Baptists and the American Civil War: August 7, 1863

bible02Today William J. R. Taylor, Corresponding Secretary of the New York-based American Bible Society, writes a reply letter to Dr. Basil Manly, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, concerning a request for the purchase of New Testaments for children’s Sunday Schools in the South. In part, the reply letter states:

It affords me sincere pleasure to inform you that the Board of Managers, at their monthly meeting, held yesterday afternoon, heartily and unanimously made a grant of twenty-five thousand Testaments to the board of Sunday schools of the Southern Baptist Convention. I assure you that we have acted in this matter with prompt and willing hearts; and we trust, that although Mr. Manly authorized you to negotiate for the purchase of these volumes, the board of which he is president will be pleased to accept them, and that the blessing of God may go with every volume to every child for whom it is designed.

Thus, even as hostilities between the Confederate and United States are as great as they have ever been during the war, in the task of distributing Bibles to children, Christians from both nations are capable of working together due to the commonality of a higher calling.

Source: Annual Report of the American Bible Society, Volume 7, New York: American Bible Society, 1866, Appendix, pp. 18-19 (link)