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there be a longer delay in providing them with convenient apartments and an ample hall in which they may carry on their great work of moral and spiritual improvement, - writing on its walls - Salvation, — and on its gates — Praise !
The atmosphere around us, I know, is at this moment filled almost to suffocation with projects, some of them gigantic projects, mammoth projects, for erecting edifices for every variety of purpose. The brain reels, and the most sanguine and liberal heart almost despairs, at the proposals and applications which are multiplied at every turn. Yonder “ Back Bay” will have more than fulfilled the largest promise of its name, if it shall prove strong enough to bear even one half the load which seems destined to be imposed upon it. Art and science, education and literature, natural history and civil history, patriotism and charity, severally and jointly, have been beseeching and besieging our public and our private treasuries for aid. Gladly, most gladly, would I see them all successful, - not all at once, perhaps, but each in its order. Let Charity be aided in building up her hospitals and her homes for the orphan and the widow, for the indigent and the sick, curable and incurable. Let Patriotism be encouraged in preserving the memorials and monuments and precious relics of the great and good men, who planted our colony, or achieved our independence, or who have illustrated our constitutional history. Let the Home and the Grave of Washington never be the property of any thing less than the whole Union. Let central and convenient Armories not be withheld from the old battalions or the new battalions, whose interposition with the arm of flesh may be needed, we know not how soon, to execute our laws or maintain our domestic peace. Let Education and Learning and Literature enjoy a liberal patronage for their schools, and colleges, and academies, and libraries. Let Art, in due time, have her galleries and repositories and conservatories, for all that mechanic invention and philosophical ingenuity and the most cultured and refined taste and skill, in marble or in bronze or on the canvas, can design or accomplish. Let the Natural Sciences have their spacious corridors and cabinets for the preservation and display of every thing that is rare, and recondite, and curious in the air above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth, - where old and young may observe and study the works of God in Nature, and where their hearts may be exalted towards the great Creator. I rejoice that this object at least is secured, - that this is to be done first of all and without delay, so that not a day of the remaining life of that eminent adopted Naturalist of ours, -Agassiz, — whom the fascinations and blandishments of foreign courts have not been able to seduce from his chosen allegiance to the cause of American science, — so that not a day of his life, even should it be, as we hope, as long as that of his illustrious friend Humboldt, may be lost to mankind through our neglect; and so that not one of all the myriad specimens which he has so laboriously collected may perish for want of a safe place of deposit. Religion has nothing to fear from science. Nature and revelation, - what are they but two volumes of the same Divine Book? “Between the Word and the Works of God (said the lamented Hugh Miller) there can be no actual discrepancies; and the seeming ones are discernible only by the men who see worst.
* Mote-like they flicker in unsteady eyes,
But neither science nor art, nor education nor literature, nor natural history nor civil history, nor patriotism, nor even charity itself, can supply any substitute for religion. There is a higher revelation, and one more worthy of our best study, than even the record of the Rocks or the testimony of the Turtles. Nay, there have been rents in the rocks themselves, which have attested more momentous things than any which geology can ever teach, -even should its excavations, with more than Artesian enterprise, strike down upon the very central fires, and uncover them before their time! There is a first and great commandment superior even to the second which is like unto it. There is a better country even than our native land. There is a more glorious liberty even than American liberty. There is a more consecrated mount even than Mount Vernon. And these young men whose faces are set towards the Mount Zion, who, without renouncing one particle of love or loyalty to the land in which they live, yet seek to secure a future citizenship in another country, - even a heavenly, - and who would fain improve themselves and others in things which pertain to their everlasting portion and peace, - let it never be said that their moderate and reasonable claims were postponed to any which have been, or to any which can be, named. Let it never be said, that while schemes are on foot which might almost carry us along to the grandeur and magnificence of another Antioch, those who are calling themselves Christians are left without a home. If we grudged not the cost of rescuing the remains of a gallant company of foreign navigators from their icy shrouds on the Arctic shores, how can we withhold the means of rescuing the souls of our living sons from the frozen realms of infidelity or indifference, or from the torrid zone of sensuality and crime! Let Religion ever have that rightful pre-eminence among us which is symbolized in the stately towers and soaring spires of her churches. Let science and art and education and patriotism be ever encircled and glorified with a halo of holiness from the healing beams of the Sun of Righteousness. And let us give to the worshippers of that Sun, - who desire no gorgeous temple of Daphne, no gigantic statue of Apollo, - every moral and every material aid and comfort in our power, encouraging them to study, and to learn, and to teach others, the deep and priceless mysteries of Redeeming Love, and saying to them, as Milton represents the Archangel Michael saying to our fallen first parents, as they were sadly quitting the seats of innocence and bliss to enter upon the stern trials and discipline of this mortal life:
“This having learned, thou hast attained the sum
For myself, my friends, I can truly say, in conclusion, that if the results of this humble labor of love to-night should be, directly or indirectly, to secure a building for this Young Men's Christian Association, I should feel better repaid than if I could have written my name upon the Parthenon or the Pyramids; for I do not forget the words of another of the old English poets :
“ Virtue, alone, outbuilds the pyramids;
LUXURY AND THE FINE ARTS,
IN SOME OF THEIR MORAL AND HISTORICAL RE
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED IN AID OF THE FUND FOR BALL'S EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF
WASHINGTON, BOSTON, MAY 13, 1859.*
I was not at all surprised, my friends, on my return home yesterday from a brief Southern tour, to find that the wars and rumors of wars from abroad, which are agitating and engrossing the public mind, and the elemental revolutions at home, which precipitated us into midsummer a few days since only to plunge us back again so soon into this cold and cheerless spring, should have somewhat overclouded the prospects and the promise of this occasion.
But the glorious sunshine which we have enjoyed this afternoon, the inspiring strains of this charming band of choristers, and still more the eloquent and excellent remarks of my valued friend who has just introduced me so kindly, have dissipated all doubts and forebodings, and have assured me that the cause which I am to plead is already safe, and that we shall none of us have occasion to repent that we have “ set this Ball in motion.” My only apprehension is, that the occasion may hardly seem to call for so grave and formal a discourse, as that which, according to my promise, I now proceed to deliver.
It would not be easy, I think, to name a more interesting or a more instructive memorial of our Revolutionary period, than the “ Journal of a Voyage to England," — with the account of what
* This Address was delivered before the Young Men's Christian Association of Baltimore, on the 2d of May, 1859.