Tag Archives: Jeremiah Walker

226 – August 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

 

 

“…in Some Cases it was Lawful to go to War”

Samuel Harriss, Moderator and John Waller, on August 14, 1775,  signed a petition by the Virginia Baptist Association to the Virginia Convention as follows in part:      “Alarmed at the shocking Oppression which in a British Cloud hangs over our American Continent, we, as a Society and part of the distressed State, have in our Association consider’d what part might be most prudent for the Baptists to act in the present unhappy Contest. After we determined “that in some Cases it was lawful to go to War, and also for us to make a Military resistance against Great Britain, in regard of their unjust Invasion, and tyrannical Oppression of, and repeated Hostilities against America,” our people were all left to act at Discretion with respect to inlisting, without falling under the Censure of our Community. And as some have inlisted, and many more likely so to do, who will have earnest Desires for their Ministers to preach to them during the Campaign, we therefore deligate and appoint our well-beloved Brethren in the Ministry, Elijah Craig, Lewis Craig, Jeremiah Walker and John Williams to present this address and to petition you that they may have free liberty to preach to the Troops at convenient Times without molestation or abuse; and as we are conscious of their strong attachment to American liberty, as well as their soundness of the Christian Religion, and great usefulness in the Work of the Ministry, we are willing they may come under your Examination in any Matters you may think requisite…” Ultimately the Baptists supplied a greater percentage of chaplains to the Continental Army than any other religious society.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 334-35.

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19 – January 19 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Baptists the Authors of Liberty

 

1776 – The Virginia Statue of Religious Liberty was passed. The struggle was so intense that it took ten years of lobbying and petitioning the legislature (the Baptists had three representing them at one time). Thomas Jefferson stated that it was the most fiercely contested piece of legislation of his entire political career. There was also great contention relating to taxation for the support of state church clergy. At one point, Baptist preachers, Jeremiah Moore, Jeremiah Walker, and John Young, delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures to the Virginia legislature in Richmond opposing the general assessment plan for the support of religious teachers. It was the defeat of this legislation that finally paved the way for Jefferson’s statute. William Warren Sweet, in his Story of Religion in America, is justified in saying, “Religious freedom had triumphed in Virginia and was soon to spread throughout the nation and a few years later, in the form of the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution, was to become a part of the fundamental law of the land. Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom was so proud of those accomplishments that he asked that it be recorded on his gravestone. But justice compels the admission that Jefferson’s part in the First Amendment was not as great as James Madison, because of the fact that he was in France during that period. Neither were the contributions of either or both as important as was that of the humble people called Baptists.  The Baptists preached, petitioned, and suffered persecution. God used these humble people to have religious liberty as a fundamental principle of our society in the two great documents mentioned above.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 25-26.

 

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