A Workingman — the noblest Roman of them all;
AND TO THE
WORKINGMEN OF AMERICA, AND THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN:
Who constitute the bone and sinew of the Republic,
the blood and brains of the Church,
the salt of Society;
AND TO THE
WORKING OF ALL LANDS AND ALL AGES, AND THEIR
Who have bridged the oceans with ships, who have girdled the earth
with highways, who have built all the cities, founded all the
empires, breathed the breath of life into all noble civilizations,
who have been the only pioneers and
princes of discovery and invention,
Who have transformed the desert into fruitful fields and the wilderness
into Edenic gardens, who have headed every righteous
revolution, who have supplied the world with heroes
and saints and martyrs, out of whose bosom
came the Carpenter of Nazareth,
THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD,
This volume, much of it the outgrowth of his own experience,
IS HOPEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED,
BY THE AUTHOR.
The following discourses are presented to the world just as they were delivered. Though the preparation was timely, thorough and unsparingly painstaking the delivery was free, purely off-hand, often impassioned, and sometimes impetuous. "My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue." They were listened to by all classes. Millionaires and mud-carriers sat side by side. Silk and broadcloth mingled on terms of blessed equality with calico and corduroy. There were many tokens of approval and of disapproval, but no one was enangered — no hearts were hurt and no bones were broken. They were asked for in printed form. MR. FERDINARD J. WENDELL, one of the most successful and progressive newspaper men in the West, and President of the extensive and enterprising Central Press Association, responded to this demand, and, catching "the winged words" gave them to the world in the Daily Press of Fort Wayne, and in the other papers published elsewhere by him. Having had a wide reading in the daily and weekly papers, there now appears to be quite a general desire for their publication in book form. I acquiesce for two reasons: First, because I am told they have already moved several employers to be more merciful to their men, to increase their pay, and to decrease the number of working hours per day; Second, because I know the Nazarene Carpenter has been accepted by many workingmen who have been made to feel, through their instrumentality, that Christ and His Church love them, and are interested in them. I pray that their usefulness, in these two directions, may be greatly augmented by their publication in this more enduring form.
If I have fallen into fallacious reasoning, or have been deceived by specious logic, or am in error regarding facts or figures I will be grateful to any reader if he will write to me stating his objections, and giving proof that he is right and that I am wrong.
JOHN MERRITTE DRIVER
386 CALHOUN STREET,
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA
Sermon I. The Rights of Employers.
TEXT: And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches. * * * For God had given him substance very much. * * * And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. — II Chron. 32: 27, 29, 30.
King Hezekiah was a good man and rich. Though his coffers were full, his heart was none the less rich both manward and Godward. Accumulated wealth, power, prerogative and dazzling aggrandizment could not sour his disposition, or induce acerbity of spirit. He was impervious to all the wiles of wealth. He was not a rich man, but a MAN rich. There are more rich men than there are men rich. Dives has a numerous posterity. The capitalist snubbing the associates of humbler years, and even turning his back on the toil-bent parents that succored him in infancy and youthhood, shows how Lazarus may develop the spirit that is so universally detested. "He that ruleth his spirit is better than he
2that taketh a city." Even Anarchy has nothing to say against our millionaire Shaws and Coopers and Ditsons and Jacob Sleepers. Rich employers and yet a blessing to hundreds and thousands of people.
I am to discuss to-night the rights of employers. That the employer has certain inalienable rights I do not have to prove. Thus far we agree. But what those rights are is a problem most vexed, and provocative of much bitterness. Hear me, then, while I attempt to make answer. First of all
Let me introduce to you John Jones. John Jones is a remarkable man. He is the most industrious man in the community. At three A. M. and ten P. M., and for aught his neighbors know, all night John Jones is hard at work. His neighbors wonder when he sleeps. His hands are calloused, his face is wrinkled, his back is semi-circular, and as he passes along every body says: "John Jones is working himself to death." Then they indulge in reminiscences. One was passing by Jones' at eleven o'clock at night, another at twelve, another at one, two and three, and so on around the dial face of the clock, and each saw John Jones busy at work. Strange man was John Jones — a very prodigy of industry. Others slept or idled away their time, or dallied with their work, but Jones was Herculean and Sysiphian. But he was also remarkable for his economy. People
3wondered if the hat he wore was not pre-Adamic, and if his coat, old and by far too small for him, was not the same one Hannah made for Samuel, or certainly the one Paul forgot and left behind at Troas. The oldest hatter and booter could scarcely remember when John Jones made the last purchase in their stores. But, upon reflection they recall the fact that a long time ago he came in and made a purchase, carefully selecting the most substantial goods, and asking no credit. For fancy neck and wrist paraphernalia he had no use whatever. He was simply plain, hardworking, unassuming John Jones. He was no gastronomer. Not that he was miserly in providing for the table, but simply economical. He did not feast his family on the brains of peacocks and the tongues of nightingales, because he considered such an expenditure foolish, unnecessary, even sinful, and especially when bacon was only ten cents a pound, meal forty cents a bushel, and the family could make its own hominy. He was an abundant provider, but it was always along severely substantial lines. And yet no family was more robust and rubicund than John Jones', none was happier, none larger of body, of head and of heart. The Jones' were hardy, happy and prosperous.
But to his marvelous industry and economy he added the acquisitive and accumulative instincts. He was a money-maker and a money-saver. He was keen, shrewd, diligent, persistent, far-seeing, and some said, prophetic. Whatever he touched turned to gold, and the gold in his
4hands repeated itself almost as miraculously as the loaves and fishes in the desert place. He was no miser. He gave his share to Society, Church and State. He was no Shylock. He was close and persistent, but never unmerciful. His debtors respected him. His employes loved him and believed in him. He was not a legal wrangler. He never went to law. He was never brought to law. He would allow even his enemies to compose a board of arbitration to decide what was rightfully his. He would lose outright, indeed, before he would waste time, temper and money on lawyers, courts and witnesses.
He became rich. What wonder? Industry, economy, acquisitiveness and accumulativeness so strongly developed could scarcely fail to result in vast wealth. He was a thousandaire, then a millionaire, then a billionaire. And at the very apex of almost unexampled fortune he was simple, generous, humane and greatly beloved. Even the laggards and unfortunates did not question John Jones' honor, honesty and generosity.
Now, then, what I assert is, John Jones has a right to what he has fairly earned and saved. His one thousand or ten thousand employes have no right to vote away or extort his accumulations of more than half a century. Employes working eight or ten hours a day have no right to demand the pay he received when working eighteen or twenty hours per day. Employes spending from fifty cents to five dollars per day for tobaccos and intoxicating drinks have no right to share what John Jones saved by
5total abstinence from the weed and worm. In short, he who toils unusually hard, through unusual hours, and practices unusual economy and self-denial and exercises unusual thrift and precaution, has a right to all the accruing benefits. John Jones has an inalienable right to all he has honestly earned. But again:
John Jones sickens and dies. He lingers a month before the silver cord is loosed and the golden bowl is broken. On a glorious autumnal Saturday afternoon he assembles his family and rehearses to them his whole life, beginning at the time when, barefooted and penniless, he left the country home on one of the quietest hillsides in New Hampshire. It is a thrilling recital. He tells of his early struggles; how he loved his family; how he toiled for them; how he denied himself for their sakes; how, having almost countless wealth at last, he lived on a pittance; how many of his employes and business associates had squandered fortunes in recklessness and prodigality; how it required twice the money to keep his coachman it took to supply all his wants. With deep and tender emotion he told how, though he was rich, yet he lived as one poor for the enrichment of those dearer to him than his own life; of his early buffetings and misfortunes; his pinching poverty; his biting want; how that often he suffered for the ordinary necessaries of life. While they sobbed aloud
6he told how he formed a deathless resolution to save his precious wife and darling children from such penury and want; how for fifty years he struggled day and night. And when men, sometimes his own employes, jeered and scoffed, when they mocked and railed and called him a miser and a Shylock, when they hurled opprobrious epithets at him, he thought of his babies, some of them advanced in years, indeed, but his babies still, and he toiled joyfully on. Then, having gone over everything, he solemnly charged his children to be industrious, economical and sober, to fear God and eschew evil, to be kindly and generous and especially with all who had grown old in his service, and to not fail to make ample provision for their own families. The sun sank behind the hills. The evening star peeped over the horizon. Hesperus led forth the siderial hosts. There was a labored breathing for a moment and John Jones was registered in the great Hereafter.
What right have the Jones children to squander their patrimony? What right have they to administer the wealth thus committed to them otherwise than the way indicated by the toiling, generous, but now sainted father? Indeed does it not become a mark of filial love and moral integrity to guard the estate and devote it to the purposes near and dear to the father's heart? To squander it themselves, or to permit outsiders to pillage and appropriate it would indicate a lack of filial love, and the deepest moral obliquity. I think I have made two
7points plain; first, John Jones had a right to his honestly earned millions; second, John Jones' children have a right to the millions won for them, and given to them with unspeakable love and countless benedictions.
You observe, of course, that John Jones is an ideal character. There are but few John Jones; but there are a few. The late Peter Cooper, Abraham Van Ness, William E. Dodge and Horace Greeley were such men. You observe, also, that I am not discussing the philanthropic and Christian aspects of great wealth.
Farther along when we come to discuss the obligations of employers and the rights of the employed, those aspects shall have full and abundant treatment. But the capitalistic employer has his rights — rights as just and inalienable as the rights of the employe — a fact that is sometimes lost sight of. It will do us good to have a clear conception of what those rights are. It may make us more generous in our appreciation of the employer, and more temperate in our demands. It may help us, too, to get a clearer insight if we put ourselves in John Jones' place, or in the place of his children, and consider how we ourselves would feel and act under similar circumstances. It often makes a great difference in our judgments when our own ox, and not some one elses, is gored. But I remark again:
Generosity may prompt the employer to keep an employe who is physically, mentally or technically
8incompetent, but certainly he is under no more obligation to do so than the workingman is required to accept inferior script as pay for his work, or inferior dry goods or groceries for his money. Indeed, under certain conditions the acceptance of incompetent service becomes criminal. No man has a right to employ an incompetent physician to administer to his family. No guardian has a right to employ an incompetent lawyer to secure the contested rights of his ward. No school board has a right to employ incompetent teachers to instruct "the burgomasters of the future." No banking corporation has a right to employ incompetent tellers and bookkeepers to handle other people's money. No railway or steamship company has a right to employ incompetent service even in the humblest departments. No master builder has a right to employ incompetent mechanics. No druggist has a right to employ an incompetent pharmacist. The employer has no right to accept a bribe in the form of small pay to give employment to inefficient men. If the applicant is unable, from lack of strength or skill or mental force, to do the necessary work, the employer not only has a right to reject the application, but is under obligation to do so. To be sure the apprentice has his place, but I am not treating that problem now. But this much may be said, no employer is under obligation to accept inferior service in order to teach men a trade. Generosity, not justice, is the apprentice's hope. When other people's rights are not involved the employer
9may accept the service of novices if he chooses to, but there can be no outside compulsion. These rights and obligations of the employer can no more be legislated away than Congress can legislate the sun out of its orbit. Again:
An immoral man is always an uncertain quantity and is more or less unsafe. We recognize this fact when our daughter's hand is asked in marriage. If the suitor be licentious, or a drinking man — even a moderate drinker — we promptly refuse our consent. He may reform, but the probabilities are he will not. He may grow no worse, but more than likely he will. How then dare John Jones, or John Jones' children, entrust any sort of work or business to an immoral man? Even the lighter forms of profanity are demoralizing. The sugarcoated pill has bitterness and nausea within. It may prove to be deadly poison. If a man is untrue to his mother or his wife, if he is a frequenter of the saloon or the gaming-table, if he has immoral and profligate associations, he is an unsafe man, and the employer has the right to peremptorily decline his services. If other people's interests, financially or otherwise, are involved, the employer is under unmistakable obligation to decline, and dispense with all such help. The scarlet woman, the intoxicating cup and the gaming-table, are a trinity of character iconoclasts that will wreck, beyond
10recovery, the finest masterpiece that ever came from the hand of the divine Architect. Emerson well says: "Character is higher than intellect. No circumstance can repair a defect of character." Once more:
Men of the Parsons, Spies, Fielding and John Most type have no reciprocal rights that the employer is bound to respect. Said a barber to me, on Calhoun street: "That fellow at the second chair is satisfied with nothing. He changes his boarding place every four weeks. If he were to get $1,000 a day he would still kick and complain." Such men are usually busybodies and blight the fellowship of every establishment they enter. To please them is an impossibility. They are kindred spirits with those rebellious angels that were dissatisfied with heaven itself, and conspired against it. Now, while I believe in the most open, frank and unfettered discussion by the workingmen, of their rights and how to obtain them, of their grievances, and from whom and whence they come, I do not believe in the John Most, Martin Irons and Dennis Kearney type of labor agitators. I do not believe that abuse ever accomplished anything but evil. I do not believe that bitterness and acerbity were ever beneficent. I believe that the strongest spirits are the sweetest and most patient. Only a man of the Prince of Orange stamp could have rescued Britain from the Stuarts. Only a
11man of the George Washington stamp could have achieved American independence. Only a man of the William H. Seward stamp could have averted war with her Majesty's government over the Trent affair. Only a man of the Abraham Lincoln stamp could have unmanacled the millions in bondage. And he who stirs up sullen strife among his fellow employes by bitter, wholesale denunciations, and provokes sedition and retaliation by charges untrue and slanderous — who incites the workmen to do inferior work, or waste and destroy material and completed work — is as great an enemy to the workman's interests as he is to the interests of the employer. The employer should lose no time in dismissing him, and the other employes should hasten his departure. He is their common enemy. In conclusion:
Suppose the butchers and bakers and grocers were to organize, and say to the workingmen: "You shall trade with us or with no one, here or no where. It is true you could get your meat and bread and groceries elsewhere much cheaper than we propose to sell them. It is true other butchers, bakers and grocers would treat you with much greater civility and generosity. It is true it is to your interest to trade elsewhere. But we have combined against you, and you have got to come to our
12terms. Buy of us, or do without. Trade with us or starve. Get of us, or go to the boneyard." Would the workingmen submit? Never! How then dare the workingmen lay down the law to the employer and say; You shall employ us; you shall not employ other men. If you refuse to employ us we will stop your trains, shut down your shops and factories, and imperil your property and your lives. If the workingman has the right to discriminate between butchers, bakers and grocers equally deserving and accept certain ones and reject all the rest, then the employer has the right, other things being equal, to hire whom he will and refuse to hire whom he will not.
My prayer is for the speedy Christianization of both labor and capital. What a glorious day it will be when the Nazarene Carpenter becomes the universal Foreman. And the day is coming when His spirit shall pervade all the avenues of activity; when God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven ; when every employer shall say with Boaz, to his employe: "The Lord be with you," and when every employe shall respond, with the Judean harvesters, "The Lord bless thee." That sentiment I echo to-night. The Lord be with all toilers; the Lord bless all employers.
I pray for the multiplication of employers like Cooper, Van Ness, Dodge and Greeley. They had no trouble with their hundreds and thousands of employes. They recognized each other's worth. They yielded to
13each other's just demands. They did not stickle over trifles. They had a fine scorn for red tape and punctilio. The spirit of Shylock had no harborage in the heart of employer or employe. They were more than just on both sides. They were generous. For abstract rights they had no concern. Abstract right would tumble down every city, demoralize every civilization, and engulf every soul in starless and eternal night. But the one motto of employer and employe was: "Put yourself in his place." On that platform every cloud vanished and arbitration had its perfect work. May God greatly multiply such employers.
I still further exhort all employers to be merciful. Begin with justice, but do not stop there. Imitate your Heavenly Father who begins with justice but always ends with merciful generosity. Be willing to arbitrate and compromise. Be willing to go half way — yes, all the way. You can afford to do it even though abstract right places no obligation upon you. Your Father in heaven condescended to arbitrate and compromise with even the murderers of His only begotton Son. The Cross points to the four corners of the earth. One beam stands for arbitration: the other for conciliation. And he who refuses to settle his difficulties — whether employer or employe — in the light of the cross has not yet learned of Him who gave Himself freely for us all. Let the employer and the employe join hands of mutual confidence and brotherly love, and before high heaven vow:
14"Whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me."
Sermon II. The Obligations of Employers.
TEXT: So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter ; and on the side of their oppressors there was power ; had they had no comforter — Ecclesiastes iv: 1.
Israel entered upon her new life under the arch of God's providence. And the two pillars supporting that arch were respectively inscribed: "Thou shalt," and "Thou shalt not." Adam and Eve walked under that arch in Eden. Life is crowded with incentives and restrictions. Yes and no, affirmative and negative, thou shalt and thou shalt not, walk forever hand in hand. He who learns what he may do has but half learned life's lesson. What he may not do is often the more important part. Workingmen believe that many capitalistic employers have but partially learned the first part, while the second has been wholly ignored. God helping me I will present both sides of the shield tonight: What the employer may do, and what he may not do. Every employer stands under the arch of capital, and the two pillars declare upon the one hand, "Thou shalt," and upon the other, "Thou shalt not." Consider, first,
First of all, the employer should not denounce workingmen or treat them patronizingly. Workingmen, as a class, are worthy of all praise, and are, in every essential quality of manhood, the equal of the millionaire employer. Toil is both honorable and ennobling.
Some employers are exceedingly arrogant with workingmen. For instance, when the discharged New York Central employes asked Mr. Webb why they were dismissed he practically answered: "It is none of your business." Some years ago in Boston a small body of employers, because their workingmen asked for better pay, pledged $20,000 to drive them "to submission or starvation." And Vice-President Webb is reported as saying that he would squander millions before he would arbitrate with the Knights of Labor. Even in Fort Wayne some employers are said to declare that a dollar a day is enough for any laboring man. The rule or ruin spirit, and thank-God-I-am-not-as-other-men-are, disposition, are peculiarly obnoxious in the capitalistic employer. It is indicative of both heartlessness and imbecility. Again, the employer should not make
Payments should be made weekly, and, if possible, daily. There is no excuse for paying only once a month, but on the other hand, rank injustice. To begin with, the laborer is required to advance work from one to thirty
17days before he gets his pay. Would the employer be willing to advance from one to thirty days' pay before the work is done? Hardly. And yet it is a poor rule that will not work both ways. Then, when payments are monthly, the employer gets from one to thirty days' interest on every laborer's wages. The Pennsylvania system, it is said, employs about 80,000 men; the Vanderbilt system about 100,000 men. The monthly pay roll runs up into the millions. One day's interest on a million dollars is no inconsiderable sum. Multiply the one day interest on up to thirty and you will see how much money is pocketed by the employer by paying only once a month. It is the workingman's money on interest, but the employer gets the benefit. The interest
Then, when payments are far apart the employe, as a rule, has to go in debt. The tradesmen say: "Mr. Workingman, if we credit you thirty days we will have to charge you thirty days' interest on your purchases." So the employer pockets thirty days' interest off of the workingman's wages, and the tradesman takes off thirty days' interest on his purchases and the toiler is helpless. If the rate of interest be six per cent, the laborer loses twelve per cent of his wages owing to monthly payments, an item of $72 per year out of an annual salary of $600. Credit is also destructive of economy. Store bills grow rapidly as Jonah's gourd, and as noiselesely,
18but are as persistent and merciless as fate. Slavery is the outcome. There are millions of people who are sold, chained and delivered to butcher, baker, grocer and clothier. They dare not trade elsewhere. No matter how inferior the goods, or how excessive the price, or how insolent the treatment the chains are riveted and the workingman is a slave. And how overbearing some trades-people are! I still further denounce
Your employer, not content with levying from one to thirty days' interest on the wages of the workingman, establishes stores, or becomes a silent partner in stores already in operation, that he may also reap the other interest on time sales, the workingman having to buy on time because his wages are systematically held back. Often the wage-worker has to pay from fifteen to fifty per cent more than cash customers, and to the very employer-proprietor who is then in the workingman's debt. If the workingman refuses to trade with his employer, or in the store from which his employer reaps a harvest in direct profits or commissions, he is quickly told to go. Mr. Richard T. Ely says: "I myself have seen a miner's book in which receipts and charges exactly balanced at the close of the month, leaving the poor fellow without one cent in cash; I noticed, too, that the company's store did not furnish details. The charge was not so many pounds of sugar so much, but sugar 56 cents, pork 70
19cents, etc." When the wage-worker tries to economize he is refused money and ordered to trade it out. If he refuses he is discharged. In this same category belongs
The wealthy employer, reaping from one to thirty days' interest each month from the workingman's wages, and from 15 to 50 per cent profit at his own store off the workingman's purchases, compelling him by having only twelve pay-days in the year to go in debt, now proposes to take a slice still nearer the heart by erecting tenements and compelling his employes to rent them. No matter how shabby the shanty, how miserable the surroundings and accommodations and how exorbitant the rental, the workingman cannot work without submitting to the injustice; and work he must have or see his family go to the alms-house or perish in the street. If the workingman dares to assert his manhood he is summarily and mercilessly dealt with. Another species of slavery is the
The workingman is told that he can have a job provided he will take out insurance against accident, sickness, old age, etc. If he submits he is soon in the toils. Driven by small pay and cruel treatment to quit he forfeits his insurance, with everything he has paid, and goes out as penniless as he went in and with a heavier burden of sorrow, infirmities and years. And
20yet he will put up with almost every indignity before he will take this last step. To what intense refinement can cruelty be brought! Another barbarism is
This is a crime of the deepest dye, a crime altogether too common. Especially does it prevail in partisan politics. An acknowledged authority says: "I know a whole town whose inhabitants are marched like sheep to the polls, and ordered to vote in a manner well pleasing to a great corporation. Once it was impossible to hire a man to distribute ballots for the party not in favor with this corporation. A man was found, with difficulty, who promised to render the service for $5, but before the time came he begged to be released from his promise, because he would otherwise lose his employment." Such employers are enemies to their workingmen, their country and their God, and are a deadly menace to every human interest. Another most reprehensible abuse is the
Unprincipled employers have incited their men to riots in order to injure dangerous rivals in business. The Camden and Amboy Transportation Company did this; and one man was killed. The Standard Oil Company is said to have packed a public meeting in Pittsburg and "howled down every speaker advocating commercial freedom in the oil trade." Only three years
21ago the Western Union Telegraph Company, the most arrogant, exorbitant and unaccommodating corporation on earth, showed its hand by inciting their men to tear down the wires of a rival company. Manufacturers, with a flagrant disregard for truth, sometimes advertise that a strike is on when the employes know nothing of it, the object being to make the impression on the public that their goods will be scarce and thus speedily work off the stock on hand. Workingmen are thus made tools of while the wily, scheming, unscrupulous inciter holds up his hands in holy horror at the turbulence and violence for which he himself is responsible; or else advertises wholesale slanders concerning strikes that never occur. In both cases the workingmen suffer in the estimation of the public. But the worst yet remains to be mentioned, namely,
Words are too weak to characterize this iniquity. What is the black list? It is a "boycott" against labor. A workingman who, for any cause however light and trifling, displeases his employer is discharged and his name, with a personal description of the man, is sent to all the allied employers in the United States and Canada. To ask an advance in wages is often deemed sufficient excuse for black-listing a man. "Black-listing has the merit of being very effective, its edict is final, it troubles no jury and sends for no sheriff, it has its watch-dog by
22every door, and woe to the man who, with its brand on his brow, seeks for work. He is proclaimed by a corpoation czar." The workingman's only chance then is to alter his appearance, go to some distant place, and seek employment under a fictitious name. A certain railway corporation is said to have a book containing the names of a thousand black-listed men with a personal description of each. A faithful old man of seventy years, displeasing an arrogant foreman, was blacklisted at Sedalia, Mo. He left his aged companion there, in an humble home he had nearly paid for, and walked 500 miles to a new and strange place. Asking for employment he was confronted with his name on the blacklist and was unceremoniously dismissed. The ironclad oath is usually about as follows: "I, John Jones, hereby agree to work for John Smith at my trade at the regular established prices, withdrawing from
23Hon. Seth Low, late mayor of Brooklyn, characterize this as "white slavery," more perilous to our nation and the civilization of the world than was African slavery in the South.
What are the obligations of the employer? Plainly to
In the language of God's Book: "Thou shalt not!" Moreover, these are not all the abuses that are heaped upon the wageworker. Nor have I dwelt upon them as sympathy on the one hand and indignation on the other have almost compelled me to do. These are but a few samples. They are not pictured in colors as dark and hideous as their deviltry deserves. Employers of America, as you care for your country, as you cherish your families, as you value your lives and as you hope for mercy at the Judgment, beware how you bite and devour! Samson's locks are growing. God will hear his prayers. Many a proud temple will fall. It may be many precious lives will be lost. The overthrow may be sudden, unexpected and appalling. Do not be unjust with Samson. Do not embitter him too far. Do not provoke him beyond endurance.
But again, turning to the affirmative, to the positive side of our subject, let us consider what the
I advise you first of all, to pay the highest wages your business will afford. In 1835 Baltimore weavers
24worked twelve hours per day for 65 cents. In Massachusetts 23 per cent of mill hands get only from $2.10 to $4.50 per week. Fifteen days after the present congress granted cloak manufacturers a 50 per cent higher ad valorem duty the manufacturers reduced wages 25 per cent. When the McKinley Bill raised the duty on silk ribbons 20 per cent the manufacturers reduced wages 40 per cent. In Massachusetts 61 per cent of the girls from twelve to nineteen years of age, are in shops and factories, because their parents' pay is too small to support the family. This startling confession is from the Massachusetts census for 1885: During the year ending June 30, 1885, 15,538 women were furnished with work at home, and the amount paid to these women for the whole year was $514,362, or at the average of $33.10 a year of 312 working days, equal to 10 3-5 cents per day.
Think of working for ten cents a day! $33 per year! In this city women clerk for $3.50 per week, and men, with families, work for $7 to $10 per week. By the time the women pay board and men support their families, pay house rent, buy fuel and settle doctor bills how much will they have left? But says the employer. "Wageworkers under bid each other." Exactly! And you take advantage of their poverty and helplessness. Behind counter and bench and loom you extort from the toiler, and on the counter you extort from the customer. What wonder you can have your mansions with "cornice and frieze and bossy sculpture graven," crowded with bricabrac,
25with picture and statuette, with etagere laden with articles of vertu, your crested carriages and blooded horses, and can spend your summers among the snows and your winters under the magnolios. O, men of fortune, be generous! What if you do pay the highest wages current. Even that may be a beggarly pittance. Put yourself in his place, and practice the golden rule. Again: Make
For instance, what moral right have street car companies to keep the drivers on the cars from fifteen to eighteen hours per day, seven days in the week? Have these men nerves and brain, and hopes and longings, and homes they love, and immortal spirits? If so, this is the very quintessence of cruelty. We are told they work by the trip and can make as few as they please. Yes: but can they afford to make as few trips as they please? And is not the pay by the trip system an evasion of the law that provides that eight hours shall constitute a day's work? And by the meager pay given, nine cents per trip on the Belt Line, sixteen cents on the Hanna street line and seventeen cents on the Main line — do you not compel the drivers to give from fifteen to eighteen hours work for only eight or ten hours pay? The situation is altered, of course, if there is but little money in the street car business. But is not the income from each car sometimes in a single day, and usually in two days, sufficient to pay the drivers, the board of the
26horses and the "wear and tear" of car and track for an entire week? If so, what becomes of the gross clear income of the remaining five or six days? Is it not rather hard on the driver to be driven five or six days per week, fifteen hours per day, for the privilege of putting in one or two days for himself? I often wonder how the driver manages to keep acquainted with his family, he is with them so little, and that in the dead of the night, with no Sunday at all. Again, do not make the
Why should clerks and street car drivers stand all day? As well say that a man cannot drive in a buggy, on an omnibus, or delivery wagon without standing, as to say that a street car driver must stand in order to drive well. Thousands of employes could be as efficient seated as standing. They are often tired and worried, and far from well. Why add to their fatigue and discomfort by unnecessary requirements? Better have the stools on the inside of the counters. Your customer is there on an average three minutes, while your clerk is there all day. Why not have seats for both clerk and customer? Your clerk would then be brighter and fresher, more competent and successful. Likewise on the street car, there is no reason why there should not be a permanent and comfortable seat, as on carriages, omnibusses and delivery wagons. Common humanity demands it since the car is practically the only home the driver has. Again,
Your foreman may bow down to the earth before you, the proprietor, but be a monster in his treatment of your employes. Many mechanics, day laborers, clerks cashboys and messengers, almost tremble for their lives. A little brief authority turns the head of some men and transforms them into demons. O, ye who employ men on ships and railways, in shops and foundries, in stores and offices, in building and repairing, see to it that your foremen do not ride over your employes rough shod. You cannot afford to be represented by a ruffian. Employ humane foremen! Again:
Do not be too ready to assess fines for slight derelictions. In a shop in this city to be ten feet from the post of duty when the signal is given for work results in being "docked" one hour. A conductor here was "laid off" thirty days for delaying a train five minutes and was not allowed to explain how it was. Shame on such tyranny. Here is a scale of fines; Five minutes late, ten cents; ten minutes late, twenty cents; thirty minutes late, twenty-five cents. Fines are assessed for making mistakes, one mistake per week being allowed. Why not fine the under-paid clerks for sneezing, one sneeze per week being allowed? If one of your employes does wrong once do not treat him like a hardened criminal, especially if he be young or has a family dependent upon him. You,
28sir, with your thousands and millions, have not always been an immaculate saint. If others had been equally hard on you it is not impossible that you would be in the penitentiary tonight. And had God been equally rigid and merciless you would be in perdition. If your employe is in failing health from confinement or overwork, give him a day off occasionly to recuperate and drink in a bit of fresh air. If he gets down sick go around and see him, consult his wife or his landlady concerning his needs and see that they are provided for. Do not be in too big a hurry to get a man to take his place. If he has sickness or death in his family deal with him as you would wish to be dealt with were you in his place. Be merciful! Be generous! Be magnanimous! Lastly; Let me urge you to
All these earthly artificial relations will soon cease. Many of them are merely accidental. Some are fraudulent. God is Maker and Father of us all. We are all hastening to the same Judge and judgement. Employer and employe shall be tried by the same test, weighed in the same balance, measured by the same standard. God says: "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." Again God says: "Thou shall not keep the wages of the hireling all night." Yet again God says: "I will be a swift witness against those who oppress the hireling in his wages." The Bible declares that you are
29your brother's keeper; and at the last the great and awful Judge will say to all employers who were hard and grinding and unmerciful,. who neglected the temporal and eternal welfare of those who toiled for them: "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me." And all such "shall go away into everlasting punishment."
Sermon III. The Rights of the Employed.
TEXT: Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal. — Col. iv: i.
The workingmen under the leadership of the Evans brothers, in 1832, published twelve demands. The world pronounced the demands radical if not indeed revolutionary. But to-day half of them are granted, and the other half are growing in public favor. Who knows but the most lofty and searching appeals of the workingmen today will be conceded within a quarter or a half a century? Henry George prefaces his "Progress and Poverty" with this wail:
Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in sin;
From the Land of Promise ye fade and die
Ere it's verdure gleams forth on your wearied eye."
These lines, I think, are more fitting and prophetic:
Infinity with grandeur. God is love;
He yet shall wipe away Creation's tears,
And all the world shall summer in His smile."
What are the rights of the employed? The basal right is,
First of all, an abundance of the most palatable and nutritious food. God pity the man who is in debt to his stomach. Shylock, as a creditor, is not a circumstance, especially if the stomachal deficit be chronic. The stomach has no heart. It is merciless as the gorgon. Death by hunger is only second, in cruelty, to death by fire. The best food is essential to the best service. Feed a cow on rag weeds and she will give rag weed milk. Feed a horse on stubble and he will stumble. Feed a man on husks and he will not be worth his weight in husks. It is to the employer's interest to feed his toiler, whether biped or quadruped, well. Food is fuel. Remove the fuel and the machine is dead. The employer can get out of his laborer only what he puts into him. Evolution and involution are exactly equal. What a man can do tomorrow depends on what he has to eat today. The right of the laborer is inherent. Lincoln put it in the fewest words: "If the Almighty had ever made a set of men that should do all the eating and none of the work, He would have made them with mouths only, and no hands; and if He had ever made another class that He had intended should do all the work and none of the eating, He would have made them without mouths, and with all hands." But today the west of England laborer cannot afford meat more than once a week. The Devonshire peasant,
33we see our employers going to church in broadcloth, and silk, and satin, and furs, and laces, and ribbons, it is natural for the man with a faded and patched coat, and the woman with a calico dress, to feel rather uncomfortable in the midst of such finery." Another, referring to repeated reductions of wages while the employer continued to squander his thousands and millions on luxuries and extravagances — $200,000 on a single gala fete — said: "When the capitalist prays for us one day in the week, and preys on us the other six, it can't be expected that we will have much respect for his Christianity." Perhaps you will accuse me of being a sandlot agitator. I confess that my sympathies are always with the under dog in the fight. I myself have experienced all the pangs of poverty. I am in bondage still. But you will not accuse
34Do your wives live in any such houses as that?" Was John Bright right or wrong? Were his words statesmanlike or demagogical? Christian or anti-Christian? Even in bountiful America people are dying from want of proper food and raiment. A carpenter is ill. Hard times have exhausted his resources. He dies. But the doctor says that better food, nursing and home comfort would have saved his life. Another wageworker cannot afford an umbrella. He is caught in the rain and the seeds of consumption are sown. Another is too poor to provide himself with good shoes, and cold wet feet bring on pneumonia, and so on to the end of the list. The great Dr. Engel declares that most deaths are from insufficient or inferior food and clothing. The laborer produces them, but is not permitted to enjoy them. They are his by the right of creation, but they are snatched out of his hands. Who will say he is not robbed of his rights.
35homeless! How many have to live in cellars and attics, and dingy back rooms. How many are driven from pillar to post in the heat of summer and in the cold of winter, sometimes having to sell or store their goods. And then what exorbitant rents are charged. The homeless are not all drunken and dissolute, vicious and vagrant. Many of them are the salt of the earth, of whom the world is not worthy. And yet they have to live in discomfort, and amid the most unhealthful surroundings! What wonder wage-workers are short-lived. "No current fiction is more widely removed from the truth than the common assertion that workingmen and their families enjoy exceptionally good health. The exact opposite is the truth, and statistics have established the fact beyond controversy that the laborers are shorter lived by many years than those who belong to the wealthier classes." There is something wrong with a system that will permit one man to own a hundred homes while a hundred of his neighbors equally sober, industrious and by far more economical, are homeless. As John Bright intimates, the workingman produces the material, rears the houses furnishes them from attic to cellar and from pantry to parlor and then is driven out, "with not where to lay his head." Again: The laborer has a right to demand
How many shops and factories are built with an eye to the physical health and comfort of the operatives?
36How many are located with reference to the convenience of the operatives? How many stores are planned in obedience to sanitary laws? Are any? It may be doubted. Often the unhealthiest location is secured on account of its cheapness. What cares the capitalistic employer for its inconvenience or unhealthfulness? He will be there only occasionally. His residence will be on the principal avenue or boulevard overlooking the city, or far away,
Or orange groves of Alabama blow."
What cares he for the poor ventilation, miasma and pestilence of summer, or for the underheat or overheat of winter? True, some will sicken and die, but then there is an overplus of laborers and they can be easily spared. Of course their families will be widowed and orphaned, but then the poorhouse will care for them and that's good enough for a workingman's family. I must remind you that I have studied this problem in every manufacturing state on both sides of the Hudson as well as in Canada. Shops, foundries and tenements are not unfrequently located and built with a flagrant disregard of convenience, comfort and health. Again the laborer must demand
The employer decides who shall be the life companions of his wage-workers. The order is: You must work beside this man. It is true his tongue flames with
37profanity. His lips drip with blatant blasphemies, and the vilest stories. Nothing is sacred to him. He mocks at virtuous womanhood. He has reduced seduction to a fine art. He has led many young men astray. He is a heartless wrecker of character, a moral iconoclast. He is especially powerful in arguments against the Bible. He is immeasurably venomous and unscrupulous in his opposition to the Church. He has blasted the faith of many. He has drawn many from purity to the wildest profligacy. He has led many into drunken debauchery, though able to govern his own appetite. Of course, your Bible commands you to keep away from such men. But you must work with him or go elsewhere. He is a profitable workman and I am running this business simply and solely for the money there is in it. Ought a man to be compelled to work, cheek and jowl, with such a lecherous monster, or starve? Has the employer no guardianship over his wealth-producer? Has he the right, for sordid gain, to jeopardize the temporal and eternal welfare of his brother man?
Again, the laborer has the right to demand, in all dangerous employments, free
I am familiar with the various brotherhood insurance schemes; also the methods of the Baltimore and Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad companies. The fault I have to find with all these associations is: Their uncertainty,
38the tyranny that is charged against them, and the fact that the cost of the insurance comes out of the wageworker's pocket. Now, I hold that if I have a mill that I desire operated, having a hundred saws and very dangerous, I ought to become responsible for the lives of the men who render me the perilous service. If I operate powder works I should be willing to meet my operatives half way and say: If you jeopardize your life for my sake, I will jeopardize at least a part of my money for your sake. If you lose life or limb in my service I will see that you and yours are suitably cared for. No corporation has the right to cripple and maim its men and then cast them off unprovided for. No corporation has the right to destroy the head of a family, and then abandon the family to squalor and ignorance. As the moral sentiment of the people compels Uncle Sam to
39men were killed or maimed for life. Two-thirds of these are said to be due to reckless management. The corporations should bear the burden. But says the corporation: "We cannot afford that." I answer: You can vastly better afford it than the crippled man, or the widowed and orphaned family. The workingman has the right to demand this without any assessments or deposits on his part, and the state should compel the corporation to answer the demand generously. Again:
40override the rights of certain other people? The truth is, greed not accommodation is back of Sunday streetcars. If they did not pay the dear people would have to get along without them. They run because pelf pounds principle to powder, and the golden calf is worshipped instead of God. Moses is coming. Sunday trains are unnecessary. Sixty-five railroads run no trains of any sort on Sunday. The whole of the Province of Ontario has not a Sunday train. Sunday mails are unnecessary. Toronto, Canada, having a population of over 100,000, and the capital of the Province, has no mails, even gathered from the boxes or received in the bags, from Saturday till Monday. Sunday papers are unnecessary. In the largest city in the world papers are neither published nor sold on Sunday. You cannot buy a paper in London on Sunday. And so on, ad infinitum. A strike for the suppression of Sunday secularization would be applauded by even the pagan world. The workingman would be but demanding his just dues.
41wages? If the capitalist wages war, for benefit, on outside industries, have not union men the right, so far as capitalists are concerned, to wage war, for benefit, on non-union men? Union men are condemned for calling non-union men "scabs;" do not warring trusts gently mention each other as "scalpers" and "guerillas?" If trusts have the right to say: "These are our prices; you must pay them because you cannot get these goods elsewhere; you are in our power," have not organized workingmen the right to say: "These are our prices; you must pay them because you cannot get labor elsewhere; you are in our power." If it is right for capital to combine it is right far labor to combine. Yet it is a scandalous fact that all labor organizations were outlawed in Great Britain until 1824, and were so trammeled by repressive legislation down to 1871 that every movement was handicapped. Even in this country they have been fiercely denounced, while great trusts and monopolies have extorted untold millions. The New York Central is charged with trying to make an end of the Knights of Labor. I believe this is true. While I do not commend the Knights in toto, my sympathies are with them. I do not believe any corporation has the right to resort to policemen's clubs, the prying,
42have no use for Hessians. Hired mercenaries are hateful to us. Two prayers I have to offer: First that the workingmen may be wise in the selection of Godly leaders; second, that they may win the prizes they have been so long deprived of, sometimes by fraud and sometimes by force. May God hasten the workingman's millennium. That will be a good time for everybody. Again; The laborer has a right to demand an
Plato declared that leisure is essential to virtue. Rob a man of rest and you embrute him. Intemperance and licentiousness are largely traceable to overwork. The physical, moral and spiritual realms are vitally connected. You cannot unhinge one without affecting all. Ought eight, ten or twelve hours constitute a day's work? I cannot answer now. But the state is under solemn obligation to protect her children. They constitute her bone and sinew. Self preservation is nature's first law. Again; The laborer has a right to demand
The competitive wage system is unjust. It is therefore iniquitous. Whatever is iniquitous ought to be outlawed. Whoever hates iniquity will do his part toward outlawing it. Look at these facts: Our wealth doubles septennially; do wages double septennially? From 1860 to 1880 wages advanced 31 per cent; but cost
43of living increased 41 per cent, leaving, as Carroll D. Wright says, the wageworker worse off in 1880 than in 1860. Yet daring that period our wealth mounted up from $16,000,000,000 to $43,642,000,000. Besides, during this period we lost 7,000 millions of money in war, a million of men who were wealth-producers and $1,500,000,000 in slaves which were included in the 1860 estimate. The workingmen produced millions and became paupers. While wealth has increased 171 per cent, the wealth-producer has grown relatively poorer. In 1860 the workingman's product was one thousand eight hundred millions of dollars; in 1880, five thousand three hundred millions of dollars. This is an increase of prosperity three to one. Has the toiler enjoyed the same ratio of prosperity? In 1880 Vanderbilt made $30,000,000, Gould $15,000,000, Sage and Dillon $10,000,000 each, Keene $8,000,000. I said they made these millions. I am mistaken. Not one stroke of productive labor did they bestow. Not one drop of sweat beaded their brows. Not one ache or pain of fatigue increased their discomfort. Why then should they be permitted to seize the lion's share? Charles Whiting Baker well says: "The owners of these colossal fortunes have made them, not by any stimulus of the production of wealth by their owners, but by a diversion of the produced wealth in the general distribution from others' pockets to their own; in short, all other men are poorer that these many times millionaires may be richer." How is this crying iniquity, this
44legalized rapacity and oppression to be stopped, and the wealth-producer given his rights? I answer, by organization, agitation, education, legislation and above all by the help of Him whose only begotten Son was a carpenter, and who tonight is saying to all toilers everywhere: "Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee. Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter.
Sermon IV. The Obligations of the Employed.
TEXT: "Destroyed for want of judgment." — Prov. 13: 23.
Solomon never uttered a sager saying than this: "Wisdom is the principal thing." Sound judgments are as scarce as comets. Gray, Spitzska and others in the Guiteau trial testified that not more than one man in ten is sane. But Dr. Johnson declared that no man is entirely sane. The great Dr. Bushnell divided all men into two classes, namely, the insane and the unsane. The best judgments are chameleonic. Our beliefs are provincial. To cry out against sectional thought, sentiment and judgment is as foolish as it would be to condemn the Danes for being blondes and the Italians for being brunettes. The piety and prayerfulness of the rank and file of the South puzzled Mr. Lincoln. It only proved that piety and prudence are often divorced; that a person may be very religious but entirely unrighteous, and that a bad conscience can be as sincere as a good conscience. Conscience nailed Christ to the cross, and hurried the early saints to martyrdom. Nero denied the possibility of chastity because so unchaste himself. Everything appears yellow to those who have the jaundice
46Moral colorblindness is by far more common than the ocular.
Hence occasional obliquity of vision among workingmen is not to be accounted marvelous or exceptional. The vision of the rich is nonetheless oblique. Carlyle accused the workingmen of creating a fool's paradise where fortunes would be as indigenous as weeds now are — "where sheep bore readymade clothing on their backs, cows presented butter and cheese, and oxen, when they got to the proper point of fatness, carved themselves into beefsteaks and roasting ribs; where houses grew from seed, and a jackknife thrown upon the ground would take root and in due time bear a crop of assorted cutlery." No doubt workingmen do sometimes build air castles; but who would deprive them of that luxury, since that is the only castle they may possess, however many others they may build? No doubt workingmen's judgments are sometimes warped and battered by capitalistic harshness, and miscellaneous malevolence. Burns sang:
To see oursel as ithers see us:
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion."
Let me tonight enable workingmen to see themselves as others see them. God help me to be fair, frank and impartial. First, workingmen are under obligation to sternly
Abuse is injurious only to the abuser. Cleveland
47owed the presidency to the malignant abuse of the opposition. If Blaine is ever elected it will be by abuse. Even the Democrats are getting tired of the flings and jeers that the Mugwumps have especially excelled in leveling at him. Nothing has weakened the workingmen's cause more than their anarchistic champions. John Most and his coadjutors have turned back the orb of labor many degrees. Most counsels the workingmen to buy muskets, declaring that one musket is worth one hundred ballots. It cannot be denied that he draws large audiences. At Baltimore, some time ago, he closed a fiery speech with the words: "Lead and powder alone can make us free." Professor Ely says of his auditors: "They listened approvingly and applauded his fiercest remarks most loudly." "What do we think of capitalists?" said a Columbus (O.) laborer. "We think that they are thieves and robbers." Proudhon used to exclaim: "The proprietor is essentially a libidinous animal, without virtue and without shame." Again speaking of the capitalists' 10 per cent profit, he would cry: "I am robbed of this 10 per cent. The proprietor is a thief." These illustrate my meaning. Hundreds more could be cited. Now, not to mention the moral aspect, this course is very unwise. Abuse is a boomerang. The masses are not abusive. They are sober and conservative. They must muzzle men, in self-defense, who are like brass bands, all sound and no sense — and whose sound is pandemonic. Discussion, argument, even the strongest polemics are to be both
48permitted and encouraged. But the mustelidae must go!
Moseby is the most hated of all the rebel generals. It is because he was a guerilla. The growing hatred of the Pinkertons has for its soil the fact that they are guerillas. The recent attempts to wreck the trains on the New York Central cannot be too strongly denounced, or the
49perpetrators, if caught, too severely punished. For that crime I do not believe the Knights of Labor are directly responsible. I do not believe workingmen as a rule are guilty of atrocities. The strongest denunciation of the wreckers I find is in the Journal of the Knights of Labor. The official paper heads its editorial, "A Deed of Devils." It says: "Nothing more fiendish has been recorded in criminal annals. If the perpetrators can be discovered the only regret will be that the penalty which the law provides is altogether inadequate. It seems hardly possible that a crime so horrible could be committed without some trace of its perpetrators being found. What is the duty of the Knights of Labor? Clearly, to do everything in their power to assist in the discovery of the culprits. Ferret out the fiends in human form who have been guilty of this deed of devils." These are but a few random sentences taken from an editorial of half a column. That fairly represents the sentiment of the workingmen throughout the world. Workingmen have hearts that are cut to the quick by
They have sense enough to know that barbarity settles nothing, and that their cause will be set back by such vandalism. They have keen moral perceptions and accurately measure the infamy and iniquity of such warfare. They suffer in the public estimation, and they know it. They are more interested in the capture and
50punishment of the wreckers than is the New York Central. They owe it to themselves to turn their mighty organization into a vigilance committee, and to expel all who champion such methods.
We must also bear in mind that, though the criminals prove to be Knights, bad men creep into all organizations. Odd Fellows and Masons are not exempt. The Church cannot claim immunity. One of the twelve was Judas. Shall we condemn and slander Christ, and His cabinet, because one of their number turned wrecker and almost ditched the world? Yes, we might, and would had they harbored Judas. The labor organizations must cast out all the Judases. A distinction must be made between agitation and execration. The former is to be encouraged; the latter must not be tolerated. A well dressed workingman looking at the Union League Club house in New York exclaimed: "A revolution will yet come and level that fine building to the ground." Another, watching the removal of a fine piece of bronze into Mr. Vanderbilt's Fifth Avenue residence, turned to his companion and savagely snarled: "The time will come when that will be melted by fire." The International Working People's Association issued an official address to the world closing with these words: "Tremble! oppressors of the world! Not far beyond your purblind sight there dawn the scarlet and sable lights of the judgment day." Workingmen must not tolerate such counsel or action. "Given the malignant will and fiendish cunning
51necessary, and one single man can kill a thousand human beings, and destroy a million dollars at a blow." God help the sons of toil to cast out and down all the swaggering, scheming and murderous Judases? Again: Let the workingmen
This is at the bottom of all the unpleasant features of the king business. Crown heads become dictatorial and arbitrary, and then there is a general advance in the dynamite industry. George III played that card and lost the American colonies. James II played it and lost his crown. Charles I played it and lost his head. The king business in Russia at the present time, for the same reason, has a great many serious drawbacks. But for the dictatorial spirit Bismarck would not have been unhorsed by the young and romantic Hohenzollern. Now whatever is offensive in a king is equally offensive in a knight. "A man's a man for a' that," whether he carry a sceptre or a trowel, and should be amenable to the same law. If it is wrong for a capitalist to be arbitrary and dictatorial it is equally so for a workingman.
I must remind my audience that but little is said of the peaceable millions. They have no serious collisions; they never strike; they drudge along in quiet through the years. Thousands of proposed strikes and lockouts have been promptly voted down in the various labor organizations. Organizations have used their influence
52with other organizations to prevent strikes. Mr. Adolph Strasser declares that the Cigar Makers' International Union prevented over two hundred strikes from 1883 to 1886. The whole machinery of the Knights of Labor is designed to prevent strikes. They will not admit men when they are on a strike. A few loud mouthed agitators fill the world with their din while millions of patient plodders are unnoticed and forgotten.
I must also remind you of the conservative character of most of the leaders. As a rule they try to prevent strikes. The frightful
Thus far, we have dwelt on the negative obligations of workingmen. What must I now exhort them to do
53and be? First, and foremost, let workingmen everywhere
Frederick the Great, once very much desired a plot of land near his Potsdam palace. It was owned by a miller who refused to sell it at any price. Frederick was at last fearfully enraged, and in that humor was a dreadful man to encounter. Summoning the miller he angrily said: "Now I have offered you three times the value of that property, and if you won't sell it, I'll take it anyway." The miller answered, "Your majesty, you won't." "Yes," persisted the king, "I will take it." "Then," said the miller, "if your majesty does take it, I will sue you in the chancery court." At that threat the imperious king paled, and yielded to the humble miller. Violence and opposition to the law, except in lawful ways, are never safe or justifiable. Dare not do that which
54blanched the cheek of the great and terrible Frederick. Again:
Something immortal still survives."
While we are but fragments of our former selves in Eden, the fragments at least, are genuine. Though
Of a temple once complete —"
we are the identical columns that received the creative touch of infinite compassion. And that touch and impress are often visible in the most dissolute and depraved characters. Moreover, this better-self is capable of almost boundless cultivation, enlargement and enrichment. Workingmen are said to be willing to give even the Devil his dues. May I not then press upon you the importance of extending the same courtesy to all employers? Again: Make your
A slovenly cook or housekeeper quickly excites your ire. A man who would neglect your stock you would dismiss
55with but little ceremony. An employe who would take no interest in your business could not possibly promote your prosperity. This explains Southern poverty in the palmiest days of slavery. You are not simply to put in so many hours per day and then rush from your work as from a cyclone or a pestilence. You are not simply to do something now and then when the foreman or proprietor is around, and then fritter the day or night away, but to render royal, indispensable service all the time. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Whatsoever your hands find to do, do with your might. If your employer pays shabby prices and you do
56heavenly Father will see to it that you are advanced and promoted until you shall rule over as many cities as your character and capacity will allow. Work for your employer as though his business were your own. You will find, in the outcome, that doing your utmost for your employer, however shabby your pay or treatment or both, you were under God serving yourself supremely. Again:
And Right the day must win"—
57but right will never win with the weapons of unrighteousness. The weapons of sin are death to whoever uses them. The path of sin is ever and only poverty-ward and perdition-ward.
And now, brother-man, I have one more thing to say. I do not draw any line between employer and employe, wage-giver and wage-receiver, wealth-holder and wealth-producer. For five evenings we have been hearing each others complaints. Sometimes we have been compelled to wince. Serious charges are preferred on both sides. The specifications have been abundant. The proof has been conclusive. War and waste have, indeed, run riot. Robbery, directly and indirectly, has been traced to both palace and hut. Neither employer nor employe is entirely guiltless. But I now have
58with whom there are no sunsets, and away from whom there are no daybreaks nor morning stars — you have even dared, employer and employe alike, to rob God. You have robbed Him of His rental, of your service, of your influence, of your heart's sweetest and truest love. Oh how trivial are all the inequalities and robberies of this world compared with this heartless, lifelong, unblushing spoliation of the things belonging to God.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say. Wherein, have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."
Sermon V. Labor Organizations: The Bright Side and the Dark Side.
TEXT: Knit together as one man. — Judg. 20: 11.
Mr. Gladstone denominates the nineteenth century as "the age of the workingman." The characterization is both apt and accurate. There have been three epochs in the upward march of the workingmen: Slavery, vassalage and employment. The fourth is coming, namely, joint proprietorship or profit-sharing. The day is coming when the world will look back on the competitive wage system with the same abhorrence we now look back on vassalage and slavery. Indeed that day is already promised by innumerable sidereal constellations all around the economic horizon. Mr. Gilman, in his elaborate work, cites almost 100 establishments in which profit-sharing has been weighed in the balance and not found wanting, capitalists themselves being the judges. They are prophetic of a tremendous social and economic revolution. God grant it may come without violence, "as May glides onward into June."
The nineteenth century is indeed "the age of the workingman." In the fourteenth century the British
60parliament coolly set the wages for which every man must work. To pay more involved heavy forfeitures to the Crown. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the government arbitrarily fixed the hours and wages and enforced them with cruel penalties. The
Labor organizations are both condemned and commended. One side paints them with cypress and nightshade only; the other side gilds them with gold and girdles them with rainbows. I believe there is exaggeration on both sides; I believe there is truth on both sides. Can we portray them in their true colors? Is absolute fidelity to truth possible? Can the exact facts be found and presented without addition or subtraction? Hear me patiently while I endeavor to present both sides of this vexed question. Consider, first, what is called
Let us be brave enough to know the worst. Nothing is gained by hiding our heads, ostrich like, in the sand,
62or covering our faces with napkins when pursued by relentless truth. Labor organizations are charged with being monopolistic; with hypocrisy, in that while they cry out against capitalistic monopolies they deliberately monopolize labor; that while they condemn capitalists for limiting the number of industries, fixing arbitrary prices for goods, and calling independent operators "scalpers" and "guerillas," they themselves limit the number of apprentices, fix arbitrary prices for labor and call non-union men "scabs" and "moss-backs." Grant it all. No workingman denies any of the charges. But what will you have the wageworker do? Is not self-defense the first law of nature? Is not homicide, even, legally justifiable under certain conditions? Did not Columbia kindle a fire of destruction in every community south of the Ohio and unsheathe a thirsty sword in every household when the Slaveocracy attempted her life? Does not the Bible declare domestic improvidence worse than infidelity? And if the workingman supinely submits to every injustice — merchants forcing prices up and employers forcing wages down — does he not become worse than an infidel? I declare to you that if workingmen did not organize and fight for their rights, they would be guilty of the basest cowardice, and would deserve the execrations of mankind everywhere, and the anathemas of Almighty God. They owe it to themselves, to the beautifiul girls who became their wives, and to the darling children who blossom like eglantines and oleandera
63in their homes to organize and combine against every encroachment of capital. In fact, it becomes a religious duty, the failure to perform which is a greater enormity than the bleakest infidelity. Again: labor organizations are denounced as
I exhort you to take that charge with a great many grains of allowance. Consider a moment what that charge involves. Wage-workers constitute 97 per cent of our people. Of these, 99 per cent, says Mr. Semler, are organized. Are you prepared to say that 97, or 99, or even 75 per cent of our people are anarchic or atheistic? The great Edmund Burke was accustomed to declare that "you cannot frame an indictment against a whole people." That there is an occasional anarchist among workingmen no one denies. That atheism finds a champion here and there no one questions. But all wholesale charges of that sort are false. Moreover, I believe there is more pestilence among the upper classes than there is among the lower classes. Who is the most distinguished of American atheists? Mr. Ingersoll, who gets more money and applause for one hour's blackguarding and blaspheming than most of you laboring men receive for a whole year's work. But while the atheistic rich crown and kiss him, wine and dine him, honor and caress him, no party dares nominate him for even the meanest office. Why not? Because the so-called anarchic, atheistic workingmen, most of whom are organized, would
64speedily bury him so deep in oblivion no political Gabriel would ever be able to bring him to life again. The wickedest era the world ever saw was the richest. Even their king, to use Gibbon's frightful phrase, was "a priest, an atheist, and a god." These were rich people, mark you, not poor people; idlers, not workingmen. Again: Labor organizations are mercilessly flailed for promoting
The charge is serious and must not be allowed to pass unchallenged. As to the waste and loss there can be no argument. Strikes are indeed expensive luxuries. But all waste is not wanton. The destruction of seven thousand millions of money, and the slaughter of a million of men for the salvation of our country are justifiable before God. God lost His only begotton Son. For thirty-three years there was an infinite outpouring of love compassion and forgiveness only to reach its climax in crucifixion and shame. That was waste without wantonness, and sacrifice without sin. George I. Seney, one of God's most eminent almoners, doing his best was reduced to almost beggary. Sir Henry Clews lost $6,000,000 in a single year. Shall they all be condemned for loss and waste when they were acting according to their best judgment? Then, and only then, can labor organizations be justly censured for ordering strikes. When sound judgment becomes the only salt this world will become a reeking mass of carrion.
I am not begging the question or belittling the cost of strikes. The cost of strikes in New York alone, in 1886 and 1887, was $8,507,449. From 1881 to 1886 Mr. Gilman estimates the cost of strikes to be $100,000,000. Carroll D. Wright puts the figures still higher. Mr. Baker estimates the average annual cost of strikes at $20,000,000.
But the foremost statisticians show that half of this loss is sustained by the workingmen's oppressors. Did union people grieve over rebel losses? Did the North consider the losses inflicted on New Orleans by Farragut and Butler as sinful and unwarrantable? "But the public is so inconvenienced by strikes," you say. Exactly. But what does the public do or care for the convenience of the wage-workers? But, it is argued, the capitalists are better able to afford their half of the loss. Individually, that may be true. But for every group of three capitalists there is a group of ninety-seven workingmen. So while 3 per cent of our people shoulder half the loss, the other half is divided out among the remaining 97 per cent of the population. Therefore, if the strikers were never victorious, and if vengeance were the only booty, strikes would not be altogether fruitless.
But strikes are often successful financial ventures. John Stuart Mill declares that "they are an essential part of our industrial system." The readiness and ability to strike have brought many haughty employers to their
66knees with generous pay and humane treatment. Down to 1883 the Cigarmakers' International Union had completely won in 204 strikes and partially so in twelve more. The strikes cost the cigar makers $286,444.67, while the gain amounted to $2,300,000 per annum, an item in the last seven years of $16,000,000, leaving
67obtains in all labor organizations and that is the principle upon which this government is conducted.
Perhaps labor organizations are not ideal in polity and constitution. But have capitalists achieved the ideal? Would you consider the Standard Oil monopoly an ideal institution? Has the Church even reached the apex of ideality in her administration? But for wisdom of action and moderation of spirit the various labor organizations have excited the admiration of everybody except hostile capitalists and disgruntled walking agitators.
But let us turn now and consider
At the very threshold we must hail the fact that labor organizations have had a salutary effect on labor legislation. Oppressive laws were repealed through the efforts of men who even dared martyrdom in the exercise of their inalienable rights. To them also we owe the passage of many acts like those for the guarding of machinery in factories, the restrictions upon the employment of. child labor, and the proper care for the health, comfort and convenience of the workingmen. The great reduction of hours is due to organized efforts. In this conflict Martin Van Buren did more than any other publicist. Again, labor organizations have heightened the workingman's
The day was when the laborer was little better than a dog, with almost every vestige of manhood worked and
68and bullied out of him. Proprietors not only flogged their employes on the slightest pretexts, but actually murdered them, as Mr. Brace shows in his Gesta Christi. That day hangs its head in shame. Curses and insults have slunk away. Petty tyranny has become an anachronism. The bullying foreman is a curious and horrible relic. And for this happy change we are indebted to labor organizations whose motto is: "An injury to one is the concern of all." The outraged toiler can say: "Lay your hands on me, try to bully or empoverish me, attempt to disgrace me and a million of my brothers will avenge the insult." What wonder that Lord Rochester exclaimed: "America has the manliest workingmen in the world." Labor organizations enable workingmen to demand and defend their rights. Again:
69capital and labor." I have the constitution and by laws of every laboring organization on earth, and they all, without an exception, pledge to submit all their difficulties to arbitration, and to cheerfully abide by the decisions however adverse they may be to them. Organized workingmen have also championed
At Brighton, Eng., the workingmen support an institute. As early as 1832 New England workingmen were urging the improvement of every educational facility. Their most popular advocates were Channing, Rantoul, Wendell Philips and Horace Mann. No man abroad stands higher with wage-workers than Pestalozzi. Organized workingmen were back of our wonderful public school system. The State Labor Union of Tennessee, in 1885, passed these resolutions:
Resolved, That as the question of education is of vital importance to us, and the whole people, we request representatives in Congress to use their influence in securing national aid to education: Resolved, That we demand such revision of the public school system of the state as will make possible the building of comfortable school houses, and the maintenance of schools in each district at least seven months in the year, and, that none but competent teachers be employed.
