Received by James Padgett
I am here, a poor, miserable man who is without hope in this dark and dreary world of lost souls, and surrounded by spirits who are like myself - suffering from the effects of an evil life and a lost soul.
I come to you because I have seen others come, and apparently receive some benefits and, as you know, hope is a thing which will come to us at all times, even though for a moment; and when I came to you that moment was mine. But to be frank, I do not expect that you can help me any, for the moment of hope has gone, and only my dark and fixed despair is with me.
But as I have commenced to write, I will be polite enough to continue, and show to you that I am not unmindful of the realization of the benefit of the opportunity which you give us to come to you, and of your kindness in listening to our tales of woe. And so if not too troublesome I should like to tell you a little of my condition and what brought it about. I mean as I now see things in their true nature and relationship to cause and effect, and why I am in the condition of darkness and suffering that now holds out to me no hope of succor.
Well, when on earth, I was at one time a minister of the gospel of Christ, and for a number of years preached, as I thought, his truths of salvation to men; and at the same time actually and truly believed in what I taught. But now I see that my belief was wholly intellectual and not arising from the soul's inspirations; and my teachings were also merely those, or rather my condition as teacher was merely that of the teacher of a school or similar institution.
I never enjoyed religion in its true or soul sense, and all my endeavors to teach others were made because I had a kind of realization that I was called upon to pursue that course of life.
But my teachings, while others have been benefitted by them, never benefitted myself. Well, after a while I got tired of this life of the ministry, and in an evil hour, forsook it, and became a lawyer; and then my thoughts were taken entirely away from things religious, and as I progressed in the studies and thoughts of my legal profession, there developed in me the mental condition of mind that required every proposition asserted to be proved by convincing and irrefutable evidence.
And this condition of mind grew in me, and to such an extent, that nothing would I accept as true where faith merely was all that was given upon which to base the truth. And, as a consequence, I became a reader of books that were called scientific, and showed me the absurdity of receiving as an established fact, anything which could not be demonstrated by my five senses in conjunction with my reasoning faculties.
After a while, the question of God's existence and the truth of the genuineness of the Bible, and the reality of religion came before my skeptical mind in a new light, and as I had associates whose minds were in a similar condition to my own, I rejected the truth of all these things, and became an infidel without a God or saviour even in a mental sense.
And so I continued to live in this condition of mind, which all the time became as the years went by, more skeptical, and my soul's development, as I now see, what little it then had been, ceased and I became dead, and dead beyond resurrection.
In my ministerial life I taught, and mentally believed in, the ministrations of the Holy Spirit, and its functions in awakening man's soul to a realization of the necessity of seeking the love and favor of God. And I also preached that without the work of the Holy Spirit it was impossible for any man to become the possessor of God's Love, or to be accepted by Him as a child redeemed. And I also preached that to reject the benefit or the work of the Holy Spirit or as the Bible says, to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, was to become guilty of the unpardonable sin, for which there was no forgiveness. And after I became a skeptic, as I have said, I was guilty of this very sin, for I, while ever respectful in my declarations as to things religious, often vowed and asserted that the Holy Spirit was a myth, and that it did not work to save men's souls, and could not. That all who believe in such silly tales, were of shallow minds, and needed to be educated to the truths which could only be obtained by developing their minds and be made to realize that whatever their senses, together with their reasoning powers did not prove, or rather accept as proved should be rejected.
So you see, I, according to the Bible teachings committed this unpardonable sin, though while on earth I did not believe that I had; and, in fact, did not believe there was any such sin to commit; but, alas! how many of my associates, men of bright minds and loving and kindly souls committed the same great sin.
I died, and when I died and became a spirit my beliefs came with me and remained with me for a long time; and I enjoyed considerable happiness in the exercise of my mental qualities in the pursuit of certain studies in regard to the spirit world. I met many congenial spirits, and in our interchange of thoughts, I found much that was interesting and profitable. But after a while for some unaccountable reason these pleasures of intellectual enjoyment ceased to have the satisfying properties that they had at first, and I felt that there was something wanting though I did not realize what it was, and my companions could not tell me.In my wanderings I met many spirits, and always being eager in the search of truth, I did not hesitate to ask questions of those whom I thought might be able to enlighten me, and at last, in my pursuits, I came across a very beautiful and bright spirit - the most beautiful that I had seen - and being curious in its best sense, I asked what was the cause of his beauty and brightness and apparent happiness, and in a voice that was all love and with a look of great pity and sympathy, he told me that there was only one cause and that was that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit he had received the Love of God in his soul, and that as a result of that Love from an ugly and dark spirit he had come into the condition in which I saw him.
You can imagine my surprise. It was like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. It was proof, plain, palpable and convincing that the Holy Spirit was a real thing, that it does cause the love of God to flow into the souls of men and spirits and that its work brings such glorious results. Where now was my belief that only five senses and the reasoning powers of my mind were the only things that could show me the truth. Oh, I tell you it was a shock! And then there came back to me the teachings of the Bible and my early life as a minister, and with these recollections came the conviction of the awful mistake that I had made while on earth. And worse than all, and what sounded my everlasting doom, came the memory that I had blasphemed and committed the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, and that for me, never through all eternity was there any possibility of forgiveness.
Why should not all hope die within? It did, and can you be surprised when I tell you there can be no hope, and that I must suffer and remain in this condition of darkness and soul death through all the long years of the future.
So you see that, that one moment of hope when I came to you, or rather which caused me to trouble you with my unhappy story of why I am beyond all hope of forgiveness or expectation of any happiness or life in the outstretching future.
So my friend, I am in the position of Dives; I cannot myself be benefitted by his knowledge of the truth of the Holy Spirit, and the certain doom which arises from blaspheming its work and mission, yet I can tell you to sound the warning to all mortals that they must not deny the Holy Spirit or speak words of blasphemy against it.
Well I have taken up more of your time than I should have done, and I will stop writing.
My name was S. B. C._____. I lived in Glasgow, Scotland, and I died in 1876, in a fatal and false belief, and a traitor to my young faith.I would say, that if you could show me that what you say is true, I would be the happiest man in all the spirit world, and that I would seek for this love of God with all my heart and soul. But I feel that you are raising in me false hope. Well, if you are speaking what you know, I will try to believe what may be said to me; and I assure you that I will listen most attentively, and respectfully to what may be said, and of course, if there is any hope held out to me I will grasp it and never let it go away from me. But it will be hard for me to believe that there is any forgiveness for me.
Yes, I promise that I will try to listen without having my present beliefs influence me, as far as I can.
Well, I see a great number of spirits - some are very unhappy and some not so unhappy, but dark and forbidding.
Yes, I see some bright ones, just like the one who told me that his beauty and happiness came from the work of the Holy Ghost in his soul.I have told her what you said, and she says to me: "My dear brother you are mistaken in thinking that you are beyond forgiveness, for the Father's mercy is so great and His love so abundant that they are sufficient to redeem the vilest sinner that ever existed or ever will exist in all His great universe. So if you will come with me, I will show you the results of this Mercy and Love of the Father, and you will soon realize that this mercy and love is for you, even though you now believe that you are past redemption." And she looked on me with such love and sympathy, that I already feel that I may be wrong, and I am going with her. So my very dear friend, I will come to you again and tell you my experience with your grandmother.
So believe that I am so thankful to you for your interest, and permit me to subscribe myself.
Your thankful friend, and so good-night.
S. B. C.___