I've often seen this attributed to Lincoln, but never found any good sources for this attribution...and have never found out where he supposedly said/wrote it.
I don't think he did as I have been unable to trace the origin of the statement to him. Although many quotation reference due attribute this phrase to Lincoln, as so often happens in the world of quotes, I don't think they are correct.
No less than the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and policy say the following in the footnotes of a paper entitled, "Does the Declaration of Independence Pass the Lemon Test."
114. An anonymous proverb says that, "the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next." That proverb which is often erroneously credited to Abraham Lincoln might also be expressed this way: The philosophy in the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the culture in the next. Depending on whether you believe our culture has progressed or digressed in the area of morality, you have the Supreme Court to either thank or curse. But before you make assessment, consider the question of whether your present thinking could be a product of the coercive "machinery" of the Court.
It is one of Lincoln's quotes...
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