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Proceedings of the Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
An Address by Rev. Samuel Young.


Ladies and Gentlemen: I have to correct our worthy President on one point, and that is: I do not propose to make a speech, and I am sure this is the most welcome information that I can bring to you; but I am glad to stand before you that I may give expression to the impressions made upon me since I came to this beautiful "Gate City of the South." Adopting the words of another to my own use, I can truly say: I came, I saw, I was completely captivated. [Applause.] Yours indeed is a beautiful city, yours is preeminently a hospitable people; your broad avenues, your private residences, betokening at once wealth and the finest taste; your public buildings, your courteous, hospitable gentlemen, your beautiful ladies—all have combined to make an impression upon me which can never be effaced while memory continues to perform her office. [Applause.] And I have no doubt whatever the expression I am now giving to my own personal feeling, and which I could not possibly repress, is at the same time a feeble expression for the feelings of every member of the Scotch-Irish Congress who has had the privilege of visiting you on this extremely interesting occasion. [Applause.] Now I am told that this beautiful city, only twenty-seven years of age, that has, Phoenix-like, arisen in increased beauty from its own ashes, is a monument to Scotch-Irish blood, that from this source you have derived the indomitable courage and full purpose of heart which nerved you to build on its former ruins this "Queen City" of the beautiful Southland. If that be so—and I have no reason to call it in question—what better speech in favor of the Scotch-Irish could I make than to say "Behold, ponder, wonder, and see the effect that the race can produce in a time so short," and laying foundations which doubtless are so broad, upon which, by and by, shall be raised by the same energy a superstructure that shall call the attention not only of the neighboring states but of the world to this as the beautiful "by and by" capital of this beautiful Southern country. There is just one feeling that dampens the joy that I am now giving expression to in the case of those of us who are from the North; and that is that soon stern duty will call upon us to leave these beautiful scenes and go back to our bleak homes and again enter upon the stern realities of life under the less favorable circumstances existing there.

I have no purpose to eulogize our Scotch-Irish race. There is no further proof needed. I have all the evidence that I want to convince me that there is nothing great, good, abiding, lasting, of which the Scotch-Irish family cannot say, in the words of the immortal poet of Some, "We are a greater part." Suffice it then for me to inquire for a few moments, why this wonderful, unique race has accomplished such admirable results. There is no effect without a cause, Mr. President, and the effects produced by this unique race must, in the nature of things, have a cause; and what is that cause? What are the elements of greatness which, combined, have wrought out such beneficent results? I cannot take time to mention them all. I will mention, in the first place, good blood. Good blood tells, whether in men or animals. It is there in the case of the Scotch-Irish. The Pict, the ancient Scot, the Norseman, the Viking, the Celt—all have furnished their quota, in order that by accretion as well as by accumulation, purity should be brought about, their virtues diffused into this evolution which should bring about such grandly glorious results.

Then another element is the possession of a grandly, glorious motherhood by this race. The Scotch-Irish race owes more to this cause than all other causes combined. [Applause.] In fact, in the whole history of the world, in the few great things that other nationalities have performed, they, in every instance, had noble mothers. Rome never yielded or fell as long as the mothers could, Cornelialike, say, with regard to their children: "These are my jewels." The Scotch-Irish race, while as infants lying upon a mother's breast, with the nutriment for the body imbibed at the same time nutriment for the mind and nutriment for the soul, and the noble character spread before the eye of the growing child for his or her imitation added what was necessary in respect to this matter.

Then another element which went to make up this character was a proper education. If you go back to the home of the Scotch-Irish, on the heaths of Scotland, and on the green slopes of Ireland, you will find that the primer of the boy was the Shorter Catechism, a book which teaches, not as we sometimes are told, that the glory of God and the greatest enjoyment to ourselves run in parallel lines, but run in the same line, and as the boys and girls grew up their first, second, third, fourth, and fifth readers were all contained in that wonderful book, the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Our fathers were not afraid of the Bible, either in the public or the private school, and unless we are degenerate sons of those fathers we will not be afraid of the Bible either in the public or in the private schools. [Applause.] From that book our ancestors obtained those divine principles of thought and action which have made them what they were and are making us what we are. It has been said by an old writer that great thoughts make great minds, and I think there is little doubt of it. It was the thought of time and eternity, of life and death, of God and duty, drunk from this blessed fount of divine truth that enlarged the minds and purified the souls and elevated the spirit of our glorious ancestry, and made them what they were: the scourge of tyrants, the bulwarks of liberty, and the friends of humanity. [Applause.]

I should like to continue this analysis further, but I am aware that time is passing. The hands of that clock will not remain still for me. I will, therefore, close by saying that if we, as children of this glorious ancestry, desire to perpetuate the work which they have so well begun and carried forward, especially if we would eliminate aught that is not desirable in them—for they were not perfect—and transmit the glorious heritage intact to our descendants, we must drink from the same fount, we must be imbued with the same principles, we must fear the same God, we must rise superior to the favor and the fear of men, we must be determined in season and out of season, to run with alacrity in the way of true progress, working for honor, glory, immortality, eternal life. [Applause.]


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