Five Great Needs – By Henry Morrison

Chapter 5

The Policeman’s Billy

The little picture of the policeman’s billy on the cover of this book signifies the enforcement of law. We can have no such thing as a safe and progressive civilization without law for the government, protection and proper adjustment of the economic and social relationships which exist among men.

The true statesman is the man who is able to study, search out and legislate into law the principles of justice and equity which should obtain in a well regulated community, state and nation, composed of intelligent beings. Law, without penalty attached, calling for the punishment of those who disregard or violate law, would be of no benefit to mankind; there must be adequate punishment for those who violate law.

If laws are not enforced and the guilty punished, it becomes a dead letter and the lives and property of the people are at the mercy of those whose greed and viciousness know no law.

The disregard of law, of the rights and liberties of others, and the failure to arrest and inflict punishment upon the lawless, brings discord, confusion, riot, mobs, and the destruction of all that is worth while for the happiness, peace and prosperity of a civilized people. We regret to be compelled to record the fact that the United States has become, in a large percent of its population, one of the most lawless nations in the world. Crime of every description is constantly committed in this great country of ours, and while there is not adequate punishment, and a large per cent of our criminals go unwhipped of justice, yet the money expended in the work of our courts, the employment of our officials, the trials and confinement of our criminal population amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

If, by the waving of some magic wand, crime could be made to disappear, the money now expended in the prosecution of criminals, and their confinement in prison, would be ample to provide free hospitals for all of our cities, excellent institutions for care of all of our orphans, pensions to provide amply for all of our aged people who are not in condition to care for themselves, and our land would be blessed with a peace and happiness approaching that gracious state supposed to exist in the Millennium.

What are the causes of the great tidal wave of crime that so constantly rolls over this nation? Petty thieving calls for a lock on every door; hold-ups that make it dangerous to walk the streets of village, town or city after dark; the bold and hazardous robbery of banks; the shooting down of helpless people for a few dollars; sometimes enraged robbers kill their victim because he does not possess the few dollars.

We are not thinking so much now of the dishonest money-getting schemes in high places, the sale of worthless bonds, the various life insurance enterprises that rob the people and leave them without hope of remuneration, the army of bankers in government prisons, the graft that is so characteristic in the administration of office, from the village to the towns and great cities. So much dishonesty and graft have been revealed in high and low places within the past few years, that it has come to pass that, to be an official, with an opportunity for pelf, means to be suspicioned. We have come to a very serious situation in our country, which greatly retards the restoration from the depression, and that is, loss of confidence. There has been so much of dishonesty that people have become suspicious of each other.

Nations have come to regard solemn and signed treatise as mere “scraps of paper.” Great governments have refused to pay their just debts; the repudiation of sacred obligations has becomeso common that one is reminded of the statement of the Apostle Paul when he declared that, “In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:1-5.

Satan has been called the “lawless one.” He is the enemy of all good order, peace, harmony, reverence and everything that brings permanent happiness and prosperity to humankind. It seems that he has broken loose with a strange and destructive power in the homes, among the youth, in the schools, the church, the factory, the army, the seats of legislation, the places of business, where men gather for counsel, representing the nations, seeking to avert war and promote peace — everywhere there is a powerful influence of evil that breaks up peace, fosters discontent, selfishness and crime.


One of the causes of crime in this nation is the gathering of vast multitudes of foreign-born people in our large cities, who have lived under oppression, have forsaken homeland and come to this country of opportunity, where they find a chance for riches in loot; they form powerful combinations; they secure the protection of officials with whom they divide the profits of their pilfering. In some of our cities these organizations of robbers are as bold and reckless as the daring pirates who used to sail the seas. In some communities to appear as a witness against a member of these robber gangs, is to invite assassination; the attorney who prosecutes them, and the judge who condemns them, does so at the risk of their lives. I am not unmindful of the fact that many of our most desperate criminals are home products, frequently coming from decent, and apparently, well regulated, law-abiding families.


There is no question that much of the crime which is so common and startling, committed by children and youth, is the logical result of a sad lack of family discipline. Many children are allowed to have their own way, almost without any sort of intelligent or positive, parental control. In my wide travels as an evangelist, I have often been entertained in the homes of people supposed to be educated, intelligent and pious, who appeared to have no parental authority over, even small children. The children acted as if they had no respect for their parents, teachers or any one else. They certainly appeared to follow their impulses. Those shallow philosophers who insist that you must never say “don’t” to a child, or undertake to control and direct their natural inclinations and impulses, would be delighted to see the utter lack of discipline in a large per cent of our American homes.

For a number of years the writer was president of a college. Directly after school opened we were able to note the students who had grown up without home discipline, or an trace of respectful obedience to their parents. Such students invariably became a source of solicitous concern; and you will find that parents who thought their children were too sweet, beautiful and good to be restrained and disciplined, are almost certain to object to the college officials exercising control or discipline over them.

Children who do not obey their parents will not obey their teachers; students who do not obey their teachers will not obey the police, the judge, or the God of the universe. The spirit of the “lawless one” gets into them and dominates them. Unless some divine power gets hold upon them, they will become criminals, disgrace their families, wind up their career in prison, and spend their eternity in outer darkness. A child can have no more dangerous enemy than an indulgent parent who exercisesno intelligent discipline, no rules or laws for the government of the family, and no punishment of any kind to be inflicted because of disobedience.


