Skip to comments.Abraham Lincoln's Religious Beliefs (Open Swedenborgian)
Posted on 09/21/2009 1:44:23 PM PDT by DaveMSmith
Abraham Lincoln's Religious Beliefs By Eldon Smith -- Sunday, February 11, 1996
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live." (Luke 10:21-28)
Reading from Swedenborg Freedom and Slavery
When a person has been regenerated, one then for the first time comes into a state of freedom, having before been in a state of slavery. It is slavery when cupidities and falsities rule, and freedom when the affections of good and truth do so. How this is, no one ever perceives so long as one is in a state of slavery, but only when one comes into a state of freedom. When in a state of slavery, that is, when cupidities and falsities rule, we suppose ourselves to be in a state of freedom; but this is a gross falsity, for we are then carried away by the delight of the cupidities and their pleasures, that is, by the delight of our loves; and because this is done by delight, it appears to us to be freedom. All of us, while led by any love, and while following whithersoever it carries us, suppose ourselves to be free, whereas it is the diabolical spirits in whose company, and so to speak torrent, we are, that are carrying us away. This we suppose to be the greatest freedom, so much so that we believe that the loss of this state would bring us into a life most wretched, indeed into no life at all. . . . But that this impression is false has been given me to know by much experience. . . . People never come into a state of freedom until they have been regenerated, and are led by the Lord through love for what is good and true. When in this state, then for the first time can we know and perceive what freedom is, because we then know what life is, and what the true delight of life is, and what happiness is. . . . A life of freedom, or freedom, is simply and solely being led by the Lord. But as there are many things which hinder us from being able to believe that this is a life of freedom, both because we undergo temptations, which take place in order that we may be set free from the dominion of diabolical spirits; and because we know of no other delight than that of cupidities from the love of self and of the world, as well as from their having conceived a false opinion in regard to all things of the heavenly life, so that we cannot be taught by description so well as by living experiences, therefore, of the Lord's Divine Mercy, we may adduce such experiences hereafter. (Arcana Coelestia #892)
Tomorrow, the 12th of February, is Lincoln's birthday. When people refer to some of the great leaders of our country, the name of Abraham Lincoln is always a part of the conversation. None of our national leaders have come from a more humble beginning, and no one has achieved a more revered memory. Born in a log cabin, he was tested and trained by the rough frontier life of Kentucky and Indiana. He had almost no formal schooling, but was a devoted student of people and of the books that he could buy or borrow. In 1831 he settled in New Salem, Illinois, and soon became the storekeeper, postmaster and surveyor, thereby earning the high regard of his neighbors as "honest Abe." Already showing great leadership qualities, Lincoln moved to Springfield, Illinois, in 1837, and began practicing law. He was elected to the state legislature, became successful as a circuit-riding lawyer and served for one term as a representative in Congress. Lincoln's loyalty to the Union inspired his belief that the nation could not endure "half slave and half free." As the Republican candidate for Senator, he opposed the extension of slavery in his famous debates with Stephen A. Douglas. He lost the election, but he became known nationally and was elected President in 1860. War followed his inauguration. Confusion and disaster endangered the Union cause, but Lincoln's courage and faith surmounted all obstacles. Lincoln was assassinated five days after Lee's surrender.
Lincoln was a deeply religious man and many of his famous sayings have frequent Biblical references. But he refused to join any of the organized religious denominations. His wife's family was Episcopalian, although after their marriage she usually attended a Presbyterian church, both in Springfield and in Washington. She was frequently accompanied by Mr. Lincoln, who was always friendly with his wife's pastors, and always rented a family pew.
When Lincoln was questioned about his objections to becoming a member of a particular church, he replied, "I have never united myself with any church because I have found difficulty in giving my assent to the long, complicated and questionable statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their Articles of Belief. . . . When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Master's condensed statement of the substance of both the law and the Gospel: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and thy neighbor as thyself, that church will I join with all my heart."
