Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
man, of practice, in private and public, ever in accord with the highest ideals of Christian manliness. His is a militant faith, bound on the mission of helping the world ahead; and in that campaign he welcomes gladly whoever would help. For the man who is out merely to purchase for himself a seat in heaven, whatever befall his brother, he has nothing but contempt; for him who struggles painfully toward the light, a helping hand and a word of cheer always. With forms of every kind he has tolerant patiencefor what they mean. For the mere husk emptied of all meaning he has little regard. The soul of a thing is to him the use it is of. Speaking of the circuit-riders of old, he said once: It is such missionary work that prevents the pioneers from sinking perilously near the level of the savagery against which they contend. Without it, the conquest of this continent would have had little but an animal side. Because of it, deep beneath and through the national character there runs that power of firm adherence to a lofty ideal upon which the safety of the nation will ultimately depend.