I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero born of woman crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat:
Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
TRAINING FOR GREATNESS
GLIMPSES OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S BOYHOOD
In pronouncing a eulogy on Henry Clay, Lincoln said: “His example teaches us that one can scarcely be so poor but that, if he will, he can acquire sufficient education to get through the world respectably.”
Endowed as he was with all the qualities that make a man truly great, Lincoln’s own life teaches above all other things the lesson he drew from that of Henry Clay. Is there in all the length and breadth of the United States to-day a boy so poor as to envy Abraham Lincoln the chances of his boyhood? The story of his life has been told so often that nothing new can be said about him. Yet every fresh reading of the story fills the reader anew with wonder and admiration at what was accomplished by the poor backwoods boy.
Let your mind separate itself from all the marvels of the twentieth century. Think of a time when railroads and telegraph wires, telephones, great ocean steamers, lighting by gas and electricity, daily newspapers (except in a few centers), great circulating libraries, and the hundreds of conveniences which are necessities to the people of to-day, were unknown. Even the very rich at the beginning of the nineteenth century could not buy the advantages that are free to the poorest boy at the beginning of the twentieth century. When Lincoln was a boy, thorns were used for pins; cork covered with cloth or bits of bone served as buttons; crusts of rye bread were used by the poor as substitutes for coffee, and dried leaves of certain herbs for tea.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in Hardin County, now La Rue County, Kentucky. His father, Thomas Lincoln, was not remarkable either for thrift or industry. He was tall, well built, and muscular, expert with his rifle, and a noted hunter, but he did not possess the qualities necessary to make a successful pioneer farmer. The character of the mother of Abraham, may best be gathered from his own words: “All that I am or hope to be,” he said when president of the United States, “I owe to my angel mother. Blessings on her memory!”