On this day in 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered his “house divided” speech, perhaps one of the most enduring and timeless utterances ever voiced in the political realm. The sage words he spoke are as desperately needed today as they were then when our young country was about to be torn apart over the evil of slavery.
As he stood before a cheering crowd, Mr. Lincoln, upon accepting his party’s nomination for the Senate seat of opponent, Stephen Douglas, began a speech that has no equal in terms of our republic’s grand and often tumultuous history.
He had battled this epic dilemma in his heart for quite a while when finally, he decided to turn to his Creator for an answer to the critical question, “Can we as a nation, continue, together permanently-forever-half slave, and half free?”
His search led him to the New Testament book of Matthew and more specifically to chapter 12, verse 25:
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
To the many naysayers who warned that his message was too severe and not politically acceptable, he simply pointed out the original “author” of the speech. How could one effectively argue against the words of his Creator?
Though the challenges and conflicts are vastly different in today’s political and social climate, we’d all do well to heed the prophetic words of our Creator, that were so eloquently delivered by Abraham Lincoln on June 16, 1858.