36 History of Wake Forest College
may be seen from the note above, the Benevolent Society was already
contemplating the appointment of agents. It was also already giving
money for education. The Constitution of the Convention proves on
examination to be that of the Benevolent Society recast and amended,
but with the addition of two or three important new features. The
objects of the new Convention are three: first, "the education of young
men called of God to the ministry," which was no part of the
published program of the Benevolent Society; second, "employment
of missionaries within the limits of the State," which had been the
exclusive object of the Society; and third, "coperation with the
Baptist General Convention of the United States in the promotion of
missions in general." Recognizing the necessity of making known its
purposes to the Baptists of the State, the Convention provided in its
constitution for "an adequate number of agents whose duty shall be to
visit Associations, churches, etc."
On the request of the Convention, Rev. Thomas Meredith prepared
a circular to be attached to the thousand copies of the minutes which
were ordered printed. This circular is entitled "To the Baptists of
North Carolina," and contains sixteen pages. As a statement of
principles and an apology for a new enterprise it is hardly too much to
say that it ranks with the Declaration of Independence. It has the same
clear statement and interpretation of pertinent facts, the same lucid
reasoning, the same consciousness of right, the same enthusiasm for
the new undertaking, the same calm courage, and the same vision of
future success. Perhaps the rhetoric is a little less restrained than a less
enthusiastic writer would have allowed himself, but it is a paper
which the Baptists of the State will always regard with reverent
satisfaction as an able and adequate exposition of the reasons,
purposes, hopes, aspirations and visions which inspired our fathers to
begin their organized work in the State. It deserves, I am sure, much
more than the faint praise Hufham saw fit to bestow upon it, to wit,
"From the point of view of a man
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