A duty devolves on me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any man since that of Washington. He never could have succeeded except for the   aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same divine aid which sustained him, and on the same Almighty   Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that divine assistance without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain.

--Abraham Lincoln, February 11, 1861, spoken to a crowd at a railway  station as he departed his home in Springfield Illinois to assume his role of President of the United States



The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.

--Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865. The president makes clear that he believes that the carnage suffered by both sides in the Civil War was the result of God's judgments on the Nation for tolerating the corrupt institution of slaver.


Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.

 --From the April  6, 1859 Letter to Henry Pierce


This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave.

--From the April 6, 1859 Letter to Henry Pierce


Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the  other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came .... Fondly do we hope -- fervently do we pray -- that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.
 

--From the March 4, 1865 Inaugural Address