Project Canterbury

Religion and Politics

By Algernon Sidney Crapsey

New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1905.

Chapter XIII. The American Church-State

In his address before the ministerial association the mayor of Rochester urged upon his hearers the necessity of attending the primary elections if they wished to have any real influence in the government of their city. He pointed out the fact that these primaries are the source of political power. At these primaries delegates are chosen to the various party conventions, which conventions declare public policies and name candidates for public office. The primary is the headwater of our political and social life, and upon its purity depends the health of the community. It would seem, therefore, the duty of every citizen to guard the primary from all contamination, and as the ministers are, by office, the guardians of the moral well-being of the state, they of all men ought to watch over the primaries. But the suggestion that the ministers should directly influence the primaries, as the primaries of the great parties are now conducted, is a suggestion that would call forth a sneer and a laugh. The minister can be present at the primary [297/298] only by the complete abdication, not simply of his ministerial office, but also of his religious feelings and of his moral character. He would seek in vain in the primary for any evidence of religious sentiment or moral principle. If the primary were held in a room, that room would reek with tobacco smoke., and the men in that place would not hesitate to desecrate it with their coarseness, their profanity, and their obscenity. A closer acquaintance would reveal the fact that moral considerations have no place in the transactions of the primary. No fear of public ill, no hope of public good, has lodgment in the heart of any man in that meeting. Everyone who is an actor in that scene seems moved by some low, petty desire. The managing mind of the meeting is some professional politician whose sole purpose is to keep his hold on the party organization for personal and mercenary reasons. The names of the men on the ticket presented to the minister and for whom he is expected to vote are, for the most part, names of men of whom he has never heard before, and of whose standing and character he is wholly ignorant. And then there is the appalling fact that in the primary a large proportion of the voters can be influenced by the most [298/299] paltry motives. A dollar or less in money, the promise of a day's work, a pat on the back by the leader of the ward, a glass of liquor, is all that is needed to secure the support of this riff-raff of the saloon that is gathered into this meeting to determine the destinies of the American people.

Beside all this, the primary is not what it pretends to be. it is not a meeting of free citizens for the purpose of selecting men who shall represent them and declare their will in the formulation of public policies and the nomination of public officers. The men in the meeting are not acting freely; they are obeying the behests of a sinister outside influence which has predetermined their action. A moral and religious man has the same grief and pain of soul in a modern political primary that he has in a brothel; in the one, as in the other, he sees the prostitution of the highest and holiest to the most degrading and basest use. In his estimation the prostitution of the functions of the state to private, personal, and mercenary ends is even more appalling and disastrous than the prostitution of woman. The poison of the one may be kept within bounds, but the evil virus of the other corrupts the whole body politic. Now it is evident that a minister [299/300] of religion cannot be present as a participant in the doings of the primary any more than he can be present as a participant in the doings of a house of shame. His very presence there is a rebuke or a surrender. If he dares to exercise his office of a prophet, and reprove the iniquity of the primary, he is told in language more forcible than polite that the primary is not a prayer meeting. He is made to understand in the most unmistakable manner that religion is not politics, nor politics religion.

In the great majority of American minds this assertion that politics is not religion would have the force of a self-evident axiom; and yet the whole history of the world proves that while religion is much more than politics yet politics is religion. Woodrow Wilson in his treatise on "The State," speaking of the government of the ancient Greek cities, says: "In every way the political life of the city spoke of religion. [Woodrow Wilson, The State, p. 31.] There was a city hearth in the prytaneum on which a fire sacred to the city's gods was kept ceaselessly burning; there were public repasts at which, if not the whole people, at least representatives sat down to break the sacred [300/301] cake and pour out the consecrated wine to the gods; the council feast to which the King invited the elders, though also a social feast, was first of all a sacred, sacrificial repast, over which the King presided by virtue of his priestly office. There were festivals at certain times in honor of the several deities of the city, and the council always convened in a temple. Politics was a religion."

And what is true of ancient Greece is true of all great nations and all pure politics. Gerritt Smith, in his pamphlet on "The one test of character," has expressed this thought so aptly that I will give it in his words: "We are told, that a church should not meddle with politics. There is, however, nothing on earth that should give it more concern. Politics, rightly interpreted, are the care of all for each,--the protection afforded by the whole people to every one of the people; and hence a church might better omit to apply the principles of Christ to everything else than to politics. Manifestly, I am not speaking here of the satanic politics, which have ever cursed every part of the world, but of the heaven-commanded and heaven-imbued politics, which have never yet extended their blessed sway over any people."

