28. Among those whom direct study has convinced, we may distinguish: -
1st. Those who believe purely and simply in the manifestations. For these,
spiritism is a simple science of observation, a series of facts more or less curious; they
may be called experimental Spiritists.
2nd. Those who see in spiritism something more than its peculiar phenomena,
and perceive its philosophical bearing; they admire its morality, but do not practise it,
and its influence on their character is slight or null; they change none of their habits,
and do not deprive themselves of a single enjoyment; the covetous man remains sordid,
the proud man remains full of himself, the envious and the jealous remain the same.
For them, Christian charity is only a beautiful ideal; they are inconsistent spiritists.
3rd. Those who are not content with admiring the morality of spiritist doctrine,
but who accept it practically, with all its consequences. Convinced that terrestrial life is
only a brief trial, they strive to profit by its passing moments, and to advance, on the
road of progress by which alone they can reach a higher degree in the hierarchy of the
world of spirits, through activity in doing good, and in repressing their evil tendencies.
Intercourse with such is always safe, for their convictions preserve them from all
thought of evil, and charity is in all things their rule of conduct. They may be classed as
true spiritists, or better yet, as Christian spiritists.
4th. Lastly, there are the excited spiritists. The human race would be perfect, if
it took tip only the right side of a thing. Exaggeration is always hurtful; in Spiritism, it engenders a too blind confidence
in everything that proceeds from the invisible world ; a confidence which sometimes
becomes puerile, causing people to accept, too easily, and unreasoningly, what
reflection and examination would have shown them to be absurd or impossible.
Unfortunately, enthusiasm finds it hard to reflect, and is apt to get dazed. Such
adherents are more hurtful than useful to the cause of spiritism ; they are unfit to
convince, because their judgement is distrusted ; they become the easy dupes, either of
spirits who hoax them, or of men who practise on their credulity. If they alone had to
suffer the consequences of their blindness, the latter would be less regrettable ; but,
unhappily, such persons unintentionally put arms into the hands of the incredulous,
more desirous of opportunities for railing than of conviction, and prompt to impute, to
all, the absurdities of the few.