The Gospel of Wealth
And Other Timely Essays
by Andrew Carnegie

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25. While "The Gospel of Wealth" has met a cordial reception upon this side of the Atlantic, it is natural that in the motherland it should have attracted more attention, because the older civilization is at present brought more clearly face to face with socialistic questions. The contrast between the classes and the masses, between rich and poor, is not yet quite so sharp in this vast, fertile, and developing- continent, with less than twenty persons per square mile, as in crowded little Britain, with fifteen times that number and no territory unoccupied. Perhaps the "Pall Mall Gazette" in its issue of September 5 puts most pithily the objections that have been raised to what the English have been pleased to call "The Gospel of Wealth." I quote: "Great fortunes, says Mr. Carnegie, are great blessings to a community, because such and such things may be done with them. Well, but they are also a great curse, for such and such things are done with them. Mr. Carnegie's preaching, in other words, is altogether vitiated by Mr. Benzon's practice.

    (8)Ernest Benzon, commonly known as the "Jubilee plunger," was an English rogue of the fin-de-siecle variety. His career apparently came to grief on the Riviera when he was brought into court for forgery or obtaining money under false pretenses.

The gospel of wealth is killed by the acts."

motherland - As to the patriotic prejudice, this is also due to absolute ignorance, for the surface of the earth is one native land. Every one can live in any spot on the terrestrial globe. Therefore all the world is man's birthplace. These boundaries and outlets have been devised by man. In the creation, such boundaries and outlets were not assigned. Europe is one continent, Asia is one continent, Africa is one continent, Australia is one continent, but some of the souls, from personal motives and selfish interests, have divided each one of these continents and considered a certain part as their own country. God has set up no frontier between France and Germany; they are continuous. Yea, in the first centuries, selfish souls, for the promotion of their own interests, have assigned boundaries and outlets and have, day by day, attached more importance to these, until this led to intense enmity, bloodshed and rapacity in subsequent centuries. In the same way this will continue indefinitely, and if this conception of patriotism remains limited within a certain circle, it will be the primary cause of the world's destruction. No wise and just person will acknowledge these imaginary distinctions. Every limited area which we call our native country we regard as our motherland, whereas the terrestrial globe is the motherland of all, and not any restricted area. In short, for a few days we live on this earth and eventually we are buried in it, it is our eternal tomb. Is it worth while that we should engage in bloodshed and tear one another to pieces for this eternal tomb? Nay, far from it, neither is God pleased with such conduct nor would any sane man approve of it. (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, page 300-301)

fortunes - The highest station, the supreme sphere, the noblest, most sublime position in creation, whether visible or invisible, whether alpha or omega, is that of the Prophets of God, notwithstanding the fact that for the most part they have to outward seeming been possessed of nothing but their own poverty. In the same way, ineffable glory is set apart for the Holy Ones and those who are nearest to the Threshold of God, although such as these have never for a moment concerned themselves with material gain. Then comes the station of those just kings whose fame as protectors of the people and dispensers of Divine justice has filled the world, whose name as powerful champions of the people's rights has echoed through creation. These give no thought to amassing enormous fortunes for themselves; they believe, rather, that their own wealth lies in enriching their subjects. To them, if every individual citizen has affluence and ease, the royal coffers are full. They take no pride in gold and silver, but rather in their enlightenment and their determination to achieve the universal good.

Next in rank are those eminent and honorable ministers of state and representatives, who place the will of God above their own, and whose administrative skill and wisdom in the conduct of their office raises the science of government to new heights of perfection. They shine in the learned world like lamps of knowledge; their thinking, their attitudes and their acts demonstrate their patriotism and their concern for the country's advancement. (Secret of Divine Civilization, page 20-21)

26. To this the reply seems obvious: the gospel of Christianity is also killed by the acts. The same objection that is urged against the gospel of wealth lies against the commandment,

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"Thou shalt not steal." It is no argument against a gospel that it is not lived up to; indeed, it is an argument in its favor, for a gospel must be higher than the prevailing standard. It is no argument against a law that it is broken: in that disobedience lies the reason for making and maintaining of the law; the law which is never to be broken is never required.

fortunes - Those persons who are selected to serve the public, or are appointed to administrative positions, should perform their duties in a spirit of true servitude and ready compliance. That is to say, they should be distinguished by their goodly disposition and virtuous character, content themselves with their allotted remuneration, and act with trustworthiness in all their doings. They should keep themselves aloof from unworthy motives, and be far removed above covetous designs; for rectitude, probity and righteousness are among the most potent means for attracting the grace of God and securing both the prosperity of the country and the welfare of the people. Glory and honour for man are not to be found in fortunes and riches, least of all in those which have been unlawfully amassed through extortion, embezzlement and corruption practised at the expense of an exploited populace. Supreme honour, nobility and greatness in the human world, and true felicity in this life and the life to come--all consist inequity and uprightness, sanctity and detachment. If a man would seek distinction, he should suffice himself with a frugal provision, seek to better the lot of the poor of the realm, choose the way of justice and fair-mindedness, and tread the path of high-spirited service. Such a one, needy though he be, shall win imperishable riches and attain unto everlasting honour. ('Abdu'l-Baha: Trustworthiness, section 2067, pages 342-343 of Compilation of Compilations)

27. Undoubtedly the most notable incident in regard to "The Gospel of Wealth" is that it was fortunate enough to attract the attention of Mr. Gladstone, and bring forth the following note from him: "I have asked Mr. Lloyd Bryce"

    (9) Lloyd Stephens Bryce (1851-1917) was owner and editor of the North American Review beginning in 1889. He combined the diverse talents of man of wealth, bon vivant, merchant, and member of Congress.

[North American Review] kindly to allow the republication in this country of the extremely interesting article on 'Wealth' by Mr. Andrew Carnegie, which has just appeared in America." This resulted in the publication of the article in several newspapers and periodicals, and an enterprising publisher issued it in pamphlet form, dedicated by permission to Mr. Gladstone.

fortunes - It will not be possible in the future for men to amass great fortunes by the labors of others. The rich will willingly divide. They will come to this gradually, naturally, by their own volition. It will never be accomplished by war and bloodshed. (Bahá'u'lláh & New Era, page 145)

28. All this is most encouraging, proving as it does that society is alive to the great issue involved, and is in a receptive mood. Your request, Mr. Editor, that I should continue the subject and point out the best fields for the use of surplus wealth, may be taken as further proof that whether the ideas promulgated are to be received or rejected, they are at least certain to obtain a hearing.

present day Order - "Soon," Baha'u'llah's own words proclaim it, "will the present day Order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead."...

