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THE “CHAIN OF PEARLS"
"Have ye heard, have ye heard, of the angel of love,
Who, with glory of princess and grace of a dove,
- Spiritual Pilgrim.
After an absence of eighteen months in California — in the summer of 1862 Mr. Peebles returned to his family and the scene of his regular labors in Battle Creek, with health recuperated, and with his experiences much enlarged touching the mental and spiritual needs of this various world.
When he stepped upon the stand to renew his ministerial labors, amid so many smiling faces, the choir sung two original songs, composed by Mrs. D. M. Brown, reviewing the departure and return
“We would welcome thee, our brother,
Welcome thee from o'er the sea;
That we know attended thee.
Safe returned from distant lands;
Binds us close in friendship's bands.
Welcome thee from distant lands."
This heart welcome with the people with whom he had labored four years was very grateful to him. During that eighteen months' absence he had written a chapter in his book of life. He had caught glimpses of the exuberant freedom of
a people suddenly brought in contact with the wild and rugged scenery of the far West. He had studied human nature under entirely different conditions, where the customary restraints were withdrawn. He had been very close to Nature's great heart and felt the pulsing tides of a new inspiration. A new page of Nature's volume had been opened to his inspection. Standing now before a congregation at once sympathetic and receptive, the relations of pastor and people were indeed very pleasant.
Our brother now felt that he was on the threshold of a most successful career of public labor; that his path was soon to become comparatively free from bowlders. He saw that the rank and file of the American population were breaking with the old creeds and drifting toward a more liberal phase of thought. He did not, however, fully measure the individualistic tendencies of this liberalizing power, or sufficiently take into consideration the fact that these forces would become divided into hostile camps; that bitterness, jealousies, criticism and recriminations would greatly mar the harmonious advance of free and independent thought. Nor did he realize to what extent Spiritualists would become divided among themselves on questions of marriage, evil spirits, reincarnation, Christian Spiritualism, materialization, etc. Indeed, he has long since realized that he had much more to contend with inside than outside the ranks; that the principal thorns and bowlders he has encountered have been chiefly due to jealousies and criticisms from fellow-workers in the same common cause. And it will not be attempted to deny that a share of this has been directed toward our brother in consequence of his own independent mode of spiritual warfare. He wields a sharp and caustic pen, and gives pretty free latitude to his contempt for the persons and principles on the other side. But this is all a "paper warfare” so far as he is concerned. He never cherishes real hatred in his heart toward
Mr. Peebles now sought to be put in direct communication
with his guides through his long-tried medium, E. C. Dunn. Now that his health was improved and his spiritual sensitivity much enhanced, he asked with much confidence whether his life line would not now be drawing toward more sunny paths. “I have been to California,” he added, " under your approval. I have done my work there, have a more practical appreciation of human deeds, and have returned, as you see, quite vigorous and full of faith. What say you now? Are not matters altogether more promising?”
One of the members of his spirit band, Perasee Lendanta, had mentally forecast the trial-scenes rising in view, and showed them to his brother, Aaron Nite, then speaker for the silent band :
“No, friend Peebles," said Mr. Nite," your pathway is begirt with thorns, and jagged rocks will pierce your feet : your horoscope just before us is rough and stormy. throw around your neck a chain of pearls,- pearls which reflect your life, your plans, thoughts, purposes, deeds. All things are dual. These spiritually reflect your outer life, as your spiritual sensorium reflects your inner life. Symbolically, you are chained by these beautiful pearls.
“A lady friend of yours, clad in robes of purity, known among us as 'Queen of Morn,' and in your world as “Madame Elizabeth,' sister of Louis XVI of France, from this chain, which I put around your neck, has suspended a cross, indicative of trials and crucifixions in your pilgrimage. But be of good cheer, you shall overcome, and every sorrow will give fragrance to the bud that blossoms over your heart."
Not many months after, Madame d'Obeney, a celebrated traveler and Spiritualist, met Mr. Peebles in the East, and surprised him with a gift, significant of the pearls mentioned by the spirits, consisting of a string of beads, carved from the wood of an olive tree that grew on Mt. Olivet, in the very garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed that the bitter cup might pass from him. He then had a cross made, after the pattern shown by the spirits,— the front of it of
beautiful pearl, the back of pure gold, on which were en-
AARON NITE. John W. LEONARD. Mr. Peebles wears the string of olive beads around his neck, screened from the public eye, but the cross is at times exposed. Many an iconoclast has jeered at his cross, taunting him with the soubriquet of “Catholic,” “Episcopal priest,” “Your Christian Highness," and the like; and in one instance a jealous aspirant proposed to send him a string of Catholic beads. From all such Mr. Peebles kept his own secret, conscious it is imprudent to “cast your pearls before swine." Those olive beads continually remind him of the spiritual chain of pearls which the spirits put around his neck, admonishing him as to his “life, thoughts, purposes, and deeds," — how to keep these unstained. The cross: the pearl of wisdom, the gold of love! Every name engraved thereon is associated with hallowed associations.
To the average Spiritualist the symbol of the cross is simply associated with Christian dogmas which he hates. But to Mr. Peebles this symbol has but a very small share of associations purely Christian. It was a significant symbol in all the ancient Esoteric Brotherhoods, and from archeological evidences brought forward through the researches of Higgins, Rawlinson, Bunsen, and others, it was recognized and had a very important meaning to the prehistoric peoples of the globe. The cross was a sacred mystic symbol associated with all the ancient religions. When the Spanish conquerors entered Mexico, they found it in possession of the natives, who had it from time immemorial, their traditions connecting it with their Messiah, Quetzalcoatle. Four species of the cross have been handed down from very ancient time; the Greek cross, also early known in Assyria, Egypt, Persia, and found on old Etruscan ruins; the crux, or St. Andrew's cross, also
widely distributed; the Latin cross, found on coins and medals long before Christ; the tau, a very ancient phallic emblem which symbolized life, renewal, and immortality.
The cross was likewise very early employed as an astronomical symbol. The earth is represented under a cross, or in its stage of tribulation. For the planet Venus the symbol for the earth was reversed, the cross being placed under the orb to indicate that the people of that morning star enjoyed immunity from the trials incident to the people of earth. To the symbol of Venus the planet Mercury has the crescent added. The symbol of Jupiter is the crescent and the cross placed side by side, while that of Saturn is an S horizontally reversed and surmounted with a cross.
Those Spiritualists who limit the significance of this symbol to Christian dogma, and object to its use on that account, display a most pitiful ignorance. If a Hottentot regards geometric symbols as meaningless and absurd, there is no reason why they may not be very useful to the mathematician. There is
There is a language in symbolism which the wise may readily interpret quite independent of written speech.
This chain of pearls our brother will wear to the end of his pilgrimage. Let the profane jeer; the good and the true will revere this sibylline oracle which only the pure in heart can interpret.
When in New York, soon after this interview with spirits, Mr. Peebles called on W. P. Anderson, spirit-artist, who drew a likeness of Madame Elizabeth. To his surprise, a chain, similar to the one she had pictured to his mental vision, was around her neck. The artist paints her in one of her aspirational moods, wearing upon her beautiful brow a gemmed crown.
Soon after procuring the much-prized likeness, Mr. Peebles was one day indifferently walking the streets of Boston, when, of a sudden, he wheeled into an antiquarian library, having no thought of being spiritually influenced, and was impressed to search for the Bhagavat Geeta. Failing to find it, he turned to go out, and, in passing, was drawn instinc