A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: How to Put an End to Slavery Agitation

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Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention:
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since apolicy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "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. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South. A House Divided

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
What Do Jesus and Abraham Lincoln Have in Common?
They're both vampire hunters, obviously. Oh wait, no. They both wear top hats. Shoot—not that, either. It was on June 16, 1858 that Abraham Lincoln delivered his now famous "House Divided" speech while he was running for a seat in the Senate. Against the advice of a political ally he stated very clearly, "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free." Lincoln lost the election. But he knew his position would be a hard sell to his contemporaries. So he purposely reached for language that already had some authority: the Bible. Jesus himself says, "Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house" (11:17). And...
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