29. But who dares to attempt to change the meaning of the Holy Scriptures? Who has the right? Who possesses the necessary light, if not the theologians?
Who will dare to undertake it? Science first, which asks permission of no one to make known the laws of nature. It crushes under its feet the most beloved errors and prejudices. What man has this right? In this age of intellectual emancipation and of liberty of conscience the right of examination belongs to the entire world; and the scriptures are no more the holy ark upon which one fears to lay a finger in the expectation of being crushed thereby. We need not contest the Theologians of the Middle Ages, and particularly the Fathers of the Church, who were brilliant in regards to special necessary knowledge. They were not, however, strong enough to condemn as heresy the movement of the Earth and belief in the antipodes; but, from all known periods of the world’s formation till the present time, they have thrown the anathema at every new revelation.
Men have not been able to explain the scriptures by the exclusive aid of that knowledge which they, mixed with false or uncertain ideas, possessed concerning the laws of nature, revealed later by science. That is the reason why theologians themselves have really mistaken the sense of certain words and facts in the Gospel. Determined, at any price, to find the confirmation of a preconceived thought, they remained always in the same circle, without changing their point of view, in such manner that they saw only that which they wished to see. Wise theologians as they were, they could not comprehend facts depending upon laws of which they knew nothing.
But who could judge between the diverse and often contradictory interpretations given outside of theology? As new facts and laws are revealed, we will be enlightened in the logic and good sense and use these to distinguish utopia systems from those based in reality. Now science has revealed certain laws; Spiritism brings others to light. Collectively they are indispensable to the correct understanding of the sacred texts of all religions, - those of Confucius and Buddha equally with those of Christianity. As to theology, it cannot know how to judiciously plead an exception for the contradictions of science, since it is not always in accord with itself.