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be dealing with weak and incipient stages of a rapport which, when thoroughly established, and vivified by adequate stimuli, may be transmitted without appreciable impairment or delay, not only through walls, but over oceans, or through the centre of the earth.
Understanding, then, that from physical conceptions we can hope at present for nothing more than suggestive analogies, we prefer to seel those analogies on more sides than one; not only in the conceptions of radiance and undulation, but in the conceptions of attraction and affinity. The illustration which we should be most inclined to use, as we note the extraordinary intensification of telepathic impulses at the moment of dissolution, would be drawn from nascent hydrogen'—from some gas, let us say, which, set free by an electrical current from its long union with some less volatile element, shows at its first moment of deliverance an unusual eagerness to unite itself with any suitable substance in its vicinity; but which, in default of such substance, escapes away, recoverable by us no more from its diffusion in the height of heaven.
But the testing or verification of such speculations as these must be left for a later stage of this inquiry. The achievement which we claim for our Society is not a theory of causes but a colligation of facts. We claim that it has been shown that certain small experimental results can be produced, and that certain impressive spontaneous phenomena, generally discredited as anomalous, can be plausibly shown to belong to the same class as these small results of experiment. To recur once more to a previous metaphor, we may say that we have produced frictional electricity on a small scale, and indicated the probable connection of lightning with the sparks thus obtained. But we have not yet tracked the birth of the thunderbolt, nor lit our highways with the obedient flame.
Here we must break off. We are obviously as yet only on the threshold of Apparitions as commonly understood—the visible phantoms, externalised in space, which, above all things, our title pledges us to discuss. This further step, it may seem, must surely sever us from the experimental support to which we have hitherto elung, and bring us face to face with quite new problems. But though this is to some extent true, we shall not quit our old basis. We shall still hold fast to our fundamental doctrine of Thought-transference; we shall still seek the origin of the phenomena not in transcendental physics,' but in human psychology. The object of our next paper will be to show after what fashion the minds of men, as already known to us, may be the matrix of these airy crystallisations, the camera whence these phantasmal images are projected upon the waking world—what law is their Summoner and their Disperser, the Hermes which "guides them harmlessly along the darksome way.
FREDERIC W. H. MYERS.
AND MOHAMMEDAN PREDICTIONS CONCERNING THE LAST Dats.
ABOUT A.D. 1000 a widely-spread notion of the approaching end of time seized upon men's hearts, and agitated European nations. Knights and barons ceased their quarrels, and betook themselves to prayer and fasting ; peasants and labourers left off tilling and cultivating the soil, and bethought themselves of the nearing Day of Judgment; the hardened and impenitent sought to make their peace with heaven by large grants of money and land to the monasteries and clergy; and St. Bernard, taking advantage of the universal anxiety, preached the third crusade, and entreated kings and nobles, princes and paupers, high and low, to secure pardon for their sins and the certainty of future bliss by uniting in one common cause to wrest Jerusalem from the Saracens, and reinstate on the throne of the Holy City the Christian monarch whom Saladin had deposed. Nor did the disciples of the Cross alone entertain these sentiments. Mohammedans, too, anticipated the advent of the Mahdi, and sought, at the point of the sword, to bring new believers into the true fold, or else endeavoured to extirpate infidels from off the face of the earth.
But time rolled on, and the expectations of all races—Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans--were alike disappointed. And now, at the close of another decade of centuries, men are again anticipating the final reckoning, and the Mohammedan world, in particular, is being distracted by the pretensions of the impostor who has arisen in the Soudan and laid claim to the Mahdiship. But before discussing his career it will be well to glance cursorily at the various portents which are to usher in the resurrection and the millennium. According to Mohammedan tradition, the resurrection is to be preceded by a number of signs, some of which will be of lesser and some of greater import.
