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15 – January 15 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Who is the real slave?

 

1838 – The British Baptist Union wrote to the ministers of the Baptist churches in the U.S. urging them to use their influence to bring about full emancipation. The practice of slavery had been introduced into Virginia in 1619 and was, at first, resisted by the southern colonies. However in time, the tragedy of slavery became the most divisive issue ever to face our nation. Baptist leaders divided severely on the matter. J.H. Hinton, chairman, wrote: “We have not been ignorant that slavery existed in the States, entailed, we are humbled and ashamed to acknowledge, by British influence, authority and example. But we had, until of late, no conception of the extent to which multitudes of professing Christians in your land, by indifference, by connivance, by apology, or by actual participation are implicated in it.” Isaac Backus, who became famous as a Baptist pastor and historian, was raised in the Standing Order of New England (state church). Yet the family owned a slave and an Indian girl apprenticed as a servant. The famed diary of Backus reported the death of a slave of one of the members of the church in Middleborough, Massachusetts in the mid-eighteenth century. Two things were involved in shifting the slave population to the South. The cold winters made slavery unprofitable and the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made the institution of slavery to be profitably utilized. But we must ever remember that Jesus told us who the real slave is: He said “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. He also said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 20-21.

 

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