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JAMES SHRIGLEY.

335

MY

great

excitement,

Y first visit with Mr. Lincoln was a few days before he issued his Emancipation Proclamation, when I was introduced by the Hon. John Covode. The President was walking his room, apparently under and spoke to Mr. Covode in nearly the following words, which made a deep impression on my mind: “I have studied that matter well; my mind is made up-it must be done. I am driven to it. There is to me no other way out of our troubles. But although my duty is plain, it is in some respects painful, and I trust the people will understand that I act not in anger, but in expectation of a greater good." These few words revealed to me some of the noble attributes of his nature. "I do it not in anger, but in expectation of a greater good." Nothing but the honest sense of duty could have induced him to issue that proclamation, and this he desired the people to know, that his motives might not be misunderstood. No man was ever more free from the spirit of revenge or more conscientious in the discharge of his duties. President Lincoln was also remarkably tolerant. He was the friend of all, and never, to my knowledge, gave the influence of his great name to encourage sectarianism in any of its names or forms; he had "charity for all and malice toward none."

The following is in proof. Immediately after the earliest battles of the war most of the sick and wounded were brought to the Philadelphia hospitals for treatment, and I was in daily receipt of letters from my denomina

tional friends soliciting me to visit husbands and brothers who were among the sick and wounded. As much of my time was thus occupied, and at considerable expense, it was suggested by the Hon. Henry D. Moore that application be made for the position of hospital chaplain, and it was on the recommendation of Mr. Moore and Governor Curtin that the President made the nomination. Soon as it was announced in the papers that my name. had been sent to the Senate for confirmation a self-constituted committee of "Young Christians "(?) consulted with a few others, as bigoted as themselves, and volunteered their services to visit Washington and try to induce the President to withdraw the name. It so happened that when these gentlemen called on the President Mr. Covode was present and made known the interview to a reporter, and it thus became public. It was in substance as follows:

THE INTERVIEW.

"We have called, Mr. President, to confer with you in regard to the appointment of Mr. Shrigley, of Philadelphia, as hospital chaplain."

The President responded: "Oh, yes, gentlemen; I have sent his name to the Senate, and he will no doubt be confirmed at an early day."

One of the young men replied: "We have not come to ask for the appointment, but to solicit you to withdraw the nomination."

"Ah," said Lincoln, "that alters the case; but on what ground do you wish the nomination withdrawn?"

The answer was, "Mr. Shrigley is not sound in his theological opinions."

JAMES SHRIGLEY.

337

The President inquired: "On what question is the gentleman unsound?"

Response." He does not believe in endless punishment; not only so, sir, but he believes that even the rebels themselves will finally be saved.”

"Is that so?" inquired the President.

The members of the committee both responded, "Yes," "Yes."

"Well, gentlemen, if that be so, and there is any way under heaven whereby the rebels can be saved, then, for God's sake and their sakes, let the man be appointed."

And he was appointed, and served until the war closed. In relation to this matter the Hon. John Covode wrote Hon. Henry D. Moore as follows:

"WASHINGTON, 29th January, 1863. "DEAR SIR: Your friend Mr. Shrigley's appointment was sent to the Senate on the 22d inst. It gives me pleasure to think that I have been able to aid you in this matter.

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"P. S.-Believing that both you and I, after our long public services, will be benefited by our friend's prayers, I hope we shall have them.

"J. C."

Games Shrigley.

PHILADELPHIA, 1882.

LETTER TO MRS. ELIZA P. GURNEY.

I HAVE not forgotten, probably never shall forget, the very impressive occasion when yourself and friends visited me on a Sabbath forenoon two years ago. Nor shall your kind letter, written nearly a year later, ever be forgotten. In all it has been your purpose to strengthen my reliance in God. I am much indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their constant prayers and consolations, and to no one of them more than to yourself. The purposes of the Almighty are perfect and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this, but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge his wisdom and our own errors therein; meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best light he gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends he ordains. Surely he intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay. Your people, the Friends, have had, and are having, very great trials, on principles and faith opposed to both war and oppression, they can only practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard dilemma, some have chosen one horn and some the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds I have done and shall do the best I could and can in my own conscience, under my oath to the law. That you believe this I doubt not, and believe I shall still receive for my country and myself your earnest prayers to our Father in heaven.

SEPTEMBER, 1864.

CECIL F. P. BANCROFT-ASA GRAY.

339

THE HE greatness of the man appears not so much in his courage, his patience, his vigilance, his loyalty, his equanimity, his faith in God and man, as in that instinct of timeliness which led him unerringly to seize upon the great opportunity at its very full. In this respect he stands without a peer.

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