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can lead call fire from flint. The fault, however, is in the lead. Transmute it to steel, and see the bright fiery effect ! It takes some conservatives a lifetime to learn the folly of trying to twist ropes from sand, or of coaxing ice to kiss buds into May-blooms. Jesus said, ‘All mine are thine, and thine are mine;' and during that precious Pentecostal hour, when the divine afflatus streamed from angelic abodes, not only 'many believed,' but they were so baptized into those unselfish influences that obtain in the spirit-world, that they resolved to have all things in common.' This was divine altruism. When these universal love-principles are practically outlived, the soil will be free to all to cultivate as is the air to breathe; gardens will bloom for the poor, highways be planted with fruit-trees, and orphans find homes in all houses. Bigotry, too, will perish; superstition furl its crimson flag; prison-walls crumble to dust; tyranny die on the plains of freedom; and the cannon's mouth be wreathed with white roses,- symbols of perpetual peace."
A peculiarity in Mr. Peebles's character, which his friends have often construed as a weakness, is his excessive generosity. He is pained at the sight of distress, and his natural impulse is to go to the bottom of his pockets to relieve it. Often has he given to the unworthy. He does not discriminate. No one who appeals to him in his extremity is turned away empty-handed, if it is in his power to relieve him.
He gives but very little thought to that "rainy-day" that lies prospectively in the future. He has a poor "knack” for the details of business, or for the saving or laying up for the possible needs of old age. The hand that gives out is more cunning than the hand that gathers in. Thousands of dollars has he given outright or loaned and lost to help co-workers in the Spiritual cause. Hundreds has he given away where he expected no return. He is benevolent. When his sympathy is touched, his pocket is liable to be raided. Yet he has never been without food, nor raiment, nor shelter. His soul is all the richer for this spontaneous outflow of his sympathies, since, through these, thousands have become endeared to him.
Scores of public speakers and mediums feel a lasting gratitude for favors and wise co'incil he has given them. Young speakers have often followed him from place to place, and through his teachings and encouragement many have graduated into fields of public usefulness.
From the many testimonials we quote from a private letter of Cephas B. Lynn's:
“ His kindness toward young media, more especially those struggling for usefulness on the rostrum, has been a marked feature in his career as a teacher of the Spiritual Philosophy. In fact, he is looked up to with the utmost reverence, and loved most tenderly, by scores of young lecturers in our ranks. I could name ten or twelve who acknowledge that Mr. Peebles has been the leading instrumentality in advancing them in spiritual graces, and inducting them into active public labors. Blessings upon him for this! I gladly affirm my indebtedness to him in this respect; and my prayer is, that the Spiritualists of the country will see the wisdom of placing funds at his command; so that through him young media suited for the Spiritual ministry may receive that discipline and culture so essential to success.”
But he has not always discriminated with an angel's ken, for he sometimes erred on the side of charity. All who knocked at his soul-doors were admitted without question ; but later he found among these a few "pewter spoons " and "lines of dangerous compositions." Thus, like the Nazarene, he has often taken the sins of others upon his shoulders and vicariously received the “stripes” through which others have been healed. He is optimistic. He has always been disposed to look upon the angel side of human nature, and trusted it, that the world might feel the heart of the crushed and fallen to be as pure and heavenly as his own.
