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They earnestly entreated me to remain so that the college students and
representative persons could get a glimpse of me; but I refused all
their entreaties. When they found that I had power to leave them
instantly, they besought me to remain for a few last words.

"Shall we not see you again?" affectingly asked the astronomer.

I told them that I expected to spend eternity in the kingdom of our God
who made all the stars and worlds, and holds each in its respective
place. "If you are pure in heart to Him," I continued, "there can be no
doubt but that we shall see one another again in that happy celestial
center where our eyes will be our telescopes, where our pure hearts will
assent to the Fatherhood of God, and where our souls will be quickened
at the universal fountain of Love."




CHAPTER V.

Beautiful Saturn.


A delightfully busy world next met my gaze. Saturn, supreme in love,
with its mysterious rings and its eight moons, now held my attention and
won my admiration.

This world is almost as large as Jupiter, and its soil is more fertile.
The inhabitants resemble us in physical appearance, except that they are
twice our size.

Like Jupiter, it is enveloped in thick semi-liquid clouds which are
never at rest. This changing atmosphere causes continual friction of
particles, and this serves to produce sufficient heat to counteract the
frigid blasts that would otherwise freeze out the whole planet. These
atmospheric conditions attracted my attention to a great degree. I
estimated as best I could, and ascertained that Saturn receives as much
heat from this peculiar atmosphere as our Earth receives from the Sun.

As I found it on Jupiter, so I found it here. The human eye is so
constructed that it seems to have more than an X-ray power, for it can
look through this atmosphere as readily as we can peer through ours.

The air of Saturn, being so thick, contains much natural nourishment,
and the inhabitants are sustained largely by breathing. This reminded me
of the manner in which our fish flourish in the waters of our globe.

Marvelous indeed are the possibilities of life. I now had before me new
problems to solve, for natural laws have but a limited expression in our
own world. Here science puts on new garments, but they are all cut in
harmony with universal laws.

Woman is the ruling genius of this planet. Being untrammeled for a few
thousand years, she has attained a higher glory than her sex has reached
in any world of our Solar System.

As you scan the honor rolls of Saturn, reading the list of the eminent
leaders in science, art and philosophy, you will readily observe that
woman has forged to the front. She also sits upon the principal thrones
of temporal power.

Woman's beauty on Saturn is surpassing. It reaches a higher degree of
perfection than any of the myriad types of beauty on this enchanting
world. When I first opened my eyes on these scenes, I imagined that I
had reached Heaven, but, to my chagrin, I soon found the black marks of
sin that stain the whole planet.

The illustrious inventors of Saturn, living and dead, make a long list,
which is headed by the name of Veorda, a woman of marvelous intellect.
She looked into the mysteries of nature with a shrewd, wizard eye, but,
unfortunately, lost her life early in a bold experiment with explosives.
However, before she reached her much-lamented end, she had won enough
honor to outshine all inventors in the whole history of Saturn.

She was the sole inventor of all explosives, and she had learned how to
operate them without making any noise or smoke. This proved a valuable
aid to factories and quarries, and particularly in the handling of fire
arms, of which Saturn has a very strange collection.

Before Veorda was born the flying machine had been invented and used.
But aerial travel was soon abandoned owing to some terrible accidents
that had occurred. During the earlier part of her career Veorda labored
assiduously until she overcame a few difficulties and thereby perfected
the flying machine.

[Illustration: An Air Ship on Saturn.]

It was a day of international rejoicing when her perfected machine
sailed over the governments of Saturn. The invention stood every test
and at once air traffic was resumed and maintained. When this woman died
the governments erected to her memory the finest and costliest monument
that now stands on the whole world of Saturn. Of course, I went to see
it. As I stood studying the poetry of the pillars, I looked overhead and
saw one of the immense aerial ships carrying a pleasure party to a
distant point. I cannot describe my feelings as I lingered in the
presence of the sleeping dust and saw the imperishable influence of her
thoughts still working for her, in a carnal sense, "a more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory."

