truth as none can know who has not trodden the path of personal investigation. He will know of things Divine as the traveller knows of a far-off country when he has himself visited it and lived amongst its people.

Round him will centre the ministry of enlightenment, the guidance of the spirits whose mission it is to proclaim truth and progress to mankind. Old prejudices will fall away; old fallacies will shrink from the new light into congenial darkness; and the soul will stand unbound in the presence of Truth. Be of good cheer. Jesus it was who said, “The Truth shall make you free, and you shall be free indeed.” (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 138-9.)

The divinity of Christ and inspiration of Scripture belong to the domain of dogmatic theology. It is by no means impossible that a spirit may go on for ages honestly entertaining beliefs in themselves erroneous, though not pernicious. The guides see that other instruction is of more moment, and so the beliefs and opinions which have been formed in another state of being lie dormant.

But when such a spirit is brought again within the atmosphere of earth, all its old opinions, which have been dormant, are quickened into new life and come forth as of old. This is a necessary consequence of returning to the old associations, and is part of the same principle which causes the spirit to take on its old form and habit and even outward nature when it presents itself on the earth-plane again. You are familiar with the working of the same law. The flash of recollection when a chord is touched that has long ceased to vibrate; the memory recalled by a faded flower or a long-forgotten scene. This is why dormant error, not yet purged away, frequently becomes vivified and energetic when a spirit mingles again with old associations. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On Dogma in Spirit Theology

S. M.: It is startling to hear of spirits going on for ages with erroneous theological beliefs. Is this frequent?

It is not very usual. But the spirits who most frequently choose to communicate through mediums are not on any advanced plane of intelligence. They do not know better. The very fact of their returning unbidden to the earth-sphere would show they are not progressive spirits.

Those spirits who come to us much encumbered with human theology are amongst the least progressive.

True theology is God’s revelation of Himself to man as man can grasp it. Your creeds and Churches and various forms of faith are all more or less in error. A large class of spirits progress slowly, and do not know that they are in error. Spirits of that class band together with us as with you, and foster one another’s errors frequently. Ignorance and prejudice and speculative guesses prevail in the lower spheres with us as with you. Many deluders come bearing a mission from the adversaries, and such are not infrequently pious in their tone and orthodox in their words. They would bar progress and stifle truth. They do not God’s work, but the adversaries’, in that they bind down the soul, and clog its aspirations. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

On The Nature of Revelation and the Character of Inspiration

If you have rightly understood what we have previously put before you, we may now proceed to add further some words on the nature of revelation and the character of inspiration. We say, then, to you that the sacred books which make up your Bible, together with many others which are not included in it, are the records of that gradual growth in knowledge of Himself which the great and good God has given to man. The principle which pervades all these utterances is one and the same: identical with that which governs our intercourse with you.

So much of truth is given as man can grasp; no more under any circumstances, but just so much as he can grasp, so much as suffices for his present craving. That truth is revealed through the instrumentality of a man, and is always more or less mixed with the thoughts and opinions of the medium. Nay, the communicating spirits are perforce obliged to use the material which is found in the medium’s mind, moulding and fashioning it for their purpose: erasing fallacies, inspiring new views of truth, but working on the material which is already gathered.

The purity of the spirit message depends much on the passivity of the medium and on the conditions under which the message is communicated. Hence, in your Bible there are traces here and there of the individuality of the medium; of errors caused by imperfect control; of the colour of his opinions; as well as of special peculiarities addressed to the special needs of the people to whom the message was first given, and for whose case it was primarily adapted.

You may see for yourself numerous cases of this. If Isaiah spoke to the people the words of the message with which he was charged, he impressed upon that message the individuality of his own mind, and adapted it to the peculiar needs of the people to whom he spoke. He told, indeed, of the one Supreme God, but he told of Him in strains of poesy and ecstatic imagery far different from the metaphorical and characteristic imagery of Ezekiel. Daniel had his visions of glory; Jeremiah, his burdens of the Lord who spoke through him; Hosea, his mystic symbolism: each in his individual fashion told of the same Jehovah, as he knew Him, but each told his message in his own style, as it had been revealed to him.

Similarly, in later days, the characteristic nature of individual communications was preserved. If Paul and Peter found occasion to speak of the same truth, they almost necessarily viewed it from different sides. The truth was not less true because two men of varying minds viewed it from different points, and dealt with it in his own way. The individuality of the medium is palpable in the manner if not in the matter of the communication. The inspiration is Divine, but the medium is human.

Hence it is that man may find in the Bible the reflex of his own mind, whatever the tone of that mind may be. The knowledge of God is so small: that which man has grasped of His nature is so little, that each person who lives on past revelations, and cannot or will not extend them, must find in the Bible the reflex of his mind. He goes to find his own ideal, and lo! it is mirrored for him in the utterances of those who spoke for persons on his mental plane. If no one seer can satisfy his ideal, he selects from many the points which please him, rejects the remainder, and manufactures his own revelation piecemeal. So it is with all sects. Each frame its own ideal, and proves it by revelations taken from the Bible. None can accept the whole, because the whole is not homogeneous. But each picks out its suitable pieces, and from them frames its revelation.

When they are brought face to face with others who have picked out other passages, then comes the twisting and distorting of words, the explanation (so they call it) and the commenting on text: the darkening of plain meaning: the interpreting of sayings in a sense never meant either by the communicating spirit or by the prophet or teacher. By this means inspiration becomes a vehicle for sectarian opinions; the Bible, an armoury from which each disputant may draw his favourite weapon; and theology, a matter of private notion, backed up by false and misleading interpretation.

With a theology so framed, we are accused of being at variance. It is true. We have no commerce with it. It is of the earth, earthy; base and low in its conception of God; degrading in its influence on the soul; insulting to the Deity whom it professes to reveal. We have no part in it. We do indeed contract and disown it. It is our mission to reverse its teaching, to substitute for it truer and nobler views of God and of the Spirit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 57-8.)

Moreover, in dealing with you, spirits always proceed in one uniform manner. They are sent to communicate through a human medium some portion of Divine truth. In the medium’s mind they find a growth of opinions, some false, some partly true, some distorted and befogged by early prejudice and training. Are these to be eradicated before the truer ideas are suggested? Is the mind to be completely cleared of all preconceived ideas? By no means. It is not so we act. Were we to do so the work of eradication would be so tedious that we should risk leaving the mind bare of teaching altogether, and should have destroyed without being able to create.

No; we take the opinions already existent, and mould them into closer semblance of truth. All have in some sort the germ of truth, or we destroy them. With such as contain truth, we strive to grapple, and to mould and form them to progress and advancement in knowledge. We know of how little worth are the theological notions to which men attach so much importance; and we are content to leave them to die in the brighter light to which we lead the soul, while we supply the needed information on important topics.

Only we must eradicate dogmatism. That is all-important. Opinion, when harmless, we do not meddle with. Hence it is that theological notions may remain very much what they were, only toned down and softened in their asperities. So men falsely say that spirits always teach that which a man has previously believed. It is far from being so. What we now teach you is sufficient proof of that.

The spirit-guides do indeed work on that which they find already in the mind; but they mould and temper it, and imperceptibly change and adapt it to their ends. It is only when the views held are such as they cannot work upon, or of a positive and dogmatic type, that the change wrought becomes plain to your eyes. You find a man who has denied the existence of God and of spirit, who has believed only what he can see and feel and handle; such a materialist you see converted to a belief in God and a future existence, and you wonder at the change. But the spirit that has been tempered, and chastened, and softened: that has been purified, and refined, and elevated: whose rude and rough beliefs have been toned and softened, of this change you make no note, because it is too gradual and subtle to be perceptible to your senses.

Yet such are the glorious results of our daily work. The crude is softened; the hard, and cold, and cheerless are warmed into loving life; the pure is refined; the noble ennobled; the good made better; the yearning soul satisfied with richer views of its God and of its future happiness. The opinions have not been suppressed, but they have been modified and changed. This is the real existent spirit influence all around of which ye know nothing as yet: the most real and blessed part of spirit ministry.

When, therefore, men say that spirits speak only the medium’s preconceived opinions, they are partly right. The opinions, in so far as they are harmless, are the previous ones, only moulded in a way not perceptible to your gaze as yet. When the opinions are hurtful, they are eradicated and destroyed. When we deal with special forms of theological creed, we strive, in so far as we can, to spiritualise previous opinion rather than eradicate it. We know—as you cannot know—of how trifling moment are forms of faith, provided the faith be alive and spiritual: and we strive, therefore, to build on the foundation already laid.

To this end, however, whilst the broad outlines, which are in themselves partially truthful, or which embody as much of truth as the intelligence can grasp, are preserved, much that is false and delusive must be cleared away. So the work of destruction precedes the work of construction. The soul is purged of gross error, and the truth is refined and purified as far as may be. Hence it is that we do usually teach a modification of the views of truth held by those to whom we speak. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 59-60.)

When you credit God with motives and say, “This cannot be. God is acting here contrary to His nature. He cannot so act now, because He did not so act then,” you are simply saying, “My idea of God is so and so, and I cannot at present get another one. According to what I believe, my God would not do so.” And that is precisely what we say. You have made your God, and you have made Him act as you see fit. By and by, as your mind expands—either in your present state of being or in another—you will get fresh light, and then you will say, “Now I see that I was wrong. God is not what I fancied at all. How could I ever have entertained such notions!” This is very much the case with all progressive minds.

To some the time of development comes not in this life. They must wait for a newer light in a newer life. But to some there comes a flood of knowledge even in their present place of existence. The old grows flat and profitless. The soul craves for a newer and truer revelation; for something which shall be as the spirit among the dry bones, and shall give them a resurrection unto life. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 76.)

Well, you have had, or you are having, your revelation. Your mind, as some would say, has widened, and has pictured a God more in accordance with its advanced capacities. You have received from an eternal source—the same whence all other Divine knowledge flows down to man—a newer and richer revealing of the Supreme, others may say. Call it what you will. The two operations of revelation and comprehension, of knowledge and capacity, must be correlative. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 76.)

The knowledge does not come until there is capacity to receive it. Neither does the mind get higher revelation until is has so far advanced as to feel the want of it; and that for the simple reason that it is itself the agent through which comes the revelation of which it is the recipient. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 76.)

Revelation is Progressive

The Supreme has manifested Himself in divers forms and through divers agencies, and those who have been the recipients of these manifestations have usually erred in thinking that the agency and the revelation had been vouchsafed to them alone.

Each age had its divine message, and each had erred in thinking its own message final. God has spoken, but not finally. (Theophilus in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

God reveals to man that which he is able to bear; so that the revelation that comes from God is a progressive revelation. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Man in all ages has been constituted mentally the same. He is developed: he progresses; he thinks more deeply; he knows more. But sure as in your world night succeeds to day, so surely there comes a time when his conceptions of the Deity become faint and unreal; when the spark of Divinity within him craves for a fuller knowledge, and cries to heaven for a message from its God. A new revelation is needed. The craving spirit of man yearns for it. The old has done its work, and from its ashes rises the new, which is to the receptive soul the voice from on high that speaks words of consolation and comfort. It has ever been so. You know it. You can trace it all through the history of God’s dealings with mankind. And why should it cease to be so now? Why now, when man most needs it, should the voice be dumb, and the ear of the Supreme be deaf? (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 87.)

We claim for our teaching that it is just one of those rungs in the ladder of progressive knowledge of God which mankind has been gradually mounting, from the time when man framed for himself a god like himself, to the present, when you are slowly learning that to attribute human infirmities and passions to the Supreme is not to do Him honour.

Our revelation is in no respect different from that which has preceded, save that it is a step in advance, even as each development of human knowledge has been. Our knowledge flows from the same source, and is made known through similar channels. They are now, as then, human, fallible, and at times wrong. It must be so, as long as God reveals Himself through human agencies. (Spirit leader Imperator in ST, 72.)

If you will further recollect the standpoint we have selected, you will see that in place of blind faith, which accepts traditional teaching—the old, merely because it is old—we appeal to your reason: and in place of credulity we demand rational, intelligent investigation and acceptance grounded on conviction. So far from desiring you to accept what we tell you simply because we are spirit-messengers—the new merely because it is new—we ask you to weigh in the scales of reason, to ponder in the light of intellect, to reject if you be not satisfied, in no case to assent or to act until conviction has been thoroughly established. … /

Not only is the matter of spirit-creed eminently conformable to right reason, but the grounds on which we ask you to accept it are those which a rational and logical mind will be most disposed to accept. God forbid that we should even seem to hurry any man into antagonism, real or fancied, with a creed which has for eighteen hundred years and more been adorned by the lives of many myriads of earnest and progressive, as well as earnest though mistaken souls. The fact that it has long endured entitles it to the reverence due to antiquity, though with our extended view we can see that it also makes it needful that some of its provisions, admirably suited as they were for a less advanced generation, should now fitly be enlarged and spiritualised.

At any rate, we would not disturb its reign with violent revolution. We would refine and infuse new life; we would not dethrone and humble in the dust. As the Saviour told, in the accents of a life of loving and self-sacrificing purity, the story of a nobler faith than that which Sinai had revealed in accents of thunder, so we take up the Divine story at a later day, and proclaim for a world’s acceptance a creed more fitted to its advanced capacities, more suited to its later wants. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 72-3.)

You will learn hereafter that the revelation of God is progressive, bounded by no time, confined to no people. It has never ceased. God reveals Himself as truly now as of old He was revealed on Sinai. God does not shut off the progressive revealing of Himself in measure as man can bear it.

You will learn also that all revelation is made through a human channel: and consequently cannot but be tinctured in some measure with human error. No revelation is of plenary inspiration. None can demand credence on any other than rational grounds. Therefore to say of a statement that it is not in accord with what was given through a human medium at any stated time is no derogation necessarily from the truth of that statement. Both may in their kind be true; yet each of different application.

Set up no human standard of judgment other than that of right reason. Weigh what is said. If it be commended by reason, receive it; if not, reject it. If what is put before you be prematurely said, and you are unable to accept it, then in the name of God put it aside, and cling to aught that satisfies your soul and helps its onward progress. The time will come when what we lay before you of divine truth will be valued amongst men. We are content to wait, and our prayers shall join with yours to the Supreme and All-wise God that He will guide the seekers after truth, wherever they may be, to higher and more progressive knowledge, to richer and fuller insight into truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 53-4.)

No doubt there is for you, in your present imperfect state, no such thing as absolute truth, as there is no such thing as absolute perfection. You surely do not expect that your eye can gaze undimmed into mysteries which dazzle the vision of the highest intelligences. Surely you do not hope that your circumscribed mind can grasp the Infinite and Incomprehensible; that which to us in remotest cycles shall still remain a subject of adoring wonder. The suggestion can but be born of ignorance caused by the imperfect state of development in which you now live.

For you truth must be variable, not to be grasped in its entirety, not to be viewed in minute detail, but seen only in shadowy outline through an encircling veil. We do not even pretend that we reveal to you absolute truth, seeing that we ourselves are yet ignorant, longing to dive deeper into much that is still mysterious. We do but give you such aid as we are permitted in shadowing forth for yourself conceptions of the Supreme, which are less widely removed from truth than those which have passed current among you as the immediate revelation of the Most High. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 91.)

Man cannot receive more than he is prepared for. He is gradually led by spirit-guidance to a higher plane of knowledge, and then, when the need is felt, advanced and progressive information is given to him. Those of you who have questioned whether man does not evolve for himself a theoretic or speculative system which comes entirely from within, are not informed as to the operations of the Divine messengers.

