To the readers of the Spiritist Review - conclusion of 1858
The Spiritist Review has just completed its first year and we are happy to announce that its
publication will continue, since its very existence is ensured by a number of subscribers that
increases daily. The demonstrations of sympathy that we have received from everywhere and the
support of men that are distinguished by their knowledge and social positions are signs of
encouragement in the laborious task that we have initiated. May all those who have helped us with
the realization of our enterprise receive our warmth gratitude!
Had we not been faced by criticism and contradictions we would be before an unprecedented fact in
the chronicles of publicity, particularly considering that it is all related to such new ideas. Those are,
in fact, surprisingly less frequent than the signs of support that we have been given. That is due, no
doubt, much less to the merit of the writer than to the attractiveness of the analyzed subject and to
the credit that it daily conquers in the highest social echelons; we owe that also – and we are
completely convinced of that – to the dignified approach we have maintained before our
adversaries, allowing the public to judge between moderation, from one side, and inconvenience
from the other.
Spiritism marches at gigantic steps all over the world. It daily reconquers some dissidents by the
force of things and if we can add some tiny bits to the scale of this inexorable movement that takes
place, that will register our time as a new era, it shall not be by irritating or frontally attacking those
very persons that we wish to attract, but by reasoning with them instead of telling injuries that will
make us heard.
The superior spirits that assist us give the precept and example of that. It would be unworthy of a
Doctrine that preaches nothing but love and benevolence to go down to the arena of personalism.
We leave that task to the ones that do not understand it.
Then nothing will detour us from the line that we have been following, from the calmness and cold
blood that we will always maintain in the thoughtful examination of all questions; since we know
that by so doing we conquer more serious adepts to Spiritism than by discourtesy and acrimony.
In the introduction with which we opened the first issue we established the plan that we proposed to
follow: cite all facts but also analyze and submit them to the scalpel of observation; appreciate them
and deduce their consequences.
In the beginning all the attention was concentrated on the natural phenomena that fed public
curiosity then, but which has its time; once satisfied that curiosity, we left it alone, like a child that
abandons a toy. The spirits then said: “This is the first period; it will soon pass to give way to more
elevated ideas. New facts shall be revealed, defining a new period, the philosophical, and the
Doctrine will grow in a short time, like the child that leaves the crib. Don’t be disturbed by the
mockery since they will mock the mockers themselves and tomorrow you shall find zealous
defenders among the strongest adversaries of today. God wishes it to be so and we are assigned with
the task of executing His will. The ill intent of some men shall not prevail against it. The pride of
those who pretend to know better than God will be abated.”
We are effectively far from the dancing tables that no longer amuse, since everything comes to
saturation. Only those things that speak to our reason do not bore us, thus Spiritism sails full wind
in its second period. Everybody understood that it is the foundation of a whole Science, a whole
new order of ideas. Such a trend should be followed. More than that, it was necessary to give it our
contribution; otherwise we would be soon left behind. That is why we strive to catch up, avoiding
the narrow limits of an anecdotal bulletin.
Once elevated to the heights of a philosophical Doctrine, Spiritism has conquered many experts,
even among those who have never witnessed a material fact. Here is why: Man appreciates anything
that speaks to reason, anything that he can understand. He finds in the Spiritist Philosophy
something different from a simple amusement, something that fills up the pungent emptiness of his
uncertainty. By penetrating the extracorporeal world through the observation, we wanted to
introduce our readers into that, helping them to understand it. It is up to them to say if our objective
has been achieved. We will proceed with our task in the year that is about to begin and that we
foresee to be a plentiful one. New facts of a strange order take place now, revealing new mysteries
to us. We shall carefully register them and seek the enlightenment it may provide with as much
perseverance as in the past, since everything presages that Spiritism shall enter into a new phase,
more grandiose and still more sublime.
NOTE: The abundance of material forces us to postpone the continuation of our article about the
plurality of existences as well as well as the narrative by Frédéric Soulié to the next issue.