April 1st, 1917
Received by James Padgett.
I am here, Elias:
I will write a few words in respect to the sermon that you listened to tonight on the question: Do the dead communicate with the living?
The preacher (Rev J.L.Gorden, preacher of the Congregational Church, 10th and Y Street, Washington D.C.) is a believer in what he enunciated and the only trouble with him is that he has very little knowledge of the truths of spiritualism, and hence his ability to teach these truths is very limited. The mere fact that the soul and spirit of man continue to live when they shuffle off the mortal coil, as he described it, is but the first truth of this great subject, and is one that all spirits learn immediately upon their separation from the body no matter what their religious beliefs may be or whether they have any such beliefs or not. This fact is one about which there can be no difference in knowledge. They all know, in a moment, as it were, that there is no such thing as the death of the soul - the real man. But this, as I say, is the mere beginning of knowledge, and beyond the fact of this continuous existence, this knowledge serves no purpose as to the destiny of man.
The preacher was much interested in the book (Raymond) about which he was talking and found in it some statements that are confirmatory of the beliefs that he already possessed, and some statements that are new to him and which gave him somewhat larger views on the subject; but necessarily these views are not of the vital truths which a more complete or extended knowledge of spiritualism will give to him.
The spirit of whom he was talking knew little more than what appeared to his senses, and, of course, these things are only those that come to the knowledge of the spirit when it first enters the spirit land. Its truths are not learned in a moment, and frequently not for centuries, and as to the higher truths, are never learned by a great majority of the spirits. So that, what is contained in the book referred to is very consoling to those who believe that their loved ones are waiting to meet them, and will receive them when they cease to be mortals, with love and affection and joy, and further that these loved ones are with the mortals while on earth, watching over them and trying to help them, yet no information as to the lives that these spirits must lead in the spirit world as soon as their status is determined by the great law of attraction and what the future may be and is disclosed to them and for the reason that the spirit communicant did not know.
But, as the preacher said, it is a glorious knowledge to possess, that man after death, still lives, and that his soul does not have to wait for some great resurrection day to realize that it has life and consciousness.
The preacher is still in the dark as to the conditions of spirits and their destiny, and as to the means provided to attain to the heavens, and become released from the hells, by the Father's love. To merely live is not the end of men or spirits, and the fact of living as a spirit of today instead as a mortal of yesterday does not demonstrate immortality; and the consoling thought that the preacher expressed from the fact of continued existence after death, are merely the wishes of desire based on such existence.
The preacher has at this time within his own soul that which is freed from the limitations of his erroneous beliefs in many supposed truths, would cause him to know that the life in the spirit world is something more than the mere living, and that this living is only a means to the realization and possession of that immortality that is so often preached about and hoped for.
He has much of the Divine Love in his soul, and that soul is struggling to expand and get in condition to receive more of this love, and is prevented from so doing only by the erroneous beliefs that he has imbibed and misconstrued by his long sears of living in what he calls, the truths of the Bible and the fear that if he loses such beliefs or questions the truth of the source of his beliefs there can be no salvation for him. And this is not surprising, for he knows no source of correction of these errors of his beliefs, and as a wise man - and wise only because he does not know how to obtain greater wisdom - he holds on to his beliefs and reverences the source thereof - and his intellect is satisfied. But the soul, the important soul, which can be fed only by its own perceptions, is like the imprisoned bird, panting and struggling to beat down the bars of its imprisonment and get out into the freedom of God's wide atmosphere. And his mind - the misguided mind - is the bars of his soul's freedom and prevents it from opening up its own perceptions. If the preacher only knew the truth and the way to open the doors to his soul's prison, he would long for that truth and seek that way with all the energies of his soul's powers, and would then become free and progress towards the attainment of the certain knowledge of immortality.
But this I will say now, that sometime he will learn the truth and the way, and his beliefs will become in accord with the longings of his soul and the shackles of his mind's erroneous beliefs will be loosened and fall from him, and then he will realize that he is a true son of the Father, privileged to partake of the Great Love without limit in his onward progress to the Celestial spheres.
The church was filled with many spirits interested in the discourse, anxious to learn any truths that might be declared, but they learned nothing, for what he declared, as truths, they already knew, notwithstanding that these spirits were of all kinds - wicked and dark and suffering and bright and happy, and mostly still men without the physical body.
Well, I thought it might be advisable to write as I have, so that, if the preacher should ever hear this message, he will see the necessity for seeking the deep and real truths that disclose the conditions and destinies of the spirit of men. And besides, he will also realize the importance of his knowing these truths, so that he may teach them not only to men, but to spirits as well, who form the vastly larger part of his auditors.
I will not write more now.
With my love and prayers for the Father's blessings on you, I am
Your brother in Christ,