“…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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