(By Dr. Leslie R. Stone)
This testimony is the outgrowth of the many queries that have resulted from the publication of volumes I and II of the Messages from Jesus and Celestials, which I first printed in 1940, and which have thereafter gone through three editions. On the publication of this fourth edition of volume I, I am integrating all those questions from interested readers into a new testimony, which will show how it was that Mr. Padgett was able to perform the work of receiving these remarkable messages. It tells how I met Mr. Padgett and my reasons for believing that he was actually able to receive messages, not merely from the spirit world, but from the greatest spirits of the Celestial Heavens, whose Master is Jesus of Nazareth.
I was born on November 10, 1876 at Aldershot, Hampshire, England, the tenth of thirteen children. I attended the public school there and later completed courses at the Grammar School of Farnham, Surrey, founded by King Edward VIth. Thereafter I worked in the saddlery shop of my father, William Stone, at Aldershot, and later at London. When business slackened, I emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1903. On that occasion, my mother, who was a great believer in prayer, asked the Heavenly Father to let her know what His will was; His answer was that I should go.
In Toronto one day I was attracted to a notice of a spiritualist meeting. Never having attended one before, I was curious and went. The medium, who was giving messages from the platform, pointed to me and said: "Your father, who says he is William Stone, is here, and is glad that he is able to greet you." The medium then described my father, such as I had known him. He had never been to the New World and had died when I was seven years of age. Under the circumstances, this woman could hardly have been asked to give this information without direct contact with the spirit of my father.
After this experience, I began to read many books on spiritualism, such as the "Nature's Divine Revelation," by Andrew Jackson Davis, also "The Great Harmonia" by the same author. These books had a profound effect upon me, for the faith in the religious doctrines which my mother, a strong Baptist, had taught me, could no longer interest me as the repositories of the truths. I believed in the existence of a great spirit world and in the communication of mortals and spirits. At the same time, however, Spiritualism as it was being taught did not, I confess, completely satisfy my soul longings. Not until I met Mr. James E. Padgett and read the messages which, I am thoroughly convinced, came from Jesus and the Celestial Spirits, was I satisfied that at last I had really come to know the great religious truths and that I knew the way to the Father and at-onement with Him.
It took me eleven years after coming to the New World before I met Mr. Padgett. Spirit guides advised my going to Detroit. Here the production of automobiles was such that it was impossible to maintain myself in saddlery work, and again on spiritual advice, I moved to Buffalo. Here I worked and studied in a hospital for seven years and finally became a graduate nurse. This period of my life was, I feel, an important one, in that it gave me that interest in healing which later induced me to study chiropratic.
In Buffalo I continued to be interested in Spiritualism, and received another personal proof of spirit life. At one Spiritualist meeting, I was seated next to a woman who happened to be a medium. She suddenly turned to me and said, "Your mother is here with you." I replied, "You must be mistaken, Madam. I had a letter from my mother quite recently and she is in good health." The medium shrugged and replied, "Your mother never lived in this country. She tells me she lived in England and died a short time ago." She went on to report what my mother presumably had died of, described the funeral and mentioned the names of those present. She told me that I had a sister Edith, from whom I would receive a letter confirming what she said. The letter arrived just as the woman had predicted, and corroborating her statements. If I ever had doubts then as to the truth of spirit communication, I lost them at that point.
As a matter of fact, I advanced in Spiritualism to the extent of going into trances, wherein I am convinced I have been able to visit the spirit world. I know I have met my mother there, a sister Kate and a brother Willie, who had passed on in 1908. I knew I was in my spirit body and had left my mortal frame; and indeed, I had no desire to return to it, but my mother and sister insisted that I had a spiritual work to accomplish in the earth plane, and that I could not come permanently into the spirit world until I had accomplished that task.
I could go on to relate many interesting and curious experiences which I was privileged to have in the spirit world, but this is not the occasion for it, and I shall proceed with the narrative. During my work in the hospital I had become interested in chiropractic, and on the suggestions of spirits who communicated messages to me through mediums at Lily Dale, New York, I studied at the Palmer Gregory College of Chiropractic in Oklahoma City, and graduated in 1912, after a two year course. Shortly thereafter, I became a licensed Practitioner in Washington, D. C. There comes to my mind the name of a Mrs. Bartholomew, a trumpet medium, and a Mr. Pierre Keeler, a slate writing medium, whom I consulted while at Lily Dale. It was through this gentleman's brother that I was able to obtain a spirit photograph of my soulmate, Mary Kennedy. I shall refer to this in more detail later.
On graduating, I went to Philadelphia with a view to opening an office, but, on receiving messages from many of my relatives in the spirit world through a medium named Mrs. Bledsoe, I opened an office instead on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. I must say that I was successful, and was instrumental in restoring many patients to health. I remember distinctly a newsboy of about nine years of age, whose name was George Hutton. He suffered from paralysis in the legs due to polio, and used crutches to swing his legs. I offered to give this boy treatment without charge, to which his mother consented. The boy was able to walk again without use of his crutches in two treatments, and an osteopath and M.D., Dr. Walton, came to see me about it. "I saw the newsboy today walking without his crutches," he said, "and he told me you had treated him. I came to find out if it is so." Later George came in and confirmed the healing. I have always felt that this instance of healing, as well as many others that I cannot mention here, was due to spiritual forces operating through me.
Although I was kept busy at my boardwalk practice during the summer months, autumn found business so slack, due to the closing of many hotels and departure of people, that I was compelled to find another location. Again I went to Philadelphia and consulted Mrs. Bledsoe who, through her spirit contacts, advised me to go to Washington, D. C.
I arrived there in November 1912 and opened an office on 14th Street, N.W. Here I fortuitously met a gentleman with whom I had become acquainted at Lily Dale. His name was William Plummer, of Frederick, Maryland. He visited me at my office and told me he was interested in procuring a copy of "Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?" by Nettie Maynard Colburn. He wanted to find the owner of the copyright, for he wished to have the book reprinted. In his search he had found the name of a Mr. Rollison Colburn of Takoma Park, but was informed that the latter was not related to the writer. The search, however, had not been entirely futile, for the Rollison Colburns proved to be interested in Spiritualism and a common interest between them developed into a close friendship.
I became acquainted with the Colburns through Mr. Plummer. I found them very kind and lovable people who were greatly interested in psychic experiences. It was through their son, Arthur Colburn, that I first heard of the messages that were being received by Mr. Padgett. I was introduced to him at his office in the Stewart Building, 6th and D Street, N.W., where he was practicing law. This was in the early Fall of 1914, when everyone was excited about the great conflict that had broken out in Europe. Some people felt the period ushering in the end of the world had come, and that Jesus himself would appear at this "end time". For me it was the end of my travels and spiritual search.
These Messages from Jesus and Celestials received through the hand of James E. Padgett are so extraordinary in concept and contents (claiming as they do to bring to mankind the highest spiritual teachings of Jesus as an epoch-making revelation from the spirit world), that it is indispensable that, as the publisher and firm believer in the truths contained in these messages, I give to interested readers and for future reference, some first hand information regarding the man through whom these messages were received and how it was that he was enabled and selected to obtain these amazing communications.
At this point I must state that I was very often in Mr. Padgett's room when he was receiving these writings and that I am the eye witness to the formation and development of Mr. Padgett as the medium par excellence through which the truths of the Heavenly Father and of life in the spirit world thus obtained have come to mankind.
My first contact with Mr. Padgett was in September 1914. I became interested in him at first because he seemed to be a fine gentleman and, what was also important to me, a genuine medium. We became friendly on the basis of Spiritualism and mediumship and this became a bond which, in addition to our mutual respect and brotherly love for each other which grew apace in the course of time, was never broken in this life until his death on March 17, 1923. This bond I am convinced continues to exist between us, his soul encased in a spirit body and mine still in mortal trappings.
