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consecrate anew unto Thee all the time and all the talents which Thou hast given us; and may we so fulfil our allotted duties that finally we may have a restingplace with the good, and wise, and the great, who now surround that glorious throne ! Hear us while we unite in praying with Thy Church in all lands and in all ages, even as Thou hast taught us, saying :
Our Father which art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen!
As we stand here to-day, mourners around this coffin, and around the lifeless remains of our beloved chief magistrate, we recognize and we adore the sovereignty of God. His throne is in the Heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all. He hath done, and He hath permitted to be done, whatsoever he pleased. Clouds and darkness are round about him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. His
is in the sea and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known.
Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection ? It is as high as Heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof
is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. If He cut off and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him ? for He knoweth vain men, He seeth wickedness: also, will he not then consider it? We bow before His Infinite Majesty, — we bow, we weep, we worship.
“ Where reason fails with all her powers,
It was a cruel, cruel hand, that dark hand of the assassin, which smote our honored, wise, and noble President, and filled the land with sorrow. But above and beyond that hand there is another, which we must see and acknowledge. It is the chastening hand of a wise and a faithful Father. He gives us this bitter cup, and the cup that our father has given us shall we not drink it?
God of the just, thou givest us the cup,
Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. Oh, how these blessed words have cheered and strengthened and sustained us through all these long and weary years of civil strife, while our friends and brothers on so many ensanguined fields were falling and dying for the cause of liberty and union. Let them cheer and strengthen and sustain us to-day. True, this new sorrow and chastening has come in such an hour and in such a way as we thought not, and it bears the impress of a rod that is very heavy, and of a mystery that is very deep, that such a life should be sacrificed at such a time, by such a foul and diabolical agency; that the man at the head of the
nation, whom the people had learned to trust with a confiding and a loving confidence, and upon whom more than upon any other were centred, under God, our best hopes for the true and speedy pacification of the country, the restoration of the Union, and the return of harmony and love, - that he should be taken from taken just as the prospect of peace was brightly opening upon our torn and bleeding country, and just as he was beginning to be animated and gladdened with the hope of ere long enjoying with the people the blessed fruit and reward of his and their toils, care and patience and self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of liberty and the Union. Oh, it is a mysterious and a most afflicting visitation. But it is our Father in Heaven, the God of our fathers and our God, who permits us to be so suddenly and sorely smitten; and we know that His judgments are right, and that in faithfulness He has afflicted us.
In the midst of our rejoicings we needed this stroke, this dealing, this discipline and therefore He has sent it. Let us remember our affliction has not come forth of the dust, and our trouble has not sprung out of the ground.
Through and beyond all second causes, let us look and see the sovereign permissive agency of the great First Cause. It is his prerogative to bring light out of darkness, and good out of evil. Surely the wrath of man shall praise him, and the remainder of wrath he will restrain. In the light of a clearer day, we may yet see that the wrath which planned and perpetrated the death of the President was overruled by Him, whose judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out, for the
highest welfare of all those interests which are so dear to the Christian patriot and philanthropist, and for which a loyal people have made such an unexampled sacrifice of treasure and of blood. Let us not be faithless, but believing.
“ Blind unbelief is prone to err, and scan His work in vain ;
God is his own interpreter, and he will make it plain.”
We will wait for his interpretation; and we will wait in faith, nothing doubting. He who has led us so well, and defended and prospered us so wonderfully during the last four years of toil and struggle and sorrow, will not forsake us now. He may chasten, but he will not destroy. He may purify us more and more in the furnace of trial, but he will not consume us. No, no. He has chosen us, as he did his people of old, in the furnace of affliction; and he has said of us, as he said of them, this people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise. Let our principal anxiety now be that this new sorrow may be a sanctified sorrow; that it may lead us to deeper repentance, to a more humbling sense of our dependence upon God, and to the more unreserved consecration of ourselves, and all that we have, to the cause of truth and justice, of law and order, of liberty and good government, of pure and undefiled religion. Then, though weeping may endure for a night, joy will come in the morning. Blessed be God. Despite of this great and sudden and temporary darkness, the morning has begun to dawn, the morning of a bright and glorious day, such as our country has
That day will come and not tarry, and the
death of a hundred presidents and their cabinets can never, never prevent it. While we are ibus hopeful, however, let us also be humble. The occasion calls us to prayerful and tearful humiliation. I: denands of us that we lie low, very low, before Him who has smitten us for our sins. Oh that all our rulers and all our people may bow in the dust to-day beneath the chastening hand of God, and may their voices go up to him as one voice, and their hearts go up to him as one heart, pleading with him for mercy, for grace to sanctift our great and sore bereavement, and for wisdom to guide us in this our time of need! Such a united cry a leading will not be in vain. It will enter into the ear and heart of Him who sits upon the throne, and he will say to us, as to his ancient Israel, “ In a little vrach, I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer.”
I have said, that the people confided in toe late lamented President with a full and a loving confidence. Probably no man since the days of Washington was ever so deeply and firmly imbedded and enshriosd in the very hearts of the people as Abraham Lincoln Vor was it a mistaken confidence and love. He deserted it; deserved it well ; deserved it all. He merited it bphis character, by his acts, and by the whole tenor and tone and spirit of his life. He was simple and sincere, plain and honest, truthful and just, benevolent and kind. His perceptions were quick and clear, his judgments were calm and accurate, and his purposes were good and pure beyond a question. Always and everywhere be aimed and