Page images

3. For they keep a record of those, the true-hearted,

Who fell with the cause they had vowed to maintain; They show us bright shadows of glory departed,

Of love unrewarded, and hope that was vain.
The page may be lost, and the pen long-forsaken,
And weeds may grow wild o'er the brave heart and

But ye are still left when all else hath been taken,
Like streams in the desert, sweet songs of our



1. The authors of the American Revolution avowed for their object the welfare of mankind, and believed that they were in the service of their own and of all future generations. Their faith was just; for the world of mankind does not exist in fragments, nor can a country have an insulated existence. All men are brothers; and all are bondsmen for one another.

2. All nations, too, are brothers, and each is responsible for that federative humanity which puts the ban of exclusion on none. New principles of government could not assert themselves in one hemisphere without affecting the other. The very idea of the progress of an individual people, in its relation to universal history, springs from the acknowledged unity of the race.

3. To have asserted clearly the unity of mankind was the distinctive glory of the Christian religion. No more were the nations to be severed by the worship of exclusive deities. The world was instructed that all men are of one blood ; that for all there is but one divine nature and but

one moral law; and the renovating faith taught the singleness of the race, of which it embodied the aspirations and guided the advancement.

4. In due time appeared the mariner from Genoa. To Columbus, God gave the keys that unlock the barriers of the ocean. The voice of the world had whispered to him that the world is one; and as he went forth towards the west, plowing a wave which no European keel had entered, it was his high purpose not merely to open new paths to islands or to continents, but to bring together the ends of the earth, and join all nations in commerce and spiritual life.

5. While the world of mankind is accomplishing its nearer connection, it is also advancing in the power of its intelligence. No period of time has a separate being. We are cheered by rays from former centuries, and live in the sunny reflection of all their light. What though thought is invisible, and even when effective seems as transient as the wind that raised the cloud ? It is yet free and indestructible; can as little be bound in chains as the aspiring flame; and, when once generated, takes eternity for its guardian.

6. We are the children and the heirs of the past, with which, as with the future, we are indissolubly linked together; and he that truly has sympathy with everything belonging to man will with his toils for posterity blend affection for the times that are gone by, and seek to live in the vast life of the ages. It is by thankfully recognizing those ages as a part of the great existence in which we share, that history wins power to move the soul. She comes to us with tidings of that which for us still lives, of that which has become the life of our life.

7. And because the idea of improvement belongs to

that of continuous being, history is, of all pursuits, the most cheering. It throws a halo of delight and hope even over the sorrows of humanity, and finds promises of joy among the ruins of empires and the graves of nations. It sees the footsteps of Providential Intelligence everywhere, and hears the gentle tones of His voice in the hour of tranquillity :

66 Nor God alone in the still calm we find;
He mounts the storm and walks upon the wind."

8. Institutions may crumble, and governments fall, but it is only that they may renew a better youth, and mount upwards like the eagle. The petals of the flower wither, that fruit may form. The desire of perfection, springing always from moral power, rules even the sword, and escapes un harmed from the field of carnage; giving to battles all that they can have of luster, and to warriors their only glory; surviving martyrdoms, and safe amid the wreck of states.



[ocr errors]

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the coöperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »