The Gift of Tongues:
A Study in Pathological Aspects of Christianity
by Alexander Mackie (1921)
Minister of the Tully Memorial Presbyterian Church of Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, New York, George H. Doran Company Copyright, 1921,
O grant us light, that we may see
Where error lurks in human lore,
And turn our doubting minds to Thee,
And love Thy simple word the more.
If you suppose for a moment that the phenomena of speaking in tongues as we see it today is really the work of demons, most pro-tongues speakers would object, “You have no proof of a connection!” This book will trace for you all the examples of tongues and tongues like activity through the ages, identifying the phenomena with demon activity, obvious demonic possession coming on those who speak in tongues, and other weird behaviour like the Shakers nude dancing in their church servcies, and Joseph Smith’s visions and tongues, and other demonic activity. This is a must read book for those interested in knowing the truth about modern tongues.
CHAPTER I: THE GIFT OF TONGUES IN THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH …. 17
Theories concerning the gift all open to objections.
The Mythical theory.
The Narrative in Acts regarded as a history a miracle of speaking a miracle of hearing a permanent endowment, or an epideilctic miracle.
“The eighteen benedictions.” An archaic language. A tongue controlled by God.
Other references to the tongues. Considerations based on the Greek terminology. The tongues probably a disorderly ecstasy.
CHAPTER II: SOME FORMS OF RELATED PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA 26
References to the gift in patristic literature: Irenseus;
The reformation and the revival of tongues.
Speaking in other languages viewed by the mediaeval mind as a sign of divine favor: St. Francis Xavier; St. Hildegarde.
As a sign of demon influence: The Alchemists; Roger Bacon and the Brazen Head.
As a sign of a distemper.
For a warning against impending danger.
In witchcraft. Evil spirits understand other languages.
The magic power of a name. The name Jehovah. Names written on charms.
Among primitive peoples: Names dangerous to pronounce.
Healing words. Mr. Austin; Anthony Knivet.
Words used in exorcisms. The language of sorcery.
Magic formulae of witchcraft.
The use of meaningless words in songs.
Hepworth Dixon and the Agapemone.
The semi-insane and the semi-responsible. Criminal argot.
Religious movements in the Middle Ages of an abnormal motor character.
The Pastoreaux. The children of the Amsterdam Orphan House. St. Brigette’s Convent, etc. Rev. John Mason.
Revival phenomena: George Fox, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Band Room Methodists. Jumpers. Redruth Chapel. The Kentucky Revival.
Spiritualism. The Amana Community. Trance Preaching. Mediumistic utterances. Charles H. Foster.
CHAPTER III: THE URSULINE NUNS AND THE DEVILS OF LOUDUN …. 58
The Carmelite miracles.
The Ursuline Convent.
Urban Grandier his personality his enemies.
The Ursuline nuns become demon-possessed. Characteristics of the possession.
Louis XIII causes a formal investigation.
The possessed are found to be able to speak foreign languages.
Evidences of fraud.
Grandier put to death.
CHAPTER IV: THE CAMISARDS OR FRENCH PROPHETS 70
The name Camisard.
The origin of the movement.
The method of inducing the prophetic spirit.
Migration to England of Marion, Cavalier, and Page.
Sir Richard Bulkeley.
Camisard prophecies and miracles.
Betty Gray restored to sight.
Fage, Cavalier and others speak in tongues.
CHAPTER V: THE SHAKERS AND THE MILLENNIAL CHURCH 82
The French prophets and the Wardleys.
Ann Lee her family, social position and leadership of the Society.
The sexual life revealed to be the root of human depravity.
Ann Lee’s imprisonment.
Her religious experiences.
The Shakers emigrate to America.
Early proselyting and persecutions.
Character of Ann Lee. Her gifts as a prophet or seer.
She works miracles.
Other views of her character.
Shaker practice of dancing naked; promiscuous bathing as a religious rite; tendencies toward perversion in the vita sexualis; exhibitionism ; mortification gifts ; flagellation.
After the death of Ann Lee.
Joseph Meacham and Lucy Wright.
The Kentucky revival.
Shaker theology. The nature of God. The millennium.
Their religious exercises: Dances and gifts, the jerks, the laughing gift.
The tongues among the Shakers.
Cases of tongues: Ann Lee; Father William; Seth Youngs; Latin spoken.
Brown’s experiences: Eleazar Rand; Lamson; Betsey Looge; Eunice Chapman; Dr. Dwight. The wordless songs.
CHAPTER VI: REV. EDWARD IRVING AND THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH OR IRVINGITES 129
Rev. Edward Irving his birth, early life, and education life in London.
Opinions regarding Irving: Thomas Carlyle; James Bridges; Barry Cornwall; Meade C. Williams.
Irving’s alleged lack of a sense of humor his eagerness for the supernatural his utter want of common sense.
At the “York” in Prince’s Street. Mr. Craig’s story.
Dr. Chalmers’ estimate of Irving.
Irving and the London Missionary Society. The visit of Chalmers and Irving to Coleridge. Irving as a preacher. Lockhart characterizes him as “pure humbug.” His lectures at St. Andrews. Irving’s mannerisms. The London Times as quoted by Washington Wilks.
Trial of Edward Irving before a Court of Common Sense.
Fraser^s Magazine on “On the Rev. Edward Irving and
His Adversaries.” Kirlkcaldy Kirk and Carlyle’s baker. Addison Alexander’s description of Irving.
Irving translates “The Coming of the Messiah,” etc.
Henry Drummond and the Albury Prophetic Conference.
Robert Story of Rosneath. Isabella Campbell and “Peace in Believing.” Extraordinary religious experience. Mary Campbell becomes her successor. Her interest in missions. Her lack of interest in household duties. Mr. Story and the missionaries.
Rev. A. J. Scott and the Campbells.
First appearance of the tongues.
The Macdonalds. Margaret Macdonald miraculously healed. Mary Campbell also healed. Speaking in tongues at Port Glasgow. First manifestation of the tongues in London.
Trial of Mr. Campell and Mr. Maclean for heresy.
Mr. Taplin speaks in tongues in Irving’s Church. Sunday, October 1, 1831, and the first manifestation of the tongues at a regular morning service.
Disturbance at the evening service. Description of the scenes at Irving’s Church. Robert Bridges.
Robert Baxter. His experiences and gifts. Baxter’s prophecies. The visit to the Chancellor.
Thomas Erskine of Linlathen.
Contradictory prophecies and disagreements among the prophets.
The language of the tongues and various specimens.
Mary Campbell and automatic writing.
The tongues an unknown language.
Irving tried and condemned for heresy. Death of Irving.
The Catholic Apostolic Church.
CHAPTER VII: THE MORMONS OR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS 198
Joseph Smith, Jr. His family and early life.
Joseph Smith, Jr., and Joseph Smith, Sr., practice divination.
Joseph Smith, Jr., converted, and beholds a vision.
The Angel Moroni appears.
The Golden Plates found.
Translation of the Golden Plates.
Martin Harris and Professor Anthon.
Method of translating the plates.
Harris, Covvdery and the baptism of Smith and Cowdery.
Contents of the Book of Mormon.
The Spaulding theory.
The Urim and Thummim, crystal-gazing and Dr. Dee.
The Mormon Church organized.
Sidney Rigdon and the Kirtland ecstasies.
Joseph Smith, Jr., alone to receive revelations.
The tongues appear.
Method of speaking in tongues.
The Choctaw language an unknown tongue.
Gunnison’s incident of the tongues.
Peter Cartwright and the tongues.
Dedication of Kirtland temple. Brigham Young speaks in tongues.
The Kirtland Safety Bank.
Settlement at Far West.
Settlement and prosperity at Nauvoo.
The Nauvoo Temple.
Revelation on polygamy and Smith’s extra-marital relationships.
Smith’s personality. His shrewd common sense.
Caswell, the psalter, and the Kirtland mummies.
Egyptology and the translation of the Book of Abraham.
Smith’s fondness for unusual words.
Origin of the word “Mormon.”
CHAPTER VIII: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE GIFT 250
The tongues always first manifested in a diseased person: Ann Lee, Mary Campbell, the Macdonalds, Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon.
Associated pathological phenomena. The “falling exercise,” “the jerks,” “whirling 1 gift,” “dumb devils,” “barks,” “tactile anaesthesia,” the “laughing gift.”
The atavistic element in the tongues.
Disturbances in the vita sexualis. Perverse sexual tendencies among the Shakers.
Egomania. Pathological lying.
Eagerness for the supernatural.
Aversion to culture.
The tongues as language. Their thought content.
The mental state involved similar to that in alcoholic intoxication, epilepsy or in coitu.
CHAPTER IX: ETHICAL ASPECTS OF THE GIFT 265
The necessity for an ethical expression of religion.
Crimes associated with the tongues movement. Sexual irregularities. Injustices to women and children.
Crimes of violence. The Camisards. The Mountain Meadows Massacre. Judicial crimes in witchcraft.
Dishonesty. The Shakers. The Kirtland Bank. Pious frauds. Betty Gray.
The Shaker psychological fraud. The tragedy of Edward Irving.
The crime against intelligence.
The tongues peoples related to the criminaloid type.
The nature of religion and the nature of the tongues.
The science of Pathology has contributed in no inconsiderable degree to the physical and physiological well-being of the human body. A science of Pathology in the realm of those things which are popularly called spiritual can contribute in like and, perhaps, in even greater degree to the well-being of the human soul.
It ought to be a matter of popular knowledge that some states of mind and some states of action which are called spiritual, and which are claimed to be spiritual, are called spiritual and claimed to be spiritual simply because they are unusual. It ought to be a matter of common knowledge that such states of mind and action are the expressions of diseased minds and diseased bodies, that when we are dealing with an extraordinary religious experience we are very likely to be dealing with disease.
It ought to be a matter of common knowledge that historically such religious experiences are practically always associated with anti-moral conduct, and more particularly with transgressions of accepted moral standards in the vita sexualis.1
This discussion of the gift of tongues is certainly not exhaustive. The present day tongues people, for example, have not even been discussed. But the mental traits and the physiological traits of the Shakers, the Irvingites and the primitive Mormons are the mental traits and the physiological traits of the present day tongues people, and, in fact, of that increasing group of earnest but unthinking Christians who are convinced of the present revival in their various aspects of the apostolic charismata.
If this book shall serve to shed even a faint ray of light upon the kingdom of truth, I shall be profoundly grateful.
1 Editor David Cox – “vita sexualis” is a little hard to trace down, but I believe it simply means “sexual life”. The term appears in Freud (Zur Psychologie de Vita Sexualis) “vita sexualis normalis” (normal sexual life) are opposed to sexual perservions. It also was used by a Japanese military doctor and writer , Ogiai Mori.
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