the previous issue of this paper a great tragedy has been enacted
in our republic. Our chief magistrate has fallen by the hand of
an assassin and his form has been hidden away, deeply covered with
tributes of sincere appreciation, affectionate admiration, and sympathetic
sorrow from all the countries of Christendom, and from rulers of
many other lands as well as from every section of our own land,
its dignitaries, leaders and citizens. The nation’s tears have bedewed
the untimely grave of our third martyred president while his last
words, his triumphant Christian testimonies, will long ring in the
nation’s and the world’s heart.
His latest address, at once accepted
as the policy of his distinguished and trusted successor, breathes
the noble sentiments of a great leader of the foremost republic
of the world. Beyond all these,—fit valedictory of such a ruler,—is
the clarion ring of the voice of a Christian cosmopolitan now calling
all nations into one common brotherhood. Could a longer life do
A few sentences only from that last
address, uttering thoughts of “greatest good to the greatest number,”
as did an immortal address of our first martyred president, can
here be repeated.
“After all, how near one to the other
is every part of the world! Modern inventions have brought into
close relation widely separated peoples and made them better acquainted.
Geographic and political divisions will continue to exist, but distances
have been effaced. Swift ships and fast trains are becoming cosmopolitan.
They invade fields which a few years ago were impenetrable. Isolation
is no longer possible or desirable. The same important news is read,
though in different languages, the same day in all Christendom.
The telegraph keeps us advised of what is occurring everywhere,
and the press foreshadows, with more or less accuracy, the plans
and purposes of the nations. Vast transactions are conducted and
international exchanges are made by the tick of the cable. Every
event of interest is immediately bulletined. At the beginning of
the nineteenth century there was not a mile of steam railroad on
the globe. Now there are enough miles to make its circuit many times.
Then there was not a line of electric telegraph; now we have a vast
mileage traversing all lands and all seas. God and man have linked
the nations together. No nation can longer be indifferent to any
other. And as we are brought more and more in touch with each other
the less occasion is there for misunderstanding, and the stronger
the disposition, when we have differences, to adjust them in the
court of arbitration, which is the noblest forum for the settlement
of international disputes.
“We have a vast and intricate business,
built up through years of toil and struggle, in which every part
of the country has its stake, which will not permit of either neglect
or of undue selfishness. No narrow, sordid policy will subserve
it. Only a broad and enlightened policy will keep what we have.
No other policy will get more. Reciprocity is the natural outgrowth
of our wonderful industrial development. The period of exclusiveness
is past. Commercial wars are unprofitable. Reciprocity treaties
are in harmony with the spirit of the times; measures of retaliation
are not. Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe
prosperity, happiness and peace to all our neighbors and like blessings
to all the peoples and powers of earth.”