- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 20 Nov 1924, p. 315-333
- Eaton, Dr. Charles A., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The part that the English-speaking race has played, is now playing, and is destined to play in the great drama of history. Finding in our contribution perhaps one, if not the chief, instrument of advancing civilization. The parts chosen by the Divine Creator for certain races to play, with examples. The speaker's belief as to the part that has been chosen for the English-speaking race to play. A brief review of the development of this race. Some remarks on ideas. The understanding which is going to become the dominant force throughout the world. "The Anglo-Saxon will be free" as the chief organ of civilization, and reasons for that belief. The achievements of people who speak the English tongue throughout the world as the background for the speaker's message. An examination of civilization and its development. Industry as the chosen new organ of civilization today. Evidence in that regard. Asking questions as to whether we can apply, in any industry, the principles of Canadian and British and American democracy; the principles of the Christian religion. The speaker's response that if we cannot, then either the industry or the religion will have to go. Discussion follows. An examination of the development and responsibilities of workers and of corporations. Applying to industry the principles of Anglo-Saxon democracy, with example. The speaker's prediction that the new leaders of the industrial movement will be the big employers themselves, and that they will have with them their own employees as loyal partners and co-operators. Solving problems within industry by peaceful means the problems that the labour union and other organizations were forced into being in order to solve by the instrument of warfare thirty years ago. A look at progress an how we have done. This old world going forward, on the up-grade toward a great destiny. Defining progress. Thinking in terms of the whole problem; to widen the horizons of thinking and sympathy. Thinking in terms of humanity, and not in terms of economics alone.
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- 20 Nov 1924
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THE NEW ORGAN OF CIVILIZATION
AN ADDRESS BY DR. CHARLES A. EATON.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
November 20, 1924.
PRESIDENT BROOKS introduced the speaker, who was received with applause, the audience rising.
DR. CHARLES A. EATON.
Mr. President, Honoured Guests and Members of the Empire Club of Canada,--I would indeed be hard to move did I not feel greatly honoured and very happy at this beautiful reception in what I always think of as my old home. (Applause) At this table there are seated several men who really brought me up; at my left is my venerable friend, Chancellor Whidden, who educated me in college, taught me how to go and see a girl properly (laughter) and other achievements that I need not enter into, because he is in a responsible position, and I want to see him succeed. Then on my right is the father of what little intellect I have left--Sir John Willison, with whom I was associated on the "Globe." And in that capacity I remember that a gentleman wrote in one day and said, "Dear Sir: I have been reading your paper continuously for fifty years, and am still very intelligent." Willison thought that was a great compliment. (Laughter) I feel that I am among the dear friends of my first love, and as I come to this city from time to time and see its growth, see it expanding in all directions, I think that you who live
Dr. Charles Aubrey Eaton is a Nova Scotian by birth. A Baptist pastor in Toronto, Cleveland and New York, he is widely known as a great preacher and effective orator. During the war he was Chairman of the National Bureau of Speakers in the United States, President of the Canadian Society in New York, and a vigorous promoter of friendly relations between the United States and the British Empire. He was recently elected a Senator from New Jersey to the United States Congress.
