THE LEGION SYSTEM INVARIABLE
- Members are not at liberty to vary rules and practices as they choose. The
system described is the Legion system. Each variation, however slight, makes
others inevitable, till presently a body is in existence which indeed bears the
name, but possesses little else of the Legion; and which the Legion would not
hesitate to disown, even though work in itself valuable were being done.
- Experience has shown that the name of an organisation has little definite
meaning for some persons. For they regard it as a virtual tyranny if they are
not permitted to cover with the name of a standard organisation some composition
of their own minds.
Sometimes "modernisers" proceed to alter almost
everything in the Legion while retaining its name. Can they not see that such an
illegal transferring to their own possession of the established position and
membership of the Legion would be the worst sort of depredation because it is in
the spiritual order.
- And places - like persons - are apt to conceive that they are out of the
common and that their case has to be specially legislated for. Hence the
proposals which are from time to time made that the Legion system should be
flexed to meet alleged special circumstances. Such modifications, if made, will
have an unhappy sequel. For almost invariably they spring, not from necessity
(for the Legion has already demonstrated its universal adaptability), but from
the operation of a false spirit of independence. Such will never attract the
special blessings of Heaven, and the fruit of that independence will always be a
falling away. However, as it will not always be possible to convince people of
this, it is at least pointed out to those who are set upon exercising a right of
private judgment in relation to the rules of the Legion, that their only course
in honour is to refrain from covering their transactions with the name of the
- Moreover, this ingenious picking of parts, which too-clever men often
indulge in, never succeeds in capturing a quality of sweetness and inspiration
which was the real power of the original, so that the usual result of this
species of surgery is a corpse. But at the very best, what is created is a
beautiful machine and nothing more. When poor results or failure follow, there
is a heavy responsibility to be faced.
- The various councils of the Legion exist chiefly for the purpose of
preserving intact the Legion system. At all costs they must be true to the
trusteeship committed to them.