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and chief guardian of the liberties of man ; because it has to render to God the things that are God's; to care for liberty of conscience ; that liberty which includes and guards the liberty of speech, and of the press, and all the great freedoms of the soul of man.
It must not be content with evil conditions because they are inherited, and yield large advantages to itself as a society at the expense of the freedom and rights of other members of the community. It must not hold itself aloof from or averse to change, because it may suffer thereby ; but be willing and even eager for the changes that lead to the greater good of all.
Indeed, in the Church of the New Testament we see existent, in principle and in germ, what we expect to enjoy in a perfectly constructed social state. The Church of God in the Acts and Epistles knows nothing of class distinctions-has neither laymen nor clerics. “Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation," is the description Peter gives of the group of saints to which he belongs. The apostle and the prophet, the teacher, the evangelist and helper are one ; all distinctions within the body disappear in the one sacred distinction of being within the circle of the people of God. It knows no separating class arrangements. It is the foe of caste. Mammon worship is swept utterly away by the flowing waters of the Church's generosity. Race antipathy is alien to its spirit, and love is poured out in steady and limitless floods. There, in the ardors and achievements of the first churches, we have set before us what we ought to seek with full purpose of heart for all men.
Study. Further, the churches must encourage and systematize the study of social facts by their own members. It is fitting that we should know the main current of the whole Socialistic movement, and follow the story of the organization of the masses of workmen into a solidarity of interests; why it is here ; why it has come now ; what it means and towards what it is driving. Ignorance is the prolific mother of misery. Our young people do not know, and therefore they do not consider, how the bodies of their fellows are stunted, their minds crippled and fettered, and their souls lost by the hardness of economic conditions. The young Socialists outside the churches enquire, and enquiry leads to sympathy and action. The Fabian Society instructs by its literature and discussions. Professors of sociology teach in the schools of economics and political science connected with the University of London ; but the churches need to organize and direct classes for this study, so that our young people may be able to analyze and classify the social conditions of the workers; know the civic institutions that affect their life; the legislation as to insurance and pensions, factories and mines; the laws of taxation, and so on; and be led to see these facts in their relation to the deeper realities of the spirit, and from these high considerations seek the abolition of unjust land laws, make war on the causes and sources of poverty and vice ; and qualify for highminded and self-denying service to the State.
Electoral Action. Nor should the churches fail, at the times when they can control the constructive efforts of the common
onwealth, to put men into office who are, by conviction and sympathy, in favor of using the wealth that accrues from our communal life for the good of all ; and eager to prevent its being appropriated for the selfish enrichment of the few. They ought to exclude from civic and political work those who juggle with the words "liberty” and “reform," in order that they may the more easily filch from the public purse the riches that belong to all, and return to power only those representatives of the people who will either largely modify or else get rid of laws and institutions that stand right across the path of the social reformsuch as the House of Lords, the rule of the land by the few, the swollen tyranny of the drink trade, and the like-and who will be prepared to introduce that better era in which the community shall be administered for the good of all. The churches ought, whilst not, as churches, identifying themselves with Socialist organizations, to take their full share in the gradual reformation and rebuilding of society; to welcome every practicable extension of the Socialistic principle ; and inspire their members to give themselves in all humility and lowliness of mind, with much patience and love, to organize our common life on the principles of brotherhood, of social helpfulness, and of the laws of the kingdom of God.
And assuredly the churches can and ought to keep the minds of men alert to note every existing wrong in the framework of society, to feed the courage and patience that battles with that wrong and tries to rid the world of it, and to inspire that passion of the Cross by which men will be ready to toil and fight and suffer for that full redemption and regeneration of the individual and of the world which Jesus Christ came to effect.
FABIAN SOCIALIST SERIES.
The first four volumes consist of revised, collected, and classified editions of some of the most valuable of the famous “ Fabian Tracts” in a style more suitable for the general reading public, and supplying in a handy and attractive form the best and most authoritative thought on 1. What Socialism Means.” Each booklet contains not less than 96 well-printed pages, good paper and good type, and is supplied in two forms, i.e., in attractive wrappers at 6d. each, nett, and in quarter cloth boards, gilt top, at 1s. each, nett. Postage id. and 2d. each respectively.
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(4) Public Service versus Private Expenditure, by Sir Oliver Lodge. IV. THE BASIS AND POLICY OF SOCIALISM. CONTENTS: (1) Facts
for Socialists, by the Fabian Society. (2) Capital and Land, by the Fabian
Century Politics, by Sidney Webb.
By G. Bernard Shaw.
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TRACT8.—139. Socialism and the Churches. By the Rev. JOHN CLIFFORD,
1. Why are the Many Poor? 38. The same in Welsh.
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