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and when the ship of state, having safely weathered every shoal and tempest, shall be seen sailing majestically in a calm sea, with a law-abiding and exulting crew, and THE FLAG OF THE UNION NAILED TO HER MAST!
“Sail on, O UNION, strong and great !
To the memory of the pilot whose strong arm guided the laboring vessel through the last four years of darkness and storm - during portions of which “neither sun nor stars appeared for many days," we dedicate this sacred hour. Abraham Lincoln! thy work on earth is done, and thy country awards thee the verdict, “ good and faithful servant!” Thy place is secure in the affections of a grateful people! Thy name will live untarnished on the records of history, so long as the world shall continue to appreciate devoted patriotism, elevated wisdom, unbending integrity, and sublime virtue! Abraham Lincoln! the good, the noble, and the true, fare thee well!
“Thy grave shall be a hallowed shrine,
Adorned with nature's brightest wreath;
Each glowing season will combine
Its incense there to breathe;
SERMON PREACHED IN THE LIBERTY STREET
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (COLORED).
BY REY. JOSEPH A. PRIME.
And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.
But the children of Belial said, how shall this man save us ? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.-1 SAMUEL, X, 26, 27.
The events of the past repeat themselves in the history of the present. What happened in the days of Saul, has taken place in our own day, only modified and varied in some of its circumstances. In the case of Saul, we have every reason to believe that he was God-appointed, to accomplish a certain work. We have equal reason also, to believe that Abraham Lincoln was designated by the same divine power, to perform a certain service, namely, the redemption of the colored race from slavery.
As in the days of Saul“ there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched,” so in our own time, there has been a faithful company which has stood by Abraham Lincoln in his struggle for right and truth. As in those days there were men who asked concerning Saul, “How shall this man save us ?” and despised him, so have we seen, within the past four years, multitudes who have queried in like manner as to Abraham Lincoln, and have refused to recognize in him the man commissioned by God to work out His great and divine purpose.
The occasion for which we have met to-day, is to do honor to our martyred President. A great and good man has been murdered by the hand of an assassin! What crime had he committed ? What law had he violated ? Neither crime nor the violation of law could be laid to his charge, still he was foully slaughtered. There is nothing new in this. The events of all history teach us that the innocent are frequently sacrificed by the hands of the guilty.
From the story of Saul, as narrated in the Scriptures, we learn that he was a member of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and his family the least of all the families of that tribe, yet was he chosen king. The ancestors of Abraham Lincoln were not distinguished among men, yet was he made President of the United States. Our greatest men whose lives and labors and influence have done most to bless the world, have but rarely been found among those who have been rocked in the cradle of ease and supplied with every luxury. No, the men who carry the welfare of a nation in their hearts, and stoop down to lift up crushed and bleeding humanity, are oftener reared in humbleness and obscurity. If we look at Mr. Lincoln's early history, we shall find that he had a rough training, but at the same time a training that fitted him for the duties he was called to perform, inasmuch as it made him self-reliant. This preparation was not obtained in the halls of education, but amid the plainer and more active business of life, where mind and muscle aid each other. In this combined strength lies the true element of human greatness. Abraham Lincoln, the father and preserver of our nation, who lifted up the despised and the degraded out of that wretched condition to which pride and caste had consigned them, is to be ranked with Washington the successful exponent of another holy but different mission.
Slavery, that cruel system, had not only degraded the black man of the south, but had rendered the poor whites even more degraded and less hopeful of future elevation than the slaves themselves. Just at this crisis when the nation was in its greatest peril, God sent forth the modern Moses to deliver this people from that curse which was sapping the foundation of our public. The southern heart was wedded to slavery. Abraham Lincoln saw what constituted the strength of the rebellion, and he proclaimed “liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” This act increased the bitter spirit of the south, and his overthrow was determined from that hour. In fulfillment of this determination, Abraham Lincoln, the nation's Chief Magistrate, was murdered by the hands of an assassin. Had he been a usurper of the place he occupied ; had he exercised his power in the spirit of tyranny; had he inflicted heavy blows upon the innocent; had he refused to listen to the cry for mercy, there might have been mitigating circumstances to lessen the enormity of this hellish and God forbidden crime. But instead of his being guilty of any of these acts, he must be regarded as one of the best and purest of men, having the most benevolent feelings for the welfare of the entire race of mankind, of any of those who have filled the presidential chair since our American independence was declared. Washington was the Father of our country, Lincoln was the Father of our nation.
In some things Abraham Lincoln is to be regarded as superior to Washington. Especially is this so in the comprehensive plans he instituted for the happiness of the inhabitants of these United States, irrespective of class or condition. He was strictly moral, untiring in his labors of incorruptible integrity, and free from selfishness. He was simple and yet wonderfully firm and independent in his manner. He was blessed with great intuitive perception of truth. He was sagacious and farseeing in his plans, amiable in disposition and meek in temper. These qualities prepared him for almost any emergency. IIe was truly the friend of man. The high and the low, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlearned, could all approach him upon a common level and find him ready to hear their statements, and sympathize with them, and they would depart with minds impressed in his favor. He had an