The Blair educational bill would have passed had the workingmen been appealed to. Most of the unions and brotherhoods in all our large cities, support libraries and reading rooms of their own. Moreover, labor organizations have greatly forwarded
No employe of saloon, brewery or distillery can belong to the Knights of Labor. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen expel members for drunkenness. Other organizations are equally severe. Mr. Powderly says: "If a man given to the use of strong drink and a serpent applied for admission to the order, I would vote for the serpent in preference to the drunkard." The irrepressible Dick Trevelick, addressing a body of workingmen yelled, "Stop your cursed drinking," and was answered with an avalanche of applause. Referring to the temperance attitude of all labor unions, a Kansas paper says: "It is doing more to put an end to drunkenness, and to bring the rum traffic under the ban, than all the laws of Kansas, or speeches of St. John ever did." Further: Labor organizations greatly
True politeness and every grace of manhood are taught in their meetings. From most of them intoxicants are banished, and profanity is prohibited by heavy fines. Workingmen and their families are brought together, and into contact with the outside world, resulting in a general advance in all the amenities of life. They are taught self-restraint, the benefit of united and harmonious action, and the importance of public opinion. Men are developing themselves as orators, debaters and parliamentarians. Discussion leads to investigation, and
71thus wageworkers often excel their employers in culture, information and general intelligence.
"I am often inclined to think," says a worldwide traveler, "they are the only large class who really and truly desire peace." During the Franco Prussian war Prussian laborers alone protested against the slaughtering of their French brothers. At the beginning of our civil war many labor organizations sought to prevent the effusion of blood. One wing of the Knights is known as The Gray and Blue of the Knights of Labor, having adopted that suggestive motto, "Capital divided, Labor unites us." The object is "to teach the toilers who make up the armies of the world that in peace, not in war, is the workers emancipation." In this organization ethnic
72and sexual tests are outlawed. Who knows but Tennyson's Federation of the World is prophecy as well as poetry? Does it not seem that the Messianic epoch of universal peace is about to be ushered in? And that God is marshalling the toiling millions into brotherhoods and sisterhoods that after the long and bitter estrangement, "the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
But I must remind you that only one child can safely lead you, and that is the Christ-child. Great as are your leaders, influential as are your papers, mighty as are your forces, superb as are many of your organizations, and tremendous as is the impress you are making on men and history, you will fail without the co-operation of the Workingman of Nazareth. Just in proportion as the labor organizations of the world place themselves under His guidance will victory perch upon their banners. And the day is coming when "they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord." "And His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Sermon VI. The Friends of the Workingman.
TEXT: Be thou strong, therefore, and show thyself a man. — I Kings 2: 2.
Not destitution, but inadequate distribution, is back of all our economic ills. The world is wide, and boundless in wealth. We can no more exhaust its riches than we can exhaust its air and water and sunshine. Our Heavenly Father is a bountiful provider. The fifteen hundred millions of men on our planet, could all stand comfortably in a field ten miles square. They could be seated in a field twice as large. By means of a telephone one man could address them all at once. What an audience! Texas, properly tilled, could feed and clothe the world. The world properly tilled, could feed and clothe the universe. The Malthusian theory that this world is an inadequately provided poorhouse is immeasurably absurd. The earth is more densely laden with wealth than ever Syrian honeycomb was crowded with sweetness. As well talk about darkness in the face of the sun, or sorrow in the presence of Jesus, as to mention destitution in connection with this diamond-studded,
74grain-garlanded, forest-crowned old world of ours. We are enveloped in uncountable, unweighable, unfathomable and immeasurable wealth.
Nor is there any such thing as over-production. The real trouble is under-consumption. This is no mere play upon words. The seat of the trouble is not in the production but in the distribution. Mr. Atkinson estimates that we never have more than a three years' supply on hand. Others say we would be naked and a famine in twelve months if plow and shuttle were stopped. The whole world is thus living from hand to mouth. Though in the midst of plenty we are forever on the ragged edge of nakedness and starvation. And while economic doctrinairies talk glibly about over-production, how many millions are in want! And if all the millions now in want were to be properly clothed and fed one day even, there would be scarcely threads and crumbs enough to go around. Oh, no, there is no such thing as over-production.
We also hear a great deal about supply and demand. "Demand" is not exactly the right word in that connection. Supply and desire or supply and ability to buy, would better express the idea. Demand is boundless. Desire is as limitless as imagination. Demand and desire outrun our purses with greater rapidity than the fabled
Ah, how much we desire and demand! How little we obtain! We would all buy more if we were able. Would
75our purses give consent we would wear better apparel, have a greater variety and richer quality of food, live in better houses with more elaborate appointments, and, in short, consume more of everything. Parse-poverty — ah, there's the rub! There is no lack of demand or desire. The plow rusts, the spindle sleeps, food rots, cloth and clothing mould, and property depreciates in value and usefulness, while millions are without food, or raiment or shelter. There is no such thing as over-production. The supply is never equal to the demand. Mr. Baker well says: "The desires of men are always in excess of their abilities to supply them; it follows, therefore, that the condition known as over-production consists in a lack of ability to purchase goods rather than in a lack of desire to purchase them."
What, then, is the great desideratum? Unquestionably an increase of purchasing power. And how is that to be obtained? I see no way but by the abolition of the competitive wage system, and
Washington Gladden denounces the competitive wage system as "anti-social and anti-Christian." Professor Adams, of the Michigan University, says: "There can never be any equitable or continuous adjustment of the wages question upon the basis of free competition in labor." Professor Cairnes asserts that "the ultimate solution of the labor question is the establishment of
76cooperative industries." Thorold Rogers is of the same conviction. Mr. Gilman and Mr. Taylor cite over one hundred establishments that have tested cooperation and profit-sharing with the happiest results on both sides. The whole competitive wage system would be swept away in a single day if Christian employers were to adopt the Golden Rule. And can employers claim to be Christian when they reject the Golden Rule?
It is true we face some desperately stubborn facts. The masses must work. The Edenic curse still overshadows us. It is as deathless as Deity and as persistent as fate. Beaded sweat cannot be abolished. The "Fourth Estate" is as perpetual as the stars. Again, the masses are without conspicuous talents. Gifted men are as scarce as diamonds and as valuable. The masses are on a dead level and must stay there. Daniel Webster once said to a young lawyer: "There is plenty of room at the top." Yes, but only a
Uncle George tells all the boys they may be Presidents of the United States. But Uncle George, innocently or otherwise, lies. Only twenty-three men have reached it in over a century, and a number of them owe their elevation to accident and death. Likewise, boys are told that they may be wealthy merchants and manufacturers if they only persevere. Balderdash! Who would patronize them and serve as clerks and operatives if they were
77all perched on pinnacles? Moreover, statisticians show that 95 per cent of the men going into business are driven to the wall by their own asininity or by merciless competition. The whales, in the sea of enterprise, grow fat on the minnows. And you can no more educate a man into a successful merchant or manufacturer than you can educate a lizard into a nightingale or a screech-owl into an archangel.
Hence, men must be helped, not out of, but in their present environment; the farmer as a farmer, the mechanic as a mechanic, and the operative as an operative. Charles Kingsley, an unflinching friend of the laborer, declared that the cry: Get on! Get up!! Get out!!! is of satanic origin. He says: "I do not think the cry ‘get on’ to be anything but a devil's cry. The moral of my book is that the workingman who tries * * * to desert his class and rise above it, enters into a lie, and leaves God's path for his own." And it is this flying into the face of providence, trying to do things for which God has not qualified us, and refusing to do things for which we have marked aptitudes, that has added many knots to the tangled skein of human history and destiny.
Now I have something to say to the few who are the industrial
78your own private, personal enrichment and aggrandizement. What would you say of a father who would lavish millions of money on two of his sons, saying, "Go to, now! Build for yourselves palaces. Ransack all the zones for luxuries and delicacies. Array yourselves in purple and fine linen. Beglitter and bespangle yourselves with ruby and diamond and sapphire and sardonyx and chrysoprassus. Lay both hemispheres under contribution for your table. Crowd library and picture gallery and statuary niche and hall and antique etagere with ravishing soul-inflaming masterpieces of all ages and countries and schools. Fill your stables with Arabian coursers and your vehicry with Cleopatran chariots. Let weariness and satiety alone abridge your gaiety and mirth!" And then, turning to his dozen other sons, would cast them a handful of pennies, saying: "Go to now, my sons! Root hog or die!" You would consider him colossally unjust and would condemn him in unmeasured terms. But your Heavenly Father would be equally unjust and worthy of censure were He to endow a few of His children superbly, for their own enrichment and aggrandizement, and leave all the rest on a dead level. My friends, God is not unjust. He shows no partiality. He has given to no man, for his own use, more than to another. What some men have in excess of others, is only given to them in trust. If a man can sing it is only that he may touch and thrill the tuneless throng. If a man has the crown of oratory it is only that he may voice the sentiments and
If a man has the aptitude for money-making and money-saving — acquisition and accumulation — it is only that he may lead the less-gifted and non-gifted masses up the financial steeps of light. And upon this humane and catholic exercise of talents, that are not our own, hinges the destiny of our immortal beings.
Do not imagine I have forgotten my subject. I have had it in my mind from the beginning. I am to introduce to you the friends of the workingman. First, I commend to you the friendship of
I know that politics is a bedraggled angel, but an angel nevertheless. Politics is the constant companion of liberty and popular wealth. Russia is an absolute monarchy. Politics is not tolerated in the land of Cossack and Slav. Indigence and serfdom are the results. In Germany and Great Britain workingmen begin to be felt at the ballot box, and there is a general extension of wealth and liberty. In this country the democratic idea is dominant and workingmen are prospering as nowhere else. Politics pays. And the more time and attention you give it the more it pays. Millionaires find senatorial Beats a profitable investment. They have also learned that it pays to keep their tools in the Lower House. It is reported that Mr. Wanamaker invested $400,000 in presidential stock in 1888. Verily he has his reward.
80Corporations keep expensive lobbies at Washington. Why? Politics pays. And if it pays the millionaire it will also pay the workingman. And I predict that wageworkers will wield this power before long. Corporations and monopolistic parties will have to give away. There is a general loosening of party ties. The mugwumps demand better character. The workingmen better pay. They will sooner or later get what they ask for. Both movements bode ill to the "machines," but they are full of hopefulness to the millions of toilers. The bloody shirt has lost its respectability. It is an indecent garment. Passion and prejudice put no provender in the pot or pan. A man's a fool who votes for that which is neither food nor raiment. Millionaires are never guilty of such idiocy. Merchants and manufacturers never vote the hurrah-boys-hurrah ticket. Only the workingman allows himself to be hoodwinked at the ballot box. Oh, men, consider well the ticket you vote —
As snow flakes fall upon the sod;
But execute a freeman's will,
As lightning does the will of God;
And from its force, nor doors nor locks
Can shield you; 'tis the ballot-box."
Again, I recommend the closest acquaintance with
In plutocracies, where the government is in the hands of the rich, or in oligarchies where the government is in
81the hands of the few, the education of the masses is not of vital concern. But in a government in which every citizen is a sovereign, a Caesar, a king; in which every citizen decides for himself who shall make his laws, who shall interpret them, and who shall execute them, in which every adult, independent of property, or educational qualifications, is an elector, education and the widest diffusion of current information, is a sine qua non. Moreover, if workingmen would wield political power they must first learn how to do it. If they would vote for their own interest they must first know what their interest is. Here workingmen, as a rule, have made a flat failure. For almost three-quarters of a century they kept the Democratic party in power, while that party enslaved every black workingman and insulted every white workingman. For almost one-third of a century they have kept another party in power that has persistently fostered trusts and monopolies, legislated high cost of living out of the workingman's pocket into the pocket of the tariff-coddled manufacturer, and to crown the indignity admitted the cheapest labor the lazarettos of Europe could ship us. We have heard so much about the protection of our industries; would it not be well to turn a little of our attention to the protection of our workingmen? The legislation thus far has been mainly in behalf of the 3 per cent rich; is it not about time we were legislating a little in behalf of the 97 per cent workingmen? Of course workingmen had a tough time when half their number
82were Dixie slaves, and in half the states labor was considered a disgrace. That was under Democratic rule. Of course workingmen have a tough time, when the cost of living is placed so high by government tariffs and monopolistic trusts they can scarcely afford a Sunday suit, or an oyster stew once a month. This is under Republican rule. A little less tariff and a little less monopoly and workingmen could buy all the goods that shop and factory could produce and we would hear no more about overproduction. While wages have advanced 31 per cent under the Republican regime, cost of living has increased 41 per cent. Oh, men with calloused hands and beaded brows, look into these things. There are many loose screws and heated boxes in our economic machinery. As you love your families and as you cherish your country, discover the defects and remedy them as speedily as possible. I still further counsel you to have
In union there is strength. United you stand; divided you fall. If capital has the right to organize so has labor. We see the benefit of organization daily. What make Germany and Britain so mighty? Organization. What enabled Sheridan to always be too early for old Early? Organization. What made Grant the terror of Johnny-rebs from sea to sea? Organization. Hitherto, said Mr. Lincoln, our armies have acted like a balky team. What made Lord Salisbury so respectful in
83his recent correspondence with Mr. Blaine, and so unlike Lord North something more than a century ago? Our compact national organization. What makes Romanism such a power? Organization. Workingmen, be as one man! Stand by each other. You constitute 97 per cent of our population. United you can dictate terms to any power on earth. But suffer divisions to come, give place to jealousies and heart-burnings, let demagogues become your leaders and assassins your spokesmen and you will sink in the burning quicksand of offended and outraged public sentiment. E pluribus unum. I advise you, moreover, to keep your eyes on your
Your employer keeps track of every move made in Congress. As soon as his interests are affected he is off to Washington. He lays down the law to his own Congressman. The others he buys or bulldozes. If he wants an old law repealed or a new law enacted he pursues the same course. Mr. Atkinson tries to show that legislation has but little to do with our times, good or bad. But the one fact, that capitalists keep an expensive lobby at Washington, proves to the contrary. Remember that your votes, if you have enough of them, weigh more at Washington than all the millions of the billionaire. See to it that all the repressive laws are repealed, and that helpful laws are enacted. Send a man to Washington with a million votes behind him and both Houses of Congress
84will meet him at the depot, while the best suite of rooms in the White House will be placed at his service. Let me still farther recommend to you the
Persistence is the pathway of prosperity. Dew drops will perforate Bessemer steel. Kisses wore away St. Peter's toe. A sunbeam set the ships of Syracuse on fire. The importunity of the poor woman compelled the haughty judge to capitulate. The still, small Voice is conquering the world. Persistence is power. Idleness is demoralizing. Lay off a day, and you will want to lay off a week. Do nothing for a month, and you will want to wear kid gloves the rest of your life. Anarchy and Nihilism are the spawn of idleness. Dr. Behrends exclaims: "It is not poverty, but laziness that calls for a war of extermination. It is the ablebodied beggar who is the vampire of society." The industrious never beg. The plodder always pays for his provender. A relative of mine grew rich and retired on the income of a country farm of only thirty acres. Watt devised the steam engine and Stephenson the locomotive at odd moments. Daguesseau wrote a great book at intervals while waiting at the table for his meals. The old clock at Oxford cries, Periunt et imputantur — the hours perish and are laid to our charge. Sit not idly down to wait for better times. Persistently improve the time now given. Test the providence of persistent pounding.
85Presume not to call on Hercules. "Thine own arm is the demigod." Again: Let me urge the largest possible
You have probably heard of the doting father, whose daughter, failing in school for lack of capacity, promptly came forward and offered to buy her one. Capacity is the gift of God. Cultivation is the work of man. What a scrawling hand the boy writes at first! How dauby the first sketch! How bungling the first work of the apprentice! How nerve-rending the first music lesson! A Western tombstone bears the simple, but most plaintive, inscription: "His neighbor played a cornet." But the bungler of today becomes the master of tomorrow. Mastery is money. I saw the original l'Angelus, a bit of painting scarcely larger than your two hands, which sold for $110,000. Chatty Chauncey of the New York Central draws $50,000 per annum; Mr. Vanderbilt's cook $10,000; White & Co.'s windowdresser $5,000. Bungling is worthless. Mediocrity is cheap. Skill is costly. It is as merchantable as diamonds. Take your choice.
Temperance and economy are loyal friends, but I cannot give them even a formal introduction now. Perhaps we will meet them again. But one other unfailing friend I must present, namely,
Character is the costliest of all commodities. It is
86invaluable because it is self-made and untransferable and untransmittible. Hence, the world-famed Orloff and Kohinoor are but as ashes to rubies when compared with a crystalline character. A San Francisco banker wrote to a friend of mine: "We want a bookkeeper. Character and capacity are the two requisites. A man of medium ability will do, but his character must be gilt-edged. We want a man we can trust. Salary, $3,500 per annum." That is $500 for a bookkeeper and $3,000 for a man. An expert bookkeeper with a gilt-edge character would have received $5,000 per annum. Quite a number of New York city hotel clerks receive an annual salary of $5,000, one-half for service and capacity the other half for character. Better be trustworthy than talented. A bright brain cannot atone for a bad heart, else Satan would be in heaven. Character and capacity are the pillars that bear aloft the arch of triumph. And the loftiest
Only a Christ character will stand the test of time and the exigencies of the judgment. See to it that such a character is yours.
It is said of Alexander I of Russia that his personal character was equal to a constitution. During the war of the Fronde, Montaigne was the only man among the French gentry who kept his castle gates unbarred. And it was said of him that his personal character was worth more to him than a regiment of soldiers. When the
87saintly Stephen of Coloma fell into the hands of his base assailants, and they derisively asked, "Where now is your fortress?" he instantly placed his hand upon his heart and calmly, yet boldly, answered, "Here!"
Oh, workingmen of America! Workingmen of the world! Cultivate the acquaintance of the friends to whom I have introduced you to-night. And, above all, so live, with such cleanliness of hands, such purity of heart, such loftiness of life and such Christ-likeness of character that when, at last, you stand before the awful Judge of the quick and the dead, and He propounds to you the momentous inquiry, "Where now is your defense?" you may be able to stand with all the invincible Stephens, and placing your hand upon your heart, shout with radiant face, and joyful voice, "Here!" Character and Christ are our advocates. The one commends us to the Son; the Other commends us to the Father. By all means secure their friendship.
Sermon VII. The Foes of the Workingman.
TEXT: Gather up the fragments. — John vi: 12.
That was a striking statement of Comte's: "Religion, philosophy, science, the fine arts, commerce, navigation, government, all are in close dependence on one another, insomuch that, when any considerable change takes place in one, we may know that a parallel change in all the others has preceded, or will follow it." Beside the sagacious Frenchman I place Professor Sumner, who says: "So long as men strive upwards, and away from their original brutishness, the inequalities in their being and doing will inevitably produce inequalities in their having and enjoying." About these two giants I mass a multitude of economic luminaries who unite in declaring that morals and money are vitally connected, and that moral regeneration must precede financial transfiguration. And, to cap the climax, Paul contends that, "Godliness is profitable unto all things." Hence, religion has vital relations every whither. If you speak of philosophy, we remember that Plato and a whole galaxy of genii declare the initial postulate of philosophy to be a First Cause, which Paul, a greater philosopher than they all combined,
89asserts to be God. To speak of science reminds us that all knowledge, religion included, is a vital organism, interwoven and interdependent, and that science is the appellation.
To mention the fine arts, recalls the fact that the Umbrian, the loftiest of all schools, was wedded to religion. Commerce presents us with a Biblical paradox: Religion is profitable here and now; but the profit is perilous. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." Navigation has nauticalized our religious vocabulary; while government is said to be heaven's first law. Without impropriety a man might preach a funeral or sacramental sermon on any theme mentioned by Comte and find a starry host of tender, appropriate and inspiring texts and illustrations. All truth is correlated. Time and eternity are but different names for the same thing. Labor and capital are but different forms of the same thing. Earth is the lavatory of heaven. Heaven's exit is hell's entrance. What hurts my extremity hurts my center. What hurts my brother hurts me. We are all of one blood. Humanity is one. Religion is temporal as well as spiritual. It has to do with bacon and beans as well as with prayer and ecstasy. Physical refreshments were not forgotten even amid the horrors of Calvary. The last pre-crucifixion hour was spent around the supper table. Pork is sometimes better than prayer. We are physical as well as spiritual. Christ has his body in heaven.
Our bodies shall be blessed or burned. To abuse the body is sinful. To see your brother's body abused and raise no protest is sinful. The pulpit has sinned in its silence. The excuse is, the fear of being too secular. The priest and Levite were too spiritual to care for the poor fellow on the Jericho road. Their spirituality was a curse. The Samaritan's secularity was a blessing. When a man gets too spiritual to care for his unfortunate brother, he is too spiritual for heaven. He has become a spiritual Oscar Wilde. Christ will have no use for such spiritual aesthetics in heaven. So long as I live I hope I may be willing to bear my part of the earth's burdens, and as often as I see my brother beaten and robbed by Jericho or Jerusalem plunderers, raise my hand and voice in his defense.
The foes of the workingmen, who are they? I answer first,
The agitator is all right; the execrater is all wrong. Agitation is to be invited; execration must be outlawed. The modifier is to be heard and heeded, the overthrower must be dealt with according to his own doctrine. The thoroughgoing dynamiter should consider, before going farther, what became of Samson when he demolished the temple. Here are a few of the very words of professional execraters: "Heaven is a dream invented by robbers to distract the attention of the victims of their brigandage;"
91"When the laboring men understand that the heaven they are promised hereafter is but a mirage, they will knock at the door of the wealthy robber with a musket in hand, and demand their share of the goods of this life now;" "Religion, authority and state are all carved out of the same piece of wood; to the devil with them all." "The church finally seeks to make complete idiots out of the masses, and to make them forego the paradise on earth by promising a fictitious heaven." "The Republican Party is run by robbers and in the interest of robbery; the Democratic Party is run by thieves and in the interest of thievery; therefore vote no more;" "whether one uses
92by Omnipotence. And all who preach the gospel of dirk and dagger, of torch and dynamite, eclipse every sun and moon and star of hope. Revolution by violence means ruin to the workingman. Beware of the execrater! Again:
They promise impossible things. And when the wageworker discovers their impossibility the demagogue turns his anger against some, perhaps, innocent scapegoat. The second class is composed of those like Shakespeare's Corolianus, who scorn the workingmen, and do not pretend otherwise. The third class is made up of men like Lincoln, whose every heart-throb is in sympathy with the masses. The workingmen have too often followed the first class.
Two things the laborer should remember: A millennium cannot be legislated in, and there is no economic cure-all. Self-help is the first condition of all help. Law and labor are handmaids. They are essential to each other. If a man refuses to look after his own interest, his own interest will refuse to look after him. Patent medicines are no good. Fiat-money is the worst quack nostrum ever proposed. Oh, workingmen, do not be the tools of designing demagogues who only intend to lead you to the shearer and slaughterer. "Beware of demagoguery, especially partyism, which will give illusory triumphs, but leave to you only wretched failure. Be not stepping-stones for others to vault into place." Beware of the demagogue! Again:
94creased and ruffled for kisses, and her face radiant with that aurora of loveliness that never shone on land or sea, is, however innocent at heart, a desperate foe. "A fat kitchen makes a lean will." Edward Atkinson bluntly declares "that the greatest cause of want in this country is waste." He estimates that a saving of five cents per day in each American kitchen would amount to $1,000,000,000 per year. No one can read his expose of the waste of fuel, unutilized fragments, scraps and crumbs, the failure to patch and "darn," vast quantities of food scorched or burned, over-seasoned or under-seasoned, without being appalled at the enormity of the waste. Not long ago, I, myself, saw a dish of food thrown out at the back door that would have made three good meals for a family of five. A little industry and skill would have transformed it into dainty morsels that would have
I glanced into a workingman's dinner pail the other day. The food was raw or charred, and was put up in a shocking manner. The poor fellow was nibbling around the edges, and throwing the rest to the birds and dogs. That man's wife is accountable for his poverty. The bakery is another source of extravagance. Mr. Atkinson shows that wheat or flour can be bought in Dakota, shipped to New York, fuel for milling and baking purposes bought in Pennsylvania and shipped to New York, and the bread baked and sold, without loss, for 3 cents a
95pound. Selling at from 5 to 8 cents per pound, there is a clear profit to the baker of from 2 to 5 cents per pound. If three pounds of bread be consumed per day, the workingman gives to the baker from 6 to 15 cents per day for service that his wife ought to render for nothing — an item of from $22 to $55 per annum, or from $200 to $500 in ten years. The profit is still greater on pies, cakes and other pastry. If the wife loves her husband and wants to help along she will never enter a bakery again. Were our people to economize one-half a cent per day it would amount to over $100,000,000 a year. It is not how much a man makes, but how much he saves that marks his progress. A man who makes a million and saves nothing is poorer than the man who makes only a hundred but saves one, or five, or ten. The net gain is the point. Mr. Atkinson still farther shows that in the best Eastern prisons the cost of food, including seventy-two articles for each prisoner, is only twelve cents per day — the best food, too — and then asks: "Must an honest man become a thief and be sent to jail in order that an ample supply of excellent food may be brought to his door at a cost of twelve to fifteen cents a day, or $1 per week? "Beware of the bad cook and the slop-pail! Would time permit I could give you some startling figures in millinery. I warn you to beware of the milliner! I still farther inveigh against
Men are often more wasteful than women. When
96England passed the stamp act Franklin wrote home from London, saying: "Let us make as good a night of it as we can. We may still light candles. Frugality and industry will go a great way towards indemnifying us. Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments." Poor Richard was right.
The workingman must throw his store-book into the fire or go to the poorhouse. The store-book is a constant incentive to extravagance. With a book you buy a third more than you would if you were paying the cash, and you get from 15 to 50 per cent less for your money. No successful man uses a book. The moment you get in debt you begin to run down at the heel. The store-book is the highway to the county farm. A rich man, were he fool enough, might afford to buy on a credit. But no poor man can. Your only hope is in being your own banker, and in getting the cash discounts. Give your note for what you owe, throw your store-book into the fire and from henceforth trade wherever they have the most accommodating clerks, the freshest, newest goods, the largest assortment and the lowest prices.
Beware of extravagance! Dr. Behrends tells of a man who had received for years $35 per week; but when the factory suddenly shut down the town had to help him. He used neither whisky nor tobacco. He was a gluttonous peacock. Mr. Mallock cites workingmen who pay more for fancy fruit and confectionery than they pay for house-rent; purchase pianos and organs, on a credit of
97course, when not a member of the family has a musical instinct;
Economy, not wages, marks prosperity. Savings, not salary, decide a man's progress. The aristocracy of China lives on three cents a day. Dr. Johnson declares that virtue is impossible without economy. Epaminondas taught "that treason and luxury walk hand in hand." Lycurgus believed that prudence and patriotism are handmaids. Poor Richard says: "Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship; fools make feasts and wise men eat them; silks and satin, scarlets and velvets, put out the kitchen fire; it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell in order to equal the ox; Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty and supped with Infamy." Franklin charged the colonists with squandering $2,500,000 per annum for tea. He says: "With what face can we ask aids and subsidies from our friends, while we are wasting our own wealth in such prodigality." Poverty is the eldest child of prodigality. Again:
Modesty demands brevity. Truth forbids silence. One of the foremost clergymen in Chicago said to me, "I do not believe there are 100 strictly virtuous men in this city," and then added slowly, "from a Biblical standpoint." One of my merchant employers entirely supported one establishment besides his own, and contributed largely to several others. In Massachusetts alone 800 children are born out of wedlock annually. But for almost satanic cunning in interfering with nature, and wholesale feticides and abortions, the number would mount up into hundreds of thousands. Better be under the domination of the devil than to fall into the wiles of a scarlet woman. The jaws of the shark, the clutches of the devil-fish and the coils of the anaconda, all combined, are not to be half so dreaded as her first kiss or luring look. Think of Aegisthus, of Antony, of Belshazzar!
Ill fares it with thee since ten sad years past,
In one wild hour of unacquainted joy,
Thou didst set wide thy lonely bridal doors
For a forbidden guest to enter in! "
Oh, sir, beware of her whose feet take hold on hell. She will lie about you, and accuse you, and scandalize you. Especially beware of the married woman who deceives her husband and whose whole life is an infamous lie. Better take a thousand unblushing street harlots to your breast than to touch one such cesspool of unspeakable nastiness and licentiousness. Of all unclean beasts she is the foulest, the most treacherous, and the most
99unscrupulous. She will turn you against your wife and children, against your father and mother, and brothers and sisters; against the world and all its interests. She will pauperize and brutalize you, and make your name a hissing and a by-word. She will curse you on earth. She will damn you at the judgment. She will heap fire on you in hell. She will haunt and hiss and spit upon you throughout eternity! Still further:
In the days of Anne and the Georges gambling was respectable. It is now disgraceful. The card, roulette, lottery and billiard-table have been outlawed in all decent society. Far gone as New Orleans is, the populace hissed at Early and Beauregard as they were en route to the lottery distribution. Faro, poker and euchre are now relegated to the demi-monde. Every card is red with blood, and black with curses. The card, the saloon and the harlot-house are inseparably connected. The card-player the drunkard and the scarlet woman belong to the same society. Having like tastes, enjoying like amusements, uttering the same taunts, flinging the same defiance — in what respect do they differ? Do not all roads lead to Rome? Does not the theft of a pin involve theft? If you fling but one card are you not bedraggled and disgraced? Your tongue may answer no, but your conscience answers yes!
This is a great financial Juggernaut. If you will give me the money that is gambled away in this city in one
100year at cards, billiards, races, on margins and lotteries, I will present every workingman in Indiana with a thousand dollar residence. How many of you have dropped money into that "Jack-pot?" "Coal Oil Johnny" run through with $30,000,000 in five years. A workingman, a genial Fortune slipped $30,000,000 into his hand. But he could not hold it. Would you do any better than "Coal Oil Johnny" did, were fortune to kiss you? There are men whom the Vanderbilt system could not supply with pocket change. If they were to receive the gross earnings they would always be hard up and in debt. Savings, not salary, is the thermometer. I must also warn you concerning
Heartless greed, avarice, selfishness are at the bottom of capitalistic oppression. Newman Smyth, speaking of the cause of past oppressions, may well say: "It was the devil in men. It was Satanic greed in those men's hearts which did it. It was not capital; it was not the law of private property; it was not the principle of competition; it was the hard, reckless, hellish selfishness in those men's hearts from which proceeded their evil deed." How are you to conquer this heartless, insatiate incarnation of greed? Only by powerful organizations and economizing, so as to be able to fight capital with capital; that when you strike you will not be starved out. The spirit of Judas is still abroad among the carriers of the money bags. The spirit that sold Jesus for thirty pieces of
101silver, will damn and destroy you for a farthing. O, Judas! O, Shylock! Once more, I warn you to
I mean whisky and tobacco. Of New York's paupers 85 per cent are drunkards; 82 per cent of their mothers and 55 1/2 per cent of their fathers are drunkards. Our saloons placed side by side would reach from New York to Kansas City. Each year we pass $1,500,000,000 over the bar. Besides we foot up a bill of expenses amounting to $900,000,000. Great Britain, but half as large as Texas, thus squanders $500,000,000 annually. Half a million of our people are in the whisky business. We pay them $1,500,000,000. We pay $900,000,000 expenses. What does the workingman get in return? The workingman will never be on his feet until the saloon is on its back. Nor will he ever be enthroned under the arch of prosperity until it is dead and buried. If you crown one you must kill the other.
To this frightful enemy of the workingman we must also add the tobacco habit. Our tobacco bill is $600,000,000 per annum. Every adult man spends on an average $60 each year for spittle. How dares he frown when his wife asks for a new dress or a bit of ribbon? Count up your whisky bill, your tobacco bill, your gambling bill, your scarlet woman bill and all the rest! Do you not see an index finger pointing toward better times?
Give me the money we have spent for rum, tobacco,
102gambling, scarlet women and in miscellaneous extravagance during the last thirty years and I will present to every workingman in our country a $3,000 residence, fill every wardrobe with the daintiest and richest Brusselese and Lyonese, put blooded horses into every barn and crested carriages into every vehicry, educate every child in the Boston University and give him a paid-up policy, drawing legal interest, that will secure him and his against want for all time to come.
These then are your enemies. See to it that you are not your own worst enemy. Franklin used to say: "What mantains one vice would bring up two children." What mantains two vices would board and clothe an entire family. How many vices do you mantain? Luther often said: "I fear my own heart more than all my enemies." All economists say: "Relief must come from below, as well as from above." Is one word to the wise sufficient? Then here are many words! Fidelity to God is the way to victory. God helps him who helps himself.
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."
Sermon VIII. Trusts and Monopolies.
TEXT: And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away; so they defraud a man and his house. — Micah. ii: 2.
Abraham Lincoln — magnum atque venerabile nomen — whose every heart throb was in sympathy with the masses, but a few days before his assassination wrote: "It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic, but I see in the near future a crisis arising which unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the future of my country. As the result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high place will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this time more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before — even in the midst of the war. God grant that my fears may prove groundless."
Again, Mr. Lincoln wrote: "I affirm it as my conviction that class laws, placing capital above labor, are more dangerous to the Republic at this hour than chattel slavery in the days of its haughtiest supremacy. Labor
104is prior to and above capital, and deserves much higher consideration." His words were prophetic. The day of dread he dreamed of has dawned. The sun is far up the azure. Class legislation has become a knotted whipcord, and corporations beat and throttle the body politic. Now and then the masses reel from loss of breath and blood, and we say a strike is on. Epilepsy, madness and death follow.
Is there no physican there?" Oh, for more statesmen like Washington, Hamilton, the Adamses and Lincoln!
The Standard Oil Trust, organized in 1869, is at the chronological head of the list. The next great trust, to attract general attention, was the American Cotton Oil Trust. This was engineered by the Standard Oil Trust, and is under its control. Later came the Bessemer Steel Trust, which, strange to note, is also under the direction of the Standard Oil corporation. The Coal Pool has excited world-wide attention, it being one of the gorgons aimed at by the Interstate Commerce Act. The Buyer's and Slaughterer's Trust controls the meat market of the world. The New York Legislative committee found that a Milk Trust had the control of the New York city milk supply. Every great city has its Warehouse Combine. Natural and artificial gas have long since been monopolized. The following articles are controlled by trusts and monopolies: Asphalt,
And yet there must be some excuse for their existence. We are duty bound to consider such excuses as they have to offer. What have trusts and monopolies to say for themselves? First of all, they plead necessity. Competition compelled combination. Competition was driving independent industries to the wall. Prices were reduced, grasping for trade, until goods were selling for less than cost. Each industry had to keep its full complement of men, machinery and stock. Heavy outlays were necessary for
106possessing the subtlest commercial sagacity, had to be sent out to scour the towns and villages for trade. Their salaries and expenses in travel, treats and hotel bills, were enormous. Waste in the manufacture and handling of small quantities mounted up to several units. The material and mechanism represented in boxes, kegs, barrels and cases for small shipments were no inconsiderable item. Railroads, moreover, would grant lower rates for large consignments from one firm than they would for small consignments from many firms. Patents on various processes demanded high royalties when used by outside parties, which added, of course, to the cost of the article. The time and skill of men, divided among struggling, warring, and semi-inactive establishments, laid on another immense percent to the cost of production. All these knots and tangles and kinks are taken out of the warp and woof of commerce, it is claimed, by unifying trade and manufacture, and the people reap the benefit. The Standard Oil Trust claim that the people gain $100,000,000 per annum by their combination. This is certainly a strong defense. But the people have filed a bill of complaints against trusts and monopolies and we cannot ignore it.
First of all, the people claim that
This they do not deny. Indeed, that is their avowed purpose. Their defense is good, but their methods are
107vicious. For instance, the Wholesale Grocers' Guild of Canada, 96 per cent of all the Dominion's wholesalers, entered into a compact with the Sugar Trust to charge all outside dealers an excess of thirty cents per hundred pounds. The deal was so successful in driving competitors into bankruptcy they extended their operations to starch, baking powder and tobacco. The prices they fixed were like Medo-Persian laws. Parliament was appealed to and decided that "it was a combination obnoxious to public interest, because it limited competition, advanced prices, and treated with gross injustice those in the trade who were not its members." That trust and its methods fairly represent every American monopoly. Woe be to that man or firm outside the chosen family. The Wholesale Trust will run up the cost and the Retail Trust will run down the price until submission or starvation are the only alternatives. The war once over the dear people foot the bill in prices more exorbitant than ever. Again, Trusts and Monopolies
The Linseed Oil Trust, its first year, advanced oil from 38 to 52 cents per gallon. In other words, every consumer had to pay 14 cents per gallon over and above the competitive price and profit. It is estimated by conservative statisticians that it reaps an unlawful profit of $4,500,000 per annum.
In 1887 the Standard Oil Trust cleared $20,000,000.
108The nominal stock is $90,000,000. Over one-half of this is said to be water. The real stock is probably not over $45,000,000. Is not an annual profit of $20,000,000 on an investment but a trifle over twice as large rather overmuch? If 10 per cent be a fair rate of interest the Standard Oil Trust is robbing the people, 97 per cent of whom are wage-workers, of $15,000,000 per annum. The Bessemer Steel Trust assesses
109farmers and dairymen to sell milk at three cents a quart, and the people to pay eight cents a quart. The Cotton Oil Trust, at one stroke, knocked the price of seed down from $7 per ton to $4, and coolly pocketed $2,500,000 per annum. And every robbery of this sort comes out of the pocket of the wage-worker. Again
We have just shown that the trust run the price of linseed oil about 15 cents per gallon above the competitive rate. What is the result? Thousands are deprived of linseed oil. Every increase in price decreases the demand, or in other words, the consumption. Increase the price 50 per cent and you decrease the consumption 50 per cent. Hence, when the Flour Trust advances the price of flour, the Butter Trust of butter, and the Milk Trust of milk, and the Meat Trust of meat, the people have to get along on less milk and bread and butter and meat. Men stagger, women fade away, and children die. Not because food is scarce, or costly, but because Judas and Shylock rule the market, and have run up the black flag against the world.
"But" you say, "your theory is unreasonable. An increase of price decreases the sales. But every industry is anxious to increase the sales. It is to their interest to put prices as low as possible." Not at all. In the first place the trust gets control so that whatever is bought must be bought of it. Then the question is not of quantity
110sold, but of profit on what is sold. If they can manage to sell one thousand barrels of flour or meat for what they formerly received for fifty thousand barrels, they are saved the trouble and expense of the additional 49 thousand barrels. So with sugar and all the rest. Hence, the object is not a large output, but a large profit; not a great blessing to others, but a great blessing to self; not to prevent famine and nakedness, but to drive people to desperation until they will surrender themselves to Judas' cupidity, and bare their hearts to Shylock's knife. Do not trusts and monopolies richly deserve all the curses they have received? Again:
Trusts, observing that by controlling the market, they can sell half as many goods for a greater profit than the total usual output, forthwith reduce their production one-half. If, by advancing the price they can make more money off of half their mills than off of all of them they shut half of them down. The moment they do this thousands of men are out of employment, and wife and babies are reduced to beggary and want. But to see the hideousness in all its details take a concrete case, for example, the Linseed Oil Trust. Finding that they can run up the prices so as to clear more money on 10,000 barrels of oil than on 50,000 barrels, they shut down four-fifths of their mills. Immediately four-fifths of their operatives are out of employment with starvation staring them in the face.
111But as a result of the limited sale of oil there is four-fifths less painting done, and four-fifths of the painters are thrown out of employment. But this is not the end of the tragedy. The farmers are able to sell only one one-fifth of their product. And to crown the indignity the trust dictates to the farmer a beggarly price for the one-fifth of the crop he has raised, without warning of the proposed knock down. And the beggarly price he must accept or starve. This picture is applicable to every trust. The Flour Trust advances the price of flour. The mills are closed at once for want of orders, the hands are discharged for want of work, and farmers suffer because the wheat market is glutted.
Fourier's whole life was colored by such an instance at Marseilles. A Rice Trust, in the time of a famine, put the price so high only the wealthiest could buy it. Some cargoes stored on ship-board rotted, and Fourier had to superintend the throwing of the waste food, for the want of which thousands were dying in the streets but a stone's throw away, into the sea. From that day he hated the rich.
The Coal Trust is one of the worst. In Pennsylvania, Illinois and on the Pacific slope it has given unbridled license to greed and selfishness. They have not hesitated to wreck mines, throw miners out of employment and to diminish the coal supply until a fuel famine would drive the prices high enough to suit their iniquitous rapacity. The Consolidated Coal Company has aroused
112the ire of the Attorney General of Illinois, who proposes to annul its charter.
I have photographed for you the modern trust and monopoly. But do not imagine they are evil per se. Taunting, defiant, destructive giants as they are, they are not inherently evil. How Goliah might have helped and honored Israel! Even so could trusts and monopolies help and honor wageworkers were it not for the accursed greed and brutality of the human heart.
Large quantities can be manufactured, transported and sold at a less average per cent than small quantities. Men united and harmonious can produce more than men divided and at war. That trusts and monopolies could sell cheaper than independent operators, no one denies. They have reduced the cost, in every direction, to the minimum. They could pay higher prices for labor and raw material, and sell the product cheaper, and yet amass countless wealth. Trusts and monopolies humanely administered would be a blessing to humanity. The rainbow that spans Edward Bellamy's dream in "Looking Backward" has for its right abutment a trust, and for its left a monopoly. How then are we to save the good and destroy the evil? Can it be done? Can trusts and monopolies be regenerated? Can their mighty enginery be turned to the benefit of the masses? If so, how? I answer; First,
If our subjection to them were necessary, then I would be in favor of outlawing them at once. A certain writer says: "Certain outrageous monopolies exist that the state is bound to crush. * * * All these iniquitous encroachments upon the rights of the people must be arrested." I heartily respond, Amen! But, while I believe trusts and monopolies are inevitable, because they have the key of success and the very kernel of commercial wisdom, I do not believe our subjection to them is inevitable. The idea is all right; the application is all wrong. The abuse is what we complain of. Abolition is impossible. Abolition would be a colossal calamity. Make them as beneficent to the masses, as they are to the few who now cunningly engineer them, and the great Saharan desert will blossom into a commercial Eden. Second, relief is to come
Competition is a spurious nostrum. "Competition is the life of trade," is a false adage. "What fools these mortals be." Competition invariably involves extra expense, extra buildings, extra insurance, extra capital, extra goods, extra clerks, extra advertising, extra soliciting, extra everything. For all these extras, involved by competition, the people have to pay. To be sure one firm may compel another firm to sell at a less profit, but it is not a drop in the bucket compared with the reduction
114that would have been possible but for the extra expense of the competitive duel. War is always expensive. Look at the cost of railroad competition. The building of the Nickel Plate line to compete with the West Shore road involved a clear loss of $200,000,000, enough to buy 200,000 residences at $1,000 each, and supply homes for 1,000, people. Over
If, then, the evils fostered by trusts and monopolies cannot be cut off by abolition or competition, from whence must our help come? Aside from self-help, profit-sharing and the help of heaven, I boldly answer,
What can the government do? To begin with, it can
115repeal or amend such parts of the protective laws as have fostered the most malignant evils of monopolies. For instance, the Copper Trust is protected by such a high tariff that in 1878 only one pound of copper was imported. Yet this trust exported its surplus output and sold it beyond the sea, after paying for its transporation, 20 per cent cheaper than they would sell it at home to their own countrymen. Our iron kings, enthroned on tariffs ranging from 30 to 100 per cent, are legalized robbers. American sugar that we get at the rate of seventeen pounds per dollar, sells in London at the rate of twenty-eight and one-half pounds per dollar. The present Congress deserves thanks for putting it on the free list. It could have gone farther and won greater praise. These are samples. Let all such laws be outlawed! Again, let us have
116tariff could have been bought for $13, the wageworker who earned the $25 and bought the suit is robbed of $12. Congress compels him to pay $25 for $13 worth of goods; compels him to work for half price and buy for double price; to make the manufacturer a clear gift of $12. Such laws are wealth to manufacturers; they are poverty and death to wageworkers. The cost of living is today, on an average, 41 per cent higher per ounce, pound, barrel, bushel, yard and ton than it was in 1860. Wages are only 31 per cent higher. The 3 per cent of our rich have been legislated richer; the 97 per cent of our poor, relatively poorer. In a large measure ours has been a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the benefit of the rich. Lastly:
The government alone has the right and power to interfere. Railroad and telegraph monopolies demand
117instant throttling and dethronement. Two methods are open. One is for the government to assume entire ownership and control. The other is to permit the monopoly to remain under private ownership, and regulate its operations by law, and by duly appointed officers. Both methods will have to be followed. Sometimes they will have to be modified and combined. The government can get money cheaper than the individual. The individual can get more and better service from employes than the government. Other things being equal, the government would better directly control such monopolies as require the maximum of money and the minimum of men; and indirectly control, through private owners and receivers, such as require the opposite conditions.
These, then, are your sources of relief: Self, profit sharing, government, and God. Be true to them and triumph is certain. Triumph temporally and religiously. Triumph in time. Triumph at the Judgment. Triumph in eternity. He who aforetime blessed the upright poor still walks the earth. He who flamed with wrath at the oppressions of the rich and beat them with knotted whipcords is at hand.
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethern, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
Sermon IX. Socialism, Communism and Nihilism.
TEXT: "Their own shepherds pity them not." — Zech. xi: 5.
Were I an Irishman I would be a Nationalist; were I a Frenchman I would be a Communist; were I a German I would be a Socialist, and were I a Russian I would be a Nihilist. These various outlawed isms represent trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific mugwumpery. Had we British, French, German or Russian rule here we would go over to one, or all of them, in a body. Little as we realize it we are thoroughly imbued with all the doctrines that make kings tremble, and thrones totter to their base. Our history begins with a revolt, and a revolution. Never were the Tarquinii more hated by Brutus than were the Georges by our forefathers. The heart of George III was the target from Bunker Hill to Yorktown. And many a redcoat fell, while the kingdom staggered on the verge of bankruptcy. Ireland would have sunk in her own bogs, or blazed on English hearths but for American men and money. Stately Harvard University, under the wizardry of Phillips' eloquence, applauded the assassination of the Russian Czar. Our doors and purses are always open to political exiles. We are madly democratic.
121the passage of the Alien and Sedition laws in 1798 is a familiar illustration. The Federal Party could not survive the storm. To understand
122he his servants were ordered to awaken him always with the words, "Arise, Monsieur le Comte, you have grand deeds to perform." Our struggle for Independence brought him to America. He witnessed Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown, and for great gallantry won the thanks of Washington. Homeward bound he was captured by the British. Escaping he went to Mexico, and tried to form Communistic Societies. Failing here he went to Spain, and from thence to France, where his democratic principles speedily landed him in prison. The Revolution of Thermidor swept his fortune away, and he renounced his nobility. By fortunate speculations he recuperated his finances and, retiring, he devoted seven years to economic studies. Again his fortune was lost, and he was reduced to the hardest work, and the most abject poverty. Once he attempted suicide. Often staggering for want of food and sleep he trudged the streets on errands of mercy. He died in 1825. He was Comtean in philosophy. His memory is precious.
123paper ever published. He terrified even the terrorists. Compared with him Robespierre was a coy and timid rustic. He gathered about him such spirits as Buonarroti, Sylvain, Marechal, Lepelletier, Antonelle, Darthe and Debon, and formed the "Conspiracy of Baboeuf" for the overthrow of the Directory. Being betrayed he was guillotined May 24, 1797, chanting, "I wrap myself into a virtuous slumber."
All writers on economics associate
"The former founded a science; the latter a religion." Fourier's life was tearful, tragic and tempestuous. He was a philosophical romancist; an oriental mystic; a fantastic symbolist; and yet, withal, shrewd though impracticable. His philosophy was materialistic; his religion pantheistic. Emerson was Fourieristic. His economic ideas were irresistably charming. It is sufficient praise that the Fourier Brook Farm experiment, near Boston, was championed by such lights as Greeley, Ripley, Brisbane, Fuller, Curtis, Channing, Hawthorne and Whittier. But Fourierism in America failed.
124immediately he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. From thenceforth he was a literatus, a politician and a communist. In 1845 he fled to London, being sentenced to two years imprisonment for enangering the king. Here he found More's "Utopia," which became his future platform. Cabet believed in holding goods in common, the members of the community working, eating, sleeping and dressing alike, and doing away with law, government and graded society. All strife, jealousy, ambition and competition should be tabooed. He found followers, secured a grant of land in Texas, and sailed from London in 1848. Yellow fever at New Orleans frustrated his plans, and the Communists disbanded. Later, he came to Nauvoo, Ill., from whence the Mormons had been driven, with 1,500 people. Dissensions came, a split-up followed, and Cabet and followers went to St. Louis, Mo., where he died in 1856. The malcontents went to Corning, Iowa, where the experiment is still going on. Cabet was a mild, humane, poetical, impracticable optimist. He would not tear down; he could not build up.
125Reading "proof," he mastered the Hebrew tongue. His employers publishing theological treatises, he became a thorough theologian. The Academie de Besancon honored him with an annual pension of 1,500 francs. He now met Pellegrino Rossi, the great economist. From henceforth he was the untiring champion of the poor. His hatred of the rich and love for the poor were immeasurable. He was the founder of modern Socialism. His books are the classics of Revolution. He was destructive, but not constructive. In philosophy he was Hegelian; in personal demeanor, gentle.
The time fails me to tell of Louis Blanc, who introduced the political idea into Socialism; Robert Owen, the founder of English Communism; Karl Marx, the champion of dirk and dagger; Bakunin, Krapotkine and Tchernyschevski, the Russian Nihilists; Lasalle, "the most interesting figure in the history of Social Democracy;" Karl Rodbertus, the Ricardo of Socialism, and Professors Wagner, Schmoller, Brentano, Held and a host of others. But we pass on to the underlying principles of
126ism is rent and torn in its own house. They unitedly make three demands. First, equality; second, no monopolies; third, liberty. The basis of their discontent is social and financial caste, at the expense of the mass. Their sincere desire is to help the helpless. This is true even of Anarchy and Nihilism. These midnight isms, that congeal our blood, are only initially destructive. They would tear down only to build more wisely and humanely. They would see the grain of our present civilization die only, that out of the furrow a more abundant harvest might spring. They would drive plow and coulter through Eden that fairer and diviner fruits and flowers might grow therein. They would shroud the world in darkness for a season, believing that the healing dew, the gorgeous sunrise and the millennial day would compensate for all the catastrophes of the night. They would endure the Dark Ages, looking forward with joyful hope to the renaissance of May and June, and the full-tide summer and autumnal glory. Their aims I heartily commend. Their methods, in the main, I condemn. Perhaps I startle you. You are incredulous. I will prove my assertions. Baboeuf was the maddest of the terrorists.
He says: "The aim of society is the happiness of all." These are his own words. Again he says: "In a true society there ought to be neither poor nor rich;" "The
127end of the Revolution is to destroy inequality, and to re-establish the common happiness." Happiness and equality were Baboeuf's leading themes. Cabet's central thoughts are, the equality of all, the brotherhood of man, and universal peace; no rich or poor, no slaves or servants, no masters or lords. "If we are asked," says Cabet, "‘What is your science?’ we reply, ‘Fraternity.’ What is your doctrine? — ‘Fraternity.’ What is your principle? — ‘Fraternity.’ What is your theory? — ‘Fraternity.’ What is your system? — ‘Fraternity.’" Proudhon's two pillars are: 1, The product belongs to the producer; 2, God is the sole Proprietor and He demands no rent, royalty or usury. Blanc's two prayers were, for the widest development, and the highest happiness of all. Saint Simon's platform was: All difficulties to be settled by arbitration; no revolution by force; universal peace; world-wide organization and state co-operation to secure work for the unemployed, and food and raiment for all; the Mosaic law governing real estate; education to be fostered, and everything true and beautiful to be encouraged. This was his favorite motto: "To each one according to his capacity; to each capacity according to its works."
128Sea and the Mediterranean. Fourier favored elective attraction, and organic union; no competition, no rivalry, no coercion, no loss of time, or labor, or money through misdirected industry, no waste by war or extravagant living. Horace Greely greatly admired Pourierism. Blanc's ideal consisted of two things: 1. All talents belong to God. 2. They are to be devoted to the common good. We are simply the cashiers in the great God-Humanity Bank. "If you are twice as strong as your neighbor, it is a proof that nature has destined you to bear a double burden; if your intelligence is superior, it is a sign your mission is to scatter about you more light; weakness is a creditor of strength, ignorance of learning; the more a man can, the more he ought; each one is to produce according to his faculties, and consume according to his wants." Loftier justice never came down from Sinai; loftier benevolence was never uttered on the Mount of Beatitudes. And this is the doctrine that has
All these dreadful isms are but different phases of the great revolt against Medievalism. They but represent ever widening fissures in the social and political crust, indicative of a general growth and expansion. What chance have the Russians to plead their own cause? None! Nihilism is their only resort. Every king-cursed country presents the same situation. Hence the other isms. Nor will we ever be rid of them until Mediaevalism
129in Society, Church and State are swept away. And in this fight against titled and privileged paupers, paupers because "they neither sow nor spin," because they produce nothing, yet squander fabulous wealth, while honest toil goes unrequited, my sympathies are with the isms.
But if their purposes are the same, why do they have different names? Different names are applied because
A dozen travelers, going from Boston to New York, take a dozen different routes, by stage, by rail, by sea, and by balloon; yet they all have the same purpose, desire and destination. These isms but represent different routes. They all have the same objective point. They all contend for the same thing, only employing different methods to obtain it. They but take different routes to get to the same place. Their united desire is to help the poor to a better living, increasing the quantity and quality of every soul power, bringing in the golden era of universal peace and fraternity, and perfecting the measure of human happiness. Many suppose that these isms are advocated only by the low and lewd; that they were at the bottom of the fearful scenes in Paris in 1871; that they are opposed to wedded life and love; that they are opposed to everything sweet and pure. False! The most rabid of all isms is Nihilism. Bakunin, Krapotkine and Tchernyschevski have been anathematized from ten thousand pulpits and presses. But if you will read
130Kennan, Tolstoi, Turgenef, Stepniak and other equally high authorities; you will find that learning, wealth, pure character and lofty social standing are back of all the isms, Nihilism not excepted.
"But the names of these isms are so hated!" Not any more than "Colonialism" in England in 1776, or "Abolitionism" in the south in 1860. "But their leaders are so hated!" No more than were Washington, Cromwell, Garibaldi, John Brown and "Abe" Lincoln. "But their methods are so vicious!" No more so than John Brown's at Harpers Ferry. In all these cases we must come back to Edmund Burke's great dictum: "You cannot frame an indictment against a whole people." How deep was the odium that fell on the Abolitionists after the Brown escapade, and on the Masons after the Morgan affair; but the Masons and the Abolitionists, as a body, were not to blame. Neither are the various isms culpable for the furious outbursts of irresponsible parties. But you ask,
Cabet's system makes marriage compulsory. Celibacy, except for physiological reasons, is punished by expulsion. Domestic infidelity is mercilessly condemned. Woman has the highest honor and devotion. Education is persistently promoted. German Socialism demands both morality and religion. Communism officially outlaws all violence. Anarchy and Nihilism are also constructive. They would destroy only to build better;
131because demolition must precede re-construction. "Out of the ruins a regenerated world; we must be purged as by fire," are favorite mottoes. They seal their faith with martyrdom. Their lives are pure. To be sure there are exceptions, as in all lodges and even in the Church, but I speak of the main body on both sides of the sea. But do they not
A Russian Nihilist wrote on his prison wall; "There is no Heaven and there is no Hell; therefore, all ye rascals grab what you can, only don't get grabbed yourselves." Bakunin said: "Religion is an aberration of the brain, and should be abolished." As a poor mother commended her departing daughter to God, at the door of a third-class car, a Nihilist remarked: "God doesn't travel third-class now."
But several things must be considered before passing judgment. First, in most foreign countries the hated ruler is at the head of the Church. Especially is this true in Russia where the Czar is a "priest, an atheist, and a god." The Nihilistic revolt is not against the true God, and the religion of Jesus, but against the pseudo-sort represented by the heartless tyrant on the throne. Again, the Church has too often walked with gold bugs and with crowned and titled jackdaws. The priest and Levite still walk by on the other side. The most notorious oppressors of the poor — the Shylocks and Judases — often
132occupy the chief seats in the synagogue. If the poor go to Church they are crowded into the back seats, or up into a rat-infested, malodorous gallery. Why? Because the rich have rented the better seats. Gould pays $1,800 a year for a pew that just suits him. The poor catch on and get in if they can. Were Christ to come into many of His own Churches He would be cautioned not to soil the carpet, and ordered in or under the gallery. The revolt of the isms is not against genuine Churches and Christians, but against the base counterfeit. Again, the preachers have too often pandered to the rich and let the poor go to the Devil. Especially is this true where Church and State are one. The Devil says: "If you denounce the greed and robbery of the rich, and demand restitution to the poor, the rich will oust you, and deprive you of your shelter and salary." And some preachers smirk and answer: "Very well! We'll soft soap the poor; we will honey the rich; we will rake in golden shekels, and possibly we will reach the Bishopric. We will keep silent on the rapacity of the rich; we will counsel the poor to be patient, and we will charm away the pain and shame of hunger and nakedness by telling them of the white robes, and the paradisial honey in the "sweet bye and bye." Ah, me; the poor would rather have a little more in the sweet now and now. The revolt of the dreaded isms is not against the real representative of Christ in the pulpit, but against the smirking, timeserving sham. In many revolutionary lodges you will find
133the picture of the thorn crowned Christ, with this inscription: "Jesus of Nazareth, the first Representative of the People."
Hear, then, the conclusion of the whole matter:
1. Nothing is gained by abusing the hungry, naked, downtrodden, struggling masses.
2. Nothing is gained by misrepresenting them.
3. Nothing is gained by ascribing to all the opinions of a few; or by condemning all, for the fury and ruin of irresponsible parties.
4. Humanity is the same the world over. Put yourself in his place and you will be like him. The Nihilist is not a beast, but a brother.
5. The Golden Rule is the only key. Brotherhood is the open sesame. Love is the great solvent. Helpfulness is an irresistable talisman. Were Europe to unbutton and unbosom its heart, all these isms would vanish like a troubled dream when darkness is pierced by an arrow of light, and the needle of thought drops into the bosom of slumber.
6. Christ is the only Pacificator. All of men's whereases and therefores, all of Society's codes and edicts, all of the State's legislative, judicial and executive endeavors — all will prove of no avail until the Cross is lifted up in their midst and the Spirit of Christ has undisputed sway. Do you doubt God's sympathy? Hear then, His promise: "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for
134thirst, I the Lord will hear them. I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." And here is the testimony of one of God's saints:
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore."
Sermon X. The Bible, the Workingman's Magna Charta.
TEXT: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. — Matt. 24: 25.
Ulysses Simpson Grant, the hero of Appomattox, that genuine Salamander who rode through a sea of flame from the tannery to the apple tree, who wrote history with the point of his sword and punctuated it with great victories, said at Burlington, Iowa:
"Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of our liberties; write its precepts on your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide for the future."
William Ewart Gladstone, the most cosmopolitanly cultured man living, and perhaps that ever lived, said to an audience of English workingmen:
"If I am asked, what is the remedy for the deeper sorrows of the human heart — what a man should chiefly look to in his progress through life, as the power that is to sustain him under trials and enable him manfully to confront his afflictions, I must point him to something which, in a well known hymn, is called
Stanley, the cynosure of the world's admiring gaze, speaking of his association with Livingstone in Africa, thus testifies:
"In 1871 I went to him as prejudiced as the biggest Atheist in London. I was there away from a worldly world. I saw this solitary old man there, and asked myself: ‘Why on earth does he stop here?’ For months after we met I found myself listening to him and wondering at the old man carrying out all that was said in the Bible. Little by little his sympathy for others became contagious. Mine was aroused. Seeing his piety, his gentleness, his zeal, his earnestness and how quietly he went about his business, I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it."
"Ah," said Sir Walter Scott, whose "Lady of the Lake "and" Old Mortality," will live as long as literature survives, "there is but one book, and that is the Bible." Her majesty, Queen of England and Empress of India, to use Lord Beaconsfield's euphonious phrase, in 1849 declared to the chiefs of Africa that "the Bible is the secret of England's greatness." James Russell Lowell attributes Dante's splendor of diction and imagery to his mastery of the Scriptures. This is the genius whom Carlyle characterized as "the one Voice of ten silent
137centuries." Shakespere's latest biographer pictures the immortal bard swaying to and fro, with eye a glare and hand atremble, reading that three act drama of the Bible entitled Job. The great Lord Bacon, urged to write a code of ethics, exclaimed: "Who can improve on perfection? The Bible is a perfect code." The Emperor Julian having tried in vain to de-orbit the central Sun of Holy Writ, took a handful of his own blood and, flinging it upward, exclaimed with his dying breath: "Galilean! Thou hast conquered!"
