— By Hong Min Zou*
IN GOD WE TRUST
My fellow countrymen, what has happened to our great nation since my death? My heart is heavy over what I see. What has happened to the presence of God, to the sanctity of life, the family, equality of man, the values that our fellow countrymen died for so gloriously on the field of battle?
America, you have turned your back on God the Almighty, the Creator. The nation has replaced their dependence upon God and His holy principles with an independent spirit that portrays man as sufficient unto himself. Any nation that is not Godly is by nature ungodly and shall be punished. You have become a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord. The nation has become like faithless Israel in the days of the prophet Jeremiah.
The last Congressional act I signed was to have the words “In God We Trust” inscribed on all of our national currency to remind our fellow countrymen of the blessing the merciful Father has showered upon this nation.
More than 10,000 books have been written about me. I understand that I am the most quoted American in history and that I used more scriptural references in my speeches than any other U.S. President. Yet, I was but a humble instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father, as we all are, trying to work out His great purposes. I have desired that all my works and acts be done according to His will (1). It is fitting and proper that you now heed my word.
Much debate and volumes of material have been written about my religious convictions. I considered myself a Godly man. I read the Bible and lived by the Ten Commandments. Although I did all those things, I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ until November 19, 1863, after my Gettysburg Address. I once was asked, ” Do you love Jesus?” by a minister from Illinois just a few short months before my death. I solemnly replied, “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But, when I went to Gettysburg, and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated my life to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus.”(2)
I recall another conversation I had at the White house with a lady who was a member of the Christian Commission. I asked her to give me, in brief, her idea of what constitutes a true religious experience. The lady stated that, in her judgement, “it consisted of a conviction of one’s own sinfulness and weakness, and a personal need of the Saviour for strength and support; a feeling of the need of divine help, and a seeking of the aid of the Holy Spirit for strength and guidance; that these were a satisfactory evidence of having been born again.”(3) I was silent and thoughtful. After a few moments, I said, very earnestly: “If what you have told me is really a correct view of this great subject, I think I can say with sincerity that I hope I am a Christian. I had lived until my boy, Willie, died without realizing fully these things. That blow overwhelmed me. It showed me my weakness as I had never felt it before, and if I can take what you have stated as a test, I think I can safely say that I know something of that change of which you speak; and I will further add, that it has been my intention for some time, at a suitable opportunity, to make a public religious profession.”(4)
Do you understand, America, that “In God We Trust” was so important to me as your Country’s leader, I declared July 7, 1864 to be a National Day of Prayer. You see, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My wisdom and that of those all around me seemed insufficient for that day.”(5) I trusted the Lord to answer my prayers and those of my countrymen. He mercifully did! So, on October 20, 1864, I declared that the last Thursday in November be a National Day of Thanksgiving. “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God… and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proved by all history, that those nations only are blest whose God is the Lord.”(6)
I am reminded in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
My fellow countrymen, the “judgements of the Lord are true and righteous.”(7) We should obey and not oppose God’s will. Let us as a nation humble ourselves in the dust, and ask forgiveness for the sinful ways of this once great nation. Ask Jesus the Saviour for wisdom and repent, for we have nowhere else to go. Let us again place our trust in God.
* The foregoing is a combination of actual quotations and an extension of Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts regarding our Nation as ideated by the Author.
1. Dr. Louis A Warren, ed., “Lincoln Lore,” (Bulletin of the lincoln National foundation, Fort Wayne, IN, November 18, 1935 Issue) pg.1.
2. William J. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, The Christian (Eaton & Mains, New york, NY and jennings & Graham, Cincinnati, OH, 1913) pg.172.
3. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, The Christian, pg.169.
4. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, The Christian, pg.169.
5. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, The Christian, pg.116.
6. Warren, “Lincoln Lore,” pg.1.
7. “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address,” (March 4, 1865) Psalms 19:9
Publisher’s Memo: This piece was found on the back of a print (showing America’s 16th President kneeling). It is comprised of a combination of actual quotations and an extension of Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts regarding our Nation as ideated by the author. There was no mention of who owns the rights to the print or how the author could be contacted in order to secure permission to use. If you have this information, please email us so we can gain such permission. Also, the quote by Lincoln and the verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14, as mentioned in paragraphs #7 and #8 are also found in another story here – hand-lettered in an image you can share.