Enough has been said, then, my friends, to arouse within you the firm conviction that the direct relationship between the social problem and the Christian religion is simply undeniable.
We should feel ashamed that the voice of conscience has not spoken more loudly within us before now, or at least that it did not stir us to earlier action.
We should feel humiliated that, in the face of so crying a need, we have not long since been acting in the name of Jesus.
In this spirit of self criticism I can understand your reproach that an obvious truth like this need not even be demonstrated in a gathering such as this.
Standing before the agonizing distress of these times, a distress which at every point is related to the very essence of error and sin, our eye should not be allowed, nor should it be able, to run away from the Christus Consolator (Christ the Consoler), who assuredly addresses our violently disturbed century with the persistent call of his divine compassion:
“Come to me, wealthiest century in history, which is so deathly weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Opening address at the First Christian Social Congress,
Netherlands, November 9, 1891