A Wake-up Call from Abraham Lincoln
by David W. Allan
As we witness the removal of God and His teachings from our schools and public institutions, I feel to remind us of a turning point event of major importance in this country’s history when under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln this country was saved. He pointed out then that that terrible war was brought upon the nation because they had turned from God. He also gives the remedy, which he implemented in large measure and which can save this nation today from disaster if heeded. Let us review and heed this vital message.
Two weeks before his second inaugural address it had rained nearly constantly, and Pennsylvania Avenue was a muddy mess. Regardless, thousands came to hear this president whom they believed could save the nation. Just before he spoke, the sun, which had been behind the clouds all day, shown forth in brilliant luminescence. It seemed to many, including Lincoln, to be a divine signature.
In keeping with his lifelong tendency to consider all sides of a troubled situation – and with the Civil War now in its fourth year, he urged a more sympathetic understanding of the nation’s alienated citizens in the South. "Both read the same bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes..."
The President suggested that God had given "to both North and South, this terrible war" as a punishment for their shared sin of slavery. Speaking with "the eloquence of the prophets," he continued, "fondly do we hope – fervently do we pray – that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’"
He then issued his historic plea to his fellow countrymen: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
At another time he profoundly stated: "It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow,... and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
A WORSE PURGING THAN THE CIVIL WAR IS EMINENT IF WE CONTINUE TO TURN FROM GOD. LINCOLN’S COUNSEL IS SO POIGNANT FOR US TODAY:
"... We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; ... but we have forgotten God,... and we have vainly imagined... that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own...
"It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power."
LOOK TO GOD AND LIVE, OR TURN FROM HIM AND DIE SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY.
We cannot expect His continued blessings and for Him to protect and guide us, to fight our battles, and to provide the bounteous harvest from our labors, if He is not part of our lives and if we reject Him in our education processes and in our governmental leadership and institutions.
If we continue to turn from Him as a nation, we can expect – worse than was the Civil War – to be purged, scattered like ancient Israel, and to be destroyed. This nation was founded on Christian principles and morality. It cannot and will not survive if that foundation is torn away, if those moral principles are rejected, and if we turn our backs on the God of this land.
The following poem was reportedly written by an Arizona student. Regardless of its authenticity, it hits home:
May we stand up for our great constitutional heritage and those Christian, moral principles upon which it was founded is my prayer. It is the true path of freedom – from sin and from bondage. And as Lincoln, let us be tolerant of all regardless of race or creed. God so loved the world that He gave us His Beloved Son. The Lord’s love set a perfect example before us; let us so live. In that path is perfect peace – that which we all seek deep within our hearts. "Look to God and live," said an ancient prophet speaking most profoundly in its relevance to save us from disaster today.
David W. Allan
PS I suggest a great book about Lincoln, by the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals – The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Her work is used in the above. The book documents how Lincoln lived this saying, "The best way to get rid of your enemies is to make of them your friends." It also shows how he was refined by tremendous opposition to become what Goodwin calls our greatest president. Lincoln said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go." So should we go to our knees. He is ever there to hear our prayer, and He will. If all were to so do, we would save ourselves and our nation.