Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Two Letters on the Subject of Slavery in the United States, Addressed to Thomas Clarkson, Esq. >> Page 123

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Page 123

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 123
" Bond-men forever" from the Heathen, as recorded
in the 25th Chap. of Leviticus, and that they are there
designated by the very Hebrew word used in the Tenth
commandment. Nor can you deny that a BOND-MAN
FoREvEn" is a " SLAVE ;" yet you endeavor to hang an
argument of immortal consequence upon the wretched
subterfuge, that the precise word " slave " is not to be
found in the translation of the Bible ; as if the Trans-
lators were canonical expounders of the Holy Scrip-
tures, and their words, not God's meaning, must be re-
garded as His Revelation.
It is vain to look to Christ or any of his Apostles
to justify such blasphemous perversions of the word of
God. Although slavery in its most revolting form
was everywhere visible around them, no visionary no-
tions of piety or philanthropy ever tempted them to
gainsay the LAW, even to mitigate the cruel severity
of the existing system. On the contrary, regarding
slavery as an established as well as inevitable condition
of human society, they never hinted at such a thing as
its termination on earth, any more than that " the poor
may cease out of the land," which God affirms to Moses
shall never be ; and they exhort " all servants under
the yoke " to " count their masters as worthy of all
honor ; ""to obey them in all things according to the
flesh ; not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but in sin-
gleness of heart, fearing God; "" not only the good and
gentle, but also the froward ; " for what glory is it if
when ye are buffeted for your faults ye shall take it
patiently ? but if when ye do well and suffer for it ye
take it patiently, this is acceptable of God." St. Paul
actually apprehended a runaway slave and sent him to
his master ! Instead of deriving from the Gospel any