In preparation for a recent message, I came across the following quote from President Abraham Lincoln:
In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man.
All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. To you I return my most sincere thanks for the very elegant copy of the great Book of God which you present.
The quote intrigued me and I did some further digging to find out about the circumstances surrounding President Lincoln's statement.
In 1864, a group of loyal colored people from Baltimore, Maryland, had their representatives present President Lincoln with a Bible. (The actual Bible presented to President Lincoln is now housed in the Fisk University Library in Nashville, Tenn having been given to Mr. Fisk by President Lincoln's son, Richard Todd Lincoln.)
In their presentation, this group of African Americans made the following statement:
“MR. PRESIDENT: The loyal colored people of Baltimore have entrusted us with authority to present this Bible as a testimonial of their appreciation of your humane conduct towards the people of our race. While all others of this nation are offering their tribute of respect to you, we cannot omit suitable manifestation of ours. Since our incorporation into the American family we have been true and loyal, and we are now ready to aid in defending the country, to be armed and trained in military matters, in order to assist in protecting and defending the star-spangled banner.
“Towards you, sir, our hearts will ever be warm with gratitude. We come to present to you this copy of the Holy Scriptures, as a token of respect for your active participation in furtherance of the cause of the emancipation of our race. This great event will be a matter of history. Hereafter, when our children shall ask what mean these tokens, they will be told of your worthy deeds, and will rise up and call you blessed.
“The loyal colored people of this country everywhere will remember you at the Throne of Divine Grace. May the King Eternal, an all-wise. Providence protect and keep you, and when you pass from this world to that of eternity, may you be borne to the bosom of your Saviour and your God.”
Folks, this is history; history of one of the greatest Presidents that we have ever had: Abraham Lincoln! This is history that many in our society would like to cover-up or re-write.
This information was gathered from the following sources: