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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread."

page 10

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

This misapprehension of the nature of money has caused the greater part of the troubles of human existence, because the overwhelming fact that "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" has been lost sight of. As a consequence war, rapine, murder, aggression, dishonesty by strategy, and by overt action, have prevailed, till the doctrine that might makes right is accepted far and near, the frequency of the wrong having obscured its enormity not only in the eyes of those who inflict it, but also of those who suffer from it. It was found that to toil, though healthy, was tedious, and the results of toil, however honest, were too tardy to satisfy the ambitions of those who, forgetting the thing signified—the labor—fell down and worshipped the eidolon, the money, so that he was a true witness who summarised "covetousness" as "idolatry." Whether this fact were written in the Bible or no, it is as the frontlet on every eyebrow emblazoned by the wealth begotten of the ill-requited labor of others, till at length a Huxley could with truth aver that "it was better to have been born in heathen Fiji than in the slums of Christian London." The ethics of the misuse of money are graphically set forth in the story of the unjust steward. That worthy, unwilling to avail himself of the fair distribution of food by labor, alleged that he could not dig, that it was