in it and are part of it can hardly realize what a cosmopolitan, throbbing centre this great city has become. I don't know whether you will hold it against me that I have fallen from grace and become a mere politician, but I am too old to be a politician. Personally I think one of the greatest evils in the world is the professional politician, so I have gone into the matter to show that it is possible to be a politician without being one. (Laughter) I don't know whether I shall succeed, but so far I have had a bully time; and as for the struggle which has just ended so gloriously--for our side--(laughter)--I am reminded of the coloured brother who got up in the prayer meeting one night and said, "Bruddren, I'se been havin' a study of the subject of prayer; I never understood that subject befo', but I do now. It is like this; When I ask de Lord to send me a chicken, I don't have no chicken; but when I ask de Lord to send me after a chicken I has chicken all de time." (Great laughter) That really has been my experience; I never had anything in my life that I did not have to work for, and then fight for to keep after I got it. After all, that is the best heritage than can come to a man-the necessity of struggle. I am moved by many happy memories in connection with this city, but I have to turn away from them lest you fear that advancing years have turned me to a reminiscent mood. I would like to refer to my distinguished friend, Justice Riddell here, who is in many respects the most popular Canadian south of the line, especially among the ladies. (Laughter) We always love to have a visit from him, and I look upon him as one of the golden links binding these two great nations closer together. (Hear, hear)
One of the arguments against me in the recent campaign was that being born in Canada I had not been in the United States long enough to understand the American institutions. The gentleman who had made that charge had only been out of the steerage himself a short time. (Laughter) The fact is, my mother used to say, "If you go back a couple of generations and find nobody that was hanged, just stop." (Laughter) I had the good fortune to be with that 17,000 that came over in the "Mayflower," (laughter)--and we brought enough furniture to equip comfortably most of the houses at present in New England. (Laughter) Francis Eaton, I am told, was the first man to be put in jail in Plymouth. (Laughter) He was not sound on the damnation of infants; he thought a few of them might pull through. (Laughter) The old bachelors here, I imagine, won't agree even with that slight residuum of mercy. Then my folks moved down to Nova Scotia, after they had squeezed the New England orange about dry, and went into shipbuilding-showing that the intelligence of the family had lowered. There are two sets of people in Nova Scotia, Scotch and the New England Yankee, and for a hundred years they have been endeavoring to make a dollar of each other without any visible result except in acquiring enormously sharpened wits. (Laughter) It is quite normal for the Nova Scotian to go back to the land of his fathers in New England. So I found my way back there. I am establishing this alibi because it is necessary to show that I am still respectable, in spite of the fact that I have gone into politics. Certain pious people say to me, "Why, you have lost your religion." Well, that is what is the matter with politics. We have our religion in one water-tight compartment--that is, if we are Baptists--(laughter)--and we have our politics in another; but I have a theory of life that is growing in authority with the passing years--that life is a unity, and if you are not a Christian on Monday it does not matter much what meeting-house you sleep at on Sunday. So I look upon any form of service--whether it is business or profession or the pulpit or the housewife's duties and drudgery--as a sacrament; and I feel just as religious when I am out on the farm pitching hay as I do when I am distributing information to the down-trodden and oppressed electors, and trying to redeem them from the clutches of the wicked Democrats.
Now, I have taken a subject today not so much for the sake of the subject as for the sake of the object I have in mind. Sam Jones used to say that some folks stuck to their texts, but he usually stuck to his crowd. Chancellor Whidden will know that that is excellent homiletics, especially if you want a missionary collection or something of that sort.
My subject is "The New Organ of Civilization." In this presence and at this time I might confine my whole attention to a discussion of the part that the English-speaking race has played, is now playing, and is destined to play in the great drama of history, and find in our contribution perhaps one, if not the chief, instrument of advancing civilization. The longer I live the more convinced I am that eventually the destiny of the men who speak English is one. (Hear, hear) We have an imaginary line between us here stretching three thousand miles. We have about as many Canadians in the country south of us as there are in this country, and they are pretty good citizens, take them all in all. We know they do not have to learn anything about American institutions politically. Any American who is able to teach a Canadian anything about politics--clean, medium or dirty--has to step some. (Great laughter) I was reared in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, the home of the old War Horse, and I know. (Laughter)
But while that imaginary line is here, the fact is that the great animating principles upon which we have builded our institutions, and which constitute the climate of our thinking, are identical; and that election which they had in England last month, and the election which we have just had in the United States, taken together, constitute an exhibit of the essential unity of the character of the people who speak the English language, having the same ideals, the same hard common sense. It shows that they know it is impossible to create anything out of a negative; that nothing permanent was ever built on hate; that nothing was ever built on injustice that could abide. (Applause) An old man down on the shores of the Bay of Fundy was shingling his barn in the fog, and he shingled for half a day right out on the fog--(laughter)--and never knew the difference till he fell down and broke his neck. Shingling on the fog is the great indoor sport for the professional redeemer and uplifter of society; but you don't get very far in a horizontal position on that kind of a foundation. You may go down, but never up.
