Sunday, July 1, 2012

on fighting older battles


Fellow-Countrymen: ...

   
  ..."On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. ....... Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.  

  One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, ......These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. ... 
                                                   ....To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, ...
           ...while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.  ...
                                             ... Each looked for an easier triumph, and 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 offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.'  

...

 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 by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."    



(Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address Saturday, March 4, 1865)
 Lincoln is quoting (Matthew 18:7)