Source: Crittenden Press
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “A Life Enigma in Death’s Shadow”
Author(s): Edson, Willis S.
City of publication: Marion, Kentucky
Date of publication: 5 December 1901
Volume number: 23
Issue number: 26
|Edson, Willis S. “A Life Enigma in Death’s Shadow.” Crittenden Press 5 Dec. 1901 v23n26: p. .|
|McKinley assassination (religious interpretation); Leon Czolgosz.|
|Leon Czolgosz; Jesus Christ; William McKinley.|
A Life Enigma in Death’s Shadow
IS MAN able always to understand man? This is the question we are forced to
ask ourselves sometimes as we contemplate the strange and unnatural outcroppings
of a human life. Scripture declares that man understands the things of a man
by the spirit of man which is in him, but human riddles are propounded at times
for which even the keenest and most searching spirit of man can find no solution.
We can understand how a perverted and misguided nature can steel its heart and
nerve its hand to rob a nation of its beloved and noble ruler. We do not wonder
when sullen silence locks the lips and a lying tongue refuses to reveal the
plot (if plot there be) which had its culmination in the sacrifice of a human
life at the hands of a cold-blooded assassin. But where is human spirit so keen
as to guide tongue or pen in giving satisfactory explanation to the last hours
spent by Czolgosz this side of eternity.
When autopsy reveals a normal, yea even above the normal, brain, and the other organs of the body normal and healthy, we cannot dismiss the matter with: “He was crazy,” “He was a degenerate,” “He was deficient and irresponsible.” Any or all of these conditions might give us calmness, fearless imperturbability, refreshing sleep and a relishing appetite in the face of the electric chair, one of the gateways of the assassin to the awful blackness of death and eternity.
But with none of these conditions to turn to, here is the enigma which puzzles, and baffles, and defies human explanation. But if in the natural man can be found no solution or explanation of this creature, Czolgosz, may it be possible to turn to the mysteries of the unseen world and suggest a reason for, if not an explanation of, these last moments on earth of the slayer of President McKinley? Is Satan a personality, and if so has he the power of possessing and controlling and sustaining a willing and obedient human life? Scripture from Genesis to Revelation deals with Satan as a distinct and separate personality, and in the record which it gives of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, we find the Son of God talking with and dealing with a person. And all through His ministry we find Him meeting with demon-possessed people and casting out these emissaries of Satan.
May this not be suggestive in this mystery which marks the closing moments of Czolgosz’ life? If human standards cannot compass such demeanor, must we not turn to the mystery realm and find its solution there? And if Czolgosz was one of the chosen spirits of Satan, who goes about through the earth as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8), to carry out his hellish plans, may we not learn much concerning Satan’s power in the world and the methods by which he sometimes works, and also the way he sustains in the hour of ignominious death them that belong wholly to him?