Religious Language In Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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Throughout the course of Lincoln’s selected speeches and writings, beginning on March 4, 1861, with his First Inaugural Address and concluding with his 1865 Second Inaugural, we can trace a clear change in his views on God and religion, shown through his degree of usage in various different documents. This variety includes speeches concerning passed legislature, his inaugurations, letters to citizens, as well as Lincoln’s own personal reflections. In these different works Lincoln transformed from a man accepting of religion who used Biblical language as a means for a more poetic and convincing argument into a seemingly devout Christian with a strong belief in God. Before his First Inaugural Address Lincoln was not known as a man of faith, and in 1846 when running for Congress against the noted evangelist Peter Cartwright, his opponent accused him of being an “open scoffer at Christianity”(Handbill Replying to Charges of Infidelity, 55). However Lincoln immediately responded to these charges with a handbill…show more content…
Once more Lincoln pushes the power of control over the nation to God; however Lincoln introduces the idea that even if God wishes, through the course of removing a great wrong, to punish both the North and the South (which he is doing through the Civil War), this will not be a means for sorrow but rather a “new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God”(421). In contrast to his statements in the Letter to Eliza Gurney and the Meditation on the Divine Will, rather than just stating the war simply is a result of God’s Will, Lincoln went even further to claim that thankfulness and worship of the Lord must be given despite the incredibly gruesome

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