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The Seven Purposes by Margaret Cameron 1867 - 1947

 

VII


 

April 5th.


 

"THIS is the seventh lesson.

 

"Before the light of freedom dawned on the world, a puissant chaos of purposes and forces fought for control of the liberties of men. A short space of time brought liberty of body, after the perception of the people had been clarified by the gradual development of the ideal of liberty. They moved rapidly toward it, when they began to understand it, with halts and hesitations and blunders, but forcefully and inevitably still. They overthrew kings and barons, and took into their own bands the physical and material government of their kind. But their minds and forces are still enslaved and shackled by outworn tradition. 'Onward Christian soldiers,' is a plea for progress; but it has become a recessional, not a marching song. Men have made their justice vassal to tradition, and their brotherhood fief to gain.

 

"Men have learned the value of free bodies,


 

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but free force, mental or spiritual, terrifies and puzzles them still. They have learned to discipline their bodies, to keep them strong and clean. But they fear to trust the purposes and forces, without chains and prison bars to hold them, lest they make chaos of civilization. Church, state, profession, trade, guild, or society commands: Thou shalt not think. Follow, yield, accept, and endure, but let not thought be found among, ye, lest the bars be broken and destruction loosed.

 

"Many men follow; a few men think. These are the overlords, the kings and barons of forces that might be free. But freedom demands free purpose, and free purpose demands justice

 

"No man is free who commands not himself. No man is free who forgets his brother. No man is free who fears to follow his own purpose with all his force. No man is free who fails to carry his share of the common load. He may have wealth and luxury; yet is he slave. He may be tempted by beauty; yet is he slave. He may be frightened by calamity; yet is he slave. He may be beaten by strangers; yet is he slave. No man is free who commands not himself in any emergency. He may lose wealth and luxury, and still be free. He may dwell with squalor, who loves beauty, and


 

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still be free. He may be defrauded by his brother, and still be free. He may be shackled by strangers, beaten and imprisoned, and still be free.

 

"Freedom lieth not in a man's estate, but in the man himself. "This is the seventh lesson."

 

PART - 8