previous next
[464] wrong for the subject. And as was said of Luther, “God honored him by making all the worst men his enemies.”

Fastened on that daily life was a malignant attention and criticism such as no American has ever endured. I will not call it a criticism of hate; that word is not strong enough. Malignity searched him with candles from the moment he uttered that God-given solution of the problem to the moment when he took the hand of the nation and wrote out the statute which made it law. Malignity searched those forty years with candles, and yet even malignity has never lisped a suspicion, much less a charge,--never lisped a suspicion of anything mean, dishonorable, dishonest. No man, however mad with hate, however fierce in assault, ever dared to hint that there was anything low in motive, false in assertion, selfish in purpose, dishonest in method,--never a stain on the thought, the word, or the deed.

Now contemplate this boy entering such an arena, confronting a nation and all its forces, utterly poor, with no sympathy from any quarter, conducting an angry, wide-spread, and profound agitation for ten, twenty, forty years, amid the hate of everything strong in American life, and the contempt of everything influential, and no stain, not the slightest shadow of one, rests on his escutcheon! Summon me the public men, the men who have put their hands to the helm of the vessel of State since 1789, of whom that can be said, although love and admiration, which almost culminated in worship, attended the steps of some of them.

Then look at the work he did. My friends have spoken of his influence. What American ever held his hand so long and so powerfully on the helm of social, intellectual, and moral America? There have been giants in our day. Great men, God has granted in widely

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1789 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: