Source: William McKinley: Character Sketches of America’s Martyred Chieftain
Source type: book
Document type: public address
Document title: “Address”
Author(s): Adam, J. Douglas
Compiler(s): Benedict, Charles E.
Publisher: Blanchard Press
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: [1901?]
|Adam, J. Douglas. “Address.” William McKinley: Character Sketches of America’s Martyred Chieftain. Comp. Charles E. Benedict. New York: Blanchard Press, [1901?]: pp. 118-19.|
|full text of address; excerpt of book|
|J. Douglas Adam (public addresses); William McKinley (memorial addresses); William McKinley (death: religious response); William McKinley (religious character).|
|Jesus Christ; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; George Washington.|
On page 118: Address by Dr. J. Douglas Adam.
From title page: William McKinley: Character Sketches of America’s Martyred Chieftain; Sermons and Addresses Delivered by the Pastor of St. James M. E. Church, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, N. Y., and Addresses by Brooklyn Pastors and Other Prominent Ministers and Laymen, Portraying the Character of Our Late Lamented President.
From title page: Compiled by Charles E. Benedict.
As the bells of the cities and
villages of our land tolled out the sad message in the early hours of last Saturday
morning the profoundest depths of every true heart were touched and awestruck,
and to-day a cloud hangs low and heavy over the civilized world.
As was fitly said at Washington on Tuesday, “this is not the time to measure the far-reaching influence of President McKinley’s public life; that will come later.” To-day is much more for thought and prayer and golden silence in which to hear the words of God speaking His message of comfort.
Still our hearts are not dumb with despair. Hopefulness is the dominant note of Christian faith, and even in this dark day we have much for which to give God thanks. God is in the land. The God of Washington and Lincoln and McKinley is our God, and He Himself will lead the nation on to its destiny. A thousand may fall, but we are still under the leadership of the Almighty. And he who served his country so faithfully and so well has passed into the bright light of the Master’s immediate presence, and has laid his burdens at His feet.
We are thankful to-day for the good man’s stainless life. Consecrated to God and to duty in his earliest days, with no gaps nor scars in his years. With the help of Christ he yielded up an honest life. For the breadth, the proportion of his life we are thankful. From communion with God it reached out to every practical duty. And duty had a big meaning for him. He loved his church, his country and his fellows. It was a poised soul that did the duty. There was never panic. That awful moment of startling composure, when others were in confusion, was the revelation of a continual attitude. And the fruits of inner composure were his—strength and kindness.
The man who, on the day of his first inaugural, had time and thought to give the flower from his coat to  the engineer of the train which took him from Canton to Washington while the multitudes were waiting for him, had kindness as a refreshing stream flowing from his heart.
We cannot dwell too much upon the exceeding beauty of his domestic life. Surely, it comes as a fragrant message to the nation. Notwithstanding the ever-increasing weight of duties, the complex relationships to the larger life of the state, yet the dew of the morning was still upon his domestic life, fresh and sweet. The young tenderness of long ago had not grown old. It was young to the last. We thank God to-day, not only for what he was in himself, but for the influence of it all. We cannot measure any influence. It is one of the immeasurable things. It is one of the things that baffles all attempts at computation. But his career speaks to us on behalf of a broader life. It is a call to more religion and more patriotism; more composure and more kindness. Nobody can think quietly of his life as we have been forced to do during these past days without feeling that he teaches us something that we individually need; and that not only on the active side of life, but also on the passive side. How to take trouble; how to stand before the sudden stroke that shatters hopes; how to hold one’s self when the fondest dreams are broken. That message has come home to us all from these last days of our beloved President’s life. And how to die. We have seen how a good man dies; we have seen the strong arm of faith clinging to the cross. Simple, genuine, unfaltering trust in the eternal love of the Father.
It is a priceless inheritance to have all that came to us. It is vastly more than all the treasures of art. I bless the memory of the mother who taught him to pray. I bless the memory of her who taught him the secret of Christian living. For we have the influence of it falling upon us like the rain upon the parched ground.
I believe his example is calling us, as a people, to a deeper consecration to God and duty. And it cannot fail to lift us higher. This great wave of national sorrow is our recognition of the beauty and power of goodness.