[302] It is only a passing phase of modern thought that has attempted to separate the religious and political interests of mankind. In the great permanent thought of the world politics is religion. Politics was religion when Moses led the Children of Israel up and out of Egypt and laid the foundation of the Hebrew state in the ten commandments. Politics was religion when Isaiah poured his inspired scorn on the Egyptian policy of the Jewish politicians, and when Jeremiah sternly condemned Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, King of Judah, to the burial of an ass. Politics was religion when Jesus, the Son of David, based the Kingdom of God on the beatitudes and the five negative laws of righteousness. Politics was a religion when the Greeks, inspired by Athena and led by Mars, saved European civilization on the field of Marathon. Politics was a religion throughout the whole period of republican purity in Rome. Every Roman believed that Romulus had built the city on the hill that the gods had chosen, and that Numa, their law-giver, was inspired with wisdom by a divinity. Politics was religion in the days of Charlemagne when he took churchmen into his council and made Alcuin the chief adviser of the state. Politics was religion [302/303] when Henry of Germany sought Bruno of Toul to work with him for the restoration of order in Europe. Politics was religion when Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, at a meeting of the barons, at St. Paul's Cathedral, produced the charter of Henry I. and made it the basis of the Great Charter of English liberties, which the bishops and barons compelled John to sign at Runnymede. Politics was religion when Cromwell and his Ironsides swept the armies of Charles I. from the field of Marston Moor, and destroyed forever the doctrine of the divine right of Kings to rob and oppress the people. Politics was religion when the Pilgrims in the cabin of the Mayflower in the presence and fear of God constituted themselves a commonwealth, and made themselves the seed corn of the great American nation. Politics was religion when George Washington knelt in the snows of Valley Forge and prayed for the political salvation of his people, and when the same man went from St. Paul's church in New York city to his inauguration as first President of the United States. Politics was religion when Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural, gave utterance to the spirit of religious consecration which for four years had [303/304] kept him steadfast to a sacred duty, and, with malice toward none, with charity toward all, laid his life a sacrifice on the altar of his country. Politics was religion when Theodore Roosevelt, leaving the limitations of his office, acting as the high priest of American morality and religion, compelled the labor leaders and the coal operators to come before him and settle their quarrel that was bringing misery upon the poor and anarchy upon the nation. Politics was religion in the city of Rochester when ministers left their churches and women the sacred retirement of their homes and went upon the political platform to plead for the purity and integrity of our public school system, and to secure to our children an education based upon the science of pedagogy, and not upon the necessities of the spoilsman. Politics is religion because it has to do with major morals, with the relations of men to each other in communities, with honesty in trade, with gentleness in action, with truth in speech. The nation exists as a polity for the purpose of detecting dishonesty, for suppressing violence, and for discovering truth and uncovering falsehood. The one cry that goes up from man to God is for justice. All the prophets from Moses to Jesus [304/305] declare it to be the will of God that righteousness be done in the earth. God is righteousness and in righteousness is His Kingdom established.

