In these post-war months, the Baptist newspapers of the South that have reopened harbor no shortage of criticism of the North, and in particular, Christians of the North.
Today the Virginia Baptist Religious Herald offers an assessment of the “Differences Between Northern and Southern Preachers.”
Claiming “numerous and conspicuous” differences, the commentary identifies Northern preachers’ “regard for appearances” as the most obvious, an indicator of haughtiness. The Northern minister is “careful of his dress, that it shall fit well, and be of good material, but especially that it shall be ministerial.” And in “his heart of hearts he loves a white cravat and a gown.” Sermons by Northern preachers are not biblical enough, and too superficial, focusing on “some recent public event, the season of the year, or the day of the month. Imagine, if you can, the return of Christmas or the loss of the Arctic without his preaching on it.” And he “writes and reads his sermons, not because he must, but because it leaves him disengaged and ready to study effect in delivery.” And so forth.
Apparently the writer does not want to consider that many of the same criticisms could have been leveled at many elite Baptist preachers of the South before and during the late war.
Source: “Differences Between Northern and Southern Preachers,” Religious Herald, November 23, 1865