“Mob Rule vs. Civil Government” American Sentinel 12, 24, pp. 372, 373.

THE town of Urbana, in the highly civilized State of Ohio, was the scene recently of one of those tragedies with which the American public have become only too familiar, where the worst passions of human nature held sway upon the throne of judgment and justice. A negro guilty of a heinous crime, was under arrest in the jail guarded by the sheriff and a company of militia. A mob gathered about the jail, and while attempting to break in and get possession of the prisoner, the militia, by order of their captain, fired upon them, and two highly-esteemed citizens were killed. The mob, reinforced, and furious for vengeance, renewed the attack; the sheriff and militia fled, and the prisoner was dragged from his cell and killed by sheer mob violence before being hung in the manner customary to lynchers. The efforts of the sheriff and militia to repulse the mob were for days the theme of angry denunciation on the part of the citizens.

By such occurrences the participants thoroughly demonstrate their utter incapacity for self-government. The sheriff and militia were there for the express purpose of guarding the jail. They had not put themselves there, but had been put there by the citizens themselves—by the very men who came, as an angry mob, against them. They were appointed to their office for the very purpose of making the government something else than a mob—of dispensing justice in a different manner from that employed by a mob. The citizens of Urbana attacked the government they had themselves set up, and for which they were responsible, and substituted for the government the rule of the mob. And by this they demonstrated that their own self-government was a failure, or in other words, that they could not govern themselves.

This occurrence, and the many similar ones which are of almost daily occurrence, speak with no uncertain voice concerning the future of American government. When a [37] people can no longer govern themselves, they must be governed in some other way. They must be ruled by a power outside of themselves, and this means the establishment of a monarchy. Either the people must rule themselves, or they must be ruled by a monarch, or civilization must give place to anarchy.

Following close upon this dreadful occurrence, comes another similar in kind which throws, if possible, a still more lurid light upon our national prospect. It has been said in defense of these lynchings that they are prompted by a desire to secure that justice which so frequently miscarries in the machinery of the courts. But at the town of Princess Anne, Md., on June9, a negro, who was under sentence of death by hanging, was taken from the officers by a mob while on his way to the jail, and after being kicked and beaten into insensibility, was hanged in sight of the court house. With such proceedings the securing or aimed at, in them, is the gratification of Satanic passion. The innate savagery of human nature easily breaks through the thin veneer of our “Christian” civilization.

But what is the remedy? The remedy is individual self-government,—right principles ruling in the heart. For self-government depends not upon some scheme of control exercised by each one over himself. Self-government and individualism stand or fall together. And every combination or “trust” of labor or capital stands as a menace to the continuance of self-government, by its restriction of individual freedom.

The purpose of the Creator is that every person shall govern himself; that there shall be, within him, a principle which directs and controls his whole life in harmony with the highest standard of right. If an individual has not this principle within him, it is the purpose of the Creator to supply it, through the provisions of his gospel.

Let that gospel with its subduing power over every evil passion, flourish and find free course in all the earth. It constitutes the only safeguard against the evils that threaten society and the individual to-day.

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