Thursday, May 9, 2019

"Life is a festival only to the wise. Seen from the nook and chimney side of prudence it wears a ragged and dangerous front." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
May 9
When Lincoln ran for congress in 1846 his Democratic opponent was a fire-and-brimstone preacher named Peter Cartwright. The story goes that during the course of the campaign Lincoln went to one of Cartwright's services. At one point during the service Preacher Cartwright asked that all who desired to give their lives to God and go to heaven should stand. Of course everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. He then asked those who did not wish to go to hell to stand. At this point everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. Cartwright of course was sensitive to the fact that Lincoln was in the congregation. He then pointedly asked, "Mr. Lincoln, if you didn't stand in answer to either question where exactly do you intend to go?" Lincoln replied: "I came here as a respectful listener. I did not know that I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartwright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartwright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness. I am going to Congress."


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