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child. He was violently excited when I went to him. I said, 'Tad, do you know that you are making your father a great deal of trouble?' He burst into tears, instantly giving me up the key."
A Touching Incident.
After the funeral of his son, William Wallace Lincoln, in February, 1862, the President resumed his official duties, but mechanically, and with a terrible weight at his heart. The following Thursday he gave way to his feelings, and shut himself from all society. The second Thursday it was the same; he would see no one, and seemed a prey to the deepest melancholy. About this time the Rev. Francis Vinton, of Trinity, Church, New York, had occasion to spend a few days in Washington. An acquaintance of Mrs. Lincoln and of her sister, Mrs. Edwards, of Springfield, he was requested by them to come up and see the President.
The setting apart of Thursday for the indulgence of his grief had gone on for several weeks, and Mrs. Lincoln began to be seriously alarmed for the health of her husband, of which fact Dr. Vinton was apprised.
Mr. Lincoln received him in the parlor, and an opportunity was soon embraced by the clergyman to chide him for showing so rebellious a disposition to the decree of Providence. He told him plainly that the indulgence of such feelings, though natural, was sinful. It was unworthy one who believed in the Christian religion. He had duties to the living greater than those of any other man, as the chosen father, and leader of the people, and he was unfitting himself for his responsibilities by thus
"Your Do you
giving way to his grief. To mourn the departed as lost belonged to heathenism—not to Christianity. son," said Dr. Vinton, "is alive in Paradise. remember that passage in the Gospels: 'God is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live unto Him?'
The President had listened as one in a stupor, until his ear caught the words: "Your son is alive." Starting from the sofa, he exclaimed, "Alive! alive!
"No, sir, believe me," replied Dr. Vinton, "it is a most comfortiog doctrine of the church, founded upon the words of Christ Himself."
Mr. Lincoln looked at him a moment, and then stepping forward, he threw his arm around the clergyman's neck, and, laying his head upon his breast, sobbed aloud, "Alive? alive?" he repeated.
"My dear sir," said Dr. Vinton, greatly moved, as he twined his own arm around the weeping father, "believe this, for it is God's most precious truth. Seek not your son among the dead; he is not there; he lives to-day in Paradise!
Think of the full import of the words I have quoted. The Sadducees. when they questioned Jesus, had no other conception than that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were dead and buried. Mark the reply: "Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. of the dead, but of the living, Did not the aged patriarch mourn his sons as dead? 'Jo
For He is not the God for all live unto Him!
seph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin, also.' But Joseph and Simeon were both living though he believed it not. Indeed, Joseph being taken from him, was the eventual mcans of the preservation of the whole family. And so God has called your son into His upper kingdom-a kingdom and an existence as real, more real, than your own. It may be that he, too. like Joseph, has gone, in God's good providence, to be the salvation of his father's household. It is a part of the Lord's plan for the ultimate happiness of you and yours. Doubt it not. I have a sermon," continued Dr. Vinton, "upon this subject, which I think might interest you."
Mr. Lincoln begged him to send it at an early day— thanking him repeatedly for his cheering and hopeful words. The sermon was sent, and read over and over by the President, who caused a copy to be made for his own private use before it was returned.
Lincoln Wipes the Tears from His Eyes and Tells a Story.
A. W. Clark, member of Congress from Watertown, New York, relates the following interesting story:
During the war a constituent came to me and stated that one of his sons was killed in a battle, and another died at Andersonville, while the third and only remaining son was sick at Harper's Ferry.
These disasters had such effect on his wife that she had become insane. He wanted to get this last and sick son discharged and take him home, hoping it would re
I went with him to President
store his wife to reason.
Lincoln and related the facts as well as I could, the father sitting by and weeping. The President, much affected, asked for the papers and wrote across them, "Discharge this man."
Then, wiping the tear from his cheek, he turned to the man at the door, and said, "Bring in that man," rather as if he felt bored, which caused me to ask why it was so.
He replied that it was a writing-master who had spent a long time in copying his Emancipation Proclamation, had ornamented it with flourishes, and which made him think of an Irishman who said it took him an hour to catch his old horse, and when he had caught him he was not worth a darn!
Comments of Mr. Lincoln on the Emancipation Proclamation.
The final proclamation was signed on New Year's day, 1863. The President remarked to Mr. Colfax, the same evening, that the signature appeared somewhat tremulous and uneven. "Not," said he, "because of any uncertainty or hesitation on my part; but it was just after the public reception, and three hours' hand-shaking is not calculated to improve a man's chirography." Then changing his tone, he added: "The South had fair warning, that if they did not return to their duty, I should strike at this pillar of their strength. The promise must now be kept, and I shall never recall one word."