Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/407

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.

associations and influences which had molded the character of the young patriot. He said:

He was a Roman Catholic in religion. He was Catholic in faith because he gave the assent of his will to all the truths of religion made known to him by reason, revelation, and the teaching of the Church which he knew was founded by Christ. He was a Roman Catholic because he accepted the Bishop of Rome as the divinely ordained head of that Church, and the ultimate judge in all disputed questions of faith or morals. He knew the limits of human intelligence and the fallibility of reason in the domain of religion, and was content to rest his faith on well-authenticated revelation, made through divinely appointed channels. His mind was too sane to rebel against these limitations, and too pious to blame the Creator for not making man perfect. Hence he was free from that intellectual pride and self-sufficiency which impel some men to try to hew out for themselves a pathway in the mysterious regions of religion, and to invent a way of salvation all their own.

As Father Byrne could speak for the dead hero's religious character, so Colonel Chas. H. Taylor, of the Boston Globe, could testify to his professional ability. Best proof of the journalist' s worth was that to which Colonel Taylor bore witness:

No man was ever jealous of John Boyle O'Reilly. On the contrary, all were delighted with the position attained by this large-hearted, generous soul,—this manly man among manly men.

The next speaker was General Benjamin F. Butler, who had been, as he said:

For twenty years the legal adviser of John Boyle O'Reilly,—a most unprofitable client, for he has never had a lawsuit or a contention. He had one weakness, which was a very uncomfortable one to him, and that was, he could not hear a tale of woe or misfortune, that he did not set himself about rectifying or relieving it. He could never resist not only an appeal when made to him, but the most casual information of wrong done, and especially wrong done to the poor and unprotected.

Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, himself a soldier and brave advocate in the cause of the oppressed, was then introduced and spoke eloquently of O'Reilly's great mission:

So momentous for Boston, so momentous for America, so momen-