The Spirit Land - Samuel B. Emmons

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    The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Spirit Land, by Samuel B. (SamuelBulfinch) Emmons

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

    Title: The Spirit Land

    Author: Samuel B. (Samuel Bulfinch) Emmons

    Release Date: July 17, 2013 [eBook #43237]

    Language: English

    ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SPIRIT LAND***

    E-text prepared by Chris Curnow and the Online Distributed ProofreadingTeam (http://www.pgdp.net) from page images generously made available byInternet Archive (https://archive.org)

    Note: Project Gutenberg also has an HTML version of thisfile which includes the original illustration.See 43237-h.htm or 43237-h.zip:

    (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/43237/43237-h/43237-h.htm)or(http://www.gutenberg.org/files/43237/43237-h.zip)

    Images of the original pages are available throughInternet Archive. Seehttps://archive.org/details/spiritland00emmo

    Transcriber's note:

    Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

    [Illustration: THE SPIRIT LAND.]

    THE SPIRIT LAND.

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    by

    S. B. EMMONS.

    Philadelphia:John E. Potter and Company.Nos. 614 and 617 Sansom Street.

    Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, byL. P. Crown & Co.,in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Districtof Massachusetts

    TO THE READER.

    This volume is intended as an antidote to a species of errors that havebeen rife in every age of the Christian church. Notwithstanding thedisclosures the Most High made of himself to his ancient people, theywere yet prone to turn aside from the worship of the true God, tofollow the lying spirits of the prophets of Baal, and other deceivers,from the days of Moses till the destruction of Jerusalem. So, likewise,under the Christian dispensation, there has been a succession ofAntichrists, until their name is _legion_, whose teachings have cloudedthe understandings and blinded the moral perceptions of men, subvertingthe faith of many whose mountains stood strong, and who had beencounted the chosen people of God.

    The present is viewed as an age of _isms_. Men have run mad, and arechasing phantoms. They are roaming round to find some fulcrum tooverturn the church and the Bible; they are imagining they arereceiving utterances from heaven, when nothing is uttered but thevain fantasies of their own minds and hearts. It is the grossestfanaticism--fanaticism in its most frightful form, leading its unhappyvictims, not unfrequently, to flagrant crimes, and to the most horridof all--that of self-destruction.

    These pages are submitted to the public with the counsel of the wisestand best of all ages, that, amid the wily arts of the adversary, weshould cling to the word of God, the Bible of our fathers, as the onlysafe and infallible guide of faith and practice.

    NOTE.

    We would here give credit to the principal works from which valuableand important matter has been selected for these pages: Whitman'sPopular Superstitions; Upham's Lectures upon Witchcraft; Christian

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    Freeman and Family Visitor; Abercrombie on the Intellectual Powers;Influence of the Imagination upon the Nervous System, by Rev. GrantPowers; Life of Adam Clarke; Hayward's Book of all Religions; Milleron the Second Coming of Christ; Borrow's Gypsies of Spain; Stone onFalse Prophets and Christs; Dickens's Household Words; Capron andBarron on the Spirit Knockings; Dick on the Improvement of Society;Revelations of A. J. Davis; The Great Harmonia; Rogers on Human andMundane Agents; Miss Crowe's Night Side of Nature; SpiritualTelegraph, &c.

    As the work embraces a mass of facts of an absorbing and intenselyinteresting character, we trust that it will commend itself to anenlightened and judicious public.

    THE AUTHOR.

    CONTENTS.

    PART FIRST.

    INTRODUCTION.

    THE OBJECT OF THIS WORK.

    PAGE

    Nursery tales of giants, dwarfs, ghosts, fairies, and witches.--Their effect upon juvenile minds.--A belief in ghosts stillprevalent.--The excitability of the public mind.--Ghost reportedas having been seen in Waltham, Massachusetts. 17

    CHAPTER I.

    ORIGIN OF POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS.

    Ignorance of correct reasoning.--Conclusions from particularfacts.--Water boiled by heat.--Signs.--Breaking a mirror.--General conclusions from a few facts.--A victim to superstition inNew Hampshire.--How signs may be multiplied.--The design ofthe Creator in endowing us with reason. 19

    CHAPTER II.

    INDUCTIVE PHILOSOPHY NOT UNDERSTOOD.

    Ignorance of it the cause of many superstitions.--Lights seen inmarshy grounds, &c.--Supposed to be supernatural.--Causes ofthese lights, and phenomena connected with them.--Shrinking andswelling of pork in boiling.--Cause.--Supposed influence of themoon in making soap, grafting trees, cutting timber, &c.--Lunarinfluence in matters of wedlock.--Love not to be fed onmoonshine. 22

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    CHAPTER III.

