The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 25, 1908, Page 6, Image 6

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The Commoner
mbn people. He lives and feels In their plane,
and ..when thrown to the earth, he falls among
them and gathers new strength from the recti
tude of his cause and the love and confidence
of the common people.
Bryan has never been defeated. No man
la defeated who falls In the battle where truth
Is slain. The corporations see that Bryan lives
and gains new strength every time that he is
dashed to the parth where dwell the common
people. Their only tactics is to hold him high
above and apart from the people In mid-air and
squeeze him to death In the grasp of the cor
porate powers.
Bryan Is not easily killed; he is here to
stay. He 13 yet a comparatively young man, and
somebody must live while the cause that needs
him has to live, too. Truth always finds a high
priest to preach a doctrine, or a martyr to die
for her when necessity requires. If Bryan be
defeated, corruption and political dishonesty will
continue to grow on and bend the bow to the
arrow's head. This will make Bryan, or some
one like him, necessary. Dishonesty should
learn, while it Is time, that in the last analysis
the square deal Is the champion that sooner or
later must be met and met aright. In a' conflict
like that, when it comes, men will read the
Prince of Peace in a' light neither blurred nor
Dbscured by the stupid prejudices of party tics
and party cries.
Des Moines, Iowa.
The New York World, in its reply to Presi
lent Roosevelt's special message, says:
Mr. Roosevelt is mistaken. He can not
nuzzle the World. While no amount of blllings
;ates on his part can alter our determination
to treat him with judicial impartiality and scru
pulous fairness, we repeat what we have already
laid, that the congress of the United States
ihouTd make a thorough investigation of the
Panama canal transaction that the full truth
may bo known to the American people.
The World fully appreciates the compli
ment paid to it by Mr. Roosevelt in making it
the subject of a special message to the con
gress of the United States. The World likewise
appreciates the importance and significance of
Mr. Roosevelt's statement when he declared to
congress the proprietor of the World should be
prosecuted for libel by the governmental officials,
and that "the attorney general has under con
sideration the form under which the proceedings
against Mr. Pulitzer shall be brought."
This is the first time a president ever as
serted the doctrine of Jese majesty, or proposed,
in the absence of specific legislation, the prosecu
tion by the government of citizens who criticised
the conduct of the government or of the conduct
of individuals who may. have had business deal
ings with the government. Neither the king of
Great Britain or the German emperor would ven
ture to arrogate such power to himself. John
Adams made an attempt to enforce such a law
and destroyed the socialistic party in America.
Yet Mr. Roosevelt proposes to use all the power
of the greatest government on earth to cripple
the freedom of the press on the pretext that the
government Itself has been liboled and ho is
the government.
It Is true the World printed the public re
port concerning tho Panama canal affair" which
resulted from William Nelson Cromwell's appeal
to tho district attorney's offico during the recent
campaign to prevent the publication of a story
which was said to be in the hands of the demo
cratic national committee. It was Mr. Crom
well's own action which caused the issue la the
It is true, also, that when Mr. Roosevelt
made his attack upon Dolavan Smith the World
called attention to certain statements which Mr.
Roosevelt must have known to be false or mis
leading and appealed to congress to end all
scandal by a full and Impartial investigation.
If this bo treason, let Mr. Roosevelt make the
most of it.
Mr. Roosevelt's lamentable -habit of inac
curate statements makes it impossible to accept
his judgments or his conclusions. In his mes
sage he does not state correctly even so simple
a matter as the protended cases of his grievance.
Tho World has never said that Charles P.
Taft or Douglas Robinson made any profit what
ovor, Mr. Taft denied that he was concerned
in the transaction in any way, which denial tho
World published and accepted. It would have
been 'equally glatl to -print -Mr. Robinson's -denial
- could ritr havoucceeded in obtaining one from
him, as it frequently attempted. The World has
A seven-yeaT-old lad sat at the feet of his
mother, at an Omaha amusement resort one
summer evening and watched with breathless
interest the moving pictures in which, the
"Passion Play" was given. Those who were
privileged to see this striking presentation will
understand the strong impression It made upon
his young mind.
When scene after scene had been flashed
upon the canvas, showing the gentle life, the
good works and the lofty mission of the Naze
rene, and then describing the enormous sacri
fices He made and the cruel punishments in
flicted upon Him, the lights went out and it
was announced that the entertainment was over.
Not a word escaped the child's lips during
the evening; but when the final act in the great
est tragedy known tomankind had been pre
sented to the audience' and the people rose to
go, this boy turned to his mother and, heaving
a sigh, said: "Mamma, if I'd been Jesus, I
wouldn't have came."
Impressive lessons often come from the
mouths of babes; and in the simple statement
of this little .child there is something which men
and women may lay earnestly upon heart and
When those who are free from the want
and care and the vexations of life engage in
the courtesies, the exchange of love tokens and
the general good cheer which characterize the
day we celebrate, they feel that it is "a goodly
sight to see what Heaven has done for this
delicious land." And it is true that the simple
celebration of this day, by the exchange of
gifts, by tht revival' of pleasant relations, would
in itself be well, even though there were not
something far greater and more substantial in
the foundation of these good, things, than in
the things themselves.
The very fact that this day is celebrated
throughout the world by men of various races,
creeds and nations, and that as a holiday and a
holy day it has survived the test of two thou
sand years of time and of searching investiga
tion and bitter criticism provides testimony,
if, indeed, testimony were necessary, of the
substantial foundation upon which this anni
versary rests.
