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From The North British Review. With this object in view, we have waded 1. Incidents in my Life. By D. D. Home. ankle-deep through the quagmire of Mr. 8vo., pp. 287. London, 1863.
Home's autobiogaphy, threatening at every 2. Les Habitans de l'Autre Monde, Révéla- step to return to a cleaner path and a purer
tions d'Outre-Tombepubliées par Camille air, yet urged on by a sense of duty to expose Flammarion. 12mo. Première Series, to public reprobation the profane and fanatipp. 108. Deuxième Series, pp. 108.
cal narratives which we are called upon to Paris, 1862, 1863.
believe and admire. If we have succeeded in The world has lasted about six thousand extracting from the rubbish of the book an inyears, and its annals abound with stories of telligible notice of the manifestations, prophthe supernatural, varying in their character ecies, and miracles which it records, we shall with the people among whom they originated, have done more to establish their godless and and the individuals who believed them. False anti-Christian character than if we had dragged religions have been propagated, falling dy-them to the bar of reason and the judgmentnasties sustained, and sordid interests pro- seat of truth. In one feeling we trust our moted by their agency. Miracles and lying readers will share with us. Pitying the forwonders have, therefore, prevaried in every lorn being who pretends to be the God-sent age, and under every clime,-the food of the instructor and benefactor of his species, we credulous, the tools of imposture, and the have a still deeper sympathy with those simmoral ruin of their victims. The light of re-ple individuals who have staked their characligious truth, however, has given birth to a ter as his diciples, and testified to the truth purer faith, and the stern decisions of science of his revelations. have inaugurated a sounder philosophy. Ed Mr. Daniel Dunglas Home, the arch-spirucation and knowledge have given vigor and itualist of the age, claims, we grieve to say, health to the public mind, and the spirit- that he is a Scotsman, born in Scotland, and mongers have been driven into the purlieus descended from Scottish parents. We are of “ shattered nerves and depraved sensa- therefore doubly anxious to know something tions."
of the lineage and upbringing of such a comThe historians of the occult sciences, and patriot; and in a Scottish journal we are the expounders of natural magic, have col- specially charged with the obligation to test lected the materials furnished by the wizards, the character of his miracles, and to expose the magicians, the necromancers, the astrol- the calumnies which he has published against ogers, and the alchemists of past ages; and every inquirer who has challenged the prothough the budget is large in size and mot- priety or the truth of his spiritual manifestaley in character, yet the “ Incidents in the tions. Life of Daniel Dunglas Home" present to us Mr. Home tells us that he was born near every species of offence against those acknowl- Edinburgh, in March, 1833, but he does not edged and impregnable laws by which the mention the name of the parish. Having reAlmighty governs the moral and the physical quired on his marriage to have 6 a certificate world.
of birth,” he received one with his name To attempt the analysis of such incidents, written Hume instead of Home; and “ know-to refute them or to ridicule them,-would ing this to be incorrect, he was obliged to be to acknowledge the weakness of human make a journey to Scotland to have it recreason, and the insecurity of our common tified,”. - a rectification which could have faith. The interests of truth, however, and been obtained by a quicker and less expensive the purity and sanctity of those cherished ties process. which connect the living with the dead, will When an infant, his cradle was frequently be best promoted by displaying the characters rocked as if he had been attended by a guarand the deeds of the necromancers in their dian spirit. At the age of four, when at own black and bloated pages. In our desire Portobello, near Edinburgh, he saw in a vito learn something about the founders of an sion the death of a little cousin at Linlithupstart dynasty, or the apostles of a startling gow, and he named the persons attending faith, we can hardly err if we follow their the child, and mentioned the absence of her history of themselves, and judge of them by father at sea,-facts unknown at Portobello! the principles and motives which they avow. In 1842, when nine years of age, he was
taken to America by his aunt and her hus-bust of my mother. I saw her lips move, band. We do not learn who his father was,* and again I heard the same words, · Dan, and why his mother parted with her delicate twelve o'clock.' A third time she repeated and spirit-guarded child; but we are told this, and disappeared. . I was extremely agithat his mother's great-uncle was Colin Ur- tated, and rung the bell hastily to summon
my aunt; and when she came I said, ' Aunty, quhart, and her uncle, Mr. Mackenzie, and mother died to-day at twelve o'clock, because I that she herself and both these relatives were have seen her, and she told me.' . My seers, and gifted with the second sight. Where father found, on going to see her, that she and how he was educated during the nine had died at twelve o'clock, and without the years he spent in Scotland does not appear. presence of a relative to close her eyes. We find, however, that he was a member of A few months after this event, Mr. Home’s 46 the Kirk of Scotland ;” and we learn from commerce with the invisible world took a new himself, that, to the horror of his aunt, he form. On going to bed three loud raps struck became a Wesleyan. He subsequently be the head of the bed, as if made by a hammer, came a Congregationalist, and finally, as we and next morning, when at breakfast with shall see, a Roman Catholic.
