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Charleston, S.C., May 23, 1849.
Reported for the Charleston Courier
      Messrs. Editors:
      The Southern Baptist Convention commenced its Triennial Meeting, at the First Baptist church in this city, today, at 12 o'clock. The venerable President, Rev. William B. Johnson, D.D., of South Carolina, having called the meeting to order, commenced its proceedings by reading the 2d chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Phillipians [sic]. The members of the convention then sang the following hymn:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father's throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one.
Our comfort and our cares.

We share or mutual woes.
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives.
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free.
And perfect love and frieadship reign
Through all eternity.

      Prayers were offered by the Rev. Mr. Kendrick, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston. Rev. J. C. Crane, of Virginia, acted as Secretary of the convention. The President read the Constitution and Rules of Order, established at the first triennial meeting of the convention, held at Richmond, Virginia. A committee of five was appointed by the Chair lo receive, examine and report upon the credentials of the Delegates. A question of some interest arose as to the authority under which the convention holds its present session, which gave rise to a brief debate. It appears, that in consequence of the supposed prevalence of cholera at Nashville, (Tenn) where the convention was, this year, to have held its regular meeting, the President, with the consent of the Boards of Foreign and Domestic Missions, issued a circular, extending the time and appointing Charleston as the place of meeting. The delegates who met at Nashville, at the regularly appointed time, held a Convention at that place, and a doubt arose as lo the authority under which the present Convention, meeting at a different time and place, is acting. It was proposed to have the proceedings of the Nashville meeting, as published in the several Tennessee papers, and in the Southern Baptist of this city, by way of information, until certified copies of their proceedings should be placed in due form, before the Convention by Delegates not now present, who were at the Nashville meeting; but as the Convention was informed that the Delegates, charged with this business, would arrive, in all probability, by the afternoon cars, their reading was postponed, but a letter from Dr. Howell, just received, was read by the President, shedding some light on this subject. The Committee appointed to receive the credentials of Delegates then withdrew for that purpose, and the Convention, until their report should be made, engaged in devotional exercise.

      4 O'clock, P. M. - The Convention commenced its exercises by singing the 914th Hymn.

      Rev. Mr. Baker, of Georgia, addressed the throne of grace in a fervent prayer.

      The Secretary read the proceedings of the convention held at Nashville Tennessee.

      Dr. Johnson read his letter to Dr. Howell, advising a change of place for the meeting of the convention, in consequence of the reported prevalence of cholera there, and Dr. Howell's response, also his communication to the Delegates of the convention published in the Southern Baptist, announcing the change of place of meeting, and other papers fully explanatory of the matter.

      The Secretary read the report of the committee on credentials, which was adopted.

      The following are the names of the Delegates present:

      Maryland. - Rev. Messrs. George F. Adams, R. W. Cushman and Wm. Crane.

      Virginia - Rev. Messrs. J. B. Taylor, J. B. Jeter, H. K. Ellison, J. S. Bacon, A. M. Poindexter, James C. Crane, Eli Ball, J. L. Reynoldson, J. C. Clopton, F. H. Robert, G. R. Myers, G. S. Burton, J. T. Anderson, Joseph S. Walthall, Alexander Fleet, Gen. John Turpin.

      North Carolina. - Rev. Messrs. J. J. Finch, A. A. Purify, J. J. Brantley, J. M'Daniel, C. D. Ellis, J. Peterson.

      South Carolina. - Rev. Messrs. Wm. B. Johnson, D. D., Z Watkins, J. M. Chiles, D. D., Brownson, N. L. Griffin, J. O. Nicholson, J. G. W. Wilkinson, Wm. P Hill, Rev. J. L. Brooks, Mr. C. J. Elford, Rev. Messrs. H. D. Duncan, E. L. Watleigh, W. H. Robert, W. A. Lawton, Messrs. A. J. Lawton, B. W. Lawton, Rev. Messrs. J. Nicholes, T. D. Matthews, J. A. Lawton, E. L. Whatley, Messrs. B. H. Brown, M. Taylor, Rev. Messrs. H. A. Duncan, J. R. Kendrick, J. A. Cuthbert, Dr. M. T. Mendenhall, James Tupper, Rev. J. S. Antley, Saml Furman, L. Hickson, E. Tyler, Rev. Messrs. J. M. Timmons, John Culpepper, O. B. Dargan, R. Furman, W. Q. Beattie, Messrs. T. P. Lide, A. E. M'Iver, Rev. Messrs. J. S. Mims, P. C. Edwards, G. W. Brooks, Mr. J. Maybin, Rev. Messrs. James P. Boyce, T. W. Rambant, A. Rill, Mr. J. P. Reid.