At the very outset of our information to you we explained that man was only the vehicle of spirit-guidance. What he wrongly imagines to be the evolution of his own mind is in reality the outcome of spirit-teaching which acts through him. Some of your greater minds have wandered near the truth when they have so speculated. Did they but know enough of spirit-teaching to be aware of the influence that acts upon them, they would be far nearer the truth than those who have fancied that their Bible contains a complete and infallible Revelation, to which nothing will ever be added, and from which no scrap may ever be removed as useless. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 137.)

Spirit-preparation precedes your knowledge, and enables the progressive mind to evolve for itself higher views of truth, those very views being not the less the very voice of the messenger of truth. And so revelation is correlative with man’s needs. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 137.)

Even when you imagine your own mind to be most assuredly acting you err, for there is no such thing with you as independent action. You have always been guided and influenced by us. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 137.)

A New Revelation Must be Made Slowly, Gradually

If we are to teach the minds of men, it must be by slow degrees. Had we told you at first of the elementary spirits you would one and all have refused to deal with us. Had we told you of the difficulty of getting true communications, and that your religious faith was entirely wrong as regards the Christ, you would have said: ‘This teaching contravenes the Gospel. This is one of the deceivers foretold to come in latter days; we will have none of them.’ We have led you on, as you could follow, to clearer views and a higher platform. Many truths remain which we cannot put before you, as you cannot receive them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Not Everyone Accepts a New Revelation

That which is placed before men at the present time is the acceptance or rejection of a spiritual revelation. Some will accept, some reject it. (Spirit communicator Theophilus in MSTTT, n.p)

Man must judge according to the light of reason that is in him. That is the ultimate standard, and the progressive soul will receive what the ignorant or prejudiced will reject. God’s truth is forced on none. So for a time, during the previous processes, this must be a special revelation to a special people. It has ever been so.

Did Moses obtain universal acceptance even amongst his own people? Did any of the seers? Did Jesus even? Did Paul? Did any reformer in any age, amongst any people? He offers, and they who are prepared receive the message. The ignorant and unfit reject it. It must be so; and the dissensions and differences which you deplore are but for the sifting of the false from the true. They spring from unworthy causes, and are impelled by malignant spirits. You must expect annoyance, too, from the banded powers of evil. But cast your eyes beyond the present. Look to the far future, and be of good courage. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 25.)

We await with confidence the acceptance of our mission when the times are ripe for our teaching. That time must come after much steady preparation, and we are quite prepared to find that none can yet accept in full the teaching which we promulgate, save the little band to whom it is given to precede in progressive knowledge the rest of their fellows. We say that this does not strike us with surprise.

For, think! has it ever been that a fuller revelation has found acceptance among men at once? The ignorant cry has always been raised against progress in knowledge that the old is sufficient: that it has been proven and tried; whilst of the new, men say that they know nothing save that it is new and contradictory of the old. It was the self-same cry that assailed Jesus. Men who had laboriously elaborated the Mosaic theology, which had served its time, and was to give place to a higher and more spiritual religion: men who had drawn out the minutiae of this system until they had reduced it to an aimless mass of ritual, a body without a spirit, aye, a corpse without life: these cried out that this blasphemer (so they impiously called the Saviour of man’s religion) would destroy the law and dishonour God. The Scribes and Pharisees, the guardians of orthodox religion, were unanimous in their disbelief of Him and of His pretentions. It was they who raised the howl which finally led the Great Teacher to the Cross.

You know now that He did not dishonour God: and that He did but demolish man’s glosses on God’s revealed law in order that He might refine and spiritualise its commands, and raise if from the dead by infusing into it spiritual life and power, by breathing into it vitality and giving it renewed vigour. In place of the cold and cheerless letter of the law which prescribed outward duty to a parent—a duty discharged without love, with scanty dole grudgingly offered,—He taught the spirit of filial affection springing from a loving heart, and offering the unbought and ungrudged tribute of affection to earthly parents and to the Great Father. The formalism of mere external conventionality He replaced by the free-will offering of the heart.

Which was the truer, the nobler creed? Did the latter override the former, or did it not stand to it rather as the living man to the breathless corpse? Yet they who were content to buy off from filial duty at the poor cost of a few paltry coins scornfully given were they who finally crucified the Christ, as a man who taught a new religion blashphemously subversive of the old. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 63.)

It is the story of all time that the new is spoken against and discredited in religion, in science, in all with which man’s finite mind deals. It is an essential quality of his intelligence that such should be the case. The familiar commends itself: the new and strange is viewed with suspicion and mistrust. Hence it is not any legitimate cause for surprise that when we teach a spiritualised Christianity we should at first be met with incredulity. The time will come when all men will admit, as you do, the beauty of the creed and recognise its divine origin. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 64.)

[But] you must know that no unconscious effort of your own mind could produce that which contradicts the outcome of your own thoughts. Were the thoughts we utter those which would naturally spring from your own mind, you might have room for hesitation. But it is not so. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 86-7.)

Yes, friend, time is all that you require; time for patient thought; time to weigh issues, to estimate evidence, and to tabulate results. The words which have stirred you so deeply—you know not how deeply—are the words of one who sees your thoughts, who sympathises with your difficulties, and not least with those very doubts and questionings which now perplex you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 87.)

Sometimes We Build on Faith; Sometimes Destruction Must Precede Construction

Revelation is from God: and that which He has revealed at one time cannot contradict that which He has revealed at another, seeing that each is, in its kind, a revealing of truth, but of truth revealed in proportion to man’s necessities, and in accordance with his capacities.

That which seems contradictory is not in the Word of God, but in the mind of man. Man was not content with the simple message. He has adulterated it with his glosses, overlaid it with his deductions and speculations. And so, as years go by, it comes to pass that what came from God is in no sense what it was. It has become contradictory, impure, and earthy. When a further revelation comes, instead of fitting it reasonably, it becomes necessary to clear away much of the superstition that has been built on the old foundations; and the work of destruction must precede the work of addition. The revelations are not contradictory; but it is necessary to destroy man’s rubbish before God’s truth can be revealed. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 25.)

That which has been told to you in its outline is so far correct; but it does not pretend to be a perfect delineation of truth. It is but a faint outline, blurred and blotted in many ways, but substantially truthful. Doubtless it contravenes much which you have been taught to believe as necessary to salvation. No doubt it seems to the unprepared spirit to be new, and destructive of older forms of faith. But it is not so.

In its broad outlines the spirit-creed would be accepted by all who have thought at all on theological subjects without trammel of preconceived ideas, and without fear of the consequences of seeking into the truth. It would be commendable to all who are not hampered by old prejudices. We said that we must clear away much rubbish; that the work of destruction must precede the work of construction; that the old and unserviceable must first give place; that, in short, we must clear before we can build. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 55.)

It has become difficult, nay, impossible, for unaided human reason to distinguish God’s truth from man’s glosses upon it. So all who have had the boldness to clear away the rubbish have been held accursed. It has been the story of all time. And we are not justly chargeable with wrong-doing if from our superior standpoint of knowledge we point out to you human figments of error, and endeavour to sweep them away. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 55.)

The tendency of all classes of religionists has ever been to make much of the letter and to neglect the spirit: to dwell at large on expressions drawn from individual writers, and to neglect the general drift of teaching. Men have gone with preconceived notions to search for the truth, and have found that which they expected. Single words and expressions have been drawn out of their context by those who have professed to comment on the texts of your sacred books until they have been made to bear a meaning which their writers never intended. Others have gone to the authors solely to find words to prop up a theory without even the poor pretence of seeking after truth; and they, too, have been able to dig out something which has served their purpose.

And so, by slow degrees, the edifice has grown, built up laboriously by men who delight to dwell on peculiarities of language and expression, and by men who, having evolved for themselves an idea, strive only that it may be confirmed. Neither class has any idea beyond the text of the sacred records which lies before it. We said before that much of what we should have to say to you would turn on what you understand by Divine inspiration. Those who are known to you as the orthodox defenders of the Christian creed tell you that a mysterious person—one of the three individual persons who compose the Undivided Trinity—took possession of the minds of certain men, and through their organisms gave to your world a body of truth, which was whole, complete, and of eternal force: a system of Divine philosophy from which nothing might be removed under the direst ban; to which nothing would ever be added; and which was the immediate word, the very utterance, the mind and will of God, containing within it the whole body of truth, actual and potential, contained in divinely worded phrases and expressions.

Not only are the sentiments of David and Paul, Moses and John, consonant with the will of the Supreme, but they are the very thoughts of Deity. Not only are the words divinely approved, but they are the very diction of the Supreme. In short, the Bible is the very Word of God, both in matter and form: every word is Divine, and fit to be studied and expounded as such, even in that version of it which is translated into your language by men who, to complete the marvel, are again supposed to be in their turn the recepients of Divine truth and guidance in their work of translation.

Hence, you will see that doctrines the most tremendous, and conclusions the most far-reaching may be founded upon mere words and expressions, for is not every word and turn of phrase the revelation of God divinely preserved from admixture of human error? These are they who have grounded a number of dogmas on phrases picked out at their pleasure, neglecting and passing over all that pleases them not. To such the Bible is the direct utterance of the Supreme.

Those who have abandoned this view have entered upon a process of destructive handling of the Bible, the only termination of which is the view which we shall put for your acceptance. They revere the sacred records which compose your Bible as being the records of God’s truth revealed to man from age to age, even as it is still being revealed. They study the records as showing man’s progressive grasp of knowledge of God and of the destiny of the spirit. They watch the gradual unfolding of this revelation from times of ignorance and brutal barbarism when He was known as the friend of Abraham, who ate and conversed at the tent door, or the Judge who governed His people, or the King who fought at the head of the armies of Israel, or the Tyrant revealed through the medium of some seers, down to the time when He became known in His truer character of tenderness, and love, and fatherly kindness and compassion.

In all this they see growth, and they will believe, if they pursue their investigations to the end, that such growth has never ceased; that such progressive revelations has never been closed; and that man’s knowledge of his God is far from complete, though his capacity for receiving that knowledge is ever enlarging his means of satisfying the craving that is within him. And so the seeker after truth will be prepared to receive our teaching on this head at least. To such we address ourselves.

To those who fondly fancy that they possess a perfect knowledge we say nothing. Before we can deal with them they must learn to know their ignorance of all that concerns God and Revelation. Anything that we could say would glide off the impenetrable defence of ignorance, self-conceit, and dogmatism in which they are encased. They must be left to unlearn hereafter in pain and sorrow that which has so retarded their spiritual growth, and will be so dire a barrier to future progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 56-7.)

Moreover, in dealing with you, spirits always proceed in one uniform manner. They are sent to communicate through a human medium some portion of Divine truth. In the medium’s mind they find a growth of opinions, some false, some partly true, some distorted and befogged by early prejudice and training. Are these to be eradicated before the truer ideas are suggested? Is the mind to be completely cleared of all preconceived ideas? By no means. It is not so we act. Were we to do so the work of eradication would be so tedious that we should risk leaving the mind bare of teaching altogether, and should have destroyed without being able to create. No, we take the opinions already existent, and mould them into closer semblance of truth. All have in some sort the germ of truth, or we destroy them. With such as contain truth, we strive to grapple, and to mould and form them to progress and advancement in knowledge. We know of how little worth are the theological notions to which men attach so much importance; and we are content to leave them to die in the brighter light to which we lead the soul, while we supply the needed information on important topics.

Only we must eradicate dogmatism. That is all-important. Opinion, when harmless, we do not meddle with. Hence it is that theological notions may remain very much what they were, only toned down and softened in their asperities. So men falsely say that spirits always teach that which a man has previously believed. It is far from being so. What we now teach you is sufficient proof of that. The spirit-guides do / indeed work on that which they find already in the mind; but they mould and temper it, and imperceptibly change and adapt it to their ends.

It is only when the views held are such as they cannot work upon, or of a positive and dogmatic type, that the change wrought becomes plain to your eyes. You find a man who has denied the existence of God and of spirit, who has believed only what he can see and feel and handle; such a materialist you see converted to a belief in God and a future existence, and you wonder at the change. But the spirit that has been tempered, and chastened, and softened: that has been purified, and refined, and elevated: whose rude and rough beliefs have been toned and softened, of this change you make no note, because it is too gradual and subtle to be perceptible to your senses. Yet such are the glorious results of our daily work.

The crude is softened; the hard, and cold, and cheerless are warmed into loving life; the pure is refined; the noble ennobled; the good made better; the yearning soul satisfied with richer views of its God and of its future happiness. The opinions have not been suppressed, but they have been modified and changed. This is the real existent spirit influence all around of which ye know nothing as yet: the most real and blessed part of spirit ministry.

When, therefore, men say that spirits speak only the medium’s preconceived opinions, they are partly right. The opinions, in so far as they are harmless, are the previous ones, only moulded in a way not perceptible to your gaze as yet. When the opinions are hurtful, they are eradicated and destroyed. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 59-60.)

When we deal with special forms of theological creed, we strive, in so far as we can, to spiritualise previous opinion rather than eradicate it. We know—as you cannot know—of how trifling moment are forms of faith, provided the faith be alive and spiritual: and we strive, therefore, to build on the foundation already laid. To this end, however, whilst the broad outlines, which are in themselves partially truthful, or which embody as much of truth as the intelligence can grasp, are preserved, much that is false and delusive must be cleared away. So the work of destruction precedes the work of construction.

The soul is purged of gross error, and the truth is refined and purified as far as may be. Hence it is that we do usually teach a modification of the views of truth held by those to whom we speak.

And now, friend, you will see the bearing of this on your difficulty. We have endeavoured, not to uproot from your mind the views which you have entertained of theology, but to modify them. If you will recall the past, you will see how your creed has gradually widened from a very narrow basis to a comprehensive and rational one. You have, under our guidance, been made acquainted with the theological tenets of many churches and sects. You have been led to see, in each, the germ of truth, more or less developed, but clouded with human error. You have studied, for yourself, the writings of the teachers of religion among the Christian world, and your own creed has been toned down and softened in its asperities by the divergent views of truth so let in upon it.

The process has been long and gradual from the days when you were influenced to the study of ancient philosophies to later days, when systems of theology filtered through it, and left behind them that which you were able to assimilate. The fixed and changeless creed of the Eastern branch of the Christian Church, with its crystallised dogmas no longer living and breathing truths; the destructive criticism of German scholars who have dealt a much-needed blow to blind belief in the verbal exactitude of human utterances; the speculations of advanced thought in your own country and Church; the ideas of those external to it, and even to the creed of Christendom—of all these have you learned, and have retained from the several systems that / which was serviceable to you. It has been a long and very gradual work, and now we wish to carry you further, and to show you the ideal truth, spiritual, impalpable, but most real, which underlies all with which you are familiar.

We would strip off the earthly body, and show you the real, vital truth in its spiritual significance. We would have you know that the spiritual ideal of Jesus the Christ is no more like the human notion, with its accessories of atonement and redemption, as men have grasped them, than was the calf ignorantly carved by the ancient Hebrews like the God who strove to reveal Himself to them. We wish to show you, as you can grasp it, the spiritual truths which underlie the life of Him who is known to you as the Saviour, the Redeemer, the Son of God. We would tell you of the true significance of the life of the Christ, and show you, as we can, how low and mean are the views of Him which we are striving to do away with. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 60-1.)

