Monday, August 8, 2011

* Emancipation Self-Evident by Maker

I hold that if there is any one thing that can be proved to be the will of God by external nature around us, without reference to revelation, it is the proposition that whatever anyone man earns with his hands and by the sweat of his brow, he shall enjoy in peace. I say that whereas God Almighty has given every man one mouth to be fed, and one pair of hands adapted to furnish food for that mouth, if anything can be proved to be the will of heaven, it is proved by this fact, that the mouth is to be fed by those hands, without being interfered with by any other man who has also his mouth to feed and his hands to labor with. I hold if the Almighty had ever made a set of men that should do all of the eating and none of the work, he would have made them with mouths only and no hands, and if he had ever made another class that should do all of the work and none of the eating, he would have made them without mouths and with all hands.  But inasmuch as he has not chosen to make man in that way, if anything is proved, it is that those hands and mouths are to be co-operative through life and not to be interfered with.  That they are to go forth and improve their condition . . . is the inherent right given to mankind by the Maker.

Abraham Lincoln

Essay on the Relation of Wealth to Labor

Fred Kaplan in Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer  (kindle 4040+)

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