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336 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

lofty meditation. . . . He may not hear a good sermon at church but unless he is very unfortunate he will hear a sermon by a good man who, with his good wife, is engaged all the week long in a series of wearing and hum-drum and important tasks for making hard lives a little easier; and both this man and this wife are, in the vast majority of cases, showing much self-denial, and doing much for humble folks of whom few others think, and they are keeping up a brave show on narrow means. Surely, the average man ought to sympathize with the work done by such a couple and ought to help them, and he cannot help them unless he is a reasonably regular church attendant. Besides, even if he does not hear a good sermon, the probabilities are that he will listen to and take part in reading some beautiful passages from the Bible, and if he is not familiar with the Bible, he has suffered a loss which he had better make all possible haste to correct. He will meet and nod to or speak to good, quiet neighbors. If he doesn't think about himself too much, he will benefit himself very much, especially as he begins to think chiefly of others... .

"I advocate a man's joining in church work for the sake of showing his faith by his works; I leave to professional theologians the settlement of the question, whether he is to achieve his salvation by his works or by faith which is only genuine if it expresses itself in works. Micah's insistence upon love and mercy, and doing justice and walking humbly with the Lord's will, should suffice if lived up to. . . . Let the man not think overmuch of saving his own soul. That will come of itself, if he tries in good earnest to look after his neighbor both in soul and in body-remembering always that he had better leave his neighbor alone rather than show arrogance and lack of tactfulness in the effort to help him. The church on the other hand must fit itself for the practical betterment of mankind if it is to attract and retain the fealty of the men best worth holding and using."

Space forbids my quoting further from this, to me, excep

tionally interesting article which closes with this sentence: "The

man who does not in some way, active or not, connect himself

with some active working church, misses many opportunities

for helping his neighbors and therefore, incidentally, for help

ing himself."

And again, in an address at the old historic church of Johns

town in Pennsylvania, he makes a great plea for the church of

the new democracy, and lays stress upon the fact that unless

individuals can honestly believe in their hearts that their coun

try would be better off without any churches, these same individuals must acknowledge the fact that it is their duty to uphold, by their presence in them, the churches which they know to be indispensable to the vigor and stability of the nation.

In the first week of February, 1918, he had arranged to come to me for a cup of tea to meet one or two literary friends, and the message came that he was not well and was going to the hospital instead. The malignant Brazilian fever, always lurking, ready to spring at his vitality, had shown itself in a peculiarly painful way, and an operation was considered necessary. As his own sons were far away, my son Monroe, who was soon to sail for France, was able to assist in taking him to Roosevelt Hospital, and there the operation was successfully performed; but within twenty-four hours, an unexpected danger connected with the ears had arisen, and for one terrible night the doctors feared for his life, as the trouble threatened the base of the brain. The rumor spread that he was dying, and on February 8th the New York Tribune printed at the head of its editorial page this short and touching sentence: "Theodore Roosevelt-listen ! You must be up and well again; we cannot have it otherwise; we could not run this world without you." At the time these words were printed, I was told by my sister-in-law and by the doctor that he wanted to speak to me (I had been in the hospital waiting anxiously near his room) and that they felt that it would trouble him if he did not have his wish; they cautioned me to put my ear close down to his lips, for even a slight move-



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