This story well illustrates Lincolnís humanity of character which found expression in his famous words of "charity for all, and malice toward none." It appears that Mr. Shrigley, of Philadelphia, a Universalist, had been nominated for hospital chaplain. A protesting delegation went to Washington to see President Lincoln on the subject. The following was 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 date."
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 said Lincoln, "that alters the case; but on what grounds do you wish the nomination withdrawn?"
The answer was: "Mr. Shrigley is not sound in his theological opinions."
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 be finally saved."
"Is that so?" inquired the President.
The members of the committee responded, "Yes, yes."
"Well, gentlemen, if that be so, and there is any way under Heaven whereby the rebels can be saved, then, for Godís sake and their sakes, let the man be appointed."
It is almost needless to add that Mr. Shrigley was appointed, and served until the close of the war.