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To this great work let me summon you. That future which filled the lofty visions of the sages and bards of Greece and Rome, which was foretold by the prophets and heralded by the evangelists,—when man in Happy Isles, or in a new Paradise, shall confess the loveliness of peace,—may be secured by your care, if not for yourselves, at least for your children. Believe that you can do it, and you can do it. The true golden age is before you, not behind you. . . .

Let it not be said that the age does not demand this work. The mighty conquerors of the Past from their fiery sepulchres demand it; the blood of millions unjustly shed in war crying from the ground demands it; the voices of all good men demand it; the conscience even of the soldier whispers “ Peace.” There are considerations springing from our situation and condition which fervently invite us to take the lead in this great work. To this should bend the patriotic ardor of the land, the ambition of the statesman, the efforts of the scholar, the pervasive influence of the press, the mild persuasion of the sanctuary, the early teachings of the school. Here, in ampler ether and diviner air, are untried fields for exalted triumphs more truly worthy the American name than any snatched from rivers of blood. War is known as the last reason of kings. Let it be no reason of our republic. Let us renounce and throw off for ever the yoke of a tyranny more oppressive than any in the annals of the world. As those standing on the mountain-tops first discern the coming beams of morning, let us, from the vantage ground of liberal institutions, first recognize the ascending sun of a new era! Lift high the gates, and let the King of Glory in: the King of true Glory–of Peace. I catch the last words of music from the lips of innocence and beauty,1

And let the whole earth be filled with his glory!

It is a beautiful picture in Grecian story, that there was at least one spot— the small island of Delos—dedicated to the gods, and kept at all times sacred from war, where the citizens of hostile countries met and united in a common worship. So let us dedicate our broad country! The Temple of Honor shall be surrounded by the Temple of Concord, so that the former can be entered only through the portals of the latter; the horn of Abundance shall overflow at its gates; the angel of Religion shall be the guide over its steps of flashing adamant; while within Justice, returned to the earth from her long exile in the skies, shall rear her serene and majestic front. And the future chiefs of the Republic, destined to uphold the glories of a new era, unspotted by human blood, shall be “ the first in Peace, and the first in the hearts of their countrymen.”

But while we seek these blissful glories for ourselves, let us strive to extend them to other lands. Let the bugles sound the Truce of God to the whole world for ever. Let the selfish boast of the Spartan women become the grand chorus of mankind, that they have never seen the smoke of an enemy's camp. Let the iron belt of martial music which now encompasses the earth

1 ‘The services of the choir at the Church where the oration was delivered were performed by the youthful daughters of the public schools of Boston.’

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Happy Isles (1)
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