as against the concrete love centered in an individual.
He rarely used terms of endearment, and yet he was proverbially tender and gentle.
He gave the key-note to his own character when he said: “With malice towards none, with charity for all.”
In proportion to his want of deep, intense love he had no hate and bore no malice.
His charity for an imperfect man was as broad as his devotion to principle was enduring.
“But was not Mr. Lincoln
a man of great humanity?”
asks a friend at my elbow; to which I reply, “Has not that question been answered already?”
Let us suppose it has not. We must understand each other.
What is meant by his humanity?
Is it meant that he had much of human nature in him?
If so, I grant that he was a man of humanity.
If, in the event of the above definition being unsatisfactory or untrue, it is meant that he was tender and kind, then I again agree.
But if the inference is that he would sacrifice truth or right in the slightest degree for the love of a friend, then he was neither tender nor kind; nor did he have any humanity.
The law of human nature is such that it cannot be all head, all conscience, and all heart in one person at the same time.
Our maker so constituted things that, where God through reason blazed the way, we might boldly walk therein.
The glory of Mr. Lincoln
's power lay in the just and magnificent equipoise of head, conscience, and heart; and here his fame must rest or not at all.
Not only were Mr. Lincoln
's perceptions good; not only was nature suggestive to him; not only