      Georgia. - Hon. Thos. Stocks, Rev. Messrs. B. M. Sanders, J. L. Dagg, D.D., Rev. V. R. Thornton, W. T. Brantly, J. S. Baker, D. G. Daniel, A. T. Holmes, Rev. Messrs. W. H. Stokes, P. H. Mell, C. M. Irving, N G Foster, J. L. Dagg, J. T. Robert, H. O. Wyer, J. S. Law.

      Alabama. - Rev. Messrs. B. Manly, Jr., M. P. Jewett, J. H. DeVotie, A. W. Chambliss, J. Hartwell, H. Talbird, L. L. Fox, D. P. Bestor, R. H. Talliaferro, R. Holman, S. Henderson, A. G. M'Craw, and Messrs. S. S. Sherman and Van Hoose.

      Mississippi. - Messrs. I. T. Tichenor and J. N. Mullin.

      The following gentlemen were duly elected officers of the convention: - Rev. Wm. B. Johnson, D. D., President; Rev. Messrs. R. B. C. Howell, Hon. Thomas Stocks, and Rev J. B. Taylor, Vice Presidents; Dr. M. T. Mendenhall, Treasurer, and Rev. Jas. C. Crane, Secretary. There remains to be elected of the officers, one Vice President and one Secretary.

      The meetings of the Convention will be held, part of the session, at the First Baptist Church, in Church street, and, part of the lime, at the Second Baptist Church, in Wentworth street, of which notice will be duly given. A spirit of liberty seems 19 preside over the deliberations of this body; of which there were manifestations in the earnest desire expressed by the members that the doors should be thrown open to the clergy and the citizens generally, that all may be assured of a welcome should they feel inclined to witness its proceedings. The Rev. Dr. Johnson delivers, this evening, the Convention Sermon on the Foreign Missionary Enterprise.

      10 O'cock, P. M. - It is rather late the evening to give you even a sketch of Dr. Johnson's interesting and masterly discourse on the success of the missionary enterprise of the day. It was distinguished by the clearness and comprehensiveness of its views, and displayed throughout a generous, liberal and hopeful spirit. - The words, "I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," constituted the text from which he discoursed fervently and eloquently on the prospects of the Christian Church, its perfect safety and its ultimate triumph. The rock which formed the foundation, of the Church, he said, was the acknowledgment that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, against which great truth not even death could prevail. He discussed the character of the Son of God, 1st as God, 2d as man, and 3d as mediator between God and man. Christ was the foundation of the church. He was also the builder of the edifice. - He had the whole physical, moral and intellectual universe under his control. He was a master builder and his work would be well done. The church universal and particular was also a builder. Christ was the head of the church, which was the body. Particular churches were the members of the body acting under the direction of the head. Particular Christians also were builders. Ministers of the gospel especially were laborers upon this costly edifice, and it was necessary to the excellences of their work that they should possess both ability and fidelity. Every edifice had its scaffoldings. Some Christians answered to the scaffolding. It behoved them to look to it, that they were lively, stones, active, skillful and accomplished builders. The Rev. gentleman glanced at many interesting topics, which we have not time to notice, but dwelt particularly and at some length on the grandeur of the missionary enterprize, and the certainty of success in labors so directed. - Amidst the agitations of political topics both at home and abroad, the Church was pursuing its aim with a steadfast purpose, and was planting the standard of the cross triumphantly in every heathen nation. It encountered difficulties. It advanced slowly, but it advanced surely, and it would ultimately prevail in all its well directed efforts.

      At the close of the sermon the President of the convention announced, that they would be interesting documents. He again invited all such persons as might feel disposed to do it, to attend the meetings of the Convention. It will be interesting to know how the Southern Baptists have been able to sustain themselves since their severance from their Northern brethren, and those who listen to the reports and debates of the Convention will have opportunity to learn what they have accomplished. There is, no doubt, a great deal of talent in this assembly, and its meeting will probably be enlivened by much that is interesting to the community at large.

