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Centennial Celebration

Centennial Celebration

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 10, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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CETEIAL CELEBRATIO 4TH OF JULY ADDRESS, BY GEERAL HERY EDWI TREMAI. In obedience to the requirements of the law, there was no preaching in the Gospel Tent on the evening of the 4th of July, but Centennial thanksgiving services were held in the morning, at which upwards of 1000 persons were present. They commenced with the singing of " America," followed by prayer ; after which the Declaration of Independence was read by the Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, jr., D.D. An original poem by Mr. Sanders, entitled " The Centennial Reunion," was spoken by the author, and after the singing of " Hold the Fort," the following address was de- livered by General Henry Edwin Tremain. ADDRESS. Ladies and Gentlemen — Four days ago I was drafted for this platform. It is your misfortune that substitutes are not allowed. Although unprepared to do justice to the occasion, I am grateful for the kind invitation of my reverend friend who is presiding. I am here as you are, to join in the general praise and thanksgiving going up from this people throughout our land. Let me crave your indulgence in a few remarks suggested by the day. In other and more appropriate places orators to-day will add to their own and their country's fame. To be unexpectedly en- trusted with the privilege of attempting expression on this plat- form of the sentiments that bring together this concourse of my fellow citizens, is an honor of which an orator might feel proud. It dismays an untutored speaker. But your kind favor, sympa- 82 UDER CAVAS.
thizing looks, the time, the place, assure me that it is less the grace of the rhetorician than the language of the heart which is expected from me. I understand other speakers will follow, whose eloquence will command your attention. The associations here are those of love — love of God ; love of man. Henceforth is blended with these the love of country. Wh is untouched by this affection ? I see it illumine every face. I think I hear the united pulsations of your hearts throbbing back the message, " Yes, I love my country." To the American people this is the day of a year, the year of a century. To-day the civilized world reflects upon the century of all history ; the nation of all centuries. From year to year this nation gives a passing day to the contemplation of its civic existence and material progress. But, in the language of the President of the United States, this year " seems to demand an exceptional observance." So the successor of Washington has by formal proclamation invited " the good people of the United States in addition to the usual observances with which they are accustomed to greet the return of this day, further in such man- ner and at such time as in their respective localities and religious associations may be most convenient, to mark its recurrence by some public, religious and devout thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings which have been bestowed upon us as a nation during the century of our existence, and humbly to invoke a con- tinuance of His favor and His protection." The sun does not shine this morning upon a citizen of the orth, or of the South, of the East, or of the West, who does not rejoice in the inheritance of the glories and the benefits of the dying century. We are ending one century and beginning another. We may look back, but it is not given us to survey the future. One hundred years ago our fathers looked back, but it was not given to them to survey the future. ot only on this side of the Atlantic, but the world Over, the past has been a most remarkable century. Empires, dynasties, kingdoms and republics have been made and unmade ; weak nations have grown strong, and strong ones have become feeble. Rich and prosperous countries have become richer and more prosperous ; while wars,
pestilence and famine have been visited upon many a happy people. The political geography of Europe has been kaleidoscopic, and all the grand and sordid motives of human action have also left their traces on the maps of Asia, Africa and the Western hemisphere. Good and great men, yea, and good and great women have lived and died and left their impress. Human thought has sought to learn the earth, the sea, and all that is therein. The heavens and the worlds beyond have been drawn CETEIAL CELEBRATIO. 83 upon for man's emolument ; the air, the winds, the sky, the clouds have been mapped and marshalled for man's convenience ; con- tinents have been spanned ; mountains undermined ; the sea commanded to whisper our thoughts ; and achievements perfected by man's ingenuity, skill and science that challenge past and future centuries for a parallel. Shall we not rejoice in these gifts and indulgences of our time ? We need not settle the question whether this age is better, higher, nobler, richer and purer than its predecessors. We take it as we find it. It is our age. We may feel its thorns ; but we see its flowers, we gather its honey, we partake of its fruit, we are saturated with its at- mosphere ; our bodies are chained to its influence, and whatever be its evils, its life and benefits belong essentially to us. We live in it ; we help to make it ; we are responsible for it. Who has any sympathy with those social, religious, or political fretters, who are always denouncing the sad times in which they live, condemning the present, hopelessly yearning for the return of the good old days of some imaginary past, and warning their neigh- bors of a coming destruction ? I would not argue with you what kind of an age this has been. Most people prefer their own spectacles.

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