University of the South Papers Series A, No1






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tainted with selfishness, the least infected with earthly ambition, was poured out in the battles of the American Revolution.

Our patriot Sires were men deeply imbued with the spirit of justice and piety, with sentiments of reverence for God and of trust in His providence. They fought not to build up the temple of earthly fame: not, like Napoleon, to raise out of the trophies of victory some stupendous column which they might surmount with their own statues. They were animated by the holy love of liberty; of liberty regulated by law. They claimed those chartered rights secured by patriots of former days to every subject of the British government, and of which no freeman could consent to be deprived. They were animated by the glorious hope of exhibiting to the world a free and virtuous people, dwelling together in unity, submissive to law, and worshipping (sic) God as reason, enlightened by revelation, might seem to enjoin. They hoped that religion, in her holy character and peaceful spirit, would extend her benign influence as far as the arms of the infant republic should ever extend; that her temples would crown the summit of all our hills, and her sweet voice send up thanksgiving from all our peaceful vales.

These expectations have been largely fulfilled. We are all of us here to-day witnesses for our fathers, that they have done well for us in all they have done. We are, also, witnesses for God, in the acknowledgment we make of his favor extended to them, and continued to ourselves. If my tongue ever denies this debt of gratitude, “may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth1’

If my hand ever refuse to strike in defense of our birthright of civil and religious freedom, secured by the sacrifices of our Fathers and the blessing of God to my country men, “may mine arm fall from my shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone!”

Contemplating in our country the rapid increase of its settled territory, the variety of its resources and richness of its different products; beholding the increase of a population which spreads across the entire continent from ocean to ocean, and fills up nearly twenty-five degrees of latitude: considering our commerce penetrating every man, and our flag flung out to every breeze, well may we say “What hath God wrought!” “What nation is there so great, who hath God so night unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for!”

Gratefully, then, do we cherish the memory of those, by whose exertions and sacrifices, we enjoy the countless blessings which belong to freedom; who gave freely of their treasure, even to the


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last shilling, and poured out their blood like water to secure us our rich inheritance. Let us at the same time remember Him who is the giver of victory, and by whose favor alone we can hope to retain the blessings transmitted to us.

2. Ceaseless vigilance is the condition upon which we retain possession of our liberty. This sentiment is proclaimed by every aspirant for political distinction, and is reiterated daily by the press through its ten thousand tongues, from Maine to California, from Minnesota to Florida. And this maxim applies not only to the conduct of public servants, but to the safety of the cardinal principles of our political fabric; for if these be disregarded, the whole social and civil edifice must sooner or later tumble into ruin.

The need of recurring to first principles is, then, a consecrated maxim of political science. It is held to be the certain means of counteracting that constant tendency to deviation and aberration, which, through the restlences (sic) of human nature, through audacious confidence or craven timidity, through the torpor of indifference or the fierceness of party, leads men to forsake the circle of truth, and to overpass the barriers of constitutional law.

Now, our statesmen, from Washington downward, have unanimously agreed that intelligence and virtue among the people, are the chief supports of our civil institutions; that upon these two pillars, “strength” and “beauty,” rests the political and social edifice of our country.

Our people are far from deficient in the intelligence necessary for the due exercise of the elective or other franchise. The numerous Common Schools, the newspapers which reach almost every family in the land, and are read more differently than the Bible; the speeches of candidates for office under the State and General Governments, cause our people to be better acquainted with civil and political affairs than any people in the world. But public intelligence will not suffice without public virtue. And for the cultivation of this virtue, we must look elsewhere than to legislative moment. The State does not and cannot make provision for that teaching which underlies all virtue. Seminaries of education, founded by the State and endowed with the public funds, are, for the most part, deficient in the distinct recognition of religious ogligation.

And yet there can be no sound morality which is not founded on religious truth; on the facts and doctrines of Christianity. If I be asked to state what these are? I replay that, they are the articles

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of Christian faith as contained in the Apostles’ Creed; a creed which all denominations affirm and none deny.

The Legislature is prevented by public sentiment, if not prohibited by constitutional enactment, from making any provision for inculcating the truths of religion upon the young. The multiplied divisions of religious profusion, producing jealousies and suspicions in the public mind, effectually exclude from all such public science. Hence, the young men of the country come forth from them well versed, it may be, in the rudiments of human science, but uninstructed in the first principles of that religion, which the Son of God has brought us. The intellectual faculties are cultivated, while the moral affections are suffered to lie waste and dormant. Under the educational systems of the day that momentous truth has been often disregarded, that intellectual power, unregulated and unrestrained by sound, moral and religious principles, tends only to mischief and to misery.

