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Full text of "Addresses delivered in the meeting-house of the First Baptist church of Philadelphia"

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DELIVERED IN THE MEETING-HOUSE 



FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA, 



APRIL 14th, 16th, and 19th, 1865. 



Reverend George Dana Boardman, 



\ 



AN ADDRESS 

IN COMMEMORATION 

OF THE 

|U-<MaMistownt 4 t\\t f steal SH 

AT FORT SUMTER, 

April 14, 1865. 

DELIYERED IN THE MEETING-HOUSE 

OF THE 

Jftrst i^tist «trt of fpMpp, 

On the Same Day, 

BY THE 

Reverend George Dana Boardman, 



PHILADELPHIA: 
SHERMAN & CO., PRINTERS. 
1865. 



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Philadelphia, April 21st, 1865. 
The Kev. George Dana Boardman. 

Beverend and Dear Sir : Many of the undersigned were present at 
the First Baptist Church on Friday, the 14th instant, during the impressive 
services there held in commemoration of the re-establishment of the National 
Flag at Fort Sumter. Some of us were also present the following Sabbath, and 
on Wednesday, the 19th instant, when our joy had so suddenly been changed 
into mourning and our rejoicing into deep grief. 

The occasion of the delivery of your noble, patriotic, and eloquent Address 
being the fourth anniversary of the day when the gallant Major Anderson and 
his brave compatriots were compelled to evacuate the Fort, and being also the 
day and hour when, by direction of the President of the United States, the 
same officer was ordered to raise the same flag over Sumter's ruined battle- 
ments, — once more in our possession, — rendered your remarks peculiarly fitting 
and appropriate. 

Tour words of cheer and hope, of joy and gratulation, stirred every heart, 
and they deserve to be handed down to posterity, so that future generations 
may know how Christians in this city felt at such a crisis in the history of our 
country. We believe that at a time when, even amid the sound of cannon and 
the smoke of our battle-fields, we can behold the dawning of Peace, such senti- 
ments as fell from your lips should be disseminated far and wide. 

The reference to our beloved President was as touching and truthful as it 
was eloquent, and the tribute to his eminent worth, to his nobleness of heart 
and integrity of purpose, is all the dearer to us now since the dastard hand of a 
traitor has deprived us, in our time of greatest need, of his wise counsels and 
safe guidance. 

The addresses delivered by you last Sabbath and on the day of his funeral, 
when the whole country was weeping and mourning as for the death of a dearly 
loved parent, well deserve to be pondered over by us in our homes, — by the quiet 
of our firesides. 

Our noble President no longer lives on earth, but he will live forever in 
the hearts of the people ; and in all future history, Abraham Lincoln will be 
known and revered as the Martyr President of the American Kepublic. 

We therefore request a copy of your several Addresses for publication ; 
and, while sorrowing at the great loss we have sustained as a Nation, we can 
heartily unite with you in rendering thanks to Almighty God for the gift of so 
pure a patriot and for the victories which have been achieved by the armies of 
the Union. 

We remain, with sentiments of high regard, 

Your brethren and fellow-citizens, 
Thomas Wattson, Washington Butcher, 

Wm. S. Hansell, Benjamin Bullock, 

James Pollock, John C. Davis, 

Horatio Gates Jones, Charles H. Auner, 

Arch. A. McIntyre, Stephen A. Caldwell 

Joseph W. Bullock, Edwin Hall, 

Joseph F. Page, Alexander T. Lane, 

H. C. Howell, Isaac H. O'Harra, 

S. F. Hansell, Henry Clay Butcher. 



No. 1712 Vine Street, April 25, 1865. 

To Thomas Wattson, Esq., William S. Hansell, Esq., 

Hon. James Pollock, Horatio Gates Jones, Esq., and others. 

Gentlemen : Your courteous note of the 21st instant, requesting for pub- 
lication the addresses delivered in the meeting-house of the Eirst Baptist Church 
on the 14th, 16th, and 19th days of April, has been received. 

Aware that the interest which attaches to these addresses springs altogether 
from the grandeur of the events which occasioned them, I accede to your gene- 
rous request, feeling assured that their imperfections will be hidden in the in- 
tensity of the gloom which oppresses us all. 

I am, gentlemen, with profound respect, 

Your brother and townsman, 

George Dana Boardman. 



ADDRESS. 



On the night of December twenty-sixth, eighteen hun- 
dred and sixty, a sudden stir began in the historic fort of 
Moultrie. Men hurried to and fro, in silent haste, gather- 
ing together the rations, accoutrements, ammunition, and 
other movable property of the fort; gun after gun was 
silently spiked, and every gun-carriage burned. Last of all, 
the flag-staff was cut down ; for the gallant Anderson had 
resolved that the staff which had once borne the Star- 
spangled Banner should never bear the accursed weight of 
a traitor's ensign. And then the entire garrison, number- 
ing scarcely sixty men, crept into the boats, and, with muf- 
fled oars, under the lustrous gaze of the full moon, sped 
straight under the bows of the South Carolina guard-ship 
Nina, across the sleeping waters to the securer ramparts of 
Sumter. The Charleston Courier of the next day makes 
the following announcement : " Major Robert Anderson, 
U. S. A., has achieved the unenviable distinction of opening 
civil war between American citizens, by an act of gross 
breach of faith. He has, under counsels of a panic, de- 
serted his post at Fort Moultrie, and, under false pretexts, 
has transferred his garrison and military stores and supplies 



6 

to Fort Sumter." Breach of faith ? In what school of in- 
famy had South Carolina chivalry been trained, that she 
could brand the defence of the United States flag by a 
United States officer, as a "gross breach of faith?" The 
day after the evacuation, a little before morn, Major An- 
derson summoned his little force around the flag-staff of 
Fort Sumter, for the purpose of raising the banner which he 
had brought from Moultrie. The chaplain offered a most 
fervent prayer that the God of our fathers would enable 
that little garrison to maintain the honor of that flag un- 
dimmecl through the fiery ordeals which awaited, and the 
entire garrison responded with a deep Amen. At twelve 
o'clock precisely, Major Anderson, dropping on his knees, 
and holding the lines in his hands, reverently drew the na- 
tional ensign to the top of the staff, and then the entire 
garrison burst forth into exultant hurras, again, again and 
again repeated. That thrilling scene lives in song as well 
as in history. Listen to an old man's ballad for December 
twenty-six, nineteen hundred and ten : 

Come, children, leave your playing this dark and stormy night ; 
Shut fast the rattling window-blinds, and make the fire burn bright ; 
And hear an old man's story, while loud the fierce winds blow, 
Of gallant Major Anderson and fifty years ago. 

After a recital of the evacuation, the scarred veteran con- 
tinues : 



I never can forget, my boys, how the next day, at noon. 
The drums beat and the bands played a stirring, martial tune. 
And silently we gathered round the flag-staff strong and high. 
Forever pointing upward to G-od's temple in the sky. 



Our noble Major Anderson was good as he was brave, 
And be knew without God's blessing no banner long could wave ; 
So he knelt witb head uncovered, while the chaplain made a prayer 
And as the last amen was said, the flag rose higb in air. 

Then our loud huzzas rung out, far and widely o'er the sea ! 
We shouted for the Stars and Stripes, the standard of the free ! 
Every eye was fixed upon it; every heart beat warm and fast, 
As with eager lips we promised to defend it to the last ! 

'Twas a sight to be remembered, boys, the chaplain with his book, 
Our leader humbly kneeling, with his calm, undaunted look; 
And tbe officers and men, crushing tears they would not shed, 
And the blue sea all around us, and the blue sk}- overhead ! 



Three and a half months now crept away; months of 
gloom and terrible apprehension. I need not go into par- 
ticulars; it is enough to remind you that meantime Florida. 
Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and North 
Carolina followed the example of South Carolina, and de- 
luded themselves with the idea that, because they had 
passed ordinances of secession, they had voted themselves 
out of the Union. The halls of Congress echoed with the 
infamous valedictories of senators and representatives, never, 
I trust in God, to enter those halls again, save as prisoners, 
to be impeached of high treason before the nation's judg- 
ment bench. One bright scene alone relieved the darkness 
of this horrible panorama; it was when the Old Public 
Functionary, nervously swinging between the God of his 
fathers and the Baal of slaveholding treason, on the fourth 
of March yielded the chair of Washington to God's anointed 
champion of American freemen, Abraham Lincoln, of Illi- 
nois, crowned by the Grace of God and the National Will 



the Moses of the New World. But I must press on with 
the narrative. 

During these three months and a half, Fort Sumter was 
closely besieged. The South Carolina insurgents had 
strengthened the armament of Fort Moultrie and Castle 
Pinckney, and erected many new batteries, so as to place 
Sumter under the fire of nearly three-fourths of a circle, 
mounting one hundred and forty guns in all, many of them 
of very heavy calibre, while the besieging host numbered 
seven thousand. They had also cut off all supplies, so that 
the garrison was almost reduced to the point of starvation. 
On the eighth of April they learned that Government was 
about to relieve the garrison by sending supplies and rein- 
forcements. You will be interested, doubtless, if I recall to 
you some of the correspondence which then took place. It 
is historic. 