Think [not] that our work is all destruction. We shall be able to construct when the rubbish is removed. Till then, if we seem to be scattering destruction broadcast, bethink you that we are but gathering the rubbish in heaps, and removing it, preparatory to the erection of a nobler edifice, a holier temple to a Diviner God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 135.)

It may Take Long for the Harvest, but It will Come

It is long, frequently, between the first promulgation of a truth and its final acceptance. The seed-time must precede the crop, and the rain and the frost and the cheerless wintertide may seem to be long drawn out, but the sun bursts forth at length, and the crop springs up, and the glad summer comes with the reaping and housing of the fruit. The day of preparation may be long, the night during which the sower waits may be weary, but the harvest surely comes. You cannot retard it; you may aid in reaping it; you may even assist in sowing the seed; but in spite of man’s opposition, whether he aids or not, God’s work will be done. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 73.)

From Earliest Times to Jesus

When God was Made in the Image of Man

Man has made God in his own image. His God is human–very human in many ways; He has qualities attached to His name which a more divine philosophy would cause man to repudiate. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Surely the page of human history bears upon it the story of one uniformly progressive revelation of One and the same God. The attempts of men to realise and picture to themselves the God whom they ignorantly worship have led to the strangest and most fallacious notions as to His nature and operations. In the early days of man’s history the crude notion of a God inherent in His spiritual nature took shape as a fetish, which was alternately prayed to with reverence or cast aside with contumely, in proportion as the prayer was granted or delayed. Men knew not that the block before which they bowed was powerless, and that round them hovered ever the bands of spirit ministers who were ready to succour and defend them, and to bear to them answers to their reasonable prayers. They could grasp no more of God than that. The tangible, palpable image was to them the embodiment of their idea.

Mark this! Of their idea of God, not of God Himself, but of the crude conception which was the best idea they could frame. Drawing their information from their own dealings, they imagined for themselves certain rules of conduct by which they proceeded to judge the God whom they had created. They feigned for Him human passions such as they found worthy of respect in their fellows. They credited Him with some failings which were inseparable from humanity as they knew it.

He was jealous of His honour; longsuffering and of tender pity; according as they who spoke of Him imagined that He ought to be. He was, in short, a glorified man—a man endued with omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. They / feigned Him such and made Him act accordingly.

Consequently all the revelation of God is characteristic of the age in which it is given. It grows with human development, and is progressively proportioned to the development of human intellect and refinement, simply because the human medium becomes capable of being impressed with more accurate views of the Deity in proportion as he has shaken himself free from his former fetters of ignorance, and has himself progressed towards light and knowledge.

We have frequently said that God reveals Himself as man can bear it. It must needs be so. He is revealed through a human medium, and can only be made known in such measure as the medium can receive the communication. It is impossible that knowledge of God should outstrip man’s capacity. Were we now to tell you—if we could—of our more perfect theology it would seem to you strange and unintelligible. We shall, by slow degrees, instil into your mind so much of truth as you can receive, and then you will see your present errors. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 75-6.)

From Melchizedek to Jesus

We would speak to you of the revelation of God amongst men in times of old by agencies similar too those which we use now. Throughout the history of which you possess the record in the earlier part of your Bible there stand out noble spirits who, during their bodily lives, shone as lights of truth and progress, and who, when released from the flesh, inspired in their turn those who were to succeed them.

Such, in the early days when God was fabled to deal with man more personally than now—such was he whom you know as Melchizedek. He blessed and conveyed to Abram the seal of Divine favour. He was the chosen vehicle of spirit power in a day when man had not cut himself off from belief in spirit intercourse. He was the light shining in darkness, the prophet of God to one section of His people. And it is well that we warn you here, on the threshold of your enlightenment, that you must learn to discriminate in the ancient records between that which is record of fact and that which is only expression of belief.

The writings which give history of those early days are full of inconsistent statements. They were not, as we assert to you, the compilation of their reputed author, but were compiled from traditional beliefs in a far later age, at a time when history had merged into legend, and much of mere opinion and belief had become stamped with the mark of authenticity.

So, though it be most true that fact is embodied in these records, as indeed in the sacred books of other faiths, you must beware how you accord implicit belief to every isolated statement contained in them. Hitherto you have read these stories from a standpoint of unquestioning assent. It is needful now that you study them in a new light—one more profitable, and not less interesting.

God did not associate with man after the anthropomorphic fashion described in Genesis; nor did He personally govern a favoured nation save through His selected instruments. His dealings with man have been uniform through the ages—intimate in proportion as man cultivates spirituality, remote as his animal nature asserts itself, and he becomes corporeal and material in his instincts.

So, in those now distant days, it was Melchizedek who bore to the chosen Abram the Divine Benediction. He whom Christian and Mahommedan alike have agreed to exalt was not the immediate recipient of spirit guidance as was the Priest-King of Salem. Abram faded from power when he passed from the body, and in the centuries since his incarnation he has been but little concerned in influencing men. It may seem strange that it should be so; but it is so with many a spirit whose name fills a large place in your world’s history. The work has been done, and the new work does not bring the spirit in contact with matter. Or, perchance, the work has been badly done, the chosen vessel has lost its perfume, and becomes in spirit-land savourless and useless.

Melchizedek returned again to influence the most powerful reformer your world then had—the leader of the Israelites out of Egypt, and the Lawgiver who framed for them their code and constitution. He was a most powerfully organised and developed instrument of spirit-power. A keen intelligence had been developed in what was then the best school, the esoteric wisdom of the Egyptians. A powerful magnetic will fitted him for the post of ruler; and a powerful band of spirits operated on the Jewish nation through / him, and through them on the world.

A code of religious observance was perfected, a system of government elaborated, and laws and regulations laid down which were adapted for the specific necessities of a great people in a great crisis of their history. The Jews were then passing through a phase not unlike that which has come to other people in later days—one to which the present age bears some noteworthy points of resemblance, a period of development of knowledge, when old things are passing away, and the creative spirit makes all things new.

Here again beware of false deductions. The laws then given were not meant for all time, as some of your teachers falsely pretend. They were the power of God to that distant age—so much of truth as man could grasp, inspired in the same way, and in no other, as have been all the utterances of truth which the good God permits His messengers to declare to men. They set forth the needed truth that the One Supreme God rules over His people and cares for their well-being. The love due to God and the charity and loving-kindness due to the brother were embodied for a nation which had drunk in the baser forms of Egyptian polytheistic teaching, and had had no part in the inner mysteries where alone truth dwells.

These commandments which have been perpetuated till now, embodied for a changeful age a phase of truth. They contain laws of action which are true in spirit, but not binding in literal exactness on those who have outgrown the necessity for them. They were given by the spirit-guides to Moses on the secluded top of Sinai, above the turmoil of Israel, and removed from the lower influences of earth.

They knew then what man has forgotten now—how that perfect isolation is requisite for perfect communing, and that if you would have pure and unadulterated spirit-teaching, it must be communicated to one who has been removed from the mixed influences, the cares and anxieties, the jealousies and disputes which crowd the lower air. So is the message more pure, and so does the medium hear and receive with sincerity and truth. Moses was to select seventy elders—men of spiritual development, for such alone were then chosen for offices of power—upon whom his own influence was perpetually brought to bear, and who were the channels by which that influence permeated the people.

So the code was elaborated and set in operation, and when the Lawgiver passed from his work on earth he became an exalted spirit whose name is emblazoned for all ages as a benefactor of men. He, too, in his turn, influenced men after many generations as the inspiring guide of Elijah. We intentionally pass over the other manifestations of spirit-power which occur in other directions, in order that we may preserve intact the grand chain which stretched from Melchizedek to the Christ. Nor do we name more than it is necessary to indicate in order to show you the continuity, and to press on you the fact that these, who had been great workers for God during their lives on earth, did influence man’s destinies even after their withdrawal from the body.

Many other chains of influence there were, and many other centres from which truth, more or less advanced, was diffused, but you are not concerned with them. That which culminated in Jesus Christ is that with which you are concerned, though we implore you to cast aside that ignorant and selfish sectarianism which would arrogate to itself the sole proprietorship of truth. /

Elijah, the great master, the grandest spirit who ever graced the nation of Israel, was in a very high degree the recipient of spiritual guidance from Him who had been the Leader of His people. The traditional reverence for Moses and Elias felt by the Jewish people is shown you in a fable that God buried the body of Moses, while he caught up Elijah in a chariot and horses of fire to the skies where he fancied heaven lay. Such was the reverence felt, that they were fabled to be singular even in death. We need not tell you that no material body was ever translated to lead a corporeal life in the land of spirit. You know that such is but an allegory to indicate the glorious translation of an exalted spirit from a sphere where his work is done, to one where his extended influence is to begin.

He left to his successor a two-fold portion of his spirit, not indeed in that Elisha was endued with double virtue, for that was far from being so, but that the glorious results of Elijah’s power showed with two-fold force in the days of his successor, who seconded his efforts and carried on his work. He, too, reappeared in after ages, and exercised his great influence again, and stood, as you know, with his Master side by side with the Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. And in the vision of John the Divine, they are again depicted as coming to revisit the earth in still later days. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 130-2.)

SM: Abraham. You speak slightingly of him.

No; but in comparison with the great spirit, who was to him God’s messenger [Melchizedek?], he was on a lower plane. We do not share man’s opinion in all such matters. His name has been widely known; but he has played no great part with us. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 133.)

There were many [others] who were recipients of Divine inspiration. Such was Enoch, a highly-gifted spirit. Noah, in like manner, but imperfectly. Deborah was highly favoured, and all they whom history calls Judges of Israel, were chosen for the special reason that they were amenable to spirit-influence. It were long to particularise all, and we shall speak hereafter of other manifestations of spiritual power in the Jewish records. For you will see that we confine ourselves now, first, to the Jewish records; and, next, to one particular chain in these records. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 132.)

You say to us that we are not of God, because our ideas of Him made known to you are not compatible with some notions which you have derived from certain of the books in your sacred records. Tell us which is the God with whom we are at variance in our ideal. Is it the God who walked in human form with Adam, and is fabled to have wreaked direful vengeance on the ignorant creatures who are said to have committed what you now see to be a very venial fault? Or, is it the God who commanded His faithful friend to sacrifice to Him the only child of his love as an acceptable offering? Or is it the God who reigned over Israel as an earthly monarch, and whose care was feigned to be devoted to the enunciation of sanitary laws, or to the construction of a tabernacle, who went forth with the armies of Israel to battle, and issued bloodthirsty laws and regulations for the extirpation of innocent and unoffending peoples?

Or is it, perchance, the God who enabled His servant Joshua to arrest the course of the universe and to paralyse the solar system, in order that the Israelites might revel a few hours more in gore and carnage? Or is it rather with the God who feigned to be so angry with His chosen people because they wished for a visible monarch, that He visited upon them an elaborate revenge extending over many hundred of years? Or with which of the Gods of the prophets are we at variance? with Isaiah’s God, or with Ezekiel’s? or with the lugubrious Deity that Jeremiah’s morbid mind imagined? or with David’s Divinity—half father, half tyrant, cruel and yielding by turns, always inconsistent and irrational? or with Joel’s? or with John’s? or with Paul’s Calvinistic conception, imagined and painted with horrid phantasies of predestination, and hell, and election, and a dreamy, listless heaven? Are we at variance with Paul, or John, or Jesus?

But there is no need to press the fact that revelation has always been proportioned to man’s capacity, and coloured by man’s mind. The idea of God has been throughout the ages the conception, more or less vivid, of those who have been the media of revelation. The implanted idea has taken form and shape from the mental surroundings of the medium through whom it was given. Such portion of truth as the teachers have been able to impart has been moulded by the spirit of the medium into an individual shape. To none has complete truth be given, only so much of truth, such aspect of truth, as was necessary for a particular age and people.

Hence it is that the conceptions of God, such as those we have now alluded to, are various and divergent. Of course, we and our God are not Joshua and his God: neither are we Paul and his God: though we challenge comparison between the God we know and reveal, and that God who was dimly shadowed forth to a people that knew Him not, by Him who knew Him best, and lived nearest to Him, the man Christ Jesus. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 77.)

When you rashly complain of us that our teaching to you controverts that of the Old Testament, we can but answer that it does indeed controvert that old and repulsive view of the good God which made Him an angry, jealous, human tyrant: but that it is in fullest accord with that divinely-inspired revelation of Himself which He gave through Jesus Christ—a revelation which man has done so much to debase, and from which the best of the followers of Christ have so grievously fallen away. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 78.)

From those old creeds and faiths, venerable in their antiquity, but crude too frequently in development, men have derived comfort. They have found their utterances convenient and suitable for them. They have derived from them a satisfaction which they do not bring to you. Why? Because your spirit has outgrown those old, and to you lifeless, utterances. They benefit you not. They are powerless to stir your soul. They have no voice for your spirit: no remedy for your wants. They are but faint and far-off echoes of what to some was a living voice, but which to you is cold and meaningless. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 82.)

The old is dead to you. Why linger round the lifeless form? Why embrace the mouldering corpse which was once a living being instinct with Divine truth? Your sacred records tell you how, at the sepulchre of Jesus, the angel message to the sorrowing friends was one of aspiration. “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, He is risen.” So, friend, we say to you: Why linger in the dead past, the sepulchre of buried truth, seeking, in fruitless sorrow, for that which is no longer there? It is not there, it is risen. It has left the body of dogmatic teaching which once for a restless age enshrined Divine truth. There remains but the dead casket.

The jewel is gone. The spirit has risen, and lo! we proclaim to you sublime truth, a nobler creed, and a Diviner God. The voice which in ages past has sounded in the ears of those to whom has been entrusted the Divine mission on their earth and to their generation reaches even to this age and to you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 83.)

This, then, is our cry to you. Why turn your face to the dead past, when the living present and the bright future attract, and promise rich store of blessing? Were we in our mission the absolute contradiction of the old, what is that to you? The old words are spiritless, and you cannot infuse into them again the spirit that is gone. Leave them to those for whom they still have a voice and a meaning, and follow with unfaltering step the impulses of the Divine Spirit which lures you on to higher views of truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 83.)

SM: I asked a question as to that interval of time between the records of the Old and New Testaments of which we have no account in the Bible.

Of that age you have no record, because the influence of the Spirit was withdrawn save in cases of rare influence rarely exerted. We do not dwell on that, because we wish to point out the grand chain of spiritual influence from Melchizedek to Jesus. Sufficient now that you know that it was a period of darkness and desolation and spiritual dearth, after which we were again enabled to awaken in the minds of men an expectation of dawning light.

The first ray of light shot across the world—that portion of it with which alone we are now concerned—when men were led to feel their blindness, and to look onward to a time when the pall should be lifted, and the light should shine again. It is ever so with the races of men. Though the corporeal may so far assert itself from time to time that the spiritual be to all appearance completely eclipsed, it is not actually so. The period of darkness gives place to dawning light, and the spiritual germ asserts its existence. The spirit-power is renewed, and man awakes to the knowledge of divine truths higher than he had before conceived.

It is as with the man who has laid him down to rest, tired with the labours of the day. Darkness has gathered around him; his spirit is chafed and wearied with toil; his body tired and worn. Gloom outer and inner settles on his spirit, and he falls into sleep. Tired nature is restored, the wearied mind is recuperated, and he wakes again to find the bright sun shining with its blessed beams upon him. Elasticity returns to mind and body, and his spirit rejoices in the life and beauty that surround him. The joy of morning is come.

