349. These last reflections apply equally to all circles that might differ on small points of doctrine. As we have said in the chapter on Contradictions, these diver gencies, being mostly only on the accessories, often only on simple words, it would be very trifling to separate for not thinking exactly the same. It would be worse if the different circles in the same city should be jealous of each other. Jealousy between persons who may be prejudicial to each other materially, is easily understood ; but when there is no speculation, jealousy is only a silly rivalry from self-love. As it is certain there is no society that can contain within itself every believer, those who are animated with a true desire to propagate the truth, whose end is solely moral, should be pleased to see reunions multiply ; and if there should be rivalry among them, it should be to see which would do the most good. Those who pre tend to have the truth, to the exclusion of the others, should prove it by taking for their device, Love and Charity ; for such is the device of every true spiritist. Do they wish to prove the superiority of the spirits who assist them ? Let them prove it by the superi ority of the teachings they receive, and by the applica tion they make of them to themselves : this is an infallible criterion by which to distinguish those who are in the better way.
Certain spirits, more presumptuous than logical, sometimes impose strange and impracticable systems under the venerated names they borrow, Good sense soon disposes of these ; but in the mean time, they may sow doubt and uncertainty among believers, whence arise temporary dissensions. In addition to the means we have given to know them, there is another criterion to measure their value ; it is the number of partisans they recruit. Reason tells us that the system which finds the loudest echo in the masses must be nearer truth than that which is repulsed by the majority ; so, hold for certain that, when spirits forbid discussion on their teachings, it is because they are aware of their weakness.