Mr. Padgett invited me to visit him regularly at his home at 514 E Street, N.W., Washington, D. C., where, in the course of time, I met Eugene Morgan and Dr. Goerger. Padgett told me that the messages he was receiving were writings from his wife, Helen, who had died early that year. She had written him many things about the spirit life she was living, describing her experiences at the time of her death, the sphere of her spiritual abode, her love for her husband in the flesh who, she had then discovered, was her soulmate. I was thereafter very often present as he continued to receive these messages. They came in a rapid sweep of connected words that obviously gave no time for thought on the part of the writer and, in fact, he often insisted that he had no clear idea of what his pencil was writing until he read the messages afterwards. It was in this way, then, that he received, from 1914 to 1923, some twenty-five hundred messages, many of them coming, I have not the slightest doubt, from those highest spirits whose signatures were testimony to the personalities they represented.
Interested as I had always been in Spiritualism, and in the possibility of man's communicating with departed spirits, I asked Mr. Padgett what were the circumstances leading to this mediumistic activity. The facts, as he related them to me, were as follows: About six months before I had met him, he had attended a seance held by a Mrs. Maltby in Washington, D. C. She informed him that he possessed the psychic power to obtain automatic writings from spirits, and challenged him to make the effort. He did so, and found that his pencil moved automatically to produce what he called "fish hooks" and "hangers." When this had continued for a short time, he at length obtained a writing which he could make out as a message signed by his wife, Helen. It was a short personal note which stated she was often present in spirit with him and how glad she was to be able to write him in this way. At this point Mr. Padgett did not believe the evidence of the writings that his dead wife had actually communicated with him. In fact, he wanted to know what proof could she offer or was there to show that a spirit was actually writing, and if so, whether that spirit was actually Helen. The writing that followed provided incidents in their lives that could only have been known to both.
Padgett thought even this could be explained as material coming from his own mind, as well it might, except that the writings came too quickly for his mind to formulate thoughts, and the messages kept on insisting that it was not his mind but hers that was operating, with emphasis on her love for him and the happiness she could obtain by being with him.
With his interest in Spiritualism greatly aroused by these strange writings and anxious to set his mind at rest, he began to read books on the subject. I remember his reading J. M. Peeble's "Immortality," and his frequent attendance at seances. Here he was given to understand that spirits, if given the opportunity and under right conditions, can communicate with mortals and that apparently in his case the writings he questioned came from his departed wife. He was advised to continue to take messages while learning more about the spirit world. Among those things he learned was that souls have their mates and that spirit life, contrary to what is taught by orthodox religions, was one of constant progress through the various realms of the spirit universe.
At the end of one of these writings, he asked in what plane or sphere she was in. He received the answer that she was living in one of the planes of the second sphere where a certain amount of light and happiness is present, but that she had no desire to make progress to other spheres because she could at that time make contact quite easily with him on the earth plane, and write to him by controlling his brain and hand. Padgett told me he could feel her presence intensely, which produced in him a feeling of happiness that was alien to him except when she wrote.
Padgett confided to me he would like to see her progress and told her so. He informed her that through his own spiritual studies he knew she could make her way to higher spheres and increased happiness as a spirit. Helen replied she would find out from his grandmother, Ann Rollins, who had been a long time in the spirit world, what steps were necessary to make progress to higher and brighter spheres.