his aunt, “ their ears were assailed by a perfect be earliest vision which he distinctly re- shower of raps all over the table.” So you've members was at Troy, in the State of New brought the devil to my house," cried the York. A boy, Edwin, and himself had agreed aunt; and, seizing a chair, she threw it at that the first of them that died should ap- the supposed offender. Dreading the recurpear to the other the third day afterwards.” rence of these satanic sounds, the pious woAbout a month later, when sitting up in bed, man summoned to her help the three parsons his room was filled with a brilliant light; in the village, Congregationalist, Baptist
, and Edwin, then three hundred miles distant, and Wesleyan, to exorcise the noisy spirits
. stood at the foot of the bed in a robe of light, While the Baptist minister was praying for and with wary ringlets, and after lifting his " the cessation of these visitations," " at right arm to the heavens, and making three every mention of the holy names of God and circles in the air, gradually melted away. Jesus there came gentle taps on his chair ; Upon recovering his speech and muscular while at every expression of a wish for God's power, and ringing his bell, he exclaimed, loving mercy to be shown us and our fellow“ I have seen Edwin; he died three days ago, creatures, there were loud rappings, as if at this very hour,”-a fact confirmed by a joining in our heartfelt prayers." This," letter a few day afterwards.
says, was the turning point of In the year 1850, Mr. Home's mother pre- his life," and he“ resolved to place himself dicted that she would die, in “ four months at God's disposal.” In “ carrying out this from this time,” and “ without a relative resolution," he says, “ he has suffered deeply.” near to close her eyes.' On the forenoon of " His honor has been called in question ; bis the last day of her allotted term, a telegram pride wounded ; his worldly prospects blightintimated to her son that she was seriously ed; and he was turned out of his house and ill.
home at the age of eighteen, though still a “ That same evening about twilight, being child in body from the delicacy of his health, alone in my room, I heard a voice near the without a friend, and with three younger head of my bed, which I did not recognize, children depending on him for their supsaying to me solemnly, h Dan, twelve o'clock.' port.”' I turned my head, and between the window
In spite of the prayers of the ministers, the and my bed I saw what appeared to be the
rappings continued as before, and a new phe* We have heard it stated, as on the authority of nomenon increased the horrors of his aunt.” Mr. Ilome himself, that his father was a brother of The chairs and tables, and other pieces of the Earl of Home. His connection, real or assumed, with that noble family may be presumed from his furniture, moved about the room without name, Daniel Dunylas Home, Dunglas being the
and without even the contitle of the eldest son of the Earl of Home.
tact of hands. land we are always anxious to know the parentage and education of our distinguished countrymen ; Upon one occasion, as the table was beand if Mr. Home's character as a prophet and a ing thus moved about of itself, my aunt brought worker of miracles shall be established, the parish the family Bible, and, placing it on the table, registers of Mid-Lothian will be searched with a peculiar interest.
said · There that will soon drive the devils
away;' but, to her astonishment, the table | and that he was sent to say what would reonly moved in a more lively manner, as if lieve her.” On entering the house, he went pleased to bear such a burden. Seeing this, she in a trance, spirit-guided, to her bedroom; was greatly incensed, and determining to stop he dissipated by a few passes her acute pain, it, she angrily placed her whole weight on the prescribed simple herbs for immediate, and table, and was actually lifted up with it bodily other herbs for continued use, and thus profrom the floor!” Bible and all!
duced “ the magical effect of giving her such In the house of another aunt the manifes- health as she had not enjoyed for eighteen tations took a new and a higher a form. Here years." “ Mr. H. first began to ask questions ” of the Visiting Mr. Home both in a trance and a spirits, and “receive intelligent replies." waking state, the spirit of the father of a boy Appealing thus to the spirit of his mother, called Ezra told Mr. Home that Ezra was to she replies
die in three weeks, and begs that he may
visit “ Daniel, fear not, my child; God is with him. The spirit wish was obeyed. Little you, and who shall be against you ? Seek Ezra named the person who was to carry
him to do good : be truthful and truth-loving, to his grave; and being at this time visited and you will prosper, my child. Yours is a by a deacon of the Church, the good man exglorious mission-you will convince the infi- pressed his dislike of such incredible manifesdel, cure the sick, and console the weeping.” | tations. In recording this incident, Mr.
The religious convictions of the aunt who Home assails the deacon as he has done all adopted our medium were so opposed to these those who question his visions, as "telling unearthly conversations, that he was com- untruths and misrepresentations.' manded to leave her house ; and being thrown restless boy frequently appeared to Mr. Home, upon the world whose infidels he was to con- imploring him to write messages to his mother vert, whose sick he was to heal, and whose and sister, and sometimes “ took possession mourners he was to comfort, his spiritual of the medium's hand, “and used it in writmanifestations assumed different forms, and ing his own autograph!” required new processes for their display. In 1852, at Lebanon and Springfield, new Hitherto the spirits spoke, and tables and phases of magic were displayed. Tables, chairs moved, spontaneously ; but they be- poising themselves on two side-legs, danced and came vocally dumb and mechanically feeble. kept time correctly to several tunes sung by the They spoke only by raps following the con- company! A medium called Mr. Henry Gortact of the letters of the alphabet; they re- don held an amicable seance with Mr. Home; quired a clock to register their responses ; but as in optics two lights sometimes produce and they moved only by the imposition of darkness, so the two mediums neutralized hands, and at the bidding of their guests. each other, and the spiritual house was di
6. Thus thrown before the world by the vided against itself. At Springfield, three mysterious working of Providence,” the man- gentlemen mounted a rocking and restless table, ifestations which Mr. Home evoked “ became and perambulated the room in sounds of thunpublic all over the New England States ; ” der and great guns. This feat was outdone and “ he shrank from the prominent position by another, in which five men, weighing in thus given to him," and “ embarked on the the lump eight hundred and fifty-five pounds, tempestuous sea of a public life.”
bestrode a table (without castors), which Thus placed " Before the world,” which is moved a distance of from four to eight inches. the title of his second chapter, he begins by This sagacious table became light or heavy making himself useful to 2%. A spirit calling according to order ; and the truth of this himself Uncle Tilden comes to Mr. Home was experimentally tested by “ weighing the when in a trance, and tells him where to find end of the table with a balance." certain title-deeds of land long lost and anx These mechanical miracles were varied iously sought for. The deeds were of course with others of an optical kind. Dark rooms found in the predicted place, and in a box of shine with brilliant light ; a tremulous the predicted form.
phosphorescence gleams over the walls ; odic On another occasion, his guardian spirits emanations radiate from human bodies, or sent him on horseback to tell a gentleman, shoot meteor-like through the apartment.” unknown to him, “ that his mother was ill, | The lady of the house mentally requires the
lights to cease" and every form is lost in The suspension of the law of falling bodthe deepest gloom."
