Sometimes God’s will calls men to do great things and the magnification is put on the man. The test is when in success and glory that man turns the glass back on God. Abraham Lincoln was one such man.
He was born February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. He was nicknamed “Honest Abe” by those who knew him, and indeed it was well earned. His sense of fairness, equality, and truthfulness were his highest standards, and there are many stories to legitimize these claims. I will not be sharing these stories today, but the story of Abe Lincoln turning magnification back to God.
In June of 1862, a group of Quakers began urging the President to make a proclamation to emancipate the slaves in America. It is recorded that he told the group that he was “deeply sensible of his need of Divine assistance” and he admitted that he was an instrument in God’s hands, and he was “not unwilling to be.” He did however feel that emancipation might have to be won slowly and quietly rather than just proclaiming it to be so, and committing the authority to carry it out.
After giving the Emancipation Proclamation he said,” I can only trust in God I have made no mistake. It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it… I will say no more on the subject. In my position I am environed with difficulties.” He was, and it took its toll on his health and emotional well being. He was often described as tired and even depressed, and we know from the pictures that his weight was affected by his burdens.
In April of 1865,a mere two months before the war was over, Lincoln attempted to visit Richmond quietly , but was recognized by some black workmen. One of which fell on his knees yelling out, “Bless the Lord, there is the great Messiah!” Lincoln embarrassed by the inappropriate worship said, “Don’t kneel to me. That is not right. You must kneel to God only, and thank Him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy.” Soon the throngs changed the praise of the President saying, “Bless the Lord, Father Abrahams Come.”