At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office,there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement,somewhat in detail,of a course to be pursued,seemed fitting and proper. Now,at the expiration of four years,during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention,and engrosses the energies of the nation,little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms,upon which all else chiefly depends,is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is,I trust,reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future,no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago,all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it--all sought to avert it. While the inaugeral address was being delivered from this place,devoted altogether to saving the Union without war,insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissole the Union,and divide effects,by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves,not distributed generally over the Union,but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was,somehow,the cause of the war. To strengthen,perpetuate,and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union,even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war,the magnitude,or the duration,which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with,or even before,the conflict itself should cease.

Each looked for an easier triumph,and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible,and pray to the same God; and 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. The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those 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 offence 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 bond-man'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 by another drawn with the sword,as was said three thousand years ago,so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord,are true and righteous altogether"

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right,as God gives us to see the right,let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle,and for his widow,and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace,among ourselves,and with all nations.



不以恶待人,而以仁爱相处。当神开启我们的眼,得见公义时,我们必须持守公义。让我们全力以赴,完成我们手中的工作,医治国家的创伤;并照料在战场上承受苦痛的人,和那些寡妇、孤儿,不忘记关怀他们 - 让我们竭尽全力,达成在我们中间,及众民族之间的永久的公义和和平。


提到上帝次数:10(God: 6; The Almighty: 1; Lord: 1; He: 2)

所以只要读一下这篇讲演,就会知道林肯是怎样一位敬畏上帝,祈求上帝带领的人了!就如林肯传记《公民林肯》(Lincoln the Citizen)的作者惠特尼(Henry Whitney)所总结的:“(这篇演讲是)一串向神连绵不断的祈求,求祂对我们这个如火如荼的国家伸出援手。”

这篇讲演发生在1865年3月4号上午,当时在现场的记者Noah Brooks写到:“Just at that moment the sun,which had been obscured all day,burst forth in its unclouded meridian splendor,and flooded the spectacle with glory and with light……was already standing in the shadow of death.”(林肯登台的一瞬间,阳光冲出了已盘踞了一整天的云层,放射出惊人的景象,荣耀和光辉如洪水般涌来……而此时,林肯已经站在了死亡的阴影之中。) -- 仅仅40天后,即同年4月15号,林肯在剧院里被谋杀了。


例如,在1862年9月,在一个本来看似乐观的形势下,北方军却经历了在Bull Run的第二次战役的彻底失败,林肯开始认真的反思这次战争,并且考虑解放黑奴的具体计划。这时,他写下了“Meditation on the Divine Will”(对神旨意的思想)的文章。英文原文是:“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 can not 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 affect His purpose.”翻译是:“上帝的旨意必成就。在内战中,双方都认为自己所行的符合上帝的旨意,但至少有一方是错的,因为上帝不可能自相矛盾。上帝的旨意不同于我们的目标,但是上帝使用我们作为器皿成就祂的旨意。”

在林肯将被谋杀的最后时刻,据D. James Kennedy的《What if the Bible had never been written》一书,林肯坐在戏院里,对妻子玛丽说的最后的话是:“你知道我现在想做什么吗?我想带你到中东去旅行。” “我们要去祂(主耶稣)诞生的伯利恒。我们要拜访伯大尼,随着那条圣洁脚踪所行过的路途走。然后我们上耶路(耶路撒冷)……”

最后林肯在离世的时候是不是一个基督徒,学术界有争论;从我的个人的推测上,我认为林肯成为了基督徒 -- 但其实,这并不那么重要。重要的是,我们自己对真理的认识,我们自己与神之间的关系;我们信不信主,不该是因为某个伟人信不信主,甚至也不是因为一个强大的国家,如美国,是不是基督教国家。我们信主,是因为阿爸天父对我们无条件的爱和拣选,是因为主耶稣在十字架上所成就的救恩。而神的大能、荣耀和主权,早已经在林肯内心深处的变化,在人类历史的演绎之中,丰丰富富、无可推诿的彰显出来了,不是吗?


Sam Adams(亚当斯1722-1803),被称为“美国革命之父”。亚当斯是美国首届和第二届国会的议员,签署了独立宣言,也是麻省的州长(1794-1797) -- 他是一个很虔诚的清教徒(puritan)。亚当斯在波士顿1772所建立的“殖民地联合会"(Committee for Intercolonial Correspondence),是当时推动美国独立的核心力量。这个组织,针对英国国王乔治三世的压迫,第一个喊出了独立运动时著名的口号“没有王,只有耶稣是王!”(No Kings but King Jesus!)



“We hold these truths to be self-evident,that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,that among these are life,liberty,and the pursuit of happiness: that to secure these rights,governments are instituted among men…… ”


“We therefore,the Representatives of the United States of America,in General Congress assembled,appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…… solemnly publish and declare that these united colonies are,and of right ought to be,free and independent states …… And for the support of this Declaration,with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,we mutually pledge to each other our lives,our for-tunes and our sacred honor.”


在这里,美国的缔造者们宣告,国家的建立是基于上帝的旨意,带领,和庇护,因为,就如《独立宣言》明明白白讲到的,上帝是创造的神(The Creator),是审判的神(The Supreme Judge),是供给的神(The Divine Providence)。

同样是亚当斯,曾经在美国立宪大会上说过著名的一句话,“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”(最好的宪法,最好的法律,也不能保证给普遍败坏的人带来自由和幸福。)

直到今天,有基督信仰的美国总统在宣誓就职之后都会说,“即使我们有最好的制度和法律,但是如果我们没有神的祝福和庇护,我们要注定失败。God Bless America!”

是的,真正的自由不是来源于我们自己,更不是来源于外在的制度或文化。圣经告诉我们:“主就是那灵。主的灵在哪里,那里就得以自由。”(林后 3:17)“基督释放了我们,叫我们得自由,所以要站立得稳,不要再被奴仆的轭挟制。”(加 5:1)

几千年前,神带领以色列从为奴之地埃及走出来,获得自由;几百年前,美国的缔造者们祈求主的灵,带领他们迎来一个全新的、自由的国家 -- 同样,我们今天在这里,也祈求神带领中国,怜悯这片广袤土地上的众多灵魂,擦亮我们愚昧的心灵,把我们从骄傲,悖逆,罪恶和死亡的黑暗权势之下解救出来,使我们在主耶稣基督里面得到真正的自由!


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