Signs of the Times

[From President Harding's Speech at the Plymouth Tercentenary Celebration, as Reported in The Christian Science Monitor]

The English-speaking race had hardly established itself in its true character as the foremost exponent of liberal institutions when it began to distribute itself among the wilderness of the earth. Cromwell looked upon them as deserters, despised them as weaklings, was disgusted with himself for having once thought to unite with them. But what would have been his amazement if he could have foreseen the destiny that awaited this feeble colonial enterprise, if he could have known that here was being founded the community that would at least inspire the forces of old world liberalism, if he could have looked down the vista of three centuries and seen political division followed by spiritual reunion in the greater cause of liberty for all mankind?...

In the story of three hundred years, there is every recompense for yesterday, there is our staff for the burdens of to-day, there is our assurance for the trials of to-morrow. We note the divisions of the past, the parting paths, the clashing ambitions, the misguided efforts, and we see all of them bringing men together and urging understanding, suggesting large purpose. There is no fit temple for man amid eternal rivalries, enmities, hatreds, strife, and warfare. But in the concord of brotherhood and understanding we may approach the state which God must have meant for those created in His own image.

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September 17, 1921

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