I trust you are doing well and looking forward to the Lord's Day.
Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest presidents our nation has ever had. His guiding this nation through a Civil War is truly amazing. His strength and wisdom were without equal. How he endured might be a puzzle to some, but a recent discovery explains his strength of character.
Earlier this week a Bible
that once belonged to President Abraham Lincoln was discovered. Historians have long debated where exactly Lincoln stood with regards to his religious faith. As a young man, Lincoln was known as the "village atheist." However, during his second inaugural address he gave one of the most explicitly religious speeches ever by any president. Scholars say this new discovery helps solidify his faith in his later years.
The Bible was given to Lincoln on June 16, 1864, during a rare wartime trip to Philadelphia. Lincoln had gone to Philadelphia to raise money for wounded soldiers. Lincoln donated 48 signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation that were sold for fundraising. As part of his visit he was given an 18-pound, gilted Bible decorated with the words "faith," "hope," and "charity" by the hospital he was visiting that treated wounded and ill soldiers during the Civil War. The cover of the Bible reads: "Presented to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by the Ladies of the Citizens Volunteer Hospital of Philadelphia."
A few months later, upon receiving another copy of the Bible as a gift, Lincoln wrote:
"In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it."
A close friend of the Lincoln family was Rev. Noyes W. Miner, a Baptist minister who read scripture at the president's funeral. Miner once wrote that Lincoln "believed not only in the overwhelming Providence of God, but in the divinity of the Sacred Scriptures." Mrs. Lincoln told Rev. Miner that Lincoln was planning a post-White House visit to Jerusalem to "see the places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior."
On Oct. 15, 1881, Miner wrote: "the bullet from the pistol of the assassin entered his brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above."
How did Lincoln sustain his strength? He saw the Bible for what it was: a book that contains "all things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it."
In the light of His glory and grace,