March 22nd, 1915.
Received by James Padgett.
I am here, Garfield. I am J. A. Garfield, your old partner's friend.
I want to say that you are a very much favored man in having so many spirits of such high degree of development interested in you and your work as a medium. I have been with Mr. Riddle a great deal, and he tells me of the wonderful powers you have received in taking these communications, and the wonderful truths that have been communicated to you; and what great faith you have in prayer to the Father. So you see, I am interested also, and wish to say something regarding this spirit life and my experiences as a spirit.
I am now in the Third (Spirit) Sphere where Riddle is, and he and I frequently converse about these matters, and are seeking the truths with all our minds and souls. Well, I only know this way as a believer in the doctrines of my church, and what I have learned in addition since coming over here. I am not a believer in all that the Bible teaches, but only in the things that appeal to my reason. My faith in prayer is not very strong, nor in the possibility of becoming a spirit who may receive any great help from the operations of the Holy Spirit, which, as Riddle says, is the only influence that can surely redeem me from my sins or the result of them, and make me one with the Father. I cannot comprehend this teaching, and unless my reason can be convinced, I cannot be persuaded to accept the teaching as true.
So you see, I am still in the position that I was on earth - that is, unless my reason tells me that such a thing is true, I cannot believe. That may be so, but how can I do that? I am not a child who can believe everything that is told me, just because someone else says that it is true. No, I must learn from my own investigations.
Yes, there seems to be some force in that, but how can I use the instruments or faculties of the soul when I don't realize that they exist? Or how can I attempt to investigate any truths when, as you say, the means necessary to be used in such investigation I have no knowledge of?
Well, you might be right, I may be wrong. I will ask Riddle about these matters with an unbiased mind and listen to him attentively. Well, I perceive that you have great faith in the existence of these truths, and I promise you to devote my whole efforts to searching for the truth.
I have met some of them (Mr. Padgett's band), and they are all very beautiful and happy, especially your wife. She is a wonderfully beautiful spirit and so very loving and kind. I have talked with her a number of times, and she has told me of the wonderful love of the Father, as she calls it; but I thought that she was only an enthusiast, and a believer in some doctrine that the young could easily believe, and make by their faith a reality.
Question and answer.
No, but I will. I will ask for an interview with your grandmother, and I have no doubt that she will grant it. I will listen to her, as you say.
I do not know who you mean. When on earth I considered Jesus such a one as you describe, but I have not seen him here. Well, I am surprised, I must say. I thought that he was a part of the Trinity, and was away up in the heavens far from the sight of spirits. You certainly astound me. I certainly will. You must be an exceedingly good man to have such a relationship with the Master, God. Well, let me think of this. I am confused, and not able to think what it all means.
Well, when on earth I was a mere believer in the letter of the Bible. I did not realize what its spiritual teachings meant, and do not now. I was like thousands of others who profess to teach the truths of the Bible.
So you see, I am nothing more than an intellectual Christian. I do not yet see that this life is anything more than a mere continuance of the earth life, with the possibilities of greater mental progression and acquirements.
So you are my old instructor's late partner. Well, I am certainly glad to have this opportunity to write; only forgive my intrusion. I cannot express to you my appreciation of what you have told me. I want you to pray for me, as I know that your prayers will benefit me much. I did not know that I was causing you to violate the rules of your band, and ask your pardon for doing so. I wish further to say that your motives in permitting me to write have very much affected me, and I commence to think that your love for not only Mr. Riddle but for me must be more than usual among men. I will show you how much I appreciate your interest and kindness in doing what you say. So I will stop now.
Well, I had forgotten, but now that you recall it, I do remember, and felt so grateful that the message was conveyed to Riddle. Well, how strangely things happen. To think that your wife, whom I so much admire here now for her beauty and goodness, was the messenger for me on that occasion. It seems as if all things are working together for my good. I am so glad that I came to you tonight.
So with all my respect and spirit love, I am your own true friend, and searcher after the truth.
James A. Garfield.