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The Scotch-Irish in America
Proceedings of the Third Congress at Louisville - Proceedings


Mr. Bonner:

The convention will now come to order. We will be led in prayer by Rev. Dr. Richmond, of Louisville.

Dr. Richmond:

Lord, Thou has been our dwelling-place in all generations. "We adore Thee as the God of creation, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and the prophets, the God of the Bible and of the Church in all ages, the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and our God forever and ever. Bless, we beseech Thee, Thy servants assembled here, and those whom they represent. Grant, O God, that we may receive in the spirit humility and meekness for the welfare of our own soul, for the advancement of Thy kingdom in the world, and the glory of Thy great name. Grant, O Lord, to guide us this night; may Thy blessing rest upon this assembly ; prepare us for the duties of the coming Sabbath; may we be in the spirit on that day, and may the approaching service in connection with this Congress be the crowning glory of these meetings. And when Thou art done with us here on earth, receive us into Thy general assembly on high, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Mr. Bonner:

A poem entitled "A Scotch-Irish Welcome," written by a Louisville lady, will now be read by Prof. Hawes, of the Baptist Theological Seminary.

Prof. Hawes:

The poem which I will read, entitled "The Scotch-Irish Race," has been written by Mrs. Sophie Fox Sea, and is dedicated to the Rev. T. D, Witherspoon, of this city, who is a lineal descendant of John Knox.


[Dedicated to Rev. T. D. Witherspoon, D.D., LL.D., a lineal descendant of John Knox.]

Fair, fair, those historic hills and valleys
Where the shamrock and thistle grew,
Where over the slopes and battle-crowned heights
The breath of the heather blew,
And a green isle shone clear as a jewel
In a setting of crystal dew;
But fairer the light of immortal deeds
That shineth eternal through.

Illumined, in the fane of ages,
God's thinkers and workers stand.
He calleth them, as the chieftain calleth,
Trusty ones in his command,
To lead in the thickest of the combat,
With foes on every hand.
As such we cry: Hail, comrades, and welcome,
Welcome to our dear Southland!

Yes, hail to the race whose childhood saw
God's truth like a rush-light shine,
Till Iona's grim walls on Scotia's shore
Glowed with effulgence divine.
Still that light shines like the star's fixed splendor
Still the great heart of mankind
Reaches to it through the mists of ages,
Claims its heritage sublime.

True hearts of old Irish fire, was your flame
Kindled at Tara's shrine,
And nourished by Scottish strength of will,
Rare union of soul and mind;
Something akin to the power that holds
In check the wave and the wind,
Was that dauntless race no fear could tame,
No earthly fetters bind.

Worthy they of all hearts' true homage,
Worthy they that which is best
And grandest and noblest in words that burn
In thoughts to this sad earth blest.
Statesmen, warriors, God's thinkers, God's workers,
To-day they stand confessed
As men, in manhood's broadest manliness,
Women, by womanhood's test.

O land, our land, withhold not thy fullness
Of honor : to death they wore,
Like a garment well-fitting, thy purpose,
For thy weal their blood did pour.
Withhold not thy love: those spirits of fire
Upward like eagles did soar,
Those wills of iron kindled the flame
Of liberty on this shore.*

* The fate of the Declaration of Independence was trembling in the balance. Witherspoon rose to his feet and said in solemn, earnest tones: "... To hesitate is to consent to our own slavery. That noble instrument upon your table, which insures immortality to its author, should be subscribed this very morning by every pen in this house. He that will not respond to its accents, and strain every nerve to carry into effect its provisions, is unworthy of the name of freeman." This eloquent burst of patriotic fervor, there is every reason to believe, bore with telling effect upon the fate of the Declaration, which was passed two days after, settling at once the momentous question of the nation's independence.óDr. William P. Reed, Centennial Address, 1888.

Still the fire burneth, we thank Thee, O God,
Truth, virtue their guiding star,
Tenderest when humanity calls them,
Sublimest in needs of war. Hail, hail,
Green Isle in thy crystal setting,
Hail, stern rock-bound coast afar,
Our birthright of historic memories
That glorious, eternal are.

Mr. Bonner:

No man has worked harder, or devoted more time, or brought more intelligence to the building up of the Scotch-Irish Society of America than the Rev. Dr. John MacIntosh, of Philadelphia. We are now to have the pleasure of listening to him. His subject is "Our Pledge to Posterity, or the Scotch-Irish of To-day and To-morrow."

(For Dr. Macintosh's address see Part II., page 2. 3.)