Yet with all this homage paid to Veorda, I cannot believe that she is
more illustrious than the present living wizard of our world, the
notable Edison.

Veorda lived and died a devoted worshipper of "The Great Influence," or
God, and it is delightful to think that we shall associate with such
great minds in our eternal abode in that Broader Life where the pure of
all spheres gather. Will I do wrong if I quote that sublime beatitude,
making it applicable to all worlds? "Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God."

The written language of Saturn resembles the Chinese character language,
only it is much more smooth and more complete.

The Shakespeare of that planet is a woman called Ziek-dod who has been
dead twelve hundred years. Her writings have been quoted and esteemed as
masterpieces all through these ages. Her style is singular, resembling
the proverbs of Solomon, with a little more ornament in the language.

As to the subject matter, her epigrammatic sentences are grouped and
classified with an accuracy that is both pleasing and popular. At
intervals the reader is treated with a sprinkling of alliterative
sentences.

Ziek-dod shines as an eternal star among the great names of her world.
Like Veorda, she was pure-hearted and possessed fine moral and spiritual
qualities. She passed out into that Broader Life where language is
sweeter and thoughts are more holy.

In music I noticed the most radical departures. The popular home
instrument is larger than our organ and has nearly one hundred keys
arranged somewhat like the keyboard of a typewriter.

These keys and their combinations are capable of rendering sounds to
correspond with every syllable found in their words. A proper
familiarity with these sounds is a part of every child's training on
Saturn.

When one plays on this instrument every sound struck on the keys
represents a certain vowel-consonant sound. Thus the listener hears the
sounds more distinctly than we hear the words of a phonograph.

Under such conditions a musician is capable of interpreting his exact
feelings when manipulating the keys. He talks to his listeners with
organ sounds. The great poet musicians can breathe out their
inspirations in rapturous melodies. On special occasions famous
musicians are employed to render original selections. Addresses and
lectures are also given in this manner with very pleasing results.

The Saturnites know nothing of the Telephone, Telegraph, or Phonograph.
But for carrying messages they have a signal system by which
intelligence is flashed from one point to another with great rapidity.

Saturn has eight moons and is surrounded with the rings which have made
it famous from the time the planet was first seen through the telescope.
These rings and moons are inhabited by a type of human beings altogether
different from those that live on the planet, and are distinctly visible
to the dwellers of Saturn by means of powerful telescopes.

The human beings on the rings are not able to watch their neighbors in
space, having no instruments to carry their vision beyond the
boundaries of their own peculiar abodes.

The most picturesque sight of all the Solar System is seen as you stand
on Saturn, and watch the rings and the eight moons chasing one another
in the heavens above you.

The inhabitants of this beautiful world believe that the soul of each
God-adorer at death passes out into the spirit life on the rings where
it will continue in a blissful existence until the final judgment.

The religious life of Saturn is officially controlled by men. There are
many creeds, each with its own devoted followers. The leading church of
this world was not organized until seven thousand years after religious
life took a distinctive form. Then a man named Trique, who was a shrewd
student of the times, after a careful study of the weaknesses found in
existing religious bodies, and after amassing enormous wealth in
business, founded a new church on a neat, practical business plan which
may thus be briefly described in terms and figures of our own language.

Trique had a fortune of two hundred millions which, by investment,
netted him twenty millions annually. These net earnings he used to
establish his new denomination. He commenced operations simultaneously
at the capitol of each of the four governments of Saturn, and at each
place built two magnificent churches, costing one million dollars
apiece. It took over three years of our time to build these eight
churches. Before one year had expired he had started fifty other
churches in the centers of Saturn's population. These churches averaged
in cost three hundred thousand dollars each. Thus the plan continued,
ever starting new structures until all Saturn was decorated with the
churches of Trique, even village edifices costing from ten to
twenty-five thousand dollars. So much for the mere outward part of the
church which anybody might create if he had recourse to such enormous
wealth.

