Source: Christian Observer
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Death of the President”
City of publication: Louisville, Kentucky
Date of publication: 18 September 1901
Volume number: 89
Issue number: 38
|“The Death of the President.” Christian Observer 18 Sept. 1901 v89n38: p. 1.|
|William McKinley (death); McKinley assassination (religious response); McKinley assassination (religious interpretation).|
|David; Joab; William McKinley.|
The Death of the President
President McKinley died at Buffalo, N. Y., early
on the morning of Saturday, September 14.
The whole nation mourns his loss. In the North, in the South, in the East, in the West, the sorrow is the same. His death is a great loss to the world.
The manner of his death—by the hand of an assassin—is peculiarly a shock. This country has been made a home for the oppressed, not with the expectation that they who were sheltered by it would turn and sting it.
The effect of his death is to unite the different sections of this country in closer bonds. Whatever differences of interests there may have been, whatever antagonisms as to public policy, they are all sunk in the feeling that our President has been assassinated. We are all one in the sense of a wrong done to us.
Such are the human aspects of the assassination.
Our people would do well to look also at the message which God intends thereby
to convey to us. The event is clearly a chastisement from God upon this nation.
It is becoming in us to pause and ask the why and wherefore of it.
We do not attempt here to specify the particular sins of our nation; we simply call attention to a parallel, found in 2 Samuel 24. David’s kingdom had enjoyed prosperity parallel to that of the United States. David was indulging self-congratulation and a spirit of pride akin to that of our American people. In this spirit he ordered a census. Others could see that it was done in a wrong spirit, and remonstrated. But David could not see the wrong that was in it though even Joab (of notoriously slow conscience) was among the protestants: not until God sent the pestilence upon the nation did David become conscious of his sinful pride. That chastisement made David cry, “I have sinned greatly.”
Our temptation to pride has been like David’s; would that the chastisement which we now bear might have the like good effect upon us as a nation!