ies was most curiously exhibited at New York In another seance at Springfield we have a in June, 1852. A perfectly smooth mahogrevelation of spiritual truth. Mr. Home had any table, covered “ with loose papers, a lead previously assured us that the spiritual forces pencil, two candles, and a glass of water," at his command " are calculated to revolu- was “ violently moved ; " and when elevated tionize the current ignorance both of philoso- to an angle of thirty degrees, and held there, phy and theology, as men have made them ; pencil, candles, water, glass, and
all but we have now a special doctrine estab- refused to fall, “ remaining as if glued on lished by spiritual authority. During a gen- the polished surface.” At the request of eral conversation, Mr. Home fell into a sudden the company, the table suspended itself in trance, exclaiming, “ Hanna Brittan is here.” | the air; and two gentlemen, seated upon
it Her brother being in the room, mentally in- back to back, weighing two hundred and fifty quired bow he could be assured of her pres- pounds, were rocked backward and forward,
and finally thrown on the ground, when the “Mr. Home began to exhibit signs of the table “ got tired of rocking them.” deepest anguish. Rising from his seat, he In the following August, at the house of walked to and fro in the apartment, wring- Mr. Cheney, at Manchester, U. S., “Mr. ing his hands, and exhibiting a wild and Home was first listed in the air-a manifesfrantic manner. IIe uttered bitter lamenta- tation which frequently occurred to him both tions, exclaiming, “Oh, how dark! What dismal clouds !
On this occasion What a frightful chasm !
in England and France." Deep down, far down !--I see the fiery flood: he was lifted a foot from the floor, palpitaHold! Stay! Save them from the piť! I'm ting from head to foot with emotions of joy in a terrible labyrinth! I see no way out ! and fear. There's no light! How wild ! gloomy! The
Again and again he was taken from the clouds roll in upon me! The darkness deep: floor; and in the third time he was carried to ens! My head is whirling! Where am I?!" the lofty ceiling of the apartment, with which
Hanna Brittan " had become insane from his hand and head came in gentle contact.” believing in the doctrine of endless punish Aster describing this miracle, Mr. Home ment so graphically depicted in the scene tells us, that when thus elevated, he feels an above described ; " and the spirit of Hanna, electrical fulness about his feet; that he is so distracted on earth, has since informed generally lifted perpendicularly, his arms beMr. Home, “ that the burning gulf, with all coming rigid, and drawn above his head ; its horrible imagery, existed only in the tradi- that when he reaches the ceiling, he is sometions of man! and in her own distracted times brought into the horizontal position ;
that he has been frequently kept suspended Before leaving Springfield, Mr. Home healed four or five minutes ; that he has left pencilmany of the sick, feeling in himself their marks on the ceiling of some house in Lonsymptoms, and “ telling the seat and causes don; and that this “ elevation or levitation" of the disease.'
has happened only once " in the light of day." At New York, in May 1853, Mr. Home In the third chapter of this marvellous figures in numerous “ public and private cir- work, entitled “ Farther Manifestations in cles.” The spirit of a lady shipwrecked in America,” we have an account of new vithe steamer Atlantic in 1849 is called up. sions, new feats performed by dead matter, " A violent storm
The wind roars and amusing pranks played by the outlaws and whistles—the waters rush-the waves of the invisible world. At the Theological break—the joints of the ship creak, and the Institute of Newburgh, where he was boarded, laboring vessel rolls from side to side. Hav- Mr. Home's spirit-body was separated from ing“ identified her presence by these demon- his body of flesh. " He saw the whole of strations, the spirit delivered a homily, oc- his nervous system, as it were composed of cupying nearly three pages, in which she thousands of electrical scintillations ;” and moralizes and expounds the principles of he also saw 'i the body which he knew to be his spirit-rapping, "expressing the spirit idea lying motionless on the bed." Thus emerged of a hell,” which, of course, is not that of from his clay, his guardian angel wafted bim holy writ.
