Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his vision a huge image, a colossus whose head was of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet of iron and clay. The mighty colossus seemed invincible; but a stone cut without hands smote the colossus on his feet of clay and brake the image to pieces, while the stone that
smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
That is a timeless parable, and the only true philosophy of history. No matter how formidable wickedness may seem, or how polished the silver and gold and brass of its material show and splendor, it stands upon feet of clay, and the uncut stone of God's justice and holy decree at length will smash it to fragments and cast it into the dust.
The hope which beats within the breast of man has ever pictured a great and a good end to the long process of history.
Ah, there is something here
Unfathomed by the cynic's sneer,
Something that gives our feeble light
A high immunity from Night.
A conscience more divine than we,
A gladness fed with secret tears,
A vexing, forward-reaching sense
Of some more noble permanence;
A light across the sea,
Which haunts the soul and will not let it be,
Still beaconing from the heights of undegenerate years.—James Russell Lowell
There is a noble expression of confidence in the triumph of right found in a letter written by the Prussian Queen Louise in 1818, to her father, when Napoleon overran Europe: "It were a crime to say God is with the French emperor; but he is manifestly an instrument in the hands of the Almighty to bury out of sight the old order, which has no further purpose. I do not believe the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is firm and secure on what at present is so dazzling a throne. Only truth and justice are steadfast and at rest; he is politic, that is, cunning, and he guides himself, not according to the eternal laws, but according to circumstances as they are just now. Consequently, he stains his rule with much injustice. I believe steadfastly in God, and therefore also in a moral ordering of the world. This I do not see in the reign of violence, and so I entertain the hope that better days will succeed the present evil ones."