Even so it is with the spiritual experiences of the generations of mankind. There come epochs when the old spirit-teachings which were so satisfying pall on the understanding. The mind of man wearies itself with questionings. The material side of humanity predominates. Doubts and difficulties creep in, take root, bear fruit. One truth after another is questioned, one fact after another denied, until man feels that the blessed sunlight of Divine truth is being veiled from his eyes. The sun sinks below the spiritual horizon, and the night of inaction, and weariness, and thick darkness begins. The Spirit of God strives not; the night of ignorance and gloomy despair reigns, and the spirit-messengers bide their time, waiting for the moment when the sleeping souls shall stir again and turn towards the light.

Sure as that man’s spirit is not dead but sleepeth, that moment comes, and in the dawning of the morn the messengers of God sing their anthem of praise to Him who brings light and joy out of darkness and despair. Such period intervened between the spiritual epoch which closed with the Old Testament record and that when the voice of the forerunner sounded. Such has recurred in days immediately preceding your own. We are directing you to the dawn, and doubt not that it shall be now as ever, that the morning shall be one of increased knowledge, of extended experience, of more assured belief. The morning light shall be stronger and clearer than the twilight that has preceded it. Only wait and watch. Be ready to catch the inspiration lest it fail and pass away, and you turn again to slumber, and the opportunity be lost. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 136.)

A Religion of Scribes and Pharisees

We see your learned men playing the part of the Sadducees, and your scholars are labouring over documents that will be of little value in the final issue. Ritual and ceremonial and creed have so filled the thoughts of your churchmen that they have set aside the idea of spirit that underlies them. The first mark of a fading faith is that lack of spirituality which leads men to give up the unseen world, and to busy themselves with the useless husks that surround it. When men are cumbered with dogmas and creeds of human invention, and leave out of view the spiritual truths that underlie them, it is clear their faith is on the wane. (Theophilus in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

When Peter said: ‘Silver and gold have I none,’ he pointed to a higher truth which has been lost sight of; for your greatest Church has been at pains to acquire a monetary position which the Apostle so eagerly disclaimed. Spiritual influences have gone from it, and material influence acquired. (Theophilus in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Friend, you have opened points on which we shall be glad to speak with you. As to our authority, we have touched on that point before. We claim it to be divine, and we await with confidence the acceptance of our mission when the times are ripe for our teaching. That time must come after much steady preparation, and we are quite prepared to find that none can yet accept in full the teaching which we promulgate, save the little band to whom it is given to precede in progressive knowledge the rest of their fellows.

We say that this does not strike us with surprise. For, think! has it ever been that a fuller revelation has found acceptance among men at once? The ignorant cry has always been raised against progress in knowledge that the old is sufficient: that it has been proven and tried; whilst of the new, men say that they know nothing save that it is new and contradictory of the old.

It was the self-same cry that assailed Jesus. Men who had laboriously elaborated the Mosaic theology, which had served its time, and was to give place to a higher and more spiritual religion: men who had drawn out the minutiae of this system until they had reduced it to an aimless mass of ritual, a body without a spirit, aye, a corpse without life: these cried out that this blasphemer (so they impiously called the Saviour of man’s religion) would destroy the law and dishonour God.

The Scribes and Pharisees, the guardians of orthodox religion, were unanimous in their disbelief of Him and of His pretentions. It was they who raised the howl which finally led the Great Teacher to the Cross. You know now that He did not dishonour God: and that He did but demolish man’s glosses on God’s revealed law in order that He might refine and spiritualise its commands, and raise it from the dead by infusing into it spiritual life and power, by breathing into it vitality and giving it renewed vigour.

In place of the cold and cheerless letter of the law which prescribed outward duty to a parent—a duty discharged without love, with scanty dole grudgingly offered,—He taught the spirit of filial affection springing from a loving heart, and offering the unbought and ungrudged tribute of affection to earthly parents and to the Great Father.

The formalism of mere external conventionality He replaced by the free-will offering of the heart. Which was the truer, the nobler creed? Did the latter override the former, or did it not stand to it rather as the living man to the breathless corpse? Yet they who were content to buy off from filial duty at the poor cost of a few paltry coins scornfully given were they who finally crucified the Christ, as a man who taught a new religion blashphemously subversive of the old. The scene at Calvary was the fitting culmination to such a religion.

Again, when the followers of the Crucified stood forth to declare their gospel to a world that cared not for it, and which was not prepared to receive it, the charge against them perpetually was that they taught new doctrine which was subversive of the old faith. Men taxed their ingenuity to discover horrible accusations which they might charge upon them. They found nothing too monstrous to be delivered by those who were eager to credit any accusation of the new faith which “everywhere was spoken against.”

They were lawless; yet so rigidly respectful to the established faith, and to the “powers that be,” that no cause of blame could be discovered. They were devourers of infants: they who were the followers of the loving and gentle Jesus. Nothing was too monstrous to be believed about them; even as men now wish to believe everything that can discredit us and our mission. Has it not been so ever since? It is the story of all time that the new is spoken against and discredited in religion, in science, in all with which man’s finite mind deals. It is an essential quality of his intelligence that such should be the case. The familiar commends itself: the new and strange is viewed with suspicion and mistrust. Hence it is not any legitimate cause for surprise that when we teach a spiritualised Christianity we should at first be met with incredulity. The time will come when all men will admit, as you do, the beauty of the creed and recognise its divine origin. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 63-4.)

The past casts a glamour over you, and you share the common idea that the new must utterly destroy the old. Did Jesus so say? Did He counsel the abolition of the Mosaic teaching? Yet, as we have before said, our teaching is no more startling development as compared with His than was His as compared with Moses’. That which we present for your acceptance is the complement rather than the contradiction of the old; the growth to a fuller stature; the development of a wider knowledge. /

If you meditate deeply on the state of the world when Jesus proclaimed to it His reformed faith, you will see many points of similarity to that which now obtains among men. It is not, we reiterate, more startling to read the gospel which we preach alongside of that which passes current among men for religion, than it was to put the gospel of Jesus in juxtaposition to the ritual of Pharisaism, or the sceptical indifferentism of Sadducee.

The world then needed a new revelation, even as it does now; and that which it received was not less startling than is this to those who love the old, and desire not to be stirred from the paths to which they are accustomed. In those days, even as now, the revelation of God, which had been adapted to the special wants of a special people, had been overlaid with rubbish, until it had become a mass of ritual without a meaning and without life.

For many long years the voice of God had not been heard, and man had begun to crave, as he craves now, for a renewal of the Divine message. The old had become dead, and he sought for a new and living voice. It came to him—this Divine utterance—in the voice of Jesus; from a source the most unlikely, as men think; from a quarter least calculated to command respect of the educated Pharisee, or to carry conviction to the scoffing Sadducee. Yet that voice prevailed, and for 1800 years has animated the religious life of Christendom.

The creed so originated has become debased, but the spirit of the Crucified is in it even now; and it needs but the vivifying touch to call it forth into new life. The old rags with which man has thought to clothe it may readily be thrown aside, and the truth shine all the brighter for their loss.

The source from which our revelation comes is not more strange that was the source of that power wielded by Him who was to His generation the despised carpenter of Nazareth. Men sneered at Him in the plenitude of their scorn; even as they sneer at us. They were ready to stare at His marvels; they would follow Him in hosts to marvel at the physical miracles which were wrought through Him; but they were not sufficiently spiritual to drink in His teachings. They are ready now to wonder at us and our mighty works, even as they wondered then. Even as then they sought for yet further and further tests— “Come down from the cross, and we will believe on thee”—so now there is even one more test which is necessary to ensure complete conviction.

They called Him a deceiver, even as they cry out now. They hooted Him out of their society; they drove Him out of their midst, and they strove by their laws and by their influence to crush out the new doctrine from their land. New it was indeed, but the truth that it enshrined was old, old as the God who gave it, only new in form. Ours is new now, but the time shall come when men shall see that it is but the risen truth of ages past, rejuvenescent and eternal. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 83-4.)

Be assured that the same power which availed to stir the dead faith of the Jew, and to reveal his God more clearly, is still able to infuse new life into the well-nigh lifeless body of Christian faith, and to restore it to energy and vitality. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 84.)

Alas! alas! that the divine science which should tell man of the nature of his God, and in telling should breathe into his soul somewhat of that divine love which emanates from Deity; alas! that it should have become the battle-ground for sects and parties, the arid plain where the pettiest prejudices and the meanest passions may be aired, the barren, cheerless waste, where man may most surely demonstrate his own ignorance of his God, about whose nature and operations he so bitterly disputes! Theology! it is a byword even amongst you. You know how, in the ponderous volumes which contain the records of man’s ignorance about his God, may be found the bitterest invective, the most unchristian bitterness, the most unblushing misrepresentation. Theology! it has been the excuse for quenching every holiest instinct, for turning the hand of the foeman against kindred and friends, for burning and torturing and rending the bodies of the saintliest of mankind, for exiling and ostracising those whom the world should have delighted to honour, for subverting man’s best instincts 7and quenching his most natural affections. Aye, and it is still the arena in which man’s basest passions vaunt themselves, stalking with / head erect and brazen front over all that dares to separate itself from the stereotyped rule. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 98-9.)

All utterances of spirits through man have a spiritual interpretation as well as a material one which meets the eye. And it is this spiritual interpretation which is entirely missed by a materialistic age. Man has gradually built around the teachings of Jesus a wall of deduction, and speculation, and material comment, similar to that with which the Pharisee had surrounded the Mosaic law. The tendency has increasingly been to do this in proportion as man has lost sight of the spiritual world.

And so it has come to pass that we find hard, cold materialism deduced from teachings which were intended to breathe spirituality, and to do away with sensuous ritual. It is our task to do for Christianity what Jesus did for Judaism. We would take the old forms and spiritualise their meaning, and infuse into them new life. Resurrection rather than abolition is what we desire.

We say again that we do not abolish one jot or one title of the teaching which the Christ gave to the world. We do but wipe away man’s material glosses, and show you the hidden spiritual meaning which he has missed. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 108.)

The time will come when you will be able to see, as we cannot explain to you in your present state, the true dignity of man’s higher life even on the earth sphere, and the hidden mysteries with which that life is teeming. Before you can reach so far you must be content to learn that there is a spiritual meaning underlying everything; that your Bible is full of it; man’s interpretations, and definitions, and glosses being but the material husk which enshrines the kernel of divine truth.

Were we to throw away this husk the tender kernel would wither and die. So we content ourselves with pointing out, as you can bear and understand, the living verity which underlies the external fact with which you are familiar.

This was the mission of the Christ. He claimed for Himself that fulfillment of the law, not its abolition or abrogation, was His intent. He pointed out the truth which was at the root of the Mosaic commandment. He stripped off the rags of Pharisaical ritual, the glosses of Rabbinical speculation, and laid bare the divine truth that was beneath all, the grand principles divinely inspired which man had well-nigh buried. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 108.)

He was not only a religious but a social reformer; and the grand business of His life was to elevate the people, spirit and body, to expose pretenders, and to strip off the mask of hypocrisy; to take the foot of the despot from the neck of the struggling slave, and to make man free by virtue of that truth which He came from God to declare. “Ye shall know the truth,” He told His followers, “and the truth shall make you free: and ye shall be free indeed.” He reasoned of life and death and eternity; of the true nobility and dignity of man’s nature; of the way to progressive knowledge of God. He came as the Great Fulfiller of the law; the man who showed, as never man showed before, the end for which the law was given—the amelioration of humanity. He taught men to look into the depths of their hearts, to test their lives, to try their motives, and to weigh all they did by the one ascertained balance—the fruits of life as the test of religion. He told men to be / humble, merciful, truthful, pure, self-denying, honest in heart and intent; and He set before them a living example of the life which He preached. He was the great social reformer, whose object was at least as much to benefit man corporeally, and to reveal to him a salvation from bigotry and selfishness, and narrow-mindedness in this life, as it was to reveal glimpses of a better life in the hereafter.

He preached the religion of daily life, the moral progress of the spirit in the path of daily duty forward to a higher knowledge. Repentance for the past, amendment and progress in the future, summed up most of His teaching.

He found a world buried in ignorance, at the mercy of an unscrupulous priesthood in matters religious; under the absolute sway of a tyrant in matters political. He taught liberty of both; but liberty without license; the liberty of a responsible spirit with duties to God and to itself; of a spirit corporeally enshrined with a corresponding duty to its brethen in the flesh. He laboured to show the true dignity of man. He would elevate him to the dignity of the truth, the truth which should make him free.

He was no respecter of persons. He chose His associates and His apostles from the mean and poor. He lived amongst the common people; of them, with them, in their homes; teaching them simple lessons of truth which they needed and which they could receive. He went but little among those whose eyes were blinded by the mists of orthodoxy, respectability, or so-called human wisdom. He fired the hearts of His listeners with a yearning for something nobler, better, higher than they yet possessed; and He told them how to get it.

The gospel of humanity is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only gospel that man needs; the only one that can reach his wants and minister of his necessities. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 108-9.)

Errors in the Bible, Its Translation, and Its Interpretation

There is much in some parts of the Bible which does not amalgamate with our teaching, being, indeed, the admixture of human error which came through the mind of the chosen medium. We need not repeat on this head our previous argument which is familiar to you. Revelation, as contained in your Bible, includes many progressive developments of the knowledge of God which are in themselves irreconcilable in minute detail. …

You can only arrive at truth by judging of the general drift. Private opinions selected without reference to the body of teaching are but the sentiments of the individual, valuable as showing his mind, but not in any way binding as of faith. To imagine that an opinion uttered many centuries ago is of binding force eternally is mere folly. Indeed, all such opinions are contradictory in themselves, and are contradicted by other and opposite opinions contained within the same volume. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 64.)

You must judge the Revelations of God by the light which is given you: in the mass, not by the dicta of its preachers: by the spirit and general tendency, not by the strict phraseology. You must judge of us and our teaching, not by conformity to any statement made by any men at any special time; but by the general fitness and adaptability of our creed to your wants, to your relations with God, and to the progress of your spirit.

What, then, is the outcome of our teaching? How far does it square with right reason? How does it teach you of God? How does it help your spirit? You have been taught in the creeds of the orthodox churches to believe in a God who was propitiated by the sacrifice of His Son, so far as to allow a favoured few of His children to be admitted to an imagined heaven, where for ever and for evermore, with monotonous persistence, their occupation should be the singing His praise.

The rest of the race, unable to gain admission to this heaven, were consigned to a hell of indescribable torment, perpetual, endless, and intolerable. These miserable ones failed of bliss, some of them because they had not faith; and others, because they had evil surroundings by which they were degraded. And others fell, being assailed with fierce temptations, by which they were led away and seduced to sin. And others were [incarnated] in debasing and sensual bodies, and were overcome of ungoverned passions. And others could not understand what was wanted from them, though they tried, and would fain have done what they could.

And others had intellectual inability to accept certain dogmatic propositions which they had been taught to believe essential to their salvation. And others had not, when bodily existence ceased, assented to certain statements which were able to secure them the entry into the heaven we have described. And so they perished everlastingly; and on their endless torments, from a height of serene and secure, the blessed who have gained their bliss through a faith in certain dogmatic assertions, though many of them had been men of grievous and degraded lives, look with the satisfaction of undisturbed and changeless repose.

