THE most disastrous consequence of every public crisis is the temporary
emotional insanity into which it precipitates all minds which are
not anchored to eternal principles.
Progress rises only as these God-given
truths possess our souls, giving us a positive basis for judgment,
enabling us to stand firmly amid the whirl and tumult of stress
Every great crisis in life which we
pass, resisting stoutly the unhinging influences of passion, holding
firmly to principles proven immutable, moves us upward from the
animal towards the spiritual.
We may all be yet characterized
as animals on the road;—headed Godward, as it were; out of the jungle
of mere instinctive action, toward the high peaks of calm reason.
The frightened desert animal, overtaken
by the dread simoon, travels round and round until he dies, smothered
in the whirling sand.
Man, knowing the higher law, trusting
the things he knows, holds his eye to the unmoving star, until the
bending palm trees of the oasis point his refuge.
The revolting crime of the assassination
of the President served to exhibit the American people in their
progress out of animalism.
Every animal characteristic found
There was the ferocity of the tiger,
principally displayed by the clergy; and the stupidity of the jack-ass,
principally displayed by the police.
Every action, every utterance at such
a crisis, exhibits clearly our progress out of beasthood.
Judge Berryman Green, eminent jurist
of Virginia; and the venerable Reverend Doctor Richard McIlwaine—one
of the most distinguished Presbyterian divines of the South, are
still pretty close to the underbrush. Their law is the jungle law.
These men are not conscious enemies
of human freedom. When the storm broke they knew no star to steer
by, and so they stepped backward, into the dark. Blind leaders of
the blind, a great State followed them;—toward the jungle.
Virginia espoused the national spirit
of 1776 and brought forth a Washington and a Jefferson; mothering
Espousing the national spirit of 1901
she brings forth a Green and a McIlwaine; mothering a despotism.
It is only when the tiger or the jack-ass
predominates in us that we forget to steer by the immortal things:—the
stars and the eternal principles.
The corpse that lay in the Capitol
of the nation was not the result of free speech. It was a dramatic
thing to say so, but it was a stupid lie.
The corpse that lay in the Capitol
of the nation was the result of the same thing that prompted the
action of Judge Berryman Green and the venerable Reverend Doctor
Richard McIlwaine at the Virginia convention,—ignorance; ignorance
of the Higher Law.
The animal instinct, comprehending
near objects only, springs out to repress, to destroy; as the dog
snarls at the man who is crushed against him in a crowd. So with
Czolgosz; so with Judge Berryman Green; so with the venerable Reverend
Doctor Richard McIlwaine.
The reasoning instinct seeks
in the effect, the cause; and reaches unerringly backward past misleading
objects to remove it.
Human society can rid itself of assassins
only by ceasing to produce them. Private murder cannot be stamped
out by public murder. No life will be sacred until all life is sacred.
Thou shalt not kill! means you
Leon Czolgosz; and you Mr. Judge and Jury, and you
man or woman whoever you are who desire the death of any living
Now Rann, the Kite, brings home the night
Mang, the Bat, sets free—
The herds are shut in byre and hut,
loosed till dawn are we.
This is the hour of pride and power,
and tush and claw.
Oh, hear the call!—Good hunting all
keep the Jungle law.