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domain of natural law, but from his perfect knowledge of the law. Other psychics have sometimes performed purely intellectual feats while in an apparently normal physical condition. Some have, under exceptionally favorable circumstances, produced physical manifestations under apparently normal conditions. But such cases are sporadic, and only serve to emphasize the general rule that psychic manifestations are the result of abnormal physical conditions. Jesus was the only one, of whom we have any authenticated account, who never found it necessary to enter the subjective state to enable him to produce any psychic phenomena.
3. As a result of his ability to exercise his psychic powers without entering the subjective state, he was enabled to avoid the operation of the law of suggestion, and, as a consequence, he was never dominated by a false suggestion. Objective reason, therefore, was always in the ascendant. Again it must be remarked that this does not imply that he was not subject to the law of suggestion; but that his knowledge of the law enabled him to avoid placing himself in that condition in which he would be dominated by it. It is in psychic science as in any other. If we know its laws we can avoid its evils. In other words, when we are dealing with a force, of the laws of which we have perfect knowledge, we are enabled to place ourselves in proper relations to it, and thus avoid the penalties attending the infraction of its laws.
4. One of the most important of the distinctive characteristics of Jesus, as compared with other psychics, consisted in his perfect moral and religious character. This, in a certain sense, may be attributed to a perfect knowledge of the laws of the soul; although due credit must be given to that innate altruism which was regnant in his character. Without attempting, however, to distinguish
between what was the result of a perfect comprehension of spiritual laws and what was innate in his character, if indeed there is any line of distinction, it will be sufficient for our present purpose to discuss the former. As I have before remarked, the subjective mind or soul is the seat of the emotions. Every emotion, therefore, is a psychic phenomenon. Religious worship is an emotion that is inherent in every human soul. It is one of the higher instincts which differentiate the man from the brute. Morality is also an emotion when considered as a duty which man owes to his Creator, although, when practised solely with reference to one's relations to society and the commonwealth, it is the result of education. In its highest sense, therefore, morality is an emotion, cognate to religion, and, with the latter, must be considered as one of the phenomena of the soul. Religion and morality being phenomena or attributes of the soul, they necessarily have normal relations to every other attribute of the soul. This being granted, it follows that one who possesses a perfect knowledge of the laws of the soul will be able to discern those normal relations, and, other things being equal, will seek to maintain them. This, then, was the distinctive characteristic of Jesus. He was a master of the science of the soul, and as such had a perfect knowledge of its attributes and powers, and of the normal relations which those attributes and powers sustain to each other, to humanity, and to the Creator. A perfect moral and religious character was necessarily the result.
It will thus be seen that, as before remarked, the Christian religion forms no exception to the general rule that every religion worthy of the name has its origin in psychic phenomena. Previous to the time of Jesus, the phenomena were grossly misinterpreted. Nevertheless, they contained the germs of the monotheistic idea, which was perfected by one who never misinterpreted the phenomena of the soul,
Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian religion not only had its origin in psychic phenomena, but that was the only means by which it was, or could be, brought to the knowledge of mankind. The words of Jesus would have been lost, and his mission a failure, had he not been endowed with the power to produce phenomena tangible to the senses of the people. It was by this means alone that he was able to impress upon the world a realization of this divine mission. Paley himself declares this fact in these words:
"That this particular person, Jesus of Nazareth, ought to be received as the Messiah, or as a messenger from God, they [the Apostles] neither had, nor could have, anything but miracles to stand upon."1
It was by the miracles that Jesus was enabled to impress upon his followers a sense of his power, and of his authority as a messenger of truth. And what was true of his immediate followers is largely true of the Church from that day to the present. It matters not that the so-called miracles were misinterpreted psychic phenomena. They were not misinterpreted by Jesus himself; for he never claimed that he performed his works outside the domain of natural law. On the contrary, he distinctly proclaimed the fact that others could do even greater things than he had done by complying with the conditions which he prescribed. It would have been idle for him to attempt to explain to his followers the underlying scientific principles which enabled him to produce his phenomena; for no one of his day was capable of comprehending them. Moreover, if he could have succeeded in convincing them that he did not transcend the laws of Nature in the performance of his miracles, it would have weakened their confidence in his divine mission; for the people of that day were incapable of grasping
1 Evidences of Christianity, ch. x.
the idea that God could possibly display his power in any other way than by some signal violation of his own laws.
It will thus be seen that the Christian religion not only had its inception in psychic phenomena, but that faith in it has been perpetuated largely by a misapprehension of the real significance of the psychic manifestations of Jesus. If, however, the miracles alone had constituted the evidence of the truth of Christianity, it would have long since perished as a system of religion. For no system of religion which is founded upon a fundamental error can long withstand the assaults of scientific scepticism, in an enlightened age and nation, where truth is left free to combat error. In a primitive age a claim to supernatural power may serve to impose almost any system of religion upon a people. In an enlightened age such a claim is ar element of weakness; and a theology founded upon that alone must eventually perish and be forgotten. The assaults of scepticism upon the Christian religion have been almost exclusively upon the dogma of supernaturalism; and had its claims to a divine origin rested alone upon that, it must have yielded to the first onslaught of scientific scepticism. That it has sustained the shock of scientific criticism, and is still a great and growing power in the most enlightened age the world has ever seen, and is now the most potential force in the social systems of the most enlightened nations of the earth, is indubitable evidence that it possesses an inherent vitality that must be looked for outside the domain of the supernatural. In the ensuing chapter I propose briefly to inquire into the secret of the wonderful vitality of the Christian religion.
THE INTUITIVE PERCEPTION OF TRUTH.
Books that thrill the Reader with Pleasurable Emotions. — Theories to account for it.— Literary Style. - Personal Magnetism. — The Soul's Love of Truth.- Books Popular in proportion to their Truth. - The Scriptures. —The Philosophy of Jesus. — Intuitional Perception of its Truth. — Evolution of Religion. — Christianity the Final Goal. -The Impossibility of improving upon True Christianity. The Absolute Religion.
T has often been remarked by intelligent readers of books that some authors have a faculty of impressing their personality upon their literary productions; so that one experiences, when reading them, a thrill of pleasure and satisfaction akin to that felt when listening to an orator who possesses what is known as great "personal magnetism." Some have attributed this feeling wholly to the literary style of the author; whilst others, more prone to suspect that an occult force is concealed behind every phenomenon, have held that the "personal magnetism" of every author is, in some inexplicable way, impressed upon the pages of his book. It seems obvious that neither of these explanations can possibly be the true one.
The first cannot be true, for the reason that it often happens that works which create the deepest impression upon mankind are written in a very unattractive style; whilst other works leave no lasting impression upon the minds of their readers, although couched in terms of faultless elegance. The second explanation is defective,