A Defence of Virginia: And Through Her, of the South, in Recent and Pending Contests Against the Sectional Party by Robert L. Dabney

A Defence of Virginia: And Through Her, of the South, in Recent and Pending Contests Against the…

byRobert L. Dabney

Kobo ebook | January 9, 2015

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To the conquerors of my native State, and perhaps to some of her sons, a large part of the following defence will appear wholly unseasonable. A discussion of a social order totally overthrown, and never to be restored here, will appear as completely out of date to them as the ribs of Noah's ark, bleaching amidst the eternal snows of Ararat, to his posterity, when engaged in building the Tower of Babel. Let me distinctly premise, that I do not dream of affecting the perverted judgments of the great anti-slavery party which now rules the hour. Of course, a set of people who make success the test of truth, as they avowedly do in this matter, and who have been busily and triumphantly engaged for so many years in perfecting a plain injustice, to which they had deliberately made up their minds, are not within the reach of reasoning. Nothing but the hand of a retributive Providence can avail to reach them. The few among them who do not pass me by with silent neglect, I am well aware will content themselves with scolding; they will not venture a rational reply.

But my purpose in the following pages is, first and chiefly, to lay this pious and filial defence upon the tomb of my murdered mother, Virginia. Her detractors, after 6 committing the crime of destroying a sovereign and co-equal commonwealth, seek also to bury her memory under a load of obloquy and falsehood. The last and only office that remains to her sons is to leave their testimony for her righteous fame—feeble it may be now, amidst the din of passion and material power, yet inextinguishable as Truth's own torch. History will some day bring present events before her impartial bar; and then her ministers will recall my obscure little book, and will recognize in it the words of truth and righteousness, attested by the signatures of time and events.

Again: if there is indeed any future for civilized government in what were the United States, the refutation of the abolitionist postulates must possess a living interest still. Men ask, "Is not the slavery question dead? Why discuss it longer?" I reply: Would God it were dead! Would that its mischievous principles were as completely a thing of the past as our rights in the Union in this particular are! But in the Church, abolitionism lives, and is more rampant and mischievous than ever, as infidelity; for this is its true nature. Therefore the faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ dare not cease to oppose and unmask it. And in the State, abolitionism still lives in its full activity, as Jacobinism; a fell spirit which is the destroyer of every hope of just government and Christian order. Hence, the enlightened patriot cannot cease to contend with it, until he has accepted, in his hopelessness, the nefas de republica desperandi. Whether wise and good men deem that this discussion is antiquated, may be judged from the fact that Bishop Hopkins (one of the most revered divines among Episcopalians) judged it proper, in 1864, and Dr. Stuart Robinson, 7 of Louisville, (equally esteemed among Presbyterians,) in 1865, to put forth new and able arguments upon this question.

It should be added, in explanation, that, as a son of Virginia, I have naturally taken her, the oldest and greatest of the slaveholding States, as a representative. I was most familiar with her laws. In defending her, I have virtually defended the whole South, of which she was the type; for the differences between her slave institutions and theirs were in no respect essential.

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Title:A Defence of Virginia: And Through Her, of the South, in Recent and Pending Contests Against the…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 9, 2015Publisher:E. J. HALE & SONLanguage:English

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