Page images

their capital a central government, known as the devil's Tuilleries, and man dares to be proud and arrogant.”

“‘Man, proud man,
Dress'd in a little brief authority,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep.”

“‘Well,' you will say, ‘these are demagogical words.’ No matter, as for me, I have no longer any political opinions. I decree love: I am no longer a royalist except toward that kind of royalty. Behold, omnipotence, Love. God is love. God wished to express his idea. He created the man, and then he created woman, and that was the wit of God. The devil, who is cunning, took to hating man, man who is still more cunning, took to loving woman; in this way he does more good than the devil does harm. There have been royal scepters, and there have been imperial scepters, scepters of iron and scepters of gold, the Revolution has taken the scepters of sixty ecnturies and twisted them between the thumb and forefinger, like a wisp of straw, there is no longer any scepter, they lie on the earth broken, done for. This is the heritage of the nineteenth century, but I defy a revolution against the power of love.

“Yes, Jehan, yes, Evadne, you are right. To love, to be loved, what a fine miracle. You have gained the great prize. Guard it well, do not squander it. Adore each other and snap your fingers at all the rest.

“Believe what I say to you, I am talking good sense and good sense cannot lie. He who loves is orthodox, the man who adores God loves his wife. Why does God show us so many beautiful things if he does not intend that we shall love one another and in this way be happy. My children receive a father's blessing.”

It was a delightful midsummer evening. In the antechamber three violins and a flute softly played quartets by Haydn. Suddenly the glad strains of the fourth symphony, “A Song of Joy,” by Beethoven, stirred the air throughout the banquet rooms.

In the very heavens, the music of angels seemed to blend with that of earth.




Benjamin Franklin said that “He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.” “Jefferson, Madison, Washington and the people of the United States did introduce into public affairs in this nation the principles of primitive Christianity that are especially for the guidance of States and nations as such—the principle of the exclusive jurisdiction of God alone in all affairs of religion, the principle of the exclusion of the government from all things pertaining to religion, the principle of perfect Religious Liberty. “And this has changed the face of the world. “No one thought of vindicating religion for the conscience of the individual, till a voice in Judea, breaking day for the greatest epoch in the life of humanity by establishng a pure, spiritual and universal religion for all mankind, enjoined to render to Caesar only that which is Caesar's. The rule was upheld during the infancy of the Gospel for all men. “No sooner was this religion adopted by the chief of the Roman Empire than it was shorn of its character of universality and enthralled by an unholy connection with the unholy State. And so it continued, till the New Nation—the least defiled with the barren scoffings of the eighteenth century, the most general believer in Christianity of any people of that age, the chief heir of the Reformation in its purest form—when it came to establish a government for the United States, refused to treat faith as a matter to be regulated by a corporate body, or as having a headship in a monarch or a State.” “The Constitution establishes nothing that interferes with equality and individuality. It knows nothing of differences by descent, or opinions, or favored classes, or legalized religion, or the political power of property. It leaves the individual alongside of the individual. “No nationality of character could take form, except on the principle of individuality; so that the mind might be free, and every faculty have the unlimited opportunity for its development and culture.—The rule of individuality was extended as never before.—Religion was become avowedly the attribute of man, and not of a corporation. “Vindicating the right of individuality even in religion, and in religion above all, the New Nation dared to set the example of accepting in its relations to God the principle first divinely ordained in Judea.” The Lord Jesus, the Author of the Gospel as it was first propagated, proclaimed from God this perfect Religious Liberty, in the sweeping words, “If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not.” John 12:47. When the Creator and Lord of all, declares every man's freedom not to believe even his words, then that utterly excludes all other persons, potentates, and powers, from ever

judging or condemning anybody for any dissent or variance in any matter of religion or faith.

And that is the American and Constitutional principle.

And so says the Scripture again: “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand.

“So, then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:4, 12.


“Through its Sunday laws this principle of the Gospel was repudiated, and this liberty blotted out in all Europe by the world despotism of the papacy, that sunk the Roman Empire and carried the world to the brink of perdition. In the Reformation God again rescued mankind, and called men to the religious liberty upon which the Gospel was first propagated. But not till the planting of this newest nation did these principles ever find any place of recognition in government.

“The principles had always been there for recognition by every government. The principles were ordained of God for the recognition of governments and of men everywhere. But to this nation alone in all the world, befell the splendid distinction of taking this divinely ordained way of genuine religious liberty as a fundamental government principle. And this religious liberty has assured in this land civil liberty in higher degree and larger measure than was ever known before on earth.

“And by these two great principles of religious liberty and civil liberty, this nation has led the whole world out of the darkness and into the light. And here she is, Columbia,

« PreviousContinue »