The theme of nationalism and unity had also been a theme in Lincoln’s speeches before the civil war. In Lincoln's "House Divided" speech on June 16th 1858, when he accepted the Republican nomination for US senate, he used intense imagery to warn the audience of the risk to the nation should some states continue using slaves: “A House divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanent half slave half free”.In this scripted speech, Lincoln is passionate in seeking to dissuade his audience from acceding to his opponent’s views that slavery should continue. The audience was comprised of conservative supporters of the Republican cause who may have been minded to support the slave trade. To dissuade them of this position, Lincoln used powerful and bleak imagery to explain his view that the slaves’ freedom was in nation’s best interests: "When ... you have succeeded in dehumanizing the Negro; when you have put him down and made it impossible for him to be but as the beasts of the field; when you have extinguished his soul in this world and placed him where the ray of hope is blown out as in the darkness of the damned," then there is no hope for freedom.In using dynamic verbs such as “dehumanising”, “darkness” and “damned”, Lincoln used his vocabulary to exaggerate his position, such that the audience would consider the debate to be between good and evil and not simply a debate between presidential nominees. The metaphor of the divided nation and the biblical references signified that Lincoln believed that it was morally and religiously justified to have a free nation. To engage his audience further in his speech, Lincoln employs a series of questions which has the effect of calling the entire audience into the discussion such that the audience is aware that Lincoln believes the debate critical to all Americans. In spite of the extensive use of questions, Lincoln’s speech is smooth flowing, and as a consequence of Lincoln’s lexis and use of parallelism easy to follow.