The Millennium Will Commence with Angels’ Food

Frederick W. Evans, “Elder Evans, of the Shaker Community, Sets Forth the Significance of the Manna That Fed the Israelites.” [Reprinted in an unidentified newspaper from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, undated, but probably 1887-88.  Volume 1, page 15 of the Shaker scrapbooks from North Union, Ohio, in the Library of Congress.]

Elder Evans is clearly thinking here of the “imaginary” feasts on the “Holy Mountain” when he discusses how angels’ food—manna—was caused to become material.  During 1887, Evans went on a speaking tour of Great Britain with spiritualist lecturer James Martin Peebles, during which they shared the platform.  During that tour, Evans often spoke on the subject of materialization.—JB

“They did eat angels’ food.”  Did they eat angels’ food, or did they eat earthly food?  This brings us to our first question, what was the manna?  A small round thing like hoar frost that came down with the dew, lay upon the ground after the dew had evaporated—gone up—until the sun melted it, then it disappeared like the dew.  The interval between the disappearance of the dew and the heat of the sun was the time improved by the Jews to gather the food of the coming day.  The manna had some peculiar properties.  Day by day the host it fed, with nutritive and wholesome bread.  It came and went as by intent of some designer, and when its duty had been done could not be kept, for short or long, beyond an omer.  Three quarts to each person in a tent. [. . .]

When clothing and shoes would have disappeared by wear and tear, again the spirits interposed with materialization and repaired the waste, so that their shoes waxed not old, neither did their clothes decay.  Thus, under materialization laws, Moses, the leader, and the people were all managed by invisible intelligences in the spirit world, who brought them up out of the land of Canaan.  To effect this it was absolutely necessary that the spirits should become as visible to a portion of Israel as were Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

Frederick W. Evans, “The New Earth.” [Reprinted in an unidentified newspaper, undated, but probably 1887-88.  Volume 1, pages 23-34 of the Shaker scrapbooks from North Union, Ohio, in the Library of Congress.]

Spiritualism.  When the little harmless raps came, at Rochester, they were, at first purely physical—no meaning.  They amazed children and perplexed men and women.  When manna first fell to Israel, the people asked “What is it?”  Of the raps, people said, “Whence come they and what do they mean?”  Soon intelligence was shown, a question was answered, affirmatively or negatively, one, two or three raps.  Next came the alphabet, slow, tedious, but by it, intelligent communication was established.  But with whom?  Some said, with evil spirits, and proved it.  Others said it was the waterfall or the knee joints, and proved it.  Next came trance speaking, exhibiting knowledge, mundane and super-mundane, entirely beyond the capacity of the medium or of the audience.

Materialization.  And lastly comes the formation of visible temporary physical bodies, representing deceased friends and persons—materializing and dematerializing in plain sight, confounding the Thomases, and to the entire satisfaction and great joy of understanding believers.  [. . .] When materialized forms speak in audible voices, uttering words of knowledge, as did Moses, Elias and Jesus, then vanish into thin air, are we not justified in concluding that God is preparing to meet man face to face, and that the secrets of all hearts will be revealed?


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