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Understanding of the Times
Thursday, 22 July 2004
Abraham Lincoln's conversion
Now Playing: Have we found peace with our God ?
Topic: Anecdotes
"For this one who was called the 'most religious of all our presidents', for Abe Lincoln who had tried so valiantly to keep God's law, there was something his closest associates viewed as lacking. His personal bodyguard expressed it well when he said, 'The misery that dripped from Lincoln as he walked was caused by his lack of personal faith.'

For all of his knowledge of Scripture and his association with the great ministers of his day, he failed, for the better part of his life, to comprehend that the salvation of the Lord is 'not by works of righteousness which we have done', and that it is 'by grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves', effort and piousness notwithstanding.

"It appears that the grace of God was to be understood by Lincoln and a personal relationship with the Savior established only after yet another tragedy would compound his public sorrow. Tragedy was to make its presence known in the White House with the sudden death of little Willie, the Lincoln's youngest child and the apple of the president's eye. In the hour of his inconsolable grief, Willie's nurse shared with the president her very personal relationship with Jesus Christ and encouraged him to know the Savior. Lincoln, by his own testimony, did not immediately respond, but some time later he related to a friend his new found peace.

He said, '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 myself to Christ.' With deep emotion he told his friends that he had at last found the peace for which he longed."

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:53 AM EDT

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