The Revelation of Baha'u'llah ... should ... be regarded as signalizing through its advent the coming of age of the entire human race. It should be viewed not merely as yet another spiritual revival in the ever-changing fortunes of mankind, not only as a further stage in a chain of progressive Revelations, nor even as the culmination of one of a series of recurrent prophetic cycles, but rather as marking the last and highest stage in the stupendous evolution of man's collective life on this planet. The emergence of a world community, the consciousness of world citizenship, the founding of a world civilization and culture ... should ... be regarded, as far as this planetary life is concerned, as the furthermost limits in the organization of human society, though man, as an individual, will, nay must indeed as a result of such a consummation, continue indefinitely to progress and develop.... (Bahá'u'lláh & New Era, page 279)

29. The first article held that there is but one right mode of using enormous fortunes - namely, that the possessors from time to time during their own lives should so administer these as to promote the permanent good of the communities from which they were gathered. It was held that public sentiment would soon say of one who died possessed of available wealth which he was free to administer: "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced."

Wealth - To state the matter briefly, the Teachings of Baha'u'llah advocate voluntary sharing, and this is a greater thing than the equalization of wealth. For equalization must be imposed from without, while sharing is a matter of free choice.

Man reacheth perfection through good deeds, voluntarily performed, not through good deeds the doing of which was forced upon him. And sharing is a personally chosen righteous act: that is, the rich should extend assistance to the poor, they should expend their substance for the poor, but of their own free will, and not because the poor have gained this end by force. For the harvest of force is turmoil and the ruin of the social order. On the other hand voluntary sharing, the freely-chosen expending of one's substance, leadeth to society's comfort and peace. It lighteth up the world; it bestoweth honour upon humankind. (Selected Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Page 115)

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30. The purpose of this paper is to present some of the best methods of performing this duty of administering surplus wealth for the good of the people. The first requisite for a really good use of wealth by the millionaire who has accepted the gospel which proclaims him only a trustee of the surplus that come to him, is to take care that the purposes for which he spends it shall not have a degrading, pauperizing tendency upon its recipients, but that his trust shall be so administered as to stimulate the best and most aspiring poor of the community to further efforts for their own improvement. It is not the irreclaimably destitute, shiftless and worthless which it is truly beneficial or truly benevolent for the individual to attempt to reach and improve. For these there exists the refuge provided by the city or the State, where they can be sheltered, fed, clothed, and kept in comfortable existence, and -most important of all - where they can be isolated from the well-doing and, industrious poor, who are liable to be demoralized by contact with these unfortunates. One man or women who succeeds in living comfortably by begging is more dangerous to society, and a greater obstacle to the progress of humanity, than a score of wordy Socialists. The individual administrator of surplus wealth has as his charge the industrious and ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others and by the extension of their opportunities by the aid of the philanthropic rich.

Baha'i Comment

31. It is ever to be remembered that one of the chief obstacles which the philanthropist meets in his efforts to do real and permanent good in this world, is the practice of indiscriminate giving; and the duty of the millionaire is to resolve to cease giving to objects that are not clearly proved to his satisfaction to be deserving. He must remember Mr. Rice's

    (10) Charles Alien Thorndike Rice (1851-1889), publisher of the North American Review, 1886-1889.

belief, that nine hundred and fifty out of every thousand dollars

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bestowed to-day upon so-called charity had better be thrown into the sea. As far as my experience of the wealthy extends, it is unnecessary to urge them to give of their superabundance in charity so called. Greater good for the race is to be achieved by inducing them to cease impulsive and injurious giving. As a rule, the sins of millionaires in this respect are not those of omission, but of commission, because they do not take time to think, and chiefly because it is much easier to give than to refuse. Those who have surplus wealth give millions every year which produce more evil than good, and really retard the progress of the people, because most of the forms in vogue to-day for benefiting mankind only tend to spread among the poor a spirit of dependence upon alms, when what is essential for progress is that they should be inspired to depend upon their own exertions. The miser millionaire who hoards his wealth does less injury to society than the careless millionaire who squanders his unwisely, even if he does so under cover of the mantle of sacred charity. The man who gives to the individual beggar commits a grave offense, but there are many societies and institutions soliciting alms, to aid which is none the less injurious to the community. These are as corrupting as individual beggars. Plutarch's "Morals" contains this lesson: "A beggar asking an alms of a Lacedaemonian, he said: 'Well, should I give thee anything, thou wilt be the greater beggar, for he that first gave thee money made thee idle, and is the cause of this base and dishonorable way of living." As I know them, there are few millionaires, very few indeed, who are clear of the sin of having made beggars.

Charity is pleasing and praiseworthy in the sight of God and is regarded as a prince among goodly deeds. Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur'an: `They prefer them before themselves, though poverty be their own lot. And with such as are preserved from their own covetousness shall it be well.' Viewed in this light, the blessed utterance above is, in truth, the day-star of utterances. Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. Verily, such a man is reckoned, by virtue of the Will of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, with the people of Baha who dwell in the Crimson Ark. (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, page 71)

32. Bearing in mind these considerations, let us endeavor to present some of the best uses to which a millionaire can devote the surplus of which he should regard himself as only the trustee.

wealthy - In the Bolshevistic principles equality is effected through force. The masses who are opposed to the people of rank and to the wealthy class desire to partake of their advantages.

But in the divine teachings equality is brought about through a ready willingness to share. It is commanded as regards wealth that the rich among the people, and the aristocrats should, by their own free will and for the sake of their own happiness, concern themselves with and care for the poor. This equality is the result of the lofty characteristics and noble attributes of mankind. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Foundations of World Unity, Page: 44)

33. First. Standing apart by itself there is the founding of a university by men enormously rich, such men as must necessarily be few in any country. Perhaps the greatest sum ever

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given by an individual for any purpose is the gift of Senator Stanford, who undertakes to establish a complete university upon the Pacific coast, where he amassed his enormous fortune, which is said to involve the expenditure of ten millions of dollars, and upon which he may be expected to bestow twenty millions of his surplus. He is to be envied. A thousand years hence some orator, speaking his praise upon the then crowded shores of the Pacific, may thus adapt Griffith's eulogy of Wolsey:

        In bestowing, madam,
    He was most princely. Ever witness for him
    This seat of learning,...
      though unfinished, yet so famous.
    So excellent in art, and still so rising,
    That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.

