Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/366
360 Southern Historical Society Papers.
banner now forever furled. We dedicate this mansion as the shrine to which all right-minded and right-hearted men will gather from every State and from every land to pay homage to exalted worth. The shrine, which will be hallowed by men bound to us by no tie, save that which admiration for such worth established between all magnanimous souls; the tie which will never be sundered while the great heart of humanity throbs in sympathy with heroic endeavor, and most of all when heroic endeavor is overwhelmed with defeat.
Here we would preserve the relics and the records of a struggle nevermore to be repeated and nevermore to be forgotten.
Our Father, we cannot forget the fiery trials, the disasters and desolations, which, in years gone by, caused us such humiliation and bitter tears, but we gratefully remember also the fortitude, the cour- age, the unfaltering trust in Thee which characterized our people in their time of peril and bereavement.
And now, turning from the strifes and sorrows of the past, we resolutely face the future, beseeching Thee to grant us the wisdom and the grace to make that future prosperous and happy an era of progress in all that enriches and ennobles a people whose God is the Lord.
And now, our Father, amidst the festivities of this hour, we im- plore Thee deeply to impress upon our hearts the great truth that all the temporal honors and glories of earth are worthless in com- parison with the honors Thou dost bestow on those who are loyal to Thee, and who seek the eternal glory to which Thou hast taught us to aspire. We devoutly thank Thee that the piety of the great leaders of our armies was the flower and crown of all their virtues, and nothing now fills us with a satisfaction so pure and with a grati- tude so profound as the remembrace of their consecration to Thee and their supreme devotion to Thy service.
May these great lessons be impressed anew on our minds and hearts by Thine honored servant who comes to address us to-day; and may it please Thee to hasten the coming of the time when all the inhabitants of this great land may be brought more and more to cherish the relation which unite them as children of one Father and as citizens of one country, and when freedom, founded on constitu- tional law and religion, pure and undefiled, shall make our whole land happy and fill the whole world with peace.
And to God, Most High, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we will ascribe all honor and glory forever. Amen.