It is said that he loved America more than any man in history. Life used that love against him by breaking his noble heart again and again. No President has ever had his soul so tortured, as Lincoln did by the crashing waves of bad news he received from the great civil war.
But it was Gettysburg that inflicted the incurable wound in his soul. During the first week of July of 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. Four months later in November, Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettysburg Address.”
Historians with a secular agenda have tried to hide a miracle that happened to Lincoln. They had a good reason! His miracle strikes at the heart of God’s relationship to America.
It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ. As he explained to a friend:
“When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency], 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.”
One of the immediate results of his conversion to Christ is the holiday you celebrate today. You see, Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day for thirty years, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in the very month of his conversion, by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving.
In that same supernatural month, God gave him the one speech that he is most remembered for and is still considered the greatest speech in our history. Take a moment and reread it in the form that most historians say is the true version:
The Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Now Mr. Lincoln wishes to make a few statements to you in this Thanksgiving to a deeply divided and vulnerable nation.
-When you sit down together remember I had in mind for this day. To bow in humble gratitude to God for the miracle that is America. Remember that because of God she is unique and exceptional in the entire world.
To thank the millions who fought and died to give you the freedom to have this meal today and every day. Those who died have consecrated not only the hallowed ground of Gettysburg but of every square inch of what is America. Even the ground that angry anarchists stand upon with freedom to curse this nation and burn our flag is hallowed by the blood of brave American soldiers.
Let their sacrifice renew our gratitude and deepen the value we place upon those ideals for which they died.
-Rededicate yourself. God is not punishing you but He has honored you by letting you live in the time of His greatest works. Let their sacrifice renew our gratitude and deepen the value we place upon those ideals for which they died.
Do not despair or look for escape. You have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this. Do not look at the impossibility of the task before you; “to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
-Believe that a miracle once begun cannot be stopped but can be renewed even in the darkest seasons of history. America can come back. America can be resurrected from her anger, division and soul sickness. Let your dinner be a time of rejection of fear and a reaffirmation of faith in the future, “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”