Mr. Bonner:

We are now to have a few words from Mr. McKeehan, the energetic Secretary of the Scotch-Irish Society of Pennsylvania.

Mr. McKeehan:

Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen: I came from Philadelphia to this Scotch-Irish Congress, and brought with me my much better half and several friends to look at this live State of Kentucky and this beautiful city of Louisville and attend this meeting. I came not to make any speech. In that line Philadelphia is well represented. We have had here in making addresses the silver-tongued orator of the Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, Dr. Macintosh, and he has left but very little for me to say. I am a little afraid that some congregation will try to induce him to remain here. All I have to say is, any congregation that attempts it will have a lively time. I feel like congratulating myself and the Congress and everybody else on the good time we have had. I think we ought to feel grateful to our President. Mr. Bonner. He holds the reins over this Congress as he does over Maud 8., as she does a mile in 2:10. I feel like congratulating myself and the local committee for the delightful way they have managed affairs, and then we ought to thank the citizens of this beautiful city and this entire State of Kentucky. Didn't they send their distinguished Governor to throw wide open to us the gates of their city, and, with their proverbial hospitality, tell us we were welcome, and that they hoped we would have a good time. I was taken out riding by a gentleman, and saw $10,000 and $20,000 horses that we in Philadelphia don't see, and nobody in New York but Mr. Bonner. This Congress is about to come to an end. We have met kind acquaintances; we from the North have met those in the South, and those in the West have met those in the South and East, and I agree with my friend Dr. MacIntosh that one of the great and important purposes which must be subserved by this Scotch-Irish Society here and elsewhere, will be that, on my North and on my South, and on my East and on my West, nevertheless there shall be no sectional feeling or sentiment, which should be the prevailing sentiment in every true American heart which knows no South nor North, no East nor West.

Mr. Bonner:

Letters of congratulation and resolutions will now be read by Col. John W. Echols, of Pittsburg.

Col. Echols:

It gives me great pleasure, my friends, to read to you the following communications which have been received both by wire and mail at this meeting of our Congress from those who are unable to attend and unable to be present.

(For these letters and telegrams, see pages 18-22.)

And now, as Chairman of the committee to draft resolutions regarding our Congress here, I beg leave to report the following:

Resolved, That the thanks of this Scotch-Irish Congress be respectfully and cordially tendered:

1. To Gov. Buckner, for his presence and valuable and eloquent address of welcome.

2. To the Board of Trade, the Commercial Club, the Scotch-Irish Society of Kentucky, Helm Bruce, Esq., the Local Secretary; to James Ross Todd, Esq., Chairman of the Reception Committee; and the other citizens of Louisville who have sumptuously provided for our accommodation and entertainment.

3. To the members of the press, for their full and accurate reports of our proceedings.

Whilst thus gratefully acknowledging our debt to our fellow-men, we would look up to God, Who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and acknowledge Him as our fathers' God and our God, and we earnestly pray that He may make this Society His own instrument for the spread of truth, for the defense of liberty, for the development of the widest brotherhood, and for the extension of that Kingdom which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

I now, Mr. Chairman, present this resolution and move its adoption.

Motion seconded and question put and carried unanimously.

Mr. Bonner:

To-morrow evening at 8 o'clock, at the Auditorium, we will have an old-fashion Scotch-Irish service, at which Dr. Hall will preach the sermon. Dr. Hall will now lead us in prayer and pronounce the benediction.

Dr. Hall:

Almighty God, our Father in heaven, we worship Thee and glorify Thee, with thanks and praise to Thee through Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Every good and perfect gift comes from Thee. How many of those gifts we have received is of Thy sovereign goodness, and unto Thee we render thanks and praise. Again and again we have presented our united supplications, invoking Thy presence and Thy favor. And now, as these proceedings come to a close, we commit ourselves, we commit our work, we commit the unknown future to Thy fatherly guidance and care. Favor, we pray Thee, this Society; let it perpetually continue, let it be increased, make our efforts a blessing in the land, let us receive good from year to year, and let us be led to do good. Let Thy favor rest upon us who are gathered together here. Let Thy blessing rest upon this city; continue its prosperity; direct all who have to do with its interests. Bless its churches. Let the people in this city, knowing, and feeling, and trusting Thee in Christ, be prepared for citizenship in the glorious Jerusalem above. Forgive our sins, and fill our hearts with Thy blessed peace for Jesus's sake, and may the grace of the Lord Jesus, the light of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with us evermore. Amen.

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