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honors, would at any time awaken the sensibilities of the people. It is not strange, then, that the national emotion is stirred from its innermost depths at the brutal and cowardly act of the murderous assassin, under circumstances so peculiar as those which surrounded the recent death of the President of the United States. But mysterious are the ways of Providence. Called without solicitation on his part to discharge the high duties incident to the Presidential office at a period of unexampled bitterness in our political history, just as he comprehended the period had arrived when he might tender forgiveness to the great body of the people who had been induced to engage in the rebellion-reserving for subsequent consideration whatever action the Government would feel called upon to take in reference to the leaders of this foul conspiracy-for purposes unknown to us the Great Infinite, at such a moment, suffered the hand of the assassin to take the life of the Chief Magistrate. But who is there that will say it has thereby taken the life of the nation? For all realize at this moment, even amid this unbroken lainentation, and before the mortal remains of our illustrious President are confined to their final resting-place, that this last dispensation of Providence has only the more thoroughly strengthened the fixed determination of the American people to preserve intact their liberties and perpetuate their government to those into whose keeping in the future is to be confided the control of Constitutional government. Upon two former occasions in our political history, the second officer in the Government has been called upon to discharge the duties of Chief Magistrate. How widely different the circumstances that have attended the death of the late President, who by this wicked rebellion had been prevented from exercising his legitimate functions as President over a large number of States that were in revolt? Yet at the moment when the murderous blow was struck, he stood within sight of the promised land. He realized, doubtless, that if Providence was to continue his existence, the latter portion of his second Administration was to be marked by the recognition of his authority over all the States as they existed antecedent to the rebellion. It is true, that when he departed from Washington to visit the headquarters of his most illustrious commander, just previous to that wonderful series of events which terminated not only in the surrender of the rebel capital, but the capitulation of the vetern army of the so-called Confederacy, many anxious prayers were offered to heaven that, in his journey in the confines of a district so recently infected with treason, that his life might be spared, and that no murderous blow might be inflicted, which, robbing him of life, should deprive the people of their legitimate representative. When consequently he returned from his late mission, to be himself the bearer of the good tidings of the complete overthrow of the rebellion, and to give to the nation assurances that peace was not so far distant, his return to the Capital was hailed throughout the Nation with notes of acclamation and praise. Had we not reason to believe that our great and good President, protected by Providence, bore a charmed life, not simply for himself, but as the representative of twenty millions of people, engaged in the benificent mission of commending to the world the benefits of free republican institutions. Man proposes, but God disposes. That was the instant which Providence had selected to terminate his earthly existence. May we not reasonably conclude that the measure of his greatness was complete, and that no lengthened years no subsequent exertion-no additional labors, could add to the dignity and the greatness of a life so pregnant with usefulness and renown? Such a legacy for the unborn millions that hereafter shall speak his name and bear his praises, as the representative of the American people, who finally guaranteed Republican institutions to the Western Hemisphere? Washington severed the colonies from Great Britain--he aided to lay broad and deep the foundations of the Republic. But the civilization of that age was not adequate to found institutions of government which should meet all the requirements of that higber civilization which should come when buman slavery was to be everywhere regarded an element hostile to the true interests of a great, free, and Christian people. Where the labors of Washington terminated, the labors of Lincoln began. Washington formed a Republic which assumed to recognize political equality. But while it declared that all men were free and equal, it recognized within its limits an institution of human bondage. Washington was permitted to expire, surrounded by mourning relatives, in the tranquil shades of Mount Vernon, conscious by his own reflection that the hour of his mortal existence had been attained. How unlike the death of our illustrious President. In the enjoyment of perfect health, seeking that relaxation essential for the strength of his faculties, after the arduous labors in which he had been engaged, without a moment's note of preparation, in the twinkling of an eye the bullet of the assassin pierced that majestic brain, whose workings had wrought out the permanent prosperity of this great people; and whose judicious counsels had borne us triumphantly through the most gigantic rebellion recorded in history.