A life of gross sensuality, or of sloth, or of offence against all law, you are taught, is remediable by an act of faith. The grossest and most sensual ruffian may, by a cry on his deathbed, find himself instantaneously fitted for admission into the immediate presence of the God whom he has all his life blasphemed. He, the impure, base, degraded, earthy spirit admitted to association with the refined, the noble, the pure, the holy, in the immediate presence of the stainless perfection of the all-pure God! And yet the half is not told, but enough by way of contrast.

We tell you nothing of such a God—a God of whom reason cannot think without a shudder, and from whom the fatherly instinct must shrink in disgust. Of this God of Love, who shows His love in such a fashion, we know nothing. He is of man’s fashioning, unknown to us. We pause not to expose the miserable pretence that such a human idol can ever have been aught but the figment of a barbarous mind. We do but ask you to wonder with us at the presumptuous ignorance and folly which has dared to paint such a caricature of the pure and holy God.

Surely, friend, man must have been in a degraded spiritual condition ere he could have pictured such a Deity. Surely, too, they who in this age have not shrunk from such a creation must have sore need of a Gospel such as that we preach. The God whom we know and whom we declare to you is in very truth a God of Love—a God whose acts do not belie His name, but whose love is boundless, and His pity unceasing to all.

He knows no partiality for any, but deals out unwavering justice to all. Between Him and you are ranks of ministering spirits, the bearers of His loving message, the revealers from time to time of His will to man. By His spirit-messengers the train of ministering mercy is never suffered to fail. This is our God, manifested by His works, and operating through the agency of His ministering angels. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 64-5.)

We say, then, to you that the sacred books which make up your Bible, together with many others which are not included in it, are the records of that gradual growth in knowledge of Himself which the great and good God has given to man. The principle which pervades all these utterances is one and the same: identical with that which governs our intercourse with you. So much of truth is given as man can grasp; no more under any circumstances, but just so much as he can grasp, so much as suffices for his present craving.

That truth is revealed through the instrumentality of a man, and is always more or less mixed / with the thoughts and opinions of the medium. Nay, the communicating spirits are perforce obliged to use the material which is found in the medium’s mind, moulding and fashioning it for their purpose: erasing fallacies, inspiring new views of truth, but working on the material which is already gathered. The purity of the spirit message depends much on the passivity of the medium and on the conditions under which the message is communicated.

Hence, in your Bible there are traces here and there of the individuality of the medium; of errors caused by imperfect control; of the colour of his opinions; as well as of special peculiarities addressed to the special needs of the people to whom the message was first given, and for whose case it was primarily adapted. You may see for yourself numerous cases of this.

If Isaiah spoke to the people the words of the message with which he was charged, he impressed upon that message the individuality of his own mind, and adapted it to the peculiar needs of the people to whom he spoke. He told, indeed, of the one Supreme God, but he told of Him in strains of poesy and ecstatic imagery far different from the metaphorical and characteristic imagery of Ezekiel. Daniel had his visions of glory; Jeremiah, his burdens of the Lord who spoke through him; Hosea, his mystic symbolism: each in his individual fashion told of the same Jehovah, as he knew Him, but each told his message in his own style, as it had been revealed to him.

Similarly, in later days, the characteristic nature of individual communications was preserved. If Paul and Peter found occasion to speak of the same truth, they almost necessarily viewed it from different sides. The truth was not less true because two men of varying minds viewed it from different points, and dealt with it in his own way. The individuality of the medium is palpable in the manner if not in the matter of the communication. The inspiration is Divine, but the medium is human.

Hence it is that man may find in the Bible the reflex of his own mind, whatever the tone of that mind may be. The knowledge of God is so small: that which man has grasped of His nature is so little, that each person who lives on past revelations, and cannot or will not extend them, must find in the Bible the reflex of his mind. He goes to find his own ideal, and lo! it is mirrored for him in the utterances of those who spoke for persons on his mental plane. If no one seer can satisfy his ideal, he selects from many the points which please him, rejects the remainder, and manufactures his own revelation piecemeal.

So it is with all sects. Each frame its own ideal, and proves it by revelations taken from the Bible. None can accept the whole, because the whole is not homogeneous. But each picks out its suitable pieces, and from them frames its revelation. When they are brought face to face with others who have picked out other passages, then comes the twisting and distorting of words, the explanation (so they call it) and the commenting on text: the darkening of plain meaning: the interpreting of sayings in a sense never meant either by the communicating spirit or by the prophet or teacher. By this means inspiration becomes a vehicle for sectarian opinions; the Bible, an armoury from which each disputant may draw his favourite weapon; and theology, a matter of private notion, backed up by false and misleading interpretation. With a theology so framed, we are accused of being at variance. It is true. We have no commerce with it. It is of the earth, earthy; base and low in its conception of God; degrading in its influence on the soul; insulting to the Deity whom it professes to reveal. We have no part in it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 57-8.)

Another reason why much that is false with respect to God is current among you, as derived from the Bible, is, that the assumption of infallible inspiration leads men not only to lay too much stress on words and phrases, but also to fall into the error of interpreting too literally that which was intended to be spiritual and typical interpretation.

In communicating to your mental plane ideas which are to you inconceivable, we are obliged to use expressions which are borrowed from your ways of thought. We ourselves are very frequently at fault in misusing such expressions; or they are themselves inadequate to convey our meaning. Almost all spirit utterances are typical.

Especially when spirits have endeavoured to convey to men ideas of the great God of whom they themselves know so little, the language used is necessarily very imperfect, inadequate, and frequently ill-chosen. But it is always typical, and must be so understood.

To press to the end of literal accuracy any spirit-teaching about God is mere folly. Moreover, the revelations of God have been made in language suited to the capacities of those to whom they were originally given, and are to be so interpreted. But they who have framed for themselves the idea of an infallible revelation applicable through all time interpret every word literally, and so deduce erroneous conclusions.

The hyperbole which was intelligible in the mouth of the impulsive seer who uttered it to an imaginative and enthusiastic Eastern hearer becomes overstrained, untrue, and misguiding when coldly interpreted in the light of comment and verbal exactness to those whose habits of thought and language are widely different or even totally dissimilar. It is this cause that we must attribute many views of the Supreme which are alike false and dishonouring to Him. The original language was inadequate enough; it has become coloured more or less by the medium through whom it has passed, and is then less adequate than before. But interpreted as we have pointed out, it becomes positively false; and is in no sense the revelation of God. Rather it is man’s notion about a Deity whom he has framed for himself—framed as really as the image which the savage forms for his fetish. With such views, again, we have no accord. Them, too, we denounce, and our mission is to substitute for them a truer and nobler knowledge. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 59.)

Revelation, as contained in your Bible, includes many progressive developments of the knowledge of God which are in themselves irreconcilable in minute detail. And, moreover, it contains much admixture of human error which has filtered in through the medium. You can only arrive at truth by judging of the general drift. Private opinions selected without reference to the body of teaching are but the sentiments of the individual, valuable as showing his mind, but not in any way binding as of faith.

To imagine that an opinion uttered many centuries ago is of binding force eternally is mere folly. Indeed, all such opinions are contradictory in themselves, and are contradicted by other and opposite opinions contained within the same volume.

No doubt it was a current belief, at the time when many of the writers of books in the Bible composed the treatises which you call inspired, that Jesus was God, and harsh denunciations are made against any who should deny the dogma. No doubt also that the same men believed also that He would, in mysterious manner, return in the clouds to judge the world, and that before their generation should die. They were mistaken in both beliefs, and over one at least more than 1800 years have rolled and still the return is unaccomplished. So we might push the argument were it necessary.

What we wish to impress on you is this: You must judge the Revelations of God by the light which is given you: in the mass, not by the dicta of its preachers: by the spirit and general tendency, not by the strict phraseology. You must judge of us and our teaching, not by conformity to any statement made by any men at any special time; but by the general fitness and adaptability of our creed to your wants, to your relations with God, and to the progress of your spirit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 64.)

You cannot see, as we see, the carelessness that has crept over men as to the future state. Those who have thought about their future condition have come to know that they can find out nothing about it except that the prevalent notions are vague, foolish, contradictory, and unsatisfying. Their reasoning faculties convince them that the Revelation of God which they are taught to believe to be of plenary inspiration, contains plain marks of human adulteration; that it will not stand the test of sifting such as is applied to works professedly of human origin; and that the priestly fiction that reason is no measure of revelation, that it must be left behind upon the threshold of inquiry, and give place to faith, is a cunningly-planned means of preventing man from discovering the errors and contradictions which throng the pages of that infallible guide which is forced upon him.

Those who use the touchstone of reason discover them readily enough: those who do not, betake themselves to the refuge of faith, and become blind devotees, fanatical, bigoted, and irrational; conformed to a groove in which they have been educated, and from which they have not broken loose simply because they have not dared to think. It would be hard for man to devise a means of cramping the mind and dwarfing the spirit more complete than this persuading a man that he must not think about matters of religion. It is one which paralyses all freedom of thought, and renders it almost impossible for the soul to rise. The spirit is condemned to a hereditary religion, whether suited or not to its wants. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 97.)

SM: You said that the ancient records were not to be depended on for literal accuracy. As to the Pentateuch, is it the work of one author?

The Books to which you refer are the compilation of the days of Ezra. They were compiled from more ancient records, which were in danger of being lost, and some parts of which had to be supplied from tradition or memory. The original records of the days previous to Moses did not exist; and the record which you have in Genesis is partly imaginary, partly legendary, and partly the transcript of records. The account of the Creation and the story of the Deluge are legendary. The account of the Egyptian Ruler, Joseph, is transcribed from records. But in no case are the books as they now stand the work of their reputed author. They are the compilation of Ezra and his scribes, and do but embody the conceptions / — and legends of the period.

The accounts which concern the Mosaic law are more exact, because precise records of the code were preserved as sacred books, and from thence the particulars were drawn up. We mention this to avoid at once the necessity of replying to any texts from these books which may be quoted as an argument. The records themselves are not of literal accuracy—in the earlier portions not to be relied on at all, and in the later, only where they refer to that part of the Mosaic record which was preserved.

SM: Imaginary, you say.

It was necessary to supply lost books, and what was drawn up was from memory or legend. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 132-3.)

You have asked information respecting the Pentateuch. It is, as we have before hinted, the compilation by Ezra of legends and traditions which had been orally handed down from generation to generation, and which were collected by him to prevent their loss. Some parts of the Pentateuch, especially the early portion of Genesis, are mere legendary speculations collected and arranged by the scribe. Such are the Noachic and Abrahamic legends which exist in collateral forms in the sacred books of other peoples. Such, in another way, are the statements of the book Deuteronomy, which are the direct additions of Ezra’s day.

For the rest, the compilation was made from previous imperfect collections made in the days of Solomon and Josiah, themselves in turn records of previous legends and traditions which again had still more remote origin. In no case were they the very words of Moses; nor do they embody truth, save where, in dealing with the law, they draw their information from authentic sources. We shall dwell hereafter on the notion of God which pervades the early books of your Bible. Sufficient that we now point out that the mythical and legendary sources from which most of them were compiled forbid you to attribute any weight to their historical statements or moral precepts, save when they are confirmed by reasonable evidence from other sources. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 141.)

SM: The translations of Enoch and Elijah. What were they?

Legendary beliefs. A halo of glory was shed around even the death of those whom men reverenced. In earliest days the man who attracted to himself the reverence of his fellows, and round whose name a certain reverential awe had gathered, was fabled to have been taken to join God in the heaven for which his life had fitted him. Moses, the mysterious agent of Divine power, the commanding head of his people, was so fabled to be mysteriously removed from earth. He had talked familiarly with the Deity whom he had revealed, and now he was to go to join Him.

Elijah, in like manner, the strange, weird, mysterious power, who came and went as with the freedom of air, who seemed to be guided by no human laws, governed by no such restrictions as fence in man’s movements—he, too, it was imagined, was translated from earth to heaven in such sort as he had lived. In all cases it was the imaginings concerning an anthropomorphic God and a material heaven that lay at the root of the fancy.

We have before told you that man can only receive such ideas about God and heaven as he is fitted to grasp by his spiritual development. In the early days of your world’s history man pictured a God who was but an omnipotent man—a man in every respect, with certain qualities superadded, those qualities being such as man would fancy as natural additions to the being with which he was already acquainted. In other words, man took the highest ideal of humanity, and added to it certain qualities; the result he called Deity. In this he was doing only what man has always done.

The human conception of Deity must ever be clouded with mortal mist, even as the revelation of God can only come through a mortal medium, and be proportioned to human capacity. This is a natural and invariable consequence of the conditions under which you exist. So, the knowledge of God being progressive, and man having grown in wisdom, he discovers from time to time that his conception of God must be revised. The need is felt, and the additional light is given. (This is the best answer to those among you who fancy that man can learn nothing from us of God and the spirit’s life and progress.)

So it is with regard to heaven. You have unlearned much that previous ages have fancied about heaven. And none save the most ignorant would now imagine that a material body could find a home in heaven, as once men thought it could. The time of material heavens, into which mysterious beings who had been / deified on earth were translated bodily into the society of an anthropomorphic God, is past. You do not imagine God as an omnipotent, omnipresent man, living in a place where His throne is surrounded by a throng who do naught else but worship and adore, as men would worship were they to see God amongst them on earth. Such a heaven is but a baseless dream.

Into spirit-life spirit alone can enter. You know that you have outgrown the fable of the bodily translation of a material frame somewhere into the skies, there to live as it had lived on earth, in the society of a God who was human in all respects save that He was superhuman, in a heaven which was borrowed from the images of a vision which typified under a symbol spiritual truth to John the Seer. You know that no such God exists.

A translation will await each good and true man, but not of his human flesh and bones. His glorified spirit shall rise from the dead and worn-out shroud of flesh that has served its purpose, to a brighter life than man has pictured, in a brighter heaven than human seer has ever imaged.

SM: No doubt there are a number of legends which come in the end to be accepted as truth. The difficulty is to know truth from legend, and the danger, to uproot the tares with the wheat. And even a myth may have a very discernible meaning, and embody truth.

It is so. The legends of which your sacred records are full are in very many cases superstitious beliefs that have centred round great names. There is a nucleus of truth enveloped in a surrounding of myth. We have frequently told you that man has erred greatly in his conceptions of us and of our influence and work. Some causes which have produced this result are beyond his control, others he can govern.

He cannot in the childhood of his intellect grasp knowledge which his mind has not the power to comprehend. That is unavoidable. He cannot picture correctly a condition of life which is utterly different from the state in which he has lived, and with which alone he is acquainted. He must be naught by illustration and analogy. That too is unavoidable. But he heaps together words and ideas which were intended to be figurative, and constructs from them a notion which is incoherent and absurd. Each step of knowledge will lead you to see this more clearly. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 133-4.)

Moreover, man has fancied that each revelation of God enshrines permanent truth of universal application, of literal and exact accuracy. He did not see that man is taught by us as man teaches his own children; and accurate definitions of abstract truth do not suit the comprehension of a child. With all the literalness of a child he accepts the very words of revelation as mathematically and logically accurate, and builds upon them a number of theories, absurd in their nature, and conflicting among themselves. The child accepts the parent’s word unhesitatingly, and quotes it as law. It is only later that he learns that he was being taught in parables.

