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long as they were under the sway of Spain they abstained from the use of the word “reformed,” but when freedom had been achieved they made their choice, and set an example which was later expressed in America—the right to “worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.” The life of Theodore Roosevelt brings much for the encouragement of the practical Christian. There is no cant in his composition. He belongs to the Church, and attends in observance upon its ordinances. He contributes to the support of that gospel which was the consolation of his ancestors, both in the fatherland and in this newer country which began almost with the establishment of the Roosevelt family. But, aside from this, the man's life has been an example of the living which those precepts enjoin. Above all things, he is genuine and honest. He is as fearless as were the prophets of old, and as insistent on absolute justice between man and man as even the first of the Judges could have been. Being intensely practical, he holds that religion of little value which does not make men and women better; which does not lead them into right lives, and keep them in happiness.
In September, 1901, less than a week before that assassination of President McKinley which for the third time in American history placed a Vice-President in the chief executive's chair, Mr. Roosevelt was in Chicago and remained there over Sunday. Many demands were made upon his time. He was then Vice-President, and a figure so commanding that influential men sought him continually. But in the early hours of that Sabbath day he disregarded social and political obligations, went to Trinity Reformed Church, on Marshfield avenue, and joined in the worship according to the familiar forms that had been a part of his life from the beginning. At the conclusion of a short sermon the pastor invited him into the pulpit, and there he addressed the congregation. His militant Christianity was evidenced in the very first words he uttered: “Beye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.” It was the message of a man who cares little for profession, but much for performance. It was the command uttered nineteen hundred years ago by One who condemned the boastful Pharisee, yet recognized the honest effort to do right when he uttered the exclamation: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
In that modest address, which has been styled a sermon, Mr. Roosevelt said: ‘‘We must be doers—not hearers only. I am sure every one who tries to be a good Christian must feel a peculiar shame when he sees a hypocrite, or one who so conducts himself as to bring reproach upon Christianity. The man who observes all the ceremonials of the laws of the church but who does not carry them out in his daily life, is not a true Christian. To be doers of the Word it is necessary that we must be first hearers of the Word. Yet attendance at church is not enough. We must learn the lessons. We must study the Bible, but we must not let it end there. We must apply it in active life. The first duty of a man is to his own house. The necessity of heroic action on a great scale arises but seldom, but the humdrum of life is with us every day.
“In business and in work, if you let Christianity stop as you go out of the church door, there is little righteousness in you. You must behave to your fellowmen as you would have them behave to you. You must have pride in your work if you would succeed. A man should get justice for himself, but he should also do justice to others. Help a man to help himself,
but do not expend all your efforts in helping a man who will not help himself."
Later in the day he spoke to the Gideon Band as follows: "The Christianity that counts is the kind that is carried into a man's life. The man who does ordinary work well is working for the Lord. I do not like to see a slack man. If a man is slack in his business relations, you cannot draw upon him heavily in spiritual matters. Doubtless you remember the line in Milton where he speaks of the cloister virtue,' and later compares it with 'robust virtue.' That is what you men are teaching by precept and example. You are showing how a Christian life can be led in an active life. If you do not find in a man any outward manifestations of the Spirit, I am inclined to doubt if it ever has been in him. I like to see fruits; and I am glad that you are producing them.”
It would be difficult to find a more accurate index of the man's character. Throughout his life he has been exemplifying the very principles which he presented to his hearers from the pulpit on those two occasions. When he took part in the preliminary political meetings in the Murray Hill district, before his first election to the legis
lature, he simply put into actual practice what all the others would have cheerfully conceded as a theory. They understood that the government under which they lived was a republic, and that every citizen had a right to an equal share in its control. They would have admitted that they had no right to deny the franchise to any American; yet they had been denying an equal share to some fellow-citizens, and had no thought of discontinuing the practice. They had been denying the franchise to Americans wherever they dared and whenever the exigencies of their party made it desirable. And they had been extending to other Americans who were of their own way of thinking vastly more than the power of a single freeman. Furthermore, if any one had asked them to subscribe to the Golden Rule just before their entrance to the caucus, they would cheerfully have done so, and dismissed the matter as conceded, but of moment too small for consideration. Yet this man, Theodore Roosevelt, came to his political life with all the ingenuousness of a religious neophyte, and all the enthusiasm of a patriot. His religion was of very little use to him if it could not be taken into his politics. His