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What was mortal of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, is at this hour being borne to the grave. How are the mighty fallen! He who but yesterday was the top and crown of this vast political fabric, the peer of the world's foremost men and mightiest potentates, stricken by the assassin's hand, has fallen from that great height. His word of power is hushed; his great heart, embracing a nation in its love, has ceased to beat. His body is given back to the dust as it was, and his spirit returneth unto God who gave it; and the man who has filled so large a space in the eye of the world has ceased to be an earthly presence.
The civil and military heads of the nation are burying their chief, at the capital, with such poor earthly pomp as befits his station; and we, who are so far away, yet as near as they in love and grief, do join in the obsequies ; we, and twenty millions more, bowing down our heads, as one man, in deepest sorrow and awe; the whole land in mourning; the drapery of woe festooning the breadth of the continent; bell answering to bell,
and gun to gun, from tower and town and hill top, from sea to sea; a more than sabbath stillness fallen over all the cities and the plains and the mountain-sides of our vast empire.
Verily, this funeral hour, so observed, is an hour filled with a solemnity, a sublimity, and a pathos, unequalled in all the hours that we have lived, or that our fathers have told us of; and such an one as might scarcely come to us again though we should live for centuries.
It is an hour to be much observed unto the Lord ; and it was meet that we should come before his presence, and bow down, and seek his face in submission, in supplication, and in trust, if so be the hour might not pass away without leaving its blessing.
Friends, we will not give these flying moments to the indulgence of our sorrow, nor to vain attempts to express that sorrow. Deep grief does not readily betake itself to words : it rather craves the privilege of silence; and, if forced to speak, it does but stammer in half-thoughts and broken utterance. It is the better
for more manly part, and the more patriotic and more religious, and a worthier tribute to the illustrious dead, to hush down the sobs of grief, and rise up into the realm of more tranquil meditation; to remember the virtues and the services of the departed; to study the lessons that Providence sets for us in his death ; and gird our. selves up devoutly, bravely, for the work that is before us.
I will not cumber this day's brief solemnities with any biographical detail or careful analysis. All is said in two words : Abraham Lincoln was a good and a GREAT