I hope that whether you loved, hated, or felt indifferent to this review, that you get this movie and see it for yourself. Packed with American history, Church history, and discussing hot, controversial topics, Birth control: How did we get here? will leave an impression with you that you will not soon forget.
Anthony Comstock, fighter, is dead. He was called Home, after a brief attack of pneumonia, on September 21, 1915, in the seventy-second year of his life. But his fight is not over. For it was God’s fight, not his. It is going on until there has been established a city into which,
“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Re 21:27)
When Mr. Comstock’s life story was given to the general public two years ago, it was interesting to study the reviews which appeared in journals secular and religious throughout the country. Many recognized the marvelous character of the man’s lifework; some followed time-honored precedent and criticized and ridiculed this Christian fighter. One newspaper reviewer paid a real tribute to the substantial character of the work that Comstock had done, but said that it was a glaring pity that his biographer had not dealt with the man and his work in a common sense way, instead of mixing the whole thing up with the religious views of Mr. Comstock,—as though religion had had anything to do with the real results that this practical man had accomplished! The biography, the critic felt, would have had much greater value if religion had been left out and the “real” and tangible facts alone had been set before the reader in an unprejudiced and normal way.
This critic of Comstock’s old-fashioned views did not realize that “if religion had been left out” there would have been no biography to write, no work to record. For the story of Mr. Comstock’s life is supernatural from beginning to end. He was a practical man because he was a religious man,—a Christian. The evils and the evil persons that he fought were terrifically real and practical. He knew increasingly as the fight went on that unless God’s supernatural power conducted the fight he would be overwhelmed by the human and devilish forces against him. When he faced such realities as unscrupulous men whose business and wealth depended upon his defeat, grafting political lobbyists who could swing legislation against decency, brilliant newspaper writers who could bring upon him a storm of public denunciation, together with such other concrete realities as sand-bags, infernal machines, smallpox scabs, revolvers, and murderous knives—he needed some really practical protection and power on his side. And he had it in God. Is it fanatical and foolish to recognize this, or does the folly lie in denying it?
In looking back over such an utterly exceptional life as Anthony Comstock’s, it is interesting to discover certain points that give us the secret of how he lived and worked and fought.
His life began with a Christian mother who made God and prayer and the Bible the great realities for her boy. Through her, moral heroism was instilled into his heart, his breath, his blood, from his birth. He learned to depend upon God and God’s promises.
In his early twenties he got the beginnings of the vision that grew increasingly clear to him of what his life-work must be; and he never lost that vision.
Comstock was always a man of extraordinary ability. He made notable successes in various ways; there is little question that he could have been a conspicuous figure in the American business world. And that was what he had set his heart upon. But with his increasing vision of the need of stopping the obscene traffic that was ruining lives, he made an unconditional surrender of his life to the will of God; he gave up his personal ambitions and took God’s will for himself, no matter what might be the cost. This meant abandoning the business world, with the wealth and power in which young Comstock had already begun to prove himself; it meant throwing himself body, soul, and spirit against the powers of evil in the closest and most repugnant contact with evil. As a newspaper editorial has said in commenting on Mr. Comstock’s death, “Few men like to fish in a sewer all day long, or to make such a fetid pursuit a matter of a life routine.” But God called; and the revolting character of the life mission therefore weighed not at all on the other side.
Having accepted God’s call, he stayed by it to the end. Few men of our generation have revealed more astounding thoroughness and persistent perseverance both in the lifework as a whole and in each duty or adventure as it arose. A newspaper dispatch reported that on the morning of the day he died, while ill with pneumonia, he summoned a stenographer from the offices of his Society to his home and dictated memoranda on the continuation of his business. God can use a man who fights his fight through to the end.
Because of his unquestioning and complete acceptance of the will of God for his life and work, he showed a courage and fearlessness that made his life one long marvel to others. Weapons, threats, physical attacks of fiendish ingenuity and effectiveness, could not intimidate him. He quietly accepted God’s promise as a personal word to himself, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper,” (Isaiah 54:17a) and went about his business letting God prove this to the confusion of his enemies.
We are to-day [Blogger's note: remember this was written in 1915] living in a land that is comparatively free from open traffic in things that a generation ago were making their infamous appeal to the eye and mind of school children, of young men in business, and of older people; and this is so because Anthony Comstock lived out his life in self-surrendered and successful conflict with that evil. May God raise up others who shall fight as faithfully as he did.
[Taken from Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation, available for purchase in our store, in paperback, ebook and mp3 audio.]
Date: 445 BC – Year: 3559 – Ref: Neh 9:23;
“Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” (Mal 2:15 NIV)
Malachi considers is treachery not to seek Godly offspring!
“4 ¶ "Remember the Law of Moses My servant, [even the] statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6 "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to [their] children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse."” (Mal 4:4-6 NAS95)
The last 3 verses of the Old Testament prophesy of a future revival in families, restoring hearts of familial love within the households of God.
Date: 445 BC – Year: 3559 – Ref: Neh 9:23;
“"You made their sons numerous as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land which you had told their fathers to enter and possess.” (Ne 9:23 NAS95)
Ezra and the people of Israel read from the Book of the Law and recall God’s faithfulness and promise of fruitfulness in the Abrahamic Covenant. They look back at this as a time of blessing, and as proof of that blessing, they recall the multiplication of children, which enabled them to take and possess the land.
Date: 593-570 BC – Year: 3411-3434 – Ref: Ez 36:11, 37f;
“‘I will multiply on you man and beast; and they will increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited as you were formerly and will treat you better than at the first. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.” (Eze 36:11 NAS95)
“37 ‘Thus says the lord GOD, "This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 "Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so will the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am the LORD."’"” (Eze 36:37-38 NAS95)
Ezekiel prophesies to the land of Israel, that it will no longer be a grave for its former wicked possessors, but rather a place where the righteous remnant will return and “be fruitful and multiply.” Ezekiel looks forward to a period of many children born in the nation.
Date: 628-561 BC – Year: 3376-3443 – Ref: Jer 23:1-8;
“"Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.” (Jer 23:3 NAS95)
Jeremiah prophesies re-gathering a righteous remnant of sheep back into Israel’s own pasture, where they will “be fruitful and multiply” and be led by good shepherds.
Jeremiah looks forward to a time of fruitful families living in the land! So, one can see that the command to be fruitful and multiply is not just some past, already fulfilled, no longer applicable command, bur rather something that still applies and the Lord still looks forward to. Roughly 3,400 years after creation, God tells His people through the prophet Jeremiah that there will come a day when the people won't simply look back at their miraculous delivery from Egypt, but instead look to their present regathering in their own land!
Date: 586 BC – Year: 3418 – Ref: Jer 29:4ff;
Israel does eventually subdue and take the Promised Land of Canaan. Over many years the new nation of Israel moves through various governmental systems, a period of judges followed by monarchy. The monarchical period began with a United Kingdom, but through sin, devolved into a Divided Kingdom; the Northern half was called Israel with Samaria as its capital and Southern half was called Judah with Jerusalem as its capital. The Northern Kingdom was ruled by a continual succession of wicked kings and God allowed them to be conquered by pagan Assyria in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom had several godly kings and God allowed them outlast the North by another 136 years. In that period, Babylon conquered Assyria and then Judah, the Southern Kingdom, in 586 BC.
“4 "thus says the LORD of hosts, the god of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 ‘build houses and live [in them;] and plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 ‘take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease.” (Jer 29:4-6 NAS95)
As Southern Kingdom of Judah was in the midst of falling and being taken away into captivity to live in Babylon, God instructed His people to build homes, plant gardens, marry, and have children; In the midst of such trying circumstances, God specifically commands them to be fruitful and multiply.
Date: 1030 BC – Year: 2974 – Ref: Psalm 8
In this great song of admiration, David extolls the excellence of the name of God. David surveys the majestic power of God in creation and His condescension towards man, celebrating the great love and kindness of God toward mankind, not only in man’s creation, but especially in his redemption by Jesus Christ. The Lord has ultimate dominion, but man was created in God’s image (Gen 1:26f) and for ongoing conformity to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29). Man was given dominion over God’s marvelous creation, which even little children acknowledge as truth (Matt 19:14; 21:15f)!
Certainly, if man is to take dominion and “rule over the works of [God’s] hands” by having “all things under [man’s] feet” including land animals, birds and fish, he must have many children. Such fruitfulness is required for such a vast undertaking of stewardship.
“1 ¶ « For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of David. » O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! 2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. 3 ¶ When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Ps 8:1-9 NAS95)
Date: 1491 BC – Year: 2513 – Ref: Deu 24:5
Interestingly, on the heels of the laws regulating divorce, Moses writes of another law regarding the first year of marriage.
"5 "When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken." (Deu 24:5 NASB)
God prioritizes family over warfare.
Men were prohibited from being drafted into military service, nor could they be assigned any travel duties the entire first year of marriage. The placement of this law is telling, in that divorce may be prevented by the faithful adherence to this law which narrowed a man’s focus on his wife, in a special way, in his first year of marriage. This also would naturally increase opportunities for the marital bond and thus serve to make it more probable that children would be born to the couple as early in marriage as possible.
Such a law of exemption fostered healthy, happy, harmonious marriages and families; it afforded the opportunity for husband-wife affections to take a firm root; it enabled God to bless the couple with children. These provide strong guards against divorce.
It is interesting that many Christians today put off having children, when God teaches the exact opposite. God is so concerned about the marital bond and fruitfulness in marriage that he writes it into law!
One final note, modern Christians often wait until their children are grown and out of the house before they divorce. In this common cultural practice, we see that children can be a protection against divorce. God hates divorce. Christian couples need to work to put away sin, fulfill their God-given roles, and strengthen their marriages.
It is never too late to follow God’s law, and seek to implement His principles. God’s law is wise and for our good.
What do obscenities, contraception, and abortion have in common?
Date: 1491 BC – Year: 2513 – Ref: Ex 23:30-33;
When the Israelites are in the wilderness, preparing to go into Canaan, God again re-iterates His command to be fruitful. Yahweh tell his people that...
“30 "I will drive them [the Canaanites] out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. … 31b " for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. "” (Ex 23:30, 31b NAS95)
So, in this case, God's command is in the form of a promise. Cultivating the command yields the fruit of the promise. The Lord will drive out Canaan’s inhabitants gradually as the Israelites fruitfully multiply to fill the land and take dominion and fully possess the formerly pagan region.
Date: 1571 BC – Year: 2433 – Ref: Ex 1:16-2:2a;
About half-way through the period of Egyptian captivity, God provides a glimpse of the attitude of the Israelites regarding the Dominion Mandate.
“1:16 and [Pharaoh] said, "when you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see [them] upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live." 17 But the midwives feared god, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live. … 20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. 21 because the midwives feared God, he established households for them. … 2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.” (Ex 1:16, 17, 20, 21; 2:1, 2 NAS95)
In the midst of Pharaoh’s threats to kill all boys born to Hebrew households, God’s people still continued to be fruitful and God preserved the growing Israelite people. The Hebrew midwives refused to obey Pharaoh’s evil command. As a direct result of their fear of the Lord, God established households for them.
Pharaoh eventually relented and released the Israelites 215 years after Jacob’s family sojourned into Egypt to survive during the years of famine. It is Israel’s faithfulness to God’s command "be fruitful and multiply" that directly leads to their release.
Date: 1706 to1491 BC – Year: 2298 to 2513 – Ref: Gen 45:1ff; Ex 1:6ff; Acts 7:17;
About two years into the great worldwide famine, at Joseph’s request, his father Jacob’s family came to Egypt to live there.
[Joseph said] “7 “God sent me [here to Egypt] before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.” (Gen 45:7 NAS95)
It would appear that this promise was already being fulfilled during the 17 years that Jacob lived in Egypt prior to his death, or at least Jacob began to see an encouraging fruitfulness among his own children, grand-children, and great grand-children. Considering that Jacob is Abraham’s grandson, this is roughly 200 years after the promise was given to Abraham. God promises to preserve and deliver His people in a mighty way.
“27 ¶ Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous. 28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.” (Ge 47:27-28 NAS95)
After Joseph died, the young people group now known by Jacob’s new name Israel (Gen 32:28), continued to multiply, which caused Pharaoh grave concern.
“6 Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. 7 but the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.” (Ex 1:6-7 NAS95)
“[Pharaoh] said to his people, “behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.” (Ex 1:9 NAS95)
So, we see that Israel’s faithfulness to the promise of God regarding fruitfulness is leading to an explosion in the population of nascent Israel. This is the Abrahamic promise of “nation”.
