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Full text of "Evil its own destroyer : A discourse delivered before the united societies of the Congregational and Baptist churches at the Congregational church in the city of East Saginaw, April 19th, 1865, on the occasion of the death of President Abraham Lincoln"

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Pastor of the First Baptist Churcft, East Saginaw, Mich. 


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Pastor of the First Baptist Church, East Saginaw. Mich. 

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East Saginaw, April 19th, 1865. 
Rev. H. L. Morehouse: 

Dear Sir: — We, the subscribers, having listened with deep 

interest to the Discourse you this day delivered on the occasion of the death 

of our lamented President, Abrau'am Lincoln, and believing that the truths 

and principles therein expressed are such as should be known and read in 

every household in this Valley, respectfully request that at your earliest 

convenience you will furnish us a copy for Publication. 

Very Respectfully, Yours, 








East Saginaw, April 20th, 1865. 

To Messrs. Geo. B. Boarpmin, W. R. Burt, and others, 

Gbntlbmbn : — Your unexpected request is before me. Coming 
from thoso whose opinions I have learned to respect, though from several 
personally unknown to me, I feel that out of deference to your strong ex- 
pressions concerning the desirability of giving greater publicity to the 
remarks uttered yesterday, I can not do otherwise than comply with your 
request : hoping that what was necessarily hurriedly prepared may be over- 
looked in its defects and accepted in its truths ; firmly believing that the 
sentiments touching the relation of the state to the offender and our proper 
attitude towards the cause of our troubles, are consonant with the Eternal 
truth of God and fundamental to the perpetuity of our Government. 

Confidently hoping that the day of our deliverance is at hand and praying 
that the people of this land may never again be called to mourn as we mourn 
to-day. I am, Yours in support of the Truth, 



f 'This is your hour and the power of darkness." I#uke 22: 53- 

Truly it was their hour to whom the Saviour spoke. — 
Long had they cherished the bitterest feelings towards 
him ; once in their rage had they attempted to thrust him 
from the brow of a hill, but were foiled ; soldiers had been 
ordered to seize him, but returned empty handed, saying, 
" Never man spake like this man ;" the Sanhedrim bad 
taken counsel together to put him to death ; but uip to 
this time, fruitless had been their endeavors to secure him 
whom they so deeply hated. They would have laid hands 
upon him as he taught in the temple, but they feared an 
uproar because of his popularity. 

But now they had ascertained his whereabouts,, and 
about ten o'clock at night you might have seen a company 
of men going out of the gates of Jerusalem armed with 
swords and bludgeons, some bearing torches, some lanterns, 
wending their way down the hill, across the ravine, out 
towards the garden of Gethsemane. 

While they are passing over the half mile between the 
walls of the city and their place of destination, let us go 
to the garden. Although the moon, now nearly at its full, 
is in the zenith, yet its rays scarcely penetrate the thick 
foliage of the trees and we almost need a light. We pass 
eight men near the entrance. It is in spring time, nearingr 
summer ; and a little farther along, upon the grassy plots, 


fanned by the soft breezes of Judea, three other men, evi- 
dently of the same company, have fallen asleep. Some of 
them have been fishermen and are accustomed to out-door 
life. Farther on a solitary man is praying. These are the 
words, and they come forth from a soul in agony : " 0, 
my Father ! if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ; 
nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." Three times 
is the prayer repeated. And now the band from the city 
reach the place ; the little company gather in a group at 
the strange and unexpected sight. One of that number 
who but an hour or two before was with them in the upper 
room at Jerusalem, and who had gone out they knew not 
whither, is Judas. With a kiss he salutes the Saviour. — - 
Are those accompanying him friends ? The doubt is re- 
moved by the question of Jesus: " Be ye come out as 
against a thief ?" The truth at once flashes on their 
minds that these are men delegated by the Sanhedrim to 
arrest Jesus, whose favorite resort had been disclosed by 
the treacherous Judas. 

