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country. True it is that in his adoption into that endearing and responsible relation is associated with the stoutest opposition of a large portion of our fellow citizen. But we have never learned that any individual so resisted his introduction to the presidential office upon the ground of any serious objection to his personal or moral character. However, many may have questioned his qualifications, and especially at his advanced age. for the onerous duties of the presidency-none have denied his honesty as a man; his claims as a distinguished citizen of the republic; his valorous achievements as the leader of his country's hosts; his wisdom, prudence, and uprightness as a public statesman; or the unimpeachable integrity, and unblemished patriotism, with which he discharged every duty entrusted to him by his country during a long, honourable and useful life. That he rendered eminent services to the State all cheerfully allow. That he was great in arms; wise in counsel; disinterested in conduct; respected in public and beloved in private life; the patron of the needy; the friend of the deserving; and the advocate of virtue, morality and religion_history will attest.

Death—which extinguishes all resentments; which crushes the rising spirit of envy and hatred; which pacifies even the fiendish malice of inexorable revenge; death—which covers with the mantle of charity a multitude of sins; which dissipates the clouds of prejudice and gives vivid distinctness to every remembered virtue; Death—has now concealed from us the object of so many discordant feelings, and around whom were gathered the hopes, the bright anticipations and dark forebodings and fears of a million hearts. “The memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither has he any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the Sun.” He that hath gone down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.

It is but a little while and we behold him coming forth as the flower of the spring, decked in all the glory and resplendency of his exalted eminency. And now—although the story of all this plendid pageantry is but of yesterday—his days are extinct, his breath is corrupt, the graves are ready for him. How true is it that man's days are as the grass; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it and - it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. The mighty are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all others and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.

32—Vol. IX.

My brethren, it is not our place or duty to eulogize the dead or to recount the history of one whose exploits will form a part of the history of his country. This duty has been assigned to more fitting hands, and has already been discharged by many well qualified for the task. Our business is with the living and not with the dead. We would invite you to the contemplation of death because this is the end of all men and the living will lay it to heart. We would not desecrate this sacred temple on this sacred day—and amidst these sacred services—by the undue exaltation of man—whose breath is on his nostrils and whose foundation is in the dust. The heathen magnified their ancestors into deities and even granted them an apotheous while alive. Christians too have imitated this heathen superstition and are even now found canonizing and worshipping the dead. While therefore such evils have resulted from extravagant and blasphemous funeral orations, it becomes us while commemorating the departed spirits of the mighty dead," to have a sacred regard to the true interests of the living.

To our minds therefore it has appeared no small tribute to the praise of this community, that while other cities have exhausted their sympathetic emotions in some great pagentand have given their testimonials in honor of the memory of the late president, in the form of some civil and military procession, the citizens of Charleston have unanimously resolved to show forth their regard, by the public expression of their heartfelt sympathy—by the appointment of a public orator who may perpetuate in faithful history the character of this honoured leader of a mourning nation.


Job 14:19: Thou destroyest the hope of man. We are here led to a contemplation of human life and divine providence-of man as he urges on in his career as if possessed of absolute and unlimited control over the destinies of life. and of that irresistible and invisible power by which all his schemes are frustrated and his plans subverted. “Thou destroyest the hope of man.”

I. Let us then first consider human life in that aspect in which it is here presented. “So consumest thou the hope of man."

Man is a moral agent and therefore susceptible of hope. This affection pre-supposes the existence, and implies the exercise of, the highest mental faculties, the understanding to form the idea of its object; of the judgment to determine upon its worth, on actual comparison of facts and arguments; of the will to choose it; of the imagination to portray it in inviting colours; of that penetrating foresight by which the mind travels into the future and of that lofty principle which leads man to better his condition and to seek the attainment of more exalted good.

Hope is the necessary associate, and certain evidences, of high intellectual capacities—the sure impress of a free, moral and accountable nature. It is a characteristic principle of man. It is one of the strongest affections, which sway and tumultuate the human breast. Without it, desire would sink into despondency; expectation languish; and the mind, like a vessel becalmed, or locked up amid the frozen Polar seas would fail to exert its energies or to develop its latent susceptibilities.

Hence the most vital movement mortals feel
Is hope: the balm and life-blood of the Soul.
Hope of all passions most befriends us here,
Man's heart at once inspirits and serenes.

