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shocking in this bereavement; by this startling evidence of the brittleness of human life and the vanity of human hopes; by this awful warning of the fearful crimes to which wicked passions lead; by all that is instructive and exemplary in the life, and all that is impressive and touching in the death, of the honored head of our nation; by all that our country has suffered and is suffering ; by all the precious blood which has been shed in its behalf; by all the claims it has upon its children; by all.we owe to God, to our families, to our fellow-men, and to our own souls, - let us be admonished and implored to put away the evil of our doings; to cast out all low and selfish passions from our hearts ; to watch and pray
that we ourselves may not fall into temptation; to watch and pray and work, each one of us in his place, for the promotion of public virtue and the correction of the national sins; to dedicate the remainder of our lives to wisdom and righteousness. It is upon the moral results of these times of trial that the salvation both of our country and ourselves depends; and for these, let us remember, God will hold our citizens individually responsible.
But the oppressive sense of our great bereavement must not be permitted to draw our thoughts away from that sublime and joyous event which the whole Christian world commemorates to-day. Indeed, it is all the more salutary and needful, amidst this national distress and perplexity, while the winds and waves are roaring, while the earthly foundations of our confidence are shaking beneath us, and the pillars of human pride and hope are falling around us, that we should turn anew to
the bright revelation of immortal life, and contemplate afresh the radiant pledge of the incorruptible and unfading inheritance.
Christ is risen! Thanks be to God, who has set this transcendent fact over against all the gloom and misery and mystery of man's earthly lot; thanks, that the interposing love of our Maker has inwrought it as a vital reality into human experience and history; thanks, that the heel of the woman's seed is actually planted on the serpent's head; that redeeming energy has manifested itself in human flesh; that the Eternal Word has spoken its life-giving truths through human lips; that that “ Eternal Life which was with the Father” has been
upon the earth, seen by mortal eyes and handled by mortal hands; that power and love divine have come down from heaven and dwelt among us, healing our diseases, comforting our sorrows, forgiving and taking away our sins; that the Son of God, the “ Wonderful,”
Conqueror,” the “ Prince of Peace," of whose “ kingdom there shall be no end," has taken upon
himself our own nature, — dignifying it by his perfect life, redeeming it by his obedient death, renovating it by his quickening spirit, raising and glorifying it by his own glorious rising,— that he is bound to us and identified with us by the ties and sympathies of a common humanity, and has promised to love and guide and save and sanctify, and bring home, at length, spotless and joyous, to his Father's presence, every one who believes in him.
To-day, in the midst of our gloom, we will fix our thoughts and our hearts upon this “mystery of godliness,” this miracle of the divine mercy, wrought in with
the course of human events as palpably as the saddest reality of our experience, more vivid and more impressive than the most tragic scene of history, — till all that is dark, disheartening and appalling fades into comparative obscurity, and the whole soul is irradiated with the glory of that majestic vision.
Come, then, all ye who believe that “ Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification”; in this hour of general Christian jubilee, lift up your eyes, swollen with weeping, lift up your hearts, burdened with grief, and bear your part with the vast chorus of believers, who are raising, in ten thousand temples, their song of Christian triumph, " Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”