Page images

man of the times, and a man for the times; that he lived long enough to be able to say, like his Lord, "It is finished," and then passed on to hear from divine lips the unrivalled words of welcome, "Well done, good and faithful servant! enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"

Should this volume deepen the convictions of its readers in the grand truths of God's sovereignty on earth as well as in heaven, and of his love to all the family of man, shown especially in his care for the outcast and oppressed; and should it make them love freedom and righteousness more and more, as they contemplate the character and life of the Martyr-President, the labor spent in its preparation will not have been in vain, and to God will be ascribed the glory.

P. A. H.


[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]






• 81





[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

"Honor and shame from no condition rise:
Act well your part,—there all the honor lies."

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty;

"And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

"That no flesh should glory in his presence."— ST. PAUL (1 Cor. i. 27).

THE sixteenth President of the United States was born in obscurity. No Gabriel heralded his birth; no shepherds saw the star of his nativity, and heard the chanting of celestial visitants to earth; nor did sages and philosophers come to his cradle-side with costly offerings and significant homage. Yet he had a grand mission on earth to perform, and was to be, in some sense, the savior of many, and in the obscurity of his birth, at least, resembled the Master whose footsteps he afterward loved to follow. It is the design of Infinite Wisdom that the tiny acorn should precede the towering oak, the little rivulet commence the mighty river; and that Wisdom was no less manifest in the humble birth and parentage of one whom the good of all nations, in all time, should afterward delight to honor.

In that part of Hardin County, Ky., now known as La Rue, on the 12th of February, 1809, ABRAHAM

LINCOLN entered upon existence. His father, Thomas Lincoln, and the grandfather whose patriarchal name he bore, were natives of Rockingham County, Va., a part of the "Old Dominion" to which their ancestors had removed from Berks County, Penn.

Abraham, the grandfather, migrated to Kentucky with his family in the year 1780, where he obtained possession of a small tract of land in the then wilderness, and there erected a rude cabin, and commenced a life of toil and danger. Like the Pilgrim colonists of our own New England, he was accustomed to carry his gun with his axe, or other implement of labor, when he went forth to his toil; and, when he laid his head upon his nightly pillow, it was with his trusty firelock conveniently at hand, that there might be safety for him and his should the wild war-whoop of the savage Indian break upon his slumbers. These merciless "lords of the forest" manifested intense hostility to the "pale-faces," and with ruthless barbarity murdered men, women, and children, when the opportunity was afforded them. For four years, our President's grandfather was unharmed; but at the end of that period, while he was using his axe at a place some four miles from his home, he was suddenly attacked by the Indians, and, unable to reach his gun in season, was overpowered, killed, and scalped after the hideous Indian fashion. Search was made for him when his prolonged absence awakened alarm, and the next morning his remains were discovered. This loss of their beloved father resulted finally in the scattering of the children.

The father of our martyred President left his early home when only about twelve years old, but afterwards returned to Kentucky, and in 1806 married Miss Nancy Sparrow, who was a native of Virginia. Both of our late President's parents were members of the Baptist Church,

« PreviousContinue »