Tribute to William McKinley
WE are met here, dear friends, within the shadow
of a nation’s grief. The dark hand of evil has made a hideous assault
upon one of the noblest of men, and humanity stands aghast in contemplation
of a senseless, monstrous crime and its dire consequences.
“Man’s inhumanity to man,” which has
been a murderer from the beginning, still murders; the race continues
to pay the penalties of its unloving strife; tears flow; heads are
bowed, and we are again reminded that “when Christ reigns, and not
till then, will the world find rest.”
Although we execrate this wretched
deed, we have come here in no mood of anger to cry out for vengeance
or violent reprisal. Let us, rather, emulate the Christian words
of our fallen chieftain. Let us have a righteous pity for a pitiless
man whom Satan hath bound, and remembering that “Vengeance is mine,
said the Lord,” let it be ours likewise to say, “May God forgive
The history of this hour clusters
about a man whose life was of such surpassing purity and sweetness
that no words or flowery speech can possibly ornament its simple
grandeur or add to the fragrance which perfumes the memory of him
who was ever intent on the business of doing good.
The earthly career of President McKinley
lies before you like an open field. There is no need that I should
linger here to paint the lily; no need that I should seek to reinforce
your respect and love for this genuine man and for that which made
him lov-  able. When history
dips its pen to inscribe the long list of his virtues and the annals
of his righteous life, it will declare that in the midst of a wicked
and perverse generation he was unsullied; when surrounded by the
foam and turbulence of human passion and hatred, he loved much;
when assailed by seething temptation, he yielded not.
In the hour of danger, he was brave;
in the time of excitement, he was calm, wise, and prudent. It will
be said that this Christian life was hallowed and glorified by the
practice of charity, mercy, and forgiveness; that he was slow to
wrath, tender hearted; faithful to duty, to family, and friends,
faithful to mankind and to God.
As we survey the many temptations
and frailties which beset the pathway of our fellow man; the storms
which shipwreck character and blast the faltering manhood of the
age; is it any wonder that with one accord the world unites to proclaim
its joy over one true man who was faithful unto the end? Is it any
wonder that we mourn the loss to this generation of one whose life
furnishes pretext for the hope that through Christian grace mankind
may sometime be altogether lovely?
In this hour, when evil seems so real
and sorrow hard to bear, our hearts go out to that bereaved wife
whose tender, loving companionship has been so ruthlessly shattered.
Oh, may she realize that the divine presence rests upon her always.
May He who saves even unto the uttermost lead her safely through
these troubled waters and bestow upon her an eternal, satisfying
Coming here as we do, to add the flowers
of our gratitude and love in memory of this illustrious man; coming
perchance to shed the tear which falls in compassionate sympathy,
and to lament the rude  shock
which has sorely wounded the world, we would surely miss the lesson
of this day and this deed if we remained here to mourn and give
ourselves up to unavailing grief.
It has been told of the dying President
that in the hour of his extreme emergency, he uttered the words,
“Thy will be done,” and murmured to himself the verses of that sublime
hymn, “Nearer, my God, to Thee.”
Some of you who have been healed by
Christian Science know what it is to sit face to face with that
which seemed to be impending death, and have felt the deep emotions
which surge to and fro at such a time; and now you know that the
man whose Christian living has led him to the peaceful utterance
of such trust in God, has on earth travelled [sic] many a
league towards heaven.
The event which we deplore touches
us with severe and startling impact. The slumbering thought is aroused,
and once again we are forced to recognize the fact that the world’s
social and political system is sadly awry.
The two extremes of society,—the despotism
and selfish greed of power and wealth on one hand, and the sullen,
distracted, supplicating poor on the other hand,—like upper and
nether stones, have been grinding against each other in irritating
and destructive friction. By a strange anomaly of fate, the human
man who stood on the middle ground of moderation and good will to
men, is crushed between these stones—a martyr to a social system
ungoverned by God.
You who are Christian Scientists know
the remedy for all the strife and antipathies which disrupt and
disfigure humanity. You well know that, as Mrs. Eddy quotes from
John Robinson, “When  Christ
reigns, and not till then, will the world have rest.”
You know that when all men shall say,
“Thy will be done,” and mean it, then will dawn the present and
eternal welfare of us all, and that when the universal prayer shall
be “Nearer, my God, to Thee,” the door of our salvation will open
and all will be satisfied with the government of God.
According to Christian Science the
remedy for all evil lies in the power of Mind—the power of right
thought which is in the image and likeness of God—of divine intelligence.
