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gestions of opponents when they were founded on wisdom. His ear has always been open to the people's voice, yet he has never suffered himself to be blindly driven by the storm of popular fury. He has consulted public opinion, as the public servant should ; but he has not pandered to public prejudice, as only demagogues do. Not weakly impatient to secure the approval of the country, he has not scorned to explain his measures to the understanding of common people. Never bewildered by the solicitations of party, nor terrified by the menace of opposition, he has controlled with moderation, and yielded with dignity, as the exigencies of the time demanded. Entering upon office with the full share of the common incredulity, perceiving no more than his fellow-citizens the magnitude of the crisis, he has steadily risen to the height of the great argument. No suspicion of self-seeking stains his fair fame; but ever mindful of his solemn oath, he seeks with cleau hands and a pure heart the welfare of the whole country. Future generations can alone do justice to his ability ; his integrity is firmly established in the convictions of the present age."*
A just and noble tribute !
I add, again, that Abraham Lincoln was evidently controlled in his conduct by the high principles of morality and religion. The religious element seems to have marked his entire official carcer, and to have increased in strength and influence from the day he * Atlantic Monthly, January, 1865.
left Springfield to assume the presidential chair to the hour when he resigned it, for, as we trust, a nobler destiny. None of his official predecessors have so frequently and devoutly acknowledged their dependence upon the God of nations, or have so earnestly requested the prayers of their countrymen, as he. He was a daily reader of the sacred scriptures, and seems to have been animated by the true spirit of the gospel. By its holy teachings he sought to be governed in all his outward relations. And I believe that no one, whether friend or foe, has ever questioned his moral honesty. No one has ever insinuated that he sought to use the vast power entrusted to him, for purposes of avarice or ambition. His integrity was of the nature of a holy, disciplined virtue: it was pure, unselfish and lofty. He was tried in the furnace, but was not burned; he breathed the malaria of corruption, intrigue and selfishness, but remained uncontaminated; he dealt with scheming men and heartless demagogues, who in their country's calamities sought the means of their own aggrandizement, but continued firm in the strength and simplicity of his uprightness. Irritated and insulted at home and abroad, he rendered just and equal dealings in return, with “malice for none, and charity for all.” Few can read his last Inaugural Address, without being impressed with the deep religious tone which pervades it, and the simple scriptural phraseology in which portions of it are expressed. It would almost seem as if the shadow of
his own tragic end had, for a moment, rešted on him, and as if he were inspired to leave to posterity a document, which the highest Christian statesman might covet as the choicest memorial to attest his moral integrity and simple piety on the pages of history.
How consoling the hope we cherish at this hour of universal lamentation, when everything around us is veiled in emblems of sorrow, when every sanctuary is filled with weeping multitudes, and every family is stricken with a personal grief, that he, over whose tragic fate countless myriads are pouring forth their tears, has safely passed to that realm, where toil and care can never intrude, and where the traitor's bloody .hand can never strike him more.
Such is the man whose career has been so sadly and abruptly terminated. Seldom do the robes of death gather over a nobler victim! The public loss is so great, and the chasm made in our national councils is so marked, that it is by no means surprising that every thoughtful mind becomes excited and appalled by the contemplation. And yet God, the God of our fathers, is the God of their children. Great as is the loss we have sustained, still the destiny of the country is not bound up in the fate of any one man. And perhaps we needed this stern admonition, to fix more deeply in our minds the salutary lesson of our absolute dependence upon the Most High, and to turn the hearts of the people more trustingly to Him. Perhaps also, in the midst of our triumphs, when about fully to
realize results for which we had toiled and prayed and waited so long, we were beginning to lose our deep abhorrence of the crime of treason, and to cherish a weak and culpable clemency toward the miscreants who with fiend-like ferocity struck at the nation's life. It may have been necessary, therefore, that the nation should become aroused by this last demonstration of the spirit of rebellion, and should have a more tangible proof of its fierce and hellish character. And I cannot but think that the event of the President's assassination, has gone far toward curing us of a weak and criminal leniency toward that spirit which originated the bloody conflict of the last four years; which sought to wrap our cities in the devouring flames; which planned to diffuse the contagion of the yellow fever; which refused quarter to our troops at Fort Pillow; which deliberately murdered tens of thousands of our gallant soldiers by heat and cold and starvation; and which finally struck at the Ruler of the people, expecting that when he fell the government itself would sink into anarchy and ruin. And when we contemplate the horrid features of this spirit of rebellion, becoming darker and fiercer, and more cruel and devilish, through all its successive manifestations down to the catastrophe of this fearful tragedy, shall we hesitate to believe that we are bound, by its condign punishment, to vindicate the majesty of law, and sustain the principles of eternal justice? And while this day, we mourn the untimely fate of our beloved Chief Magistrate, have we not cause for gratitude that God has provided a worthy successor to the chair of state. He is one who from the commencement of the conflict, has stood "faithful among the faithless" in his loyalty to the Union. Sufferings and losses and deaths have served only to brighten and deepen and strengthen his patriotic devotion. He knows, by bitter experience, what the spirit of treason is; and I most confidently believe that he has been specially raised up, and inspired with adequate energy, to grapple with it, and mete out to it the penalty which the laws of God and of man have denounced against it. May He, who is Governor among the nations, guide and sustain the administration of Andrew Johnson !
Friends, this country is not destroyed, nor is it destined to ruin. The calamity which has for successive years fallen to our lot and which has just culminated in the death of our martyr President, is only purifying the national character, intensifying its spirit of loyalty, and preparing it for a higher destiny. The evil is only incidental and temporary; and in view of the unmistakeable omens of returning peace and prosperity, well may smiles of gladness shine this day through our tears of sorrow. We hail the near approach of the auspicious hour, which is to witness the adjustment of our national difficulties, and the period of repose which is to follow, when this fearful conflict shall be known only on the records of the distant past;