The superficial reasoner and the hypercritic will regard the just views upon the Character of Lincoln as fulsome admiration of the dead, but the Student of history, and of the agency of man in Creating it and he who watches the phases of human progress, who Scans the Changes in the World's thought which finds expression in the laws enacted for the Advancement of national interests, and for the benefit of Communal weal, find in the Study of the Characters of the men who impress their individuality, on their era an interesting occupation. Such was Lincoln.
It is through the impress of mind on the material things of life that beneficial effects ensue, when the influences are rightly directed. It is through the calm, dispassionate Criticism, the Exposition, so to speak, of the Philosophy in the actions of the individual that Correct judgments are formed of his influence on his times and of the benefits that are to accrue in the future of the nation’s life.
Abraham Lincoln lived --- the type of a life devoted to the cause of human freedom, and he died, a martyr to no insane folly revenging personal disappointments, but a martyr upon the altar of human equity before the law and made in his death a Sacrifice to the principles of human freedom.
Mr. Lincoln stands --- the central figure in American history in the 19th Century, and his martyrdom is the phenomenal crime of this era. Washington, in his relation to American history and the cause of freedom is the Central figure of history in the 18th Century.