The American Republic And The Debs Insurrection -- By: Z. Swift Holbrook

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 052:206 (Apr 1895)
Article: The American Republic And The Debs Insurrection
Author: Z. Swift Holbrook


The American Republic And The Debs Insurrection

Mr. Z. Swift Holbrook

[Continued from page 152]

BUT the times have changed. That tree planted by the rivers of water, that brought forth its fruit in due season, whose leaf did not wither, and whatsoever it did prospered, is now bearing sour fruit. Those branches may be, for the most part, the engrafted ones, but they are none the less a part of the tree. It may not have been wise to engraft so many, but it has been done, and it is our duty faithfully and with confidence in God, to treat them as a part of the tree, for whose fruit, be it good or bad, we are responsible. Let us examine the tree and its fruits.

And the first thing we notice is the swarms of parasites that are living upon it and eating into its very life. The ideas which were once considered an inspiration are being superseded, though we believe only temporarily. They are like the pulpit behind which once officiated an eminent New England divine, whom Judges and Governors delighted to honor, but which is now stored away under the hay in the loft of an old barn. And when it is the fashion to copy the

old New England homestead,—its colonial architecture, so severe and simple; its low ceilings, small windows; its open fireplace, with the crane, the spit, the kettles, the bellows, and even the andirons and tongs,—who knows but it may yet be the fashion, and our clergymen will yet esteem it an honor, to preach behind those old pulpits, and again exalt the sovereignty of God and the exceeding sinfulness of sin with its sure reward. Who knows but the great mass of common people may yet learn, by bitter experience in the wilderness, that the way to the promised land is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; not by materialism and rationalism, which give expediency in the place of faith for a rule of conduct, but by following religion, morality, and knowledge as leaders, instead of politics and economics.

But that tree under whose branches the fowls of the air have found lodgment and shelter; which poet and scholar in every age have praised, from Coleridge to our own Whittier and Holmes; from De Tocqueville to Bryce and Von Hoist, is now passing through a new experience. Cut it down, shrieks the anarchist; Replant it, cries the socialist; Shower it with acid, says the economist; Let me manage it, says the demagogue. But the true husbandman has it under his own care. He planted it, he digged about for it, he trimmed it, cared for it when it was a sapling, and now he is simply pruning it that it may bring forth more fruit.

We cannot agree with President Eliot, that the Mormons resemble, in any particular, the founders of this ...

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