The Power of Ideals in American History

By Ephraim Douglass Adams | Go to book overview

growth. I have made no comparison of statistics. But the instinct and the practice of service is first and always based on a sense of religion, -- on a faith in divine purpose and in immortality. Without this faith, -- driven to pessimism by the meagre results of the labors of one short life, -- they would be few indeed who would follow the banner of service. But it is not the few today in America who follow that banner. The leaders are many, and the army is a multitude. Religion is still a National ideal. And in conclusion I venture a quotation, possibly become a commonplace to you here at Yale, but read with inspiration by one to whom it was unfamiliar, as embodying for us who constitute the rank and file of this army, the ideal of religion in service. On the tomb of Elihu Yale, in Wrexham Church Yard, North Wales, are these lines:

"Born in America, in Europe bred,
In Africa travell'd, and in Asia wed,
Where long he liv'd and thriv'd; in London dead.
Much good, some ill, he did; so hope all's even,
And that his soul thro' mercys gone to Heavn.
You that survive and read this tale, take care,
For this most certain exit to prepare:
Where blest in peace, the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in the silent dust."

-124-

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The Power of Ideals in American History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • I - Nationality -- a Faith 1
  • I - Nationality -- a Faith 3
  • II - Anti-Slavery -- a Crusade 31
  • II - Anti-Slavery -- a Crusade 33
  • III- Manifest Destiny -- an Emotion 63
  • III- Manifest Destiny -- an Emotion 65
  • IV - Religion -- a Service 95
  • IV - Religion -- a Service 97
  • V - Democracy -- a Vision 125
  • V - Democracy -- a Vision 127
  • Index 153
  • Index 155
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