GOD's Use of Lincoln
included speeches and writing that clearly originated from Him.

Lincoln Through British Eyes

    Abraham Lincoln has long fascinated the British. Indeed, a century ago there was something of a cult of Lincoln. As a tribute, a copy of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's statue of a deeply contemplative Civil War president was erected in 1920 in London's Parliament Square. At almost the same time, a replica of George Barnard's Cincinnati statue was placed in Manchester, England. Known as the "stomach ache statue," since Lincoln's hands unfortunately suggest a man troubled with colic, it commemorates the president's tribute to suffering Lancashire mill-operatives during the wartime cotton famine. When David Lloyd George, by then an ex-prime minister, made a triumphal tour of North America in 1923, he spent what he called the most memorable day of his life visiting the Kentucky birthplace of the man who was his greatest, lifelong hero.
    George Bernard Shaw attributed this cult of Lincoln to the influence of one of the best and most durable of all the biographies of the 16th president: Lord Charnwood's "Abraham Lincoln," which appeared in 1916. Oxford-educated and -- like Lloyd George -- a Liberal in politics, Charnwood helped many of his contemporaries to admire Lincoln's single-minded defense of the Union and, even more important, his showing that democracy could work as a philosophy and a political system. During World War I and its aftermath, when Britons and Americans saw themselves engaged in a kindred defense of progressive government, and in making the world "safe for democracy," they seized on Lincoln as an example of what wise and noble leadership might achieve.
    That heyday of popular admiration for Lincoln is forever lost.

When antiwar crowds gathered in Parliament Square in March 2003, crews of workmen boxed in Lincoln's statue to protect it from possible attack. "Do these people know nothing of history?" one voice lamented. "Do they know nothing of what people like Lincoln stood for?" In a skeptical age, many call into question Lincoln's role and motivation as the Great Emancipator.
    Certainly I take very seriously Lincoln's moral relationship to power, and in this I differ from Charnwood only in emphasis, and not in general interpretation. What strikes the neutral reader is the tenacity of Lincoln's ethical convictions: his meritocratic faith; his belief that no one's opportunities for self-improvement should be limited by class, religious beliefs or ethnicity; his repugnance for slavery as a system that denied men their chance of moral and economic self-fashioning; his unwavering commitment to a Union freighted with moral value, as a democratic model; and his determination that the Union should not be lost on his watch. Lincoln's moral understanding of the demands of power was not founded on a conventional Christian faith. But the evolution of his religious thought, his quest to understand divine purposes during the war, his Calvinistic frame of reference, and the ease with which he rooted his arguments in Scripture, make it essential to take his religion seriously.
Mr. Carwardine, a professor of American history at Oxford University, will receive the 2004 Lincoln Prize tonight in New York for his 2003 biography of the 16th president. The prize is sponsored by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman with Gettysburg College.

The above was excerpted from "Lincoln Through British Eyes" by Richard J. Carwardine
The Wall Street Journal - Wednesday, April 14, 2004