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all expectation of pardon by human authority, he refer himself alone to the mercy of the common God and Father of all

933 men.

Rev. Theodore Cuyler, D.D., says: “On the day after he (Lincoln) heard of the awful slaughter at Fredericksburg, he remarked at the War Office, 'If any of the lost in hell suffered worse than I did last night I pity them.' "34

Probably the most emphatic declaration of Mr. Lincoln concerning the future punishment is to be found in his reference to the efforts which were being made to induce him to retract and nullify the Emancipation Proclamation. Respecting those efforts he says: “There have been men base enough to propose to me to return to slavery the black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they fought. Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned in time and eternity. Come what will, I will keep my faith with friend and foe,"35

CONSOLATION IN DEATH As early as February 3rd, 1842, in a letter of touching tenderness, addressed to his lifelong friend, Joshua F. Speed, in speaking of the serious and possibly fatal illness of his friend's wife, Mr. Lincoln said: “The death scenes of those we love are surely painful enough; but these we are prepared for and expect to see; they happen to all, and all know they must happen. Painful as they are, they are not an unlooked for sorrow. Should she, as you fear, be destined to an early grave, it is indeed a great consolation to know that she is so well prepared to meet it. Her religion which you once disliked so much, I will venture you now prize most highly.”

In addition to the assurance afforded by the foregoing letter of Mr. Lincoln's belief in the consolations of grace at

"36

p. 96.

33 Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VII., 34 Recollections of a Long Life, p. 145. 85 Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. X., p. 191. 26 Ibid., Vol. I., p. 186.

death, we are also assured of his firm and unquestioning faith in

A FUTURE LIFE

Mrs. Pomeroy, from whom I have already quoted, says concerning this: "The first four weeks that I was looking after little Tad I was feeling exceedingly anxious about my boys (sick soldiers) and the President proposed taking me every few days to the hospital that I might report to him how they felt when near death, and what they thought of the future."37

Rev. F. C. Iglehart, D.D., tells us that sitting by the bedside of a dying woman for whom he had just written a will, Mr. Lincoln listened to her joyful declaration that she was fully prepared for death and for the future life, and very feelingly said: "Your faith in Christ is wise and strong. Your hope of a future life is blessed. You are to be congratulated on passing through this life so usefully and into the future so happily."38

In 1856, at the residence of the Hon. Norman B. Judd, in Chicago, Mr. Lincoln with rare beauty and fitness expressed his belief in immortality and the future life, as follows:

“It was in the autumn of that year, and during the trial in the Federal Court of the great Rock Island Bridge case, involving the right of the railway company to bridge the Mississippi. Lincoln was spending the evening at the home of Mrs. Judd, situated on Michigan Avenue, and looking directly out upon Lake Michigan. As the party sat on the piazza, the full moon rose out of the lake, casting its light on many a sail of the numerous ships going in and out of the harbor. The waves were beating a low anthem against the breakwater and the shore. The scene, beautiful beyond description, was peculiarly novel and impressive to Mr. Lincoln, whose home was on the prairies far inland. He recited, with great expression, Buchanan Read's poem, descriptive of the Bay of Naples, and then went on to speak of the wonders of astronomy and of the sublime power of the great Creator, who had brought the numberless worlds all around us into existence, and who had created man with an intellect able to discover the wonders of the universe. 'Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No,' said he, ‘man was made for immortality.

37 Lincoln Scrap-book, p. 54.

38 The Speaking Oak.

It is comforting to know that in the midst of his weariness, heartache and anguish of soul Mr. Lincoln fully believed in and looked confidently forward to

39

ETERNAL FELICITY IN HEAVEN

On the 12th of January, 1851, in a letter to his stepbrother, John D. Johnston, he said: “I sincerely hope father may recover his health, but at all events, tell him to remember to call upon and confide in our great and good and merciful Maker, who will not turn from him in any extremity. He notes the fall of the sparrow, and numbers the hairs of our heads, and He will not forget the dying man who puts his trust in Him. Say to him that if we could meet now it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant, but that if it be his lot to go now, he will soon have a joyous meeting with many loved ones gone before, and where the rest of us, through the help of God, hope ere long to join them."'40

Mr. Lincoln's belief in the reuniting of earthly ties and recognition in heaven was very beautifully declared by an expressive gesture a few weeks previous to his departure from Springfield to assume the duties of President. With that filial devotion for which he was so distinguished, he took a cross-country ride by private conveyance to a distant place for a last interview with his beloved stepmother, who was then far advanced in years and very feeble.

At the close of their brief visit Mr. Lincoln arose and affectionately embraced the white-haired matron, pressing her

39 I. N. Arnold, The Layman's Faith, p. 29.
40 Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II., p. 148.

close to his breast and tenderly caressing her withered cheek. “Abram,” she said with trembling voice, “I shall never see you again.”

Pressing her still more closely to his breast and raising his right hand with his finger pointing upward he said: “Mother,” and not another word was uttered. That silent gesture was more eloquent than words and was prophetic of their reunion in a better world.

Elizabeth Keckley says: "When Willie died, as he lay on the bed, Mr. Lincoln came to the bed, lifted the cover from the face of his child, gazed at it long and earnestly murmuring: ‘My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die.'

41 Behind the Scenes, p. 103.

V

LINCOLN'S RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

T

HE foregoing array of evidence proves beyond all ques

tion that Abraham Lincoln firmly believed in the

Bible as the divinely inspired Word of God, and in the commonly accepted doctrines of the Christian Church. His own statements in official papers, public utterances, private correspondence, and personal interviews, respecting these matters are so clear and unequivocal, so pronounced and earnest, as to answer fully and forever all inquiries respecting his religious belief.

Equally abundant and convincing is the evidence of his personal religious experiences and life. That he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and became the recipient of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is as certain as any historical fact. Evidence of this is cumulative and complete and includes all kinds of authentic, valid testimony.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S CONVERSION Written statements in Mr. Lincoln's own handwriting constitute evidence touching this matter which no one can reasonably deny or doubt. Next in value and strength to such testimony are the authentic statements of trustworthy persons who were closely associated with Mr. Lincoln and were highly esteemed and trusted by him. Of such persons there was not one more trustworthy or more fully trusted than Rev. James F. Jaquess, D.D., pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, in Springfield, Illinois, and later Colonel of the 73rd Regiment Volunteer Infantry, during all the history of that famous regiment.

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