On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, for the Republican State Convention, and they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. That evening Lincoln delivered this address to his Republican colleagues and the main focus of his remarks were on the issue of slavery:
“Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention. If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, NOT ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.’” That’s a powerful sentence! Did Abraham Lincoln come up with that phrase all by himself? No. Well, where did he get it? That’s right … he was quoting Jesus and the quote is from today’s Gospel where Jesus gives a crushing blow to the Scribes who accused Jesus of collaborating with
Beelzebub for his exorcisms.