And the nation, the state, and the city have no other function than to translate righteousness into the definite forms of justice. When the Constitutional Convention of 1787 sent forth the Constitution which it devised for the government of the nation it did so in these words: "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tran-quility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our children, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Now can any man write a more perfect description of the Kingdom of God on earth or in heaven than is to be found in these words? A government resting upon such principles as these is not a godless policy; it is a holy religion; and all the more so because the religion is unconscious, resting in [305/306] the great eternal laws of justice as surely and serenely as the earth rests in the law of gravitation. When the people of the United States decreed by constitutional amendment that the government should never by law establish any religion, they did actually establish the only religion that could comprehend in its membership the whole American people. A religion having as its basis the principles of individual liberty and obedience to righteous law is really the religion of the golden rule. Nor has this religion been simply a theory powerless to work righteousness in the world. It has created a great and happy people. Never before in the history of the world have so large a number of human beings lived together under one government, so little restrained by governmental control; with so many opportunities, with so many advantages, intellectual, social, and physical, as are now living in the United States of America. This population has come from every region of the earth and from races most alien to each other, and yet, under the influences of the religious principles underlying the American republic, these alien elements have been welded into one compact American citizenship. This wonder has come to pass in [306/307] a way so simple that it has escaped observation. By a sublime instinct the American people have created the organ that has resolved race and religious differences into the larger life of a common citizenship. Gently, but firmly, the people withdrew the education of the children from under the hand of all lesser religions, and placed it in the power and keeping of the larger religion of the state. [The religion of the churches has to do with the salvation of the individual, the religion of the state with the salvation of the community; hence it is the greater.] The common school is the great resolvent. The German, the Italian, the Pole, the Hun, enter that school and come out Americans. In my neighborhood are Italians who in a single generation have become ardent Americans. They speak the language of the country and understand the genius of its laws. Without the public school the United States would be an undigested mass of alien races. By means of the public school we are a homogeneous people. We are told that the public schools have no religion. But if religion be love, and joy, and peace in the holy air of God, then the public schools have done more to promote true religion than all the churches in the land. What the [307/308] churches and denominations are doing their utmost to prevent the common schools are accomplishing. They are uniting the American people in a great common religion,--a religion based upon the scientific method which finds God in the present truth: a religion which is democratic, and finds the highest expression of law in the common judgment of the whole people; a religion which is socialistic in that it is controlled by the social organism, the state, and knows no distinction of rank or class, and looks only to the public welfare. As I look about the city of my residence, and see our beautiful schoolhouses, with their splendid equipment, and know that, so far as this city is concerned, this mighty molding institution is guided and governed by the single purpose of giving to the children the best physical, intellectual, and moral training of which the children are capable and which the appliances can secure, then, like John in the presence of Jesus, I say these must increase, while we must decrease.

All church and denominational differences are melting away under the warmth generated by the public school. We cannot hold our young in our different churches, because they have learned in [308/309] our public schools that our differences are not essential. They sec no moral difference between the Methodist and the Baptist, between the Episcopalian and the Presbyterian, between the Catholic and the Protestant, between the Jew and the Christian. They see that the common humanity is greater than the denominational difference. And we have all come to believe with our children. In our business, in our social intercourse, in our intellectual life, all sectarian differences have disappeared. In life we have made, not creed but character, the test of our approval. It is only on Sunday that we go to our churches and work hard to keep our belief that it is necessary to be a Presbyterian or a Baptist, a Methodist or an Episcopalian, a Catholic or a Protestant, a Jew or a Christian, in order to be acceptable to God. But the children are learning better than all this. They are reading the story of man as it is found in the myth, the legend, the folk-lore and the chronicles of all peoples, and comparing this story with that of the Hebrew people, they see at once that the history of this people is not exceptional. That it has its elements of myth and legend and folk-lore as well as the Greek and the Hindu. So our children are [309/310] beginning to catch a glimpse of that God, whose revelation has come, not to one, but to all, nations,--a God who revealed Himself to our Aryan forefathers by the name of Varuna in the stars; who inspired the Greek with the worship of Athena in the air; who made Himself known to Moses as Jehovah in the burning bush; and by the mouth of the prophet cried: This is the name whereby He shall be called, "The Lord our Righteousness." By the study of comparative religion our children are learning that God manifested Himself to the Aryan races as Light and Power, to the Semetic races as Justice, Mercy, and Truth. And in the last age He focused these two great religions in the person of Jesus, the Christ, who is to us Righteousness and Peace and the Light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world.

This great church-state of America has driven out the age-long hatred of the Christian toward the Jew. In this church-state the Jew finds every disability removed. He is honored or dishonored just as he does or does not do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with his God. It is only a few Sundays ago that an honored Jewish Rabbi spoke [310/311] with acceptance from a Presybterian pulpit. And yet we cannot read the signs of the times.

It is because the interests committed to the state are so vast that the primary, which is the source of political power, is so vitally important. Our city government has not only the education of our young, it has our lives, our property, our health, in its keeping. The two ministers of religion who are doing the most for the common salvation to-day are the mayor and the health officer. The mayor is devoting himself with unselfish ardor to the public welfare. The health officer, who has many of the characteristics of the mediaeval saint, has saved the lives of hundreds of children. Formerly the average number of funerals of children dying of cholera morbus in this parish in the month of August was five. In the last few years we have not had one,--thus proving that scientific religion is, at least, the physical salvation of the people.

