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in the chemistry of the Heavens, assured him that such an event was possible, and on this point gave him a test in his own library. He decply entranced Dr. Dunn, and held his hand in the burning flame of a kerosene lamp for five minutes. The smoke was on his hand, which being removed, lo, not a particle of the skin was burned or blistered! Perasee explained that he had gathered an antidotal element from the atmosphere which neutralized the effects of the fire. This may be the subtle substance embodying itself in vision to Nebuchadnezzar as the “ fourth like the Son of Man.”
Up to 1864, Mr. Peebles, like the rest of us, maintained that the age in which we live casts all other ages into the shadow of its knowledge. Everywhere he was grandiloquent about the “greatness of the nineteenth century." At a lecture in Princeton, Ill., on the subject of Progress, he wound up his electric lecture with a splendid peroration upon the inferiority of the past and the superiority of the present; and went to his boarding-place elated with the proud consciousness that he had done something really worthy of the flattery he received. When alone in his room, his medium, suddenly entranced, made a strange bow, after the Asiatic style, and, after a series of earnest devotions, stood up before Mr. Peebles with closed eyes, and inspecting him from head to foot, with a pungent sarcasm, said:
“Well, you are about the homeliest man I ever What's your name?”
“Name?" replied Mr. P., with a wit in his cadence; "my name is Pee-bles."
“ What does Pee-bles mean?” said the spirit with gravity. “Don't know."
“Don't know your own name? you a teacher, and don't know the meaning of your own name? Well!”.
“Is that anything strange? You seem to be thunder-struck at a mere name. All people have names. In China the people are called Chinese."
“ What does Chinese mean?” “I don't know."
“Why use words you do not know the meaning of?”
No matter as to that: you seem to have but little knowledge of names; but you may call me Aphelion, if you like. Do you know the meaning of that word?”
“I think it is an astronomical word, signifying the greatest or least distance from the sun; I forget which."
The spirit betrayed not an emotion, but looked him over again very gravely, and said:
“I lived on your earth, in an Asian province, about sixteen thousand years ago. We wrote in what partially corresponds with the Egyptian hieroglyphs: every dot, point, symbol, and curve meaning something, conveying some distinct idea. Sixteen thousand years ago was the dark age of which you spoke so eloquently to-night.”
When the spirit said "sixteen thousand years ago," Mr. Peebles laughed outright.
“What do you laugh for? Philosophers seldom laugh. Imbeciles giggle much. You disgust me with your ha, ha, ha! - mouth wide open."
Have not you, as a spirit, a brain," asked Mr. Peebles, "and an organ of mirthfulness?"
“Yes,” said Aphelion with dignity.
“In a calm, pleasurable sensation, that consciously permeates our whole being. . . . I momentarily listened to your temperance lecture, the other evening. The people cheered you by shouting, and stamping, and clapping hands; and you were proud. Such appreciation disgusted me. When on your earth, I was a medium, teacher, lecturer, and philosopher socalled, and, when uttering a great truth, the people rose and stood silent, gazing with an inspired, enraptured look that seemed to penetrate the very heavens. They would shade their eyes under the palms of their hands, as if the better to see and examine the truth. ... On the 4th of July, that sultry day, I heard you speak upon moral Independence, during which you said defiantly, 'I care not what the people say;
I will be myself,— free.' There you stood with thick boots on, and black coat, sweltering in the sun. You should have been barefooted, or, at least, sandaled, wearing a white, trailing robe. But you do not care what the people say! In glancing over your country, I have not seen a true man or woman. None live up to their highest ideal. You are a nation of cowards. ... You are aware that the ancients had a cement of which the moderns knew nothing; that they could transfuse color through glass, which you moderns can not; that there are many lost arts and sciences; that the sculpture of three, four, and ten thousand years since is copied by modern artists. Sixteen thousand years ago, our navigators propelled vessels by clectricity. . . . Plato's account of the sinking of the New Atlantis Isle is nearly correct. I was acquainted with several inhabitants of that island, then so famous for its fine arts and high degree of civilization. Records establishing the facts may yet be found in the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt, Babylonian ruins, or in the beds of the ocean. Cities buried by sand or volcanoes will yet be exhumed and re-inhabited. History is ever repeating itself, and progress is in cycles.”
Taken down to a more modest mein, Mr. Peebles, after this, was less boastful and boisterous about modern civilizations. He then began the study of ancient spiritual literature and science with a keener relish than ever. His exclamation
“Let no one presume originality. Let us pierce the inflated balloons of Bros. Davis, Brittan, Denton, Tuttle, Owen, Howitt, and Peebles especially; sit at the feet of the Neo-Platonists, Hindoo Gymnosophists, Egyptian Hierophants, Persian Magi, Chinese Philosophers, Assyrian Savants, and learn wisdom; for 'of such is the kingdom of heaven.'”
A CHANGE OF BASE.
"And the preaching of this preacher
Stirs the pulses of the world.
Into darkness have been hurled;
And the Wrong and Right, have met
Onward, preacher; onward yet!
There are eyes that pine to read,
There are arms in hour of need.
Will must ripen into deed.”
Mr. Peebles had now labored six years in Battle Creek, and began to feel that he should seek a wider field for his labors. This was hinted to him from time to time through various media, and later some leading workers in the spiritual vineyard — Warren Chase and S. J. Finney - urged him to go forth and let his voice be heard in the chief cities of the land. So it became known that he would accept calls for itinerant work, and he soon had all the engagements he could fill. In the desk his fine presence, genial manner, and oratorial powers made him at once immensely popular. His discourses were on a level with the general comprehension and embraced a wide range of topics — spiritual phenomena and philosophy, woman's rights, Indian's rights, anti-slavery, anti-Christian despotism, and at that time he even dabbled in Darwinism and the de
velopment theory. He had not yet contributed any considerable amount to the public press; but Banner of Light folks were not long in discovering that he possessed available literary gifts.
Whenever Mr. Peebles lectured he was cordially invited to come again. His uniform attitude was well calculated to attract the general public, interlarding his discourses on the one hand with just enough of Christian Spiritualism to interest and hold those who were beginning to emerge from the bondage of creeds; and on the other hand scrupulously avoiding anything like sensational ranting against prevailing religions, doctrines, and social usages. Indeed, on all public questions he has studiously kept in the "middle of the road," avoiding extremes, and appealing to the rational judgment with a serious reverence for truth. Whilst aggressive against error, it has been his effort to set souls aglow with loftier aspirations, and lead the truth-secking with a loving hand into the temple of heavenly wisdom.
He has lectured in all States of the American Union but three:
New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Boston, Charlestown, Lowell, Portland, Worcester, Troy, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Rockford, Milwaukee, Springfield, St. Louis, Topeka, Lawrence, Omaho, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, San Francisco, Sacramento, New Orleans, Mobile, — the principal cities, and in innumerable villages and country districts in every compass of the land, - also in Canada West. He has attended nearly all the National conventions, multitudes of State conventions, associations, and mass meetings. He is scarcely ever enabled to supply the demand upon his services. In some places he has spoken the third, fourth, fifth, and even sixth time at monthly engagements, and in no city is he so popular as at home in Battle Creek. He has exchanged pulpits with Congregationalists, with Rev. Mumford and other Unitarians, and with Universalists; but in one other instance the latter refused their pulpit. During