If Lincoln could not completely accept any of the organized church denominations of his day, was there any theologian whose influence on him was predominant? We believe there was. Research reveals that a number of Lincoln's close friends were among the pioneer followers of Emanuel Swedenborg. Records at The Swedenborg Foundation, now located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, show that one of the more prominent of Lincoln's Swedenborgian friends was Isaac S. Britton, who later became the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools. Journals of visiting Swedenborgian missionaries record being introduced to Lincoln by Mr. Britton and confirm that Lincoln was an interested student of the theological works of Swedenborg.
The Rev. J. R. Hibbard wrote, "At Springfield we remained for a week or more to rest after our long and fatiguing journey. Here I first met that remarkable man, Abraham Lincoln. . . . I was astonished at the man. I had never seen nor heard of him until that morning. He was then unknown to fame. . . . Mr. Lincoln was not a member of any of the various churches or sects. A very few knew why. He was a religious man, a very conscientious man, and his conscience was formed by the Ten Commandments and the Word of God, which, in private, he read much. His views concerning the Lord Jesus Christ as God manifest, concerning the moral government of the universe, and the civil government of nations, the humanity of man, the duty of rulers to protect and preserve the principles of humanity wherever found, in the highest or in the lowest, were largely formed and influenced by his friend, Mr. I. S. Britton."
Other early Swedenborgians among Lincoln's close friends were Colonel William B. Archer and Jacob Harlan, whose cousin James Harlan became Secretary of the Interior and the father-in-law of Robert Lincoln. Jacob died while still a young man, and his widow married Stephen Sargent whom she converted to the teachings of Swedenborg. The Sargent home in Coles County became a stop-over for Lincoln on his frequent journeys between Springfield and Marshall, where he occasionally joined in the family Sunday religious services.
All religion is summarized in the Two Great Commandments. They tell us that we shall love the one God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. But what is meant by loving the neighbor? Our church teaches that there are many forms of the neighbor to be loved and among them is the country in which we live. Swedenborg writes, "Not only is man in the singular the neighbor, but also man in the plural. For a society, smaller or greater, is the neighbor; our country is the neighbor; the church is the neighbor; the Lord's kingdom is the neighbor; and so above all is the Lord. All these are the neighbor who is to be benefited from charity" (Arcana Coelestia #6819).
From this we understand that our country should be loved as a neighbor and benefited with our charity even as an individual. The country is neighbor to us in a higher degree than an individual. And, whereas we are told to love the neighbor as ourself, we are to love our country more than ourselves. Love of our country should be of a spiritual nature and not just a natural love, or a love of what is useful and of public benefit in the country. We love our country not just because we have been born here, or have become naturalized citizens, but because it makes and enforces laws to promote justice and order among people. A country can serve the common good in a way that an individual cannot, and this is the service for which countries should be loved. Our love of country should be from the heart as well as from the mind and should be a rational and discriminating patriotism rather than a blind allegiance to all the policies and practices of our native land.
A true patriot will examine the quality of his country's good, supporting and promoting from a love of the neighbor what is found to be for the common good, and seeking to change by orderly means what does not support the common good.
A true patriot will also place the common good above personal good. In a democracy there is always the danger of assuming that what is good for the majority is good for the country. It is a mistake to think that the best interest of the country will be served when every individual in it votes for personal benefits. A majority voting from self-interest alone could destroy the common good. Therefore, our stand on issues should be for what is right as we see it, and not necessarily for what will benefit us the most as individuals. In this way we put our country and the uses of our country, ahead of ourselves, according to the Lord's command.
The Lord commands us to love our neighbor, thus to love our country. This is not a matter of choice. We cannot say that patriotism is all right for others if they are interested in that sort of thing, but it is not for us. The second of the Two Great Commandments places this obligation upon each one of us to love our country. If we fail to carry out that obligation we break the commandment.
There is also a way in which love of country prepares for a very positive spiritual benefit. And for this reason it is among the divine commandments that we should love our country even more than ourselves. If, while on this earth, we strengthen an affection for serving our country, because the Lord commands it, we develop a deeper and more precious affection at the same time; for after death the affection for our country which we will carry with us to the spiritual world, will be transformed into its spiritual counterpart, which is the love of the Lord's kingdom, and we will love that kingdom and become one of its citizens.
