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things of life; yet more wonderful came the promise, that the spirit himself would be seen! He doubted.

The boys again were tied; all was dark, silent, gloomy; when, lo! a flickering glimmer shot out, as a star at midnight, swelling larger into nebulous mist, rolling up fleecy white, growing more and more distinct, till, opening as "a door in heaven," there appeared up in the air the spirit form of a strange man in large proportions. The spirits had done even more than they promised. Was he now convinced? Our confounded, confounding brother cast himself again into the “slough of doubt," to cogitate upon “occipital motion,” on “ force," " unconscious psychology," and the like, – the bed of spikes wilful skeptics delight to dream on.

Mr. Peebles said: “We read that an angel rolled away a stone from Christ's sepulcher, and another angel unlocked Peter's prison-door: if you be spirits, I defy you to do the same, or any thing like it."

At Mr. Odell's, that evening, the room brilliantly lighted with gas, the boys tied, he and all the company saw peacocks' plumes floating over their heads, and books with sheets of paper moving without visible hands. Sensing his mental reaction, the spirits approached him, and suddenly jerked him out of the circle, throwing him sprawling upon the floor. This trespass upon his clerical dignity enlivened the circle to a general merriment; which the spirits enjoyed by a more lively play, with the instrument whizzing musically around their ears. Did he now believe? He was sure of this much, that it was no mesmeric hallucination;" for his side was actually lame.

The Davenport brothers, J. K. Brown, of Buffalo, and Mr. Peebles occupied the same room that auspicious night. Retiring, full of frolic, he playfully, yet seriously, challenged the spirits to make him a visit. When all was still, the blinds of the house open, the moon shining brightly, and balmy sleep began to fold over the eyelids, suddenly they were all roused at the sound of three raps upon the door. “Come in!” said our “ chosen apostle,”—“ Come in !” very respectful in tone of voice. But no one responded. “Come in!” loudly called

our brother. Then the door gently opened, and swung back to the wall. He looked up, gazed, scrutinizing through the wide aperture; but nobody appeared. Rap, rap, rap! on the floor, then on the walls. The boys exclaimed, “ The spirits are here!” Just then Mr. Peebles remembered his challenge; when a heavy hand struck him on his stomach, and a smart crack on his head. "Oh, that hurts !” said our hero, in trepidation. The boys laughed, and encouraged an “ evening entertainment." The clear moonlight itself seemed a saucy witness of Mr. Peebles's discomfiture.

The clothes sprung off the bed, the bed itself rocked, and confusion generally ensued. “ For Heaven's sake, Peebles," said Brown, " strike a light." Mustering courage, he sprang out; and, as he walked across the room, that same hand hit him solid on the back. The blow was overpowering; and, in alarm and pain, he shouted, “ That hurts! Oh! Oh! I know you are spirits! I give it up! I will believe !” Frightened, he scrambled into bed, pulling the sheet over his face, like a child at sight of a ghost. One of the boys entranced, a voice from the air said, “You dared us. Get your light: we'll do you no harm.” Mrs. Odell, listening joyfully in the hall below, exclaimed, "Good, Brother Peebles, good! they will convert you before morning!” Mr. Peebles inquired, “Why do you handle me thus roughly, if you be good spirits?” The intelligence replied, “ To give you evidence of our power, and complete demonstration of conscious immortality, that you may walk no longer by faith, but by sight. You are appointed for a great work: gird up your loins, buckle on your sandals, grasp the sword of truth. Go forth !”

It was to him a genuine knock-down argument. The impression made by that séance was deep and lasting, awakening in after years a heart-gratitude to the spirits controlling the Davenport circle, for the solid proof of their presence when he was in most need of angelic light.

At length he resumed his journey and joined his cousin in Minnesota. The “Father of Waters” was covered with a mantle of ice, and the plains with a heavy body of snow.

His attempt at business was undefined and awkward. He had no heart in the occupation he was trying to adopt, and so was ill at ease. Real estate, litigation, speculation, money to loan; his soul revolted against the whole occupation. But the dry, bracing winds of a Minnesota climate were gradually restoring his psychic and vital balance; and with the return of mental elasticity his normal trend of character began to reassert itself. He once more longed for the old companionship with books and for the resumption of a form of labor in which he could reach the public through his voice and pen. A voice kept ringing in his soul, “Go and preach your highest convictions of truth and duty!” This soon became an inspiration that dominated his whole life and kindled an enthusiasm which he had never before known.

