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believed in thus fastening Ireland to England, he has learned a more excellent way. Like Greeley he would no doubt at the last fight, if need be, for the territorial integrity of his country. But he has learned the lesson Charles James Fox taught nearly a hundred years before: “ The more Ireland is under Irish Government, the more she will be bound to English interests." That precept he has been trying to reduce to practice. God grant the old statesman life and light to see the sure end of the work he has begun! (Loud applause.]
I must not sit down without a word more to express the personal gratification I feel in seeing an old comrade here as your guest. Twelve or fourteen years ago he did me the honor to fill for a time an important place on the staff of my newspaper. With what skill and power he did his work; with what readiness and ample store of information you need not be told, for the anonymous editorial writer of those days is now known to the English-speaking world as the brilliant historian of " Our Own Times." Those of us who knew him then have seen his sacrifice of private interests and personal tastes for the stormy life of an Irish member of Parliament, and have followed with equal interest and admiration his bold yet prudent and high-minded Parliamentary career. He has done all that an Irishman ought for his country; he has done it with as little sympathy or encouragement for the policy of dynamite and assassination in England as we have had for bomb-throwing in Chicago. (Loud and prolonged applause.]
W. L. ROBBINS
THE PULPIT AND THE BAR
(Speech of Rev. W. L. Robbins at the annual dinner of the New York State Bar Association, given in the City of Albany, N. Y., January 20, 1891, in response to the sentiment, “ The Relation of the Pulpit to the Bar.” Matthew Hale presided.]
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN -I am so dazed at the temerity which has ventured to put so soporific a subject as “ The Pulpit ” at so late an hour in the evening, that I can only conceive of but one merit in any response to the present toast, and that is brevity. I had always supposed that the pulpit was “sleepy" enough in its effect upon men in the early hours of the day, at least that was my conclusion, in so far as it has been my privilege to see men present, at pulpit ministrations, leaving us as they do for the most part to preach to women and children. Shall I confess that the feeling came over me during the first part of the evening that I was rather out of place among so many laymen, alone as a representative of the clergy; but later, I found confidence through a sense of kinship in suffering, for is it not true that we represent two of the best abused professions in the world? I do not mean by that, abuse ab extra. I am told indeed, occasionally, that the pulpit is effete, that its place has been filled by the press and lecture platform, that there is no further use for it. But I do not know that I have heard abuse ab extra of the Bar, unless some ill-natured person should read it into the broad Scotch pronunciation of an old friend of mine who used to say to me, “ Ah, the lieyers, the lieyers."
But what we must needs guard against is abuse from within. In the first place we are a good deal given to self
congratulation. I use the first person plural and not the second person; I remember a friend of mine, a distinguished clergyman in Boston, an Englishman, who once ventured to preach upon political corruption in the municipal government, and the next day he had the audacity to drop into the office of one of the business men of his congregation and say, “What did you think of that sermon?”—a very dangerous question, by the way, always to ask—and the reply came promptly, “You had better go and be naturalized so that you can say' we sinners,' instead of ‘ you sinners.' (Laughter.] Since that time, from the pulpit or from any other place, I have hesitated to say, "You sinners," and I will promise to say “we sinners "to-night.
But truly the pulpit and the Bar, in their ideal, are, as it were, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” a witness to the eternal truth. Are they not? The pulpit is sent forth to herald the love of God, and the Bar is sent forth to herald the justice of God; but they don't always succeed. I can speak from experience for the pulpit, that the position of authority, the claim of a divine mission, is often turned into the excuse for the airing of a man's individual fads, and is naught but a cloak for pretentious ignorance. [Applause.) And for the Bar, I wonder if I might venture to quote the definition of legal practice which was given me the other night, apropos of this toast, by a distinguished representative of the New York Bar Association, that it was
a clever device for frustrating justice, and getting money into the lawyer's pocket.” [Laughter.] But if it be true that we have a mission, it is equally true that we must join hands if we are going to accomplish that mission. I am tired of hearing about the Pulpit as the voice of the public conscience. I do not know why the Bar should not be the voice of the public conscience quite as much as the Pulpit. If there are laws on the statute book that are not obeyed, I don't know why the clergy should make public protest rather than the lawyers, who are representatives of the law. [Applause.] And if principles of our Constitution are being subtly invaded to-day under the mask, for instance, of State subsidies or national subsidies to sectarian institutions either of learning or of charity, I don't know why the first voice of warning should come from the. Pulpit rather than
from the Bar. Indeed, when the clergy initiate reforming movements it always seems to me as though there is need of rather more ballast in the boat, need of one of those great wheels which act as a check on the machinery in an engine; and the best fly-wheel is the layman. The tendency, you know, of the Pulpit is toward an unpractical sort of idealism. Its theories are all very good, but my professor in physics used to tell me that the best mathematical theory is put out of gear by friction when you come to illustrate it in practical physics, and so with even the best kind of theoretical philanthropy. The theoretical solution of the problems, social and economic, which confront us is put “out of gear by facts, about which, alas, the clergy are not as careful as they are about their theory; and, therefore, I plead for a lay enthusiasm. But surely there is no better lay element than the legal to act as ballast for the clergy in pleading the cause of philanthropy and piety and righteousness.
Then I would suggest first of all, that the Pulpit needs to leave the A, B, C's of morality, about which it has been pottering so long, and begin to spell words and sometimes have a reading lesson in morals. That is, that it should apply its principles to practical living issues and questions of the day. And I plead to the lawyers to come out once in awhile from the technicalities of practice, and from their worship of cleverness and success, and look to the mission which is laid on them, namely, to bear witness to justice and righteousness. [Applause.) My toast would be " Common sense in the Pulpit and a love of righteousness at the Bar."
JAMES JEFFREY ROCHE
(Speech of James Jeffrey Roche at the banquet of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York City, March 17, 1894. John D. Crimmins presided. Mr. Roche, as editor of the “ Boston Pilot,” responded for “ The Press.”]
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN OF THE FRIENDLY Sons of St. PATRICK-I am deeply sensible of the honor you have done me in inviting me to respond to the toast which has just been read.
The virtues of the Press are so many and so self-evident that they scarcely need a eulogist. Even the newspapers recognize and admit them. If you had asked a New York journalist to sing the praises of his craft, his native and professional modesty would have embarrassed his voice. If you had asked a Chicagoan, the honorable chairman would have been compelled to resort to cloture before the orator got through. If you had asked a Philadelphian, he would have been in bed by this hour.
Therefore, you wisely went to the city which not only produces all the virtues—but puts them up in cans, for export to all the world. We do not claim to know everything, in Boston-but we do know where to find it. We have an excellent newspaper press, daily and weekly, and should either or both ever, by any chance, fail to know anything -past, present, or to come—we have a Monday Lectureship, beside which the Oracle of Delphi was a last year's almanac. [Applause.]
I met a man, on the train, yesterday—a New York man (he said he was)—of very agreeable manners. He told me what his business was, and when I told him my business in