Abraham Lincoln Writings


The following fragment (Meditation on the Divine Will), was found and preserved by John Hay, one of President Lincoln's White House secretaries, who said it was "not written to be seen of men." Some of the thoughts expressed here, written after discouraging days of personal sorrow and military defeats, also appear in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address of 1865.


Hay said that in this writing, "Mr. Lincoln admits us into the most secret recesses of his soul .... Perplexed and afflicted beyond the power of human help, by the disasters of war, the wrangling of parties, and the inexorable and constraining logic of his own mind, he shut out the world one day, and tried to put into form his double sense of responsibility to human duty and Divine Power; and this was the result. It shows -- as has been said in another place -- the awful sincerity of a perfectly honest soul, trying to bring itself into closer communion with its Maker."

Meditation on the Divine Will (September 1862, Washington D.C.)


"The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party -- and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true -- that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds." ~A. Lincoln

Excerpts from Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865)


"...Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged.


The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of "God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him?


Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled up by the bondsman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another draw with the sword, as was said 3000 years ago, so still must it be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.


With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."



Note: Last night as I was considering these writings of President Lincoln and what is going on in our government today I was reminded of Joshua standing before Jesus and I shared this with Doyle and he asked me to include it with this posting:


Joshua 5


13 "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaires?


14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come."


As President Lincoln stated in his 2nd Inaugural address that the south believed that God was "on their side" and the north believed he was "on theirs," so must the democrats and republicans think the same.


I have read where President Obama has stated that Abraham Lincoln is the leader he most admires and that he has read a great deal of his writings. It would seem he has ignored some things that this man he so admired, believed. Other writings of Lincoln affirm to me that his relationship with the Father became much more personal during the Civil War and towards the end of his life. I read that before his mother died (Abraham was 9 years old) she called him to her bed and told him to be kind to his dad and to love his heavenly Father.


I thank God that he "rules in the Kingdom of men".


God Bless, ~Kathy

Sources: AbrahamLincolnonline.org; Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln; Great American History

Posted by Kathryn Currier

posted January 19, 2010



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