This testimony is the outgrowth of the many queries that have resulted from the publication of volumes I and II of the Messages from Jesus and Celestials; which I first printed in 1940, and which have thereafter gone through three editions. On the publication of this fourth edition of volume I.
I am integrating all those questions from interested readers into a new testimony, which will show how it was that Mr. Padgett was able to perform the work of receiving these remarkable messages. It tells how I met Mr. Padgett and my reasons for believing that he was actually able to receive messages, not merely from the spirit world, but from the greatest spirits of the Celestial Heavens, whose Master is Jesus of Nazareth.
I was born on November 10, 1876, at Aldershot, Hampshire, England, the tenth of thirteen children. I attended the public school there and later completed courses at the Grammar School of Farnham, Surrey, founded by King Edward VI. Thereafter, I worked in the saddlery shop of my father, William Stone, at Aldershot, and later at London. When business slackened, I emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1903. On that occasion, my mother, who was a great believer in prayer, asked the Heavenly Father to let her know what His Will was. His answer was that I should go.
In Toronto, one day, I was attracted to a notice of a Spiritualist meeting. Never having attended one before, I was curious and went. The medium, who was giving messages from the platform, pointed to me and said: "Your father, who says he is William Stone, is here, and is glad that he is able to greet you." The medium then described my father, such as I had known him. He had never been to the New World and had died when I was seven years of age. Under the circumstances, this woman could hardly have been able to give this information without direct contact with the spirit of my father.
After this experience, I began to read many books on Spiritualism, such as Nature's Divine Revelation, by Andrew Jackson Davis, also The Great Harmonia by the same author. These books had a profound effect upon me, for the faith in the religious doctrines which my mother, a strong Baptist, had taught me could no longer interest me as the repositories of the Truths. I believed in the existence of a great spirit world and in the communication of mortals and spirits. At the same time, however, Spiritualism, as it was being taught, did not, I confess, completely satisfy my soul longings. Not until I met Mr. James E. Padgett and read the messages which, I am thoroughly convinced, came from Jesus and the Celestial spirits, was I satisfied that at last I had really come to know the great religious Truths, and that I knew the way to the Father and at-onement with Him.
It took me eleven years after coming to the New World before I met Mr. Padgett. Spirit guides advised my going to Detroit. There, the production of automobiles was such that it was impossible to maintain myself in saddlery work and, again on spiritual advice, I moved to Buffalo. There, I worked and studied in a hospital for seven years and finally became a graduate nurse. This period of my life was, I feel, an important one in that it gave me that interest in healing which later induced me to study chiropractic.
In Buffalo, I continued to be interested in Spiritualism, and received another personal proof of spirit life. At one Spiritualist meeting, I was seated next to a woman who happened to be a medium. She suddenly turned to me and said, "Your mother is here with you." I replied, "You must be mistaken, Madam. I had a letter from my mother quite recently and she is in good health." The medium shrugged and replied, "Your mother never lived in this country. She tells me she lived in England and died a short time ago." She went on to report what my mother presumably had died of, described the funeral, and mentioned the names of those present. She told me that I had a sister Edith, from whom I would receive a letter confirming what she said. The letter arrived just as the woman had predicted, and corroborated her statements. If I ever had doubts then as to the truth of spirit communication, I lost them at that point.
As a matter of fact, I advanced in Spiritualism to the extent of going into trances, wherein I am convinced that I have been able to visit the spirit world. I know I have met my mother there, a sister Kate, and a brother Willie who had passed on in 1908. I knew I was in my spirit body and had left my mortal frame; and, indeed, I had no desire to return to it. But my mother and sister insisted that I had a spiritual work to accomplish in the earth plane, and that I could not come permanently into the spirit world until I had accomplished that task.
I could go on to relate many interesting and curious experiences which I was privileged to have in the spirit world, but this is not the occasion for it, and I shall proceed with the narrative. During my work in the hospital, I had become interested in chiropractic and, on the suggestions of spirits who communicated messages to me through mediums at Lily Dale, New York, I studied at the Palmer Gregory College of Chiropractic in Oklahoma City, and graduated in 1912 after a two year course. Shortly thereafter, I became a licensed practitioner in Washington, D.C. There comes to mind the name of a Mrs. Bartholomew, a trumpet medium, and a Mr. Pierre Keeler, a slate writing medium, whom I consulted while at Lily Dale. It was through this gentleman's brother that I was able to obtain a spirit photograph of my soulmate, Mary Kennedy. I shall refer to this in more detail later.
