Annotated Reproduction of the Published
Annual Meeting Minutes for 1815-18

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1815 Meeting
Big Redstone
Fayette Co., PA

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    OF  THE






    SEPTEMBER 1st, 2d, and 3d, 1815.



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    FRIDAY, September 1.

    1. At 1 o'clock P.M. agreeably to appointment last year, brother JOHN PATTON delivered the introductory sermon from Acts xvi. 17 -- "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation."

    2. Letters from the churches were then read.

    Note. -- Ministers' names are in small capitals, and annexed to the Churches where they respectively labour. Those marked thus * were not present. From Churches marked thus + we received no intelligence. A dash --- denotes no settled minister.

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    3. Appointed brethren Estep, Brown, Philips and Brownfield a committee to arrange the business for to-morrow.

    Adjourned till 9 o'clock to-mottow morning.

    Preaching in the evening at several places.

    Note. The two last churches were added this session.

    SATURDAY, September 2.

    Met according to adjournment.

    Brother Estep opened the meeting by singing and prayer.

    4. Appointed brother Estep, Moderator, and brother Charles King, sen'r. Clerk.

    5. A letter from a Church in Washington was read, requesting union to this Association, which was unanimously granted.

    6. Likewise a letter was received, making a similar request, from a church at Brush Run; -- which was also granted.

    7. A proposition from the church in Connelsville, to appoint a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the restoration of Peace to our land; and for the bountiful productions of the earth. -- Likewise to have a collection on that day for aiding the Baptist Foreign Mission.

    8. The above proposition was agreed to, and the last Thursday in this month was appointed for that purpose.

    9. Voted that if the Minutes of this association be not printed within two months from this time, that they be not printed at all for this year.

    10. This association resolves itself into a Missionary Society, auxiliary to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions; and for the future, the society shall consist of the Elders and Messengers of every church, who shall collect and forward to the Treasurer of this society annually, at least five dollars.

    11. Appointed a standing Secretary to correspond with the Secretary of the board of Foreign Mission[s]. Brother Estep, was appointed Secretary for that purpose.

    12. Appointed brother Brownfield, in conjunction with brother J. Philips, Treasurers of the Foreign Missionary Department.

    13. Resolved, That the money collected on the day of Thanksgiving be sent forward by the treasurers to the treasurer of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, as soon as received by them.

    14. Resolved, That this association consider "The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine" as a publication well deserving their patronage; and it is hereby recommended to the churches as a valuable source of missionary and other religious information. *

    * Persons wishing to become subscribers to this excellent Magazine, may [ap--- ----- ----- -- -----].

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    given by our Lord himself: "Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." -- Matt. xiii, 52. 3. In the elocution of the tongue, and the aptness with which he can communicate his ideas. This the Apostle Paul prays for; the want of it Moses lamented very much; so much so, that he considered himself altogether disqualified without it. How feeling is his language, "O! my Lord" (says he) "I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken to thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." Exod. iv, 10. -- There are some minor qualifications that we cannot now mention.

    After having mentioned some of the endowments for the Ministry, we go on to enquire into the subject matter of it. And here we wish to notice to you first of all, that all our ideas on the subject are to be drawn from the precepts and practice of Christ and his Apostles. The instructions that God gave to Jonah are applicable to all ministers -- "Go and preach the preaching that I bid thee," Jonah iii. 2.   The Lord Jesus Christ, when he gave the commission to his Apostles (which we receive as the basis of our authority and our rule of instruction) says, "Go and preach the Gospel to every creature." Here you will perceive that the Gospel is to be alone the subject of our ministrations. More fully to understand this subject we are to ascertain what is implied in the term Gospel. -- The Gospel may be summed up in the things we are to believe, and the things we are to perform. Of the former there are some which respect God, absolutely and relatively considered, and some things that respect ourselves. Concerning God, we are to believe, "That HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seek hum." And even in the things that we are to perform, we must also have faith in him: "For without faith it is impossible to please him" in any performance whatever. Of the things we are to perform, the following are the most notable. 1. Repentance -- Acts xvii, 30. "God hath commanded all men everywhere to repent." 2. Believing on the Lord Jesus -- 1 John iii, 23. "And this is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ." 3. That we should subject ourselves to the dominion of Jesus Christ -- Psalms ii, 12. "Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way." 4. Reconciliation to God. This is one great topic that all ought to insist on. 2d Corinthians v. 20. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: -- we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." The Gospel also abounds with promises of spiritual blessings to those who are found in the way of obedience. But those that would believe that these blessings are promised to them because they are obedient, are "yet blind, and cannot see afar off." They are scribes illy instructed in the mysteries of grace.

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    Of the things that the word reveals, and that we are to believe, respecting ourselves, take the following lamentable character given by our Lord himself: "Thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." -- Rev. iii, 17. In this situation the Gospel finds us, and brings relief from all our woes. It says to the prisoners, go forth -- to them that are in darkness, shew yourselves -- to them that are lost and ruined by the fall, it says, Behold me! Behold me! In a word, there is no possible situation of distress or danger that we can be in, but what it brings to us the most substantial relief.

    From the view of the Gospel that we have now, given, you will perceive, that it is a revelation of rich mercy and free grace, to lost sinners. It tells us, that in us there is no good thing -- that all our comforts, either in this life or in that which is to come, flow unto us by the agency of the Holy Spirit, from the eternal fountain of love in the Father as the moving cause; and from the infinite merits of the obedience and death of Jesus Christ, as the procuring cause.

    Ministers, from this general view of the Gospel, will see their duty; and if their souls are exanded with benevolence, and with a fellow-feeling for the lost, they will never desire to curtail it: But they will on every suitable occasion be ready to proclaim with John the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world."

    From the whole that we have said, we consider the Gospel, not only a revelation of free grace, but also as a rule of evangelical obedience. Hence it is that we read of "obedience to the faith" -- Rom. 1, 5. They are joined together like cause and effect: obedience being the effect of, and always following faith.

    In the discharge of ministerial duty, faithfulness is required. Ministers are called "Stewards of the mysteries of God" -- 1st Cor. iv. 1. And it is said in relation to their work, that "it is required in Stewards, that a man be found faithful" -- 1st Cor. ib. 2. Faithfulness may be considered either in relation to God or in relation to men. Faithfulness to God consists in justifying his ways to men -- in displaying the riches of his grace to lost sinners. The pious Mr. Berredge, in a letter to a young minister observed, "when you publish God's free grace, don't mince it: Do it with an open mouth: Let all the people hear it." Faithfulness to men consists, in a solemn declaration of the mind and will of God towards them in the several characters that they may sustain, either as sinners, seekers of salvation, or saints confirmed in the faith, and progressing from earth to heaven. The Apostle Paul says, he "taught every man -- he warned every man, that he might present every man blameless in Christ Jesus." We need never be afraid of comforting those that mourn too much; making the weak too strong; nor yet making a sinner flee, from the wrath to come, too fast. Not that we can do one or the other of these things,

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    any farther than as we may be instruments in the hand of God. What think you, brethren, was the method of the preaching of those two Disciples mentioned, Mark iii, 17, called Boanarges? Doubtless they were sons of thunder, or thundering preachers. Like John the Baptist, every Minister should say to the ungodly, flee the wrath to come; or like Paul, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" When the great day of his wrath is come, who shall be able to stand? None but those who have taken refuge in the dear Saviour of souls. He is a refuge from the tempest and the storm. Blessed and happy are they who have fled for refuge to him.

    Every Minister when he is done, should be able to say, if any now perish here. I am free from their blood. Some are ready to conclude that sinners are dead in such a sense. That all their endeavors to benefit them are in vain. Still we are to essay to go forth. It is enough if the Spirit of God accompanies the word, without our waiting until it goes before to awaken the sinner. Do you not know that the word is the honored means to effect the work in many instances?

    We shall now consider the obligation to hear, and the manner of hearing the word. As the preachings of the word flows from the authority and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; so that authority is to be acknowledged and submitted to. To this purpose we have the words of our Lord, "He that receiveth (or heareth) you, receiveth me." If the Saviour of souls was to descend in a cloud in the splendour of his glory, and proclaim salvation to you, would you not consider that the soul who would not hear and believe in him ought to be damned? The same is said of those that obey not the Gospel. The grace manifested in the Gospel is also to be had in view, and in hearing. It is a message of good news and glad tidings to you, and while you hear it you ought to adore the loving kindness that sent the message unto you. You know that he hath not dealt so with every people. The sole design of the Gospel is to bring the hearers of it out of nature's darkness into its own marvellous light and liberty.

    As the Gospel is addressed to persons of different characters, and persons under different circumstances, so every hearer of the word is to consider his own character and circumstances, and to receive the word as much addressed to, and intended for him, as though there was not another person under the whole heaven.

