Open main menu

Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/80

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

The Bible is the Word of life. I beg that you will read it and find this out for yourselves. Read, not little snatches here and there, but long passages that will really be the road to the heart of it. You will not only find it full of real men and women, but also of the things you have wondered about and been troubled about all your life, as men have been always; and the more you read the more it will become plain to you what things are worth while and what are not; what things make men happy—loyalty, right dealings, speaking the truth, readiness to give everything for what they think their duty, and, most of all, the wish that they may have the approval of the Christ, who gave everything for them; and the things that are guaranteed to make men unhappy—selfishness, cowardice, greed, and everything that is low and mean. When you have read the Bible you will know that it is the Word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.

Lincoln's period of indifference was followed by an awakening to higher things. In 1842 he wrote to his friend Speed a letter in which he said:

I believe God made me one of the instruments of bringing Fanny and you together, which union I have no doubt he had foreordained. Whatever he designs he will do for me yet. "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" is my text just now.

More and more Lincoln's speeches became tinged with religious thought. In 1856 in the "Lost Speech" he said:

The stars in their courses, aye, an invisible power, greater than the puny efforts of men, will fight for us. . . . Our moderation and forbearance will stand us in good stead when, if ever, we must make an appeal to battle and to the God of hosts.