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in every horse trade the prime factor is the Devil. He learned that while the Lord brought him into the world to work, it was also intended that he should be worked. He was convinced that the longer one lives the more he must endure the elementary existence of man, for if the Master made all men equal to-day they would make themselves unequal to-morrow. He found that a reconciliation between the theories and practices of men is impossible, because their deeds never measure up to their words. He had not lived long, but long enough to discover that hoped-for perfection is the most insidious disease that ever harmed the brain, because it is unattainable. He was persuaded that being over-good means non-success, non-success means failure, and failure means a quiet berth among the never was,” which is just as hapless as a never-will-be." He learned that common sense is the saving grace of valid minds, that tact and patience are its handmaids, and he who knows the true use of these will possess a mighty resource against defeat in the push and pull of modern life. In the work of Bible selling from house to house he found that troubles are a social brotherhood, and come hand in hand, and stand side by side, along the path of every agent. In a hard day's work he sold one Bible.
He sold it to an old maid in a town adorned with seven churches. He sold it by appealing to her to cheer her lonely life by robbing some man of his single blessedness, and, incidentally, transmit her virtues to posterity. To do it he had run the gauntlet of cynical men, impudent women, and vicious brutes, and as the shadows of night gathered about him he realized that one is happiest where he is best known and knows the most people, and he went back to his native town, resigned his agency, and commenced, as best he could, his student life.
A SPIRITUALISTIC CATASTROPHE
News was daily coming from over the sea that diviners, soothsayers, and clairvoyants were visiting imperial palaces, and seance after seance was being held in high places. From urban and suburban regions in the United States came frequent reports that the spiritualistic microbe had inoculated the upper circles and was spreading the psychologic epidemic even to the lower strata of the toiling world.
At this time Jack Stanley was attending the High School in a beautiful town in central New York, and during his sojourn there he lived with a kind relative who permitted him to work for his bed and board. A medium visited the town and excited the community by some remarkable conferences with the dead. The medium not only conversed with the spirits of his own departed friends, but he talked with ghosts of former residents to whom he had never been introduced. The seances were in a large hall, which was crowded every night with curious and credu
lous people. Even the skeptic who came to scoff remained to marvel at the medium's work. He was clever and knew his art.
Nothing," said he, “is lost, for what is done is done forever, whether written or unwritten on the page of mortal sense; for the vibration of a single note of music will linger in motion through the corridors of eternity.”
He seemed to penetrate as far into the adytum of the temple of occult force, which enshrines the mystic cord uniting spirit with matter, as any one who is or has been tabernacled in the flesh. He was a past master in supernaturalism, which is the woof spun by the hands of a powerful but invisible existence that incloses all human life and shapes all human destiny. He claimed that the moment the soul is disembodied it acquires a perfection of form which characterizes it through all the ages, and the progress of these bodies is slow and not marked by leaps and bounds. He insisted that when these spirits enter a dark room they must grope their way like mortals, during which time they are invisible to us as we are to them; but if a well-developed medium is present the air surrounding him becomes luminous, by the light of which persons and objects are more or less distinctly perceived. He said an
atmosphere delicately perfumed with violet, neroli, bergamot or Florida water is very agreeable to spirits and aids manifestations, and that the spiritual world is a vast realm to which spirits from our earth and all other worlds meet together and are equally related, while on the other hand the spirit-world is a series of zones associated with our planet which revolve with it, both in its diurnal and solar revolutions, and are fixed in their relation to it. “No such beings,” said he, elementaries, fairies, elves, sprites, gnomes, kobolds, fauns, satyrs, and demons exist in the spirit-world, as everything semi-human would be out of place.” He told of solids and liquids, of electrons and atoms, of entities and non-entities. He said that if mortals possessed eyes to see by electricity, which is an ether relative of light, they would see things that are non-conductors, while the remaining solid-seeming world would be invisible. He argued that an atom of hydrogen contains a thousand powerful entities called electrons, while an atom of mercury contains one hundred thousand, and the relative sizes of the mercurial and hydrogenic electrons are like a cart wheel compared to a full stop. When the medium declared that these particles can be dematerialized and put as much