upwards on a purple-tinted cloud, till he saw
the earth far, far below them. Descending and it played “ at a distance of nearly eleven to earth, the two spirits hovered over a cot- feet from the circle or the medium.” When tage, through whose walls, made transparent the spirits had carried the guitar all round for the nonce, they 'saw all that the cot- the circle, “it was poised in the air, top uptagers were doing and meant to do. When wards, and nearly over the head of one of the the body of nerve and muscle was revived by party.” It then“ reached forward, and playits better half, Mr. Home, thus created again, fully tapped him three times upon the shoulder." felt his limbs so dead, that it was only after “ The indistinct outline of a human hand could half an hour's friction that he could stand be seen grasping the instrument just below its upright. I give these facts,” he says,
It now played in the air ; and the they occurred. Nothing could ever convince hand that held it was a female one, terminatme that this was an illusion or delusion." ing at the wrist, thin, pale, and attenuated.
At Springfield, in February 1854, a bell A pencil and paper being put upon the table, weighing one pound and one ounce put itself this hand took the pencil, and wrote “ the in the hands of the party; and while a hymn name, in her own proper handwriting, of a relwas singing, “ the bell was raised from the ative and intimate lady friend of one in the floor, and rung in perfect time with the meas-circle, who passed away some years since.” ure of the tune şung;
" and“ it drummed out The writing has of course been preserved as another time against the under side of the an evidence of the reality of the fact. table,” like " a skilful performer with drum From America, the birth-place and haunt sticks."
of spirit-rappers, Mr. Home passes into EngAt Boston, Mr. Home's spirit-power land, where he arrives in April, 1855. Even so seemed to increase in a manner which sur- in the United States, as he confesses, pried himself not less than other witnesses." | looked on him with pity, as a poor, deluded
“On several occasions spirits were seen being, only devil-sent to lure souls to dedistinctly by all present in the room ; and struction ; while others were not chary in more than once they kissed persons present so treating him as a base impostor.” as to be both felt and heard."
aunt, who had adopted him and maintained In September 1854, a Mr. Andrew, who him as her own child, felt it. a duty to turn bad expressed a wish to witness some extraor-him out of her house ; and a deacon of a dinary manifestation, had his wish gratified Church, as he tells us, had boldly denounced by Mr. Home. When in bed, “ the walls, his pretensions ; but he has not recorded any floor, and bedstead shook with the strokes instances in which either men of science or which came like a shower. The bed began to ministers of the gospel applauded or condoned niere across the floor. Spirits stepped upon his manifestations. his feet and ankles over the bed-clothes. In England, where superstition has never Hands somewhat cold, but as much like flesh found a quiet home, it was not likely that and blood as any he ever felt, came on his spiritual manifestations would be favorably head and forehead," answering by the pats received either among the ignorant or the the questions put to them.
wise. Professor Faraday had established, by Passing over the fact, that one spirit-child direct experiment, the true cause of tablecalled up by Mr. Home prevented her father turning, and the enlightened section of the from cutting his throat, and that another took public had acquiesced in the decision of sciher mother's handkerchief, “ and knotted ence. It was not likely, therefore, that the and twisted it into the form of a doll-baby,” kindred art of spirit-raising would escape the we come to the miraculous works of a guitar scrutiny and baffle the sagacity of an English of an unusual size and weight. It was jury. played upon evidently by real substantial fin When Mr. Home reached London, he took gers, dragged out and carried away to a door, up his residence at Cox's hotel in Jermyn where it played music surpassingly beautiful, Street. In order to have the sanction of a sweeter and more harmonious than was ever great name, and one well known to science, heard. From exquisite sweetness it rose to, Mr Cox invited Lord Brougham to a seance “ a full orb of strong, tempestuous melody, with Mr. Home, to witness his nuiraculous filling the house with its sounds.' By de- powers. Lord Brougham, it appears, invited sire, " it struck on all the chords at once, " Sir David Brewster to accompany him; and