A reader writes us objecting to Bro. Wright's statement with reference to the Farmers' Alliance and to a circular issued by them and sent throughout the country advising all to hold on to their grain for higher prices, etc. This brother advises us that he is a member of the Alliance, and assures us that nothing of the kind was done officially; that although such a circular as Bro. Wright described had been sent out to some extent, it was not an official document, and was not circulated by the Alliance itself, but by private parties; that no evil is premeditated by the Alliance; that its members merely desire to secure their own rights and to prevent the wealth of the country from being absorbed by the few. He says that the unofficial circulars were sent out by certain well-meaning parties to check the enormous rush of wheat and to get farmers to hold their grain until prices advance more nearly to what they will undoubtedly be in the near future. He says in conclusion, "While I have been a reader of your writings for the last seven or eight years, and believe the universal revolution is no great way off, yet I fail to see in this farmers' movement, to which Bro. Wright refers, much evidence of the great trouble."
In reply we would say that we do not understand Bro. Wright's article to be specially intended as a reflection against the Farmers' Alliance, but merely a calling of attention to this as one of the signs of our times. That the [R1337 : page 154] farmers are not actuated by any bad motives in their combination we do not question, nor do we think that other persons who combine, either capitalists or mechanics, have bad motives in so doing. Each class organizes because it considers organization a necessity to preserve what it considers to be its rights and best interests. The speculator who creates a corner in wheat, corn or pork has no ill-will toward the rest of humanityno desire to run up the prices of the necessities of life upon the poorbut merely desires to conserve the interests of himself, his business partners and his family. And so with most people who make combines: it is not that they hate or desire to injure their fellow-men, but that they love themselves and their own interests more.
We do not even say that it is wrong for the Farmers' Alliance to suggest to its members that they be not in haste to sell their crops for too small a sum, but that they seek to hold them for a period of greater demand and higher prices. We consider this to be entirely their privilege, and that in not crowding the market with more grain than it is ready to absorb at the present time, they would be merely taking the proper steps for getting a good market value for the produce of their labor. The point to be noticed, however, and the one which we presume Bro. Wright wished to impress, is that the farmers of the country, having organized themselves, are beginning to realize what a power they have in their hands, and in proportion as they come to a realization of this power they will be a more formidable party to deal with, and under the impression which seems to affect so many people of all classes, that "might makes right," they will be very apt, sooner or later, to come to an extreme in using their power, and then the Lord's consecrated people among them will surely have trouble to keep their conscience clear on the one hand, and to remain in the society on the other.
Certain it is that the work of binding in bundles is progressing very rapidly throughout Christendom in general, and by-and-by the fire of social trouble which our Lord predicted will surely be seen. Our advice to all who are fully consecrated is, "So far as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." If possible, "Be not entangled again in any yoke of bondage." "If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed."