網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

T

HOMAS JEFFERSON, democrat-framer of the

Declaration of Independence-lawyer, educator,

diplomat, stands side by side with Franklin. Jefferson taught a nation to love to govern itself. He showed that the purpose of government is to benefit the people. Our government was instituted for the people, by the people, and those who hold office are to be of the people. I The young Republic made this man President of the United States. He rode to the Capitol building alone, on horseback; tied his horse; went in and took the oath of office as a private citizen assuming a great and grave responsibility so se g Thomas Jefferson established no court at Washington. He did not ape and imitate nobility. There was only one nobility he recognized, and that was the nobility of character. He lived his simple life there, and his business was to work for the people. I Thomas Jefferson was a Democrat, and he believed in political and natural equality as opposed to aristocracy. I He had prescience. He was so great that he saw that the days of conquest were passing, and he took the initial step in modern business when he made the Louisiana Purchase. This is the greatest act of his entire life.

He saw that the day would dawn when the religion of our mothers would not be good enough for us, because he knew we are an evolving race; that freedom of thought is necessary to freedom of action. So he laid the foundation for Separation of Church and School, Church and State. We have not yet recognized that one structure is independent of the other. There is an underground connection between Church and School-a sort of subway. And the

country still feels a little safer if a candidate for political office “goes to church." g Yet there is no wall nor roof holding them together. They are fundamentally free, because Thomas Jefferson knew that they must be free. g The man who wrote the Declaration of Independence put the thought of human rights forever before the world. In Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six it made all żyrants tremble; today they know that death to tyranny is near, even at the door. g The Declaration of Independence was the announcement of the new birth of the world. Thomas Jefferson laid a foundation for Democracy for all nations. Democracy amalgamates the classes of master and slave, rich and poor, patrician and plebeian, for Democracy is a recognition of monism--"ye are all brethren." I Thomas Jefferson, the man of culture, the lover, the husband, the father, lived the life he taught. This country would do well to catch up with Thomas Jefferson.

T

HOMAS PAINE, the patriot, lover of liberty,
American in spirit, taught the world that liberty

is the national right of every human being. He loved freedom for himself, but he could not enjoy what was not within the reach of all.“ Where liberty is, there is my home,” said Jefferson. “Where liberty is not, there is my home," said Paine. His work was to make all men long for their birthright. I He came to America when this country needed a great brain to formulate into an argument a divine feeling which American men and women could not express for them

selves. He wrote his thoughts in clear, limpid English which he who read could understand. He printed and distributed at his own expense many thousands of pamphlets because he wanted the people to know that in Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six there was an opportunity to give to mankind its birthright-freedom. He knew it would take many years for man to be born free, because man is entangled and enmeshed in a network of bondage. Superstitions, fears, barbaric instincts are still man's inheritance. A free man—the superman-is as yet only a hope and a beautiful dream. But it is a dream which shall yet come true.

Thomas Paine was a great factor in giving to us thoughts which are growing. The result must be a nation where men may be born with their divine birthright of Liberty. I England, France and America were made more noble, more intelligent, more civilized by the work he did for each country and for all countries. No nation of the world has forgotten Paine, and certainly no religious sect has. He wrote of the rights of man when men believed that only gods had rights. At best, men had only privileges. Today we dare to affirm that women as well as men have rights. Paine was the pioneer of this thought. The “Rights of Man ” will never die so long as men have rights. g He believed that even in his time man was passing from the

age when man's actions were the result of his passions; that man was leaving the confines of the dominion of animals, and that the age of reason was here, at the door. 9 Paine was a Quaker by birth and a friend by nature. The world was his home, mankind were his friends, to do good was his religion.

A

BRAHAM LINCOLN, liberator of men, man of the

people! He was so wise that he knew there was no

freedom for any man while any man was a slave. I There is no one in history with whom to compare Lincoln. He was a unique figure. His work was unique and individual. He saved the people from themselves. America was in great peril. When the North hated the South and the South hated the North-bitter foes—Lincoln was counselor for the whole country. He was neither Confederate nor Federal. He was foe to no man. He was the friend to all and to each—the savior of his country. g No man then knew better than did Lincoln the worth to civilization of this Republic. He knew how precious was the life of this form of government, and his whole desire was to preserve it. I It is easy to act when judgment says, “ This side is right and that side wrong.” Lincoln knew that both the North and the South were right and wrong. He had to deal with that hydra-headed monster, the people. The multitude must be educated, made to see that others had rights, even when these others were wrong. I But Lincoln's work was not to teach. He must act. Preachers, teachers, lecturers, even private citizens, harangued, stormed, became embittered. It was a time when feeling, not judgment, was in the saddle and riding mankind se on 9 Editors of newspapers and magazines praised, blamed and denounced this great executive. He stopped for none of this. He had no personal griefs, although invectives were hurled at him. g Out of this chaos and turmoil, he created, set in order,

brought peace, and saved the country from the ruin which threatened se do 9 No man today doubts the honesty of the heart of this great man, and few doubt the wisdom of his acts. Time has vindicated his deeds. He charmed men by his integrity and his nobility of soul sau de g He believed in the common people, and knew that eventually they would see the right. He was willing to wait for them to see for themselves, and to let time adjust men to conditions inevitable. I Lincoln was a child of Nature, so close to the source of wisdom that he did not need to call upon books nor educators from schools, for his brain and heart divined the wisdom of the ages. His will and courage overcame the opposition of friend and foe, so that the Ship of State weathered the most fearful storm any nation could endure. I Lincoln was the man of heart and will and brain; the man who worked for all of the people all of the time, I He loved humanity se His life was spent in serving humanity se 30

W

ALT WHITMAN, of whom Thoreau said, Не is Democracy,” expressed for America the spirit

of liberty. This man was born free, and he was never in bonds to traditions. He kept his body and brain unshackled, and he lived, loved and worked unconventionally in a conventional world. I He lived his own life of thought, and he expressed his thoughts in his own way. To him man was greater than the laws man had made, or the gods man had made, and

« 上一頁繼續 »