Wherever God's word is circulated, it stirs the hearts of the people, it prepares for public morals. Circulate that word, and you find the tone of morals immediately changed. It is God peaking to man.
Mr. Lincoln's elevation shows that in America every station in life may be honorable; that there is no barrier against the humblest; but that merit, wherever it exists, has the opportunity to be known.
Passing into practical life, illustrations of this fact are found everywhere; the distant, or the unseen, steadies and strengthens us against the rapid whirl of things around us.
There is a contest old as Eden, which still goes on - the conflict between right and wrong, between error and truth. In this conflict every human being has a part.
If, then, knowledge be power, how much more power to we gain through the agency of faith, and what elevation must it give to human character.
Human nature is the same now as when Adam hid from the presence of God; the consciousness of wrong makes us unwilling to meet those whom we have offended.
It is a principle of our nature that feelings once excited turn readily from the object by which they are excited to some other object which may for the time being take possession of the mind.
The temptations to wrong are many; they spring out of a corrupt nature.
Taking it in its wider and generic application, I understand faith to be the supplement of sense; or, to change the phrase, all knowledge which comes not to us through our senses we gain by faith in others.
We ourselves can die with comfort and even with joy if we know that death is but a passport to blessedness, that this intellect, freed from all material chains, shall rise and shine.
Of history, how little do we know by personal contact; we have lived a few years, seen a few men, witnessed some important events; but what are these in the whole sum of the world's past.
Another principle is, the deepest affections of our hearts gather around some human form in which are incarnated the living thoughts and ideas of the passing age.
Angels are spirits, flames of fire; they are higher than man, they have wider connections.
If an honest man is the noblest work of God, then Mr. Lincoln's title to high nobility is clear and unquestioned.
If, then, faith widens the connections, it elevates the man.