"Montgomery, Ala., April 10, 1861. 

" To General P. G. T. Beauregard, 

"Charleston, S. C. 

"If yon have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent 
who communicated to you the intention of the Washington Govern- 
ment to supply Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its 
evacuation; and, if this is refused, proceed in such a manner as you 
may determine, to reduce it. 

"L. P. Walker, 

' ' Secretary of War. ' ' 



"Charleston, S. C, April 10, 1861. 
" To Hon. L. P. Walker, 

" Secretary of War. 

" The demand will be made to-morrow at twelve o'clock. 

" P. G. T. Beauregard." 



"Headquarters Provisional Army C. S. A., 

"Charleston, S. C, April 11, 1861, 2 p. m. 
" To Major Eobert Anderson, 

" Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S. C. 

" Sir : The Government of the Confederate States have hitherto 
forborne from any hostile demonstration against Fort Sumter, in the 
hope that the Government of the United States, with a view to the 
amicable adjustment of all questions between the two Governments, 
and to avert the calamities of war, would voluntarily evacuate it. . . 
. . . But the Confederate States can no longer delay assuming actual 
possession of a fortification commanding the entrance to one of our 
harbors, and necessary to its defence and security. 

"I am, therefore, ordered by the Government of the Confederate 
States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. All proper facili- 
ties will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, to- 
gether with arms and all private property, to any post in the United 

States which you may select My aids, Colonel Chesnut 

and Captain Lee, will, for a reasonable time, await your answer. 
'' I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"P. G. T. Beauregard, 
" Brigadier-General, Commanding." 

"Headquarters, Fort Sumter, S. C, 
"April 11, 1861. 
" To Brigadier-General P. G. T. Beauregard. 

" General : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, in 
reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense 
of honor and of my*obligations to my Government prevent my com- 
pliance. Thanking you for the fair, manly, and courteous terms pro- 
posed, I am, General, 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" Bobert Anderson, 
" Major U. S. Army, Commanding." 

"Headquarters Provisional Army C. S. A., 
"Charleston, April 11, 1861, 11 p. m. 

" To Major Bobert Anderson, 

" Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston, S. C. 

" Major : In consequence of the verbal observations made by you 
to my aids, Messrs. Chesnut and Lee, in relation to the condition of 



10 



your supplies, and that you would, in a few days, be starved out if 
our guns did not batter you to pieces, or words to that effect ; and 
desiring no useless effusion of blood, I have the honor to say that, if 
you will state the time at which you will evacuate Fort Sumter, and 
agree that, in the meantime, you will not use your guns against us 
unless ours shall be employed against Fort Sumter, we will abstain 
from opening fire upon you. Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee are 
authorized by me to enter into such an agreement with you. I am, 
Major, 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"P. G. T. Beauregard." 



"Headquarters, Fort Sumter, S. C, 

"2.30 a. m., April 12, 1861. 

" To Brigadier-General P. G. T. Beauregard. 

" General : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
second communication of the 11th inst., by Colonel Chesnut, and to 
state, in reply, that, cordially uniting with you in the desire to avoid 
the useless effusion of blood, I will, if provided with the proper and 
necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter by noon 
on the 15th inst., should I not receive, prior to that time, controlling 
instructions from my Government, or additional supplies; and that 
I will not, in the mean time, open my fire upon your forces, unless 
compelled to do so by some hostile act against this fort, or against 
the flag of my Govei-nment by the forces under your command, or 
by some portion of them, or by the perpetration of some act show- 
ing a hostile intention on your part against this fort, or the flag it 
bears. I have the honor to be, General, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Eobert Anderson, 
" Major U. S. Army, Commanding." 

You see from this correspondence just how matters stood. 
Major Anderson frankly states to the insurgents that, in 
consequence of the extreme scarcity of provisions in the 
fort, he would be compelled in all events to evacuate by 
noon of April 15th, unless supplies for the garrison should 
meantime arrive. Now observe the mad, atrocious haste 



11 



with which civil war was inaugurated. Unwilling to wait 
till the 15th inst., only three days, and so avert, as the 
rebel authorities would have us believe, " the useless effu- 
sion of blood," and fearing, it may be, that supplies would 
in the interim arrive, fifty minutes after Major Anderson's 
manly note was penned, the following paper, signed by 
Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee, was put in his hands : 

" Fort Sumter, S. C, April 12, 1861, 3.20 a. m. 
"Sir: By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, command- 
ing the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the 
honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort 
Sumter in one hour from this time." 



In an hour the bombardment commenced. 0, my coun- 
trymen ! what a scene then opened ! I do not wonder that 
they did not wait till the sun rose, dreading to have that 
burning eye of God witness the inauguration of the dread- 
ful fratricidal massacre. Fiercely thundered for thirty-four 
hours the balls of one hundred and forty guns against the 
walls of the doomed fortress, and fiercely replied from ram- 
part and casemate the guns of the little patriot band. It 
was a most gallant defence. Human powers could do no 
more. But it was all in vain. And from the steamship 
Baltic, off Sandy Hook, April 18, 1861, the heroic Ander- 
son sent the following stirring despatch to Mr. Cameron, 
then Secretary of War : 

"Sir: Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until 
the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed Irv fire, 
the gorge wall seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames, 
and its doors closed from the effects of the heat, four barrels and 



12 



three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions 
but pork remaining, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by Gene- 
ral Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the 11th inst., 
prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched out of the 
fort Sunday afternoon the 14th inst., with colors flying and drums 
beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting 

my flag with fifty guns. 

" Eobert Anderson, 

" Major First Artillery." 

Since then four years, I could almost say four centuries, 
have rolled away. God ! what years of national humili- 
ation and agony have they been ! Verily, Thou hast given 
us the bread of affliction to eat and the cup of tears to 
drink. Thou hast led us by way of the wilderness and the 
desert, through rivers of blood, and hast laid us down in 
the hospital, the dungeon, and the unslabbed grave. But 
all glory be to Thee ! God of our fathers ! Thou hast never 
deserted us. If, for a small moment Thou didst seem to 
hide Thy face from us, it was only that with greater mer- 
cies Thou mightest gather us together again. Thou hast 
gone forth with our hosts in the day of battle. Thy pillar 
of cloud has led us by day, and Thy pillar of fire by night. 
And when, at times, the national heart has grown faint, 
and we have felt that all was lost, Thou hast renewed be- 
fore our eyes the vision of the Hebrew Seer, and permitted 
us to behold on every side, swarming over every hilltop 
and through every valley, Thy chariots and steeds of fire 
bounding to our deliverance. And now Thou hast brought 
us to see the day for which heroes have fought and sighed 
and prayed and died. Thou hast girded on Thy sword, 
Most Mighty ! and led us forth conquering and to conquer, 
till now we see this Confederacy, born of the pit, cloven in 



13 

twain, and these in twain again ; its black chattel corner- 
stone disallowed and rejected of its own builders; its forts 
wrested from them ; its capital abandoned ; its legions, now 
routed and flying like chaff before the Northern hurricane, 
now overtaken and flanked and confronted, and caught 
between the upper and nether millstones, and forced to yield 
up their arms ; their general-in-chief a disarmed prisoner ; 
the arch-conspirator and ringleader himself a panting fugi- 
tive, his brow marked of God and the nation with the red 
brand of Cain. 

" Sing, then, unto the Lord a new song, 
For He hath done marvellous things; 
His right hand and His holy arm 
Hath gotten Him the victory ! 
Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods ? 
"Who is like unto Thee, glorious in holiness, 
Fearful in praises, doing wonders ? 
Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power ! 
Thy right hand, O Jehovah, has dashed in pieces the enemy ! 
Thou hast sent out Thine arrows, and scattered them ! 
Thou hast shot out Thy lightnings, and discomfited them! 
So let all Thine enemies perish, O Jehovah ! " 



To-day we have met to celebrate this great victory. 
" But why," you ask me, "do you select this particular day, 
rather than that, for instance, which commemorates the fall 
of Richmond, or the surrender of Lee?" For this simple 
reason : The National Flag is the symbol of the National 
Authority. It so thoroughly represents and even incarnates 
to the popular heart the Government of which it is the sym- 
bol, that wherever the flag is, there the Government itself 



14 

is, robed in full sovereignty. It was on the 14th of April, 
1861, that the National Authority was first symbolically 
overthrown by the compulsory lowering of the national 
flag at Fort Sumter. It is on the 14th of April, 1865, that 
the National Authority is symbolically restored by the rais- 
ing of the national flag on the spot where it was first struck 
down, in sight, too, of the birth-place of the grand con- 
spiracy and of the dishonored grave of its chief sponsor. 
There is profound poetry in this order of the chief magis- 
trate of the republic. There is a touch of nature in it 
which makes him and the whole nation kin. He knew 
the power of emblems and symbolic acts over the human 
soul. He felt, as you and I cannot help feeling, that there 
is a classic decorousness, an inherent propriety, an aesthetic 
grace, a religious beauty, in thus symbolically announcing 
to the world the reinstatement of the national majesty on 
the very spot where the national majesty was first de- 
throned. Nor, so far as I myself am concerned, can I 
deem it a misfortune that this symbolic restoration of the 
national authority takes place on the day so tenderly en- 
shrined in the mournful homage of many of my Christian 
brethren. For if ever that holy law which all mankind 
had insulted and trampled on, was magnified again and 
made honorable, — if ever the majesty of Jehovah's jus- 
tice and authority was vindicated amidst triumphs the 
most transcendent, it was when the Son of the Highest, 
mercifully gathering into His own Divine person the penal- 
ties of the race, and bowing His head beneath the thunder- 
bolts of Jehovah's wrath, yielded up the ghost on the 
Judean cross. Meet it is that the day which celebrates the 



15 

vindication of Jehovah's ordinance of earthly government, 
is the same which celebrates the triumph of His celestial 
sovereignty. 



