J. T. (Jonathan Todd) Hobson.

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meaning chance." Another writer says, "The sunhght
bfoke through the clouds, and fell upon him with a
glory afterwards felt to have been an omen of the
martyr's crown which was so soon to rest upon his
head." Mr. Lincoln was much impressed by the strange
scene. Miss Anna Dickenson, an "eye witness," after-
ward, in a lecture delivered in the House of Representa-
tives, Mr. Lincoln being present, eloquently referred to
the sun-burst as a happy omen.


Going to Jerusalem.

JESUS often spoke of his death, and he now turns his
face from Galilee towards Jerusalem for the last
time. Luke says, "And it came to pass when the time
was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly
set his face to go to Jerusalem," He apprehended all
that a;waited him when he should arrive, but his resolu-
tion did not fail him. He looked beyond, and regarded
the blessed results. He looked to the issue, and tri-
umphed in prospect. He had "the joy set before him"
continually in his eye, and his suffering and death were
regarded merely as preparatory to it.

The Honorable Murat Halstead says: "It is said that
Abraham Lincoln, on the night the assassin killed him,
chatted with his wife in the box at the theater where they
sat together hardly conscious of the passing play, and
they discussed plans, for the country was to have peace,
and they were interested with each other, for they had
not been able to think of their own future. The promise
of peace to them was specially blessed, and the talk of
Lincoln then and there was of going to Jerusalem. It is
pathetic that this seems to have been the last thought in
the long burdened brain before the murderer's pistol was
fired ; his head fell on his bosom, and there was for him
'Jerusalem, the Golden.' "


86 Master and His Servant

The Triumphal Entry.

On Sunday before his crucifixion, which is now cele-
brated as "Palm Sunday," Jesus entered Jerusalem, the
Jewish capital. It was known that he was coming and a
grand reception awaited him. The excitement became
intense. The applause upon the part of the poor Gali-
leans, and his despised followers, was great as they cried
out, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he
that cometh in the name of the Lord !" "Hosanna in the
highest!" The multitude caught up the joyous strain.
Out of respect they spread their outer garments in the
way, and cut branches from the palm trees, emblems of
joy and victory, and strewed them in the way. They
hailed Jesus as their deliverer in whom all their hopes
centered. The whole city was filled with intense excite-
ment, occasioned by the triumphal entry, which was gall
and bitterness to the proud Pharisees, but they were
powerless to stay the flow of enthusiasm.

On Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Lincoln's as-
sassination, he entered Richmond, the Confederate capi-
tal, which had just surrendered to the Union forces. As
soon as his arrival became known, from all sides the
colored people, whom he had delivered from bondage,
crowded around him in wild enthusiasm. Men, women,
and children joined the increasing throng, shouting, hal-
lowing, and dancing with great delight. Men threw up
their hats, the women waved their bonnets and handker-
chiefs, clapped their hands, and the air rang with a
tumultuous chorus: "Glory to God!" "Glory, glory!"
"Bless de Lord!" "God bless you, Massa Linkum!"
The streets became almost impassable on account of the
increasing multit'*<ie, till soldiers were summoned to

The End Drawing Near 87

clear the way. It was a great privilege for the poor,
down-trodden people to behold their benefactor.

Last Meeting with Disciples and Cabinet.
In a large upper room of a house in Jerusalem Jesus
held his last, meeting with his disciples a few hours
before his arrest. He spoke of the future. Great ques-
tions were to be met and solved. He spoke of the great
law of love which should characterize the conduct of his
disciples in the future economy of his kingdom. Besides
the law of love, he spoke of union and peace. He an-
swered many questions asked by the disciples. They
were deeply grateful for his instructive and comforting
words. While Jesus was teaching great truths, upon
which depended the welfare of the world, the traitor
was arranging his plans to carry the betrayal into exe-

~A FEW hours before his assassination Mr. Lincoln and
his cabinet had a meeting. As the Rebellion was now
at an end, the mode of dealing with the Rebel States
and people was under consideration. Mr. Lincoln was
in favor of lenient measures. He advocated that for-
bearance, clemency, and charity should be the control-
ling principles in dealing with difKcult problems await-
ing practical solution. He spoke kindly of General Lee,
and others of the Confederacy. While these charitable
feelings filled the mind of the President, the traitor was
arranging to carry out the dreadful plot of his assas-

A Memorial Instituted.
On Thursday evening before his crucifixion on Friday,
Jesus instituted a memorial service, calkd th? Lord's

88 Master and His Servant

Supper, or the Holy Eucharist, which has been kept up
by Christians until this day. The Passover Feast had
been kept from the time of the exodus from Egypt, con-
sisting of the paschal lamb, unleavened bread, bitter
herbs^ and other substances in commemoration of the
bitter experiences of the Israelites, and the passing over
of the destroying angel on seeing the blood sprinkled on
the door posts. Christ gave the Passover a new significa-
tion by taking only bread, and the fruit of the vine, to
represent his broken body, his shed blood, and the pass-
ing over our sins through his sufferings and death. The
feast was to be celebrated oftener than the old order
required. '

Thanksgiving services were observed in Bible times
and countries, and on down through the early history
of this country. Before President Lincoln's day there
had been thanksgiving services held at various times, on
various occasions, by proclamation of Presidents, and
governors, but not regularly. President Lincoln insti-
tuted the annual thanksgiving services by proclamation
for the last Thursday in November, in 1863 and 1864,
and such services have been held throughout the United
States, on the last Thursday in November in each year
until the present.


Reference has been made, under another topic, to the
sorrows of Christ. It was in the garden of Gethsemane,
on the night of his arrest, that he went through the
greatest mental anguish. The world was against him,
its sins were upon him, and his death was at hand. The
agony of his 80ul was so great that he not only shed

The End Drawing Near 89

galling tears, accompanied by painful pleadings with his
lips, but even the pores of his body forced blood for
relief. Prostrate on the cold ground he prayed in mortal
agony, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass
from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Three times was this request made. He was strength-
ened, drank the bitter cup to its dregs, gained the vic-
tory, and was prepared for the dreadful ordeal. His
hour came. What a wonderful story of love!

Under a former topic reference was made to Mr.
Lincoln's sorrows. There were times when his sorrows
amounted to agony. After his election to the presidency,
and before his inauguration, he said to an old friend.
Judge Gillespie, in Springfield, Illinois: "Every hour
adds to the difficulty I am called upon to meet, and the
present administration does nothing to check the tend-
ency toward dissolution. I, who have been called to
meet this awful responsibility, am compelled to remain
here, doing nothing to avert, or lessen its force when it
comes to me. I see the duty devolving upon me. I
have read upon my knees the story of Gethsemane,
where the. Son of God prayed in vain that the cup of
bitterness might pass from him. I am in the garden of
Gethsemane now, and my cup of bitterness is full, and
overflowing." But Mr. Lincoln was given grace and
strength for his trials.


A Wicked Conspiracy.

A CONSPIRACY had been formed by the chief
priests to take Jesus, and put him to death. Other
plans in the past had been unsuccessful in their execu-
tion. In this case Judas Iscariot, who was acquainted
with the surroundings, and who knew where Jesus woxild
be, was the agent to carry out the plans, and they were
successful. The time chosen wqs the forepart of the
night. The disciples escaped by flight.

A NUMBER of persons were engaged in the conspiracy
to assassinate President Lincoln. Other efforts in the
past were abortive. In this instance John Wilkes Booth,
who was acquainted with all the surroundings, and who
knew where Mr. Lincoln would be that night, was the
agent to carry out the purposes of the conspiracy, which
were successfully executed. Members of the cabinet
and others were to be killed at the same time, but these
efforts were failures.

Going to the Cross and to the Theater.
It was ordered by his enemies that Jesus should be
put to death by crucifixion on a cross. He could have
called a legion of angels to his rescue, but he went to
the despised cross for the sake of others. It was for
our sakes that he was thus humiliated by a disgraceful


Crucifixion and Assassination 91

It was arranged by the conspirators that Mr. Lincoln
should be assassinated in a theater. He went to the
theater that fatal night, not that he personally wanted
to go, but he went for the sake of others. The proceeds
of the play were to be used for charitable purposes, and
it was advertised that he was to be there, and he did
not want to disappoint his friends.

