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Doc. 159.-report of the Southern Baptist Convention, May 13, 1861.

The following report from the Committee on the state of the country, was unanimously adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention [238] in session at Savannah, Ga. It was drawn up by Rev. Dr. Fuller, of Baltimore, who had until recently had the reputation of being a firm friend of the Constitution and the Union:--

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that governments are established for the security, prosperity, and happiness of the people. When, therefore, any government is perverted from its proper designs, becomes oppressive, and abuses its power, the people have a right to change it.

As to the States once combined upon this continent, it is now manifest that they can no longer live together as one confederacy.

The Union constituted by our forefathers was one of coequal sovereign States. The fanatical spirit of the North has long been seeking to deprive us of rights and franchises guaranteed by the Constitution; and after years of persistent aggression, they have at last accomplished their purpose.

In vindication of their sacred rights and honor, in self-defence, and for the protection of all which is dear to man, the Southern States have practically asserted the right of seceding from a Union so degenerated from that established by the Constitution, and they have formed for themselves a Government based upon the principles of the original compact — adopting a charter which secures to each State its sovereign rights and privileges. This new Government, in thus dissolving former political connections, seeks to cultivate relations of amity and good will, with its late confederates and with all the world; and they have thrice sent special Commissioners to Washington with overtures for peace, and for a fair, amicable adjustment of all difficulties. The Government at Washington has insultingly repelled these proposals, and now insists upon letting loose hordes of armed soldiers to pillage and desolate the entire South, for the purpose of forcing the seceded States back into unnatural Union, or of subjugating them, and holding them as conquered provinces.

While the two sections of the land are thus arrayed against each other, it might naturally have been hoped that at least the churches of the North would interpose and protest against this appeal to the sword, this invoking of civil war, this deluging the country in fratricidal blood; but with astonishment and grief we find churches and pastors of the North breathing out slaughter, and clamoring for sanguinary hostilities with a fierceness which we would have supposed impossible among the disciples of the Prince of Peace. In view of such premises, this Convention cannot keep silence. Recognizing the necessity that the whole moral influence of the people, in whatever capacity or organization, should be enlisted in aid of the rulers who, by their suffrages, have been called to defend the endangered interests of person and property, of honor and liberty, it is bound to utter its voice distinctly, decidedly, emphatically; and your Committee recommend, therefore, the subjoined resolutions:

Resolved, That impartial history cannot charge upon the South the dissolution of the Union. She was foremost in advocating and cementing that Union. To that Union she clung through long years of calumny, injury, and insult. She has never ceased to raise her warning appeals against the fanaticism which has obstinately and incessantly warred against that Union.

Resolved, That we most cordially approve of the formation of the Government of the Confederate States of America, and admire and applaud the noble course of that Government up to this present time.

Resolved, That we shall assiduously invoke the Divine direction and favor in behalf of those who bear rule among us, that they may still exercise the same wise, prompt, elevated statesmanship which has hitherto characterized their measures; that their enterprises may be attended with success; and that they may attain a great reward, not only in seeing these Confederate States prosper under their administration, but in contributing to the progress of the transcendant kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Resolved, That we most cordially tender to the President of the Confederate States, to his Cabinet, and to the members of the Congress now convened at Montgomery, the assurances of our sympathy and entire confidence. With them are our hearts and our hearty cooperation.

Resolved, That the lawless reign of terror at the North, the violence committed upon unoffending citizens, above all, the threats to wage upon the South a warfare of savage barbarity, to devastate our homes and hearths with hosts of ruffians and felons burning with lust and rapine, ought to excite the horror of all civilized people. God forbid that we should so far forget the spirit of Jesus as to suffer malice and vindictiveness to insinuate themselves into our hearts; but every principle of religion, of patriotism, and of humanity, calls upon us to pledge our fortunes and lives in the good work of repelling an invasion designed to destroy whatever is dear in our heroic traditions; whatever is sweet in our domestic hopes and enjoyments; whatever is essential to our institutions and our very manhood; whatever is worth living or dying for.

Resolved, That we do now engage in prayer for our friends, brothers, fathers, sons, and citizen soldiers, who have left their homes to go forth for the defence of their families and friends and all which is dearest to the human heart; and we recommend to the churches represented in this body, that they constantly invoke a holy and merciful God to guard them from the temptations to which they are exposed. to cover their head in the day of battle, and to give victory to their arms.

Resolved, That we will pray for our enemies in the spirit of that Divine Master, who “when he was reviled, he reviled not again,” trusting that their pitiless purposes may be [239] frustrated, that God will grant to them a more politic, a more considerate, and a more Christian mind; that the fratricidal strife which they have decided upon, notwithstanding all our commissions and pleas for peace, may be arrested by that Supreme Power, who maketh the wrath of man to praise him; and that thus, through a divine blessing, the prosperity of these sovereign and once allied States, may he restored under the two Governments to which they now and henceforth respectively belong.

Resolved, We do recommend to the churches of the Baptist denomination in the Southern States, to observe the first and second days of June, as days of humiliation, fasting, and prayer to Almighty God, that he may avert any calamities due to our sins as a people, and may look with mercy and favor upon us.

Resolved, That whatever calamities may come upon us, our firm trust and hope are in God, through the atonement of his Son, and we earnestly beseech the churches represented in this body, (a constituency of six or seven hundred thousand Christians,) that they be fervent and importunate in prayer, not only for the country, but for the enterprises of the Gospel which have been committed to our care. In the war of the Revolution, and in the war of 1812, the Baptist bated no jot of heart or hope for the Redeemer's cause. Their zeal and liberality abounded in their deepest afflictions. We beseech the churches to cherish the spirit and imitate the example of this noble army of saints and heroes; to be followers of them, who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises; to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as they know that their labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Resolved, That these resolutions be communicated to the Congress of the Confederate States at Montgomery, with the signatures of the President and Secretaries of the Convention.

P. H. Mell, Ga.Committee.
Jas. E. Broome, Fla.
G. H. Martin, Miss.
W. Carey Crane, La.
R. Fuller, Md.
Jas. B. Taylor, Va.
R. B. C. Howell, Tenn.
L. W. Allen, Ky.
J. L. Prichard, N. C.
E. T. Winkler, S. C.
B. Manly, Sr., Ala.

The vote being taken, the report was unanimously adopted.

True extract from the minutes.

R. fuller, President. W. Carey Crane, Secretaries. Geo. B. Taylor. Secretaries.

--N. Y. Times. May 21.

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