THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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9. Vengeance is one of the last relics of the barbaric customs, which tend to disappear from the human race. It is, like the duel, one of the last vestiges of the savage habits under which humanity was struggling at the outset of the Christian era. This is why vengeance constitutes a sure indication of the backward state of the men and women who lend themselves to it and also of the Spirits who inspire them. Accordingly, my friends, this sentiment should never vibrate in the heart of anyone who proclaims themself to be a Spiritist. You know full well that to avenge oneself is so much against Christ's precept: 'Forgive your enemies', that the person who refuses to forgive not only is not a Spiritist, but certainly is not even a Christian. Vengeance is an even more ruinous inspiration when its companions are assiduous in falseness and baseness. Indeed, they who deliver themselves to this fatal and blind passion, almost never seek vengeance openly. When they are the stronger, they fall savagely upon those they call the enemy, seeing that the mere presence of these persons inflames their spite, anger and hate. However, in most cases they assume a hypocritical attitude, concealing the evil sentiments which animate them deep in their hearts. In hidden ways they follow their unsuspecting enemy in the shadows, awaiting an opportunity to strike without danger to themselves. While hiding from their enemy, they constantly spy on them, preparing a hateful trap and when the occasion is propitious, they put the poison in the cup.

When their hate does not reach such extremes, they attack the victim through their honour and affections; nor do they hesitate in the use of slander and perfidious insinuations, ably spread on all sides, which increase along the way. As a consequence, when the one who is being persecuted presents themself in those places where the whispers of the persecutor have past, they are astonished to receive a cold reception instead of friendly and benevolent faces from those who had previously welcomed them. They are even more surprised, when instead of outstretched hands, even these are refused. Finally they feel themselves defeated when even their greatest friends and closest relatives withdraw and avoid them. Ah! The coward who seeks vengeance in this manner is a hundred times more guilty than the one who confronts his enemy and insults him face to face! So let us do away with these primitive customs! Let us dispense with these procedures from bygone days! Every Spirit who still today lays claim to a right to seek vengeance for themselves, is no longer worthy to take part in the phalanx who hold as their motto: Without charity there is no salvation! But no, I can no longer detain myself in the thought that a member of this great Spiritist family would dare in the future to give in to the impulse of vengeance, instead of forgiveness. - JULES OLIVIER (Paris, 1862).

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