An old-line Baptist preacher rose up in the pulpit of his country meeting house, and in a loud voice announced his text thus: “I am the Christ whom I shall represent today.”
He was dressed in coarse linen pantaloons and a shirt of the same material. The pants, manufactured after the old fashion, with baggy legs, were made to attach to his frame without the aid of suspenders. A single button held his shirt in position, and that was at the collar.
About this time, a little blue lizard ran up his roomy pantaloons. The old preacher, not wishing to interrupt the steady flow of his sermon, slapped away on his leg, expecting to arrest the intruder, but his efforts were unavailing, and the little fellow kept on ascending higher and higher.
Continuing the sermon, the preacher loosened the central button which graced the waistband of his pantaloons, and with a kick off came that easy-fitting garment.
But meanwhile, Mr. Lizard had passed the equatorial line of the waistband and was calmly exploring that part of the preacher’s anatomy which lay underneath the back of his shirt.
Things were now growing interesting, but the sermon was still grinding on. The next movement on the preacher’s part was for the collar button, and with one sweep of his arm off came the tow linen shirt. The congregation sat for an instant as if dazed; at length one old lady in the rear part of the room rose up, and glancing at the excited object in the pulpit, shouted at the top of her voice: “If you represent Christ, then I’m done with the Bible.”
Emanuel Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, quote in Hertz, Lincoln Talks, p. 76.