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death makes it plain that increase in the size and power of our
nation heightens the conception of a national representative in
our President. The populace demands an impersonation of its ideals
and institutions—some one who may receive its homage as well as
maintain its laws. Widening domains have but focused a greater interest
in their ruler. While the President is as much as ever a citizen-executive,
he is more than ever the visible government. He embodies in his
person the dignity and honor and potentiality of a whole country.
Because they love their government, the citizens love their government’s
executive head. One of these unknown citizens becomes at the moment
of inauguration the center of the personal interest of ninety million
others; he represents them all. In such a sense the President is
Feeling this, the Christian church
is rather assured than otherwise, even by such a thing as the assassination
of President McKinley, that we are a Christian nation. In some way
we feel that the man who for one sad week had the sincerest and
intensest solicitude of millions, spoke for, as well as to, those
millions in the now famous dying words. It is true that anarchy
is the expression of an element of this nation; but “It is God’s
way: his will be done,” comes as the nation’s official utterance.
So at a moment of terrible darkness, there is national hope and
national faith. “In God we trust”—theistic. “His will be done”—Christian.
Our dying President said the latter.