good, of taking the lead in the disarming of the nations. Let us abandon the system of preparation for war in time of peace as irrational, unchristian, vainly prodigal of expense, and having a direct tendency to excite the very evil against which it professes to guard. Let the enormous means thus released from iron hands be devoted to labors of beneficence. Our battlements shall be schools, hospitals, colleges, and churches; our arsenals shall be libraries; our navy shall be peaceful ships, on errands of perpetual commerce; our army shall be the teachers of youth and the ministers of religion. This is, indeed, the cheap defence of nations. In such intrenchments what Christian soul can be touched with fear? Angels of the Lord shall throw over the land an invisible but impenetrable panoply,—Or if virtue feeble wereAt the thought of such a change in policy, the imagination loses itself in the vain effort to follow the various streams of happiness which gush forth as from a thousand hills. Then shall the naked be clothed and the hungry fed. Institutions of science and learning shall crown every hill-top; hospitals for the sick, and other retreats for the unfortunate children of the world, for all who suffer in any way in mind, body, or estate, shall nestle in every valley; while the spires of new churches shall leap exulting to the skies. The whole land shall bear witness to the change; art shall confess it in the new inspiration of the canvas and the marble; the harp of the poet shall proclaim it in a loftier rhyme. Above all, the heart of man shall bear witness to it, in the elevation of his sentiments, in the expansion of his affections, in his devotion to the highest truth, in his appreciation of true greatness. The eagle of our country, without the terror of his beak, and dropping the forceful thunderbolt from his pounces, shall soar with the olive of Peace into untried realms of ether, nearer to the sun . . . . And now, if it be asked why, on this National Anniversary, in the consideration of the true grandeur of nations, I have thus dwelt singly and exclusively on war, it is because war is utterly and irreconcilably inconsistent with true greatness. Thus far mankind has worshipped in military glory an idol, compared with which the colossal images of ancient Babylon or modern Hindostan are but toys; and we, in this blessed day of light, in this blessed land of freedom, are among the idolaters. The heaven-descended injunction, “Know thyself,” still speaks to an ignorant world from the distant letters of gold at Delphi. Know thyself; know that the moral nature is the most noble part of man,—transcending far that part which is the seat of passion, strife, and war,—nobler than the intellect itself. Suppose war to be decided by force,--where is the glory? Suppose it to be decided by chance,—where is the glory? No: true greatness consists in imitating as
Heaven itself would stoop to her.1
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1 ‘These are the concluding words of that most exquisite creation of early genius, the “Comus.” I have seen them in Milton's own handwriting, inscribed by himself during his travels in Italy, as a motto in an Album, thus showing that they were regarded by him as expressing an important moral truth.’ [Mr. Sumner became afterwards the owner of this Album. Ante, Vol. II. p. 124, note; Works, Vol. I. p. 120, note.—E. L. P.]
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