Centuries before the birth of Christ, there lived a proud and despotic ruler of an Eastern kingdom who, surrounded by power and splendor, forgot the Lord of heaven and earth, trusting exclusively in the wealth of his country and the strength of his people. The prophet Daniel warned him against his impious ways, and besought him to forsake his iniquities, and to acknowledge that " the Most High ruleth over the kingdoms of men." But the king thought himself safe in the enjoyment of his glory and strength, and strutting up and down his gorgeous palace, he said with sinful pride: "Is not this the great Babylon which I have built to be the seat of the kingdom, by the strength of my power, and in the glory of my excellence?" Scarcely were these words out of his mouth, when the punishment of the Lord overtook him; he was degraded and cast out of the habitation of man, and likened to the brute beast of the field. Fortunately, his chastisement brought him to his senses. He now realized that all power and beauty came from above and that "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before their God." Many there are in our days and country who, Nabuchcx:lonosor-like, pride themselves on the achievements of modem times, despise the past, and look for unlimited prosperity and comfort in the future. Is not this the great country which we have set up as a model for all the nations? See it teeming with wealth and luxury. Every man is his own king and ruler, responsible to nobody, independent of everybody. Every man has it in his power to become rich and famous. Human genius and human labor have accomplished wonders. Man's own energy, independent of assistance from above, man "in the glory of his excellence," has produced a culture, refinement and happiness never known in the history of mankind. It is true there is a present lack of proportion between individual possessors: some have evidently more than they need, while others have not enough of what they need; the one has plenty of food and no digestion, the other a good digestion hut no food. A little enlightenment on the true philosophy of ownership will soon make it feasible to revise the charts of realities and give each man an equal share of the goods of this world. Such is the proud and senseless boast of many American demagogues. For what is the actual condition of things in which we are living? Whither does modem progress lead us? The pyramids of Egypt are everlasting monuments of art and skilful labor, but the grounds around them are strewn with the bodies of countless men and women who worked themselves to death in constructing them. Are our modem achievements not the result of human victims? Look at the machines the soulless antagonists of the workingmen; hear them whiping and clicking" humming and shriek ing like a legion of devils, let loose from the abode of eternal woe. Hearts are bleeding to death under the cruel horrors of the sweatshop; minds are rebelling against the infamous injustice of employers, and are growing desperate under the yoke of trusts and capitalists. The filthy condition of so many homes in our large cities, human dwellings without air and sunshine, should make us loath to sing the praises of our great civilization. How the beauties of nature are marred and blurred under the curse of industrial enterprise! Climb the wooded mountain that shelters the valley. Raise your eyes towards the azure sky above you and see the traces of divine magnificence. In the distance the river is flashing with silver and diamond.
Rev Wm Stang DD, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1490493921, ISBN 13: 9781490493923