A long-lost letter has proven what man have suspected for over a century; Lincoln was Godless. According to a story published on April 15, 2011 on The Blaze website:
“A long-lost letter written by one of Abraham Lincoln‘s close friends is raising questions about one of the country’s greatest presidents and his faith. Mainly, what did the lanky Land-of-Lincolnite believe?
According to a letter written by Springfield, IL lawyer and Lincoln confidant William Herndon in 1866, the answer is confusing. In the letter, Herndon claims Lincoln was more of a theist that didn’t believe in the supernatural.
“Mr. Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt; he is or was a Theist & a Rationalist, denying all extraordinary — supernatural inspiration or revelation,” Herndonwrites in the letter obtained by the Raab Collection of Philadelphia.
“At one time in his life, to say the least, he was an elevated Pantheist, doubting the immortality of the soul as the Christian world understands that term. He believed that the soul lost its identity and was immortal as a force. Subsequent to this he rose to the belief of a God.”
The letter is considered a fascinating development because, despite being raised a Baptist, Lincoln apparently was never baptized, didn’t join a church as an adult, and was often coy about his beliefs.
“In rare instances,” however, “he divulged his true feelings to one close friend, longtime confidant and law partner, William Herndon,” said Nathan Raab, vice president of the Raab Collection. “He did believe in God, however difficult it might be to easily define those beliefs.
According to Lincoln historian and biographer Ronald White, Herndon’s letter was in response to attempts to Christianize the 16th president after his assassination.”
Ah, but The Blaze is Glen Beck’s website and once could not expect Glen Beck to leave the real Lincoln exposed without trying to cover it up. The Blaze article attempts to “sanitize” this latest Lincoln revelation by stating:
“But as Discovery News reports, Herndon‘s knowledge of Lincoln’s faith is relegated to the years before he became president — the years before a national crises may have awakened his faith. And there is evidence that such a thing did happen:
But the challenges of a presidency, the angst of the Civil War and the 1862 death of his 11-year-old son would push Lincoln to consider God in ways he never had before, said White, who added that religion is something most Lincoln biographers have skimmed over.
Lincoln’s second inaugural address points to his eventual embrace of religion in midlife, White said. The speech, which was just 701 words long, mentions God 14 times and quotes the Bible four times, with two references to the Old Testament and two to the New Testament. In comparison, there were zero biblical references in his first inaugural and just one Bible quote in all previous inaugural addresses combined.
After his son’s death, Lincoln also developed a strong relationship with a Presbyterian minister named Phineas Densmore Gurley. And after his own death in 1865, Lincoln‘s secretary John Hay found an untitled and undated document in Lincoln’s desk that both questioned God’s presence in the midst of the Civil War and offered affirmation that God was somehow a silent actor in the war. Hay called it: Meditation on the Divine Will.
“I’m arguing that Lincoln went on a remarkable faith journey that moves forward quickly and matures during his four years as president,” White told Discovery News. “He was not just dropping phrases from the Bible. In both the second inaugural and the Meditation on the Divine Will, he was dealing at a very deep level with profound religious questions.”
If Lincoln suddenly developed a Christian faith in God after his son’s death in 1862, then why did Lincoln not mention the words “Under God” when he delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19th, 1863. Despite popular belief, Lincoln never mentioned God in this speech. Wikipedia mentions the “Hay” draft of Lincoln’s speech stating:
“The existence of the Hay Copy[b] was first announced to the public in 1906, after the search for the “original manuscript” of the Address among the papers of John Hay brought it to light. Significantly, it differs somewhat from the manuscript of the Address described by John Hay in his article, and contains numerous omissions and inserts in Lincoln’s own hand, including omissions critical to the basic meaning of the sentence, not simply words that would be added by Lincoln to strengthen or clarify their meaning. In this copy, as in the Nicolay Copy, the words “under God” are not present.
This version has been described as “the most inexplicable” of the drafts and is sometimes referred to as the “second draft.” The “Hay Copy” was made either on the morning of the delivery of the Address, or shortly after Lincoln’s return to Washington. Those that believe that it was completed on the morning of his address point to the fact that it contains certain phrases that are not in the first draft but are in the reports of the address as delivered and in subsequent copies made by Lincoln. It is probable, they conclude, that, as stated in the explanatory note accompanying the original copies of the first and second drafts in the Library of Congress, Lincoln held this second draft when he delivered the address. Lincoln eventually gave this copy to his other personal secretary, John Hay, whose descendants donated both it and the Nicolay Copy to the Library of Congress in 1916.“
The “Hay” Copy is found in the Library of Congress, in Lincoln’s handwriting,with Lincoln’s signature. It is said that he was holding THIS copy of the address when it was given on November 19, 1863 and it is proof that Lincoln did not experience a religious experience after the death of his son in 1862.
If he had, he would not continued in his quest to empower the Central Government at a cost of over 600,000 American lives.