The word socialism may indicate various things. There is the socialism which is immoral and unchristian, which declares that “property is robbery,” and which would rectify inequalities by seizing on all wealth and dividing it among all men.

There is a doctrinaire socialism, which has its plans carefully elaborated on paper without taking account of human nature. It disregards the law that a social system must be developed from the living organism of society, and can not be manufactured brand-new for the occasion out of the brain of an amateur.

Then there is the socialism of responsible statesmen who yield bit by bit to the requirements of the multitudes. This, is founded, not on any deep, true principles, but on present material interests; it proceeds sometimes on right and sometimes on wrong lines, and at the best only does imperfectly what Christianity would have done in the natural course had it not been impeded.

Finally there is a Christian socialism, grounded on the equality of all men as declared by God, on brotherly love, and on the right of every man to receive a proper subsistence in return for honest labour. —Bishop James Bellord, 1899


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