    The Gospel abounds with diversified addresses; so much so, that we cannot find ourselves in any possible circumstance, but what it will reach unto us, either in its threatenings, admonitions, or promises. Are we rich -- it says, "trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God." Are we in the eager pursuit of the things of this world -- it says "labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth to everlasting

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    life." Are we in the ways of sin and death -- it says, "[turn,] why will ye die." To the heavy laden, to the thirsty, [to the] naked, to the blind, to the sick, to the dying, to every [person, to] every circumstance, it brings the most substantial relief. {And] to all the hearers of it, it says, "see that ye refuse not him that speaketh, &c."

    Does the Gospel require you to repent? Nothing can be more resonable. We have sinned against God without cause. In the doing of which we have ruined ourselves. Penitence, deep humility, and self-abasement, therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Does the Gospel require you to break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by turning to the Lord? In the requisition itself there is a revelation of grace as well as authority. Does the Gospel require itself to be cordially received? Never think of offering any excuse for rejecting it, but that which the Judge himself will admit of when seated on his "WHITE THRONE," and the assembled world before his bar. Does the Gospel require hearers of it to believe in, and subject themselves unto its glorious Author? -- He is truth itself, His authority is the most legitimate, and His government is that of infinite rectitude.

    Objections. But I am lost and ruined by the fall -- I am like the man that fell among thieves -- I am stripped and wounded, plundered and left half dead. We answer, it is mot the nature of the Gospel so much to require of you things to do, as it is to receive the grace it reveals and promises. Do you acknowledge and feel the need of its grace, then "blessed are ye poor;" but if you think you are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, then it pronounces you "wretched and poor, and blind and naked." -- Rev. iii, 17.

    Objection 2. But I am dead in trespasses and in sins, and therefore can do nothing. We answer, God is able yo break your league with death, and your agreement with hell. On the supposition of your being dead, are you willing to wait until the elements will be on fire, and the earth shall melt with fervent heat around you; perhaps it may bring you at least to feeling.

    Objection 3. But I have no love for, nor desire after, the things of religion. So might the criminal say when arraigned before the bar of justice. He sees no beauty in honesty, therefore prays to be dismissed from the arrest. The same might be said by a prostitute, she saw no beauty in, and had no love for chastity. But can it be for a moment supposed, that such excuses will ever be admitted by the court of heaven?\

    On the whole, your iniquity is of yourselves, and if the sentence of condemnation falls on you, God's throne will remain guiltless -- all the Angels will say amen! And the soul in misery will have to say I deserve it.

    We would in conclusion say to our brethren, exercise all possible

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    compassion mixed with faithfulness towards those that are [------] at and out of the way. Remembering at the same time, ([----] gratitude to Almighty God) that grace bestowed on you [--- ---ch] maketh you to differ. It is all of grace; and as the [----ck] has been begun in grace, it will so be carried on; and the [cap-stone] laid with shoutings of grace! grace! Even so, Amen!
    We subscribe ourselves,
                      Your brethren in the best of bonds,
    JAMES ESTEP, Moderator.    
    CHARLES KING, Sen. Clerk.

    1816 Meeting
    Brooke Co., VA

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    OF  THE

    Redstone  Baptist  Association,





    AUGUST 30th, 31st, and SEPT, 1st, 1816.



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    FRIDAY, August 30.

    1. At 1 o'clock P.M. agreeably to appointment, brother BENJAMIN STONE delivered the introductory sermon, from Mark XVI, 15 -- "And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

    2. Letters from the churches were then read.

    Note. -- Ministers' names are in small capitals, and annexed to the churches where they respectively labor. Those marked thus * were not present. From churches marked thus + we received no intelligence. A dash --- denotes no settled minister.

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    3. Appointed brethren Luce, Wheeler, A. Campbell, John Patton and D. Philips, a committee to arrange the business for tomorrow.

    4. Voted to adjourn till 9 o'clock, to-morrow morning.

    Concluded with prayer.

    Preaching this evening at several places.

    SATURDAY, August 31st.

    Met agreeably to adjournment.

    5. The meeting was opened with singing anf prayer, by brother John Patton.

    6. Appointed brother Luce, miderator, and brother Wheeler, clerk.

    7. A letter was presented by brother T. Campbell, from a number of baptized professors in the city of Pittsburgh, requesting union as a church to this Association.

    8. Voted, that as this letter is not presented according to the constitution of this Association, the request cannot be granted.

    9. Voted, that brother T. Campbell be invited to take a seat in this Association.

    10. Voted, that a committee be appointed to wait on the persons mentioned in the 7th article, to investigate the subject of their letter. Brethren D. Philips, Luce and Pritchard, are the committee to attend in Pittsburgh, on the Saturday preceding the first Lord's day in November.

    11. The circular letter prepared by brother T. Campbell was read and accepted without amendment.

    12. A letter from several baptised professors of Monroe county, &c. Ohio, requesting ministerial help in constitution and ordination was read. Voted, that brethren Elijah Stone and Nathaniel Skinner, be appointed to attend, agreeably to request, on Friday before the 3d Lord's day in Sept. and that it be discretionary with them, whether to proceed to ordination, or not.

    13. Query from the church on the heads of Whiteley "Has any church belonging to this body, a right to receive into their communion and fellowship, any person that has been formerly excommunicated from a church of this Association, without the consent or knowledge of the church where he formerly belonged? Answered in the negative.

    14. Resolved, that this Association hereafter meet on the first Tuesday of September -- the introductory sermon to be delivered at 2 o'clock, P.M. -- the Association to continue in session till the business be finished -- the minutes to be fully and correctly written out and approved, and a concluding sermon be delivered in presence of the Association, before it dissolves.

    15. On a petition from the church at King's Creek, requesting ministerial help in ordination; it is voted that the request be not granted.

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    16. Circular Meetings --

    1st. At Connelsville, the 2d Lord's day in May -- Brethren D. Philips and John Patton to attend.

    2d. At forks of Cheat, 2d Lord's day in June -- brethren James Seymour and James Frey to attend.

    3d. At Somerset, 2d Lord's day in August -- brethren Luce, Estep and Wheeler to attend.

    4th. At Short Creek, O. the Saturday before the 4th Lord's day in October -- brethren Luce and Pritchard to attend.

    17. According to request from the church in Pittsburgh, appointed brother D. Philips to preach there on the last Lord's day in September -- and brother Wheeler the last Lord's day in October.

    18. Appointed brother J. Estep to write the corresponding letter for this year.

    19. Appointed brother A. Campbell to write the circular letter for the next year, and that the following be the subject, viz: -- "The purposes of GOD in respect to creating angels and men, as exhibited to us in the sacred scriptures, as the grand end of all his works."

    20. Voted, that we hold our next meeting at Peter's Creek, Washington county, (Penn.) on the first Tuesday in September, 1817, at two o'clock, P.M.

    21. Appointed brother Wheeler to preach the introductory sermon, and brother A. Campbell the concluding one. Brethren Estep and Cox are appointed in case of failure.

    22. Resolved, that, instead of the resolution contained in the 10th article of last year's minutes, the following be adopted, viz: That all the churches in this Association consider it their duty and privilege to contribute annually to propogate the gospel among the heathen, and that the churches henceforth forward their contributions by their messengers, and mention the sum in their letter to the Association. The amount received from each church shall be published in the minutes and the moderator shall forward the contributions to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, and produce a receipt of the next Association.

    23. Appointed brother Wheeler to superintend the printing of the minutes, and to distribute them to the churches.

    24. Voted, that the account of the monies received for the foreign mission be printed in the minutes.

    25. The second annual report of the Baptist Board of Foreign Mission[s], was distributed.

    Adjourned till 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.

    The Moderator concluded with prayer.

    While the Association was in session, there was preaching on the stand by brethren Patton, Seymour and Skinner.

    Preaching at several places this evening, in the neighborhood,

    LORD'S DAY, Sept. 1st.

    Met according to adjournment. Brother Cox commanded the

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    solemnities of the day, by singing and prayer, and then addressed the people from Matthew XXIV, 14 -- "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto the nations, and then shall the end come." Brother A. Campbell succeeded by a discourse, founded on Romans VIII, 3 -- "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh. God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." After a short intermission, brother Estep concluded the exercises of the day, by a discourse from Matthew XVI, 26 -- "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

    The good order which prevailed among the thousands which composed the assembly, and the listening attention to the word of life, evinced that "The gospel of the kingdom was preached not only in word, but in power."
    MATHIAS LUCE, Moderator.    

    An account of the sums received for the Foreign Mission.