Indulgent heaven
Sent down the kind delusion, thro the paths
Of rugged life to lead us patient on

And make our happiest state no tedious thing. But we must proceed to remark that the hopes of man, in which centre all his treasures and delights, and to which he clings with an unyielding grasp are nevertheless continually blasted. With whatever appearing buds she covers the tree of our promised happiness

Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair

That frosts will bite them. And while all are under the necessity of leaning upon this guide and comforter, all bitterly complain of her cruelty and deceit.

So was it with this most ancient of all poets, in this most sublime and interesting of all poems.

And forever as the crumbling mountain dissolveth
And the rock mouldereth away from her place,
As the waters wear to pieces the stones,
As their overflowings sweep the soil from the land,

So consumest thou the hope of man.* *Good's translation.

Such is the aspect here presented to us of human life-and such the mysterious paradox in the constitution of our nature in relation to future events which it is our present object to explain. We will then endeavour to shew from an examination of the present state and condition in which he is placed, that the fond hopes of man must be in many cases inevitably destroyed.

Man is a finite being. Though a free agent he is not possessed of absolute dominion. Though rational, his knowledge is not unlimited or perfect. His powers are, in their fullest development, feeble and confined. He is bounded by a horizon beyond which he cannot gaze. He is fastened to a narrow sphere to which he is held by an irresistible attraction so that he cannot possibly ascend. “ 'Tis vain to seek in man for more than man,"—to ascribe to him faculties he does not possess, and to require of him attainments to which he cannot possibly reach. Whether we look backward with retrospective eye, or forward with eager anticipation, we are alike incapable of comprehending the infinite relations in which every event stands to every other. “Boast not thyself of tomorrow,” says the wise man; "for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” “O Lord,” exclaims the confounded prophet, “I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Such is the nature and such the destiny of man.

Now it is not for us to quarrel with this constitution of our nature, or to say unto God "why hast thou made us so." It is not for us to imagine that we are other beings, or of a higher order, or endowed with superior powers, than the facts of the case will warrant.

Man know thyself. All wisdom centers here.

Since then hope has reference to the future, and implies a certain knowledge of a thousand contingencies it is at once evident that in the formation of his hopes man must be liable to innumerable mistakes, and that his hopes therefore must be in most cases destroyed. Besides, hope depends, for its strength, more upon the peculiar temperament of mind than upon the real nature of external circumstances. Some therefore indulged hope when they might well despair or at least seriously doubt. Their own feelings and desires colour distant objects with a seeming brightness. These shine forth resplendent on the lustre of their own vivid imaginations. Meanwhile as they hasten their approach to such scenes of promised bliss—the heavens gather blackness—all before them is gloom—and they find their path concealed by an impenetrable obscurity. “Their hopes are destroyed."

The same conclusion follows from the consideration of that relation in which such hopes stand to the similar constitution of other minds. For if, in their formation, we are all liable to inevitable oversight and mistake, notwithstanding all our watchfulness and our keenest penetration,—when we remember that in the attainment of any object of hope we are dependent upon the co-operation of other minds, equally short-sighted and imperfect, with no assurance of their favour, and no motive to any special attention to our interests—how impossible is it to avoid this destruction of our fondest hopes. Unable to direct our own way we travel through a devious void, and are disconcerted in our plans by endless paths each leading to some different termination, and all crossing one another. And if, were there no other than a straight and beaten course we are so liable to come short of our desires ;—when we venture blind-fold to be guided by the blind, through this variously intersected pathway, can the result be other than the bitterest disappointment? Our hopes spring from our own imperfect and unstable minds and therefore rest upon a false foundation. They depend upon the promises of others which are made only to be broken and which the slightest change may turn into the bitterness of hatred and revenge. They are built upon the virtues of humanity, which are too generally only the covering for selfishness and pride. And therefore our hopes, founded on insecurity, and supported by buttresses which are themselves without strength, are overwhelmed with destruction by the first windy storm and tempest.

This deceitfulness of hope arises further from the nature of those external objects upon which our hopes are fixed. The mutable purpose of a mutable mind, and depending upon the purposes of other minds as changeful, hope centres upon objects which are themselves mutable. The failure of any one of a thousand contingencies-or occurrence of any one of a thousand possible events—may make the realization of our hopes altogether impracticable. Our hopes, then, are, in every way, uncertain. There is no solid basis upon which they can be made to rest. They arise, like the fluctuating billows of the uncertain deep. Like them they are inflated with a momentary fulness, and, like them, they sink, to be again elevated and again destroyed.

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