"It is Finished."
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place at the capi-
tal of the nation, on what is now called Good Friday.
For six hours the innocent victim languished. At last
he said, "It is finished." His active ministry of three
and one-half years was done, and the scheme of human
redemption accomplished. The centurion standing by
after having witnessed the death of Christ, and the im-
pressive surroundings, exclaimed, "Truly, this was the
Son of God!"

The assassination of Lincoln occurred at the capital
of the nation on Good Friday. For ten hours the inno-
cent victim languished. When he expired his four years
of strenuous work as President were finished, and with
his death the Rebellion was suppressed. As Mr. Stan-
ton, Secretary of War, stood by, when the end came,
he broke the silence by saying, "Now he belongs to the

Love of the Victims.

Even on the cross Christ loved his blinded crucifiers,

and prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not

what they do." He represented us as he died, and he

died for every creatur- His commission, after his resur-

92 Master and His Servant

rection, was that the gospel should be preached to every
creature. Mr. Moody says : "I can imagine Peter saying,
'Lord, do you really mean that we are to preach the
gospel to every creature?' 'Yes, Peter.' 'Shall we go
back to Jerusalem and preach the gospel to those who
murdered you?' 'Yes, Peter, go back and tarry there
until you are endued with power from on high. Offer
the gospel to them first. Go, search that man who spat
in my face; tell him I forgive him; there is nothing in
my heart but love for him. Go, search out that man
who put the cruel crown of thorns on my brow; tell
him that I have a crown ready for him in my kingdom,
if he will only accept salvation; there shall not be a
thorn in it, and he shall wear it forever and ever in the
kmgdom of heaven. Find out that man who took the
reed from my hand, and smote my head, driving the
thorns deeper into my brow. If he will accept salvation
as a gift, I will give him a scepter, and he may sway it
as a king. Go, seek out that man who struck me with
the palm of his hand; find him and preach the gospel
to him ; tell him that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed
for all men, and even for him if he will accept it. Go,
and seek out that poor soldier who drove the spear into
my side; tell him that there is a nearer way to my
heart than that. Tell him that I forgive him freely; and
tell him that I will make him a soldier of the cross, and
my banner over him shall be love.' "

Me. Lincoln always had a forgiving spirit, and this
was manifested on the day of his death. He was will-
ing to die for the love of his country. General Banks
said, "It was because he represented us that he died."
Dr. J. G- Holland, the historian, said, in an addresg aX

Crucifixion and Assassination 93

Springfield, Massachusetts, four days after the assassi-
nation : "Oh, friends ! Oh, countrymen ! I dare not
speak the thoughts of vengeance that burn within me
when I recall the shameless deed. I dare not breathe
those imprecations that rise to my lips when I think of
this wanton extinction of a great and beneficent life.
I can hardly pray for justice fully measured out to the
mad murderer of his truest friend, for, somehow, I feel
the presence of that kindly spirit, the magnetism of those
kindly eyes, appealing me to forbear. I have come into
such communion with his personality that I can not
escape the power of his charity and his Christian for-
bearance; and the curse, rising like a bubble from the
turbid waters within me, breaks into nothingness in the
rarer atmosphere which he throws around me. If he
could speak to me from that other shore, he would say,
what all his actions and all his words said of others not
less guilty than his assassin, .'My murderer was mad
and mistaken, as well as malignant. He thought he was
doing a great and glorious deed- on behalf of a great
and glorious cause. My death was necessary to the
perfection of my mission, and was only one sacrifice
among hundreds and thousands of others made for the
same end.' "

Rending of the Veil.
In connection with the death of Christ the veil of the
temple at Jerusalem, thirty by sixty feet, which separated
the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, was rent in
twain from top to bottom. The Most Holy Place was
passed into only by the High Priest once a year on the
Day of Atonement, in token of the mediation of Christ
who was to come. Christ had now come, and finished

94 Master and His Servant

his work, therefore all types, shadows, and ordinances
pointing to his coming were at an end ; the Mosaic dis-
pensation was now abolished, and a new covenant is
made by Christ who offered his body "once for all." In
this "new and living way," the Christian dispensation,
all distinctions between Jews and Gentiles were to be
obliterated. These things were typified by the "rending
of the veil."

