Baptists and the American Civil War: April 2, 1862

African Slavery: Southern Honor Demands the Perpetuation of Bondage

African Slavery: Southern Honor Demands the Perpetuation of Bondage

Prayer and God will save the honor of the South. Many Southern Baptists thus wish to believe. A pseudo-anonymous letter published in today’s North Carolina Biblical Recorder reiterates this certainty of thought.

Mr. Lincoln very complacently strokes his royal beard and puffs his Havana with a peculiar grace, for he says, with an air of intense satisfaction, that “the spirit of the rebellion is crushed”! No doubt he thinks that we will soon send a petition entreating his highness to admit us into his kingdom! He vainly dreams that our reverses have bowed us to the earth, and that we will hide our diminished heads in meek, spiritless submission. Ah! little does he know of the feeling that animates the breast of every son of the South, of men who are battling for all that makes life dear. Our all is at stake and if we must die, our soldiers will fall sword in hand. Yes! we triumphantly exclaim, “death before dishonor”! Instead of being cast down at our reverses, we have resolved to “rise in our matchless might” and to renew the struggle with increased ardor. What if [we] have no navy, and if our numbers are inferior to the myriads fighting against us? Our trust is in the Lord of Hosts who can make “one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.”

The entire South is rallying around the standard of liberty, ready to offer themselves as a sacrifice on the altar of their country. Aye! they will.

“Strike till the last armed foe expires,
Strike for their altars and their fires,
God and their native land”!

Our liberty will cost blood and treasure, but gallant sons of free born sires are ready for the sacrifice.

We have a cunning, vigilant foe to contend with. Sleepless activity, undying energy, and dauntless courage must mark our course. When we are defeated in battle we must not despond, but remember, that the “darkest day, live till to-morrow will have passed away.” Another day may dawn on a splendid victory. But even if there is, for a time, no ray of light to penetrate the gloom, then we must “learn to labor and to wait” and to “possess our souls in patience.” We have need to practice every virtue in the catalogue, but more than all, courage, energy, and patience. Courage, to face death to the cannon’s mouth; energy, to put forth every means for the promotion of our cause; and patience, to bide the issue. If we do our duty faithfully we need not fear the result, for we know that “God will defend the right”….

….”Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.” Then let earnest supplications arise from every heart in our glorious Confederacy that God may give us victory in this struggle for independence.

Liberty. For whites alone.

Independence. For whites alone.

“Death before dishonor.” That is, death before giving up the beloved institution of African slavery.

To slavery honor is bound.

Source: Biblical Recorder, April 2, 1862 (link)