17. The forms generally enough employed till now for predictions makes of them veritable enigmas, often undecipherable. This mysterious and cabalistic form, of which Nostradamus offers the most complete type, give to them a certain prestige to the common eye, which attribute so much the more value as they are the more incomprehensible. By their ambiguity they end themselves to very different interpretations, in such a way that, according to the sense attributed to certain allegorical words or those of convention, the manner of computing the calculation, oddly complicated with dates, with a little patience one finds there nearly all that one desires.
Whatever it may be, one cannot deny that some are of a serious character, and are confounded by their truth. It is probable that this veiled form has had some time its use, and even its necessity.
Today circumstances are no more the same; the positivism of the century would not accommodate itself to sibylline language. Thus the predictions of our day affect no more these strange forms. Those which the spirits give have nothing mystical about them. They speak in common language, as they did when living, because they have not ceased to belong to humanity. They predict to us future things, personal or general, as this can be useful to us, according to the clear-sightedness with which they are endowed, as counselors or friends would do. Their predictions are, then, rather warnings, which take nothing away from the free will, than predictions which properly speaking, would imply an absolute fatality. There is nearly always also a motive assigned for their opinion, because they do not wish to annihilate man’s reason under a blind faith which permits them to appreciate the justice of it.