I am to preach to you tonight on the Bible, the workingman's Magna Charta. Grave suspicion has fallen upon this precious volume. Spade and chisel, explorer and archaeologist, have been called upon to testify against it. Science has been summoned as an ally of the belligerent host. Philosophy has been invited to join in the crusade of sacrilege. The urn of history has been carefully scrutinized, and its ever eloquent ashes thoroughly sifted and microscoped. The subtlest scholarship has entered the arena with acumen and sagacity worthy of a nobler cause. And finally, the loftiest rhetoric and elocution have been evoked, as if from ether height or nether-depth, to sweep away the Gibraltan rock of everlasting hope. Formerly, the propaganda of pessimism abjured the "vulgar masses." Only the titled and rich, sated with gluttony and licentiousness were called upon to curse God and die. Lately, however, there has been a flank movement, and especially on workingmen. The
138strategic point of attack is the Bible. The Bible is rightly esteemed the Vicksburg of the Mississippian scheme of grace and redemption; the Gibraltar that has defied every savage attack; the Esdraelon, historic battleground of men, of nations and of ages. Workingmen have been derided for clinging to the Bible; have been told that it is against them; that it is a human invention for the aggrandizement of the rich, and the subjugation of the poor; that it is in short, a monstrous conspiracy to blight every hope, blast every ambition, dissipate every dream, and prevent every upward movement of the toiling multitude. I propose to-night to prove to your satisfaction that every such charge is false in toto. And the first witness I will call is the defendant.
139all the works of thy hand; he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness; these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing. Thou shalt open thy hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes. I was a father to the poor. Did I not weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that would ensnare him. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence; and precious shall their blood be in His sight. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his maker; and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. For
140thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy; yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath, their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God."
I thank you for your patience in hearing the testimony. This is only a tithe of the great unuttered total. We have not gone out of the Old Testament. No one accuses the New Testament of inhumanity. But I beg you to
141about Moses being antiquated? He was a thousand years in advance of the Twentieth Century, A. D. Talk about the severity, of the Bible? As well talk about the harshness of a mother's lullaby, and the inhumanity of a lover's devotion.
But, "actions speak louder than words." The test of the pudding is the eating of it. We measure men by deeds, not words. The coin that jingles is the kind that counts. The ear kissing profession of the witness may be false. The honied word may have a vitriolic meaning. "All is not gold that glitters." Lucretia Borgia, the deviless, was divinely beautiful. The namegiver of the glorious Elizabethan era was a prostitute. Cleopatra, a vase of classic beauty, illuminated from within with seraphic light, and for whom kings languished and died, was a harlot. Religion and patriotism are the last refuge of a scoundrel. Is the Bible a practical, helpful book in everyday life? Infidelity deals in blasphemous fancies; let us deal in blessed facts. Look first at the Biblical provision for the
142with autumnal foliage and shod with mid winter rigors, they totally abstained from all labor.
You say: "That was beautiful for the rich, but the poor could not afford to loose every seventh year." Bless you! the Lord provided for that. The earth every seventh year produced bountifully, without planting or cultivation, and every poor man's larder and granery were filled to groaning, without money and without price. Think of it! Not only did they rest one day out of seven, but one year out of seven also. And the poorest man had his cornucopia. How little rest do we get. With many Sunday is the whip cracker of the week. It is the sharpest, saddest, severest day of the series. But under the Biblical arrangement not only was the seventh day easily kept, but throughout the entire seventh year they wooed and won, feasted and sung, visited and revisited, did no labor whatever, and the poorest wageworker lived like a king. That was the Bible-way; this is our way. Again:
Slavery was universal, just as we had it 250 years. Slaves were held for life. They were at the mercy of the master. Slaves were killed, without compunction of conscience or restraint of law.
But the Bible septennially proclaimed all slaves free. No slave could be held longer than six years. The master dying, without a son, every slave, no matter how, or how lately obtained, became free. The master was not
143permitted to treat them as slaves, but as wageworkers. He was not allowed to require severe or repulsive service. He could not compel them to loose his sandals or carry him in a litter. He was not permitted to use severe or abusive language in reproof. He could not demand any service whatever of the slave's wife and children, but was bound to support them. If the master was cruel he was heavily fined and the money given to the slave. At the end of the term, the longest being six years, the master was not only compelled to manumit, but also to pay the slave, in produce, equivalent to what he would have earned had he been a freeman.
Behold the difference! Our slaves were held for life; theirs, at the longest, but six years. Ours rarely gained their liberty; theirs always did. If ours became free it was by dint of extra work, and then they went forth penniless; theirs became free without extra labor, and went forth full-handed. Ours had to do the most repulsive work; theirs did not have to even lace a sandalshoon. Ours were cruelly treated; theirs were not, or if so, were remunerated by the law. Our system was self perpetuative; theirs was self destructive. That was the Biblical way; this is our way. Again,
Under Bible rule there was no landed royalty. Every fifty years all real estate, outside of walled cities, reverted back, without compensation, to the original
144owner or his heirs. The modern landlord octopus was unknown. Henry George's great book would have been a sealed mystery. The testimony of Jesus is now the testimony of the masses — I have not where to lay my head." Capitalists have a "corner" on the earth and no poor man need apply. In Scotland alone, Mr. Heddle owns 50,400 acres; Earl of Wemyss, 52,000; Duke of Montrose, 68,000; Cameron of Lochiel, 109,500; Sir C. W. Ross, 110,400; Earl of Fife, 113,000; the Mackintosh, 124,000; Lord McDonald, 130,000; Earl of Calhousie, 136,000; Macleod of Macleod, 141,700; Duchess of Sutherland, 149,879; Sir K. Mackensie, of Gairlock, 164,680; Duke of Argyle, 175,000; Duke of Hamilton, 183,000; Duke of Athole, 194,000; Mr. A. Matheson, 220,433; Duke of Richmond, 255,000; Earl of Stair, 270,000; Mr. Evan Bailie, 300,000; Earl of Seafield, 306,000; Sir J. Matheson, 406,070; Duke of Buccleugh, 432,183; Earl of Breadalbane, 435,696, and the Duke of Sutherland, 1,176,343 acres.
"Ah, but that is the Old World," you say. Yes; but the same octopus feels for our vitals here. Take Dakota. Mr. Cass owns 15,000 acres; Mr. Grandon, 25,000; and Mr. Dalrymple, 40,000; the Standard Oil Trust, 1,000,000; the Northern Pacific railroad, 47,000,000, and other corporations
Besides, unnaturalized, non-resident foreigners are monopolizing our domain here, as well as abroad. For
145instance: The Earl of Dunraven owns 60,000 acres of our land; Duke of Sutherland, 400,000; Earl of Dunmore, 1,000,000; Phillip, Marshal & Co., 1,300,000; heirs of Colonel Murphy, 4,100,000; Mr. H. Distory, 12,000,000. Nine Londonese own a tract of land here as large as the three states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. What is to prevent our country from becoming another Ireland?
But the Bible forbade the adding of estate to estate, to the hurt of the poor. Great estates, with such a brief tenure, were not desirable. Holdings were small and cheap. There were no great estates, but every man was his own landlord. There were no renters, no beggars, no tramps. The word "pauper" is not in the Hebrew language. Each man lived beneath his own vine and fig tree, entirely abstaining from all work the seventh day, and every seventh and fiftieth year while happiness and prosperity, like a golden sheen, were the only canopy and horizon.
How now? The masses live in tenements. Most of our farmers are renters. Our real estate is owned by nabobs. What do palace and princely equipage indicate? Enormous congestion of wealth. What do rags and poor houses indicate? Fathomless misery. What do these awful panics and strikes speak of? Oppression and desperation. Contrast the two periods! That was the Biblical way; this is our way. Again:
The Bible is the best of all "doctor books," In Pathology and Therapeutics it is unequaled. Many of the distressing ailments which pass under the fashionable name of malaria are thoroughly diagnosed in Leviticus and both the cure and the preventative prescribed. The Bible is a marvel of dietetic wisdom. Moses and his food views are now recognized and endorsed by the foremost medical savants. Science has at last discovered why the wild hare is forbidden as food by the Bible. The so-called water blisters, or water boils, frequently found on the body of the rabbit are neither more nor less than "tape worms in the larva stage; waiting patiently for their final transformation." These are only a few instances selected from many. Would you be cured of insomnia, mania, dementia, malaria, dyspepsia, and a host of ills? Go to the Bible. There you will find the best family physician.
Are you still unconvinced? Do you still doubt the Bible? That it provides for the poor, champions the down-trodden, and uplifts the despised? Then let us go farther. Behold how the Bible
Who was the first emancipator and Bible writer? Moses, in babyhood an outcast, and in manhood an outlaw. Who laid the foundation of the great Jewish commonwealth? Samuel, the son of a peasant. Who
147broke the back of the Ahab and Jezebel abomination? Elijah, a Tishbite peasant. Who was God's messenger to Nineveh? Jonah, a Galilean peasant. Who was God's stern prophet to Israel? Amos, a backwoods cattle herder. Who is universally called, Father of the Faithful? Abraham, a stock raiser. Whom does the world unite in apotheosizing as the Great King? David, the shepherd boy.
Who was Hur? So humble that he is mentioned only once, yet God honored him with an important work. Who was Melchizedek? Mentioned concerning but a single act his name is fragrant with the breath of the early morning. Who was the "certain Centurion" mentioned by Luke? His name even, is lost, but he was one of heaven's appointees. Who was the "little maid" mentioned in the Kings? A nameless waif, yet one of God's aids-de-camp. Who were Phoebe and Priscilla, Aquila, Epsenetus, Andronicus and a host of others praised for their fidelity? The first chapter of Matthew and the third of Luke are emblazoned with a shining array of precious names. But the sacred page is guileless of comment. The Chronicles teem with holy names, but are void of even reminiscence. Who make up this mighty, milky way, this mammoth biographical nebula? Some bodies and doers of some things certainly, but not even the silhouettes of their careers remain. But God honored them with a glorious work and an imperishable fame. They were cast out by the world, but enthroned
148forever in this indestructible pantheon of Holy Writ. Are you still unconvinced that the Bible is pre-eminently the workingman's book? Then we will go to the top of the Pyramid of Gizeh. From the apex we will survey lands and peoples yet Bibleless. We have pictured the beneficence of its presence; we will now portray the maleficence of its absence.
The people live in huts and hovels. They dress in rags and shockingly decollette. Cleanliness is a lost art. Cooking and eating utensils are unknown, and almost unnecessary. Millions are swept away by famines, leprosies, and all manner of pestilences rage. Their cities are without water works, paved streets, illumination, parks, gardens, libraries and works of art. They have no railroads, no native lines of steamers, no government highways. The roads are such that if you would travel you must hire two men to draw you in a hand-cart where it is safe, and carry you on their shoulders where it is unsafe. Eight years ago the only vehicle Palestine could boast of was one wheelbarrow and that belonged to a foreigner, the Russian minister. Think of it! An empire with only one vehicle, and that a wheelbarrow. Look at their grain fields. Women as well as men are still bowed down, under the blazing sun, cutting the grain with hand sickles just as they did when Ruth gleaned for wheat and harvested a princely husband
149Look within the home. Drudgery is the universal household god. The floor is paved with broken hearts. The walls are dewy with beaded sweat and blinding tears. Every chink and crevice is stained with sacrificial blood. Look deeper still. A hundred wives divide the husband's love. The child has a hundred stepmothers. Home is hell. Death is dear and coveted. Look once more. There is no liberty. Liberty died long ago in the womb of hope. There is no security. The king and his courtiers have the right to satisfy their lusts on your wife, or sister, or daughter, without their or your consent. They can rob you of them entirely. They can take your property, yes, your life, if they so desire. Light, love and liberty are dead, and hope, happiness and heaven are unknown.
Oh, workingmen, despise not the Bible. It is a pharos that shines in the humblest heart and home. It alone possesses the power Bacchus claimed to impart to Midas. It is the true and only Aladdin lamp, that is able to transform and transmute anything and everything into whatever you may desire. Be true to it and
150its precepts written on every heart Milton's dream would be realized, and Dante's vision would electrify the universe. Enthrone this book in the board of trade, the saloon, the gambling den, the house of sexual commerce, the office of the avaricious merchant, the shylockian employer, the brutal foreman, and the conscienceless monopoly, and quicker than the lice fled from Pharaoh's palace, quicker than the leprosy vanished from Naaman's body at Jordan's touch, quicker than darkness flies at morn when pursued by Sol, the fiery king of day; yes, quicker than light flashed from all the jeweled chandeliers of the firmament at God's command, will all robbery, oppression and corruption shuffle and jumble and tumble, like the Gadaran swine, in one tumultuous effort to get back into the bottomless pit, their native vomit. Enthrone this Bible in the hall of legislation, and every law will be in the poor man's favor. Enthrone it in the hall of justice and every decision will be in the poor man's favor. Enthrone it in the executive's office and every law will be enforced in the poor man's favor. Enthrone it in the preacher's heart, and every sermon will be in the poor man's favor. Enthrone it in the Church, and all its mighty enginery and influence will be in the poor man's favor. Enthrone it in the heart of the poor man himself, and all the God-head, and all the saints risen and redeemed, and all the hierarchy of Heaven will be in his favor. Oh, workingmen! Have I not plead your cause? And will you not take my advice? Stand by the Bible!
151Let it be your refuge in the day of life; your pillow in the night of death; your foundation on the morning of judgment!
"Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
Sermon XI. The Church, the Workingman's Truest and Strongest Ally.
TEXT: Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it. — Eph. v: 25.
I am no Churchomaniac. I deny the charge of Churcholatry and Bibliolatry. I do not worship the Church, neither do I worship the Bible. I am not, by birth or inheritance, a son of the Church. I cannot point to a long line of clerical antecedents. My earliest recollections are not of throbbing incense and tender moaning orisons. I was not taught the Church and Sunday School curricula. I have no memory of parents bending low above the Scriptures in wrapt and reverent musings and meditations. Ours was not the preacher's home. "Grace" was never said at our table except by pious guests. I was never taken to Church except on a few occasions of extraordinary interest. Our neighbors, with few exceptions, were irreligious. They no more thought of going to Church than they thought of going to Moscow. Not until I entered College did I become a church attendant. Even then I was drawn by the kindliness of Christian people, the tenderness and majesty of the music, and the
153awe and solemnity of the sanctuary more than by the preacher and his words. I am not yet fond of preaching. To me most sermons still are very hard and very dry. Talmage lulled me to sleep in his own Church. But three or four preachers have reached my heart and stirred my soul. In this pantheon, where Henry Ward Beecher is enshrined, belongs one less known to fame, but in all the elements of princely manhood, profound insight into the hidden springs of human action, and genuine, thrilling, moving, melting eloquence not the less worthy — the
I give these autobiographical hints that you may know I am not an ecclesiastical bigot, glorifying the Church whether right or wrong. I do not deny that I love the Church. I love every branch of it. I often worship with the Catholics in their own churches and at their own altars. In my private devotions, when mind and heart are burdened and oppressed, I often take the Prayer Book of the Episcopalians, and with a deep and unctious delight offer one of those glorious prayers on whose bosom countless saints have winged their way to Paradise. Wherever the Cross of Christ is lifted up I feel at home; and whoever loves the Master is my
154brother. There will be no technicalities or hair-splitting in Heaven. Turning to our theme, observe two or three things. First:
There is an exodus out of, and away from, the Church. "This is not a theory, but a condition." The Church has captured the rich, but lost the poor. Eighty per cent of the rich are Church attendants, 55 per cent of whom are communicants. Only 20 per cent of the poor are communicants, while the attendance is smaller still. Over 80 per cent of the wage workers are outsiders. Christendom is ringing with the cry: "How can we reach the masses?" Church and Church Congresses resolve and re-resolve, committees are appointed, specialists are commissioned, but the masses remain without. What are the explanations offered? 1. Human depravity. Some charge that the masses are essentially vicious in taste, temper, and practices; that they are necessarily low, coarse, and vulgar; that the whole trend of their lives is downward and degradationward. False in every particular! Every letter of science and every page of history prove its falsity. That we are all depraved, desperately depraved, none can deny. But the charge that the masses are peculiarly and essentially depraved is a castle of slander in mid air. All thinking men are Darwinian in a qualified sense. The evolution is upward, always. Normal nature has no retrogressions. The butterfly never returns to the caterpillar. The
155butterfly is essentially the same that it was when a caterpillar.
History still farther shows that the hope of every civilization is in the masses. The salt that saves is in the cottage. The wealthy and nabobocratic are as prolific of vice as swamps are of miasma. Let the doubter read Tacitus, Pliny and Suetonius, Gibbon, Mommsen and Juvenal — the poets and historians of every great epoch. Read Racine, Moliere and Pascal. Look into the Pall Mall Gazette. Cities are the storm centers. Consider Sodom The Periclean age is said to have been the sublimest, socially and intellectually, and the filthiest morally in all history. Lazarus is led by angels. Dives by devils. The one burns in hell, the other blooms in paradise.
The Bible sides with history and science. The rich are scourged from lid to lid. The vocabulary of epithet is exhausted
2 Infidelity. We are told that the masses are infidel
156and scoffing; that they are harsh and irreverent; that their souls have no skylights. But this is another false aspersion. Take the poor out of the Church and the Church will die with the jaundice. The twenty per cent of the poor in the Church have more religion than all the eighty per cent of the rich. The same is true in the State. While the rich, in the dark days of the sixties, hired cheap substitutes the masses poured out their blood on more than a hundred battlefields. In Society it is still the same. If you want to see infidelity in all its purity haunt the salons of the upper-tens. God knows there is too much infidelity among the masses, but it is not a tithe of what there is among the Gibbonses and Chesterfields. The only bankers in the great emporium of spiritual thought and life are in the humbler walks.
What then are the real reasons of the absence of so many of the masses. I will tell you.
There are people within a stone's throw of every Church in the world that are kept at home by poverty. Only one block from this church I invited a family to make this their Church home. The wife replied: "Ah, we would gladly do so, but we are barefooted, our best clothes are patched, and husband is out of work." And as she said this a blush covered her face that would have made Juno wild with envy. This was not in New York city, where one-tenth of the population have to be helped,
157but in our own gem city of the three rivers. There are over 5,000 people in this city alone kept out of Church by poverty.
It is no use to scold and say they ought to come anyway. For my own part I can neither scold nor condemn. I know how bitter their poverty is. I know how dark are their days, and how long are their nights. I know with what heavy hearts they sit down to the coarse and scanty fare, and what a tempest of tears sometimes rain down in the empty plate. I know with what mingled shame and wrath they array themselves in garments faded, thread-bare, and long since antiquated. My own childhood was spent in such a home, and the midnight groans and tossings of my toiling father, and the long sad counselings of father and mother haunt me yet, after the lapse of almost twenty years.
2. Social barriers. During six days of the week the social barriers betwen rich and poor are
Mr. Lordly and his lady, week in and week out, roll by in landau and phaeton, in surry and carriage, oblivious of the suffering poor that line the streets; from spring till autumn they haunt the seashore and the mountains, often giddy as butterflies and heartless as harpies; from autumn till spring again they dress and drink, feast and dance, entertain and indulge in nameless and numberless extravagances, and refuse, through all,
158to hear one wail from starving and naked innocence at the door. And Mr. Lordly's children, in school and on the street, flout their finery in the faces of pinched and ragged children, and, not unfrequently, taunt thern with their homely food and raiment and the squalor of their parents. Or, if Mr. Lordly and his lady do not care to he so openly opposite the poor they simply treat them with silent and studied indifference — no helping hand extended, no kindly word of inquiry and cheer. And yet Mr. Lordly is the head official of the Church, and Mrs. Lordly is at the head of the Ladies' Society. How can you expect the poor to sing Mr. and Mrs. Lordly's hymns on the Sabbath, offer the same prayers, or attend any church at all? 3. Business barriers. The employer as a rule, is as ignorant of his men as he is of the mound-builders or cave-dwellers. His factory or foundry is placed in some unhealthy and inconvenient place, because the site is cheap, and there the workingman and his family have to eke out a miserable existence. But his lordship lives in a mansion on the hill, or in a palace in the city. The business is left in the hands of overseers. If an appeal is made to the proprietor it is referred back to the overseer. In other words, the employer holds himself aloof from his toilers with all the haughtiness and disdain that characterizes East Indian caste. Between employer and employe the gulf constantly widens, while the one quaffs the chalice of fear and the other drains the cup of
159"immortal hate." Austria's prime minister says this gulf can never be crossed. Toynbee and De Tocqueville say it must be crossed or our civilization is doomed to perish. And yet your millionaire employer, living apart from his men, never inquiring about them, always trying to increase their burdens and decrease their wages, taking advantage of the poverty and necessities of the poor to exact the most humiliating terms — this capitalistic slavedriver occupies the chief seat in the synagogue, and his pompous wife is first soprano in the choir. How can you expect the poor to feel at home in such Churches or to sing the songs of Zion amid such despicable associations?
Bear in mind that 80 per cent of the rich are pew-holders and that 55 per cent are communicants. After compelling the widow to make waists, of heavy coarse cloth, for 60 cents per dozen, and her grown up daughter to stand behind the counter, twelve hours per day, for $3.50 per week, and her grown-up son with a large family, to drive the street car eighteen hours per day, seven days in the week for the pay of six eight-hour days, exacting ironclad oaths, and if they refuse to sign them putting them on black lists and sending them forth like Ishmael — after such concentrated fiendishness go into the Church and play the "holier-than-thou act," pray and profess and sniffle, even take the bread and wine of the sacred feast, and, with measured tread and sanctimonious
160look, administer them to others — perhaps to the very persons whom they have robbed and outraged — how can you expect the masses to have any respect, even, for such Christians and such Churches?
5.The selfishness and licentiousness of the rich. Their wealth doubles every seven years, but they refuse to double the pay of the wage-worker. Nor is that all. While, in twenty years, the cost of living has advanced 41 per cent per ounce, pound, barrel, ton, yard, gallon, cord, etc., wages have fallen behind 10 per cent. Since 1869 the rich have doubled their wealth three times. Have they doubled the wages of workingmen three times? No sir! Instead of that, workingmen get 10 per cent less now, in purchasing power, than they received in 1869. Capitalists have indeed advanced your wages 31 per cent; but with satanic cunning they have advanced the cost of living 41 per cent. Then
"The luxurious immorality of the parvenus made no attempt to conceal itself. When the laborers were told that their wives and daughters were considered rightful booty by the wealthy, they remembered women of their class who had fallen a prey and were angry. The peace of many of them had been ruthlessly destroyed by some rich voluptuary. Perhaps a poor father, thinking of a fair daughter, whose employer, in shop or factory, had taken advantage of his position
161and her need to seduce her, gnashed his teeth in rage, and was ready to swear eternal vengeance against the bourgeoisie. Nearly all the thousands and tens of thousands of fallen women in cities like New York and Berlin, it is said, come from the poor classes. It is terrible to think of the anguish they have brought to parents whose only crime has often been poverty." When I was a student in the Boston University all Boston rang with the cries of a beautiful girl thus debauched and destroyed by the merchant in whose store she clerked. And these lecherous monsters, preying on famished virtue, yet tolerated on account of their wealth, are counted by legions. How can you expect the robbed and ruined to love and honor the Church as long as she harbors, in silence, such incarnate devils?
6. The apathy and antipathy of the Clergy. How few preachers have openly taken sides with the poor! How few are willing to hazard their salary and high society by telling Dives the sort of man he is. A noted Churchman says of the preachers: "They have favored the higher classes, upon whom their support has depended, and neglected the interests of the poor and downtrodden." Macaulay declares that the clergy have been the zealous allies of the rich in every crusade against the poor. He farther says that when the English Church was at its apex
The various Churches, he continues, fought each
162other more than they fought the Devil. Lowell says that in most countries the clergy are regarded as the astutest allies of the police. Rylance, himself a preacher, says: "Ecclesiasticism has often been a fraud and tyranny. As the Church grew in power and wealth it allied itself to power and wealth and the fruits of the alliance have often been wicked and infamous." Schaffie, speaking of the church says: "Communism is much more Christian than the hankering after privileges of the old aristocracy, or the unbounded avarice of plutocracy." With so many preachers fawning on the rich, selling themselves annually for twelve or fifteen hundred dollars, damning the dead Dives, but coddling and cozzening the living Dives in the pew or on the official board, while the poor, to whom preachers are especially sent, are left friendless and comfortless, how can you expect the masses to enjoy their semi-hypocritical ministrations in the Churches?
Less than this would be disloyalty to the truth. "The nigger under the wood pile" is often the preacher himself. And the fellow by his side is the pseudo-church. Make preachers and Churches Christ-like and the masses will flock in by tens of thousands and by hundreds of millions. There are seven kinds of preachers: 1. The lazy preacher; 2. The gluttonous preacher; 3. The preacher whose sole object is dimes and dollars; 4. The narrow sectarian preacher who proselytes and tears down other churches to build up his own; 5. The preacher who has
6. The bookworm preacher; 7. The true preacher of Christ whose compass has thirty-two points and who is color-blind to age, sex, wealth, nationality, complexion, and every extraneous and accidental condition and circumstance; and whose chief and only business is to go about doing good, in His name, and especially among such as have no helper, and are unable to pay big fees and make fine presents. That's the kind of a preacher Christ was. Are there many like him to-day? Life is very sweet to me, and I will let some hypochondriac make answer.
"Well," you say, "you have preached against your own claim all evening, and have most industriously disproved your central proposition." By no means. I have only been practicing the art of the manicure; removing the debris from my building site; cutting off the fungus growth. To prove that the Church is not what it ought to be does not disprove that it is the workingman's safest house of refuge. With all its faults, and the carnality and deviltry of some of the clergy, it is not only the truest and strongest ally the workingman has, but
Though driven to make the amende honorable the Church stands out as the only official ally of the workingmen; the only organized effort to help them and their families; the only organization that ever dares to beard the
164capitalistic and monopolistic lion in his den. The only power Judas and Shylock fear is the Church. Do the robbers of the poor fear Mr. Ingersoll? Bah! They know he will help them out if they get into a close place. For further particulars inquire of Steve Elkins, Dave Dorsey and other high-toned thieves. Do the robbers of the poor fear politicians? No more than the devil fears his imps. Do the robbers of the poor fear Congresses and Legislatures? From flagstaff to flagstone they are placarded: "For sale!" Do the robbers of the poor fear Courts and Judges? It has passed into a proverb: "If you want to be robbed, go to court." With a few Aristidean exceptions Judge Monkey sits on the bench and the fool cats get no cheese. Have professional reformers who have broken away from Church and Bible, helped the poor? Horace Greeley, driven to the wall by Henry J. Raymond, had to confess they had not. Owenism, Simonism, Fourierism, Blanciem, Tchernyschevskyism, and every other manmade economic machine, have gone awreck with good roads, or a dead level, and with plenty of money and hosts of well wishers. The Church is the only successful ally the workingman has. Observe, first,
Constitutions are indices of character. Our national trend is registered in the Constitution and Amendments. We may not measure up to it, but that is our ideal. A stranger, seeking a home, will first of all read the Constitution.
165Before uniting with any lodge, or social compact, you ask to see the Constitution and By-Laws. In forming a new organization the first thing to do is to draft a Constitution. And for this task the best and greatest brains and hearts are sought. It is impossible for a good Constitution, truly interpreted, and conscientiously executed, to result in anything but good. What is the Constitution of the Church? The Bible. This is the Constitution of all Christian Churches. Protestantism and Catholicism alike enthrone it in their highest courts. Even Judaism goes half way with her daughter. When any dispute arises we appeal to the Bible. And Catholicism and Protestantism would throw all their man-made books and rituals and rubrics into the fire before they would allow one wandering speck of ashes to blur or dim the sacred page. This Book that provided that every man should rest every seventh day and every seventh and fiftieth year; that no man should be a slave; that every man should possess his own roof tree; that the poorest should be provided for and honored; the Book that served as a pillow for your mother when she died, and whose leaves made the only poultice that could take the agonizing sting out of your father's heart when he was left aged and alone; the Book that is the only telescope by which we can discern heavenly and eternal things; the Book whose every touch is softer than eider-down, and whose every breath is sweeter than idle wild, and whose every voice is more melodious than the
166voice of the magic flute when touched by zephyr's perfumed lips, a chant with dreams, at midnight on the sea — this priceless Book, written in the life-blood of the Son of God, and jeweled with dew that distilled in the all-seeing eye of infinite Love, is the Constitution of the Church. Again: behold the
I admire all the great generals-in-chief. I know all their names by heart — Classic, Pagan and Christian. There is scarcely a battlefield in history over which I have not roamed in dreams. I have marched long weary days in the wake of Grecian, Roman and Persian armies. The struggles of Marathon and Thermopylas, of Tours and Marston Moor, of Jaffa and the pyamids, of Waterloo and Sevastopol, of Sedan and Austerlitz, I have witnessed, in fancy, again and again. Hating war I have unconsciously uncovered before the archangels of the battlefield.
But the Church has a General-in-chief who overtops all others as the Rockies and Himalayas overtop the mole hill. Great in creative power: He spake and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast. Great in destructive power: He wept in penitence and the earth was deluged; He wept in wrath and Sodom and Gomorrah, flamed and fell like worlds de-orbited. Great in conquering power: the rebellious angels, cast out by His omnipotent hand fell — fell like a flame-flood from Heaven
167to Hell — from morn till dewy eve, from dewy eve till morn, nine times the space that measures day and night to mortal men. Great in giving: He gave his only Child to die for all the sons and daughters of Adam, countless realms of angels to bear them up and encamp about them, and their own loved and lost to return on special embassies of love and mercy. Great in compassion: Out of all their captivities He brought all His people back to their native heaths, their hearthstones, and their ancestral sepulchres. Great in forgiveness: When Nineveh repented He withheld the destroying besom, and when David made confession He held over him the aegis of protection. Great in paternity: We are all His offspring. And this most inflexibly just though all loving, all forgiving, infinitely patient God is the Church's General-in-chief. Again: behold the
He comes with sidereal crown and angelic and archangelic escort. He is waited on by prophets, priests and kings. Though but an infant, at His approach all the gods of Egypt bury their faces in the dust, while the trees bow obeisance on either hand. In childish sport He fashions birds out of common clay and clapping his hands over them, they feather and fly away, a-rapture with song and a thrill with new found life and joy. In manhood kings, princes and potentates desired to see Him. The rich and noble would fain have fawned upon Him.
