The Sixth Law [excerpt]
There is a familiar
way of thinking about the power of Christ which helps a man to be
a murderer before he knows it. Christ being now identified with
the power behind the visible world is thought to be saying to men,
“Be good or I will kill you. Once you had the 
power to kill me. But now I have the power to kill you.” Against
that thought men instinctively and properly rebel. Unhappily, however,
counting this threat a true index of Christ, they refuse to follow
Christ; they shut the Savior out of their minds; and, therefore,
they impair their own quality and their effect upon the public life.
But the truth to-day is exactly as it was before. Christ says always
to men, “Be good, be Christian, or you will kill me.” Unless men
are saviors, saviors of life, in their own souls and in their influence,
they must kill out the ennobling Christliness which is the only
salt and savor of their own manhood as it is of our Christian civilization.
It is the crucifying of the Son of God afresh which is the social
danger. Where that murderous will is, there is degeneracy in life,—a
shrinkage in liberty, in endeavor, in culture, in character.
But who is the guilty one? We say
without hesitation that others besides Czolgosz were guilty of President
McKinley’s murderous death. We say, having forgotten the Roman soldiery,
that Christ died at the hands of his own murderous brethren not
one of whom touched a hammer or a nail. For it is from remote causes
that murderous crime has its start. As you follow backward the path
of influences you see all alongside the way, the ruin of some of
the graces of life, the work of wanton, scorn- 
ful destruction. Finally you reach the heart and mind of a man or
a woman presumably respectable, who secretly defied this sixth of
the laws of God. He or she defied it and under that influence life
began to sicken, although it appeared then prosperous and ruddy.
No one decides deliberately to grow up to be a cutter of a neighbor’s
throat. But unless a man obeys this law in its positive and moral
sense, he is likely to be far more guilty. “Thou shalt be a savior
of the life of men” is the law. And only by walking in its spirit
can we keep our hand guiltless both of our neighbor’s blood and
of that nail and cross which kill the Christ who is within every
man born into the world.