Friday, 2 December 2016

Sufferings in Immortality

By the nature of the language, the following revelation shows us that even after death, while passing through the first progressive sphere, all experience a terrible dread of the future—

I have appeared by command of the higher powers and am the spirit of Dr Allen, late Bishop of Ely, who departed from mortal life to immortality in the month of March, 1845.

I am commanded to declare to the people of the earth things concerning which they have hitherto been kept in ignorance. The description of the sufferings I experienced immediately before leaving the world have been duly described in the public prints. But, nevertheless, I am commanded to describe the last pangs or struggles I experienced in endeavouring to retain life. After several convulsive struggles, I felt my limbs twinging, the sinews contract, and deprive me of their use, and my sufferings internally were indescribable. I experienced an icy chillness run through my frame; while my body was bedewed with cold clammy perspiration, my lips parched, and my tongue refused its office when I endeavoured to reply to the consolatory remarks of my friends. While at this juncture a terrible sensation seized upon my breast which convinced me that death was at hand. My past life moved with rapidity before my mind, and my friends perceived the intensity of my emotion. I then heard a terrible noise like the rumbling of heavy carriages over paved streets. My eyesight left me and my heart appeared as though enveloped by ice, and then appeared to explode. The next moment all was tranquil and all bodily suffering ended, and I heard the murmurs of my friends as they wept over me with the bitterest sobs of friendship and respect, saying to each other—He is gone, his last breath is drawn, his spirit has fled to the presence of its Creator. I distinctly recognised the words; I endeavoured to speak but the power of speech had left me. 1 felt the experience of a dream and could not understand their grief and sorrow, for all pain had ended; 1 felt happy, but as it were spellbound by apparent magic influence. As I lay gazing upon the group of friends around me I perceived objects, in every direction, at the same moment, but did not understand my true position. I saw my friends turn from the room, and persons enter and perform the last office to my body, and then I felt as if torn from the apartment, which gave way before me. I passed through the air with the greatest rapidity, and was enabled to see the reality of the world as it existed beneath me. At length I found myself in darkness, of a description beyond my power to explain. Here I remained for a considerable space, unable to define the exact time, and while in this position, far away from the sound of earthly or human voice, I could hear beyond the darkness a complication of frightful unearthly sounds, the hearing of which for the first time brought to my memory my position, and I knew that I was dead, and thoughts at once of the terrible place of torment I had so frequently described whilst living, and the dread of the future, with the thoughts of my past life, passed in rapid succession before my eyes. At length I found myself again whirling through the air, and wondered what would next follow. In this unsettled and unhappy state, I, as if waking from a dream, found myself again in the apartment with my body, upon which I gazed with wonder and amazement. I bent over it, shook it, touched myself, and believed for a time my experience was a dream, but remembering that at will I could move the legs, arms, head, or any part of my body, I again desired to do so, but found the effort was fruitless. I wept bitterly, and touched its cold chilly surface. The words of my friends again flashed across my mind; He is gone, said they, his spirit has fled, and the sensation was horrible. But there, oh there, laid the stern reality before me—cold, motionless, as death is described—dead in reality, and yet I, a moving, living being, witness of the things I have just described. At this moment persons entered, and passed by without perceiving me, and, as they were near to me by the most endearing ties, another pang of horror thrilled me as my real condition flashed through my mind. I was about to leave the room, as none would notice me. At the same instant, I was seized affectionately by the arm, when I perceived a dear female friend with whom I was formerly acquainted, but who had died some nine years previously. She led me from the apartment unseen and unheard, and endeavoured to administer consolation, and informed me of the dread she too felt for the future, and again left me to bitter reflection. I remained round the premises, and in the apartment which contained my body, witnessing with regret the voluptuous scenes of extravagance and waste displayed by my friends, but had no power to reveal myself unto them, to make them conscious of their follies. In this manner I continued near the last resting place of my body for several months, at times visiting the residences of old friends. But here I found that my spirit became more depressed as the thoughts of those who through me, or by me, had suffered injury, appeared to reach me and taunt me with reproaches, though unconscious to themselves; whom I had power to see moving through the mazes of the earth in their accustomed mannerand here fresh tortures awaited me. Those above and those beneath appeared to taunt me with hypocritical and ambitious desires to mislead or misguide my fellow creatures for the attainment of high office in the world. In this manner I found myself driven about from place to place, enduring indescribable agony of mind and apparent physical suffering. As I still feel perfect, every limb and every member appears to retain sensitive vitality. But the dread of a future still haunts me, and fear praying upon me, time fled swiftly, and yet nothing but uncertainty appeared. Again, after years of enduring I found myself in terrible and unspeakable darkness, where screams and mournful howls, mingled with the wild and inharmonious sounds of music, with the cries and weeping of the most wretched distress and agony, once more brought to my recollection my true position, and the thoughts of hell and eternal damnation with devils came upon me with the appearance of dreaded reality. As the darkness cleared, my eyes perceived the scenes which, with difficulty, can only be partially described, for thousands, nay myriads, of beings are thrown together, though in apparent confusion, yet distinctly classed, heaping reproaches upon each other for the injuries received whilst in the flesh. There are none without accusers, or none but what accuse, and every specie of bodily and mental agony is experienced by all. But oh, declare to the world the entreaties I am commanded to make, that the people may refrain from hypocrisy, ambition, selfishness, and all evils which arise therefrom, for the instigation of crime in the flesh will truly meet with a just retribution. My sufferings in this respect are great, but trifling in comparison with others of the same capacity while in life, and though I suffer, there are those who likewise suffer from me. But this is no alleviation to any; all is misery, horrible anguish, wretched misery, with a still further dread of a future state. All know of a future even from this state, but none can explain beyond their sphere. Therefore let this be made known to the people, that they may study the welfare of each other and show forth mercy and forgiveness to all, and thus abate the progression of their sufferings after passing from life to immortality. My mission is now ended. Peace and goodwill to all. Farewell; sorrow, weeping, anguish, and grief, are now my fate.

A Message from the World of Spirits, J. G. H. Brown, Holyoake & Co., London, 1807