“True and False Democracy” American Sentinel 12, 44, pp. 691, 692.

THE philosophy of Jefferson, to which allusion is made in another column, must not be understood as being synonymous with the socialism, communism, etc., which have clothed themselves in the mantle of democracy at the present time. The principle of true democracy is the principle of the Gold Rule. It is the principle of seeking the welfare of others equally with that of ourselves. It is the principle of unselfishness.

There is a sense in which Christianity itself, as embodying the principles of God’s government, is synonymous with democracy—with “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” For in God’s government, nothing is done without the approval of the people, though God is himself the supreme ruler. All is done for the people and by the people, to the extent at least of their voluntary consent and approval. It is to secure this voluntary consent and approval of his created intelligences upon that which he has done hitherto, and will do to the end of the world, that the Almighty will conduct a final judgment. In that great investigation he himself will be on trial equally with the humblest of his subjects who has lived on earth. And then, when all facts are brought forth to the view of all, and the light of truth is turned full upon all his dealings with mankind, mankind and angels will with one accord signify their approval.

The judgment will afford the strongest possible proof that it is a fixed principle of God’s government to do nothing without the voluntary approval of his subjects.

The real character of that which claims to be democracy may be tested by the principle of unselfishness. Socialism says, What’s yours is mine. Christianity, on the other hand, says, What’s mine is yours. There is a world of difference between these two sentiments. They represent principles that are as unlike as light and darkness.

The best and highest form of democracy is found in Christianity alone. It is Christianity that the world needs,—Christianity for the working men, to bring them into an unselfish attitude toward their employers and toward each other, and Christianity for the men of wealth, to bring a similar change in their attitude toward their fellows. The application of the principle of unselfishness to the dealings of men with each other, would solve every problem of labor and capital in a single day. [692] But so long as the principle of selfishness is embodied in these dealings, these problems will remain unsolved, in spite of all the measures that can be devised by all the labor combines, the trusts, and similar organizations on the earth.

Christianity—the application of the principle of unselfishness to the individual life, is no Utopian dream. It is a divine reality, set up by its Author right amidst all the unfeeling selfishness of earth, and one which all may know. Let us work to spread it among men, and to usher in the day when it will be universal over all the world.

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