Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 2) >> Words Upon a Monument: The Liberalism of Simms' Public Theology >> Page 24

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Secondary Scholarship | 2008
Transcription Words Upon a Monument:
The Liberalism of Simms' Public Theology

Colin D. Pearce

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
- Proverbs 25:11.

"The love of God towards men and the intellectual love of the
mind towards God are identical." - Spinoza, Ethics V : 36

In a letter to Robert W. Gardin dated December 17, 18531 William
Gilmore Simms writes in reference to the proposed inscription on a
monument to the deceased Reverend Thomas John Young (1803-1852) as

My Dear Gardin,
You will see that I propose two alterations of words
or phrases in the inscription, one of them, which suggests
indulgence, kindness, or mercy (underlining in the original), for
"goodness" is recognized by our friend Col. Grayson. This clearly
means that the indulgence of God permitted the particular subject to
perform high duties. The goodness (underlining in original) of God
is always to be assumed. His mercy is another thing.2

1 William Gilmore Simms to Robert N. Gardin, Charleston December 17,
1853 (Firestone Library, Princeton University, General Manuscripts, Box SI,
subfolder 2). This particular short note is not in the six volumes of the
Letters of William Gilmore Simms edited by Mary C. Simms Oliphant et. al.
(Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1952-82) and as far as I
know has escaped the attention of Simms specialists up until this point.

2 Thomas John Young (1803-1852) graduated from Yale in 1823 and was
ordained a priest in the Protestant Episcopal church in 1827. After a numbe
of postings he became the assistant rector of St. Michael's church in
Charleston from 1847 till his death. In the diocesan convention of 1841 he