Man has dealt with Revelation in the same way. He has assumed literal exactness where there is only Oriental imagery, and mathematical accuracy where he has only a very fallible and frequently legendary record. So he has perpetuated ignorant ideas about a jealous God, and a fiery hell, and a heaven in the skies where the elect are gathered, and a physical resurrection, and a universal assize, and such notions, which belong to the age of childhood and are outgrown by the developed man.

The man should put aside the notions of the child, and soar to higher knowledge. But in place of that legendary belief, primitive superstitions, ignorant fancies, are perpetuated. The hyperbolical visions of an imaginative people are taken for hard fact; and a medley of fancy, folly, and truth is jumbled together, which no reflecting mind on an advanced plane of knowledge can continue to / accept as matter of belief.

Faith is the cord that has bound together this incoherent mass. We cut that cord, and bid you use your reason to try that which has been received and held by faith alone. You will find much in the mass that is of human invention, dating from the infancy of man’s mind. You will reject much that is both cumbersome and profitless. But you will find a residue that commends itself to reason, is attested by your own experience, and is derived from God.

You will gather hints of what the good God destines for His creatures. You cannot get more in your present state. Sufficient that you enter on a new phase of being free from the blunders and misconceptions too rife in the present. You will see by degrees that the past is valuable principally for the light which it sheds on the present, and the glimpses which it gives you of the future. This, as you should know by this, is the purpose of our present work—to lead to purer and less dishonouring views of God, of life, and of progress, than have hitherto obtained among you. To this end we must first point out the errors in your creed, the human figments that have passed current for Divine truth, and the legendary fancies that have become crystallised into history, accepted by faith, but rejected by right reason. We do but require patient and honest thought on your part. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 134-5.)

See how little reliance is to be placed upon isolated texts taken from books which do but embody the floating legends and traditions of an ancient people, decipherable only by those who had the key. We wish to insist on this point. The amount of credence to be placed in any statement drawn from the ancient books of your religion depends on the nature of the book from which it is taken, and on the specific nature of the utterance itself, as well as on your understanding of its true meaning.

It is possible for you to select from your oldest books words which sublimely picture an elevated conception of Deity. It is possible, on the other hand, to select from other and later writings conceptions of God the most dishonouring, the most human, the most repellent. Such are they which represent the Pure and Holy One as wrestling in human form with man; as discussing with a mortal his plans for vengeance on an offending city; as a monster of cruelty and carnage, revelling in gore, and glutted with the blood of his enemies: yea, even as a man who sat at the tent door of his friend and consumed flesh of a kid and cakes of bread.

You may select conceptions the most dissimilar, and no separate utterance can be of more than the individual weight judged by the rules of right reason. And even thus it behoves you to see well that you understand aright the hidden meaning which frequently underlies such passages, lest you wander from truth and err through ignorance. Inspiration, we again say, is not different in kind in different ages, but only in degree. The words in all cases are the words of the inspiring spirit conveyed through a human medium; and in proportion as the medium is pure and elevated are the utterances trustworthy and the conceptions sublime. The plane of knowledge of the medium is the plane of revelation through him.

And we need not say at length that in the world’s earlier days—such as those spoken of in ancient records of the Jews—that plane was low, and these conceptions, save in rare instances, anything but sublime. Man has progressed in knowledge since the days when he feigned for himself a vacillating, puny God who repented and was grieved at the failure of his plans in man’s creation, and who was compelled to undo them as a failure. If you seek for conceptions more sublime and true, you will go to a later age, when man had unlearned somewhat of his folly, and had ceased to be content with a God framed after the devices of a barbarous imagination and an undeveloped mind.

The barbarous age could grasp nothing nobler, and accordingly nothing nobler could be revealed. That is in accord with the universal practice, viz., that God’s revelation is proportional to man’s mental plane. The error has been that you have laboured to perpetuate these foolish and crude views. They have been held by your theologians to be of Divine inspiration, binding for all time. This fallacy we desire utterly to uproot.

Another error even more destructive of truth is the fable that Divine inspiration, plenarily communicated, guided all the writers of all the books of your Bible into absolute truth; and that, as God was in every case the Author, so each individual utterance of each scribe is of paramount as well as permanent authority. This error we have uprooted in your mind, for you now know that God cannot be the Author / of contradictions, nor can He have said at one time what He contradicts at another. The light shone through a dark medium, and was distorted in the passage.

In place of these false views we have taught you that inspiration is the control of the inspiring spirit; of various degrees of elevation, perfection, or reliability; to be judged in each case by reason, and to be estimated in precisely such manner as you would criticise and judge works of professedly human source. You will therefore accept no text as an argument. You will deal with these ancient books as you deal with all that is put before you. And in criticising them you will find it necessary to deny much that has been affirmed and believed with respect to them and their contents. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 140-1.)

The documents in question [found in Genesis] were the legendary sources of the compilation of Ezra’s scribes, Elnathan and Joiarib. They were many in number, some compiled in the days of Saul, some even earlier, in the days of the Judges of Israel, and some in the days of Solomon, Hezekiah, and Josiah— crystallisations of the floating legends which had been orally handed down.

We have already pointed out to you the true line of inspiration from Melchizedek. All prior to that is untrustworthy: and not all, indeed, that is recorded concerning the lives of the real recipients of spirit-guidance is accurate. But on the whole, the channel of Divine teaching was such as we have said. The books you name were all added and arranged from existing sources by Ezra’s authority, save and except those which were afterwards added—those called by the names of Haggai, Zechariah, and / Malachi. Haggai was concerned in the compilation of the book of Ezra, and he and Malachi finally completed the Old Testament by the addition of the later books. They, with Zechariah, were much in communion, having been the privileged attendants of Daniel when he saw his great vision and received his commission from Gabriel, the Archangel of God, the Chief of the Ministering Angels, and from Michael the Archangel, the Chief of the Hosts of the Lord against the adversaries.

Of a surety Daniel the seer was a highly-favoured recipient of Divine inspiration. The great God be thanked for His mercy, and for the manifestation of His power.

SM: Is that the vision recorded in Daniel x.?

That by the banks of the Hiddekel.

SM: The same. Then selections only were chosen from the utterances of the prophets?

Only selections, and they chiefly for some hidden meaning, which does not lie on the surface. As the open vision was about to cease, selections were made from the records of the past, and the canon was closed until the days when the voice of spirit-teaching should sound again amongst men.

SM: You speak of Daniel as a great seer or medium. Do you know if the gift was common?

He was a very favoured recipient of spirit power. Such became more rare as the spiritual age was about to close. But men cultivated the power more then. They valued more and knew more of spirit power and teaching.

Vast masses of trance addresses, visions, and the like, such as those preserved in the Old Testament, must have been lost?

Assuredly. There was no need to preserve them. And many that were preserved are now excluded from your Bible. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 141-2.)

The record of the temptation [of Jesus] is legendary, like many other records in you Bible. …

Following out the peculiarities of the strange record which is received as the voice of God, you will find many discrepancies throughout all its parts. Thus you are told that a legendary devil took Christ into the wilderness, reduced Him by fasting, and then offered Him the world of which He was master. Such fables as these have been as millstones round the neck of progressive souls, and this fetter has bound men in all ages. They are false fables and imaginings which keep souls back from progress up to the Light. They must be blotted out from the book to which man looks for his enlightenment, before real progress can be made. Your Bible contains within it many gems of truth; but, if man is to benefit from it, he must learn discrimination. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

S.M. asks explanation of the text, I and My Father are One.

Friend, there is no claim of divinity there. Very far from it. The claim put forward is precisely ours.

We come to you, teachers sent from God, the bearers of a special message, and we point, as Jesus did, to the divine character of the message and to the works which attest to divine origin. Controversial points we wish to avoid.

You err, in common with many others, in that you attach a fictitious importance to the phraseology employed in your Bible. It is not allowable that you extract a translated phrase from the writings of John, and proceed to build upon it so portentous a dogma. You are bound to use the same fair means of interpretation which you would apply to other books.

You must remember, too, that the books on whose words so much is built are the utterances, more or less accurately reported, of different men in different ages of the world’s history, and that they were spoken to men far other than you in thought and need and habit, and that, moreover, with all their defects, they have suffered this additional danger that they reach you only through the medium of a translation more or less inaccurate. The very sentence which you have quoted does not bear the interpretation of unity of Persons which is grounded upon it. The gender used is the neuter. Not one in person, but one in aim, one in interest. I, Jesus, am in union with the Father in the work which He has given me to do.

S. M.: Then, what do you make of the many passages in which plain claims of divinity seem to be made?

We are rather inclined to believe that the claims of Jesus were overstated in earth-life, and that the disciples who heard the words recorded them in a sense far stronger than He Himself would have used. Doubtless, He did claim for Himself a divine mission, as, indeed, it was. He claimed in hyperbolical Eastern metaphor honour and respect as the Messenger of the Most High. And His followers, ignorant and uneducated, magnified His claims in the light of the Crucifixion and Resurrection and their attendant wonders. And so the story grew until it has reached the marvelous dimensions which now astonish reflecting men. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Alterations in the Conception of God

Jehovah was in reality, as He was constantly called, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; not the Only God, but a family deity. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

The growth of the idea of God was a gradual one: … the God of Abraham was an inferior conception to the God of Job: … the cardinal truth which we have ever insisted on is manifest in your Bible even as elsewhere, viz., that God’s Revelation is correlative with man’s spiritual development, and that He is revealed in proportion to man’s capacity. You have but to read, with this idea prominent to your mind, the records of the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, to see that this is so.

In early patriarchal times, God, the Supreme, was adored under many anthropomorphic representations. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was superior, in the opinion of those who worshipped him under that title, but only superior, to the gods of their neighbours. The father of Abraham, as you know, worshipped strange gods, i.e. gods other than his son’s God. Nay, this was invariably the case, each family having its own representative deity by which its members vowed and swore. The name given to the Supreme, Jehovah Elohim, shows you so much as that. /

Laban, too, remember, pursued and threatened Jacob for having stolen his gods. And the same patriarch collected on one occasion the images of his household gods, and hid them under an oak tree. Here you see Jehovah was, as he was constantly called, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: not the One Only God but a family deity. It was only when the children of Israel grew into a nation that the idea gradually enlarged itself to that of the national God of Moses and Joshua. Even the great lawgiver, in his elevated conception of the Supreme, was not entirely emancipated from the notion of a superior God; for he says expressly that there is none like to Jehovah among the gods. And many like sentiments are to be found in the recorded sayings.

Indeed, in the commandments given as the very words of the Supreme Himself, it is said that the Israelites should have no other God before Him. Read Joshua’s dying address, and you will see in it too, the notion of a Superior Deity. It was not until the development of the nation had so far progressed as to make these anthropomorphic notions repulsive, that you find truer ideas of God becoming rife. In the prophetical and poetical books of your Bible you get far nobler conceptions of the Deity that in the earlier portions. This is assured.

God is revealed in your Bible in many forms. Some are noble and elevated, as the books of Job and Daniel. Some are grovelling and mean, as the books which are called historical. In all you see an exemplification of the truth that God is revealed in proportion to man’s capacity. And it was not always a progressive revelation. As master minds stood forth so was the God-idea chastened and refined.

It has ever been so. It was markedly so when Jesus revealed to man His conception of the Supreme. It is so still, as, one by one, exalted spirits have found an aspiring soul to whom they could convey ideas of the Great Father, and through them shed forth a brighter beam of truth. Such have stood forth in well-nigh all your generations, and through them from time to time revealings of Deity have been vouchsafed brighter than ever were shed forth before. And an unprepared world has blinked and shielded its eyes from the unwonted glare, and has chosen the gloom, for that it was not prepared for full radiance of the Divine truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 142-3.)

The twelve apostles were all mediums, and were specially chosen on account of their mediumship, which was developed by association with their Head. Peter, James and John were most in sympathy with Him. In the same way Moses was commanded to choose seventy elders who were gifted with mediumistic power. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Other Religions

Each Religion has but a Fragment of the Truth

Revelation began with Melchisedek, and has been continued even till now. … The Christian Church is not the only recipient of divine favour…. Another branch received a portion and carried it into other lands. To each was given but a fragment of the whole Truth of God. (Theophilus in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Has it ever occurred to you that the majority of Christian men regard themselves as the heirs of an assured Heaven, and believe that the Supreme has sent His Own Son to live and die for them? That they have a revelation which is the inspired message of His own servants, and that no other message has ever come to man? Also, that it is their bounden duty to instruct the Hindus, Chinese and the heathen in general in the doctrines confided to them alone? That this perfect revelation is the final utterance of the Supreme?

Put aside such doctrines as false and egotistical. We know of no such favouritism on the part of the Supreme. He, God over all, blessed for ever, shows no favouritism to any clique of His creatures in one corner of the earth. In all ages there has been a revelation of God, suited to the particular circumstances of the time.

Each religion, as sent by God, has one great central idea; and Spiritualism, as you are pleased to call it, gathers them together into one harmonious whole. All these fragments that have been revealed are now to be gathered up and welded into one homogenous mass, under the name of Spiritualism. Some of these fragments have been purer and truer than others. That of Jesus Christ was the truest of all, and the older religions of India would probably rank next to that. The great bar to knowledge is prejudice. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

As regards the fate of those whom you call the heathen, the majority of Christians decide that they will fare badly in the hereafter, being left to the justice of the Supreme without any claims on His mercy. It is strange they have forgotten that Christ has said that there are other sheep, not of the Christian fold, who will be brought in and judged according to their works. Paul, on Mars Hill, spoke of God as having made of one blood all nations of men on earth, and describes mankind as sprung from one family, all yearning after God, if so be they might find Him. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

That which may have suited a far-off ancestor may be quite unsuited to a struggling spirit that lives in other times from those in which such ideas had force and vitality. And so the spirit’s vital nourishment is made a question of birth and locality. It is a matter over which they can exercise no personal control, whether they are to be Christian, Mahommedan, or, as you say, heathen; whether their God is to be the Great Spirit of the Red Indian, or the fetish of the savage; whether his prophet be Christ, or Mahomet, or Confucius, in short, whether their notion of religion be that prevalent in east, west, north, or south; for in all quarters they have evolved for themselves a theology which they teach their children as of binding force, as supremely necessary for salvation. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 97.)

It is important that you ponder well this matter. The assumption that any one religion, which may command itself to any one race, in any portion of your globe, has a monopoly of Divine Truth, is a human fiction, born of man’s vanity and pride. There is no such monopoly of truth in any system of theology which flourishes or has flourished among men. Each is, in its degree, imperfect; each has its points of truth adapted to the wants of those to whom it was given, or by whom it was evolved. Each has its errors: and none can be commended to those whose habits of thought and whose spiritual necessities are different, as being the spiritual food which God has given to man. It is but human frailty to fancy such a thing. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 97.)

Man likes to believe that he is the exclusive possessor of some germ of truth. We smile as we see him hugging himself in the delusion, congratulating himself on the fancied possession, and persuading himself that it is necessary for him to send missionaries far and wide, to bear his nostrum to other lands and other peoples, who do but laugh at his pretensions and deride his claims. / It is, indeed, supremely marvellous to us that your wise men have been and are unable to see that the ray of truth which has shone even unto them, and which they have done their best to obscure, is but one out of many which have been shed by the Sun of Truth on your world. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 97-8.)

