Presidential Address 1991 – Mediumship

One of the most important celebrations in Spiritualism should be the celebration of the blessings of mediumship.  Mediumship provides the basis of Spiritualism.  Without mediumship there would be no Spiritualism.  

Mediumship has provided the world with the most valuable thing in life – proof that death is not the end, but the gateway to a continuation of life, a more wonderful kind of existence than we have ever experienced on earth.  By the revelation and discovery of the spirit world, earth life has been given a purpose, which was lacking in the minds of people.

Sadly, with the decline of orthodox Christianity and the rise of modern science, it was inevitable that atheism and agnosticism should take its place.  By means of mediumship, communication with the new world – the spirit world – can provide evidence, in terms of human values, of the persistence of life, memory and love.  Mind and conscience live on.  

Parting with family and friends is always a sad experience. But to those who believe that death robs them of their loved ones forever, it must indeed be a tragic event.  Mediumship brings real comfort and joy to the bereaved.  Mediumship saves lives. Such comfort is only one aspect of Spiritualism.

The greatest blessing of mediumship is the new outlook on life which it provides.  Material values begin to recede and become of secondary importance, and spiritual values are seen in their true perspective as the only lasting and permanent assets of life.

Man is first and foremost soul and spirit, his material life being only a stage on the eternal journey. Spiritual progress with its attendant joys lie before him.  All that he adds to his spiritual nature increases his powers and joys; each spiritual triumph is a step forward on the eternal path, which takes the human spirit to higher forms of consciousness and life.  

Gold, jewels, money, or any other forms of material possession, are nothing compared with one’s personal treasures of spiritual virtues and powers.  Without mediumship we cannot be certain of these things.

All the religious and sacred books in this world have always depended upon the central fact of another life beyond this present one.  The whole fabric of Christianity rested upon the materialisation of Jesus after his death upon the cross.  If Jesus had not communicated with ‘his family, friends and disciples after his death, he would have been forgotten and there would be no Christian religion in the world today.

Mediumship is the life force of Spiritualism for it provides a constant and living revelation of the truth of survival and spirit communication.  Let us therefore give due honour to our past and present mediums, by providing in a practical way for those who will carry the torch of mediumship into the next century.  We must provide the best facilities for the unfoldment and development of their spiritual powers along modern scientific and spiritual lines.

If Spiritualism is to survive the next century, it will be through the high standard of our speakers and mediums and by the service of dedicated workers in our churches and district councils.

In this great city of Aberdeen, the Spiritualists National Union chose to hold our annual general meeting.  To mark this great occasion, I toll the bell and appeal to all Spiritualists to shake away the dust, remove the cobwebs and use every ounce of effort to teach pure Spiritualism and prove to the world the continuance of life after death.  Let us show to the world we are a living, vibrant movement, not a dying one.  

I have often thought whether Spiritualists are apt to ignore the advice of our spirit friends when planning for the future of our movement.  The ideas of the first Spiritualist church was a spirit revelation, but now some of us tend to rely solely on our own powers.  I think it would be better if we discussed our problems with those interested on the Other Side.  We should obtain their advice before making decisions affecting the welfare of our union of churches and mediums.

Let us remind ourselves of those immortal words spoken by Swedenborg, the spirit guide of Andrew Jackson Davis when he appeared to him in March 1848: “Brother! The great work has begun, a living experience has been born.”

The flame of modern Spiritualism was lit by spirit.  Its radiance has found its way into hearts and souls in all parts of the world.  Do not let us replace spirit power with materialistic power.  Let us hold on to the power of spirit and be guided to do what is best for the future, well-being of mankind and the world.

Are we forsaking the spiritual for the opinion of the crowd as Christianity did by becoming too orthodox and churchified again?  Let us gird ourselves with the true spirit of Spiritualism and so revitalise Spiritualism to carry on the work which at the present time is waiting for us to lead the world back to one God, spirit.  It is either that or the world remains in chaos.

Spiritualists have once again been shown survival and greater things, which are exactly the same as taught thousands of years ago by the mystics, prophets, seers and mediums.  

It is our task to enlighten mankind as to the spiritual truths which have been neglected throughout the centuries.  Out of the turmoil and suffering caused by ignorance, greed and superstition, a new world is being born.  Let us resolve this weekend that we will fulfil our labours in the consciousness that we have been called to service, and pray that strength shall be given to each of us to fulfil our allotted labours.

Could any finer opportunity ever present itself to Spiritualists to demonstrate their understanding of spiritual matters than the present world situation?  Those who live only on the surface of things cannot be expected to use other than material means of dealing with international tension.

Spiritualists know that all men are brothers and are children of the same loving spirit – that all human beings are individual souls, struggling to express the divinity latent within each of them.  They know that the finest service one man can render to another is to help him as much as possible along the evolutionary path.  This is contrasted with the more drastic expedient of blasting him precipitately into the next world.

The world is approaching the crossroads – and the individual witness of millions of Spiritualists could play a major part in leading all nations into peace.  Let us all disown the materialists’ methods of war and destruction, and replace it with faith in God and love towards all men.  

If all the people of the world demanded peace they would achieve it, but the earth is tired and fighting for its life.  The soul of the earth is slowly dying for the want of freedom to grow and expand its life force through natural law.  Materialism is destroying earth’s life, poisoning its water and killing earth’s blossoms.  We need to hear the call of the earth and heal its wounds that our deserts may bloom and blossom like a rose.

Faith in the creator, faith in self and self survival, faith in our brother and his survival should smooth out the rough areas on the path of life.

The Christian Church cannot keep alive in thoughtful minds a strong belief in immortality.  The best they can do is to encourage a dim and uncertain hope of it.  It is the mission of Spiritualism to prove to mankind allover the world that death does not end all. 

The philosophy of Spiritualism is a unique blend of science, philosophy and religion, and incorporates all that is true in all systems.  The minds of the world’s religionists constitutes a prism which breaks up the white light of God’s truth into sectarian rays.  Each refractory element would have us believe that theirs is the only ray of importance.  I believe that Spiritualism is the instrument of God for removing that prism and allowing the world to see by the white light of truth the needed revelations which will show us life as it is rather than as we thought it was.  This will enable us profitably to find our way through it as travellers to the large country, where we shall enter into the fullness of wisdom, ripened by experience.

I see Spiritualism as the unifying basis on which all and every religion is and has been based.  All the God-belittling creeds must go, and be replaced by a vaster scientific religion; big enough for all in which individual spiritual growth will be encouraged rather than repressed by creedal fetters, which is a form of death.

I call all Spiritualists to unite.  Let us respond to the call of spirit and prove to the world there is no death, that Spiritualism is alive and not dead.


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