3. Enrollment, doubtless, by these considerations so obvious to religious thought, most Christian denominations have lately sought to found seminaries of learning under their own exclusive control. There is, among our people, enough of sound Christian sentiment to make head against the gradual and almost imperceptible growth of infidelity, if that sentiment can only be embodied and expand itself in a just direction.

The prime end aimed at in our projected University, is, then, to make the Bible the ultimate and sufficient rule and standard for the regulation of man’s conduct as a rational and accountable being; to cultivate the moral affections of the young, while their intellectual powers are in process of development, thus furnishing the community with an enlightened and virtuous class of citizens; and last of all, to supply convenient facilities for the acquisition of theologcal (sic) learning, that a native population may be served by a native university. It is designed to found an institution on the most enlarged and liberal scale; to engage in its service the best talents, the most erudite learning, and the greatest skill and experience which ample compensation and the hope of usefulness can command; to make its departments commensurate with the wants and improvements of the age, in every field of philosophic research, of scientific investigation, and of discover in the arts.

Its advantages are to be offered to all, without regard to denominational differences, who acknowledge the commonly recognized truths and obligations of Christianity; and furthermore, since


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Christianity, to effect its just results, most be presented, not as a cold abstraction, but as a living presence and a felt reality; since it must needs be embodied in forms, and by forms be taught, we feel ourselves bound to exhibit it under the decent forms and solemn worship of that Church of which we are members.

This plan, it will be perceived, is broad, comprehensive and liberal. We neither ignore nor discredit the efforts of others who are laboring in this direction. We wish to do our duty, and to bear such ;part as God shall enable us to bear, in a work which must command itself to the cordial approval and support of every rightminded American citizen. We now encounter this first of practical enquiries: Is the plan feasible? And this resolves itself into the other questions, whether our people are able, and whether they are willing to accomplish such an object.

4. There are few parts of the world possessing a more fertile soil, or yielding more valuable productions, than the Southern portion of the Mississippi Valley. The accumulation of wealth in this region from the cultivation of the soil is without a parallel, and has distanced all reasonable calculation. The instances are almost without number, of men who came hither a few years ago, nearly penniless, whose incomes are now reckoned by thousands and tens of thousands. It is perfectly obvious that a region, so exuberant in its productions, so generally traversed by large navigable rivers, and by railroads already in use, or in the course of construction, must possess inexhaustible resources. What may not a country do, in which very many of the owners of the soil, to say nothing of those engaged in trade, possess incomes of from $5,000 to $10,000 per annum, and where every man by industry and economy can make a comfortable living?

Such we assume to be the fact in regard to that portion of the Mississippi Valley south of the Ohio river. Is it an extravagant calculation to suppose, that in the States of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee, ten in number, there may be found three thousand persons willing to give an average of $1,000 each for the foundation and endowment of such an institution as we propose? And this would give us the THREE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, which in the opinion of some among us, ought to be the capital of the proposed University.

Would such a contribution exhaust our charitable resources, our means of social usefulness, and our facilities of domestic comfort?

Consider how many we are, and how much we possess.

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The population of these ten States in 1850, was 5,851,893.

The value of their real and personal estate, the same year was $2,669,699,636.

The value of their products, the same year, $355,077,644.

An average of nearly $60 per capita to the whole population.

In the five States of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, according to the report on the finances made to the Government of the United States last year, the value of the cotton crop of 1850 was $65,383,840.

In the single State of Louisiana, according to the same authority, the value of the sugar and cotton crop, $16,945,872.

In the six States last mentioned, aggregate cotton and sugar crops, $82,329,712.

Aggregate of agricultural products, $223,385,147.

Aggregate of manufacturing and agricultural products, $282,557,275.

These data do not permit us to doubt that there is superabundant wealth among us, if only its possessors can be induced to appropriate a very small portion of it to promote the interests of literature and religion.

The next question which arises, is--Will the people contribute of their substance to this end?

5. We must do our part, and throw upon the people the responsibilty of deciding this question. With them it rests, whether the object proposed, shall be attained or not. For their benefit chiefly it has been proposed, and to them will accrue the greatest advantages, if it succeeds. If, however, it can be shown that it will be to their individual and common interest, then, upon the principle that men ordinarily consult their own advantage, it may fairly be presumed that they will do so in this particular instance. The arguments at our command are many and forcible.

The youth of the South-West, for the most part, seek the advantages of education by a resort to some of our Northern Colleges. This, they do, confessedly at an additional expense arising from the distance they have to travel, at the hazard of injury to the physical constitution arising from the differences of climate and habits of living, which render their sojourn there and their return to a Southern home alike dangerous; and, above all, at the risk of weakening those domestic ties and early associations connected with the parental domicil, which are seldom severed but at the expense of virtue and happiness.

Without enlarging upon those topics at present, I desire to


present a more general view of the subject as it affects the happiness, prosperity, and ultimate destiny, not only of our own section, but of the whole Union. For. in our political, as in our other relations, we are so bound together, that, "if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or, one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it."

In the mighty wave of emigration, which, with the force of an avalanche, has been flowing Westward for years past, bearing our enterprising countrymen from the Northern and Atlantic States into the rich and fertile plains of the South and West, the conservative principles which bind society together, and which are indispenssable for the security of life and property, have too often been overlooked. There is real and imminent danger that they will be utterly disregarded. Liberty is a precious boon; but alas! under the influence of passion, how soon it grows into the monstrous shape of tyranny: how readily it degenerates into the hideous form of licentiousness!

The elements of Christianity are more intimately interwoven with the framework of our institutions, than is apparent to careless reflection. That which most nations have expressed as the basis of their political regulations, and incorporated with the fundamental law, the framers of our Constitution took for granted.

Solon made no law against the crime of parricide, for he could not conceive the possibility of its commission. So the founders of our Republic never proposed to frame a Constitution for the government of Infidels and Mormons. They assumed that our people would, through all time, be virtuous, enlightened, and religious; ever guarding with vestal vigilance the precious deposit of civil and religious freedom.

Our entire government is constructed upon this idea; nor has it any provision for a state of society, marked by the absence of intelligence, and of sound moral sentiment. The Constitutions of all the States suppose that our citizens can read, can acquaint themselves with the laws, can scan the conduct of their representatives; that they have virtue to sustain the law in its administration, and to protect their rights from all unwarrantable invasion.

So, then, the security of society, the supremacy of law, the preservation of liberty regulated by law, (the liberty to do, not what we list, but what the law allows); all these are dependent, at last, upon the prevalence of a sound moral sense among the people. This is the great balance-wheel in our government, the want of which, will not only render the movements of

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the machinery unsteady and irregular, but endanger its very existence.

This leads us to consider a danger not always obvious but of real inportance.

In a popular government, public sentiment not only originates and sustains the law, but in many cases becomes superiour to it, rendering it virtually null and void.

The statutes of the Legislature are nothing more than the will of the people, assuming a particular shape, by passing through the forms of legislation. Let the current of popular favor set strongly in favor of some specific object, as for example, the construction of a road, the laying off of a new county, or the founding of a college, and this measure will presently assume the shape of law.

A bill is introduced in conformity with the known wishes of the people, expressed, it may be, through a memorial or petition: after its third reading it becomes what is called an act of the Legislature, and when authenticated by the signatures of the proper officers, it becomes a law of the land.

Equally potential, though not in the same way of manifestation, is public sentiment when vitiated or corrupted.

Thus, the Lord's day is desecrated with impunity, not a magistrate of the country deeming it due his oath of office to notice the offence; the same may be said of profanity, the crying sin of our age and nation. Duels likewise take place in sight of the halls of legislation, in defiance of the sanctions of all law, human and divine.

Now, all this, to say no more, results from the deterioration of public morals; from overlooking the great cardinal principles of our Constitution; and, if the process continues, as it is likely to do, in a day when the spirit of enterprise and of acquisition is thrusting men onward; when the gentle counsels of prudence are overpowered by the boisterous voices of progress, it may, and it must end in the subersion of law, thus throwing society back upon its original elements; or, what is as fearful a consummation, the strong hand of despotism may sway the sceptre of this land, watered with the tears and hallowed with the blood of earth's noblest sons.

These fears are not imaginary. See already the violence and bloodshed which attend the popular elections in our large cities! See the portentous collisions between the authorities of the State and of the General Government! At this very hour, on the anniversary of that day when men of the North and of the South stood shoulder to shoulder, and pledging each to the other "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor," hurled defiance at a


nation the proudest and strongest in the world: at this very hour, in some of the States, public sentiment insults the majesty of law: public opinion, fired by fanaticism, and led on by religious intolerance, resists the laws enacted by the authority of Congress, and invested with all the sanctitiy which the most solemn forms of legislation can throw around them, and confidently boasts that they shall not be executed.

It matters little what individual law be thus resisted: the precedent once established, we may anticipate the subversion of all just authority. We have no standing armies to overawe our citizens and accomplish the behests of irresponsible power: we have trusted for the maintenance of our freedom, and that of law on which it depends, to the moral sense of the community, and not to physical coercion: let that moral sense be corrupted, and what must result? The law is a dead letter, and freedom is an empty name.

