My thoughts after reading Henry Ketcham’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln
Born and raised in the Wild West, his mother, step mother and then he, alone, had the audacity to tame it within and without, for himself and a whole nation through companionship with formidable greatness. Along the way he found the eternally flowing fountain of hope and compassion for every soul struggling within the world they were given. Then, empowered by unbending integrity and resolve, he puzzled through to the heart of every dilemma in his path matching the incredible power of deception and oppression with truth, clarity, and purity. Acting according to his duty and with the greatness he had tamed and aided by his humanity, he carried the crosses of a lost generation.
And enabled others to do likewise.
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am, none who would do more to preserve it; but it may be necessary to put the foot down firmly. And if I do my duty and do right, you will sustain me, will you not?"
I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me—and I think He has—I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am right because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Christ and reason say the same; and they will find it so. Douglas doesn't care whether slavery is voted up or voted down, but God cares, and humanity cares, and I care; and with God's help I shall not fail. I may not see the end; but it will come and I shall be vindicated; and these men will find that they have not read their Bibles aright.
Let us forget ourselves and join hands, like brothers, to save the republic. If we succeed, there will be glory enough for all.
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us,—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.