CHARLESTON, May 24 , 1849.

      The Convention met this day, at 9 o'clock, A. M. The proceedings were commenced by singing and reading the scriptures. Prayers were offered by the Rev. Richard Furman, of Society Hill, S. C. The convention proceeded to cast its ballot for a fourth Vice President and a second Secretary; whereupon the Tellers reported that Wm. Balk, of Ky., was duly elected the fourth Vice President, and Rev. Basil Manley, Jr., of Ala., the second Secretary to the Convention.

      In consequence of the absence of the clergyman, who was selected to deliver the Domestic Missionary Sermon at this meeting, a committee was appointed to select a Delegate to perform that duty. The committee selected the Rev. J. H. DeVotie, of Ala., who declined accepting the appointment, on the ground of the suddenness of the call, and the want of time for due preparation.

      An animated debate arose on the subject of inviting clergymen of other denominations wh& might be present, to take seats on the floor of the Convention, and partake in its deliberations. It was discussed as a question of usage and of Christian liberality. Rev. Messrs. Adams, Tingsley, DeVotie, Jeter, Culpepper, Wm. Crane, and Rev. Dr. Dagg, participated in the discussion. Rev. Dr. Johnson, President of the Convention, expressed his views on the question of usage. A resolution was finally adopted to invite any ministering brethren who might be present, and friendly to the objects of the Convention, to participate in its deliberations.

      At this stage of the proceedings, the members having generally taken their seats, the roll was called by the Secretary; after which the Rev. Dr. Johnson took occasion, in an expressive speech, to return his thanks to the Convention for the honor they bad conferred in selecting him to preside over its deliberations. The duties of the Chair he remarked, could not be well performed without the concurrence of the members. He recommended a strict adherence to the rules of order established by the Convention, and a reliance on Divine Providence. It was not by human might or power, but by divine light and guidance, that they could hope to succeed in any enterprise. The political convulsions that were now agitating the world to its centre, proved how inadequate men were to the management even of temporal governments. Much less, he said, were they competent to direct spiritual affairs, and the great concerns of the church, without divine assistance.

      The Report of the Board on Foreign Missions was now read by the Bev. J. B. Taylor, of Va., its Secretary. After the reading of it, the report was, on motion, accepted, ordered to printed, and its different parts referred to Special Committees appointed by the Chair. The following is the names of persons composing the different Committees:

On the China Mission - Rev. Messrs. John L Dagg, D.D, R. W. Cushman, J. S. Bacon, H. D. Duncan, and J. W. Mullen.

On the African Mission - Rev. Messrs. J. B. Jeter, I. I. Finch, I. L. Brooks, W. C. Crane, and P. H. Mell.

On New Fields of Labor - Rev. Messrs. E. Ball, J. S. Baker, R. Furman, J. M'Daniel, and S. S. Sherman.

On Times of Meeting of the Convention - Rev. Messrs. J. S. Bacon, J. B. Taylor, D. G. Daniel, S. Culpepper, and J. J. Brantly.

On Agencies - Rev. Messrs. W. E. Stokes, G. F. Adams, J. L. Prichard, H. A. Duncan, and I. T. Tichenor.

On Finance - Rev. Messrs. A. Fleet, C. D. Ellis, A. J. Lawton, C. M. Irwin, and T. P. Lide.

On Naming the Boards - Rev. Messrs. H. Stocks, H. K. Ellison, I. S. M'Daniel, S. P. Reid, S. S. Hickman, and I. T. Fletcher.

On Organs of Publication - Rev. Messrs. W. T. Brandy, J. S. Mims, J. H. De Votie, A. N. Purify, and J. Turpin.

On Amendments of the Constitution - Rev. Messrs. J. S. Bacon, J. B. Taylor, John Culpepper, J. J. Brantly, and D. G. Daniel.

