“I believe my dear sir, that a class is the greatest drawback in the world. You must do everything which the class does and nothing else.” – John Randolph of Roanoke, while at Columbia University, to his stepfather St. George Tucker in 1788 (from David Johnson’s John Randolph of Roanoke, pages 21 – 22) “[Woodrow] [...]
1. This comment specifically pertains to the text “Now we are engaged” at the beginning of the Gettysburg Address’s second paragraph, and it generally pertains to the text of the first paragraph as well as to the text in the second paragraph’s first sentence. 2. My comment addresses Lincoln’s rhetorical strategy of invoking history in [...]
Lincoln’s notion of what he called “political religion” began as adherence to law. After Douglas’s Kansas-Nebraska Act, though, Lincoln’s political religion developed into a system of three American covenants whose interrelations parallel the interrelationships described in the books of Galatians and Hebrews among three biblical covenants.
1 Ideals must burn low and long and locally. Lincoln was my kind of idealist. He understood the hell in his own idealism. 2 Lincoln thought the winning ideals in 1783 and 1865 were the same, though few on the winning sides would have agreed on the ideals or were even idealists. 3 The moderation [...]