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LABOR

ADVANCING

TOGETHER.

Before the International Council of Congregational Churches, at Des Moines, Iowa. Christianity is a science far reach- of life. It is reflective of the same ing enough to extend to the uttermost spirit which led the children of Israel parts of the earth and broad enough to refuse to make bricks without straw, in its principles to afford room in its which buoyed them up in their pilgrimplan of salvation for all mankind. The

age in search of the promised land, ethics of Christianity are so compre- which brought the Pilgrim Fathers to hensive as to apply themselves to every the newly founded West, which has perphase and every incident of human formed so important a part in the delife. They involve so many branches velopment of the new world, which is of thought as to make it impossible behind the march of civilization, and ever to exhaust the profitable discus- without which progress would be imsion of them.

possible. But, broad, comprehensive, exhaus- CHRISTIANITY tive and far reaching as the science and ethics of Christianity are, the whole Like all great movements or reforms may be concisely and correctly summed it has had its authors, its disciples, its up in the statement that the purpose is apostles, its missionaries and its marto lead mankind to better and happier tyrs. Its aim is to make mankind better, lives here and hereafter, through de

comfortable and happier here, velopment of the higher instincts and and this of necessity, leads them nearer the better sides of human nature.

to a probable happy hereafter. The The labor movement is not a

work of the church will not be done paign against law and order, led on by until the millennium shall have dawnagitators and enemies of

peace, ed; and until that day the labor movesome would represent it to be. On the ment will be found pressing on side by contrary, it is the tangible evidence of side or hand in hand with it. People the desire for better things on part of talk glibly about solving the labor probthe masses who, in accord with divine lem. The cause of Christianity will edict, bring the sweat of labor to their not have completely triumphed so long. brows in order that they may eat bread. as there are sinners outside of the fold, It is the overflow or safety valve for and the labor problem will not be solvthe ever present, irresistible longing for ed so long as hope of better things greater liberties and better conditions spring up in the hearts and minds of

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wrong. to view it in that light, it is certain that the word and promises of God preached to a hungry man or to the man whose days know nothing but a ceaseless grind of labor for a bare existence and whose nights know nothing but the sleep of physical exhaustion will fall in barren soil.

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BOTH MAKING FOR HIGHER CIVILIZATION,

is no

men. We shall steadily approach the goals which we seek. Some day they will be reached.

For the purpose of this discussion we can only give brief consideration to

few of the ethics of Christianity which are involved in, or, I prefer to say, which are reflected in, the labor movement. And so I shall call attention to some few of the many incidents in the life and teachings of the man Christ which seem to apply most aptly and opportunely to the practical life of man in this twentieth century.

Before going further, and to avoid possible misapprehension or misunderstanding, it is proper for me to saywhich I suppose I should be ashamed to admit--that I am not a member of any church and that I do not profess to be a Christian. I, however, believe in Christianity. I hope that while neglecting many of its teachings—all of which are good and none of which ever brought harm to any man–I consistently follow others of them, more especially those to which I shall particularly refer.

Christ came to earth as the messenger of God to all mankind.

He did not go into the temple and from there proclaim his mission but he went about among the poor and lowly, the masses of the people, teaching and preaching of better things for them. He announced one of the eternal ethics of Christianity when he bade them bear one another's burdens, And that is one of the ethics of Christianity which is deeply involved in the labor movement. The labor movement as we know it in this age is a combined effort on part of the many to rid each other of some of the burdens which are borne in their individual capacities, and make life better, brighter, happier for all. It seeks to secure for the industrious man compensation for his services, and hours of labor, which will afford comfort for himself and family and opportunity to develop and cultivate a taste for a higher life physically, morally and spiritually. If Christianity

Christianity makes steadily for a higher civilization, and if I were asked to point out one, and only one, evidence of the fact that the labor movement of this day involves many of the ethics of Christianity I would without hesitation call attention to the fact that the labor movement is strongest and thrives best in those countries where Christianity is most strongly entrenched and most generally accepted. There

labor movement in idolatrous India. Neither Christianity nor its practical ethics give the masses there hope for better and higher things and so, instead of hustling and striving as does the trade unionist in Christianized America, that native quietly and tamely succumbs to starvation, saying, “It is fate."

God saw to it that the widow's bin of meal and cruse of oil did not become empty. Christ said “Suffer little children to come unto me." The two principles thus laid down have been embraced and faithfully followed by the leading organizations

in

the labor movement. By the establishment of out of work funds, fraternal insurance, and widows' and orphans' funds to which the individual members contribute liberally from their hard earned means, the widows and orphans are kept in meal and oil.