From history I find that our Divine Creator seems to choose a race here and there for a specific purpose. The Jews, small and insignificant in number, were chosen to become the vehicle of the moral law to mankind. Not all Jews are very religious any more, especially those that live in America, but no one can ever take from them the honour of being the vehicle of the fundamental moral law of the world. They had a genius for religion.
The Greeks, few in number and not great in extent of territory, had a genius for art; and no modern artist, except those that are crazy, can ever produce any work of value without going back to principles that had their origin in the genius of the Greek race.
The Romans were the Anglo-Saxons of antiquity. They had a genius for law, for the creation of institutions and no English-speaking lawyer can argue an important case before Justice Riddell or any other great jurist without, consciously or unconsciously, going back to principles that had their origin in the Roman jurisprudence.
There is another race that was chosen by God, I believe, for a specific function and purpose in the world, and that is the race that speaks English. We originated in the swamps of Northern Europe. We went across the North Sea to a little island which is still, and is bound to be for generations to come, the centre of the world, the key-stone of civilization. (Hear, hear, and applause)
There we developed, almost two thousand years ago, a genius for freedom, a genius for self-government, in its rudimentary forms, at least, and out of which grew the Magna Charta and Bill of Rights and the Parliament. As our civilization grew the passion for freedom grew. After a time came the Reformation which set the souls of men free. Then the new world was discovered to furnish a new and wider opportunity for the development of the drama of liberty. We transferred across the sea those ideals that in the old world had distinguished the Englishspeaking people for fifteen hundred years; and here in this great amphitheatre of opportunity, the new world, we are still working out those ideals.
Some one asked me the other day where I thought the centre of civilization would be five hundreds from now, and I told him, "In the country that is now the Dominion of Canada." (Loud applause) You know, men are like apples; the further north you can ripen them the better they are--(laughter)--and I believe that we are going to have a steady advancement of picked men clear to the Arctic Circle. Of course that section is no place for weaklings; the weaklings would die young; but it is a great place for men. The day will come when there will be economic development in the north. I hope it will not come too soon; (for God's sake let us keep some spot in the world still untainted from the turmoil of the multitude, so that coming generations will have a place to flee to). But it will come perhaps after your children and grand-children have passed away-a civilization in this Northland that will be one of the most wonderful the world has ever known, and it will be animated by and dedicated to the ancient passion for freedom which is the distinguishing characteristic of the English-speaking stock. (Applause)
Now, ideas are like thistledown; they blow over the mountains and take lodgment in strange new soil. The Hebrews could not keep their religion to themselves; it became the common possession of mankind. The Greeks gave their art to others. That is the glory of such possession, that you can give it away and still retain it. The Romans gave their law. We have given the ideal of liberty, and I suppose it is no extravagance to say that today in every civilized nation and in some uncivilized nations the ideals and ideas that have made us great and prosperous and happy are disturbing the social fabric to its very centre. That is the trouble with Russia, with Germany. That is what disturbs Japan and China and India. Every where, the world is beginning to throb with the new birth of ideas and ideals that we have developed into practical institutions. It will be a long time before men who have not the native genius for the practice of such ideas can practically and simply apply them; but the most hopeful feature of the modern world, in my judgment, is this dream of freedom. Many of them do not know what it means; in fact many of us do not seem to know what it means, by the way we behave; but here and there we have in our corporate soul, in our personal spirit, the understanding which is going to become the dominant force throughout the world.
At this point I could stop and with good reason say that the Anglo-Saxon will be free is the chief organ of civilization, for around that idea clusters all the great divinities of religion, the glories of art, and the beauties of modern civilization. But I have another thought in mind, and I would make the achievement of people who speak the English tongue throughout the world the background for my message.
Civilization, in its journey down the centuries, seems unconsciously or consciously to choose, at different times, some one great instrument for its advancement. There was a time when war was the chief organ of civilization. The Roman Empire was extended, developed, and finally destroyed by war. There was a time when religion was the chief organ of civilization, notably in and after the dark ages. In the 19th century science was the chief organ of civilization.
