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 124

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Page 124

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription V
124
sanction for the work you have undertaken, it would
be difficult to imagine sentiments and conduct more
strikingly in contrast than those of the Apostles and
the Abolitionists.
It is impossible therefore to suppose that slavery is
contrary to the Will of God. It is equally absurd to
say that American slavery differs in form or principle
from that of the chosen People. We accept the Bible
tern as the definition of our slavery, and its precepts
as the guide of our conduct. We desire nothing more.
Even the right to " buffet," which is esteemed so shock-
ing, finds its express license in the Gospel. 1 Peter ii.
20. Nay, what is more, God directs the Hebrews to
" bore holes in the ears of their brothers" to mark them,
when under certain circumstances they become perpet.
ual slaves. Kx. xxi. 6.
I think, then, I may safely conclude, and I firmly
believe, that American slavery is not only not a sin,
but especially commanded by God through Moses, and
approved by Christ through His Apostles. And here
I might close its defence ; for what God ordains and
Christ sanctifies should surely command the respect
and toleration of Man. But I fear there has grown
up in our time a Transcendental Religion which is throw-
ing even Transcendental Philosophy into the shade
a Religion too pure and elevated for the Bible ; which
seeks to erect among men a higher standard of Morals
than the Almighty has revealed, or our Saviour preached ;
and which is probably destined to do more to impede
the extension of God's Kingdom on earth than all the
Infidels who have ever lived. Error is error. It is
as dangerous to deviate to the right hand as the left.
And when men professing to be holy men, and who