NEW INSIGHT into the character, beliefs and motivations of Abraham Lincoln is given in this well-researched study-the first major work on our martyred President's religion to appear in almost four decades. It is particularly fitting that it should be published in the 150th-anniversary year of his birth. The volume traces Lincoln's religious development from his youth and shows the evolution of his faith as mirrored in his religious philosophy as he grows older and more mature. It pictures his early attitude towards the Bible and his later faith in, and dependence upon it, his utter disbelief in dogmas and rituals, his deep belief in prayer, and his naïve concern with dreams, visions and forebodings. "While he was not a dogmatic Christian," Dr. G. George Fox writes, "he was still a deeply religious man, in the broader sense of the word. .He felt keenly that the lives and destinies of nations and men were directed by God Almighty. He believed that God guided, inspired and directed him, and that the means of communication between God and man was prayer. He was certain that the Maker was always near him; and he had an ineradicable will to be on the side of God, who, to him, was always in the right. He believed that God was the Father of all men and, therefore, all men were brothers." The author also writes that Lincoln's "deep and sometimes naïve faith in prayer was born of his feeling of nearness to God; his profound sense of justice; and his immeasurable trust in the ultimate victory of righteousness." These were the three religious essentials, he concludes, "which armed him with an unflinching faith that the nation which was on the side of God-and he believed this nation was-would ultimately be victorious." The avowed aims of this illuminating work are to disclose the sources of our sixteenth President's religion and religious inspiration to confirm the proposition that he was "a religious man, par excellence." The aims are admirably achieved and, in addition, the book sheds new light on some of the many facets in the personality of one of our nation's immortals.
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