a person to have money, even in large sums, is not an
We preach against covetousness, and you know we
do, in the pulpit, and oftentimes preach against it so
long and use the terms about “filthy lucre” so
extremely that Christians get the idea that when we
stand in the pulpit we believe it is wicked for any
person to have money--until the collection-basket goes around,
and then we almost swear at the people because they
don't give more money. Oh,
the inconsistency of such doctrines as that!
is power, and you ought to be reasonably ambitious to
have it. You
ought because you can do more good with it than you
could without it. Money
printed your Bible, money builds your churches, money
sends your missionaries, and money pays your preachers,
and you would not have many of them, either, if you did
not pay them. I
am always willing that my church should raise my salary,
because the church that pays the largest salary always
raises it the easiest.
You never knew an exception to it in your life.
The man who gets the largest salary can do the
most good with the power that is furnished to him.
Of course he can if his spirit be right to use it
for what it is given to him.
say, then, you ought to have money.
If you can honestly attain unto riches in
Philadelphia, it is your Christian and godly duty to do
so. It is
an awful mistake of these pious people to think you must
be awfully poor in order to be pious.
people say, “Don't you sympathize with the poor
course I do, or else I would not have been lecturing
these years. I
won't give in but what I sympathize with the poor, but
the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is
very small. To
sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his
sins, thus to help him when God would still continue a
just punishment, is to do wrong, no doubt about it, and
we do that more than we help those who are deserving.
While we should sympathize with God's poor--that
is, those who cannot help themselves--let us remember
there is not a poor person in the United States who was
not made poor by his own shortcomings, or by the
shortcomings of someone else.
It is all wrong to be poor, anyhow.
Let us give in to that argument and pass that to
gentleman gets up back there, and says, “Don't you
think there are some things in this world that are
better than money?”
Of course I do, but I am talking about money now.
Of course there are some things higher than
yes, I know by the grave that has left me standing alone
that there are some things in this world that are higher
and sweeter and purer than money.
Well do I know there are some things higher and
grander than gold.
Love is the grandest thing on God's earth, but
fortunate the lover who has plenty of money. Money is power, money is force, money will do good as well as
the hands of good men and women it could accomplish, and
it has accomplished, good.
hate to leave that behind me.
I heard a man get up in a prayer-meeting in our
city and thank the Lord he was “one of God's poor.”
Well, I wonder what his wife thinks about that?
She earns all the money that comes into that
house, and he smokes a part of that on the veranda.
I don't want to see any more of the Lord's poor
of that kind, and I don't believe the Lord does.
And yet there are some people who think in order
to be pious you must be awfully poor and awfully dirty.
That does not follow at all.
While we sympathize with the poor, let us not
teach a doctrine like that.
the age is prejudiced against advising a Christian man
or woman (or, as a Jew would say, a godly man or woman)
from attaining unto wealth.
The prejudice is so universal and the years are
far enough back, I think, for me to safely mention that
years ago up at Temple University there was a young man
in our theological school who thought he was the only
pious student in that department.
He came into my office one evening and sat down
by my desk, and said to me: “Mr. President, I think it is my duty sir, to come in and
labor with you.”
has happened now?”
he, “I heard you say at the Academy, at the Peirce
School commencement, that you thought it was an
honorable ambition for a young man to desire to have
wealth, and that you thought it made him temperate, made
him anxious to have a good name, and made him
spoke about man's ambition to have money helping to make
him a good man. Sir,
I have come to tell you the Holy Bible says that
‘money is the root of all evil.’”
told him I had never seen it in the Bible, and advised
him to go out into the chapel and get the Bible, and
show me the place.
So out he went for the Bible, and soon he stalked
into my office with the Bible open, with all the bigoted
pride of the narrow sectarian, or of one who founds his
Christianity on some misinterpretation of Scripture.
He flung the Bible down on my desk, and fairly
squealed into my ear:
“There it is, Mr. President; you can read it
said to him: “Well,
young man, you will learn when you get a little older
that you cannot trust another denomination to read the
Bible for you. You
belong to another denomination.
You are taught in the theological school,
however, that emphasis is exegesis.
Now, will you take that Bible and read it
yourself, and give the proper emphasis to it?”
took the Bible, and proudly read, “’The love of
money is the root of all evil.’”
he had it right, and when one does quote aright from
that same old Book he quotes the absolute truth.
I have lived through fifty years of the mightiest
battle that old Book has ever fought, and I have lived
to see its banners flying free; for never in the history
of this world did the great minds of earth so
universally agree that the Bible is true--all true--as
they do at this very hour.
I say that when he quoted right, of course he quoted the
absolute truth. “The
love of money is the root of all evil.” He who tries to attain unto it too quickly, or dishonestly,
will fall into many snares, no doubt about that.
The love of money.
What is that?
It is making an idol of money, and idolatry pure
and simple everywhere is condemned by the Holy
Scriptures and by man's common sense.
The man that worships the dollar instead of
thinking of the purposes for which it ought to be used,
the man who idolizes simply money, the miser that hordes
his money in the cellar, or hides it in his stocking, or
refuses to invest it where it will do the world good,
that man who hugs the dollar until the eagle squeals has
in him the root of all evil.
Motivational Classics, Volume 1.
Great classics from James Allen, Emerson, Thoreau, Trine,
Wilcox, and Marden, all in one volume. You'll also
find inspirational poetry from Wordsworth, Longfellow,
Frost, Dickinson, and Browning.