“Twice we heard Henry Watterson deliver his classical lecture on Abraham Lincoln. At the most dramatic point in the address the speaker discussed the problem, how to account adequately for the great president. After analyzing his ancestry and all his environments in a keen and discerning way, Mr. Watterson exclaimed: ‘The only explanation of Abraham Lincoln is’ — then pausing solemnly and impressively, lifting his hand and pointing upward, he repeated, ‘The only explanation of Abraham Lincoln is — God!
“Nor will the careful student ever recall Lincoln without recognizing the Gettysburg incident as condensing within itself all that he elsewhere spoke and wrote and accomplished. The meaning of what had transpired on the first three days of July, 1863, with the thousands of lives that had been sacrificed, and the tens of thousands that were enduring untold physical suffering, and the countless homes throughout the land that were darkened because they mourned loved ones, so filled his heart that he compressed the convictions of a lifetime and the anguish of the responsibilities he was then bearing, into a two minutes’ address that has become the most highly cherished classic that America has produced.
The Rev. Phineas D. Gurley, D.D., Mr. Lincoln’s pastor while President, writes: “I have had frequent and intimate conversations with him [Lincoln] on the subject of the Bible and the Christian religion, when he could have had no motive to deceive me, and I considered him sound, not only on the truth of the Christian religion, but on all its fundamental doctrines and teachings. And, more than that, in the latter days of his chastened and weary life, after the death of his son Willie, and his visit to the battlefield of Gettysburg, he said, with tears in his eyes, that he had lost confidence in everything but God, and that he now believed his heart was changed and that he loved the Saviour, and, if he was not deceived in himself, it was his intention soon to make a profession of religion.