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trustful follower of his Master; spending the earliest moments of the day amid all the pressure of his high responsibility, (as those who then sought him learned), in communion with the source of all wisdom; bearing his gentle testimony, as I heard not long ago, from one to whom he said it, that he loved and leaned on IIim who is the strength and righteousness of them that trust him ;, brought to the Master, as have been so many, by that which took from him the darling of his eyes --how surely may we believe that the best and highest part of him is forever immortal, and, that just as his memory will live among us, and grow brighter and more radiant as the ages roll along, so is he himself even now, alive from the dead, ere long to take on that spiritual body which God giveth to them that have pleased him !
And, therefore, let not the notes of our mourning stifle those of our gratitude and hope — gratitude and hope for him whom we have lost, and praise and thanksgiving to the Master, who, in this, as in all our sorrows, gives us, on this Easter morning, the clear and unclouded assurance of the life which is to come! For that life, feeling more keenly than ever, this morning, how fleeting are all the goodly shows of this, let us earnestly look and long, until, with us, too, as with patriots and saints and martyrs who have gone before us, this mortal shall put on immortality and death be swallowed up in victory!
SKETCII OF A SERMON PREACHED IN THE STATE STREET
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, ON SUNDAY MORNING.
BY REV. S. D. BROWN,
Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.-ISAIAH, xxvi, 4.
The nation is in mourning. Its head has been stricken and now lies low in death, and the chief of its councillors stands ready to depart. No language can describe the shock, as yestermorn the disastrous tidings reached us. For the moment, it seemed as if the very foundations had given way, and even hope was lost.
The President of our republic is dead, the victim of a base assassin's power. Seldom, in the history of modern times, has the head of a great nation been assassinated. In Rome, in the days of her corruption and decline, assassination of rulers was common; but in later years it has seldom occurred. Our nation is now among those whose chief has fallen by the blow of the murderer.
We have but partially recovered from the shock. It is not yet time fully to gather up the lessons of the hour, much less to eulogize the departed. Yet it seems fitting, that allusion should be made to this sad event. It is the voice of God, and the pulpit should to-day, make an application to the hearts of the people.
I have had no time for preparation. Busily engaged during the day, I had but a few moments late at night, to throw my thoughts into any systematic .form, and can give you only those thoughts which, amid busy cares, have been passing through my mind.
It seems mysterious that God should have permitted this dire tragedy. Other diabolical plans have been formed, but they have been signally foiled by an unseen hand.
God could have prevented this also, but he has allowed it to be successful, why? It reveals the vanity of all confidence in man, the instability of all of earth.
During the last four years, there have been seasons of doubt and perplexity. We had passed through these and were now confident-confident in him. When, a few months since, he was reëlected, men felt that all would be well, that he would lead the nation to victory and peace.
He was inaugurated with greater solemnity than any who preceded him. Scarcely a month passes and the hope of the nation is dead.
This calamity comes amid victory. The shouts of a jubilant people have died away in a piercing wail. The past few months have been months of continued triumph. Never did so many events happen in the history of any people in a single month, as have in ours, during the last four weeks, culminating in the fall of the rebel capital, the surrender of their proudest chief and grandest army.
How quickly has this change come! At the opening of the week the national heart was buoyant. Bells were ringing, flags flying, drums beating, and people shouting, from Maine to the Rocky mountains. Yet. ere the week closed, the nation is bowed with this great sorrow.
And it is what we least expected. Defeat to our arms we thought possible, for it is the fortune of war, but none anticipated or even thought of such an event as this.
It has occurred not only in the midst of general rejoicings, but on the evening of that day, when the flag of our country was again thrown to the breeze, from the ruins of Sumter. The anniversary of the opening of the war was celebrated amid omens of returning peace.
How impressively does it then teach the vanity of human hopes. But it is also designed and calculated to lead us nearer to God, to prompt to higher trust in him. “ Trust ye in the Lord.” This has been the great lesson of this war. We entered it with confidence in the resources and prowess of the nation, but in the first great struggle were defeated. How the national heart sunk as the tidings of that disaster flew along the wires. Then men began to look to a higher power for aid, and earnestly pray.
The men in whom we have most trusted have failed. There is not a man in a prominent position in the army to-day, who was so at the opening of the
Some have fallen, others have retired. The victory has been achieved by men who had no previous military fame to excite confidence. Defeat has come when we were most confident, victory when we were depressed and looked to God.
The clouds of war were now passing. We felt that we had the right man to reconstruct this nation, and confided in his wisdom. But at the moment when we need statesmanship rather than military genius, he has fallen. Perhaps we were trusting too much in him. Has not the nation felt the need of reliance upon God as never before? Such at least have been my feelings. Never in my history did I feel as now, that there is none other in whom man
God has a purpose in permitting this great evil. Our late President had nobly acted his part and carried us successfully through the struggle. And his name shall be honored by the latest generations of
But may not another instrument, a man of different character be needed at the present moment?
It is a singular fact, that the two most favorable to leniency to the rebels have been stricken. Other members of the government were embraced in the fiendish plan, but as to them, it failed. May it not be, that God is teaching that those guilty of the great crime of treason shall receive condign punishment? We consign to death the man who murders one; they have murdered thousands. They have labored to