Abraham Lincoln once wrote, “I was born on, February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. Two hundred years later Lincoln is remembered as a great president whose life was marked by America’s war with itself, and whose death came just as peace was at hand.” But who was behind his death, God, John Wilkes Booth or both?
“Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man, then, understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24. And as President Lincoln discovered, he could not order his own way. So below is the formulation of his conclusion about life’s journey.
“Six hundred thousand Americans died in the Civil War,” says James Swanson. Who has written two books about Lincoln’s death. “That war was finally coming to an end. Lincoln had freed the slaves, he had ended secession. There would be no more dying. and Lincoln was filled wit joy,” Swanson wrote. “Cannons, fire works, torches, parades, people getting drunk in the streets. With children running around carrying little flags. All proclaiming, ‘Victory is ours, ‘Richmond has fallen,'” says Swanson of the celebration.
“Amidst all this joy, there was one man in Washington who was not happy at all, and that was the famous actor, John Wilkes Booth.” “Booth was a Confederate sympathizer, who had plotted with others to kidnap Lincoln. A plot that had come to nothing.”
“But on the morning of April 14, 1865, when Booth was reading his mail on the front steps of Ford’s theater around noon, he heard that the President was coming to the play that night,” Swanson says, “That’s the moment he decided to kill Lincoln.”
“Just hours later, the actor came on stage to perform the comedy, ‘Our American Cousin.'” President Lincoln, and his wife were late for the show. With Swanson continuing the story; “President Lincoln came up these stairs with his guests. When he arrived, the audience finally realized the President was here, and so the orchestra broke into a performance of “Hail to the Chief,” and the actress suspended the play and paid tribute to Lincoln. and it’s up this very same route that Booth came. With full view of the stage, full view of the performance, the sound of the theater, the laughter. There Booth stopped!”
Writes Swanson, “One of the great mysteries of the assassination story and the whole civil war is why didn’t Lincoln have proper guards? Lincoln was a fatalist. He thought, “If someone wants to kill me, nothing can stop them.” After he was shot, over one hundred death threats were found in a cubbyhole in his desk. He knew he was a target.”
From the previous discussion, we learned that President Lincoln was associated with a Presbyterian church. A church with a tenet of predestination which perhaps Lincoln adopted. When asking the churches minister, why did God take my son Edwards life. From which Lincoln concluded, God draws out life’s plot, allowing his creation to punctuate the sentences. This is how God drew out Lincoln’s plot. Allowing Lincoln to punctuate the final sentences of his life in the following way.
“Booth waited in a dark space in the president’s booth, listening to the dialogue from the play. He waited until one actor was left on stage, Henry Hawk. Who was about to say a funny line that was going to make the whole audience erupt in laughter, which Booth hoped would muffle the sound of the shot.”
“Booth has in his left hand, his bowie knife. In his right hand, he clutches the derringer pistol. He hears that line, and he levels his right hand and almost touches the back of Lincoln’s head with the derringer pistol he fires.”
“Everything froze, and that smoke from black powder filled the box, and took on a very devilish red color because of the artificial lights, and the gas lamps, and the smoke which was voluminous from the black powder weapon. Then one of Lincoln’s two theater guests, Major Henry Rathbone, an Army officer, realized that was a gun shot. He rose up to grapple with Booth, and as soon as Rathbone looked up, he could see that knife coming down to kill him. Rathbone got his arm up just in time to parry the blow, but endured a deep cut.”
“Booth sat on that balustrade; he swung one leg over, than the other; to the stage. About a eleven foot drop. Then Booth ran to center stage. This was his final and greatest performance on the American stage. So he raised his bloody dagger in the air and cried out the state motto of Virginia, ‘Sic semper tyrannis, thus always to tyrants.’ And then he cried out, the South is avenged!’ And just as he exited from the stage, he was heard distinctly to say, ‘I have done it!’ And then he vanished into the wings.”
“With Booth leading what would turn out to be a long chase into the countryside. President Lincoln was carried to the street where a huge crowd had quickly collected.”
“So they’re carrying the president in the middle of the street and he’s dying. Thousands of people are standing here, and they do not know what to do with the President of the United States. Who has just been shot through the head,” Swanson says. “Then across the street, at the Petersen Boarding House, a man came out of the front door holding a lamp,” and said, “Bring him in here.”
“The bed was to short, and his legs reached over the end of the bed.” The doctor said, “Break the footboard off so the President can lie in the bed.” It wouldn’t come off, so the President had to be laid diagonally across what became the deathbed. Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22 the next morning.
“A little while later, soldiers rounded the corner carrying something, and that’s when the thousands of people standing on the street maintaining the death vigil let out a wail,” Swanson says. “Because that was the final refutation of their hopes. When they saw the box, it wasn’t even a proper coffin; it was an ammunition crate or a rifle case. They carried that box up the stairs, they wrapped Lincoln’s body in the American flag and then lowered him into the coffin. And witnesses say the only thing you could hear in the that death room was the squeaking of the screws being tightened.”
Swanson says “Booth had several motives to kill Lincoln, including avenging the South, to inspire the Confederates to keep on fighting, and to win fame and glory to himself. Which is why twelve days later, when he was wounded, and trapped by soldiers in a barn, he walked into the gunfire to his death. His last words were useless, useless, useless.” (source: NPR)
We all know about death because we are surrounded by death all the time. It is what happens after death that is the mystery. Because clergy teach conflicting accounts about the after death process. Mainly as a scare tactic to keep their pews full and to keep their bank accounts full.