Page images

silently ministered to it. The elements around breathed upon it and "touched it to finer issues." The golden ray of heaven fell upon it, and ripened its expanding faculties. The slow revolutions of years slowly added to its collected treasures and energies; till in its hour of glory, it stood forth embodied in the form of living, commanding, irresistible eloquence!

The world wonders at the manifestation, and says, "Strange, strange, that it should come thus unsought, unpremeditated, unprepared!" But the truth is, there is no more a miracle in it, than there is in the towering of the pre-eminent foresttree, or in the flowing of the mighty and irresistible river, or in the wealth and the waving of the boundless harvest.



Henry W. Grady was born in Athens, Ga., May 24, 1850, and died in Atlanta, Ga., December 23, 1889. He was one of the foremost American journalists, and was achieving great renown as an orator when suddenly cut off in his early manhood. He did much toward bringing the two sections of his country to a better understanding of the questions dividing them, and aided materially in allaying the passions and animosities that separated the North and the South. "The Future of the South" is an extract from a speech delivered at Dallas, Texas, October 26, 1877, and "The Con

federate Soldier's Return from Appomattox" is a portion of an address delivered before the New England Club, New York, December 21, 1886. This address was enthusiastically received, and stirred the country with brotherly feeling such as had not been felt for years.


HE world is a battlefield, strewn with the wrecks of government and institutions, of theories and of faiths that have gone down in the ravage of years. On this field lies the South, sown with her problems. Upon the field swing the lanterns of God. Amid the carnage walks the Great Physician. Over the South He bends. "If ye but live until to-morrow's sundown ye shall endure, my countrymen." Let us for her sake turn our faces to the East, and watch for the coming sun. Let us stanch her wounds and hold steadfast. The sun mounts the skies. As it descends to us, minister to her, and stand constant at her side for the sake of our children, and of generations unborn that shall suffer if she fails. And when the sun has gone down, and the day of her probation is ended, and the stars have rallied her heart, the lanterns shall be swung over the field and the Great Physician shall lead her up, from trouble into content, from suffering into peace, from death to life. Let every man here

pledge himself in this high and ardent hour, as I pledge myself, and the boy that shall follow

me; every man himself and his son, hand to hand and heart to heart, that in death and earnest loyalty, in patient painstaking and care, he shall watch her interest, advance her fortune, defend her fame, and guard her honor as long as life shall last. Every man in the sound of my voice, under the deeper consecration he offers to the Union, will consecrate himself to the South. Have no ambition but to be first at her feet and last in her service. No hope but, after a long life of devotion, to sink to sleep in her bosom, and as a little child sleeps at his mother's breast and rests untroubled in the light of her smile.

With such consecrated service, what could we not accomplish; what riches we should gather for her; what glory and prosperity we should render to the Union; what blessings we should gather into the universal harvest of humanity. As I think of it, a vision of surpassing beauty unfolds to my eyes. I see a South, the home of fifty millions of people, who rise up every day to call from blessed cities, vast hives of industry and of thrift; her country-sides the treasures from which their resources are drawn; her streams vocal with whirring spindles; her valleys tranquil in the white and gold of the harvest; her mountains showering down the music of bells, as her slow-moving flocks

and herds go forth from their folds; her rulers honest and her people loving, and her homes happy and their hearthstones bright, and their waters still, and their pastures green, and her conscience clear; her wealth diffused, and poor-houses empty; . her churches earnest, and all creeds lost in the Gospel. Peace and sobriety walking hand in hand through her borders; honor in her homes; uprightness in her midst; plenty in her fields; straight and simple faith in the hearts of her sons and daughters; her two races walking together in peace and contentment; sunshine everywhere and all the time, and night falling on her gently as from the wings of the unseen dove.


All this, my country, and more can we do for you. As I look the vision grows, the splendor deepens, the horizon falls back, the skies their everlasting gates, and the glory of the Almighty God streams through as He looks down on His people who have given themselves unto Him and leads them from one triumph to another until they have reached a glory unspeaking, and the whirling stars, as in their courses through Arcturus they run to the milky way, shall not look down on a better people or happier land.

[ocr errors]



Extract from his speech on 'The New South."

[ocr errors]


R. TALMAGE has drawn for you, with a master's hand, the picture of your returning armies. He has told you how, in the pomp and circumstance of war, they came back to you, marching with proud and victorious tread, reading their glory in a nation's eyes! Will you bear with me while I tell you of another army that sought its home at the close of the late war an army that marched home in defeat and not in victory in pathos and not in splendor, but in glory that equalled yours, and to hearts as loving as ever welcomed heroes home! Let me picture to you the footsore Confederate soldier, as, buttoning up in his faded gray jacket the parole which was to bear testimony to his children of his fidelity and faith, he turned his face southward from Appomattox in April, 1865.

Think of him as ragged, half-starved, heavyhearted, enfeebled by want and wounds, having fought to exhaustion, he surrenders his gun,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »