« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
queror, and all of power, station, and dignity his country could bestow, he retired to spend the remnant of his life in humble privacy, and to dispense around him in his domestic sphere, the benign influence of a life of Christian piety and resignation. Men had been accustomed to contemplate him as he appeared on the theatre of the world, surrounded with martial trappings, or dispensing power and patronage from his exalted official positions. They were well acquainted with the splendid characteristics by which he was so distinguished amongst his contemporaries— his military genius, his bravery, probity, vigilance, activity, and firmness—his lofty bearing and magnanimity, which had attracted the admiration of all nations. All these traits were familiar to the public, but it remained for him to prove, how cheerfully, after he had finished his public tasks, he could disrobe himself of all the paraphernalia of rank and power, and devote the remainder of his days to the faithful performance of his duties as an humble citizen and pious Christian. Such was Andrew Jackson in his retirement. Kindness, gentleness, and the holy influence of fervid religion reigned around him. As a parent, friend, and neighbour, he was beloved beyond expression. In his household all was peace and tranquillity. Though long suffering with disease and infirmities, he was patient and forbearing-full of gratitude to his Creator for the blessings and favours he had enjoyed though life, and calmly awaiting death, in the hope of immortality through the medium of the Redeemer of Mankind.
I have attempted, briefly, to sketch some of the most prominent traits of the character of the illustrious man whose loss we lament. I am fully conscious how feebly I have done so, but I know also that there is little need of recalling them to the minds of the people of this country. The recapitulation is but a form, for they are felt and appreciated in the minds of my hearers more vividly and truly than I have power to portray. No man ever exceeded him in the love he bore his country-none but one ever rendered that country more eminent services. He was the man suited to the times and emergencies in which he lived. May an over-ruling Providence rear up in the future days of our republic, others who may equal him in ardent patriotism, and with qualities equally suitable to guard its interests and its safety.
DELIVERED AT EASTON, PA., JUNE 28, 1845,
WASHINGTON M'CARTNEY, Esq.
CITIZENS, SOLDIERS, AMERICANS :—No man liveth unto himself, and no man dieth unto himself. This is a moral law of our race, revealed by the spirit of divine truth, and felt through the world. Andrew Jackson has lived-Andrew Jackson is dead. Did he live unto himself? Did he die unto himself? The history of his country declares that he did not so live and die. The solemn dirge, whose tones have just sighed along these walls, announces that he did not so live and die. He obeyed the moral law of his race. Had he lived unto himself, and died unto himself, why these funeral weeds, these dismal symbols, these memorials of the departed one ? What does a nation say of him, whom dead, we now lament? Listen to its voice,-through the valleys, and along the streams, from the western prairie to the eastern city, from the thousand waters of the Mississippi to the Atlantic border, there rises up the voice of mourning. A nation tolls the funeral bell. A nation puts on the garments of sorrow. Andrew Jackson is no more. No more? No more, did I say? Recall that phrase “no more.” It grates too harshly. It harmonizes not with the religious faith that promises immortality. It accords not with the fond feelings of a nation. Faith follows the departed hero beyond the grave, at the Hermitage, and forbids us to say “He is no more.” Our inward nature re-echoes to our faith. The nation's hero still lives. He belonged to a race which enjoys immortality. He lives, too, in his country's history. Though dead, he still speaketh. He speaks to a nation in his worthy deeds. He speaks from the battle-field, from the hall of state, and from the Hermitage. He has, this day, brought you together.
But what does this day's gathering say of Andrew Jackson ? What says the muffled drum, the solemn music, the crape-shrouded flag ? They announce that he had a place in the hearts of his countrymen. They announce that he has been recalled to give an account of his mission to earth. They announce that he has lived not unto himself, and that he died not unto himself.
During his life, he received honours from his country, such as few men have received. Upon his grave, a nation bestows the testimonial of its sincere affection.
What was Andrew Jackson, and what did he do, that he should receive such honours while living, and when dead, should gather a nation round his tomb? What wus he? He was the imbodiment of the true spirit of the nation in which he lived. What did he do? He put himself at the head of the great movement of the age in which he lived. This was what he was, and this was what he did. For this, a nation adınired him while living, and for this, a nation pays him those cypress honours in which we this day join. Let it be our theme to show that Andrew Jackson did imbody the true spirit of his nation, that he did put himself at the head of the great movement of his age, and that because he was this, and did this, he received, and yet receives, the admiration and the honour of his countrymen. Around this theme, we might cluster the thrilling scenes of his military life, the prominent actions of his political, and the praiseworthy deeds of his domestic life. For all these enter into the description of what he was, and what he did.
