Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/37
THE HIGHEST IDEAL
ing itself into a monstrosity of selfishness. He is no longer a poor working man; he is a man of the working poor, who refuses to be poor for ever and refuses to work. He is a menace to-day. He will become a scourge to-morrow. No Labor Union can guide him; no Government can deter him. He is a fatality. Spiritually deformed himself, he comes, paradoxical as it may seem, to restore the world to its spiritual ideals. The religion that was given him as a consolation, he rejects; the faith that was perverted to keep him in bondage, to reconcile him to his gilded fetters, he renounces forever. But he will swing back with his masters from the height of a bloody crisis to the highest ideal—to a spirituality that is the common heritage and the cherished treasure of the rich and the poor. For a chastening process leaves its mark even upon our daily grind. It may take away our daily bread, but not the stuff of which our daily bread is made.
Indeed, the spiritual springs from a ma-