By Arthur Desmond
Can “Peace on earth and good will to men” be ever anything else than a hollow mockery, whilst millions of our fellow men toil their whole life through, to enrich the few who labor
not at all? Can Christianity possibly be anything else than a delusion and a snare, while the rich grind the faces of the poor and rob them of their lands? Who are the men that hold mankind in servitude? Who are the rulers of every land? Are they not the incorporated bands of financiers whose gigantic octopus-tentacles encircle the globe and extort tribute from Occident and Orient?
They shear the masses like flocks of sheep, and sell the fleece for gold and silver:
They mortgage the farmer—his seed, corn and harvest—and key their yoke on the necks of the poor.
All things—the flocks on ten thousand hills and the herds of the valley—pay
They gamble for the gifts of nature, even as the Roman soldiers cast dice for
They defraud the widow of her portion, and the orphan of its share,
They permit millions to die of hunger, while their granaries overflow with corn;
They allow little children to perish of want, while extorting profit from the
sale of bread.
With a cloak of righteousness they hide the satanic cruelty of their deeds.
Covetousness filleth their thoughts and usury corrodeth their souls;
And they practice the basest schemes of Mammon while voicing the noble ideal of
They make gold their only god and rejoice because of their iniquities.
Therefore snares shall entangle their footsteps and the vengeance of Heaven
Their feasts shall be Barmecide banquets, and their wealth corroding poison.
A curse rests on the gold of the rich, for is it not coined from the salt sweat
of the poor?
Sudden fear shall rest upon them in the darkness of the night,
For their iniquities have been manifold—their hypocrisy terrible;
Therefore shall their Mammon altars be torn down for ever and ever,
And Democracy triumphant shall sweep onward–Calm, irresistible, relentless,
And gladness fill the hearts of all, and comradeship reign upon earth.
Observer, 27 December 1890
(By our Yule Remember Me Reporter.)
Mr. Desmond ascended the tribune at the Church of St. Ewington, and read from the Gospel of the day the words—'Give unto him that asketh of thee.' He denounced those who wickedly charged rent to poor editors and for a pretence made long prayers. The Christian's duty was that if a man stole your coat you must give him your cloak also, and if one borrowed a horse, you must also lend him a saddle. Anthem—'I love to steal.'