Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 8, 1968

Who Said What?

Luther W. Martin

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln made an address in Springfield, Illinois. In the course of his remarks upon this occasion, Mr. Lincoln stated: — A house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free."

It is interesting to note that many Americans hold to the erroneous view that President Lincoln was the author of the "House divided" statement. In fact, the speech in which this quotation was contained has now become known as the "House Divided" address. But in reality, the Lord Jesus Christ was the Author of that statement, for in Mark 3:25, Christ is quoted: "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."

Then, over a century later, on January 20, 1961, another President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address, made a statement which has been widely attributed to him, but which was in reality a quotation from another author. Perhaps the most famous statement credited to Mr. Kennedy was: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country." The author of this quotation was a Lebanese writer, by the name of Kahlil Bibran.

The above quotations bring to mind an inspired statement contained in the book of Job.... "....behold my desire is....that mine adversary had written a book." (Job 31:35) The thought being conveyed was that when someone inscribes his words into a permanent record, the author can never deny their authorship. Similarly, when wise and noted statements are committed to writing, then the original author will ultimately be discovered and properly credited.

— Rolla, Missouri