Abraham Lincoln:


Theologian of American Anguish

© 1973  David Elton Trueblood

Harper & Row Publishers, New York All Rights Reserved

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1. Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865  Religion; 2. Presidents United States Biography.
E457.2 .T78 1973 ~~ ISBN 06-063801-X ~~ LCCN 72079955 ~~ OCLC 613607 ~~ 149p.

Abraham Lincoln: Theologian of American Anguish is presently held by 748 libraries including Azusa Pacific University, San Francisco Public Library, and Earlham College.

Please click here to find the text of the 1973 edition at the Wayback Machine.

This book was republished in 2012 under the new title "Abraham Lincoln : Lessons in Spiritual Leadership" and is available at Amazon.com

Table of Contents

Preface     vii

1. The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Abraham Lincoln     3

2. The Agonizing Interlude     26

3. Lincoln and the Bible     48

4. Lincoln at Prayer     72

5. Lincoln and the Church     95

6. The Final Paradox     118

Index     143

Selected Books by D. Elton Trueblood Available for Purchase

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Abraham Lincoln : Lessons in Spiritual Leadership (Kindle or paperback)

Abraham Lincoln: Theologian of American Anguish is hosted the Wayback Machine

   Much has been written about Abraham Lincoln as a statesman but little is stated about his personal salvation experience. Consider the following excerpt from a 1981 book on that subject....

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   All through his life God to him was not the god of the philosophers, but the God of Nancy Hanks Lincoln and of the Bible. Religion to him was not a philosophy, which he was to formulate, but a personal experience into which he was to enter, whereby he was to "confess his sins and transgressions in humble sorrow,' and trust in the mercy and grace of a Merciful God to forgive his sin and grant him a change of heart so he would become a child of God, and love God with all his heart. This his mother told him was the way by which she had come into the Kingdom of God at the camp meeting, and in this spirit her life had been lived before him. It had accompanied him as a pillar of cloud by day and a fire by night; and had always produced a powerful effect upon him. He had read his Bible, gone to church, and refrained from swearing, from drinking, and from tobacco in all its forms. Many a time, he said, he had found the courage to decline some tempting bribe, or resist some particularly insidious suggestion, because at that critical hour he heard his mother's voice repeating once more 'I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Yet, all this was not enough. He longed for complete acceptance with God so that he could know his sins were all forgiven and that he was God's son.

   He had sought God for this conversion experience night by night in the inquiry room during the revival meetings at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield; in the parsonage of the First Methodist Church; also at Springfield, after Pastor Jacquess had preached on the text 'Ye must be born again' and under the nurse's directions, following Willie's passing. In appointing a National Fast Day, the President had stated plainly, "It is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon." Yet, seemingly, his faith had not been sufficient in attaining an entirely satisfactory conversion experience.

   The time came, however, when he told his friends, how the peace of heaven stole his heart. Said he: "When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son — the severest trial of my life — I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg, and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ."


Quoted from G. Frederick Owen, Abraham Lincoln: The Man and his Faith, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL., 1981, pp. 162-163

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