« PreviousContinue »
PRESIDENT AND CABINET.
CITY AUTHORITIES. Upon the west side were the Press; upon the south side, and at the foot of the catafalque, were the family of Mr. Lincoln.
The guard of honor, consisting of Major-General Hunter and Brigadier-General Dyer, marched in silence to and fro. The lilies, the orange blossoms, and the choicest of flowers that decked the corpse filled the room with the sweetest fragrance. The windows, shrouded with crape, kept out the light, and made the gloom, that all felt, seem like being in a living tomb !
echoes of the funeral dirges in the distance seemed like the terrible murmur of the avenging God's wrath at the impiety of the awful crime that brought all here as mourners. As the various delegations came in they quietly took the places assigned them. Not a word was spoken loudly. Whispers faint, as though the loved one was sleeping after his weary troubles and all feared to wake him, were the only noises that marred the death-like stillness of the room, which had been the scene of two similar services. First, over the body of William Henry Harrison, then over the gallant General Zachary Taylor, now over Mr. Lincoln, beloved more than any man since the days of Washington.
The exceeding great grief of Mrs. Lincoln was such that she was unable to be present at the services, and the chairs for herself and her sons were vacant.
The mourners present were :
Hon. J. G. Nicolay, the President's Confidential Secretary, and his colleague, Major John Hay.
Mr. N. W. Edwards and Mr. C. M. Smith, brothers-inlaw of Mrs. Lincoln.
Dr. L. Beecher Todd, of Lexington, Kentucky, and General J. B. S. Todd, of Dacotah, cousins of Mrs. Lincoln.
Upon the left of President Johnson, was Ex-Senator P. King, of New York; and upon his right, Hannibal Hamlin, Ex-Vice-President.
Behind Mr. King, was Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War. Behind the President, was Secretary McCulloch.
Behind Mr. Hamlin, were Chief Justice Chase, and Secretaries Welles, Dennison, Speed, and Usher.
At twelve o'clock the room was filled, the President and Cabinet having entered last.
Rev. Dr. Gurley then announced the order of exercises, which were opened by Rev. Dr. Hall reading the funeral service of the Episcopal Church, commencing “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord."
THE WHOLE AUDIENCE JOIN IN THE
PRAYERS. This was followed by a fervent prayer by Bishop Simpson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was not only appropriate but effective in all respects. He closed with the Lord's Prayer, in which the whole audience joined as if by one voice. All those present were melted to tears under its effect.
He was per
BISHOP SIMPSON'S PRAYER. "In the course of his prayer the Bishop said that in the hands of God were the issues of life and death. Our sins bad called for his wrath to descend upon us as individuals and as a commuvity. For the sake of our blessed Redeemer, forgiveness was asked for all our trangressions, and that all our iniquities may be washed away. While we bow under this sad bereavement which has caused a wide spread glooin, not only in this circle but over the entire land, an invocation was made that all might submit to God's holy will. Thanks were returned for the gift of such a man as our Heavenly Father had just taken from us, and for the many virtues which distinguished all his transactions; for the integrity, honesty and transparency of character bestowed upon him, and for having given him counsellors to guide our nation through periods of unprecedented sorrow. mitted to live to behold the breaking of the clouds which overhung our national sky, and the disintegration of the rebellion, Going up the mount he beheld the land of promise, with its beauty and happiness, and the glorious destiny reserved for us as a nation. Thanks were also returned that his arm was strengthened and wisdom and firmness given to his heart to pen a declaration of emancipation by which were broken the chains of millions of the human race. God be thanked that the assassin who struck down the Chief Magistrate had not the hand to agaiq bind the suffering and oppressed. The name of the beloved dead would ever be identified with all that is great and glorious with humanity on earth. God grant that all who stand here entrusted with the administration of public affairs may have the power, strength and wisdom to complete the work of His serva so gloriously begun, and may the successor of the deceased President not bear the sword in vain. God grant that strength may be given to him and to our military to perfect victory, and to complete the contest now nearly closed. May the spirit of rebellion soon pass away. May the las: vestige of slavery, which caused the rebellion, be driven from our land. God grant that the sun may shine on a free people from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the lakes to the Gulf. May He not only safely lead us through the struggle, but give us peace with all nations of the earth. Give us hearts to deal justly with them, and give them hearts to deal justly with us, so that universal peace may reign on earth. We raise our hearts to Thee, to plead that Thy blessing may descend on the family of the deceased. God bless the weeping widow as in her broken-heartedness she bows under a.sad stroke more than she can bear. Encircle her in Thy own arms. God, be gracious with the children left behind him. Endow his sons with wisdom from on high; endow them with great usefulness. May they appreciate the patriotic example and virtues of their father, and walk
in his footsteps. We pray Thee to make the assassination of personal profit to our hearts, while by the remains of the deceased, whom we had called a friend, do Thou grant us peace and repentance of our sins. So that at the end of life we may be gathered where assassins are not found, where sorrow and sickness never come; but all gather in peace and love around the Father's throne in glory. We pray Thee that our Republic may be made the stronger for this blow. While here we pledge ourselves to set our faces as a flint against every form of opposition which may rise up for its destruction; so that we, the children, may enjoy the blessed advantages of a government delivered from our fathers."
THE FUNERAL ORATION. After the prayer, the Rev. Dr. GURLEY, of the Presbyterian Church, which the President and family attended, delivered an eloquent and impressive funeral oration, as follows:
“As we stand here to-dav mourner's around this coffin and around the lifeless remains of our beloved Chief Magistrate, we recognize and we adore the sovereignty of God. His throne is in the heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all. He hath done and hath permitted to be done whatsoever He pleased. Clouds and darkness are round about Him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. His way is in the sea and His path in the great waters, and His footsteps are not known. Caust thon by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection ? It is as high as heaven. What canst thou do? Deeper than hell. Wbat canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. If He cut off and shut up, or gather together; then who can binder Him? For He knoweth vain men ; He seeth wickedness. Also, will He not then consider it. We bow before His infinite majesty. We bow-we weep-we worship.
There reason fails with all her powers
There faith prevails, and love adores.' " It was a cruel, cruel hand, that dark band of the assassin, which smote our honored, wise and noble President, and filled the land with sorrow. But above and beyond that hand there is another, which we must see and acknowledge. It is the chastening hand of a wise and faithful Father. He gives us the bitter cup; and the cup that our Father hath given us shall we not drink it? God of the just, Thou gavest us the cup. We yield to Thy behest, and drink it up. Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. Oh, how these blessed words have cheered and strengthened and sustained us through all these long and weary years of civil strife, while our friends and brothers on so many ensangained fields were falling and dying for the cause of liberty and Union. Let them cheer and strengthen and sustain us to-day. True, this new sorrow and chastening has come in such an hour and in such a way as we thought noi, and it bears the impress of a rod that is very heavy, and of mystery that very deep. That such a life should be sacrificed at such a time, by such a Soul and diabolical agency; that the man at the head of the "ation, whom the people had learned to trust with a confidieg and a loving confidence, and upon whom more than upon any other were centered, under God, our best hopes for the true and speedy pacification of the country, the restoration of the Union, and the return of harmony and love ; that he should be taken from us, and taken just as the prospect of peace was brightly opening upon our torn and bleeding country, and just as he was beginning to be animated and gladdened with the hope of ere long enjoying with the people the blessed fruit and reward of his and their toil and care and patience, and self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of liberty and the Union--oh! it is a mysterious and a most afflicting dispensation. But it is our Father in heaven, the God of our fathers, who permits us to be so suddenly and sorely smitten, and we know that His judgments are right, and that in faithfuluess He has afflicted us in the midst of our rejoicings. We needed this stroke, this dealing, this discipline, and therefore He has sent it. Let us remember our affliction has not come forth of the dust, and our trouble has not sprung out of the ground. Through and beyond all second causes let ns look and see the sovereign permissive agency of the first great cause. It is His prerogative to bring light out of darkness and good out of evil. Surely the wrath of man shall praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He will restrain. In the light of a clear day we may yet see that the wrath which planned and perpetrated the death of the President was overruled by Him, whose judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out, for the highest welfare of all those interests which are 80 dear to the Christian, patriot and philanthropist, and for which a loyal people have made such an unexampled sacrifice of treasure and of blood. Let us not be faithless, but believing.
66" Blind unbelief is prone to err,
And scan his work in vain;
And he will make it plain.' “We will wait for His interpretation, and we will wait in faith, nothing doubting. He who has led us so well, and defended and prospered us so wonderfully during the last four years of toil, and struggle, and sorrow, will not forsake ns now. chasten, but He will not destroy. Ile may purify us more and