capital, while his ears drank in praise and thanksgiving which bore his name to the throne of God in every form piety and gratitude could invent; and finally, to seal the sure triumph of the cause he loved with his own blood.
He caught the first notes of the coming jubilee, and heard his own name in every one.
Who among living men may not envy him?
Suppose. that when a boy, as he floated on the slow current of the Mississippi
, idly gazing at the slave upon its banks, some angel had lifted the curtain and shown him that in the prime of his manhood he should see this proud empire rocked to its foundations in the effort to break those chains; should himself marshal the hosts of the Almighty in the grandest and holiest war that Christendom ever knew, and deal with half-reluctant hand that thunderbolt of justice which would smite the foul system to the dust, then die, leaving a name immortal in the sturdy pride of our race and the undying gratitude of another,--would any credulity, however sanguine, any enthusiasm however fervid, have enabled him to believe it?
He has lived to do it!
[Applause.] God has graciously withheld him from any fatal misstep in the great advance, and withdrawn him at the moment when his star touched its zenith, and the nation needed a sterner hand for the work God gives it to do.
No matter now that, unable to lead and form the nation, he was contented to be only its representative and mouthpiece; no matter that, with prejudices hanging about him, he groped his way very slowly and sometimes reluctantly forward: let us remember how patient he was of contradiction, how little obstinate in opinion, how willing, like Lord Bacon, “to light his torch at every man's candle.”
With the least possible personal hatred; with too little sectional bitterness, often forgetting