125—May 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Slavery, an American Tragedy
The issue of slavery in America was doubtless the most divisive issue ever to confront our nation. The matter was many faceted, for it was surely a social and moral problem, but simultaneously it projected itself in the political, economic, and religious arenas as well.  Baptists in the South had initially grown among that portion of the population that was in the lower economic class, and these were surely non slave-holders. This accounts for the fact that the Baptists in the Southern states provided much of the opposition to slavery that existed.
Agitation among the Baptists was stimulated by the British brethren after the English Parliament passed legislation to eliminate slavery in the British West Indies. In 1835 British Baptists sent two “fraternal delegates” to the Triennial Convention which was held in Richmond, Virginia.
These brethren . . . were introduced also for the first time, to first-hand information concerning
the American number-one problem — slavery.  Dr. Cos, one of the British delegates, preached
in the First Church on the Sunday morning preceding the opening of the Triennial Convention.
On that afternoon he went again to the First Church, where he witnessed with amazement                               and emotion, the great numbers of colored worshipers present. As this group clasped hands and          sang, their bodies swaying in the rhythm of the music, the Englishman’s enthusiasm broke the     bounds of traditional British reserve. He asked permission to speak to them; he clasped their hands; he saw with his own eyes the over ruling Providence of God in using the channel of slavery to bring these sons and daughters of Africa the light of the gospel.
Step by step the pressures mounted to abolish slavery, and on May 4, 1843, Baptist abolitionists met in Tremont Chapel (Boston) to organize a mission society which would support both foreign and home missionaries and would be “separated from all connection with the known evils of slavery.” The die was cast, and Baptists, like all other Americans, would be divided and experience the terrible results of the Civil War.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 181-182
The post 125—May 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

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