Imatges de pàgina
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Let us turn now to a final consideration of the civil mission of our people, for this, too, cannot be regarded otherwise than a great consideration in the world's civilization. Are we to remain one people—the great republican nation of the world? What civil mission through the national life is our people yet to fulfill? What beneficent influences are they yet to extend upon the nations and the people of the earth?

In the consideration of the civil and industrial mission of our people, we must not forget that all the future greatness and glory of each depend as well upon the maintenance of fundamental principles of civilization over this entire continent. We must have one race, one language, one law, and one religion, and the entire life of our people tempered by cardinal principles of justice and morality. Sad and trying experience has long since taught mankind the absolute necessity of these essentials. We look over the history of all races of men that have lived in Western Asia and Europe, and we find that the antagonism of races, of religions, and of language has been the bane of all national development and high civilization. But few of the nations have escaped bloody wars produced by collisions between races, religions, laws and languages; wars that have been destructive of the best productions of civilization. We look further East to find an exception to the general experience. In the far East we find China spread over with a single race, a single law, a single language, a single religion, and a common civilization, all tempered with the highest principles of honor and morality. Through thousands of years have they perpetuated themselves, and this example we find nowhere else on the globe. Turning from the far East, it is in the far West that we would imitate, on a higher scale, that grand experience of man in history. We have every advantage to do so. We have a continent at our command. Its topography and natural advantages and resources are in every way fitted for man's highest use and civilization. We have all the essential elements of one race, diverse from every other, and peculiar to the country. So, too, have we of law, of language, of religion, and of civilization. It therefore remains for our people to be faithful to the highest use of what they possess. The theory of our government is correct. Let us labor to progress from the theory, TRANSITIONAL REPUBLICANISM, to the practice, ORGANIC LIBERTY.

With the knowledge of the grand possibilities which our nation and people can yet attain, let us pray for a coming statesman, a law-giver, who will herald the rising glory of the Republic. A man of mighty, wide, grasping, reasoning, calculating, poetic mind, who, though born in a manger, the kings of the earth will bow before his simple grandeur and majesty. A statesman too lofty in his bearing to deceive his people, and too pure in his nature to usurp their rights and bounties; a man whose life-example is a source of perpetual admiration for all his people; a man, in short, who in every way is a statesman which the necessities of the Republic demand to point the way to its future greatness and honor. The birth of such a man is not impossible. God gives to the necessities of men and nations, and while we hope for the future, let us fully realize the present, and vindicate the Republic, its national life and character.

Said Carnot, the great French statesman, when speaking of Republics : a One only has been the work of philosophy, and that is the United States." The universal judgment of enlightened mankind corroborates the truth of this statement. When our fathers appealed to the Universal Judge of the world in vindication of the rights and independence of the colonies, they opened a way that no man can shut — a way for the free exercise of the inherent rights of all mankind, through the rolling ages of the future. They established a government that interposed "no restraint but those laws which are the same to all, and no distinction but that which a man's merit may originate." They established a union of independent colonies, which, yielding to an irresistible national attraction, sought a new life in becoming a part of the great whole.

Then realizing the character of a nation just born, we can readily apprehend what good it is destined to subserve in the civil interests of mankind, and over what lands its laws will seek dominion. Said the Hon. Charles Sumner, in speaking of the final supremacy of our constitution over all of North America: "The end is certain; nor shall we wait long for its mighty fulfillment. Its beginning is the establishment of peace at home, through which the national unity shall become manifest. This is the first step. The rest will follow. In the procession of events it is now at hand, and he is blind who does not discern it. From the frozen sea to the tepid waters of the Mexican Gulf, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the whole vast continent, smiling with outstretched prairies, where the coal-fields below vie with the infinite cornfields above-teeming with iron, copper, silver, and gold-filling fast with a free people, to whom the telegraph and steam are constant servants — breathing already with schools, colleges, and libraries-interlaced by rivers which are great highways-studded with inland seas where fleets are sailing, and 'poured round old ocean's' constant tides, with tributary commerce and still expanding domain. Such will be the great Republic, one and indivisible, with a common Constitution, a common Liberty, and a common Glory."

Said the Hon. William H. Seward: "This Union has not yet accomplished what good for mankind was manifestly designed by Him who appoints the seasons, and prescribes the duties of States and Empires. It shall continue and endure. No other government can exist here."