Before Trique commenced any one of his buildings, he canvassed the whole
community for charter members of his church. These were composed of two
classes, spiritual and connected. This canvassing was done by the
finest scholars that Trique could employ. Each one was supposed to be
the pastor of the community he canvassed. The conditions of the charter
membership were easy to meet. All that was required for connected
membership was a good moral life and a lip confession of the faith.

On account of the superior advantages offered by the Trique church it
grew steadily from the beginning. I will here append a few
characteristics of the organization:

1. The church takes care of all its members during sickness, furnishing
a physician and all necessary medicines free of charge. The church owns
drug stores and graduates its own physicians.

2. The church has its own salaried undertakers, and defrays all funeral
expenses.

3. The church supplies a moral and spiritual education to all the
children of its members. This school does a work similar to our
Sunday-school, only it is held daily and is under a trained corps of
paid teachers.

For all these advantages each member is required to give to the church
one-eleventh of his earnings and to attend the services of the church
and co-operate with the pastor in the advancement of all spiritual work.

The church keeps a perpetual record of the attendance and the work done
by each member.

It required a man of large business capacity to launch such a church
with its radically new principles. But Trique's immense wealth was a
powerful force when utilized in this manner. He made every church a
strong business center commanding the respect of the whole community.
Discipline was rigidly enforced. No member cared to be expelled from
such a church. It meant a going out from under a warm cover at the
approach of winter.

Fortunately, Trique was a clean, spiritual man and strongly urged a
spiritual ministry and membership.

It can be seen why this church grew so rapidly. In fifty years it became
so powerful that it could control, if it wished, the legislation in
nearly all the sections of the planet.

I have given but a brief picture of this ruling church. It must suffice.
I may add that one must not imagine the church services and forms in
Saturn to be like our worship. All things are so different that it would
take much space and time to describe them.

For beauty of natural scenery, Saturn surpasses all the Solar System.
Its air is of a different composition from ours, and its sky puts on
various tints as the day passes, which is a little over ten hours of our
time, but it takes nearly thirty of our years to make one on Saturn.

The immense mountain ranges present a picture of unusual beauty. The
leaves of trees are rich in velvety varieties and the undergrowth
appears as if trimmed by skilled hands. This is a desirable place to
live. But I learned that the inhabitants of Saturn do not appreciate all
this wealth of beauty, in its atmosphere or on its earth, a whit more
than the people of our world appreciate the sin cursed scenery which
greets their eyes.




CHAPTER VI.

The Nearest Fixed Star.


All that was required on my part was a mere act of the mind, and I went
where I wished. I visited Uranus and Neptune, after which I stretched my
swift wings for the great flight, away from our Solar System, over
billions of miles of space. I alighted on the burning star nearest to
our Earth. This star is called, by our astronomers, Alpha Centaurus, and
it is said to be 20,000,000,000,000 miles away. This star is much
greater than our Sun and is the center of a system of worlds larger and
more numerous than those that compose our Solar System.

You cannot imagine my surprise when I reached Alpha Centaurus and found
that it was inhabited by a class of human creatures who were created to
live and flourish in fire. Their customs and habits are so strange that
I am not capable of giving an intelligent description of them. I know
that it is inconceivable to us how life can be developed and sustained
in the midst of a burning sun, and I found that these beings in turn
could not conceive how life can exist in a cold world like ours.

These creatures have no digestive organs. They live, in part, on the
chemical action produced by fire breathing. The hotter the fire, the
more easily is life sustained. If they were to get away from the heat,
this chemical action would cease and therefore death would be as certain
to them as being enveloped in fire would spell death to us.

In our eyes, their bodies are misshapen, composed of elements most of
which are not found in our world. There are many cold places, or sun
spots, on Alpha Centaurus, but these are shunned by the people as death
traps. However, the centers of population gather on the more solid
sections, most of which lie around the sun spots.

You could scarcely believe your eyes were you to look upon the durable
works of architecture built by these strangely shaped mortals.

