Meditation on Divine Will (September 2, 1862)

Contributing Editors for this page include Mary Beth Donnelly, Michelle Grasso, and Marsha Greco

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#35 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents

Annotated Transcript

“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.”

Audio Version

On This Date

HD Daily Report, September 2, 1862

Close Readings

Mary Beth Donnelly, “Understanding Lincoln” blog post (via Quora), September 2, 2013

Michelle Grasso, “Understanding Lincoln” blog post (via Quora), October 1, 2013

Marsha Greco, “Understanding Lincoln” blog post (via Quora), October 1, 2013

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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 can not 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 this is probably true—that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere quiet 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.

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