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Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1865, by
in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court of the United States in and for the Eastern
District of the State of Pennsylvania.
COLLINS, PRINTER, PHILADELPHIA.
Now that the gigantic Rebellion which persistently held out for four long years, spreading desolation throughout the whole country, East West, North, and South, forcibly reminding us of the passage, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted, because they are not:" now that the rebellion is happily over, should not all, in every portion of the country, pray for a permanent peace, and that Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, may so reign on this green, beautiful earth, that “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”? In some cases, however
“Perhaps war is but Heaven's great ploughshare, driven
I have asked myself the question, What can I do in order to benefit my redeemed, beloved country, of which I can enthusiastically say
“Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light ?” In answering this important question, I have settled down on this point: That I can do good by arranging and presenting in an inviting form the great patriotic sentiments of our national benefactors, "of whom the world was not worthy;" and last, but by no means least, in this bright galaxy we place our martyred illustrious successor of the great immortal Washington, the Father of his country. His Inaugurals show good-will to all sections of his beloved country, and "malice towards none." What he has said, as set forth in this unpretending volume, will be read by generations now unborn, and all will be ready to say, “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes ?” But“surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee:” and though the Government at the head of which Mr. Lincoln was providentially placed did not
expect or desire to interfere with the existing arrangements and institutions of the country, the Rebellion of our southern brethren brought forth the Emancipation Proclamation, and has necessarily and forever abolished slavery. Yes, one effect of the war has been to “undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free;" to vindicate the principle that liberty is the birthright of every man; and to make that part of the glorious old Declaration of Independence that says "all men are created equal,” consistent and harmonious with the facts in the case.
Finally, I feel assured that those into whose hands this volume may fall will not object to the religious portion of the compilation. We gratefully remember that our Fathers in the old State House in Philadelphia, when about signing the Declaration of Independence that brought down upon them the anathemas of crowned heads and thrones, felt the need of God's blessing, and called in a venerable minister of religion to read the Bible and pray to the God of nations for his benediction on the great work in which those patriotic hearts were about to engage. The readers of this volume will not forget “Happy is that nation whose God is the Lord;": and while they will readily agree that there are national jewels contained in this work, they will not deny that our Lord's Sermon on the Mount is a DIVINE JEWEL, a pearl of great price; and should its precepts sink deeply into the hearts of my fellow-countrymen, and of all the people of the earth, then the shout would be heard everywhere, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men.” Praise God that “this cruel war is over” in our own country, and we will now unite in adopting the language of the Prophet and say, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy,” and in our approaches to God we will say,
“Strike with thy bolt the next red flag unfurled,