    (11) Quoted inaccurately from Henry VIII, Act IV, scene 2, lines 51 ff.

enormously rich - It should not be imagined that the writer's earlier remarks constitute a denunciation of wealth or a commendation of poverty. Wealth is praiseworthy in the highest degree, if it is acquired by an individual's own efforts and the grace of God, in commerce, agriculture, art and industry, and if it be expended for philanthropic purposes. Above all, if a judicious and resourceful individual should initiate measures which would universally enrich the masses of the people, there could be no undertaking greater than this, and it would rank in the sight of God as the supreme achievement, for such a benefactor would supply the needs and insure the comfort and well-being of a great multitude. Wealth is most commendable, provided the entire population is wealthy. If, however, a few have inordinate riches while the rest are impoverished, and no fruit or benefit accrues from that wealth, then it is only a liability to its possessor. If, on the other hand, it is expended for the promotion of knowledge, the founding of elementary and other schools, the encouragement of art and industry, the training of orphans and the poor--in brief, if it is dedicated to the welfare of society--its possessor will stand out before God and man as the most excellent of all who live on earth and will be accounted as one of the people of paradise. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Secret of Divine Civilization, page 24 & 25)

34. Here is a noble use of wealth. We have many such institutions, - Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Packer, and others,

    (12)In the founding of universities by private wealth in the post-Civil War era, the names of institutions perpetuate the donations and other assistance of Johns Hopkins (1795-1873), a Baltimore philanthropist, and Ezra Cornell (1807-1874), an upstate New Yorker who built a fortune from the telegraph. Asa Packer (1805-1879), a New England youth who emigrated to Pennsylvania, acquired his fortune from transporting and mining coal in the anthracite region. He was a judge and a politician. After the Civil War Packer donated money and land to a new institution, Lehigh University. He originally had in mind a technical institution, but when the school was opened in 1885 its scheme was more traditional. The total of Packer's donations in his lifetime gifts and bequests was over $3,800,000.

-- but most of these have only been bequeathed, and it is impossible to extol any man greatly for simply leaving what he cannot take with him. Cooper and Pratt and Stanford, and others of this class, deserve credit and admiration as much for the time and attention given during their lives as for their expenditure upon their respective monuments.

bequeath - If a wealthy man at the time of his death bequeaths a gift to the poor and miserable, and gives a part of his wealth to be spent for them, perhaps this action may be the cause of his pardon and forgiveness, and of his progress in the Divine Kingdom. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, Page: 231)

35. We cannot think of the Pacific coast without recalling another important work of a different character which has recently been established there - the Lick Observatory.

    (13)James Lick (1796-1876), an eccentric who made a fortune from investments in San Francisco real estate and California land, was with difficulty guided by careful advisers to give $700,000 for a telescope "superior to and more powerful than any telescope ever made." Previous to this decision he had never seen a telescope or looked through one and had not even an amateur's acquaintance with astronomy. Eventually the managers of the gift located the Lick observatory on Mt. Hamilton, a wilderness peak in Santa Clam County, and contracted for a 36-inch lens, the largest feasible under the technology of the eighties. The regents of the University of California became the trustees of the Lick observatory.

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If any millionaire be interested in the ennobling study of astronomy,-and there should be and would be such if they but gave the subject the slightest attention, -here is an example which could well be followed, for the progress made in astronomical instruments and appliances is so great and continuous that every few years a new telescope might be judiciously given to one of the observatories upon this continent, the last being always the largest and the best, and certain to carry further and further the knowledge of the universe and of our relation to it here upon the earth. As one among many of the good deeds of the late Mr. Thaw of Pittsburg, his constant support of the observatory there may be mentioned. This observatory enabled Professor Langley to make his wonderful discoveries. He is now at the head of the Smithsonian Institution, a worthy successor to Professor Henry. Connected with him was Mr. Braeshier of Pittsburg, whose instruments are in most of the principal observatories of the world. He was a common millwright, but Mr. Thaw recognized his genius and was his main support through trying days. This common workman has been made a professor by one of the foremost scientific bodies of the world. In applying part of his surplus in aiding these two now famous men, the millionaire Thaw did a noble work. Their joint labors have brought great credit, and are destined to bring still greater credit, upon their country in every scientific center throughout the world.

    (14) Pittsburgh immediately after the Civil War became a center of astronomical activity and scholarship. A popular subscription had raised funds to build in 1860 the old Allegheny observatory, and five years later it was transferred to the Western University of Pennsylvania (since 1908 the University of Pittsburgh). In 1867 Samuel P. Langley (1834-1906), a man of immense erudition and scientific originality, became director of the observatory and professor of physics and astronomy. Twenty years later Langley became the third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Meanwhile, John Alfred Brashear (1840-1920) -- one of many variant spellings --a Pittsburgh machinist who in his youth had been inspired by a maternal grandfather with a love of the stars, had built his own telescope and had attracted the attention of Langley. William Thaw, who had acquired wealth as a freight forwarder and Pennsylvania Railroad official and investor, was a director of Western University. He financed Langley's researches--the observatory incidentally provided correct time for the railroad -- and enabled Brashear to set up in business as a maker of precision instruments and telescopes. Carnegie later selected him as one of three men to draw up plans for the Carnegie Institute of Technology founded in 1905.

University -

In brief, man through the possession of this ideal endowment of scientific investigation is the most noble product of creation, the governor of nature. He takes the sword from nature's hand and uses it upon nature's head. According to natural law night is a period of darkness and obscurity, but man by utilizing the power of electricity, by wielding this electric sword overcomes the darkness and dispels the gloom. Man is superior to nature and makes nature do his bidding. Man is a sensitive being; nature is without sensation. Man has memory and reason; nature lacks them. Man is nobler than nature. There are powers within him of which nature is devoid. It may be claimed that these powers are from nature itself and that man is a part of nature. In answer to this statement we will say that if nature is the whole and man is a part of that whole, how could it be possible for a part to possess qualities and virtues which are absent in the whole? Undoubtedly the part must be endowed with the same qualities and properties as the whole. For example, the hair is a part of the human anatomy. It cannot contain elements which are not found in other parts of the body, for in all cases the component elements of the body are the same. Therefore, it is manifest and evident that man, although in body a part of nature, nevertheless in spirit possesses a power transcending nature; for if he were simply a part of nature and limited to material laws, he could possess only the things which nature embodies. God has conferred upon and added to man a distinctive power - the faculty of intellectual investigation into the secrets of creation, the acquisition of higher knowledge - the greatest virtue of which is scientific enlightenment. This endowment is the most praiseworthy power of man, for through its employment and exercise the betterment of the human race is accomplished, the development of the virtues of mankind is made possible and the spirit and mysteries of God become manifest. Therefore, I am greatly pleased with my visit to this university. Praise be to God that this country abounds in such institutions of learning where the knowledge of sciences and arts may readily be acquired. As material and physical sciences are taught here and are constantly unfolding in wider vistas of attainment, I am hopeful that spiritual development may also follow and keep pace with these outer advantages. As material knowledge is illuminating those within the walls of this great temple of learning, so also may the light of the spirit, the inner and divine light of the real philosophy glorify this institution. The most important principle of divine philosophy is the oneness of the world of humanity, the unity of mankind, the bond conjoining East and West, the tie of love which blends human hearts. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, Pages: 30-31)

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36. It is reserved for very few to found universities, and, indeed, the use for many, or perhaps, any, new universities does not exist. More good is henceforth to be accomplished by adding to and extending those in existence. But in this department a wide field remains for the millionaire as distinguished from the Croesus among millionaires. The gifts to Yale University have been many, but there is plenty of room for others. The School of Fine Arts, founded by Mr. Street, the Sheffield Scientific School, endowed by Mr. Sheffield, and Professor Loomis's fund for the observatory, are fine examples. Mrs. C. J. Osborne's building for reading and recitation is to be regarded with especial pleasure as being the wise gift of a woman.

