Allan Kardec

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16. Spiritists, today we wish to speak of indulgence, that sweet fraternal sentiment which everyone should harbour towards their fellow creatures, but which in fact is so little used. Indulgence does not see the defects of others, or if it does, it avoids speaking of them or divulging them. On the contrary, it seeks to hide them with the object of becoming the sole possessor of this knowledge, and if malevolence discovers it, then indulgence will always have a ready and plausible excuse. However, we do not mean those excuses which only have the appearance of lessening the failing, while in actual fact making it more evident, with perfidious intention.

Indulgence will never occupy itself with the evil actions of others, unless it is to offer help. But even in this case it will take care to lessen the fault as much as possible. It will never make shocking observations, nor offer censure, but only advise and even then usually in a veiled manner.

When you criticise, what consequences should be deduced from your words? That the one who censures be not guilty of that which is being reproved, so that they may be worth more than the culprit Humanity! When will you judge first your own hearts, thoughts and actions, without occupying yourselves with what your brothers and sisters are doing? When will you have stern eyes only for yourselves?

So then, be severe with yourselves, but indulgent to others. Remind yourself of He Who judges in the last instant, Who sees the innermost movements of each heart, consequently forgiving many times the failings which you censure and often condemning that which you condone because He knows the motive behind all action. Remember also that those who clamour in loud voices for others to be excommunicated, have perhaps themselves committed those very same faults, if not even greater ones.

Therefore my friends, always be indulgent seeing that indulgence attracts the like, calms and uplifts; whereas inclemency only disanimates, drives away all calm and causes irritation. - JOSEPH, a Protecting Spirit (Bordeaux, 1863).

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