We have said that Andrew Jackson imbodied the ruling spirit of his country, and entered heart and soul into the great movement of his
age. Run the eye across the history of the world. You observe that there are certain cycles, or ages, or periods of time, which have their peculiar spirit, their ruling passion, their great, characterizing, distinctive movements. He, who imbodies in its greatest fulness, the spirit of such an age, and enters with most earnestness into its movements, receives the admiration of his cotemporaries. They bestow their honours upon him while living, and when dead, they embalm his memory, and inurn him in their warmest affections. And why? because they see in him their own image. Because, in him is concentrated the spirit that has burned in their own bosom. Because, in him exists, in bodily form, in living flesh and blood, the spirit that gives them life and motion. The spirit of God descended upon the Saviour of the world in the form of a dove. The spirit of an age sometimes descends to future generations in the form of a man. An individual sometimes appears, who becomes the dove-like incorporation of the spirit, that moves through vast masses of men. The admiration: merited by him, and bestowed upon him, is in proportion to the nature, extent, and intensity, of that Spirit which finds its fulness of existence in him. The Redeemer of man, when upon earth, was the imbodiment of the pure spirit that moves and directs all humanity in its regenerated life. Beside him, all approaches towards the imbodiment of the pure, life-giving spirit of the race, have been local, partial, imperfect. But in proportion as an individual concentrates within himself, the spirit. which works through masses of men, and which moves, and should move them through the greatest cycle of time, in that proportion, he becomes entitled to their admiration and praise. In William Tell, the spirit of Switzerland's liberty existed in its fulness. Switzerland gazed—admired-roused itself at the twang of his bow, and still honours the hero. Luther was the typing out, in human form, of a spirit that circulated all over Europe. When the nations saw their image in him, they admired the man.
Europe did him reverence. Nations gathered around him. Washington was the typing out, in living flesh and blood, of that burning spirit of liberty, that pervaded three millions of freemen. In him, it existed as in its dove-like imbodiment. Hamilton and Jefferson, became each the type and image of his party, Thousands saw in them the fulness of their own ideal of political perfection. Therefore Hamilton and Jefferson were admired But why add to the muster-roll of names, to verify the truth, so widely felt, that he who gains the admiration of a nation, must be the type, the image, the imbodied spirit of the nation. The historical heavens are full of stars—but one star differeth from another star in glory. One shines brighter than its fellows, because it has more of the matter of light within it. 'But all who shine as the stars of history, derive their brightness from the degree of perfection in which they imbody the spirit that pervades vast aggregations of men. Because his countrymen saw their image and spirit in Andrew Jackson, they bestowed their honour and admiration upon him. Begin then, at the lowest grade of those who receive the praise of their fellowmen. Fill
up the catalogue of stars. Go from the dimmest to the brighest. Advance from the village hero, upwards, and upwards, and upwards, till you arrive at the impersonation of all human perfection. Where, on such a list, would you inscribe the name,
ANDREW JACKSON. The position of his name upon the list of honour, will depend upon the degree of perfection in which he was the image of his fellow-republicans.
To see in what degree of perfection he imbodied the spirit of his countrymen, look at him
As a military man,
Contemplate him first as a military man. What was-he, and what did he do? A native of South Carolina, he was early engaged in the cause of his country. An Irishman, by descent, he inherited the ardent character of his race. A republican, in all his youthful feelings, the fires of the Revolution brought him into the field.
Engaged in an unsuccessful skirmish, he became prisoner in the hands of the enemy. He was then fourteen years of age.
“ Black my boots,” said a British officer, to the captured Jackson. “I am a prisoner of war, and entitled to be treated as such," replied Jackson, and refused. A stroke from the sword of the officer nearly terminated the life of the bold prisoner. Here was the beginning of the warrior. Here was the first exhibition of that American spirit which existed in him in a bodily form. The incident may seem a trifle; but it was connected with a great principle; for the Americans had been stigmatized as rebels during the Revolution. Captured rebels are not treated as prisoners of war. By claiming to be such a prisoner, Andrew Jackson asserted that he belonged not to a band of rebels, but to a nation that was warring against another nation. His country had already become the idol of his boyish heart. To assert her honour, to maintain her national character, he put his life in his hand, and took the “ sponsibility” of disobeying the debasing command. Here was the spirit that then pervaded revolutionary America! To maintain the national character, to assert the high and honourable motives which impelled the colonies to the war, to be and to be regarded as a nation of upright men; to accomplish this, was a desire which in those days glowed in the breast of every AmericanTories and Cowboys excepted. This spirit had a complete habitation in Andrew Jackson, the prisoner of war.”
But the Revolution ended, and thirty years of peace circulated over the country. When the aggressions of Great Britain plunged us into the war of 1812, where was Andrew Jackson ? What military exhibition did he then make that in him was imbodied a double portion of the spirit that fired his countrymen? Let his military actions speak. They are known to all the world—to the American world, at least; and, I might add, they are known to the British and to the Southern Indians. To him was committed the management of the war in the South-west. Placed at a distance from the seat of government, he was compelled to rely very much upon his own judgment in the conduct of his military operations. Orders written at Washington city for his direction, sometimes did - not reach him until three months after their date. In this position, he was frequently compelled to risk his own reputation and honour for the safety of his country. Thus left to himself, he waged war upon the Indians of Alabama and Georgia. As an illustration of the difficulties of his position, look at the manner in which he was brought into contact with the Spanish government. Florida belonged to Spain. Florida gave shelter to the British and Indians, who prepared within its limits those expeditions that spread desolation along the South-western frontier. General Jackson remonstrated with the Spanish governor of Florida, upon this iniquitous