Now indeed is their "hour." Now they have their 
victim. The alarmed disciples fly in all directions ; while 
he who had all power, who said that by asking it, the 
Father would give him more than seventy thousand angels 
— angels perhaps such as slew the haughty hosts of Senne- 
charib — but who, with all his power put it forth, never to 
destroy, but always to save, even now refrained from using 
it to save his own life ; and was " brought as a lamb to 
the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, 
so he opened not his mouth." It was their hour of triumph 
when they led him back to the city ; when they procured 
his condemnation by suborned witnesses ; when they 
scourged him ; when they led him out to Calvary and cru- 
cified him ; and when they wagged their heads in ridicule, 
crying out tauntingly at his supposed helplessness : " He 
saved others, himself he cannot save." " If thou be the 
King of the Jews, save thyself." And growing bolder as 
he still hangs there, they cried in mockery, " Hail ! King 
of the Jews." And the soldiers and one of the thieves 
take up and repeat the cry, " Hail ! King of the Jews." 
In the afternoon he died. At dusk they saw his pierced 

body taken from the cross, placed in a tomb guarded by 
Roman soldiers ; and then they congratulated eacli other 
that they never should be troubled any more by him. 

It was their hour of triumph ; and it was as well the 
hour of the power of darkness, for the terrified disciples 
were scattered as sheep without a Shepherd. Wicked men 
rejoiced. The prince of the power of the air, who through 
their instrumentality had accomplished his end, was exult- 
ant. Darkness ruled, casting its shadow not only over the 
face of nature, but over the hearts of good men. It had 
what men call victory. There seemed to be an end to the 
agitation which for three years had been produced by that 
man ; for his friends had entombed him, while his disciples 
had again returned to their nets and ordinary avocations. 
John the Baptist was dead ; Jesus was dead ; the disci- 
ples were dispersed or dejected as they said one to another, 
"We trusted that it had been he who should nave re- 
deemed Israel." The work seemed effectually done. 

Such was man's judgment ; not so, God's. Their dom- 
ination was temporary. The hour of their greatest appar- 
ent triumph was the hour of their greatest disaster. The 
Jewish nation supposed it had destroyed Jesus ; but in- 
stead he lived, his principles lived ; and they had destroyed 
themselves, and to-day are a wandering race upon the face 
of the earth, loved by none, honoied by few, watched by 
all. The blow they struck, though it hit the mark intended, 
returned like the boomerang to inflict a fatal wound upon 
those who aimed it. And the power of darkness, then so 
in the ascendant, finds that the very means which it used 
to stay the progress of the truth, were those which were 
the best adapted to procure its own overthrow : thus be- 
coming in the hand of God the most effective agent for the 
crippling of its own powers and for its final destruction. 

This is the thought which forces itself upon us to-day 
in connection with the terrible calamity which has befallen 
this naiion with the suddenness of the lightning's stroke, 
viz : That the greatest apparent triumphs of evil are its 
greatest disasters ; or, in other words, that evil is the most 
effective a^ent in defeating its own ends. 

A deep gloom rests on nearly every household of the 
land. Words seem cold. Men utter short sentences, bufe 
earnest, and want to be left alone. They look southward 
and feel to adopt the language of the Saviour in its appli- 
cation to a different enemy, but the same power : " This is 
your hour and the power of darkness." Light and dark- 
ness have been struggling for dominion these four years, 
and darkness now has thrown a death shade over the nation. 
At times the daybreak seemed near ; again it was dark 
night. Long had been the day of our prosperity, but wise 
men thought they detected indications of its close. They 
were right. Plainer appeared the signs, until the most in- 
credulous were compelled to believe it. Then we entered 
the twilight, then the thick darkness. Evil beasts of prey 
howled on every side. Owls hooted their mournful prog- 
nostications. Sounds of carnage tilled our ears. Men 
stood still and wondered. Statesmen groped. Paths en- 
tered upon had to be abandoned for others. Men's souls 
quaked for fear. u Lord ! how long ?"■ was the cry, and 
we thought God had just said : " Thus far and no far- 
ther." The morning dawned ; the clouds began to dis- 
perse ; the day of peace seemed about to gladden our sor- 
row stricken land. Indeed, we began again to walk confi- 
dently. But suddenly every man stops and asks : " What 
means this ? Where are we V* And all the reply he re- 
ceives is a repetition of the question by his neighbor. To 
what shall we liken this hour of darkness ? There was no 
premonitory shadow. It is like a total eclipse of the sun 
at noon-day, spreading far and wide an unearthly gloom, 
bringing out again the birds that flit in the shadows of 
night, and filling the land with horror. 

Saturday morning, people greeted each other with cheer- 
ful salutations ; talked hopefully of the future ; statesmen 
and rulers were sanguine ; generals, confident ; soldiers, 
full of joy ; the reverberations of our celebrations had 
hardly died away ; flags were flying from the top-most 
staffs, — when, in an hour, what a change ! Over the wires 
the tidings came : " President Lincoln and Secretary Sew- 
ard were assassinated last night." Business stopped ; 
hearts throbbed almost audibly ; knots of men congregated 

on the streets ; telegraph offices were thronged by anxious 
faces ; and all were incredulous that such a stupendous, 
nefarious transaction had occurred in America. Oh ! what 
moments of suspense were those ! The nation held its 
breath alternating between hope and fear. Again the wires 
click: " President Lincoln is dead." Then it was the dark- 
ness of midnight. It is midnight yet. Laughter ceased. 
Trembling lips, tearful eyes, saddened countenances, and 
suppressed tones, evinced the unspeakable emotions of the 
soul. The heart of the nation had been pierced and every 
member became numb. Commercial life, social life, every 
thing was stagnant; and then the nation went into mourn- 
ing — " a day of gloom and darkness." Flags everywhere 
hung at half mast ; bells everywhere tolled their mourn- 
ful sounds ; the land was hung in black — its homes, its 
places of business, its public buildings, its houses of wor- 
ship. The bonfires of exultation which the night before 
lighted up the streets of many of our cities, as if in antic- 
ipation of the terrible event had left their ashes and 
blackened embers, emblems of mourning and disappoint- 
ment, to be in readiness for the general sorrow. 

America mourns as she never mourned before. In her 
profound grief she almost forgets the triumphs of her 
arms, which at any other time would have filled her with 
joy. She mourns not only the loss of her noble President, 
but also, that on her soil was ever raised a miscreant capa- 
ble of such an act of darkness. For the first time in our 
history, as far as we are aware, has a Chief Magistrate, 
either of a state or of the nation, died by an assassin's 
hand. Oh ! that this might have been spared us. We 
expect assassinations in such a land as France, but we did 
not expect them in Republican America. But, having oc- 
curred, it adds strength to those vague rumors which were 
afloat when Harrison and Taylor died. "Assassin!" How 
that word sounds in an American ear! " Traitor," we had 
become accustomed to ; must it be that this word, too. 
shall be as familiar ? We cannot believe it. These men 
shall stand alone in an immortality of infamy. 

" Quos Dens vult perdere, prius dcmentat" 


Is an old Roman adage full of truth — " Whom God wishes 
to destroy, He first makes mad." Evil, in the madness of 
desperation, commits acts which it fondly imagines will re- 
move the hindrances in its path, but which the calm, right 
reason discerns are to defeat their own ends. The papacy 
thought to exterminate the opposition of Huss by the 
burning of his body. But Huss lived then in a thousand 
hearts, and soon Rome discovered it to her sorrow. 

But, we ask, what means this blow of evil, and how is it 
to be destructive to the cause in the interest of which it 
was done ? Why was it permitted ? To us it seems the 
worst calamity that could have befallen us ; but as we 
grasp at the purposes of the Almighty, we are constrained 
to say, u Thy will be done/' We believe God has permit- 
ted it that the power of evil arrayed against us may be the 
more quickly and effectually crushed. Let not any man 
say that Abraham Lincoln was impeding the fulfillment of 
God>s plans ; let not any one say that he was an enemy to 
the race ; let the man who has called him a tyrant speak 
it in a whisper now, and that to himself ; let no man say 
that he was carrying us backwards, that he was not an hon- 
est, upright man, or that he was bringing the nation into 
disgrace by public or private acts ; no true man can say 
this. Not for this reason was he cut down. No ! We 
feel that in the spirit of those immortal first words of our 
Declaration of Independence, he was the friend of the 
w h o 1 e race, and with the substitution of his name for 
that of another we can say that 

Freedom shrieked when Abraham Lincoln fell. 

