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years, which was at last permitted, through the providence of God, to fall. How different the occasion which witnessed his departure and that which witnessed his return! Doubtless you expected to take him by the hand, to feel the warm grasp which you felt in other days, and to see the tall form walking among you which you had delighted to honor in years past. But be was never permitted to return until he came with lips mute and silent, his frame encoffi ned, and a weeping nation following as his mourners. Such a scene as his return to you was never witpessed among the events of history. There have been great processions of mourners. There was one for the patriarch Jacob, which came up from Egypt, and the Egyptians wondered at the evidence of reverence and filial affection which came from the hearts of the Israelites. There was mourning when Moses fell upon the heights of Pisgah and was hid from human view. There have been mournings in the kingdoms of the earth when kings and warriors have fallen; but never was there in the history of man such mourning as that which has accompanied the funeral procession and has gathered around the mortal remains of him who was our loved one, and who now sleeps among us. If we glance at the procession which followed him we see how the nation stood aghast. Tears filled the eyes of many sunburned faces. Strong men, as they clasped the hands of their friends, were unable to find vent for their grief in words. Women and little children caught up the tidings as they ran through the land and were melted into tears. The nation stood still. Men left their plows in the fields and asked what the end would be. The hum of manufactures ceased and the sound of the hammer was not heard. Busy merchants closed their doors, and in the exchange gold passed no more from hand to hand. Three weeks have passed. The nation has scarcely breathed easily yet. A mournful silence is abroad upon the lard. Nor is this mourning confined to any class or to any district of the country. Men of all political parties and of all religious creeds seem united in paying this mournful tribute. The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in New York and a Protestant minister walked side by side in the sad procession, and a Jewish Rabbi performed a part of the solemn service. There are gathered around his tomb representatives of the army and navy, senators, judges, governors and officers of all the branches of the government and members of all the civic associations, with men and women from the humblest as well as the highest occupations. Here and there, too, are tears, as sincere and warm as any that drop, which come from the eyes of those whose kindred and whose race have been freed from their chains by him whom they mourn as their deliverer. Far more have gazed on the face of the departed than ever looked upon the face of any other departed man. More eyes have looked upon the procession for sixteen hundred miles or more by night and by day, by sunlighi, dawn, twilight and by torchlight, than ever before watched the progress of a procession. We ask why this wonderful mourning, this great procession ? I answer: First, a part of the interest has arisen from the times in which we live, and in which he that has fallen was a principal actor. It is a principle of our nature that feelings once excluded from the object by which they are excited, turn readily to some other object which may for the time being take possession of the mind. Another principle is, that the deepest affections of our hearts gather around some human form in which are incarnated the loving thoughts and ideas of the passing age. If we look, then, at the times, we see an age of excitement. For four years the popular heart has been stirred to its utmost depths. War bad come upon us, dividing families, separating nearest and dearest friends-a war, the extent and magnitude of which no one could estimate-a war in which the blood of brethren was shed by a brother's hand. A call for soldiers was made by this voice, now hushed, and all over this lavd—from bill to mountain, from plain to valley, they sprung up, hundreds of thousands of bold hearts, ready to go forth and save our National Union. This feeling of excitement was transferred next into a feeling of deep grief, because of the dangers in which our country was placed. Many said, Is it possible to save our nation? Some in our own country, and nearly all the leading men in other countries, declared it to be impossible to maintain the Union; and many an honest heart was deeply pained with apprehensions of common ruin; and many, in grief, and almost in despair, anxiously inquired, 'What shall the end of these things be?? In addition, the wires had given their husbands, and mothers their sons. In the priile and joy of their hearts, they saw them put on their uniform--they saw them take their martial step-and they tried to hide their deep feelings of sadness. Many dear ones slept on the battlefield-never, never, to return again—and there was mourning in every mansion and in every cabin in our broad land. Then came a feeling to deepen sadness, as the story came of prisoners tortured to death, or starved, through the mandates of those who are called the representatives of the Chivalry, or who claim to be the honorable ones of the earth ; and as we read the stories of frames attenuated, and reduced to mere skeletons, our grief turned partly to horror, and partly into a cry for vengeance. Then, the feeling was changed to one of joy. There came signs of the end of the rebellion. We followed the career of our glorious Generals. We saw our army, under the command of the brave officer who is guiding this procession, climb up the heights of Lookout Mountain, and drive the rebels from their strongholds. Another brave General swept through Georgia, South and North Carolina, and drove the combined armies of the rebels before him-while the honored Lieutenant-General held Lee and his hosts in a death-grasp. Then the tidings came
that Richmond was evacuated, and that Lee had surrendered ! The bells rang merrily all over the land. The booming of cannon was heard. Illuminations and torch-light processions manifested the general joy, and families were looking for the speedy return of their loved ones from the field of battle. Just in the midst of the wildest joy-in one hour, nay, in one moment—the tidings rang throughout the land that Abraham I incoln, the best of Presidents, had perished by the hands of an assassin! And then, all that feeling which had been gathered for four years—in forms of excitement, grief, horror, and joyturned into one wail of woe : a sadness inexpressible, anguish unutterable. But it is not the time merely which caused this mourning—the mode of his death must be taken into account. Had he died on a bed of illness, with kind friends around him ; had the sweat of death been wiped from his brow, by gentle hands, while he was yet conscious; could he have had the power to speak words of affection to his stricken widow ; words of counsel to us all, like those which we heard in his parting for Washington—in his inaugural, wliich shall now be immortalhow it would have softened or assuaged something of the grief. There might at least have been preparation for the event. But no moment of warning was given to him or to us. He was stricken down when his hopes for the end of the rebellion were bright, and the prospects of a joyous life were before him. There was a Cabinet meeting that day, said to have been the most cheerful and happy of any held since the beginning of the rebellion. After this meeting, he talked with his friends, and spoke of the four years of tempest, of the storm being over, and of the four years of pleasure and joy now awaiting him, as the weight of care and anguish would be taken from his mind, and he could have happy days with his family again. In the midst of these anticipations, he left his house, never to return alive. Though the evening was Good Friday—the saddest day in the whole calendar for the Christian Church-henceforth in this country to be made still sadder, if possible, by the memory of our nation's loss. And so filled with grief was every Christian's heart, that even all the joyous thoughts of Easter Sunday fiuiled to remove the crushing sorrow under which the true worshipper bowed in the house of God. But the great cause of this mourning is to be found in the man himself. Mr. Lincoln was no ordinary man; and I believe the conviction' has beer growing on the nation's mind, as it certainly has been on my own, especially in the last years of his administration, that, by the hand of God, he was especially singled out to guide onr government in these troublous times. And it seems to me that the hand of God may be traced in many of the events connected with his history.