I do not know why Helen turned to her husband's grandmother for guidance in the spirit world. Many of Mr. Padgett's early messages were destroyed because they were of such a personal nature that he did not wish others to be acquainted with their contents. But I do know that affinity of spirits in the other world is due to affinity of the soul and not to any relationship one may have in the flesh. And from what Mr. Padgett told me of his grandmother, and from the messages which she subsequently wrote (some of which I have inserted in these volumes) she must have been a very kind and warm hearted woman. At any rate, Helen later wrote about her meeting with Ann Rollins who, she said, was a glorious spirit dwelling in the high celestial heavens. Ann Rollins, surprisingly enough for Padgett and those of us who were present at the time, had informed her that spirit progress to the higher celestial realms could be obtained only by prayer to the Heavenly Father for His Love through earnest longing of soul. In addition, Padgett's mother, Ann R. Padgett, also in the spirit world, wrote through her son corroborating this information. Both spirits were thus instrumental in giving Padgett (and those like myself who used to be present at these writings) the knowledge that soul progress to the celestial heavens was achieved only through prayer to God for His Divine Love.
These sessions, held to obtain writings from Helen, had become a channel through which a deep religious note had been injected, replacing the personal material. From the scores of messages from Helen written at this time and which are in my possession, we can follow her rapid progress to the higher spheres. Helen took the advice of these high spirits and prayed; and she found her prayers for the Father's Love were answered and that it came into her soul in a way that caused a purification of her desires and thoughts, with a corresponding change in her soul and spiritual appearance. She said her spirit body, reflecting the changing condition of her soul, was becoming etherialized and brighter. She then wrote she had reached the Third Sphere, where happiness was greatly increased.
Shortly thereafter, she suggested that since she had done what Padgett had wished, and had been able to progress to a higher sphere, she wrote that it was fitting that Padgett should seek to better his soul condition as well. In fact, she suggested that we should all do so. She stated that, since the soul is the same, whether in the flesh or spirit body, it could be transformed by prayer to the Father for His Divine Love. Not by ordinary intellectual prayers that come from the head, but from the heart and soul.
Padgett refused to lend credence to this information. The spirits insisted that, as inhabitants of the higher realms, they possessed knowledge of this sacred truth, and that Jesus himself, ever interested in bringing the truths to mankind, would come to corroborate their affirmations, if Padgett would give him the opportunity.
I do not know exactly when the first message signed "Jesus of the Bible" was received, for as I write this, more than forty years later, I cannot remember the date. Padgett evidently felt it was absurd to believe that Jesus had written him and, alas, threw away the message. As a matter of fact, Mr. Colburn, who up to that time had formed part of our fellowship, declared "he could not be persuaded that Jesus had actually written." However, his friends, Dr. Goerger, Mr. Morgan and I had an instinctive feeling that Jesus had written a genuine message. The earliest message allegedly from Jesus to Padgett which is in my possession, therefore, is dated September 28, 1914, and refers to an earlier message written a few days before. It is a long message, urging Padgett to pray for the Father's Love, and stating that certain passages in the New Testament, thoroughly believed in by Padgett, were false. The Master went on to say that he was neither God, nor had he been conceived by the Holy Spirit in the way taught by the preachers of the churches. "Neither is God spirit only, a spirit of mind. He is a spirit of everything that belongs to His Being. He is not only Mind, but Heart, Soul and Love." The message urged Padgett: "Go to your Father for His help. Go in prayer, firmly believing, and you will soon feel His Love in your heart."
Padgett was doubtful. Though he was not entirely certain of the genuineness of the family spirits, he felt the need of asking whether Jesus had really written. In volume II, I have published some of the messages which he received from Helen, Ann Rollins, his mother, and his father, John Padgett, all corroborating that Jesus had written. You will also find in this Volume II, pages 1 to 5, some of the early messages which he received from the Master. They tell Padgett to have faith that he is Jesus and they encourage him to pray, but they are simply preparatory in nature and do not contain the wonderful contents and information which came when Padgett had achieved that condition of soul which enabled him to obtain them.
