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families of mankind which have not enjoyed the revelation of Bible truth. And while Mr. Lincoln's natural impulses were honest, I doubt not it was his religious sentiment that developed in him a principle which no motive of terror or attraction availed to swerve from strict moral rectitude.
Another of his characteristic virtues was an unfaltering courage to do and to endure. At times, when terrible defeat disheartened our armies and emboldened our foes; when envious monarchs threatened alliance with the mighty insurrection, or gazed on in breathless expectation of seeing, under the rising battle-smoke, the ruins of our proud Republic, and friends quaked with despondent apprehension,—the President remained unshaken in his confidence of success, and in his determination to enforce the nation's authority, and maintain her integrity. When the clouds were blackest, the storm fiercest, and the sea roughest, as the old ship lurched and groaned until most faces around him were blanched with fear, the brave-hearted helmsman stood to his post, firm, calm, and strong to guide, order, and do. Doubtless, courage was native to him. But it was now fortified and rendered immovable by his profound religious convictions. He fully believed, that the living Almighty God has a kingdom that ruleth over all, and that he is doing his pleasure in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; present in all places; governing all his creatures, and ordering all events, so as to bring out the issues of his own divine purposes. Fully, enthusiastically embracing that doctrine of Almighty Providence; confiding in the justice of the nation's cause, and persuaded of her grand, heavendecreed destiny,— he could not by any temporary reverses of fortune, or by any combination of difficulties, be driven to despair of success.
The courage which bases itself in patriotism will accomplish wonders of daring and enduring; but that which is rooted in religious conviction is unconquerable and immortal.
Nor do I claim such a basis for the courageous manifestations of Mr. Lincoln's character without ample warrant from his own public declarations.
In that affecting valedictory to the people of Springfield, he says, “I go to assume a task more difficult than that which devolved upon Washington. Unless the great God who assisted him shall be with and aid me, I must fail. But if the same Omniscient mind, and the same Almighty arm, that directed and protected him, shall guide and support me, I shall not fail, I shall succeed. Let us all pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now. To him I commend you all. Permit me to ask, that, with equal sincerity and faith, you all will invoke his wisdom and guidance for me.” In his first Inaugural, while marshalled soldiery and shotted cannon restrained present hundreds who thirsted for his blood, he said, " Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulties.” On the dark Fourth of July, 1861, he closed his first Message to Congress, with this language: ee Having thus chosen our cause without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts." His second Inaugural is little else than a reverent review of God's providence; a grateful recognition of his infinite wisdom, power, and goodness; and an earnest exhortation to the people to trust in him, and abide his will. As the British " Standard” said, it is the most remarkable thing of the sort ever pronounced by any President of the United States from the first day until now. Its Alpha and its Omega is Almighty God, the God of justice, and the Father of mercies, who is working out the purposes of his love. It is invested with a dignity and pathos which lift it high above every thing of the kind, whether in the Old World or the New.” I question much if Mr. Lincoln's
whole character, the elements of his power, and sources of his eminent success, can ever be better described than it is done by his own pen in the closing sentence of that address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” He did not, as some of our officers have seemed to do, speak the language of religion only in proclamations of national fasts and thanksgiving, when such acknowledgments of God could not be avoided; but frankly and unhesitatingly embraced every suitable occasion to give distinct utterance to his convictions, and by the confidence and courage which these convictions inspired, and by the action they prompted, conserved our imperilled nationality, and the mighty interests of the times committed to him. Furthermore, in this phase of his character, he perhaps presents to the world its most distinct and complete realization of a truly Christian government, in its two cardinal principles of human liberty and divine sovereignty; and future generations on this and other continents, may we not hope, will experience the blessings of his illustration of new ideas in civil affairs; and future historians date his administration as the dawning era of a Christian Theocracy. And hence, in his relations to present and future history, I call him him a Reformer as well as Conservator.
And, in support of my view, it gives me pleasure to quote from the funeral oration pronounced by his pastor. After enumerating his virtuous principles, and their noble exhibition, Dr. Gurley says, " All these things commanded and fixed our admiration, and the admiration of the world, and stamped upon his character and life the unmistakable impress of greatness. But more sub
lime than any or all of these, more holy and influential, more beautiful, strong, and sustaining, was his abiding confidence in God, and in the final triumph of truth and righteousness through him and for his sake. This, it seems to me, after being near him steadily, and with him often, for more than four years, is the principle, more than by any other, he being dead yet speaketh. Yes, by his steady, enduring confidence in God, and in the complete ultimate success of the cause of God, which is the cause of humanity, more than in any other way, does he now speak to us, and to the nation he loved and served so well. By this he speaks to his successor in office, and charges him to have faith in God. By this he speaks to all who occupy positions of influence and authority in these sad and troublous times, and he charges them all to have faith in God. By this he speaks to this great people, as they sit in sackcloth to-day, and weep for him with a bitter wailing, and refuse to be comforted; and he charges them to have faith in God; and by this he will speak through the ages, and to all rulers and peoples in every land, and his message to them will be, 'Cling to liberty and right; battle for them; bleed for them; die for them, if need be; and have confidence in God.""
3d. Another element of Mr. Lincoln's greatness, which, in its manifestation in his public life, arrays him with the character now attributed to him, was his strong emotional nature.
I at least assert no more than the truth, when I say his heartpower was as great as his brain-power. The purer and better emotions of our nature, which tend to actual and universal brotherhood among men; which sink personal ambitions into fraternal sympathies, subordinate self-interests to common enjoyments, restore to the race some features of the divine image, and recover for it some of the happiness and dignity of its pristine state, - manifest their presence and unusual strength, while they
shed an enchanting lustre of beauty and loveliness over the whole private and public life of the great man. He was proverbially good-natured and affectionate, benevolent and forgiving. True to the worthy, grateful to the friendly, charitable to the needy, forbearing to the erring, impartial as a father, patient as a mother, tender as a child. Deep as it may be, the public impression of his emotional characteristics is not equal to the fact. Incidents are related by those who saw the inner and more private side of his life, showing that he could not bear the consciousness of having unnecessarily hurt the feelings of a human being, or of having failed to alleviate when he might. It cannot be disputed, that, by the exercise of these noble affections, he multiplied friends and diminished foes, and thus greatly strengthened his "own arm of official power, and promoted the cause of his country. Nor can it be that his benevolent dispositions were excessive; unless we have entirely mistaken his character in other respects. Kindness never can be too great unless it displace wisdom and justice. If charity errs at all, it must be either through ignorance or disregard of the right. And, while I do not suppose our late President was in all instances correct in his judgment, I do maintain that he was generally so, and perhaps always sincere in his intentions to do right. I have no sympathy with the morbid · sentimentalism that in any case opposes the infliction of the righteous penalty of crime. I believe there is a principle of retributive justice, as immutable as an attribute of divinity, which demand a satisfaction for guilt; and a principle of rectorial justice, which guards the dignity and safety of Government. Nor do I indicate any opinion concerning the policy that should now be adopted as suited to the present or future condition of things; but I do affirm my belief that the principles which controlled Mr. Lincoln's treatment of his country's foes were wise and Christian in the main. Providence assigned to him the work of suppres