“We fancy that it would be hard to demonstrate to satisfaction that the visions of Catholic saints, are, in any one particular instance, better or more trustworthy than the average visions and prophecies of our modern “mediums”. The visions of Andrew Jackson Davis – however our critics may sneer at them – are by long odds more philosophical and more compatible with modern science than the Augustinian speculations. Whenever the visions of Swedenborg, the greatest among the modern seers, run astray from the philosophy and scientific truth, it is when they most run parallel with theology. Nor are these visions any more useless to either science or humanity than those of the great orthodox saints.
In the life of St. Bernard, it is narrated that as he was once in church, upon a Christmas eve, he prayed that the very hour in which Christ was born might be revealed to him; and when the “true and correct hour came, he saw the divine babe appear in his manger.” What a pity that the divine babe did not embrace so favorable an opportunity to fix the correct day and year of his death, and thereby reconcile the controversies of his putative historians. The Tischendorfs, Lardners, and Colensos, as well as many a Catholic divine, who have vainly squeezed the marrow out of historical records and their own brains, in the useless search, would at least have had something for which to thank the saint.
As it is, we are hopelessly left to infer that most of the beatific and divine visions of the Golden Legend, and those to be found in the more complete biographies of the most important “saints”, as well as most of the visions of our own persecuted seers and seeresses, were produced by ignorant and undeveloped “spirits”, passionately fond of personating great historical characters.
We are quite ready to agree with the Chevalier des Mousseaux, and other unrelenting persecutors of magic and spiritualism in the name of the Church, that modern spirits are often “lying spirits”; that they are ever on hand to humor the respective hobbies of the persons who communicate with them at “circles”; that they deceive them and, therefore, are not always good “spirits”.”
H. P. Blavatsky