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“Upward evolutions are through effort. Everything that grows grasses, grains, forests — pushes upward against the law of gravitation. The higher is attained only through struggle. All the diverse experiences of life serve to demonstrate, that the impediments thrown in the way of individual advancement may be overcome by steady good conduct, honest convictions, active perseverance, and a determined resolution to surmount all difficulties, and stand up manfully against all misfortunes.
“Leaning, everlastingly leaning, upon somebody is soft and waxy as putty. Would to heaven we could infuse a moral decoction of spinal stiffening into the American multitude ! Bless the man or woman that dares say 110, and
squarely! Strike out! Planting your feet upon the platform of eternal principles, fight Life's moral battles earnestly, sincerely, bravely; certain then will be the victory.
“‘By the thorn-road, and no other,
Is the mount of triumph won.
Jesus trod it; press thou on!'” Up to the time we are now writing Mr. Peebles was comparatively poor in this world's goods. He never cared for money save for the beneficent uses it might subserve, and has always been careless in the expenditure of the small amount of means at his command. Especially has he been lavish of money in the purchasing of books, for these he has justly considered as the tools essential to his work. He is a spiritual artist,
"Building better than he knew,
The conscious stones to beauty grew." The picture he has been painting has that peculiar "glow described by Olive Shreiner, which has caused many people to marvel from whence he obtained his costly "pigments." From day to day the glow becomes brighter on that picture. From day to day the mask which the soul wears becomes fainter and fainter, while the lineaments of the ideal man stand
out with ever-increasing distinctness.
A marvelous pattern has been before his eyes all these years, and with toil and diligence he has been gathering stones and fitting them in a manner that they may fill the outlines of that pattern. A member of his spirit band once wrote for him through a scribe at Erie, Penn., the following flaming sentences:
“ Labor is our word to thee. Women of holier climes than the earth knoweth of, came here at early dawn, opened the golden gateway of love, sat down in the robes of white, holding sweet counsel together. One calling for bread of thy own forming, called not in vain. She appeareth at this hour; changed her apparel from the early morning, for death to the past conditions was given in her own rendition of a soulanthem, and health to the new spoken of. Beautiful, expressive loves she uttereth. Accept all these ovation leaves from women of wonderful powers. The uniting of forces is known to give that completeness which must be known to insure long life of health.
“Eliza W. Farnum stood, opening wide the door, standing in a new air generated from forces of thy own loves. She hath contemplated in vision the whole outlines of that glorious Power which is to stand forth on the coming seasons, and now attempteth nothing, so wrapt in awe is the soul light. She careth not to speak, save to say: ‘All hath been wisely rendered. A wise provision is made for all. Days of fruition will come to thee, so let it be spoken in halls of wisdom.'
“After Columbus discovered America, the whole world, as it were, was ablaze with fires, with smiling countenances. A Love was born into a new realm of life. Columbus, we call thee, O man, in a sense far deeper than we can express in earth language. New-found lands are made the compensation for many weary hours of labor. New-found, living in the air of the olden, yet hidden from mortal vision, found rare and holy in all the parts. We speak to thee in riddles now, but the future will give open light of knowledge. Columbus holdeth a compass over thy path and will conduct thy footsteps to that
land of the olden where a new page will be open to thy inspection."
Build thee more stately mansions, o
Leave thy low-vaulted Past!
Till thou at length art free,
The advent of modern Spiritualism brought to the American people at once a transcendent blessing and an imminent peril! It made the occult realm accessible to the millions who possessed no practical knowledge of the laws which govern the spiritual domain. Whether we shall be blest or cursed in seeking open communion with the spirit-world depends upon our motives, our relative understanding of the spiritual laws, and upon our various bodily and mental states. If we seek this communication out of curiosity or motives of purely selfseeking, we necessarily attract a class of selfish influences who are in a position where they can take us at a disadvantage and work us irreparable injury. Nor can our own invisibles protect us when we ourselves get out of the law by pursuing our own selfish ends. Our guardians assist us in every worthy work. When we become unworthy in the pursuit of personal pleasure, they step aside and leave us to dig the pits into which we are liable to fall. That infesting influences have taken advantage of mortals in a large number of instances, the evidence, alas, is too overwhelming to be seriously doubted! He who approaches this shrine unworthily treads upon dangerous ground. We are cautious about leaving edge tools within the reach of our children; but dabbling with the occult, with little or no knowledge of the forces we are evoking, is like handling
edge tools that are endowed with an infernal and selfdetermined power to harm us.
Then there are undoubtedly thousands of people subject to infestations who have no knowledge of or interest in the phenomena of Spiritualism. Through abnormal sexualism and other vices they have broken down their organic defenses and become an easy prey to obsessing influences from the darker demon spheres. Of all the gateways that open directly into the infernalities of the occult realm, an excessive and abnormal sexuality is the widest, and through this gate by far the largest number of victims throng. Through these degrading vices the body becomes a ruin, haunted by ghouls that riot in the small remnant of life force which remains in the body of the unhappy devotee of pleasure. Beware of the web the wary spirit weaves to steal virtue!
William Howitt, clear-headed and morally religious, after summing up an array of stubborn facts, says, in reference to “infestation :
“Nothing has become better known through the physicospiritual experiences which have been taking place in thousands of spots on almost every quarter of the globe during the last twenty years, than that we can not only call spirits from the vasty deep,' but that they can come, when we do call (and too often when we do not), if they can but once quaff the vital spirit of the blood through us as mediums. They will come in legions, and in armies, only too glad to renew their connection with the material world. They will come as if delighted to feel their hold once more on material force. They will come with all their old characters, passions, and weaknesses, and revel in lies, in pretenses, in mystifications, ana often in lawless fun, or even wicked and diabolical annoyances; showing that the regions lying close on the other side of the invisible boundary betwixt matter and spirit are still the counterpart of the regions on this side.
“Nothing is clearer than that those spirits who are haunting the very edge of this earth are still too much allied to it; are still earthly in mind and desire; are still longing, with a backward glance, 'for the flesh-pots of Egypt.' Like the souls of Gray's Elegy,' they have left the warm precincts of the