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The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature

Boston: E.P. Peabody, 1842


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INTRODUCTION

Such are the considerations that have induced us to publish this es-say. Studying the Holy Scriptures ourselves, with this new key, we have seen so clearly the real intentions of the Creator and Redeemer of the human race, that we should deem ourselves guilty, if we did not impart our ideas to a world, so bewildered in all its religious conceptions, that scarce anything is to be found in it but atheism or superstition.

Besides, the present is not an unfavorable moment to call on the world to examine anew, to examine seriously and reflectingly, those great events which have substituted Christianity for idolatry, upon our globe. The philosophy of the nineteenth century is really not that of the eighteenth. Since the last European revolutions, which were moral as well as physical, Philosophy, from being a materialist, as she was, has become in a great measure, a spiritualist. Many of our modern thinkers have at length perceived the truth of that prediction of Plato, that " they who will deliver themselves to profound researches, (in all that belongs to morals and religion,) with a humble mind, and fly that irreligious and unphilosophic mania of deciding, of cutting short everything at the first sight of difficulties, will find that what seemed to them most incredible is often what was most certain and most evident. Some great names are already linked with those new and radiant doctrines, of a world of light, a world of substance, everywhere enclosed in a world of matter; the only true, the only life-giving doctrines; doctrines which must, sooner or later, triumph.*

We will not here speak of those phenomena which seem as if they must familiarize even the medical science with those ideas which extend our world through illimitable space. It is well known that some distinguished physicians in France, as well as in Germany, rising above the two op-. posite kinds of prejudice, have examined, with some attention, that particular state of organization produced by magnetic manipulations, or the laying on of hands, since called provoked extasy; and they have admitted the reality of surprising phenomena, evidently known to the ancients, which show that man, even while in the bonds of corporeal existence, may sometimes rise above organization, and thus be more or less free from time and space. The words seer, prophet, and inspired, thus begin to seem less strange to these philosophers; as the traces of the emblematic, or prophetic language, often reappear in the state of exaltation produced by magnetism. Some modern philosophers are even convinced by them, of the reality of certain communications between men, who, laying off their material envelope, have passed into that world of light, which plays in the midst of all the globes, as the rays of the sun play in a globe of crystal, and in which the emblematic language is spoken, and men still living upon earth who do not yet know any languages of convention and articulate sounds.

* At the head of these names stands that of M. Royer Collard, and the school which he has formed.

The proofs, by reasoning that we have offered, of the primitive existence of a natural language, among intelligent beings, appeared to us so clear and convincing, that we thought it unnecessary to crowd this introduction with citations from ancient authors who had the same opinion with ourselves, or related facts capable of supporting them. Yet the following remarks may find a place here, where we have touched on the delicate question of animal magnetism. The Pythagorean Epicharmus already spoke as follows, of what I call substan-

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