    (15) A series of gifts enlarged the physical facilities and instructional offerings of Yale College. Just before the Civil War Joseph E. Sheffield (1793-1882), a Connecticut man who had made a fortune as a railroad contractor in the West and, out of personal and civic pride, spent some of it financing a needless New England railroad, gave the first of his donations to the Yale Scientific School, renamed the Sheffield Scientific School in 1861. After the War, Augustus R. Street (1791-1866), a New Haven-born Yale graduate, and his wife, a woman of wealth, financed a building for the Yale School of Fine Arts and endowed instruction in a number of areas at Yale. In the late eighties Elias Loomis (1811-1889), who had made a fortune as author of books in the field of natural science, bequeathed $300,000 to Yale. Mrs. Miriam A. (C.J.) Osborn gave in the eighties a sum for a building for history. Its construction "resulted in the removal of the Fence."

Harvard University has not been forgotten; the Peabody Museum and the halls of Wells, Matthews, and Thayer may be cited. Sever Hall is worthy of special mention, as showing what a genius like Richardson could do with the small sum of a hundred thousand dollars.

    (16)Mr. Carnegie's stroll through Harvard produced some inaccurate observations. George Peabody (1795-1869), an American banker in London, donated in 1866, at the suggestion of a Yale nephew, $150,000 for a "Museum and professorship of American Archaeology and Ethnology." But there is not and never was a Wells Hall. This is a mistake for Weld Hall, given in 1872 by W. F. Weld, a Boston financier, in memory of his brother. Like Weld, the other "halls" were dormitories. Matthews Hall was the gift in 1872 of Nathan Matthews (1854-1927), a Boston merchant; Thayer Hall, of Nathanial Thayer (1808-1883), a member of a Boston investment banking house, in memory of his brother. Colonel James W. Sever, a shoeman in southeastern Massachusetts, bequeathed $100,000 for a hall to be named for the family. Sever Hall is a classroom building.

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The Vanderbilt University, at Nashville, Tennessee, may be mentioned as a true product of the gospel of wealth. It was established by the members of the Vanderbilt family

    (17) The first Vanderbilt gift to the Central University of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the South at Nashville came from Cornelius ("The Commodore") Vanderbilt (1794-1877), veteran steamship tycoon and virtually a synonym for the New York Central Railroad. Since the Commodore became Vanderbilt's benefactor in a decidedly offhand manner, Carnegie's note of admiration is surprising. In time the Commodore's descendants generously supplemented his original benefaction.

during their lives - mark this vital feature, during their lives; for nothing counts for much that is left by a man at his death. Such funds are torn from him, not given by him. If any millionaire be at a loss to know how to accomplish great and indisputable good with his surplus, here is a field which can never be fully occupied, for the wants of our universities increase with the development of the country.

universities - In these days there are new schools of philosophy blindly claiming that the world of nature is perfect. If this is true, why are children trained and educated in schools, and what is the need of extended courses in sciences, arts and letters in colleges and universities? What would be the result if humanity were left in its natural condition without education or training? All scientific discoveries and attainments are the outcomes of knowledge and education. The telegraph, phonograph, telephone were latent and potential in the world of nature but would never have come forth into the realm of visibility unless man through education had penetrated and discovered the laws which control them. All the marvelous developments and miracles of what we call civilization would have remained hidden, unknown and, so to speak, nonexistent, if man had remained in his natural condition, deprived of the bounties, blessings and benefits of education and mental culture. The intrinsic difference between the ignorant man and the astute philosopher is that the former has not been lifted out of his natural condition, while the latter has undergone systematic training and education in schools and colleges until his mind has awakened and unfolded to higher realms of thought and perception; otherwise, both are human and natural. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 309-310)

37. Second The result of my own study of the question. What is the best gift which can be given to a community? is that a free library occupies the first place, providing the community will accept and maintain it as a public institution, as much a part of the city property as its public schools, and indeed, an adjunct to these. It is, no doubt, possible that my own possible experience may have led me to value a free library beyond all other forms of beneficence. When I was a working-boy in Pittsburg, Colonel Anderson of Allegheny -a name I can never speak without feelings of devotional gratitude - opened his little library of four hundred books to boys. Every Saturday afternoon he was in attendance at his house to exchange books. No one but he who has felt it

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can ever know the intense longing with which the arrival of Saturday was awaited, that a new book might be had. My brother and Mr. Phipps,

    (18)Thomas M. Carnegie (1843-1886), a younger brother of Andrew, followed a somewhat similar career. Henry Phipps, Jr. (1839-1930), was a boyhood neighbor and chum of Andrew. Tom Carnegie and Phipps early entered the iron business. Tom died in 1886; Phipps stayed with the Carnegie firm until its acquisition by United States Steel in 1901. His money supported a wide variety of philanthropic undertakings from public baths to psychiatric institutes.

    Whatever may have been done in these four years, it is my pleasure to acknowledge that much, very much, is due to the earnest interest, the wise counsels, and the practical suggestions of Mr. Pratt. He never seemed to feel that the mere donation of great wealth for the benefit of his fellow-citizens was all that would be asked of him, but he wisely labored to make its application as comprehensive and effective as possible. Thus he constantly lightened burdens that were, at times, very heavy, brought good cheer and bright sunshine when clouds flitted across the sky, and made every officer and employee feel that good work was appreciated, and loyal devotion to duty would receive hearty commendation.

who have been my principal business partners through life, shared with me Colonel Anderson's precious generosity, and it was when reveling in the treasures which he opened to us that I resolved, if ever wealth came to me, that it should be used to establish free libraries, that other poor boys might receive opportunities similar to those for which we were indebted to that noble man.

Baha'i Comment

38. Great Britain has been foremost in appreciating the value of free libraries for its people. Parliament passed an act permitting towns and cities to establish and maintain these as municipal institutions; whenever the people of any town or city voted to accept the provisions of the act, the authorities were authorized to tax the community to the extent of one penny in the pound valuation. Most of the towns already have free libraries under this act. Many of these are the gifts of rich men, whose funds have been used for the building, and in some cases for the books also, the communities being required to maintain and to develop the libraries. And to this feature I attribute most of their usefulness. An endowed institution is liable to become the prey of a clique. The public ceases to take interest in it, or rather, never acquires interest in it. The rule has been violated which requires the recipients to help themselves. Everything has been done for the community instead of its being only helped to help itself, and good results rarely ensue.

