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sing the rebellion, and saving the nation; and reserved for another the responsibility of prosecuting and punishing the captured offenders by due process of law.
The history of revolutions will never change until human nature itself changes. And the analogy of all recorded experience certainly establishes the fact, that the re-action of sentiment among the common people after failure, particularly of a causeless rebellion, is general, rapid, and extreme; and I doubt not that there will be, ere long, in the hearts of many who have served in the insurgent ranks, a veneration for the old flag, and a loyalty to the old Government, as intense as the emotions which impelled the nation's defenders. And hence I have never believed, that our union of States, union of hearts, and union of hands was, or would now be, permanently severed. And I maintain, that the effect of Mr. Lincoln's benevolent policy will be to promote greatly the rapidity and completeness of that re-action. He has prepared the people of the South, so soon as their leaders are disposed of, and the base falsehoods which deluded them are dissipated, to hurry back into happy re-union and hearty allegiance, as a prodigal son, allured by a father's kindness, hastens back to the shelter of his home, and to the blessings of his beneficent authority; while it is at least probable that a different policy would have aggravated the struggle, given excuse for the interference of envious power abroad, and have crushed thousands more of the innocent, if not also the nation's life, under the cruel tread of bloody vengeance.
And not only did he thus conserve the nation's life, but thus also he reformed the character of her civilization, illustrating doctrines heretofore comparatively inoperative in civil ethics, and actualizing before the world the great social laws of the Christian religion. While with traitorous intrigue and blackest malice, the rebels sought our nation's life; and while with a savage cruelty,
more fiendish than human, they massacred and starved our soldiers when helpless captives in their hands, — the President's kindness and the people's forbearance, nay, their charitable ministration of temporal comforts and spiritual privileges to all the wounded and the captive, the sick and the dying enemies who could be reached by the hundreds of Christian and Sanitary delegates who were always in the field, furnish the brightest, aye, the first such copy of the Saviour's character, the first instance of a great nation obeying the divine precept: " Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." And, if we still prove ourselves just as well as merciful, no human foresight can predict the blessing which our example may confer upon mankind by subduing the ferocity of war, — nor predict the influence in behalf of Christianity which it may enable the Church of this land to exert over the heathen mind.
The missionary of Christ will now leave our shores with an indorsement such as the citizen of no other country can bear; and as, with the benighted and wretched, he maintains the truth and excellence of the gospel, he can refer to the history of his own country as an exhibition of gospel fruits in a form that will command the admiration of every human heart. Yea, he may quote that history as a living and unanswerable argument in favor of the Christian religion and republican liberty. Nor will he find that testimony any longer rebutted by the black record of American slavery, or the gospel impeded in its progress by any thing in our political and social institutions so opposed to its spirit as human bondage; since under God, and at the proper juncture of providential events, our lamented President, in the justice, benevolence, and courage of his heart, by the immediate power and mediate consequence of his emancipation order, broke "every yoke, and let the oppressed go free.” And now as a purified and
Christianized nationality invites the contemplation, challenges the admiration, and entreats the imitation, of all people, hastening on the disinthralment of the race, Abraham Lincoln — at once the model and the architect of the new character — will stand out in all future history as a world reformer; and succeeding generations will still continue the strain of honor to his memory, and thanksgiving to Heaven for the gift of such a man, to such a nation, at such a time.
Thrice happy America! blessed with a Washington and a Lincoln! unparalleled patriots! unexampled leaders! What incredulous mind will now doubt her grand destiny? What traitorous arm ever again attempt to arrest her progress? Let all her sons read, in the history of the glorious past, the prophecy of her more glorious future, and still revive their patriotism and their religion by memories of the fallen great! Let their spirit inspire all her sons, and their mantle rest on all her rulers! And let her ever cherish, defend, and disseminate the noble, heavenborn principles for which Washington lived, for which Lincoln died; and, with unwavering earnestness, and unswerving devotion to the cause of God and man, bear onward to all the world that charming banner upon which the honored dead emblazoned the inscription, — a pure Christianity and universal Liberty.
Ohio State Journal, Columbus, June 10, 1865.
Judges, xvi. 30: “So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he
slew in his life.”
THAT which is good never dies. In proportion as it is good,
1 it partakes of the nature of God; and hence in the same proportion is eternal. Sometimes it seems to die, but in truth it is only removed to some higher position of life and power. It is on this account that in the Word, to die, when spoken of goodness, denotes to rise again; and when man reads of death, the angels think of resurrection. What is true of principles is also true of persons, for persons are principles embodied. A good man, therefore, never dies. He seems to die, - we miss him from his accustomed and familiar position amongst us; we say he is dead. It is a mistake: he lives more really than ever; for his thoughts are far more clear, his judgment is far more correct, his perceptions are far more vivid, and his affections far more intense and absorbing, than before. And thought and affection are the two constituents of our conscious life. On the other hand, that which is evil never lives. It seems to live, it " has the name to live;” but, just in proportion as it is evil, "it is
dead,” because in the same proportion it is separate from the only source of life. Hence, in the Word, by the dead, are meant the evil, whether persons or principles; and to slay the dead is to drive away the evil, to disperse the inventions of falsehood, and to subjugate the dark, impure passions of selfishness in all its various forms. These are the dead,” which it is our duty to slay, - errors, impure ideas, selfish machinations, desires which render us regardless of the welfare and happiness of others, bad habits, — all principles of death and self-destruction; and, when personified, evil spirits, dead souls, who will slay us, unless we overcome them, and drive them far away. These are the dead which the good man slays in his life; but, when he rises above this earthly battle-ground, he at once, by the act which we call death, disperses them for ever, and thus enters into a state of perpetual peace, where he is free from the suggestions of falsehood, and untempted by the influences of evil. True, therefore, it is, of every good man who has departed from amongst us below, as of the mighty Danite, that "the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”
The reason why these divine words apply to every good man is, that they apply to the Lord, who is the divine pattern and forerunner of us all; for Samson represents the Lord in his character of a Divine Natural Man. It was by means of the natural degree into which the Lord descended when born into the world, that he engaged in personal conflict with the powers of darkness. It was in that degree that he fought his life-long battle with the spiritual Philistines who had enslaved his people, gradually driving them back, and releasing the human race from their tyranny, until the work was so far accomplished, and the victory so nearly achieved, that it wanted but one signal effort to finish the one, and secure the other. That effort was made when the Lord underwent his last direful temptation on the cross.