1. If we read aright, this is the way by which national 
unanimity is to be speedily secured. There were questions 
on which we were divided. What we needed was a wel- 
ding together, and nothing so unites men as a common sor- 
row. A mawkish humanitarianism advocating plenary 
pardon to the men whose councils let loose and have caused 
to flow this great cataract of blood which has deluged our 
land, was beginning to find expression in high quarters. 
There was danger that men who ou^ht to forfeit their lives 
it ever men deserved to forfeit them, should go " scot free." 


Hanging, is a word which shocks some ears. Treason in the 
highest, and rebellion against God shock mine. The rank 
and file of the South would gladly have gone to their homes 
long ago; but the dictatorial powers which held them 
against their will, are responsible for this bloodshed, and 
particularly that of the last few months. Every bullet that 
let out the life of a northern boy defending his country, was 
aimed by those in authority. Every home darkened by the 
shadow of death, was darkened by those in authority. 

And with these ghastly corpses before you ; with these 
thousands of newly made graves ; with these desolated 
homes and mourning friends — Rachels weeping for their 
children because they are not — can you stretch forth the 
right hand of fellowship to the authors of all this ? Do 
they not deserve to die ; though their lives be but the 
shadow of an offset to the desolation they have made ? In 
no vindictive spirit, I trust, are these words uttered. There 
are times when leniency towards flagrant wrong 
is burning injustice to the right ; and is not the 
present such a time ? Shall subordinates suffer and the 
principals go free ? Were Governments, like God, no res- 
pectors of persons, the course of justice would be different 
from what we often witness now. 

But, responds some one, " Vengeance is mine, I will 
repay, saith the Lord." True, but how does he do it ? — 
No longer does he open the windows of Heaven and sweep 
away wickedness with a deluge ; no longer is fire rained 
down upon the Sodoms of the earth ; no more does the 
earth open and swallow up the disobedient Korahs. These 
days of God's miraculous punishment of evil are ended. — 
Vengeance upon wickedness is taken through human in- 
strumentality. And when according to eternal principles of 
justice, wicked men, irrespective of position should be pun- 
ished, thenit is the duty of Government to do it. If, from 
whatever reason, it refuses to do this, then it must suffer ; 
even as the Lord through Elijah said to Ahab, the King of 
Israel, when he released Benhadad, King of the Syrians : 
" Thus saith the Lord, because thou hast let go out of 
thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, 
therefore thy life shall go for his life and thy people for his 


people." And the prophecy was fulfilled. Paul declare s 
that the civil power " is the minister of God, a revenger 
to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil/' And woe to 
that Government that fails to do the mission of God. We do 
not say that failure in this respect is why the President was 
taken away ; but it is certain that if he erred, it was in be- 
ing too lenient. God may have wanted a sharper cutting 
instrument, and a stronger arm in the people to wield it, 
and may have suffered this act in order to secure these 
things. Certainly the chief conspirators have less leniency 
to expect from Andrew Johnson than they had from Ab- 
raham Lincoln. 

2. This act will also unite all classes more closely than ever 
before, for the effectual eradication of one of the greatest 
evils which ever cursed a nation ; a result, which, it may 
be, God foresaw could not be produced so speedily, if at all, 
in any other way. And thus has he not permitted evil in 
wounding another to cut its own throat? 

But, says one, this act had not official sanction, and thus 
is not properly chargable to the system, and hence will not 
produce the result of which you speak. How do you 
know it had not official sanction ? There will be startling 
disclosures when the plot is traced out to its inception. 

