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against the other half. The proverb sometimes preached in such cases, that a half-loaf is better than no bread, does not apply to any question where the point yielded is a point of morals. For then the half loaf is not bread, but a stone; not food, but poison. Every national compromise of justice legalizing an injustice brings the inevitable retribution of corruption and disease in the body politic, which only the bitter discipline of suffering can expiate and cure.
But, having spoken with somewhat of severity of certain tendencies of the age, I forbear to close without a word of encouragement and hope. For back of all and through all there is one "stream of tendency," which is never to be forgotten, and which is always the world's strength and the sure hope of mankind. It is the pressure, from the hidden Source of all sources, Cause of all causes, of the Absolute Truth itself toward the realization of its own ideals in human character and society. Steadily, firmly, under this Divine pressure there come solid gains for man. The millennium is still far away. The Elysian fields are not yet in sight. But, even in our own time, the burdens have been somewhat lifted from overburdened shoulders. The chains of oppression have been loosened, and some of them broken forever. Miseries have been somewhat assuaged. Hope and honorable aspiration have been stirred in hearts that never knew them before. Knowledge, culture, and refinement have increased. Justice and good will and brother
hood are rising to higher thrones in the sovereignty of nations. Thus slowly, but surely, do the great moral ideas and purposes, which crown the universe with a fitting noble aim, work their way into the heart and life of humanity. The Power in the world that makes for truth and righteousness is patient, but it wins at last. All history substantiates the truth that there is a Power in the world, not simply above it or outside of it, but in it, that is reconciling the world unto itself, bringing it into harmony with its own ideal aims, shaping and fashioning it to the service of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Let us call that Power our God, God with us, God working in man, and through him, and for him.
"One God, one law, one element,
To which the whole creation moves."
THE VOICE OF THE DRAFT.
"Make full proof of thy ministry."-2 TIM. iv. 5.
THE subject intended for to-day's discourse, my friends, must be put aside. I can speak to you only of what is uppermost in my thoughts, especially as, according to our annual custom, this is the last opportunity I shall have to address you for several weeks. You must allow me, too, to speak to you familiarly, very much as I would talk to you individually in my study. I have no carefully arranged discourse, neither the time nor my tastes have permitted it. But the thoughts that are passing through my mind, and in just the shape they pass, since they may ultimately concern you in the result to which they may lead, I have felt that you have a right to know.
From the beginning of this rebellion, which for more than two years has shaken and devastated our land, I have been preaching to you, friends, of national themes, with greater frequency than some of you, perhaps, have thought expedient, and not always what all of you would have best liked to hear, yet always, both as to time and matter, according to my own solemn convictions of duty; and from the bottom of my heart I most devoutly
thank you to-day for the very general welcome you have given to these efforts, and still more, if possible, for the generous liberty you have accorded me to speak my thought, even though you might not always agree with it when spoken. As I now look back upon my utterances here on these themes, I have no misgivings, save that I have done so little, and done so poorly. I have tried, so far as possible in the small range of my ability, to bring the support of this pulpit to the cause of our country. I have endeavored so to speak as to excite among you and in this community a patriotic sentiment that would prepare our homes for sacrifices, that would help fill our armies in the field, that would inspire men and women with a desire in some way to serve their country, and that would aid in bringing the moral and religious strength of the whole community to the side of the national government in this struggle. I would fain have filled the breast of every man with a wish to give himself to this holy cause; and I have sought so to speak as to induce the young and healthy and capacitated, not only to have the wish, but honorably to gratify it by going to the field. I have spoken of the sublimity of self-sacrifice, of the nobleness of doing and dying for one's country, of the immortal glory which our hero-soldiers, living or dead, are achieving for themselves and for the nation which. they redeem. I have thus tried to make it easier for parents to give up their sons, wives their husbands, sisters their brothers, and all of us those
whom we may love better than ourselves; and I have striven to keep up among us at home a spirit and a habit of charity that should help relieve the sufferings of our soldiers in the hospital, or add to their strength and comfort in the camp and on the field. I have endeavored, moreover, to excite not merely a patriotic sentiment, but a patriotic sentiment founded on a sense of justice and a reverent regard for human rights. Never for a moment have I lost sight of the fact that, to make the cause of the nation a holy cause, and one which can properly receive the support of any Christian pulpit, it must be the cause of truth, of liberty, of humanity. I have sought, therefore, to go below the fact of civil war to its causes: I have endeavored to keep the thought clear that, by this rebellion, truth and liberty and humanity were assailed, - the very fundamental principles of our government,- and that it is only as we go to the defence of these, and make them victorious throughout the land, that any real triumph or lasting peace can be secured for our country.
I speak not of what I have done,- oh, how little is that! but of what I have endeavored to do. And even that is not much, nothing exceptional. It is only what almost every pulpit in the loyal States has been doing, and what hundreds of men. in my place would have done as well or better; and I have spoken of my endeavors now, not for any merit there is in them, but simply for their bearing on what follows. I have merely uttered here from