Lincoln the Christian

“Therefore, everything you would like men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
— Matthew 7:12

Abraham Lincoln is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen. He was greatly influenced by the Scriptures. Read any of his speeches, and they virtually drip with the Word of God.

Many Americans actually think the quote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” was Lincoln’s. Not so. Lincoln was simply quoting a Bible verse (Matthew 12:25), which his audience probably recognized. In the 19th century, Americans were far more biblically literate than we are today, unfortunately. Lincoln often studied the Bible and used Cruden’s Concordance as a study aid.

John G. Nicolay, Lincoln’s private secretary, said: “He praised the simplicity of the Gospels. He often declared that the Sermon on the Mount contained the essence of all law and justice, and that the Lord’s Prayer was the sublimest composition in human language.”

Earlier in his life, Lincoln was not a Christian. But later, after coping with the death of his son, it is reported that Lincoln came to believe in Jesus. He was planning to join the church on Easter Sunday 1865, but was shot on Good Friday.

Lincoln once received a cherished gift—the Holy Bible—given to him by a delegation of black Americans, on September 7, 1864. This is what he said at the time: “In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong.”

Oh Lord, raise up Christian statesmen and women in our time. Help us to elect good and righteous leaders to rule over us that we might dwell in liberty and peace…