57. The latter is one of the most important questions which is based upon the title of this chapter: what is the authority of the spiritist revelation, since it emanates from beings whose light is limited, and who are not infallible?
The objection would be serious if this revelation consisted only of the spirit instructions, - if we should hold it as from them exclusively, and accept it with closed eyes. It is without value until man carries to it the cooperation of his knowledge and judgment, as the spirits are constrained from putting it in the way of deductions which he can draw from observation of facts. Now, the manifestations in their innumerable variety are facts. Man studies them, and seeks in them the law. He is aided in this work by spirits of all orders, who are collaborators rather than revealers in the usual sense of the word. He submits their sayings to the control of logic and good sense. In this way he benefits by some special knowledge which is derived from their position, without abdicating the use of his own reason.
The spirits being none other than the souls of men, in communicating with them we do not go away from humanity, which is a capital circumstance to consider. Men of genius who have been the beacon-lights of humanity have come to us from the spirit world, as they have re- entered it on quitting the Earth. Since spirits can communicate with men, these same geniuses can give us instructions under a spiritual form, as they have done in a corporal one. They can instruct us after death, as they did in life. They are invisible, instead of visible, which is all the difference. Their experience and knowledge ought not to be less; and if their word, like that of man’s, had authority, it ought not to have less because that they are in the land of spirits.