We do say, we have always said, that man’s responsibility is in proportion to the light which is in him; that man’s duty is not lessened but increased by the quality of the revelation of which he is the recipient. We tell you that many a soul has progressed in spite of its creed by honesty and sincerity and singleness of purpose; and that many a soul has been dragged down by the very load of that faith in which its hopes were centred. We know that it is so, and that man’s faith in its external presentment—the outer shell which alone you can see—is of comparatively little moment. He must perforce take that which falls to his lot, and according to the use he makes of it is his progress.

It is an accident whether an incarnated soul be Jew or Turk, Mahommedan, Christian, Brahmin, or Parsee; but it is of the essence of that soul’s progress whether it so uses its opportunities as to progress, or so abuses them as to retrograde. Souls have different opportunities here, and according as they use them they have increased or diminished capacity for progress in the after state for which they have fitted themselves. This you know; and the chance of progress may be as great with the despised and humble soul on whom the Pharisaical Christian looks down with contempt as with one incarnated amidst every influence of good and ever opportunity of progress. It is a pure question of spirit, into which you cannot yet enter. You are concerned with the husk here; you have not reached the kernel. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 155.)

Divine Truth is too clear a light to be tolerated by human eyes. It must be tempered by an earthly medium, conveyed through a human vehicle, and darkened somewhat lest it blind the unaccustomed eye. Only when the body of earth is cast aside, and the spirit soars to higher planes, can it afford to dispense with the interposing medium which has dulled the brightness of the heavenly light.

All races of men have had a beam of this light amongst them. They have received it as best they might, have fostered it or dimmed it according to their development, and have in the end adapted to their different wants that which they were able to receive. None has reason to vaunt itself in exclusive possession, or to make futile efforts to force on others its own view of truth.

So long as your world has endured, so long has it been true that the Brahmin, the Mahommedan, the Jew, and the Christian, has had his peculiar light, which he has considered to be his special heritage from heaven. And, as if to make the fallacy more conspicuous, that Church which claims to itself an exclusive possession of Divine Truth, and deems it right to carry the lamp throughout all lands, is most conspicuous for its own manifold divisions. Christendom’s divisions, the incoherent fragments into which the Church of Christ is rent, the frenzied bitterness with which each assails other for the pure love of God; these are the best answers to the foolish pretension that Christianity possesses a monopoly of Divine Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 98.)

When I lived on earth (1) I knew nothing of the older religions. There was nothing in my time among the Jews that could be called a belief in immortality, only a yearning for it. Jesus Christ introduced the idea as a real belief. It was part of His mission to spread this truth. The Jews were like the Christians in the present day, and had ceased to think much of a future state. Christ came to teach the indestructibility of spirit, and the perpetuity of existence; even as we come to tell you of the possibility of communion with those who have passed to the spirit world.

(1) Imperator is referring to his incarnation as the prophet Malachi.

The Relevance of Other Religions

It is well that you learn to be modest in estimating both your own knowledge and that of the ancients. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 151.)

India is the source from which is derived much of the religious idea which pervades your faith. From India the chain has been perpetuated through many nations of antiquity. The myths which have centred round the plain truths of revelation owe their origin to India. The Messianic legends date from the earliest days. Men have always pictured to themselves a Saviour of their race, and the best record of your gradual growth is to be found in tracing the early religious history of India.

As the study of Indian lore bears much on the scientific aspect of language which you have studied and taught to others, so is the study of the religious aspect of Indian history in the far, dim past, essential for yourself now. Direct your mind to it. We have those with us who can aid you. India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Judea—of these and of God’s dealings with them in revealing the Divine Ideal as man has been able to grasp it, it behoves you to know.

You must learn how Djeminy (1) and Veda Vyasa were the predecessors of Socrates and Plato. You will be told of this by those who know, and whose earth-life was spent at that epoch. But, first, you must labour to gather up for yourself such knowledge as is stored up. That done, you will be guided further. You must learn, too, from similar sources how that man in every age has felt his need of a Saviour outside of himself, and how the legends that cluster round these Messiahs repeat themselves from time to time.

The mythic source from which many a legend sprang you will find in the story of Chrishna [i.e., Krishna], the miraculous son of the pure virgin Devaki. Hence you will get light on subjects yet dark to you. This is the special information of which we spoke long ago, but which the peculiar attitude of your mind, combined with its blank ignorance on these subjects, compelled us to withhold. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in Moses, ST, 147.)

(1) Cf. Helena P. Blavatsky: “And the greatest philosopher of the pre-Christian era [Plato] mirrored faithfully in his works the spiritualism of the Vedic philosophers who lived thousands of years before himself, and its metaphysical expression. Vyasa, Djeminy, Kapila, Vrihaspati, Sumati, and so many others, will be found to have transmitted their indelible imprint through the intervening centuries upon Plato and his school. Thus is warranted the inference that to Plato and the ancient Hindu sages was alike revealed the same wisdom.” (Isis Unveiled, http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/isis/iu1-00in.htm.) I confess myself ignorant of Djeminy’s life and works.

We have still much to clear away before we can build safely. There is much in the mere outlines that will be strange to you, and you must be familiarised with them before we can go into detail. You must know that Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, the great kingdoms of the world, owed their philosophy and religion very largely to India. Manou, the great Indian reformer and teacher, reappears as the Manes of Egypt, the Minos of Greece, the Moses of Hebrew story. The name is impersonal, and is the appellative “man” in its simplest form.

The great pioneers of truth to their respective peoples were called, by emphatic eminence, “The Man.” They were to their fellows the highest embodiment of human power, dignity, and knowledge. Manou of India was a learned and erudite scholar, a profound student of philosophy, more than three thousand years before the Christ was born among you. Nay, he in his turn was but a late reformer compared with those whose words are written in the ancient commentaries which belong to venerable Brahminical lore thousands of years before Manou expounded philosophically the mysteries of God, of creation, and of man’s destiny. To him Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, owed whatever of truth he taught of old in Persia. All the sublimest conceptions of God date from him.

The influence of India on all ancient races, in legislation, in theology, in philosophy, in science, is as surely proven to you as the fact that the language which you use is the same tongue as that spoken by Manou himself. The adulterations of modern times have so changed it that you can hardly trace the resemblance, yet your learned philologists will tell you that it is the same. /

The religions of the world bear to a superficial eye no apparent identity with the ideas which are enshrined in Brahminical lore, yet they are derived frequently from those primitive teachings which Manou systemised, which Manes naturalised in Egypt, and which Moses introduced among the Hebrews. Hindu ideas permeate all systems of philosophy and theology.

The Devadassi, the holy virgins who in Hindu temples devoted themselves to the pure worship of the Supreme, according to their idea of Him, have had their successors in the consecrated virgins of the Egyptian temples of Osiris, in the inspired pythonesses of Delphi, in the priestesses of Ceres, in the vestal virgins of later Rome. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in Moses, ST, 147-8.)

SM: At one of our circles we had had a piece of direct writing of which we could make nothing. It was written in curious hieroglyphics. I inquired about it.

The writing, though unintelligible to you, was the work of a high intelligence, who on earth was incarnated amongst the nation who was then most spiritual, the great nation of the Egyptians. They had a more real belief in the existence and intervention of spiritual agencies than you now have. They cherished a firmer belief in immortality of the human spirit, and of the indestructibility of all spirits, than your wise men have yet attained to.

Their civilisation you yourself know to be vast; their erudition such that they were the depository of the knowledge of their age. Aye, verily; and they had knowledge which a material age has lost; knowledge which illumined the souls of Pythagoras and Plato, and which has filtered down to you only through their teachings.

The ancient Egyptians were wise and erudite philosophers, and our friend may well teach you much of which you are ignorant. After an interval of three thousand years and over, [one] who in his earth-life knew of God and the hereafter, comes to witness to the abiding nature of his faith. The time—so long in its seeming to your contracted vision—during which our friend has been a denizen of spirit-land, has served to open new vistas of truth, to remove old errors, to throw light on old speculations, but it has served also to deepen and confirm faith in the Supreme and in the immortal destiny of man’s spirit. SM: I suggested that I still did not see why he should write unintelligible hieroglyphics; and asked his name.

You shall know him; but his earth identity is long lost, and you would know it no more than you know his signs on the paper. He knew even in the body that bodily life was but the first short stage of perpetuated existence; and he has gone onwards, as he believed, upwards to Ra, the source of light, to whom his gaze was turned. SM: I inquired if he believed in absorption into the Godhead after a course of progress.

The Egyptian faith was of some such sort. Their philosophers believed in gradual progress until the dross was purged away and the spirit completely purified. His religion was one of faith in future progress, and, for the present, of high morality in life. Duty to man and to self was not forgotten, and religion was made a business of daily life. We may touch on this again as we develop in you a wider knowledge. For the present it is enough that you know that the special peculiarities of the Egyptian theology—the sanctity of the body—had its true and false side. The great God was to them represented by every living thing, and the human body was so sacred that it was preserved from natural decay as far as might be; and so well was this done, that some still exist among you.

The undue care of the body was error, but the due preservation of bodily health was true and wise. When they saw God in everything, they did well; when they reduced Him to bodily form, their care for the body misled them.

Their doctrine of transmigration through vast ages and cycles was an error which symbolised and typified eternal and unceasing progress. These errors, which led to the worship of animal life in all its forms, as symbolising the Creator, and as being the future home of the spirit in its manifold transmigrations, the spirit unlearns as it progresses. But it preserves the great truth of progressive development and growth in presence of the Great Creative Force, of which they were the outward symbols. /

If it seem to you foolish and unwise to worship animal life, as needs it must, remember, too, that worship may be directed through an external symbolical manifestation to that spiritual essence which it typifies; and that errors which enshrine truths are husks which die in time and leave the kernel safe.

Ideas, germs of truth, never die. They may be viewed through a distorted medium, and so take a disproportioned form; but when the distorted medium is removed, the true form is seen. So our friend and his brethren see now that all nature in your world is a phenomenal manifestation of the Supreme; and that if life in all its varied forms may not be held up as an object of adoration, still the groping spirit who strives to reach up through nature to its God is not to be visited with unreasoning blame. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in Moses, ST, 150-1.)

He was one of the prophets of Osiris, and was in his time learned in the mysteries esoteric and unmentionable to the vulgar. Osiris, Isis, and Horus—this was the Trinity he worshipped. Osiris, the Supreme; Isis, the All-Mother; Horus, the Child, sacrifice for human sin. He knew God as your sacred historian revealed Him, in terms borrowed from Egypt—I am the I am—the Universal Essence; the Source of Life and Light. This title of Jehovah, Moses borrowed from the priests of Thebes.

SM: What was the original name?

NUK-PU-NUK. I AM THE I AM. He who inspires this communication was Prophet of Ra, at On, the City of Light, which the Greeks call Heliopolis, City of the Sun, and he lived sixteen hundred and thirty years before the era which you call Christian. His name was Chom, (1) and he speaks to you a witness for immortality from the ages that have long passed. And I bear him witness that his testimony is true. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in Moses, ST, 151.)

(1) Chom is one of the 49 spirits in Imperator’s spirit band of communicators.

The doctrine of the Trinity (1) existed in Egypt as well as in India. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 153.)

(1) This Trinity is the Father [Osiris in Egypt, Brahman in India], the Son [Horus in Egypt, the Atman in India], and Holy Ghost [Isis in Egypt, Shakti in India]. The Son is the immortal Self in each embodied individual. The Mother is the Divine Energy which encases the Son. The Father is the inactive, transcendent Source of both.

All that remains of the old Hermaic books (1) is little. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in Moses, ST, 151.)

(1) The writings of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus or “Thoth”; as I understand it, a collective name for perhaps three great Egyptian masters.

Religion was to the Egyptian the master principle of daily life, to which all else was subservient. Art, literature, science, were the handmaids of religion, and the daily life itself was an elaborate ritual. The faith in which he lived was incorporated in every act. The Sun-God, as it arose and set, typified the life which was then but beginning and which in the twin Sothriac cycles would return again after three thousand years of progressive education to earth, only to be absorbed at last in the pure beams of Ra, the source and spring of life and light. The ceremonial purifications of worship pervaded his daily work, and gave a tone of spirituality to the businesses of life.

All that the Egyptian did had reference to the life hereafter on which his steadfast gaze was fixed. Every day had its special presiding spirit, or deity, under who protection it was placed. Every temple had its great staff of prophets, priests, pontiffs, judges, scribes. These were versed in mystic lore, and spent lives of purity and chastity in penetrating into nature’s hidden secrets and the mysteries of spirit intercourse.

They were a pure, learned, spiritual race, albeit their knowledge of some things known to men now was but slight. But we may say to you that in deep, philosophical knowledge, in clearness of spiritual perception, your wise men have no claim to rank with them. Nor in practical religion can your people equal the old Egyptians. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 152.)

We have learned long since to estimate man’s religion by acts rather than by words; and we pay little heed to the character of that ladder by which man climbs heavenward. False faiths abound still. Man now, as heretofore, befogs himself with foolish imaginings which he calls Divine Revelation. And though the faith of Egypt was erroneous in much, it possessed that which redeemed its errors and ennobled the lives of its professors. They at least had not clothed their lives with a dead materialism. They had not closed every avenue to the higher life of spirit.

They recognised their god in every act of daily life, even though their idea of the god-principle was crude. They would not buy and sell and trade with the deliberate purpose to defraud and overreach. They would not ignore all else but dead matter, even though they did pay undue reverence to the perishable and material. You know how far it is true of your age, that it is material, earthy, grovelling; that its thoughts and aspirations have been earth-bound; that it is unspiritual, without lofty aspirations, without deep spiritual insight, without active faith in spirit-life and intercourse. You can draw the contrast yourself.

In pointing it out we do not exalt Egyptian religion, save to show you that what seems to you earthy and vile was, in some of its aspects, a living faith, powerful in daily life, and possessing deep spiritual wisdom. (“Prudens” [Plotinus] in Moses, ST, 152.)

You inquired as to the connection between India and Egypt. The religion of Egypt was essentially a religion of body, as that of India was of spirit. Egypt had multifarious acts of external ritual; India cultivated contemplation. God to the Hindû was an undiscoverable essence; to the Egyptian he was manifested in every type of animal existence. To the Hindû time was nothing; eternity, all. To the Egyptian every passing moment had its consecrated work. Egypt was the antipodes of India. Nevertheless, it is true that Egypt received its first religious inspiration from India, even as did Zoroaster in Persia. …

The special grandeur of Egypt’s faith was the consecration to religion of daily life. It was a faith which influenced daily acts. Therein lay its power. It was a faith which recognised God in all nature, and especially in all animal life. It was the mystery of existence, the highest manifestation of Divine power that the Egyptian worshipped, when, as you imagine, he bowed down before and idol graven in the image of an ox....It would be well that the same care for the body, the same present view of religious duty, the same perception of an all-pervading Deity which formed the creed of ancient Egypt, and which enters so largely into ours, should be again prevalent among you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 154.)

Art, literature, and science laboured for religion: and so far from worship absorbing the work of life, it was rather that every act of common life was raised to the dignity of an act of worship. In this sense only is it true: and a nobler truth can hardly be declared. To live in the presence of Deity—to see His image all around, to consecrate every act to His service, to keep mind, spirit, body, pure as He is pure, consecrated to Him, and to Him alone—this is to lead the godlike life, even though it contain mistaken details. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 155.)