By earnest and energetic efforts the labor unions have, to a large degree checked the coining of infant health life and limb into money for the coffers of those whose conception of business is the employment of children of tender years for long hours at arduous labor, and for the merest pittance, thus mortgaging beyond the possibility of redemption the health, morals and welfare of generations yet unborn.

to

anything it means that all men are God's children, and, whether it be right or

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were

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The Anthracite Coal Strike Commis That is the sum of his earnings availsion, in its investigation of conditions able for support of his family and which in the anthracite region, found that constitutes

his sociological wage

is within a few years numbers of silk equivalent to a year's work at one half mills have been located in that region the economic wage actually paid. with no apparent inducement for such What would your Sunday School location except the opportunity there amount to, or what would they asfound for the employment of little complish if all the children girls. It was shown that hundreds of quired to work at steady, exacting emsuch little ones of tender years were ployment for twelve hours out of every working from six o'clock in the morn twenty-four hours through the week? ing until six o'clock at night, or from Would there be much opportunity to six o'clock at night until six o'clock hope that the little children would in the morning, and for wages as low come to Christ as he bade them do? as three cents per hour.

Much has been accomplished in this It was argued on one side that these work but it is far from being finished. were the children of working men and Let me repeat that wherever an effort if their parents did not permit it the has been made to restrict child labor it conditions could not exist. This was has had more loyal and earnest supanswered by the assertion that the con port from the labor unions than from ditions under which the parents worked others, while most such movements were such as to compel every mem have been originated by the unions. ber of the family to contribute every This is a work in which the church can cent that could be earned no matter well give its active and energetic aswhat the cost might be in health or sistance. morals. The miners argued for higher Christ chose disciples and bade them wages and better conditions for them go into all the world and preach the selves that the

young children
gospel to every creature.

What was would not be required to assist in earn the gospel which he directed them to ing the necessities of life, and so that preach? Was it an eye for an eye and the few inhuman parents who perhaps a tooth for a tooth? Was it a gospel would drive their offsprings to such la of fear illustrated with vivid word picbor would not have the excuse of spurring tures of the imaginary heat and tornecessity.

ture in store for all those who did not THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIOLOGICAL

Was it composed of theo

logical discussions? No. It was the I desire to here digress far enough simple gospel of love. Love of the to call attention to the fact that a fair Father for the Son. Love of the Son inquiry into the sociological condi for mankind and the beautiful comtions among any class

mandment that ye, we, love one workers must take into consideration other. both the economic wage and the sociological wage. It may be said that in

SO

accept it?

WAGE.

or

group of

an

COMMANDMENT. a certain employment three dollars per What commandment could day is a good wage, and so far as it aptly fit the present condition of ingoes, the statement may be true. But dustry and society? Deceit, desertion if the employed must be ready for ser of trust, scandal and crime are rife and vice at all times and is thus prevented are found in high places as well as in from devoting part of his time and at lowly places. The man who, holding tention to other employment, and is a position of trust, either public or prinot given employment for more than vate, takes advantage of the opportuhalf the days in the year, the results at nity to rob those who have placed conthe end of the year are no better, even fidence in them has no love for his if as good, than if he had been steadily neighbors or for society. If the love employed at a dollar and a half a day. for one another of which the Savior

THE INDUSTRIAL CRISIS AND THE GREAT

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spoke had been entertained by the leading spirit on either side of the recent regretable conflicts in

portions of the State of Colorado, our page of civilization would not have borne the ineffaceable blot which has been put upon it by a seeming effort to make a right out of two wrongs. If we demand respect for law and for the right from others we must in all consistency be willing to respect the law and the right ourselves. Wrong is wrong and defiance of law is defiance of law whether perpetrated by those in authority or by others. If we expect consideration from others

must give consideration. If claim rights we must recognize and shoulder responsibilities. If we demand privileges we must assume obligations. If we want to be loved we must love.

Some emissaries of labor have taught the doctrine of class hatred, distrust of fellow man and repudiation of the common obligations of citizenship. Some clergymen have helped such propaganda along by extreme expressions condemnatory of all organized labor because of mistakes wrongs committed in

its

and which were probably sincerely regretted by the great majority of its members.

Such expressions do not represent the ethics of either the labor movement or of Christianity. They hurt and hinder the great beneficent work of the labor movement and of the church. They show that all good causes retarded by over enthusiastic adherents whose judgment is out of balance.

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THE INDUSTRIAL MILLENNIUM.

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The labor movement has its disciples going about among the people encouraging them to higher purposes and ideals, teaching the precepts of organizations whose principles are enunciated in their mottoes, “Fidelity, Justice and Charity, Benovolence, Sobriety and Industry," "Brotherly Love,” etc.. Ah! I hear some one say that some of these disciples of labor preach discontent and strike and do more harm than good. Perhaps that is true.

