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The Seven Purposes by Margaret Cameron 1867 - 1947

 

V


 

April 3d.


 

"THIS is the fifth lesson.

 

"Men have long cherished the ideal of Brotherhood, but they have clung to the letter of the ancient law and lost its spirit. Before the days of liberty, when men were languishing in slavery or bound as vassals, sell all thou hast and give to the poor had a significance lost in a day of free labor and industrial progress. The spirit of the law is unchanged and unchangeable, but the letter progresses with civilization's advance.

 

"To-day, the first essential of brotherhood is freedom. Freedom to think, freedom to believe, freedom to strive, freedom to develop, from highest to lowest. And the employer who refuses this opportunity to the men who work under him is no more truly a force for disintegration than the laborer who refuses to cooperate with his employer and thus proves himself unworthy of a place in the procession of progress.


 

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"There can be no house that will stand against storm that has not foundation, walls, and roof. There can be no society that will withstand disintegration that has not labor, capital, and market. When capital oppresses labor, forces of disintegration are freed. When labor dominates capital, forces of disintegration are freed. When the people forget justice, forces of disintegration are freed. And the destruction of one is the destruction of all. The rich man who denies his brother freedom is a destroyer. The poor man who denies his brother freedom is a destroyer in no less degree. Each is a part of the other, and each follows eternal purpose to one endó construction and progress.

 

"The man who has freedom of thought, freedom of purpose, freedom of action, is free, though he be a pauper, and is free to choose whether he will build or destroy. The man who is bound by any tie that dictates his thought, belief, or action is a force of disintegration, because he may not follow his purpose freely and with all his force. The man who has freedom and wealth, and forgets his brother, is a force of disintegration. The man who has strength and poverty, and forgets his brother, is a force of disintegration. Equality of opportunity does not demand or imply


 

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equality of development. Many men are rich who use their wealth to forward the purposes of construction. Many there are who waste it and invite disintegration. Many men are poor, who use their strength to help along construction. They are forces of progress, and will find their places here. Many there are who delay the march, and invite disintegration. What shall it profit a man, though he gain the earth, if he lose his own soul?

 

"There are seven purposes. Progress, Light, Truth, Healing, Building, Production, and Justice. Equally great, save Progress, which moves them all. One of these must each man serve, if he proceeds toward the Great Purpose. Whether great or small, high or low, wise or foolish, learned or ignorant, rich or poor, powerful or apparently impotent, each human individual is a force for construction or for disintegration, and follows his purpose to its inevitable end: constructive forces to construction of great purposes, disintegrating forces to the long struggle that can have but one end, however distantóconstruction.

 

"There are many phases of development, each looking onward to the next, If a man climb without envy, forgetting himself in his purpose, he shall climb far. If he look with envy at his higher brother and with scorn at


 

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those below him, he shall climb on slipping sands and find himself again at the foot.

 

"Bear ye one another's burdens is a command unchanged and unchangeable. Give unto each his opportunity to grow, and to build for progress. Freedom to strive is the one right inherent in existence, the strong and the weak each following his own purpose, with all his force, to the one great end. And he who binds or limits his brother's purpose binds himself now and hereafter. But he who extends his brother's opportunity builds for eternity.

 

"Choose ye.

 

"This is the fifth lesson."

 

PART - 6