It is true a single arm directed the accursed bullet, but the murderous purpose which could conceive such an atrocity could only result from the stifled enmity of that barbaric institution, which for centuries had enslaved millions of the human race,
, and had inaugurated within the boundaries of the Republic of the United States an oligarchy of crime which fattened on the sweat and toil and blood of the victims over which it exercised such material power. But no single death can expiate this great crime. Our beloved President was the representative of
freedom and of free Government. He will live in history as the exponent of American Republican Constitutional Government. His murderous assassin was the Representative of that accursed Rebellion, and his name will live in immortal execration, as the exponent of the conspiracy which had for its object the overthrow of the Government of the United States, in order that another government might be formed in this Christian age resting on the basis of human Slavery. Lincoln shall live with Washington in immortal renown, while Booth and Davis shall forever stand in the same record of infamy to provoke the indignation of the virtuous and good. Each were the representatives of their respective civilizations. Washington and Lincoln illustrated the genius of free institutions of a Government which recognized individual political equality—which had for its object the recognition of the rights of man-which made labor dignified-which secured for all men equal privileges, and which founded a government which permitted the hunblest individual, by the exercise of virtue, sobriety, industry, and integrity to attain the highest dignities of the Republic. Davis and Booth represent that false civilization which has for its object the institution of a Government which divided society into classeswhich made the interests of the many subordinate to the interest of the few, and which, while claiming to be a Government of freedom, was the most grinding, odious, military despotism on earth-a Government whose power was employed to enslave a dependent race-which degraded labor in order that a favored few, discarding the Divine injunction that by the sweat of his brow man should earn his bread-placed itself in conflict with our Divine religion, and in conflict with all the elements on which the prosperity, peace and welfare of the State can safely rest; a semi-barbarous civilization, incompatible with the fundamental principles on which the republic is based; a civilization which caused Davis to attempt the overthrow of his country, with the utopian idea that he could rear another government which, claiming to be free, was to retain within its limits that refractory element which had cursed the Republic of the United States from the day of its origin to the day when the illustrious deceased by his verdict declared that within the limits of the United States, slavery should no more exist forever ; a civilization which stimulated this wicked and murderous assassin to fondly imagine that by the death of the great and good President of the United States he might thereby aid the falling fortunes of the so-called Confederacy--if, indeed, he was not stimulated by the ignoble purpose of living forever in history by connection with Mr. Lincoln's death, as Judas lives in infamy in conjunction with the Prince of Peace, whom he betrayed. It is impossible to conceive what test our institutions should be subjected to in order to prove their ability to meet any emergency that may arise. Twice involved in foreign war, the Government of the United States have indicated the strength and power of institutions based upon the intelligence, virtue, integrity, and power of the people. The question, however, still remained-was such a Government as adequate to suppress domestic treason as to resist foreign aggression? The Government of the United States, led by its noble, kind-hearted President, proved itself adequate to this emergency, and henceforward Republican institutions will be regarded as capable of suppressing domestic treason as any form of government recognized among men. And yet it seems to be the will of heaven that when this was accomplished, and the grave responsibilities that cluster around the punishment of the bold, wicked, unscrupulous conspirators who have inaugurated this gigantic treason had arrived, another was to be selected to determine the measure of justice which should be meted out to them. One whose whole life has been familiar with the machinations by which the conspirators organized a public sentiment, having for its object the overthrow of the Government of the United States. Let us rejoice that that selection has fallen upon one who brings to the discharge of his high office a long and arduous career of unbroken fidelity to the interests of the masses, to the amelioration of whose condition he has devoted the best energies of his existence. Thoroughly familiar with the demoralizing effects of that institution whose continued existence was a wrong to the industrial classes of the whole nation, to him may be well awarded the high prerogative of inaugurating those great reforms essential to the continued prosperity of the people as they emerge from the desolating influence of the terrible internecine war through which we have so recently passed. But we must not forget that even this strong arm is powerful only as it is invigorated with the strength and confidence of the people. Thus sustained, who shall measure the greatness and renown which awaits the administration of the Government upon which we are about to enter. Called to exercise power under circumstances so grave and unexpected, enough has already transpired to assure the public confidence that the interests of the people and the lionor of the republic will be safe in the hands of the present Executive. Indicating his future policy, as he points to his past illustrious and persistent record, foreign Governments may learn that hereafter the policy of this nation is to be that early inaugurated by Washington, which sought to advance its own great interests without any entangling alliances abroad : and equally assuring them there must be incorporated upon this continent no institutions unfriendly to the continued advancement of the Government of the United States; while the masses abroad can equally appreciate that the President of the United States will be glad to welcome here all those who desire to change their material condition and advance their material prosperity by availing themselves of the benefits of that beneficent legislation, which secures to each man a home-a measure which owes its success to the sagacity and foresight of President Johnson more than to that of any other living man. He early comprehended that through the agency of the “Homestead Bill, if it could once be established, he might make an inroad upon the oligarchy of the South, who recognized slavery, and by its agency fomented the treason which ultimately struck for the overthrow of the Government. The people of the United States themselves are to be assured that justice, though tempered with mercy, will, nevertheless, be executed upon all who have sought to take the life of the nation, and that treason must be regarded the most odious crime recognized in our social and political system.”
As a fitting close to this volume, we append the following powerful article, on ABRAHAM LINCOLN, written by Henry Ward Beecher, for the New York Ledger, and published in that paper of May 20th, 1865. We think it is the best utterance on the great topic of the day which has yet seen the light of publicity. In addition to its power and eloquence, and splendid philosophical analysis, it contains some startling facts which will be new to most people.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN.-BY HENRY WARD
The last act of the sublime drama has at length been finished, and the most wonderful spectacle of the age, or perhaps of time, has been completed !
Mr. LINCOLN'S assassination is not a single act, but the last of a series, of which it forms the consummate whole. It is seldom tbat history of itself falls into such natural and dramatic periods as may be marked in the wonderful tragedy of five years! It will be seen, too, that the excitement of feeling, at each step seeming to have reached its bounds, still rose, until in the last grand catastrophe it surpasses all that man conceived possible or endurable. And among the many other things demonstrated by this civil revolution, is the capacity of communities to endure