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our hearts would require us to do so. But it is Easter,
the Queen Festival amongst all the glories of Gospel Truth. Oh, we cannot shove aside the grandeurs, the heavenly grandeurs, of our Saviour's resurrection! It is the culmination of all saving truth; the only light for our darkness, the only joy for grief, the only solace in our deepest troubles. Were it the festival of an earthly joy, instinctively we should keep silence; but our Easter joys are the only medicine, as well for our national wounds, as for the individual heart.
If properly looked at, then ; if these services are not construed as an æsthetic show, a mere parade ; if we bear in mind that it is God's own truth which here concerns us; surely nothing could be more appropriate, even for so direful a calamity, than are these Easter services. Let our hearts be chastened ; let us sink in self-humiliation deep and sincere ; let us lift our eyes to Jesus in faith strong and simple, – then, all the more because of our present national grievance, oh, all the more, strike the very highest notes of Easter joy and triumph!
And may the benediction of our God descend and brood over us, in these our precious services !
2 SAMUEL 111: 38.
AND THE KING SAID UNTO HIS SERVANTS, KNOW YE NOT THAT THERE IS A PRINCE, AND A GREAT MAN FALLEN THIS
We have come into our sanctuary to-day, with heavy hearts and weary step. We are “bowed down to the dust” beneath the weight of a calamity that has thrilled a nation with anguish too deep for tears.
We are all mourners at one funeral; not a funeral that leaves a vacant place in any one of our households, nor simply the funeral of a father, son, or brother, of a personal friend, champion, or protector, but of him who combined the interests and endearments of all these relations in one, and whose sudden loss a nation bewails as inexpressible and irreparable.
The hand of the assassin that smote down our President achieved its fiendish aim, and in that mortal stroke inflicted a pang that throbs in the hearts of more than twenty millions; and though these all beat in unison, yet as the Prophet Zachariah said of Judea in a time of trouble, “ The land mourneth, every family apart.
Every one bemoans the affliction as a sorrow of his
There is sorrow in the crowded streets; sorrow in the marts of trade; sorrow in the council-rooms of States, in the school-rooms of children and youth, and at every hearthstone of the Commonwealth : but more than that, there is sorrow in every solitude, even in the closet of prayer, " the secret place” where emotion is quickened by no sympathy except sympathy with God, who knoweth the heart's bitterness better than it knows its own.
Never, we believe, since the death of Washington, did the countenance of every man, every woman, and every child, over the broad area of the republic, express a sentiment of grief so profound and keen as that which greets us now, whithersoever we may turn.
We have heard of monarchs honored as benefactors, of kings loved as fathers; but it is only in a free republic that you can ever see such signs of love and devotion as those which now glisten in the eyes, or quiver in the tones of stalwart men, of war-worn soldiers, of mirthful youth, of venerable matrons; or such as rise to heaven in the prayers of the vast masses who kneel at their domestic altars in the mansions of merchant-princes, in the tenant-houses of poor laborers who differ from each other as to color and complexion, in the rough cabins of backwoodsmen, and in the huts of emancipated slaves.
All these, spread abroad over the breadth of a continent, make it one expanded “house of mourning," where one bereaved family are prostrate in the expression of a common woe; unto all these voices the ear of God is open, and orer all these He watches with sympathetic