NO PERSON in the world is so good that he can be solely entrusted with the arbitrary exercise of great power. No person in the world, under such circumstances, could be safely relied on to make no invasion upon the rights of his fellows.
The truth of this is seen to-day in the use that is made of their power by individuals who occupy positions of financial or political preëminence. It is the arbitrary exercise of the power of vast wealth or of a political dictatorship or of something else, that is disturbing so seriously the equilibrium of society.
The man who commands millions of dollars, or millions of votes, or the backing of a vast organization holds more power than can safely be exercised by one man’s judgment and will. But it is human nature to wish to exercise power in just this way; and to feel fully competent to exercise properly any degree of power that can be acquired.
Power, in itself, if a proper and necessary thing for all persons; but there must be something to guard against its perversion. And here is seen the wisdom of God in the gospel. For the gospel provides him who receives it with great power, even the very power of God, but to be exercised only by a will that has first been submitted to God, and by the wisdom of God given to him who has been fitted for its reception.
And this is the true remedy for the evils that afflict society from the perversion of power. Under the provisions of the gospel, the humblest individual has more power than the mightiest man of earth who stands outside its provisions. He has power sufficient for every human need, while the mightiest man of earth has not the power that he needs to save himself from final destruction. The power of the one is a blessing to mankind, while that of the other is a menace and often a terrible curse.
The remedy is not to put more of earthly power into the hands of men, but more of the divine power into the hearts of the people. And the clergy, of all men, should be laboring most earnestly to this end.