It is the most impressive
day in the history of our country. More nearly than ever before
we are “of one heart and one mind.” And this unity of spirit, this
bond of peace, is plainly now, as we do not always see it must be,
only through what is deepest and best in our nature.
Our universal tribute is to the man,
whose manliness has been unchanged by conditions that made him conspicuous
not merely before his countrymen but before the world. A man whose
life, in the widest range of condition and service, was simple,
consistent, sincere. No man’s life was ever more fully revealed,
or showed more honorably in the full revelation. No life more perfectly
fulfilled the duties of those relations which bind us in homes,
in neighborhoods, in wider communities. His life was sound and pure
in all that gives stability and honor to states.
It is a day of profound thankfulness
that our great country is united in giving honor to manly worth.
No mere soldier, no mere ruler could have won this heartfelt, tender
regard. And it is a most fortunate time in our national development
that nothing stands in the way of this demonstration of respect
and affection. When Lincoln died in office we were still rent in
twain by civil war. When Garfield died, partisan feeling was 
threatening the public safety. Today we are one country, a united
people; we have no apprehensions about the succession of men or
measures. This unity and security we owe, in his full degree, to
the president whom we now honor at the close of his long period
of public service.
Shall we say anything, at such a time,
of the manner of his taking off? Only that its pathos touches us
most deeply and should bring forth what is best in our hearts. Who
can compare the life of a man, a nation, a world, a universe! This
man, when he saw the end of earth was near, could say, as in vision
of eternal truth, “It is God’s way.” The crowning utterances of
a Christian life. According to the measure of our own faith, may
we be able to speak his words.