previous next
[29] can secure an entrance to this true and noble Valhalla. Here will be gathered those only who have toiled, each in his vocation, for the welfare of the race. Mankind will remember those only who have remembered mankind. Here, with the apostles, the prophets, and the martyrs, shall be joined the glorious company of the world's benefactors,—the goodly fellowship of truth and duty,—the noble army of statesmen, orators, poets, preachers, scholars, men in all walks of life, who have striven for the happiness of others. If the soldier finds a place in this sacred temple, it will be not because, but notwithstanding, he was a soldier.

After his tribute to the real benefactors of mankind, he closed thus:—

Such are exemplars of true glory. Without rank, office, or the sword, they accomplished immortal good. While on earth, they labored for their fellowmen; and now, sleeping in death, by example and works they continue the same sacred office. To all, in every sphere or condition, they teach the universal lesson of magnanimous duty. From the heights of their virtue, they call upon us to cast out the lust of power, of office, of wealth, of praise, of a fleeting popular favor, which “a breath can make, as a breath has made;” to subdue the constant, ever-present suggestions of self in disregard of neighbors, near or remote, whose welfare should never be forgotten; to check the madness of party, which so often for the sake of success renounces the very objects of success; and finally, to introduce into our lives those sentiments of conscience and charity which animated them to such labors. Nor should these be holiday virtues, marshalled on great occasions only. They must become part of us and of our existence; present on every occasion, small or great,—in those daily amenities which add so much to the charm of life, as also in those grander duties which require an ennobling self-sacrifice. The former are as flowers, whose odor is pleasant though fleeting; the latter are like the costly spikenard poured from the box of alabaster upon the head of the Lord.

To the supremacy of these principles let us all consecrate our best purposes and strength. So doing, we must reverse the very poles of worship in the past. Thus far men have bowed down before stocks, stones, insects, crocodiles, golden calves, graven images of ivory, ebony, or marble, ,often of cunning workmanship, wrought with Phidian skill, but all false gods. Their worship in the future must be the true God, our Father, as he is in heaven, and in the beneficent labors of his children on earth. Then farewell to the Siren song of a worldly ambition! farewell to the vain desire of mere literary success or oratorical display! farewell to the distempered longing for office! farewell to the dismal, blood-red phantom of martial renown! Fame and Glory may continue, as in times past, the reflection of public opinion, but of an opinion sure and steadfast, without change or fickleness, illumined by those two eternal suns of Christian truth,—love to God and love to man. All things will bear witness to the change, while the busy forms of wrong and outrage disappear like evil spirits at the dawn. Then shall the happiness of the poor and lowly have uncounted friends. The cause of those in prison shall find fresh voices, the education of the ignorant kindly supporters, the majesty of peace other vindicators, the sufferings of the slave new and gushing floods of sympathy.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Valhalla (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: