Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 531.]

Sir: Little has happened thus far this week deserving of particular notice. I learn that there is great activity in forwarding arms to the rebels and in fitting out vessels both at Glasgow and at this place. On these matters I do not write at large, presuming that you get full and faithful reports from other sources.

A few months ago extraordinary efforts were made to circulate in this country a pamphlet entitled An address to Christians throughout the world, by the clergy of the Confederate States of America. I found it stitched in among the advertisements usually appended to the numbers of the Edinburgh Quarterly, and other leading reviews and magazines. In this position I infer that the Insertion must have been obtained at no inconsiderable cost of money. It may reasonably be doubted whether it was a very judicious or profitable expenditure to the parties undertaking it. In Scotland it has stirred up the leading clergy to make a reply, a copy of which I send herewith.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant.


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Reply to the address of the Confederate clergy on slavery.

The following is a reply by ministers of the churches in Scotland to the “Address to Christians throughout the world, by the clergy of the Confederate States of America:”

We, the undersigned ministers of the churches in Scotland, in reply to the appeal made to us in the “Address to Christians throughout the world,” recently put forth “by the clergy of the Confederate States of America,” feel bound to give public expression to our views, lest our continued silence should be misconstrued, as implying either acquiescence in the principles of the document, or indifference to the crime which it seeks to defend.

We refer, of course, to a single topic—that of slavery—as it is handled in the address. We desire to say nothing inconsistent with our country’s attitude of strict neutrality as regards the war raging across the Atlantic. We do not discuss any of the political questions connected with its origin, progress, and probable issues. We offer no opinion on the measures adopted on either side. Nor are we to be regarded as shutting our eyes to the past and present sins and shortcomings of the north in relation to the African races. The one object we have in view is to express the deep grief, alarm, and indignation with which we have perused the pleading on behalf of slavery in general, and American slavery in particular, to which so many servants of the Lord Jesus Christ have not scrupled to append their names. With the feeblest possible incidental admission of “abuses,” which they “may deplore in this as in other relations of mankind,” we find these men broadly maintaining, in the most unqualified manner, that “the relation of master and slave”—“among us,” they add, to make their meaning more explicit”—is not incompatible with our holy Christianity.” [Page XXXVIII] They thank God for it, as for a missionary institution—the best, as it would seem, and the most successful in the world. They hold it to be their peculiar function to defend and perpetuate it. And they evidently contemplate the formation of the southern confederacy upon the basis of slavery as one of its fundamental and permanent principles or elements, not only without regret, but with entire satisfaction and approval.

Against all this—in the name of that holy faith and that thrice holy name which they venture to invoke on the side of a system which treats immortal and redeemed men as goods and chattels, denies them the rights of marriage and of home, consigns them to ignorance of the first rudiments of education, and exposes them to the outrages of lust and passion—we most earnestly and emphatically protest. We do not think it needful to argue. The time for argument has for many a year been regarded by the whole of enlightened Christendom as past and gone. Apologists for slavery, attempting to shelter themselves and it under the authority of God’s word and the gospel of Jesus Christ, are to be denounced as really, whatever may be their intention, the worst enemies of both.

All reasonable allowance, no doubt, should be made for the circumstances of Christian ministers called in Providence to labor where slavery exists. Some soreness, even, on their part, under what they regard as unjustifiable and dangerous movements on the other side, might be excused as not unnatural. And if we saw them manfully lifting their voice on behalf of universal liberty, and setting themselves to aim at the instant redress of the more flagrant of the wrongs incident to a state of bondage, we should be prepared calmly to listen to their representations as to the best and likeliest practical methods of promoting the present amelioration of the condition of the slaves, and securing, within the shortest period consistent with safety, their complete and final emancipation.

We are reluctant to abandon the hope that, upon reconsideration, and in the view of the sentiments now unanimously held and expressed on this subject everywhere else, all over Christendom, our American brethren may yet be induced to take up a position more worthy of our common faith than that which they at present occupy. But at all events, the obligation lying upon us, as things now stand, towards them, towards ourselves, towards the church and the world, towards the Bible and the Gospel, is to record in the strongest possible terms our abhorrence of the doctrine on the subject of slavery which the southern clergy teach, and upon which they act; and to testify before all nations that any state, empire or republic, constituted or reconstructed, in these days of Christian light and liberty, upon the basis of that doctrine, practically applied, must, in the sight of God, be regarded as founded on wrong and crime, and as deserving not His blessing, but His righteous wrath.

