Income and Outgo

From Aristotle to Carlyle and Emerson, philosophers have discussed what is called wealth from as many angles as there have been philosophers. What wealth consists of, where it comes from, how much it is safe and desirable to have, how much is enough, to what uses it should be put, and how it affects those who possess it, in little or great degree, have been the subjects of discussion by wit, financier, and cynic. Some one has said that "enough will carry you: more you yourself must carry." Emerson sagely remarks that the poor man is he who wishes to be rich, meaning, of course, that wealth is merely a point of view; there is no fixed standard. Seneca relates the case of a man who, when he had squandered a fortune but still had left two hundred and fifty thousand crowns, took his own life for fear of dying from hunger. This proves that Midas was not the only man who suffered from having too much money.

Wiser and better than all the world's thinkers was he who spake such words as "never man spake" before, when he said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." This last statement of the Master clearly answers the question which has so long troubled mortals, What is wealth, and where shall I find it? Wealth, according to Jesus, is spiritual substance. Possession is understanding. What we have is evidently what we know, and not anything we believe about material things. Here the famous epitaph of the Earl of Devonshire is apropos:—

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School Days
February 20, 1915

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