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Tags: A House Divided, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Union, Confederacy, Slavery, the Founders, modernist, modernism, Christian heritage, Civil War, Abe Lincoln, Northerners, Gettysburg, Dr. Jerome Walker, Colonel Harry L. Benbow, Jeff Davis, River Queen, General Sherman, Carl Sandburg, Richmond, Dixie, General Weitze, reconstruction, White House, General Grant, Governor Vance, Ford's Theater, Secretary Wells, Seward, Southern states, Andrew Johnson, Lamon, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Sally Bush Lincoln, Harper's Weekly, General Lee, Nancy Hanks, Tom Lincoln

The Benevolent Heart

 

Bringing Order to the House

It was not long after the war began in 1861 that the Northerners began to debate what was to be done to bring the Confederate states back into the Union. Some believed they should be treated as territories. Others concluded that since secession was illegal, none of the states had, in actuality, left the Union to begin with. Lastly, there were those who contended that the Southern Leaders, not the states, should be punished for their travesty. With the victory at Gettysburg in the North's hand, speculation was soon to become reality as they were pressed to come up with some solutions in anticipation of the inevitable.

We have learned that it was Lincoln's desire to bring the house divided back together again under the authority of God. He acknowledged that the only way one could possibly unify the country was to make them one in the admission that God is sovereign over nations. A house divided would not stand. But as one nation in unanimity under the banner of Christ, it could not fail.

With that in mind, it was Lincoln's intent to deal with the vanquished South in a benevolent fashion. Compassion was always on his mind when it came to dealing with his adversary for four years. Late in the war, Lincoln visited the sick and the wounded in the hospital tents at City Point. As he approached one of the tents a young Dr. Jerome Walker pointed at the patients saying, "Mr. President, you do not want to go in there."

Why not, my boy?" was the commander's reply.

"They are sick rebel prisoners."

"That's exactly where I want to go," Lincoln insisted as he strode in and shook hands from cot-to-cot.

Shot in both hips, Colonel Harry L. Benbow, who had commanded three regiments at Five Forks related, "He halted beside my bed and held out his hand. I was lying on my back, my hands folded across my breast.

"Looking him in the face, 'Mr., President,' I said, 'do you know to whom you offer your hand?'

"'I do not,' he replied.

"'Well,' said I, 'you offer it to a Confederate colonel who has fought you as hard as he could for four years.'

"'Well,' said he, 'I hope a Confederate colonel will not refuse me his hand.'

"'No, sir,' I replied, 'I will not,' and I clasped his hand in both of mine."

In a historical meeting with the great commanders of the Civil War on the River Queen, as the war began to draw to a close on 3/8/65, Lincoln spoke of his terms of peace with the rebels. General Sherman, who was obviously present recalled, "I inquired of the President if he was all ready for the end of the war. What was to be done with the rebel armies when defeated? And what should be done with the political leaders, such as Jeff Davis, etc.? He said he was all ready; all he wanted of us was to defeat the opposing armies, and to get the men composing the Confederate armies back to their homes, at work, on their farms, and in their shops. As to Jeff Davis, he was hardly at liberty to speak his mind fully, but, intimated that he ought to clear out, 'escape the country,' only it would not do for him to say so openly." Such a position of allowing the enemy to flee would not have been popular amongst these Northern people who were leaning towards revenge.

In all of Lincoln's speeches and papers, according to Carl Sandburg, there was never a phrase of hate or personal evil wished against Jefferson Davis. It was his hope that the President of the Confederacy would avoid the judgment that Lincoln was obligated to deliver in order to appease those who would settle for no less.

When even Mrs. Lincoln declared that Jeff Davis should not be allowed "to escape the law, he must be hanged," her husband replied, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

It was on April 8, 1865, after the conquest and capture of the capitol city of the Confederacy that Lincoln walked the streets of this once proud metropolis to survey the devastation that had leveled it to the ground. After surveying the agony that accompanies conquest, he boarded the River Queen to depart from the city of Richmond. The military band was there; ready to send the proud victor back home.

