IN a speech made at the Catholic Summer School grounds at Lake Champlain, the 15th inst., the President said with reference to the American flag: “Rebellion may delay, but it never can defeat its blessed mission of liberty and humanity.” This was an allusion to the present “rebellion” in the Philippine islands.
The American flag, in the President’s view, is in the Philippines on a “blessed mission of liberty and humanity.” Is it then a fact that the American flag, floating over the armed hosts of the nation, the symbol of the force of the civil power, represents the true “mission of liberty and humanity” in this world? Is civil government, even in its best form, the true preacher of “liberty and humanity” to the race?
There is a square contradiction between the view that the American flag in the Philippines represents the “blessed mission of liberty and humanity,” and the statements of Scripture.
The Scripture says that Jesus Christ the true  messenger of “liberty and humanity” for the human race anywhere and everywhere in the earth. No one can deny this; and no one can deny either that the American flag in the Philippines, at the head of the forces dealing death and destruction to their opponents, does not represent the cause of Christ. The Saviour did not go about shooting people down who refused to be “benevolently assimilated” into his kingdom. His mission was not to overcome any man by force. He came to manifest the love of God, and sought by self-sacrifice to draw all men to himself.
He charged his disciples to go forth into all the world, proclaiming his gospel. He came to “preach deliverance to the captives,” to “set at liberty them that are bruised.” He came to teach men to “love one another.” That was a mission of “liberty and humanity,” and his followers were commissioned to carry this message to all people and fulfill his mission in the earth. Is this the true “mission of liberty and humanity,” or is it not?
This is the vital question. What is the true uplifting, liberty conferring, love producing power in the earth? Is it the gospel? or civil government? Love? or force? The principle of self-sacrifice? or the principle of self-supremacy? The sword of the flesh? or the “sword of the Spirit”? If the Bible is true, it is not the former, but the latter.
The Filipinos need to be uplifted, enlightened, brought into a condition where they can enjoy the privileges and blessings to be realized on the higher planes of life. What is to confer this benefit upon them—the gospel of love? or the gospel of force?
The Government is answering this question. It has sent its forces to the Philippines, equipped to enforce submission upon the natives. It has assumed that this is fulfilling the “blessed mission of liberty and humanity” to those people. Is this assumption correct?
No! a thousand times no! If it is, the gospel is false. Under it, the Filipinos are having the blessedness of liberty and humanity shot into them and burned into them and beaten into them, while their hearts are filled with rage in their country with desolation and sorrow. Far otherwise the results which come through the agency of the gentle yet all-powerful message of the Prince of Peace.
Let the gospel supplant the Government as the agency of missionary work in the Philippines. Let us have Christian savages, in the place of the dreadful spectacle of savage “Christians.”