On graduating, I went to Philadelphia with a view to opening an office, but, on receiving messages from many of my relatives in the spirit world through a medium named Mrs. Bledsoe, I opened an office instead on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. I must say that I was successful and instrumental in restoring many patients to health. I remember distinctly a newsboy of about nine years of age whose name was George Hutton. He suffered from paralysis in the legs due to polio and used crutches to swing his legs. I offered to give this boy treatment without charge, to which his mother consented. The boy was able to walk again without use of his crutches in two treatments, and an osteopath and M.D., Dr. Walton, came to see me about it. "I saw the newsboy today walking without his crutches," he said, "and he told me you had treated him. I came to find out if it is so." Later, George came in and confirmed the healing. I have always felt that this instance of healing, as well as many others that I cannot mention here, was due to spiritual forces operating through me.
Although I was kept busy at my boardwalk practice during the summer months, autumn found business so slack, due to the closing of many hotels and departure of people, that I was compelled to find another location. Again I went to Philadelphia and consulted Mrs. Bledsoe who, through her spirit contacts, advised me to go to Washington, D.C.
I arrived there in November 1912, and opened an office on Fourteenth Street, N.W. There, I fortuitously met a gentleman with whom I had become acquainted at Lily Dale. His name was William Plummer, of Frederick, Maryland. He visited me at my office and told me he was interested in procuring a copy of "Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?" by Nettle Maynard Colburn. He wanted to find the owner of the copyright, for he wished to have the book reprinted. In his search, he had found the name of a Mr. Rollison Colburn of Takoma Park, but was informed that the latter was not related to the writer. The search, however, had not been entirely futile, for the Rollison Colburns proved to be interested in Spiritualism, and a common interest between them developed into a close friendship.
I became acquainted with the Colburns through Mr. Plummer. I found them very kind and lovable people who were greatly interested in psychic experiences. It was through their son, Arthur Colburn, that I first heard of the messages that were being received by Mr. Padgett. I was introduced to him at his office in the Stewart Building, 6th and D Streets, N.W., where he was practicing law. This was in the early fall of 1914 when everyone was excited about the great conflict that had broken out in Europe. Some people felt the period ushering in the end of the world had come and that Jesus himself would appear at this "end time." For me, it was the end of my travels and spiritual search.
These Messages from Jesus and Celestials, received through the hand of James E. Padgett, are so extraordinary in concept and contents (claiming as they do to bring to mankind the highest spiritual teachings of Jesus as an epoch-making revelation from the spirit world), that it is indispensable that, as the publisher and firm believer in the Truths contained in these messages, I give to interested readers and for future reference some firsthand information regarding the man through whom these messages were received, and how it was that he was enabled and selected to obtain these amazing communications.
At this point, I must state that I was very often in Mr. Padgett's room when he was receiving these writings, and that I am the eyewitness to the formation and development of Mr. Padgett as the medium par excellence through whom the Truths of the Heavenly Father and life in the spirit world have come to mankind.
My first contact with Mr. Padgett was in September 1914. I became interested in him at first because he seemed to be a fine gentleman and, what was also important to me, a genuine medium. We became friendly on the basis of Spiritualism and mediumship, and this became a bond which, in addition to our mutual respect and brotherly love for each other, which grew apace in the course of time, was never broken in this life until his death on March 17, 1923. This bond, I am convinced, continues to exist between us - his soul encased in a spirit body and mine still in mortal trappings.
Mr. Padgett invited me to visit him regularly at his home at 514 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., where, in the course of time, I met Eugene Morgan and Dr. Goerger. Padgett told me that the messages he was receiving were from his wife, Helen, who had died early that year. She had written him many things about the spirit life she was living, describing her experiences at the time of her death, the sphere of her spiritual abode, and her love for her husband in the flesh who, she had then discovered, was her soulmate. I was thereafter very often present as he continued to receive these messages. They came in a rapid sweep of connected words that obviously gave no time for thought on the part of the writer, and, in fact, he often insisted that he had no clear idea of what his pencil was writing until he read the messages afterwards. It was in this way, then, that he received from 1914 to 1923 some twenty five hundred messages, many of them coming, I have not the slightest doubt, from those highest spirits whose signatures were testimony to the personalities they represented.
Interested as I had always been in Spiritualism, and in the possibility of man's communicating with departed spirits, I asked Mr. Padgett what were the circumstances leading to this mediumistic activity. The facts, as he related them to me, were as follows: About six months before I had met him, he had attended a seance held by a Mrs. Maltby in Washington, D.C. She informed him that he possessed the psychic power to obtain automatic writings from spirits, and challenged him to make the effort. He did so and found that his pencil moved automatically to produce what he called "fish hooks" and "hangers." When this had continued for a short time, he at length obtained a writing which he could make out as a message signed by his wife, Helen. It was a short, personal note which stated she was often present in spirit with him, and how glad she was to be able to write him in this way. At this point, Mr. Padgett did not believe the evidence of the writings that his dead wife had actually communicated with him. In fact, he wanted to know what proof could she offer, or was there, to show that a spirit was actually writing, and, if so, whether that spirit was actually Helen. The writing that followed provided incidents in their lives that could only have been known to both.
Padgett thought even this could be explained as material coming from his own mind, as well it might, except that the writings came too quickly for his mind to formulate thought, and the messages kept on insisting that it was not his mind but hers that was operating, with emphasis on her love for him and the happiness she could obtain by being with him.
With his interest in Spiritualism greatly aroused by these strange writings, and anxious to set his mind at rest, he began to read books on the subject. I remember his reading J. M. Peeble's Immortality, and his frequent attendance at seances. There, he was given to understand that spirits, if given the opportunity and under right conditions, can communicate with mortals, and that apparently, in his case, the writings he questioned came from his departed wife. He was advised to continue to take messages while learning more about the spirit world. Among those things he learned was that souls have their mates, and that spirit life, contrary to what is taught by orthodox religions, was one of constant progress through the various realms of the spirit universe.
At the end of one of these writings, he asked what plane or sphere she was in. He received the answer that she was living in one of the planes of the Second Sphere, where a certain amount of light and happiness is present, but that she had no desire to make progress to other spheres, because she could at that time make contact quite easily with him on the earth plane and write to him by controlling his brain and hand. Padgett told me he could feel her presence intensely, which produced in him a feeling of happiness that was alien to him, except when she wrote.
Padgett confided to me that he would like to see Helen progress and told her so. He informed her that, through his own spiritual studies, he knew she could make her way to higher spheres and increased happiness as a spirit. Helen replied she would find out from his grandmother, Ann Rollins, who had been a long time in the spirit world, what steps were necessary to make progress to higher and brighter spheres.
I do not know why Helen turned to her husband's grandmother for guidance in the spirit world. Many of Mr. Padgett's early messages were destroyed because they were of such a personal nature that he did not wish others to be acquainted with their contents. But I do know that affinity of spirits in the other world is due to affinity of the soul and not to any relationship one may have in the flesh. And from what Mr. Padgett told me of his grandmother, and from the messages which she subsequently wrote (some of which I have inserted in these volumes), she must have been a very kind and warmhearted woman. At any rate, Helen later wrote about her meeting with Ann Rollins who, she said, was a glorious spirit dwelling in the high Celestial Heavens. Ann Rollins, surprisingly enough for Padgett and those of us who were present at the time, had informed her that spirit progress to the higher Celestial Realms could be obtained only by prayer to the Heavenly Father for His Love through earnest longing of soul. In addition, Padgett's mother, Ann R. Padgett, also in the spirit world, wrote through her son corroborating this information. Both spirits were thus instrumental in giving Padgett (and those like myself who used to be present at these writings) the knowledge that soul progress to the Celestial Heavens was achieved only through prayer to God for His Divine Love.
These sessions, held to obtain writings from Helen, had become a channel through which a deep, religious note had been injected, replacing the personal material. From the scores of messages from Helen written at this time, and which are in my possession, we can follow her rapid progress to the higher spheres. Helen took the advice of these high spirits and prayed, and she found her prayers for the Father's Love were answered, and that It came into her soul in a way that caused a purification of her desires and thoughts, with a corresponding change in her soul and spiritual appearance. She said that her spirit body, reflecting the changing condition of her soul, was becoming etherealized and brighter. She then wrote that she had reached the Third Sphere where happiness was greatly increased.
Shortly thereafter, she suggested that since she had done what Padgett had wished, and had been able to progress to a higher sphere, it was fitting that Padgett should seek to better his soul condition as well. In fact, she suggested that we should all do so. She stated that, since the soul is the same, whether in the flesh or spirit body, it could be transformed by prayer to the Father for His Divine Love - not by ordinary intellectual prayers that came from the head, but from the heart and soul. Padgett refused to lend credence to this information. The spirits insisted that, as inhabitants of the higher realms, they possessed knowledge of this sacred Truth, and that Jesus, himself, ever interested in bringing the Truths to mankind, would come to corroborate their affirmations if Padgett would give him the opportunity.