At this point, it came forcibly to Mr. Padgett and to me that such messages could not possibly be the brain child of his own heated imagination. He had been, as I discovered, an orthodox Methodist, and had for many years taught Sunday School in the Trinity Methodist Church (5th St. and Seward Place, N.E.) in Washington, D. C. His conception of religious doctrine was simply that which emanated from this Protestant church. This view of soul progress was contrary to what he had been taught. He had no idea of Divine Love in contrast to the natural love, or what it might be, and realized that such a conception was foreign to his thinking and never could have been a product of his own mind. He therefore felt assured, and I agreed with him, that these writings were actually not only from Helen, Ann Rollins, his mother, departed spirits of mortals, but from the Master himself. He decided to follow those instructions which he himself had never entertained, and which by that very fact had to come from outside intelligences which were communicating to him in this way.
He--I should say, we--began to pray for the Divine Love, letting our soul longings go out to the Heavenly Father, and in time a feeling came glowing involuntarily into the region of our hearts. We felt this emotion grow stronger and stronger with continued fervid prayers and as we did so, our faith in God became solidified and absolute. Never before had he, nor I, felt so sure of the real existence of the Father and His Divine Love and mercy. The cold intellectual concept which we had entertained of Him had through prayers for His Love been transformed into a warm, glowing, living feeling of closeness, of at-onement with the Heavenly Father, whose Love and mercy and goodness we could sense were personal and real.
The change in Padgett's attitude towards the Heavenly Father through the inflowing of His Love motivated a message from Ann Rollins. It recognized the effect which this Divine Love was having upon his soul, which was now a receptacle for some essence of the Father's Divine Nature. It also reported on Helen's progress to higher spheres. Helen, she said in her message, was now a much happier spirit, and her spirit body shone with a radiance produced by the Father's Love in her soul.
Message followed message now from Helen, Ann Rollins and, above all, from Jesus, encouraging Padgett to keep praying and to obtain increased portions of the Father's Love. As a medium, he might be used to transmit messages from the highest celestial spirits. At length, Jesus himself wrote that since Padgett had the ability to receive writings from spirits, should Padgett's brain be sufficiently transformed through soul development by obtaining more of the Divine Love to a degree where he could receive high quality messages, Jesus himself and his apostles would come and write through him the truths of the Father, of his mission on earth, on the New Testament and Christianity! Only pray and pray harder for the Father's Love, urged the messages.
The Master wrote on October 5, 1914 stating that he had chosen Padgett to do his work of disseminating the Father's truths to mankind. I quote the last part:
"Go to the Lord in prayer and He will remove from your soul all that tends to defile it and make it alien from Him. He is the One that will cleanse it from sin and error.
"Only the teachings that I shall give you will tell the verities of my Father. Let not your heart be troubled or cast down for I am with you always and I will help you in every time of need. Only believe that I am Jesus of the Scriptures and that you will not be long out of the Kingdom. You are my chosen one on earth to proclaim my glad tidings of life and love. Be true to yourself and to your God and He will bless you abundantly. Keep His commandments and you will be very happy and you will soon receive the contentment that He gives to His true children. Go to Him in all your troubles and you will find rest and peace. You will soon be in condition to let the things of this world alone as I need you for my service.
With all my love and blessings and those of the Holy Spirit, I am
Padgett was eventually convinced that he was being developed for a task of mediumship whereby great messages of religious truths would be given to mankind through him. He prayed earnestly and frequently, and for the next three months not only did Jesus write but many of the Apostles, especially John and James, who kept telling him to keep praying for the Father's Love, but that the time had not yet come for the delivery of the great messages; Padgett's brain, while being changed in quality, had not yet reached that high quality which would permit the passage of communications of the kind they proposed. They continually urged him to seek for more of the Father's Love through prayer to Him. Many times when I met him in his room, he would say to me:
"Doctor, I feel the Divine Love in my soul in such intensity that I don't think I can stand it anymore." He would say this experience was always his when he had been praying for the Father's Love prior to obtaining messages from Jesus and the Celestial Spirits. And I can in all sincerity state, if only for the purpose of corroborating his experiences, that these feelings were mine as well, if perhaps to a smaller degree.