To this company of musicians, Lincoln turned to request that they might play "Dixie," declaring "That tune is federal property."

Again, after Lee's surrender, a great crowd had gathered on the White House lawn. In the midst of the festivities, Lincoln again turned to the enormous assembly and said, "I propose closing up this interview by the band closing up. . . performing a particular tune. . .I have always thought 'Dixie' one of the best tunes I have ever heard."

When General Weitzel implored what to do with the conquered people Lincoln responded, "If I were in your place, I'd let 'em up easy, let 'em up easy."

General Sherman, who was eager to hear any specific recommendations that might have occurred in the mind of the President on reconstruction of the South wrote, "Mr. Lincoln was full and frank in his conversation, assuring me that in his mind he was all ready for the civil reorganization of affairs at the South as soon as the war was over; and he distinctly authorized me to assure Governor Vance and the people of North Carolina, as soon as the rebel armies laid down their arms, and resumed their civil pursuits, they would at once be guaranteed all of their rights as citizens of a common country; and to avoid anarchy the state governments then in existence, with their civil functionaries, would be recognized by him as the government de facto till Congress could provide others. . .His earnest desire seemed to be to end the war speedily, without more bloodshed or devastation, and restore all the men of both sections to their homes. ."

Indeed, the great generals of the war committed their hearts to the President's view. Sherman, the punisher who had led the notorious march through Georgia to leave nothing but destruction in his path, desired humane reconstruction. In early April of 1865 the three prominent military commanders were unanimous for ending the war on any terms that would guarantee a restored Union with slavery gone. General Grant had stated, "The great majority of the Northern people, and the soldiers unanimously" concurred with the Lincoln view.

Lincoln knew that his powers were vast by then, and Congress was not due to meet until the upcoming December. His plan was to first to speak to America of his strategy before the rancorous Congress met. Then, before Congress gathered together he would put through a series of actions and decisions that would control policy for years.

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 A Dream Cut Short

 

A Night at Ford's Theater

The Good Friday before Easter was filled with the usual business that accompanies any ordinary President who had just won a Civil war just a week before. The triumphant General Grant was invited to set that morning in his first session with the President and his cabinet.

Secretary Wells recalled Lincoln commenting on the re-establishing of law and order and the new state governments in the South. "I think it providential that this great rebellion is crushed just as Congress has adjourned and there are none of the disturbing elements of that body to hinder and embarrass us. If we are wise and discreet we shall re animate the States get their governments in successful operation, with order prevailing and the Union reestablished before Congress comes together in December. . . I hope there will be no persecution, no bloody work after the war is over. No one need expect me to take any part in hanging or killing those men, even the worst of them. Frighten them out of the country, open the gates, let down the bars, scare them off" - throwing up his hands as if sacrificing sheep. "Enough lives have been sacrificed."

Later Seward heard the President say, "We can't undertake to run State governments in all these Southern States. Their people must do that - though I reckon that at first some of them may do it badly."

Lincoln's plan (that was originally announced in December 1863) was simple and benevolent. It offered a pardon for every Southerner who took an oath to support the Union. Any state in which 10 percent of its populace took the oath could form a new government and adopt a new constitution. The primary stipulation would be that the new constitution would have to prohibit slavery.

So the cabinet session of Friday, April 14, 1865, came to a close with the expectation that on the following Tuesday they would meet again to resume the discussion of how to bind up the nation's wounds.

Congress though was not of such a benevolent mind. Vengeance was their aim! Lincoln's vice-president, Andrew Johnson, was currently promoting severe punishment for the rebels asserting, "Treason is a crime and must be made odious." They considered Lincoln's plan too mild.

Already, in 1864, Congress had proposed that Reconstruction wait until half the voters in a state had taken an oath of loyalty. A national debate followed that contested whether Congress or the President should establish reconstruction policy.

Lincoln knew the American people. Panic, want, greed, fanaticism, race-hatred, cries for retribution, and lusts for money and fortunes filled the land. He had to delicately plant good seeds in order to reap a harvest that would successfully unite the country in peace. Therefore in a speech delivered on 4/11/65, after Lee's surrender, Abe sought to seize the moment and the opportunity that he had to set in motion his own reconstruction program.

