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Categoria: Caracter of the spiritual revelation
Acessos: 1297

    If this book ("Spirits' Book") has gained the sympathies of the majority,it is because it was the expression of the sentiments of this same majority, and that it responded to its aspirations. It is also because each one found there the confirmation, and a rational explanation of that which he in particular obtained. If it had disagreed with the general teachings of the spirits, it would have received no favor, and would have promptly fallen into oblivion. Now, around whom is one to rally? It is not man, who is nothing by himself, only a master-workman, who dies and disappears, but around an idea which perishes not when it emanates from a source superior to man. This spontaneous concentration of scattered forces has given place to an immense connection, a unique monument to the world, a living picture of the true history of modern Spiritism; reflecting, at the same time, partial works, the multiplication of sentiments which has developed the doctrine, the moral results, the devotion and the weakness, - precious archives for posterity, who will be able to judge men and things by authentic documents.
    In the presence of these exceptional testimonies, what will become in time of all false allegations, defamations of envy and jealousy? From this state of things rises a double current of ideas; some going from the extremity to the center, others returning from the center to the circumference. It is thus that the doctrine has promptly marched towards unity, notwithstanding the diversity of sources from which it has emanated; that the divergent systems have little by little fallen, on account of their isolation,  and failure to obtain the sympathy of the majority. A communion of thought  is now established between different centers. Speaking the same spiritual language, they comprehend and sympathize with one another from one end of the world to the other. The Spiritists have been found to be stronger; they have battled with more courage; they have marched with a more assured step, now that they are no more alone, and have found a support, a link which attaches them to the great family. The phenomena of which they were witnesses are no longer strange, abnormal, contradictory, since they are found to agree with the general laws of harmony; since, glancing at it as a whole, they see the grand humanitarian object. ¹
    But how is one to know if a principle is taught everywhere, or if it is the result of an individual opinion only? Isolated societies not having the knowledge of that which was said elsewhere, it was necessary that a central one should gather all the information, ascertain the opinion of the majority, and send the knowledge to all. ²
    There is no science which has in all its parts proceeded from the brain of one man. All, without exception, are the product of successive observations, leaning upon preceding ones, as upon a known point, in order to arrive at an unknown one. It is thus that the spirits have proceeded with Spiritism. That is why their teaching is gradual. They approach questions only in proportion and in measure, as the principles upon which they ought to lean are sufficiently elaborated, and as opinion is ripe to assimilate them.
    It is remarkable that, each time particular centers have wished to approach premature questions, they have obtained only contradictory responses, and never conclusive ones. When, however, the favorable moment arrives, the instruction is given universally at nearly the same moment of time. There is, at the same time, between the march of Spiritism and that of the sciences, a capital difference. It is, that the latter have attained their present advancement only after long intervals of time, whilst only a few years have sufficed for Spiritism, not to gain the culminating point, but at least to gather a sum of facts to constitute a doctrine. That is obtained by the innumerable concourse of spirits, who, by the will of God, manifest simultaneously; each one bringing the contingent of their knowledge. The result is, that all parts of the doctrine, instead of being successively elaborated during many centuries, have been concocted almost simultaneously in a few years, and that this has sufficed to group them in order to form a whole. God has willed it thus, firstly, in order that the edifice should progress more rapidly; secondly, in order that it should have a permanent and immediate control in the universality of the teaching, each part having value and authority only by its connection with the whole; all becoming harmonious, finding their place in the general edifice, and each one arriving in due time.
    In confiding, not to one spirit alone, the care of the promulgation of the doctrine, God has willed that the lowest as well as the highest among the spirits, as well as among men, should carry each his stone to the edifice, in order to establish between them a structure of co-operative solidarity, which has failed to all doctrines springing from one source alone. On the other hand, every spirit, the same as every man, having only a limited sum of knowledge, they were incapable of treating ex professo the innumerable questions which Spiritism touches. That is why the doctrine, in order to fulfill the desires of the Creator, could not be the work of one spirit alone, nor of one medium. It could proceed only from the united work of the many, - the one controlled by the other. ³ A later character in the spiritual revelation, which is drawn from the conditions in which it is produced, is that, leaning upon facts, it is, and ever must be, essentially progressive, like all sciences based upon observation. In its essence it is allied to science, which, being a revelation of the laws of nature by a certain order of facts, cannot be contrary to the will of God, the Author of these laws. The discoveries of science glorify, instead of debasing God. They destroy only that which men have built upon the false ideas they have formed of God. Spiritism is based then only upon absolute principle, - that which is demonstrated by proof, or that which results logically from observation. Touching all the branches of social economy, to which it lends the aid of its own discoveries, it will assimilate itself always with all progressive doctrines, of whatever order they may be. It has arrived at a state of practical truth, and discarded the Utopian ideas which would have destroyed it. In ceasing to be that which it is, it would deceive in regard to its origin and its providential object. Spiritism, marching hand in hand with progress, will never be overthrown, because, if new discoveries should demonstrate that it is in error upon a point, it would modify itself in regard to it. If a new truth is revealed, it accepts it.
    What is the utility of the moral doctrine of the spirits, since it is no other than that of Christ? Has man need of a revelation? And can he find all that within himself which is necessary to guide him? God has without doubt given to man a guide in his conscience, which says to him, "Do unto others that which thou wouldst they should do unto you." This moral philosophy is certainly inscribed in the heart of man; but do all know how to read it there? Have men never misconstrued these wise precepts? What have they done with the ethics of Christ? Do those who teach them practice them? Have they not become a dead letter, a beautiful theory, good for others, but not for one's self? Would you reproach a father for repeating a hundred times the same instructions to his child if they did not profit by them? Why should God do less than a father of a family? Why should he not send from time to time special messengers to men, charged with recalling them to their duties, with reinstating them in that "narrow path" from which they have wandered, with opening the eyes of those who are blind to wisdom, as the most advanced men are sent as missionaries to the savage and barbarous? The spirits teach no other morality than that of Christ, for the reason that there is no better. But, then, of what good is this instructions, since it teaches that which we know? One could say the same of the ethical teachings of Christ, which were taught five hundred years before he lived by Socrates and Plato in almost identical words; also by all moralists who repeat the same thing under many forms and words. The spirits come simply to augment the number of moralists, with the difference, that, manifesting themselves everywhere, they are heard in the cottage as well as in the palace by the ignorant as well as the learned. That which the teaching of spirits adds to that of Christ is the knowledge of the laws which bind the living to the dead, which complete the vague ideas which he gave of the soul, its past and future, and which the laws of nature give as sanction to his doctrine.

 

¹ A significant testimony, as remarkable as touching, of this communion of thought which is established between Spiritists by conformity of belief, are the prayerful demands which come to us from far-distant lands, from Peru to the extremities of Asia, from persons of diverse nationalities and religions, whom we have never seen. Is it not the prelude of the establishment of the one great church which is preparing itself, the proof of the firm stand Spiritism is taking everywhere? It is remarkable that of all the societies formed with the premeditated intention of seceding by proclaiming divergent principles, - as those who, by reason of self-love or otherwise, wishing not to have the appearance of sustaining the common law, have believed themselves strong enough to go alone, to have enough light to pass as counselors, - not one has succeeded in establishing a long-lived or popular idea; all have died out or vegetated in the shade.
How could it be otherwise, since, in order to distinguish themselves, instead of endeavoring to give the greatest amount of benefit to the world, they rejected those principles of the doctrine which give to it the most powerful attraction, those which are the most consoling, encouraging, and rational?
    If they had comprehended the power of the moral elements which alone induce unity, they would not have been rocked in a chimerical illusion; but, mistaking their little circle for the universe, they have seen in the adherents only a society which could easily be overthrown by one entertaining contrary opinions. They strangely misapprehended the essential character of the doctrine, and this error could lead only to deception. In place of destroying unity, they destroyed the connection which could give them strength and life. (See 
Revue Spirite, April, 1866, pp. 106 and 111; Spiritism without Spirits; Independent Spiritism.)

² Such is the object or our publications, which can be considered as the result of this. All opinions are discussed there; but the questions are arranged as principles only after having received the sanction of the controls, who alone can give them lawful strength and affirmation. That is why we do not accept, without due thought, any one theory; therefore the doctrine proceeding from general instructions is not the product of a preconceived system. It is largely this fact which gives it strength, and assures its future.

³ See in The Gospel according Spiritism, p. 6, and Revue Spirite, April, 1864, p. 90; Authority of the Spiritual Doctrine Universal Control of the Teachings of the Spirits.

 Source: The Spiritist Messenger, Year 12, Number 101, November, 2008