The Nation's Woe by T. De Witt Talmage

T. DeWitt Talmage

Isa., 40: 1: " Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your

This reiterated command to the ministers of re-
ligion centuries ago is just as appropriate this terrible
morning, while we are awaiting tidings from the suf-
fering couch of our chief magistrate.

"The President shot!" was sounded through the
rail-train as we halted a few moments on the morn-
ing of July 2d, at Williamstown, Mass., the place at
which the President was expected in three days.
"Absurd and impossible," I said. I asked then, as I
ask you now, Why should any one want to kill him?
He had nothing but that which he had earned with his
own brain and hand. He had fought his own way up
from country home to college hall, and from college
hall to the House of Representatives, and from House
of Representatives to the Senate Chamber, and from
the Senate Chamber to the Presidential chair. Why
should any one want to kill him? He was not a
despot who had been treading on the rights of the
people. There was nothing of the Nero or the Robes-
pierre in him. He had wronged no man. He was
free and happy himself and wanted all the world free
and happy. Why should any one want to kill him?
He had a family to shepherd and educate, a noble
wife and a group of little children leaning on his arm,
and holding his hand, and who needed him for many
years to come. If any one must shoot him, why shoot
him then, just as after with indescribable perplexity
and fatigue, he had launched his administration and
was off for a few days of recreation which he had so
dearly earned? How any man could take steady aim
at such a good, kind, sympathetic heart, and draw the
trigger and see him fall is inexplicable.

But the deed is done. There is a black shadow on
every hearthstone in America. It seems as if there
were one dead in each house. Again and again we
have prayed as we prayed this morning, "Father, if it
be possible, let this cup pass from us ...

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