Recent references to the great American Commoner have directed attention to the interesting fact that his attendance at school did not sum up more than ten months, all told. Nevertheless, although his education was thus circumscribed, it is generally conceded that many of his writings and addresses would do credit to the highest scholarship, such masterpieces are they of lucid and impressive statement. His apprehension of essential truths was so clear his perception of the just and right thing so final, and usually so immediate, his embrace of vital issues so definite, that the query of the ancient sage can but be precipitated for every student of his life, "Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?" How came he to acquire such a remarkable grasp of thought, such strength and beauty of expression?

The explanation is to be found in his mental attitude toward truth, his unhesitant and unwavering reliance upon it in every time of need. Christ Jesus affirmed that his wisdom was not his own, but of the Father; and this same consciousness that God was with them and for them explains the splendid daring and consummate ability of his uneducated disciples. Here too do we find the secret of Lincoln's greatness. While not a religionist in the creedal sense, he was profoundly Christian in the best sense, because he trusted with childlike simplicity in Truth, and thus supplied the conditions for the fulfilment of the prophetic assurance, "They shall all be taught of God."

February 20, 1909

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