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metals. Congress should provide that compulsory coinage of silver now required by law may not disturb our monetary system by driving either metal out of circulation. If possible, such adjustment should be made that the purchasing power of every coined dollar will be exactly equal to its debtpaying power in the markets of the world. The chief duty of the national government, in connection with the currency of the country, is to coin and declare its value. Grave doubts have been entertained whether Congress is authorized, by the constitution, to make any form of paper money legal tender. The present issue of United States notes has been sustained by the necessities of war, but such paper should depend for its value and currency upon its convenience in use and its prompt redemption in coin at the will of a holder, and not upon its compulsory circulation. These notes are not money, but promises to pay money. If holders demand it, the promise should be kept.
The refunding of the national debt, at a lower rate of interest, should be accomplished without compelling the withdrawal of the national bank notes, and thus disturbing the business of the country. I venture to refer to the position I have occupied on financial questions, during my long service in Congress, and to say that time and experience have strengthened the opinions I have so often expressed on these subjects. The finances of the government shall suffer no detriment which it may be possible for my administration to prevent.
The interests of agriculture deserve more attention from the government than they have yet received. The farms of the United States afford homes and employment for more than one half the people, and furnish much the largest part of all our exports. As the government lights our coasts for
the protection of mariners and for the benefit of commerce, so it should give to the tillers of the soil the lights of practical science and experience.
Our manufactures are rapidly making us industrially independent, and are opening to capital and labor new and profitable fields of employment. This steady and healthy growth should still be maintained.
Our facilities for transportation should be promoted by the continued improvement of our harbors and great interior water-ways, and by the increase of our tonnage on the ocean. The development of the world's commerce has led to an urgent demand for shortening the great sea voyage around Cape Horn, by constructing ship canals or railways across the isthmus which unites the two continents. Various plans to this end have been suggested, but none of them have been sufficiently matured to warrant the United States extending pecuniary aid. The subject is one which will immediately engage the attention of the government, with a view to thorough protection to American interests. We will urge no narrow policy, nor seek peculiar or exclusive privileges in any commercial route; but, in the language of my predecessors, I believe it is to be “the right and duty of the United States to assert and maintain such supervision and authority over any inter-oceanic canal across the isthmus that connects North and South America as will protect our national interests."
The constitution guarantees absolute religious freedom. Congress is also prohibited from making any law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Territories of the United States are subject to the direct legislative authority of Congress, and hence
the general government is responsible for any violation of th
constitution in any of them. It is, therefore, a reproach to the government that in the most populous of the Territories the constitutional guarantee is not enjoyed by the people, and the authority of Congress is set at naught. The Mormon church not only offends the moral sense of mankind by sanctioning polygamy, but prevents the administration of justice through the ordinary instrumentalities of law. In
my judgment it is the duty of Congress, while respecting to the utmost the conscientious convictions and religious scruples of every citizen, to prohibit, within its jurisdiction, all criminal practices, especially of that class which destroy family relations and endanger social order; nor can any ecclesiastical organization be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the national government.
The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law. For the good of the service itself, for the protection of those who are intrusted with the appointing power, against the waste of time and the obstruction to public business caused by inordinate pressure for place, and for the protection of incumbents against intrigue and wrong, I shall, at the proper time, ask Congress to fix the tenure of minor offices of the several executive departments, and prescribe the grounds upon which removals shall be made during the terms for which the incumbents have been appointed.
Finally, acting always within the authority and limitations of the constitution, invading neither the rights of States nor the reserved rights of the people, it will be the purpose of my administration to maintain authority, and in all places within its jurisdiction to enforce obedience to all the laws of the Union; in the interest of the people, to demand a rigid economy in all the expenditures of the government, and to
require honest and faithful services of all the executive officers, remembering that offices were created not for the benefit of incumbents or their supporters but for the service of the government.
And, now, fellow citizens, I am about to assume the great trust which you have committed to my hands. I appeal to you for that earnest and thoughtful support which makes this government--in fact as it is in law - a government of the people. I shall greatly rely upon the wisdom and patriotism of Congress, and of those who
share with me the respon. sibilities and duties of the administration; and, above all, upon our efforts to promote the welfare of this great people and their government I reverently invoke the support and blessing of Almighty God.
THOMAS DE WITT TALMAGE, a popular American preacher and lec
turer, was born at Bound Brook, New Jersey, January 7, 1832, and educated at the University of the City of New York. He studied theology at the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, New Jersey, and was pastor of a Reformed Dutch church at Belleville in his native State, 1856-59, and of a church at Syracuse, New York, 1859-62. For the next seven years he was in charge of a Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, being already widely known as a preacher and lecturer. He was called to the Brooklyn Tabernacle in 1870, remaining there until 1894, when he took charge of the Lincoln Memorial Church in Washington city. He has been an incessant contributor to the religious press, and for many years his sermons have been issued weekly. Among his many published books are " The Almond Tree in Blossom (1870); Targets,' “ Crumbs Swept Up" (1870); mons (1872-75); “ Abominations of Modern Society (1872); “ The Battle for Bread," “ oid Wells Dug Out" (1874); Sports that Kill" (1875);
Everyday Religion (1875); Night Sides of City Life" (1878); Mask Torn Off” (1879); “ The Marriage Ring” (1886); “ Social Dynamite" (1887); “ The Pathway of Life," From the Pyramids to the Acropolis (1892); “ From Manger to Throne" (1894); “ The Barth Girdled" (1896).
CHANT AT THE CORNER-STONE
“Who laid the corner-stone thereof, when the morning stars sang to gether?"-Job xxxviii, 6, 7.
E have all seen the ceremony at the laying of the
cornerstone of church, asylum or Masonic temple.
Into the hollow of the stone were placed scrolls of history and important documents, to be suggestive if, one or two hundred years after, the building should be destroyed by fire or torn down. We remember the silver trowel or Iron hammer that smote the square piece of granite into sanctity. We remember some venerable man who presided, wielding the trowel or hammer. We remember also the music as the choir stood on the scattered stones and timber of the building about to be constructed. The leaves of the notebooks flut