President Lincoln's Handbill "Against Infidelity"
Lincoln Declares that He Always Believed the Scriptures
Handbill Replying to Charges of Infidelity
July 31, 1846
To the Voters of the Seventh Congressional District.
A charge having got into circulation in some of the neighborhoods of this District, in substance that I am an open scoffer at Christianity, I have by the advice of some friends concluded to notice the subject in this form.
That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures;
And I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular.
It is true that in early life I was inclined to believe in what I understand is called the "Doctrine of Necessity" - that is, that the human mind is impelled to action, or held in rest by some power, over which the mind itself has no control;
And I have sometimes (with one, two or three, but never publicly) tried to maintain this opinion in argument. The habit of arguing thus however, I have, entirely left off for more than five years.
And I add here, I have always understood this same opinion to be held by several of the Christian denominations.
The foregoing, is the whole truth, briefly stated, in relation to myself, upon this subject.
I do not think I could myself, be brought to support a man for office, whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion.
Leaving the higher matter of eternal consequences, between him and his Maker, I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live.
If, then, I was guilty of such conduct, I should blame no man who should condemn me for it; but I do blame those, whoever they may be, who falsely put such a charge in circulation against me.
← July 31, 1846. A. LINCOLN.
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