25. This recital, so simple and artless, carries in itself an evident character of truth. There is nothing marvelous or fantastic about it; it is a scene from real life. The language of this blind man is that of one in which good, natural common sense supplies the place of knowledge, and who combats the arguments of his adversaries with simplicity, yet with an ability which is not wanting in justice. Is not the speech of the Pharisee like that of proud men who think there is no knowledge outside of their own, and that a man of the people is unworthy of a single thought or remonstrance? Barring the name, we have the same kind of people in our day.
To be expelled from the synagogue was equivalent to being excommunicated from the Church. The Spiritists, whose doctrines are those of Christ, interpreted according to the progress of the present light, are treated as the Jews who recognized Jesus as the Messiah. By excommunicating them, they place them outside of the Church, as the scribes and the Pharisees did in regard to the followers of Jesus. In this narrative the man is expelled because he can believe only in him who has cured him, whether he be a sinner or one possessed by a demon, and because he glorifies God for his cure! Is not the same thing done to Spiritists? Because they obtain wise counsel from spirits, have returned to goodness and God, and perform cures, it is said to be the work of the Devil, and anathema is cast at them. Have we not heard priests from the high altar say, “It is better to remain an incredulous than to return to the faith by Spiritism?” Have we not heard them tell the sick ones that they must not be cured by Spiritists who possess this gift, because it is a gift from Satan? Have we not heard them telling the sick to reject the bread given by Spiritists, for it is the bread of the devil? What did and said the Jewish priests and Pharisees more than that? Moreover, it is written that the same unbelief must be felt by some at this epoch of the world’s history, as in the time of Christ.
This question of the disciples — viz., “Is this man blind because of sin?” — indicates the knowledge of an anterior existence; otherwise no sense could be made of it; for the sin which would be the cause of an infirmity, which is born with a person, must have been committed before this birth, and consequently in an anterior existence. If Jesus had recognized a false idea in the question, he would have said to them, “How could this man have sinned before birth?” Instead of that, he replies, that, if this man is blind, it is not because he has sinned, but that the glory of God may be shown in him; i.e., that he must be the instrument of a manifestation of the power of God. If it were not an expiation of the past, it was an experience which must have advanced him towards perfection; for God’s laws are just, we have no suffering without compensation.
As to the means employed to cure him, it is evident that the clay formed of soil and saliva obtained its healing properties from the healing fluid with which it was impregnated. Thus the most simple agents — water, for example — can acquire powerful and effective qualities under the action of the spiritual or magnetic fluid, to which they serve as vehicle, or reservoir.