In a sense, Lincoln is deeper than his age. His father was the kind of man that would get all weepy at dinner over something that was happening in the revival, and then beat his son the next day to make him work. He read voraciously. All the stories about walking miles to borrow books are absolutely true.
He began to read religious skeptics: Thomas Paine, Edward Gibbons —those men challenged Christianity. A lot of the American heroes of the Revolution were that way, Ethan Allen and others. He schooled himself on how to attack the myths of Scripture and would carry around a Bible just to undercut it. He called Christ a bastard; it was very heated. So, strange as it is to us, Lincoln thought he was cursed.
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But it was at a time when wrestling was one of the big frontier sports. But Lincoln, by all accounts, was incredibly strong. And he got it from his mother. So she did a couple of things for him.
She was probably largely illiterate, but she encouraged him to learn. She was also very poetic and had memorized long passages of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, poetry and even the language of the Constitution and Declaration.
Abraham Lincoln - Wikipedia
She probably gave Lincoln his poetic sense that you see in speeches. He becomes a lawyer, marries Mary Todd Lincoln, has children, etc. Lincoln began reading them and turns out that James Smith was the pastor at First Presbyterian in Springfield, where Lincoln lived. So Lincoln reached out to him. Smith became a lifelong friend, and met with him, prayed with him, and continued to answer his religious skepticism.
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From that point on, Lincoln is on a constant, upward journey. He keeps the biblical faith, he consistently attends church even though he never joins one, he starts talking about God in his speeches. One of the biggest things he does in his entire presidency is faith-based. They lost battles they should have won because the general stayed at coffee too long. I have made a covenant with God that I would do this. I have asked Him to give us some signal victories. He has. He believes that God is in control of events.
And God Spoke to Abraham (Lincoln)
They can see but one motive for such digging up of filth, for such evil speaking of the dead—and that is prurient love of evil. First and foremost, there comes a question of fact. Was what I said true or false? This I shall not argue. Any good library will supply the books, and let each interested reader judge.
I leave the matter there. If my facts were false, my words were wrong—but were my facts false? Beyond this, there is another and deeper question on which most of my critics dwell. They say, What is the use of recalling evil? What good will it do? I think it is. Abraham Lincoln was perhaps the greatest figure of the nineteenth century.
Certainly of the five masters,—Napoleon, Bismarck, Victoria, Browning and Lincoln, Lincoln is to me the most human and lovable. And I love him not because he was perfect but because he was not and yet triumphed. See all free Kindle reading apps. Don't have a Kindle? No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.
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- La Grandeur : Politique étrangère du général de Gaulle (1958-1969) (Pour une histoire du Xxème siècle) (French Edition).
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