Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

DEUTERONOMY XXXIV: 7.

“HIS EYB WAS NOT DIM, NOR HIS NATURAL FORCB ABATED.”

An inscrutable providence crowds this and other sanctuaries to-day. A nation, redeemed by the blood and toil of her bravest and best, mourns the loss of a Chief Magistrate, who was the embodiment of a people's hope, and the object round which the affections gathered of every lover of liberty in the world. Abraham Lincoln was sincerely loved. That “peasant proprietor,” and “village lawyer," whom, by some divine inspiration or providence, the republican party of 1860 selected to be their standard bearer; whose election was regarded as a calamity by many of his supporters; and as a justifiable cause for the most monstrous rebellion upon which the sun ever shone, grew to be the peer of Washington, and climbed to the highest peak of earthly distinction.

It was a great shock when half the nation attempted to make the dream of secession a real fact, and when the guns

of Sumter sounded the call to arms; but it was trivial when contrasted with the emotions experienced as the tidings reached us that Abraham Lincoln had

been assassinated. We were glad when the armies of the rebellion were beaten; when Richmond fell; when Lee capitulated; but we

would rather have had Washington environed with the enemy and have had Lincoln alive, than to have had the armies defeated and Lincoln dead. This is a new crime. We are not used to the bloody hand in that shape. We have felt that

slavery was the sum of all villanies,” and that men who could starve our brothers amidst abundance; who could suffer them to freeze, and go unsheltered amid primeval forests, were capable of any act of cruelty and injustice; but we had forgotten that sin is blinding, and that God often permits the wrath of man to work out his own destruction; and so we had somehow fancied that rebels had hearts and brains as other men; and that they would discover, what we have felt all the way, that our chief magistrate was a wall between the wrath of an outraged people and the veriest criminals of history.

They did not perceive the truth, and so they conspired against the life of their best, if not of their only powerful friend. There is no other like him. Death has frozen and hardened that loving face, and embalms it in the memories of mankind as a legacy of the past. That heart which felt its need of divine support when the nation's sky was o'erclouded, and the air was full of rumors and revolt; which nearly broke as the eye gazed upon the lifeless form of his idolized child; and which surrendered itself to Jesus as the boom of the cannon at Gettysburg assured us that the nation was in its Gethsemane struggle; which wrought, by the throes of an

« ПредишнаНапред »