peace among ourselves and with all nations

by Snowy

Lincoln declined to dignify Southern arguments about states' rights with any mention. Slavery - the Southern property interest in human flesh - was the essence of the conflict. "To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, shop for tiffany bracelets even by war."Lincoln again employed disingenuous neutrality in declaring that each side had claimed - and still claimed the sanction of heaven for its actions. "Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other." Yet Lincoln knew that God understood the difference. "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," he said. But he immediately reverted to the language of moral relativism: "Let us judge not, that we be not judged."

Lincoln had long since convinced himself that the war was God's will, and he now sought to convince his listeners, in language of fierce righteousness that might have made an Old Testament prophet blanch. "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 bond-man'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 shop for tiffany necklaces 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.'"

Yet Lincoln ended on a note of mercy: "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."The president's words sent shivers through many who heard and read them, although no one could say for certain what they meant. Was Lincoln endorsing more war, or peace? Northern Unionists nonetheless applauded. An editorialist said Lincoln's inaugural message should be "printed in gold"; Frederick Douglass, shop for tiffany pendants the AfricanAmerican leader, called it "a sacred effort."

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About Snowy Junior   

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Joined APSense since, June 30th, 2010, From MA, United States.

Created on Dec 31st 1969 18:00. Viewed 0 times.


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