294. Questions on Inventions and Discoveries.
28. "Can spirits guide in scientific researches and discoveries ? "
" Science is the work of genius ; it must be acquired only by labor ; for by labor alone is man advanced on his road. What merit would there be if he had only to question the spirits in order to know everything ? Any simpleton could become learned at that price. Industry alone can give us inventions and discoveries. Then there is another consideration ; everything must come in its time, when ideas are ripe 'to receive it : if man had this power I13 would overturn the order of things, pushing forward fruit before its season.
" God has said to man, Thou shalt draw thy nourish ment from the earth by the sweat of thy face : admi rable figure ! which pictures his condition here below. He must progress in everything by the effort of labor ; if we give him things already made, of what use would be his intelligence? He would.be like the scholar whose duty another person performs."
29. " Are the ' savant ' and the inventor never assist ed by spirits in their researches ? "
" O, that is very different. When the time has come for a discovery, the spirits charged with its direction seek the man capable of conducting it to a good end, and inspire him with the necessary ideas, in such a way as to leave him all the merit of it ; for these ideas he must elaborate and work out. It is thus with all the grand achievements of human intelligence. The spirits leave each man in his sphere ; of him who is fit only to cultivate the earth, they will not make a confidant of God's secrets ; but they know how to draw from obscurity the man capable of seconding His designs. Do not allow yourselves to be carried away, by curiosity or ambition, into a path which is not the end of Spiritism, and which will lead only to the most ridiculous manifestations."
Remark. A more enlightened knowledge of Spirit ism has calmed the fever for discoveries which, in its incipiency, were expected to be reached by this means. It was supposed persons had only to ask of the spirits recipes to color the hair or to make it grow, to cure .corns on the feet, &c. We have seen many persons who thought their fortunes made, and who received only more or less ridiculous processes for it. It is the same when persons desire, by the aid of spirits, to pry into the mysteries of the origin of things ; some spirits having, on such subjects, systems often worth no more than those of men, and which it is prudent to receive with the utmost reserve.