      It is impossible, in a brief sketch, to do anything like justice lo this admirable report of the Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions. It was replete with facts of deep interest to the Christian community, and was listened to with profound attention by the members of the Convention and by the audience. Notwithstanding the losses sustained by death of several gifted missionaries, to whose ardent zeal and piety a feeling [of] tribute was paid by the Secretary, there are still twenty missionaries engaged in the field of Christian labor in China, who have met with as much success as was to have been expected under the circumstances in In Introducing the blessings of Christianity and civilization into that remote, and till recently, inaccessible part of the world. They have encountered trials and hardships, but were represented as courageous spirits, animated in their labors by a sense of the great duties that devolve on them, and the important interests committed to them as heralds of Christianity in the heathen land. Besides raising congregations which they have begun to address in their vernacular tongue, they have introduced, among the Chinese, [3 words blurred] of which favorable accounts are given. The mission in Africa, under the direction of colored missionaries, was descanted on at considerable length. It appears to have been eminently successful. The Secretary complained of a deficiency of pecuniary resources to meet the exigency of these expensive, but truly Christian enterprises, and intimated that it would be necessary to raise the sum of $20,000 [? blurred]to meet the expenses of the present year. If that sum were not raised, some of the arrangements of the Board would necessarily have to be abandoned, and some of the missionaries now abroad would have to be recalled. He made an earnest appeal to the Baptist Churches of the Southern States to assist the Board, as far as possible, in this emergency.

      The report of the Board of Domestic Missions was read by the Rev. R. Holman, of Ala., its Secretary. This, like the preceding report, was a highly interesting and elaborate document, and was listened to with great attention. It presented quite an encouraging view of the labors and successes of the Domestic Missionaries of the Southern States, who are under the control of this Convention. It embraced a retrospect of the last three years, and was exceedingly minute and faithful in its statements. It is to be hoped that both these valuable and thorough reports, embodying an amount of information rarely to be met with in the same compass, will be published by the Convention. They constitute important records of the Christian enterprizes of the age in which we live, and belong to its history.

      On motion of Rev. Dr. Dagg the report was accepted, and its different parts ordered to be referred to appropriate Committees, who will be appointed tomorrow.

      Rev. Mr. Kendrick, Chairman of the Committee on Religions Services, &c., informed the Convention that the Publication Society would hold a meeting this evening, and that addresses might be expected from Rev. J. C. Crane, of Richmond, Va., Rev. J. S. Bacon, D. D., of Washington, D. C., and Rev. J. B. Jeter, of Richmond, Va.

      On motion,
Resolved, That the future meetings of this Convention now assembled, commence at 9 o'clock, A. M., and adjourn at 1 o'clock, P. M. for the morning session, and commence at 4 o'clock, P. M. and adjourn at 6 o'clock, P. M., for the evening, session; but that in order to accommodate the Committees, it do meet to-morrow at 10 o'clock, A. M., and convene at the Second Baptist Church in Wentworth-street.

      The hour of adjournment, under this resolution, having arrived, prayers were offered by the Rev. W. T. Brantley, of Ga., and the meeting was adjourned to 4 o'clock, P. M.

      The afternoon session commenced, as usual, with singing a hymn. Prayers were offered by the Rev. Mr. Sanders, of Ga.

      On motion of Rev. J. C. Crane, a Committee was appointed to select a place for the next meeting of the Convention, and Ministers to preach the Foreign and Domestic Missionary Sermons.

      On motion of the Rev. Mr. Jeter,
Resolved, That the Secretaries of the Convention be directed to obtain a suitable book, and have recorded in a fair hand, the proceedings of the meeting which organized this Convention, and all the minutes of its meetings, and call on the Treasurer for the amount expended in executing this order; and that this book be placed under the care of the Foreign Missionary Board.

      The Convention then adjourned.

