Source: Stories and Poems for Public Addresses
Source type: book
Document type: essay
Document title: “The Influence of a Bible School”
Author(s): Webber, A. Bernard
Publisher: George H. Doran Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1922
|Webber, A. Bernard. “The Influence of a Bible School.” Stories and Poems for Public Addresses. New York: George H. Doran, 1922: pp. 29-30.|
|full text of essay; excerpt of book|
|John Prucha; Leon Czolgosz; Leon Czolgosz (friends, acquaintances, coworkers, etc.); McKinley assassination (religious interpretation); Leon Czolgosz (religion); society (impact on Czolgosz); anarchism (impact on Czolgosz).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Jesus Christ; William McKinley; John Prucha.|
|From title page: By A. Bernard Webber, Author of “Apt Illustrations for Public Addresses,” etc.|
The Influence of a Bible School
About forty or fifty years ago in the city of
Cleveland, Ohio, two boys grew up side by side. They became inseparable friends
in those romantic days. They attended the same school; they plodded along in
the self-same grades; they visited one another in their homes, and often slept
in the same bed; they picnicked together, fished together, and swam in the same
old swimming hole. Finally, they were graduated from the same high school.
One, because of the influence of Christian parents and friends, had started to attend the Sunday school of a nearby church, in which he learned his lessons about God, and Christ, and honor, purity, truth and righteousness. The other lad, because of the vicious influence of his father and friends, started to attend a school that was called a “Sunday school” for no other reason than that it met on the Lord’s day. It was a school of anarchy, infidelity and socialism. This lad studied a so-called catechism in which one of the questions asked was, “What is my duty to God?” and the answer was, “I have no duty to God; there is no God.”
The watershed was already in evidence in the lives of those two boys. All unconsciously they came to the Great Divide. The first boy became a student in Oberlin College. During his busy, earnest student days he identified himself with the Congregational church. At length he became an accepted student for the ministry and a candidate for orders. He is now the honored pastor of the Pilgrim Congregational church (Bohemian), Cleveland. There is no greater influence for good among the thousands  of foreign-speaking peoples of that great cosmopolitan city than Rev. John Prucha.
The other young man became violently inoculated with the most rabid form of socialism. On September 5, 1901, during the great Pan-American Exposition in the city of Buffalo our great-hearted and well-beloved President William McKinley delivered an address. The next day he was tendered a reception in Music Hall, at which all sorts and conditions of humanity surged forward to be welcomed by him. Among the number was a man with a bandaged hand. A shot rang out, and the President, one of God’s noblemen, collapsed. Who fired the shot? None other than the former playmate and chum of Rev. John Prucha, the despicable coward, the treacherous assassin and murderer, Leon Czolgosz, socialist and infidel. The Great Divide had been away back in those halcyon and tragic days of youth when John Prucha started to Sunday school to learn about Christ and honor and truth, and Leon Czolgosz became a student of socialism and anarchy and atheism.