The Nation and the True Man

As individuals advance in years, they are very apt to ask themselves, when their birthdays come to remind them of the high hopes with which they set sail on life's voyage, whether or not they have realized these hopes, and thinkers are wont to question the past and the future no less seriously each time the nation's natal day comes with' the revolving years. A retrospective glance over the history of this country can but give a sense of satisfaction with the present, if prosperity and progress are to be measured by external conditions. It is scarcely possible that those who were present at the birth of this nation could have foreseen its unexampled development at home, and the rank it has come to hold among the foremost nations of the earth.

For all this and for yet greater blessings we should be profoundly thankful to the Giver of all good, and grateful also to those who have proved the power of divine intelligence and its law to exalt the individual and the nation alike In the midst of the evils which have attended our advance in wealth, and which seem to menace the safety of the nation, there can be no question that we are attaining to a truer sense of what constitutes prosperity, and the fact that these evils are so clearly recognized as evils, while it is generally conceded that the only remedy is individual righteousness, gives a sure promise of coming deliverance.

Some of the utterances of President Roosevelt at the National Congress of Mothers, held in Washington last March, are very significant in this connection. Among other things, he said: "In our modern industrial civilization there are many and grave dangers to counterbalance the splendors and triumphs. . . . In the last analysis the welfare of the State depends absolutely upon whether or not the average family, the average man and woman and their children, represent the kind of citizenship fit for the foundation of a great nation; and if we fail to appreciate this we fail to appreciate the root morality upon which all healthy civilization is based. . . . Effort and self-sacrifice are the law of worthy life for the man as for the woman. . . . Teach boys and girls alike that they are not to look forward to lives spent in avoiding difficulties, but to lives spent in overcoming difficulties. Teach them that work for themselves and also for others is not a curse but a blessing: seek to make them happy, to make them enjoy life, but seek also to make them face life with the steadfast resolution to wrest success from labor and adversity, and to do their whole duty before God and man."

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A Garden Gleaning
July 8, 1905

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