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could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts · the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of myoft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.




Reply to an address by Mrs. Gurney,

September (28?), 1862.

I am glad of this interview, and glad to know that I have your sympathy and prayers.

We are indeed going through a great trial-a fiery trial. In the very responsible position in which I happen to be placed, being a humble instrument in the hands of our heavenly Father, as I am, and as we all are, to work out his great purposes, I have desired that all my works and acts may be according to his will, and that it might be so, I have sought his aid: but if, after endeavoring


to do my best in the light which he affords

I find


efforts fail, I must believe that, for some purpose unknown to me, he wills it otherwise.

If I had had my way, this war would never have been commenced. If I had been allowed my way,

this would have been ended before this; but we find it still continues, and we must believe that he permits it for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us; and though with our limited understandings we may not be able to comprehend it, yet we cannot but believe that he who made the world still governs it.



September (30 ?), 1862.

The will of God prevails. In great contests

each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.

In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party : and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect his purpose. I am

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almost ready to say that this is probably true; that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power on the minds of the now contestants, he could have either saved destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun, he could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.


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