Lost letter raises questions about Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs
No replies to this topic
Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:32 AM
His portrait features on the five-dollar-bill alongside the country’s motto In God We Trust. But a newly resurfaced letter raises questions about Abraham Lincoln’s views on religion, faith and God.
In the message, which provides a rare and intimate glimpse into the religious views of the Civil War president, a close friend writes that Lincoln was a 'rationalist’ who doubted ‘the immortality of the soul’.
The letter suggests that Lincoln was not religious for most of his life, but his faith seems to have evolved and progressed during his presidency.
‘Mr Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt. He is or was a theist, a rationalist, denying all extraordinary, supernatural inspiration or revelation, William Herndon wrote in the letter to Edward McPherson, clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
At one time in his life, to say the least, he was an elevated Pantheist, doubting the immortality of the soul as the Christian world understands that term. ‘He believed that the soul lost its identity and was immortal as a force. Subsequent to this he rose to the belief of a God.’
The three-page letter, which is being offered for sale by the Raab Collection for $35,000, was written by Mr Herndon, one of Lincoln's closest friends, in February 1866, less than a year after his death. The pair had practised law together for 17 years before Lincoln became president in 1861. After Lincoln's assassination on April 14 1865, he authored ‘Herndon's Lincoln’, a biography considered among the most authoritative for its closeness to the mysterious president.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users