Rob. S. Candish, D. D., Edinburgh; Thomas Guthrie, D. D., Edinburgh; John R. Macduff, D. D., Glasgow; W. H. Goold, D. D., Edinburgh; A. K. H. Boyd, B. A., Edinburgh; Charles J. Brown, D.D., Edinburgh; Andrew Thomson, D. D., Edinburgh; H. Wellwood Moncreiff, Bart., D. D., Edinburgh; W. Lindsay Alexander, D.D., Edinburgh; James Begg, D. D., Edinburgh; William Arnot, Edinburgh; J. Oswald Dykes, Edinburg; William Pulsford, Edinburgh; A. Moody, Stuart, Edinburgh, Duncan Ogilvie, M. A., Edinburgh; J. H. Wilson, Edinburgh; R. Macpherson, Edinburgh; George Brown, Edinburgh; James Robertson, Edinburgh; Robert Gordon, Edinburgh; Alexander Black, D. D., Edinburgh; John Braid wood, Edinburgh; Robert Hunter, A.M., Edinburgh; A.L. Simpson, Edinburgh; Robert Nisbet, D. D., Edinburgh; Andrew Crichton, Edinburgh; David Croom, Edinburgh; N. Davidson, D.D., Edinburgh; George Johnstone, D.D., Edinburgh; William Anderson, Loanhead, Edinburgh; Thomas Main, Edinburgh; William Tasker, Edinburgh; James Gall, Edinburgh; R. D. Duncan, Edinburgh; Edward A. Thomson, Edinburgh; Thomas Cochrane, Edinburgh; William Balfour, Edinburgh; James Kirkwood, Edinburgh; William [Page XXXIX] Gillespie, Edinburgh; John R. Macduff, D. D., Glasgow; Rob. Buchanan, D. D., Glasgow; R. Jamieson, D.D., Glasgow; John Eadie, D. D., L.L. D., Glasgow; Patrick Fairbairn, D. D., Glasgow; James Henderson, D. D., Glasgow; John G. Lorimer, D. D., Glasgow; John Forbes, D. D., L.L. D., Glasgow; John Roxburgh, D. D., Glasgow; Alexander S. Patterson, D. D., Glasgow; Andrew A. Bonar, Glasgow; Walter Smith, Glasgow; A. B. Parker, D. D., Glasgow; John B. Johnstone, D. D., Glasgow; George Jeffrey, D. D., Glasgow; J. Logan Aikman, Glasgow; William Symington, Glasgow; John McDermid, Glasgow; John Ker, Glasgow; George C. M. Douglas, Glasgow; William Lindsay, D. D., Glasgow; John Robson, D. D. Glasgow; Hamilton M. Macgill, Glasgow; D. McTaggart, D. D. Glasgow; W. D. Henderson, Glasgow; Robert Bremner, M. A., Glasgow; George Philip, A. M., Glasgow; James Freer, Glasgow; James Macnaught, Glasgow; David Menzies, A. M., Glasgow; Robert Howie, M. A., Glasgow; Dugald MacColl, Glasgow; Alexander Wilson, Glasgow; Jos. Logan, Glasgow; Hugh McDougall, Glasgow; John Edwards, Glasgow; James Knox, M. A., Glasgow; Matthew Murray, Glasgow; Robert S. Drummond, M. A., Glasgow; James Johnston, Glasgow; G. Marshall, Middleton, Glasgow; R. 0. Smith, Glasgow; David Mitchell, Glasgow; John Torrance, Glasgow; James Fraser, Glasgow; Thomas M. Lawrie, Patrick, Glasgow; Robert Niven, Maryhill, Glasgow; Henry Oalderwood, Glasgow; John W. Borland, Glasgow; David Pirret, Glasgow; John Cairns, D. D., Berwick-on-Tweed; David Brown, D. D., Aberdeen; Alexander Beith, D. D., Stirling; W. Binnie, M. A., Stirling; N. McMichael, D. D. Dunfermline; William Nixon, Montrose; John Ainslie, D. D., St. Andrews; Alexander L. R. Foote, Brechin; Richard Waterston, Forfar; Horatius Bonar, D. D., Kelso; James Julius Wood, D. D., Dumfries; William Grant, Ayr; John Fordyce, Dunse; John Duns, D. D., Torphichen; William Wilson, Dundee; J. W. Wright, A. M., Haddington; John Purves, Jedburg; William Laughton, Greenock; George Lewis, Ormiston; John Macfarlane, D. D., Dalkeith; A. W. Milne, Canobie; David 0. A. Agnew, Wigtown; Robert Macdonald, Leith; Joseph Brown, D. D., Dalkeith: W. Bruce Cunningham, Prestonpans; Charles Nairn, Dundee; John Blakely, I). D., Kirkintilloch; J. A. Wallace, Hawick; Lewis H. Irving, Falkirk; George Macaulay, Invertiel; James Grierson, D. D., Errol; Angus M. McGillivray, Dairsie; John Tait, Dumbarton; Robert Taylor, Blairgowrie; John Nelson, Greenock; Andrew Cameron, Stirling; J. W. Taylor, Flisk; Islay Burns, Dundee; Alexander Sorley, Arbroath; Charles Watson, Langholm; Alexander Hislop, Arbroath; John Laidlaw, Perth; William Mackenzie, North Leith; Peter McDowall, A. M., Alloa; Thomas Neilson, M. A., Rothesay; George Burns, D. D., Corstorphine; Robert Reid, Firth, Orkney; David Cairns, Stitchel, Kelso; John Bruce, D. D., Newmilns; Henry Renton, M. A., Kelso; James McGill, Lochmaben; James R. McGavin, D. D., Dundee; Robert Paterson, D. D., Kirkwall; Walter Morison, B. A., Ayr; W. D. Robb, A. M., Orkney; James Roy, M. A., Firth, Orkney; William Sinclair, M. A., Kirkwall; William Pringle, D. D., Auchterarder; Norman Macleod, North Uist; Graham Mitchell, M. A., L.L. D., Whitburn; Robert Machray, A. M., Dumfries; James Mackenzies, Dunfermline; D. McVean, Iona; J. McKerrow, D. D., Bridge of Teith; J. G. McVicar, D. D., Moffat; P. Grant, Dundee.

October, 1863.

Note.—Nearly one thousand signatures, of which a few are given above, have already been received. Ministers in Scotland who wish their names appended to the document are requested to send their address at once to Messrs. Nelson & Sons, publishers, Edinburgh, before the list is completed.