If there is one point on which I would take issue with the mayor in his admirable address it is the importance which he seemed to ascribe to party organizations. Parties are simply voluntary organizations of the people for the purpose of securing [311/312] the adoption of certain governmental policies. Parties have no legal existence; the breath of the people creates them, and the breath of the people can blow them away. The mayor seemed to think that there was some party organization that could stand between the people and their will. No such party organization exists or ever did exist. Three great parties have served the uses of the American people in the course of their history. The Federalist party, which under the leadership of Madison and Hamilton brought about the union of the states under the Federal Constitution; the Democratic party, which under the leadership of Jefferson and Van Buren secured the safety of the nation by placing it on the broad foundation of manhood suffrage; the Republican party, which saved the Union from destruction and delivered the country from the curse of slavery. The so-called Whig party under the leadership of Webster continued the work of the Federalist in consolidating the Union, and under the leadership of Clay was a party of factious opposition. The Federalist party passed quietly away when its work was done. The Democratic party, after ruling almost uninterruptedly for sixty years, came under the malign influence of the [312/313] slave power, lost the confidence of the people, and went down to defeat in i860, from which defeat it has never been able fully to recover. The Republican party was the creation of that religious enthusiasm which looked upon slavery as an abomination in the sight of God. It was the moral sentiment of the country that gave existence to the party of Lincoln, and the people have not yet forgotten the years of stress and storm through which they were carried by this political organization. But there is nothing sacred about the Republican or any other party; it must serve the people, or it must perish. There is more than a strong suspicion abroad that both of the existing political parties are under the malign influence of a corrupt commercialism. It is the belief of an increasing number that our laws are being made, not in the interest of the whole people, but in the interests of a special class. We see our common councils, our state legislatures, even our national Congress, sacrificing the common welfare to individual and corporate greed. This corrupt commercialism is making merchandise of our office-holding class, bribing the dishonest and brow-beating the honest. Now let this suspicion ripen into conviction, and the party [313/314] or parties responsible for this condition will be swept out of existence by a more everwhelming defeat than that which befel the Whig party in 1852, or the Democratic party in 1872. Parties are for the people, and not the people for parties.

And it is with the people that all parties, states, and churches have at last to reckon. As long as these organizations in any way serve the purposes of the people, the people will serve the organizations, and will continue them in being. But as soon as an organization ceases to respond altogether to the demands of the people then that organization is on its deathbed, and its passing away is only a question of time. Every organization, social, political, and religious, carries within itself the principles of its own dissolution. Organizations are to the life of the race what the human body is to the life of man. They are subject to disease, old age, decay, and death. In the day of our Lord Jesus Christ those forms of civil and religious life in which men had lived for ages had lost their power to satisfy the souls of men, and the people of western Asia and of Europe forsook the temple and the synagogue, abandoned the forum, and the academy, and created the Christian church and the Christian [314/315] nations. For a thousand years the mediaeval church was the teacher, the guide, the protector, of the people of Europe. The church exercised over the nations the care and the authority of a parent, but in the fourteenth century the parent had grown old and decrepit, while the children had come to man's estate. The church could no longer meet the requirements of the people, in consequence of which the people went out of the church by the millions and established the national churches as a temporary refuge. Not finding these national churches adequate to their spiritual needs, multitudes of the people seceded from them and created the great denominations.

To-day the denominations, as well as the national churches, are failing to satisfy the demands of the new age, and the people are leaving them by the millions, and are seeking new forms for the expression of their spiritual and moral life. It is in vain that the churches and denominations plead their age in justification of their authority; for their age is the one thing that is against them. It is because they are old and have lost their power of adaptability that they are losing their hold upon the intelligence of men. The churches and the [315/316] denominations are living to-day upon their past achievements. Men honor them and reverence them more for what they have done than for what they are doing. The Catholic Church sits in the modern world as the aged grandparent of modern civilization. As such we owe her veneration, but not obedience. Her thoughts and wishes, like all the thoughts and wishes of the aged, dwell in the past. Her pontiff sits in the Vatican, and dreams of the good old times, when all men were subject to the church, and the church was obedient to the Pope. But, sad though it be, the good old times will never come again. The authority of the Catholic church over the reason and conscience of mankind is gone forever.

