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There are general histories of mysticism, like those of Ennemoser and Howitt, but there is no clean-cut, comprehensive story of the successive developments of this world-wide movement.
But as an invasion might well be preceded by the appearance of pioneers who search out the land, so the spirit influx of recent years was heralded by a number of incidents which might well be traced to the Middle Ages or beyond them.That mountain peak of mentality was this great religious reformer and clairvoyant medium, as little understood by his own followers as ever the Christ has been.In order fully to understand Swedenborg one would need to have a Swedenborg brain, and that is not met with once in a century.These included the chapters on Swedenborg, on Irving, on A. Davis, on the Hydesville incident, on the history of the Fox sisters, on the Eddys and on the life of D. It is indeed curious that this movement, which many of us regard as the most important in the history of the world since the Christ episode, has never had a historian from those who were within it, and who had large personal experience of its development. Frank Podmore brought together a large number of the facts, and, by ignoring those which did not suit his purpose, endeavoured to suggest the worthlessness of most of the rest, especially the physical phenomena, which in his view were mainly the result of fraud. Mc Cabe which turns everything to fraud, and which is itself a misnomer, since the public would buy a book with such a title under the impression that it was a serious record instead of a travesty. Arthur Hill which is written from a strictly psychic research point of view, and is far behind the real provable facts.Then we have "Modern American Spiritualism: A Twenty Years' Record," and "Nineteenth Century Miracles," by that great woman and splendid propagandist, Mrs.