O.: Good evening. Who are you? The Voice: My name is Mill. You know my father. Mr. O.: No, I don't remember anyone of the name. The Voice: Yes, you were speaking to him the other day. Mr. O.: To be sure. I remember now. I only met him casually. The Voice: I want you to give him a message from me. Mr. O.: What is it? The Voice: Tell him that he was not mistaken at midnight on Tuesday last. Mr. O.: Very good. I will say so. Have you passed long? The Voice: Some time. But our time is different from yours. Mr. O.: What were you? The Voice: A Surgeon. Mr. O.: How did you pass? The Voice: Blown up in a battleship during the war. Mr. O.: Anything more?
The answer was the Gipsy song from "Il Trovatore," very accurately whistled, and then a quick-step. After the latter, the voice said: "That is a test for father."
This reproduction of conversation is not quite verbatim, but gives the condensed essence. Mr. Oaten at once visited Mr. Mill, who was not a Spiritualist, and found that every detail was correct. Young Mill had lost his life as narrated. Mr. Mill, senior, explained that while sitting in his study at midnight on the date named he had heard the Gipsy song from "Il Trovatore," which had been a favourite of his boy's, and being unable to trace the origin of the music, had finally thought that it was a freak of his imagination. The test connected with the quick-step had reference to a tune which the young man used to play upon the piccolo, but which was so rapid that he never could get it right, for which he was chaffed by the family.
I tell this story at length to make the reader realise that when young Mill, and others like him, give such proofs of accuracy, which we can test for ourselves, we are bound to take their assertions very seriously when they deal with the life they are actually leading, though in their very nature we can only check their accounts by comparison with others.
Now let me epitomise what these assertions are. They say that they are exceedingly happy, and that they do not wish to return. They are among the friends whom they had loved and lost, who meet them when they die and continue their careers together. They are very busy on all forms of congenial work. The world in which they find themselves is very much like that which they have quitted, but everything keyed to a higher octave. As in a higher octave the rhythm is the same, and the relation of notes to each other the same, but the total effect different, so it is here. Every earthly thing has its equivalent. Scoffers have guffawed over alcohol and tobacco, but if all things are reproduced it would be a flaw if these were not reproduced also. That they should be abused, as they are here, would, indeed, be evil tidings, but nothing of the sort has been said, and in the much discussed passage in "Raymond," their production was alluded to as though it were an unusual, and in a way a humorous, instance of the resources of the beyond. I wonder how many of the preachers, who have taken advantage of this passage in order to attack the whole new revelation, have remembered that the only other message which ever associated alcohol with the life beyond is that of Christ Himself, when He said: "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
This matter is a detail, however, and it is always dangerous to discuss details in a subject which is so enormous, so dimly seen. As the wisest woman I have known remarked to me: "Things may well be surprising over there, for if we had been told the facts of this life before we entered it, we should never have believed it." In its larger issues this happy life to come consists in the development of those gifts which we possess. There is action for the man of action, intellectual work for the thinker, artistic, literary, dramatic and religious for those whose God-given powers lie that way.