July 31, 1882:

"Instead of there being one, two or three states of the dead, the truth is there are an infinite number and variety of conditions in which the children of men exist in the spiritual world with the qualification that they do not remain in them longer than they are enabled to progress out of them into other and higher ones. The plain truth is, as every intelligent and fairly progressed returning spirit will tell you, that faith and belief have nothing whatever to do in determining your status in the spiritual world, nor will what a man believes, however erroneous it may verily be, if he is honest in it, have any potency in preparing the spiritual conditions or assigning him his spiritual sphere. Here we must be clearly understood, that we may avoid both misapprehension and misrepresentation. I do not affirm that false beliefs and erroneous conceptions of the hereafter do not have any effect on the spirit. They do have a very troublesome effect. They do not, however, in the slightest degree, determine the spiritual status, for this is regulated by other considerations—moral conduct, noble acts, spiritual unfoldment, etc. But when the proper sphere is reached after death, for which the new-comer is spiritually fitted, they halt him there, and for a time impede and retard his progress, at least until he shall have outgrown false beliefs and conceptions while in the material body. A man may sincerely believe that the veritable orthodox devil is his constant companion, or that the air is swarming with malevolent creatures bent on his ruin, or that he is totally depraved by inheritance, and destined to utter and endless wretchedness in the other world, or any thing else, however absurd and untrue, and yet that man's whole earth life may have been justly distinguished for charitable deeds, love of the neighbor, and in all his habits, walks and ways all that the severest moralists could require, do you not at once see that in all justice and righteousness the man's life, acts and deeds must inevitably determine his sphere or spiritual condition, without the slightest interference by what foolish things he may have believed. And yet it is nevertheless not difficult to see further, that he must disabuse his mind of those errors of conception and belief before he can make any appreciable and valuable progress. And I tell you these unbeliefs and unfounded conceptions cling to the man with more obdurate persistency than the most of mankind could be induced to believe. Hence the prime importance of forming correct ideas of the future while still animating the material body."

August 3,1882:

" Acts of charity and deeds of benevolence are estimated by the spiritual laws of our being in just correspondence to the motives inspiring and actuating them. By the motives prompting them, more than the acts and deeds themselves, do they become either valuable or valueless to our spiritual promotion and good. I have known men who devoted a lifetime of arduous labor in the acquisition of wealth, all the while wholly regardless of the interests and wants of others, and toward the end of the puny life, and in anticipation of the near approach of death, they bequeathed their accumulations to charitable and benevolent institutions, only to find themselves the merest spiritual paupers in the spiritual world. And why ? Because being governed a lifetime by grasping and selfish motives, they only dispensed the accumulated results of the cultivated spirit of avarice and cupidity under the selfish and painfully delusive motive of enhancing their interests in a world to which their aged infirmity admonished them they were hastening. Upon their entrance to the spiritual world the motive met them, and overshadowed them with its pitiless condemnation.

" Had charity and benevolence characterized their lives all along for the sake of doing good and blessing others, it would have been quite otherwise with them in the eternal world of justice and truth.

" Charities bestowed only possess eternal value when done for sweet charity's sake, and with the unselfish object of helping others. This constitutes love and genuine love of the neighbor, and is consequently divine and heavenly and of permanent and enduring value.

" The Confucian doctrine,' Do unto others as you would they should do unto you,' reiterated by the man Jesus, contains the great and salutary rule of life, which if practiced with the holiest and most disinterested motives will inevitably work out a most glorious future reward for the spirit. The shepherd kings promulgated this rule in a finer sense and reduced it to the fine realm of mind. The Confucian rule related to the actions of men, one to the other, but the other declares, ' Think of others as you would have others think of you.' If your thoughts and actions are governed by these rules you may conclude you are not far from the kingdom of heaven or angelic sphere. If you observe these because you love the right, you can not fail to love the Lord with all your heart and the neighbor as yourself, thus fulfilling the law of spiritual growth and development while in the temple of flesh, and insuring a condition of superlative happiness in the spiritual world. If in your present state of development you can not do this, you can, at least, make the honest and persevering effort to do it, and your reward shall be great."

August 7, 1882:

" Abstain from evil-doing from the conscientious conviction that it is wrong to do evil and right to abstain. Do not allow yourself, in choosing between right and wrong, to be governed by a fear of future punishment, or hope of future reward, for this is cowardly and pusillanimous and of no practical value to your future happiness. Do right for the sake of the right and not from the selfish motive of deriving a personal benefit. You have in your world two very injurious and reprehensible doctrines taught by learned men,namely: materialism and forgiveness of sins. They are both degrading and far reaching in their baleful consequences. Christians treat materialism with scornful derision, and yet it is" just as true as that the misdeeds of life can be overcome and rendered harmless in their following consequences by death-bed repentance and the blood of atonement. One is as true as the other, and my presence here in spirit proves materialism to be groundless. Materialism is the doctrine of one world only, a mere passing moment of life, and suggests very naturally to make the most out of it. I do not mean to be understood as asserting that there are not good honest people who believe in this doctrine, but that they are good and honest in spite of their belief and not as a result of it. The theological hearsay which proclaims the necessity of conversion, new birth, and regeneration (they are convertible terms) would be much more plausible if not supplemented by the more alarming and reprehensible doctrine of obtaining full pardon for repeated crimes and misdeeds just preceding or at the imminent moment of departing from the material body by so-called death. The first becomes bereft of its value, if indeed it has any, by the latter. It is tantamount to asking a man to liquidate an indebtedness now, when, under the law, he has ten or twenty years option. In a purely business view he realizes that the possession and use of his money for ten or twenty years is to him a matter of pecuniary interest and profit. So likewise is it with the man of the world with an organization tending to licentiousness and vice. He perceives no wisdom or practical use in becoming regenerated in the days of his youth, when in old age the opportunity is afforded to repent and thereby avoid the consequences of the loose indulgences and vices of a lifetime. Every villain who has run a lifetime unwhipt of justice and unpunished for his crimes, must be fascinated with this indulgent fallacy, while all truly noble souls must silently, if not avowedly, abhor and detest it."