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and every word of it has stood. Thank God, when slavery and treason benumbed that hand in death, they could not destroy that noble instrument to which that hand had given a life that shall never die. A great writer said that when Wilberforce stood at the bar of God, he held in his hand the broken shackles which on earth had bound hundreds of thousands of his fellowmen. But, when baffled treason hurried Abraham Lincoln into the presence of his Maker, he bore with him the manacles of four millions whom he had made free; fetters that no power on God's foot-stool is strong enough to place again on their enfranchised limbs.
"No man, in our era, clothed with such vast power, has ever used it so mercifully. No ruler holding the keys of life and death, ever pardoned so many and so easily. When friends said to him they wished he had more of Jackson's sternness, he would say, 'I am just as God made me, and cannot change.' It may not be generally known that his door-keepers had standing orders from him that no matter how great might be the throng, if either Senators or Representatives had to wait, or to be turned away without an audience, he must see before the day closed, every messenger who came to him with a petition for the saving of life. One night in February I left all other business to ask him to respite the son of a constituent, who was sentenced to be shot, at Davenport, for desertion. He heard the story with his usual patience, though he was wearied out with incessant calls, and anxious for rest, and then replied:-'Some of our generals complain that I impair discipline and subordination in the army by my pardons and respites, but it makes me rested, after a hard day's work, if I can find some good excuse for saving a man's life, and I go to bed happy as I think how joyous the signing of my name will make him and his family and his friends.' And with a happy smile beaming over that care-furrowed face, he signed hat name that saved that life.
"But 4 oraham Lincoln was not only a good and a just and a generous and a humane man. I could not be just to that wellrounded character of his, without adding that he was also a praying man. He has often said that his reliance in the gloomiest hours, was on his God, to whom he appealed in prayer, although he had never become a professor of religion. To a clergyman who asked him if he loved his Saviour, he replied, and he was too truthful for us to doubt the declaration :
"When I was first inaugurated I did not love Him; when God took my son I was greatly impressed, but still I did not love Him; but when I stood upon the battle-field of Gettysburg, I gave my heart to Christ, and I can now say I do love the Saviour.'
"The Bible was always in his reception room. I have doubted the report that he read an hour in it every day, for he often came
direct from his bed to his reception room, so anxious was he to accommodate members who had important business, and it would sometimes be two or three hours before he would playfully say to some friend whose turn had come, Won't you stay here till I get some breakfast? But he must have read the Bible considerably, for he often quoted it. One day that I happened to come in he said, 'Mr. has just been here attacking one of my Cabinet, but I stopped him with this text,' and he read from the Proverbs a text, I had never heard quoted before, as follows: Accuse not a servant to his master.'
"You cannot fail to have noticed the solemn and sometimes almost mournful strain that pervades many of his addresses. When he left Springfield in 1861 to assume the Presidency, his farewell words were as follows:
'MY FRIENDS:-No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him, and on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain. Again, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.'
"Before that murderous blow closed his eyes in death, that 'success' for which he had struggled was assured; that' duty' devolved upon him had been performed. But the friends to whom with the, 'sadness he felt at parting,' he bade this 'affectionate farewell,' can only look at the lifeless corpse, now slowly borne to their midst.
* * * *
"When in the same month, he raised the national flag over Independence Hall at Philadelphia, he said to the assembled tens of thousands: 'It was something in the Declaration of Independence giving liberty, not only to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all coming time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say that I would rather be assassinated upon the spot than to surrender it. I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and if it be the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by.'
"He seemed, as he thus spoke, to have the dark shadow of his violent death before him. But even in its presence he declared that he would rather be assassinated than to surrender a principle; and that while he was willing to live by it, yet, if it was God's pleasure, he was equally willing to die by it. He was assassinated; but his name and principles will live while history exists and the Republic endures.
"So, too, in the conclusion of his first inaugural, he appealed in the language of entreaty and peace to those who had raised their mailed hands against the life of their father-land:
"You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the Government, while I have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it. The mystic cord of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.'
