A Meditation on the Divine Will
by Abraham Lincoln [a fragment found (30 September 1862) by John
Hay, a presidential secretary]
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west,
that there is none beside Me. I am the LORD, and there is none
else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and
create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
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 cannot be [both] 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 that this is probably true;
that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet.
By His mere great 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
Let God be true, but every man a liar.