This is from Abraham Lincoln’s first major speech, known as the Lyceum Address, given in 1838 (two decades before his presidency):
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Title of the speech? “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions”
For what it’s worth, Glenn has got me interested in Lincoln again, and is a big admirer of the 16th president. I am engrossed in Rich Lowry’s book and hope to review it soon.