Date: 1896 BC – Year: 2108 – Ref: Gen 26:1-5; 28:13-14;
“4 I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.”” (Ge 26:4-5 NAS95)
The Abrahamic Covenant is restated and confirmed to Abraham’s son Isaac. This restatement includes “fruitful multiplicity.”
Date: 1689 BC – Year: 2315 – Ref: Gen 28:12-15; 35:11;
In Jacob’s dream of the ladder to heaven at Luz, he was promised to be fruitful and numerous.
“12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”” (Ge 28:12-15 NAS95)
Jacob remember this promise many years later in the final days of his life as he passes on the blessing to Joseph’s sons (Jacob’s grandsons and Abraham’s 2nd great grandsons) by adopting them into his family as eventual tribes of Israel.
“3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 and He said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.’” (Ge 48:3-4 NAS95)
Jacob again recalls the blessing.
“God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you.” (Ge 35:11 NAS95)
So, the Abrahamic Covenant is restated and confirmed to Abraham’s grandson Jacob, who is the Father of Israel. As with Isaac, it includes the command of “fruitful multiplicity.”
Date: 1921 BC – Year: 2083 – Ref: Gen 12:1-3; 13:16;
“1 ¶ now the LORD said to Abram, “go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; 2 and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; 3 and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”” (Ge 12:1-3 NAS95)
God’s promise to Abraham included 3 aspects: (1) land, (2) nation, and (3) blessing. At the time, the first two applied primarily to the future nation of Israel and its borders. The third extended beyond Israel’s borders, providing benefits to “all the families of the earth.” (Gen 21:3) through Abraham’s “Seed” – the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.” (Gal 3:16 NAS95)
God had also promised to Abraham a multi-generational fruitfulness that would carry on throughout all of history.
“I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.” (Gen 13:16)
At the heart of these three promises is fruitfulness. In a very practical way, the population increase is the driving force which enables Israel’s future greatness. It enables the land of Canaan to be subdued; it enables Israel to establish itself as a great nation; it enables him, through his offspring, to be a blessing to the nations through the ages.
We appreciate the Duggar Family appearing in our second film, BIRTH CONTROL: Is It Up To Us?. Daughter Jill Duggar has announced her engagement to Derick Dillard. This young couple has determined to wait until marriage for any physical activity and are leaving it to God to give them “as many children” as He desires.
It is telling to see the public reaction to such statements. Some even ridicule this commitment (which is actually the historic norm)… as if promiscuity and birth control are “rights”. Legally in the U.S., they have become rights. But, there is a higher law.
Date: 2348 BC – Year: 1656 – Ref: Gen 9:1-7;
“1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4 “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. 7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”" (Gen 9:1-7 NASB)
After the Great Flood, the Lord re-iterates the Dominion Mandate. This is important because Noah, and those of later generations, might have been inclined to think that God was finished with mankind. God saw man’s unrestrained wickedness, expressed grief over his perpetual sin, and determined to destroy them. But, this restatement of the Dominion Mandate indicated that there was still a future for man in God’s eyes.
Also, it is clear enough that Noah himself followed the Dominion Mandate in that he literally ruled over just about the entire world – animals, birds, and plants brought onto the ark; he was also the head of his household, who were saved on account of his righteousness. Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2Pet 2:5) and an “heir” of what he preached (Heb 11:7).
Note that there are 3 unique instructions in this passage:
- [#1.] Be fruitful and multiply
- [#2.] Man able to eat meat, no longer vegetarian
- [#3.] Capital punishment
- [#1.] Be fruitful and multiply
Some say that the “be fruitful and multiply” command was given only to Noah and his sons. That wouldn’t make much sense, since Shem, Ham and Japheth could only have so many children. So, the “fill the earth” command would obviously need to go on for many generations. Also, most Christians today eat meat and many are for capital punishment. It is inconsistent to say that the “be fruitful and multiply” command, which appears twice, need not apply today while holding on to the other commands.
Today, I will begin a series of blog posts on the Biblical command to “be fruitful and multiply.” I will trace this thread throughout 3,600 years of Old Testament Biblical history, beginning with Genesis 1 right through the Malachi 4. I will show the verse, with a brief heading and date, and offer a view brief comments.