Baha'i Comment

39. Many free libraries have been established in our country, but none that I know of with such wisdom as the Pratt Library in Baltimore. Mr. Pratt built and presented the library

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to the city of Baltimore, with the balance of cash handed over; the total cost was one million dollars, upon which he required the city to pay five per cent, per annum, fifty thousand dollars per year, to trustees for the maintenance and development of the library and its branches. During 1888 430,217 books were distributed; 37,196 people of Baltimore are registered upon the books as readers. And it is safe to say that 37,000 frequenters of the Pratt Library are of more value to Baltimore, to the State, and to the country, than all the inert, lazy, and hopelessly poor in the whole nation. And it may further be safely said that, by placing books within the reach of 37,000 aspiring people which they were anxious to obtain, Mr. Pratt has done more for the genuine progress of the people than has been done by all the contributions of all the millionaires and rich people to help those who cannot or will not help themselves. The one wise administrator of his surplus has poured a fertilizing stream upon soil that was ready to receive it and return a hundred-fold. The many squanderers have not only poured their streams into sieves which can never be filled - they have done worse; they have poured them into stagnant sewers that breed the diseases which most afflict the body politic. And this is not all. The million dollars of which Mr. Pratt has made so grand a use are something, but there is something greater still. When the fifth branch library was opened in Baltimore, the speaker said:

Baha'i Comment

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40. This is the finest picture I have ever seen of any of the millionaire class. As here depicted, Mr. Pratt is the ideal disciple of the gospel of wealth. We need have no fear that the mass of toilers will fail to recognize in such as he their best leaders and their most invaluable allies; for the problem of poverty and wealth, of employer and employed, will be practically solved whenever the time of the few is given, and their wealth is administered during their lives, for the best good of that portion of the community which has not been burdened with the responsibilities which attend the possession of wealth. We shall have no antagonism between classes when that day comes, for the high and the low, the rich and the poor, shall then indeed be brothers.

riches - Those persons who are selected to serve the public, or are appointed to administrative positions, should perform their duties in a spirit of true servitude and ready compliance. That is to say, they should be distinguished by their goodly disposition and virtuous character, content themselves with their allotted remuneration, and act with trustworthiness in all their doings. They should keep themselves aloof from unworthy motives, and be far removed above covetous designs; for rectitude, probity and righteousness are among the most potent means for attracting the grace of God and securing both the prosperity of the country and the welfare of the people. Glory and honour for man are not to be found in fortunes and riches, least of all in those which have been unlawfully amassed through extortion, embezzlement and corruption practised at the expense of an exploited populace. Supreme honour, nobility and greatness in the human world, and true felicity in this life and the life to come--all consist inequity and uprightness, sanctity and detachment. If a man would seek distinction, he should suffice himself with a frugal provision, seek to better the lot of the poor of the realm, choose the way of justice and fair-mindedness, and tread the path of high-spirited service. Such a one, needy though he be, shall win imperishable riches and attain unto everlasting honour. ('Abdu'l-Baha: Cited in Trustworthiness, section 2067, pages 342-343 of Compilation of Compilations)

41. No millionaire will go far wrong in his search for one of the best forms for the use of his surplus who chooses to establish a free library in any community that is willing to maintain and develop it. John Bright's

    (19) The noted British liberal statesman, reformer, and orator (1811-1889), who believed strongly in self-education.

words should ring in his ear: "It is impossible for any man to bestow a greater benefit upon a young man than to give him access to books in a free library." Closely allied to the library, and, where possible, attached to it, there should be rooms for an art gallery and museum, and a hall for such lectures and instruction as are provided in the Cooper Union. The traveler upon the Continent is surprised to find that every town of importance has its art-gallery and museum; these may be large or small, but each has a receptacle for the treasures of the locality, in which are constantly being placed valuable gifts and bequests. The Free Library and Art Gallery of Birmingham are remarkable among such institutions, and every now and then a rich man adds to their value by presenting books, fine pictures, or other works of art. All that our cities require, to begin with, is a proper fire-proof building. Their citizens who travel will send to it rare and costly things from every quarter of the globe they visit, while those who remain at

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home will give or bequeath to it of their treasures. In this way collections will grow until our cities will ultimately be able to boast of permanent exhibitions from which their own citizens will derive incalculable benefit, and which they will be proud to show to visitors. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York we have made an excellent beginning. Here is another avenue for the proper use of surplus wealth.

bequeath - If a wealthy man at the time of his death bequeaths a gift to the poor and miserable, and gives a part of his wealth to be spent for them, perhaps this action may be the cause of his pardon and forgiveness, and of his progress in the Divine Kingdom. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 231)

42. Third We have another most important department in which great sums can be worthily used - the founding or extension of hospitals, medical colleges, laboratories, and other institutions connected with the alleviation of human suffering, and especially with the prevention rather than cure of human ills. There is no danger of pauperizing a community in giving for such purposes, because such institutions relieve temporary ailments or shelter only those who are hopeless invalids. What better gift than a hospital can be given to a community that is without one? - the gift being conditioned upon its proper maintenance by the community in its corporate capacity. If hospital accommodation already exists, no better method for using surplus wealth can be found than in making additions to it. The late Mr. Vanderbilt's gift of half a million dollars to the Medical Department of Columbia College for a chemical laboratory was one of the wisest possible uses of wealth.

    (20) Gifts from the Vanderbilts enabled Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in the eighties to move to a new location and plant on West 59th Street. W. H. Vanderbilt (1821-1885), the son of the Commodore and an exceedingly able business man in his own right, was for the moment the chief of the Vanderbilt givers.

It strikes at the prevention of disease by penetrating into its causes. Several others have established such laboratories, but the need for them is still great.

hospitals - This Baha'i teaching of human fellowship and kindness implies that we must be always ready to extend every assistance and help we can to those who are in distress and suffering. Baha'i charity is of the very essence of the Teachings, and should therefore be developed in every Baha'i community. Charitable institutions such as orphanages, free schools and hospitals for the poor, constitute an indispensable part of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. It is the responsibility of every local Baha'i community to insure the welfare of its poor and needy members, through whatever means possible. (Lights of Guidance, page 120-121)

43. If there be a millionaire in the land who is at a loss what to do with the surplus that has been committed to him as trustee, let him investigate the good that is flowing from these chemical laboratories. No medical college is complete

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without its laboratory. As with universities, so with medical colleges: it is not new institutions that are required, but additional means for the more thorough equipment of those that exist. The forms that benefactions to these may wisely take are numerous, but probably none is more useful than that adopted by Mr. Osborne when he built a school for training female nurses at Bellevue College.

    (21) William Henry Osborn (1820-1894), reorganizer and financial savior of the Illinois Central Railroad, after his retirement in 1882 became interested in aiding medical institutions, among which was the Bellevue Training School for Nurses in New York City.

