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XVI

SOCIAL CORRESPONDENCE

“ It is a little thing to speak a word of common comfort,

That by daily use hath almost lost its sense;
Yet, on the ear of him who thought to die unmourned,
'Twill fall like choicest music."

Letters reveal, somewhat, the inner life of both the writer and recipient, as also the manner in which we stand related to the world through our friendships. Not achievements alone can determine another's value to us. We render a service toward the uplifting of our fellows more by what we suggest than by what we do. True, what we are has an import to our fellow men; but what we aspire toward and strive for are matters of transcendent importance. We love those who have similar ideals with ourselves. Especially do we love those who admonish us of our own possibilities, and who will not be content with the poor estimate we put upon ourselves. It does not matter if we forget what we have been and what we are, but what we shall be should be ever kept in front like a white mountain peak, to gain the summit of which we should devote ourselves with unwearied diligence.

Mr. Peebles's private correspondence has been voluminous, extending to people of every profession of life and to all enlightened nations. One of his most intimate friends and counselors was Hon. J. G. Waite, of Sturgis, Mich. He loves to recall the happy interviews with Revs. Higginson, Towne, Frothingham, Chas. Beecher, Thomas K. Beecher, and with the political honorables who rendered him favors connected with the Spiritual gospel,- Sec. Fish, Senators Howard of Michigan, Harris of Louisiana, Honest Ben Wade of Ohio, and Prof. Worthen, State geologist of Illinois. From a large number of private letters we select the following:

COURTLAND, N. Y., Jan. 31, 1863. “DEAR MR. PEEBLES,— Have you forgotten taking a young man aside in Courtland, several years ago, and telling him the very thoughts of his soul? Oh, those kind hopeful words! God only knows how much I owe you for the interest you manifested at that trying period of my life. All that I am, or nearly so, I am indebted to you for.

Our publishing house is in a flourishing condition. “Most sincerely,

H. S. CLARKE."

“ La Crosse, Wis., Sept, 3, 1863. “My Dear PEEBLES, — This morning I received a kind letter from you, which took me in the arms of memory like a child back to the olden days of budding anticipations. Am glad to hear from you. My heart sinks down into old scenes, memories, and incidents, as one sinks to rest in a bed of down. The printing office; the ride to Athens; the scared woman whose babies and pigs we did not run over; the visit to Towanda; the improvement to your sermon! Well, well, time has borne those days to the rear, and still the fight goes on. You were one of my saviors.

“I am older than when we last met. My eyes are wider open. The world and I have skirmished and battled; but, on the whole, I am ahead. Glad to hear you are coming out this way. The heart is still in the same friendly place for you as

of yore.

“I shall publish one or two books before spring; and, as you will read them, you will have an idea of what kind of a man (in theory) the boy you used to speak so kindly to in the East makes in the West. Write me.

“ With the best, earnest wishes for your health, happiness, and prosperity, “I am the same,

MARK M. POMEROY, “ Otherwise · Brick'Pomeroy."

The following note from Bishop Clark (Episcopalian) was addressed our "Peace Brother," L. K. Joslyn, who introduced Mr. Peebles to him as a “Representative Spiritualist: ".

PROVIDENCE, R. I., Dec. 10, 1864. “DEAR SIR,- I shall be happy to see the Rev. Mr. Peebles at any time that he may find it convenient to call. I am interested in occult subjects. I expect to be absent from town on Tuesday, and until the latter part of the week. I mention this in order that he may not call while I am away. “Respecifully yours,

THOMAS M. CLARK." Speaking of the conversation with Mr. Clark, about the truth of spirit manifestation, Mr. Peebles reports him as saying,

“'You are just designed to traverse the country, and scatter seed to get the golden fruit; but I,' said the bishop, 'instead of scattering the seed, am content to cautiously graft into the old trunk; and, if I put in too many grafts, they will absorb the juices and spoil the whole tree.”

