July 1st, 1917
Received by James Padgett
Let me say only a few words as I am anxious to write and tell you that I was with you tonight on your last visit to the home of my son, (Mr. Fontaine), and was hoping that the opportunity would present itself for me to write; but, as you know, I was disappointed, and I know that my daughter was also, for she expected that in the event that you should call at her brother's home, she would be able to get a communication from me.
As I could not write there, I thought I would accompany you home in hope that I might write, as I am now doing, for I heard you say that you had received a letter from your wife every night, and if that should happen tonight that I might have the chance to write.
Well, I want my daughter to know that I approve of her searching for the truth which she may find in spiritualism, if properly sought for; and, notwithstanding that some of my family do not believe in it and treat it with indifference or disbelief, yet, in it many truths may be found. It is a truth itself, and is waiting for mortals to investigate and learn that it is true, and that in it are those truths that will lead them to much greater happiness than they now have on earth, and infinitely more than they can possibly find should they come to the spirit world without a knowledge of these truths.
As they, I mean my family, know that I was a strict orthodox and believed in the teachings of the Bible as the church to which I belonged taught, and which I, myself, taught, and died firmly established in that belief and came into the spirit world wholly impregnated with this belief, expecting to meet Jesus and be admitted to the presence of God; and, according to my beliefs, I was justified in having such expectation. But alas, how different was my experience when I left the mortal world and how my expectations shattered in a moment, as it were!
As my spirit left my body, I was fully conscious of the change that was taking place, and knew that I was dying, but was perfectly calm and without a particle of fear. I suffered no pain, or dread of what I should meet, but rather felt a happy expectation in the thought that my troubles of the earth life were past forever, and that soon I would be at rest and find my home among the chosen children of God, and have Jesus welcome me and take me in his arms of love. All the expectations that I possessed before my passing were with me, and much accentuated, and no doubt of my realizing the same, for a moment, entered my mind to disturb my hopes. I also expected to meet my loved ones who had gone before and enjoy the happiness of their presence and purified condition of soul.
Well, I soon found myself a spirit, dissevered from my body, possessed of joy and, as mortals say, lighter than air. Figuratively speaking, I seemed to be walking on air, with nothing to interfere with my ascension to the bright realm where I expected to find my beloved ones and the Christ of my beliefs and love.
I hardly realized my separation from my body before some of my loved ones met me and welcomed me with love and cheer, and told me that they were so happy that I had come over, and that I must not be afraid or doubt that I was then an inhabitant of the spirit world. I could scarcely tell you how happy I was and how the memories of the cares and burdens of my earth life left me, and how I seemed to be in an atmosphere of love and heavenly joy. The meeting with them was more than I had anticipated, and I thought how it had not entered into my mind when on earth to conceive of the beauty and grandeur of the spirit home which Jesus had said he was in heaven preparing for all those who believed in him, and in the great sacrifice and atonement that he had come to earth to make for men and which he did make.
But soon, I remembered that my great expectation was to see Jesus, and feel the influence of his love, and also, get into the heaven where the Father was and join with the mighty hosts in singing halleluias and songs of thanksgiving. And I then asked my angel loved ones, where Jesus was and when I should enter into the presence of the Father, and receive His benediction of approval as a faithful and obedient child.
And then, in a loving way and in a manner to make my disappointment less intense, they told me that Jesus was in the Celestial Spheres, and the Father, they had never seen - that He was a way up in the Spheres where no spirit had yet entered, nor had any Spirit seen His face or heard His voice - no matter how exalted and developed that spirit might be. That I was mistaken in my beliefs and that it was only by the development of my soul in love, could I possibly ascend to the Celestial Spheres where the Master was. That belief in the blood washing or in the vicarious atonement would not fit my soul for the Celestial Spheres, and that only the Divine Love in my soul and the freedom from my erroneous beliefs would enable me to become a possessor of the mansions that Jesus was preparing for those who became in at-onement with the Father. That what they told me was the truth, and that sometime Jesus would tell me the same thing; and while I could not go to his home, yet he frequently came to the earth plane and endeavored to help and comfort spirits who had not the soul love that enable them to become children of the higher spheres.
