Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 2) >> Words Upon a Monument: The Liberalism of Simms' Public Theology >> Page 25

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Page 25

Secondary Scholarship | 2008
Transcription The original inscription was to read "In the goodness of God ceased
from his cares." Simms suggests it should read "In the
indulgence/kindness/mercy of God ceased from his cares." But there is a
massive scriptural drift against the preference which Simms expressed to
Gardin. .From innumerable passages in the Bible it is necessary to select.
only a few in order to show this. Consider the following: "The goodness of
God comprehends all His attributes. All the acts of God are nothing else but
the effulgence of His goodness" (Exodus 33:19); God's goodness is His
glory and Godhead." (Exodus 34:6); "In God there is nothing but goodness"
(Psalms 16:2); "The goodness of God endureth forever" (Psalms 52:1);
"Truly God is good" (Psalms 73:1); "Thou art good, and thou doest good."
(Psalms 119:68). For the scriptural believer then God is the summum bonum
(Hebrew, tob; Greek, agathos).3 We should never allow ourselves an
instant's unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord whatever else we may be
So not only does the Bible itself cut against the grain of Simms'
word preference for the monument but it also proclaims God's goodness
everywhere rather than "assuming" it as Simms says we must do. At the
least we can say that Simms wants to substitute his preferred of the
Godhead's characteristics for one which appears as very fundamental in the
scriptures. But why then is he so precise and demanding on this seemingly
small terminological point when the "goodness" of God is so thoroughly
established as theological doctrine in the Bible?
Perhaps we can approach an answer here by noting other

was one the three appointed committee members chosen to revise the
constitution, canons, and the rules of order of the church.
http://www.famousamericans.net/thomasjohnyoung/ William John Grayson
(1788-1863) graduated from South Carolina College in 1809 was admitted
to the bar in 1822. He was member of the State House of Representatives
(1813-1815 and 1822-1825) as well as serving in the State Senate (1826-
1831). He was elected as a Nullifier to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth
Congresses (1833-1837) and was the collector of customs at Charleston
from August 9, 1841 to March 19, 1853.He was a frequent contributoro the
Southern Quarterly Review.
http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=G000404. The
other alteration sought by Simms was more "technical" in nature: "I doubt if
we can say `ceased' for `to arrest' or `stop.' To be proper we must say
'ceased from his cares, etc.' and this is to be scriptural of phrase as well as
properly English. These are all I see."

3 Apparently in the old Saxon language God and Good were in fact one
word. Thus one word named what God was and conferred on him his
ultimate title.