1. THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS WORK
The Gospel can be divided into five parts: the events in the life of Christ; the miracles; the prophecies; the words taken by the Church on which they based their dogmas; the moral teachings. The first four have been the object of controversies. But the last, however, has remained constantly inviolate. Before this divine code even incredulity bows down. This is the common ground where all cults may be united, the flag under which all may gather, whatever their creeds may be, because it has never been a matter of religious dispute, which always and in all places has originated from dogmatism. Moreover, if it had been discussed, then all cults would have found their own condemnation within it, seeing that, in the majority, they have held on to the more mystical rather than the moral part, which demands an intimate reform from each one. Specially prepared for mankind, it constitutes a code of rules on how to behave in every circumstance of private and public life and offers the basic principles for all social relations, founded on rigid justice. It is, finally and above all, the infallible route to lasting happiness and the uplifting of a comer of the veil that hides the future life. This is what forms the exclusive objective of this work.
Everyone admires the moral behind the Gospel; everyone proclaims its sublimeness and the need we have of it. However, of the many who proclaim their faith, believing what others have said or relying on maxims which have become proverbs, few know the basis and even fewer understand it or are able to deduce the consequences of it. In many cases the reason for this is in the difficulty of understanding the Gospel, which for many is quite unintelligible. The allegorical form used and the intentional mysticism of the language make it something we read because we feel we ought to, because our conscience tells us to or because we are obliged to, as one would read prayers, without understanding them and consequently without taking any benefit from them. In this way the moral precepts go unnoticed, scattered here and there between a mass of narrative. This makes it impossible to get the general idea of the whole or to take these ideas as specific subjects for reading and meditation.
It is true that various works have already been written concerning the evangelic moral. But after being put into modem prose they have lost their primitive simplicity, which at the same time constitutes their charm and authenticity. Many others also deal with the best known maxims reduced to the simplest form of proverb. These then are no more than aphorisms, deprived of part of their value and interest doe to the lack of accompanying accessories and the circumstances of the enunciation.
In order to avoid these undesirabilities, we have collected together in this work all the subjects, so to say, that go to form a universal moral code without distinction as to creed. In these citations we have kept all that is useful to the development of these ideas, putting aside only that which does not pertain directly to the matter. Apart from this we have kept scrupulously to the translations by Sacy and to the division of the verses. But instead of following a chronological order, which would have been impossible and have made no sense, we have methodically grouped and classified the various maxims according to their respective natures so that they fallow on, one from the other, as much as possible. Indication of chapters and verses permit reference to the original texts whenever desired.
These details refer only to the material side of our work, which an its own would be of secondary importance. The main objective was to put these teachings within easy reach of everybody by means of clear explanations, especially those passages which have, until now, remained obscure and so unfold the full consequences of these teachings and the manner in which they may be applied Tu. all walks of life. This is what we have attempted to do together with the help of the Good Spirits who assist us.
Many paints in the Gospel, the Bible and in the writings of the sacred authors, are in general unintelligible, some even appearing nonsensical for lack of key which would help in understanding their true meaning. This key is to be found in its mast complete form within Spiritism, as those who have already made a serious study of it can verify, and as many more in the future will also come to recognise. Spiritism is to be found throughout ancient times and repeatedly during the different epochs of humanity. We find vestiges in many places in the form of writings, in beliefs and in monuments. This is the reason why at the same time it is opening new horizons for the future, it is also projecting a no less brilliant light upon the mysteries of the past.
As a compliment to each precept we have added some well chosen instructions from amongst those dictated, in various countries and to different mediums, by the Spirits. If they bad been taken from only one origin they would probably have suffered the influence either of the person or the ambient, whereas the diversification of origins proves that the Spirits give teachings without distinction and that no one person is specially privileged. *
This work is for the use of everyone. From it we may all discover the means by which we may apply Christ's morals to our daily lives and how best to go about it. This applies very specially to Spiritists. Thanks to the relationship between man and the invisible world, which has henceforth been established on a permanent basis, the law of the Gospel which the Spirits have taught to all nations, will no longer be a matter of dead words because each one will be able to understand them and will see themselves incessantly compelled to put them into practice, according to the counselling of the Spiritual guides. These instructions coming from Spirit are really the voices from Heaven who have come to enlighten mankind and invite him to put the Gospel into practice.
* It would have been possible, without doubt, to have presented many more communications from Spirit on each subject, all of wich were received in cities and centres other than those cited. We wished, however, to avoid monotony and useless repetition and so have limited our choice to those which, from their base and form, apply more adequately within the plan of this work, reserving for future publication those we have not been able to use here.
With respect to the mediums, we have refrained from naming them. In most cases they themselves asked not to he mentioned and so we have made no exceptions. It is also a fact that the names of these mediums would not add more value to the work of the Spirits. The mentioning of them by name would only be an incentive to personal pride, to which serious mediums give no importance. They understand fully that their part in the work being merely passive, the value of the communication in no way exalts their personal merit. It would be foolish to allow oneself to become vain about an intelligent work to which one had only lent mechanical assistance.