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[253] the conflict between the North and the South will be the preservation of the principles and institutions of our fathers, in all the grand future which I hope is before us.

Mr. President, we hear on every hand about the Lost Cause. Was there ever a cause lost which was supported by truth? And can a cause be lost which has passed through such a baptism as ours? Principles never die, and if they seem to perish it is only to experience a resurrection in the future. I have lived long enough, though my observation lies chiefly in the ecclesiastical sphere, to see small minorities leaven with their principles the very majorities by which they were overwhelmed. And you have read in history that nations have morally subdued the very powers by whom they have been crushed. Rome conquered Greece, but Greece in her fall infused her philosophy and her culture into the very foe by whom she was destroyed. Rome, in her turn, civilized the very savages by whom she was overrun, so that out of the very chaos of the obliterated Roman empire emerged the present congress of European States.

Sir, there is a tribunal before which even nations must appear — a tribunal before which old causes shall be retired and the final verdict be rendered which can never again be reversed. There must come a time when the passions which have shaken the earth to its centre must subside; when the mists of error and mistake roll up and drift away after hanging their curtains long around the truth. God in his adorable Providence raises up the advocates who speak, men of a judicial build, who force these solemn historic retractions in which eternal justice throws down its shadow upon the earth. Look, for example, at Motley drawing from the archives of the Escurial itself the damning evidence that had slept for three hundred years, upon which the second Philip is convicted as the blackest felon that ever disgraced the people. Look, again, at Carlyle planting his burly form against the billows and rolling back the tide of prejudice which had swelled against Cromwell for two hundred years.

We, like all the nations, must stand before that bar and be judged. Our history is not yet finished. God grant that it may not be for centuries to come. It is a little over one hundred years since our independence of the British throne, and less than one hundred since the adoption of the Constitution under which we live. I speak, no doubt, the sentiment of every person in this large audience when I express the wish, I may even add the faith, that these United States may remain united when its government shall cover the continent from ocean to ocean. But we cannot be blind to the peril arising from this extension

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