The Social Law Of Service -- By: Dwight Hillis

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 054:213 (Jan 1897)
Article: The Social Law Of Service
Author: Dwight Hillis


The Social Law Of Service

Rev. Dwight Hillis

The waxing name and fame of Jesus Christ is the most striking fact of our era. His star is causing all others to pale and disappear through his increasing flood of light. Indeed, the time seems rapidly approaching when society will have but one Hero and King, at whose feet humanity will pour out all its songs, its prayers, its tears. In the triumphal procession of the Roman conquerors, kings and princes walked as captives. At last an era has come when literature, learning, art, statesmanship, philanthropy, are all captives, marching in Christ’s triumphal procession up the hill of time. Hitherto, if political economy has followed Christ at all, it has been a disciple that has followed afar off. But let us hasten to confess that to-day, the science of wealth is being entirely rewritten in the light of the Sermon on the Mount. Our best economists are now ceasing to look upon man as a mere covetous machine, with one hand raking in wealth, by buying in the cheapest market, with the other hand heaping up treasure, by selling in the dearest market,—both processes being as innocent of ethical considerations as is the iron rake that pulls the stray coin out of the gutter. Happily for society an age has dawned when all economists are coming to recognize that the centripetal law of getting is balanced by the centrifugal law of giving. Students of the problems of the market-place are becoming preachers of righteousness, and are emphasizing increasingly the debt of strength to weak-

ness, and the law of social sympathy and social liability.

Among the modern humanists and prophets who have a message for the children of this generation, let us hasten to inscribe the name of Professor Ely, whose new book on “The Social Law of Service”1 makes us all his debtors. Perhaps it was Christlieb that first said that society would never witness the reconciliation of science and religion until God raised up some great soul who should unite in a single personality the training of an expert in both those realms where warfare reigned. Professor Ely’s “Outlines of Economies’’ has passed through so many editions at home, and been read so widely in foreign languages, as to establish his reputation as a student of the problems of wealth. But to his fame as an economist must now be added his fame as a student of the problems of Christian thinking and living. His former volume on “The Social Aspects of Christianity” appealed to a single class, and was chiefly helpful to pastors and teachers. This new volume, “The Social Law of Service,” is in the interests of that great multitude, of all classes and ages, included in what...

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