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 179

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 179

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 179
you deny this Law so plainly written, and, in the face
of it, have the hardihood to declare that "though
slavery is not specifically, yet it is virtually forbidden
in the Scriptures, because all the crimes which neces-
sarily arise out of slavery, and which can arise from no
other source, are reprobated there and threatened
with divine vengeance." Such an unworthy subter-
fuge is scarcely entitled to consideration. But its
gross absurdity may be exposed in few words. I do
not know what crimes you particularly allude to as
arising from slavery. But you will perhaps admit
not because they are denounced in the decalogue,
which the Abolitionists respect only so far as they
choose, but because it is the immediate interest of most
men to admit that disobedience to parents, adultery,
and stealing are crimes. Yet these crimes " neces-
sarily arise from" the relations of parent and child,
marriage, and the possession of private property ; at
least they " can arise from no other sources." Then,
according to your argument, it is " virtually forbidden "
to marry, to beget children, and to hold private pro-
perty ! Nay, it is forbidden to live, since murder can
only be perpetrated on living subjects. You add that
" in the same way the gladiatorial shows of old, and
other barbarous customs, were not specifically for-
bidden in. the New Testament, and yet Christianity
was the sole means of their suppression." This is very
true. But these shows and barbarous customs thus
suppressed, were not authorized by God. They were
not ordained and commanded by God for the benefit
of His chosen people and mankind, as the purchase
and holding of Bondmen and Bondmaids were. Had
they been, they would never have been "suppressed