Well, you can imagine my astonishment and disappointment, and how the nakedness of my beliefs appeared to me. And as I thought of the long life that I had given to the cultivation and establishment of these beliefs and expectations in my own mind, and that I had no other knowledge or hope of salvation, I become doubtful of everything that was told me; and my God became no God, and Jesus, as my saviour, became no longer my saviour, but a man who had deceived me during all the long years of my life; and I became resentful and hardened, and refused to believe in anything. For I thought that while on earth I was honest with myself and honest with God, and that when the Bible had been certified to me as God's true revelation, with the certain and only plan of man's salvation, and I had devoutly believed in its plan and endeavored to live the life that entitled me to salvation, thus, as I say, I thought of these things and the realization of my deception made me rebellious, and I almost hated spirits and God.
For a while, I was permitted to indulge in these thoughts without interruption, and then my friends told me that these thoughts were very harmful, and would prevent me from learning the true way to salvation and happiness, and that the longer I indulged in my feelings of resentment and thoughts of having been deceived, the greater would be my stagnation in my progress, and the darker would become my surroundings.
Very soon they told me that all things in the spirit world were controlled by the unchangeable laws of God, and that these laws required that I should go to the place that my soul's condition fitted me for, and that they would have to leave me for the time being. And they said further, that all the beliefs in all the world will not determine the place in which a newly arrived spirit will have to find its home, unless those beliefs be true; and that the beliefs that I had and on which I depended for my salvation were not true.
Well, I found my place, and with it darkness, in which I remained for a long time, refusing to believe what was told me as to the true way to light and happiness, and, just here, I want to say, that it is not an easy thing to lay aside or get rid of the beliefs of a life time on earth, even though the surroundings and disappointment of the spirit show that such beliefs must be false; and that belief - a merely intellectual belief - is a very important factor in determining the temporary destiny of the soul.
I have written a long time and I will not relate in detail how I learned the truth and found the light, and was started on my progress to the higher spheres or how Jesus came to me and showered on me his love, and told me of the things that would be mine, if I would only follow his advice. He said that the great stumbling block to the progress of a spirit in its search for the truth and the mansions in the higher spheres is this erroneous and damning belief in his vicarious atonement etc., and which so many spirits who come to the spirit world, bring with them.
I am now very happy, and am in the fifth sphere, where there are beauty and happiness beyond all conception; and if the opportunity was mine tonight, I would endeavor to give you some faint idea of my home and its surroundings, and of the beautiful spirits who are my associates.
Some day, I know this home will be hers, for she will not have the burdens of the beliefs that I had to overcome. And just here, I must say, that as she knows how very dear she is to me, and how much I, who have so much of this great love of the Father in my soul, must love her, she must also know that I would not deceive her for all the world; and knowing this must take my advice and seek for this Great Love of God, which made such a happy spirit of her father. Let these old orthodox beliefs as to the plan of salvation leave her, and pray direct to the Father for His Love, and she will receive all that is necessary for a great earthly happiness and for a joy unspeakable in the spirit world.
I am with her very often in her earthly troubles, and try to help and console her, and sometimes I do succeed a little. She must remember that these trials are only for a moment, and then will leave her forever, and that the love and influence which her father is throwing around her will never leave her; and that in that moment which mortals dread the most - I mean of death - her father and other loved ones will be with her and take her in their arms of love, and she will have never a fear or dread as to where she is, for love will be so great that her soul will respond in such a way that all else will be forgotten. So tell my daughter to try to not let her troubles and cares worry her so that she will neglect the presence of the consolation which we try to bring to her.
Well, I have written as much as I feel that I am justified in doing as your time is needed for others as well, but your wife, who is so good, says that I must not fear that I have consumed too much, for she is always interested in the making known to mortals those things that will make them happy on earth and certain of heaven. I should like to say something to my wife, but I see that she is not in condition to receive my message, for she is suffering as I suffered, unconsciously, in the dogmatic beliefs of her church. Oh, if I could only come to her in my appearance of earth and tell her of the errors of her beliefs, and of the truths that have made me free and a true child of the Father, I would do so with the rapidity of light, and with the hope that my love for her would give me. I never loved her on earth as I do now, and when she comes to the spirit world she will not come a stranger, for a greater love than she has ever conceived of will meet her, and she will know the lover.
Tell my daughter to read what I have written to her mother, and even though her mother will not believe, yet some of the things that I have said will find a lodgment in her memory, which will come with her to the spirit world, and help her in her disappointment in not having her expectations realized.
And what I have said to you, my daughter, I say to my sons, and urge them to think of these things that are so vital to them as mortals as well as when they become spirits. Sometime, with your permission, I will come again and write to my folks. So thanking you and with my love to all my dear ones, I will say good night.
Your brother in Christ,