“‘Science’ on the Immortality of the Soul” American Sentinel 13, 33, pp. 519, 520.

IT is quite well known that for years certain bodies of scientific men have been investigating the phenomena of modern spiritualism, with the object of subjecting to the test of science the claim made and apparently substantiated by spiritualism, that the dead are conscious and capable of communicating with the living.

The first reports from these scientific commissions were adverse to this claim of consciousness after death, the various phenomena shown in proof of it being ascribed to trickery. It was stated that science afforded no proof in support of the popular belief in the immortality of the soul. But the belief still remained, and spiritualism continued to claim as its due that its phenomena be recognized as of genuine character. And now, this long-sought confirmation from “science” seems about to be gained. While no positive confirmation has yet come from a scientific source, the question is asked, and in a way which implies an affirmative answer, “Has the immortality of the soul received a scientific demonstration?”

In the Literary Digest, of August 13, this question forms the basis of a lengthy discussion, in which is quoted the testimony of two men of high scientific attainments, one a professor in Harvard University, and the other a prominent member of the London Society of Psychical Research. Introductory to the statement of their testimony the Digest says:—

“The reading public has heard more or less of ‘The Strange Case of Mrs. Piper,’ a Boston Spiritualistic medium and mind-reader. This woman, under the tests of such able psychologists as Professor James, of Harvard University, and Dr. Hodgson, of the London Society of Psychical Research, has furnished psychic phenomena which, so far as they are accepted as genuine, tend to demonstrate scientifically the immortality of the soul.

“The Society of Psychic Research was established for the purpose of examining, without bias, the alleged phenomena of Spiritualism. Among the mass of evidence it has collected in its sixteen years of life it has found nothing, up to this latest examination of Mrs. Piper, that was deemed to have established the future existence of the soul, although in the tenth report (1894) of the society the statement is made that ‘between deaths and apparitions of the dying persons a connection exists which is not due to chance alone.’”

Of the experiments conducted through the mediumship of this woman, it is not necessary to speak at length. The impressive feature of them was the apparent proof [520] that an unseen intelligence existed who spoke through the medium and revealed facts which could not have been known to the public nor by any possibility have come to the knowledge of the medium through what is known as “mind-reading.” The conclusion was, naturally, that an invisible intelligence did exist which was the disembodied soul of the dead person from whom the communication purported to come. The London Society for Psychical Research challenges any one to show that there was in these manifestations any possible room for fraud.

Such statements coming from a source of recognized authority in the scientific world, warrant the conclusion that the time is not far distant when the voice of “science” will speak distinctly in confirmation of the claim that the soul of man is immortal. “Science” will join with theology in proclaiming this dogma as the truth. Then whoever does not accept it as such will be under the ban not only of theology, but of “science” itself. He will be set down as an ignorant and unreasonable person.

The point especially to be noted in all this is that “science” is incapable of correctly solving the problem presented by spiritual manifestations. Such problems do not lie beyond the range of true science, but true science extends far beyond the range of the powers of the human mind. Science, as defined by the human mind, and by that only, confirms the theological dogma of the immortality of the soul; but as defined by the higher Mind it teaches exactly the contrary. When science, as known to man apart from the Word of God, has fully investigated the phenomena which Spiritualism presents, when it has proceeded as far as it can go, it is obliged to pronounce the claims of Spiritualism to be true. And in this it leads man into a most positive and dangerous untruth; for the claim of natural immortality is an untruth, and is plainly pointed out as such in the Text Book of the highest science of which man can have any knowledge. And that is a science which deals with spiritual problems and with interests the highest that can pertain to man’s existence.

That Text Book plainly states that “The dead know not anything:” that “The dead praise not the Lord;” that the thoughts of man perish at his death. Ecclesiastes 9:5; Psalm 146:4, etc. It declares that God only “hath immortality.”

The highest science is the science of salvation, set forth in the Word of Omniscience. That which is opposed to the science of salvation is “science falsely so called;” and such is the “science” which would teach the dogma of soul immortality. It is high time that people everywhere should recognize that salvation is science; that the statements of the Word of God are true science, and that true science has spoken unequivocally against the widespread but pagan doctrine of the soul’s consciousness after death.

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