    From the Washington Female Mite Society,     $48.44
    Church in Washington,     27.75
    Ten-Mile,     9.87 1/2
    Pigeon Creek,     6.00
    Georges Creek,     4.00
    Enon,     7.50
    Flat Run,     6.00
    Short Creek, O.     3.00
    Cross Creek, Va.     21.00
    Buela,     10.00
    Connellsville,     34.75
    Brush Run,     15.50
    Heads of Whitely,     5.00
    Peter's Creek,     17.55
    Peter's Creek Missionary Society,     24.50
    Turkey Foot; 12.06
    Collection, Lord's day, at Association,     30.62
    TOTAL,                                           288.54 1/2


    The Redstone Baptist Association, held at Cross-Creek, Brooks county, (Va.) August 30th, 31st, and Sept. 1st, 1816, to the Churches they represent, with grace, mercy and peace.


    The revelation of Himself, with which God has been graciously pleased to favor any portion of his rational creatures, must necessarily constitute the leading and all important subject of their

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    attention; a true knowledge of God being the only foundation of all true religion and morality; and of course, of all rational perfection and blessedness. -- Now, the means by which this fundamental and all important knowledge is communicated, are His words and word. "The heavens declare the glory of the Lord; the earth also with its various productions and inhabitants: but especially that in estimable treasury, his word; in which not only the most glorious and important of all his works is recorded, but that which of all others is the most interesting to us; in this respect, "he has magnified his word above all his Name;" or above every other revelation which he has made of himself to us. It not only furnishes us with an instructive comment upon the visible creation, in calling our attention to the various and manifold glories of God therein displayed; but also acquaints us with the superior and invisible glories of the sublimer parts of the creation, of which otherwise we should have had no information at all. Moreover, it acquaints us with his moral character as the great King, Lawgiver and Judge of his rational creatures, by exhibiting the statutes of his kingdom, the principles of his government, and of his judicial proceedings both towards angels and men: and which in the whole compass of what it presents to our thoughts, upon those very interesting and important subjects, it suggests nothing but what is perfectly consistent with the impressions which the august and glorious works of the visible creation are calculated to produce: it leads us still farther into the deep things of the unsearchable God, by declaring unto us his great name, Jehovah Alehim, which no work, attribute perfection, known or knowable to us, by any other external means could have possibly revealed. This revelation, therefore, of the unsearchable nature of God is peculiar to that express declaration, which God has been graciously pleased to make of himself to us in the Holy Scriptures, when the occasion required; that is, when it became necessary to our relief, and to the display of the divine glory in our salvation, so to do. For when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his son into the world, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem the guilty from the curse of the law -- For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for the life of the world. But what is his name; or what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? -- Who by searching can find out God? Who can find out the Almighty unto perfection, is a divine challenge addressed to the vain pride, to the presumptuous inquisitiveness of self ignorant, self-conceited, haughty aspiring man. Vain man would be wise, "above what is written: but the sublime and absolute declaration which God makes of himself to his most distinguished servant Moses, when authorizing him to become the deliverer of his chosen people, saying "I am that I am," prostrates forever all presumptuous inquiry, removes to an infinite distance all created comprehension as utterly incompetent to the subject, and intensely prohibits the vain presumption of comprehending the Almighty. What his word and his works declare of the being

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    and perfections, it is our province and our privilege to know and acknowledge to his glory and our own edification and comfort.

    By his word, then, we learn that the divine name comprehends in it a plurality. "Alehim said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Again, "Jehovah Alehim said, behold the man is become like one of us." Yet he speaks of as one -- "In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Also, where he assumes a plural name, he at the same time uses a singular verb & pronoun; suggesting in the very same phrase the idea of plurality in unity. -- Hear, O Israel Jehovah our Alehim is one Jehovah. And, indeed, were not this the very thing intended in the forms of speech alluded to, which are very numerous, they would be absolutely unintelligible. But the clear, blissful and satisfactory revelation of this great mystery is clear, blissful and satisfactory revelation of this great mystery is reserved for the New Testament disposition. "For no man hath seen God at any time (so as to have an immediate or intuitive knowledge of him) the only begotten Son whom in the bosom (or into the secrets) of the Father, he hath revealed him; so that "No man knoweth the father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." It is only in those last days that God hath spoken unto us by his Son, in a clear, distinct and certain manifestation of him to the world;" "declared to be the Son of God, with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead;" who is the image of the invisible God the Father, the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person, or character of his subsistence; by whom also he made the worlds, or all the various orders of rational intelligences that any where exist; "for without him was not any thing made that was made; all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things and by him all things consist, or stand forth together, who upholdeth all things by the word of his power." Now most surely, he that made, erected, or built and upholdeth all things, is God -- is a distinct intelligent agent or subsistence in Jehovah Alehim which is one Jehovah.

    But moreover, from the same authentic source of divine information, we also learn that there exists another distinct intelligent agent or subsistence in the One Jehovah, who is distenguished to us by the name of Spirit of God; Spirit of Jehovah, or the Spirit Jehovah: the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of Holiness; the Eternal Spirit; which was also in the beginning, or when time and things began to exist; who was also an agent in the creation; who with a preparatory energetic influence, as the author of life and motion, acted upon the original chaos; brooded or hovered upon the face of the waters; who also garnished the heavens who formed the human nature of Christ in the womb of the Virgin, who perfectly comprehends all the deep things of God. The author of all holy inspiration, who spake by the prophets, and who in the Old Testament is called Jehovah, a name peculiar to Aelhim, whose

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    name alone is Jehovah; and is therefore properly called God as comprehended in the Alehim: to whose immediate agency is peculiarly ascribed all miraculous powers and effects, even to the resurrection of the dead; as also all spiritual and intellectual endowments; hence he is called the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, the Spirit of counsel [and] of might, of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. The Spirit who distributeth to every one severally as he will. In fine all divine works, whether of creation, sustentation, gubernation, resurrection or judgment, are ascribed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; neither is there any other divine agent revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures, as comprehended in the One Jehovah; or to whom any part of the works or worship peculiar to God is ascribed, but only to the sacred three above mentioned; even our Aleheim, whose name alone is Jehovah; and [into] whose name alone we are baptized. Therefore, we believe and are sure, that these three are the one only living and true God.

    To us, then, who hold the Christian faith, there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things and we to him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by him; and one Spirit who worketh all things, who inspires, animates and replenishes the whole body of Christ; dividing to every man severally as he will. And these three are one; even the one Jehovah Alehim, who claims all religious worship and obedience as his proper due, to the exclusion of all other claimants, or pretenders whatsoever, who will not give his glory to another, nor his praise to graven images -- the infinitely holy, just and jealous God.

    It appears to be a query with some who profess to hold this doctrine, whether it be correct to use the term person when speaking of the above distinct characters in the divine essence. As to this, let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. In the mean time all that we pretend to say in favor of this application of the term is, that although the term person (which, in relation to men, signifies a distinct intelligent agency or rational being, co-existant with others in the same common nature, is not manifestly applied in the Holy Scriptures to any of the Sacred Three, nor indeed can be so applied in strict propriety, according to its literal meaning and obvious acceptation, for when applied to God, instead of meaning a distinct intelligent being co-existing with others in the same common nature, we must mean by it, if we think and speak correctly, one and the self-same individual being so existing as to constitute in and to itself so many distinct or different, real and relative characters, or subsistences each of which is but another name for the self-same individual essence or being, considered as existing in the specified relation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet seeing the Scriptures manifestly declare that the one Jehovah exists in three distinct intelligent agents, each of which is the one Jehovah so existing, for there is but one such being and seeing that the personal pronouns I, thou, he, we, us, are assumed and used in the

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    Holy Scriptures, by, or in relation to, each or all of the divine characters; therefore, keeping in view the essential and indivisible unity of the divine nature, we think we speak intelligibly and consistently with sacred truth, when we thus use the term person: and we presume, when taken in this sense, it will apply to the distinct characters with as strict propriety as almost any other term in human language, that is applied to God; for it must be granted, that in but in few instances, if in any, human language will strictly and properly apply to the divine nature; therefore, when so applied, it must, for the most part, be used in the figurative and analogous sense.