      The Publication Society held its meeting its meeting, at 8 o'clock, at First Baptist Church, Dr. Mendenhall, its President, being in the Chair. The Rev. Mr. Boyce had just concluded the reading of a report when I entered the meeting, which was numerously attended. Mr. Crane, of Va., laboring under some indisposition, dwelt briefly but with much energy on the mischievous tendency of many of the popular publications of the day and on the necessity of controverting it by judiciously selected books of an opposite character. Infidelity, he said, had formerly taken its ground boldly and maintained it publicly in the broad face of day. Its champions sought no disguise, but proclaimed their opinions, however odious, in the hearing of multitudes, challenging and setting the whole world at defiance. The arch enemy, he said, had now changed its tactics, and diffused the corrupting poison of pestilential errors through the medium of fashionable and elegantly written romances and novels. She was not less to be dreaded - it was even far more dangerous from the gilding thrown around it by the powers of misdirected genius. He deprecated - he deplored this state of things. He thought nothing could correct it but the most strenuous efforts on the part of the lovers of truth to supplant and eradicate the mischief, to sow broad cast through the land works of a pure, healthful and elevating tendency. He approved most heartily, be said, the objects of the Publication Society, and of all other associations of a kindred character. - They were occupying the path of duty and were employed in the great work of accomplishing by the only means reasonable and practicable, the regeneration of society. He bid them God-speed in their well directed efforts.

      Mr. Crane was followed, in a similar strain, by the Rev. Dr. Bacon, President of the Columbian College. The Rev. gentleman remarked that only a short time since America had no literature. She now, he said, had a literature and one of a vigorous growth, the character of which was such as to excite at one and the same time both pleasing and painful feelings. We boasted of being an intelligent people - we were so, but intelligence was not so generally diffused in this country as some imagined, nor to so great an extent as in some other countries, whom we affected to think less of than we do of ourselves. Still we possessed a good deal of intelligence, but we did not always draw our information from the right sources. He concurred with the gentleman who had preceded him in repeating that much, very much of the intelligence of our day and country, was derived from the most corrupt fountains. The Rev. gentleman made a formidable attack upon most of our ficticious [sic] literature. He said it filled the minds of our youth: not only with idle and false, but with most corrupt and corrupting maxims. The influence it was exerting on the character of the rising generation was alarming in the extreme. The friends of truth and virtue in the land did not seem to be aware of the evil. It was one that should engage more of their attention than it did, and should be more zealously guarded against. The very means of spreading the blessings of learning and true religion - a free press, were employed to spread a moral pestilence through our country. - Better, he said, that our presses should be sunk in the bottom of the sea than that they should be employed for such purposes - so destructive to the best interests of truth, virtue and humanity. Children were fond of reading. Place good books in their hands, and with the blessing of God on your efforts, you will make them good, pious and useful citizens.

      The conductors of the public press - particularly our periodical press, - our large publishing houses - particularly one of them, and at the head of that one men occupying the position of religious men, had much to answer for to their consciences and their God for the insidious corrupting character of many of the publications, which they were weekly, daily and most hourly sending forth to the world. The time had come when some powerful measures of counteraction should be adopted by the friends of Christian truth, and he knew, he said, of no better expedient than to foster by all justifiable means, the interests and efforts of an association of the character of that which he had the honor to address. - He wished it, he said, every possible success. It has seldom been our lot to listen to an address, distinguished by more judicious sentiments and order of eloquence than that of the Rev. Gentleman. It was well timed, nervous, energetic and affective.

      The Rev. Mr. Jeter, of Richmond, Va., next addressed the meeting. The Rev. gentlemen who had preceded him, had dwelt at length on the mischievous consequences resulting from the spread and general perusal of bad books. Mr. Jeter confided his remarks to a lively and extended consideration of the beneficial effects arising from the perusal and study of good books. Among these he placed the Bible as occupying the highest place. He said, however, that those who read only the Bible and nothing else, were not the persons who best understood its contents. They were better interpreters of the word of God, who connected with the reading of the Bible that of other good books. Such books had a tendency to exlarge [sic] and expand the mind, and to enable it to comprehend more clearly the great truths contained in the holy volume. It had been said that a single costly jewel worn by some of the European monarchs was estimated at the price of a princely fortune. A good book replete with heavenly wisdom, affording to the uninstructed mind a clue to guide him through the mazy labyrinths of life up to the regions of light and truth and eternal day, was worth more than such a jewel. I have not time to follow the Rev. gentleman in the various views which he took and sustained with masterly ability on the important subject of the just enlightenment of the people. The several addresses furnished a rare literary treat, which is seldom enjoyed, and which will be long remembered in this community.

      In my report of yesterday, the title of Rev. was given by mistake to several Lay Delegates - W.


[From the Tennesee Baptist, May 31, 1849, p. 2, CD edition. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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