I am sorry to be obliged to admit it. But it must be remembered that nineteen centuries ago the Savior of mankind selected twelve men v:hom he thought he could tie to, and among the twelve he later found Peter, who denied him, and Judas, who betrayed him. I presume the percentage of deceit, disloyalty, moral cowardice and treachery holds good in this twentieth century. The labor movement can not be justly denounced because of mistakes, evil acts or even crimes perpetrated by some of its emissaries members any more than the church can be justly denounced because occasionally a human wolf is found in the clerical garb or because of the back sliding of an occasional member.

The Christian looks forward with hope and confidence for the coming of the millennium, when all

shall know Christ and serve him The earnest advocate of trades unionism looks with hope and confidence for the dawning of an industrial millennium when all men shall know and have opportunity to enjoy a higher, nobler, better life. Scoffers and unbelievers scout the possibility of either and call us, who believe that these things will be, visionaries. I, for one, would rather be a visionary, with hope in the future and with some of the milk of human kindness in my veins than to be a cold blooded cynic, unable to find pleasure in present associations or couragement in future prospects.

But let us not lose sight of this fact; The church can not save sinners and the labor unions can not give its full benefits to the individual except through the efforts of the individual sinner or work man. No sinner can declare himself to be a part of the church and be saved through vicarious atonement. No workman can hope to enjoy the benefits secured by the labor movement unless he is willing to work for them. And both may depend upon it that the portions of permanent good which they receive, either

en

or

spiritual or material, will be in direct ratio with their personal efforts. The theory of universal salvation without regard to personal worth and the theory of socialism, under which each shall work when and at what he chooses are alike impossible and impracticable.

Christ came to earth with a message of peace on earth, good will to man, and in appreciation of his efforts the populace crucified him.

The message of peace and good will has, however echoed down the halls of the centuries and I am optimistic enough to believe that despite the seething caldrons of industrial and international strife which are now observed in some places, there is, in proportion to the population, more of that spirit in the hearts of men today than ever before. Men prominent in industrial and in national affairs are actively employing their time, their energies and their influence in the direction and causes of industrial and of international peace.

NOT A PEACE BUT A JUST PEACE.

tianity is charity and that beautiful spirit is one of those most generally accepted, taught and practiced among those who make up the organized labor movement. It is not too much to say that, considering their means, they give more liberally to the aid of their unfortunate or distressed fellows than do any others. They spread the mantle of charity , over the shortcomings and faults of their associates and of others. They have big hearts and willing hands in the hour of trouble. Individual acts of unselfish devotion and of kindness could be recited almost without end. In one sad instance in the coal fields of Pennsylvania the mother of a little babe lay sick in bed. The father was brought home a corpse, the victim of an accident in the mine. The funeral was held and upon returning from the cemetery the friends who were doing all that human hands could do in such an hour found the wife and mother dead in her bed. What became of the little one? Did it find its way to an orphan asylum? No. A roughly clad, rough spoken and rough looking miner picked it up and carried it to his humble home where there were already a wife and eight children depending upon his slender earnings, and there the baby found a welcome and a home, and there to this day it still enjoys its share of whatever of ccmfort that home can furnish.

GOLDEN
RULE.
And now

a brief reference to the principle laid down by Christ in his most comprehensive command to men. This command that man shall do to others as he would that they should do to him embraces all the ethics of Christianity and contains all the directions necessary for a beautiful Christian life. It does not mean that we shall surrender our convictions and beliefs, or that we shall give way in all things to others. It means that in our thoughts and actions we shall give careful consideration to the rights, wishes and opinions of others and then govern our acts by what our consciences tell us is right, just and fair; that we shall do by

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RECIPROCAL

RIGHTS

AND

THE

The desirability of peace in any walk or condition of life needs no discussion; but peace, in order to be lasting and in order to be a blessing, must be established in right ways and on right and just lines. I would hail with glad acclaim industrial peace so inaugurated; but I want no industrial peace which

not be had without dishonor. I would not wish to see peace established by a complete surrender on part of the workers for that would simply serfdom. I would not want to see peace come through an unconditional capitulation on part of the employers for that would soon bring actual anarchy.

enthroned under either of those conditions would be permanent or beneficial. Harmony is a thing greatly to be desired but it is not desirable that either side should furnish all the harmony. The disposition of the members of trades unions in the direction of industrial peace is best shown in their ready and steadily increasing subscriptions to the principle of arbitration.

One of the cardinal virtues of Chris

mean

No peace

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