Baptists and the American Civil War: November 8, 1862

The Pennsylvania State Baptist Convention this month weighs in on U. S. President Abraham Lincoln‘s September 22 Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Resolved, That this Convention, representing forty thousand of the citizens of Pennsylvania, mindful, in the present national crisis, of our own solemn duties to our country and our God, hereby declare our profound conviction of the intimate relation there is between the cause of human liberty and the cause of pure religion, and also our set purpose, as citizens, as Christians, and as Christian ministers, to employ our whole influence in supporting the supremacy of our national Constitution against all enemies whatever.

Resolved, That as the institution of slavery stands before the world as the confessed feeding source of the present mighty and wicked rebellion against our national Constitution, we most heartily approve of the President’s proclamation of emancipation, without modification in substance and without change of time in its execution.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, duly authenticated, be forwarded to the President of the United States.

By now, Baptists across the North have made their voices known widely and loudly: slavery is an evil in the sight of God, and the United States has a moral obligation to put an end to the practice, because true religion–in the opinion of many Northern Baptists–does not limit human freedom to whites only.

Source: Source: Source: B. F. Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Developed in the Official and Historical Annals of the Republic, Philadelphia, George W. Childs, 1864, pp. 747 (link)