Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Greatness of the American Republic by Archbishop Ireland 1897

The Greatness of the American Republic by Archbishop Ireland 1897

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Archbishop Ireland on the Republic.

The eloquent Catholic prelate, Archbishop Ireland, responded to the toast, "The American Republic," at a banquet of the Marquette club in connection with the autumn festival. His stirring words are so fine that we give space for copious selections:

"The American republic! We salute her in exulting pride; we proffer to her the pledge of undying love and loyalty; God of nations, we pray to thee that she endure and prosper.

"The American republic! Liberty's own creation; temple of human right and of human dignity; symbol and guardian of Justice of freedom; inspiration of hope to all peoples of earth; she deserves limitless admiration and limitless devotion.

"The American republic! The prize of valor and of self-sacrifice to our revolutionary sires; the idol of the hearts of generations of Americans; the embodiment of our own highest civil and political concepts; she is ours to cherish and to defend, our to transmit to distant future ages undiminished in power and grandeur.

"The American republic! May Americans never fall to know the fulness of her beauty and of her greatness; may they never fail to serve her with the fealty and the energy which her merits demand.

"The American republic is the best form of organized democracy revealed in humanity's history. As such she claims homage from her own citizens; as such she draws to herself the attention of the world. Her democracy and her organization of her democracy--behold the glory of the American republic!

"There has been in America no deterioration of character, no lowering of the standard in public or private life, as the result of her democracy. I fear not to proclaim that the general tone of American life makes for honor and honesty, for truth and for cleanliness; that public opinion invariably condemns wrong doing, public and private, and metes out unstinted approval to high moral ideas and virtuous conduct; that the typical American home is the guardian of purity and of peace.

"And, surely, there has been in America no lowering of the highest standard of patriotism. Where is the country, at whose call for heroes, citizens with such speed, with such forgetfulness of self, and in such numbers rally round her flag? Defeat Is unknown in America; defeat is impossible in America.

"It matters little to me what the difficulties are that are said to confront us, be they political, social, or industrial—-I have no fear. I trust the great good sense of the people; I trust the power of American public opinion; I trust the freedom of the republic, which allows healthful discussion; I trust American justice and American respect for human rights, born of American democracy, to solve in due time every problem and remove every peril. I fear only the effect of momentary passion and the rashness it occasions. Hence the motto of Americans should be patience and prudence, and meanwhile energetic and unselfish work for country and for humanity, for righteousness and for God.

"The American republic! She lives and liberty lives with her. The flag of the American republic means liberty wherever it goes. Liberty goes with it. With anxious eye and throbbing heart we watch today the Journeying of the flag of America toward distant isles; we pray for its safety and its honor; we proclaim that in Asia as in America it means liberty and all the blessings that go with liberty.

"The American republic! She will live, and with her liberty will live."

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