HISTORIANS HATE HIM!! GRIERSON REVEALS LINCOLN’S ONE WEIRD TRICK TO SAVING THE UNION.
(Spoiler: “practical mysticism”)
There’s little to no substantive content here, but some of the emphatic and flowery language is amusing. Here’s one of my favorite selections, from the thrilling conclusion:
“It is time to know the truth about Lincoln’s supernaturalism. Your favourite historian avoids the subject. He will not touch on a matter so dangerous to his neutral agnosticism. He avoids the details of the supernatural events of that wonderful time. He will discuss anything but that; he knows that once thinking people become acquainted with the facts they will begin to form their own conclusions.”
Grierson goes on to recount that Lincoln once approved a successful venture that was so dangerous, insane, and high-risk that he wow, gee, form your own conclusions. I mean, to say yes to such a thing he must have been some sort of practical mystic!
Sadly, there’s no evidence presented of Lincoln ever engaging in anything supernatural, just lots of excellent proclamations like these, which I would comment wryly upon were I a man of leisure:
“A knowledge of the influences which ruled the life of Lincoln, the greatest of practical mystics, is essential now that a new form of paganism and slavery threatens humanity.”
“Abraham Lincoln, the greatest practical mystic the world has known for nineteen hundred years, is the one man whose life and example ought to be clearly set before the English-speaking peoples at this supreme climax in the history of civilisation. The thoughts, incidents, manifestations, which the majority of historians glide over with a careless touch, or sidetrack because of the lack of moral courage, are the only things that count in the life of that great seer. His whole existence was controlled by influences beyond the ken of the most astute politicians of his time. His genius was superhuman. And since this world is not governed by chance, a power was at work which fore-ordained him for his unique mission.”
“That Lincoln possessed intuition and illumination without resorting to human aid is clear and irrefutable. His words were simple and his actions were simple, like those of the Hebrew seers. He announced and he pronounced, without subtle explanations or mysterious formulas.
All which proves that practical mysticism can nourish as much under a Democracy as under any other form of government.”
“With Lincoln, humour was made to serve a high, psychic purpose. By its means he created a new atmosphere and new conditions through which he could all the more freely work and act. He brought humour into play for his own good as well as that of others. He was not a theorist, or a dreamer of dreams; he was a practical mystic.”
“This is only one of Lincoln’s prophecies which proved true. In stating them he did not pass into an abnormal state. He spoke as one would speak of the coming weather. He did not consult the stars, nor any person, before making a prophetic statement. Seeing clearly was as natural to him as eating or sleeping. He was not a psychic machine, uttering thoughts which seemed strange and enigmatical to himself, because his intellectual and spiritual powers were part of himself.”
I wish I knew what sort of bizarre rabbit hole I fell down that ultimately led me to consume this entire book. It looks like I leisurely read it from 11/2016 until 3/2017, and as I write this I vaguely recall keeping this open in a Project Gutenberg tab at work that I’d glance at while programs were loading, Excel spreadsheets were calculating, phones were ringing, etc. I honestly have no idea why I thought this was a good idea, but it happened.