Quote of the day—Abraham Lincoln

While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquillity, who desire to abide by the laws and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country, seeing their property destroyed, their families insulted, and their lives endangered, their persons injured, and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better, become tired of and disgusted with a government that offers them no protection, and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocratic spirit which all must admit is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed—I mean the attachment of the people. Whenever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of [our] population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision stores, throw printing-presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure and with impunity, depend upon it, this government cannot last. By such things the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it, and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak to make their friendship effectual. At such a time, and under such circumstances, men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity, strike the blow, and overturn that fair fabric which for the last half century has been the fondest hope of the lovers of freedom throughout the world.
I know the American people are much attached to their government; I know they would suffer much for its sake; I know they would endure evils long and patiently before they would ever think of exchanging it for another,—yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.

Abraham Lincoln
The Lyceum Address
[Via email from Chet who pointed to Cliff Mass’s post, KNKX, James Madison, and Mobs. Mass quoted Lincoln. I then searched for the complete text of the Lincoln quote.

Lincoln goes on to offer this as the means to prevent the alienation of the people and their government:

The question recurs, “How shall we fortify against it?” The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor—let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty.

We must not tolerate the enemies of liberty to ignore the highest law of the land.—Joe]

5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Abraham Lincoln

  1. It has been said that a job left undone grows larger. And so, exactly, what would a total lack of tolerance for law-breaking look like at this stage? Of course the Romish left is always and forever pleading for “Tolerance”, and only much later will we understand fully why.

    At this point, with the law-makers breaking the Supreme Law of The Land every day, and flaunting it, and their followers breaking the laws every day, flaunting their ability to get away with it, I ask again; what exactly does intolerance for law-breaking look like? Beyond “all-out, bloody civil war and heretofore unseen levels of chaos and destruction” I’m hard pressed to come up with anything.

    The enemy knows this very well of course, and that’s his advantage. To get us to this point, our fathers and forefathers, and their fathers, had to be lulled into “Compromise”. Dancing the Charleston with loose women, for but one example, is after all much more appealing than organizing a war against your own government and against those perpetrators within your community, and doing it against all odds.

    But a people can fail only after they’ve been compromised. An un-compromised people will be invincible. That’s why “Compromise” is so adored and uplifted, even espoused as a virtue, throughout the world. And of course all of this has been explained in exquisite detail in the Bible, over and over and over, in many different ways, for thousands of years.

    In a compromised state we can’t win. In an un-compromised condition we’d never have gotten to this pathetic stage. And yet we’re not the first to have gotten ourselves into this sorry state. The good news is that there are many examples in history of a people overcoming this sad condition. I’ll leave it up to you to search the Scriptures for the singular answer, but you won’t like it because it doesn’t involve us relying on our own strengths, cleverness and skill.

    And by the way we’re all law breakers, condemned to death under God’s law, so let’s not get too cocky in judging others. Nor can “salvation” from law-breaking come from law breakers themselves, but only from repentance and supplication, and appeal to the Ultimate Law Giver for mercy, in the understanding that through compromise we brought this upon ourselves.

  2. In reply to the above:
    The Lord helps those who help themselves.
    Praise The Lord and load more magazines.
    It’s worth a few rounds to ensure the sights are on.
    Change batteries in all weapon lights and carry lights.
    As we still say in the USN: Stand by for heavy weather.
    The best defense is an overwhelming offense.

  3. While ol’ Abe has some of that right about patriotic citizens following the laws of the Republic, he’s missing a greater part:

    Those citizens elected to legislative bodies, or employed by the executive, or serving in the judiciary, must not only obey in every respect the supreme law of the land, they must be seen to be doing so and, should they err as all flawed human being will, their error is always on the side of the liberty of the People that entrusted them with authority. The limits on their power must be observed twice as strenuously as the power itself. They must acknowledge the edges of their authority, as none of them were granted unlimited authority, and when operating in the realm of controversy, they must be dragged to exercise their full just powers rather than over-exert themselves and have to be dragged by the courts back within their limits.

    The citizens will respect and adhere to the laws of the Republic no more than the government will respect and adhere to the People’s constitution that tolerates the government to exist at all. The larger problem of saving the Republic is getting the government to stop being in rebellion.

  4. We’ve been on a downhill slope slipping sliding our way down one compromise at a time for decades. Now, we have just hit an ice patch below a huge snow cliff.

    As I think about where we are, I’m starting to doubt the concept of free will and getting a glimpse what it was like for people living in similar historical periods. It’s hunker down, get out the way, resist when you can, and pray because the avalanche can’t be stopped. Just keep in mind that the avalanche is not an existential threat to our ideals – they will rise again.

    It’s this last part that is the real threat to the left because they too have bitterly looked back on history and think if only those idiots had accepted our ideas we would not have failed. This is what scares them the most.

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