I wish this nation could realize that God has not given us all this for nothing. Especially ought we to think of our republic in our political climate. America has been visited in so many ways by God. Our natural resources are the envy of the world, and our human resources have come from the ends of the earth. America is a great and worthy dream of human dignity and equality beyond the accidents of race, breed, or birth. America represents in its democratic assumptions a brave new venture in the faith that people of diverse backgrounds and differing creeds can live together in harmony and mutual respect.
This, I believe, is a God-given concept which is basic to the American contract with history. How often we have scarred the dream and violated the high destiny to which God has called this land. Now and again, we have gallantly moved forward toward the fulfillment of our destiny as a free, equal society. But we have too often fallen back, as if the destiny were too high for us. In all these shifting scenes of stress and strain which mark our history, the God of the nations is testing us and sifting us before his judgment seat. He is examining our willingness to test in our commitment to freedom whether, in Mr. Lincoln’s words, a nation “so conceived and so dedicated” can long endure. If we but knew the things which belong to our peace.