We are considering whether the liberality of our people can be enlisted in our present enterprise. Can they resist arguments so potent as these? Point them to the evils, which in the judgment of all thoughful men are lowering upon us: remind them that country's all depends upon that sense of moral obligation which must be founded on the great truths of the Bible, God and Heaven, the Resurrection and the Judgment: show them that our enterprise is wisely adapted to resist the evils which threaten us, to unite intelligence with virtue in holy bonds, to nurture a class of citizens, to whom, with others nurtured under like auspices, our liberties may safely be entrusted: and a liberal response must come back in generous offerings from patriot hearts.

I must now notice an intimation that this movement wears the appearance of sectionalism; an apprehension that it may, however without design, tend to weaken the bands of this Union.

6. I repel this unfounded suspicion. It is supported by no act or sentiment, or word of those who originated this enterprise, and have labored for its accomplishment up to the present hour. I must meet this apprehension, but not out of regard to those who would willingly entertain it, but of those whose love to the Union makes them tremblingly alive to the semblance of anything inimical to its perpetuity.

Why should this enterprise be deemed sectional rather than national?

It is because we have used the name "Southern University?"

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The name is one of convenient description: it is no party war-cry, no sectional pass-word: all such interpretation we utterly disclaim.

Is it because it is to be founded on a Southern soil, and must promote chiefly the interests of those contiguous to it?

Some geographical position it needs must have. The very nature of the case requires it to be in our midst. Its location looks simply to the wants of a region greater in extent by 7,280 square miles than the original thirteen States of the Union: a region whose argent necessities can be met only by an institution set up within its borders.

Do we any wrong to our brethren, do we violate any pledge of friendship, or brotherhood, do we evince any jealousy or distrust, when in the discharge of a solemn responsibility we provide for our own, and seek to elevate the Society of which we are members?

We affirm that our aim is eminently national and patriotic, and as such, should commend itself to every lover of his country. We rear this day an altar, not of political schism, but "an altar of witness" that we are of one faith and household. We contemplate no strife, save a generous rivalry with our brethren, as to who shall furnish to this great republic the truest men, the truest Christians, and the truest patriots.

Again, I repel the suspicion, because of its injustice to our brethren of the North. Not a bishop, clergyman, or layman, to whom this subject was mentioned at our last General Convention, but, so far as is known, approved the object, and heartily bade its projectors "God speed."

I appeal to the well known, conservative character of our Church to rebutt this groundless suspicion.

While year after year furnishes evidence of the unhappy divisions which distract the councils and rend the organizations of other bodies of Christians, our communion, under God's gracious goodness--I say it in no spirit of boasting, but of profoundest humility and gratitude--has been delivered from strife, has kept the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

It is cause of devout thankfulness to Almighty God, with every member of our Church, that our last General Convention, which met in Philadelphia, on the eve of a most excited election, avoided all disturbing questions, transacted its business with calmness, separated in Christian harmony, and by a unanimous vote appointed its next meeting in Richmond, Virginia.

These facts discountenance the idea that Southern men, in devising the plan of a Southern University, have contemplated evil


to this Union. We regard this University as an institution of conservatism: we consider that its influence will be used to still the waters of agitation, to quench the flames of strife, and diffusing intelligencce, sanctified by piety to bind the discordant elements of party into a union stronger than steel and firmer than adamant.

For my brethren in the Episcopate, and for myself, I repel the suspicion to which imaginary fears have given birth. Will the sons of those who fought and bled in the cause of liberty, lift a voice or hand against the union of these States? There are some of us here to-day, in whose veins flows the blood of men who fought in almost every battle, from Saratoga to the disastrous repulse at Savannah, and the crowning victory at Yorktown. And when we shall be found, under color of religion, hatching treason against the peace and union of these States, may desolation roll its wave over our habitations, and our names be swallowed up in infamy!

7. In this country, with the eyes of the world upon us, we are working out that great experiment, in which all preceding republics have failed: Is man capable of self-government? And another question is at issue, of momentous concern to us, of deepest interest to the human family: Can religion maintain her ground, and put forth her wondrous power, when unaided by the secular arm and left to the voluntary support of a free people?

Of the Government we ask protection, and nothing more. Give us a fair field in which to meet sin, the devil, and infidelity, and God defend the right!

In this land of civil and religious freedom, upon which the clouds drop fatness, every man may sit under his own vine and fig tree; may take of the neat of his herd and the fatling of his stall; may worhsip God according to the dictates of his own conscience, with none to molest him or make him afraid. Such privileges cannot be enjoyed without corresponding elevation or deterioration of character: "to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

We feel glad in the conviction that religion has a mighty grasp upon the American mind: on the great heart of the community. We cannot forget how its power was seen "in the times that tried men's souls."

In vain will the Infidel search our annals for evidence to show that the religion of Christ is unfriendly to patriotism. I appeal to those annals: I call up the mighty names of Washinton, of our

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