I believe that today our civilization has, consciously or unconsciously, adopted as its chief organ of advance not religion, great and eternal and necessary as that is; for religion is the climate in which all beautiful things grow; not science, fundamental and necessary as that is for the advancement of civilization; not politics or war, great as they are--and I hope the latter is forever vanished from the earth, though I do not know but that is an absurd hope as long as human nature remains what it is. But the new organ of civilization is Industry, where science applied to the forces and resources of nature, is being used in the ever widening service of mankind.
In the United States alone there are, 40,000,000 wage-earners in various forms of industry; and it is industry, where men spend most of their time, that they have to meet the supreme test of our civilization.
Can we apply, in any industry, for instance, the principles of Canadian and British and American democracy? Industry, was organized originally, in its large form in the modern age, on the principle of autocracy. Can we apply in industry so organized the principles of the Christian religion? If we cannot, then either the industry or the religion will have to go. Can we adopt in Industry the principles of common humanity and justice, and at the same time keep our Industry economically sound?--for you cannot get more meat out on an egg than there is in it, although some sentimental saviours of the people have tried to do so. But it cannot be done even by a Scotchman. (Laughter) It is no use imagining that it can be done. You cannot conduct a business or a government very long on principles that are unsound without reaching the precipice and going over. Somebody has to pay for everything exactly what it costs, and that is the great principle that men like Willison here has been teaching for ages, it seems like--(laughter)--and I believe at last that people are coming to understand it.
Now I want to show what I mean by this. I will not raise any embarrassing questions about Canada, but let us take a well-known wicked illustration-the United States. (Laughter)
We started modern industry with a boss and a small number of employees. When I was a youngster in New England there were shoe factories in back yards where they made a dozen or two dozen pairs of boots in a week; today they make tens of thousands in hundreds of factories. I can remember seeing my mother weave by hand, and at the end of the week it was an achievement if she had a yard or two of cloth; but today cloth is being woven in a thousand mills by thousands of miles per week. In our industry, the National Lamp Works of the General Electric Companywhich we admit is the finest industrial organization in the world--(laughter)--we used to make lamps by hand. Men would stand all day and blow their insides out, nearly, and make a small basketful of those bulbs. Yesterday in one of our small factories they blew, by machinery, 40,000 of those bulbs. That represents the passing of industry from a personal, man-made proposition, to the elaboration and sometimes degradation that came with the application of science.
When in industry it became necessary to have a bigger unit than the individual employer--the Government created a new type of citizen called a corporation--created by law, but as real a person in the eye of the law as though it had been created by the process of natural generation. At first we took it as axiomatic that a corporation had no soul, and you know if you give a dog a bad name he will live up to it; so our corporations endeavoured not to disappoint their admirers, and many of them eminently succeeded. (Laughter)
After a while came a new vision, which amounted simply to a return to the common-sense of the situation-that you cannot have any organization in the form of a social service without moral responsibility as well as legal restraints. With this idea the employing side of industry began once more to develop a soul.
Meanwhile the individual working man, who had no chance in the world against this vast impersonal force, organized himself into a fighting unit, and we had a period in industry marked by continual warfare and waste. By-and-bye the working man was able to establish certain recognized rights, and his employer, the impersonal corporation, began to recognize its duties as well as its rights. Then we entered upon this new period in industry.
I have been immersed in the industry of this continent for the last seven or eight years-I instinctively use the word "immersed" on account of my theological connections (laughter), and I want to tell you that in my judgment the most wonderful fact in modern society is the change that has come over the big men in industry on both sides of the battle--the worker and the employer. (Hear, hear)
Only a few years ago young Mr. Rockefeller was teaching a Bible class in Fifth Avenue, New York. He was preaching the beautiful gospel, "Peace on earth and good will among men." He was at the same time the largest owner in the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, and just then there was strife and bloodshed among the company's workers. The New York newspapers, with the occasional flash of intelligence that does afflict newspaper people--(laughter)--saw the contradiction in the situation. They began to razz young Mr. Rockefeller, and being a man of intelligence and kindness and fairness, he saw the justice of their contention. He went to Colorado, went into the mountains, and penetrated to the camps where they had soldiers on guard. He met the men. His friends had thought he would be assassinated. To the astonishment of all parties concerned, the men discovered that he was a real human being, and he discovered that they were the same; and they sat down together in the little cabins and talked it out; and there was born the principle of representation in industry.