Still more wonderful are the seas of boiling fire which are sometimes
comparatively quiet, and then again, in all madness, their majestic
flames shoot upward thousands of miles.

When the sea is quiet, life is oppressive in the centers of population
just as it is in our world when the air is still and the summer sun is
pouring down upon us. Breathing is easier and life is quickened when the
molten sea boils furiously. These terrible heat blasts are most
exhilarating and refreshing to the inhabitants living near enough to
receive the benefit of them.

You may imagine that these people of Alpha Centaurus are idlers, being
fed by the ceaseless heat waves that beat upon them. Such a conception
is totally false, for I saw that industry was plainly evident, and labor
had its reward in securing the necessaries and luxuries of life.

These life-sustaining foods are composed of elements which can be
appropriated into muscle and bone (if you will permit me to use these
terms), and are obtained by reuniting and re-combining spent forces.
This explanation is somewhat mystical, but I can do no better in
describing the food production and assimilation in a pure fire-world
like this one on which I had arrived.

To imagine and believe that fertility can be possible in a seething
world-furnace, is too far beyond our philosophy to be conceivable. Alpha
Centaurus is so large a sun that although it has a population ten times
greater than our globe, yet its surface is sparsely settled.

The oceans of fire occupy the greater part of the surface of this
wonderful sphere. In these great red-hot seas live the monsters of the
deep, as well as a motley variety of other species, veritable
salamanders, some grotesquely hideous, others surpassingly beautiful in
form and hue.

On this sphere man is extraordinarily intelligent. He is almost totally
ignorant of anything akin to astronomy, although some of the greater
scholars have ventured the theory that there might be other worlds
containing human life, providing there be fire enough to sustain them.

In some other particulars, these star-creatures have made astonishing
progress. They believe that the time is coming when the fires of their
world will be blown out and all life become extinct. This they would
call, in our language, the coming Judgment when every human being that
ever lived will receive his just recompense of reward.

With interest I studied the manner of government, and the admirable
system of education which is the secret of their progress.

I made a special effort to ascertain whence this sun receives its
continued supply of fuel. The question had often perplexed my mind when
I gazed toward our Sun from the shores of our world. None of the
theories advanced by our scientists and astronomers fully satisfied my
mind. And now I looked and studied in vain. Although the awful burnings
had been in progress for thousands of years, I could see no fuel that
was added to the flames. Hence I was driven to believe that Alpha
Centaurus was on fire and was gradually being consumed; this must be
true of all the stars that bedeck the canopy of Heaven.

The inconstancy of this star's surface is the greatest menace to its
inhabitants. At times the solid crusts break in the contracting of the
surface. All this makes terrible havoc, but the new generations take
fresh courage and pluckily restore the fallen habitations.

One of the luxuries enjoyed by these fire beings at certain times is to
get where the chemical action of heat is at a low ebb. That has a
similar effect upon them as calming our nerves has upon us.

One of the great inventions consists in an instrument that neutralizes
this chemical action of heat even where it is most intense. It is a
common sight to see creatures basking under one of these instruments in
a somewhat comatose state. The inventor of this instrument is worshiped
almost as a god.

One of the most startling inventions of all is a machine that
counteracts gravity. This, to my mind, is the greatest invention I had
yet seen, and, strange to say, these fire creatures know nothing about
means of propulsion except by hand power. If you were able to stand on
the seething furnace of Alpha Centaurus, you would see these machines
rise far into the shooting fire and beyond, as far as occupants can go
without freezing to death. Then at a reverse of the lever you would see
the mysterious car descend.

These star residents have enjoyed this invention so long that they no
longer appreciate its marvels. You ask me if I tried to get the secret.
I saw the whole apparatus and the more I studied it, the more I was
convinced that its storage battery contained heat energy. So I concluded
to solve the mystery. I learned that there was a certain element found
only in combination. When this element is set loose by chemical process,
it will rise at once toward a large planet that revolves around this
sun. This planet draws that particular element with six times more force
than it is held by Alpha Centaurus. The brilliant chemists, when they
first made this discovery, separated enough of this element to carry a
man upward from the sun's surface. Later on they made a counter
discovery of equal value.