If from all gifts there flows one half of the good that comes from this wise use of a millionaire's surplus, the most exacting may well be satisfied. Only those who have passed through a lingering and dangerous illness can rate at their true value the care, skill, and attendance of trained female nurses. Their employment as nurses has enlarged the sphere and influence of woman. It is not to be wondered at that a senator of the United States, and a physician distinguished in this country for having received the highest distinctions abroad, should recently have found their wives in this class.

millionaire - What could be better before God than thinking of the poor? For the poor are beloved by our heavenly Father. When Christ came upon the earth, those who believed in Him and followed Him were the poor and lowly, showing that the poor were near to God. When a rich man believes and follows the Manifestation of God, it is a proof that his wealth is not an obstacle and does not prevent him from attaining the pathway of salvation. After he has been tested and tried, it will be seen whether his possessions are a hindrance in his religious life. But the poor are especially beloved of God. Their lives are full of difficulties, their trials continual, their hopes are in God alone. Therefore, you must assist the poor as much as possible, even by sacrifice of yourself. No deed of man is greater before God than helping the poor. Spiritual conditions are not dependent upon the possession of worldly treasures or the absence of them. When one is physically destitute, spiritual thoughts are more likely. Poverty is a stimulus toward God. Each one of you must have great consideration for the poor and render them assistance. Organize in an effort to help them and prevent increase of poverty. The greatest means for prevention is that whereby the laws of the community will be so framed and enacted that it will not be possible for a few to be millionaires and many destitute. One of Baha'u'llah's teachings is the adjustment of means of livelihood in human society. Under this adjustment there can be no extremes in human conditions as regards wealth and sustenance. For the community needs financier, farmer, merchant and laborer just as an army must be composed of commander, officers and privates. All cannot be commanders; all cannot be officers or privates. Each in his station in the social fabric must be competent - each in his function according to ability but with justness of opportunity for all. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page: 216)

44. Fourth In the very front rank of benefactions public parks should be placed, always provided that the community undertakes to maintain, beautify and preserve them inviolate. No more useful or more beautiful monument can be left by any man than a park for the city in which he was born or in which he has long lived, nor can the community pay a more graceful tribute to the citizen who presents it than to give his name to the gift. Mrs. Schenley's gift last month of a large park to the city of Pittsburg deserves to be noted. This lady, although born in Pittsburg, married an English gentleman while yet in her teens. It is forty years and more since she took up her residence in London among the titled and the wealthy of the world's metropolis, but still she turns to the home of her childhood and by means of Schenley Park links her name with it forever.

    (22) Pittsburgh advocates of parks induced Mrs. Mary E. Schenley to donate 300 acres for a park and the city purchased for $200,000 an additional acreage. In addition to facilities for sports and beauty, Schenlev Park was the site of the Phipps conservatories, the first Carnegie Pittsburgh Library, and the Carnegie Institute.

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A noble use this of great wealth by one who thus becomes her own administrator. If a park be already provided, there is still room for many judicious gifts in connection with it. Mr. Phipps of Allegheny has given conservatories to the park there, which are visited by many every day of the week, and crowded by thousands of working-people every Sunday; for, with rare wisdom, he has stipulated. as a condition of the gift that the conservatories shall be open on Sundays. The result of his experiment has been so gratifying that he finds himself justified in adding to them from his surplus, as he is doing largely this year. To lovers of flowers among the wealthy I commend a study of what is possible for them to do in the line of Mr. Phipps's example; and may they please note that Mr. Phipps is a wise as well as a liberal giver, for he requires the city to maintain these conservatories, and thus secures for them forever the public ownership, the public interest, and the public criticism of their management. Had he undertaken to manage and maintain them, it is probable that popular interest in the gift would never have been awakened.

wealthy - Through the ingenuity and inventions of man it is possible to cross the wide oceans, fly through the air and travel in submarine depths. At any moment the Orient and Occident can communicate with each other. Trains speed across the continents. The human voice has been arrested and reproduced, and now man can speak at long distances from any point. These are some of the signs of this glorious century. The great progress mentioned has taken place in the material world. Remarkable signs and evidences have become manifest. Hidden realities and mysteries have been disclosed. This is the time for man to strive and put forth his greatest efforts in spiritual directions. Material civilization has reached an advanced plane, but now there is need of spiritual civilization. Material civilization alone will not satisfy; it cannot meet the conditions and requirements of the present age; its benefits are limited to the world of matter. There is no limitation to the spirit of man, for spirit in itself is progressive, and if the divine civilization be established, the spirit of man will advance. Every developed susceptibility will increase the effectiveness of man. Discoveries of the real will become more and more possible, and the influence of divine guidance will be increasingly recognized. All this is conducive to the divine form of civilization. This is what is meant in the Bible by the descent of the New Jerusalem. The heavenly Jerusalem is none other than divine civilization, and it is now ready. It is to be and shall be organized, and the oneness of humankind will be a visible fact. Humanity will then be brought together as one. The various religions will be united, and different races will be known as one kind. The Orient and Occident will be conjoined, and the banner of international peace will be unfurled. The world shall at last find peace, and the equalities and rights of men shall be established. The capacity of humankind will be tested, and a degree shall be attained where equality is a reality.

All the peoples of the world will enjoy like interests, and the poor shall possess a portion of the comforts of life. Just as the rich are surrounded by their luxuries in palaces, the poor will have at least their comfortable and pleasant places of abode; and just as the wealthy enjoy a variety of food, the needy shall have their necessities and no longer live in poverty. In short, a readjustment of the economic order will come about, the divine Sonship will attract, the Sun of Reality will shine forth, and all phenomenal being will attain a portion. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace*, Pages: 101-102)

45. The parks and pleasure-grounds of small towns throughout Europe are not less surprising than their libraries, museums, and art-galleries. I saw nothing more pleasing during my recent travels than the hill at Bergen, in Norway. It has been converted into one of the most picturesque of pleasure-grounds; fountains, cascades, waterfalls, delightful arbors, fine terraces, and statues adorn what was before a barren mountain-side. Here is a field worthy of study by the millionaire who would confer a lasting benefit upon his fellows. Another beautiful instance of the right use of wealth in the direction of making cities more and more attractive is to be found in Dresden. The owner of the leading paper there bequeathed its revenues forever to the city, to be used in

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beautifying it. An art committee decides, from time to time, what new artistic feature is to be introduced, or what hideous feature is to be changed, and as the revenues accrue, they are expended in this direction. Thus, through the gift of this patriotic newspaper proprietor his native city of Dresden is fast becoming one of the most artistic places of residence in the whole world. A work having been completed, it devolves upon the city to maintain it forever. May I be excused if I commend to our millionaire newspaper proprietors the example of their colleague in the capital of Saxony?

