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doing nothing, a mysterious, skyey benefit accrues, which the lazy man hopes to have and to hold for eternity.
Then the slaves who do no work on Sunday, point out those who do as beneath them in virtue, and deserving of contempt. Upon this theory all laws which punish the person who works or plays on Sunday have been passed.
Does God cease work one day in seven, or is the work that He does on Sunday especially different from that which He performs on Tuesday? The Saturday half-holiday is not "sacred"-the Sunday holiday is, and we have laws to punish those who "violate" it.
No man can violate the Sabbath; he can, however, violate his own nature, and this he is more apt to do through enforced idleness than either work or play. Only running water is pure, and stagnant nature of any sort is dangerous-a breeding-place for disease. Change of occupation is necessary to mental and physical health. As it is, most people get too much of one kind of work. All the week they are chained to a task, a repugnant task because the dose is too big. They have to do this particular job or starve. This is slavery,
quite as much as when man was bought and sold as a chattel.
Will there not come a time when all men and women will work because it is a blessed gift -a privilege? Then, if all worked, wasteful consuming as a business would cease. As it is, there are many people who do not work at all, and these pride themselves upon it and uphold the Sunday laws. If the idlers would work, nobody would be overworked. If this time ever comes shall we not cease to regard it as "wicked" to work at certain times, just as much as we would count it absurd to pass a law making it illegal for us to be happy on Wednesday? Is n't good work an effort to produce a useful, necessary or beautiful thing? If so, good work is a prayer, prompted by a loving heart-a prayer to benefit and bless.
If prayer is not a desire, backed up by a right human effort to bring about its efficacy, then what is it?
Work is a service performed for ourselves and others. If I love you I will surely work for you-in this way I reveal my love. And to manifest my love in this manner is a joy and gratification to me Thus work is for
the worker alone and labor is its own reward. These things being true, if it is wrong to work on Sunday, it is wrong to love on Sunday; every smile is a sin, every caress a curse, and all tenderness a crime.
Must there not come a time, if we grow in mentality and spirit, when we shall cease to differentiate and quit calling some work secular and some sacred? Is n't it as necessary for me to hoe corn and feed my loved ones (and also the priest) as for the priest to preach and pray? Would any priest ever preach and pray if somebody did n't hoe? If life is from God, then all useful effort is divine; and to work is the highest form of religion. If God made us, surely He is pleased to see that His work is a success. If we are miserable, willing to liberate life with a bare bodkin, we certainly do not compliment our Maker in thus proclaiming His work a failure. But if our lives are full of gladness and we are grateful for the feeling that we are one with Deity-helping God to do His work, then, and only then do we truly serve Him.
Isn't it strange that men should have made laws declaring that it is wicked for us to work?
N excellent and gentle man of my acquaintance has said, "When fifty-one per cent of the voters believe in coöperation as opposed to competition, the Ideal Commonwealth will cease to be a theory and become a fact."
That men should work together for the good of all is very beautiful, and I believe the day will come when these things will be, but the simple process of fifty-one per cent of the voters casting ballots for socialism will not bring it about.
The matter of voting is simply the expression of a sentiment, and after the ballots have been counted there still remains the work to be done. A man might vote right and act like a fool the rest of the year.
The socialist who is full of bitterness, fight, faction and jealousy is creating an opposition that will hold him and all others like him in check. And this opposition is well, for even a very imperfect society is forced to protect itself against dissolution and a condition which is
worse To take over the monopolies and operate them for the good of society is not enough, and not desirable either, so long as the idea of rivalry is rife.
As long as self is uppermost in the minds of men, they will fear and hate other men, and under socialism there would be precisely the same scramble for place and power that we see in politics now.
Society can never be reconstructed until its individual members are reconstructed. Man must be born again. When fifty-one per cent of the voters rule their own spirit and have put fifty-one per cent of their present envy, jealousy, bitterness, hate, fear and foolish pride out of their hearts, then Christian socialism will be at hand, and not until then.
The subject is entirely too big to dispose of in a paragraph, so I am just going to content myself here with the mention of one thing, that so far as I know has never been mentioned in print the danger to society of exclusive friendships between man and man, and woman and woman. No two persons of the same sex can complement each other, neither can they long uplift or benefit each other. Usually they