Source: "He Took Exceptions," Lincoln Daily Call, June 13, 1894, p. 1, evening edition.
Summary: The evening edition of the Lincoln Daily Call reported on Herron’s commencement address much more kindly than did most other area newspapers. It stated that the audience enjoyed Herron’s oration and, even if they could not agree with him, were left with the impression that he was a man with a strong desire to help his fellow humans. It described the commencement ceremony in full, including a brief account of Herron’s main points. Rather than praising Crounse for his denouncement of Herron’s ideas, as most local papers did, the Lincoln Daily Call stated that Crounse’s reply was “untimely.” However, the paper reversed its position in its next issue.
He Took Exceptions
An Unfortunate Circumstance Slightly Mars Commencement Exercises. "A New Political Vision" by Professor Herron Does Not Meet the Governor's Approval--Otherwise Everything Passed Off Very Smoothly--List of Those Who Graduated."
A large and appreciative audience assembled at the Lansing this morning to enjoy the exercises of the twenty-third commencement of the University of Nebraska.
Chancellor Canfield opened the exercises with a few appropriate remarks, After [sic] which the university cadet band favored the audience with a selection.
Rev. C. E. Bradt offered the invocation and the university orchestra rendered "Wallace's Maritana."
The chancellor then introduced the commencement orator, Professor Geo. Herron of Iowa college [sic], Grinnell, "as one who had a message." His theme was, "A New Political Vision." The address had been looked forward to with a great deal of expectancy and the close attention of the audience for fully an hour and a quarter indicated that it was not disappointed in being entertained, instructed and amused.
He spoke with a firm, clear voice and in a resolute manner, and if his audience could not go with him all the way in his belief, it had no doubt but that the speaker's longings were to help and uplift his fellow men [sic]
Some of his leading thoughts are substantially as follows:
Speech in Substance.
"I would speak with difficulty on so important a theme but for the consciousness of the presence of the living Christ. Never before but once has the world felt the sorrow and hope of universal change as today. It is full of discontent but it is the discontent of God. The race is learning that it is not simply composed of individuals but is one body. Society must henceforth be the end of politics. The association of men in justice is the mission of politics. The fundamental ailment of the world is the want of a common center of unity. There must be for man a center of universal unity. The race will never rest short of such an [sic] unity. It is the mission of the state to discover the center and accomplish this unity. The state is intended to be the physical incorporation of the invisible government of the world. The mission of the state is not fulfilled in the liberty of the individual.
If liberty means only the right to trample upon each other for material gain, the evolution of the world from feudalism is the ruin of the world. If the state has any business that is not comprehended in the highest right it is a fraud on humanity. If there is a principle of right anywhere in the universe there is right everywhere or there is no universe. The will of God cannot be different on earth from what it is in heaven. If I nm [sic] my brother's keeper as a religious man I am equally his keeper from an economic standpoint A [sic] state is bound to secure work for its citizens. The mind and spirit that most comprehends the higher sense of men in the mind of Christ. I am here as a political apostle of Christ but not for any arbitrary purpose. The mind of Jesus was the mind to serve. Christ revealed sacrifice as the universal law, not the accident. The mind of Christ is the one that is to be the fundamental law of association. The need is to find out what the mind of Christ really was. The multitudes believe that the real Jesus is the one solution, ideal and satisfaction.
There is not a school of religion or politics but what will agree that the mind of Jesus is the mind to have. The state must become Christian if it would ever become the servant. I believe that the kingdom of God is to be organized politically, rather than ecclesiastically. I look for such a movement to come in America. The living Christ is
The Real King
of America. The state must be a Christian state. When so it will be the organized democracy of the people. As yet democracy can hardly be considered an experiment. We Americans have not a democracy yet. We do not select, we elect our representatives. Our American senate of today is forcibly reminding us of the court of Louis XVI. We can not [sic] any more stop with the progress of democracy where it is now, than we can take the race back to the Garden of Eden. In a pure democracy the people will be their own legislators. Again, the Christian state will be the organized economy of the people. The producer is God's co-laborer. Either the principle of competition must come to an end or Christianity.
The wage system if fundamentally a slave system. Whether wages be just or unjust, it is a step in evolution. and only a step [sic]. If Jay Gould and Jesus Christ were weighed in the world's scales today Jay Gould would go down. There are ten middle men between the producer and consumer where only one is needed. The most honored members of society are today its parisities [sic]. The evils of today is [sic] no where greater than in the speculation of land. Speculation in land is a crime against the nation and a blasphemy against God.
The Christian state must be so organized as not to live unto itself but must be a witness of Christ to the nations that have not received his political mind. Except a state believe on [sic] Christ and become his witness to other states it cannot become just in itself.
The reformer for Christ must be willing to be despised. Young men and young women are you ready to be offered?
When Governor Crounse arose to present the commissions to the cadet battalion and members of the graduating class, he took occasion in his talk to the young men on patriotism to express his disapproval of the sentiment of Professor Herron. The governor attributed his differing from the professor to his "better digestion." To say the least, the governor's remarks were thought to have been very untimely, though he was interrupted by applause from those standing in the back part of the auditorium and some in more favored places.