In last week’s column, I argued that many northern clergymen during the Civil War believed that the United States was a Christian nation because God had uniquely blessed the American union established by the Constitution. The Northern clergy railed on the sin of secession and defended the proposition that the purpose of the war was to keep the Christian Union intact. After 1863, the year Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation and thus made the War about slavery, the North had even more moral ammunition to levy against the Confederacy.
Northern ministers pulled no punches in their attacks on what they perceived to be the sins of the South. Secession and slavery deserved punishment. E.E. Adams, the minister at Philadelphia’s North Broad Street Presbyterian Church, wrote that whoever resisted the “good government of the United States resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
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