We are all the time following the influences which will presently, be our rulers; we are making our own destiny. We are choosing our habits, our associates, our traits, our homes. In time these acquire a power over us which enslaves our will, and from them we neither will nor can break loose.
They (the Pilgrims) believed in the existence of right and wrong, and in the infinite supremacy of righteousness. They believed in the intense reality of God and of the unseen and the spiritual; they held that these were the real, and that everything else was the shadow.
Not satisfied with great principles, they were avaricious of great achievements. They subdued forests, organized emigration, marched westward under the star of empire. They achieved Louisburg and Concord and Lexington, and Paul Revere's ride and the Charter Oak and Bennington and Gaspee Point, and Harvard and Yale and Bowdoin and Dartmouth. They preserved the union, annihilated slavery, crushed repudiation, made the promises of the nation equal to gold. They have spoken the word of protest and pleading in behalf of the Chinaman and the Indian and the African, in behalf of a reformed civil service, and of honest elections. And where has there been a battle for God and humanity that they and their sons have not been in it?
To value riches is not to be covetous. They are the gift of God, and, like every gift of his, good in themselves, and capable of good use. But to overvalue riches, to give them a place in the heart, which God did not design them to fill, this is covetousness.