The burden is worth the bearing if we have the assurance that somehow, sometime, we shall be able to lay it down at the feet of the Father, to learn from Him the secret why he has asked us to bear it, and to receive the assurance that, having borne it well and faithfully for His dear sake, and after the example of Him who by our Father was made the exemplar, the teacher of humanity—we shall deserve an everlasting reward.
It was the perception, the clear perception of these great truths that made him whom we honor ourselves by calling our guide, our philosopher and our leader, Mr.
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Henry George great applause , say that in the heart of these supposed nihilists, anarchists, dynamiters, in spite of their hatred of so much that is good, in spite of a spirit that at times may seem satanic in its blind desire for revenge, in spite of a spirit that would seem so destructive and so subversive and at times absolutely atheistic—that there is for all that more of the essence of religion in them than in many of those who sit in the foremost places in the synagogue and thank God that they are not like the rest of mankind applause and cheers , socialists, atheists, dynamiters, followers of Henry George laughter and applause , engaged in a Quixotic crusade.
And yet it was not the purpose, the intent, the thought of Mr. Henry George, and no more is it my thought or purpose, to justify the excesses of nihilists or socialists or dynamiters, whatever they may be. But what we have said, and what, in spite of obloquy, we shall not be afraid to say again and again great applause , is this: That the very rage, the very fury, the very apparent satanic hatred of the nihilist and the dynamiter is a magnificent tribute of the spiritual and better part of man to the god-given instinct of justice.
Take away injustice, preach to the dynamiter, to the extreme socialist, to the nihilist, of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man applause ; teach him that the crimes that outrage him, that make him so bitter against the existing order of things, are not the result of the law of God, but are the necessary penalty, the self-inflicted, the natural penalty of the violation of God's law—and he ceases to be the dynamiter applause ; he ceases to be the atheist; he takes on a reverent and a loving spirit; his sense of justice is satisfied, and he is the more willing to work by peaceful, lawful and constitutional means for the rights of the wronged, for the preaching of the gospel of truth, until we shall have attained a majority of the voters applause , who shall constitutionally and lawfully re-write the laws and satisfy the cravings for absolute equal justice among men.
We are talking about nihilists, social extremists, dynamiters, in this favored land of ours. We can persuade them—we have succeeded already in persuading not a few—to take on a different spirit. When they are permitted to see, like a gleam or a ray of light, that by constitutional means these reforms may be accomplished, they will be patient until they exhaust all such constitutional and lawful means.
We are not talking about other countries that, unfortunately for them, are different from ours, where constitutional justice does not exist,where even petition is considered a crime, where the despotic spirit of one man makes him the lawgiver and absolute master of a hundred millions of people hisses ; it is idle for us to prate to such as are subject to so brutal a despotism, of lawful and constitutional agitation; where even a respectful petition to the despot may be considered as an insult to offended majesty hisses ; where the construction to be put upon the petition and the penalty to be awarded to the petitioner all rest with the unrestrained will of a despot.
Will some one be kind enough to tell us what will be the constitutional and lawful remedy by which the people of Russia can accomplish their necessary reforms? It is very painful and humiliating for us to observe how strangely the tone and the temper of very many of our American fellow citizens have changed within a few years; how rapidly the spirit of the fierce democracy has died out; how it has become fashionable to admire and to toady to despotism anywhere and every where applause ; how it has become the correct thing to congratulate and to honor any wretched scion of the ruling family of the unfortunate country to which we have just been alluding; how a great many Americans consider it a great honor to be admitted to make a bow before the presence of crowned majesty hisses ; how it has got to be one of the dearest objects of the heart of some American fathers and mothers to wed their daughters to men whom they have to bribe with a good round sum of money to condescend to honor American girls with the touch of their hands, and with the imparting of their inherited titles of nobility.
Hisses and laughter. A friend of mine from San Francisco, California, was visiting Rome some years ago, when a young ecclesiastic came to him on a matrimonial embassy from an antiquated Roman duke, the great great grandson of a pope. I happen t o know all about the story, and was intimately acquainted with the parties, for the lady in question happened to be my own niece.
This Benedictine monk came with a serious proposa1 to the father of the child to the effect that if he would put down four hundred thousand dollars the duke would condescend to marry the girl and impart to her the title of a duchess. I am happy to say that the proposal was not accepted applause , although it came through so eminently respectable and ecclesiastical a channel. Now, then, I think it will be one of the magnificent objects to be attained by this crusade that it will revive the spirit of American republicanism and democracy.
It teaches, as a matter of political economy, sound philosophy and true religion, that the liberty and the equality of men applause spoken of in our magnificent Declaration of Independence applause are in wondrous consonance with the very spirit of the gospel of Christ. This is the gospel of the new crusade applause , the equal brotherhood of man, the equal rights of all men to the general bounties that God the Creator has spread out so lavishly for the use, the comfort and the instruction of His children.
Our movement is necessarily a moral one. We must appeal to the sentiments of the masses as against the classes. We must be in sympathy with the poorest, the lowliest. We must necessarily be on our guard against aristocrats. We must necessarily believe that it will be as hard for a true aristocrat to enter heart and soul into this movement as it is, by the very teaching of the Master Himself, difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. McGlynn brought his short address to a conclusion with the announcement that he was obliged to catch a train in order to keep an engagement for the morrow in Auburn, N.
The chairman then made several announcements of meetings during the coming week. He said that the audience that was present and cheered McGlynn to the echo did not look as if the doctor was very much isolated. He then alluded to the parade and mass meeting that was to be given in honor of Dr. McGlynn on the following Saturday, and said that the Anti-poverty society had at its last business meeting resolved to participate in a body.
He also invited the audience and their friends to participate, and requested them all to meet at Irving hall at six o'clock on the afternoon of Saturday to arrange for the parade. The society will have one of the places of honor in the procession, St, Stephen's parishioners having the first place. The chairman also announced that next Sunday evening the Anti-poverty society will have two meetings, one in the Academy of Music and one in Irving hall, each of which will be addressed by Dr. McGlynn, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost and Mr.
Croasdale introduced the author of the song, Mr. Gahan, who was received with great applause, and said:. Chairman Ladies and Gentlemen—While I was sitting here this evening I could not but congratulate myself upon the fact that I had a very peaceably-disposed gentleman sitting beside me. Within a week or two, in this city, it has become suddenly fashionable for men who style themselves Irish nationalists to denounce dynamiters, and remembering that resource of civilization which has occupied the pages of so many of our New York papers during the past week, I could not but congratulate myself upon the fact that I had such a very peaceably disposed individual as my friend Mr.
Redpath applause sitting between me and my very good friend, that awful dynamiter, John McMackin. The position which has been assigned to me this evening by the executive committee of this Anti-poverty society fills me with embarrassment. To follow the great man who has planted the cross of the new crusade on the hilltops of our consciences, is to bring forth in sharp and vivid contrast the richness of his gifts and the poverty of my own. But in this crusade there is room and work for all. There is room and work for such a great man as all acknowledge our great crusader to be.
There is room and work for one who is as humble as I am.
Adams, William T. (William Taylor)
There is room and work for all who believe in doing their duty toward their fellow men, independent of the sneers of a hostile press, and always ready to repel and resist the advances of corrupt politicians and political halls. We have heard uttered on this platform great truths; and a speaker in this new crusade can, perhaps more than most men, realize what must have been the feeling of the Hebrew emancipator when he heard from out the burning bush the words which told him that the ground on which he stood was holy. And grand and holy is this spot, because here a grand and a holy man has stood preaching and teaching the great truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man; teaching us that as God is no respecter of persons He cannot extend his benediction over hearts which do respect persons; teaching us that if we are to fulfill our duty.
And how does this Anti-poverty society propose to accomplish this mission? By infusing into the hearts and the minds and the consciences of men the great fact that there cannot be any other than a hideous and horrid system of things existing until all men rise up in their might and dignity, and bring about by their own acts the restoration of natural justice among men. It is, my friends. And why?
Because we have flung out our banner inscribed with these great words, that poverty, that crime, that misery, must exist and cannot be eradicated until all the bounties of nature created by the eternal God are thrown open to all and made free of access to all. In other words, as has been said on this platform by Mr.
