Friday, February 27, 2009

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Speech 3/4/1865

Abraham Lincoln quoted Jesus in his second inaugural speech March 4, 1865 (for the speech in it’s entirety click on this link )

In 1865, America North and South had lost the war in Lincoln’s estimation. The sin of slavery was grievous but war was a sin too.

Both the North and South suffered substantial loss of life. Military deaths were over 623,000. This still outnumbers the military deaths for all other American wars. Both the North and the South had dead men, resulting in innumerable widows and orphans. Entire towns were lost and rebuilding the country was a monumental task.

Lincoln chose to frame the winning of the Civil War as a loss for the whole country and call for a healing as all participants despaired.

"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." Lincoln's quoted language comes from Matthew 18:7 King James Bible.

Wesley's Notes (link to )

18:7 Wo to the world because of offences - That is, unspeakable misery will be in the world through them; for it must needs be that offences come - Such is the nature of things, and such the weakness, folly, and wickedness of mankind, that it cannot be but they will come; but wo to that man - That is, miserable is that man, by whom the offence cometh. Offences are, all things whereby any one is turned out of, or hindered in the way of God.

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