Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/353

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
345
Memorial Sermon.

which fired the hearts of our people in 1861, this country would not have remained. Many were going after other gods! Without the welding together of our people by the fiery trials of war, of reconstruction, of threatened servile domination, we could not have been the conserving power we have been. If this government is still to stand for liberty and freedom, it will be the South which will preserve it, and in the good providence of our God, bringing good out of evil, our sufferings will help to bring a blessing to all people.

Our real cause was not lost. No fight for right and truth and honor was ever truly lost. The spirit of the men of '61 goes marching on!

My brethren, this is our country. This is the land which the Lord our God hath given us to possess. He has loved us in the furnace of affliction, and He hath hardened the fibre of our souls that our pulse may beat true and firm for liberty and for truth. See that ye serve not false gods!

Millions of people who know not liberty are mingling with our people. False notions of government, of religion and of personal rights are proclaimed. We have resisted and prevented the legalized pollution of Anglo-Saxon blood. Though in the minority, we have held the majority in check and saved our fair land. Let us see to it that we lose not our heritage; that we lose not the infusion of iron which entered into our souls through the trials and temptations and sorrows and oppressions of the past. "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God hath led thee."

In a few days hundreds of those who came to Virginia as invaders will meet in Petersburg hundreds of those who resisted them. These visitors will be welcomed with genuine hospitality. On Virginia soil a monument to soldiers from Pennsylvania will be unveiled, for "they fought for the right as it was given them to see the right," and we can forgive their blindness. We can respect brave men who made an open, honest fight, though we may know they were on the wrong side.

It would not be hospitable to remind our guests, but history should record the fact, that in beautiful Hollywood, there is a monument which was intended to grace the city of Philadelphia, but permission to place it there was refused.