56. What is the utility of the moral doctrine of the spirits, since it is no other than that of Christ? Has man need of a revelation? And can he find all that within himself which is necessary to guide him?
God has without doubt given to man a guide in his conscience, which says to him, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” This moral philosophy is certainly inscribed in the heart of man; but do all know how to read it there? Have men never misconstrued these wise precepts? What have they done with the ethics of Christ? Do those who teach them practice them? Have they not become a dead letter, a beautiful theory, and good for others but not for one’s self? Would you reproach a father for repeating a hundred times the same instructions to his children if they did not profit by them? Why should God do less than a father of a family? Why should he not send from time to time special messengers to men, charged with recalling them to their duties, and with reinstating them in that “narrow path” from which they have wandered, with opening the eyes of those who are blind to wisdom, as the most advanced men are sent as missionaries to the savage and barbarous?
The spirits teach no other morality than that of Christ, for the reason that there is no better. But, then, of what good is this instruction, since it teaches that which we know? One could say the same of the ethical teachings of Christ, which were taught five hundred years before he lived by Socrates and Plato in almost identical words; also by all moralists who repeat the same thing under many forms and words. The spirits come simply to augment the number of moralists, with the difference, that, manifesting themselves everywhere, they are heard in the hut as well as in the palace by the ignorant as well as the learned.
That which the teaching of the spirits adds to that of Christ is the knowledge of the laws which bind the living to the dead, which complete the vague ideas which he gave of the soul, its past and future, and which the laws of nature give as sanction to his doctrine. By the aid of the new lights carried by Spiritism and the spirits, man comprehends the solidarity which binds all beings together. Charity and fraternity become social necessities. Man does from conviction that which he did only for duty’s sake; and this is better when men will practice the moral teachings of Christ.
Then alone will they be able to say that they have no more need of incarnate or discarnate moralists; then God will send them no more of them.