The First Commandment At Creation
Date: 4004 BC – Year: 0 – Ref: Gen 1:28;
“God blessed them; and God said to them, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Ge 1:28 NAS95)
On the sixth day of creation, God mandates that Adam and Eve take dominion over His creation. This is known as the Dominion Mandate. The command is to both of them – husband and wife. There are two major parts to the Mandate:
- populating the earth, and
- subduing the earth.
These two facets are related. The earth cannot be subdued unless it is populated. Subduing does not refer to any one particular point in history, but rather an ongoing stewardship throughout all of history. This command is given to God’s people.
We’ll be back in Spartanburg, SC this weekend at theTeach Them Diligently Convention! April 3-5!
Please stop by booth 908 in the vendor hall for new and updated products and discounts currently only available at our booth!
For select bulk orders, we’re offering $5 per DVD of our first documentary, BIRTH CONTROL: How Did We Get Here?, now with French, Italian, and English subtitles.
As always our DVDs are only $10 at the booth, and we’ve got fantastic discounts for those who which to purchase multiple products, such as a DVD for themselves and one for a friend, or if you want to pick up a movie and a copy of our new 100 page illustrated novel.
Please stop by the booth 908 to learn more and to see our new products first hand! Read up on our new products before you arrive!
Friday April 4 at 9am in Workshop 4 in Spartanburg, hear Scott Matthew Dix of the BIRTH CONTROL Movie Project bring a fast-paced overview of the “Biblical Case for Christian Life without Birth Control.”
Does the Bible speak to the topic of birth control and family planning? How might the Scripture be applied to this area of Christian life? What about financial hardship and other pressing life circumstances that cause pressure on family size? Are you expecting and need Biblical encouragement for your role as a woman? Come and find out the answers to these questions and more at Teach Them Diligently Spartanburg. Click Here for the schedule.
Born March 7, 1844 in New Canaan, Connecticut, Anthony Comstock went on to become America’s most successful Christian social reformer. Read his courageous life story in “Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation” and our new comic book, “Anthony Comstock, Fighter” due to be released later this month.
Here is an excerpt from “Outlawed!” Available in our store in book, ebook and audio mp3.
[Mr. Comstock's] love for children is not “academic” or in the abstract; it has a basis that nothing can ever take from him. A friend … recently had an interesting experience with Mr. Comstock on this side of his nature. He writes about it as follows:
I called at his office and introduced myself … It was twenty minutes before he came in, and then he was just from a legal battle, and with his mind full of two other pressing cases. Twice he interrupted our brief conversation to speak to an assistant about them, and I could not but know that I had chosen an inopportune time to break in upon him. Yet he was courteous, determinedly so, and made me stay when I quite insisted upon leaving.
The impression he made upon me was of a man of dominating, dictatorial, fighting spirit, but resolutely subduing his harshnesses, because he recognized his limitations and fought himself as fiercely as he fought any other adversary. A man, moreover, to whom religion was a very real thing. A man who would have fought well in Cromwell’s Ironsides, singing hymns as he marched to battle.
But now mark how my impression of him was enlarged:
I chanced to show him the pictures of my little girls … and instantly, with bewildering suddenness, at sight of their little faces all the storm and stress of which he was the center seemed to fall away. For a moment he studied the pictures delightedly; then impulsively drew out his note-book, handed me a little snapshot of himself, told me the circumstances under which it had been taken, and added: “When you get home, give that to your little girls, and tell them it is ‘Uncle Tony.’”
At home I wrote him a brief note, which Grace and Muriel signed, telling him that two little girls in Illinois thanked their “Uncle Tony” for the picture he had sent. With that I supposed the incident closed; but in about ten days there came to them a letter (two closely typewritten pages) and a half-dozen colored post-cards, which this harassed and busy man had taken the time to send them. By way of acknowledgment Muriel sent him at Christmas time a little pin ball, of her own making, and a letter. A few days later there came to them another letter and a large and excellent photograph which hangs now, framed, in “the play corner.” They know it only as “Uncle Tony,” and that he is a friend and protector to all little children; but when they are older I shall tell them more about him and teach them to associate with that picture the lines of Bayard Taylor: “The bravest are the tenderest, The loving are the daring.”
Just think, I was in his presence less than twenty minutes!