With these eloquent declarations we at once ascend to the grandeur of the subject, and behold the great Republic, actuated by the inevitable tendency of power and profit, moving forward to complete dominion over North America. The boundary lines of Canada and those of Mexico will soon be effaced, and the new regions absorbed into the Federal family. Beyond this will follow Central America, the West India and Sandwich Islands, and still beyond, South America will furnish a new field of industry and civil government for the redundant population of our Continental Republic; and, strengthened by the universality of one language and one law, the power and civil mission of our 'people will go forth from one people to another, until Old England, "proud and potent as she now appears," shorn of her colonies, will, like a widowed mother, kindred in language and religion, but weak like the shorn Samson,

supplicate the young child, America, for sustenance and protection. Thus will America move forward until, in political power and prestige, she becomes the New Rome of the world, and in industry and civilization the Chinese or Celestial Empire of the earth-uniting at once, in universal relationship and in the highest possible order of development, and under one constitution, the representative characters of the two mightiest historic nations of the earth.

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In the gift of empire, dominion will be hers, and her flag will yet wave in amity over the most ancient capitals of the world. Her art and industry will yet make the earth bloom as a universal Eden. In Epopæia America will yet have greater poets than have ever walked upon the earth. In classics she will have her Salamis and Lepanto, her Alhambra and Parthenon; and with a universal recognition of the principles of the golden rule by all, who will not with prayerful hearts

"Hail the dawn of the coming day"?

The universality of one language, one law, and one religion over all this continent, will be invulnerable to the powers of the world. Europe and Asia, distracted with their many languages, nationalities, and religions, will continue for centuries to struggle with all the adversities produced by discordant elements among nations; hence the civil mission of our people will be universal and beneficent to all parts of the world. Intervening between the two great oceans of the globe, ours cannot fail to be the great representative nation of the earth in its population, its laws, and its commerce.

In its bosom all the extremes of the earth will be represented, and to its growth all parts of the world will contribute. We look around, East, West, North and South, and in every land foreign powers watch our progress with awe, and seek favor from our institutions. After all, it is America that will inherit the earth.

India with its 200,000,000, China with its 400,000,000, Polynesia with its 26,006,000-more than two-thirds of the whole human race-are only now for the first time really open to our enterprise and commerce; and "no matter in what region a desirable product is bestowed on man by a liberal Providence, or fabricated by human skill-it may clothe the hills of China with its fragrant foliage-it may glitter in the golden sands of California-it may wallow in the depths of the Arctic Seas-it may ripen and whiten in the fertile plains of the sunny South-it may spring forth from the flying shuttles of Manchester in England, or Manchester in America-the great world-magnet of commerce will attract it alike," and to us will be given sumptuously from the bountiful supply, as it is "all gathered up for the service of man." Then, conscious of a transcendent destiny for the Great Republic of the world, and the co-equal industrial mission of the American people, the hopes and motives of all are made doubly strong as they go forward in the battle of life.

Already the nation is in a great transition; its very life is epical and unencumbered. From its crucifixion between the two thieves, slavery and rebellion, it triumphantly rides over the billowy waves of sad and desolating war into

the haven of peace, hope, and prosperity. But the subject must not be dismissed without its appropriate lesson of patriotism-a plea for an unchanging devotion of the citizen to the Union of the States, as an absolute necessity for the perpetuity of the life of the Republic. The truest and broadest sense of filial love is understood to be a love of country-loyalty, patriotism. The necessity of this devotional sentiment or principle, by the citizen to the government, is just as important to the welfare of mankind as the devotion of the individual to society. Each citizen is a part of the whole; the whole a union of States and individuals for common defense and common interest. The one complements the other. In all ages of the world, patriotism has given to the citizen the qualities of the hero, and furnished the orator, the statesman, and the poet with themes of unequaled magnitude and grandeur.

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The revolution of '76 sowed in the hearts of the American people the seeds of an imperishable devotion to the Union of these States-a devotion which nought but the foulest hand, moved by the most corrupt heart, would dare to reach forth to destroy; and though we are now in the midst of a transition, such as comes in the life of nations, when the event and the struggle vastly overawes the individual comprehension and convictions, and thus leads for a time to an unhappy condition and dire results, it needs no prophetic eye to see beyond to the new unfoldment, when union and patriotism will again walk together all over this broad land, as Enoch walked with God. But such a result will not be the fruit of a miracle; it will only come as the result of earnest and devoted toil, thus cultivating in the hearts of the American people a deep and fervent attachment to Union.

What man-what woman-what citizen-conscious of being either sire or descendant in this nation, and among this people, is not willing to share even the meanest part in so grand a mission? The destiny is alike to the State and the citizen; the growth and prosperity of the one contributes to the welfare of the other, and everywhere under the shield of the Constitution, freedom is the same to all. What land affords greater opportunities? What people are more equal?

Turning, then, from this hopeful consideration, "and beholding my country at last redeemed and fixed in history, the Columbus of nations, once in chains, but now hailed as benefactor and discoverer, who gave a new liberty to mankind," let us anticipate the consummation of the future, and with the eyes of Cassandra, behold "one vast confederation stretching from the frozen North in one unbroken line to the glowing South, and from the wild billows of the

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