168The multitude desired to crown him. But though the Heavens were ever bending over Him, and the cohorts of light were ever hovering about Him, and at the wizardry of His word the billow became glassy pavement and the conscious water blushed into beaded wine, He was always and everywhere preeminently the champion of the poor. And this King, who for our sake became carpenter and marytr, is the Captain General of the Church. Behold him once and you will love Him forever. Again: Behold the
Are you in darkness? He comes with light. Are you in ignorance? He comes with wisdom. Are you in weakness? He comes with strength. Are you lost in a labyrinth of perplexities? He comes with untanglements. Are you in sin? He comes with blood. Are you in carnality? He comes with sanctifying oil. Are you in bereavement? He brings the napkin from the Arimathean sepulchre to wipe away your tears. Are you at the entrance of the valley of death? He is there with staff in one hand and torch in the other.
I love to worship Thee;
Thy patient love, at what a cost
At last it conquered me!"
Is not the Constitution of the Church all right? Who has aught to say against the Bible? Is not the General-in-Chief
169of the Church all right? Who has aught to say against God? Is not the Captain-General of the Church all right? Who has aught to say against Christ? Is not the Comforter-General of the Church all right? Who has aught to say against the Holy Spirit?
Ah, but you say, "The Church has never openly denounced the rapacity of the rich." Does not the Bible denounce unsparingly? Go home and read Christ and Paul and James and all the rest. And these are the Founder, Constitution and pillars of the church.
All Europe, Asia and Africa trembled to their base at the early preaching in behalf of the poor. Basil cried: "The rich man is a thief." Chrysostom exclaimed: "The rich are robbers; better all things were in common." Ambrose maintained that "Nature created community; private property is the offspring of usurpation." Bossuet thrilled the French voluptuaries by crying: "The murmurs of the poor are just," and by preaching the most farreaching Communism. Dr. Chalmers, of Scotland, originated the modern crusade in behalf of the wageworkers. These are but a few of the many blessed preachers I might enumerate.
But the Church has done nothing for the poor, you say. Look again:
1. From whence are our eelymosynary institutions? You cannot find an asylum, hospital, alms-house or door of mercy anywhere but the world owes it to the Church.
2. From whence are our schools and colleges? For ten silent centuries there was only one book worm and it glowed in the Church. Your necklace of public schools, sir, and your diadem of colleges were taken out of the casket of the Church. Even Girard College, with all its infidelic pomposity, has a Christian ancestry.
3. From whence came the family? From the great Head of the Church. The State has no right to officiate at the marriage altar. As well might an uncircumcised Philistine administer the Christian sacrament to the dying.
4. From whence came the doctrine of helpfulness? Only from the Church. "Bear ye one another's burdens" is a doctrine nowhere else endorsed.
5. From whence came the doctrine of social equality? Alone from the Church. Whatever may be the practice of individual members, the teaching of the Church is as clear as a bell, and as winsome as love.
6. From whence came the doctrine of universal brotherhood? Though dimly apprehended by a few choice spirits in all ages, the world owes its completion, enforcement and approximate practice to the Church.
Now then, my brother workingmen, I have a few words with you. You confess that the Constitution of the Church is perfect; that the General in Chief measures up to the loftiest dreams of ideality, and limitlessly beyond; that the Captain-General is full-orbed in sweetness, light and beneficence; that the Comforter General
171plays with irresistible touch and tenderness upon every trembling harpstring of our immortal spirits; and that the Church, whatever its shortcomings may be, has accomplished a glorious work. Now do you ask, why has not the Church accomplished more? I will tell you. Because so many of you have gone back on her; because you have insulted and abused her; because you have so often slandered her and been arrayed against her. Here is the ship. The compass, logbook and officers are all right, but you refuse to spread a sail, or throw a rope. Yes, you even refuse to go aboard. Here are all the appliances of victory, but you refuse to use them. Here is a flag, a constitution and a Ruler, all in your favor, but you haughtily disdain to swear allegiance. Jeff. Davis cursed the government at Washington for not helping the South. How could Mr. Lincoln help a rebellious people? Oh! workingmen, are you not impatient and petulant with the Church, and often rebellious against her?
Here again workingmen have been singularly shortsighted. Men of wealth, seeing the temporal power of the Church, have gone in and utilized it. They have actually silenced the pulpit and made the Church's Constitution favor their rascality, following the tactics of the Slavocracy in ante-bellum days. In other words, the 3 per cent rich have, in Church affairs, euchred the 97 per cent poor. While less than 20 per cent of the poor go to Church 80 per cent of the rich are there every time. The
172rich have been, in Church affairs, as wise as serpents; workingmen have acted with their usual shortsightedness.
First, strong organizations; second, universal arbitration; third, co-operative profit sharing. Were the ninty-seven per cent of our wageworkers to commit their cause to God, and lay hold upon the Bible, and utilize the enginery and influence of the Church they would accomplish the desire of their hearts in less than ten years.
And above all, workingmen should make sure of Heaven. It will be awful to make shipwreck of two lives and in two worlds. "But is the Church essential to Salvation?" I once saw a small canoe in which two men rowed across the ocean. And old tars trembled and stood aghast when they saw it, and wondered how the fool-hardy fellows escaped watery graves. The Church is the Great Eastern. You would better get aboard. The ocean of eternity is too wide and deep, too dark and stormy, for any hand-made craft. Hail Jesus the Captain, and get aboard. Get aboard!
Sermon XII. Christ, the Nazarene Carpenter, the Workingman's Omnipotent and Changeless Friend.
TEXT: And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. — Luke 2:7.
The great Bonaparte speaking of the Nazarene Carpenter, exclaimed: "Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. His ideas and His sentiments, the truths which he announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained either by human observation, or the nature of things. His birth, and the history of his life; the profundity of His doctrine, which grapples the mightiest difficulties, and which is of those difficulties the most admirable solution; His gospel; His apparition; His empire; His march across the ages and the realms; — everything is for me a prodigy, a mystery insoluble, which plunges me into a revery from which I cannot escape — a mystery which is there before my eyes, a mystery which I can neither deny nor explain. Here I see nothing human. The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine. Everything is above me. Everything remains grand, — of a grandeur
174which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an Intelligence which certainly is not that of man."
The pagan Publius Lentulus who saw Him, thus pictured Him to the Roman senate: "There appeared in these days a man of great virtue, named Jesus Christ, who is yet among us; of the Gentiles accepted for a prophet of truth; but his disciples call him the Son of God. He raiseth the dead, and cureth all manner of disease. A man of stature somewhat tall and comely, with a very reverend countenance, such as the beholder must love and fear. His hair the color of a chestnut full ripe, plain to the ears, whence, downward, it is more orient, curling and waving about his shoulders. In the midst of his forehead is a stream or partition of his hair, after the manner of the Nazarites; forehead plain and very delicate; his face without spot or wrinkle, beautiful, with a lovely red; his nose and mouth so forked as nothing can be represented; his beard thick, in color like his hair, not over long; his look innocent and mature; his eyes gray, quick and clear. In reproving, he is terrible, in admonishing courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen him laugh, but many have seen him weep; in proportion of body most excellent; his hands and arms delectable to behold; in speaking, very temperate, modest and wise; a man of singular
175beauty, surpassing the children of men." This is as a scoffing Roman saw him. It is the only elaborate pen-picture of Christ that has been preserved. Luke, however, gives us a glimpse if we are to credit some of the best Greek scholars. Where our versions reads, "and the grace of God was upon him," they say it should read: "And a divine gracefulness was upon him."
I propose, tonight, to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the workingman's changeless and omnipotent friend. First:
With what a wonderful genealogy are we confronted at the door of the New Testament! The Old Testament opens with the book of the generation of the world, but the New Testament begins with the book of the generation of Him that made the world. Crown heads point with pompous pride to their ancestry. The nobility are diligent students of the peerage-book. In most countries ancestry decides everything. And where ancestry fails artificial rank steps in. Adam Badeau, General Grant's Boswell, says: "The last time I dined in England two earls were leaving the room together and, as the one whose rank was more recent held back for his senior, he said, laughingly, but he meant it all the same: ‘I must not go before my betters.’" Even Mr. Lecky, the distinguished English historian, has to take a back seat if the merest titular snob happens to be around. Ah, this is a very cold and cruel world for a poor man to live in!
But look at the genealogy of Jesus. Behold what honor He placed upon the humble and unfortunate. He cannot claim the honors of primogeniture. None of his great ancestors were the first-born. Even Abraham had older brothers, as did also Jacob, Judah, David, Nathan, Rhesa and others. He descended from the least honored in His ancestral halls. Notice also that all of Jacob's sons are mentioned. They could not all be the ancestors of Jesus, but they can all share in his glorious redemption. Here again Christ refuses to allow any stigma to rest upon those who failed through no fault of their own, nor does He allow them to fall below the highest in exaltation. You will observe that four women are here enthroned. The world does not count genealogy along maternal lines, but Jesus does. While man would silence woman, decitizenize and dethrone her, make her only a breeder of children, a household drudge, or a society poodle, Jesus says: "Write her name high in the fane of My family. She is man's equal by birth and endowments; she shall be his equal in honor, place and power." Notice still farther that one of our Saviour's progenitors was a heathen. Ruth did not belong to the chosen family. But her name and fame are fragrant as heather-bells in June. And so may all heathens bloom in immortal beauty on the vernal slopes of Paradise. Another of His ancestors was a prostitute. Rahab was a Jericho harlot, a strumpet of the street, and yet her blood mingled with the blood of the Son of God, Two others were adulteresses.
177Thamar and Bathsheba, though honorably wedded, went whoring after other men. These, too, were blood-kin to our Saviour. Ah, Jesus, Thou wast indeed sent "in the likeness of sinful flesh." But what immortal hope here blooms for immoral womanhood! Three of the lewdest sort shines in the glorious wake of the heavenly Hesperus. Then look at some of the men from whom He descended: Abraham the liar, Jacob the robber, David the murderous adulterer, and the unscrupulous Abia, Joram, and Rehoboam. Never was more polluted blood in human veins. Not only did Jesus come "in the likeness of sinful flesh," but He also "took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses."
Take another glance at the genealogical tree. Who were many of those people? No one knows. Without conspicuous talents, living in humble spheres, performing simple, hum-drum tasks they nevertheless shine out in the bosom of this
They were country peasants, for the most part, engaged in herding, fruit growing, and agriculture. Some were indeed, denizens of the city, some were of priestly rank, some were kings even — but how checquered and tarnished were most of their careers! The world would not have recorded their names. No stone would have been reared, or epitaph written. History would have scorned to have their names emblazoned upon her breast, and poesy
178would have refused one wreath of honor. But in this deathless gallery, in the loftiest niche of fame, He writes all their names and garlands them with immortelles. Christ, the Nazarene Carpenter, the workingman's changeless and omnipotent Friend. Again:
Who was His father? Tiberius Csesar? Some prince of the royal blood? Some nobleman of high renown? Some publicist of mighty fame? Some commercialaire with musk-laden caravans and gem-laden fleets? Some philosopher with pale brow thickly sickled o'er with anxious thought? And who was His mother? Some Estherian queen? Or some Egyptian princess? Or some Jaelic goddess of war? Or some sorceress of song like Miriam? Or some Hypatian oracless of some Delphic shrine? Or some crowned and jeweled seeker of wisdom like the Sheban Queen? Oh, no! They were simple peasants. The father, according to the flesh, was only an apparition. He came without heraldry, tarried awhile without comment, and dropped out without notice. The mother was so humble her parentage is unknown. Her entrance and exit were unannounced.
How pathetic, too, are the glimpses given of His parents. Soon to be wedded, she is found to be on the verge of maternity. In a tumult of wild emotions Joseph receives assurances from Heaven that his betrothed is innocent of sin. Then they are wedded, but for months
179they are denied the connubial embrace. In this unhappy plight they are compelled to go to Bethlehem to facilitate the taking of the census. While here the Christ-child is born. Then comes the command to haste from the murderous Herod into Egypt. Ordered back, they are confronted with alarming news concerning Archelaus and they slyly turn aside to hated Nazareth. Here it is supposed Joseph died soon after the visit to Jerusalem in our Saviour's twelfth year. From thenceforth Mary was a widow. With toiling parents, and later, the son of a widow, reared in the home of a mechanic, He is qualified by experience and every hallowed memory, to be the workingman's changeless and omnipotent friend. Farther:
Here was the nether-depth of poverty. He had to share the hospitality of the ass and mouse. A wisp of straw was His only pillow; a saddle blanket His only covering; a beast of burden His only associate-guest. Heaven stooped down and kissed the Bethlehem dunghill and angels serenaded the humblest group on earth. His midnight cry is drowned by the grunts and groans of dumb and burdened brutes; His eye falls, not on bending arch and smiling fresco, but on the rude trappings of a subterranean barn; His hand touches, not thistle-down and gobelin tapestry, but the rough and saliva-stained manger. Here extremes truly meet: Glory and humiliation, honor and abasement, star-crowned King and
180outcast peasant, highest wealth and deepest poverty. Oh workingmen, behold thy Brother, shut out from every home, denied shelter at every public inn, driven from the face of the earth and compelled to burrow in the ground! Still farther: let us
Did he walk with princes, haunt the salons of the elite, and ape the manners of the bontonaire? Like another prince royal did He oil his drooping locks, train his shapely hands, and with ear-kissing flatteries seduce the people? Like another prince did He hold that the indigent are criminals, and that poverty is a crime? Like yet another prince did He parade the streets in a gilded chariot commanding his lictor and charioteer to flay the poor that lined the streets? No! No!! No!!! His very name is suggestive of the deepest poverty, and the humblest associations. He was both Nazarene and Nazarite. Art pictures Him in the squalid shop. Legend represents Him as the companion of the simplest villagers. Not one of all His boyhood friends is mentioned in history. When the oriflamme of His divinity at last radiated about Him He was still the unswerving democrat. Though the Pilates, Herods and Caesars desired to see Him He never crossed their thresholds. Though the nobility, plutocracy and aristocracy would gladly have wined and dined and lodged Him He clung to His own "fourth estate." His favorite home was with Lazarus. The woman whom He
181loved beyond all others — whom He would have wedded but for His ultimate destiny — was the Magdalan Mary. His illustrations were usually drawn from the farm, the highway and the barnyard. His solicitude was always for the poor. "The common people heard Him gladly." He was a manger magnet. The ordinary loadstone will not draw gold nor pearl, but cleaves to iron, one of the meanest of metals. Jesus is humanity's loadstone. The humblest rush into his arms and He hurries them into His heart. Then, as now, he was the only true and changeless Friend they had. You will, therefore, not marvel at the trade He chose.
This, to me, is one of the most wonderful aspects of our Saviour's character. How He could have reveled in law! But He who is the fountain of all legal lore and justice, and who is the Arbiter of all nations and peoples deliberately denied Himself that delight. How he could have gratified every trembling instinct of His divinity as a professional healer! But though the maker of every medicine — allopathic, homoeopathic, eclectic and botanic — He left that art to others. How He could have enchanted countless thousands as a professional orator. What illustrations, similes and allusions! What ornate imagery! What towering diction! What exquisite poetical and emotional periods would have rolled from His curved and graceful lips! But He denied Himself this
182luxury and spake in simple phrase for the benefit of the masses. What a minister of finance He might have been! The Croesi and Bacchi, the Pitts and Palmerstons, the D'Israelis and Gladstones, the Chases and Shermans would have been dwarfed Lilliputians compared with Him. Yet all this He resigned and submitted to such poverty that He had to appeal to a Galilean fish for money with which to pay His taxes. What a splendid gentleman of leisure He could have been! With what grace He could have received; with what elegance and urbanity He could have entertained; with what never-to-be-forgotten smile and wave of hand He could have sped the departing guest. But His self-abnegation was boundless. He lived in such a homeless state that He was driven to make the humiliating confession: "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." And yet, with all His abstemiousness, His glorious mind and heart thrilled with delight at every thought of the refined and elegant and sublime. Workingmen, would you be willing to sacrifice as much for Him as He sacrificed for you? And am I not right in saying that He is the workingman's changeless and omnipotent friend? Passing on from his thirtieth birthday when He set aside His kit of tools
In Matthew 11:5 you will find His mission outlined. His mission was:
1. To Give Sight to the Blind — As the artist sees an angel in every ledge of rock so He would have man see God in all the phenomena of nature. He would cure the spiritual eye, burning with the ophthalmia of sin, and enable it to see the image of the heavenly and divine in every feature of the crested sea, the jeweled earth and the beseeching sky. He would be the soul's oculist in the eye-infirmary of earth. He would have all men see God. He came,
2. To Give Locomotion to the Lame — He would have none lame or limbless. He would enable all men to be spiritual pedestrians. Physical pedestrianism is wonderful. A friend of mine visited on foot every town in Switzerland in twelve days. Bayard Taylor tramped over Europe in a few months. Weston walked from Portland, Me., to Chicago in twenty-six days. But intellectual pedestrianism is by far more wonderful. While I talk to you I visit Philadelphia, New York and Boston; London, Paris and Berlin; Jerusalem, the Pyramids and the famed cities of the Orient. Or I step over to Jupiter, Mars or Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or the Sun. But spiritual pedestrianism baffles the fleetest imagination. Here words are absolutely inadequate to express speed, worlds, and intelligences that beckon on the aspiring spirit. But spiritual pedestrianism is as much beyond the intellectual as intellectual pedestrianism is above and beyond the physical. Isaiah hints at this when he says - "They that wait upon the Lord shall
184renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." He also came,
He would have all men hear sounds that are now to them inaudible. Dullness of hearing is common Some are entirely deaf; others hear with difficulty; others can hear only peculiar sounds. Then there are wide differences of appreciation. Thomas and Gilmore put some people on nettles. To some people the highest order of singing is very offensive. The masters of pianoforte playing almost throw some people into the delirium tremens. Then there are intellectual sounds that you cannot hear with your physical ear. Here there is no broken wire or string, no instrument sharp or flat, no mistake in print or player, no accidental crash or wandering dissonance. The rythm is heavenly, the melodies mellifluous, the harmonies ravishing. Only wrapt souls, in transfiguration moods, walk through such Hesperian gardens and faint with the weight of such supernal sounds. But there is a still higher realm of melody. It is where, by
4. To De leprosize Humanity — Every unsaved man however healthy, physically and intellectually, is often conscious of not being entirely well. He is well in body and mind but sick somewhere else. That somewhere else is his soul, and the disease is leprosy. He has leprosy of soul. My brother this disease will give you no rest or peace. It stares at you over your book or paper as you read; it stands behind you and looks over your shoulder when you are with your family; it haunts you in your midnight dreams; it terrorizes you in all your illnesses. This is the worm that begnaws your immortal spirit. It is the fire whose smoke ascendeth up forever. This is the wild beast that rends you and there is no helper nigh Jesus comes to save you from the leprosy of sin.
5. He Comes to Raise the Dead — There are three kinds of death. To begin with, there is physical death. But this does not interfere with man's life in his other two zones. On the other hand I think a man is never quite so much alive as he is when he is dead. Then there is mental death — total decay or paralysis of the intellectual lobes of the brain. Then there is spiritual death. Rubicund with physical life, radiant with mental life, yet a putrescent, spiritual corpse. And how ever horrible are corpses, physical and mental, they are as inviting as blossoming heaths at dawn compared with corpses spiritual. And our homes and streets and places of business swarm with such corpses covered with pestilential effluvia. Paul calls it "dead in trespasses and sin." And
186it was from death, in these three realms that Jesus came to save us. But there was yet one other work:
6. To Preach the Gospel to the poor — He himself opens to us His work as a gospel preacher. He says: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called Trees of righteousness. The planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Well might the poet sing:
Went on the way appointed, — path, though rude,
Yet borne with patience still; — He came to cheer
The brokenhearted, to raise up the sick,
And on the wandering and benighted mind
To pour the light of truth. O, task divine!
O, more than angel Teacher! He had words
To soothe the barking waves, and hush the winds;
And when the soul was tossed in troubled seas,
Wrapped in thick darkness and the howling storm,
He, pointing to the star of peace on high,
Armed it with holy fortitude, and bade it smile
At the surrounding wreck.
When with deep agony His heart was racked,
Not for himself the tear-drop dewed His cheek,
His persecutors — ‘Father pardon them,
They know not what they do.’"
And all this He did for you without money and without price. Hear Him as He cries:
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
Is further proof necessary? Again; let us
Whom did He honor as Minister of State? Paul, a Tarsean tentmaker. Whom did He appoint Minister of the Exchequer? Judas, an avaricious farmer. Whom did He select as Private Companion and Chaplain? John, a Galilean fisherman. So on through the entire list. Not one king, prince, priest, philosopher, nobleman, collegeman, merchant prince, or landed proprietor did He take into His Cabinet. Here was the King of Kings making up His Cabinet and every member of it was a workingman. Were toilers ever so throned and crowned before? Who can ever doubt the changeless and omnipotent friendship of the Nazarene Carpenter? Surely no workingman! Again:
Let Him testify in his own language: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this. To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. If there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment: And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit
189here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love him? What doth it profit, my brethern, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or a sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
"Therefore, are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that sitteth on the throne, shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, For the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever."
More than this we cannot say now. His suffering, humiliation, compassion, forgiving spirit, immeasurable wisdom and ineffable beauty are all written in the Word of God. I can only plead with you to receive Him as your guest tonight. In homely garb, with thorny crown, and with wounded hands and side and feet. He beseeches you to let him into your heart. Hark, ye workingmen:
Waiting, waiting, Oh how fair!
Tis a Pilgrim, strange and kingly,
Never such was seen before;
Ah! my soul, for such a wonder,
Will thou not undo the door?
Waiting, waiting, wondrous fair
But the door is hard to open,
For the weeds and ivy vine,
With their dark and clinging tendrils,
Ever round the hinges twine.
Waiting, waiting, grand and fair;
Yes, the pierced hand still knocketh,
And beneath the crown-ed hair
Beam the patient eyes, so tender,
Of thy Saviour waiting there."
Behold Him once and you will love Him forever:
His smile so sweet to banished men,
That they who meet Him unaware,
Can never rest on earth again;
And they who see Him risen afar,
At God's right hand to welcome them,
Forgetful stand, of home and land,
Remembering fair Jerusalem."
During the crusades Richard Coeur de Lion was captured and imprisoned, but none of his friends knew where. So his true and steadfast Pythias trudged over the land, from prison to prison, and sang at each window a snatch of song Richard himself had taught him in other days. At last under the window of a certain prison he sang two lines of the song, and immediately Richard responded from within with two other lines, and so his whereabouts were discovered and soon he was rescued. Oh, my friend Jesus is the great Pythias. Tonight He is serenading the lost! Beneath thy window He sings with matchless beauty and with boundless love. Will you answer Him and live, or allow Him to depart and perish? I pray you to admit him now:
His feet departed ne'r return;
Admit Him or the hour's at hand
You'll at His door rejected stand."
Sermon XIII. How Many Hours and How Much Pay.
TEXT: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. — Matthew 7: 12.
Lord Beaconsfield startled the English House of Lords in 1875 by declaring that that day, "for the first time in the history of the country, the employer and the employe sat under equal laws." His words were true, and deserved the lordly applause they received. No man can diligently study the wageworker's biography without exclaiming, with Bobby Burns:
Makes countless thousands mourn."
Glance a moment at the historic evolution. Look at "Merrie England" in 1360, when Chaucer, "the poet of the dawn" was chanting his "Canterbury Tales," and setting a model for Mr. Longfellow five centuries later. That was in the reign of Edward III. If a laborer refused to work for wages determined by the law, or if he tried to escape to another neighborhood or county, with the hope of bettering his condition, he was imprisoned, and a large "F" was burned into his forehead with a red-hot
193iron. If he "struck "for higher wages he was imprisoned. If a laborer was found unemployed he had a large "V" branded on his cheek with a red-hot iron, and was sold, with his family, into perpetual slavery, and forbidden all food except bread and water. The master had the right to imprison, chain, flog and even kill. If they tried to follow the North Star the penalty was death. No person over twelve years of age was allowed to change his occupation.
How many hours shall constitute a day's work is a chronic question. Only recently, however, has it become a burning question. But now that Samson has a growing consciousness of age long and pitiless oppression, and of his power to throw off the yoke, the question will never
194down until his demands are granted or he has destroyed the Philistinio temple of our civilization. The history of the labor movement in America is a long and tearful Iliad. As late as 1832 the rank and file of wage workers labored from fiften to eighteen hours per day. The Paterson, N. J., mills required women and children to be at work at 4:30 A. M. Operatives were taxed, without their consent, for religion; for absence from Church they were discharged; to save fuel their windows were nailed down and all ventilation carefully stopped; and the foremen used the cowhide freely on men, women and children alike. Sometimes they followed the cowhide with kicks, cuffs and with the clenched fist, and blows with iron and leaden weapons. Not unfrequently eyes were quenched and bones were broken. This is only a hint. The story in detail is too harrowing to relate.
Near the forties wage workers, driven to desperation, began agitating for a ten hour law.
But lest we waste time with glittering generalities, let us consider both sides of the eight hour question. This
196is the Richmond workingmen are determined to take, and which the capitalistic employers are resolved they shall not possess. Let us hear, first, what can be urged
The opponents insist:
1. That fewer hours would result in a dearth of human necessities; that even now the world is always on the ragged edge, and were there to be a shortening of hours we would drop into the pit; and that, as the rich have the most wealth and provender, the wage workers would topple over and down first; and therefore, the eight hour system would be calamitous and suicidal, especially to workingmen.
At first blush this is quite plausible. But a second look reveals its utter fallacy. Give the workingman more hours for rest and recuperation, for the enjoyment of the sweets of domestic and social life, and for the enlargement of his intellectual and artistic powers, and he will come to his task with a vigor and zest that will enable him to do more and do it better in a few hours than he was able to accomplish in the long hours of his enforced slavery. For this assertion we have two incontestable proofs. First, slave labor in the South. It is the universal consensus of ex-slaveholders that slave labor was unprofitable. Driven from dawn till dark, without rest or hope, the blacks wrought meagerly and shabbily. The South grew poor and weak.
Second: When England reduced the hours from twelve and fourteen to ten it was found that the men did more and did it better than they did before. Later, when nine hours were made a legal day's work employers marked no diminution in the daily production of their employes. the testimony is the same in this country, where short hour systems have been tested. The amount Samson produces does not depend on the number of hours he is kept at it, but on his condition of body, mind and heart while at it. Does not "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy?" With rugged body, keen, incisive mind, and joyful heart he can do no more in five hours than he can do in ten hours if he is broken and jaded and dispirited. It is also argued:
2. That eight hours' pay is insufficient to keep the wage worker and his family; or, if he were to insist on ten hours' pay for eight hours' work, the result would be such an increase in the cost of everything he and his family would have to suffer or receive public aid. Let Mr. John P. Altgeld, to whom I am greatly indebted in this discussion, answer this precious bit of sophistry. Mr. Altgeld says: "I will simply direct attention to the fact that everywhere, and in all times, in this country and in Europe, when wages were high the working classes prospered; when wages were low they suffered. In fact, high prices and good times have gone hand in hand, while low prices and hard times have always been twin
198brothers, and the people who always suffer most when prices are low are the laboring people. Low wages and low prices, as a rule, mean black bread and no meat for the man who toils with his hands, and, in many cases, it means the poor house, the police station and the bridewell for his children." Opponents of the eight hour system still farther say:
3. We are not just ready for it now; the workingmen are too ignorant, unruly, unthinking and unmanagable yet; before they can be trusted with so much leisure they must cultivate and educate themselves, and lay broader and deeper ethical foundations.
4. The personal liberty fake is also made to do service. We are told that united action is destructive of individual liberty; that the wage worker's personality is lost in the labor organization, or the organized movement for a given end; and that to insist upon wage-workers unitedly demanding an eighthour law, or insisting that eight
199hours shall constitute a legal day's work, "the liberty of each laborer to work as many hours as he pleased would be taken away, and that the dearest thing that the laborer could cherish is his liberty to work as long as he wishes." This silly gibberish deserves no answer whatever. It is still farther insisted:
5. That shorter hours mean one long, wild, immeasurable saturnalia of dissipation and crime; therefore Samson should be kept forever grinding in the mill, with no time for social, intellectual and moral improvement.
I have two answers: First — Even if a reduction of hours would result in an increase of dissipation what right have employers to withold from their employes their just deserts? Certainly there is no inherent right.
Each man is morally bound to do his share. If some men are doing more than their share they have a right to demand and compel a reduction. They are entitled to more leisure, even if they do abuse it. No set of men have the right to enthrone themselves as judges, of their brothers and deprive them of their natural and inalienable rights. If workingmen are to be denied privileges — increased pay and leisure — because they would fail to improve them then the rich, too, must step down and out. Have the rich improved then exalted rank and privileges? Have they produced the great scholars, teachers, preachers, writers, generals, statesmen, reformers, benefactors?
200Oh, no! The hard working man has to come to the rescue every time: Moses, from the herd, David, from the sheep pen, Cincinnatus, from the plough, Cromwell, from the countryside, Washington, from the chain and compass, Lincoln, from the rail yard, Grant, from the tannery, and Garfield, from the canal. Literature, art, science, government, philosophy, philanthropy — all are dependent on the poverty pressed. The rich, as a class, with boundless leisure and opportunity, have been a curse to every people, age, state and society. Do you question this statement? Hear what one of our revered historians has to say: "Nations, in their beginnings, are poor; poverty is favorable to hardihood and industry; industry leads to thrift and wealth; wealth produces luxury, and luxury results in enervation, corruption and destruction. This is the historic round which nations have run. Her American possessions made Spain the richest and most powerful nation of Europe, but wealth induced luxury and idleness, whence comes poverty and degredation. Rome was never stronger in all the seeming elements of power than at the moment of her fall. She had grown rich, and riches had corrupted her morals, rendered her effeminate, and made her an easy prey to the lusty barbarian of the North. The material splendor of Israel reached its climax in the glory of Solomon's reign, in which silver was made to be in Jerusalem as stones; but it was followed by the immediate dismemberment of the kingdom." Charles Sumner, speaking of the
201ravages of the rich, says: "Nations have decayed, but it has never been with the imbecility of age." Bancroft declares that "Sedition is bred in the lap of luxury." Herodotus, even in his day, discovered that, "It is a law of nature that faint-hearted men should be the fruit of luxurious countries; for we never find," continued he, "that the same soil produces delicacies and heroes." Livy stoutly maintained that Avarice and luxury have been
Juvenal cried, "Luxury, more destructive than war, avenges the vanquished world." And Claudianus boldly proclaims that, "Avarice, the mother of all wickedness, always thirsty for more, opens wide her jaws." Oh, ye rich, is not this frightful indictment against you true? You cannot deny it.
