To trust in the arm of flesh is foolishness; to suppose that we are self-sufficient is naive. This nation will survive and prosper only as God permits it to do so, and his permission rests upon our obedience to him and his gospel. He brought forth this nation. He gave us our liberty. He inspired our federal constitution. But it is for us to preserve these priceless blessings by our repentance and obedience to God. Our sins and haughty attitudes can only bring us sorrow.
A wise man will never rust out. As long as he can move or breathe he will be doing for himself, his neighbor, or for posterity. Almost to the last hour of his life Washington was at work; so was Newton. The vigor of their lives never decayed. No rust marred their spirits. It is a foolish idea to suppose that we must lie down and die because we are old. Who is old? Not the man of energy, not the laborer in science, art, or benevolence; but he only who suffers his energies to waste away and the springs of life to become motionless, on whose hands the hours draw heavily, and to whom all things wear the garb of gloom. Is he old? should not be asked, but is he active? Can he breathe freely and move with agility? There are scores of gray headed men whom we should prefer in any important enterprise to those young men who fear and tremble at approaching shadows, and turn pale at a lion in their path, or a harsh word or a frown.