"In the funeral exercises in the East Room, on the 19th of April, the very anniversary of the day when the blood of murdered Massachusetts soldiers stained the stones of the city of Baltimore, Dr. Gurley quoted the President's solemn reply to a company of clergymen who called on him in one of the darkest hours of the war, when, standing where his lifeless remains then rested, be replied to them in tones of deep emotion:
"Gentlemen, my hope of success in this great and terrible struggle rests on that immutable foundation, the justness and goodness of God. And when events are very threatening and prospects very dark, I still hope in some way which man cannot see, all will be well in the end, because our cause is just, and God is on our side.'
"You cannot have forgotten this impressive invocation with which he closed his Proclamation of Emancipation :
And, upon this last, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution on military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.'
"The solemn words of his last inaugural sound in my ears today as I heard them fall from his lips on the steps of the Capitol. There was no exultation over his own success, though he was the first Northern President who had ever been re-elected. There was no bitterness against the men who had filled our land with new made graves, and who were striving to stab the nation to its death. There was no confident and enthusiastic prediction of the country's triumph. But with almost the solemn utterances of one of the Hebrew Prophets; as if he felt he was standing, as he was, on the verge of his open grave, and addressing his last official words to his countrymen, with his lips touched by the finger of Inspiration, he said :
"The Almighty has his own purposes. Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offences, which, in the providence of God must needs come, but which having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those Divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that the mighty scourge of war may soon pass away. Yet, if God will that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' 'With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nations wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.'
"What a portraiture of his own character he unconsciously draws in this closing paragraph. With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right? And yet, they slew him.
Bear with me further while I quote the letter, when, in the midst of the exciting canvass of last fall, in which he was so deeply interested, during the very week that he was being denounced in this city as scarcely any man had ever been denounced before, he shut out the thoughts of these cruelly unjust aspersions to write in this deeply impressive strain to a Philadelphia lady, then resident in England:
"EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, September 6, 1864. "ELIZA GURNEY:-My Esteemed Friend:--I have never forgotten, probably never shall forget, the very impressive occasion, when yourself and friends visited me on a Sabbath forenoon, two years ago, nor has your kind letter, written nearly a year later, ever been forgotten.
"In all it has been your purpose to strengthen my reliance on God, I am much indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their constant prayers and consolations, and to no one of them more than yourself. The purposes of the Almighty are perfect and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to perceive them in advance.
"We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this, but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall acknowledge His wisdom and our own errors therein.
Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great end He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could stay. Your people-the Friends-have had and are having very great trials on principles and faith. Opposed to both war and oppression, they can only practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard dilemma some have chosen one horn and some the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done, and shall do the best I can in my own conscience, and my oath to the law. That you believe this I doubt not, and believing it, I shall still receive, for our country and myself, your earnest prayers to our Father in Heaven.
Your sincere friend,
"Nor should I forget to mention here that the last act of Congress ever signed by him, was one requiring that the motto, in which he sincerely believed, 'In God we trust,' should hereafter be inscribed upon all our national coin. But April came at last, with all its glorious resurrection of spring, that spring which he was not to see ripening into summer. The last sands in the hour-glass of his life were falling. His last moment drew nigh, for his banded assassins, foiled in an attempt to poison him last year (a plot only discovered since detectives have been tracking the mysteries of his death,) had resolved this time on striking a surer blow. Victory after victory crowned our national armies. A hundred captured rebel banners filled the War Department. Scores of thousands of Rebel soldiers had surrendered, and all over the Republic the joyous acclaim of millions hailed the promised land of Peace.
"But our beloved leader was to enter another land of rest. Thank Heaven, though wicked men may kill the body, they can not kill the immortal soul. And, if the spirits of the good men who have left us are permitted to look back on the laud they loved in life, it is not presumptuous to believe that Washington and Lincoln, from the shining courts above, look down to-day with paternal interest on the nation, which, under Providence, the one had founded and the other saved, and which will entwine their names together in hallowed recollection forever.
But, in his last hours, all the affectionate traits of character which I have so inadequately delineated shone out in more than wonted brilliancy. How his kindly heart must have throbbed with joy, as on the very day before his death he gladdened so many tens of thousands of auxious minds by ordering the abandonment of the impending but now not needed draft. With what generous magnanimity he authorized our heroic Lieuteuant-General to proffer terms unparalleled in their liberality, to the Army of Virginia, so long the bulwark of Rebellion. And the very last official act