Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/44

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deep-toned recognition of the eternal justice of Heaven, and the unfailing punishment of crime against the laws of God. I believe you will find in all histories of nations, that this has been at the origin and foundation of them all; and that no nation which did not contemplate this wonderful universe with an awestricken and reverential belief that there was a great unknown, omnipotent, and all-wise and all-just Being, superintending all men in it, and all interests in it—no nation ever came to very much, nor did any man either, who forgot that. If a man did forget that, he forgot the most important part of his mission in this world.

Our own history of England, which you will naturally take a great deal of pains to make yourselves acquainted with, you will find beyond all others worthy of your study. For indeed I believe that the British nation—including in that the Scottish nation—produced a finer set of men than any you will find it possible to get anywhere else in the world. I do not know, in any history of Greece or Rome, where you will get so fine a man as Oliver Cromwell, for example. And we, too, have had men worthy of memory, in our little corner of the island here, as well as others; and our history has had its heroic features all along and did become great at last in being connected with world-history: for if you examine well, you will find that John Knox was the author, as it were, of Oliver Cromwell; that the Puritan revolution never would