What now are some of the lessons which the scene trans- 
piring to-day at Fort Sumter teaches the ages ? 

The first is this : The American Republic is not a league, 
but a nation ; not a confederacy, but a people ; not a con- 
geries of States, but a Union ; being in fact the United 
States, which is but another name for the American State. 
This question has long been a matter for grave meditation 
among political thinkers. But now it has been decided in 
the crimson court of war. That decision is this : The 
American Union is a vital, organic nationality, pervaded 
by a common life, which binds together in indissoluble 
union each and every member, thus making the whole 
absolutely one. The Union is no mere series of States, 
joined to each other by no organic bond, simply touching 
each other like the grains of silex in a sand-box. Neither 
is the Union some vast polyp, as many seem to imagine, 
capable of division and subdivision, and still thriving on, 
each fragment becoming the centre of a new life. But the 
American Union is a vital, throbbing, indivisible organism ; 
so that secession is something more than subtraction, or 
even amputation : it is vivisection, suicide, murder, a death 
as real as that proposed in King Solomon's order for bisect- 
ing the child brought before him for adjudication. 



16 

Another lesson which the scene now transpiring at Fort 
Sumter teaches, is one which is addressed to foreign na- 
tions. Democracy has been on trial, and we see the result. 
When we take into consideration the awful magnitude of 
the rebellion, gaining more and more of stupendousness as 
time revealed more and more of its colossal proportions; 
when we recall the long continuance of this painful, deso- 
lating war, the hopes long deferred, and the terrible defeats 
which ever and anon have befallen our arms; when we 
take into consideration the oppressive burdens of taxation, 
and the enormous rise of prices ; when we remember the 
forebodings of oft-repeated and merciless conscriptions; 
when we reflect that every widow who has lost a husband, 
and every parent a child, and every family a member, has 
been tempted to call in question the justice of the adminis- 
tration and the righteousness of the war ; when we remem- 
ber how sensitive the Americans, sons of revolutionary 
fathers, are to the slightest encroachments on their per- 
sonal rights as citizens, and then recall the sonorous and 
everlasting oratory about constitutional rule, and arbitrary 
arrests, and military despotism, and star-chamber courts, 
and the ambitious schemes of the chief magistrate ; when 
we remember how every city and hamlet of the North has 
been infected with discontented men, secretly sympathizing 
with the insurrection, and doing their utmost to discourage 
the people and paralyze the Government ; when we remem- 
ber that thousands and tens of thousands of men have been 
secretly banded together as Knights of the Golden Circle, 
or as Sons of Liberty, for the atrocious purpose of making- 
organized resistance to the powers that be ; when we re- 



17 

member how wide and profound at times, especially in the 
earlier part of the war, has been the disaffection with the 
administration in the loyal ranks themselves; when we 
remember how the people, sickening with these woful 
scenes of carnage and desolation, have sighed for the tran- 
quillity and ease and beatitudes of peace; in fine, when 
we take into consideration the countless and tremendous 
obstacles which have stood in the pathway of our rulers in 
their effort to restore everywhere the national supremacy; 
and, then, when we remember that, in spite of all these 
tremendous obstacles, the large majority of the people have 
ever been saying, even in the darkest hours : " Let this war 
go on ! This rebellion shall go down ! We have put our 
hands to the work, and, God helping us, we will not falter 
till we have beaten, crushed, trampled it down, and ground 
it beneath our heels, till not a microscopic splinter be left 
to pollute the soil over which has once floated the Star- 
spangled Banner ; " — when we remember all these things, 
and then recall the scene now transpiring at Fort Sumter, 
I seem to hear a voice of awful majesty, which shall surge 
like a billow of thunder against the reef of the coining ages, 
exclaiming : " Democracy, under God, is not a failure ! " 
Never in human history has the question concerning a 
republican form of government been put with such distinct- 
ness and grandeur of consequence. Never in human his- 
tory has the question been answered with an emphasis so 
imperial. Henceforth, let no defender of monarchical forms 
of government dare say that Democracy is unable to rule 
itself! That flag, whose reinstatement we celebrate to-day, 

announces to the waiting ears of earth's nations, that the 

2 



18 

government the most capable of maintaining itself under cir- 
cumstances the most adverse, is a government administered, 
not by rulers born to the throne in the line of hereditary 
succession, but by rulers crowned with the free ballots of a 
free people. And, standing here, I echo back with joyous 
pride the diapason of the cannonade which rent the sky 
over Fort Sumter at noon to-day : Long live the Republic! 
Long live the Republic ! 

Thoughts crowd upon me; but I must not. detain you 
with them. The occasion is too simple for argument, too 
self-suggesting and exultant for explanation. Yet I cannot 
forbear alluding to a point which the swift rush of events is 
forcing on our attention. " What shall be done," you ask 
me, "with the insurgents in this hour of our triumph ?" A 
grave, perplexing, baffling question this. I implore you, 
fellow citizens, to answer it calmly, with generous regard 
for those who may differ from you. Learn caution, con- 
siderateness, generosity, from our noble, thoughtful, saga- 
cious, far-sighted, inflexibly just, magnanimous Chief Ma- 
gistrate. He who, with the blessing of the God of hosts, 
has safely brought us through the wilderness to the Jordan, 
will, with the same blessing, provide some means by which 
we shall cross the Jordan itself, into the promised land. 
Unquestionably, if ever the halter was a fit instrument for 
ridding the earth of monsters, it is in the case of these mur- 
derous, fiendish traitors, who inaugurated and guided this 
colossal and gory treason. But let us be careful how we 
permit these miscreants to become martyrs. The veriest 
caitiff that ever cowered beneath the majesty of the law 
may gather around him the semblance of heroism, if you 



19 

grant him the stateliness of a national gallows. On the 
other hand, I cannot say to these wretched ringleaders : " I 
forgive you, though you have drenched a continent in 
blood, desolated our hearth-stones, massacred our brothers, 
husbands, fathers, sons, on the gory battle-field, murder- 
ously imprisoned in skeleton pens, and starved and tor- 
tured into idiotcy and a nameless grave thousands of Ame- 
rica's noblest heroes." I cannot say to such men as Davis, 
and Benjamin, and Toombs, and Breckinridge, and Cobb, — 
men who traitorously plotted treason while clad in the robes 
of the American Senate and Hall of Deputies, and murder- 
ously lighted the torch that should lay in ashes our repub- 
lican nationality : " Come back into our national embrace, 
and we will treat you as though you had always been an 
Ellsworth, a Lyon, a Baker, a Winthrop, a Birney !" But 
this is what I would say, could I catch the ear of Presi- 
dent Lincoln : " Seize some island of the sea ! Buy some 
province of Europe, Asia, or Africa ! Prepare some Botany 
Bay ! Banish these felons thither ! Establish a rigorous 
passport system, and make it as impossible for them to enter 
this purified Republic as it was for Themistocles to return 
to Athens, or as it is for a Bourbon to re-enter the empire of 
Napoleon ! Let us do with them as the Lord God did with 
the first murderer, and send them forth to be fugitives and 
vagabonds in the earth, setting a mark on their brows, lest 
any finding them should slay them. And then with Cain 
shall they exclaim : 'My punishment is greater than I can 
bear !' " 

But while I would thus sternly dispose of the leaders and 
arch-conspirators, I would speak words of forgiveness and 



20 



good cheer to the multitudes they have duped. I would 
learn a lesson from the cross, the lifting up of whose sacri- 
ficial Victim so many in Christendom this day mournfully 
celebrate. While, like the crucified One, I would show no 
mercy to the apostate angels who tempted to sin, yet, like 
the crucified One, I would enfold in my forgiving embrace 
the multitudes tempted by them to rush on the thick bosses 
of Jehovah's buckler of Civil Government, knowing not 
what they did. To them I would say : " Come back, come 
back into this disenthralled, regenerated, transfigured Re- 
public, beneath the glorious mantle of that edict of Univer- 
sal Emancipation, issued by the Chief Magistrate in Jan- 
uary, 1863, and ratified by the people, November 8, 1864." 
Fellow citizens! be patient, and after a few more blows 
from our peace-maker, Grant, they will do it; and then, with 
a depth of meaning which the defender of the Constitution 
did not conceive when he uttered the glowing words be- 
neath the dome of the Capitol, thirty-five years ago, shall 
an emancipated and exultant Republic announce to the 
ages as its everlasting motto : Liberty and Union, now and 
forever, one and inseparable ! Yes, glorious Flag ! borne in 
triumph by heroic legions from the Chesapeake to the Mis- 
sissippi ; from Richmond to Mobile ; thou art at last puri- 
fied of thy stains, and to-day thou proudly floatest over 
"the land of the free," as thou always hast over "the home 
of the brave." 

In conclusion, I congratulate you, my countrymen, on 
the bright portents which are gilding the horizon. Watch- 
man! what of the night? Watchman ! what of the night? 



21 



The watchman saith : The morning cometli ! Peace is near 
at hand. I already feel my cheek fanned with the beating 
of her halcyon wings. All glory be to Thee, Thou Prince 
of Peace ! Thou hast not died in vain. A millennium 
awaits the groaning, travailing creation, more resplendent 
than that which dazzled the eye of England's poet-laureate, 
when, in mystic trance, he 

Dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, 

Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be ; 
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, 
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales ; 
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew 
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue; 
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm, 
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro' the thunder-storm; 
Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd 
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world. 

Then shall dawn that blessed era, foretold by seers of 
every time, and sighed for by holy men of every clime, 
when all men's good shall 

Be each man's rule, and universal Peace 
Lie like a shaft of light across the land, 
And like a lane of beams athwart the sea, 
Through all the circle of the Golden Year. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy 
Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall 
be, world without end ! 



APPENDIX. 



At the request of numerous friends, the Order of Services observed on the 14th inst. is 

subjoined. 



ORDER OF SERVICES. 



I. THE LORD'S PRAYER. 
II. TE DEUM LAUDAMUS. 
III. READING FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES: 

The Triumphal Song of Deborah in Commemoration of the Hebrew 
Victory over the Canaanitish Confederacy, 1300 B. C. 

THE ODE. 

Thus sang Deborah and Barak, Son of Abinoam, 
In the day of victory thus they sang : 

The Prelude. 

For the avenging of Israel, 

For the free self-offering of the people, 

Praise ye Jehovah ! 
Hear, O ye Kings i Give ear, ye Princes 1 
I to Jehovah, even I will lift the song, 
I will sound the harp to Jehovah, God of Israel. 

The Exodus. 

O Jehovah ! when Thou wentest forth from Seir, 
When Thou marchest through the fields of Edom, 
Quaked the earth, and poured the heavens, 
Yea, the clouds poured down with water ; 
Before Jehovah's face the mountains melted, 
Sinai itself before Jehovah's face, 
The God of Israel. 



24 



The Dismay. 

In the days of Shamgar, Son of Anatli, 

In Jael's days, untrodden were the highways; 

Through the winding by-path stole the traveller ; 

Upon the plains lay the deserted hamlets, 
Till I, Deborah, arose, 
Till I arose, a mother in Israel. 

They chose gods that were new ; 

Then war was in all their gates ; 

Shield was there none or spear 

Among forty thousand sons of Israel. 



The Summons. 

My soul is yours, ye chiefs of Israel I 
And ye, the self-devoted of the people, 

Praise Jehovah ! 
Ye that ride on white-dappled she asses, 
Ye that sit to judge on rich carpets, 
Ye that plod in the way, 
Come meditate the song ! 

Prom amidst the shouting of the dividers of the spoils, 
Between the water-troughs and by the springing wells, 
There let them rehearse the righteous acts of Jehovah, 
The righteous acts of His headship in Israel, 
And let the thronged gates repeat the song ! 

Awake, awake, Deborah ! 

Awake, awake, utter a song ! 
Arise, Barak, and lead captive thy captives, 

Thou son of Abinoam I 



The Gathering to the Kendezvous. 

With Barak went down a valiant force against the mighty ; 

"With me, Deborah, went down Jehovah's people against the strong ; 

First : Ephraim, from the Mount of Amalek ; 

And after Ephraim the hosts of Benjamin ; 

From Machir came down lawgivers ; 

From Zebulun those that bear the marshal's staff; 

And Issachar's brave princes came with Deborah, 

Issachar, the strength of Barak ; 

They burst into the valley in his footsteps. 



25 



The Recreants. 

By Reuben's fountains there was deep debating ; 

"Why sattest thou between the sheepfolds ? 

Was it to hear the piping to the flocks ? 

By Reuben's fountains deep were the searchings of the heart 

And Gilead beyond the Jordan lingered ; 

And Dan, why dwelled he among his ships? 

Asher reposed on the shore of the sea, 

And in his harbors dwelt. 

But Zebulun was a death-defying people, 

And Naphtali on the high places of the field. 

The Battle. 

Came the kings and fought, 
Fought the kings of Canaan 
By Taanach, on Megiddo's waters ; 
Gain of silver took they not. 

From the heavens they fought ; 

The stars from their courses 

Fought against Sisera ; 

The torrent Kishon swept them down, 

The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. 

Trample down, my soul, their might ! 

Then stamped the clattering hoofs of prancing horses 

At the flight, at the flight of the mighty. 

The Curse. 

Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of Jehovah ; 
Curse ye with a curse the inhabitants thereof; 
Because they came not to the help of Jehovah, 
To the help of Jehovah, with the heroes ! 

The Avenger. 

Blessed above women be Jael, 

The wife of Heber the Kenite, 

O'er all the women blessed, that dwell in tents ! 

Water he asked, milk she gave, 

The curded milk in her costliest bowl. 

Her hand she stretched out to the tent-pin, 

And her right hand to the hammer of the workmen. 

Then Sisera she smote, she clove his head, 

She bruised, she pierced his temples ; 

Between her feet he bowed : he fell : he lay : 

Between her feet he bowed : he fell : 

Where he bowed, there he fell dead. 



26 



The Mother of Sisera. 

Through the window stretched forth and lamented 
The mother of Sisera through the lattice ; 
" "Why is his car so long in coming ? 
Wherefore tarry the wheels of his chariots ?" 

The wise ones of her princesses answer, 

Yea, she repeats their answer to herself: 

" Surely they are finding, are dividing the prey; 

One damsel, two damsels for each hero ; 

To Sisera prey of divers colors, 

A many-colored robe, and richly broidered, 

Many-colored, and broidered round the neck!" 

The Triumph. 

So perish all Thine enemies, Jehovah ! 

But they that love Thee, 

Are as the sun, when he goes forth in his might. 



IV. SINGING, National HiMif.-" My country, 'tis of thee." 

V. PKAYEK— By Kev. Thomas H. Stockton, D.D. 

VI. SINGING, The Star-Spangled Banner. 

VII. ADDRESS— By the Pastor. 

VIII. SINGING, Battle-Hymn of the Republic. — " Mine eyes have 
seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." 

DOXOLOGY. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, 
Praise Him all creatures here below, 
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host, 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

IX. BENEDICTION— By Rev. J. Newton Brown, D.D. 



" %$lM, thou ^pendulum b$xM a $mjk and 2ta|. J 



DEATH, THE LAW OF LIFE. 



A DISCOURSE, 



DELIVERED ON THE SUNDAY MORNING AFTER THE 



MURDER OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN, 



IN THE MEETING-HOUSE OF THE 



FIKST BAPTIST CHUKCH OF PHILADELPHIA, 



April 16, 1865. 



BY THE 

Reverend George Dana Boardman, 

PASTOR. 


PHILADELPHIA: 

SHERMAN & CO., PRINTERS. 

1865. 



DISCOURSE. 



What a day, or rather night, is this, my countrymen ! 
How intolerable the burden that crushes us ! What ! 
Abraham Lincoln dead ? The idol of his countrymen, 
the true, the pure, the good, the loving, the heroic, the 
great-souled father of his people dead, murdered, gone 
away from us forevermore ? God ! We cannot bear 
it ! How can I stand here with this great grief so fresh 
in my heart, and discourse to you about it ? It seems 
almost like sacrilege to attempt it to-day. On another 
and more appropriate occasion, when my thoughts are 
calmer and more orderly, I will offer my tribute to him 
who lies on the nation's bier. This morning I ask you 
to pass from the darkened chamber of a personal grief 
into a broader and serener temple, where the quivering 
chords of our hearts may lose somewhat of this painful 
tenseness, and where considerations of a more general 
and impersonal nature may raise the soul to loftier and 
calmer heights. May the Father of consolation help 
us while we ponder those words of the Redeemer, 
which are recorded in the twenty-fourth verse of the 
twelfth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John : 

" Verily, verily, I say unto you : except a com of wheat 



32 

fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it 
bringeth forth much fruit. ' ' 

I. Thoughtless or dull must that man's spirit be 
which does not feel a quickening influence in these 
spring days of vegetative activity. He need not visit 
some great farm, or forest, in order to be assured of the 
wonderful transformations going on in nature around 
him. If he have but a single tree growing by his win- 
dow, or a single rose-bush, or a square foot of grass-plat 
in his yard, he may discover, if he will, evidences of an 
activity as intense and wonderful in its way as when a 
nation is engaged in the shock of arms. Look abroad 
to-day on the vegetable kingdom around you. What 
stupendous energies are at work, upheaving the soil, 
draining the underground reservoirs of a continent, 
throwing the whole atmosphere of earth into commo- 
tion, supplying the waste of animal expenditure by 
vegetable growth, and carrying on that sublime para- 
dox of compensation in nature which preserves equi- 
librium by means of perturbations ! But not only are 
great transformations going on. Observe, also, the 
intense life everywhere prevalent. All nature is in- 
stinct with the most vigorous vitality. An exuberance 
of vital force is everywhere exhibited, from the loftiest 
pine to the tiniest lichen. Behold the bursting seed, 
the protruding shoots, the opening leaves, the unfold- 
ing buds of spring! Whence all this abounding life? 
Next autumn you will put your hand to the sickle, and 



33 

reap the golden ears. But whence will come your 
glorious crop ? Ah ! the law of the harvest is death. 
" Except a kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die, 
it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much 
fruit." It is because the seeds you plant in spring are 
dying that your fields in autumn will be white to the 
harvest. 