When Abraham Lincoln died "Mason and Dixon's
Line," dividing the North from the South, was forever
abolished. Free and slave States were to be known no
more. Thfe term "Rebel" now belongs to the records
of the past. The annual debates in Congress on the
slavery question were now at an end. When Lincoln
died the veil which hid his greatness was torn aside, and
the whole country realized what it had possessed and lost
in him. He, "once for all," had solved the problem of
the ages. By lifting the veil of slavery his oft-repeated
declaration that "all men are created equal," is to be
demonstrated in the new order of government.



Impressions on the People.

IN addition to the rending of the veil of the temple,
there were other remarkable events connected with
the death of Christ. At noon the heavens became black,
and the sun was turned into darkness. For three hours
dense darkness covered the surroundings. It was no
natural eclipse of the sun, for the sun and moon were
not in position for an eclipse, besides a total eclipse of
the sun does not last so long. It was truly a "sign
from heaven" for which the Pharisees had been clamor-
ing. Further, in the language of Canon Farrar, "An
earthquake shook the earth and split the rocks, and as it
rolled away from their places the great stones which
closed and covered the cavern sepulchers of the Jews,
so it seemed to the imagination of many to have disim-
prisoned the spirits of the dead, and to have filled the
air with ghostly visitants, who, after Christ had arisen,
appeared to linger in the Holy City." These circum-
stances of amazement, joined to all that had before
passed, had in it something more awful than had been
conceived, which filled the minds of the people with
gloomy forebodings of dread. Many of them smote
their breasts and returned to the city. - The poor fright-
ened disciples were unable to understand or to explain
the wonderful events that had occurred. It was truly
a day of signs and wonders, such as had never before
occurred within the history of mankind.


96 Master and His Servant

With Lincoln's death the nation was awakened from
its dream of peace to learn that its protector, leader,
and friend, was - assassinated by a wicked avenger.
W. O. Stoddard, a Lincoln historian, says: "It was as
if there had been a death in every house throughout the
land. By North and South the awful news was re-
ceived with a shudder and a momentary spasm of un-
belief. Then followed the most remarkable spectacle in
the history of the human race, for there. is nothing else
at all like it on record. Bells had been tolled before at
the death of a loved ruler, but never did all bells toll
so mournfully as they did that day. Business ceased.
Men came together in public meetings as if by a common
impulse." Another writer says that it was "a deed
which produced a shock of horror that extended not only
to the limits of our own country, but whose vibrations
were felt throughout the civilization of the world."
D. D. Thompson, another Lincoln historian, says : "Satur-
day, April IS, [1865] was one of the most dreadful
days in American history. Many men who, the day
before, like children in their joy, appeared to have turned
into fiends. A spirit of riot was in the air. An im-
promptu indignation meeting was held in Wall Street,
New York, and an excited mob had gathered, bent on
vengeance, when its attention was arrested by a young
man standing on the balcony of the Board of Trade,
raising a small flag, and lifting his right arm, in a loud,
clear voice, said, 'Fellow citizens ! Clouds and darkness
are round about him. His pavilion is dark waters, and
thick clouds of the skies ! Justice and judgment are the
habitations of his throne! Mercy and truth shall go
before him ! Fellow citizens ! God reigns, and the

Incidents and Effects of Deaths 97

government at Washington still lives!" This short
speech quieted the mob. The speaker was General Gar-
field, who afterward became President of tjie United
States. Miss Ida M. Tarbell, in McClur£'s Magazine,
says that General Garfield on that occasion also made
this statement: "It may be almost impious to state it,
but it does seem to me that his . death almost parallels
that of the Son of God, who cried, 'Father, forgive. them,
for they know not what they do.' " The author of this
volume, although but fourteen years of age at that time,
can never forget how the awful news was received at
his own home.

Fate of the Conspirators.
All the leaders of the conspiracy that resulted in the
crucifixion of Christ met with a terrible fate. Farrar,
in his Life of Christ, says: "And now mark for one
moment, the revenges of history. Has not his blood
been on them, and on their children? Has it not fallen,
most of all, on those most nearly concerned in the deep
tragedy? Before the dread sacrifice was consummated
Judas died in the horrors of a loathsome suicide. Caia-
phas was deposed the year following. Herod died in
infamy and exile. Stripped of his Procuratorship very
shortly afterward on the very charges he had tried by
a wicked concession to avoid. Pilate, wearied out with
misfortunes, died in suicide and banishment, leaving be-
hind him an execrated name. The house of Annas was
destroyed a generation later by an infuriated mob, and
his son was dragged through the streets, scourged and
beaten, to his place of murder."

