By Jessie Penn Lewis
"The greatest danger," said Dr. Murray, " the individual has to dread is the inordinate activity of the soul with its powers of mind and will." This danger is intensified a thousand-fold at the present time, through the advance made by those who term themselves " Researchers " in Psychic science, having led multitudes into knowledge of the hitherto undreamt-of forces latent in the human frame. The danger to the Christian desirous of walking after the spirit, and being a channel for the out flow of the Spirit of God, is very real, for even when a man becomes regenerate, and has the life of God in his spirit, through ignorance he may be using " soul force ", even in his mission work for God. This may account for the transient results in missions, more than we know.
But now let us endeavour to get a bird's eye view of the dangers which we are attempting to point out under the term " soul-force ". There is no writer who appears to have given such full information on the dispensational aspect of the subject, as the late Mrs. McHardie, but her valuable books are out of print, instead of being available for the very hour for which they were written.
It is remarkable that in these closing days of the Age, the book of Genesis should be so much contested by the devil, in his endeavour to overthrow its authority. The reason undoubtedly is that it not only contains the basic truth of the Fall, and of the gospel of redemption, but it also holds the key to all the problems of the present time. It is so in the present instance. As we have pointed out already, the gilded bait offered to Eve in the temptation in Eden was " Ye shall be as God "-which was the very purpose in the heart of God in His creation of man. The point we need to grasp is this : (I) That the very attributes of the soul, now being brought to light by " Psychical Research ", were placed in the sinless Adam for the express purpose of their development in fellowship with, and for the purposes of God; (2) That the Tempter knew of these potentialities in the sinless Adam, and desired them brought into action under his control instead of God's-hence the temptation to Eve; (3) That when Adam fell into awful separation in spirit from God, all these latent powers fell with him, and became open to the control of the Tempter.
In a previous paper we referred to the great plot of Satan, the Master Strategist, to capture (I) men of science, (2) men of business, and (3) men of religion. This was made known by a medium under the direction of the evil spirits controlling her. Up to that time, said the controlling spirit, they had only succeeded in reaching the " noncritical part of humanity ", and scientists, with some exceptions, stood aloof. We see the results at the present time in the numbers of scientists caught in the great deception, through the specious plea of " investigation " into a " natural science ".
From this history of Spiritism we learn that the first stage of advance into conditions which enabled the spirits to break through into communication with man, was the discovery of Anton Mesmer, somewhere about 1778, from which has come a knowledge of what is called to-day, " Mesmerism ". Following Mesmer, we read that numbers of his converts made further and further " discoveries ", producing phenomena which almost seemed incredible. But it was when Mesmer assumed the position of a man of science, and appealed to the scientific world to examine " natural phenomena ", declaring that he wanted for his " discovery " the " unqualified approval of the most scientific men " of the age, that the satanic scheme of capturing the men of science succeeded. ForPsychical Researchers admit that Mesmerism is " the rock from which all mental sciences (including Christian Science) were hewn ".
A list of some of the " discoveries " which followed the obtaining by Mesmer of the basic knowledge of themysterious forces latent in the human frame, shows how amazingly the movement advanced, once men had obtained the key. In 1784, a pupil of Mesmer discovered " clairvoyance ", as the result of mesmeric sleep, and incidentally stumbled upon " Thought Reading ". Then ancient books were studied for further knowledge, and it was seen that these " secrets of nature " had been made known to a few, but now through Mesmer and his pupils, the time had come for the advance of the movement which in the end would re-engulf the world in darkness. Hypnotism, Neurology, and Psychometry-the discovery that the mind can act outside the human body, and that the " psychometric sensitive " can read the past like an open book - and numberless other " discoveries " followed as the years went by. Then came a discovery, called Statuvolism, signifying a peculiar condition produced by the will, in which the subject can " throw his mind " to any distant place, and see, hear, feel, smell and taste, what is going on there. Then through a revivalist preacher, somewhere about 1847, came a discovery which he called " Pathetism ", which caused him to leave the ministry to devote himself to the investigation of the " trance ". Large numbers became magnetically affected at his lectures, the discoverer attributing these trances tothe power of "self-induction inherent in human life ". By thisthe mind could withdraw itself from the consciousness of pain, and cure diseases.
