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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Lay up treasures in heaven

Immediately after Vanderbilt's decease, several gentlemen who had known him for years on the Road, desired the medium's friends to inquire as to his spiritual condition. In response to this demand, Judge Edmonds controlled the medium and gave the following account. 

As it has been permitted me to make my remarks, I will try to point out the evil results of a certain course in life, for the purpose of enlightening my former fellow citizens who are now residing in the Spirit-world, although in a different quarter from myself.

It has been facetiously remarked of a famous divine that he had opened an oyster saloon in the Spirit-world! In like manner, public opinion deals with the railroad king, Vanderbilt, and sarcastically speculates as to what place of honour his death-bed repentance will give him on the Golden Shore.

Yesterday, an oration was poured out over the body of this whilom rich man, to-day, he is a denizen of the Spirit-world – poor and almost friendless! He will have to start his life anew and develop his higher faculties, which have been almost suppressed within him.

I met him when he arrived here; his mother and some friends joined him but he looked disappointed and broken when they led him away to their quiet and humble home. His life here for a time will be one of severe training.

It was not pleasant to see the crowd of spirits – victims of the Astabula disaster – who confronted Vanderbilt and poured out their censures on him, for not applying a small portion of his immense wealth towards making his road safe from disaster and accident, by every appliance of art and invention.

If a premium were offered for the best constructed bridges and human life were held as precious as money, we would not have so many unwilling guests hastily ushered into Spirit-life.

All the present schemes of trade and commerce are wrong. The means by which one man obtains wealth and holds control of the market and overrides and oppresses his neighbour are wrong; such practices are not permitted in the Spirit-world and the person who takes pleasure in that sort of life finds his occupation gone when he reaches our spirit-planet.

Until man learns to deal justly with his fellow-men, he cannot be happy in the Spirit-world.

 I am sorry to say that Vanderbilt's religious impressions were not very well grounded. He was heard to swear soon after his arrival and curse his minister for not giving him a truer idea of heaven.

Habits of a long life are not changed by the sudden translation from earth to a spiritual sphere. 

Three days ago I spoke to you of his arrival in Spirit-life; he is back to earth already, seeking to undo his will and add new bequests. He walks around the house and stables he once possessed, vainly endeavouring to make his friends see and hear him and is beginning to realise that death is not that quiet rest in the arms of a Crucified Redeemer, which from the teachings that were given him in his hours of weakness he supposed it to be!

I am happy to say his endeavours may not prove futile and that his efforts to remedy his mistakes are likely to produce some beneficial result from the large fortune he left behind him.*

* Given previous to his will being contested.

Vanderbilt was eminently a man of intuitions and if left to Nature would have had correct ideas of Spirit-life. However, the artificial and false views of heaven in vogue among Christians choked up any common-sense opinions he may have formed and turned his thoughts and hopes in an erratic channel. He was well aware of spiritual manifestations on earth but his communications were directed towards acquiring material wealth. And here I must raise my voice against a gross misapplication of mediumship. Spirits of low type exist in the Spirit-world who are only too happy to control a medium and disseminate their vicious ideas.

Rich men who have failed on earth to lay up treasures in heaven are poor vagrants in the Spirit-world.

Vanderbilt (Spirit)

Woman harvesting wheat, Madhya Pradesh, India – Yann (CC-by-SA-3.0)