Received by James Padgett
I am here, J.W.
Let me write, as I need help, too.
You have given much time to these other spirits, and I was afraid that you would stop before I could write; but now that I am writing, I feel that you will give me the opportunity to let me tell you how much I need your help and what my troubles are.
I am a woman who, when on earth, lived the life of a prostitute,
and made my living by selling my body and soul to preserve my body.
What an expensive body, and what a foul and loathsome one it became
before I died. Oh, I tell you, that if there be a God who punishes
mortals for the use they make of the body, or rather the misuse,
then my punishment will be great, for I mistreated my poor body
in every way that human mind could conceive of. I drank so that
all its organs were soaked in the baleful influence of the liquors;
and I smoked so that its functions were interfered with and I became
nicotine-inoculated; I did the other awful thing so that all my
muscles and nerves were rendered unable to do the work which they
were made to perform; and I ate until my digestive organs were all
disarranged and became unfit to perform their functions. And worse
than all, before I died I became a veritable Lazarus, only my sores
were the result of my evil doings with men, and his were not the
result of evil, so far as I know.
I tell you that the misuse of the beautiful and wonderful body which God gave me was a thing beyond conception; and now I know that God holds me to account for the right use of my body, just as the preachers say he holds me to account for the right use of my soul.
I am in darkness of soul, as well as in suffering because of my recollections of the terrible murder of my body - for it was murder, though a gradual and slow one.
But over and above these recollections of my wicked treatment of my body are the recollections of the treatment of my soul and all that made me a human being, made in the image of God, as I have been told. You can imagine what my body must have been, and I tell you, as I now see it, the condition of my soul is more loathsome than was ever that of my body. My body is gone and never more will I be troubled with it, or have the opportunity to abuse it; but my soul is with me, and must forever remain with me, and I may continue to abuse it. I don't know. But oh, my God, if there be a God of mercy, I pray that I may not continue to do that! Save my soul, what there is of it!
I am in torture beyond description, and if only one ray of hope should come to me, I would never stop thanking God, or whoever he be that should send it to me. I am surrounded by many spirits who are like myself, and without hope or expectation of any relief from their great darkness and sufferings.
Can't you help me in some way, if only for a little while? I only wish my soul could die as my body died! But it cannot; and to think of my going through all eternity in this condition of darkness and torture makes me cry out with all my soul, Oh, let death come to me! Be merciful, Oh God, and destroy this soul as I destroyed the body you gave me! But no merciful God answers me, and only the echo of my cry comes back to me and mocks me, and seems to say, too late, too late!
Oh, tell me, is there no hope?
Must I endure all this hell and torment for all eternity?
Why, I am not worth such punishment - a little thing of such little importance as I was. I did not think that God would notice me enough, even to punish me, as I am punished. But I am punished, and His mills of retribution must grind very fine.
Well, when I commenced that awful life I was only eighteen years
old; and I lived it for nearly twenty years, and in living it I
commenced, after a few years, to gradually sink lower and lower,
until at last, when the summons came, I was an outcast.
I was once a good girl and had a good home with kind and loving parents; and strange to me, that which they told me tends to make angels of us all made me a devil - I mean love. Oh, what a dangerous thing is the love for a man - and what a devil is the man who takes advantage of that love. I know that in the world it is said that everything is fair in love and war. But if all should suffer from love as I suffer, every woman would say that there is nothing fair in love, and everything to lose, as I lost.
The man who betrayed my love is in the spirit world, and he sees my sufferings; and as I suffer, he suffers and as long as I suffer he will suffer, so I am told. He continually asks my forgiveness, but I cannot forgive him, and my love for him has turned to wormwood and gall. The only shadow of pleasure that I have is when I see him look on me and, as a consequence, suffers as I suffer.
But this shadow is no consolation. His sufferings do not help my sufferings, and if I could only get rid of my sufferings, I believe that his sufferings would lessen, and I would not be sorry.
So tell me, can you show me any way by which my tortures may be lessened ?
My name was J.W. I lived in the city of Newark, N.J., and died in 1897. I was buried in the ground where paupers are buried; but that fact is not important. My poor body rests as peacefully there as if buried in the finest mausoleum.
I was an educated girl. I was just finishing my senior year when the awful thing happened to me, and which caused my dear parents to die of broken hearts; for I want to tell you that there is such a thing as a broken heart; but God, it cannot compare with a lost soul, such as is mine.
Yes, I will trust you and believe, but do not let me have hope, when there is none. Only tell me quickly and I will do as you say. Oh, if I shall receive the forgiveness that the one you spoke of received.
Yes, I see many spirits, but they are unhappy and need help as I do; and you surely do not mean that any of them could help me.
Why yes, I see some beautiful and bright spirits. They are so beautiful, and they look at me with such eyes of love and sympathy. You must mean one of them. Oh, tell me that you do, for I know that they can help me. Oh, how beautiful and good they seem.
Well, I can scarcely write. Oh, help me.
She calls me to her and says that she will help me and show the way to me. She puts her arm around me and says, "You are my sister; God's love is for you just as it is for me. Only believe that He loves you, and pray with all your heart and soul for His mercy and forgiveness; and come with me to a quiet place, where I can tell you more fully of His Great Love and Mercy. It will be sufficient for you."
So I must go. Oh, I thank you with all my heart and so, dear friend, I say
Good night. J.W.