Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Life
No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.
Love is the chain to lock a child to its parent.
Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.
You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry.
Human action can be modified to some extent, but human nature cannot be changed.
He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.
Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.
I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
A farce or comedy is best played; a tragedy is best read at home.
Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.
For people who like that kind of a book that is the kind of book they will like.
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.
Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
If I am killed, I can die but once; but to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again.
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
I would rather be a little nobody, then to be an evil somebody.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Progress
Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good.
What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree.
I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
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.
The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity.
The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.
I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.
I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude that I am the best man in the country; but I am reminded, in this connection, of a story of an old Dutch farmer who remarked to a companion once that ‘it was not best to swap horses while crossing streams’.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success
I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.
I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.
I have a congenital aversion to failure.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other thing.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Labor
I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace.
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
My father taught me to work, but not to love it. I never did like to work, and I don’t deny it. I’d rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh — anything but work.
Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Slavery
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.
All I ask for the negro is that if you do not like him, let him alone. If God gave him but little, that little let him enjoy.
The one victory we can ever call complete will be that one which proclaims that there is not one slave or one drunkard on the face of God’s green earth.
This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.
I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.
No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle–the sheet anchor of American republicanism.
You think slavery is right and should be extended; while we think slavery is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on God & Religion
The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party – and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.
Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
No man is poor who has a Godly mother.
It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.
I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. I will close by saying, God bless the women of America!
In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book.
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Government
Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.
The love of property and consciousness of right and wrong have conflicting places in our organization, which often makes a man’s course seem crooked, his conduct a riddle.
I desire to so conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.
The United States government must not undertake to run the Churches. When an individual, in the Church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.
The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
I cannot make it better known than it already is that I strongly favor colonization.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?
Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.
Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Friends
I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, especially if you have got a bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have. The fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.
If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
I distrust the wisdom if not the sincerity of friends who would hold my hands while my enemies stab me.