JOHN WINTHROP, 1630, Christian Charity

John WinthropNow the only way to avoid a shipwreck, & to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah:
                          to do justly, to love mercy,& to walk humbly with our God.
          To this end, we must be knit together as one man.
          We must entertain each other in brotherly affection.
          We must uphold a familiar commerce together
                in all meekness, gentleness, patience & liberality.
          We must delight in each other, making [the] other's conditions our own;
                rejoice together, mourn together, labor & suffer together,
                always having before our eyes our commission as members of the same body.
                          So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
          The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us as his own people.
We shall see more of his wisdom, power, goodness & truth than formerly,
                when he shall make us [such] a glory that men of succeeding plantations shall say,
                           "the Lord make [us] like that of New England."
                 For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill.
                                The eyes of all people are upon us.
          If we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken,
                  we shall be made a story & a by-word throughout the world.

Abraham Lincoln
                                                                                          ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 1865, 2nd Inaugural Address

                                                                   With malice toward none; with charity for all;
                                                             with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,
                                                                        let us strive on to finish the work we are in;
                                                                                  to bind up the nation's wounds;
                                                   to care for him who shall have borne the battle, & for his widow, & his orphan
                                                           -- to do all which may achieve & cherish a just, & a lasting peace,
                                                                            among ourselves, and with all nations.

Martin Luther King, jrMARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr, 1963, I have a Dream

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity & discipline.
We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
We must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
A dream that one day this nation will rise up & live out the true meaning of its creed:
       "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation
     where they will not be judged by the color of their skin
                but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today that we will be free one day.
We will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men & white men,
           Jews & Gentiles, Protestants & Catholics, will be able to join hands & sing
               "Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"