The author of this is the wife of Rev. C. F. Dodge (Universalist). She accompanied it with an accurate and interesting psychometric delineation of Mr. Peebles's character:

“ PALMYRA, Wis., June 19, 1865. “DEAR BROTHER AND FRIEND,— . I thank you for the interest manifest in our behalf. I hear the words, ‘Come up higher; ' but the way I know not. I felt strengthened by your presence and teachings, during the brief visit, and felt then as if I would say out loud,' 'I am a Spiritualist.' If I understand my own heart, I have but little smypathy with the creeds now prevailing, can not feel the interest in denominational matters that I once did. The scale seems to me an ascending one. . . Your visit here was a streak of sunshine to my sister, Mrs. Bunker, as well as to us. "Truly yours,

C. H. DODGE.” Wishing to post himself in the standard ancient works, Mr. Peebles, in the fall of 1865, called on Ralph Waldo Emerson, the philosopher of Concord. Giving him the desired literary information, these moralizers talked about the “Spiritual movement.” Writing of this happy interview, Mr. Peebles reports: —

.

" This ‘Sage of Concord' said, 'The universe is to me one grand spirit manifestation;... but as to the minor, the specialties so to speak, I shall have to refer you to Mrs. Emerson, who is much interested in these spiritual matters,' especially the experiences of Swedenburg."

" CHICAGO, March 10, 1866. "DEAR BROTHER,— I was just thinking how patient God must have been to wait so long for fullest working out of ultimates from commingling primates. And then I thought the reason why is obvious enough; because He seeks a principle. Those only lack faith and get out of patience, who have not entered into the holy of holies' of ever-unfolding life. To understand a principle is eternal life. No man can have pure * Platonic love,' unless he has climbed the topmost peak of unfolded principle. ...

“The truth shall make you free.' The unfolding of principle shall make you free. Nobody can bear and forbear, up to the divine standard of human needs, unless he sees clearly into, and all the way through, the principle, or the nature, of things. Nobody can comprehend the divine standard which turns the 'other cheek,' except him who has learned beyond the region of approximates. ... You are the vacuum of appreciation into which my spirit can flow and find a restingplace.

SETH Paine." “STURGIS, Mich., June 24, 1866. “My Dear BROTHER PEEBLES,— Yes; I think we shall have a good time at the State Convention in Battle Creek. We certainly shall if we are all in the right spirit; if we seek not any personal end, but only the amelioration and elevation of ourselves and our fellowmen. I know you, at least, will so seek the precious good of our dear humanity, for your soul is afire with divine love. My country is the world; my kindred, all mankind; and, though we are all imperfect, I feel that most of us who will gather there will come to the great work

of the age.

Cordially,

SELDEN J. FINNEY."

"Chicago, Sept, 21, 1866. “ESTEEMED BROTHER J. M. PEEBLES - ... How cheering! we have in our midst noble souls, whose tested morality, purified sympathies, and holy affections combine in earnest, practical work,— whose influences casts a shadow of sunshine.

.. Were it not for this fact, the bitterness of the dark side of Spiritualism would cause us to retire from public labors, sorrowful at the tardy movements of so-called reformers. But the issues of the hour bid us be faithful at the post of duty, discriminating between the true and the false, within and without.

ALCINDA WILHELM."

“ PUTNAM, Oct. 9, 1866. “ DEAR BROTHER PEEBLES,— God bless you for your kind letter, so much needed. How I love your beautiful teachings! You are inspired from above. It seems as though you are my elder brother; and in my teaching I can come to you for counsel. ... Thine,

A. E. CARPENTER."

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“BRIDGEWATER, VT., Oct. 12, 1866. “ BROTHER PEEBLES,– . . You say you are

almost a Shaker in theory, perfectly so in practice;' that the idea of freedom of the affections has been a bone of contention,' etc. I believe in freedom of affection ; but not indulgence of lusts under the name of Love. In this we agree. ... To me, the honest recognition of this philosophy of soul-union is of the utmost importance. When men believe it, they will not degrade their manhood, and insult the brute creation with such indulgences as now fill the land with depravity. There then will not be as many divorce cases as now. May the dear angels bless you and long keep you as pure, true, and good as I know your soul desires to be!

"M. S. TOWNSEND."

The following extract was written just after the stormy convention of Spiritualists in Chicago. The author was formerly one of the editors of The Spiritual Age. Has not the able brother told us the truth? Has there not been a “ daubing with untempered mortar?”

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