But during this same period of time Lincoln reported to his trustworthy friend Lamon, a dream that seemed deadly real. Abe had a strong belief in the significance of dreams for himself and others. It was on that light that he opened the Bible to Genesis 28 to read of Jacob's wonderful vision depicting a ladder proceeding up to heaven. During that particular time of study his eye continually was drawn back to Biblical passages referring to dreams, visions and supernatural visitations.

Then "about ten days ago I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was very weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of the state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafaloque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and a throng of people, some gazing mournfully at the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers. 'The President,' was his answer, 'he was killed by an assassin!' Then came a burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since."

Lincoln's wife Mary was more than annoyed by the dream after it was related to her. She was horrified! Abe attempted to console her by explaining, ". . .it is only a dream, Mary. Let us say no more about it, and try to forget it."

However, Lamon later recalled that the dream continued to disturb Lincoln; for when he related it to others he was "grave, gloomy, and sometimes visibly pale, but perfectly calm."

It was if Lincoln knew his time had arrived. He had done what he had been called to do; and now with his soul securely with Christ, it was time to go home.

In order to illuminate Lamon, Lincoln revealed, "Well, let it go. I think the Lord in His own good time and way will work this out all right. God knows what is best."

The truth of Lincoln's salvation in Christ was to finally be announced publicly. For years Abe had avoided declaring his membership at the church he had attended throughout his Presidency. Hidden for years in the archives of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church was a document that revealed that Lincoln had intended to change all of that. An affidavit was discovered that attested that Dr. Gurley heard Abe express his faith in Jesus and desired to make it known on Easter Sunday, 1865.

It was the Good Friday before Lincoln was to publicly profess his new-found faith in Christ at church that the Lincoln's resolved to attend Ford's Theater. Sitting in the box seats while losing track of the play, Abe leaned to his distraught wife with words of encouragement. Perhaps with the war over and his second term secured, they could take a respite to the Holy Land. "What I would most like to do is to take you on a trip to the Near East. We could go to Palestine."

As the words were ushering from his mouth, an intruder cautiously opened his carefully devised clandestine entry door. "We could visit Bethlehem. We could go to Jeru...."

 

Shot!

Out in the prairie of Illinois an old woman received the news she had for so long anticipated. "I knowed when he went away he'd never come back alive." Those words were spoken by Sally Bush Lincoln, the mother of a President.

Out on the Iowa frontier a farmer rode swiftly, shouting the announcement, "Lincoln is shot!" or, "Lincoln is dead - shot in a theater!"

Carl Sandburg wrote, "The last breath was drawn at 21 minutes and 55 seconds past 7 A.M. and the last heart beat flickered at 22 minutes and ten seconds past the hour on Saturday, April 15, 1865. Dr. Barnes' finger was over the carotid artery, Dr. Leales' finger was on the right wrist pulse, and Dr. Taft's hand was over the cardium when the great heart made its final contraction."

Even Lincoln's adversaries were despondent at the gruesome news. Harper's Weekly reported: "Roger A. Pryor stated in Petersburg that he believed Mr. Lincoln indispensable to the restoration of peace, and regretted his death more than any military mishap of the South."

General Lee at first refused to hear the details of the murder. . . He said that when he dispossessed himself of the command of the rebel forces he kept in mind President Lincoln's benignity, and surrendered as much to the latter's goodness as to Grant's artillery. The General said that he "regretted Mr. Lincoln's death as much as any man in the North."

"The Pale Horse had come," wrote Sandburg. "To a deep river, to a far country, to a by-and-by whence no man returns, had gone the child of Nancy Hanks and Tom Lincoln, the wilderness boy who found far lights and rainbows to live by, whose name even before he died had become a legend in-woven with men's struggle for freedom the world over."

Find the cost of freedom,

Buried in the ground.

For the Love of God above,

Lay your burden down.