Against what are the utterances of the men of the 
North? Against the man or the system which produced 
the monster ? Deep against the man, but deeper against 
the system. It was this system which stood ready four 
years ago to do the same dark deed. And now it is done. 
Fitting climax of that spirit which began with violations of 
oaths, with theft and treason in a thousand forms ; which 
advanced by incendiary attempts to burn our houses and 
wrap us in a general conflagration ; which fiendishly man- 
ufactured the bones of our dead heroes into trinkets ; 
which hunted refugees and escaping union prisoners with 
blood-hounds ; which murdered men for looking through a 
grated window, or unconsciously in the staggering weak- 
ness of starvation stepping over " the dead line ;" which 
deliberately starved to death, with filthy water and corn- 
cob meal, and putrid meat, with little or no fire to cook the 
wretched iare, tens of thousands of the bravest and noblest 


boys our land has ever produced ; which had prepared^ as 
the records of the Confederate Congress show, to blow into 
"eternity six thousand prisoners at once, in case our gun- 
boats reached Richmond; and which, maddened by the 
failure of all these plans, now stealthily takes the life ol 
our Chief Magistrate, and sends its messenger with a Ju- 
das pretence to stab with the assassin's dagger the Secretary 
of State, lying helplessly upon his sick bed, — a spirit ut- 
terly diabolical, and which could have been produced by 
no other system than that which was declared to be the 
foundation stone of the new government, but which coi- 
ner stone is being pounded to powder by the 
ponderous blows of God's providences, while the 
architects who built thereon are fleeing every 
whither to escape from the toppling super- 
structure. All these -exhibitions of malignity are the 
fruits of that one spirit engendered by the system of human 
slavery, and whether having official sanction or not, cer- 
tainly have official sympathy ; and are as inseparable from 
the system as the fagot, the rack, and the Inquisition, are 
from the spirit of Rome. And when the people charge it 
to the system rather than to the individual, the people are 
right And will not the effect of this act be to snap some 
of the links which have bound men to this system ; and is 
not the determination deeper, stronger, more general to- 
day than it was last week or has ever been before, that 
this system shall be dug out, cut up, destroyed root and 
branch, not a vestige of it being left save in its past deso- 
lations; never again to thrive on American soil, never more 
to be a distracting element in our social, political and re- 
ligious life ? 

3. This act, if we read aright, will be regarded abroad 
much as it is at home ; and in this fact we see one mode ot 
God's punishment of the supporters of this unholy rebel- 
lion. Has not He suffered it, that a load of opprobrium 
might be heaped upon their heads which would at once 
and forever render them and their cause infamous among 
the people of the earth ; which would knock away every 
prop of sympathy and respect, and leave them to be refer- 
red to henceforth as a by-word and a hissing ? God pun- 


ishes terribly, and men will be detested because ©f their 1 
political connection with the cause which produced this 
crime. Will it not henceforth be said of every leader and 
co-adjutor of this rebellion as they wander among other 
nations : " There is a countryman of the murderer of Ab- 
raham Lincoln?" And, though it would be impious to in- 
stitute a comparison between the death of the Saviour of 
the world and that of our President, yet may we not say 
that as to the Jews cleaves the curse of crucifying the 
Lord of Glory, so in a somewhat similar manner will the 
taint of this assassination cleave to the people of the South 
wherever they go ? Will not that people, at least for this 
generation, be a people of Cains, bearing about on the 
loreheads of their characters an ineffaceable stigma ? 

Thus do we believe, that in the present instance, the hour 
of the triumph of evil is the hour of its disaster; that the 
act m which it is proud, is that by which it shall be bit- 
terly punished. O, God! we do believe that even the 
wrath of man shall praise Thee and that the remainder of 
wrath Thou wilt restrain. The excesses of evil shall be its 
own annihilation. Yes, Satan ! this is your hour ; exult 
while you may, but brief will be the period of your exulta- 
tion, for God's hour is close at hand, and when the c^eat 
day of His wrath comes who shall be able to stand? ° We 
believe then that this event will result in particular pun- 
ishment to the surviving fomentors of this rebellion ; in a 
general punishment to all concerned in it by affixincr an- 
other stigma to their already blackened name ; in the re- 
moval of all sympathy from abroad; and in the total ex- 
tinction of human slavery in this Republic. Time alone 
can reveal all its bearings. 

The South has destroyed itself most thoroughly. South- 
ern pride is in rags and glad to eat the bread of Northern 
charity ; Southern " chivalry" has earned for itself the 
title of barbarism ; Southern civilization— the boasted par- 
agon of perfection— has shown itself to be a whited sepul- 
chre full of corruption within ; the grass which was to grow 
in the streets of our commercial centres has grown in those 
of its own ; it has burned its own cities ; destroyed its own 
cotton ; impoverished its own people ; ruined its favorite in- 


stitution, even offering conditional freedom to those whom it 
originally intended more deeply to enslave ; while in the last 
stroke by an assassin's hand it has struck itself a death blow 
and finds a stronger grip upon its throat than ever before ; 
and all this wretched wreck, morally, socially > financially, 
and politically, has come chiefly through its own action, be- 
cause it madly lifted its evil hand against the best govern- 
ment of earth. Verily, it has been made in the hand of God, 
its own Nemesis. 

-—Abraham Lincoln ! A nation mourns his tragical and 
untimely end. Never until our blessings are taken away 
do we appreciate them. In looking over the land no other 
man appears in whom we feel to place such implicit confi- 
dence. We could trust him, for he had been tried and ever 
proved true. His sagacity and strong common sense won 
the respect of officials. Among foreign nations, those who 
laughed at the " village attorney" in 1861, with unaffected 
reverence will do him homage now. We feared, at times, 
lest in his conferences with our enemies he might be inad>- 
vertently betrayed into some remark which would com- 
promise our honor, or furnish to them some plausible pre- 
text or ground of justification for their continuance in crime; 
but never was he outwitted by the shrewdest, or hood - 
winked by the most designing. His honesty and integrity 
of character are forever inseparable from his name ; and 
should the abbreviation of " Honorable" ever stand before 
that name, men will attach to it a meaning which it could 
not properly bear if applied to many public men, for they 
will say it means Honest Abraham Lincoln, and Pope says 

" An honest man's the noblest work of God." 

He won the love of the masses by his cordiality, his 
frankness, and his Republican simplicity, which perhaps 
has not been equalled by any of our statesmen since the 
days of Franklin. Too slow for some of his friends, too 
fast for his enemies, to me it is an evidence that he was 
pursuing that " golden mean" so extremely difficult of at- 
tainment. Men are naturally extremists. But, with deep 
convictions of the justness of our cause and the correctness 
of his own views, yet he chose rather to await the fulness 
of the times when the people were prepared for his policy, 


than to drag them into it as many a ruler prompted by am- 
bition would have done. Mildness, cautiousness and 
firmness characterized all he did. 

But mine is not the tongue to pronounce his eulogy.—- 
When years have passed, and the clouds of prejudice and 
passion have been brushed aside, when the fragments of 
his history now reposing in the hearts of those whom he 
befriended, in the hearts of his associates in council, in of- 
ficial actions and state papers, have all been brought to- 
gether by a competent hand, then will his character appear 
brighter and brighter, surpassed among Americans only by 
that of Washington. Then too will the men of the South 
see that Abraham Lincoln was the best friend they had in 
this nation, and in time they too will mourn his death. 

He was a loving parent, an upright citizen, a good ruler. 
But above all, God be praised that he was a Christian. In 
reply to a gentleman, who asked him whether he loved the 
Saviour, he said, u Yes, I do- love Jesus*." He was a man 
of prayer. Recently a prominent clergyman called by ap- 
pointment of the President at an early hour in the morning 
Arriving a little in advance of the appointed time y and 
hearing the voice of the President in an adjoining room r 
he requested of the servant an immediate interview. It 
was refused on the ground that it was the hour in which the 
President engaged in the reading of the Bible and in prayer. 
Man of business, you who say you have no> 
time in the morning to ask God's blessing to* 
attend you during the day because of your 
pressing cares, think of Abraham Lincoln and 
his cares, and will you ever offer that excuse again? 
Thank God that he was a man of prayer. Would that there 
were more like him in places cf public trust. May he, to 
whom the reins of Government now fall, be compelled to 
go to the same Almighty Power for strength and guidance, 
and govern as did his lamented predecessor in the fear of 
the Lord. 

