The presence of various political parties re duces itself to the fact that men approach the same questions and conditions from various viewpoints and that they attempt to interpret them from the point of view most natural to them as thinking men. The tax is every man's contribution to the cost of his own privileges. In return for what he pays in tax, he is assured of safety to his life, his person, and his prop erty. His buildings are protected against fire; his children are given education; public insti tutions of many kinds are created for his use. The right of tax has been thus admirably ex pressed. "The right may be said to grow out of the necessity for the maintenance of an orderly condition of society. Schools must be supported, highways and bridges must be built and repaired; legislative bodies must meet to enact laws, and executive officers must see to their execution. The courts must be open for the relief of wrongs and the punishment of the vicious ; the militia must be enrolled, armed and trained; reformatories, jails and prisons must be built and maintained for the restraint of criminals; and almshouses, asylums and hospitals opened for the unfortunate, the in capable and the poor." These privileges and protections belong to every man, because in every man, in his own right, there resides the law-making power. The more conscientiously he exercises his power, the better it will be for the community of which he is a part, and for the times in which he lives.
"There is no privilege without a correspond ing responsibility. The ballot suggests not merely that a man may exercise his franchise, but that he must do so. This bit of paper is a token of a freeman's sovereignty, and he has no more right to ignore or decline its responsi bilities than Queen Victoria would have to cast down her scepter in a pettish humor and refuse to govern her realm. One of the great
evils of our time is "class secession"; the with drawal of a considerable class from the ex ercise of citizenship. The right to vote in volves a corresponding duty which no true citi zen will regard with indifference." "Have you thought what the government has cost? Do you realize what free govern ment means? Do you remember as you read the story of ages gone, how the barons met at Runnymede. Do you remember how they wrested a character from the king? Do you remember the psalm that rang out at the shock of the conflict? Do you re member Faneuil Hall, and Massachusetts, and John Hancock? Do you remember Car penter's Hall and Benjamin Franklin? Do you remember Virginia and George Wash ington? Do you remember what the liberty we have has cost, and are you willing, be cause of fashion, because of ease, because of social enjoyment—are you willing to let the Republic get into the rapids simply be cause there are not strong men straining at the oars and keeping us back in the mid-stream of safety ?" Out of this knowledge of conditions about them, and from the causes which made these conditions, our forefathers formulated the two fundamental documents of our republic: The Constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of Independence. They were in spired by all human effort that has preceded them. To read them repeatedly until one grasps the full import of their meaning, is to gain an abundance of faith in the process of accepting the wisdom of the past as the safe starting-point for the security of the future.
"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle." The full appreciation of this royalty is the direct result of education, by which we open wider the door of narrow life, by which we gain a wider outlook and a clearer vision.