5 JULY 1884, Page 31

that we would speak) as one who is thoroughly hostile,

but who believes in the reality of the phenomena which it claims to have the power of exhibiting. He brings much learning to bear upon the subject, and he tells us many curious things about it. " Planchette," for instance, we learn from him, is not by any means a modern invention. It is many hundred years old, and is habitually used in China, in many of the Buddhist temples, as a means of ascertaining future events. The "spirits" of Spiritualism are not, however, ill Mr. Pember's belief, spirits of the dead, and he thinks that it is highly improbable that such can have any communication with the living, but the "blasted relics of a former world," whatever that may mean. The ascetic discipline by which modern " worship " is to be com- pleted, is identified with the " seducers " of the latter days, who "forbid to marry, and command to abstain from meats." The vegetarians seem to he trembling upon the verge of a dangerous heresy. " Oabope : the New Bible " (a work of which we must own ourselves to be ignorant) attributes the eating of fish and flesh to the direct precept of the Beast. In the matter of celibacy, the writer delivers an assault, with which, up to our lights, we quite sympathise, on Mr. Herbert Noyes and his followers. "True marriage based not on the adventitious sanctity of ecclesiastical ceremonies, but on the divine law of human nature," is a phrase which has a very ambiguous sound to any who know with what fine words human passions have sought to deceive themselves. There is a chapter on " Theosophy" into which we cannot follow the author, and another on "The Signs of the End." There seems to be a revolt against certain fundamental laws, which are thus enumerated :—The Law of the Sabbath, the Headship of Man over Woman, the Institution of Marriage, the Law of Substitution—Life for Life ; the command to use the flesh of animals for food ; the maxim, " Whose sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed ;" the direction to multiply and olenish the earth ! (But surely, mankind is trying, not without sm. AP, to fulfil this injunction.) And then there is the sign of Spiritualism. We have dwelt at some length on this book, because it represents some curious eddies of human thought.