Tears flow from all eyes. Many who could find no hear- 
ing from officials will remember with deep emotion how 
they were listened to and befriended by the President. — 
Millions mingle their tears with those of that anguish 


stricken, bereaved family. And adown the bronzed cheeks 
of Sherman's veterans, those glorious boys of whom many 
are from his native State, and adown the rugged countenan- 
ces of the heroes who capturod Richmond, will the tears 
flow, while muttered vows of vengeance and " Death to 
Traitors!" will come hissing hot through closed teeth. — - 
Ah ! it is well for those opposed to them that they have 
surrendered. And iVom the emancipated millions of the 
South whose fervent prayers these four years have ascended 
to the Throne of Grace lor him, Oh ! what a long wail 
will arise as they hear that he whom they loved next to the 
Saviour has been killed by an assassin's hand. 

At twenty-two minutes past seven, on the morning of 
the ever memorable fifteenth of April, Abraham Lincoln 
died. Oh ! for a Raphael to paint the touching scenes of 
that solemn hour. And yet it seems almost too sacred to 
touch. Around the bedside of the unconscious, dying 
President, sit the Surgeons, watches in hand, marking his 
declining pulse. Sumner, holding the right hand of the 
dying Chief in his own, with his head bowed upou the 
pillow, is sobbing like a child. Stanton, the man of war, goes 
aside and burying his face in his hands pours forth a flood of 
tears. Around the bedside stand other friends and cabinet offi- 
cers and the great tears rapidly chase each other down the cheeks 
of these strong men. Fainter grows the pulse ; the muscles re- 
lax ; now a stillness in which the ticking of the watches is audi- 
ble — and his spirit takes its flight. It is said, " The morning 
was calm and rain was dropping gently upon the roof of the 
humble apartment where they laid him down to die." Ah 1 did 
not the rery heavens weep when Abraham Lincoln died ? And 
to-day, as the body of our dead President is borne from Wash- 
ington to Springfield its path will be bedowed with the tears of 
mourning millions. Murdered in the East, buried in the West ; 
no power can sunder the parts of a land united by such a tie as 
this. And, henceforth, as men in the East visit the tomb of 
George Washington, so in the West will they stop to. shed a tear 
to the memory of Abraham Lincoln, — the one the Father, the 
other the Saviour of his Country. Near the Potomac sleeps the 
one, near the Mississippi sleeps the other — grand resting places 
for grand men. 

He was one of God's weak instruments whom He made strong 
to confound the things that were mighty. And now God has 


{suffered him to be laid aside, as we believe, for the speedier over- 
throw of tho evil. Men die, right principles never. 

'* Troth crushed to earth shall rise again 
The eternal years of God are hers ; 
But error, wounded writhes in pain, 
And dies amid her worshippers." 

The truth of God is grandly marching on. "We are living in 
an age which is telling on the ages yet to come. To be living in 
an age like this is sublime. It is grand to hear the stately step- 
pings of God among the nations. And believing that He reigns, 
that He was with our fathers in the founding of this Republic, 
that He has signally been with us in our endeavors to preserve 
it, we will not suffer the shadow of a doubt to pass across our 
souls but that He will guide us safely through all our trials, ov- 
erruling the machinations of our enemies and granting speedy 
triumph to our cause, when white winged peace again shall re- 
visit the land from which she has so long been driven by the 
bloody vultures of war. With this abiding confidence in God 
will we endeavor to keep pace with the progress of His purposes 
which are hastening rapidly to their consummation. 

" Our eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, 
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. 
He has loosed the fitful lightning of His terrible swift sword, 
His truth is marching on. 

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat, 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat, 
Oh ! be swift my soul to answer Him, be jubilant my feet, 
Our God is marching on." 

To God alone can we look. No arm of flesh can save. Never 
before has God brought us to such a sense of our complete de- 
pendence upon Him. Never before have we cried as we cry to- 
day : " Lord save, or we perish !" That this is one purpose of 
our affliction, we cannot doubt. " His glory will He not give to 
another." So then, to-day, a nation of suppliants, we fall before 
Him in whom is our reliance. And those words which hence- 
forth are to be stamped on our national coin, those words which 
at the late celebration gleamed forth in great letters of fire from 
the rotunda of our National Capitol, beneath the shadow of 
which our lamented President was stricken down, we will adopt 
to-day and evermore as the sincere expression of our heart : 


LB S 72 


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