Before I get to the Dabney quotes, I have also been doing a little bit of research on some of the so-called "Christians" (Southern Presbyterians) of the Confederacy and found that Dabney wrote a treatise defending the Confederacy and the slavery of blacks in which he said,
"The black race is an alien one on our soil; and nothing except his amalgamation with ours, or his subordination to ours, can prevent the rise of that instinctive antipathy of race, which, history shows, always arises between opposite races in proximity. ... the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race ... incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjugation, which they desire to fix on the South."
And the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, a Southern Presbyterian whom the Confederate Reconstructionists call a man with a "Christian character," gave a speech on 3/21/1861 (the famous "Cornerstone Speech") in which he said the following:
<<But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other --though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution--African slavery as it exists amongst us--the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery--subordination to the superior race--is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind--from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just--but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.
In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world.
As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo--it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature's laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made "one star to differ from another star in glory." The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders "is become the chief of the corner"--the real "corner-stone"--in our new edifice. I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must triumph.>>
What a bunch of pseudo-biblical hogwash. See how he used Psalm 118:22 (and Matthew 21:42 and Mark 12:10 and Luke 20:17)? How disgusting and revolting and despicable. I'd love to have the time to expose the Southern Presbyterians for what they really were -- white-supremacist common-grace tolerant-Calvinist God-haters.
And the quote above from Stephens clearly shows that the Confederacy was BASED ON the wicked premise of white supremacy and slavery of the blacks! Stephens said it was the CORNERSTONE of the new Confederate government!
"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery--subordination to the superior race--is his natural and normal condition."
So much for the reconstructionists who want to defend the Confederacy by saying that the war was not primarily over slavery but was over states' rights. Sure it was about states' rights -- the state's rights for whites to oppress blacks based on their wicked view of white supremacy!
Anyway, enough of the aside. I did want to show you guys the above quotes some time, and this was as good a time as any. Now for Dabney on common grace / common mercy.
The following quotes are from "God's Indiscriminate Proposals of Mercy" from Volume 1 of his Discussions (pp. 282-313):
"Another line of argument will lead us to the same conclusion, that the absence of a volition in God to save does not necessarily imply the absence of compassion." (p. 299)
"The latter distinguishes that while God acts all things freely, some of those free things he acts 'necessarily,' that is, by the moral necessity of his own perfections, while others he acts optionally. ... Now, having grasped this distinction, we must say that, while God has this liberty of mere option whether or not to execute his affection of pity or reprehension towards any of his creatures, he has not this liberty of option about having the appropriate affections of his moral nature towards any of them." (p. 301-302)
"Is not compassion for the miseries of his own lost creature as natural to a God of infinite benevolence as moral indignation against all sin is to a God of infinite righteousness? And when two guilty creatures are suffering similar miseries, equally deserved in both cases, can the divine immutability, consistency and goodness be reconciled with the belief that the compassion which exists in the one case has not even the slightest existence in the other case? ... But the anomaly will be this: how comes it that an essential principle of God's nature should act normally towards one object, and refuse the similar exercise towards the precisely parallel object? This is God's absolute sovereignty, answers the supralapsarian. But a sound theology answers again, no; while God is perfectly free in every exercise of his essential principles, yet he freely does some things necessarily, and other things optionally; and God's optional liberty is not whether he shall have the propensions of his essential principles, but whether he shall execute them by his volitions. The counterpart truth, then, must be asserted of Jacob and Esau. As God had the natural and appropriate affection of disapprobation against Jacob's ill desert, and still elected him, which he had against Esau's; so, doubtless, he had the same affection, appropriate to his infinite goodness, of compassion for Esau's misery, and yet rejected him, which he had for Jacob's deserved misery. If any compassion for Esau existed in the sovereign mind, why did it not effectuate itself in his salvation? We answer with a parallel question: why did not the righteous reprehension against Jacob's ill desert, in any of it existed in the sovereign mind, effectuate itself in his damnation? ... Well, let the parallel answer be given to the parallel question: the divine compassion existing towards Esau's misery was counterpoised by some holy, wise, and sovereign motive unrevealed to us; so that righteous disapprobation for his sin remained the prevalent motive of righteous preterition." (pp. 303-304)