    Again, it is a query with others, who profess to hold this doctrine, whether the relative terms Father, Son and Spirit, be real or economical. To this we would reply, that if we allow the Holy Scriptures to speak at all intelligibly upon this most profound and sacred subject, we must understand the above appellations as declarative of real internal essential relations, independent of any external work or economy whatsoever. For if the terms Father, Son and Spirit, be not declarative of real or essential relations, that is, of relations that have their foundation in the divine nature; and essentially or necessarily belong to it as such, the Scriptures do not reveal to us three distinct characters so related; but three distinct independent Divinities or Gods, necessarily self-existent, and absolutely independent of each other; each and every of them, possessing the self-same properties, and of course, each of them so exactly the same in all respects, as to be absolutely undistinguishable, one from another, by any means, property or attribute whatsoever, and, of course, three eternal self-existent independent co-existent Gods; each of them infinitely complete or perfect in and of himself, as possessing every possible perfection of being. A suposition this, not less repugnant to our reason than to the most express and unequivocal declarations of Holy Scripture; for the divine characters are constantly represented as co-existing in the most intimate and inseperable unity of essential relationship one with another, and as having the most entire inexclusive and all comprehensive interest in each other, as their co-relative names, most evidently and incontestibly declare. Accordingly the Father saith, "this is my well beloved son in whom I am well-pleased." The son saith, I am in the Father and the Father in me. I and my Father are one: my Father worketh hitherto and I work," "whatsoever things the Father doth, the same also doth the Son likewise. All that the Father hath are mine. And of the Spirit, he saith, who proceedeth from the Father; whom I will send unto you; he shall take of the things that are mine and shall shew them [unto] you. He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will shew you things to come. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God. For as no man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him, even so the things of God knoweth no man,

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    but the Spirit of God. He hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. They that are after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit. Again there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."

    From these, and a multiplicity of declarations that might be [deduced] from the Holy Scriptures, it evidently appears, that so far from being separate independent beings, the sacred three are intimately united amongst themselves in an order and manner of subsistence and operation of which we can form no distinct, much less adequate idea; but so it is revealed to us by him, whose sole prerogative it is to know and reveal himself.

    Moreover, if the above doctrine were not really true, there could be no such thing as the economy of salvation, wherein one divine character is sent by and from another to redeem: and another divine character sent by and from both, to apply that redemption; for where there is no mutual essential relation, there can be no relative subordination, such as naturally and necessarily subsists between Father and Son and of course no mission of the one from and by the other, as is manifestly the case in the economy of salvation; "For the Father sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. He so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son for the life of the world."

    Again, if the person sent, however highly exalted in relative dignity, were not more than a creature, there would still remain an indefinite distance between him and the Deity, so that he could neither bring himself, nor any one else, nearer to God than his or their nature and circumstances had already placed them; for he could properly or in strict justice merit nothing at the hand of his Creator, Preserver and Proprietor, either for himself or others; every thing that he could possibly do in obedience to the Divine will, being in strict justice due by him, on his own account, to the sovereign Lord of all, in whom it is an act of condescension to accept or acknowledge the service or worship of men or angels. Therefore, upon principles of reason and justice, as well as according to the most obvious declarations of Holy Scripture. The Redeemer of a lost world can be no other than the Creator and Proprietor of it; of whom it can be truly said, that all things were created by him and for him; that he is before all things, and that by him all things consist. "God is known by his works." "Among the Gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works" -- Ps. 86.8. "He that built all things, is God." The work of redemption, therefore, manifests the Author to be a divine character, as being manifestly a divine work. But if this same divine character did not really stand related to another divine character, who had not only an equal property with him in all things, but at the same time such an interest in him, as that he also should be, in a certain sense, his property

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    though not his creature; he could neither be sent by him as the greatest possible instance of his love to a guilty world; nor yet could there be another, who by virtue of absolute independent dignity and supremacy, possessed such an entire, original, independent right and property in all things, as to be justly qualified and entitled to support the dignity of the supreme claimant; to whom every act of obedience or worship might justly and properly revert, to the glory of the divine nature, and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned; that is to say, of the Son and Spirit, and of the whole rational creation. So that while the Son actually submitted to a state infinitely beneath his essential dignity, that he might become like one of us, both as to our state and nature a (the pollution of sin only excepted), and of course, resigned for a time; and in consequence of this relation, things equal to his essentual dignity; there was another, into whose hands, and to whose glory he could make the surrender; who, as was said above, by virtue of his supreme dignity and dominion as also of paternal superority, was duly qualified with every essential qualification to claim and support all the honors of Deity, and ultimately to do justice to all concerned; namely, to himself, and to his son, to his redeemed, and to the obsequious angels, who worshipped their Lord Creator in the manger, in the wilderness, in the garden, and in the tomb. Thus we see that God is not only known by his works; but also in this last great work of redemption, the deep things of God are so clearly manifested, that every rational intelligent mind that receives the discovery of it, is necessarily gratified and delighted with the rationality and beautiful consistency of this work, with the revelation which God has been graciously pleased to make of himself in relation to it.

    Upon the whole, by means of this revelation, we clearly and evidently perceive, 1st. That there are three distinct, intelligent agents, subsistencies, or personal characters, in the one Jehovah, [our] Alehim. The Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit, mutually, reciprocally, essentially and inseparably related so that the one naturally and necessarily infers and supposes the other, as the Father and Son; and as the Spirit of the Father and the Son, and as the Spirit of Alehim, which latter word being the plural in the Hebrew (a language that has a dual number) must necessarily imply three at the least; and we know certainly by subsequent revelation, that it implies no more; wherefore the Spirit Alehim or of Alehim, must necessarily be the Spirit of the Father and the Son. The same thing also is necessarily implied, when he is called the Spirit of Jehovah.

    2. That in the exercise of one and the same divine energy or efficient will, they are inseparable operators in every work; for the Father created all things by his son, but not without the influence and operation of the Spirit; for God said, that Alehim said, let us make man in our own image, after our likeness; the Spirit of Jehovah hath made me, said Job; and the breath or spiration of the

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    Almighty hath given me life -- by his Spirit he garnished the Heavens. Again, the Father that dwelleth in me, he doth the works. My Father worketh hirtherto and I work. If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, &c. Thus the Father worketh in and by the Son, and the Son by the Spirit; so that there is one operation of Father, Son and Spirit, in every work; not indeed a co-operation as of conjoint and coequal workers; but rather a succession or process of successive and subordinate operation, not in respect of time but of order; for the Sun can do nothing of himself, but from the Father also the Spirit can do nothing of himself, but from the Son; for whatsoever things the Spirit doth, the Father and the Son doth by him. Wherefore the Spirit works from the Father by the Son: for every purpose, act or volition, is primarily and originally in the Father, derivately and by essential participation the same in the Son, next and mediately by or through the Son the same in the Spirit, and at the very same instant, being one and the selfsame act or volition in each of the divine characters; but, as to the external effect, brought forth or accomplished by the immediate effeciency of the Spirit; who is therefore called the Power of the Highest, and the Finger of God. "If I with the Finger of God cast out devils," &c.

    3. That the divine characters, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit co-exist under such relations as not only necessarily suppose and declare their essential unity, but also, with equal evidence and perspicuity, demonstrates a relative subordination according to the manner and order of their subsistence and operation. For the Son saith, My Father is greater than I -greater than all. Neither is he that is sent, greater than he that sent him. Which necessarily implies that in some respect he is inferior to him. And of the Father only it is said, that he is the only true God, as possessing absolutely and independently, in and of himself, all the perfections of Deity, of which also the Son & Spirit necessarily partake in and with him, because they are his Son and Spirit, and therefore necessarily partake with him in the selfsame individuall nature or essence; though inferior to him in the manner and order of their subsistence and operation; as deriving their subsistence from him, and subordinate in their operations to him, for the Son can do nothing of himself; neither doth the Spirit speak of himself, as the prime Original and orginating principle of the counsels and work which he reveals and exhibits. But the Father by his only begotten Son, the brightness of his glory and the character of his subsistence, or express image of his person, made the worlds; and by his Spirit he garnished the heavens, or replenished the visible creation with glory and beauty; also by his Spirit, the Son reveals to us from the Father the purpose and counsels of his unsearchable wisdom and will, even the deep things of God. The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants the things that must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; and immediately, saith he, I was

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    in the Spirit. Thus we conceive, the Father to be the first and leading distinction, subsistence or character in the divine nature, the very origin of all will, purpose and operation, which are in and by the Son determined to an actual execution; and in due order and succession, according to the divine purpose, actually accomplished by the Holy Spirit; so that the same will, power and purpose of the Father is in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, who divideth to every on severally as he will; or who communicates and dispenses to all created beings, whatever degree, excellency or perfection of being, they possess. So that while according to the manner and order of subsistence and operation, the Son is of the Father, and the Holy Ghost of both, by an essential physical influence peculiar to the divine nature, which we pretend not to comprehend, much less to explain; they remain simply and essentially one in nature, will and operation; so that there is but simple, individual and undivided nature, will and operation of God throughout the vast immensity of his works. Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our Alehim is one Jehovah.

    4. Futhermore, from the same sacred source it is evident that each of the divine characters has a power and a glory peculiar to himself, by which they are distinguishable both amongst themselves and to the creatures. It is the glory of the Father to be the first or leading character in the divine nature, the very source and origin of the subordinate distinctions in that nature, and of every external work; it is the glory of the Son to be the second character or distinction in the divine nature, even the express character of the Father's subsistence, in whom every purpose and work comes to be determined to an actual execution, ready to be exhibited or brought forth into actual accomplishment: thus it is written, "According to the eternal purpose which he purported in Christ Jesus our Lord, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in ine head, all things in Christ." It is the glory of the Holy Spirit to be essentially conscious of all those designs, counsels and purposes, perfectly to comprehend them all, and to exhibit them in their proper times by an actual accomplishment. Again, it is the peculiar glory of the Father to have such a Son; it is the glory of the Son to be the very essential and only begotten Son of such a Father; to be the brightness of his glory, the very or express image of his subsistence: it is the glory of the Holy Spirit to be the Spirit of Jehovah; the animating principle of creation, -- "The Spirit or Spiration of the Almighty hath given me life." "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; yea, it is his peculiar glory to be the immediate efficient of all divine counsels and purposes, so as to give actual birth and being to all the mighty and wonderful works of God. Lastly, it is the glory of the Father to be the ultimate object of all rational worship and adoration; it is the glory of the Son to reveal the Father, and to be the instructive and glorious medium of all rational worship and adoration addressed to the only true God; it is the glory of the Holy Spirit to prepare, capacitate

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    and qualify rational subjects, for these exalted blissful exercises, by filling them with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ; thus exciting and leading them to all holy adoration. So we see, that there is one glory of the Father, another glory of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost: also that to worship acceptably, we must worship the Father through the Son by the Spirit, to whose immediate agency we are directed to look for all holy dispositions and intellectual abilities, to know, to love and adore both the Father and the Son, according to the proper character; also, to love reverence and adore himself as the immediate author of life and light in us. Wherefore, we cheerfully and heartily, gratefully and gladly say, Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. To the one Jehovah and Alehim, or Creator, who in the beginning said let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and who also said, let us redeem and restore guilty, apostate, rebellious man, to the enjoyment of our justly lost and foreited image, favor and fellowship; to their original state of due subordination, and dutiful subjection to their Almighty Author, the three-one God in Christ, who will thenceforth be the fixed centre and adequate medium of the ambition and fruition of the divine glory, will be the ultimate object of the undivided praises of the whole rational creation of holly intelligences, world without end. For the Lord God and the Lord will be the temple and light thereof.

    Thus, in the direct and refulgent light of that special revelation which God has been graciously pleased to make of himself to us, we clearly and evidently perceive, not only what God is in and to his creatures; but also what he is in and to himself, as the self-existent, self-sufficient, independent God, infinitely, eternally and unchangeably sufficient to himself; as being the centre, the foundation and fruition of all blessedness and glory in and of himself, in the mutual and reciprocal loves, delights and complacencies of a triune Jehovah. The Father delighting in the Son, and the Son in the Father, and the holy Spirit equally delighting in, and delighted in, by both. "The Lord or Jehovah possessed me, says the Lord (or Wisdom) in the beginning of his ways, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. Then was I by him, as one brought up with him, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self. with the glory that I had with thee before the world was. Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world."

    By this light of the knowledge of the being, blessedness and glory of God, with which he has favored us, we are enabled to detect and avoid the many dangerous errors which are afloat in the world. In opposition to which, we state and infer as follows: First.

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    That it is demonstrably evident from what the Holy Scriptures declare concerning Jehovah our Alehim, that those who maintain, that as there is but one divine being or essence; so there is but one divine agent or active intelligence existing in that essence: not only reject the testimony which God has given of himself; but that they do also at the same time reject the very foundation of the Christian religion which depends upon the truth of that testimony. And the same holding the foresaid opinion, seem willing to be thought Christians by accomodating their notion of the Supreme Being to the Christian phraseology, supposing the names Father, Son and Spirit, only to mean so many distinct official attributes in relation to the different capacities in which God is pleased to act toward his creatures in the economy of salvation; yet nothing can be more inconsistent with the most express testimony of the Holy Scriptures: for it is most expressly declared that the Father sent the Son; that he came forth from the Father: that he returned to the Father; and that when he should depart, he would send, and actually did send, his disciples another Comforter from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth; to instruct and lead them unto all truth; and to convince the world of sin, of righteousness; and of judgment by their ministry.

    2d. That those who deny the essential sonship of the Word or Logos, as not being the essential and only begotten Son of the Father; or the essential derivation of the Spirit from both, as to his subsistence and official character; though they profess to believe, and do acknowledge that there are three distinct intelligent agents, or subsistencies in the one Jehovah; yet they do, nevertheless, virtually and necessarily acknowledge three Gods.

    3d. So likewise do all those, who, though they profess to believe the doctrine of the essential relations of the sacred three, declared in the Holy Scriptures, yet deny the relative and necessary subordination of the Son and Spirit, as therein revealed; declaring, that distinctly and separately considered, they are equal to the Father in the underived and independent power and glory. Whereas, according to the expressions of a very ancient creed, it appears from the Holy Scriptures, "that the Father is of none, neither made nor created, nor begotten; the Son is of the Father alone, neither made nor created, but begotten; the Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding." So that, distinctly considered, they are not equal in respect of underived subsistence, power and glory. Thus they are essentially one, even the one Jehovah, and essentially equal in that respect. Wherefore, it is evident that there is one glory of, or peculiar to the Father, another peculiar to the Son, and another to the Holy Ghost, as above declared. Indeed, were not this evidently the case, there would most certainly be; not three relative subsistencies in the one Jehovah, characteristically distinct; but three Jehovahs; or three self-existent, independent and eternal Gods.

    4th. That he that receiveth not this doctrine, as it is now revealed,

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    hath not the true God. For whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; and consequently he that denieth the Holy Spirit, rejecteth both the Father and the Son; for he is essentially the Spirit of them both; the one Spirit that is and works by and from them both, in all external operations; Jehovah working by his Spirit in the hearts of his people, both to will and to do of his good pleasure, according to his promise, Ezek. 36, 27. Now, as the sacred name Jehovah manifestly includes the Father, Son and Spirit, when Jehovah says, "I will put my Spirit within you;" it is manifestly declared, that the Father and the Son send the Spirit, and work by him in the hearts of this people intended in the promise.

    As for the objections and difficulties that have been suggested in opposition to the above doctrine; or the attempts that have been made to obviate them by illustrations and explanations of what is not revealed concerning it: Christians have nothing to do with such things. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed, belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this Law -- Deut. 29, 29. That we may "honor the Son even as we honor the Father." That we may believe, worship and obey a three-one God, into whose blessed and glorious Name we have been baptized. Wherefore, we conceive that we have nothing to do with the definitions and disputes which have originated about the eternal generation of the Son, and procession of the Holy Ghost; nor yet with that semiarian doctrine about the pre-existence of the human soul of the Redeemer, before the creation of the world; nor with any such vain speculations. We believe that, whatever God is, the same he always was and ever will be during all duration, world without end, as his peculiar and incommunicable name, Jehovah, manifestly declares. To all those, then, that object to the above doctrine, as unintelligible, irrational, and the like, our only reply is, has God so revealed himself to us in the Holy Scriptures. If so, let God be true, but, in our estimation, every man that opposes his word, a liar. In the mean time, as a solid reply to all such cavils, we assert with the evidence of demonstration, that the divine essence is as incomprehensible as the manner of the divine existence, or that the natural and essential attributes of Jehovah are as much above, or, if you will admit the expression, as contrary to our reason, as any thing contained in the above doctrine. Is it asked, how can one and the self-same indivisible and undivided essence exist in three distinct personal characters? We might as justly ask in reply, how can the divine essence exist at all; or, how can there be any such thing as an eternal self-existent being? Again, is it asked how the Divine Being can exist in and to itself, under a threefold relation; or, how one and the self-same being can exist in three distinct intelligent subsistencies or personal characters, each of them still continuing to be the self-same individual Being, actually three, yet severally one. We might, with equal propriety,

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    ask, how something can be produced from nothing; how dead matter can be animated; or how the Almighty could produce, out of mere nonentity, empty nothing, a universe of inanimate, sensitive and rational beings; of the multitude and magnitude of which we can form no conception at all. Is it farther queried, how could the Father bring forth or exhibit his Son in human nature, or how could divinity and humanity be so united as to constitute but one individual person. We might as rationally query, How can soul and body, matter and mind be so united, as to make but one individual being or person.

    Again, if it be asked, how can the Father, Son and Spirit be distinct intelligent agents, and yet be so united in every work, that one and the self-same work should, in every instance, be equally the work of each. We might as reasonably ask, how can Jehovah fill heaven and earth; yea, the vast immensity of the universe, so as to be really and actually present in every place, or with every creature at all times; and yet have no relation either to time or place; or, how he could so perfectly know every thought, word and action; every state, condition and circumstance of the countless millions of his rational creatures, before they had a being, that he can receive no new information from or concerning them forever. Yet, all those things we must certainly believe concerning the Divine Being, existence, operations, knowledge, &c. &c. upon the evidence which God has afforded us, without being able to account for any of them, or at all to shew how they are or can be. Now: when these and a thousand other queries respecting God and his works, which might be suggested, are satisfactorily solved, we suppose there will then remain no difficulty in relation to the doctrine under consideration. In the mean time, let us reason; believe and act, consistently. Let us not reject any thing that is revealed because we cannot comprehend it or conceive how it is; while we profess to hold other things, which we must acknowledge to be equally incomprehensible.

    Upon the whole, we conclude, that as Christians and rational creatures, we have to do with the divine testimony and works; that what these clearly exhibit to our understandings concerning God, it is our duty and privilege to know and acknowledge -- and that for the most part, these resolve themselves into certain truths or facts; which, when perceived and admitted, become to us principles of rational, moral and religious action; and, as such, influence our conduct, in relation both to God, ourselves and our neighbors; and thus designate our characters. That, therefore, it is not so much, if at all, with the HOW that we have to do, as with the WHAT. Thus, what is God; or what has he declared concerning himself? and not how can he be such? Again -- What has God done? What is he doing? What will he do? What would he have us to do? What is our actual condition before him? Must we be born of water and of the Spirit, in order to become the subjects of his kingdom. Will there indeed be a resurrection of the

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    dead, both of the just and unjust; and hath God in very deed, appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained? These, and such like enquiries concerning all that we should know, believe and practice, are highly interesting to us. Not so the enquiry, how can these things be? as was said by some, "How shall the dead be raised, and with what body shall they come?" "How can a man be born when he is old?" &c. &c.

    The curious would do well to read, for their reproof and instruction, in righteousness, the answers originally given to those foolish and impertinent inquiries.

    We conclude with observing, in reference to the subject of this letter, that the discovery which God has made of himself to us in the economy of salvation, is quite consistent with our natural notion of the divine blessedness. It is the common impression of mankind, that God is the happiest of all beings; yea, that he is superlatively so. Accordingly, he is revealed to us, not as a solitary, unknown and unknowable being, destitute of the enjoyment of equal and adequate society -- a privilege this, which seems so essential to rational satisfaction and blessedness; that, comparatively, we can conceive of but little or no satisfaction or happiness, where this is not the case; and that the more perfect the being, the greater the privation; as was evidently the case with Adam, in his paradisiacal state, before God provided a companion, an help meet for him. But according to the revelation which we have of God, he never existed in such a desolate solitary condition; and we are sure that if he had, creation could never have furnished him with a suitable companion. Is he not infinitely more exalted above the most exalted creature, than that creature is above nothing? If so, he must find his society in himself: accordingly, it is written, "In the beginning, God said, let us make man in our image." "Then was I by him, as one brought up with him,["] saith the Logos, "I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was." Again, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts. No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; neither knoweth any man who the Father is, but the Son;" also "the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God." Thus the Divinity is revealed to us as possessing in itself such a plenitude of self-sufficiency -- such a perfection of blessedness as to admit of no accession, no addition -- as eternally existing in the reciprocation of infinite and ineffable delights. Now, does not this appear to be the peculiar glory, yea, the consummative perfection of the divine nature, to contain within itself such a fullness and blessedness -- by virtue of which, God was essentially, independently and eternally glorified and enjoyed in and by himself before the world was; comprehending and comprehended, loving and beloved in a degree and

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    manner suitable to himself, that is, to an infinite degree, adequate to his infinite perfection; which he can never be by any nature inferior to himself, how exalted soever it may be in its intellectual faculties; nor indeed by all the creatures collectively considered. "Glory be to the Father," &c. &c. "This is the true God and Eternal Life." "And these three are one." "Hear, O Israel Jehovah," &c. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Amen.
    MATHIAS LUCE, Moderator.    

    NOTE. -- Near the close of the fourth inference we have observed; that to worship God acceptably, that is, according to the spirit & tenor of the Gospel dispensation, under which we live, we must worship the Father through the Son, by the Spirit. In relation to this we would further observe, that although this way of approaching God, affords us the most complete view of the principle, the manner, and ultimate object of Gospel worship, which is the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit; yet it is abundantly evident, that we are by no means restricted to this precise form of address in every act of religious worship; for sometimes the Son himself is the only specified object of address, as in the case of Stephen, whose departing prayer was, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit;" so that as Christians we not only worship the Father through the Son, by the Spirit, but also the Son himself through the spirit; for without the Spirit, we can worship neither the Father nor the Son. Moreover, the Father and the Son, in his mediatory character, are sometimes presented to us as conjoint objects of religious worship. To him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, &c. Whereas the Spirit in his distinct official capacity, is no where presented to us as the immediate and specified object of address, though we are every where taught to believe in him as a divine character, and so ascribe to him immediate agency, the entire glory of our immediate and actual salvation, as God that dwelleth and worketh in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. The reason of this distinction in our worship, in relation to the divine Spirit, we humbly presume, is founded in the following considerations. 1st. That he himself being the prime efficient, the immediate exciting cause and principle of all acceptable worship and adoration in us, it would appear inconsistent with this state of the case to call upon him to perform any part of his office in or towards us: as if we, by virtue of some inherent principle, of which he was not the immediate author, could desire his influence, or act towards him for the obtaining of that, without the possession of which we could not be supposed capable of acting at all in a spiritual

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    manner. 2d. That supposing us excited by his influence to desire farther and higher degrees of his gracious communications, it would appear, nevertheless, inconsistent with his office and the relation in which he stands to the Father and to the Son, to suppose that he would excite and lead us to terminate our worship in himself, as if he sought his own distinct personal glory, and not the glory of those who sent him; even as the son did not seek his own glory, but the glory of the Father which sent him -- and who has also assured us, that the spirit would act in like manner, and from the same principle from which he himself acted. "When he the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that will he speak. He will glorify me, for he will receive of mine and will shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore, said I, he will take of mine, and will shew it unto you: Hence it is evident, that the proper and immediate office and work of the Holy Spirit in the economy of salvation is to glorify the Father and the Son; even as it is of the Son to glorify the Father and the Spirit; and of the Father to glorify his Son and Spirit; that we through his grace, might be duly instructed, and ultimately led, to glorify and enjoy distinctly and unitedly a three-one God in a participation of the mutual, reciprocal and ineffable delights of Father, Son and Spirit, which they had in relation to our salvation before the world was. Wherefore, we conclude (that whatever invocations or forms of address, whether in hymns or prayers, wherewith men have thought proper to address the Holy Spirit, not expressly contained in the Holy Scriptures, are not of the Spirit, but are innovations in the worship of God, and therefore ought not to be adopted; that we rightly worship the Holy Spirit, when we ascribe to him whatever the Scriptures declare concerning his character, office and work, and earnestly supplicate the Father, through the Son or the Son himself, to send forth his Holy Spirit, to abide with us and dwell in us forever; that we may thus be builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit; and finally, by ascribing to him, together with the Father & Son, the entire and undivided glory of our salvation. And that, therefore, in the mean time, we ought to reject as unscriptural, all invocations or forms of address, immediately directed to the Holy Spirit, as innovations in the worship of God who alone has a right to prescribe both the matter and manner of his own worship, even of that worship which he will be graciously pleased to accept as right and pleasing in his sight.

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    The elders and messengers of the Redstone Baptist Association, convened at Cross-Creek, Brooke county, (Va.) August 30th, 31st and Sept. 1st, 1816.

    To sister associations, with whom we usually correspond, send Christian salutation.

    Dearly beloved Brethren in the Lord,

    GOD, whose mercies never fail, has favored us with another interview with each other, in which we have been privileged to enjoy sweet peace among ourselves. While the communications from the several churches were read, our feelings were various. With some we had much occasion for joy -- with others, we had to sympathize and mourn. Still there was rather more of prosperity apparent in the communications than otherwise.

    Among the brethren of a number of the churches, there has much missionary spirit appeared; and we think they have manifested a degree of praise-worthy liberality; and even where nothing has been done, we cannot attribute it so much to a spirit of opposition, as to a want of better information on the subject.

