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 Nowhere has what is called the ‘Labor Question,’ which is now agitating the world, been discussed more wisely and with a broader humanity than in these essays. His sympathies were with the poor man, yet the rich too are his brethren, and he warns them in love and pity of the consequences of luxury and oppression:— ‘Every degree of luxury, every demand for money inconsistent with the Divine order, hath connection with unnecessary labors.’ ‘To treasure up wealth for another generation, by means of the immoderate labor of those who in some measure depend upon us, is doing evil at present, without knowing that wealth thus gathered may not be applied to evil purposes when we are gone. To labor hard, or cause others to do so, that we may live conformably to customs which our Redeemer discountenanced by His example, and which are contrary to Divine order, is to manure a soil for propagating an evil seed in the earth.’ ‘When house is joined to house, and field laid to field, until there is no place, and the poor are thereby straitened, though this is done by bargain and purchase, yet so far as it stands distinguished from universal love, so far that woe predicted by the prophet will accompany their proceedings. As He who first founded the earth was then the true proprietor of it, so He still remains, and though He hath given it to the children of men, so that multitudes of people have had their sustenance from it while they continued here, yet He hath never alienated it, but His right is as good as at first; nor can ’
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