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[210]

New Orleans, Louisana.

Discourse of Rev. B. M. Palmer, D. D.
On the occasion of the Johnston memorial services held in the First Presbyterian Church, in New Orleans, La., Sabbath evening, April 26th, a highly thoughtful and impressive discourse was delivered by Rev. B. M. Palmer. At the request of the Associations of Confederate Veterans, before whom it was delivered, Dr. Palmer wrote it out from memory for publication. This rendition is here presented. Its earnest and dispassionate spirit commands regardful consideration.
Daniel II. 20-22: ‘Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever; for wisdom and might are His; and He changeth the times and the seasons; He removeth kings and setteth up kings; He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding; He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.’

There is a pathos in this assemblage which will subdue any heart that duly considers its significance. The life of a generation has almost passed since the two sections of this country were locked in deadly strife. It was a conflict which put to the test the strength and manhood of both the contending parties. Immense forces were put in the field, and were recruited as fast as they were depleted. These, marching from either extreme, met in the centre with a force of encounter that caused the continent to tremble to its base. It was a conflict gigantic in its proportions and heroic in its endurance—terminated at length only through the exhaustion of one of the combatants, when the stained and battered banner must needs be furled upon its staff, and peace resume its gentle sway.

During the six and twenty years which have elapsed nearly all the leaders in the stupendous struggle, both in council and in camp, have been summoned into the land of silence and of shadow. With the field-glass ranging over the whole plain of battle, the eye detects here and there only a single commander left, now bending under the weight of years and infirmity, who once led brave men to the fray. And of these few we meet to-night to mourn the departure of one who was among the most conspicuous of them all.

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