I do not know exactly when the first message signed "Jesus of the Bible" was received, for as I write this, more than forty years later, I cannot remember the date. Padgett evidently felt it was absurd to believe that Jesus had written him and, alas, threw away the message. As a matter of fact, Mr. Colburn, who up to that time had formed a part of our fellowship, declared he could not be persuaded that Jesus had actually written. However, his friends, Dr. Goerger, Mr. Morgan, and I had an instinctive feeling that Jesus had written a genuine message. The earliest message allegedly from Jesus to Padgett which is in my possession, therefore, is dated September 28, 1914, and refers to an earlier message written a few days before. It is a long message, urging Padgett to pray for the Father's Love, and stating that certain passages in the New Testament, thoroughly believed in by Padgett, were false. The Master went on to say that he was neither God, nor had he been conceived by the Holy Spirit in the way taught by the preachers of the churches. Further, that "...Neither is God Spirit only; a Spirit of Mind. He is a Spirit of everything that belongs to His Being. He is not only Mind, but Heart, Soul, and Love." The message urged Padgett: "...Go to your Father for His Help. Go in prayer, firmly believing, and you will soon feel His Love in your heart."
Padgett was doubtful. Though he was not entirely certain of the genuineness of the family spirits, he felt the need of asking whether Jesus had really written. In volume II, I have published some of the messages which he received from Helen, Ann Rollins, his mother, and his father, John Padgett, all corroborating that Jesus had written. You will also find in this volume II some of the early messages which he received from the Master. They tell Padgett to have faith that he is Jesus, and they encourage him to pray; but they are simply preparatory in nature and do not contain the wonderful contents and information which came when Padgett had achieved that condition of soul which enabled him to obtain them.
At this point, it came forcibly to Mr. Padgett and to me that such messages could not possibly be the brainchild of his own heated imagination. He had been, as I discovered, an orthodox Methodist, and had for many years taught Sunday School in the Trinity Methodist Church (5th Street and Seward Place, N.E.) in Washington, D.C. His conception of religious doctrine was simply that which emanated from this Protestant church. This view of soul progress was contrary to what he had been taught. He had no idea of Divine Love in contrast to the natural love, or what it might be, and realized that such a conception was foreign to his thinking and never could have been a product of his own mind. He therefore felt assured, and I agreed with him, that these writings were actually not only from Helen, Ann Rollins, his mother and departed spirits of mortals, but also from the Master, himself. He decided to follow those instructions which he himself had never entertained, and which by that very fact had to come from outside intelligences which were communicating to him in this way.
He - I should say, we - began to pray for the Divine Love, letting our soul longings go out to the Heavenly Father; and, in time, a feeling came glowing into the region of our hearts. We felt this emotion grow stronger and stronger with continued, fervid prayers; and, as we did so, our faith in God became solidified and absolute. Never before had Padgett, nor I, felt so sure of the real existence of the Father and His Divine Love and Mercy. The cold, intellectual concept which we had entertained of Him had been transformed, through prayers for His Love, into a warm, glowing, living feeling of closeness, of at-onement with the Heavenly Father, Whose Love and Mercy and Goodness we could sense were personal and real.
The change in Padgett's attitude towards the Heavenly Father, through the inflowing of His Love, motivated a message from Ann Rollins. It recognized the effect which this Divine Love was having upon his soul, which was now a receptacle for some Essence of the Father's Divine Nature. It also reported on Helen's progress to higher spheres. Helen, she said in her message, was now a much happier spirit, and her spirit body shone with a radiance produced by the Father's Love in her soul.
Message followed message now from Helen, Ann Rollins, and, above all, from Jesus, encouraging Padgett to keep on praying and to obtain increased portions of the Father's Love. As a medium, he might be used to transmit messages from the highest Celestial spirits. At length, Jesus himself wrote that, since Padgett had the ability to receive writings from spirits, should Padgett's brain be sufficiently transformed through soul development by obtaining more of the Divine Love to a degree where he could receive high quality messages, he and his apostles would come and write through him the Truths of the Father, of his mission on earth, and on the New Testament and Christianity! Only pray, and pray harder for the Father's Love, urged the messages.