While receiving these preparatory messages, it occurred to Padgett to ask how it was that Jesus had selected him to do this work and what power, specifically, was there in the Divine Love which would enable him to succeed. Inevitably there came the reply--in fact, one from John the Apostle and another from Jesus. John's message, which is found in volume II, pp. 216-226, deals with the laws of rapport in the spirit world which enable spirits and mortals to communicate, and the workings whereby the brain of the mortal is conditioned to receive various types of messages: intellectual, moral and soul. It is a message of great importance to those who may be interested in developing mediumship or furthering their mediumistic powers. But Jesus' reply is more direct. The message is printed in Volume I, pp. 2-5, and so may be read in its entirety. But to summarize briefly here, Jesus wrote that two things are necessary for a genuine medium to receive the messages of the Father's truths, which were to be given shortly. First, the medium had to have thorough faith that the spirits of the Celestial Heavens, inhabitants of God's Kingdom of Immortality, were actual beings who could, if the medium achieved a certain condition of soul, actually control his brain and write through him. If the medium did not have this faith in his heart, then no contact could be made by the celestial spirits with him. Secondly, the medium must be willing to submit to the conditions imposed by the spirits: he had to obey the instructions of the spirits and pray to the Father for His Divine Love, for it was this Love alone that had the power to transform the brain of the medium so that it could be attuned to the thoughts of the spirits, and this transformation of the brain could be achieved only through the development of his soul. By prayer, said Jesus, the Father's Love inflowing into the soul transforms the soul from the image of God, (with which man was created), into the essence of God, so that sin and error in the human soul could not exist, and the brain of the mortal, thus purified of material thoughts and manifesting in his thoughts the condition of his transformed soul, could attain that condition which corresponded to the soul condition of the spirits, and it was in that way that he could grasp their thoughts.
That was the importance of the Divine Love. Padgett, in short, had to attain through prayer to the Father a soul condition approaching to a degree that of the Celestial Spirits in order for his brain to receive their messages. Prayer had to be constant, for otherwise renewed earth plane and material thoughts would naturally reimpose their dominance, and the Love and the high soul condition become inactive. Thus, said Jesus, Padgett had not been selected because of any particular goodness or freedom from sin as compared to other mortals, for there were many who were better and in a higher spiritual condition than he was, but because of his faith that Jesus could come and his willingness to obey the spirits and pray for the Divine Love for a transformation of his soul so that the conditions for receiving these messages could be met.
Furthermore, declared Jesus, he had tried for many centuries in the past to thus write his messages, and he had found many mediums who were far better gifted than was Padgett, but because they thought Jesus was God or because they thought it was impossible for Jesus to write or because of their religious beliefs and dogmas, they had refused to submit to the promptings of the spirits, and since man is endowed by his Creator with a free will, Jesus and the Celestial Spirits could not coerce them into submitting to a task to which they were opposed and in whose efficacy they had no conviction. For these reasons, Jesus stated, no other could be chosen except Padgett.
Mr. Padgett was now thoroughly convinced that what he was receiving was not only from the Celestial Spirits, but from the Master himself. I think it is interesting to point out that he not only confided his beliefs to his friends, like myself, Eugene Morgan and Dr. Goerger, but boldly wrote about them. I have in my possession a copy of a letter he wrote to a Dr. George H. Gilbert, Ph.D., D.D., who had published an article on religion entitled "Christianizing the Bible," in the November, 1915 issue of the Biblical World. This article, which I have read, advocated less emphasis on the Old Testament and its emphasize on a stern and punishing Jehovah, and more attention to the teachings of the New Testament and the sayings of Jesus. There was no suggestion of the Divine Love in Dr. Gilbert's article, which anyone who procures a copy from the Library of Congress, (or any other Library which contains it) can very readily discover.