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About the Author

 

Don Wigton is a graduate of the prestigious music department at CSULB where he studied under Frank Pooler, lyricist of Merry Christmas Darling, and sang in Pooler’s world renown University Choir alongside Karen and Richard Carpenter. During this time Don was also the lead composer of the band, Clovis Putney, that won the celebrated Hollywood Battle of the Bands. After giving his life to God, Don began attending Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa to study under some of the most prominent early Maranatha! musicians. Subsequently he toured the Western United States with Jedidiah in association with Myrrh Records.

Eventually Don served as a pastor at Calvary Chapel Bakersfield to witness thousands of salvations through that ministry. As the music/concert director, Don worked for seven years with most major Christian artist of that time while producing evangelical concerts attended by thousands of young people seeking after God. Don’s Calvary Chapel Praise Choir released the album Let All Who Hath Breath Praise the Lord on the Maranatha! label.

The next years of Don’s life were spent as the praise leader of First Baptist Church in Bakersfield during a time of unprecedented church renewal. Don teamed with the leadership to successfully meld the old with the new through a period of tremendous church growth. During this exciting time, Don’s praise team, Selah, produced the CD Stop and Think About It.

Today Don is the leading force behind Wigtune Company. This webbased project located at www.praisesong.net has provided several million downloads of Don’s music and hymn arrangements to tens of thousands of Christian organizations throughout the world. More music can be found at Don's Southern Cross Band website at www.socrossband.com.

The book Holy Wars represents Don’s most recent effort to bless the church with biblical instruction and direction in praise and worship. This heartfelt volume is an offering not only to God’s people, but also to God Himself.

 

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This first of five books looks into a pivotal moment in American history that changed the world forever. It was a time when the United States was on the brink of destruction. It was and era when an American prophet and patriot stood up to eco the words of Christ: "A house divided cannot stand." Today we live in a similar era today where America is torn asunder between truth and error. And the wrong decision will bring dire consequences!

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The gospel band Southern Cross features worship, praise chorus and ministry songs in contemporary rock, country rock and even classic genres. Click here to go to their page to listen to our mp3 music and find out how to have them come to your area!

All For Freedom!

Thanks to the men and women who give their all for our freedom.

 

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There are many lying voices out in the world calling us to sin and despair.

 

You Broke My Heart

Jesus said "Let your yes be yes and your no's be no's." When we break our word people get hurt.

 

 

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Holy_Wars_cover_small.jpg (51492 bytes)Holy Wars. . .a powerful and dynamic "must have" for every Christian who is seeking to worship God in the midst of the tempest of our modern world.

CLICK HERE or call Author House @ 888.280.7715 to purchase a hard or soft cover copy of Don Wigton's book "Holy Wars" upon which this blog is based.

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free contemporary Christian praise and worship music, contemporary Christian rock and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

Click on one of the links below for praise and worship, praise tabs, worship chords, praise chorus mp3, hymn stories, pro tools studio, worship leader materials to enter into the area of the Wigtune site that interests you !

Wigtune Company believes that the current contention among Christian generations over church music is unnesessary.  One does not have to chose between the classic traditional hymn and the contemporary praise chorus and song.  Solomon declared that there is a place for everything under the sun. The worship musical material and the worship Bible study book offered at the Wigtune website support this theme. Vision Statement    Don and Vanessa Wigton share the vision of Wigtune Company.  Going to this page will inform the WEB surfer the circumstances that lead to the Wigtune offering of praise song and hymn along with the worship Bible study book that lends theology and history based support to the use of traditional Christian hymn singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.   Wigtune Story    The Wigtune Company free on-line worship Bible study book is a manual for the use of the pastor, teacher, music minister, Bible study group, sunday school and any situation where a theological and historical lesson regarding worship is desired.  The Bible study is presented in outline form with questions that require thoughtful answers to the biblical and history based information that is presented.   Free On-Line Worship Studybook   

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.  Free Praise and Worship Music Mp3s and Charts   Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Wiggy's Top Ten Praise MP3s Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Radio: Listen to Wigtune Worship Music on Live Internet Radio

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.    Wigtune Praise Worship and Hymn CD's

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Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.   Special Report: Christianity in Russia - Has Anything Changed?

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