    Dear brethren, when we look back but a few years, and contemplate the state of our country as it then appeared, and contrast it with what it now is, we are astonished at the kind mercies of God towards us. Then it was a wilderness; now it is thickly settled and highly improved. Then it was the haunt of savages and the wild beast of the forest; now it is the habitation of civilized men and women. Here the everlasting gospel is proclaimed, its ordinances administered, and many there are who embrace it in the love of it, and subject their souls to the domination of its glorious author. Some of the blessed things that have been spoken of Zion, have been fulfilled among us. The cords of the Redeemer's kingdom have been lengthened, and the stakes strengthened. The glorious Sun of Righteousness has risen upon our land, and the darkness of Heathenism has been driven far back into the regions of the west. "The stone that was cut out of the mountains without hands," has rolled and continues to roll on with increased glory. God Almighty grant that it may roll on with increasing growth, until the whole earth is filled with its glory!

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    We desire, dear brethren, a continuance of your kind correspondence. It is one of the greatest sources of felicity that we have here below. Until we arrive at the Heavenly world, we would desire to keep the correspondence with our brethren here, leaving it to Him who inhabits Eternity, to point out the mode of communication with the spirits of the just in heaven, among whom we have a "lively hope," we shall obtain a place through Him who loved the church, and gave himself a ransom for her.

                            MATHIAS LUCE, Moderator

    1817 Meeting
    Peters Creek
    Washington Co., PA

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  • [ 1 ]


    OF  THE

    Redstone  Baptist  Association.


    By  Appointment,


    Washington  County, (Pa.)

    September 2d, 3d, & 4th, 1817.


    W A S H I N G T O N,  P a.

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    TUESDAY SEPTEMBER, 2, 1817.      
    1. At 2 o'clock P. M. Brother James Estep delivered the introductory sermon from Ephes. 4 Chap. 3d. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

    Adjourned till Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock A.M.

    2. The meeting was opened by Brother Luce by singing and prayer.

    Letters from the Churches were read.

    Note. Ministers' names are in small CAPITALS, and annexed to the Churches where they respectively labour. Those marked * were not present. From Churches marked thus + we received no intelligence. A dash -- denotes no settled minister.

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    This Web-page is still under construction:

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    3. Appointed brother J. Estep Moderator, and brother A. Campbell Clerk.

    4. Appointed brethren Estep, A. Campbell, D. Phillips, B. Stone and and Pritchard a committee to arrange the business for the association.

    Adjourned till 2 o'clock, P.M.

    During this adjournment a missionary sermon was delivered by brother Peck the missionary, before the association and a large congregation, after which there was a collection made for missionary purposes amounting to 56 dollars 36 cents.

    2 o'clock -- met agreeably to adjournment.

    5. The following brethren were invited to take a seat in this association, viz. Brother Clark of Beaver association, brother Peck missionary, brother T. Campbell of Pittsburgh, brother Hadington and brother Segar of New York.

    6. Resolved that the next association be held at Connelsville on the 1st Tuesday of Sept. 1818 -- Introductory sermon to commence at 12 o'clock.

    7. Appointed the following circular meetings. -- First at Horse Shoe 2d Lords Day in October, brethren D. Philips and B. Stone to attend. -- Second at Plumb Run 3d Lords Day in July, brethren Estep and Luce to attend. -- Third at Turkey Foot on the 1st Lords Day in July, brethren Estep and Frey to attend. -- Fourth at Heads of Whitely on the 1st Lords Day in May, brethren B. Stone, J. Frey and J. Patton to attend.

    8. Received a letter from the Beaver association requesting co-operation in support of a seminary for the education of candidates for the gospel ministry.

    9. Appointed brethren Estep, Wheeler and A. Campbell a committee to consider the letter from the Beaver association and to make a report to the association.

    Adjourned till 9 o'clock to-morrow.

    Met according to adjournment -- brother Seger opened the association by singing and prayer.

    10. The circular letter prepared by bother A. Campbell was read and accepted without amendment.

    11. Having received several charges and complaints against the doctrines maintained by the Church of Brush Run and more especially against a sermon preached before last association by Alex'r. Campbell one of their elders.

    Resolved that having heard a written declaration of their faith as well as verbal explanations relative to the charges made against him, we are fully satisfied with the declarations of said Church.

    12. Received 20 copies of the third report of the Baptist board of foreign missions, and distributed them amongst the Churches.

    13. Appointed brother A. Campbell to preach the introductory sermon next association.

    14. Appointed brother J. Estep to write the circular letter for next year. +

    15. Appointed brother Wheeler to superintend the printing of the minutes.

    16. Resolved that the money this day collected after the missionary sermon, be delivered to brother Peck the missionary.

    17. Appointed brethren D. Philips, B. Stone and H. Spears a committee to settle with the former treasurers of this association.

    18. The letter from the Secretary of the Baptist board of Foreign Missions was presented and read by brother Peck.

    19. The committee to whom was referred the letter from the Beaver association reported as follows: That this association approve of the object of "The Ohio Baptist Education Society," and that it be recommended to the Churches of this association to take the subject under their consideration; and to aid the object more fully, that an agent be appointed in this association to receive such sums as may be to

    + Thro' the hurry of business the association neglected to appoint a person to write the corresponding letter for this year.

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    contributed for that purpose & that he forward the money to the board of said society.

    20. The association adopted the above report and appointed brother Wheeler as agent for the above purpose.

    The association was closed by brother Estep, by prayer.
    JAMES ESTEP, Moderator.      

    List of the contributions of the Churches and Societies to aid the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.

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    To the Churches in connexion with the Redstone Baptist Association the following Circular is addressed.

      In our last circular letter we addressed you on the first, and most fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion. The doctrine respecting the sacred and sublime revelation of Father, Son and Spirit in the one incomprehensible Jehovah; the only living and true God, into whose name we have been baptized. We are now to call your attention to a subject next in order to, and inseparably connected with the former, viz: "the will or purpose of the Most High in creating angels and men, as revealed in the sacred scriptures, as the end of all his works." If rightly investigated, this subject will open to our view, many mysteries in the sacred volume, interpret and vindicate the ways of Providence, and will exhibit the grand ultimatum or [real] destiny of all events in earth and heave.

    When we attempt to think of the Eternal our thoughts immediately turn to his perfections, these perfections are pourtrayed in his works and in his word. Of [course] we may acquire some knowledge, but of the essence or being of the Almighty, we can obtain no knowledge, at least in this present life. Limited, however, as our minds are in thinking of God, when we conceive of him our thoughts burst the narrow confines of time and space, and on the wings of faith soar beyond the morning of creation and meditate on God before he had formed the earth or stretched forth the heavens, yea we can conceive of him existing alone, blessed and independent, inhabiting eternity, before the morning stars sang together or angel lisped his praise. Rational enquiry demands where then were the legions of angels, the numberless generations of men, with all the works and events of six or seven thousand thousand years? Revelation replies, they had no existence, save in the purpose of him who says, I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

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    declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

    In submitting to your consideration a few thoughts on this interesting subject, we shall attempt to propose, and answer a few pertinent enquiries, the first of which shall be -- Has God any purpose or determination respecting his creatures?

    In answer to this inquiry we would remark that the terms[:] purpose, counsel, and decree, occur frequently in the scriptures, and are synonymously used to denote the determination or intention of a rational agent concerning its own actions, or those of others; and are so used when applied to God. The word decree has frequently a respect to the determination of the mind expressed in word or writing, but primarily has a respect to the intention or appointment in the mind. Now it must be observed that every rational action; or every action of a rational agent, is the result of a previous determination of the mind of the agent. And herein is the essential difference betwixt the actions of a rational agent, and the actions, or movements of a machine, or of inanimate matter. The former ate the effects of determination or volution in the agent, the latter are the effects of extrinsic causes. A wheel turns, a tree falls, the waters move, the earth trembles and the window blow as they are affected by external causes, and not from any motive or intention of their own. But a man or a spirit acts from a determination of their own, which determination or purpose is the result of the exercise of reason, as is manifest to all without the need of [making] physical speculations.

    A human action without an intention is not properly the man's own; as for instance, if a man superior in strength, put a sword in my hand, and with his strength thrust that sword into the vitals of my neighbour, or if I asleep, or in the delirium of a fever, should do so, this action not proceeding from a proper determination of my mind, is not properly my own, and is not considered the subject of blame. Hence it is that the laws of all nations ancient and modern as well as the law of God, discriminate betwixt those actions resulting from intention or purpose in the mind; and those resulting from extrinsic causes. The former are the subjects of praise or blame, the latter are not, neither can be. 'Tis obvious that 'tis owing to human frailty, that any of our actions are the result of external causes; and therefore disembodied spirits and angels act always from their own purpose or intention. Now, as all our proper actions, or the actions of our proper selves are the result of a previous purpose, or determination of the soul, so the actions of angels, and of God himself, in whose moral image we were fashioned, are the result of previous determination, or of a purpose formed in the order of nature, or of time, previous to the action.