My heart is awed within me when I think 
Of the great miracle that still goes on, 
In silence, round me, — the perpetual work 
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed 
Forever. ***** 
Lo ! all grow old and die ; but see again, 
How on the faltering footsteps of decay 
Youth presses, — ever gay and beautiful youth 
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees 
Wave not less proudly than their ancestors 
Moulder beneath them. * * * 

Life mocks the idle hate 
Of his arch enemy Death, — yea, seats himself 
Upon the tyrant's throne, — the sepulchre, 
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe 
Makes his own nourishment. 

II. The like principle holds in the animal kingdom. 
The life of the body depends on the destruction of its 
own material. No part of an organism or living me- 
chanism can act without wearing away. Every action 
of the organism, whether in motion that is voluntary or 
involuntary, whether in emotion or volition, involves 
attrition, the wasting away, the absolute loss and death 
of animal material. The processes of life are at the 
same time the processes of death. The condition, the 
law of physical life, is physical death. 

3 



34 

This, then, is the grand law of life that prevails in the 
physical world, whether vegetable or animal. Death 
must precede life. Death is the source, or, rather, the 
means of life. The death of the seed is the law of the 
harvest. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a 
kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth 
alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." 

Now, this multiplication of the seed through its own 
death our Lord uses as a most significant parable and 
lesson. As in the physical world, so in the spiritual : 
Death must precede Life. Growth comes through decay; 
glory through disgrace; joy through woe; peace through 
war ; victory through defeat ; life through death. 

III. Observe how this principle holds true of the Son 
of God Himself. He could not, as the Son of Man, be- 
come perfect except through suffering. In fact, this is 
the primary and very particular application of the para- 
ble of the kernel of wheat dying, as our Lord Himself 
set it forth. While discoursing in the temple on the 
Wednesday before He died, message was brought to 
Him that certain Greek proselytes were waiting in the 
outer court to see Him. They were Gentiles, who had 
given in adhesion to some of the tenets of Judaism. 
They had heard of His fame, and of the triumphal 
entry which He had just made into the City of the 
Great King. And now they themselves being in Jeru- 
salem to attend the Passover, they wished to see the 
illustrious Stranger for themselves, and learn by per- 
sonal acquaintance whether He were the Saviour their 



35 

own hearts so sighed for. Deeply moved by this touch- 
ing request of these Gentile proselytes, our Lord accedes 
to their wish. In their hearing He reveals, by means of 
this exquisite similitude we are considering this morn- 
ing, that Messiah's glory was to come through Messiah's 
shame; Messiah's triumph through Messiah's defeat; 
Messiah's throne through Messiah's grave. The kernel 
of wheat abideth alone, unless it decay and die. It is 
only by decaying and dying that it adds to itself, and 
brings forth fruit. Just here, men and brethren, does 
this death of the kernel stand forth as a most wonderful 
shadow of Christ's work. For the Son of Man died 
that He might rise again a spiritual harvest of regene- 
rate humanity. So long as Jesus remained on earth 
without dying, the Divine life was confined to Himself: 
He abided alone. It was only when He cast off, in dying, 
the earthly integument, that liberty of growth became 
possible. And when, at length, the harvest time shall 
come, Jesus will be found, like the kernel of corn, 
which, having died, has passed through its stages, first 
the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, to 
be no longer " alone" but to have " brought forth much 
fruit." The people, whose sins He had borne on the 
accursed tree, will be gathered into the heavenly gar- 
ner, as the mighty harvest of the travail of His soul. 
The heavenly seed was sown in the grouud, and died, 
that it might evolve itself into a mighty increment, and 
display itself in the glorious blossom and fruitage of 
redeemed humanity. Verily, as He Himself said to the 



36 



Gentiles that sought His presence, the hour of His 
death was the hour of His life ; the hour of His defeat 
in crucifixion the hour of His triumph in redemption. 

IV. Observe, again, how this principle holds true of 
man in all the deeper aspects of his nature. If the 
Captain of our salvation could not be made perfect 
except through suffering, how can He lead forth His 
many sons unto glory, unless they, too, tread in the same 
path of sorrow and agony ? Oh, no ! It is a law just as 
universal and inexorable in the kingdom of moral 
growth as in that of vegetable, that the spirit, like the 
seed, shall die before it can live. Let no human being 
think he can gather in his heavenly harvest till he has 
passed through trial, disaster, and death. And, in fact, 
the very next words which our Lord utters, after deliver- 
ing this parable of the dying kernel, and as if in expla- 
nation of it, are these: "He that loveth his life shall lose 
it ; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep 
it unto life eternal." In other words, man's spirit must 
undergo a certain sort of decay and dissolution, must 
pass through what the world calls ignominy and defeat, 
before it can be quickened into the new life, and enter 
on the fruitions of a bright eternity. Glance now at some 
illustrations of this principle as applied to man's spi- 
ritual nature. 

1. Look, for instance, at the prime doctrine of Re- 
generation. What, in fact, is the great mystery of the 
New Birth but the decease of the spirit, — the old man 
dying, that it may rise again the new man and the 



37 

better? Ah ! there are some of you present who know 
experimentally what this parable of the dying seed 
means as applied to the great fact of conversion. There 
was a time when you, dear child of God, died. There 
was a decay of earthly hopes and prospects, of earthly 
devices and methods of salvation; and such were the 
bitterness of your remorse, and the depth of your peni- 
tence, and the agony of your spirit, that, in very truth, 
in being born again, in being quickened by the vitaliz- 
ing energies of the Holy Ghost, you passed through 
what may indeed be called the pangs of dissolution. 

2. So, too, does our parable explain the meaning 
and the ministry of affliction. There must be a bruis- 
ing of the spirit — a lacerating, tearing away of the 
tendrils that cling to earthly props — a blighting and 
decay of the fondest hopes and plans — an utter abase- 
ment of pride and self-confidence — a painful breaking 
down of the will — a dying agony of spirit, before the 
soul can multiply its powers into any glorious harvest. 
It is only when we are weak that we are strong. Oh, 
think it not strange, then, my friend, that you, who 
have tried to walk humbly before your God, have been 
called to pass through such fiery trials. Ask that 
mighty oak, which has triumphantly breasted the whirl- 
winds of centuries, how he became so colossal and 
strong; and he will answer you, that once he was but 
a little acorn, lying idle on the soil, and the heedless 
foot of a bounding deer tramped it beneath the sod; 
and then it decayed and died, and its greatness and its 



38 

glory date from its death. Think it not strange, then, 
that yon should endure trial and sorrow, and die years 
before your body reaches the grave ; for it is the law of 
the spiritual harvest. Xo man can become spiritually 
great till he has spiritually died. The only way to the 
heavenly crown is from the earthly cross. 

V. The same principle is applicable to nations. So 
far as mortal penetration can go, God's universal method 
of governing is this : Growth through decay ; victory 
through defeat; life through death. And nations are 
no exceptions. It is not possible that a nation should 
achieve true greatness except through the discipline of 
defeat, and the throes of a mortal agony. It is the law of 
growth and establishment. There are no Christians like 
those who have been tried in the fires of affliction. And 
there are no nations which attain such true majesty of 
character as those which successfully burst through the 
avenues of disaster and spiritual, heartfelt dissolution. 

Here, then, in this terrific war, in the desolations of 
our homesteads, in the occasional disasters and humili- 
ations of the battle-field, and specially in this crushing 
blow which fell on us yesterday morning, do I discover 
evidences of the Father's loving-kindness. For, I do not 
believe, what many persons seem to imagine, that all 
our disasters are wholly to be traced to human agency. 
Could Ave lift up the curtain which conceals God's plan 
of guiding this nation, I believe that we should discover 
that He had employed a system of providential arrests 
and clogs, which should hamper and sometimes sud- 



39 

denly balk some of our best-laid schemes. I believe 
tbis, not because our national history is an exception to 
God's general method of administering human affairs, 
but because it is in harmony with it. The observant 
reader, whether of biography or of history, must have 
been impressed with the fact that God not only governs 
the affairs of men and of nations, but also often advances 
their best interests by confounding their wisest counsels, 
and suddenly tripping up their most promising schemes. 
It is most unsagacious, then, to say the least of it, to 
conclude that every national disaster, whether in the 
cabinet, the Congress, or the field, is to be traced solely 
to human agency. To do this, is to take a practically 
atheistic view of the great campaign. ISTo ! God, as the 
Providential Disposer of incidents, can very easily find 
some method by which to defeat us, and yet we be 
utterly mistaken in assigning the cause of defeat. And 
this I believe He has repeatedly done in our national 
history, specially in the conduct of this war, our gene- 
rals themselves being as much mistaken as to the 
source of the defeat as we were. And, however broad 
in statesmanship we may be, or energetic in purpose, 
or profound in strategy, or heroic in the field, I believe 
that God will continue, ever and anon, to balk suddenly, 
in some way for the present misunderstood by us, our 
most consummate schemes, till the national heart feels 
at its very core that the Lord God of Hosts is the real 
ruler of America, and that President, Secretary of State, 
general, soldier, citizen, is strong only as Almighty God 



40 

stoops down from His throne, and helps him to be 
strong. And this is the way our God is teaching us. 
Our wisest thinkers are but as blind men groping after 
light and an open way. And the blessed thing is that 
the dear God has taken 'our poor, stricken, pall-clad 
nation into His own hands, bringing the blind by a way 
that they knew not, leading them in paths that they 
have not known, hedging up their way with briers, 
making a wall that they should not find the paths, allur- 
ing them into the wilderness, that He may at last speak 
comfortably unto them, and open for them in the Valley 
of Achor a door of hope. 

Glance, now, at some of the blessed fruits which the 
dying of the nation has already y ielded. 

1. See, for instance, how the calamities of this war 
have tended to reveal us unto ourselves. Prosperity is 
a miserable school for self-knowledge. But adversity 
has a wonderful self-revealing power. The nation un- 
derstands itself a great deal better than it did four years 
ago. We have not the same overweening vanity that 
made us so ridiculous in the opening of this appalling 
struggle. Very different is the national feeling to-day 
from what it was on that eventful Sunday morning in 
July, 1861, when our army so recklessly and vain-glori- 
ously marched to the field of Bull Run, and almost 
every paper in the North positively predicted an easy 
victory, which should decide beyond cavil or peradven- 
ture, the issue of the war. We understand ourselves 
better now. We are more humble. We feel more 



41 

keenly our dependence on God for the happy issue of 
the struggle. Hence, when victory perches on our ban- 
ner, as when Richmond fell and Lee surrendered, in- 
stead of rending the air with our boastful and atheis- 
tic huzzas, as was our wont over our earlier successes, 
we now instinctively gather together in reverent prayer 
and adoration, and the song that swells on our lips, as 
was the case before Independence Hall and in Wall 
Street, is the Doxology to the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. Our growing self-knowledge, learned in 
the school of adversity, is gradually driving the nation 
nearer and nearer to Him " from whom all blessings 
flow." And self-knowledge is one of the grand elements 
of real greatness. The self-revealing power of suffering 
is making us humbler, and, therefore, greater. For he 
that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Thus does the 
dying seed unfold into the golden harvest. 

2. Another blessed fruit of this desolating Avar, and 
specially of the awful tragedy which is ensanguining its 
final act, is, that it has thrown us out of the benumbing 
routine of stiffening habits and tendencies, thus limber- 
ing us afresh to the manifold purposes of Divine Provi- 
dence. We need, specially as a young, growing nation, 
still in its formative stage, to be every little while pow- 
erfully agitated, lest we become paralyzed through 
sheer monotony of action and sentiment. Uninter- 
rupted prosperity produces the same effect on nations 
that it does on individuals; it tends to stunt the growth, 
weaken the capacity, debase the nobility. Of all calami- 



42 

ties, considered as affecting those who have capacity for 
growth, nothing is more fatal than simple stagnation. 
It is a great blessing to be convulsed and dislodged, 
whenever our wheels have worn so deep as to preclude 
liberty of diversion. God's law for powers is progress ; 
and progress can take place only at the cost of convul- 
sions and throes. Every new crystallization implies a 
previous commotion and effervescence. Better for the 
human spirit all the commotions of change than the 
numb palsies of monotony. 

Better men should perish, one hy one, 
Than that earth should stand at gaze, like Joshua's moon in Ajalon ! 
Through the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day : 
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay ! 

But aside from its being essential to progress, it is ah 
admirable thing to have the national heart ever and 
anon profoundly stirred ; for it is thus made sensitive 
to the quickening and plastic influences of the Spirit of 
God. Calamities tend to make the human spirit flexi- 
ble, limbering and adjusting it to the movements of the 
Divine. Surveyed from this point of view, the arousal 
of the national sensibility is of inestimable value. It is 
good, and I say it in the presence of these sad, funereal 
emblems, that a great tide of pathos should ever and 
anon sweep over a people. In this view, the desolations 
and bereavements of this war, and, specially the awful 
calamity before which the nation now stands aghast, are, 
under God's providence, a perturbing, loosening force, 
knocking away the bolts that imprisoned the soul, and 



" 43 

letting into its opened chambers and corridors the win- 
nowing, gladdening gales of the Spirit. Accordingly, I 
expect that, when the immediate, turbulent excitements 
of this assassination and of the war, as a whole, are over, 
a profound religious awakening will pervade the coun- 
try. I confidently look for greater triumphs of Messiah 
than those which were won after the terrible financial 
commotions of 1857. The national heart has been 
touched and laid bare by the finger of Almighty God, 
and the lacerated organism will be sensitive to the Di- 
vine Breath. Brethren in Jesus ! This is your hour 
with God ! Be ye princes with Him, and prevail ! 

3. Still another fruit of this devastating scourge, is 
the development of the nation's true nobility, ^ever 
does a man know the force or grandeur that is in him, 
till some mighty calamity or passion has revealed his 
soul. Viewed in this light, war, terrible scourge as it 
is, has its gains as well as its losses. Oh, no ! The na- 
tions cannot live, much less grow, without the severe, 
but quickening and unfolding discipline of this terrible 
thing. The nation's heart must die before it can blos- 
som in beauty, or multiply its powers in harvest. And 
what a harvest of spiritual magnificence has the national 
suffering and death already yielded! What outbursts 
of generosity have there been ! "WTiat floods of sacred, 
lofty sensibility have surged over the land! What 
splendors of heroism have lighted up the firmament, 
grandly illustrating (may I reverently say?) Jehovah's 
sublime law of vicarious suffering ! Even the seed dies 



44 

vicariously in order to the harvest. What a magnificent 
hecatomb has been the nation's offering, not by com- 
pulsion, not in superstition, but in solemn, rational, 
heroic joy ! This mighty army, not of conscripts, but 
to so very large extent, of volunteers, has not only 
offered itself; it has been silently offered by count- 
less hidden hearts quite as heroic ; by wives, mothers, 
sisters, lovers ! Oh, I thank the Lord of heaven and 
earth, that He hath so woven the web of the nations as 
to permit the American people to set before the ages 
the grandest human illustration the world has ever wit- 
nessed of that sublime principle which seems to pervade 
the universe, and which lies as the very corner-stone 
of Redemption, — Vicarious Sacrifice ! 

4. I have been speaking of the application of this 
principle, life through death, to nations. Let me bring 
this point still nearer home, even to these bleeding 
hearts of ours that as yet refuse to be comforted. The 
richly kerneled and tasselled stalk springs from the 
death of the solitary seed. Even so, the nation's tri- 
umph and greatness may spring from Abraham Lin- 
coln's death. Had he been permitted to live till the 
term of his great office had expired, and, afterwards, in 
a green old age, to die amidst the tranquillities of his Illi- 
nois home, he would still have been the glorious noble- 
man that God crowned him in his birth ; but he might 
have abided alone, fructifying into no national harvest. 
We should still have revered him, as we revere all of 
God's great ones ; but no nation would have been born 



45 

of him. But when, beneath the sufferance of an inscru- 
table Providence, the assassin's bullet laid him low, the 
glorious seed died, that it might no longer abide alone, 
but bring forth much fruit. Even here, in the cause of 
Liberty, as in the cause of the Church, it shall be found 
that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Repub- 
lic. Take courage, then, my countrymen : for even now 
I see springing from the tear-wet bier of Abraham Lin- 
coln the green and tender blades which foretell the 
birth of an emancipated, united, triumphant, trans- 
figured, immortal Republic. Even so, Father! For 
thus it seemed good in Thy sight \ 



n WLtmxtxhm. 



QZJ 



AN ADDRESS 



IN COMMEMORATION OF 



Abraham Lincoln, 

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 



DELIVERED IN THE MEETING-HOUSE 

OF THE 

|irst §aptist €\}\m\ at fpaMpjp, 

ON THE DAY OF HIS FUNERAL AT THE NATIONAL CAPITAL, 

APRIL 19, 1865. 

BY THE 

Reverend George Dana Boardman, 



PHILADELPHIA: 

SHBEMAN & CO., PEINTEES. 
1865. 



ADDRESS. 



How different this scene, my countrymen, from that 
which was witnessed last Friday morning within these 
walls!* Then all was gladness and triumph and festal 
song and gay festoon. Now all is grief and apprehen- 
sion and requiem and ebon drapery. Why this awful 
change ? "Why this universal suspension of business, 
this awful stillness of the cities and the hamlets? Why, 
if men appear in the streets, do they walk with slow 
and measured tread, their hearts failing them through 
fear, and a grief more crushing than fear ? Why from 
countless spires toll the funereal bells? Why from fort 
and arsenal and camp and military academy and navy- 
yard and man-of-war mournfully boom the half-hour 
guns ? Why, from the Golden Gate in the far-off West 
to the St. Croix, aye, to British Newfoundland in the 
far off East, from every flagstaff and window and bal- 
cony and colonnade, from car and engine and steed, 
float the funereal emblems, fluttering like the ebon 
wings of countless death-birds? Why this darkness 
that has fallen on all the land, a darkness so thick that 

* This allusion is to the festive services in commemoration of the 
re-establishment of the national flag at Fort Sumter, April 14. 



52 

it may be felt? Why this cry that goes up from every 
hearthstone, a universal, piercing cry, such as there was 
none ever like it, nor can be like it any more? It is 
because there is not a house in all the land in which 
there is not one dead. The nation's Father has been 
struck down in all his gentle kingliness. And we could 
almost ask the very sky to quench its too bright sun, 
and come down to meet our anguish, closing around 
and enshrouding in its celestial pall the mighty heart 
that lies so still and cold and dead. O God ! help us to 
be strong to-day as we gaze on Abraham Lincoln lying 
dead on the nation's bier ! 

I cannot, stricken countrymen, speak long to you to- 
day. I trusted, last Sunday, when I gave the announce- 
ment for this occasion, that, ere this, I should have 
regained sway over myself. But in preparing for this 
solemn hour I have felt the same indescribable stupefac- 
tion that I felt on that dreadful Saturday morning. For 
an hour or two after I read the curdling tale, I felt such 
a strangeness as I never had felt before, and as I pray 
God I may never feel again. I felt no anger, not even 
sadness. I read the awful intelligence over and over 
and over again; and still it hardly affected me more 
than if I had never read it at all. And thus an hour or 
two passed on, in which, like thousands of my country- 
men, the soul itself seemed benumbed. And though 
subsequently the horrible stupefaction passed away, to 
be succeeded by most poignant bitterness of soul, yet, 
in endeavoring to arrange my thoughts for this dreaded 



53 

occasion, I have felt the same stupefying, freezing hor- 
ror creeping over me again. It seems to me that brain, 
heart, pen, are paralyzed. Instead of attempting to say 
aught to-day, I feel like escaping from the presence of 
my fellow-men into some secluded forest-dell, where I 
may breathe out a sorrow too sacred for words. All I 
can do is to bring the briefest tribute, and reverently 
lay it, amidst the dew of your tears, at the feet of the 
mighty dead. 

Abraham Lincoln was born of respectable parentage 
in Kentucky, February 12, 1809. In 1816, his parents 
removed to Indiana, where in their new home Abraham 
spent the next ten years in hard manual labor on his 
father's farm. The only school education which he 
ever received was that which he obtaiued at intervals 
during this time, amounting in the aggregate to about 
a year. In 1830 he removed with his father to Illinois, 
and in the following year was employed as one of the 
hands in navigating a flat-boat down the Mississippi to 
New Orleans. On the breaking out of the Black Hawk 
war, in 1832, he served his country for three months as 
the captain of a volunteer company. On his return he 
began the study of law, to which he devoted himself 
with most persistent assiduity. In 1834 he was elected 
to the legislature by the highest vote cast for any candi- 
date in the State, which position he held for six years 
in virtue of consecutive re-elections. Meanwhile he had 
removed to the capital of the State, where he rapidly 



54 

rose to great distinction as an advocate in jury trials. 
In 1846, at the age of 37, Illinois sent him as one of her 
representatives at Washington. His Congressional ca- 
reer was marked by a scrupulous devotion to the duties 
of his office, by an inflexible adherence to principle, by a 
generous, intelligent sympathy with all measures of re- 
form, among which I may particularly mention the reso- 
lution which he offered, on January 16, 1849, for the abo- 
lition of slavery in the District of Columbia, on what he 
conceived to be a constitutional basis. After the expira- 
tion of his Congressional term, he applied himself ar- 
dently to his profession till that dark deed, the Repeal 
of the Missouri Compromise, called him again into the 
political arena. He was immediately acknowledged as 
one of the most prominent political leaders in the State. 
In 1858 he was unanimously nominated by his party as 
candidate for United States Senator in opposition to 
Judge Douglas. You have not forgotten how these 
two remarkable men canvassed the State together, with 
what extraordinary ability and courtesy the debate was 
conducted on both sides, and how profound an interest 
the canvass excited throughout the Union. The result 
of this contest was, that though Mr. Lincoln received 
a popular majority of four thousand votes, yet Mr. 
Douglas was elected Senator by the joint ballot of the 
legislature. On May 18, 1860, he was unanimously 
nominated by the Republican National Convention a 
candidate for President, which nomination was rati- 
fied by the people on November 6, and, on the 4th of 



55 

« 

March, 1861, having succeeded in reaching Washington 
in spite of the most desperate obstacles to prevent it, 
was inaugurated the sixteenth President of the United 
States. At twenty minutes past four o'clock on the 
morning of April 12, 1861, the grand conspiracy in- 
augurated civil war in America by opening the fire of 
one hundred and forty guns on Fort Sumter, Major 
Robert Anderson commanding. Who needs to have 
the tale, henceforth so harrowing, repeated ? It is 
enough to think of the dead President, without dwell- 
ing on the intervening years of mingled woe and glory. 
One event, indeed, must be specialized; for it overtops 
all the other great events of this unparalleled epoch, 
as towered the Olympian Jove above the lesser gods of 
the Grecian heaven. Your own swelling hearts have 
anticipated me when I tell you that it was the Eman- 
cipation Proclamation of January 1st, 1863. Without 
particularizing further, it is enough to say, that in the 
terrific and long-continued tornado which burst upon 
the country on the bombardment of Sumter, when- 
ever the ship of state plunged most wildly amidst 
the engulfing billows, or grated most heavily on the 
foundering reefs, or echoed most hoarsely with the 
shrieks of the despairing, one man there was who ever 
walked her deck with quiet intrepidity, his great heart 
ever true and trustful, his clear brain ever vigilant 
and wide-sweeping, his strong hand ever un trembling, 
towering, placid and imperial, like Neptune's brow, 
above the white foam, and smiling it into peace. After 



56 

a canvass of unexampled intensity, throughout which 
he preserved the same calm beauty of soul, he was, on 
the 8th of November, 1864, re-elected President of the 
United States by an almost unprecedented electoral 
majority; and on the 4th of March, 1865, he reassumed 
the executive functions in an Inaugural of most impres- 
sive yet gentlest majesty. On the 14th of April, 1865, 
the national flag was by his command re-uplifted on the 
ramparts of Sumter, as a symbol of the re-establishment 
of the national sovereignty throughout the Republic; 
and on the evening of that memorable day the kingliest 
man that ever breathed the air of the "Western hemi- 
sphere was laid low by a bullet thrice accursed, for it 
was sped by an assassin, a traitor, and a slavery wor- 
shipper. 

Such, in briefest terms, is an outline of the career of 
America's foremost son. What more can be said as we 
gather in tearful reverence around his bier ? Without 
distinction of lineage, he gained a distinction which no 
lineage could give. Born among and as one of the 
common people, he ever retained, amidst a courtliness 
of power which European dynasties a thousand years 
old might envy, a fellow-feeling with the common 
people, by his own inherent greatness rising to be their 
typal aggregate, embodiment, and symbol. But pass- 
ing over those years of boyish poverty and struggle, 
and also the years of youthful brain and will endeavor, 
and conquest too, let us gaze on him when, in the ma- 



57 

turity of his powers, he wields a sceptre more august 
than that of Roman Caesar. It is difficult to form a just 
estimate of his character; for, its vast proportions are 
lost in its extraordinary symmetry. For, as in entering 
for the first time St. Peter's basilica at Rome, you are 
disappointed, because the grandeur of outline is melted 
and lost in the exquisite adaptation of detail, so to the 
thoughtless observer the character of the late President 
seems less great than it really was, because lost in its 
perfect equipoise and rounded globe. But let us pro- 
ceed with our attempt at delineation. The historian to 
be born a hundred years hence will, I judge, say of 
Abraham Lincoln something as follows. 

He was not a man lustrously . brilliant in any one 
direction. No one faculty of brain markedly towered 
over another. But he was none the less great in that 
his greatness was so rounded, having less the transient 
dazzle of the meteor than the steady quiet sparkle of 
the fixed star. His logic was intuitive rather than ten- 
tative, instinctive rather than elaborative. He was wont 
to come to his conclusions less by the laborious row- 
ings of his reason than by the unconscious floatings of 
his instinctive, inborn shrewdness and sagacity. Hence 
the facility with which he detected the pivotal point in 
any question, however complex. Hence the ease and 
precision with which he led the people to catch the 
same point, leading them directly thither by the avenue 
of a diction which, however peculiar and homely, was 



58 

as straightforward and pellucid as his own judgment. 
Hence, also, it was that he so rarely made mistakes. 
Hence it was that every public act or plan of his, how- 
ever wide-spread or intense the execration with which it 
was first received, was sure, sooner or later, to win the 
applauding verdict of the people. Guided thus by a 
system of well-nigh infallible instincts, by which he 
knew what he ought to do, and when to do it, and how 
to do it, he might well have taken as his own motto the 
heraldic bearing of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, Nulla 
vestigia retrorsum. 

But because the instinct of the late President was in- 
tuitive rather than ratiocinative, it does not follow that 
he was not intellectually great ; for as, according to the 
profounder theologians, the intuitive John was greater 
than the syllogistic Paul, so, it seems to me, that Mr. 
Lincoln, intellectually surveyed, stands in the very first 
rank of those who have, in either hemisphere, wielded 
the sceptre. He had an unusually comprehensive mind, 
taking in at a glance all the aspects of the most many- 
sided question, almost always coming unerringly to a 
conclusion, when an inferior and less spherical mind 
would have been puzzled and paralyzed by a seeming 
contradiction, as, for instance, when a social or a poli- 
tical necessity is balanced by a legal or constitutional 
difficulty, or when a pressing moral obligation is offset 
by a present practical impossibility. Seeing all sides of 
a question, and intuitively just, he was enabled to equate 
the problem, thus steering the ship of state safely be- 



59 

tween the Charybdis of fanatic propulsion and the 
Scylla of timorous procrastination. The highest eulogy 
that can he pronounced on the intellectual character of 
a ruler, in times of great civil convulsion, is that it is his 
policy to have no policy, content with keeping his ship 
trim as he permits her to sweep downwards with the 
precipitous torrent. That eulogy the late President de- 
serves beyond any ruler the world has seen. 

And yet Mr. Lincoln was not wanting in executive 
force. Because he made no pretensions to special firm- 
ness, and vaunted not his purposes, people at first 
imagined that he was irresolute. But as time rolled 
on we began to see that beneath that mild, unassuming 
exterior lay an imperial will, that serenely swayed all 
who came in contact with him, however high in the 
military or executive councils of the nation they stood ; 
and yet so quiet was this sway that they hardly knew 
that the sceptre was over them. Observe the modest 
assurance with which he rules the Secretary of State 
and the Lieutenant-General, placidly reserving to him- 
self every ultimate responsibility. Nor was his inflexi- 
bility less than his force. All the powers of earth could 
not drive him to take a step till he thought it was right; 
and when convinced that it was right, all the powers of 
earth could not prevent his taking it. And all this, 
too, was without the slightest ostentation. Like a wire- 
bridge across a mountain gorge, he could sway to the 
softest zephyr, yet, like the same wire-bridge, the whirl- 
wind could not uproot him. 



60 

Gifted with this intellectual judgment so instinc- 
tively infallible, and this gentle steadfastness of will, 
the late President blended with it a moral nature re- 
markably pure, keen, sensitive, and controlling. He 
was the very soul of integrity. It were as much as a 
man's liberty, certainly more than his expectations, 
were worth, to enter the presence of Abraham Lincoln 
with either flattery, threat, or bribe. Himself as trans- 
parent as crystal, he loathed whatever was refractive or 
opaque. He was absolutely incorruptible. Shrewd be- 
yond most men, his shrewdness was the clear, piercing 
vision of a clean, single heart, that knew not how to 

Spread its sails 
With 'vantage to the gale of others' passions. 

Conscious of personal integrity, self-reliant, constitu- 
tionally genial, having an abiding faith in the instinct 
and persistence of the people as a corporate whole, as- 
sured of the justice of the majestic cause, and having a 
deep confidence in the overruling and merciful God, he 
was enabled to retain, in hours of darkest gloom, a 
cheerfulness of spirit, which often found vent in broad- 
est and most grotesque humors. I doubt not that this 
constitutional blithesomeness of soul was one of the ele- 
ments which contributed to the preservation of his life 
beneath the most crushing responsibilities that ever fell 
on man. And amidst all these distracting, hardening, 
shrivelling cares, he ever retained the same freshness 
and tenderness of soul. While just and kind to all, he 



61 

was, to the very last, in a special sense, the poor man's 
friend. And among all those who weep over his un- 
timely death, the chief mourners of the land, next to 
the members of his own family, are the sable millions 
whom his own hand had set free. I honestly believe 
that there never trod the earth a more sympathetic, 
unselfish, large-hearted, forgiving man than he. What- 
ever filled up the vast circumference of that soul, the 
thought of Abraham Lincoln's own self was no occu- 
pant of it. By one of those spontaneous consents of the 
people, which spring up only on the soil of truth, he 
was instinctively styled Father Abraham. He was in- 
deed the father of the whole American people, from the 
St. Lawrence to the Mexican Gulf, and he lived only in 
his children. For them, east and west, north and south, 
loyal and insurgent, he lived, and prayed, and schemed, 
and toiled, taxing every power of his clear and compre- 
hending brain, and every sensibility of his delicate and 
boundless heart, I know not whether he was a Chris- 
tian. The All-seeing alone knows that. Accounts, 
however, of his devotional habits have occasionally 
reached us too well-authenticated to be set aside. Cer- 
tainly he had a deep and abiding sense of the holy au- 
thority of God, and an inspiring confidence in His mer- 
ciful providence. I could have wished, indeed, that 
since he must fall, he had fallen elsewhere, engaged in 
a purer service, which had some " relish of salvation 
iu't." But let that glide into oblivion. It is the solitary 
cloud that flecked the expanse of his public career. 



62 

If ever mortal obeyed "Wolsey's dying counsel, it was 
Abraham Lincoln : 

Cromwell ! I charge thee fling away ambition ; 

By that sin fell the angels ; how can man, then, 

The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't? 

Love thyself last ; cherish those hearts that hate thee ; 

Corruption wins not more than honesty. 

Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace, 

To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not ! 

Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy Country's, 

Thy God's and Truth's ! Then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell ! 

Thou fall'st a blessed martyr ! 



And this is the man so augustly rich in the elements 
of an exalted manhood, who has suddenly been stricken 
down, not by an adventurous invader from a foreign 
soil, seeking to avenge his own nationality; not by a 
reckless highwayman, who must needs replenish his 
empty purse ; not by a staggering madman, crazed by 
his potations; but by an American desperado, who, 
whether the appointed and duly certified organ of con- 
spirators or not, it matters little, is nevertheless the 
actual summation and type of that slaveholding power, 
which, rather than lose its grasp on the sable chattels 
made in God's image, after His likeness, has been will- 
ing to drench a continent in fratricidal blood. Oh, 
what a type and symbol of this whole insurrectionary 
movement of the South, this assassination of President 
Lincoln has been ! If ever the genius of suicide took 
upon itself the impersonation of a human form, it was 
when this colossal slaveholding conspiracy was epito- 



63 

mized and became incarnate in the person of the dia- 
bolical miscreant, whose only passport to immortality is, 
that, when the martyr President fell, his descending 
shadow fell on him, and set his name in blackness of 
darkness forever more. And yet, were a merciful Om- 
nipotence to restore "to life the dead President, I doubt 
not that though some of us may at first have interpreted 
the voice of his blood, like that of the world's first 
martyr by the gates of Eden, as a cry for vengeance, yet, 
when those gentle lips moved again, we should hear a 
voice, which, like the sweet cadence that softly billowed 
the air on the first Good Friday, speaketh better things 
than that of Abel. And I believe that even to-day there 
are thousands of penitent ones in those desolated South- 
ern homes, whose rebellious pride has been subdued by 
this awful parricide, and who, were the privilege allowed 
them, would come and 

Kiss dead Caesar's wounds, 
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood ; 
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, 
And, dying, mention it within their wills, 
Bequeathing it as richest legacy 
Unto their issue. 

Yes, it shall be said of the martyred President as was 
said three thousand years ago of the grand old Hebrew 
judge and patriot, " The dead which he slew at his death 
were more than they which he slew in his life." 

My countrymen ! I have woven my garland, simple 
and unworthy as it is, and hung it on the bier. It is 



64 

scarce fitting to linger longer. For even now the sad 
cortege lias begun to move which shall bear to his last 
sleeping-place all that is mortal of the martyr statesman, 
patriot, emancipator, and friend. And as in the days of 
King Joash, when the body of the dead Israelite, on 
being let down into the sepulchre of Elisha, and on 
touching the bones of the mighty prophet, was revived 
and stood on its feet again, so may God grant that as 
the nation's dead heart reverently touches to-day the 
dead heart of the great patriot, it may be quickened into 
life again, and stand before the astonished nations in all 
the strength and splendor of a new-born majesty ! 

Yes ! move on in majestic state to thy Illinois tomb, 
amidst the bowing ranks of a weeping nation, thou 
illustrious martyr for us all ! Thy dead, murdered 
corse is the watchword, and, with God's grace, the 
victor psean of an emancipated, chastened, glorified 
Republic ! 



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