or to answer the many persons who have risen up and asked to measure swords with me. I merely purpose to state the bare facts, expressing no opinion of my own, and allowing each and every one to put his or her construction on them.
Inasmuch as he was so often a candidate for public office Mr. Lincoln
said as little about his religious opinions as possible, especially if he failed to coincide with the orthodox world.
In illustration of his religious code I once heard him say that it was like that of an old man named Glenn, in Indiana
, whom he heard speak at a church meeting, and who said: “When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad, and that's my religion.”
In 1834, while still living in New Salem and before he became a lawyer, he was surrounded by a class of people exceedingly liberal in matters of religion.
's “Ruins” and Paine
's “Age of reason” passed from hand to hand, and furnished food for the evening's discussion in the tavern and village store.
read both these books and thus assimilated them into his own being.
He prepared an extended essay — called by many, a book — in which he made an argument against Christianity, striving to prove that the Bible
was not inspired, and therefore not God's revelation, and that Jesus Christ
was not the son of God.
The manuscript containing these audacious and comprehensive propositions he intended to have published or given a wide circulation in some other way. He carried it to the store, where it was read and freely discussed.