God of mercy, reveal to me the hallowed life. May I be reminded that, while I may save and keep the dust from things that perish, my life, though unkept and undeveloped, tells in itself the value and need of the most watchful care. Amen.
Patrick Henry born 1736.
Joseph Fouche born 1763.
Josephine died 1814.
Gerald Massey born 1829.
Is life so dear or peace so
sweet as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course
others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
Though hearts brood o’er
the past, our eyes
With smiling features glisten;
For lo! our day bursts up the skies,
Lean out your souls and listen!
The world is following freedom’s way,
And ripening with her sorrow;
Take heart! Who bears the cross to-day
Shall wear the crown to-morrow.
For God gave us not a spirit
of fearfulness; but of power and love
—2 Timothy 1. 7.
Lord God, may I never feel that I have a right to sell thy joys, nor the privilege of giving away my burdens. Grant that I may not forsake my principles, but may I keep the way clear that memory may find an unruffled rest. Amen.
Joan d’Arc burned at Rouen 1431.
Alexander Pope died 1744.
Voltaire died 1778.
Alfred Austin born 1835.
Here is the nation God has builded by our hands. What shall we do with it? Who stands ready to act again and always in the spirit of this day of reunion and hope and patriotic fervor? The day of our country’s life has but broadened into morning. Do not put uniforms by. Put the harness of the present on. Lift your eyes to the great tracts of life yet to be conquered in the interest of righteous peace, of that prosperity which lies in a people’s hearts and outlasts all wars and errors of men.
Cover them over with beautiful flowers:
Deck them with garlands these brothers of ours;
Lying so silent, by night and by day,
Sleeping the years of their manhood away;
* * * * *
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for
—John 15. 13.
My Father, as I pause this day to think of the brave men and women who have given their lives for the sake of others, may I be thankful for them. May I remember that noble deeds and kind words are never lost, but that self may block the way to justice. O Father, make war to cease! and lead us to victories that are won through peace. Amen.