Government, by Edward Everett
The Christianized world supposes that the form of government now existing
in the heavenly system is that of a monarchy; that God is the supreme
ruler of the whole universe, embracing not only the little planet Earth,
but the countless starry worlds and invisible systems that roll through
space. But more directly in its imagination does it place him as the sole
monarch and kingly ruler of the spirit world. It seats him in fancy upon
a gorgeous throne, material in every aspect of its magnificence; a throne
of gold and jewels, as described by that Miltonic poet, St. John, in his
This is the prevailing faith of Christendom; a faith which to the
majority seems knowledge as positive as the fact that Victoria rules the
British people, and sits upon the English throne.
Yet this is the conception of a people fond of barbaric pomp and
splendor. A conception unsupported by reason and at variance with fact.
Nearer to the truth was the old Greek nation; a nation which embodied the
intellect, the wisdom, and the refinement of the present age.
That nation, in its belief in the government of the spiritual universe,
was wholly Polytheistic, believing in many gods, and, as I have said,
approached nearer the idea of the form of government as existing in the
spirit world, for it is a Republic of Gods.
It is a law of the universe that all vast bodies must be divided and
subdivided into smaller ones. Every system is a constellation and every
constellation is a congeries.
In accordance with this law, the universal world of spirit is broken
up, is divided and subdivided.
In these divisions and subdivisions forms of government ensue, differing
slightly one from another, according to the progressive development of
the people; and an unlimited monarchy is not known in the spirit world.
There are some clinging to their old habits, associations, and education,
who would fain raise the representatives of royalty on earth to the same
positions in the spirit world when they become residents there. But the
effort, when made, cannot be sustained. The one-man power is incompatible
with spiritual laws and spiritual justice.
In a world where the external trappings are torn away and the internal
nature of man is exposed to observation, the prerogatives of earthly
kings have but little power.
The republican form of government is destined to overthrow all the
monarchies of earth. As the world progresses and knowledge becomes
universal, individuals will be able to govern themselves.
It has been only through ignorance and superstition, and the limited
knowledge of the masses, that the kings and emperors of earth have been
enabled to sway their jewelled sceptres over the necks of the people. But
their reign is drawing to a close; their glories have culminated; and the
day is rapidly approaching when earth will be governed even as the
heavens above are governed. As in the world of nature, "the same chance
happens alike to all," and every child in time may become a man and every
infant a father, and the experience of one becomes the experience of all,
so in the government of the spirit world, every man can rise and become
for a space of time the patriarchal dictator of a republic.
The prevailing form of our republic differs from that of the American
republic in many particulars. Our term of office is of shorter duration
than with you. Our directors while in office make friendly excursions to
other republics. Matters of state with us are not so weighty or
complicated as with you, nor are encroachments and reprisals so common.
We are not compelled to sustain such vast armies and navies, involving
the necessity of directing and superintending them.
As a rule, people who have entered the second stage of existence desire a
change. They desire to live with more simplicity and freedom, and are
eager to begin their new life with nobler aspirations. Therefore, they
assimilate with comparative ease with our form of government.
Our directors are our fathers. The nearest approach to our system is the
government of the Mormons in Utah. Pardon me, if, in making this
statement, I offend any delicate sensibility. I allude not to their
creed, but to their mode of public administration.
As I have stated, the inhabitants of the spirit world are divided and
subdivided into associations, or bodies, which in your world would be
termed nations and states. For example, the nation to which I belong is
represented by the American people. The nationalities of earth present
different traits and characteristics which set them apart, though in a
general aspect they present one whole. Even as in the ornithological
world different species of birds represent the feathered race, and though
differing in many particulars and forming separate varieties, yet
assimilate as a whole, so nations migrating to the spirit world form
separate nationalities. And, as I have stated, some of them, educated in
the belief of the divine right of kings, choose a form of rule nearer
approaching the monarchial than the republican. Among such often arises a
Napoleon, a man of powerful intellect, a mind to grasp all circumstances,
and a will to direct, who succeeds in placing himself in a position which
he retains for years.
But as the hereditary right of kings cannot exist in the spirit world,
the emperor or dictator is chosen by the people, as was the custom of the
Intercourse of nations with us is not bounded by the obstacles that exist
on earth. Prominent ideas prevailing among the most intelligent masses of
spirits become the views of the whole. This your own world exemplifies.
As the means of communication become more facile, as the various arts of
locomotion obliterate distance, the remote and barbarous nations, brought
into proximity with the civilized, assume their habits, adopt their modes
of action, and follow their form of government.
I can safely predict for you a similar result. In the spirit world those
nations once most tenacious of kingly rights and of the majesty of the
throne, lay quietly down their regal crowns, and assume the
unostentatious cap of the republic. So will all the nations of earth
follow their spiritual leaders and hurl out from the round globe the
crumbling thrones and sceptres of kings and emperors and the tottering
papal chair of Rome, down, down, into the vast tomb of antiquity!