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give us the hero that we have been asking for all through these years of war. The true hero is seldom entirely recognized when present. But it is of such characters as this that a nation's history makes up its most precious jewels.

And this man, thus gifted, thus devoted, thus trusted in, and followed, and beloved, the nation buries to day: buries him-oh, bitter memory!-from the assassin's fatal hand. Henceforth our cause is consecrated by his martyrdom. Bury him? We bury only what was the least and outermost part of him. While the stricken people all through the land, in city and in country, join in these obsequies over his grave, he himself is more vital in the nation than ever before. Already his spilled blood is coursing with quicker pulses in the veins of the country; and treason, conspiracy, and despotism, tremble before this dead president more than they did before him living. He reigns to-day in hearts that People that laughed at him in

never admitted him before. life drop heavy tears on his bier, and wherever there is a heart that had a single spark of loyalty left, it is kindled into a generous, active patriotism now. Lifted up from the earth, he draws all men unto him. Bury him? We enthrone him! He is henceforth our leader more than when he led us in the flesh,—our leader now in the spirit. They have. crucified him; the country, humanity, Heaven, glorifies him.

Farewell, departed form! and sweetly rest from the turmoil of war beneath the friendly sods of thy prairie home. Hail, risen and glorified spirit! not lost to earth, though gained to Heaven.

April 19, 1865.

III.

THE CAPACITY AND HISTORICAL POSITION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN.

The memorial of virtue is immortal: because it is known with God and with men.

When

it is present, men take example at it; and when it is gone, they desire it: it weareth a crown, and triumpheth forever, having gotten the victory, striving for undefiled rewards. Wis. of Sol. iv. 1, 2.

Again we are summoned together to give utterance in some more deliberate manner to our sense of national loss, and to express our reverence for the national leader and the man whom we have lost. Six weeks have passed away since the bloody crime was committed that brought us the bereavement. Yet it needs not that anything of praise or affection that was then said, in the first moment of indignant grief, be now unsaid. Not even the words of eulogistic love and admiration that were pressed burning from a nation's outraged heart, will give Abraham Lincoln so high a place in history, as will the sober pen of the historian, a hundred years from to-day, writing with cool nerve the simple facts of his life. For myself, the farther I get away from the inhuman scene of his death, the farther I go back of all the accidents and concomitants, whether of his death or his life, to the real man that he was, the more do I wonder and

admire. He has left words and deeds and a finished work of statesmanship and philanthropy, which, aside from all interest excited by his tragic fate, worthily secure to him, not only the present gratitude and homage of the nation, but historic immortality among the few great names that America has produced. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln,—will not these be the four names that, a hundred years hence, will shine with most lustre in the first century of our national history?

I would speak to-day no mere eulogy. There is no need to exaggerate or to conceal. In discussing such a character we can afford to utter the simple, naked facts. All rhetorical adornment seems but tinsel where there is such pure gold. I would keep strictly within the limits of truth and soberness, while I attempt, though with very inadequate success, to bring together some of the elements by which Abraham Lincoln's capacity, and place in history, must be measured. We shall find, also, that in this life and death, is matter for such history as Shakspeare wrote, which records not only outward events and measures outward greatness, but traces in national events and through individual lives the course and conflicts of absolute, vital principles; and shows how men, though they die, yet triumph in their death, because over their graves the cause they lived for is lifted up out of the arena of conflict and passion, to receive ever after the undivided homage and reverence of the world. Abraham Lincoln, the man, is one of the noblest gifts of our Republic to history; but Abraham Lincoln, the martyr, sanctifies republican freedom and makes our history forever sacred.

In measuring the character and historical value of this man, the first question to be asked is, What was his individuality? that is, had he original power in himself? were there in his own being such elements of strength that he impressed himself strongly upon other men and upon events? did he have personal greatness and weight? And this question is put first, because the answer to it is most obvious, and leads us to one of the main elements of Abraham Lincoln's character and national strength.

We have had few public men in America-scarcely one, I think more purely original,-scarcely one who relied more, or with greater safety and success, upon native, inborn capacity, and upon the individual convictions and experience developed out of native capacity. Few men, in any age or nation of the world, placed in so high a position, have borne its responsibilities so naturally and so easily, or, in the midst of great events and dangers, have assumed responsibility so naturally and borne it so safely. In the great crises of the war, we have sometimes asked indeed for more show of power in the executive branch of the government; we have wanted to be consciously led by the will of a strong man, and to see the display of that will in the nation. Yet all the while that we have been praying for a leader, this man has been really leading us. I doubt if we have ever had a president-I do not except even Jackson or Washington— who was more truly the leader and ruler of the people than Abraham Lincoln. And the fact that he took this position so easily, and held it so quietly, that the people were not conscious of his hand holding and guiding them, is additional and consummate proof that he possessed the individual,

native power that makes one a natural leader. He led without even knowing it himself. He disclaimed all idea of leadership,—disclaimed it in perfect sincerity; said that the president was the servant of the people and only followed to do their bidding. But in the very effort and claim to be their servant, he became their master. Refusing to put himself at the head of any party or clique, listening respectfully and sincerely to all, but deciding for himself and taking the responsibility in his own hands at last, he became in reality the head of the nation.

And this position he held, because of the inherent strength and force of his individual character. When the war first burst upon the country, and Abraham Lincoln-a Western lawyer, with little general culture and experience in statesmanship — almost by accident was at the helm of affairs, selected with no reference to the great events that were coming, men began to look at each other with doubt and anxiety; and prominent persons of the party that had elected him wished that they could have foreseen, so that they might have chosen a stronger man. But Providence foresaw, and was wiser than the politicians would have been, or were. They did at Chicago better than they knew. They were thinking only of a temporary availability during an electioneering campaign, and so chose Abraham Lincoln for the presidential candidate; Providence, foreseeing a four years struggle with the power of slavery, was thinking of availability in its highest sense, and so let them choose him. For had they foreseen, where would they have found their stronger man? William H. Seward was then the foremost statesman of the party. Does any one now regret that he

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