98 Master and His Servant

The leaders in the conspiracy which resulted in the
assassination of Lincoln met with tragic deaths. Booth
was traced to a barn in Virginia. He refused to sur-
render, and the barn was set on fire. While the barn
was burning he was shot by Boston Corbett, one of the
pursuing party, and three hours later died in miserable
agony. Four other persons connected with the plot,
Payne, Artzerot, Harold and Mrs. Surratt, were ar-
rested, convicted and hanged. Others were arrested,
tried and sentenced for life to a penal station on a bar-
ren, solitary island called the Dry Tortugas, southwest
of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Who Shall Declare His Generation?"

The genealogy of Jesus Christ is traced back to the
beginning of the history of mankind, but as the Son of
man he left no descendants. It was said of him, "Who
shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from
the earth." His posterity, however, as the Son of God,
is abundantly declared, for all the generations of the
righteous are his spiritual children, and delight to honor
his name.

The ancestry of Abraham Lincoln is traced back
through many generations. The Honorable Robert T.
Lincoln, ex-Secretary of War, now living at Chicago,
Illinois, the only living son of Abraham Lincoln, has no
living male child. Hence the descendants of Abraham
Lincoln, so far as the ancestral name is concerned, will
become extinct on the death of Robert T. Lincoln. But
there are multitudes of followers and admirers of Abra-
ham Lincoln who delight to think of him as "Father

Incidents and Effects of Deaths 99

Good from Evil.
It was arranged in the counsels of God that Christ
should die for the cause he advocated, also as a substi-
tute for man. God permitted wicked men to carry out
their murderous spirit in putting Christ to death, but he
overruled it for his own purpose, and for the good of
our poor fallen race. As man was unable to keep and
meet the demands of the law, Christ kept the law per-
fectly, and, although slain through enmity, yet he "gave
his life a ramson for many.'' Many of the ways of
divine Providence we can not understand, because his
ways are above our ways. By faith we may be en-
couraged to accept the truth that "all things work to-
gether for good to them that love God."

Honorable J. H. Barrett, an early Lincoln historian,
says: "His work was really finished. The 'wrath of
man' was permitted to accomplish its design, and so
overruled as to serve the purpose of Providence. To
that overruling power, the nation, and all who mourn
the great bereavement, should reverehtly bow. The fu-
ture of our nation, as the past has been, is in keeping of
a Being supremely wise and good, 'who knoweth the end
from the beginning,' and ever 'doeth all things well.' "
Dr. J. G. Holland said: "I believe in the over-ruling
providence of God, and that, in permitting the life of our
chief magistrate to be extinguished, he only closed one
volume of the history of this nation, to open another,
whose pages shall be illustrated with fresh developments
of his love, and sweeter signs of his mercy. What Mr.
Lincoln achieved, he achieved for us."



Preliminaries to Interment.

JOSEPH, of Arimathea, a very wealthy man, an hon-
orable counsellor, and a member of the Sanhedrim,
but who did not consent to the crucifixion of Christ,
made application to Pilate to remove the body of Christ
from the cross. The request was granted. Joseph,
Nicodemus, the ruler who came to Jesus by night, and
others, partially embalmed the body with myrrh, aloes,
and rich spices, and wrapped it in fine linen. A mournful
pageant accompanied the body of Jesus to the tomb
where it was to be placed temporarily, and the embalm-
ing to be completed later. "Slowly the group wound their
way along the rocky surface of Golgotha. Their meas-
ured tread, the low whispers, the subdued wail of the
women who followed the bier, the lowly path they trode,
all combined to render the spectacle one of touching
solemnity." They were taking to the tomb one who had
died as a malefactor, but was to be buried as a king.

The body of Mr. Lincoln was removed from the
theater to a house across the street where he expired.
The body was then taken to the White House where it
was embalmed. Later it was taken to the capitol, thence

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Online LibraryJ. T. (Jonathan Todd) HobsonThe Master and His servant; comparative outline sketches of the Redeemer of mankind, and the emancipator of a race .. → online text (page 6 of 8)