At the same time, “The Spiritual Magazine” vehemently opposes all new revelations superseding the Bible, even if communicated through the mouths of mediums. The editorial board seems to have had a special animus against Andrew Jackson Davis and Thomas Lake Harris. The latter is said to have “out-Swedenborged Swedenborg himself”, and claimed to have channelled the apostles Paul and John, a claim the magazine editors found unacceptable. The conservative streak is also visible in a letter from a reader, asking how spirits at séances can materialize flowers or perfumes. Since creation ex nihilo is out of the question (only God can create out of nothing), the correspondent reaches the conclusion that the spirits have literally stolen the flowers and the perfume bottles from local stores! Thus, these particular spirits are immoral and should not be trusted. Another writer complains about séances where women “magnetize” (hypnotize?) men, which is said to make the men effeminate.
Not everyone liked “The Spiritual Magazine”. One competing publication, which claimed to represent Progressive Spiritualism, called the editors “jackals of the lions of priestcraft and ecclesiasticism”. Indeed, Spiritualism was often associated with other dissident movements, such as socialism. I take it that “The Spiritual Magazine” represented the right wing of the spirit-revival. A kind of Spiritualist High Church, perhaps?