Baha'i Comment

46. Scarcely a city of any magnitude in the older countries is without many structures and features of great beauty. Much has been spent upon ornament, decoration, and architectural effect. We are still far behind in these things upon this side of the Atlantic. Our Republic is great in some things in material development unrivaled; but let us always remember that in art and in the finer touches we have scarcely yet taken a place. Had the exquisite Memorial Arch recently erected temporarily in New York been shown in Dresden, the art committee there would probably have been enabled, from the revenue of the newspaper given by its owner for just such purposes, to order its permanent erection to adorn the city forever.

    Popular subscriptions have accomplished this result in the case referred to (the Washington Monument), and two other memorial arches have been designed and are to be erected here. -- ED. [Note in original edition.]

material development - Baha'u'llah has announced that no matter how far the world of humanity may advance in material civilization, it is nevertheless in need of spiritual virtues and the bounties of God. The spirit of man is not illumined and quickened through material sources. It is not resuscitated by investigating phenomena of the world of matter. The spirit of man is in need of the protection of the Holy Spirit. Just as he advances by progressive stages from the mere physical world of being into the intellectual realm, so must he develop upward in moral attributes and spiritual graces. In the process of this attainment he is ever in need of the bestowals of the Holy Spirit. Material development may be likened to the glass of a lamp whereas divine virtues and spiritual susceptibilities are the light within the glass. The lamp chimney is worthless without the light; likewise man in his material condition requires the radiance and vivification of the divine graces and merciful attributes. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit he is lifeless. Although physically and mentally alive he is spiritually dead. His Holiness Christ announced, "That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is spirit," meaning that man must be born again. As the babe is born into the light of this physical world so must the physical and intellectual man be born into the light of the world of divinity. In the matrix of the mother the unborn child was deprived and unconscious of the world of material existence but after its birth it beheld the wonders and beauties of a new realm of life and being. In the world of the matrix it was utterly ignorant and unable to conceive of these new conditions but after its transformation it discovers the radiant sun, trees, flowers and an infinite range of blessings and bounties awaiting it. In the human plane and kingdom man is a captive of nature and ignorant of the divine world until born of the breaths of the Holy Spirit out of physical conditions of limitation and deprivation. Then he beholds the reality of the spiritual realm and kingdom, realizes the narrow restrictions of the mere human world of existence and becomes conscious of the unlimited and infinite glories of the world of God. Therefore no matter how man may advance upon the physical and intellectual plane he is ever in need of the boundless virtues of divinity, the protection of the Holy Spirit and the face of God. (Foundations of World Unity, Page 59)

47. While the bestowal of a park upon a community will be universally approved as one of the best uses for surplus wealth, in embracing such additions to it as conservatories, or in advocating the building of memorial arches and works of adornment, it is probable that many will think I go too far, and consider these somewhat fanciful. The material good to flow from them may not be so directly visible; but let not any practical mind, intent only upon material good, depreciate the value of wealth given for these or for kindred esthetic purposes as being useless as far as the mass

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of the people and their needs are concerned. As with libraries and museums, so with these more distinctively artistic works: they perform their great use when they reach the best of the masses of the people. It is better to reach and touch the sentiment for beauty in the naturally bright minds of this class than to pander to those incapable of being so touched. For what the improver of the race must endeavor is to reach those who have the divine spark ever so feebly developed, that it may be strengthened and grow. For my part, I think Mr. Phipps put his money to better use in giving the working-men of Allegheny conservatories filled with beautiful flowers, orchids, and aquatic plants, which they, with their wives and children, can enjoy in their spare hours, and upon which they can feed their love for the beautiful, than if he had given his surplus money to furnish them with bread; for those in health who cannot earn their bread are scarcely worth considering by the individual giver, the care of such being the duty of the State. The man who erects in a city a conservatory or a truly artistic arch, statue, or fountain, makes a wise use of his surplus. "Man does not live by bread alone."

Baha'i Comment

48. Fifth. We have another good use for surplus wealth in providing our cities with halls suitable for meetings of all kinds and for concerts of elevating music. Our cities are rarely possessed of halls for these purposes, being in this respect also very far behind European cities. Springer Hall, in Cincinnati, a valuable addition to the city, was largely the gift of Mr. Springer, who was not content to bequeath, funds from his estate at death, but gave during his life, and, in addition, gave - what was equally important - his time and business ability to insure the successful results which have been achieved.

    (23) Reuben R. Springer (1800-1884), a successful investor in real estate and railroads, gave the major share of the money for the erection of the Cincinnati Music Hall. Opened in 1878, this red brick, semi-Gothic building housed the Cincinnati Music Festival and later the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Perhaps inspired by this example, Andrew Carnegie in 1892 built the New York Music Hall on 57th Street. Since the latter name repelled European artists, who associated it with vaudeville, it was changed to Carnegie Hall.

The gift of a hall to any city lacking one is an

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excellent use for surplus wealth for the good of a community. The reason why the people have only one instructive and elevating, or even amusing, entertainment when a dozen would be highly beneficial, is that the rent of a hall, even when a suitable hall exists, which is rare, is so great as to prevent managers from running the risk of financial failure. If every city in our land owned a hall which could be given or rented for a small sum for such gatherings as a committee or the mayor of the city judged advantageous, the people could be furnished with proper lectures, amusements, and concerts at an exceedingly small cost. The town halls of European cities, many of which have organs, are of inestimable value to the people, utilized as they are in the manner suggested. Let no one underrate the influence of entertainments of an elevating or even of an amusing character, for these do much to make the lives of the people happier and their natures better. If any millionaire born in a small village which has now become a great city is prompted in the day of his success to do something for his birthplace with part of his surplus, his grateful remembrance cannot take a form more useful than that of a public hall with an organ, provided the city agrees to maintain and use it.

Baha'i Comment

49. Sixth. In another respect we are still much behind Europe. A form of benevolence which is not uncommon there is providing swimming-baths for the people. The donors of these have been wise enough to require the city benefited to maintain them at its own expense, and as proof of the contention that everything should never be done for any one or for any community, but that the recipients should invariably be called upon to do a part, it is significant that it is found essential for the popular success of these healthful establishments to exact a nominal charge for their use. In many cities, however, the school-children are admitted free

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at fixed hours upon certain days; different hours being fixed for the boys and the girls to use the great swimming-baths, hours or days being also fixed for the use of these baths by women. In addition to the highly beneficial effect of these institutions upon the public health in inland cities, the young of both sexes are thus taught to swim. Swimming clubs are organized, and matches are frequent, at which medals and prizes are given. The reports published by the various swimming-bath establishments throughout Great Britain are filled with instances of lives saved because those who fortunately escaped shipwreck had been taught to swim in the baths; and not a few instances are given in which the pupils of certain bathing establishments have saved the lives of others. If any disciple of the gospel of wealth gives his favorite city large swimming and private baths, provided the municipality undertakes their management as a city affair, he will never be called to account for an improper use of the funds intrusted to him.

