Quotes of American History: Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
"If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses 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 offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?" - Abraham Lincoln
One of Lincoln's greatest and most important lines from his Second Inaugural Address -- delivered on March 4, 1865 -- in which he struck a melancholy note on the path of the Civil War. Lincoln's goal was to open the lines of conciliation with the defeated southern states, and to reemphasize the moral evil of slavery. In his speech, the Civil War becomes a divine punishment meted out on the scale of the original injustice of that institution. Considered by many to be one of the finest, most substantial speeches delivered in the history of the United States.
There is an excellent site devoted to all things Abraham Lincoln by a very committed enthusiast -- "The Abraham Lincoln Blog