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Divining America: Religion in American History
19th Century
Essay: "Religion in the Civil War: The Northern Side"

Excerpts: "'The War and the Millennium': A sermon preached in Boston, on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1863," in Gilbert Haven, National Sermons. Sermons, Speeches and Letters on Slavery and Its War: From the Passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill to the Election of President Grant (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869), pp. 373-392.
Full text at Making of America at http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/cgi/sgml/moa-idx?notisid=ABZ3621

What connection has our war with this consummation [of the Millennium]? The progress of the promised grace has subdued its first enemy, idolatry. This destroyed man's allegiance to God. It must subdue the second enemy, which is man's hostility to man. This hostility assumes civic and social forms. It is monarchic, slavic, disuniting. Against these, march democracy, unity, fraternity, every man the equal and the brother of every man. To gain this victory we are now contending. . . . All governments based on the few, by the few, and for the few, are hostile to the government of Christ, and must be abolished before his Glory fully comes. [pp. 379-380]

The Union must be preserved, not alone because it was essential to our own welfare, but because through its preservation would the divine doctrine of popular government live among men. If America is lost, the world is lost. [p. 382]

God, my friends, not you, made man, of one father, that all might be brethren, that each should in honor prefer one another, esteeming others better than themselves. He is pushing us forward to His, not our, millennium. He is using and blessing us if we choose to work with Him. [p. 384]

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October 2000