“As for America being overflowed with sensitives and mediums, the reason for it is partially attributable to climatic influence and especially to the physiological condition of the population. Since the days of the Salem witchcraft, 200 years ago, when the comparatively few settlers had pure and unadulterated blood in their veins, nothing much had been heard of “spirits” or “medium” until 1840.
The phenomena then first appeared among the ascetic and exalted Shakers, whose religious aspirations, peculiar mode of life, moral purity, and physical chastity all led to the production of independent phenomena of a psychological as well as physical nature. Hundreds or thousands, and even millions of men from various climates and of different constitutions and habits, have, since 1692, invaded North America, and by intermarrying, have substantially changed the physical type of the inhabitants.
Of what country in the world do the women’s constitutions bear comparison with the delicate, nervous, and sensitive constitutions of the feminine portion of the population of the United States? We were struck on our arrival in the country with the semi-transparent delicacy of skin of the natives of both sexes.
Compare a hard-working Irish factory girl or boy, with one from a genuine American family. Look at their hands. One works as hard as the other; they are of equal age, and both seemingly healthy; and still, while the hands of the one, after an hour’s soaping, will show a skin little softer than that of a young alligator, those of the other, notwithstanding constant use, will allow you to observe the circulation of the blood under the thin and delicate epidermis.
No wonder, then, that while America is the conservatory of sensitives the majority of its clergy, unable to produce divine or any other miracles, stoutly deny the possibility of any phenomena except those produced by tricks and juggling. And no wonder also that the Catholic priesthood, who are practically aware of the existence of magic and spiritual phenomena, and believe in them while dreading their consequences, try to attribute the whole to the agency of the Devil.
Let us adduce one more argument, if only for the sake of circumstantial evidence. In what countries have “divine miracles” flourished most, been most frequent and most stupendous? Catholic Spain, and Pontifical Italy, beyond question. And which more than these two, has had access to ancient literature? Spain was famous for her libraries; the Moors were celebrated for their profound learning in alchemy and other sciences.
The Vatican is the storehouse of an immense number of ancient manuscripts. During the long interval of nearly 1,500 years, they have been accumulating, from trial after trial, books and manuscripts confiscated from their sentenced victims to their own profit. The Catholics may plead that the books were generally committed to the flames; that the treatises of famous sorcerers and enchanters perished with their accursed authors.
But the Vatican, if it could speak, could tell a different story. It knows too well of the existence of certain closets and rooms, access to which is had but by the very few. It knows that the entrances to these secret hiding-places are so cleverly concealed from sight in the carved framework and under the profuse ornamentation of the library-walls, that there have ever been Popes who lived and died within the precincts of the palace without ever suspecting their existence. But these Popes were neither Sylvester II., Benedict IX., John XX., nor the VIth and VIIth Gregory; nor yet the famous Borgia of toxicological memory. Neither were those who remained ignorant of the hidden lore, friends of the sons of Loyola.”
H. P. Blavatsky