But, besides, I have to say, second, the charge that to shorten the hours would accelerate vice is false in toto. All history disproves it. Did the liberation of the blacks in the South result in one long, wild, immeasurable saturnalia of crime and dissipation? Did the recent liberation of Brazilian bondmen have such a dire effect? Did the Russian serfs, as soon as morning came after their long and awful night, plunge into awful orgies? Did the Louisiana Indian slaves when Spain bade them go free proceed to scalp and tomahawk and massacre? Did Jewish wageworkers, when taken out from under Pharoah's iron hand, suddenly demonize? Not a bit of it.
202Workingmen have been marvelously provident. They have exercised a self-command and moderation that are truly wonderful. With every tide antagonistic, with every trade-wind and gulf-stream in surging and endless hostility, with boundless wealth and hoary society, custom, rank and precedent against them, and the very stars in their courses fighting them back they have marched onward and upward, through and out of slavery, through and out of vassalage, and are now fighting manfully through and out of competitive employment. At every reduction of hours workingmen, on both sides of the sea, have advanced socially, educationally, morally and religiously.
203scarce too much to say that the humble factory worker in securing just legislation, has been the civilizer and moralizer of his employer." One of the largest Chicago employers and bitterest opponents, in 1886, of the reduction of hours, recently stated, "that after the system was once started he could not notice any increased drunkenness or disorder of any kind; that on the contrary, the men seemed well behaved and attended faithfully to business. It is also a fact," he continues, "that the condition of the artisans in the building trades, and of their families, has greatly improved since the adoption of the eighthour system by them." The great Henry Fawcett, than whom no man stands higher in the British empire, says: "There is nothing, perhaps, more to be regretted than the fact that extraordinary commercial prosperity and an unprecedented accumulation of wealth have hitherto done so little to shorten the workman's hours of labor. It is unreasonable to expect that the moral qualities in man's nature can be duly developed if life is passed in one unvarying round of monotonous work. * * * The undue length of time which men have been accustomed to work represents, so far as many branches of industry are concerned, a thoroughly mistaken policy. In many instances it is undeniable that men would not only get through more work but would do it more efficiently if they had more
204Levi, Washington Gladden, and indeed of all the great authorities is all to the same effect. To quote their sturdy, ringing unanswerable words is unnecessary. Every argument against the eight hour system is as destitute of bottom or foundation as the pit into which the unmerciful employer is finally to be cast. Having then found that nothing can be said against the eight hour system let us now
1. Labor-saving machinery has rendered long hours unnecessary. The task of a week or a month under the old regime is now done in a few hours. The result of long hours is over-production. One season I traveled a thousand miles in New England without seeing a mill, foundry or factory running. It is the same here and everywhere. Who invented this machinery? Who operates it? Who piles up millions and billions almost mountain high? You answer, and answer truly, "The workingmen." Who then ought to reap the benefit? Assuredly, the workingmen. The rich invent nothing; they write nothing; they fight no battles; they endure no sacrifices. They are a success at only one thing. Do you ask what that is? It is euchre. They euchre the laborer out of time, labor, genius, and life. If the wageworker escapes with his soul eternity will not be too long to express his surprise and gratification.
2. Fewer hours may give increased work to the unemployed
205Chicago alone has 60,000 male wage workers absolutely unable to get work. We have 1,000,000 men in the United States living in enforced idleness.
3. Our workingmen at present suffer from physical and nervous prostration. Their bodies lack agility, their minds keenness, and their hands are unsteady and lacking in cunning. As a result their service is often necessarily inferior.
4. By over work, through long hours, they are tempted to indulge in every form of dissipation. Mr. Baker keenly inquires: "Who shall blame the tired laborer, if after a
206week with sixty hours of unremitting toil, he takes refuge from the dreariness and lassitude of physical exhaustion, the hopelessness of ambition quenched life, and perhaps the discomforts and disquiets of the place he calls home, in a long draught of that which does, for the time, create in him an image of exhilaration, strength, self respect, and manhood? It is but an image, indeed, and to all but the victim it is a caricature; but when a man cannot hope for the reality, to only imagine for a brief hour that he is indeed a king of men, and that care and woe and degredation are no longer his lot, is a refuge not to be despised." And
5. However deleterious long hours may be to adult men, they are frightfully so to their offspring. They begin life burdened and stigmatized, before they are born. They are often physically, mentally and morally inferior from
207their birth. Then their boyhood and girlhood end perforce before they reach their teens. They break down in their thirties or forties and fill premature graves.
6. Long hours will speedily result in fixed social caste, or as Prince Metternich of Austria, says: "Gentlemen in the parlor, laborers in the field, and an impassable gulf between them." The wage worker denied leisure for rest, social culture, the study of finance and politics, and a broad and careful observation, will fall behind in the race and at the last sink back into slavery. Then will follow in their order, discontent, madness, fury, destruction.
7. Long hours, according to our present system, are productive of insanity. In the factory you do just one thing — make a spoke, mortise a hub, turn a bolt, fashion a pivot or wheel, or contrive some other minute thing — over and over again, with no change or variety at all. And you must work with the machine; now fast, now slow, now hurry and now dragging along — day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year
208in and year out, life in and life out. Hood's Song of the Shirt has driven thousands of women to suicide. May we be spared the infliction of a Song of the Machine!
8. Long hours rob men of time, and opportunity for moral upbuilding and achievement.
9. Long hours deprive children of their father's care and curbing. Many children in this city never see their father by daylight, except on Sunday.
10. Plato taught that leisure is essential to virtue. Driven ten to twelve hours per day, often seven days in the week, what wonder many wage-workers swear and drink and are licentious. A truthful man told me that he worked
And when I questioned his statement he explained that he did it by working over-time, and by doing double work some days. When I asked him why he did it, he replied: "I had to in order to hold my job" If leisure is essential to virtue where is that fellow's virtue to come in?
11. More leisure would enable men to be better members of Society, Church and State. How can a man be an ornament to society when he is ill-bred, ill-clad and driven from dawn till dark, and from birth till death? How can he be a burning and shining light in the Church when he is so jaded he cat-naps through the Scripture reading and prayer, and snores serenely through the sermon? How can he be in State,
The Center of a world's desire,"
12. Long hours rob men of heaven. They are tired and the Bible is unread, prayers are unsaid and the Church is neglected and forgotten. Driven and robbed by men who profess to be Christians, they at last hate both them and their religion. Compelled to work on Sunday they become accustomed to breaking the Fourth Commandment; then they break the Seventh; then they drive
And the very men who compel them to work from ten to eighteen hours per day, 365 days per year, to disregard and violate the legislation of Almighty God, and to accept a beggarly compensation are, many of them, members of the Church, — fawned upon by the preacher, toaded by the membership, honored by Society and crowned by the State. Alas! Many wageworkers are unable to see the difference there is often between Churchianity and Christianity; between professors of religion only, and actual possessors; between the genuine coin and the spurious counterfeit.
Thus we see there is no real argument against the granting of the boon to workingmen, and which their families,
210so long be widowed and be orphaned, so earnestly, prayerfully and even tearfully crave. Avarice, selfishness and inhumanity are at the bottom of every movement against shorter hours and better pay. Every utterance of Scripture, every mandate of conscience, and every sentiment of compassionate humanity demand the reduction of hours not simply to eight but to four if possible, and a corresponding inverse ratio of increase in pay. The day is coming when the present rate of pay will be more than doubled and the number of hours will be cut down more than one half; when every man will own his own rooftree, and when no man will have to work after his fiftieth birthday. The voice of prophecy, the trend of providence and the rising spirit of the times all look forward to the Messianic era of burdens laid aside, of rest complete, and an ever widening, ever deepening, ever intensifying enlargement and enrichment of every noble attribute of our being. The day is coming when the competitive wage system will be looked upon as more cunningly cruel and more deeply despicable than inherited slavery, such as we found in Dixie in the sixties; and the time when men were compelled to work even ten hours per day will be regarded as
The day will yet dawn when a man who by stealth, cunning or superior ability, seizes a fortune and lords it over the poor will be hated more than we now hate and repudiate
211the wretch who cunningly seizes a throne and lords it over his helpless and bestricken subjects. The day is coming when the fallen man and woman, however beastly and besotted, will not be treated as brutes, shunned, cast off and out, and anathematized, but as brothers and sisters for whom Heaven bled, and for whom the King of Heaven died. The day is coming when the capitalist will regard his helper, however humble, as his nearest neighbor, and when the millionaire will no more permit the men who made his millions and practically gave them to him, to live in squalor, hunger and nakedness than he would allow his own firstborn thus to fade and pine and die. Your rich men in Fort Wayne, in every city on earth, who live in palaces on the principal streets, avenues and boulevards, and permit God's poor to languish in stables, huts and hovels on back streets and lanes and alleys, are of the same sort as the Bethlehem citizens who shut out the King of Glory. Yes, of a deeper ilk, for our rich cannot plead ignorance. Such forgetfulness and disregard of the poor is more heathen and anti-Christian than the worst days of pagan Rome, benighted Babylon and unmentionable Sodom, worse because their rich professed nothing while our rich profess everything.
212Him they must practice self-abnegation. Like Him they must crucify their backs and bellies and have meat to eat the world knows not of — invisible, intangible, unsensuous, but eternal and divine. Like Him they must live in simplicity and humility. Like Him they must feed and clothe and heal and comfort and watch over, and, if need be, die for the multitude. Where Christ reigns there can be no palaces and hovels, no rich and poor, no masters and servants.
"Whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Christ the financial Infinitaire, set the example the millionaire must follow or fall into the bottomless pit. "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."
Wageworkers are sure to win because God is on their side. Moses is coming, and the Pharaohic oppressors must let them go. Let us bid them God speed while we hear them sing:
But bare enough to live on; never an hour for thought.
We want to feel the sunshine, we want to smell the flowers;
We're sure that God has willed it, and we mean to have eight hours.
We're summoning our forces from the shipyard, shop and mill;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.
The beasts that graze the hillside, the birds that wander free
In the life that God has meted, have a better lot than we.
Oh! hands and hearts are weary, and homes are heavy with dole;
If life's to be filled with drudgery, what need of a human soul!
Shout, shout the lucky rally from shipyard shop and mill
The very stones would cry out if Labor's tongue were still!
The voice of God within us is calling us to stand
Erect, as is becoming the work of His right hand.
Should he to whom the Maker His glorious image gave,
Cower, the meanest of His creatures, a bread-and-butter slave?
Let the shout ring down the valleys, and echo from every hill,
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will."
And down from Heaven comes a voice saying: "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel,
Sermon XIV. The Preacher of the Future.
TEXT: And He preached the Word unto them. — Mark 2: 2. Feed the flock of Christ. — I Peter 5: 2. Blessed is He that considereth the poor. — Ps. 41: 1.
Not long ago I was engaged to deliver an address before a Polytechnic Institute. The Institute was largely clerical and Heaven promptly indicated what my speech should be. Before the time came, however, for its delivery I was visited by the President of the Institute upon whose request I gave the gist of my intended address. When I was done he roared with laughter, pounded mo on the back, and called me all sorts of foolish names and finally wound up, or rather run down, by saying: "You must not think of uttering such sentiments! You would so stir up those preachers you would imagine yourself in the midst of 10,000 hornet's nests. You would trample down the cornfield of every clergyman there." At his earnest request I changed my subject and spoke on another theme.
But the subject I threw overboard that day I send out yawl and life boat for tonight and rescue. It is, The Preacher of the Future. Gazing with prophetic eye upon the Preacher of the Future I am first of all impressed with the fact that
The Bible does not say of Jesus that He read the Word unto them, or that He declaimed the Word unto them, or that He orated the Word unto them, but that He PREACHED it. Jesus was not a reader, or declaimer, or orator but a preacher!
Just how or why ministers fall into the habit of reading instead of preaching is to me an unanswerable conundrum. It is certainly not from lack of ability to preach, for some of the greatest manuscript slaves lecture ad infinitum with not even the briefest outline on paper. Nor is it from lack of learning. The ministry is the most learned of the professions. And especially are they versed in that class of knowledge, and called upon to discuss such themes as kindle the flames of the loftiest eloquence. Moreover their calling demands forensic and oratoric gifts of the subtlest and most towering type. When you hear that a young man is going to enter the ministry you do not ask: "Is he a good writer? Or, is he a good reader?" No! But you do ask: "Is he deeply pious? Is he well informed in secular and sacred literature? And last, but not least, can he preach?" This is a trinity of absolutely indispensable qualifications. Without them only a partial success can be achieved. The young candidate for the ministry lacking at any of these three points should pause long and prayerfully before entering the sacred desk.
But I am still more astonished when ministers leaf their sermons over page after page because, as a class,
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and the modern tongues are carefully mastered, apparently to the detriment of the preacher. Secular speakers are rarely linguists and rarely read. Indeed, I would not be far out of the way if I were to say: Preachers are the only men that do not preach; all men, except preachers, preach.
Nor do preachers use manuscripts because the people prefer that style of delivery. Preachers are proverbially poor readers. I have heard poor readers on the stage, still greater failures among professional readers, but the poorest reading I ever heard was by men in the pulpit whom God had called, not to read, but to preach. I would rather read a sermon for myself than to have any man read it for me. Besides the masterpieces of pulpit oratory are now in print and can be had for a trifling Bum. The world says: Why go and hear a mediocre man read a mediocre sermon when the mighty sermons of the greatest princes of the pulpit cover our tables and crown our libraries? I want to tell you tonight that if there should be a law enacted making it
217vitalized in their presentation, all our churches would be crowded from vestibule to altar, and a nation would be converted in a day. Oh, that such a law might be enacted! I do not believe it would ever be repealed.
Nor do preachers today read their sermons because the best preachers of the past did so. All the great preachers have preached. They did not read and call it preaching. They did not dignify essays with the title of sermons. Jesus our great Example never read. He preached. So with Peter. Think of Peter on the day of Pentecost reading his sermon! Getting sixthly mixed up with thirdly, fourthly confounded with secondly and eighteenthly being carried away by a gust of wind. Why the very thought is preposterous. Think of Paul before the frightened Phillippian jailer, or the Lystran mob, or the euroclydon-driven crew and passengers, pulling out a great manuscript, spreading it gingerly before him, and reading it line by line. And John, the beloved disciple, think of him before the gospel hungry, stammering and with many blushes, saying: "You must excuse me from preaching today. I forgot my manuscript."
Come down to the present day and we find the method of Jesus still the best. Who, for half a century, was the greatest preacher in Methodism? Bishop Simpson, who never wrote a sermon in his life. Who was the Chrysostem of Congregationalism? Henry Ward Beecher who never wrote a sermon in his life. Who is the prince of Presbyterian pulpiteers? Thomas De Witt Talmage,
218who never read a sermon in his life. Who is the boanerges of Baptisdom? Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who never wrote a sermon in his life. Who is the greatest Evangelist of modern times? Dwight Lyman Moody; and the very thought of Mr. Moody thumbing over a written sermon provokes an audible smile.
I tell you, my brethern, as the Millennium approaches and the eternities begin to dawn, sermon reading will become a thing of the past. Men who can write
219all-purifying fire. Sinners will be killed, and quickened, and made alive. The world will be redeemed. God will be glorified. The Holy Spirit will be honored. Christ will be crowned. Again: The preacher of the future will
There is a disposition at the present day to preach everything except man lost, and Christ crucified. Often the only evidence the hearer has that he is at Church is the devotional character of the opening services. Poetry, art, science, philosophy and even scandals have in not a few pulpits supplanted the matchless themes of sin, grace, redemption and immortality.
But how different was the preaching of Christ. "He preached" — not poetry, not art, not science, not philosophy — "but the Word." You say: "Ah, those were very dull and stupid times!" Never were you more mistaken. The age in which Christ preached was immensely and intensely active. Every political, intellectual and material interest was at high meridian. Courts were crowded with cunning intriguers, seas were white with hurrying fleets, nations were trembling with the tread of tremendous armies, and the air was a quiver with awful rumors, yet Jesus persistently mantained that His kingdom was not of this world. How He could have discoursed on Grecian art and philosophy, on Roman duplicity and despotism, on the Herods and Pilates and their henchmen! These were startling themes and would have
220brought the empire to His auditory. But He scarcely referred to them. "He preached the Word."
Look at Paul. How splendidly educated he was — traveled, cultured, gifted, inspired. In the Acts we read of how rulers desired to hear him and how, on a certain day, Agrippa, Berenice, the Chief Captains and municipal board with great pomp sat at his feet. What an opportunity for him to air his wisdom. But what was his theme? Poetry? Art? Science? Philosophy? Civil Service Reform? Myths and Mythology? Homer and Virgil contrasted? Republic or Empire, Which? It was a grand audience, and a grand occasion, yet Paul preached the plain, simple, old fashioned, unadulterated Word unto them. And so mightily did he preach it, proud and heart-hardened Agrippa exclaimed: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."
God always honors the gospel preacher. Spurgeon preaches the Word, and beginning in one of the hardest districts of London with only 21 communicants, today he has a
Bishop Simpson preached the Word, and for nealy a half a century the world had no building large enough to accommodate his hearers, in Occident and Orient alike. Moody preaches the Word, and during a single visit to Great Britain won 10,000 souls for Christ. Strong preachers have ever been preachers of the Word. The sermons of Bunyan and Baxter, and men of their stamp,
221were full of God. Their very garb was after the Scripture pattern. Of Chalmers it has been said that his sermons "held the Bible in solution."
Oh, the infinite folly of giving starving men stones when there is an abundance of sweetest bread; giving men stagnant water when there are oceans of wine and milk and honey; leading men out on the barren, storm swept heights of intellectual snow banks and icebergs when the heart warmth and love of the infinite God are free and full and abundant; giving frost filled rugged rocks for pillows when the bosom of the Lord Jesus is uncovered; talking about the "Unknown God" when God came to the world 2,000 years ago, revealed Himself to mortal men, and brought life and immortality to light; talking about fable and legend and myth when the glorious themes of salvation wait to be discussed, and eager people in their anxiety to catch every word concerning them lean forward and listen with their eyes, and with their mouths even.
The Lord Jesus Christ preached the Word as have His honored servants in all the subsequent centuries. They who have led men out of the night of despair have held aloft, not fireflies, or rush lights, or will-o-the-wisps, but the flashing, flaring, flaming, inextinguishable torch of the eternal Word. Men and women who have become
222have gained their robustness and might, not by eating condiments and pastry and liquid food, but by devouring day by day the strong meat of the Word. And as the years go by and men and women drink ever deeper in things spiritual and eternal, there is going to be such a demand from the pew for the pure, unadulterated Word of God that preachers will have to preach it, and nothing else, or resign their pulpits. The preacher of the future will preach. The preacher of the future will preach the Word.
Moreover, the preacher of the future will preach to his immediate hearers and
Directness of aim is all important in preaching. A Quaker discovering a thief in his house leveled his old-fashioned fowling piece at him and quietly said: "Friend thee had better get out of the way; for I intend to fire this gun right where thee stands. "The Chaplain to the English Charles II was so pithy and pointed in preaching against his master's vices, his royal highness exclaimed: "Give up being so sharp on me, and see if I don't mend." To which the Chaplain replied: "I'll make it up with your Majesty on these terms: as you mend, I'll mend." The great Louis XIV said to Massillon: "When I hear others preach I am very well pleased with them; when I hear you I am dissatisfied with myself."
Like these great masters the preacher of the future
223will preach, not about people 2,000 miles away, but to those into whose eyes and faces he is looking; not about dead, obsolete sins, but about live, vigorous, every day destroying sins; not about sins committed only on the other side of the earth, but about sins of which his hearers are guilty and dying. The preacher of the future will have the courage to denounce the cruelty and oppression of the rich even though they cut off his head ecclesiastically and financially; to drive a coach and four through every social code that is founded on inhumanity and unrighteousness; to brave popular disapproval in defence of cubical integrity; to tell dancers and card players that their amusements and delights are of the vulgar and demimonde order; to tell liars and tattlers and falsifiers, and tale-bearers, and breeders of discord and enmity, that one of the hottest apartments in Hell is awaiting them, and that unless they repent and stop their deviltry the sooner they are sent there the better it will be for the world; to tell the drinking man that he is wronging himself, his family and his God, and that if he persists there will be no salvation for him; to tell saloonkeepers that their craft combine murder and robbery, taking both the life and money of their victims; and to tell the man who votes for license that he is as much more guilty than the saloonkeeper, before God, as the cowardly, cunning, calculating planner of the murder is guiltier and more damnable than the dupe who does the deed.
Here was the secret of Christ's wonderful power as a preacher — His sermons fit. When He was among liars He preached on lying; when He was among thieves, He preached on thieving; when He was among hypocrites, He preached on hypocrisy, and so on to the end of the catalogue of crime. The same has been true of all His genuine preachers. They have always preached the Word unto them. The preacher of the future will follow more closely than ever in the footsteps of his divine Lord. He will not handle the sword of the spirit as oriental jugglers handle knives. They see how near they can come without hitting the individual against the wall. But he will try to drive to the very heart every time. He will not flatter his hearers. He will tell them God's truth though he has to seal his fidelity with a merciless martyrdom. He will preach the whole truth, as revealed in God's Word, present every promise, proclaim every command, and teach fully and explicitly every doctrine, keeping nothing whatever back. With wisdom in his head, grace in his heart, and courage in his soul the preacher of the future will preach the Word unto them.
Still farther: The preacher of the future will be
Christ had compassion on all men. His sympathies were full orbed and cosmopolitan. He ate with sinners. He dined with harlots. He walked with outcast men. No man or woman was beneath His notice:
Something immortal still survives."
He was not exclusive, but inclusive. He always gave the preference to the poorest people and the vilest sinners. And when the self righteous, white livered fault finders complained, He said: "I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." The well have no need of a physician but they that are sick. He was appreciative of whatever good qualities a bad man had. When His disciples would rebuke certain ones who did not exactly measure up to the highest standard, He checked them saying: Let them alone. Let them do the best they can. He that is not against me is for me. "Other sheep have I which are not of this fold." He found the wickedest. If you want fish and game you must go where they are. If preachers want to find the poor, wicked massses they must go to them. Were Christ here He would go a-fishing for men in every saloon in this city. And He would catch some of them too. If this world is ever saved the preachers must lay aside their silk hats, their kid gloves, and their stilted social proprieties and hunt for the lost, lovingly seek and win them, in saloon and brothel and wherever a soul for whom Jesus died can be found. And this very thing the preacher of the future will do.
Furthermore: The preacher of the future will discuss only vital subjects, and
His announcements will be in perfect harmony with his
226exalted and thrilling calling. When a song writer composes a song he at once sets out in quest of a taking title. And the oddest, queerest, most angular, or too utterly utter title he can find is the one he adopts. What namby pamby, mawkish, maudlin titles are given to many books. The object of course, is to attract attention.
Many preachers have this same bee in their bonnets. Here are some recent subjects in Boston Methodist pulpits: "Dead Broke;" "Song of the Jail birds;" "That Husband of Mine;" "Thanksgiving Dinner and How to Eat it." These I am going to mention were delivered in a Congregational pulpit: "Guzzle and Give;" "Who's your Hatter;" "Paul's Shoo Fly;" "Popping the Question." A New Bedford preacher used the following very simple and spiritual subjects for the religious upbuilding of his weary, uneducated, gospel hungry people: "Potentiality;" "Man the most Negative of all of God's creatures;" "Vivid Time and its Velocity and Conciseness;" "The Incontrovertible Inexhaustibility of God's Providences;" "The Indubitable angelic acclamation of the Ineffable Austerity of the approaching Woes." Think of preaching to sin-sick, burdened, bereaved and dying souls on subjects like these! It is like giving stones for bread, serpents for fish, and boiling vitriol for water.
The true preacher will put himself in Christ's place, and will say: "Would Christ use this title? Would Christ preach on this subject? Would Christ say what I am now planning to say? "Think of Christ announcing:
227"Next Sunday I will preach on Paul's Shoo Fly; the next on The Song of the Jail birds; the next on Who's Your Hatter; and the next on Hell in Fort Wayne." The thought, without the performance, is extremely shocking. What wonder the masses are disgusted when God's servants, in order to draw a crowd, resort to such clap trap and buffoonery!
The preacher of the future will take noble themes, and usually from the Bible — such themes as, without the sermon will have a gracious influence. Richter says that Luther's words were "half battles." So the future preacher's subjects will be half sermons. As Christ shall become more and more the center of humanity's thought and aspiration, ministers will make Him more and more the centre of their sermons. And instead of preaching on silly, shilly shally subjects he will dwell longer and longer on the infinite love and justice of God, the absolute necessity of the new birth, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the vicarious atonement of Jesus.
Once more: The preacher of the future will be
Peter's exhortation was to "feed the flock of Christ." But how can this be done if the flock is never visited. Can the farmer feed his herds and sit in the house all the while? Or will one or two feedings on the Sabbath answer for an entire week. Which of you would be content with a host who would dine you only twice a week?
Christ commanded His servants to preach and teach. The preaching is to be done mostly in the pulpit; the teaching must be done largely in the home. That minister who confines himself solely to preaching performs only half of his heaven-appointed task. I feel the obligation to teach from house to house, when it is possible, as binding as the obligation to proclaim from the pulpit. Nothing can excuse the preacher from the weekday visitation but imperious necessity. Christ went from house to house strengthening the weak, instructing the ignorant, imparting grace to the humble, and clothing the timid and diffident with courage. My pastoral work has been as graciously owned of God as have been my pulpit ministrations; and very much of the good I have done as a pastor I never could have done as a preacher. The preacher never occupies a desk more sacred and potent than when he ministers to his people at their own firesides.
Moreover, I have been blessed myself in thus going from house to house. Sometimes I have gone out blue, but have returned over arched with rainbows. Some of the happiest and most helpful hours of my ministry have been spent at the firesides of the humblest of my parishioners, talking and praying with the spiritual Joshuas and Daniels, the Ruths and Miriams, the Johns and Dorcases.
Besides, in visiting from house to house I have received the very
Books are good but human nature is better. Sometimes I think the preacher needs only two books — the Bible and Shakespere. Many preachers are troubled to know what to preach on next. If they will mix more with the people their perplexity will end. Most of my texts and sermons are suggested to me by my people. Indeed how ministers can know what they ought to preach about without going among the people and becoming familiar with their minds and hearts, their perplexities and adversities, their heart aches, and their heart breaks, is a mystery to me. One of Mr. Moody's biographers says of him: "Men rather than books, and God rather than men have been his study." This is the secret of his marvelous power: God first, men second, then books.
The preacher of the future will so love his people, and be so enamored with human souls, he cannot keep away from them. He will account pastoral visiting one of his chiefest delights and most helpful means of grace. As the mother longs to be with her babe, as the lover longs to be with his charmer fair and sweet, and as Christ longs for the
230angel, and as a ministering angel he will be welcomed and honored.
But before parting tonight I must urge the unsaved portion of this large audience not to wait for the advent of the preacher of the future. He may not come until you have passed on to the great and awful Judgment. The solemn declaration from the throne of infinite love and inexorable justice is: "Behold now is the accepted time! Behold now is the day of salvation!" Wait for no man. Delay not for favoring tides and circumstances. Call upon God, and call upon Him now.
And, after all, while the preacher of the future will approximate to the ideal he will never be able to save a soul. God alone can do that, and He longs to do it this very moment. In this work of regenerating a soul, more stupendous indeed than the creation of a world, it is "Not by might or by power but by My Spirit saith the Lord." And to this Paul adds: "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
May God give you higher ideals of what a preacher ought to be. Converge those ideals upon me to help me in my weaknesses, ignorance and incapacity, to bear me up in the generous sympathy of your love and confidence, that I may think and live, and act and preach acceptably to both yourselves and God — with fidelity, courage and abundant success; that as both pastor and preacher I may be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.
Chapter XV. Address Before the Barbers' International Union.
[The International Barbers' Union held their Annual Convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Dec. 2-5, 1890, closing with a brilliant banquet. The following from the Fort Wayne Daily Press is self explanatory: Crow Club hall was the scene last evening of one of the gayest and most brilliant banquets ever given by any labor guild in this or any other city. It was the grande finale of the International Barbers' Annual Convention. After an hour of socialities in which many brilliant sallies, bon mots and repartes, with other intellectual dazzlements were enjoyed, ex-President William Hain and the Rev. John Merritte Driver led the way to the smiling, yet groaning, tables. Other members of the craft followed, and finally the Rev. Mr. Northrop accompanied by President Meyer. The invocation was offered by Dr. Driver, after which the many courses were served in accordance with the dainty menus at each plate. The feasting over, remarks were made by Mr. Northrop and President Meyer, after which the Orator of the evening, Dr Driver, was introduced. After some twenty minutes of facetious after dinner talk, abounding in anecdote, wit and incident, the orator said:]
Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the International Barbers' Union:
As I arise to address you I am reminded that your craft has been the subject of tongues more eloquent than mine. The irresistibly beautiful Scheherazade, the most
232charming of all the famous oriental story tellers, enchanted her royal husband with the biographies of no less than seven barbers. These biographico-stories have been read by more people than ever read Milton's Paradise Lost, or Spenser's Fairy Queen. The ever delightful Cervantes, chief of Spanish literati, in his most famous brochure, weaves the web of the life of one of your craft. Rossini, in perhaps the greatest of his operas, introduces a barber. The great Mozart, the Raphael of Song, whose life was a poem the music of which can never be sung, dignified one of his masterpieces with your name, "The Barber of Seville." Pope, Prior, Dryden and Milton have adorned their glowing creations with tonsorial references, often with high words of eulogy, and always with warm words of commendation. And finally, Shakespeare, the most myriad minded of men, in no less than seven of his dramas, while immortalizing the world's peerage, thought it not beneath his dignity to immortalize the knights of the foaming cup, the gleaming razor, and the glistering apron. Nor does profane history alone chronicle your career. The sacred pages of Holy Writ, on bosoms whiter than the breast of virgin innocence, blossom with kindly mentions of your work.