Lincoln spent his lifetime defending freedom for all, both natural and spiritual. Such teachings of Swedenborg as "Conscience is God's presence with man," "Doctrine divides but charity unites," and his presentation of the three essentials of true religion as faith in the one God, the holiness of the Word, and a life of charity or love toward the neighbor were often expressed in Lincoln's own statements.
So what were Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs? They were living the Two Great Commandments, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Amen.
I pray President Obama draws upon history not by skin color but by the inferiority of those who do not have God in their life. They are today's slaves. They are their own taskmaster. Full of fear, anger and hatred they project these thing unto others. My healing ministry is an outreach to spread the Good News of the New Jerusalem here on earth for us to enter the gates of the city and admire all the good things God has provided us. He will make His Last Judgemnt and those committing evil acts and falsity will be exposed for what they are. Humiliation is how the Lord enters into one's heart and mind.
It is not only elements of the human mind-- its thought and affection-- that correspond to spiritual and heavenly realities, but it is also in a general sense the whole person, and in a detailed sense everything within the person. --Emanuel Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia 3628
(White House, White Horse: R = Revelation)
Foundation for my Church
Major confirmations of Him:
THE TWELVE STONES SET UP AT THE JORDAN FOUND WITH INSCRIPTIONS
Capitol alert for H1N1 outbreak; senators and staff to get masks
'Jesus Christ' appears on factory wall in Ukraine I see a hologram with the this and the facebook wall. -- face book (Bible)
Upcoming articles on Death and Rebirth (Near Death Experiences and Swedenborg) and Helen Keller
“None of our national leaders have come from a more humble beginning, and no one has achieved a more revered memory.”
Humble beginnings don’t impress me; results do. George Washington has a far more “revered memory” in my opinion...
Reagan had pretty modest roots.
Swedenborianism is a cult:
Swedenborgianism is also known as The New Church, the Church of New Jerusalem.
Founder: Emanuel Swedenborg, born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1688. Died in 1772. Of course, members of this group deny that Emanuel Swedenborg is the author of the religion, but will admit that it draws it primary theology from his writings.
Headquarters: No single headquarters. The North American headquarters is located in Newtonville, MA.
Membership: 25,000 to 50,000 world wide.
Doctrines: Denies the Vicarious Atonement, the Trinity, and deity of the Holy Spirit. It holds to Christ as divine. All religions lead to God, though all are not equally enlightened. One of its goals is to bring the world together under a new religious understanding. It teaches a need for Christianity to undergo a rebirth according to Swedenborgian interpretations. The Bible is the inspired word of God with two levels: the historical and the deeper spiritual one. Regarding the Trinity, a Swedenborg pastor said, “The Christian trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are aspects of God just as soul, body, and activities are aspects of each one of us.”
There is no personal devil. Instead, the devil is the personification of human evil. Hell is corrupted human society. The Scriptures are best interpreted through the writings of Swedenborg. Angels go through cycles of purity of character where they are sometimes closer and at other it times further from God. Swedenborg stated that the Acts and Epistles were not inspired as are the four Gospels and the Book of Revelation. There is no physical resurrection. After death, a person becomes an angel or an evil spirit. Angels are not supernatural creations of God. Position in the afterlife is based on “the kind of life we have chosen while here on earth.”
At a persons death, his mind falls asleep for three days in a place called the world of the spirits. Afterwards, he awakens and encounters spirits whove died before hand who help him adjust to the afterlife.
There is marriage in heaven.
Origins: Emanuel Swedenborg was born on January 29, 1688 (died 1772) in Stockholm. His father was a Lutheran minister. Emanuel was very bright and had an inquisitive mind. He was particularly interested in science and religion. In the former, he was recognized as an expert in geology and he also studied astronomy, cosmology, and physics. In 1744 he was stricken with a severe delirium which seems to have affected his mind for the rest of his life since many trance states were attributed to him as his life progressed.
In 1745 he had a vision where loathsome creatures seemed to crawl on the walls of his room. Then a man appeared who claimed to be God. This apparition said that Emanuel was to be the one who would communicate the teachings of the unseen realm to the people of the world. He would be the means by which God would further reveal Himself to the world.
Publications: Arcana Coelestia: The Earths in the Universe. The 35 volumes of writings by Swedenborg.
Comments: This is a dangerous mystical non-Christian religion. Its denial of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit, the vicarious atonement, and rejection of Acts and the Pauline epistles clearly set it outside of Christian orthodoxy.
Lawyers who have never worked or studied the Lord's Word -- taking on man made view of what society and culture should be, based on envy are those which I take offense to. These souls are in the dark as to the Lord's enlightenment.
I had a six figure salary once and was full of myself then I was forced to retire on disability. That is when I returned to the Lord and found a Divine purpose for myself. I've seen both sides and can understand what drives the sad man and poor souls in this, the greatest nation on earth.
Beyond a doubt. Swedenborg was a confirmed necromancer (medium) and events hosted at the Swedenborg church (New church) are often referred to as seances. Read with ample tinfoil.
I post these as open threads and would appreciate respectful opinions rather than name calling. It is your opinion based on what some website says about my Church. I suppose that they have an agenda to convert all others to their way of thinking.
Everyone is free to believe what they will. I am not asking anyone to convert to my religion. Many folks just read Swedenborg's works and find enlightenment. We are not 'scalp' hunting. We do not have personalities that constitute a cult. Swedenborg used the funds he had to publish his works. He was a very worldly, respected figure.
I am here laying out the truth behind great figures in American History and you are tossing grenades. I come in peace and am not anyone's enemy. I seek to inspire. Post comments to the sermon and open up your mind and realize you may be believing a big lie.
Care to post a thread on your own beliefs?
And what faith tradition do you believe?
The definition is correct, even more correct is that it borders on the occult.
Dirt poor is dirt poor.
Jackson and Lincoln had very similar beginnings.
If anything, Jackson may have had it slightly easier, as he had fairly well-off relatives that helped out somewhat, albeit at the cost of young Jackson being treated as a “poor relation.”
My 'faith tradition' is that of Christianity. I believe in the biblical condemnation of necromancy, divination and the whole rest of the occult practices of Swedenborg. As such, the bible is clear that those practices represent the doctrines of demons and are contrary to Christianity.
One less President I’ll see in heaven.
Washington, Jackson, Davis, Roosevelt, Reagan. That’s about it.
Our Father, who are in heaven
Hallowed Be they name,
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven
Those words appear twice in the Gospels spoken by the Lord. I have seen them manifested in meditation and prayer with the Word.
Your opinions are falsies in my reality of His kingdom on earth.
Your opinions on other FReepers' religious beliefs are hardly "respectful".
"Catholicism is not the future" ring any bells?
You are saying you just read the literal words and do not seek a deeper spiritual meaning? Do you open the Word randomly and let you eyes fall where they will and meditate with the intention of hearing the Lord’s voice within?
Humble beginnings dont impress me; results do. George Washington has a far more revered memory in my opinion...
With the Roman and Orthodox Catholic Churches, the Orthodox spiritual model should be adopted and the position of pope eliminated. Release folks from 'defending the faith'.
Actually it is a mind science - akin to Anton Mesmer, Phineas Quimby and Mary Baker Eddy. Which makes him accordingly a false prophet and teacher - the only one who verified it was himself! When 'mystical' practices are addressed in the bible they are throughly condemned (even to the point of being executed for the practices). (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)
Tell us all Dave - since you failed to address it on another post - is Mercury inhabited by those wearing the clothes of the 1800's? That is the prophecy/divination from Swedenborg.
I pointed out earlier that it is a form of bibliomancy - Divination by interpretation of a passage chosen at random from a book, especially the Bible.
I systematically study the bible - the spiritual meanings are readily apparent within the historical-literal context. No need to seek out occultic assistance al la Swedenborg to understand scripture - particularly since he is condemned by scripture as an abomination for his necromancy/divination/medium practices.