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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (April 15, 1887)
THE HESPERIA N.
society, the obligations for rnutual service and protection that
rn through the mass o! different classes ad professions. Al
ready' Irom the men ivho arc giving lie most and the best ser
vice to the world, we hear less of independence, personal
rights and lrcedom, and more of what they owe to their gen
eration. They are forming a mew order of nobility whose patent of
lordship depends upon the accuracy with which they perceive
and the faithfulness with which they discharge their obliga
tions. They are giving a new accent and meaning lo the
phrase "'Noblesse lBge' showing that they only are of the
nobility who willingly acknowledge that they are bound.
religion of his country. Turning away from idolatrous Rome,
the Christain advocates went to Constantinople as their ha
ven. There, nnder the protection of their ruler, they could
nourish their faith. It gained strength rapidly and when the
dark days of persecution again came, Jt was a power not lo
be conquered. It was one of the elements of Roman civili
sation that were to baffle the barbarian Northmen and wild
Arabs. We make our laws in accordance with it. It is our
consolation and guidance. Constantine, the first emperor
who offered it protection, deserves our respccc This alone
should make his name immortal.
CONSTANTINE AND THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
In reading the histoiy of Rome we are struck by the chang
es in the national life. None of these are more interesting
than the rise of Christianity. And no character as more wor
thy of .ouratlention than Constantine. The Christian faith
seemed to liave slumbered tor centuries, apparently wailing
for some one who possessed the ability and courage to nourish
it in (opposition to Paganism: to place it upon a more equal
footing with the old established religion. Such was Constan
tine's mission. Coming lo the throne along the dangerous
pathway .of war, he aoquired that stern (discipline that is so
essential an combatting an established custom or belief.
He was .decidedly Roman; cruel, persevering ond possess
ing a far-penetrating eye. He emerges from the straggle for
empire leading his last rival, Jjucinius, to adorn his triumphal
progress to Rome. Both. Christianity and Paganism counted
Hm (their champion. We do not attempt lo say what was his
belief. His political sagacity alone would determine his
choice. He was loo great a statesman lo approve of the rotten
and superstitious sysem .of Paganism. For years thought and
strength had come from the Christians. Even amid the up
heaving .of political and social customs the new religion per
sistently maintained its .existence. With the aid .of army, no
bility and wealth Paganism could not keep it .down. Con
stantine saw that nils dogged .determination and rigid princi
ple would .eventually conquer. That was a .critical moment
for Christianity. Constantine could Ihave castle, strength
.of lus army onto the scale against it, thus makiifg'pefseculion
still more bitter, .or lie could enlist in its cause. He chose
the latter course, but refrained from a very vigorous persecu
tion against Paganism. He instituted a toleration that de
lights and at the same lime surprises ms. The Christian pa,
tyhad nothing lo complain .of. Henceforth it looked aip
.on him as its protector. His power and superior ability secur
ed the submission .of .other leaders. Newly erected public
Ibuildings were by Ills. direction dedicated lo the new faitli.
But this was not lie only reason why the national religio
went .down. He took away its power. For 3'ears its main
strength was the superstition and awe which liad hung around
its temples, deities, and even Home lierself. The city liiat
had stood before her enemies for so many j'earsand ihad wit
nessed Hie rise and fall of so many usurpers. was the resting
place .of the Jtrnperora. Their images were looked upon
with.imuch reverence and around their names liad gatliered
the misty Ihalo .of superstitious awe.Ciiitens in Home though
themselves an the very presence .of God. They looked upon
their .deities with loo much awe to .question llieir reel worth.
To insinuate that they were mot all-powerful was a ciiine, ex
piated only Iby death. To take away those influences was to
strip Paganism .of lialf its power. It could not stand before
the cold, impartial scrutiny .of bound sense and enlightened
judgment. Constantine, when he made Constantinople ilie
capital uf the Roman world, inflicted a fatal wound upon the
Great and strong our foe behold!
Can those forms to whiskey bound,
Have the power our strength to hold.
And spread woe and misery round?
Must we the valiant and the strong.
With hearts and homes so bright,
Watch our foe gathering strong,
To vanquish virtue and the right?
Will itey be victors in the fight.
And our grand cause fall so soon?
But if they claim the fight,
What then shall be their doom?
They'll fill the air with shrieks of woe;
They'll crowd a million prison cells;
Then they'll reap as now they sow;
Then they'll throng the road to helL
Their bands of voting men
The deeds of murd'uers approve;
And name the place and when
Saloonistsshalv" .with safety rove.
Temperance men wrave and loyal,
Let us beat them by our voting!
Of all duties 'lis most moral,
Voteaooording to your Oiling.
Jack an Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pall of water.
Jack fell down,
And broke his crown.
And Jill came tumbling after.
Often have we heard the comparison of life lo a drama.
"The world is the stage, each appears performing his part,
.disappears and is forgotten ere the last sound of his footsteps
have .died away." And if the man who wrote that made him
self famous why can'l we, by comparing life lo the journey of
Jack and Jill? Our text is a good one, far belter l&an the
stage. Theiefore our comparison may go down to posterity,
known not on account .oi beauty or keen wit, but .only as un
derslanding and rightly interpreting life.
Life is a grand subject. Philosophers have striven Jn rain
lo falbom the mystery of the slender cord that separates us
froin the unknowable hereafter. Centuries have been spent
by the wisest men upon the world's records, lo pierce this
impenetrable veil. Yet research has not been wholly lost.
Some lime ago several of the most learned physicians of the
country, of whom our city and University ihould be justly
proud, viewed at the deathbed of an unfortunate victim, by
the aid of a powerful instrument, the form of his ioul as it
Korbook its earthly habitation and ascended to heaven. Fur
thermore, the studies of the old philosophers have been re-
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