near as is possible for finite man the perfections of an Infinite Creator; above all, in cultivating those highest perfections, Justice and Love, Justice which like that of St. Louis shall not swerve to the right hand or to the left; Love, which like that of William Penn shall regard all mankind of kin. “God is angry,” says Plato, “when any one censures a man like himself, or praises a man of an opposite character. And the godlike man is the good man.” And again, in another of those lovely dialogues, vocal with immortal truth: “Nothing resembles God more than that man among us who has arrived at the highest degree of justice.” The true greatness of nations is in those qualities which constitute the greatness of the individual. It is not to be found in extent of territory, nor in vastness of population, nor in wealth; not in fortifications, or armies, or navies; not in the phosphorescent glare of fields of battle; not in Golgothas, though covered by monuments that kiss the clouds: for all these are the creatures and representatives of those qualities in our nature which are unlike any thing in God's nature. . . . The true greatness of a nation cannot be in triumphs of the intellect alone. Literature and art may widen the sphere of its influence; they may adorn it; but they are in their nature but accessories. The true grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, sustained, enlightened, and decorated by the intellect of man. The truest tokens of this grandeur in a State are the diffusion of the greatest happiness among the greatest number, and that passionless godlike Justice which controls the relations of the State to other States, and to all the people who are committed to its charge. But war crushes with bloody heel all justice, all happiness, all that is godlike in man. “It is,” says the eloquent Robert Hall, “the temporary repeal of all the principles of virtue.” True, it cannot be disguised that there are passages in its dreary annals cheered by deeds of generosity and sacrifice. But the virtues which shed their charm over its horrors are all borrowed of Peace; they are enmanations of the spirit of love, which is so strong in the heart of man that it survives the rudest assaults. The flowers of gentleness, of kindliness, of fidelity, of humanity, which flourish in unregarded luxuriance in the rich meadows of Peace, receive unwonted admiration when we discern them in war,—like violets shedding their perfume on the perilous edge of the precipice, beyond the smiling borders of civilization. God be praised for all the examples of magnanimous virtue which he has vouchsafed to mankind! God be praised that the Roman Emperor, about to start on a distant expedition of war, encompassed by squadrons of cavalry and by golden eagles which moved in the winds, stooped from his saddle to listen to the prayer of the humble widow, demanding justice for the death of her son! God be praised that Sidney, on the field of battle, gave with dying hand the cup of cold water to the dying soldier! That single act of self-forgetful sacrifice has consecrated the fenny field of Zutphen far, oh! far beyond its battle; it has consecrated thy name, gallant Sidney, beyond any feat of thy sword, beyond any triumph of thy pen! But there are hands outstretched elsewhere than on fields of blood for so little as a cup of cold water. The world is full of opportunities for deeds of kindness. Let
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