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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 favorites. 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 it 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 he tried to understand the precise points intended, and, when understood, 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 opposers, 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 his fall be perpetuated ? What are his acts? Much praise is due to the men who aided him. He called able counsellors around him, 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 militia—a 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
fighting, and its decision is at hand, and the result of the contest will affect the ages to come. If successful, republics will spread, in spite of inonarchism, all over this earth. (Exclamations of Amen," " Thank God !") I turn from the Army to the Navy. What was it when the war commenced? Now we have our ships of war at home and abroad-to guard privateers in foreign sympathizing ports as well as to take care of every part of our own coast. They have taken forts that military men said could not be taken, and a brave admiral, for the first time in the world's history, lashes himself to the mast, there to remain as long as he had a particle of skill or strength to watch over his ship while it engaged in the perilous contest of taking the strong forts of the enemy. I turn to the Treasury Department. Where shall the money come from? Wise men predicted ruin, but our National credit has been maintained, and our currency is safer to-day than it ever was before. Not only is this so, but through our National bonds, if properly used, we shall have a permanent basis for our currency; and they are also an investment so desirable for capitalists of other nations, that under the laws of trade, I believe, the centre of exchange will be transferred from England to the United States. But the great act of the mighty chieftian, on which his fame shall rest long after his frame shall moulder away, is that of giving freedom to a race. We have all been taught to revere the sacred character of Moses, of his power, and the prominence he gave to the moral law. How it lasts, and how his name towers among the names in Heaven, and how be delivered three millions of his kindred out of bondage; and yet we may assert that Abraham Lincoln, by his Proclamation, liberated more enslaved people than ever Moses set free, and these not of his kindred or of his race.
Such a power, or such an opportunity, God has seldom given to man.
When other events shall have been forgotten, when this world shall have become a network of republics, when every throne shall have been swept from the face of the earth, when literature shall enlighten all minds, when the claims of humanity shall be recognized every where, this act shall still be conspicuous on the pages of history, and we are thankful that God gave to Abraham Lincoln the decision, wisdom and grace to issue that Proclamation which stands high above all other papers which have been penned by uninspired men,
Abraham Lincoln was a good man. He was known as an honest, temperate, forgiving man, a just man, a man of noble heart in every way. As to his religions experience, I cannot speak definitely, because I was nct privileged to know much of his private sentiments. My acquaintance with him did not give me the opportunity to hear hini speak on this topic. I know, however, he read the Bible frequently; loved it for its great truths and for its profound teachings, and he tried to be guided by its precepts. He believed in Christ, the Saviour of sinners, and I think he was sincerely trying to bring his life into the principles of revealed religion. Certainly, if ever there was a man who illustrated some of the principles of pure religion, that man was our departed President. "Look over all his speeches ; listen to his utterances. He never spoke unkindly of any man; even the rebels received no words of anger from him; and the last day illustrated, in a remarkable manner, his forgiving disposition. A despatch was received that afternoon, that Thompson and Tucker were trying to make their escape through Maine, and it was proposed to arrest them. Mr. Lincoln, however, preferred rather to let them quietly escape, and this morning we read the Proclamation offering twenty-five thousand dollars each for the arrest of these men, as aiders and abettors of his assassination. So that in his expiring acts he was saying: 'Father forgive them; they know not what they do!' As a rule I doubt if any President has ever shown such trust in God, or in public documents so frequently referred to Divine aid. Often did he remark to friends and to delegations that his hope for our success rested in his conviction that God would bless our efforts because we were trying to do right. To the address of a large religious body he replied, “Thanks be unto God, who, in our national trials, giveth. us the churches.' To a minister who said he hoped the Lord was on our side, he replied that it gave him no concern whether the Lord was on our side or not, for, he added, “I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right,' and with a deep feeling, added, " But God is my witness that it is my constant anxiety and prayer, that both myself and this nation should be on the Lord's side.' In his domestic life he was exceedingly kind and affectionate. He was a devoted husband and father.
“During his Presidential term he lost his second son, Willie. To an officer of the army he said not long since, 'Do you ever find yourself talking with the dead!' and added, “Since Willie's death I catch myself every day involuntarily talking with him, as if he were with me.' On his widow, who is unable to be here, I need only invoke the blessing of Almighty God that she may be comforted and sustained. For his son, who has witnessed the exercises of this hour, all that I can desire is that the mantle of his father may fall upon him. (Exclamations of ·Amen.') Let us pause a moment in the lesson of the hour before we part. This man, though he fell by the hand of the assassin, stiil he fell under the permissive hand of God. He had some wise purpose in allowing him so to fall. What more could he have desired of life for himself? Were not his honors full ? There was no office to which he could aspire. The popular heart clung around him as around no other man. The nations of the world have learned to honor him. If rumors of a desired alliance with England be true, Napoleon trembled when he heard of the fall of Richmond, and asked what nation would join him to protect him against our government. Besides the goodness of such a man his fame was full, his work was done, and he sealed his glory by becoming the nation's great martyr for liberty. He appears to have had a strange presentiment early in political life, that some day he would be President. You see it, indeed, in 1839. Of the slave power he said: 'Broken by it? I, too, may be asked to bow to it. I never will. The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the
pport of a cause which I deem to be just. It shall not deter me. If I ever feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world besides, and I standing up boldly and alone and hurling defiance at her vicarious oppressors. Here, without contemplating consequences, before high Heaven and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land, of my life, my liberty and my love.' And yet secretly he said to more than one, 'I never shall live out the four years of my term. When the rebellion is crushed my work is done.' So it was.
He lived to see the last battle fought and to dictate a despatch from the home of Jefferson Davis. Lived till the power of the rebellion was broken; and then, having done the work for which God had sent him, angels, I trust, were sent to shield him from one moment of pain or suffering, and to bear him from this world to that high and glorious realm where the patriot and the good shall live forever. His example teaches young men that every position of eminence is open before the diligent and the worthy, to the active men of the country. His example urges the country to trust in God and do right. "Standing as we do to-day by his coffin and his sepulchre, let us resolve to carry forward the policy which he so nobly and wholly began. Let us do right to all men. Let us vow in the sight of Heaven to eradicate every vestige of human slavery, to give every human being his true position before God and man, to crush every form of rebellion, and to stand by the flag which God has given us. How joyfully we ought to be that it floated over parts of every State before Mr. Lincoln's career was ended. How singular is the fact that the assassin's foot was caught in the folds of the flag, and to this we are indebted for his capture. The flag and the traitor must ever be enemies. The traitors will probably suffer by the change of rulers, for one of sterner mould, who himself has deeply suffered from the rebellion, now wields the sword of justice. Our country, too, is stronger for the trial through which it has passed. A republic was declared by monarchies too weak to endure a civil war, yet we have crushed the most gigantic rebellion in history, and have grown in strength and population every year of the struggle. We have passed through the ordeal of a popular election while swords and bayonets were in the field, and have come out unchanged; and now, in an hour of excitement, with a large minority who pre