Mr. Padgett's letter, which I have had printed in excerpts, in Vol. II, I am now reprinting in toto. It explains how for quite a time he refused to believe the contents or origin of the handwriting, for, with his legalistic turn of mind, he would accept only the most concrete evidence as proof, but that he was finally and thoroughly convinced of the truths of the messages and the source from which they came. Here it is:
Dec. 28, 1915.
DR. GEORGE H. GILBERT, Ph.D., D.D.,
I hope that you will pardon me for writing you as I herein shall, for your evident voluntary interest in a certain subject matter and my involuntary interest in the same, furnish the only excuse. I have read your article, "Christianizing the Bible," in the November issue of the Biblical World, and am much impressed with the same, not only because of its inherent merits but because its demands and suggestions are very similar to those which have been made through me in a way and manner which I can scarcely expect you to give credence to; nevertheless, I shall submit the matter to you recognizing your right to consider what it may say unworthy of your serious attention.
First permit me to state that I am a practical lawyer of 35 yeras experience and as such not inclined to accept allegations of fact as true without evidencing proof. I was born and reared in an orthodox Protestant church and until quite recently remained orthodox in my beliefs; that a little more than a year ago, upon the suggestion being made to me that I was a psychic, I commenced to receive by way of automatic writing messages from what was said to be messages from the spirit world and since that time I have received nearly 1500 such messages upon many subjects but mostly as to things of a spiritual and religious nature, not orthodox, as to the errancy of the Bible.
I have not space to name nor would you probably be interested in the great number of the writers of these messages, but among the writers is Jesus of Nazareth, from whom I have received more than 100 messages. I will frankly say, that I refused for a long time to believe that these messages came from Jesus, because God, while He had the power as I believed, would not engage in doing such a thing. But the evidence of the truth of the origin of these messages became so convincing not only from the great number and positiveness of the witnesses, but from the inherent and unusual merits of the contents of the messages that I was forced to believe, and now say to you that I believe in the truth of these communications with as little doubt as I ever believed in the truth of a fact established by the most positive evidence in court. I wish further to say, that to my own consciousness I did no thinking in writing the messages. I did not know what was to be written nor what was written at the time except the word that the pencil was writing.
The great object of these messages from Jesus as he wrote is to make a revelation of the truths of his Father. He asserts that the Bible does not contain his real teachings as he disclosed them while on earth; that many things that he said are not therein contained, and many things that are ascribed to him therein he did not say at all. And he wants the truths made known to mankind. And I must say that many of these truths which he has already written, I have never before heard of, and I have studied the Bible to some extent. One thing in particular impressed me and that is what the truth is of his bringing "life and immortality to light". The Bible does not state it, and I have not been able to find in any commentaries on the Bible an explanation of it. But enough of this: I merely wrote this to assure you that I am serious in submitting for your perusal the enclosed copy of a message; and I would not do this were it not for the fact that the message comments upon your article and also upon another article in the same issue of the Biblical World.
On the night of December 24, 1915, I read your article and on the next night, Christmas night, I received a writing of which the enclosed is a copy. You will observe that a portion of the message is personal, but I thought it best to send it as it came to me. And though you may not believe the origin of the message, yet you may find some thoughts therein for your consideration.
Trusting that you will pardon my intrusion, I will subscribe myself
(s.) JAMES E. PADGETT
A few nights later a message signed "Jesus" commented upon Padgett's having sent a copy of the message, and referred to his letter, to Dr. Gilbert:
December 28, 1915
"I AM HERE, JESUS:
I came tonight to tell you that you did the right thing by sending the message to the person who wrote the article upon the subject of Christianizing the Bible, for I now believe that he will appreciate it to a very great degree. He is not an orthodox churchman, but is the preacher of a Unitarian Church in the little town in which he lives, and is a very broad-minded man.
He may have some doubts as to the source of the message and may not feel inclined to accept as true your statements as to how you received it, but yet his doubts will not be altogether of such a nature that he may not have some hesitation in saying that such a thing as your receiving my message could not be true. At any rate, he will become interested in the subject matter of the message and will find some thoughts that he never before had.
I fully realize that when my messages are published the great difficulty in their being accepted will be the doubt of the people as to their source, but you will have to complete the book in such a way that the testimony of the numerous witnesses will be so strong that the doubt will not be able to withstand the overwhelming evidence of my being the writer of the messages. And when men read the same, they will realize that the truths which they contain could only come from a higher source than mortal mind and that the hand of the Father is in them.
So I will continue to write and you to receive the messages and when the time comes to publish them, I do not fear that they will not be in time gladly received. Very soon I will write you another which will be of importance to mankind. I will only say further that I am with you trying to help you and to have you believe with all your heart in the Divine Love of the Father, in my mission and in your work. Your brother and friend, Jesus."
By this time, of course, my original ideas about Spiritualism had undergone a radical transformation. In the light of the messages, Spiritualism could no longer simply be an effort to prove to one's satisfaction, through seances repeating the same process and ritual, that man did survive death and that his spirit, though devoid of his fleshly frame, could appear from his spiritual habitat and give evidence of his post-mortal existence. Both Padgett and myself now saw in Spiritualism not merely belief in life after death and conviction in communication between mortal and spirit, but in a great universe of spirits seeking progress towards light and happiness through purification of their souls, and the possibility of transformation of these souls through prayer to the Heavenly Father for His Love. Gone was my belief in vibrations, abstract intelligence, cosmic force, astral bodies and other paraphernalia of a bare and cold concept; real Spiritualism took its well merited place as part and parcel of that sublime religion which affirmed that souls were alive, with or without the flesh, and that these souls could be changed from the image of God as originally created into the very essence and nature of God through His Divine Love. I did not have to look further. My search for God had ended. I had found God through the Messages from Jesus and his celestial spirits.
On this subject, a message signed St. Luke, was received December 5, 1915, in which it was pointed out how limited and sterile Spiritualism was unless life was breathed into it through faith in the Heavenly Father and prayer to Him for His Divine Love and mercy. At the time of the first printing, I refrained from inserting St. Luke's message for fear of wounding the susceptibilities of Spiritualists, for it was to them that I first turned for the initial distribution of the messages. On this fourth reprinting, however, I have inserted the complete message, for its unmistakable stamp of authenticity will appeal to those many Spiritualists who have now combined its truths with the Master's teachings of the New Birth.
Before concluding, I want to write about my soulmate, Mary Kennedy, and about some new messages through Padgett which I am inserting in Volume I. These messages include two from Jesus, the one from St. Luke, just mentioned, another from Elohiam, member of the Sanhedrin which condemned Jesus at his trial, one from Helen and two from Mary. I am also adding photographs of Mary as she materialized in the studio of Mr. William Keeler, brother of Pierre Keeler, who, I have said, was a slate writing medium I had met at Lily Dale. The pictures were taken in Washington, D. C. in February 1920, where I sat, and in one she appeared, poised and calm, with certain spirit lights about her head and partly across my body. Such illumination blotted out the black tie I was wearing at the time. Yes, my Mary is a glorious, living spirit of the Celestial Heavens. I have had many writings from her through Mr. Padgett and more recently through an associate of mine. I hope you will enjoy the messages from her.
The additional messages from Jesus include one received December 25, 1914, just prior to the writing of the great formal writings. Another, dated December 15, 1915, states that, because of the Love which l had obtained and my desire to help further the Father's Truths, I had been selected by Jesus to do a work for the Kingdom. This eventually turned out to be the work of publishing the Padgett messages. I have since devoted my entire life to them and to furthering the Master's task of disseminating the Truths to mankind. I feel that I have made a beginning in my lifetime and that the work will be continued by my associates and friends everywhere.
DR. LESLIE R. STONE
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