Men who pay little attention to the life
and deeds, to the lessons and love of the One
whose birth the world commemorates appre
ciate the value of the customs of this occasion.
This would be a sad old world, indeed, with
Christmas time removed from our observance.
But the' festivities which endear this day even
to the eminently practical mind could not long
endure if the inspiration were removed from
the consideration of men or if the structure
were undermined in our hearts.
The exchange of presents is but an incident
to this occasion. Back of all the customs and
the festivities is the Inspiration provided in the
fact that two thousand years ago a child was
born " In Bethlehem and His entrance into a
world of trouble was celebrated by the angels
singing: "On earth peace, good will toward
To establish peace was the mission of this
Babe. Not merely the peace which should re
strain men from doing violence to one another
but a peace that should soften the hearts of all
men, bringing them to a realization not only of
their duty to God, but of their obligations to
their follows. Not only the peace that would
prevent nations from engaging In war but the
peace that would establish justice in the affairs
of state and that would prevent wrong and
oppression on tho paTt of governments as well
as on the part of Individuals. Not only the
peace that would provide order for the transac
tion of business but the peace that would per
suade the strong not to take advantage of the
weak; the peace that would reign supremely in
tho heart of the individual as it would control
the conscience of the community; the peace
that would bring the strong and the well to
the bedside of the weak and sick; the peace
that would provide from the abundance of the
rich food for the hungry and clothing for the
naked; the peace that would prompt men to
lend a helping hand and give a word of en
couragement wherever a helping hand and a
kind word were needed. Not the peace involved
in thought of self, but the peace of justice, the
peace of fair play, the peace of honesty; the
peace of patriotism, the peace of humanity
the peace "that is above all earthly dignities."
It would not be right to strike one discor
dant note in the harmonious song of the
Christmas time, but if men are to be impressed
with the Importance of peace as Christ taught
it, this is an appropriate occasion for the lesson.
It is a melancholy fact that, although the cele
bration of this day is more general now than it
has ever been before, the chief lesson which
Jesus Christ taught and the mission which He
came to fulfill are sometimes Ignored by na
tions that boast they stand chief among those
committed to His cause.
It was said of the author of our own char
ter of liberty that, "in the monumental act of
independence Jefferson poured the soul of a
continent." That was the celebration of a prin
ciple. It is proper that in the celebration of
the greatest of all principles, in the commemor
ation, of the birth of the greatest of all men.
nations that follow Him in song and story shall
be able to pour their souls into the celebration.
It is proper that these shall manifest jealous
care for the substantial foundation upon which
this celebration rests. Nations whose people
have reared temples to the Man of Galilee, who
have expended millions of dollars in the effort to
build up and advance the forms and ceremonies
of His religion, should in fact as well as in
theory, "give their pure souls unto their cap
tain, Christ, under whose colors they have
fought so long?"
If one would yield to .pessimism, if one
would believe that the violation of God's laws
by nations could continue, he might be inclined
to say with the little lad: "If I'd been Jesus, I
wouldnlt have came." But the principles of
the man of Galilee aTe too well established to
yield in the presence of error. The things that
have in the past swayed the hearts of men and
the course of nations are operating to the ad
vancement of truth and the malntainance of
Let us hope that before the men and the
women of this world again assemble at the fire
side and in the temple to give homage to the
sweetest and tenderest of all memories, the na
tions standing foremost among those that ob
serve Christian form will be foremost in observ
ing Christian substance.
Let us believe that before another anniver
sary confronts the men and women who owe all
that is good in life to the lessons of the Chief
Magistrate of Love, the law of God aTid the
order of Christ will become fixed in the affairs of
nations, and of individuals.
When "Mercy and Truth are met together,"
when "Righteousness and Peace have kissed
each other," the American and the Filipino;
the Englishman and the Boer; the "friend" and
the "foe;" the "rich" and the "poor;" the
"bond" and the "free," may kneel in triumph
at a common altar beneath the Bethlehem
star- R. L. M.
no evidence that he was associated with Mr
2ESWIV aSdJV0Uld, accept hIs word that
J? i?i, 1 ' Rbins01i ls an estimable gentleman
of high, character, whose reputation .lor veracity
britoSlta5aw. that f hiS dIstinS
If the World has libeled anybody w i,nnn
intimidated by .Mr. Roosevelt's threats or by
volt m ppwer denUnciatQn or y Mr. RoosS-
, nSiESPL11?1 man ovey po Srossly "beled
tho United States as does this president, who
'besmircuesreongress, Imlldoxes judges SSaiia ttS,
who has shown himself the most reckless un
scrupulous demagogue whom the American peo
plo ever trusted with great power and authority.
We say this not in anger, but in sincere
sorrow. The World, lias. immeasurably more re
spect for the office of the president of the United
States than Theodore Roosevelt has ever shown
during the years in which he has -maintained a
reign. of terror and vitilized the. honor and hon
esty of-both, public Dfficers and. citizens who op
posed his policies or thwarted him in his pur
poses. So far as the World -is concerned, its pro
prietor may-go to jail, if Mr. Roosevelt succeeds,
as-he threatens, f hut even in jail -the World will
not- ceasevto- be a fearless champion of fre
speech, a free press and a free people.