Mr. Rockefeller looked around for a man who could advise him. I hope you Conservatives will forgive me mentioning this, but he came over to Canada and took the first Labor Minister that we had in this country as his advisor; and I imagine that, in spite of the derelictions and sins that have been committed by that gentleman since as a Liberal, he gave Mr. Rockefeller good sound advice. (Laughter and applause) Don't you see how impossible it is to keep any of these great movements on either side of the line long? That was a great help to Canada, and it was a great help to the United States.
Now that movement has grown until we had in Cleveland last Thursday a convention composed of representatives of the Industrial Section of the American Management Association-about 400 of as fine, intelligent-looking men as you are-which is going some. (Laughter) Five years ago you could not have had a convention like that; there would have been about a dozen there--mostly office boys.
At that convention the head of one of the greatest mining institutions on the continent, presided, and the vice-president and manager of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company read a history of his experience in applying to industry the principles of Anglo-Saxon democracy. Representatives of the railroads, the General Electric Company, and the greatest industries in the United States were there to show how they were solving their own internal troubles, which are the real troubles of our civilization, by the application of those principles that for a thousand years had been working in our political institutions.
Let me, in all modesty, go back to the National Lamp Works. We started with the idea that a corporation has a soul. We have one or two principles which I had the honour of putting into concrete language. The first principle is that a corporation is the biggest citizen in the community; and because it is the biggest citizen it must be the best citizen. It cannot discharge its obligations as a citizen and prey upon the community in any particular.
Now, how does that work out? We take thousands of girls to make these lamps, which is beautiful work. They stay with us about six years on the average. At the end of that time they are absorbed back into society. They are loaned to us for their profit and for ours, and we are under obligation-and we recognize it-that at the end of six years we must send those girls back to society six years better than when they came to us. (Applause)
That is not philanthropy; that is not paternalism; that is good morals, good sense, good economics, and good business. Those girls make high wages, and if they are not coming over the top with as high wages as we want, it is our fault. We supply them with the most beautiful places possible in which to work. Why? Because we are responsible for their health, not only as workers but as potential wives and mothers.
We have high-speed machinery, but it is devised by a genius who hides the speed of the machine from the operator, so that the faster the machine goes the slower the operator works; and there is no nerve strain--not as a philanthropy, but as a discharge of our obligation to our investors, to our customers, to our employees, and to the whole community.
This same process has gone on in other industries, until today we are solving within industry itself by peaceful means the problems that the labour unions and other organizations were forced into being in order to solve by the instrument of warfare thirty years ago.
I used to tell the big man in industry that his business was to beat the professional deliverer of his employees to it, and become his own deliverer; and it is amazing how hard-headed a great and successful financial man can become when he does not want to have an idea admitted to his head, even by a surgical operation. But there is one nerve that you can always get him on; that is the financial nerve; and when he begins to discover that it is good business to have right living conditions, and a right wage-level, and a proper spirit between himself and his employees, then he begins to sit up and take notice. Today he is showing flickers of real enthusiasm, and I predict that the new leaders of the industrial movement will be the big employers themselves, and they will have with them their own employees as loyal partners and co-operators.
