13 SEPTEMBER 1873, Page 20

Apparitions. By Newton Crossland. (Triibner.)—Mr. Crossland is a Spiritualist. "Though

not a Medium myself," he says, "I have been favoured with very rare and peculiar facilities for investigating the spirit-phenomena in my own house, and in the houses of several friends." He has accordingly become acquainted with forty-two spirits, who bear the names of Adoration, Benevolence, Charity, Clemency, &c., some of them pure angels never embodied, some departed friends and

relatives. At first he and his fellow-inquirers were much "perplexed by the contradictory character of the messages, apparently given by the same spirit." They "had almost determined to give up the whole affair as an atrocious mass of unintelligible absurdity." However, a friend suggested exorcism. Each spirit was asked whether he came from God, and the bad, being unable to answer this question with a lie, were sent about their business. Still they had always to be careful. If the thoughts were allowed to drop to a "low, self-interested standard of mundane occupations," an undeveloped spirit " would step in," seize the message almost in the middle of a word, and finish it with a Satanic colouring, or render it ridiculous." "Whenever at a seance a spirit comes and gives a minute description of its social occupations and amusements in the other world, represents itself to be Plato or Socrates, Bacon or Locke, we may generally bo quite sure that the spirit is an undeveloped or evil one." As to the " apparitions " which Mr. Crossland has seen, we have some very curious stories. One was a gracefully-formed female hand, which took up a wreath of jasmine and mignionette, "made expressly for the purpose, in obedience to a previous request of the spirits." Why only a hand ? it may be asked. Because, thinks our author, "the spirits have the power of helping themselves to a portion of the physical and magnetical substance of the mediam." Were they to take too much, there would be none of him left; so they are limited to a hand or a head, according to what he can best spare. Another story—only this one is not of an apparition—is that being once in Thames Street, Mr. Crossland felt an uncontrollable dread of being eaten by a tiger, and accordingly fled into the Custom House. At that very time, it seems, a tiger did get loose in the London Docks. Mr. Crossland's guardian angel was on the look-out, and warned him. If all men's guardian angels had been equally on the alert, what a panic there would have been l Mr. Crossland thinks his belief subsidiary in a most important degree to the faith in revelation. Our own impres- sion is certainly different. But if his experiences have strengthened his belief, we can but say that the end is more satisfactory than the means. Will he think us arrogant and presumptuous, if we say that we cannot get over what seems the preliminary absurdity of those revela- tions being made through tables, and in such queer ways, an aged rela- tive deceased, for instance, announcing her presence by eighty-two raps, which stood for the eighty-two years she had numbered at her decease ?