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[446]

Abraham Lincoln (1865).

Address after the assassination of President Lincoln, Tremont Temple, Boston, April 23, 1865.

These are sober days. The judgments of God have found us out. Years gone by chastised us with whips; these chastise us with scorpions. Thirty years ago how strong our mountain stood, laughing prosperity on all its sides None heeded the fire and gloom which slumbered below. It was nothing that a giant sin gagged our pulpits; that its mobs ruled our streets, burned men at the stake for their opinions, and hunted them like wild beasts for their humanity. It was nothing that, in the lonely quiet of the plantation, there fell on the pitied person of the slave every torture which hellish ingenuity could devise. It was nothing that, as husband and father, mother and child, the negro drained to it dregs all the bitterness that could be pressed into his cup; that, torn with whip and dogs, starved, hunted, tortured, racked, he cried, “How long, O Lord, how long!” In vain did a thousand witnesses crowd our highways, telling to the world the horrors of this prison-house, none stopped to consider, none believed. Trade turned away its deaf ear; the Church gazed on them with stony brow; letters passed by with mocking tongue. But what the world would not look at God has set today in a light so ghastly bright that it almost dazzles us blind. What the world refused to believe, God has written all over the

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