His resolution was taken. He would henceforth be independent and go forth a stirring agitator! The prophet should be willing to accept his fate if it should come to him. Let a man count the cost and then act. All things should be held delicately, subject to the demand of Duty. “When one has taught one's self to do without the benefits of the world, then he may safely accept and use them.” The resolution, however, that he would become an agitator and a daring reformer was more easily formed than carried out. The journey from Egypt to the Promised Land is beset with difficulties. A sect holding us by conventional ties can not be easily cast off. To sever the ministerial ties is like turning one's self out of home. Nor is it a light thing to be unsalaried, with a family looking to one for bread.

Scarcely knowing what to do with himself, he half concluded to return to Canton. “What for?” he pondered. There is a time in life when the heart hugs its holy purpose with a fear and trembling; when a vail shuts over our vision, and we only feel destiny. Is there not an angel of the “Over Soul,” who hides future prospects from us, lest our hopes may be too high, making us selfish; and hides adversity, lest we may, in our unschooled faith, refuse to advance?

"Oh, blindness to the future kindly given,

That each may fill his station marked by heaven!”

Liberty often hangs on a delicate pivot; the slightest touch will shift its center. To the candidate it is a fearful moment when he stands on the neutral ground between the old and the new. This was our brother's experience now. By a seemingly blind instinct, he had arrived at Chicago, where he received letters from influential ministers and other friends, urging him to return to the “Universalist ministry, where he belonged.” Why this pleading at this hour? Yes, why? Ask those“

powers and principalities of the air.” What was the voice from Elmira, Jamestown, N. Y., Baltimore, McLean, Auburn? “Return to your first love! Be less radical: preach good old-fashioned Universalism!” Ah, James ! had you known Delilah then as well as you do now, would you even thought of having your locks shaven, that the Philistines might conquer you?

This was Saturday evening. That night, sleepless, worrying, full of pleadings, will never be forgotten. The better angels recorded it; and it will be read, by and by, to note how close came a heavenly heart in an angel's hand to his troubled bosom, but could not enter, for the casket was not yet cleared of impediment.

A stranger in a city on Sunday morning is at liberty to go where his instincts lead.

Taking a humble seat in a Spiritualist meeting, he looked over the happy audience, noticing prominent citizens, whom he afterward learned to be such men as Seth Paine, H. M. Higgins, Mr. Green, etc. “Not all fools, I trow,” he thought. Soon a gentleman was entranced, and came direct to him. All eyes were riveted on him. Then the spirit calmly said, with a kind voice of recognition,

“I see your devious and winding pathway of life,- thorns and craggy steeps. Recently, you have been on a rough and tempestuous sea: your craft was rickety and unsafe. You leaped from it into the deep! Ah, ha! you are in a better

vessel: you are alone in it,- nobody to guide you over all this vast waste. But look above: there it is, a strong hand that controls all! Nothing but a hand I see; and it guides you so safely! You touch the shore; and now your path winds up, up, over rocks! There are precipices and perils; but the hand guides, and you are safe! You are commissioned from on HIGH! The Christ of Palestine is a living Christ! Go, teach the ministry of angels!”

Methinks the air
Throbs with the tolling of harmonious bells,
Rung by the hands of spirits everywhere:
We feel the presence of a soft despair,
And thrill to the voices of divine farewells.”— Dickens.

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That prophecy haunted Mr. Peebles night and day. The tumult of conflicting feelings now began to subside and settle into a calm purpose. He remembered having read a report to the effect that Rev. J. P. Averill, a Universalist minister of Battle Creek, Mich., had espoused Spiritualism. He felt he might receive wise counsel from this brother minister. So resuming his journey eastward, he stepped off at this exQuaker city and called upon Mr. Averill, in whom he not only found a wise and sympathetic counselor, but likewise, a life-long friend. Mr. A. was also passing through the fire. Notice, without his knowledge, was immediately given, that “Rev. J. M. Peebles would address the Liberalists of Battle Creek next Sunday morning and evening."

“Why," said Mr. Peebles, “I do not wish to preach!” “ Talk, then," replied Mr. Averill, “talk from the freedom and intelligence of your own spirit — be, and feel independent.”

A fine audience gathered in the hall, - Spiritualists, Unitarians, Universalists, Quakers, Free Thinkers, etc., “all of one accord in one place." The congregation intelligent, their greetings so cordial, he was inspired with the electric touch of soul to soul. His text was appropriate: "If the truth shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” It was handled in a masterly manner, said friend Averill, and found a happy response. Closing that ever memorable meeting, the congre

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