Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you.…
Money, both inherited and accumulated, is a great talent or opportunity. Nothing astonishes me more than the fact that so many rich men utterly fail to realise what an opportunity wealth gives them. They go on heaping up useless wealth with which to curse their children. As though the mere accumulation of money was, in itself, a great gain! As though heaps of gold could protect them against all the ills to which flesh is heir! I am very glad that one millionaire — Mr. Carnegie, of Pennsylvania — realises that the best thing he can do with his money is to get rid of it, and that the worst thing possible would be to pile it upon the hapless head of his children. There seems to be, in some respects, even less public spirit among the wealthy men of our own time than distinguished the heathen patricians of old Rome. They delighted to spend their wealth in dignifying and adorning their great city. It is exceedingly strange to me that the immensely wealthy citizens of London do not use their millions to purify and to beautify this great capital. It is even more astonishing that those who profess and call themselves Christians, toil on and slave on, adding money-bag to money-bag, instead of using this mighty instrument to facilitate and encourage the evangelisation of mankind. Nearly every Christian and humanitarian organisation is crippled for want of more adequate resources. One of the greatest evils of the time is the miserliness of the wealthy. They are preparing for their children an awful retribution. The bitter and almost implacable hatred of the wealthy, which is the most dangerous social symptom of modern Europe, is the direct result of the awful way in which the wealthy have neglected to use their wealth for the public good. They are busily heaping up wealth, but they are also heaping up wrath against the day of wrath. They seem to have forgotten that wealth is a talent, an opportunity, a glorious opportunity, of serving God by serving men.
Parallel VersesKJV: Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.