    IGNORANCE OF THE CAUSES OF DREAMS.

    Fruitful source of superstitions.--Opinions of ancient divines.--Dreams related in the Scriptures.--Their object.--Principlesof mental philosophy applied to modern dreams.--Examples ofsingular dreams.--Dreams occasioned by sickness.--Fulfilmentof certain dreams.--Causes of the same.--Remarkable case ofa German student.--Case of a member of Congress.--Amusingcase concerning a passage of Scripture.--Necessity of a pureconscience, and a careful attention to our stomachs. 24

    CHAPTER IV.

    EFFECTS OF THE IMAGINATION ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM.

    Ignorance of it has given rise to many superstitions.--Experimentsof Mesmer and Deslon in Paris.--Singular developments.--Trials atDr. Franklin's house.--Children uninfluenced by mesmeric operations.--Magnetizing a tree in Dr. Franklin's garden.--Experiments upontwo females.--Effect produced.--Experiment upon a female by Dr.Sigault.--Practice among the Chinese.--Girl frightened to death by

    a Gypsy.--Practice among the New Zealanders.--Killing others byincantation.--Intercourse with departed spirits.--An account ofPerkins's metallic tractors.--Their supposed influence in variousdiseases.--Suspicions concerning them.--Experiments with woodentractors.--Result of these experiments.--Statements of a modernmesmerizer. 29

    CHAPTER V.

    IGNORANCE OF MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.

    This ignorance a cause of many superstitions.--Case of a person

    who slept in a bed room supposed to be haunted.--Skeleton seen bymoonlight.--Apparition seen by Dr. Gregory.--Case related by Dr.Conolly.--Ship's crew frightened by an apparition.--Young ladysupposed to have been murdered by pirates.--Cases of impressionsconnected with bodily disease.--Phantasms in febrile diseases.--Afarmer frightened to death by a light in the road.--A figure likeDeath striking a lady in her side with a dart.--Illusion of sightand hearing.--Case of a lady who saw her absent husband standingby her side.--Countenance of a friend seen in a mirror.--Tunesheard.--Inverted objects.--Visions of the world of spirits.--Caseof Baron Swedenborg.--Case of a lady in Boston, who saw herdeceased grandmother.--The phantom ship seen in New Haven.--Thescience of optics.--Of nauscopy.--Cases of mirage. 38

    CHAPTER VI.

    IGNORANCE OF TRUE RELIGION.

    God the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.--The natural world governedby regular laws.--Sign of the howling of a dog under the window.--Lucky and unlucky days.--Sir Matthew Hale's opinion.--Early laws ofConnecticut.--Superstition of sailors.--Timidity of Voltaire.--

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    MODERN MIRACLES.

    They partake of superstition.--Instructions of the Savior concerningthem.--Object of Scripture miracles.--Modern miracles not satisfactory.--Judge Howe's opinion concerning Christianity.--Times of miraclesceased. 79

    CHAPTER XII.

    FALSE PROPHETS AND CHRISTS.

    History of the prophet Matthias.--His career in Albany and New York.--His deceptions upon conspicuous individuals.--His arrest foralleged crimes.--Account of John of Leyden.--Sketch of Cochrane,and his impositions. 81

    CHAPTER XIII.

    MORMON SUPERSTITION.

    Account of the golden plates found by Joseph Smith.--Theirtranslation and publication in a volume.--Peculiar style of the

    writings.--Attempt at imitation.--Mormon preachers speaking withnew tongues.--Increase of the doctrine, and why.--Mormon citiesnot to be identified.--Strong indications of fabrication.--Fluency and earnestness of their preachers.--Traits of theCochranites.--Effects produced upon their hearers.--An accountof the _real_ origin of the Mormon Bible, and its author.--OfJoseph Smith, Jr., the Mormon prophet.--His early characteristics.--Exposure of the indecent ceremonies at Nauvoo; as establishedby Smith and others. 96

    CHAPTER XIV.

    MILLER DELUSION.

    Prophecies of Mr. Miller.--His computation of time.--Managementto suit his own particular views.--Keeping the world standingthirty years on a simple _if_.--Various blunders and mistakes.--Confession of his errors.--False information respecting signs.--Disappearance of stars.--Of the Aurora Borealis.--Shootingstars.--Sun and moon turning to blood.--Darkness of the sun.--Its cause.--Remarkable appearances in various ages of the world.--Opinion concerning Halley's comet.--Ignorance of the constitutionof comets.--The