Allan Kardec

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9. Authority, just as much as fortune, is delegated; and those who have received it will be required to give an account of what they have done with it. Do not believe that it has been given for the futile pleasure of command, nor even less as a right or property, as is falsely thought by the majority of powerful people on Earth. Besides, God is constantly proving that it is neither the one nor the other, since He takes it away whenever it pleases Him. If it was a privilege inherent to the person who exercised it, it would be inalienable. However, no one can say that something belongs to them, when it may be taken away without their consent. God confers authority with the title of mission or test, as He sees fit, and takes it back in the same manner.

For the depository of authority, whatever its extent may be, from the master over his servants to a sovereign over his peoples, it must never be forgotten that such people have souls in their charge, and will have to answer for both the good and bad directives given to these subordinates. The misdemeanours these may commit, and the vices to which they may succumb in consequence of the directives received or the bad examples given, will all revert to those in command; just as in the same way the fruits of the solicitudes offered in conducting these subordinates towards goodness will also revert to those in authority. Every good person on Earth has either a small or a great mission, and whatever form it may take, it is always given for the purpose of goodness. Therefore to turn it away from its purpose is to fail in the execution of the task.

If God asks the rich man: "What have you done with the fortune in your hands which should have been a source for spreading fruitfulness all around you?", He will also inquire of those who have some authority: "What have you done with your authority? What evils have you avoided? What progress have you made? If I gave you subordinates it was not so that you could turn them into slaves to your desires, or docile instruments for your whims or your greed. I made you strong and entrusted to you those who were weak, so that you could protect them and help them to climb up towards Me."

The acting superior who keeps Christ's words despises none of his subordinates, because he knows that social distinctions do not exist before God. Spiritism teaches him that if these people are obeying him today, perhaps they have already given him orders in the past, or may give them to him later on, and that then he will be treated in the same manner as when they were under him.

If the superior has duties to be fulfilled, the subaltern also has duties on his side which are no less sacred. If this person is also a Spiritist their conscience will tell them, in no uncertain terms, that they are not exempt from fulfilling these duties even when their superior does not fulfill his, because they know that you do not repay evil with evil and that the failings of some do not authorize others to fail likewise. If they suffer in their position, they will comment that without doubt they deserve it because they have perhaps abused the authority they had been given at some other time, and that now they are feeling the disadvantages that they had made others suffer. If they are obliged to support this situation for want of a better one, then Spiritism teaches them to be resigned as a test of their humility which is necessary for their advancement. Their belief guides them in their conduct; inducing them to proceed as they would wish subordinates to behave towards them, if they were the superior. For this reason they are more scrupulous in the fulfilment of their obligations, as they understand that all negligence in the work which has been confided to them would cause a loss to the one who pays them and to whom they owe their time and effort. In a word, this person is guided by their sense of duty, which their faith has instilled in them, and the certainty that all turning aside from the straight and narrow pathway will be a debt incurred that must be repaid sooner or later. - FRANÇOIS-NICOLAS- MADELEINE. Cardinal MORLOT (Paris, 1863).

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