A 204 Year Old Baptist Letter

“Sir:  Under Divine protection, the Ministers and Messengers of the several Baptist churches of the North Carolina Chowan Association, held at Salem, on Newbiggin creek, in Pasquotank county, in the District of Edenton, and State of North Carolina, having met by appointment to offer up the sacrifices of a broken and contrite heart to the great Author of their Being, for the unbounded display of goodness and of tender mercies bestowed upon the children of men; and while rendering adoration, prayer and thanksgiving, with deep humility for the great and unspeakable gift which brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, they feel a profound sense of the bounty received by the hands of the Supreme towards the several churches in our connection by the overpowering of the Spirit upon them; not only in effecting a great increase in numbers, but in the substantial interest of the churches, being supported and strengthened by a very great and uncommon measure of Christian love, union and harmony among the Brethren. While we have great cause of thankfulness for all these bounties and mercies, we have felt the deepest gratitude to be due for the civil and religious liberties we enjoy under the administration of the government over which you, Sir, at present preside: for which liberties our fathers have, in times past, suffered at the stake and have bled and died.

The sense of contrast between the present moment and a late period when we were feelingly alarmed at the threatened invasion upon the general toleration of a free conscience in the worship of the God of our Fathers; we have now great reason to shout with loud acclamations of joy and praise that we now live under our own vine and under our own fig-tree in peace. And while we pray that the sons of liberty may be long held at the helm of government, to rule and govern these United States, we feel the strongest emotions to be thankful that under your patronage and administration, there is none shall make us afraid.

Living under a government of our own choice where the rights of men feel an equal and impartial distribution, how much ought we to rejoice at the envied happiness and freedom of our fellow-citizens throughout these States unrivalled and unequalled by any nation on this terrestrial globe, and in the midst of national wealth, prosperity and peace, added to extent of empire under the wise policy of your administration, we feel no danger of your violating your trust or attempting to endanger the happiness of the people who have chosen you as their Chief and Head. And while our prayers and praises are due to the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, who has made you an instrument in his hands to give such blessings to such a people, we pray that the God of Battles may be your sun and shield; that he may give you grace and glory; and that he may withhold no good thing from you. And may we devoutly be permitted to add our prayers to the great Disposer of events, if it is His will, that that life devoted to public good from the commencement of our glorious Revolution to the present day, may be prolonged with blessings to yourself and common country.”

Can you guess to whom this Baptist associational letter was written?

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