Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Letter to the Free Church of Glasgow, on the Subject of Slavery >> Page 112

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Page 112

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 112
or because, having never tasted of what is called free-
dom, he is ignorant of its ideal blessings, and as con-
tented with his lot, such as it is, as most men are with
theirs ?
You and your Presbytery doubtless desire, as we
all should, to increase the happiness of the human
family. But since it is so difficult, if not impossible,
to determine in what earthly state man may expect to
enjoy most of it, why can you not be content, to leave
him in that respect where God has placed him ; to
give up the ideal and the doubtful, for the real ; to
restrict yourselves to the faithful fulfilment of your
great mission of preaching the glad tidings of salva-
tion" to all classes and conditions ; or, at the very least,
sacredly abstain from all endeavors to ameliorate the
lot of man by revolution, bloodshed, massacre, and
desolation, to which all attempts at abolition in this
country, in the present, and, so far as I can see, in any
future age, must inevitably lead ?
Be satisfied with the improvement which slavery
has made, and which nothing but slavery could have
made to the same extent, in the race of Ham. Look
at the negro in Africa —a naked savage almost a
cannibal, ruthlessly oppressing and destroying his fel-
lows ; idle, treacherous, idolatrous, and such a disgrace
to the image of his God, in which you declare him to
be made, that some of the wisest philosophers have
denied him the possession of a soul. See him here
three millions at least of his rescued race civilized,
contributing immensely to the subsistence of the
human family, his passions restrained, his affections
cultivated, his bodily wants and infirmities provided
for, and the true religion of his Maker and Redeemer