f The Wittenberg Door: Lincoln and God’s Providence

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lincoln and God’s Providence

Abraham Lincoln was born on this day 199 years ago. As we look back to this man who held America together during her most trying hour, let us remember that his stout heart was fortified by a confidence in God's providence. What Lincoln came to know during his darkest moments is what we must keep ever before our eyes: Our loving, heavenly Father is sovereign over all things (Acts 17:26, Ephesians 1:11, Daniel 4:35), and, as Lincoln reminded the nation at his second inaugural address, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”

At Desiring God's site, John Piper provides a look at Lincoln's view of God's providence and encourages us to be like Lincoln and "not an empty nihilism, but a deeper reliance on the infinite wisdom and love of God’s inscrutable providence." Here's an excerpt:

In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 years old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington. Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided that he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”

Similarly, the horrors of the dead and wounded soldiers assaulted him daily. There were fifty hospitals for the wounded in Washington. The rotunda of the Capitol held 2,000 cots for wounded soldiers. Typically, fifty soldiers a day died in these temporary hospitals. All of this drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God. “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”

You can read the entire article here.

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