Lincoln's Greatest Speech, The Second Inaugural by Ronald C. White Jr. is a treasure.
The "Contents" page captures the unique approach that the author, Ronald C. White Jr., approached this book with. Each chapter is a focus on on of eight key area of the speech.
1. "Inauguration Day"
2. "At this second appearing.."
3. "And the war came".
4. "Somehow, the cause of the war..."
5. "Both read the same Bible & pray to the same God.."
6."The Almighty has His own purposes."
7. "Every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword".
8."With malice towards none; with charity for all..."
A favorite thought worth pondering is in the third verse of chapter 5. It says,
"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God ; each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces: but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully".
"Wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces" reminds us of Genesis 3:19 where it says that "By the sweat of thy face you will eat bread". Addressing slavery in this way is brilliant.
Lincoln's surpassed any previous President with his use of the Bible in his speeches. This speech acknowledged the universal use of the Bible on both sides of the war and in doing so brings God's influence and leverage into the discussion.
The book helps understand the deep insights of the "The Second Inaugural, Lincoln's Greatest Speech. The best summary statement of this effort is from Lincoln:
"I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me".