The national churches and the denominations are the parents of the existing order; but they, too, have reached a point when parental authority is difficult of exercise. The children have grown up, and have a will and a mind of their own. What is occuring in the religious and political life of the world to-day is that which occurs in every household: The boys and girls become men and women, but the father and the mother will not see it; and the consequence is alienated affections and broken [316/317] hearts. Happy is that family in which the father and the mother grow young with the children, and receive from the lips of the children the wisdom of youth. What is true of the family is true of the churches. Happy is that church which listens to the children as they stand in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. The age-long tragedy of the world is this misunderstanding between the young and the old. Well said the prophet: "Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." [Joel, XI: 28.] Dreams and visions, past and future, old and young,--are not these the necessary stages in the evolution of life? He that is young to-day will be old to-morrow; he that is old to-day was young yesterday. Let the youth venerate his own old age in the old age of his father, and let the father respect his own youth in the youth of his son, and then shall the dream and the vision be one.

Existing political parties in the United States, like existing religious institutions, are smitten with age. Political parties are, in their nature, much shorter lived than religious organizations. They are created by the people for a definite purpose. When [317/318] that purpose is accomplished the party ceases to be. Because of what it has done a party may live long in the affections of the people, and the people may use it for general purposes even after its special work is accomplished. But a party cannot live forever simply upon its history. It must do the present will of the people or it must die. The people will never forget the debt of gratitude which it owes to the old Democratic party for carrying it through the great bloodless revolution in the last century, by which political power was transferred from the few to the many. Speaking of this revolution in his "History of Political Parties in the State of New York," Mr. Hammond says: "I am now to approach a period in the political history of this state when an event occurred in a measure unprecedented in any other part of the world, but which, highly to the honor of this country, and fortunately for its inhabitants, is not unusual in the United States. The event to which I allude is a change by the will of a majority of the people, peaceably and constitutionally expressed, of some of the important and fundamental principles of the government. I say important and fundamental principles, because the sovereign power of creating [318/319] the Executive and one branch of the Legislative Department of the government was in a measure transferred from one class of men to another, and because the power of disposing of nearly the whole patronage of the state was actually changed, and I may add, that one branch of the law-making power was abolished, and the functions held and exercised by that department transferred to an individual. In past ages in every other country such a change could only have been effected by physical force; here it was brought about by moral power." [Hammond, History of Political Parties in the state of New York, vol. 2, chap. 1.] It had been well for the Democratic party if it had gone on in its work of equalizing the political life of the people, and had given political rights to the laborer in the south as it gave political rights to the laborer in the north. By drawing an arbitrary line, and being one thing in the south and another thing in the north, the Democratic party became the cause of its own destruction. Its alliance with the slave power, being in flat contradiction to its own fundamental principles, caused it to lose the confidence of the people and they went out of it by the hundred thousand to form the
[319/320] Republican party, the purpose of which was to limit the area of slavery, and put in the way of gradual extinction. The Republican party was called upon to do more than it promised. It carried the nation through the great crisis of its history, and gave to it freedom and unity. For the work that it has done the people will always hold it in reverent affection. But the Civil War is over, and new issues are upon us. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic party is meeting the demands of the new age. Manhood suffrage for the white and personal liberty for the colored race are both achieved. But they have not been made effective. Of what good is manhood suffrage if its only use is to vote one set of office holders in and another set of office holders out; of what use is personal freedom if it cannot be exercised in speech and action. Manhood suffrage should be used for the enfranchisement of man from industrial thralldom and social disadvantage. Personal freedom should be used for the purpose of securing and maintaining personal dignity and personal power. The new age is upon us; the age of industrial freedom and social equality; the age that is to deliver man at last from bondage to man. In old time the princes and [320/321] nobles delivered themselves from the bondage to the King; claimed and acquired the right to share with him in the government of the state. More recently the middle class, the merchant and the lawyer, freed itself from dependence on the prince and the noble, and became dominant in the political life of the world. And now the great mass of the people who do the world's work are pressing forward to claim an effective place for themselves in the social and political economy of the nations. They are asking for themselves and their children a share in those privileges which hitherto have been the privilege of the few. They are demanding decent homes to be born and to die in and sufficient leisure for thought and for prayer. The miner in the darkness of the mine is dreaming of light, and the girl in the noise and ugliness of the factory is thinking of beauty and quiet. The people are moving, and the old organizations must move with them or perish. Serve or die is the stern decree of fate. If the churches exist largely for the purpose of supporting the clergy, and the political parties for the purpose of providing places for the politicians, then both churches and parties are doomed.

