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The National Cause: Its Sanctity and Grandeur.
REV. GEORGE W. PEPPER,
CHAPLAIN 40th U. S. I.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA,
ON JULY 4TH, 1867.
MY COUNTRYMEN :
This is indeed a brilliant and beautiful scene. This is a propitious and consecrated day. The Summer sun in its journey to the west looks on no more impressive sight; on no grander spectacle. Why have assembled here in the shadow of these stately oaks, gallant men and fair womenthe hope and struggle, the glory and the joy of life? Should a stranger viewing this grand assemblage ask, why is all this enthusiasm ? Why these splendid banners floating in the breeze? We would tell him that the loyal masses of North Carolina were met to celebrate the most august event which ever constituted an epoch in the political annals of mankind; not to celebrate the birth-day of a despot, but the birth-day of, a great nation. No thunder of cannon, no roll of drums, no blare of trumpets, no empty pageant of regal grandeur, summons us hither. How simple, how sacred, how sublime is the occasion of our meeting! The impressive prayer
that the God of our fathers would be with usthe public reading of the great charter, the Declaration of Independence, which has given a radiant immortality to the day-the enthusiasm of this vast multitude—the inspirin strains of patriotic music--the presence of gallant men and women; all these delightful surroundings combine to clothe this anniversary with grace and splendor.
All over the earth to-day, over the North and South, on mountains and on plains, among the poor and the rich, the natives of Columbia and the friends of liberty hang out their banners—the stars and stripes—hold high festival and renew their recollections of the land of WASHINGTON, now made doubly dear and sacred to them, because it is the resting place of the great and good ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Good