Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration Delivered Before the Two Societies of the South Carolina College, on the 4th of Dec., 1849 >> Page 221

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Page 221

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 2J
where we are, and what it is that each and all of us
should do to fulfil the purposes of our existence.
While the utilitarian values the christian dispensation
chiefly because it fosters peace, and has taught us to
regard as honorable and cultivate assiduously those
pacific arts which promote our temporal happiness
the truly wise, the genuine friend of progress takes a
more exalted view, and reads, in the momentous Reve-
lation of a Soul to Man, a Divine Command that all
his earthly pursuits and aims, his social and political
organizations, shall tend to the high and glorious end
of Soul-development. The ancients endeavored to
develope the soul without a Revelation and without a
command. If they failed, the effort was a grand one,
the means employed were noble, and the examples
they have set are worthy of our study, our admiration,
and, often of our imitation.
I have attempted to show that we do not owe our
progress in improvement exclusively to the successful
cultivation of physical and experimental philosophy,
as is too generally believed ; and that other causes
infinitely numerous, infinitely varied, and vastly influ-
ential, have contributed, in just proportions, to the
great results of which we are now enjoying the bene-
fit. I have glanced in a hasty and imperfect manner
at some of these causes, with a view to make it mani-
fest that whoever would comprehend our civilization,
and so comprehend it as to be able for any wise pur-
pose to command the present, and, so far as permitted,
shape the future, must sweep the whole circle of the
past, and take, as Bacon himself did, " all learning for
his province." And J may add, that, if like that great
genius, he fails to accomplish all as fail he must, since