HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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15. The accusations hurled by the Church against the practice of evocation do not touch Spiritism, since they are mainly directed against the operations of magic, with which spiritist evocations have nothing in common. Spiritism is in accordance with the Church in condemning those operations and whatever would seem to imply the attributing to superior spirits of a part unworthy of them; and it declares, moreover, that nothing is to be asked, or can be obtained, without the permission of God.

Undoubtedly, there may be those who misuse evocation, who make an amusement of it, who turn it from its Providential aim to serve their own personal ends, and who, through ignorance, frivolity, vanity, or cupidity, depart from the true principles of spiritist doctrine; but true Spiritism disowns them, just as true religion disowns the excesses of bigots and fanatics. It is therefore neither fair nor reasonable to impute to Spiritism the abuses that it condemns, or the misdeeds of those who do not rightly understand its teachings. Before bringing forward an accusation, the accusers should be quite sure that their accusation is just. The blame of the Church is directed against charlatanism, mercenary mediumship, and the practices of magic and sorcery; and in this the church is in the right. When criticism, whether religious or skeptical, condemns abuses and stigmatizes charlatanism, it renders a service to the doctrine that it helps rid of its impurities; by so doing it aids us in the fulfillment of our task. But criticism ceases to be legitimate when it confounds the good with the bad, the thing itself with the improper use that may be made of it, as is done by some from ignorance of the subject criticized, by others, from dishonesty; but this distinction, though the critic may ignore it, is made, in the long run, by the public. Nevertheless, this criticism, which is embraced by every sincere spiritist if applied to evil, cannot harm the doctrine.

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