Baptists and the American Civil War: June 24, 1863

confederatesoldiersThe subject of Christianity in the Confederate army camps is never far from the minds of Southern Baptist newspaper editors and denominational leaders at large. Several articles in this week’s North Carolina Baptist Biblical Recorder address the matter, including the following, entitled “Christ in the Camp”:

Grace is not withheld when duty or necessity cuts us off from the means of grace. The God of the sanctuary and the ordinances is also the God of the invalid’s chamber–of the soldier’s camp–of the oppressed prisoner’s cell–in short of every scene (to which His Providence calls us) where insurmountable barriers separate us from His house and public worship. He never condemns the soul to suffer loss for being where His will requires it to be. He never sends us where He will not go with us and dwell with us.

This truth was exemplified in the cause of Hedley Vicars. From Sebastopol he wrote to his sister: “It is six months since I have been in reach of a house of prayer, or have had an opportunity of receiving the sacrament; yet never have I enjoyed more frequent or precious communion with my Saviour, than I have found in the trenches or the tent. When, I should like to know, could one find a Saviour more precious, than when bullets are falling around like hail?”

Oh that all our Christian soldiers may find the cup of this blissful experience mingled for their lips! Alas, that there should be any of our soldiers who will not drink it–who drink, rather, that cup of “the pleasures of sin” which exhilerates “for a season,” and stupifies and poisons!

Source: “Christ in the Camp,” Biblical Recorder, June 24, 1863 (link)