Baptists and the American Civil War: March 17, 1862

Confederate States MapWhite Baptists of the Confederacy share many of the same war-related convictions as do white southern Christians of other denominations. At a time when southerners are reeling from a string of battlefield setbacks, this week’s North Carolina Biblical Recorder reprints a brief commentary, originally appearing in a Presbyterian paper, regarding differences between South and North:

On the 21st July, 1861, it pleased God to give us a great victory over our enemies at Manassas. On the next day when the Confederate Congress met their first act was to pass a resolution, clothed in language beautifully chase, and which breathed a deeply religious spirit, giving thanks to the Father of Mercies for his signal interposition.

When the Federal Congress at Washington heard of the surrender of Fort Donelson, they were thrown into a tumult of exultation and boasting. They made themselves merry over a scene of carnage, and indulged themselves freely in derisions, and scoffings, and as the highest idea which their souls could reach, they voted for an illumination of the city at the public expense. At the same time our President appointed for us a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer.

Let these facts stand in their place as a part of the history of the times. Behold the contrast! “He that sitteth in the heavens” has strewn the earth with monuments of his wrath, his abiding witnesses to this day that “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” There is enough spirit in all sections, North and South, to sink them both to perdition, but it is a comfort to notice in the particular mentioned that there is a great difference.

As is so often the case during the war, the writer of such sectional rhetoric is too quick to find fault with the enemy, while less inclined to turn such a critical eye upon his own country.

Source: “The Difference,” Biblical Recorder, March 19, 1862 (link)