On the eve of Civil War, Abraham Lincoln concluded his First Inaugural Address with two sentences of incandescent eloquence: “Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
These words remind us that Lincoln—whose legacy we honor on President’s Day—became one of the greatest English prose writers in history, despite his background as an impoverished frontier boy with only a year of schooling. His rise constitutes one of the many American miracles that should inspire anyone willing to look with open eyes at our uniquely blessed past.
Throughout the Civil War and till the day of his death, Lincoln followed the approach later recommended by Bismarck: Listen for God’s footsteps marching through history, then grab his coattails and hang on.
May we see God’s design for America as we celebrate President’s Day.