At first, scientific men only followed up these " discoveries " as branches of Natural Science, and no attempt was made to connect spirit agency with the phenomena, all teaching and doctrine being carefully withheld by the spirits.
Then came the development of the plot to capture " men of business ", which is assuming such wide dimensions to-day. The plan was to show how to put these " discoveries " to practical account for success in business, and other pursuits, and to this end, through wide advertisement, books were offered showing how to develop " The Power Within ". Business men everywhere were urged to use " mind power ", or mental magnetism, to attract friendship and success, and to develop a " strong magnetic attractive personality ".
Then followed the further carrying out of the plot, in the endeavour to reach "men of religion". How successful this has been is to be seen to-day, in the veritable landslide of professing Christian teachers absorbing the demon teachings of rationalistic views of the Bible, and especially the objection to the Atoning work of Christ, which is the main burden of all doctrines of demons.
The subtle undermining work of the deceptive spirits of Satan is now reaching its climax, and we can see how section after section of the leaders of the people have been captured by the enemy. The strategy has been masterly. " Men of Science " led the way, and now " men of religion " have capitulated to science (falsely so-called), led astray by the Deceiver of the whole inhabited world.
We are undoubtedly reaching the high tide of the foretold " Falling away " from the Faith. The momentum is increasing rapidly. The hand of the Arch-enemy of God and man is on the helm, and the world is rushing to the dark hour, when, for a brief period, Satan will actually be the " god of this age ", ruling through a super-man whose " parousia " cannot long be delayed.
To-day " discovery " is following discovery until it is difficult to keep pace with the announcements in the daily Press. "Psycho-Analysis " for example, is now a recognized " science ", bluntly described, however, by a Canon at the Church Congress, as a " dabbling in dirt to an unnecessary degree ! " And " teachers " galore are coming forth, each one with some fresh " teaching " of this whirlwind of psychic madness, leading the unwary away from the true Gospel of Christ.
The purpose of the present psychic flood is plainly discernible by those who have some knowledge of what " thedays of Noah", meant to his generation, so that a Flood, to destroy all flesh, was a necessity for the preservation of the race, through the one family that was clear of the prevailing corruption. It will be found in the ultimate thatall phases of psychic science, are a definite substitution for some aspect of the Gospel of Christ, even to the point of UNION WITH INVISIBLE BEINGS, as counterfeit of the Christian'sunion with Christ. As the tide rushes on, it will be seen eventually that the latter is the main objective of all the purposes of Satan, so as to bring about the same corruption " as in the days of Noah ".
The children of God must now know for their own safety, the difference between " Soul and Spirit ". They must know the possibility of ignorantly using "Psycho-Analysis " in dealing with the personal problems of others, instead of leading such souls to the Cross for deliverance, in reliance upon the INDWELLING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Yes,and in " warfare " against the devil himself, there can be an actual development of soul force, unless there is a deepwork of the Cross continually applied to the old Adam life, with a real life-union with the Risen Lord by the Holy Ghost.
" Soul-force " versus " Spirit-force " is the battle ground to-day. The Body of Christ is by the energy of the Holy Spirit within her, advancing heavenward. The atmosphere of the world is thickening with psychic currents behind which are massed the aerial foes. The only safety for the child of God is an experimental knowledge of the life in union with Christ wherein he dwells with Christ in God, above the poisonous air in which the Prince of the power of the air carries on his work. The blood of Christ for cleansing. The Cross of Christ for identification in death. The Power of the Risen Ascended Lord by the Holy Ghost, continually declared, laid hold of and wielded, will alone bring the members of the Body through in victory to join the Ascended Head.