Adams, William T. (William Taylor)
George and Dr. McGlynn and Mr. Pentecost, we want the earth, and with nothing less than the earth will we be satisfied. We want the land for the people applause ; and in making our demand for the restoration of the land to the people, we do so with a firm resolve and a fixed determination never to allow any mere expediency or any mere tricks of opportunism to make us lower that fair banner or enter upon compromises with the devil and with wrong.
We have seen in a newspaper published in this city this morning, a newspaper largely read by the countrymen and countrywomen of Michael Davitt, a most extraordinary statement.
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The editor makes a faint effort, a very silly attempt, to prove that the utterances of Bishop Nulty have not been correctly or fully quoted, but have been garbled by those on this side of the Atlantic who believe in the doctrine of the land for the people. And in order to make good his strange and silly case, he tells us that the Catholic hierarchy of Ireland have had a meeting recently, and that they declared that the only just and fair settlement of the land question at the present time over there in Ireland would be for the government to buy out the landlords' interest in the soil and then relet that soil to those of the people who desire to occupy it, at a rent much below that which the landlords are now enabled to obtain for it.
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Why, do not the very words of the resolution declare that in the opinion of the bishops and archbishops of Ireland, the land of the country should be bought out by the government? What is the government? The government is the state, the government is the people.
That it should be relet to those who desire to occupy it. Relet by whom? Relet by the government, by the state, by the people, back to the people, with rents to be paid back to the people, back to the state, back to the government, in order to carry on the functions of government. And with the exception of the very vicious doctrine of the resolution that the land thieves now in occupancy should be compensated, there is not a single essential feature of difference between the land theory as preached upon this platform and the land theory as declared just, equitable, wise and judicious by the assembly of archbishops and bishops of Ireland.
My friends, on this platform to follow me there is a gentleman who deserves always at the hands of the people in this city a royal welcome—no, an anti-poverty welcome; and I believe that he will much better be able to interest, and, above all, to instruct you, and it is the instruction you get here, not the regular attendance at these meetings, that is useful. And for the purpose of enabling him to be assailed from all quarters of this vast audience with questions pertinent to the issue, I will retire, first thanking you for the friendly attention you have given me, and at the same time joining my voice with that of your worthy chairman in the hope that not a single member of the Anti-poverty society, not a single friend of the society, man or woman, will be found absent next Saturday evening, but will be there applause to tell that marble hearted archbishop hisses who lives in that marble hall, to tell those people over in Rome hisses that the day has passed, if that day ever existed, when he or they could or can with impunity dare to lay their sacrilegious hands upon the ark of American freedom, the American ballot box!
Chairman Croasdale then introduced Mr. Louis F.
Volume 1 June 18, 1887
Post, and announced that he would answer such questions pertinent to the object of the meeting as anyone might choose to put. Ladies and Gentlemen: Without any vanity, I con fess that I am very much embarrassed by the duty which your committee has assigned to me tonight: and I assure you now that I shall not undertake to perform that duty in full. I do not propose to set myself up as a prize answerer of conundrums. But I will tell you what I will do. If there is any one in this audience who has any doubt upon this subject, who has any objection to make to our propositions, who is seriously inquiring into the subject, and who in that spirit will ask a question, I will answer him here and now if I can.
If I cannot answer him here and now I will look into the question and see that he gets an answer, if there is one. And if his question is a vital question, and after consideration and reflection cannot be answered, then that is the end of our crusade. We see about us a condition of poverty, and it is from that point that we start. Poverty in the midst of plenty; poverty among the people who work, and plenty among the people who are idle. And our attention is attracted by this anomaly. How can it be? We know that there are no material things that we enjoy in this world that are not produced by human labor and maintained by human labor.
Then how happens it that he who works from morning until night is in poverty, and he who spends his days and his nights as he pleases is in wealth? How happens it? That is the question that we have put to ourselves, and it is the question that we put to you. We are told sometimes that if men would only be moral and honest and industrious there would be no poverty. But we know that the work, the industry and the honesty of the masses will not abolish poverty so long as the classes have possession of the source of wealth without which no wealth can be produced.
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We have traced poverty in the world to the private ownership of the earth. And it is for that reason that we propose to get the earth back again. We do not intend to divide this earth up. That is not necessary nor desirable. So long as there is no such thing as rent, any one can take what land he wants.