Now, how has that worked out? I am not going to submit facts of Canadian life, although in my tutelage under Sir John Willison I learned a few. Among others, I tried to sell Canada to Canadians, through the columns of the "Globe," and, except for the bona-fide Tories that would not read the "Globe," I succeeded fairly well. (Laughter) This country has the biggest natural resources in the world, per capita, and I believe the time is coming when these big resources will be better distributed among the people. You have the brains and capital to do it; all you need is to have the right party in power, to leave you alone. (Laughter)
Let us see how this has worked out in the United States. I was in Cleveland two years ago when the LaFolette movement was beginning to rumble. A company of selfappointed social saviours were holding a convention. They drew up a manifesto stating that the wealth of the United States was held in the hands of a few, and the masses of men were suffering. That convention was held in the Engineers' Building, worth about $3,000,000, owned by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers! I went across to a beautiful bank and learned that their resources that morning were $42,000,000, and that bank was owned by the same Brotherhood! I went two blocks up, to the Cleveland Trust Co., and that morning they had 400,000 depositors, and the average deposit was $450. Another banker told me that they had one bank account for every man, woman and child in the community. I went to Buffalo and found two savings banks that had more accounts than there were people in the community--which showed that some Canadians had gone over and left their money where it would be safe from income-tax inquisitors. Then I went to a town where they had 30,000 people and 60,000 bank accounts. In studying the nation as a whole I found that 50,000,000 people in the United States own life insurance policies; in fact they own 77,000,000 policies, with a face value of $55,000,000,000, and they have built themselves a reserve, out of their premiums, amounting to $10,000,000,000; roughly speaking, one-third of this is in railroads; one-third in city and county securities and mortgages, and one-third is in industrial securities. I went to the Government officials, and they showed me that 30,000,000 of the United States people own savings bank deposits of $18,500,000,000--one-third of the population owning enough to pay the national debt. I then discovered that 12,000,000 families own their own homes, that 17,000,000 automobiles were in commission, and that the people who drove those cars owned at least a slight equity in them. (Laughter)
So I came back and looked up my ancient definition of progress, which I learned from the teacher at whose feet Chancellor Whidden and I sat--one of the greatest men I have ever known--Artemus Wyman Sawyer, a brilliant Yankee who gave 55 years of his life to educating the youth of Canada at Acadia University, and at the close of his career he was receiving the magnificent salary of $1,500 a year! Dr. Sawyer taught me to do whatever thinking I have ever done--to ask questions; to go ahead on my own, and if I ended in a bog to swim out and try again. Under his tutelage I asked myself, "What is the destiny of this stream, turgid and sullen, of human life? Where are we headed-up or down? Whence came we?" And I came to the conclusion that the process of human history is a process of Progress. If you think in terms of the great war period-no; if you think in terms of the great madness that occasionally seizes the mind of the people--no; of your own weakness--no; but if you think in terms of the whole process--yes. Remember that it is only a few years, as God counts time, since men, like other animals, crawled into holes and caves and covered themselves with leaves until the sun should warm them in the morning. Think today of our homes, our sciences, our literatures, our arts, our religions, our ten thousand manifestations of spiritual development and material progress, and then comparing this with that, be a pessimist if you can!
This old world is going forward, and it is going on the up-grade toward a great destiny. It is not like the country newspaper that took as its motto--"Onward and Upward," and went onward for three months, and then went upward. (Laughter)
I asked myself, "What is Progress?" This is my definition. "Progress is the growing participation of more and more people in more and more of the good things of life." (Applause) Nothing else is progress, as I understand it. There was a time when all power was in the hands of a chieftain; today it is in the hands of all the people. If the people have intelligence and character sufficient to the task of supporting that responsibility, they can make advance politically and socially; not otherwise. I call that progress, provided it is supported by spiritual resources enough to ensure that it will hold, healthy and strong.
There was a time when all religion was a matter of the medicine man; today religion is the higher area of every human experience, and the church door stands open to all to worship according to the dictates of his conscience.
There was a time when all learning was in the heads and hands of a few. Today the schoolhouse door is open to every child. Anyone with the impulse to succeed has the opportunity for equipment to make that success possible.
There was a time when nearly all wealth was in the hands of a few, and when nearly all the work of the world was done by slaves. It is only recently that we have had the wage-system, and today in every land wealth is spreading our further and further. The hour will soon be here when the biggest minds in the industrial and economic world will be devoted to the task of increasing the number of people who have buying power, and the amount of that power. My reason for saying this is that quantity production depends upon millions who can buy and pay for the goods produced. A quantity production civilization must rest upon a quantity-buying foundation.