"But it may be that some still have the idea of futility haunting this representation of God's providence. When we urge the question, Supposing God actually feels, according to his infinite benevolence, natural propensions of pity towards persons whom his wisdom restrains him from ever purposing to save, why may he not give truthful expression thereto in either words or acts exactly expressive of the state of those propensions? they recoil as though we ascribed to God inefficacy. Let it be considered, then, that a given optative element of motive may, by an agent's own wisdom, be self-restrained from what would be its natural end but for that restraint, and yet find an end in another effectual volition not opposed to that wisdom." (p. 306)
"Now, no straightforward mind can ever be satisfied that the utterance of entreaties to shun destruction is not the expression of compassion, if they come from a sincere person. The explanations of the gospel calls to the non-elect which do not candidly recognize this truth must ever carry a fatal weight with the great body of Christians. ... But let the question be stated thus: Do all the solemn and tender entreaties of God to sinners express no more, as to the non-elect, than a purpose in God, uncompassionate and merely rectoral, to acquit himself of his legislative function towards them? To speak after the manner of men, have all these apparently touching appeals after all no heart in them? We cannot but deem it an unfortunate logic which constrains a man to this view of them. How much more simple and satisfactory to take them for just what they express? -- evidences of a true compassion, which yet is restrained, in the case of the unknown class, the non-elect, by consistent and holy reasons, from taking the form of a volition to regenerate." (pp. 306-307)
"Here God seems to express a yearning compassion for sinners whose contumacy and ruin under gospel-privileges are demonstrated by their actual experience. ... What mode of reconciliation remains, then, after the overweening logic has been applied that, since God is sovereign and almighty, had there been any compassion for this sinner, it must have eventuated in his redemption? ... The plain Christian mind will ever stumble on this fatal question, how can a truthful and consistent God have two opposite wills about the same object? It is far more scriptural, and, as we trust has been shown, far more logical to say, that an immutable and sovereign God never had but one will, one purpose, or volition, as to this lost man; as a faithful God would never publish any other volition than the one he entertained; but that it was entirely consistent for God to compassionate where he never purposed nor promised to save, because this sincere compassion was restrained within the limits God announced by his own wisdom." (pp. 307-308)
"The yet more explicit passage in Luke xix. 41,42 has given our extremists still more trouble. We are there told that Christ wept over the very men whose doom of reprobation he then pronounced. Again, the question is raised by them, If Christ felt this tender compassion for them, why did he not exert his omnipotence for their effectual calling? ... we are loath to believe that this precious incident is no manifestation of the passionless, unchangeable, yet infinitely benevolent pity of the divine nature. For first, it would impress the common Christian mind with a most painful feeling to be thus seemingly taught that holy humanity is more generous and tender than God. ... Some better solution must be found, then, of this wondrous and blessed paradox, of omnipotent love lamenting those whom yet it did not save. ... The plain and obvious meaning of the history gives us the best solution; that God does have compassion for the reprobate, but not express volition to save them, because his infinite wisdom regulates his whole and guides and harmonizes (not suppresses) all its active principles." (pp. 308-309)
"It is, then, but the application of this method when God makes the sincere offer of mercy through Christ to a Judas first glorify his infinite love and placability, and then, when it is slighted, as was permissively decreed, illustrate the stubbornness of Judas's sin as a deadly voluntary evil, and also God's clear justice in destroying him. ... God may be sincere in the first alternative, and, omniscient of its result, may permissively ordain to let Judas reject the mercy, and also be righteous in the latter alternative. Thus, we can take all the gospel declarations concerning Christ's sacrifice to mean just what they express, and we are relieved from the necessity of all tortuous exegesis." (p. 311)
"It has been a favorite argument with extremists to urge that, because the greater includes the less, therefore a compassion for Judas, which was strong enough to make the sacrifice of Calvary for him, could not possibly stop short of the easier gifts of effectual calling and preservation. Therefore, since God did not actually bestow the latter, he never felt any of the compassion for Judas; and when he seems to say so, his words must be explained away. ... But if the divine nature, like a holy creature, has in some ineffable way propensions of benevolence which are not beneficent volitions, and yet are sincere, then, as to them, the argument is invalid." (pp. 311-312)
"We may best exemplify the manner in which the correct view applies by that most important and decisive passage, John iii. 16-19. ... The solution, then, must be in this direction, that the words, 'so loved the world,' were not designed to mean the gracious decree of election, though other scriptures abundantly teach there is such a decree, but a propension of benevolence not matured into the volition to redeem, of which Christ's mission is a sincere manifestation to all sinners. ... God has a permissive decree to allow some thus to wrest the gospel provision. But inasmuch as this result is of their own free and wicked choice, it does not contravene the blessed truth that Christ's mission is in its own nature only beneficent, and a true disclosure of God's benevolence to every sinner on earth to whom it is published." (pp. 312-313)
May we detest such wickedness.
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