They found a substance that would destroy this attraction if it was
placed between the element and the planet. The discovery enabled a
person to rise as high as he wished and then, by swinging the plate in
position, the aerial carriage would either stand still or descend
according to the wish of the operator.

What a boon it would be to our world if we had such an element for which
Jupiter or the Sun would have so much fondness! Then with our superior
knowledge of propulsion we could forever settle the perplexing problem
of aerial navigation.

These exceptional people, living in such terrible fire, wear pieces of
garments made of the finest texture. The hair-like threads are composed
of metallic substances far more enduring than gold or platinum.

Of all the unthinkable things on this star none are so extreme as the
manner in which these people hold conversation. They have no organs to
produce vocal sounds.

[Illustration: Fire Life on a Fixed Star.]

They convey their ideas one to another by a vibration of the
conversation flaps. Either the air waves, or substantial emissions,
excite the sensitive face of the listener so that the thought
intended can be accurately received.

Having a strong curiosity, I remained and studied this fire life. It
opened to me new channels of thought and illustrated more emphatically
than ever that all things are possible with Him who created the universe
and upholds it by the word of His power.

Finally, I left this strange abode and proceeded to visit some of the
eighteen worlds that revolve around Alpha Centaurus.




CHAPTER VII.

The Water World Visited.


As I lingered in the region of the constellation of Centaurus I was more
and more profoundly impressed with the magnitude and variety of created
worlds.

Among the eighteen planets that revolve around Alpha Centaurus, only six
are inhabited. One of these is a sinless world, or a world whereon sin
never inaugurated its blighting reign; but I will say nothing of this
orb as I did not have the choice opportunity of visiting it aright. I
saw its beauty only through a glass darkly.

I then fixed my mind on Polaris, commonly called the North Star. In
journeying thither from Centaurus I passed thousands of Solar Systems
scattered in space all around me. As I was thus darting through
immensity I glanced toward our own Solar System and could see nothing
but a flickering star which was our Sun. Not the faintest sign could I
see of our world or of Jupiter.

A strange feeling passed over me when I began to realize how far I was
from home. I sped onward until I reached the North Star. It is a burning
sun, but not inhabited.

Polaris is the center of a magnificent system. If a certain few of its
worlds could be seen through a telescope, they would be picturesque in
the extreme, somewhat resembling our beautiful Saturn. Moons play like
frisky lambs around some of its worlds, and many comets dance through
the length of the whole system in richer confusion than we have ever
beheld in the range of our telescopic vision.

Counting the worlds of larger size only, there are nearly one hundred
that fly through their orbits around Polaris, some with amazing
velocity. Within the bounds of this solar system I spent considerable
time.

The third world I visited I will call Stazza. It is two hundred millions
of miles from Polaris and is four hundred and fifty times as large as
our world.

I was amazed at the new turn of life-manifestation that I found there.
To me it was unusually interesting because its temperature is quite
similar to ours; but the order of life is reversed so completely that
the human beings inhabit the water, and the long narrow strips of earth
are infested with numerous species of land animals. It may seem
incredible that the depths of the ocean should be the seat of
intelligence rivaling our own.

The human creatures of Stazza average a trifle larger in size than we,
but they travel horizontally in water like a large fish. The limbs
support the body in rest, and in traveling are used like the hind legs
of a frog, only more gracefully. The arms closely resemble ours and have
an infinite variety of uses. In addition, there are four fin-like arms
that fold into the body when at rest, but are spread for service when
traveling. In all it must be admitted that these Stazza people are
capable of traveling more rapidly, and covering longer distances with
much less fatigue than are we. They can also carry greater burdens with
more ease. They wear no garments except one or two small pieces made of


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