He has recognized the possible in human life, and to the best in human nature he has always appealed. He is not disposed to criticise nor magnify failures. He has never applied the lash to people who have been overtaken in their misdeeds, excepting, perhaps, fraudulent mediums, and so brought them
under the ban of society. The punishment of misdirection will be ample enough without the frowns and criticism of professed reformers. We should not be too hasty to condemn for a temporary relapse from virtue. None of us are wholly without sin. It is sufficient for us if we constantly hold before the mind an ideal of the chaste and beautiful, while we likewise strive for its attainment. The divine dream which waits yet unfulfilled has a greater charm than the good we have already. Sometime, we know not when, that dream will take form beside us. We love those who voice our highest aspirations, even though their words often accuse us. Our true friend and lover is he who overlooks our lesser selves and cherishes only that which is ideal in us. Few people wish to be known for what they actually are, but rather for what they aspire to be. We value a friend often in proportion as he declines to recognize our faults, and who points us to our possible attainments. We are seldom, or never in love with the bald face of fact, but we are charmed and bound with possible glories that lie concealed behind the human face. We shall never be able to interpret rightly the thoughts or actions of a friend if we lose sight of that towards which he is growing. Hear our brother's testimony again:
"Beautiful in effect is the medium of love to the morally diseased. It works by an infinitude of methods, but always to redemptive ends. When fires, fagots, clanking chains, and gloomy penitentiaries had all failed to reform, the ' still, small voice' of love and sympathy has touched the heart-strings, opened a new fountain, and redeemed the most obdurate. Says a European writer, ‘Love is the instrument that the Almighty reserved to conquer rebellious man when all the rest had failed. Reason he parries; fear he answers blow for blow; but love is the sun against whose melting beams winter can not stand. This soft, subduing influence wrestles down the giant; there is not one human being in a million, not a thousand in all earth's huge quintillion, whose stony heart can withstand the power of love.' This principle, wielded by William Penn, tamed the Indian's soul, and tuned his heart to throb alone
in kindness; wielded by the benignant Howard, it made prisons in Europe schools of reform; by the great-hearted Oberlin, it transformed many by-corners of pollution in the old world into gardens of beauty; and, by and through Elizabeth Fry, it filled the inmates in houses of refuge and 'asylums of outcasts' with those higher thoughts and purer ideas, as sure to produce those elevating influences as are the lightnings to do their missioned work. Physical force may override, and powerful nations may conquer weaker ones; but love as a motive power combined with wisdom can alone subdue, promoting that harmony so indispensable to spiritual growth. It is all the power ever employed by God, Christ, or angels in the divine order of subjugating; being the deepest, divinest, and mightiest principle in the universe."
Wherever he goes, he is in the habit of taking little children into his arms, laying his hands upon their heads in blessing, as did the Nazarene, conscious that " of such is the kingdom of heaven."
He has taken a deep interest in boys and young men, seeking their companionship, and entering into their joyous sports. Whenever practicable he has employed these, and encouraged them in many ways. Walking the streets of Boston in 1869, elbowing his way through the jostling crowd, he met a youth, just in his teens, pale, nervous, and emaciated. “ Boy,” he said with a piercing look and tender tone of voice,
eat coarse bread, drink pure water, bathe in cold water every night, think heavenly thoughts, sleep on a hard bed, rise early, and work temperately. Remember, boy! I am a doctor. I know you, and yet I love you."
Walking the streets of St. Louis, he met a bright-eyed girl tripping along at a dancing pace, humming a tune and swinging her arms. Though a stranger, he stopped her, spoke a tender word, lifted her in his arms and kissed her, saying, “Now, be good; for you are a little angel of love. O, how I love children!” The girl was very happy as she went skipping along her way.
In a Portland audience, 1869, where Mr. Peebles was lec
turing, sat a negro contraband, John N. Still, listening most earnestly. At evening, the sable brother timidly introduced himself, stating that he knew him because he saw him in a vision three years before as the “Horace Greeley of Spiritualism;” that he was a school-teacher of Virginia; was ordered by the Spirit to “Go North, go North!” His spiritual experiences were most remarkable. After hearing them, and delivering his lecture, Mr. Peebles brought the Southerner to the stand, briefly telling his story for him, saying, “ The Indian is my brother, the white man is my brother, the negro is my brother we are brothers all ;” and then he appealed to his auditors with a pathos that probed the very fountains of their hearts, raising for him a generous contribution ; when Mr. Peebles bade him go on his way again to the South, rejoicing to “sow the seed of this gospel of education and angel ministries among the freed blacks.” The good brother wept with joy, made a happy speech, and, under that light, returned to his task.
Here are some of the word-seeds sown in the bosoms of true friends, which we have found in forgotten letters. The clergyman referred to below is Rev.
"PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 6, 1869. “Bitter were the tears I saw him shed more than once. His education in the English Church, and then as a Baptist, made him what he is. Spirits are trying now to unmake him, for the purpose of making him over in part; but I believe him a truthful, honest, sincere man, having about him streaks of vanity and other follies. Who is perfect? If the laziest devil in hell should roll over in his brimstone bed, and ask for help, I should help him. The public might not approve; but I know of no dear public' not constituted of individuals.
" It may be a weakness in me, but everybody must be aided, saved, by somebody; and then I have a deep sympathy for clergymen leaving their old shells of theology."
The following words of his beloved John may have had somewhat to do in predisposing his mind towards the divine charities :