[322] The church-state in America, which includes all parties and all churches, has done great things; but greater remain to be done. It has given political power to the people. But the people must now use that power to secure industrial opportunity and social betterment. We have learned how to produce, but not how to distribute. We have vast, fabulous wealth at one end of the social scale, and bare subsistence at the other. The forms of law are used to divert the earnings of the honest and industrious into the purse of the dishonest and the idle. Widows and orphans are beguiled into buying undigested securities which prove to be undigestible, and which rob the widow and the fatherless of their little all. To correct these abuses, and to call the nation back to its high and holy calling as a church-state whose duty it is to promote the general welfare, to secure domestic tranquillity, and above and before all to establish justice,--is the task to which the American people must set itself without delay.

We are upon the threshold of a movement that shall carry mankind to a higher stage of being. No one is satisfied with the present conditions. The rich are ashamed, and the poor are angered. The [322/323] time is at hand for preaching the gospel to the poor. We will build no more cathedrals or churches, if we can help it, until we have delivered the poor from the slum and the sweat shop. We will send no missionaries to the heathen to preach a Christ whose name we glorify, but whose teaching we despise. We will not ask the people to come to our churches until our churches are purified from a corrupt commercialism. When our Christian merchants close their stores at a decent hour on Saturday nights, then we can expect to have hearty worship on Sunday morning. When these same merchants pay proper wages to the girls and the women whom they employ, so that these same girls and women are in no danger of having to sell their souls to keep their bodies alive; when we have honesty in trade and open dealing in corporations,--why then, and not till then, will the people think of coming to the churches. What we need is a moral and spiritual reformation, and we need it at once. Our church-state is in danger. The abomination of desolation is in the Holy Place.

How shall we bring this reformation about? I hear you cry. Why in the simplest way in the world: Heed the words of the mayor of Rochester, [323/324] and go to the primary. Go first to the primary of your own heart, and see that no malign and sinister influence rules your will. See to it that you subject your own petty desires to the general good. Dare to speak the truth though so to speak cost you friends and place and power. If the primary of your heart be clean, then can you think of cleansing the city, the state, and the nation. Go to the primary of your home and bring up your children in the belief that man is more than money, and that property rights are always to be subject to personal rights. Then go to the primary of your ward, insist that the meeting shall be open and free, meet, not in a saloon or a barber shop, but in the assembly room of your schoolhouses; speak for decency and order and open discussion; demand of your alderman the same unblemished personal character that you would demand of your minister; let the man whom you send to a convention represent you, and not some outside sinister influence; make your primaries political schools for the discussion of national and state policies. If the old parties are corrupt then form a new party that will do the will of the people. Have large, wide, uplifting views for yourself, for your city, for your state and your [324/325] nation,--views befitting the high and holy religion of justice and mercy and truth.

And as for you, O ye unprivileged classes, who have been put off with words about trinities and unities, about incarnations and personalities, the worn-out terminology of the Greek dialectic, and have been told that to say these things is true religion,--know this that pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: "To visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Know this, also, that some of us are not going to think so much of the heaven which lies before us as of the heaven we can leave behind us. After we are gone millions and millions will be born into our great church-state of America and we cannot bear to think that they will be born into a land of depraved ideals, of religious dissonance, and social discontent. Before we close our eyes in death we would like to see the promise of a better day, when men shall no longer make gain their god; when they shall no longer say one thing in the church and do another in the world; when they shall cease to quarrel about God, and try to obey Him; when the rich man shall not glory in his riches, nor the [325/326] strong man in his strength; when this earth shall be the home of a virtuous, happy, contented race of men and women; when all nations will be united in the religion of justice, mercy and truth, and have it as their mission to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, to insure domestic tranquillity, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessing of liberty to themselves and their children.

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