« PreviousContinue »
officers and soldiers, who have fought, bled, and died to win our battles; cruelty to the thousands of weeping widows and helpless orphans, who have sacrificed their all to their country's cause; cruelty to loyal Americans everywhere, who have poured out their treasures, if not their blood, like water, to preserve our national existence, to preserve the honor of our national flag, and to hand down to our children, and to our children's children, all of our free institutions; and cruelty to all nations in destroying the last hope of any noble example in successfully maintaining civil and religious liberty for the welfare of enslaved millions.
When President Johnson says, " To the honest boy, to the deluded man, who has been deceived into the rebel ranks, I would extend leniency; I would say, renew your support to the Government, and become good citizens, -and the leaders I would hang;” I
say, his sentence is just, — his decision is right. The honor of violated law, human and divine, must be vindicated; merited punishment must be inflicted as an example to deter others from similar crimes: the public sense of justice demands it; and it is essential to the permanent peace and prosperity of our nation. Righteousness and peace” must embrace each other. And with this decided, certain punishment staring the rebels full in the face, I would demand of them an unconditional surrender and submission to the powers that be.” Nor do I think that any other terms of settlement of our national difficulties should be offered by our Government to any rebel civilian, rebel officer, or rebel private, or be accepted by our military authorities, but that of an unconditional surrender. No property reserved, no dictation permitted, no arms granted, no paroles and escorts promised. They must yield unconditionally; their proud and rebellious spirit, as well as their military power, must be broken; the fatal doctrine of State Rights being superior to Federal authority must be anni
hilated, -otherwise, peace is a delusion. Otherwise, a multitude of rebels — like Judge Campbell, of Richmond, Va., and General
- , Robert E. Lee, of the late rebel army- will still insolently attack our Government; will arrogantly claim exemption from all punishment for the most ambitious and causeless arch - traitors who have deluged our land with blood and tears, and will still strive to rule the destinies of our country. But we cannot bear to lose all the treasure that has been expended, and all the tears that have been shed, and all the blood that has been spilled for the last four years in this wicked war, to perpetuate our national life, for nothing. No, no! Never! Far better will it be to protract the war, if necessary, four years longer, until our work is fully done; to subjugate the South entirely, if necessary to crush the wicked spirit of rebellion; better waste the inhabitants thereof almost totally, as Benjamin of old was wasted for first winking at a grievous crime, and then proudly defying their brethren, the children of Israel, who justly warred against it; yea, better, as a last resort, arm every slave, and give them not only their freedom for fighting for their own and our country's deliverance from every species of bondage, but also the lands upon which they fight, many of which are justly their own, as they have been purchased by the toil and the blood and the sale of their forefathers and of themselves, as their future homes, and let them rule them as they please, always, of course, under the control of the national Government, with which Government they would cheerfully cooperate, and to which they would prove also a strong bulwark. All this is a sad alternative. But, if the rebel South drive us to it, the whole work is feasible. It will certainly be easier to do all this, than it was to do what has already been done. Let there be, then, no wavering. Then will this nation have safety and peace; and we fear that she never will until her kingdom thus comes.
Human governments are wisest and safest in their principles and actions in proportion as they pattern after the divine govern
But God carries on, by varied and adapted agencies, a relentless and perpetual war against every rebel sinner, just in proportion to his guilt of violated light and law, until he yields an unconditional submission. To be saved, he must give up every thing, and yield to God's own terms, before the contest ceases. Just so with our Government. It should continue its war against every rebel, North or South, without wavering and without cessation, until they yield an unconditional submission to the rightfully constituted authorities of the nation. And if
And if any difference is to be made in the degree of punishment inflicted, or in the favor shown, it should be in behalf of the deluded privates, rather than of the guilty leaders who have taught rebellion and ruin, and who deserve as justly to be certainly punished as did J. Wilkes Booth deserve it for his villanous murder.
And, as Jehovah makes rebel sinners willing in the day of his power” to submit to his commands, just so will this Government, aided by that same Almighty Power, effectually subdue the spirit and the strength of that people who have so madly and so wickedly dared to rebel against its wise and just authority. Then will our triumphant and final song be, "Not unto us, o
O Lord! not unto us, but unto thy name, give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake.” — " This is the Lord's doing: it is marvellous in our eyes.”
I will close with three practical remarks:
ist. National existence, national law, national order, must be preserved at all hazards, - at the risk and expense of life, limb, and 'treasure. Those who violate or trample upon either will sooner or later be surely and sorely punished, the abettors as well as the perpetrators of deeds of enormous wickedness. Let all rebels, then, and murderers, and lawless and disobedient persons,
beware; for the Chief Magistrate and civil officers everywhere do not bear the sword in vain. 2d. Let every man be a loyal man, — loyal to his country
a and loyal to his God. Let him feel his personal responsibility to man, and also his personal responsibility to God, — his duty to submit to and obey both human and divine governments. Let him "render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's.” Let him be a true patriot, and also a true Christian. They are not inconsistent. And he who loves God supremely, and his neighbor as himself, will love his country and government also. Wherefore " let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, — not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake."
3d. If the mighty fall what shall become of the weak? If Princes lie in the dust, and go down to the dark grave, where shall the lowly be found? The lesson taught each of us from these sad reflections is, " Prepare to meet thy God,” whenever and however he comes. "Be ye also ready; for, in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.”
DEATH OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN:
A DISCOURSE DELIVERED BEFORE THE
FRIENDS OF PROGRESS," IN STUART's HALL, BATTLE CREEK, MICH., APRIL 19, 1865;
BY REV. MOSES HULL.
Such deep and universal mourning as there is to-day, the
history of the world has never recorded. Every loyal heart beats heavily; every voice speaks in a subdued tone; every pulpit in the land is draped in deepest mourning. The crape on the door of the house of every loyal American fails to illustrate the grief of the American people. We mourn not only the loss of one who filled the highest office in the power of the American people to bestow, but the greatest man, absolutely the greatest, of the nineteenth century has fallen. Such mental wails, such grief and indignation, as come to us from all portions of the United States and Canada, show the warmth of the attachment of the people for their martyred statesman. No event within our nation's history has excited such deep and heartfelt emotions of
Language fails to exhibit our loss, or depict the true character of him for whom we mourn. An adequate idea of the magnanimity and unselfish patriotism of our lamented President cannot be given, nor can any eulogy place him in a higher position in the hearts of the American people.