The Philadelphia Baptist Association of Pennsylvania, U. S. of America, convened at its 139th Annual Session, October 1846, to the BAPTIST CHURCHES of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the Lancashire and Cheshire Associations, in Great Britain - send greeting:
DEAR BRETHREN: - Your Circular Letter, deprecating war between this country and Great Britain, has been read to our Association, and although to our great joy, all the immediate causes of hostility between the two nations have been removed, yet we embrace the occasion offered of reciprocating your courtesy, and of assuring you of our zealous co-operation in all efforts for the promotion and perpetuity of universal peace among the nations of the earth.
We live in a Commonwealth, where the practical efficacy of the principles of the Gospel in maintaining peace, under the most perplexing circumstances, has been thoroughly tested. For more than seventy years, though the sword and tomahawk were constantly dripping with blood in the neighboring States, Pennsylvania, defended only by the formal legislation of the principles of peace, closely pressed by six Indian nations, lost not a single citizen by the violence of the savages, though not even a single military company was organized for defence. “Never during the administration of Penn, or that of his proper successors, was there a war or a quarrel”* with the tribes of warriors that environed them. The work of securing the universal triumph of the principles of the Gospel upon this subject, we believe, belongs peculiarly to Christians, who, in whatever clime and of whatever language, are one people “in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” The firm and avowed adherence to the principles of peace, by the disciples of Christ, cannot fail ultimately to correct the semi-savage sentiments that are still far too widely and too boisterously promulgated in every land. The public sentiment of every people, among whom the Gospel is proclaimed, may and ought to be purified and controlled by the influence of Christians. The church is no longer “the light of the World and the salt of the earth,” when it fails to control the social habits and public opinions of the community to which it has access.
A proper testimony, firmly and perseveringly borne by Christians to the uselessness, barbarity and essential immorality of war, must at length render it abhorrent to the people, and consequently impossible to their rulers.
We Pledge to you, dear brethren, our sympathies and co-operation
* Clarkson's Life of Penn.
in the worthy work of beating “swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks, until nation shall not lift up sword against nation any more, neither learn war any more.”
J. LANSING BURROWS,
HORATIO G. JONES, Committee.
GEO. I. MILES,
ISAAC W. HAYHURST,
[From The Philadelphia Baptist Association Minutes, 1846, pp. 21-22. University of Chicago digital edition. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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