Baha'i Comment

50. Seventh. Churches as fields for the use of surplus wealth have purposely been reserved for the last, because, these being sectarian, every man will be governed in his action in regard to them by his own attachments; therefore gifts to churches, it may be said, are not, in one sense, gifts to the community at large, but to special classes. Nevertheless, every millionaire may know of a district where the little cheap, uncomfortable, and altogether unworthy wooden structure stands at the cross-roads, in which the whole neighborhood gathers on Sunday, and which, inside the form of the doctrines taught is the center of social life and the source of neighborly feeling. The administrator of wealth makes a good use of part of his surplus if he replaces that building with a permanent structure of brick, stone, or granite, up whose sides the honeysuckle and columbine may climb, and from whose tower the sweet-tolling bell may sound. The millionaire should not figure how cheaply this structure can be built, but how perfect it can be made.

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If he has the money, it should be made a gem, for the educating influence of a pure and noble specimen of architecture, built, as the pyramids were built, to stand for ages, is not to be measured by dollars. Every farmer's home, heart, and mind in the district will be influenced by the beauty and grandeur of the church; and many a bright boy, gazing enraptured upon its richly colored windows and entranced by the celestial voice of the organ, will there receive his first message from and in spirit be carried away to the beautiful and enchanting realm which lies far from the material and prosaic conditions which surround him in this workaday world - a real world, this new realm, vague and undefined though its boundaries be. Once within its magic circle, its denizens live there an inner life more precious than the external, and all their days and all their ways, their triumphs and their trials, and all they see, and all they hear, and all they think, and all they do, are hallowed by the radiance which shines from afar upon this inner life, glorifying everything, and keeping all right within. But having given the building, the donor should stop there; the support of the church should be upon its own people. There is not much genuine religion in the congregation or much good to come from the church which is not supported at home.

Baha'i Comment

51. Many other avenues for the wise expenditure of surplus wealth might be indicated. I enumerate but a few -- a very few - of the many fields which are open, and only those in which great or considerable sums can be judiciously used. It is not the privilege, however, of millionaires alone to work for or aid measures which are certain to benefit the community. Every one who has but a small surplus above his moderate wants may share this privilege with his richer brothers, and those without surplus can give at least a part of their time, which is usually as important as funds, and often more so.

Baha'i Comment

52. It is not expected, neither is it desirable, that there should be general concurrence as to the best possible use of surplus

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wealth. For different men and different localities there are different uses. What commends itself most highly to the judgment of the administrator is the best use for him, for his heart should be in the work. It is as important in administering wealth as it is in any other branch of a man's work that he should be enthusiastically devoted to it and feel that in the field selected his work lies.

Baha'i Comment

53. Besides this, there is room and need for all kinds of wise benefactions for the common weal. The man who builds a university, library, or laboratory performs no more useful work than he who elects to devote himself and his surplus means to the adornment of a park, the gathering together of a collection of pictures for the public, or the building of a memorial arch. These are all true laborers in the vineyard. The only point required by the gospel of wealth is that the surplus which accrues from time to time in the hands of a man should be administered by him in his own lifetime for that purpose which is seen by him, as trustee, to be best for the good of the people. To leave at death what he cannot take away, and place upon others the burden of the work which it was his own duty to perform, is to do nothing worthy. This requires no sacrifice, nor any sense of duty to his fellows.

Baha'i Comment

54. Time was when the words concerning the rich man entering the kingdom of heaven were regarded as a hard saying. To-day, when all questions are probed to the bottom and the standards of faith receive the most liberal interpretations, the startling verse has been relegated to the rear, to await the next kindly revision as one of those things which cannot be quite understood, but which, meanwhile, it is carefully to be noted, are not to be understood literally. But is it so very improbable that the next stage of thought is to restore the doctrine in all its pristine purity and force, as being in perfect harmony with sound ideas upon the subject of wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor, and the contrasts everywhere seen and deplored? In Christ's day, it is

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evident, reformers were against the wealthy. It is none the less evident that we are fast recurring to that position to-day; and there will be nothing to surprise the student of sociological development if society should soon approve the text which has caused so much anxiety: "It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Even if the needle were the small casement at the gates, the words betoken serious difficulty for the rich. It will be but a step for the theologian from the doctrine that he who dies rich dies disgraced, to that which brings upon the man punishment or deprivation hereafter.

Baha'i Comment

55. The gospel of wealth but echoes Christ's words. It calls upon the millionaire to sell all that he had and give it in the highest and best form to the poor by administering his estate himself for the good of his fellows, before he is called upon to lie down and rest upon the bosom of Mother Earth. So doing, he will approach his end no longer the ignoble hoarder of useless millions; poor, very poor indeed, in money, but rich, very rich, twenty times a millionaire still, in the affection, gratitude, and admiration of his fellow-men, and -sweeter far-soothed and sustained by the still, small voice within, which, whispering, tells him that, because he has lived, perhaps one small part of the great world has been bettered just a little. This much is sure: against such riches as these no bar will be found at the gates of Paradise.

Paradise - The man who thinks only of himself and is thoughtless of others is undoubtedly inferior to the animal because the animal is not possessed of the reasoning faculty. The animal is excused; but in man there is reason, the faculty of justice, the faculty of mercifulness. Possessing all these faculties he must not leave them unused. He who is so hard-hearted as to think only of his own comfort, such an one will not be called man. Man is he who forgets his own interests for the sake of others. His own comfort he forfeits for the well-being of all. Nay, rather, his own life must he be willing to forfeit for the life of mankind. Such a man is the honor of the world of humanity. Such a man is the glory of the world of mankind. Such a man is the one who wins eternal bliss. Such a man is near to the threshold of God. Such a man is the very manifestation of eternal happiness. Otherwise, men are like animals, exhibiting the same proclivities and propensities as the world of animals. What distinction is there? What prerogatives, what perfections? None whatever! Animals are better even--thinking only of themselves and negligent of the needs of others.

Consider how the greatest men in the world--whether among prophets or philosophers--all have forfeited their own comfort, have sacrificed their own pleasure for the well-being of humanity. They have sacrificed their own lives for the body politic. They have sacrificed their own wealth for that of the general welfare. They have forfeited their own honor for the honor of mankind. Therefore it becomes evident that this is the highest attainment for the world of humanity.

We ask God to endow human souls with justice so that they may be fair, and may strive to provide for the comfort of all, that each member of humanity may pass his life in the utmost comfort and welfare. Then this material world will become the very paradise of the Kingdom, this elemental earth will be in a heavenly state and all the servants of God will live in the utmost joy, happiness and gladness. We must all strive and concentrate all our thoughts in order that such happiness may accrue to the world of humanity. (Foundations of World Unity, Page 42 & 43)

Carnegie TEXT here

Baha'i Comment