Men tell me that they are sorry to see so many working men riding around in automobiles or Fords. (Laughter) I say I am glad to see it. Men tell me they are sorry to see working men living in better houses. Why? If it is good for you to live in a good house, why is it not good for every human being? If it is good for your child to be brought up in refined and beautiful surroundings, why not good for every child? What is the normal impulse of every newworld man? You fellows who have become multimillionaires, how did you get that way? (Laughter) You probably started out in the country hoeing corn, or driving a yoke of oxen or a Clydesdale horse. You succeeded not by having somebody else making you rich, but by putting your brains and character into your problem; and Canada gave you the open door of opportunity. What impulse drove you? The desire to better your condition; that's all. That is the attitude of every normal new-world man.
I remember John Tweddle, who was a member of my church here. He was a city scavenger, but one of God's noblemen, fit to stand before kings. I never saw him when he did not have ashes in his hair, but he was a man with a soul as white as snow. He used to get up in prayer-meeting and make a little talk, which was wonderful, about the great privilege of being a Christian, and then he would say, with his eyes upon wide horizons, and thinking of his experience, "I'm the child of a king on a scavenger's cart!" On this continent it is, not the class you are born into that is going to determine your destination, but the class that is born in you; and that man Tweddle had exactly the same impulse that I had, or my deacons had, or the business men or university men had-to better his condition. That is the hope of the world; and if you increase the opportunities of the people and make it possible for them to realize that ambition you have placed your economic structure upon the broadest and most permanent foundations.
That is why I say that Industry is the new instrument of civilization; for after you have placed political power in the hands of these masses of men they will not be satisfied until they have been able to achieve economically what they have already achieved politically. But you must watch that they do not get into the hands of the agitator and disturber.
There is no way for a man to receive high wages except by high production. His wages are paid out of the product of your brains and some one's else money and his toil. He will never be able to get more pay until he produces more. If he wants the Government to do everything, he is on the wrong track. If he wants a six-hour day and somebody to powder his nose while he is at work, and pay him big wages for little work, he will never get anywhere-except down. There is no substitute for sweat, and there is nothing in the world that is worth going after that does not cost, and the more worth while, the more it costs.
"So it is up to you and me--men favoured of God--to give our leadership and our sympathy and our understanding to the masses of men around us, that we shall go forward on the pathway of real progress, and not into the bogs and mists and failures and and ruin of revolution and passion and distress and class-consciousness. We are all in the same boat. We are like the old woman down in Maine who got up in prayer meeting and said, "Thank God, this Church is united; we're all froze together!" (Great laughter)
In the years that remain to me I expect to see human passion stilled by the magic touch of spiritual awakening. If anyone asks me what I believe to be the great need of the world today my answer is--a new awakening of the spirit. (Hear, hear) Not more enthusiasm; we have too much of that now. Some one asked me why I left the ministry; I replied that I left the pastorate and went into the ministry. A minister is one who serves, whether at the head of a church or of a school or a bank; whether he is pushing a wheelbarrow or passing bricks up to the bricklayer. I may be wrong, but I have notions about the Kingdom of God. I think Justice Riddell here presides in one of God's temples--though some of you fellows who lost your case at the time might not think so. (Laughter) But you will have to let it go at that. You men who are measuring out cotton and fabrics over your counters are ministers in the Kingdom of God. I think every man who builds a little home is building a Cathedral for the Divine presence, and for the nourishment and progress of mankind.
So I ask you men to think in terms of the whole problem; to widen the horizons of your thinking and sympathy. Think in terms of humanity, and not in terms of economics alone. If you do that, in the short moments that you and I enjoy here like the flicker of a firefly in the night, you will help to lay foundations upon which every man may build until that time shall come to which the Scottish prophet looked forward--
"When man to man, the world o'er, Shall brithers be, an' a' that."
The thanks of the Club were expressed by Sir John Willison in a witty speech.