The key to Lincoln’s famous employment of humor is not that he failed to appreciate the tragic aspects of human existence, but rather that he felt these with such keeness that some relief was required.
He (Lincoln) was accustomed to hearing words, many of them boring, but he was not accustomed to group silence.
It is most remarkable that Lincoln, when he saw so much that was vulnerable in the leadership of the Church, did not move to the opposite error and become a scoffer.
Lincoln matured best in sorrow.
He was too perplexed to please the conventional and too reverent. to please the infidels.
(The death of his child) “was the first experience of his life, so far as we know, which drove him to look outside of his own mind and heart for help to endure a personal...
Always, in Lincoln’s mature theology, there is paradox. There is starting this, yet there is also tenderness; there is melancholy, yet there is also humor: there is moral law, yet there is also compassion. History...
the decision to stand unapologetically for the gospel has been tantamount to a new conversion. It brings peace; it dissolves fears; it snaps fingers at ridicule.
He (Lincoln) differed from fanatical moralists primarily in that he was always perplexed. No sooner did he believe he was doing God’s will that he began to admit that God’s purposes might be different from...
God, Lincoln believed, is seen more clearly events that in nature, though He maybe seen there also. It is a majestic thing, thought Lincoln, for a person to be RESPONSIBLE.
We have not advanced very far in our spiritual lives if we have not encountered the basic paradox of freedom, to the effect that we are most free when we are bound. But not just...
The Biblical language was so deeply embedded in the great man’s mind that it became his normal way of speaking.
The question, he (Lincoln) said over and over, is not what a man’s particular abilities may be, but what his rights are as a human being made in God’s image.
Lincoln did not admire those who think it is a mark of sophistication to sneer at patriotism. He believed that God has a will for a country and that is honest man should rejoice in...
Upon being given a Bible, President Abraham Lincoln replied, “In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man.
In the Church he (Lincoln) saw people who, though they hated war as much as the editors did, saw with clarity what the moral alternative was.
The writers in the newspapers could sounds smart because they did not have the responsibilities of decision, and they could sound bold by enunciating positions which they were not required to implement.
Take all of this Book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier man.
His (Lincoln’s) patriotism was saved from idolatry by the overwhelming sense of the sovereignty of God.
The difficulty was not that of following a moral principle at personal cost; the difficulty was that of knowing what to do when there is more than one principal, and when the principles clash.
He (Lincoln) saw how intellectually and spiritually impoverished a person would be if he was limited to his own personal resources. The Bible, he recognized, vastly enlarged the area of experience on which an individual...
Man is most free when he is most guided.
It is the vocation of the Christian in every generation to out-think all opposition.
Deeply convinced of the reality of the divine will, he (Lincoln) had no patience at all with any who were perfectly sure they knew the details of the divine will.
The profound paradox is that the great man became more confident in his approach to others, including the man of his own Cabinet, but he recognized that his major confidence was not himself but in...
Lincoln had entirely outgrown juvenile delight in religious argument. Talking with God seemed to the mature Lincoln more important than talking about Him.
A major element in Lincoln’s greatness was the way in which he could hold a strong moral position without the usual accompaniment of self-righteousness.
There are many instances in history of people who allow their skepticism to cut the nerve of moral effort, and there are numerous people, on the other hand, who are fierce crusaders at the price...
He (Lincoln) recognized the delicate balance between immanence and transcendence, refusing to settle for either of these alone. His was a God who was both in the world and above the world.
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