“How Mysterious Are the Ways of Providence”

Sean A. Scott

in A Visitation of God

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395990
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866557 | DOI:
“How Mysterious Are the Ways of Providence”

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Lincoln's assassination silenced any leanings toward leniency toward the South. In sermons delivered on Easter Sunday and in the weeks after the murder, ministers called for harsh punishment of Rebel leaders. Many claimed that the president had been providentially removed because of his willingness to forgive traitors in favor of national unity. Some envisioned Andrew Johnson as a dispenser of justice perfectly suited for the challenges of the hour. After four years of war, religious civilians claimed that God had providentially directed national events to achieve his divine purposes and that the purified American nation, freed of slavery, would be the leading agent carrying out his will.

Keywords: Lincoln; assassination; assassination sermons; Andrew Johnson; Providence

Chapter.  8913 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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