62. A common incident will explain the matter better.
A ship loaded with emigrants departs for a far-distant locality. It carries men of all conditions, the relatives and friends of whom remain at home. One learns that the ship has been wrecked. No trace remains of it; no news is obtained in regard to its fate. It is thought that all passengers have perished; and mourning is in all the families. However, the entire company, without the loss of a single soul, has landed upon an unknown soil, which is abundant and fertile, where all live happily under favoring skies; but their friends are ignorant of their fate. Now, one happy day another ship reaches their shore; it finds all the shipwrecked ones safe and well. The happy news spreads with lightning-like rapidity. Each one says, “Our friends are not lost;” and they give thanks to God. They cannot see each other; but they correspond, exchange testimonies of affection, and joy succeed to sadness.
Such is terrestrial life and life beyond the grave before and after modern revelation. The latter, like the second ship, carries to us the good news of the survival of those who are dear to us, and the certitude of one day rejoining them. Doubt in regard to their fate and our own exists no more; discouragement is effaced by hope.
But other results are added to enrich this revelation. God, judging humanity mature enough to penetrate the mystery of its destiny and to contemplate with composure new marvels, has permitted the veil between the known and the unknown worlds to be raised. The fact of the manifestations has nothing supernatural about it: it is the spiritual humanity that comes to talk to humanity in the flesh, and to say to it:
“We exist; nothingness exists not. Behold that which we are, and that which you will be; the future is the same for you as to us. You walk in darkness; we come to throw light upon your way, and to prepare it before you. Terrestrial life was all you could comprehend, because you saw nothing beyond. We come to say to you, in showing the spiritual life to you, the earthly life is as nothing. Your sight was arrested at the tomb; we come to show you the splendid horizon beyond it. You knew not why you suffer upon Earth; now, in suffering you see the justice of God. Goodness was unfruitful for the future; it will have henceforth an object, and will be a necessity. Fraternity was only a beautiful theory; it is now firmly established as a law of nature. Under the empire of the belief that death ends all, immensity is void, egotism reigns master among you, and your watchword is, “Each one for himself.” With certitude of the future, infinite space is peopled with infinitude. Emptiness and solitude do not exist; solidarity joins all beings both this side and beyond the tomb together. It is the reign of charity with the device, “One for all and all for one.” Instead of bidding an eternal farewell to dear friends at the close of life, you will now say, “Good bye till I see you again.”
Such are the results of the law of the new revelation. It has come to fill the void which incredulity has deepened, to revive hope where it is withering into doubt and a perspective of annihilation, to give to everything a reason for existing. Is this result, then, without importance because the spirits come not to solve scientific problems, and to give to the indolent the means of enriching themselves without trouble? However, the fruits which man ought to gather from it are not only those for a future life; he will extract good from the transformation that these new beliefs ought to work in his character, his tastes, his tendencies, and, in pursuance of which, upon his habits and social relations. In putting an end to selfishness, pride, and incredulity, the way is paved for the blessing, which is the reign of God announced by the Christ. *
* The use of the article before the word Christ (originating from the Greek Christos, anointed), employed in the absolute sense is more correct, as this word is not the name of the Messiah of Nazareth, but a quality considered substantial. One would then say: Jesus was Christ; he was the Christ announced. The death of the Christ, and not of Christ. Conversely, one can say: the death of Jesus and not of the Jesus. Together the two words Jesus Christ form one single noun. For this same reason one can say: The Buda Gautama acquired the dignity of Buda due to his virtues and his austerities; the life of the Buda. Just as one can say: army of the Pharaoh, and not of Pharaoh; Henry IV was king, the title of king; the death of the king, and not of king.