The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

that American Catholics were acting as the advocate for the Spanish
Church, one may ask if the history of an imperial issue can be
written out of the documents of only one of the contenders-the
victor-even such a benign victor as the United States.
University of Texas at Austin THOMAS F. McGANN
At Ease in Zion: A Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1zoo.
By Rufus B. Spain. Nashville (Vanderbilt University Press),
1967. Pp. xii+247. Bibliography, index. $6.95.
Professor Spain has written an interesting and valuable account
of the attitudes of Southern Baptists toward the post-war society in
which they lived. Because they were untouched by industrialization
and its problems, they, like other southerners, did not accept the
social gospel which swept the North after the Civil War. Their world
remained agrarian and they accepted the evils of their times as God's
will. Believing that the individual citizen rather than the church
was the proper instrument of reform, the denomination seldom sup-
ported national betterment associations. It did, however, seek legisla-
tive aid in imposing on all citizens its own restriction against gambling
and drinking. Moreover, Baptists influenced society by their con-
demnation of the theater, card-playing, dancing, and the use of
tobacco.
Some readers will wish that Professor Spain had explained Baptist
aims in higher education and that he had more fully examined the
role of laymen in the movement to extend and improve public
elementary schools. Others will understand his selection of a Baptist
newspaper in Virginia as representative of liberal thought in the
upper-South and one in Georgia as illustrative of conservatism in
the lower-South. Yet, they will regret that such procedures place
more emphasis on the South Atlantic states than on inland parts of
the South where Baptists were certainly as numerous and their in-
fluence perhaps stronger. He does, of course, sample church papers
from the interior states. A few comparisons with The Circuit Rider
Dismounts, in which Hunter D. Farish related the story of the Meth-
odists for a similar period, would also have been useful. As Professor
Spain points out, but does not explain, their findings about the two
largest denominations in the South were sometimes different. On the
whole, Farish found Methodists more urbane.
Such omissions, however, are minor in view of the additions which

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed December 19, 2014.