THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM. 263
Is often followed by marvellous results, especially when it is inspired by perfect faith in the promises of the Master. The fact that faith constitutes a strong suggestion to the subjective mind, which in turn controls the condition of the body, does not militate against the idea of Divine agency in the result. It is the Divine essence within us which produces the effect, and it operates in strict accordance with Divine law. It confirms and explains that which Christ taught so earnestly and so persistently, namely, that we must have faith, or our prayers will avail nothing. That he understood the principle involved, goes without saying; but it was not yet time to give it to the world, for the world was not prepared to receive it. " I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," were his words, uttered during his last interview with his disciples previous to his crucifixion. His was the " dispensation of faith." The promised " dispensation of knowledge " has not yet been inaugurated; when it is, the wisdom which he taught will be better understood, for it will then be known that the doctrines which he enunciated regarding his power over disease, and the conditions of immortality, were but statements in strict accordance with scientific facts.
Webster defines "obsession" as "the state of a person vexed or besieged by an evil spirit, antecedent to possession." The latter term he defines as "the state of being possessed, as by an evil spirit," etc. Allan Kardec employs obsession as a generic term, to include simple obsession, which accords with Webster's definition of the term ; fascination, which is " an illusion produced by direct action on the medium's thought," paralyzing his judgment; and subjugation, which completely paralyzes the will, and causes the medium to act in spite of himself. For our purpose these fine distinctions are immaterial, as they merely represent different stages or degrees of intensity of the same phenomenon. The theory of obsession is a modernizing of the old idea of being possessed of a devil, or devils, as the