C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
Saint Patricks Day
It is not a bad thing, it is an exceedingly good thing, that on this one day of the year at least, people of Irish nativity and race, with guests of other nations, should assemble around the festive board and in the lecture hall to hear something that shall take them out of the ruts of to-day, take them away from the miserable, selfish thought of their business, of their own even laudable, though at the same time, petty domestic cares, and remind them of their ancestors, to tell them something of the place of their race and nation in the history of the world, and in the work that the universal Father surely has to do for each of the races that He has placed upon earth, as He has given work for each of the individual children that He sends into the world. It is a good thing for them to revive the memory of their history, to be filled with a noble emulation of the glories of their fathers that shall make them examine their own consciences, as it were, to see whether they are degenerate sons of illustrious sires, shall inspire them with a firm resolve to transmit to a remote posterity the blessings of religion or character of whatsoever kind they have inherited from their fathers. And it is peculiarly pleasing for us in this sweet land of America, in this our beloved country, where Celt and Saxon and Latin come together to form the magnificent race of the future, that shall be, we may well believe, the race that shall dominate the world and hasten and make speedier the coming of the day foreseen by the poet and prayed for by sage and saint, when the whole human family shall be literally one, and when wars shall cease among men, when the miserable race prejudices shall be things of the barbarous past and the whole world shall be composed of one magnificent family of which the various nations, if they shall still retain their individuality, shall be but members, speaking one language, largely assimilated in blood, and with no rivalry but the magnificent holy emulation to show forth the glory of the Father by the wondrous work of the heart and hand of His human children.
It is somewhat suggestive that the apostle of Ireland was himself a foreign-born citizen. He acquired a better right to speak for Ireland than any man that was ever born in it, before or since. And that should be a lesson to moderate certain Irish patriots who would have it that there is nothing good that does not come from Ireland. There are good things, always have been and always will be, out of Ireland, as well as every country, as well as in it, and while it is permissible for us on this one day of the year to blow our own horn a little, it is well for us to be modest enough to acknowledge and to be thankful for the apostle who was not an Irishman and yet was the best Irishman that ever lived.