government was assailed; he restored its authority.
Slavery thrust the sword of civil war at the heart of the nation; he crushed slavery, and cemented the purified Union in new and stronger bonds.
And all the while conciliation was as active as vindication was stern.
He reasoned and pleaded with the anger of the South
; he gave insurrection time to repent; he forbore to execute retaliation; he offered recompense to slaveholders; he pardoned treason.
What but lifetime schooling in disappointment; what but the pioneer's self-reliance and freedom from prejudice; what but the patient faith, the clear perceptions of natural right, the unwarped sympathy and unbounding charity of this man with spirit so humble and soul so great, could have carried him through the labors he wrought to the victory he attained?
As the territory may be said to be its body, and its material activities its blood, so patriotism may be said to be the vital breath of a nation.
When patriotism dies, the nation dies, and its resources as well as its territory go to other peoples with stronger vitality.
Patriotism can in no way be more effectively cultivated than by studying and commemorating the achievements and virtues of our great men — the men who have lived and died for the nation, who have advanced its prosperity, increased its power, added to its glory.
In our brief history the United States
can boast of many great men, and the achievement by its sons of many great deeds; and if we accord the first rank to Washington
as founder, so we must unhesitatingly give to Lincoln
the second place as preserver and regenerator of American liberty.
So far, however, from being opposed or subordinated either to the other, the popular heart has already canonized these two as twin heroes in our national pantheon, as twin stars in the firmament of our national fame.