On this day in 1858, senate candidate Abraham Lincoln addresses more than 1,000 delegates at the Illinois Republican Convention in Springfield. He points out the incompatibility of slavery in a nation whose Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal.”
In doing so, Lincoln paraphrased Mark 3:25 of the New Testament: “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
He went on: “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.
It should come as no surprise that Lincoln would use this opportunity to invoke Scripture. As evidenced by the quote that inspired Our “Lincoln Bible” t-shirt, he clearly thought highly of “this book”:
“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”
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