FOREWORD TO CRITICS AND CLERGYMEN
Before you express your opinion too loudly regarding the last chapters
of this book, the author respectfully suggests that you read the following
editorial which appeared in the "Harbinger of Light."
"Communication is possible, but one must obey the laws, first finding
out the conditions. I do not say it is easy, but it is possible;
and I have conversed with my friends over yonder, just as I can converse
with any one in this audience now."
SIR OLIVER LODGE.
"Only a few weeks ago a Captain Chaplain drew a pathetic picture
of the deaths of some of 'the boys' at the front and comforted his hearers
with the inspiring assurance that 'they had passed painlessly into the
night from which no mortal has ever returned!' He is evidently another
of the clergy who 'do not know.' As a matter of fact, the gallant
souls referred to did not pass into 'night' at all--either painlessly or
painfully! They passed into the spiritual DAWN, and as they gradually
recovered consciousness the light around them increased, and, to their
inexpressible joy, they eventually found themselves in an environment of
translucent brightness. 'Night,' indeed, for such self-sacrificing
heroes! Then, again, what authority, apart from Shakespeare, has
this 'spiritual guide' for the assertion that these departed warriors cannot
return? His Bible certainly contradicts him. A battalion of
old Israelitish fighters returned when Elisha was hard pressed by his foes,
and if they could return in those times, why cannot our brave lads return
"Samuel also returned and spoke to Saul; one of the old
prophets returned and conversed with John; and at the time of the Cruxifixion
the streets of Jerusalem with thronged with the so-called 'dead.'
If these things could happen in the past, why cannot they happen in the
present? Does God work by 'fits and starts,' or are His ways the
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever?
"But independent of all Scriptural testimony, we know,
on the authority of modern-day scientists and millions of other witnesses,
that the return of the departed is an indisputable fact, and that, as Sir
Oliver Lodge points out, if the 'conditions' are provided, they can converse
with us, as spiritual intelligences conversed with mortals in olden days.
Thousands of 'the boys' who lost their physical bodies on the battlefield
of this world-wide war have returned to their homes and talked with their
parents and friends. And the reunion has been so real that 'the blinds
have been pulled up,' and a flood of soul-uplifting sunshine has dissipated
the clouds of gloom. These facts are now becoming common knowledge,
and are being shared by 'all sorts and conditions of men'--the majority
of the clergy excepted!
"To put the question to a clergyman who has no knowledge
of the PROOFS of survival supplied by the evidence of psychical research
is tantamount to going to a butcher and asking him to solve a problem in
electrical science! What does a butcher know about electrical voltage
or the principle upon which the voltameter is constructed? And what
does a clergyman know of the change called death, and what happens afterwards,
if he has neither investigated personally, nor studies the amazing evidence
which demonstrates beyond cavil that the dead do return and do communicate?
In every other department of human inquiry, if we desire a solution of
some abstruse problem, we instinctively consult an expert in the particular
science or study involved. And why should not the same principle
be followed in seeking knowledge of human survival and the interblending
of spiritual and material worlds? We should go to those who KNOW--not
to those who do not know.
"We would, therefore, advise all those who resort to their
minister for information on the transcendent subject under discussion to
ascertain the extent of his knowledge, and consequently his authority for
the attitude he assumes. Let them ask him these questions:--
"1--Are you familiar with the experience and declarations
of Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Crookes, Sir William Barrett, Dr. Alfred
Russel Wallace, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Zollner, Professor Lombroso,
Professor Richet, Professor Hyslop, Bishop Welldon, Archdeacon Wilberforce,
Rev. Dr. Dearmer, Rev. Dr. F. Holmes-duddon, Rev. Dr. Norman Maclean, Archdeacon
Colley, Rev. F. Fielding-Ould, M.A., Rev. Arthur Chambers, Rev. Chas. L.
Tweedale, F.R.G.S., and a multitude of other authoritative investigators?
"2--Have you ever sat with a well developed medium,
or in any other way personally investigated what are known as psychic or
Spiritualistic phenomena? If the replies to these questions are
in the negative--and they certainly will be in nine cases out of ten--it
may very safely be assumed that the clergyman does not possess the necessary
qualifications for expressing any opinion whatever on the subject.
He may, however, express it all the same, but it should not be allowed
to carry the slightest weight.
"Surely no exception can be taken to these terms!
They are based upon reason and common sense, and should be accepted without
I. The Little Days
II. First School Days and Early Pets
III. The Beginnings of Success
IV. "Maurine" and "Poems of Passion"
V. Two Amusing Near Romances
VI. The Compelling Lover
VII. Steps Up Spiritual Stairways
VIII. Life in Meriden
IX. New York
X. The Bungalow
XI. Little Efforts at Brotherhood
XII. Interesting People Met in New York
XIII. Lunatics I Have Known
XIV. A Royal Funeral
XV. Happy Memories of Well-Known People
XVI. The Battlefield of Love
XVII. High Lights on Places and Personalities Seen in Travel
XVIII. On Historic Ground
XIX. Hawaiian Queens and the Sultan of Java
XX. Marriage Customs and Polygamy
XXI. People, Abroad and at Home
XXII. The Beginning of the End
XXIII. The Search of a Soul in Sorrow
XXIV. The Keeping of the Promise
XXV. From France
A Pictorial Summary of the Life of Ella Wheeler
Return to Ella Wheeler Wilcox Home Page
Created by: Richard A. Edwards
Last Updated: 7/24/2000