278. An important question presents itself here — that of knowing whether or not there would be disagreeable consequences from invoking a bad spirit. That depends on the end proposed, and the ascendency that can be had over ,them. There is no difficulty when we call them with a serious and instructive aim, or with a view of improving them ; it is very great, onthe contrary, if it is from pure curiosity or pleasantry, or if one puts himself in their power by asking of them any service whatever.
The good spirits, in such case, can very well give them the power to do what is asked of them, safe to punish severely afterward the rash man who dared to invoke their help and believe them more powerful than God. It is vain that he may have promised himself to make a good use of it in the end, and to dismiss the servitor once the service is rendered ; the very service solicited, however minute it may be, is a veritable pact concluded with the bad spirit, and he never lets himself be used easily. (See No. 212.)