Puslapio vaizdai



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THERE are two facts of our day which occupy the centre of the stage, to which all other facts are tributary, and which for good or for ill are conceded to be of superlative import. They are, the rise of democracy, and the decline of ecclesiasticism.

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As to the former, little more need be said than that it is a tidal movement - is so admitted even by its enemies. Democracy cannot be demarcated as a current in the midst of the waters. It is a ground swell moving the entire mass of the waters. The rising tide is reaching into every bay and inlet. Education, commerce; industry, art, letters, statecraft, are feeling the presence of a new spirit in the world. It is not localized no metes or bounds to it. It is imperturbably unaware of racial or national lines. America is committed to it with an organic and complete committal. France has launched herself on these waters and is lapped in its waves. England is in the throes; to worriment over it is attributed the recent death of her king. Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, tell the same tale. Turkey, Portugal, Japan are awakening. Persia, China, Egypt, India are rubbing sleep from their eyes. Quietly as the march of the stars, and as irresistible, the coronation of the common people is drawing nigh. Almost with literal exactness can one apply to it words of a singer of former time:

The earth is democracy's and the fulness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Day unto day uttereth speech of it, night unto night showeth knowledge concerning it. There is no speech nor language to-day where its voice is not heard. Its line is gone out through all the earth, and its word to the end of the world.

Imperious is the demand of the people for a controlling voice in their destinies. The disinherited classes are refusing to remain disinherited. Every device within the wit of man has been sought to keep them down. And the devices have come to naught. Their efforts to throw off the oppressor have not always been wise, but they have always been noble. Too often in these insurgencies they have but bruised their heads against the brass dungeon roof above them. But it bespeaks a something of nobleness in man to dash his skull against the bars that imprison him; Unsane, inarticulate, the democracy hitherto has had its dwelling among the tombs; and no man has been able to tame it, no, not with chains; because that it has been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains have been plucked asunder by it, and the fetters broken in pieces; neither has any man. been able to tame it; and always, night and day, it has been in the tombs, crying and cutting itself with


As to the other pivotal fact of our day, the decline of ecclesiasticism, proofs are equally abundant. Witnesses, representing all branches of the Church, enter the box. And something like the following is their testimony: "If the gain of the Church on the population during the

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