True Gospel Revealed Anew By Jesus. Volume 2
Help given to a spirit.
Received by James Padgett
Let me write a little. I need your help and believe that you can help me, as I have been told that you have helped others before me.
I am a spirit in darkness in despair. I am a very bad man, but I never knew it until I came to the spirit world, and saw clearly just what kind of character I have. No man really knows his own condition, until he has shuffled off the mortal coil and becomes a transparent spirit; then every inmost thought is apparent, and he becomes, as it were, a mirror of his own true self.
My life was not what the world would call an evil one, and I tried to live, as I thought, correctly in the sight of God and man, but it was all outward appearances only. I mean that I was deceiving myself. My soul was not involved, but merely my intellectual condition as to what was right and wrong. The Beatitudes were not mine - and soul religion was not mine. I was a strict church member and conformed to all the conventions and dogmas of the church so far as their outward appearances are concerned - and was at the same time not of the true soul worship of God. I thought that by observing the dogmas and creeds of my church, I was doing God's will, and that nothing further was necessary. I was baptized and confirmed by the proper dignitaries of the church, and was told that I was a child of God, and was certain of salvation. And when as I grew to manhood and became, as you may be surprised to know, a clergyman, I found a deep consolation in administering the services of the church, and receiving and confirming applicants into membership.
But all this did not bring me true communion and at-onement with the Father, for I had not the Love of the Father in my soul. My intellect was all Christian, but my soul was not in unison with the Father's Love. How often I thought what a great and satisfying thing it was to be within God's fold. I mean His church, which had been established by Jesus, and had come down to us in apostolic succession. But what a mistake! Apostolic succession is of itself a meaningless church government, and no such succession can confer upon any priest or clergyman the power to bestow upon the souls of men the Love or Mercy of the Father. This I have learned, to my sorrow, since I became a spirit.
So I say, let those who think that any priest or bishop can bestow this Love of the Father, or can make the soul of man the recipient of this Love, awaken to the fact that no such power exists in these church ministers. Only, as I now believe, can God Himself do this great work.
So when I came into this spirit life, and found that I was not in my Father's kingdom, as I had believed, I was sorely disappointed, and in my disappointment commenced to think that the whole of the Bible teachings were merely fairy tales, and that God was not, or if He existed, He had deceived His church by having it believe that the members of such church were the specially redeemed children of the Father. I had been in this state of doubt for a long time, and only recently have I commenced to see the truth, and learn that the way to God's Love is not through the churches as such, but only through the true and earnest aspirations of the soul; that no mediator is necessary, but that God is waiting and willing to bestow this Love upon whomsoever may truly ask it.
No priest or bishop can relieve a soul from sin, or forgive the sinner; and no man can reach the Father's Love or favor except through this direct, individual supplication to the Father. The priest may show the way if he knows how, but so few know, for the reason that they not only teach but believe, that all a man has to do is to conform to the church's demands, and that when he does so, God is ready to receive him into His Kingdom.
But let all such men know that if they depend alone on such conformity to duty they will be disappointed, as I was, when they come into the world of spirits - where only truth can prevail, and where all that is hidden on earth is uncovered.
Now, I am not to be understood as decrying the churches or the good which they do, for many of their members, notwithstanding the dogmas and creeds, have received this true soul union with the Father - and many preachers have declared truths in their sermons, which have been the means of leading their hearers to a true understanding of the Father's Love. What I intend to convey is that the churches emphasize too much the necessity of conforming to their dogmas and creeds, and neglect to show men the true way to the Kingdom.
The only prayers that reach the Father's heart are those which carry the true aspirations of the supplicant to the throne of grace. Men may repeat the written prayers for a whole lifetime, and if the prayers do not express the aspirations and desires of the applicant, they have no more effect than would the repeating of the multiplication table.
And if men will consider for a moment, they will see that this must be true; only the soul of man can receive this Great Love of the Father, and when these written prayers are repeated without the longings of the soul entering into these repetitions, the soul is not open to the inflowing of this Love, and hence man can receive no possible benefit.
So I say, let men learn to know, that religion is a matter purely between God and each individual soul, and no church or priest or bishop can, because of any claimed warrant existing in it or them, save a man's soul from the sins of life, or make such soul one with the Father. All that such priest or bishop can do is to show the way, if he understands it, and when he does that, he has performed a greater service to mankind than he may realize.
I now see the falsity of my depending on the performance of my duty to my church, merely as a duty. I performed my duties, but I starved my soul, not intentionally, but because I thought that the performance of duty was all that was necessary. Some day I hope that men will learn that there is only one way to God, and that through their earnest, personal prayers, with faith.
Well, I have written enough.
I was a clergyman of a church in a western town. My name was W____ and I passed over in 1871. I am now learning the way.
I came to you for help, because I saw that you are surrounded by bright and beautiful spirits, who must have this Love in their souls to a great degree; and I thought that if I could meet them, and have them tell me of what this Love means from their personal experience, I might be benefitted.
Well, I have acknowledged the introduction, and I certainly feel myself fortunate in meeting them - they are so beautiful and lovely. I thank you very much, and sometime with the permission of all of you, I will come again and write.
So with my best love, I say good night, W____