“My dear brothers and sisters in Spiritism,
I have no words to express my emotions after your warm and benevolent reception. Allow me to say a few words and not long sentences which would not say more that I will place my first visit to Bordeaux among the happiest in my life and from which I will keep eternal memory. Nevertheless I will not forget either, ladies and gentlemen, that this reception imposes a great task on my shoulders that is to justify it, something that I intend to do with the help of God and the good spirits. It also imposes, in addition, important obligations not only towards you but also with the spiritists of all regions, represented by you, as members of the large family, as also with Spiritism in general, that you have just acclaimed in these two solemn meetings that, have no doubt, will recruit in your town a new force to fight against the obstacles that may stand on your way.
In my message yesterday I spoke about your irresistible force. Aren’t you the evident proof of that? Isn’t that something remarkable that the inauguration of a Spiritist Society like yours starting with the spontaneous gathering of three hundred persons, attracted not by a vain curiosity but by conviction and a unique desire to gather around a single focus? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the fact is not only remarkable but providential. Here is what my spiritual guide, the Spirit of Truth, said yesterday about the subject and before the session:
‘God has stamped with the immutable seal of His resolve the time for the regeneration of the children of this great city. Hence, hands on with confidence and courage! Tonight the destinies of its inhabitants begin to leave behind the routine of passions that used to germinate from its wealth and luxury like the weed growing together with the good grain, then reaching the heights of its eternal destiny through the moral progress entailed by Spiritism. You can see that Bordeaux is a city loved by the spirits as you encounter the most sublime devotions of charity of all kinds multiplying within its walls. Hence they were afflicted for seeing this city falling behind in the progressive movement that Spiritism has just imposed onto humanity. However, the progress will be so fast that the spirits will praise the Lord for having inspired in you the wishes to come and help them in this sacred route.’
As you see, ladies and gentlemen, the impulse that pushes you comes from above and it would be a real temerity to try to stop it since it would be knocked down like the rebellious angels that wanted to fight against God’s power.
Thus you must have no fear for the opposition brought up by some self-serving adversaries or the strutting materialistic incredulity. Materialism gets to its final hour and it is Spiritism that rings the bell since Spiritism is the dawn that dissipates the darkness of night. And here is something Providential! It is materialism itself that unwillingly serves as support to the propagation of Spiritism. Materialism calls the attention of the indifferent through its attacks. People want to know what it is about and since they find it interesting they adopt it. You have the proof of that before your eyes; without the articles of a given newspaper of your town perhaps the number of spiritists in Bordeaux would be half of what they are. That article has certainly excited curiosity because people generally say: this is been attacked then there must be something. They assessed the importance of the subject by the extension of the article. Then they asked: Is it good? Is it bad? Is it true? Is it false? In any case, let us see. They saw it and you know the result.
Then, far from having any hard feeling towards the author of the article we must be grateful for the free propaganda. And if there is any friend of his here we ask you to please stimulate him to restart so that instead of the 300 of today we will be 600 next year. I could mention to you other curious cases of propaganda carried out in certain cities by choleric sermons against Spiritism. Like Lyon, Bordeaux has just proudly planted the flag of Spiritism and what I see here gives me guarantees that it will not be removed. Bordeaux and Lyon! Two of the greatest cities in France! Focal points of light! And some say that the spiritists are mad! Praise the mad of such a kind! Let us not forget Metz that has just founded its Society where one finds officers of all ranks, claiming entry into the great family. I hope that Toulouse, Marseille and other cities where the new seed is already germinating will soon join their elder sisters, providing the signs of regeneration in their respective regions.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the name of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies I propose a toast to the spiritists of Bordeaux; to their fraternal union to resist the enemy that may want to divide it, thus facilitating their influence. I add to this toast and from the bottom of my heart with the liveliest sympathy the Spiritist Group of the Workers of Bordeaux that, like those of Lyon, give us a remarkable example of enthusiasm, devotion, abnegation and moral transformation.
I assure you that I am happy, very happy for seeing your delegates fraternally united around this table with the highest social ranks, demonstrating the influence of Spiritism upon social prejudices. It could not be different when we learn that the one who has the best social position in this world may have perhaps been a modest worker and that shaking hands with the last worker one may perhaps shake hands with a brother, a father or friend. In the name of the spiritists of Metz and Lyon, of whom I make myself the interpreter, I thank you for having included them in your expression of fraternal feelings.
To the spiritists of Bordeaux!
Ladies and gentlemen, the spiritist must not be ungrateful. I believe it to be our duty to acknowledge those who serve our cause even unwillingly. Thus, I propose a toast to the author of the article in the Courrier de la Gironde for his services, wishing that from time to time he may renovate his witty articles. And God willing very soon he will be the only sensible person in Bordeaux.