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 196

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Page 196

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 196
Nor must you flatter yourself that your party will
derive historic dignity from the names of the illus-
trious British statesmen who have acted with it. Their
country's ends were theirs. They have stooped to use
you, as the most illustrious men will sometimes use the
vilest instruments, to accomplish their own purposes.
A few philanthropic common places and rhetorical
flourishes, " in the abstract," have secured them your
"sweet voices," and your influence over the tribe
of mawkish sentimentalists. Wilberforce may have
been yours, but what was he besides, but a wealthy
county member ? You must therefore expect to stand
on your own merits alone before posterity, or rather
that portion of it that may be curious to trace the
history of the Delusions which from time to time pass
over the surface of human affairs, and who may trouble
themselves to look through the ramifications of Trans-
cendentalism in this era of extravagances. And how
do you expect to appear in their eyes ? As Christians,
piously endeavoring to enforce the will of God and
carry out the principles of Christianity? Certainly
not, since you deny or pervert the Scriptures in the
doctrines you advance ; and in your conduct furnish
a glaring contrast to the examples of Christ and the
Apostles. As Philanthropists, devoting yourselves to
the cause of humanity, relieving the needy, comforting
the afflicted, creating peace and gladness and plenty
round about you ? Certainly not, since you turn from
lished ; and as you say, since writing your Circular Letter, that you " burn to try your hand on another little Essay if a subject could be found," I propose to you to " try " to answer this question, put by M. Jollivet to England : "Pourquoi sa philanthropie n'a pas daigne, jusqu' a present, doubler le cap de Bonne-Esperance 7"