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INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 5, 1865.
66 • Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come; but woe
to that man by whom the offense cometh!' If we still suppose that American slavery is one of these 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 offense 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. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years
of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said: The judgments of the Lord are tsue and righteous altogether.'
SPEECH AT OTTAWA, ILLS., AUG. 21, 1858. “ IN this and like communities, pub
lic sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes or decisions possible or impossible to be executed."
LETTER TO THURLOW WEED, MARCH
15, 1865. “Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them. To deny it, how
ever, in this case, is to deny that there is a God governing the world.
“It is a truth which I thought needed to be told, and, as whatever of humiliation there is in it falls most directly on myself, I thought others might afford for me to tell it.”
SPEECH AT SPRINGFIELD, JULY 17, 1858.
“It would be amusing, if it were not disgusting to see how quickly these
compromise-breakers administer upon the effects of their dead adversaries, trumping up claims never before heard of, and dividing the assets among themselves. If I should be found dead to-morrow, nothing but my insignificance could prevent a speech being made upon my authority, before the end of next week.”