LORDS OF THE HEART: II. JUSTICE
We must know the Functions of Love and Justice.—We have said that two potent personages hold rule in the House of Heart—Love and Justice. The question occurs, do not the claims of the two clash? They do sometimes. Love leans to leniency, and injures where it should sustain. Justice leans to severity, and repels where it should win. Therefore it is necessary for us to think on these things and con the several parts of Love and Justice at least as carefully as we should con a Greek verb or a problem in Euclid. Indeed, these latter we can live without, but Love and Justice are inseparable from Mansoul; they are there, and we must take count of them. Not that they are as self-adjusting wheels, so to speak, which go right whether we will or no. On the contrary, these Lords of the Bosom require the continual supervision of the Prime Minister, himself ruled by the higher Power; and without such over-looking they produce tangles in the lives of men.
Everyone has Justice in his Heart.—We have already considered the ways of Love and the various offices of his Lords in Waiting. Let us now think
upon Justice, and who they are surrounding his seat and carrying out his mandates. First let us realise our wealth. It is a great thing to know that there is not a Mansoul in the world, however mean or unconsidered, neglected or savage, who has not Justice in his heart. A cry for fair-play will reach the most lawless mob. ‘It’s not fair,’ goes home to everybody. Different nations have different notions as to the way of it, but fair-play for himself and others is the demand of every man’s heart.
I must hurt nobody by Word or Deed.—Justice requires that we should take steady care everyday to yield his rights to every person we come in contact with; that is, “to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us: to hurt nobody by word or deed”; therefore we must show gentleness to the persons of others, courtesy to their words, and deference to their opinions, because these things are due. We must be true and just in all our dealing. Veracity, fidelity, simplicity, and sincerity must therefore direct our words. Candour, appreciation, discrimination must guide our thoughts. Fair-dealing, honesty, integrity must govern our actions.
I must be Just to all other Persons.—This Justice to the persons, property, words, thoughts, and actions of others, I must show to my parents, teachers, rulers, and all who are set in authority over me and over my country, because it is their right and my duty. In the same way, I must be just to the words, thoughts, and actions of my brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbours, and all others who are my equals, in my own words, thoughts and actions. I must be just, too, in word, thought and deed to servants, to all people who are employed by me or mine, to all who work for
me, whether in my own home or in the world. I must be fair, that is, just, to all persons whose opinions and ways of life differ from my own, even to all who offend against the laws of God and man. It is my duty to be just in this way to the persons, the reputation, and the property of all other persons, so far as I have anything to do with them. Therefore, “I must bear no malice or hatred in my heart, must keep my hands from picking and stealing, my tongue from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering,” and “I must not covet nor desire other men’s goods, but must learn and labour truly to get mine own living and do my duty in that state of life to which it hath pleased God to call me.”
We are able to pay the Dues of Justice.—It is quite plain that to think fairly, speak truly, and act justly towards all persons at all times and on all occasions, which is our duty, is a matter requiring earnest thought and consideration—is, in fact, the study of a lifetime. We might be a little discouraged by the thought of how much is due from us to all our neighbours everywhere, if it were not that Justice is within us, ready to rule; that the Lords in waiting of his court wait upon his bidding. Candour, sincerity, simplicity, integrity, fidelity, and the rest are our servants at command, and what we have to do is to find our way about in the Circuit of Justice, to recognise the dues of others as they come before us, and behold! we have in hand always that coin of the realm of Justice wherewith to pay the dues of all our neighbours. It is a great thing to know this; to be able to walk about wealthy in the streets of our Mansoul, and to know that we have wherewith to pay our way on all hands. Many a poor soul goes
a pauper; he has all the coinage of Justice, but does not know it, and therefore does not use it. He is blind because he fixes his eyes all the time on his own rights and other people’s duties; therefore he cannot see other people’s rights and his own duties; that is, he cannot be just.
Our own Rights.—You ask: Have we then no rights ourselves, and have other people no duties towards us? We have indeed rights, precisely the same rights as other people, and when we learn to think of ourselves as one of the rest, with just the same rights as other people and no more, to whom others owe just such duties as we owe to them and no more, we shall, as it were, get our lives in focus and see things as they are. There is a wonderful parable in the story of the man who first was blind and saw no man, and then had his eyes partially opened so that he saw men as trees walking, and at last was blessed with the full vision of other people as they are.