The scene of the redemptive work which
is to transform society is within you. The enlightenment of your
own consciousness and the purification and exaltation of your own
understanding is the first object to attain. If you would make one
supreme effort to reform the world, reform yourself, and throw the
weight of your own Christian and righteous thought and example on
the right side; then exert the power of Christian Science against
the errors of human belief and eliminate them.
Let us learn first what it means to
be near God ourselves and to be governed by divine law. He who peers
timidly towards a remote or unknown somewhere in hopes to be near
God, as though he were isolated and aloof, finds Him not, and misses
the true sense of divine immanence.
Christian Science teaches us that
God is always “God with us.” It means God with us; Life with us;
wisdom with us. It means the power and action of good with us. It
means health, dominion, abundance, harmony, and completeness with
us. It means the guidance of divine Love and all that is included
in its pure embrace. 
It is this God that answers prayer,
heals the sick and saves sinners. In this near God only can we “live
and move and have our being.” If men would change their sense of
God as being an austere person who afflicts, to the understanding
of the infinite presence of all that means boundless good and the
perfection of being, then they would instinctively, yes, ardently,
turn thitherward the footsteps that have been tired because of sin
and ignorance and pain, and speedily find heaven within.
Turning from the prevalent assumption
that this lamented death was of providential enactment, instituted
or permitted for any good purpose whatever, we proclaim that God
is Life and always means life for man.
We are thankful at this time that
Christian Science is extricating us from the desolating supposition
that God is the procurer of death or any other evil, and so acquainting
us with the divine nature that we may with ever-growing fervency
and cheer utter the supreme longing, “Nearer, my God, to Thee.”
What a doleful sense of our heavenly
Father—of the loving Ruler of the universe—it is that entreats you
to be resigned to the will of God as though it were to be a hard,
reluctant submission. What a perversion of the Science of God to
burden you with the belief that God who is infinite Life, arranges
the death of man and asks him to be resigned to such extreme evil.
Is it strange that men shrink and hesitate to say, “Thy will be
done”? Is it strange that thought, thus ignorantly educated, rebels
instinctively against such a government and refuses to be comforted
by the thought that God who doeth all things well, doeth evil and
In resistance to this depressing sense
which to-day  obscures from
mortals the divine nature, picture to yourself man governed wholly
by the law of God, without one taint of the carnal mind which is
“enmity against God.”
Governed by the law which reflects
or manifests the all-inclusive and perfect God, man would be governed
by Life and its eternal rule which provides no death. He would be
governed by health, harmony, and happiness.
Such government would mean for him
prosperity, welfare, abundance, a righteous dominion over the actual
things of existence. It would maintain for him perfection, completeness
of mind and estate.
He would be under the rule of eternal
Love and animated by it alone. He would manifest perpetual capacity,
versatility, the strength, power, and action of good, now and forever.
We who are learning this are gradually
yearning for the government of God. In every hour of need, whether
beset by sin or disease, grief or desolation, the best that we can
possibly do is to turn instantly to our God and invoke his guidance
There is never a time when God’s will
means man’s discomfiture; never a plight so deplorable or so inevitable
that the knowledge of God’s will and obedience thereto will not
extricate him. This is the teaching of Christian Science.
The sad event which we are considering
has occasioned a striking exhibition of the universal fear which
blights the human mind and life. As Christian Scientists you are
enlisted to cast out this bane of mortal existence and abolish its
reign, in the name and law of Almighty God, for as Paul says, “He
hath not given us the spirit of fear.”
It is your privilege through the power
of Mind to still the voice of revenge and passionate wrath. It 
is for you to stay the hand of violence and dispel the dark cloud
of anarchy and riot. It is for you who understand the resistless
power of good to restrain and subdue the tempest of bitterness and
hatred which now impels a fratricidal conflict.
Upon you is resting the choicest blessing
of the ages. You are being disenthralled—redeemed. You have felt
the direct touch of God which purifies and heals. The revelation
is yours which declares the satisfying reality of good and the utter
unreality of evil.
You understand what this means. It
is the voice of Truth which sustains you, solves the mystery of
evil, and will raise you in triumph above the storm of sin.
To-day in the midst of exciting emotion,
you are calm. Confronted by a sense of disaster and death, you are
assured and confident of the immortality of Life—the imperishable
existence of man. When fear mutters and sorrow tempts you, you have
dominion over evil; governed by God, you are learning that His “Grace
is sufficient for thee.”