Our church was established by the Reverend Walter Bisset in 1946 and quite recently in our archives I came across a document sent to him from Mrs Gourlay, Larbert. I only know sender and recipient because of the wrapping paper, no other information is available. However older Spiritualists remember Mrs Gourlay and Mr Bisset. They were wonderful workers for our movement and this document shows us what inspired them to make Spiritualism their way of life.
So often people seeking an understanding of our Movement can find a mixture of beliefs with, New Age Philosophy, Psychic Awareness Raising, Angel Connections to name but a few. So where is Spiritualism in all this mix? Well this document takes us back to our foundations. It is entitled,” Spiritualism and its Principles”. It states our beliefs quite clearly and I feel it is useful to read it to you tonight.
1 “The Fatherhood of God”
Meaning for want of a better term that great overseeing soul of all life. That Greater Spirit, of which we are a part. The essence of life itself.
2 “The Brotherhood of Man”
The spiritual link with all men interlacing the whole universe, making one stupendous whole “God”. Simplified meaning that the whole world is one great family which should be ruled by that inner love for all Humanity. “God is wisdom, God is love.
3 ”The Communion of Spirits and Ministry of Angels”
That Spiritual link with the seen and unseen, that intercourse which happens from time to time bringing helpful advice and knowledge from the world of Spirit to the earth plan, to the loved they have left behind. Bringing love and comfort to the bereaved and encouragement for them to go on knowing they are ever present to help and inspire them by their great love for them.
4 “The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul”
“It is the essence of hope itself”, destroying all fear of Death to know there is a life hereafter gives the incentive for man to work and strive to make something of his life here, so that he is better able to enjoy the fruits of his labour in the next world of Spirit.
5 “Personal Responsibility”
Accepting which we take the right road, the hard road.
There is no easy way out of life's successes or failures we are fully aware of our responsibility to life and what we make of it.
6 “Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all good and evil deeds done on Earth”
In other words, Justice will be done, as man has sown here so will he reap the rewards of his efforts when he passes to the world of Spirit, and he will judge himself according to his works as seen by himself.
7 “Eternal progress open to every human soul”
Implying no matter what state of thought one passes to the Spirit world there is always hope “for even the lowest” to progress towards “the light” towards God. This itself is a great demonstration of the Eternal force of Love which emanates from God.
So in the sixty odd years since this document was penned not a lot has changed. We might in our vocabulary change the reference to mankind to humankind perhaps but the basic tenets of Spiritualism are still upheld to the best of our ability in our church. May they continue to inspire us on our spiritual pathway. I am going to conclude by letting you hear how they inspired one of our Members. Many of you know Laurence Miller he worked as a Medium and Healer for many years in this Church. He recently passed to Spirit at the end of last years. His family sent me these words which Lawrence wrote just before his passing and they demonstrate how much The Principles guided and informed him on his journey.
Just Moving On
My time's run out upon this earth, my spirit tells me so.
The illness that I suffer, from me will not go
My body now has had enough of never feeling well,
The features it was made of, are only a shell.
Yet I'm at peace within my mind – death holds no fear for me,
I'm sad that I am leaving, but so glad to be set free
From all the pain and struggling that in my life I've known,
Yes, I will be quite happy moving to my spirit home.
I know I'll miss my loved one who on this Earth must stay,
But if they send a thought to me I'll not be far away,
In fact I'll be with others, who have passed on before,
The ones who know and love me – how could I wish for more
Well now I'll bid you farewell – until we meet once more,
For I can feel a loving, so beautiful and pure
It draws me gently onwards towards a shimmering light.
Where I can see my loved ones – just coming into sight.
By LRJ Miller.
May we too find the inspiration we seek to give meaning to our lives.
JSH March 2014