"If God now permits the open communication of spirits with men, it is in order to enlighten men in regard to their duties, and to show them the road which will shorten their trials by hastening their advancement; for, as fruit arrives at maturity, so must man at length arrive at perfection. But, besides the spirits of high advancement who desire your welfare, there are imperfect spirits who try to do you harm; while the first urge you forwards, the others would fain pull you back. You must therefore give your utmost attention to the work of distinguishing between them, and this you will easily do if you bear in mind that nothing hurtful can proceed from a good spirit, and that whatever is evil can only proceed from an evil one. If you turn away from the wise counsels of the spirits who desire your good, if you take offence at the home-truths they sometimes tell you, it is evident that you have evil spirits for your counsellors. Pride alone prevents men from seeing themselves as they are; but, if they do not see this for themselves, others see it for them, and they are contemned, both by their fellow-men, who laugh at them behind their back, and by the spirits who have helped to lead them astray." "A FAMILIAR SPIRIT."