Thus it will appear that your craft is of great antiquity. And, if you will permit me to say it, none of the modern crafts or professions have a more honorable record than yours. Your very sign is exceedingly significant. In an earlier day you were
No lancet was keener, no knowledge was more accurate, no stroke was more unerring. History abounds with the record of lives saved by your skill as Phlebotomists. To this work you added Dentistry. And as deftly as you now brighten and beautify the one pane and casing of the window of the soul, you removed the jumping molar and bade all the rest be still. To one of your craft Shakespeare said that tooth drawing was very unconscionable because the tooth drawer did nothing else but "take away those things whereby every man gets his living." To all this your predecessors added the Surgical Art. The twisted stripe on your "barber's pole" represents the ribbon or bandage which the surgeon wrapped about his arm before performing the operation, and the basin surmounting it represents the ancient vessel used for catching the blood. In an earlier day your pole had a meaning as distinct and direct as the cobbler's pictured sign with boot and shoe thereon. Besides all this
In 1461, in the reign of Edward IV, you were incorporated by the English Government as Physicians. France had equal honors for you in the days of Louis XIV. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth you were incorporated with Surgeons. As late as our Revolutionary War you were still busy as physicians and surgeons. In the
234list of officers of Heriot's Hospital, London, A. D. 1627, we find this record: "One chirurge on barber who shall cut and pole the hair of all the scholars in the hospital; and also look to the cure of all those within the hospital who in any way shall stand in need of his art."
But though you have laid aside, or rather donated to others, certain functions you used to perform, you have not relinquished your original characteristics. From time almost immemorial you have been
Emerson says that "Conversation is a game of circles." In this game you have always been superb winners. However often wits may level raillery at you for your talkativeness, it must be confessed that the tedium of many a toilet hour has been charmingly bewitched away by your genius for conversation. We may safely say that conversation will never be a lost art as long as your profession survives. Another art has also been preserved by you, namely, obligingness, mixed with grace, delicacy and tact. Sometimes I think that the only real, highbred, genuine gentlemen we have are the wielders of the brush and blade. I never go into a barber shop without going back, in imagination, to the days of studied grace, of noble chivalry and halls crowded with those whose first business was to be ideal ladies and gentlemen. In this respect barbers are almost the only link connecting us with the most poetic era of the history of the world, an era but
235dimly and artificially reflected in the codes of Peacham and Chesterfield. The third most striking characteristic of the ancient guild preserved by you is that of
Your work happily combines the mechanical and professional. You are mechanics, but you are also professional men. You thus live and move and have your being between two industrial zones. You occupy a summit from which, with the occasional leisure you have, you can survey broad fields of general information. Professor Ely tells us that one of the widest and most accurate students of social and political phenomena he ever met was a Baltimore barber. I myself have been frequently astonished at the wide range of information exhibited by my barber, and especially in politics, religion and sociology. But I must not fail to mention one other thing for which your brotherhood is justly famed, namely,
Law is said to be the keystone; public sentiment the arch. That royal keystone has been your only throne for ages. Some one defines law as the crystallization of ideas and the embodiment of sentiment. Such crystals bedeck your characters while your daily lives are the embodiment of all that is commendable and honorable in law. The great Napoleon once said: "One must master obedience before he can master men," and our General
236Sherman declares that "Obedience is the highest military art," while the Bible is emphatic in declaring that "The fruit of disobedience is death." Gentlemen, allow me to congratulate you upon your unfailing fidelity to the state and your obedience to all her laws.
But I must not be beguiled, gentlemen, by my admiration for your sterling qualities and attainments and thus forget to mention certain
I trust you will not think I am now going to speak as a stern censor, or as a merciless flagellant. I shall rather follow the promptings of my heart and speak as a brother. I must also bespeak your charitable judgment, for whoever attempts to lecture a craft of which he is not a member, must necessarily run the gauntlet of ridicule. Let me then, first of all, urge the abolition of
No class of workingmen have been the victims of a more flagrant and pitiless injustice than the members of your profession. And one of the most notorious abuses is the justly hated percentage system. Here is your brainy, cultured, book and paper loving barber. At home is a beautiful wife and a lovely family of children. They too, are enraptured with everything fresh and ennobling in thought and form and color. Husband and wife are naturally desirous of ministering to tastes above the sensual
237and the hum drum. They aspire to be honored members of the highest society. But when the sober, honest, industrious, ambitious husband seeks employment he is often offered the sixteenth chair in a dark and inaccessible corner, on a per cent of forty-five cents on the dollar. Here, if he happens to do three dollars worth of work he gets only $1.35 of it. In other words he who did all the work and provided for himself and family got less than half the pay. But the injustice does not stop there. As soon as he has built up his custom and his per cent amounts to $8 or $10 per week another chair is put in and his trade suffers another division. Thus, like the fabled Sisyphus, he is kept on the hillside of adversity, forever rolling the stone of poverty upward, but never permitted to reach the top.
Another flagrant abuse is
The employer not content with reaping from forty to sixty per cent off of his employes' earnings, now proposes to dig in a little deeper and demands that they shall board at his house. Often inferior food, and dingy, squalid rooms are furnished at excessive prices. Of course the poor fellows dare not complain, or demand such accommodations as they could get elsewhere for less money, for if they do they will lose their positions. Like cowering slaves or beaten curs they have to accept the mangiest kennels and the barest, scrubbiest bones and
238act as though they were the most honored guests at Delmonico's.
But the bitterest part is the enforced slavery. Living with their employer they are continually under his eye. If the employer goes to his work hours earlier than any other barber in the city, and chooses to remain hours later, of course his hirelings must do the same. In other words, the poor fellows are always under espionage, always under a glittering eye, always watched as a panther watches his prey. And rather than submit to such a galling bondage as that I would run a little ranch of my own, even though I had to live on sweet roots and grub worms.
Another just ground of complaint is the refusal of employers to
There is no reason why a barber should work any more hours than any other craftsman. And yet while 200,000 workingmen are employed only eight and nine hours per day barbers are at their chairs sixteen to twenty hours. What chance has he to rest and recuperate, to see and know the world, and to cultivate the joys and delights of home? None at all. All he lacks of being in perpetual bondage is a bill of sale, a uniformed driver, with whip in hand, and an engraved steel or iron collar. If barbers would only combine and be absolutely true to each other, they could do the world's work in eight hours
239per day, and lose no trade whatever. Every store in Boston and other eastern cities closes at 5 o'clock in the afternoon throughout the summer, and on Saturdays at noon. The result? No trade is lost, and the clerks and their families are blessed with abundant leisure. But if the people can manage to do their trading in short hours they can also have their barbering done in short hours. If your great fraternity would adopt the eight hour system, you would be just as rich in dollars and cents at the end of the year, and vastly richer in all those higher things that constitute the genuine wine of life. Your brother workingmen, refusing to work over eight or ten hours, ought to see to it that your demand for a thirteen hour day is speedily granted, and that your day then be made as short as theirs.
Beyond this I need not assure you that both my head and my heart join you in demanding
Biological science, as well as the Bible, demands a respite of one-seventh of the days for rest. Following the French Revolution an effort was made to sweep away every vestige of Christianity. One of the first steps was to repeal all Sunday legislation, and instead to set apart the tenth day for rest. The result was calamitious for both man and beast, and at last they were compelled to restore the old fashoned Biblical Lord's day. De Tocqueville said to an American: "France must have your Sabbath or she is ruined." Nadand said: "I was
240formerly a furious adversary of Sunday rest. My opinion is no longer the same. I would see closed today the workshops and stores of France from Saturday noon till Monday morning. My conviction is that the workman, the clerks in the store, the woman who works away from her own home, by resting a day and a half in the week, and not working more than nine hours a day, would accomplish more in their toil than by being constrained, as now, to the toil of a slave. It is not the body only, it is the heart and intellect which demand the observation of Sunday." The great German Humboldt said: "It is as unreasonable as it is unhuman to work beyond six days weekly." In obedience to every physical, intellectual and Biblical law say to lazy customer on the one hand, and greedy employer on the other hand: "No more Sunday work for us while the world stands and our craft survives."
One other thing I think I will venture to mention, and that is, the importance of having some sort of
Old line insurance companies are too expensive; independent mutuals are too uncertain. These two incontrovertible facts have led the various lodges and wage working guilds to form aid associations of their own. Your calling, gentlemen, is very much like my own in point of salary. Our incomes are necessarily small. We never can hope to be rich and to bequeath to our families
241independent fortunes. And yet we love the blessed women who have believed in us and hazarded everything for us as much as the crown head loves his queen, and of times vastly more. Hence our need of safe and economical insurance, with provision for temporary aid in cases of sickness, accidents or other misfortunes. And I trust that if you have not already devised some such scheme you will do so at a very early day. It is a sacred and solemn debt you owe to the partners of all your sorrows and adversities, and the darling children who call you by the most endearing of all titles.
But I must not detain you longer. Indeed, I fear I have already trespassed upon both your time and good graces My sole apology is, love for my brothers who are yet in bonds, and an earnest desire to help, at least, a little. That my profession is sincere, I think is evidenced by the fact that this is the fifteenth time, in the last few weeks, I have plead your cause in the public forum. Your future, gentlemen, I think is crowded with cheering omens Your industry, sobriety, and unassuming manliness cannot fail to win you a high and honorable place in all the departments of life. Be true to each other, keep out all strife, division and jealousy, cultivate the brotherhood feeling, extend your organization, present a solid front to every enemy, hold all the ground you now have and fight persistently for more, build your characters upon the one immutable Foundation and you can not fail. And now, gentlemen, members
242of the International Barbers' Union, thanking you for your kindly greeting, and praying for your future success, and that you may have a safe and pleasant journey home, where loved ones in health and happiness, I trust, wait eagerly your coming, I will bid you, one and all, good night.
Chapter XVI. The Industrial Revolution — What Next and How?
[Address delivered before a vast and enthusiastic mass meeting of the National Federation of United Orders of Railway Employes, at the Princess Rink, Fort Wayne, Ind., U. S. A., June 9, 1891.]
Mr. Chairman, Brothers in a Common Cause, and Ladies and Gentlemen:
I think no argument of mine is necessary to prove that we are in the midst of the greatest social and economic upheaval the world has ever witnessed. I am also of the opinion that no argument is necessary to prove that Labor is apparently on the eve of reaching the goal for which it has been striving so many long, weary and disheartening centuries. The virgin hemisphere, and the people's government, are to beget the economic Saviour of the World. America is to be Nazareth and Eden in one. The Workingman of Holy Writ is going to join hands with all His brother workingmen and help them to regain the golden age. The United States is to be the workingman's Holy Land, and some American city — Chicago, perhaps, the proud Queen of the World's Columbian Exposition — is to be the New Jerusalem.
The first four acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama of the day;
Time's noblest offspring is the last."
Standing in the watch tower, interested in men as well as in angels, anxious to help humanity as well as heaven, I am proud to note progress all along the line. Nor is the progress glacial — an inch in a thousand years. During the past ten years it has been almost cyclonic. And rapid as has been the revolution along the lines of child and convict labor, the equality of pay and opportunity for women having to earn their own livelihood, the shortening of hours and the increase of pay, and the marvelous growth of Unions and Federations, I think the most notable development has been in the increase of favorable sentiment among the masses of the people not directly interested. Lord Macaulay says:
The pillar of a people's hope,
The center of a World's desire."
Men ripened rapidly in that tremendous revolution. When Garfield and Grant lay dying all the daughters of Columbia fell on her neck and wept, while all the sons of eloquence strove in vain to comfort them. And now, the boundless rapacity of great trusts, monopolies and corporations, and the heartlessness of congested wealth have stirred the very souls of the people in behalf of the toiling, trudging and sometimes trembling millions. The revolution is on and millions of eyes are turned toward this gathering tonight, while millions of hearts swell with the same transports that thrill your heart and mine. This means that we have reached the beginning of the end, and that the Day of Days has turned the midnight and
But though the revolution is on, it is not over. Though the battle is in progress, complete victory is not yet declared. We have not yet reached the conclusion of this tremendous drama that has been thus far so largely tragic. How to complete the revolution, to gain the victory, to reach a glorious consummation, happy, just and permanent, is now the supreme question. What other troops are necessary? What brigades, battalions and army corps shall be ordered forward? What strategic points must be sought and won? Or, in the
246language of the subject assigned me, what next and how? The question is too great to be answered in a single phrase or sentence. There is indeed one central sun toward which every eye is now turned, namely, Federation. But one swallow does not constitute spring, nor does a single bed of pansies compose the King's garden. So, in the firmament of labor, while Federation is now the central sun, there are other suns and stars that are not to be despised, and toward which the eyes of the astronomer of economics are earnestly turned. To a few of these I will now refer before turning our telescope upon the central sun. We need to emphasize
The late Wendell Phillips, than whom the workingmen had no worthier or more devoted or eloquent champion, used to declare that in a great fight among the masses the victory is half won when the people are made to think. "Dumb, driven cattle" are easily led to the slaughter; but Leonidas, with only a handfull of men hurls back 20,000 Persians, and Gideon, with only 300 heroes, routs an uncountable multitude. Mind is master. Man, inferior in size, strength and speed to many of the denizens of the ocean, and earth and air, is nevertheless monarch of all he surveys. On account of man's mental superiority the Psalmist says: "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet." The diminutive
247Watts was therefore sane as well as sentimental when he exclaimed:
Or hold the ocean in my span,
I must be measured by my soul —
The mind's the standard of the man."
Hence, the Typographical Union in France, Italy, Germany and America was the earliest organization in the field, and has never met with a serious reverse. Their profession, requiring a superior order of intelligence, and their work naturally opening up new vistas and widening the horizons of thought and philosophical contemplation, has won its way in public favor until in 1886 Mr. Drexel, a Philadelphia banker, joined with Mr. Childs of the Public Ledger, in sending the National Officers a complimentary check for $10,000 in gold.
Commodore Vanderbilt began his career as a peanut boy. Jay Gould also started at the bottom of the ladder. Not bones and muscle, so much as brains are back of their enormous fortunes. They did not allow a shell to grow over them. They were studious, thoughtful, and on the alert. Your Unions and Federations will all be in vain unless you are preeminently thoughtful men. The thoughful man is always the winner. Grant and Sherman and Sheridan were thinkers. The great problems of Labor and Capital must be thought out before they can be wrought out. Numbers, organizations, red tape — all will be of no avail unless there is a broad, deep
248adamantine substratum of thoughtfulness. Brains govern the world. Again: It is all important that you have a clear conception of
Here is where the early Abolitionists had the advantage. While Webster and Clay and Cass and other temporizers were trimming their sails to catch every breeze, playing fast and loose with solemn and unalterable principles, often in doubt themselves as to what was the proper course to pursue, one day on one side of a question, the next day modifying and compromising, and the third day on the opposite side, the Abolitionists knew just what they wanted, plead for it without variation or compromise, proved the justice of their claim, and at last triumphed over every obstacle and opposition. There is also an immense power in a rallying cry. Who has not read — and many of you remember — how the people were thrilled by the cry of "Fifty-four, forty or fight" in President Polk's day, and "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," in the days of the first Harrison, and "Free soil, free speech, free men and Fremont" in 1856, not to mention others. But a rallying cry is impossible without a clearly defined purpose, easily grasped by the masses, and having an intense conviction behind it. Here, too, is where Lincoln loomed above Seward, Chase, Sumner, and all the other giants of his day. How his short, crisp, pithy utterances, such as "A house divided against itself cannot stand"
249applied to the Union, and "The Nation half free and half slave cannot long endure," and "With malice toward none and with charity for all," electrified the hearts of the masses all over the world! What the hosts of labor today need, supremly need, is a clearly defined national policy with a ringing rallying cry that will stir the consciences and thrill the souls of mankind everywhere. Another thing: Keep your
The great heart of the people is like a great organ — it is sensitive to every touch, and can shriek as well as sing, can be discordant as well as concordant. Why did Massachusetts mob one Abolitionist and elect another Abolitionist to the Presidency? Making due allowance for the ripening of more than twenty years, we must answer: Lincoln did have, and Garrison did not have, his finger on the public pulse. Another illustration: In the early days of Illinois, when judges and lawyers rode from county to county holding courts, the lawyers used to fill the evenings with debates on the stirring topics of the times. The people would come in for miles, for there were giants in those days, such as Logan, Douglas and others. One night, at Carlinville, the subject was slavery. An anti-slavery man made a speech that so enraged the people they threatened to mob him. Lincoln followed him on the same subject, and on the same side of the subject, making really a stronger speech against the so called "divine institution," than the man who preceded
250him, and yet closed with a tumult of applause. The explanation? Lincoln had, while the other did not have, his finger on the public pulse. Wendell Phillips confessed to George J. Holyoake, the English reformer, that he "never expected to see any success of our antislavery struggle." Nor would he have seen the triumph of Abolitionism had not God raised up a class of leaders different from Phillips, Garrison and others of the same school. We glorify John Brown's spirit, but condemn his methods. Lincoln was needed, close to natures's heart, to properly interpret the people's will and to unite them all upon a single policy and a single line of action.
Our great Industrial Revolution has suffered because we have not always had our fingers on the public pulse. Great and conscientious as our leaders are, good men and true to the core, they have not always correctly interpreted the will of the people. Here a faulty diagnosis is fatal. Washington alone was preeminent in our first Revolution. He felt every heart throb of the people; they trusted him, they loved him, and at last, sustained by their confidence and cooperation, he wrought their deliverance from the yoke of Old World despotism. Our great need is a Washington, who can rally all the people until the yoke of industrial bondage shall be thrown off and every workingman shall feel that the world at last recognizes that
251heavens above him he can reap his just dues in every mart of trade, and in every field of endeavor. But brains, eloquence, numbers and organization will all fail us if we do not keep step to the pulse beatings of the great heart of humanity.
Another thing: We need to
Do not imagine by what I have said that you are to say to the masses: All in favor of following this course, hold up your hands; all opposed, say No! and then be guided by the vote. We no longer believe the old dictum; Vox populi, vox Dei — the voice of the people is the voice of God. When our Saviour was crucified the voice of the people was the voice of the Devil.
The Devil chuckled when John Brown was strung up, and all the people said Amen. If the public sentiment is not true to the needle on the face of the compass of humanity we are not to swear at the compass, nor abuse it, nor seek to destroy it. No! We must discover what is wrong with it, and then rectify it. When the lawyer finds that the jury is against him what does he do? Does he swear at them, and abuse them, and call them a set of continental fools? By no means! By every mark of respect, by every grace of eloquence, and by every argument possible he strives to win them to his side. It is not enough to have abstract right on our side. Christ in His day, and Cromwell in his day, and Washington in his day, and Lincoln
252in his day — all had abstract right on their side from the very first, but victory came only when the masses were won. You, sirs, have had abstract right on your side from the beginning. The only thing you have ever lacked is an overwhelming public sentiment behind you, forty or fifty or sixty millions strong, that will bring even Wall Street to its knees with the penitent prayer, "Sirs what must I do to be saved?" In "Boss" Tweed's palmiest days when he was stealing his millions, and rolling in fabulous luxury, a gentleman said to him: "Are you not afraid, Mr. Tweed?" "Afraid of what?" "Why, afraid of public sentiment, of the people." "The people be damned," was his answer. But when
You cannot wage war with Capital without inconveniencing the Public. You cannot inaugurate a strike in any department without wounding the public interest. In the great C., B. & Q. strike more than the engineers suffered, more than the stockholders suffered, more than labor and capital combined suffered, did the patrons of the road, and the great commonwealth suffer. Or, take a strike on a smaller scale. When the street car drivers in St. Louis, Mo., struck, who suffered most? Not the drivers. Not the capitalists. The masses of the people, the
253patrons of the street cars, suffered most. It is the same in every strike, large or small.
Now, then, the reason the Patriots, in the days of Patrick Henry, were so slow to espouse independence, and the People forty years ago hesitated to champion emancipation, was the fear of the consequences, arid unwillingness to sacrifice for what they knew was right. And the reason so many of your battles have been lost is, public sentiment has not been sufficiently toned up to stand behind you. Get the great public on your side, willing to suffer financially for you; willing to sacrifice its pleasure and convenience while you are making a stand for your rights; willing to forego the use of all train service, if need be, that the men who run the trains may have justice done them — get fifty or sixty millions of people behind you with heart and voice and purse, and then the haughtiest corporations will be only too happy to hear your complaints, and adjust your grievances.
But how can public sentiment be toned up? Outside of the press — and I do not except that — there is no enginery like the Christian pulpit. Get the preachers to preach on this question. Preachers can reach people that will not listen to you at all, so violent is human prejudice. To begin with,
254Most of them, not excepting my brother Catholic clergymen, are on your side. Give the preachers your moral support by attending in a body, if possible, and nodding approval when they deal an unusually effective blow, and by sandwiching in an occasional Amen when they make a magnificent home run on the side of humanity. You would be surprised, gentlemen, at the result. I have just recently preached fifteen nights on this question and I can testify that my church to a man — yes, and to a woman, too, God bless the women — is on your side. And all Christendom would be on your side if the pulpits of Christendom were to speak out. Through the pulpit, the press, your own orators, and by your united, universal efforts tone up public sentiment and victory will perch upon every banner carried by the organized laborers of the world. And for that day when every sober, virtuous and honorable workingman can stand four square to the world, with a full stomach, good clothes on his back, a good home of his own and plenty for Betty and the babies, and something ahead for the cold and rainy days of sickness and old age, without any fear of the hospital, the poor farm, or the potter's field — for that glorious day I make earnest and unceasing prayer.
Another thing I must emphasize, namely, the supreme importance of recognizing
Capital has been so often triumphant because it has
255always presented a solid front. Men of money have recognized from the first the solidarity of wealth. The man with only $500 ahead has unvaryingly stood by the man with $500,000 ahead. Wholesaler and retailer have stood side by side. Shipowner, railroad corporation, banker, merchant, on down to the man with only a few dollars to let — big man and little man, with an income of $5 per day or of $500 or $5,000 per day — all have stood by each other. As soon as you have made a move every man of money, from the little crossroads grocer up to the Vanderbilts, has arrayed himself against you. Though your fight was with a railroad corporation that railroad corporation had the sympathy and secret support of every moneyed butcher, baker, grocer, clothier, apothecary, merchant, banker and retired money holder in the land. You thought you were contending with only one; as a matter of fact, you were contending with all. The sensitiveness and solidarity of wealth make every man with means, however small, the ally of every other man of means, however large, and vice versa. Touch one capitalist, though his capital be only a pittance, comparatively speaking, and you touch every capitalist up to the gold barons of New York and London and Paris. Fight one capitalist, in one department, and you must fight every capitalist in every other department.
Here is where workingmen have made their great mistake: they have not recognized the solidarity of labor. Each department of labor has stood apart, and often
256aloof, from every other department. Engineers have fought their battles alone; firemen have fought their battles alone: so with conductors, trainmen, switchmen, telegraphers and all the rest. So masons have fought their battles by themselves; carpenters by themselves; plasterers by themselves; painters by themselves, and so on. Now if I may speak of workingmen as an army, each of these trades represents a regiment. That is, there is
257order up the regiment of Firemen at the same time? And if that is not enough, then the regiment of Conductors? And if Capital is still too strong, then order up the regiment of Trainmen, then the regiment of Switchmen, then the regiment of Telegraphers? And if these six regiments are not enough, what then? Order up the reserve regiments — the Wareroom Boys, the Shopmen, and so on until every railway employe stands in line. But if Capital is still too strong, what then? Since the cause of one workingman is the cause of every workingman, and since as all capital is one, no matter how invested, so all labor is one, no matter how employed, order up other regiments out of other brigades, battalions and army corps. Order up the regiment of Carpenters, and then of Painters, and then of Plasterers, until at last you shall have every workingman in the universe in line. No one can doubt what the result would be.
But this leads up to the climax of my subject:
John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin, when overtaken by Colonel Conger, Lieutenant Baker and their soldiers, shouted from the barn surrounded by the boys in blue, "Let me fight you singly — one at a time — and I will have no fear." So Capital shouts from its palaces: "Come at us one at a time — fight us with single regiments, and we will laugh you to scorn. And for six
258thousand years Capital has laughed you to scorn, though of late the laugh is degenerating into a ghastly grin.
Lincoln was greatly pleased with the Act of Congress on the ninth of March, 1864 making Grant a Lieutenant General and giving him control of all the armies east and west. In conversation with a gentleman he quaintly said: "The trouble heretofore has been, the Eastern and Western armies have been like a balky team. Get them to pull together once, as Grant will make them do, and this terrible rebellion will soon be put down." The great trouble, we may say, with our labor organizations during the past ten years is, they have been like a balky team. Get them to pull together and they can be triumphant in every righteous undertaking.
Hence I hail with pleasure this meeting of the Federation of United Orders of Railway Employes. It is a move in the right direction. I hope it will be eminently successful, and that the desires of the projectors of this gathering may be fully consummated.
I am a thorough going Federationist. I believe what is good for Uncle Sam is also good for all of Uncle Sam's toiling sons and daughters. Our national motto is: "United we stand; divided we fall." It is equally applicable to our great cause. To begin with, I believe it best for all men, in a given trade, to be united in one order. Hence, I think it is unfortunate that the Conductors and the Telegraphers have each two separate organizations. I believe that there ought to be a double
259wedding, on the one hand the Brotherhood of Conductors and the Order of Conductors, and on the other hand the Brotherhood of Telegraphers and the Order of Telegraphers. In case other workingmen, of the same class are divided up, they ought to get together. I understand that that most unhappy and unfortunate affair on the North Western the other day grew out of some such a complication. Then each department of labor, being thoroughly federated within itself, I think they ought to
Already the Brotherhoods of Firemen, Trainmen, Conductors and the Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association have federated. Now it seems to me all important that the Brotherhood of Engineers, the Order of Conductors and the Brotherhood and Order of Telegraphers should come in at once and perfect the federation.
Two kinds of federation are proposed: Federation by Railway Systems, and National Federation. It is perfectly clear to my mind that you will get only a crumb if you limit yourself to Federation by Railway Systems — not so much as a half loaf — whereas National Federation will not only give you the whole loaf but hot biscuits also, with plenty of Jersey butter and maple syrup.
The double importance of all men in each line of work belonging to one and the same order, and of national federation, is illustrated in the two strikes of the Engineers on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad and on the
260Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The Knights of Labor Locomotive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers fought each other, and gave the great corporations the victory in both instances, I believe. The Knights of Labor Engineers on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad having a grievance ordered a strike, whereupon the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers rushed in and took the engines. Of course that gave the Railroad the victory. Then when the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Why make the federation national instead of by railway systems? It ought not to be hard to make an audience of American workingmen see the advantage of national federation. We have just expended 7,000 millions of dollars, and poured out the life blood of a million
261of men in order to keep our government federal. The same principle is back of the national federation of all these orders and brotherhoods that is back of the federation of the states. The advantage must be evident to every one. For instance: We have just been having a little trouble with Italy on account of that New Orleans affair. Now suppose Italy were to come over and attack Louisiana, and all the other states were to keep hands off. Why, Louisiana would be most beautifully and quickly whipped. But if Italy were to come over, every state in the Union, from Maine to Alaska and from Michigan to Mexico, through the federal head, would say:
Touch Louisiana and you touch every one of us. If you fight her you will have to fight all of us. We propose to stand by Louisiana as long as there is a cent of money in our treasury, or a drop of blood in our veins." What then? Why, Mr. Italy would be only too glad to keep hands off.
Now then, Louisiana without outside help, represents Federation by Railway systems; Louisiana, with every State behind her, through the federal head of all the States, represents National Federation. Of course you want National Federation.
I pray that all the Engineers, Firemen, Conductors, Trainmen, Switchmen, Telegraphers — all in the railway service — may each belong to his own, and but one,
262brotherhood, and that all these various brotherhoods, each having its own supreme head, may come into this Federation of United Orders of Railway Employes, and that the federation may be as national as the Government itself; that when any one brotherhood has a grievance, said grievance may be passed up to the Federal Head, composed of representatives of all the brotherhoods; if a majority of said representatives agree that the grievance is just, then the brotherhood aggrieved may make their demand; if they are spurned or treated with silent contempt, the Federal Head of all the brotherhoods may make the demand that the grievance be righted; if the corporation still refuses justice, then the Federal Head may order out, not only the brotherhood aggrieved, but every other brotherhood, on the broad principle that "an injury to one is the concern of all." For instance: if the Firemen are mistreated, let them ask for their rights; if they are refused, let the Federal Head of all the Brotherhoods ask for redress; if they, too, are refused, then let the Federal Head order out, not only the Firemen, but also all the allied Brotherhoods, namely, the Engineers, Conductors, Trainmen, etc., from Canada to Mexico and from Plymouth Rock to the Golden Gate.
The result? Other Railroads, and the great Public, their interests being affected, will become a fearful judge of the offending individual or corporation: if the Firemen are right, both Capital and Labor will demand that justice be done them; if the Firemen are wrong, public
263sentiment will compel the unholy strike to cease. Strikes will be fewer, and farther between; great corporations will lose their haughtiness; and organized labor will act with exceeding caution.
General Grant said: "I am a man of peace. Therefore I am in favor of making
Both sides will then exhaust the possibilities of arbitration. Then if war must come the havoc will be so great it will soon be over with."
General Grant was right and two hemispheres applauded the hero of Appommattox. So I am a man of peace. I am opposed to all wars between Labor and Capital. Hence I am in favor of making these wars as terrible as possible. Both Labor and Capital will then exhaust the possibilities of arbitration. Then, if war must come, the havoc will be so great it will soon be over with.
Capital is already prepared to do its most thorough and effective work. Moneyed butcher, baker, grocer, clothier, apothecary, banker, shylock, boards of trade, railway corporations, steamship lines — Capital from top to bottom, and from first to last is one. Capital is a unit. Strike one and you strike all; strike at one place and you strike every place. The rallying cry is not: My particular business is being hurt, but Capital is being wronged. And the response from every business is: "No
264matter what your business is. We propose to stand by you, because Capital is in jeopardy."
Let all in the railway service organize; let all mechanics organize; let all wage workers — all men who work for so much per day week, month or year — organize; let the farmers whose prices are put up or down at the dictation of avaricious boards of trade, trusts and monopolies, organize; let all who earn their livelihood by honest toil, organize. Let each organization attend to its own local matters, as the various states of our Union do. Then let there be a National Federal Head. In this Federal Head let there be representatives of railway employes, mechanics, all who work for so much per day, week, month or year, and the farmers. Let the rallying cry be, answering the capitalists: "Labor. We are a unit. Strike one and you strike all; strike at one place and you strike at every place. The North stands by the South, the East by the West. Hurt one of us and you hurt all of us; insult one and you insult all; fight one and you fight all; whip one and you must whip all."
Thus organized you can make war terrible. The clerks can close up every house of trade and commerce; the bookkeepers and cashiers can close up every banking establishment; draymen, hackmen and railway and ship employes can stop every line of transportation, and so on to the farmer, who can withhold the food supply of the