The world progresses, and gains higher knowledge. It may not recur to that which was fitted for another people in an earlier stage of development. But though the world has gained, it has lost also; and among the things which it has lost is that which may belong equally to all forms of faith, the devotion of self to duty and to God. This is no inseparable quality of Egyptian faith. Rather was it amplified and exemplified in a higher degree in the life and teaching of the Christ. But you have forgotten it—you have lost that mark of true religion. It needs that you see that in this point you were surpassed by those whom you despise and contemn. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 155.)

Significance of Certain Religious Occasions
Many spirits are very active to-night, as this is regarded as a great anniversary. At the commencement of what you call Modern Spiritualism the powerful influence of the higher spirits was directed to your earth, and mediumship was developed. Thus a bridge was formed by which many earth-bound spirits were enabled to rise, being released from their connection with the earth; on this account they keep up this anniversary. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The Christian Church keeps / in memory of its Head, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, and Whitsuntide. Those are the landmarks in the Christ life, and each represents an event in His life with a hidden spiritual significance.

The Christmas Festival of the Birth of the Spirit on the plane of Incarnation typifies Love and Self-denial. The exalted spirit tabernacles in flesh, abnegates self, animated by Love. It is to us the Festival of Self-denial.

The Epiphany, the Festival of the manifestation of this new light to the world, it is to us the Festival of Spiritual Enlightenment: the shining of the True Light that lighteth everyone that is born into the world: not the carrying of it to men, but the uplifting of the Light so that they who can see may come to it.

The Fast of Lent typifies to us the struggles of Truth with darkness. It is the Wrestling with the Adversaries. The recurring season shadows forth a constantly recurring struggle. It is the Fast of Conflict: of wrestling with evil: of the endeavour to overcome the world.

Good Friday typifies to us the consummation of the struggle, the end that awaits all such conflicts in your world—Death: but Death in Life. It is the Festival of Triumphant Self-sacrifice: the realisation and consummation of the Christ life. It is to us no Fast, but a Festival of Triumphant Love.

Easter, the Festival of the Resurrection, typifies to us the perfected life, the risen life, the glorified life. It is the Festival of Spirit, conquering and to conquer: of the risen life, enfranchised and set free.

Whitsuntide, which Christendom associates with the baptism of the Spirit, is to us a Festival of great import. It typifies the outpouring of a large measure of spiritual truth on those who have accepted the Christ life. It is the Festival which is the complement of Good Friday. As human ignorance slays the truth that it cannot receive: so, as a consequence, from the higher realm of spirit comes a blessing on those who have embraced what the world has crucified. It is the Festival of the outpoured Spirit, of increased grace, of richer truth.

Ascension, lastly, is the Festival of the completed life, of the return of the Spirit to its home, of the final sundering from matter. It is the end as Christmas was the beginning: not of life but of earth life: not the end of existence but of that span consecrated by love and self-denial to mankind. It is the Festival of the completed work.

These are the spiritual ideas which underlie the Festivals of your Church. It is not because she has not fully grasped their meaning that she has not done well to celebrate them. And as the spirit who has charge of us and of our work has broken down for you the wall of dogmatism and has shed light on the superstitions of the Church, so it is permitted to us to show you that beneath all lies enshrined the germ of truth: and when man’s error is removed, God’s truth is more plainly seen. We have desired to complement the teaching you have received. As it was necessary to destroy, so is it to conserve.

Even as He, the Lamb of God, the Saviour of men, rescued Divine Truth from Jewish ignorance and superstition, so do we rescue Divine Verities from the crushing weight of man’s theology. As He, the great Healer of the nations, unloosed the struggling souls, and released them from the dominion of spiritual evil: so do we set free the spirit from the bonds of human dogma, and bid the enfranchised Truth to soar so that men may see it and know that it is of God. (Unnamed spirit communicator in ST, 171-2.)

The fact that Christians celebrate year by year on Easter Day, however ignorantly, is an underlying truth. Men foolishly imagined that the mouldered earth-body should be gathered together again piece by piece and withdrawn from its after-combinations, should be re-united to its original elements, and so the body should be resuscitated and restored to its pristine state. In fabricating such a theory they have missed the truth, though they have partially enshrined it in their dogma. The body of earth, friend, cannot be restored when once it has been resolved into its elemental state. It is dissipated once and for ever, and in future combinations becomes the perpetual constituent of other forms of matter. The fabled resurrection cannot be. But men have taken no count of another body . . . the Spirit Body. The real man rises from earth and is transported to his real home.

What of Christ?

The appearance of Jesus was of the Spirit Body, which He was enabled to manifest in tangible form. The earth body never rose. (Doctor [Athenodorus] in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

The three archangels who were concerned in governing the life removed the body. Gabriel, who announced the birth, and Michael and Raphael, aided by spirit power, removed the body, even as before they had removed the body of Moses. These three angels were concerned with your world in all its phases. (Doctor [Athenodorus] in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

We have told you that we always celebrate anniversaries, and Easter is with us a festival as well as with you: though we celebrate it for other reasons, and with a higher knowledge. Easter is to us the Festival of Resurrection, but not of the body. To us it symbolises not Resurrection of matter, but Resurrection from matter, the Resurrection of Spirit: and not this alone, but Resurrection of Spirit from material beliefs and surroundings: the emancipation of the soul from the earthly and material, even as the spirit rises from the dead body with which it has done for ever.

You have learned that there is a spiritual significance in everything, even as there is a spirit underlying every material object. So the dogma that Christendom celebrates to-day is to us of special significance. Christians keep festival in memory of the rescue of their Master, the Lord Jesus, from the grasp of death: and though they erroneously believe that the material body was revived, they do in ignorance celebrate the great spiritual truth that there is no death. The festival to us is one of joy over the partial recognition of a truth divinely seen by men: and of still greater rejoicing over the mighty work consummated on this day. It is not that death was vanquished, as you say, but that man began dimly to see a vision of eternal life. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, ST, 169.)

It will not have escaped you that we are assembled on one of those days of which we have spoken to you on former occasions. The celebration of this festival typifies the ascended Son of man.

The great mass of those amongst you who have considered religious questions, have agreed to believe that Christ was on this day [Ascension Day] transplanted to Heaven; although one of your own teachers has said that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The phenomena which are now going on in various parts of the world will throw a flood of light on this point; they will show you that One so high as the Lord Jesus could prove Himself with a temporary enshrinement of matter. …

The festival which we would have you celebrate to-day is that of the glorious ascension of His pure and spiritual body; a type of the severance of the spirits of men from the material conditions which now surround them and prevent the rays of Divine Truth from illumining their souls. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The Lord Jesus was not, as your Church asserts, a God-man, separate from humanity, who died a miraculous death, and lived a still more miraculous life after death. It is true that He died and that He appeared among His own friends; but not in the body in which He had lived amongst them. It is also true that, as on this day, with a tender farewell to those who had loved Him, He vanished out of their sight, and His spirit returned to the realms from which it had come. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Reviewing the Work

The Medium’s Development

The transference of your powers from the material plane, the quickening of the perceptions and the development of the inner spiritual faculties, the recognition in a normal way of our nearness, and the ability to see and converse with us without the dangerous conditions of trance, these are to us splendid. They are the inception of the most perfect form of life possible to man; that Enoch life, in which he walks with God.

We rejoice that you are relinquishing the phenomenal side and are developing your faculties to their higher use. We have already told you that, in directing your development, we were compelled to allow you to be used for phenomenal manifestation for a time. When it was possible for us to stop that phase, we permitted you to be brought in contact with others, that you might learn of the power of your own spirit.

You are conscious now of a new element of instruction. By slow degrees the dogmatic hedge that fenced you in was broken down and you learned to grasp truths which before had escaped you. You learned to forget much that you had held sacred. You were led to study that which was to you previously a sealed book.

We began with you on the material plane. We showed you the powers of spirit over matter, and enabled you to observe the phenomenal results of unseen agencies at work through you. At first material phenomena sufficed you. By degrees we taught you of ourselves, and instilled into your mind new views of revealed truth. Your mind was enabled to see that not to any one race, or person, or place, or age, has the whole of Divine Truth been given. We showed you the germ of truth that underlies every religion that man has framed for himself.

These were the two parallel lines of investigation which we guided you to. The first is the material or physical phenomena, which are the outward evidence of a hidden power wielded by us. The second is the doctrine and significance of our message. So long as man is enshrined in a body of flesh his mind will revert to phenomenal evidence. We have encouraged you to view it only as subsidiary, and to regard it only as proof of our work. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

One ray of light from the Sun of Truth dawned on your soul when you learned that the dead, as you thought them, could be helped by the prayers of the living; and that purgatorial punishment was something more than a theological figment. You were learning that God regards with favouring eye the groping efforts of all who yearn after Him, and that honesty and sincerity are with Him of more account than faith and creed.

You learned to know that God spoke to man elsewhere and otherwise than in your Bible, in that He spoke to Greek, Arab, Egyptian, and Hindu, and to all His children. You were learning that God accepts the heart and intent rather than the creed. Plato grew into your being, and his words lived again in your mind. Yet you knew not that God’s word, whether revealed to Plato or Jesus, is of equal value.

You saw what were the teachings, the beliefs, of those who were the Fathers of the Christian Church. You saw, and you turned aside. The mind had outgrown the theology of the first Christian ages. The spirit had soared to a higher plane than that which was satisfied with a stereotyped theology, and could rejoice in the curses of an Athanasian creed. You dared to cast aside that which was irrational and anthropomorphic. You thought, as you would say, for yourself. Nay, friend, but we thought for you, and moulded your conclusions.

We judged it wise to withdraw you, in time, from the public position of a teacher in a Church which no longer represented your intellectual and religious plane of thought. We withdrew you from a place where your work was done, and prepared you for another phase of your earth-life. The tempering effect of bodily illness had been in all your life an engine of great power with us. We have maintained a wholesome control thereby.

Has the whole of my life been a preparation for this?

It has. We have guided and planned it for no other purpose. We have wished to secure a medium duly prepared. The mind must be prepared, and stored with information, and the life must have been such as to fit the progressive mind to be receptive of Truth. This can only be by prolonged training.

You were guided by one to whom we could gain access best, to look into Spiritualism. You were influenced powerfully. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

We do not deny that we have gradually led you up to the general idea which we have wished to convey, and we have, in so doing, avoided points of indifferent opinion which were not essential to our message, as well as points on which we know full well that your previous notions were rooted firm, and would clash with our knowledge.

We have sought rather to develop the germs of truth which we discovered that to come into contact with the singularities of opinion which exist. To this end we have seized upon points of contact, and have made much of them; while we have not dwelt on disputed and unimportant points, and have avoided discussing matters that do not lie in our path. Hereafter many points that at present are slurred over, or avoided, will be taken up. But when you have sought information on points whereon we knew your opinion to be erroneous and untenable for long, we have not scrupled to enlighten you. We can see well when the drift of thought is carrying you away from old mooring-places which no longer afford safe anchorage for your spirit; and, seeing this, we have preferred to pilot you rather than to allow you to drop down the stream at the mercy of wind and current, and at risk of shipwreck.

We have loosened the ropes, one by one, gently and gradually, and we have charged ourselves with the mission of landing you in safer and surer harbourage. Had we tightened the moorings, the old ropes would have broken, and your spirit would have been tossed helpless on a stormy sea of doubt and difficulty, with no pilot at the helm, and no port in view, at the mercy of wind and wave, and with scant prospect of rescue. Do not blame us that we have chosen to anticipate the inevitable, and to smooth the rough passage. We could not prevent; we may and can assist. We would not, if we could, have added to the chains which would bind your spirit to the dead past. We will, if you co-operate with us, enable it to rise superior to the storm, and to emerge with a new and living faith, on a calmer and more open sea, ready to cross what yet remains between the probation of earth and the haven of peace.

In this endeavour we have studiously guarded ourselves from inflicting on you any rude shocks. We have not misled you on any point. We have never deceived you in aught. Scrupulous exactness has characterised all our statements to you. But we have preferred to take the ideas which we found in your mind, and to enlarge and develop them. We have fostered, directed, instilled newer and truer views, but we have in no point falsified, distorted, or misled. Nor is there actually any divergence in the teachings of those who have spoken to you. Any apparent discrepancy is referable to difficulties of communication, to the varying influence of your mind, to the state of your bodily health; to the novelty of the work to some; and especially to your own circumscribed views. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 71.)

S. M. thinks it a weak point that so few disembodied friends have communicated at the circle.

Your mission is of another sort, and we do not permit the circle to be used for purposes of private communication. In no case do we permit that, save for a higher purpose than the gratification of curiosity, or even of private affection. The circle must not be used for such purposes. It is devoted to a far higher use. Wait till you rise to the full dignity of the mission allotted to you. You will then see the reason of our refusal. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Imperator Summarizes the New Revelation

We have led you on and on; taught you directly a gospel of God, far in advance of that you had.

How much truer are your conceptions of the Supreme! His all-abounding love you now see is not confined to a favoured people or a favoured land, but is co-terminous with the universe, boundless as infinity. Trammelled by no considerations of creed, you see that mankind is one vast brotherhood, children of a common God, Who has revealed Himself from time to time in all ages according to their wants.

You have come to see that anthropomorphic views of God are born of man’s ignorance; that the revelation of God is frequently but the imagination of man; that the incarnation of the Supreme in a body of flesh is a human figment; a superstition which advanced knowledge puts aside, with its erroneous doctrines, its degrading views of God.

You have learned that man needs no external Saviour, and that duty honestly performed to self, brother, and to God is the only passport to happiness. You are beginning to realise the truth which spirits teach of retribution in the future for present sin; of happiness and satisfaction in the spirit-world as the consequence of progress and beneficence. If you desire to estimate what spirit teaching has done for you, meditate on what you once thought, and contrast it with what you now know, and see how you have been brought out of darkness into the marvellous light of God’s Truth.

You have dimly seen how that lives are moulded by external power, and you have suspected that spirits may influence more than man suspects. So it is. The whole race of man is in some sort the recipient of guidance from the world of spirits. We are not permitted to interfere in the chain of cause and effect; to save man from the consequences of his sin; to pander to idle curiosity; to change the world from a state of probation. We are not permitted to discover to you what the All-Wise desires to keep hidden. We cannot force on you knowledge. We can but offer, and protect and guide and train, and prepare the willing mind for future progress.

We have told you of our mission, which is but the renewal of God’s intercourse with man. The leaders of old are still concerned in operating on man, and we have not watched and guarded and guided you for aught else than this, that you might receive our message and labour to convey it to man. It has been our work to fit you. It will be your work to receive the Gospel, and, when the time shall come, to convey it to man.

Then this is a religious movement?

Assuredly it is. We claim now, as ever, that we are the apostles of Divine Truth, preaching to man a gospel which he needs. Our concern is with matters of moment to the mission, and we concern ourselves with none else. We pray you note this. For the present, we resist all attempts to develop you as a medium for communing with your personal friends; we dare not so expose you. You forget that one so developed is liable to be seized on by all the host who desire to commune again with earth. In proportion to the sensitiveness of his organisation, is he in risk of possession by the undeveloped who are nearest earth. It is a terrible risk, and one that we dare not expose you to. You have seen what the undeveloped may do. You are most sensitive to their attacks, and we might not be able to protect you.

Each circle is to spirit gaze a centre of light, visible from afar, frequented by crowds who fain would talk with the denizens of earth. Some of these spirits are powerful in their ability to use the elements. They are, in truth, more powerful than highly developed spirits. In proportion as we progress, we become less able to wield the forces, and restore more to mental impression and distinct intellectual guidance and direction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

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