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their intelligence and worth, the foundation of the best things in church and state.
The ritual service, which was almost as elaborate as that of the Episcopal Church, was participated in scrupulously by the President, who stood, sat and responded at the proper time. He joined heartily in the singing, which was led by a precentor and organist without a choir. He was the best listener I saw in the house. The weather was intensely hot, the mercury at ninety-five, and he kept a large palm leaf fan in his right hand going to the limit of its capacity every moment of the service. The pastor of the church, the Rev. Dr. Schenck, was not in his pulpit, and the secretary of the Missionary Society occupied his place and preached a most excellent sermon. It was children's day, and the minister preached on "The Home. It was clear, discriminating, sound, timely, pungent and inspiring. Just as he was concluding his sermon the President put his hand into his trousers pocket as though he were fishing for change for the collection soon to follow. When the plate came to his pew he took out his pocketbook, apparently as full as it could hold, and dropped a bill upon it which I took to be five dollars.
After the benediction had been pronounced the audience remained standing till the President and the Secret Service men had left the house. No twothousand-dollar carriage with spanking team nor fivethousand-dollar automobile awaited him at the door. These would have been an annoyance to him there, so full of life he was and so fond of exercise.
I commenced to tell him something and he halted me and said:
"Let me say something first and then you can go on with your story." He said: "The services this morn
ing were enjoyable. The sermon was good, and I agreed with him in the points he made that the home is the chief foundation stone of the republic and the hope of the church. The 'Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty' is one of the grandest of hymns; that went off splendidly. After a week on perplexing problems and in heated contests it does so rest my soul to come into the house of the Lord and worship and to sing and mean it, the 'Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,' and to know that He is my Father, and takes me up into His life and plans, and to commune personally with Christ who died for me. I am sure I get a wisdom not my own and a superhuman strength in fighting the moral evils I am called to confront. The other two hymns, while full of good theology and tender sentiment, did not create as much warmth or enthusiasm. Lusty singing is a great help in church worship.
Then, pausing, he said: "Go on now with your story!"
"I will when you have answered a question I will ask you," I replied.
"What is it?" he inquired.
"It is this," I said. "Why did you select this little church with its plain people, so inconspicuous and uninfluential comparatively?"
He answered me with not a little feeling:
"When I first came to Washington I did not know there was any Dutch Reformed church here, and went with my wife to the Episcopal church. But on becoming President I learned that there was a little obscure red brick building tucked away on the back of a lot, and I immediately selected that as my church. The fine new building has since been erected. I take sentimental satisfaction in worshiping in the church of my fathers.
"Another reason why I came to this church is that it is a church of the plain people. There are persons of means and culture among them, but most of them are the common people, to whom you know I am so partial. If there is any place on earth where earthly distinctions vanish it is in the church, in the presence of God. He knows no difference between the highest ruler and the humblest subject. All He cares for is character. I have been not a little grieved in attending services in some of the rich churches of the great cities to see so much attention paid to social distinctions. I cannot think that the plainer people would be very happy if they were to attempt to worship in such places, and I fear that some of the rich and fashionable would be just as unhappy to have them do so. There is a minister in New York City to whom I have always given especial credit for having succeeded, more than any one I know, in holding a large congregation of rich and poor people, in happy fellowship, for a long number of years. The nearer the people get to the heart of Christ, the nearer they get to each other, irrespective of earthly conditions."
Continuing he said: "I am engaged in one of the greatest moral conflicts of the age-that of colossal lawless corporations against the government. I am not fighting rich men. Was I not raised among the rich? Did I not inherit money? I know what a blessing wealth is, honestly secured and wisely dispensed. I am fighting the institutions that have grown enormously rich by fraud; that have ground the faces of the poor and have for years shown such sullen contempt for the laws governing them. By a system of wholesale bribery, paid lobbyists have been placed at the State and national capitols to buy the law, and representatives have been selected in the
state and national legislatures, and sometimes on the bench, to do their masters' will. Having trammeled the popular will by these dishonorable methods and secured laws as friendly to themselves as possible, they turn around and break those very laws in the most shameless manner. For years some of them have been stronger than the government and they have not been able to conceal the insolence which is begotten of despotic power. Any attempt to enforce the laws regulating them has been treated with impatience and contempt."
He said: "The republic cannot live ten years longer if things go on this way. The oppression of lawless wealth, and the purchase of lawmakers and rulers by it, have wrecked most of the empires of the past, and if not resisted and defeated will ruin our republic. As the executive of this nation I determined that no man or set of men should defy the law of the land. These huge lawless corporations are squirming now and crying 'Persecution!' but they have got to stop their crimes. All they have to do is to obey the laws like other people and there will be no trouble. My chief desire now is that God will let me live long enough to demonstrate the fact that the rich and powerful must obey the law as well as the poor and feeble-not any better nor any worse, but just the same." The President said "just the same' with great emphasis.
I told him that the people of the country, irrespective of religious creed or political opinion, were behind him in the great warfare he had undertaken.
It was about a mile from the church to the White House and the walk was a very happy one for me. What the President said was so full of wisdom, of exhilaration and inspiration. I admired his strong
body, of which he took such splendid care, which had served him so well in the enforcement of his intellectual plans. The flash of his eye indicated intellectual genius of the highest type and his tender words to me, personally, made me realize that his heart was wide and deep as the sea. But the thing that most impressed me was his moral heroism, his simplicity, his honesty, his justice and his intense devotion to the right. I felt that his promotion was the tribute a mighty nation had paid to the man the crown of whose greatness was his goodness, and I felt that there was a most intimate relation between Theodore Roosevelt, the ruler and favorite of a nation, and the church and the God of his fathers.
Recently Colonel Roosevelt said to me: "You remember the walk we had from the church to the White House, a dozen years ago, when I turned my heart inside out to you, and told you I believed God had raised me up to lead the nation in its desperate fight for its life against the illegal despotism of combined wealth in collusion with corrupt municipal, state and federal office holders, and that my daily prayer was that God would spare my life long enough to see that menace to the republic removed? He did spare me, and I thank Him. But I thank Him most for sparing me to take a part in the settlement of the great world war. No Hebrew prophet was ever called up to cry out against the danger confronting his nation, or the moral evils that curse the world, more truly than I have been called up to plead for an ideal Americanism, strong, brave, just and pure, 100 per cent. loyal American, and also to fight to the death absolute despotism in its oppressions and crimes, which in its demoniacal rage for world rule has killed off the flower of the world, its young men, and