The charitable view to take of a nation’s failure to have the best government, the best laws and the best administration possible, is not that the citizenship is lacking in virtue and good intent, but that it is lacking in information. It is the business of the good citizen, therefore, to encourage the spread of accurate information—the dissemination of light—in order that those who “love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil” may not be able to work under cover. No evil can stand long against a united Christian citizenship; witness how prohibition came as soon as the churches united against the saloon.
Having faith in the power of truth to win its way when understood, Christians believe in publicity and are not afraid to call every evil before the bar of public judgment. Believing in the superhuman wisdom of Christ, as well as in the saving power of His blood, they are bold to apply His code of morals to every problem. His is a name that will increasingly arouse the hosts of righteousness to irresistible attacks on the brutishness that endangers government, society and civilization.
I am so confident that the Christian citizenship of this country will prove faithful to every trust and rise to the requirements of every emergency that I venture to repeat a forecast of our nation’s future, made more than twenty years ago:
I can conceive of a national destiny which meets the responsibilities of to-day and measures up to the possibilities of to-morrow. Behold a republic, resting securely upon the mountain of eternal truth—a republic applying in practice and proclaiming to the world the self-evident propositions that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with inalienable rights; that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights; and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Behold a republic, in which civil and religious liberty stimulate all to earnest endeavour and in which the law restrains every hand uplifted for a neighbour’s injury—a republic in which every citizen is a sovereign, but in which no one cares to wear a crown. Behold a republic, standing erect, while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments—a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared. Behold a republic, increasing in population, in wealth, in strength and in influence; solving the problems of civilization, and hastening the coming of an universal brotherhood—a republic which shakes thrones and dissolves aristocracies by its silent example and gives light and inspiration to those who sit in darkness. Behold a republic, gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor to the world’s progress and the accepted arbiter of the world’s disputes—a republic whose history like the path of the just—“is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”