Lincoln’s Moral Constitution

Allen C. Guelzo

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/2011

Issue: Slavery and Race (Vol. 31, No 2, Spring, 2011)

Although Abraham Lincoln was not a member of a Christian church and apparently made no profession of anything like “orthodox” Christian faith, his opposition to slavery was driven by a profound sense of “natural law”—indeed, natural law “under God”—that made him see the Civil War not as a simplistic crusade but as proof that God’s purpose is “something different from the purpose of either party.” The War was, in fact, the judgment of God on both North and South for their complicity in slavery.

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