Imágenes de páginas


salvation. A strange way that to heaven, is it not ? How much disgrace to the church, and shame to mankind, would have been avoided, if the ejaculation of each breast had been, at all times, as it should 120 have been :

“Let not this weak, unknowing hand,

Presume Thy bolts to throw;
And deal damnation round the land,

On him I deem Thy foe.” How equally proper is it now, when the spirit of peace seems to be hovering over our war stricken land, that in canvassing the conduct or motives of others during the late conflict, this great truth should be impressed upon the minds of all:

“Who made the heart? 'Tis he alone

Decidedly can try us;
He knows each chord, its various tone,

Each spring, its various bias;
Then at the balance, let's be mute,

We never can adjust it;
What's done, we partly may commute,

But know not what's resisted."



Of all the heaven descended virtues, that elevate and ennoble human nature, the highest, the sublim- 140 est, and the divinest is charity. By all means, then, fail not to exercise and cultivate this soul regenerating element of fallen nature. Let it be cultivated and exercised not only amongst ourselves and towards ourselves, on all questions of 145 motive or conduct touching the late war, but towards all mankind. Even towards our enemies, if we have any, let the aspirations of our hearts be, “Father,

forgive them; they know not what they do.” 1 150 The exercise of patience, forbearance, and charity,

therefore, are the three first duties I would at this time enjoin — and of these three, “The greatest is charity.”

The old Union was based upon the assumption ? 155 that it was for the best interest of the people of all

the States to be united as they were, each State faithfully performing to the people of the other States all their obligations under the common com

pact. I always thought this assumption was founded 160 upon broad, correct, and statesmanlike principles.

I think so yet. It was only when it seemed to be impossible to further maintain it, without hazarding greater evils than would perhaps attend a

separation, that I yielded my assent in obedience 165 to the voice of Georgia, to try the experiment which

has just resulted so disastrously to us. Indeed, during the whole lamentable conflict, it was my opinion that however the impending strife might

terminate, so far as the appeal to the sword was 170 concerned, yet after a while, when the passions and

excitements of the day should pass away, an adjustment or arrangement would be made upon con

1 The utterance of Jesus upon the Cross.
2 Assumption, judgment assumed, or taken for granted.

tinental principles, upon the general basis of "reciprocal advantage and mutual convenience," on which the Union was first established. My earnest 175 desire, however, throughout, was whatever might be done, might be peaceably done; might be the result of calm, dispassionate, and enlightened reason; looking to the permanent interests and welfare of all. And now, after the severe chastisement of war, 180 if the general sense of the whole country shall come back to the acknowledgment of the original assumption, that it is for the best interests of all the States to be united so, as I trust it will, the States still being "separate as the billows, but one as the sea”; 185 I can perceive no reason why, under such restoration, we as a whole, with "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations and entangling alliances with none,” 2 may not enter upon a new career, exciting increased wonder in the old world, 190 by grander achievements hereafter to be made than any heretofore attained, by the peaceful and harmonious workings of our American institutions of self government. All this is possible if the hearts of the people be right. It is my earnest wish to 195 see it. Fondly would I indulge my fancy in gazing on such a picture of the future. With what rapture may we not suppose the spirits of our fathers would hail its opening scenes from their mansions above.

1 Chastisement, punishment. 2 A quotation from Washington's Farewell Address.

200 Such are my hopes, resting on such contingencies.

But if, instead of all this, the passions of the day shall continue to bear sway; if prejudice shall rule the hour; if a conflict of races shall arise; if am

bition shall turn the scale; if the sword shall be 205 thrown in the balance against patriotism; if the

embers of the late war shall be kept aglowing until with new fuel they shall flame up again, then our present gloom is but the shadow, the penumbra of

that deeper and darker eclipse, which is to totally 210 obscure this hemisphere and blight forever the

anxious anticipations and expectations of mankind ! Then, thereafter, by some bard it may be sung:

“The star of hope shone brightest in the west,
The hope of liberty, the last, the best ;
That, too, has set upon her darkened shore,
And hope and freedom light up earth no more."


May we not all, on this occasion, on this anniversary of the birthday of Washington, join in a

fervent prayer to heaven that the Great Ruler of 220 events may avert from this land such a fall, such a fate, and such a requiem !




[ocr errors]

Mr. Grady was one of the products of the “New South," a man who did more perhaps than any other during the latter part of the nineteenth century to restore a condition of harmony between the North and the South, and to soften the animosities resulting from the Civil War. His death at the early age of thirty-eight was a very great loss, not only to the South, but to the entire country, as he acted as interpreter and messenger of peace between the two once severed parts.

Mr. Grady was a newspaper man all his life, and through his articles, especially in the Atlanta Constitution, he exerted his widest influence. The speech that is here given, delivered before the New England Society in New York City, was widely read, and brought its author at once into national fame. It was heralded as the final proof that the old passions were allayed, and that a New South, industrial and social, was springing from the ashes of the old.

1 Unfortunately Mr. Grady must be recalled without the aid of a portrait, the only existing plate having been destroyed by accident.

« AnteriorContinuar »