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 125

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Page 125

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 125
are by numbers so regarded, declare those things to be
sinful which our Creator has expressly authorized and
instituted, they do more to destroy his authority among
mankind, than the most wicked can effect by proclaim-
ing that to be innocent which he has forbidden. To
this self-righteous and self-exalted class belong all the
Abolitionists whose writings I have read. With them
it is no end of the argument to prove your propositions
by the text of the Bible, interpreted according to its
plain and palpable meaning, and as understood by all
mankind for three thousand years before their time.
They are more ingenious at construing and interpolat-
ing to accommodate it to their new-fan gled and etherial
code of morals, than ever were Voltaire & Hume in
picking it to pieces to free the world from what they
considered a delusion. When the Abolitionists pro-
claim " man-stealing" to be a sin, and show me that it
is so written down by God, I admit them to be right,
and shudder at the idea of such a crime. But when I
show them that to hold "bond-men forever" is ordained
by God, they deny the Bible, and set up in its place a
Law of their own making. I must then cease to reason
with them on this branch of the question. Our reli-
gion differs as widely as our manners. The Great
Judge in the day of final account must decide between
us.
Turning from the consideration of slave-holding in
its relations to man as an accountable being, let us ex-
amine it in its influence on his political and social state.
Though, being foreigners to us, you are in no wise
entitled to interfere with the civil institutions of
this country, it has become quite common for your
countrymen to decry slavery as an enormous political