I just started reading Thomas Chalmers’ Discourses on the Application of Christianity to the Commercial and Ordinary Affairs of Life. Here is a profound quote that strikes me as a prophesy fulfilled this week on Wall Street.
“Without offering any demonstration, at present, upon this matter, we simply state it as our opinion, that, though the whole business of the world were in the hands of men thoroughly Christianised, and who, rating wealth according to its real dimensions on the high scale of eternity, were chastened out of all their idolatrous regards to it – yet would trade, in these circumstances be carried to the extreme limit of its being really productive or desirable. An affection for riches beyond what Christianity prescribes, is not essential to any extension of commerce that is at all valuable or legitimate; and in opposition to the maxim, that the spirit of enterprise is the soul of commercial prosperity, do we hold, that it is the excess of this spirit beyond the moderation of the New Testament, which, pressing on the natural boundaries of trade, is sure, at length, to visit every country, where it operates with the recoil of all those calamities, which in the shape of beggared capitalists, and unemployed operatives [workers], and dreary intervals of bankruptcy and alarm, are observed to follow a season of overdone speculation.”
Once again, Chalmers being dead yet speaketh.