went to church unattended. This unchristianly conduct of Lincoln's was remembered by the Christians of Springfield, and when he became a candidate for Congress against the noted Methodist preacher, Peter Cartwright, and later, in 1846, a candidate for the Whig nomination for Congress against General John J. Hardin, one of the arguments used against Lincoln was that
he was a deist and an infidel. In 1843, too, when Lincoln also tried to obtain the Congressional nomination, he was forced to withdraw in favor of his opponent, Edward D. Baker, on account of the opposition of the Christians. In a letter to his friend, Martin M. Morris, dated March 26, 1843, Lincoln describes the situation as follows: "There was the strangest combination of church influence against me. Baker is a Campbellite; and, therefore, as I suppose, with few exceptions, got all that church. My wife has some relations in the Presbyterian churches, and some with the Episcopal churches; and, therefore, wherever it would tell, I was set down as either the one or the other, while it was everywhere contended that no Christian ought to go for me, because I belonged to no church, was suspected of being a deist, and had talked about righting a duel."
which Mr. Remsburg gives the evidence of both sides. James H. Matheny, one of Lincoln's earliest and closest friends, in a letter to William H. Herndon, says: "I knew Mr. Lincoln as early as 1834-7; know he was an infidel. He used to talk infidelity in the clerk's office in this city (New Salem, Illinois), about the years 1837-40. Lincoln attacked the Bible on two grounds: first, from the inherent or apparent contradictions under its lids; second, from the grounds of reason. Lincoln would come into the clerk's office, where I and some young men were writing and staying, and would bring the Bible with him, read a chapter, and argue against it."