Source: Ave Maria
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Notes and Remarks”
Date of publication: 28 September 1901
Volume number: 53
Issue number: 13
Pagination: 406-09 (excerpt below includes only pages 407-08)
|“Notes and Remarks.” Ave Maria 28 Sept. 1901 v53n13: pp. 406-09.|
|McKinley assassination (religious response); McKinley assassination (sermons); John Lancaster Spalding (sermons).|
|William McKinley; John Lancaster Spalding.|
|The item below is the second of three excerpts taken from this issue’s installment of “Notes and Remarks.” Click here to see the first and third excerpts.|
Notes and Remarks [excerpt]
If the address delivered by Bishop Spalding of Peoria on the day of President McKinley’s funeral could have been heard wherever memorial services were held, most other speeches might have been—and, we will venture to add, would better have been—omitted. There was fitting, not fulsome, praise of the dead President; no excessive denunciation of anarchy, but a clear statement, strong though temperate, of the great truths which inspired the founding of this republic; with an exhortation to adhere to them, every word of which was deeply religious and nobly patriotic. Let us quote one passage of this address which we particularly admire:
Men are just only when they love. Sympathy gives insight, and where this is lacking we are blind to the injustice our fellows suffer and do them wrong with easy consciences. The impulse now as of old is to seek to overcome evil with evil. The world is so full of perversity that the only way, it would seem, in which society can protect itself is to cut off for a time or forever those who sin against its laws. But no punishment, however severe, can destroy the roots from which grows the tree that bears the bitter fruit; and if  in any part of the world men should ever become rightly civilized, they will overcome evil with good. They will not condemn men to do work which they can not do with joy,—work which takes away heart and hope, which cripples the body and darkens the mind. They will suffer none to live in ignorance who might have knowledge; none to live in vice who might be made pure and holy. In their cities there will not be found districts where no innocent or healthful creature can breathe and not become tainted. There shall be no fortunes built on dead men’s bones and cemented with blood; no splendid dwellings around which shriek the ghosts of women whose toil did not bring enough to save them from lives of shame. It is toward all this that we must strive and struggle, if we are not to be recreant to our most sacred duties, false to the mission which God has given to America.
Weighty and wise words, worthy of the speaker who uttered them and of the solemn occasion by which they were evoked.