Hail to the Chief: Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S.

Nearing the end of a bloody and tragic Civil war, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of his most famous speeches—his second Inaugural address on March 4, 1865 quoting from the Gospels and Psalm 19.

"...but let us judge not that we be not judged. The Almighty has his own purposes. Fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue. . .and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another. . .so still it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

In a war that would end just months later on May 9, 1865, a leading American scholar points out that, “Lincoln did not presumptuously assume the moral high ground belonged to only his side—he expressed remarkable charity to the foe!”

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