Publication information
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Source: Friend
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of publication: 21 September 1901
Volume number: 75
Issue number: 10
Pagination: 73

[untitled]. Friend 21 Sept. 1901 v75n10: p. 73.
full text
William McKinley (death: religious response).
Named persons
Elijah; William McKinley.



     THE hour of death is an honest hour, and it was in such an hour that the end of our late President’s life crowned all his other hours and deeds with the most solemn and valuable testimony of his life: “Nearer My God, to Thee!” and “It is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.” While last words are not the Power that justifies, yet the momentous events of the past two years have turned the attention of a world-wide audience now to hear such a sermon, under conditions which must make it sink most deeply into all men’s hearts.
     So the Most High evinces his power to get the victory of every weapon wielded against his will. So He proves that not every deed overruled for good is good, else an assassin’s hand might sometimes in the light of some consequences be miscalled good; even as wars, which are multiplied assassinations, are so miscalled when seeming to have been overruled for benefit.
     And who shall say that this appalling event is not one of the reactions of war which makes life-taking a familiar thought and bloodshed seem cheap, and the instinctive remedy for ills real or fancied, where the carnal mind, blinded of its moral light, learns too readily the method of nations.
     We are not, however, the judge of William McKinley’s course or Christian condition; and would place hope elsewhere than on last words for the Atonement, though prizing their testimony where man is brought low. As for war we have deemed he approached it with sincere reluctance, and sought to postpone its declaration for time enough to prove the war unnecessary, as it is seen now that a few weeks would have shown, but was overruled by legislative authority. He acted in regard to war as he had ever been popularly taught,—according to the light he had or recognized in that respect. Yet we as Friends, must deem the popular vision of such light, which seems to let the people adopt war, an impaired vision.
     If our warfare is to entail upon us coming evils, we may yet have to acknowledge that President McKinley, who did not covet the war, is mercifully taken away from such evil to come. We can be thankful that he left to the world the legacy of such dying words, that will live. We have desired that he upon whom his mantle falls, as the successor of Elijah stooped to take up his, may be so bowed in heart and soul while taking up the great responsibility, that he too, may reflect those dying words of submission to the Divine will and way, and feel the grace of his Saviour in saying, “I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”



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