Newspaper Page Text
the independence of Ireland ; partitioned Poland ;
assassinated the liberty of France; and made Crom
well the master, not the servant of the people?
It is true that war delivered Greece from Persian
invaders, restored the Bruce to his throne, and
redeemed the pledge of our American colonies
when they plighted to each other their lives, their
fortunes, and their honor. And yet, what would
that pledge have availed if the spirit of our Ameri
can institutions had not been both the birthright
and the, blessing of those who risked their lives
for the preservation of liberty? The patriotism
of war may either break or bind fetters of slavery,
but it is the patriotism of peace alone, that places
the laurel crown of progress on the brow of lib
erty. Hence we do not link the names of Wash.
ington with the scanty benefactors of the race as
a soldier alone, for the splendor of his military
achievements finds many parallels in history.
But Washington, the statesman, soothing into har
mony the spirit of discord among his country
men, guiding 'the ship of state safely amid danger.
ous rocks, hideous shoals, and shifting sands, is the
noblest specimen of real patriotism America pre
sents. Washington as a soldier deserves our ap
plause ; Washington as a statesman commands our
veneration. Patriotism such as his constitutes
one of the realities of the age ; and if more of this
and less of that which is founded on prospects of
public office were common, ours would be a hap
py land indeed.
In the realms of science, the influence of
realism has been most potent. Erroneous ideas,
which had long been unchangeable, have been
supplanted ; old axioms have been discarded, and
ancient stereotypes broken up. To-day every
thing is tested by the crucible. All things are
summoned to the trial, and on the result of that
trial the base and spurious are rejected while the
value of the true and real is enhanced by the or
deal. The world has entered upon the scientific
epoch and great are the triumphs it is destined to
achieve. Already has science advanced to some
glorious conquests ; and the music of her majestic
THE FREE LANCE.
steppings can be heard along the corridors of
Look abroad and see the infinite power of
steam, reflect on the railroad as a destroyer of dis
tance. Pause to estimate the wonders of teleg
raphy. The livid flash that limited to the mind
of Franklin the possibilities of electricity has been
isolated from the heavens, and man has made it his
messenger and postman. Cast a glance over the
whole field of scientific improvement and itsappli
cations to human wants, and think what a world it
has made. It is all a great astounding marvel
which it oppresses the mind to contemplate. And
yet, we have only begun, we have just crossed the
threshold of this epoch.
A great celebration is now midway in its his.
tory. People of all nations and tongues are gath
ered in magnificent palaces in Chicago to illus
trate and distinguish the achievements of art and
science as well as to dignify and exalt the men
who have filled those palaces with wonders.
This great celebration is the signet of the centur
ies that stamps the seal of approval on this age of
realities; an index showing that man has risen,
and to-day occupies a higher place than ever be
fore ; a proclamation confirming honor to the,
men who fill this world with beauty, comfort and
power ; honor embalmed in history; perpetuated
on monuments, stamped on the hearts of this and
In the realm of religion also the realities of
the age have manifested themselves. The church
is no longer afraid of the discoveries of science;
on the contrary, she welcomes them with delight.
To-day the circle of chrktianity of which Christ is
the centre, and which has thrown its radiance
over the world of learning, is in turn gath•:ring
new lustre from the reflection of its own halo.
Truth has emerged from the mine, the laboratory,
and the observatory, giving testimony to the truth
of the Bible, the great text book of christian4y
which still sways its sceptre of law, history and
morals over the world.
Chistianity has given to the world all the origi-