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- Washington Correspondence: October 4, 1862
Christian Recorder: October 4, 1862
Turner writes about Lincoln's Proclamation, celebrates a successful fundraising venture at his church, offers eulogies, and celebrates the work of Joseph Williams.
Keywords: Abraham Lincoln, Church, Eulogy, Joseph Williams
Mr. Editor:--Much of the harmony that used to pervade the city has returned. The rebel raid in Maryland being at an end, the doubts for the safety of the Capitol are changed into a confidential reliance in the power of Federal protection.
The greatest intelligence we have had about Washington is the president’s proclamation, which prospectively gives freedom to so vast a quantity of our people. I suppose anything in the shape of a review from one so humble, would be an intrusion upon your columns, but I must say that I differ with a large portion of our people in not believing that the President wrote his proclamation in good faith. I believe Mr. Lincoln embodied his conscientious promptings when he wrote that proclamation. Nevertheless, I do not doubt but that he has been worked up to it by a series of events which has transpired, but these events have only worked him out of an unnecessary caution, and a useless prudence, and not a love of slavery, because I do not believe he ever had any. And I would further say, that Mr. Lincoln is not half such a stickler for colored reparation as he has been pronounced, (I am responsible for the assertion) but it was a strategic move upon his part in contemplation of this emancipatory proclamation just delivered. He knows as well as anyone, that it is a thing morally impracticable, ever to rid this country of colored people unless God does it miraculously, but it was a preparatory nucleus around which he intended to cluster the raid of objections which the proclamation went forth in the strength of God and executed its mission. I do not wish to trespass upon the key that unlocks a private door for fear that I might loose it, but all I will say is that the President stood in need of a place to point to. But supposed the President did not deliver his proclamation in good faith? What need I care? Or suppose he was driven to it by force of circumstances? What of it? That is nothing to cavil over. Let us thank God for it, for to him be the glory forever and ever. But such suppositions are not founded upon any tangible ground of truthful considerations but are conjured up by some ironical, faulting, evil constructed hearts, for Mr. Lincoln loves freedom as well as any one on earth, and if he carries out the spirit of the proclamation he need never fear hell. GOD GRANT HIM A HIGH SEAT IN GLORY.
Another very fine demonstration came off at Israel church on Monday night, 22nd inst. The object of it was to raise money to assist the trustees in paying for certain repairs on said church. Mr. Thomas Cephus was the President of the Association; Mrs. Josephine Over and Mrs. Emeline B. Hillory, were the chairmen of the committees. They cleared a handsome sum of hard down cash. Mr. A. M. Green was present and delivered and address which will live in the memory of Washington people for a long time. Rev. B. T. Tanner read an allegory, which bore the mark of a superior genius and was universally acknowledged to be a masterly production.
Rev. J. P. Hamer of the Zion A. M. E. Church, preached in Israel Church on Sabbath evening to an immense congregation. The theme of his discourse was the divinity of Christ. He utterly riddled his text in gleaning its theological bearings upon the subject under consideration. If his text had had life in it, he would have certainly killed it, for he picked it to pieces. It was a sermon for the Christian, the intelligent person and the sinner.
Mr. Maxey, a member of Rev. Caleb Woodyard’s Church died on the 26th inst. Mr. Maxey for many years was a member of the Baptist Church, and while he was a strenuous advocate of the faith of his denomination, he possessed views much more liberal than is known to generally characterize that branch of Zion.
He measured men’s Christianity by their walk, and not by whether or not they had been immersed under the water. He could be frequently seen at the Methodist Churches, worshipping with the same holy zeal and Christian animation, as if at his own.
He was well known in Washington, by white and colored, and respected by everyone. His gentlemanly deportment and Christian reputation has won him an undying memory.
Elias Lomax, another old citizen died the same day. His manners, habits, economy, and thriftiness none will nor dare question; but we are sorry to say, he died a sinner.
Rev. H. M. Turner requested his congregation to observe Thursday, October 2d, as a day of thanksgiving to God for the glorious proclamation of President Lincoln.
Mr. Joseph Williams, of Central America notoriety, is preparing to leave for that place by the 10th of October. He is highly gratified of the prospect, having secured a home for his race, where such a profusion of wealth may be acquired. If Central America ever becomes anything, Mr. Williams’ name will be immortal; for if he has not worked against wind and tide to bring that country to the attention of the people, no one ever did.
H. M. T.
Washington, Sept. 28th, 1862