We have in the State of Kentucky, and I suppose every state in the Union, a law forbidding the carrying of concealed weapons. The habit of carrying a deadly weapon that can be used in a moment of excitement and anger, called in the courts, “sudden heat and passion,” had led to tens of thousands of killings, and years of sadness and regret behind prison bars. If the law were enforced against the carrying of pistols, crime would be greatly reduced. Millions of toy pistols are sold every year; the imitations are almost perfect; they have with them caps that make quite a report when snapped, and the little fellows armed with these pistols imagine themselves to be desperadoes and charge about in mimic hold-ups and robberies. It seems strange that any parent would buy a toy pistol, and in this way sow the small seeds in the imagination, desires and actions of a child that are likely to prepare the way for the carrying of deadly weapons and the use of them. State legislatures ought to enact laws preventing their manufacture and sale.


The moving pictures, as we have them in this country, are breeders of lust and schools of crime. It is difficult to conceive of a group of human beings with such low and selfish greed for gain, that they would, for sheer gain, put before the public, especially the young who are easily impressed and fascinated, the kind of pictures that have flooded this nation with filth for the past decades. They are schools of vice. They dull and deaden the better impulses, arouse and kindle the most dangerous passions that can degrade human beings. It is passing strange that our people permit the existence and display of these pictures so destructive to everything that is good, and the fostering of everything that is evil in human nature. There is much talk, but little action; and these degrading influences are allowed to go forward with their desecration of the home, the marriage relation and the young life of our nation.


When one comes to think of the liquor traffic he finds ample room and play for righteous indignation. He is forced to the conclusion that money is the god of the godless. It is almost impossible to believe that men and women can become so selfish, such human demons, that they are not only willing, but eager to take advantage of the weakness of their fellow man, degrade and destroy them, most miserably, for this life and that which is to come, for money. These liquor demons who manufacture and sell liquor for the destruction of their fellows, can never get enough money. Nothing in all the world has fostered selfishness, greed, crime, misery, degradation, physical death and spiritual ruin, like the liquor traffic.

We assemble the manufacturers of intoxicants, wholesalers, retailers, and lawmakers who, for money, turn the liquor traffic loose upon the people and put them into one great, guilty, godless class of selfish, deluded human beings. We believe that manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, promoters, voters and the whole outfit, millionaires and paupers, society women and demagogues in political high places, must repent of their evil deeds, or, finally keep company with each other in hell.

The degradation of human beings and lawlessness which has been, is being, and will be, produced by the liquor traffic cannot be estimated by figures or described in human language. Lawmakers and law-enforcers confess that human beings are naturally so weak in virtue and so strong in vice, thatlaws for the suppression of the liquor traffic cannot be enforced. We are not ready to admit the truthfulness of this statement. We believe laws can be enacted, and officials may be elected, punishment can be so severe, and inflicted so promptly, that the liquor traffic would almost disappear from the land.

Politics have become so corrupt, and politicians so lacking in the high and noble virtues, that the majority of the people of this nation have been led to believe that it is so impossible to enforce prohibitory laws against the manufacture and sale of liquor, that the nation, the President, Senate, Congress, Governors, Legislators, enforcement officers, and the Church of God must surrender to these evil forces, and make the liquor traffic legal, and out of the wreck and ruin of the family, human bodies and human souls, gather blood money to support, the nation, which means vast salaries for an army of demagogues. By this statement we do not mean that there are no statesmen of honor and integrity, and no officials who are true to their oath of office; but it looks as if that same powerful person who offered Jesus Christ the control of the kingdoms of the earth, if he would fall down and worship him, has brought the majority of our people to their knees with his false promises, and largely guides and controls them in their actions, especially, at the ballot-box.

If we would save this nation, we must begin with the hickory limb, which, by no means must stand for cruelty, but it must mean home discipline; if necessary, the use of the rod to guide the young along the path of obedience which leads to good character and useful living.

We must recognize the Mourner’s Bench, the supreme importance of the office and work of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration of each and every individual who comes to years of responsibility; this gracious work of God secured, the individual, the home and the nation are safe.

We must insist upon Education that considers, not only the body and mind, but the immortal spirit, and is so directed that reverence for God, respect for law, and the principles of integrity are woven into the life of our people in the years in which they secure their education.

We must insist upon toil. Every one should be a willing worker. Useful employment is not only healthy, but a means of development of the spirit of self-support that brings, not only self-respect, but an interest in all others who eat honest bread in the sweat of their brow. A nation of idlers will become a nation of criminals, who will not only violate human, but divine law. There must be a revival of law enforcement. There can, and should be, provided a net that will catch the violator and bring him to the courts of justice. Trials ought to be speedy, and punishment severe. Men should be made to fear to commit crime. No one man should have power to pardon and turn loose criminals upon the public; no one juror should have power to prevent the bringing in of a verdict of “guilty.” There ought to be a widespread and general determination to sweep out of existence many of those things which sow the seeds and breed the spirit of lawlessness and crime.

As I approach the sunset of life, looking backward, around me, and forward, I am forced to believe that the five greatest needs of our times are suggested by the little pictures on the front cover of this booklet: The Hickory Limb, The Book, The Mourner’s Bench, the Hoe, and the Policeman’s Billy.

Let us have wise family discipline, the regenerating power of God in the hearts of our youth, Christian Education, Industry which provides support and self-respect, and the proper enforcement of law, and our nation is safe, and our people will be a progressive, Christian nation happy and hopeful in the life that now is, and that which is to come.

Respectfully yours,
H. C. Morrison