147. The possibility of writing without any human intermediary being now
proved to be one of the attributes of a spirit, and spirits having always existed and
having always produced the various phenomena with which we are now acquainted, it
follows that they must have produced direct writing in ancient times, as well as at the
present day; and we are thus enabled to explain the apparition of the four words on the
wall of Belshazzar's palace.
The Middle Ages, so fertile in occult prodigies which it was sought to smother
in the ashes of the stake, must also have witnessed the phenomenon of direct writing;
and it was probably from a knowledge of the modifications which spirits can effect in
matter, that the alchemists derived their belief in the transmutation of metals. (Chap.
VIII.) But whatever partial knowledge of spirit-action may have been arrived at in the
past, it is only in these latter days, and since the generalisation of the order of facts we
are considering, that direct spirit-writing has attracted serious attention. The subject
was first brought forward in Europe by Baron Guldenstubbe, in his very interesting
work on this subject, containing a great number of fac-similes of direct spirit-writing
obtained by him. * The phenomenon in question, however, had been known in
America some time
before; and has since occurred through several other mediums.
* The Reality of Spirits and of their Manifestations, proved by the Phenomenon of Direct Writing,