Baptists and the American Civil War: March 11, 1863

North Carolina MapToday’s North Carolina BaptistĀ  Biblical Recorder carries a story about an anonymous Southern preacher who is asked why he does not offer prayers for Confederate sailors. First published in an Anglican newspaper, the story resonates with Baptists enough to make the rounds in Baptist periodicals.

Last Sunday as I came out of the pulpit, a gentlemen met me very pleasantly, and said–“Mr. H., I shall have to ask you, as a naval officer, an uncle of my wife, asked her, why is it that preachers always pray for the poor soldiers, but never pray for the poor sailors? Here you have been, very rightly thanking the Lord for another naval victory at Charleston, and yet you did not pray that God bless these gallant sailors that achieved the victory!”

I confess that the rebuke was to me very kind and wholesome, and I intend, hereafter, to heed it, by remembering these gallant men that go down to the sea in ships, and see the wonders of God upon the great waters. And as I form this personal determination, I would have others to “go and do likewise.” I have noticed that there seems to be a great remissness of duty on our part in this respect. It is true, that we have a very small navy, but his makes it more imperative upon us to remember them in our prayers.

Source: “Prayers for the Sailors,” Biblical Recorder, March 11, 1863 (link)