In the sweep of centuries, the heart changes less than the head. You feel indignant at the abuse of power and the triumph of wrong, at the sight of ingratitude and the thirst for revenge; while your whole soul melts with sympathy at the sight of suffering, and leaps with thanksgiving to perform the office of the good Samaritan. Your love of country is as strong as it is noble; and your patriotic hearts beat with generous exultation at the name of our Washington and yours, of our Franklin and yours. Your love of home is stronger yet. In you, the delicate tendrils of domestic affection intwine themselves life-long around the dear objects of your fire-sides; and for them you are ready to labor, and, if need be, you are willing to die. Above all, your minds are illumined by a Christian faith, your hearts sanctified by divine grace, and your souls made living temples of the living God. How far we resemble you in these riches of the heart, we dare not say. It has been our endeavor to cherish them all. Standing, as we now do, mid-way in time between our first ancestors and you, we turn reverently towards them to render our homage of gratitude, and turn cheerfully towards you to express our fulness of hope; and, with the orator of our century, we would say,--
Advance, then, ye future generations! We would hail you, as you rise, in your long succession, to fill the places which we now fill, and to taste the blessings of existence, where we are passing, and soon shall have passed, our human duration. We bid you welcome to this pleasant land of the Fathers. We bid you welcome to the healthful skies and the verdant fields of New England. We greet your accession to the great inheritance which we have enjoyed. We welcome you to the blessings of good government and religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the transcendent sweets of domestic life,--to the happiness of kindred and parents and children. We welcome you to the immeasurable blessings of rational existence, the immortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting truth.