“ First, then, I recognize that in his physical education which he received, and which prepared him for enduring Herculean
labors in the toils of his boyhood and the labors of his manhood, God was giving him an iron form. Next to this, was his identification with the heart of the great people—understanding their feelings, because he was one of them, and connected with them in their movements and life. His education was simple. A few months spent in the school-house, gave him the elements of education. He read few books, but mastered all he read. • Bunyan's Progress' and the ‘Life of Washington' were his fivorites. In these we recognize the works which gave the bias to his character, and which partly moulded his style. His early life, with its varied struggles, joined him indissolubly to the weeping masses, and no elevation in society diminished his respect for the sons of toil. He knew what was to fell the tall trees of the forest, and to stem the current of the swift Mississippi. His home was in the growing West, the heart of the Republic; and, invigorated by the wind which swept over its groves, he learned the lesson of self-reliance which sustained him in seasons of adversity. His genius was soon recognized, as true genius always will be. He was placed in the Legislature of a State. Already acquainted with the principles of law, he devoted his thoughts to matters of public interest, and began to be looked on as the coming statesman. As early as 1849 he presented resolutions in the Legislature asking for emancipation in the District of Columbia, although, with rare exceptions, the whole popular mind of his State was opposed to the measures. From that hour he was a steady and uniform friend of humanity, and was preparing for the conflict of later years. If you ask on what mental characteristics his greatness rested, I answer, on a quick and ready perception of facts, and a memory unusually tenacious and retentive, and on a logical turn of mind which followed sterlingly and unwaveringly every link in the chain of thought on any subject which he was called on to investigate. I think there have been minds more decided in their character, more comprehensive in their scope, but I doubt if there has been a man who could follow, step by step, with logical power, the points which he desired to illustrate. He gained the power by the close study of geometry, and by a determination to persevere in truth. It is said of him, that in childhood, when he had any difficulty, in listening to a conversation, to understand what people meant, if he retired to rest he could not sleep till ho tried to understand the precise points intended, and, when 11. 4orstood, to convey it in a clearer manner to those who had listened with him. Who that has read his messages fails to perceive the directness and the simplicity of his style ; and this very trait, which was scoffed at and derided by his
is now recognized as one of the strong points of that mighty mind which has so powerfully influenced the destiny of the nation, and which shall for ages to come influence the destiny of humanity. It is not, however, chiefly by his mental faculties that he gained such a control over mankind. His moral power gave him prominence. The convictions of men that Abraham Lincoln was an honest man, led them to yield to his guidance. As has been said of Cobden, whom he greatly respected, he made all men feel and own the sense of himself, and recognize in him, individually, a self-relying power. They saw in him a man whom they believed would do that which was right, regardless of all consequences. It was this moral feeling which gave him the greatest hold on the people, and made his utterances almost oracular. When the nation was angered by the perfidy of foreign nations in allowing privateers to be fitted out, he uttered the significant expression—'One war at a time'-and it stilled the national heart. When his own friends were divided as to what steps should be taken as to slavery, that simple utterance-'I will save the Union if I can with slavery ; but, if not, slavery must perish : for the Union must be preserved' -became the rallying word. Men felt that the struggle was for the Union, and all other questions must be subsidiary. But after all the acts of a man, shall bis fall be perpetuated ? What are his acts? Much praise is due to the men who aided him. He called able counsellors around hiin, and able Generals into the field-men who have borne the sword as bravely as any human arm has borne it. He had the aid of prayerful and thoughtful men everywhere. But under his own guiding hands the movements of our land have been conducted.
“ Turn towards the different departments. We had an unorganized militiama mere skeleton army; yet under his care that army has been enlarged into a force which for skill, intelligence, efficiency and bravery surpasses any which the world has ever
Before its veterans the renowned veterans of Napoleon shall pale--and the mothers and sisters on these hillsides and all over the land shall take to their arms again braver men than ever fought in European wars. The reason is obvious. Money, or a desire for fame collected their armies, or they were rallied to sustain favorite theories or dynasties ; but the armies he called into being fought for liberty, for the Union, and for the right of self-government; and many of them felt that the battles they won were for humanity everywhere, and for all time; for I believe that God has not suffered this terrible rebellion to come upon our land merely as a chastisement to us or a lesson to our age. There are moments which involve in themselves eternities. There are instants which seem to contain germs which shall develop and bloom forever. Such a moment comes in the tide of time to our land when a question must be settled. The contest was not for the republic merely, not for the Union simply, but to decide whether the people, as a people, in their entire majesty, were destined to be the government, or whether they were to be subjects of tyrants, or autocrats, or to class-rule of any kind. This is the great question for which we have been