Letter, 1 Oct. 1845 (Columbia, S.C.), from James| Manuscripts Gifts 2006 | Front Page 2006 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
Henley Thornwell to Gen. James Gillespie
Letter, 1 October 1845, from J[ames] H[enley] Thornwell (1812-1862), writing from Columbia, South Carolina, to Gen. James Gillespie, in Cheraw, South Carolina, discusses Thornwell’s future prospects and views on the American Board of Foreign Missions’ recent report concerning slavery.| Manuscripts Gifts 2006 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
Thornwell relates the news that the Charleston Presbytery will meet soon to issue the call to him from the Second Presbyterian Church of Baltimore. While he admits “I ought not to decline,” he cannot help but express sadness over leaving his native state, as he “had hoped to spend my days in South Carolina, to breathe my last in her borders and deposite my bones in her dust.”
There follows a discussion of Thornwell’s disappointment over the American Board of Foreign Missions adopting a report on slavery “substantially the same as that of the Free Church of Scotland.” His major concern with this work is the degree to which it advocates the combination of church and state. “It is a great pity that religious bodies cannot learn to distinguish between the things of Caesar and the things of God. The abolitionists would make preachers of the Gospel political reformers as well as ministers of the Word.”
The letter closes with an invitation for Gillespie and his wife to stay with the Thornwell family in Columbia during the next meeting of the Board of Trustees of South Carolina College.