Great God, is life such an uncertain thing? If I bear a little too hard with my right foot on the earth, does it break through into the grave? Is this world, which swings at the speed of thousands of miles an hour around the sun, going with tenfold more speed toward the judgment-day? Oh, I am overborne with the thought; and in the conclusion I cry to one and I cry to the other: “Oh, time! Oh, eternity! Oh, the dead! Oh, the judgment-day! Oh, Jesus! Oh, God!” But, catching at the last apostrophe, I feel that I have something to hold on to: for “in God is thy refuge, and underneath thee are the everlasting arms.” And, exhausted with my failure to save myself, I throw my whole weight of body, mind, and soul on this divine promise, as a weary child throws itself into the arms of its mother; as a wounded soldier throws himself on the hospital pillow; as a pursued man throws himself into the refuge; for “in God is thy refuge, and underneath thee are the everlasting arms.” Oh, for a flood of tears with which to express the joy of this eternal rescue!
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men.”—Acts xvii: 26.
Some have supposed that God originally made an Asiatic Adam and a European Adam and an African Adam and an American Adam, but that theory is entirely overthrown by my text, which says that all nations are blood relatives, having sprung from one and the same stock. A difference in climate makes much of the difference in national temper.
An American goes to Europe and stays there a long while, and finds his pulse moderating and his temper becoming more calm. The air on this side the ocean is more tonic than on the other side. An American breathes more oxygen than a European. A European coming to America finds a great change taking place in himself. He walks with more rapid strides, and finds his voice becoming keener and shriller. The Englishman who walks in London Strand at the rate of three miles the hour, coming to America and residing for a long while here, walks Broadway at the rate of four miles the hour. Much of the difference between an American and a European, between an Asiatic and an African, is atmospheric. The lack of the warm sunlight pales the Greenlander. The full dash of the sunlight darkens the African.
Then, ignorance or intelligence makes its impression on the physical organism—in the one case ignorance flattening the skull, as with the Egyptian; in the other case intelligence building up the great dome of the forehead, as with the German. Then the style of god that the nation worships decides how much it shall be elevated or debased, so that those nations that worship reptiles are themselves only a superior form of reptile, while those nations that worship the natural sun in the heavens are the noblest style of barbaric people. But whatever be the difference of physiognomy, and whatever the