The lesser signs, which are eight in number, include the decay of faith among men; the advancement of mean individuals to high positions; the elevation of maid-servants to unwonted authority, so that they will become mothers of their mistresses or masters, which by Sale is interpreted to signify either that towards the end of the
world men shall be much given to sensuality, or that the Mohammedans shall then take many captives ;' the outbreak of tumults, revolts, and seditions ; war with the Turks; such distress prevalent as to cause a man passing by the grave of a fellow-mortal to exclaim, - Would to God I were in his place!' the refusal of the provinces of Irâk and Syria to pay tribute ; and the extension of the buildings of Medinah to Ahâb or Yhâb.
The greater signs are as many as seventeen, and I give them in the order in which Sale enumerates them, simply, however, transposing the positions of the sixteenth and seventeenth.
The sun is to rise in the west.
A beast will ascend out of the earth in the temple of Mecca, or on Mount Safâ, and, failing to appear in these spots, will be seen either in Tayef or in some other place. This monster, which is to combine in its person the outward characteristics of several animals, will have the head of a bull, the eyes of a hog, the ears of an elephant, the horns of a stag, the neck of an ostrich, the breast of a lion, the striped skin of the tiger, the back of a cat, the tail of a ram, the legs of a camel, and the melodious voice of the ass, and, according to some writers, will measure sixty cubits in height, and, according to others, will reach up to the clouds and heaven. It will bring with it the miracle-working rod of Moses and the seal of King Solomon, and so swift will its locomotion be that no one will be able to overtake or escape it. With the rod it will strike all believers on the face, marking them with the word Múmen (believer); with the seal all unbelievers will be branded with the word Câfer (infidel).
In a war with the Greeks seventy thousand of the descendants of Isaac shall cause the walls of Constantinople to fall down with the shout, “There is no God but God! God is most great!' But, during the division of the spoil, news shall reach them of the appearance of Antichrist, and they will in consequence forsake all and retreat.
Dajjal, or the chief Antichrist for Mobammed foretold as many as thirty—a one-eyed monster, branded on the forehead with the letters C F R (Câfer_infidel), is to appear riding on an ass, and followed by seventy thousand Jews from Ispahan. During his reign of forty days—the length of which periods varies, however--he will lay the earth waste, but will not be able to penetrate either into Mecca or Medinah, which sacred cities angels are to guard, and finally he will be slain by Jesus in an encounter at the gate of Lud.
After the return of the Jews from Constantinople, Jesus will descend near the white tower to the east of Damascus; he will embrace Mohammedanism, marry, have children, kill Dajjal, and die, after a life of forty, or, as some say, twenty-four, years on earth. During his suzerainty hatred and malice will be unknown; peace, plenty, and security will reign supreme; the lion and the camel, the Vol. XV. No. 87
bear and the sheep, will live amicably together, and children shall play with serpents and receive no hurt.
War with the Jews will take place, and the Mohammedans, aided by the very trees and stones, will slaughter untold numbers, one tree alone, named Gharkad, which is the Jews' tree, protecting those that take refuge behind it.
Gog and Magog will come forth with a vast army, drinking the Lake of Tiberias dry on their march, and greatly harassing Jesus and his companions, till, at the entreaty of the former, God will destroy them and fill the earth with their carcases. The exhalations from their dead bodies will prove such fruitful sources of pollution that, again in answer to the prayers of Jesus and his followers, birds will be sent to carry away the decaying remains, and the Mohammedans will be employed seven whole years in burning the bows, arrows, and quivers of the deceased foe. A heavy rain will complete the work of cleansing, and will fertilise the ground.
A smoke will fill the whole earth.
The Arabs will lapse into idolatry for a hundred years, and only bad men will flourish.
An immense heap of gold and silver will be discovered in the bed of the Euphrates, from which the waters will retreat, and it will prove the destruction of many.
The Ethiopians will destroy the Caaba at Mecca.
Beasts and inanimate objects will be endowed with the power of speech.
A great fire will break out in the province of Hedjaz, or, as some
A descendant of Kahtân will drive men before him with his staff.
The faithful, including the souls of those who have but a grain of faith in their hearts, will, with the Koran itself, be swept away by a cold, odoriferous wind blowing from Syria Damascena.
And, lastly, the Mahdi will come.
To understand the position of the individual who now lays claim to the Imam Mahdiship, it will be necessary briefly to examine the historical accounts of the twelve Imâms who succeeded Mohammed, the last of whom, some writers assert, was to upite in himself the offices of Imâm and Mahdi.
Many and bitter have been the controversies between the various sects of Mohammedans on the subject of the Imâms. The Sonnites, to which party the Turks chiefly belong, reckon amongst the lawful successors of the Prophet, Abubeker, Omar, and Othman, who preceded his son-in-law, Ali; whilst the Shiites, on the contrary, consider the three intermediate caliphs between Mohammed and Ali to be as much usurpers of that dignity as Moawiyah, the fifth caliph, and his son Yezid. They look upon Ali as the first and only lawful aspirant to the vacant leadership of the faithful, and say that from him and his wife, Fatimah, the Prophet's daughter, have alone sprung the rightful heirs to the Imâmat.
In Arabia, Baghdad, and Persia, different dynasties of caliphs arose,
but the direct line from Ali was doubtless that which settled in Persia, the inhabitants of which country are mostly Shiites. The sixth of the Shiite Imâms, Jaaffer, was a man of such superior sanctity, wisdom, and learning, that he has been compared to Solomon. He was author of a volume entitled - Book of Fate,' which is still in use. A tradition exists that, like Elijah, he did not die, but will reappear. His son, Ismail, was, during his lifetime, nominated his successor, but, dying before his father and leaving none but young children, his half-brother, Moossah Kâzim, whose mother was a slave, was appointed to the Imâmat. Moossah's son, Ali, was eighth Imâm ; Mohammed Ben Ali, ninth; Ali, son of Mohammed, tenth; Hassan, the eleventh, was poisoned, and his son, Mohammed, who was a mere infant at his father's death, was his successor, but disappeared mysteriously at the age of twelve years. The legend is that he entered a subterranean cave at Sermenrai, near Baghdad, where he still resides, and whence he will yet issue to reassert his dominion over all pious Shiites. The cave itself has remained unaltered since the third century of the Hejirah, but a dome has been erected over it. The mythical tale of this youth runs thus :
He was born in Sermenrai A... 255. According to tradition, derived from his grandfather's sister, present on the occasion, many marvellous circumstances were connected with his birth—e.g. no symptoms indicated his mother's pregnancy before he was actually born, just as had been the case with the mother of Jesus; on his being born the house became radiant with a supernatural light, and immediately afterwards he prostrated himself as in the act of worship, and was endowed, in answer to his father's prayer, with the gift of speech, enabling him to say, 'In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, we wish to confer power on those who confess their weakness, and we appoint them heirs.' The room also was filled with angels in the shape of green birds of Paradise, to one of whom his father said,
Take and keep him till God permit him to appear, for God is able to bring about his behest.' He was born circumcised, and on his right arm the words were inscribed, Truth has come, falsehood vanished, for falsehood is vain!' He had only attained his fifth year when his father died; but God had endowed him with wisdom from his childhood, like John the Baptist, and made him Imâm in his infancy, as He had also made Jesus a prophet in his infancy. In A.H. 265 or 266 he entered into a cool subterranean cave in Sermenrai, and though his mother expected him to come out again, he did not do so, but remained hidden there ever since. At first several Mussulmans had the good fortune of seeing him in that retirement. One of them tells his story thus: 'I went with two companions to the palace of Sermenrai, where in a certain place I saw a curtain suspended, and, on raising it up, saw behind it. the entrance to a cool subterranean cave. We entered it together, and, after walking for a distance, reached a sea upon whose expanse we saw a carpet spread out, and on it a very beautiful person standing in the attitude of prayer, but who did not turn even to look at us. My two companions, one after the other, went into the sea in order to approach the Imâm, but they sank, and I had great difficulty in pulling them out of the water and saving them from drowning. Thereupon I humbly begged pardon for our intrusion, but