    We may also add, that it is the intention or purpose in the mind of the agent that characterizes the action, so as to make it good or bad; for the same action is either good or bad, according to the intention of the agent. For example, if a physician amputates a limb, to prevent a mortification, 'tis a good action, but if a neighbor amputates a limb, to avenge a quarrel, 'tis a bad action; now the action is the same in both, viz: the amputation of a limb, but the purposes or intentions are not; hence the purpose of the agent characterizes the action. From what has been said, the following conclusions, are, we deem inevitable, viz: That an intention or purpose of the mind is essential to every rational action, that it is the intention or purpose of the mind, that distinguishes the actions of a man from the actions of a machine, or inanimate matter, and that it is the purpose that constitutes them good or bad. Now, if God be rational; (as nature cries aloud through all her works, and as revelation indubitably asserts,) then every action or work of God is the result of a purpose or intention, formed in his own mind, anterior in the order of nature, or of time. For though there can be no past, nor future in the purposes of him, who is of one mind forever, yet in the execution of them in time they are prior and posterior to each other.

    Though sound reason asserts, and maintains the doctrines now stated, 'tis however necessary that our minds should be established in this truth, not merely through

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    the evidence of reason, but from the testimony of him, who alone perfectly comprehends himself. Let us hearken then to what the spirit saith by the Prophets and Apostles. Is. 14, 24-27. -- The Lord of Hosts hath sworn saying, surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; as I have purposed, so shall it stand -- The Lord of Hosts hath purposed, who shall dis-annul it? So we read of his Eternal purpose, and of the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Now, there are many devices in the heart of man, but the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand -- for saith he, I will do all my pleasure. From what has been said, as it is unnecessary to multiply testimonies, where one is sufficient, it appears manifest, that God has a purpose or determination, respecting all his works or creatures, which purpose is the plan in his own mind of all that he hath done or shall do; of all that he hath suffered or shall suffer to be done to Eternity. The first enquiry being answered as far as convenient at present, we shall propose the second, viz: -- What are the chief properties of the Divine purposes?

    The first peculiarity of the Divine purposes, is, they are all as ancient as God himself. We are all older than our purposes. Some of us are ten, twenty or forty years older than our present purposes. The reason is obvious, we are continually increasing in knowledge, and we now know or think we know, more perfectly than formerly, therefore we abandon one purpose and adopt a new one. This is a plain evidence of our weakness and folly. Not so the "Ancient of days," "whose understanding is infinite." He knows no more now than he always knew, therefore he has no reason to change his purpose. If we could suppose he knew any thing now, which he did not formerly know, we might suppose that there is something which he will yet know, of which [6] he is at present ignorant, and uninformed, which may be so important a discovery, as to cause a revolution in his mind, deeply affecting the whole universe. Such a supposition is derogatory to the Divine character, levels the Most High, as low as we, makes the infinite, finite: and circumscribes every perfection by the scale which measures ours. There cannot be any encrease or diminution with God, man is still on the encrease in knowledge and is continually altering his purposes till nature dissolves and dies. But to him who is perfect, time, experience, Eternity adds nothing. The purposes of God then are as ancient as himself, and are therefore called by the Apostle Paul "his Eternal purpose."

    A second peculiarity of the Divine purposes is, they are independent. Man is dependent, in forming his purposes, on a variety of circumstances, on past experience, on experience of others, and on the advice of others. -- But saith the Spirit, "With whom took he counsel, who instructed and taught him in the path of judgment?" Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord? No, he depends not on any for advice, for saith the Apostle, "he purposed in himself, and he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."

    A third peculiarity of the Divine purpose is, they are immutable. Every thing in this world is continually changing, ourselves, our thoughts, our purposes; he alone, who is God of Jacob can say, "I change not," he alone is of one mind and the thoughts of his heart are the same to all generations.

    There are but two reasons why any creature alters its purpose -- these are ignorance and imbecility. If I abandon my determination it is either because I perceive it is wrong or that I am not able to accomplish it. No man ever desisted from any of his purposes but upon a conviction that it was not the best, consequently wrong, or that he discovered insurmountable impediments to his accomplishing it. But who dare say that is "excellent in counsel and wonderful in working" ever departed from his purpose upon a conviction that it was not the best, or that impediments beyond his controul obliged him to desist from it. On such an hypothesis his wisdom and power would be impeached and disgraced, no longer could it be said that he is of infinite understanding, and of Almighty power. If then we could imagine for a moment that God's will or intention ever changes -- We must at the same time dispute the plainest evidence of reason, and earliest testimony of revelation.

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    We must say that his understanding is finite and that there is something too powerful for him to oppose. But from what has been said, we may safely assert, that the foundation of God standeth sure -- that his purpose is immutable, that the Lord has purposed, who shall disannul it? -- His counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure.

    To avoid prolixity we would enumerate in one particular the remaining grand peculiarities of the Divine purposes, they are wise, they are good, and shall in due time be accomplished. These properties of the Divine counsels are asserted in the following testimonies of holy scriptures -- "He is wise in counsel, he is good and he doeth good, hath he said and shall he not do it, hath he spoken and shall it not come to pass, Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass when the Lord commandeth it not: I have purposed and I will do it. I will do all my pleasure. For he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him in the armies of heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth. All is good yea very good.

    Having shewn what the peculiarities of the Divine purposes are, we now proceed to a third question, viz: What are the objects of the counsels or purposes of God? -- To this query we shall give the following answer -- We would observe in the first place that the objects of the Divine purposes are God himself, and his creatures. Respecting himself and his creatures he has purposed certain things. But as his purposes concerning himself, are better understood on considering what he has purposed concerning his creatures we shall attend first to these. Every thing in the universe is the creature of God, apart from himself. Amongst those creatures of God there are two chief orders, viz: angels and men, on whose account all other creatures exist. The events and issue of all other creatures are connected with, and subservient to these. These only are created capable of knowing; and delighting in God. These only are created susceptible of receiving exquisite happiness in contemplating the Divine excellencies. But as the dignity and happiness of these two superior orders depend in some measure on the inferior orders, it was necessary that the Divine purpose should include every creature in the universe. None too minute none too great to be left out or excluded from it. This will appear obvious, from reason and revelation. If we reasonably contemplate this lower world, we shall perceive that all the tribes of animals, visible or invisible to the naked eye, are so many links in the same chain, or steps in the same ladder, up to the creature man. So that if one species of beings should by any means become extinct, the species immediately above it, and dependent on it, would become extinct, and so on, till instead of this fair and well inhabited edifice, we would be presented with a ruined and desolate earth. "Twas therefore necessary for man's sake, for whom the sun shines, the planets move, the sea teems with life, and the earth is replenished with innumerable tribes of animals; we say it was necessary for his sake that the Divine purposes should include every creature, from the gnat, to the mammoth, from the fry, to the whale. To this Revelation agrees when it says, the hairs of your head are numbered. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings and not one of them is forgotten before God.

    Concerning all these creatures, but especially concerning man, God has purposed or determined. The number of each, the properties, times, modes and circumstances of existence. God says the apostle "has determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation.["] Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world. He gave the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment, when he placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, when he had made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of thunder, hence we read of the definite legions of angels, of the elect angels, of the number of man's months, of his appointed time, of his fixed habitation of the last day. And with respect to the souls and Eternal state of all men, the same language runs through the Divine oracles -- hence we read of some appointed unto wrath, and some appointed to obtain salvation through Christ, hence we read

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    of some ordained to eternal life, and some of old ordained to condemnation; of some vessels of mercy, afore prepared unto glory; and some vessels of wrath, fitted unto destruction, of many called, and few chosen; of some from the beginning chosen unto salvation, and some sent unto their own place, by the determinatic counsel and fore-knowledge of God.

    The means also by which these appointments were to be accomplished are as fully the object of the Divine purpose, as the end or event itself. Hence we read, "without holiness no man shall see the Lord;" "except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God" -- ["]he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not the testimony of God shall be damned." "Those that know not God and disobey the gospel shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. In the Divine purposes, the means and the end are inseparably connected and in the accomplishment of these purposes, this connection is, and shall always be visible to all concerned.

    As the answer to the query which has been proposed is deeply involved, in the answer which shall be given to a fourth enquiry we shall previous to our furnishing the answer which has been so far given, proceed to the next, viz:

    What is the end or final purposes of God?

    That God has, or had one ultimate end in creating all things; or in creating angels and men is most evident to the enlightened scripturian. The ultimate end of the irrational or corporeal creation, is for the subserviency of man. The sun, moon and stars, the earth with all its mineral[s,] vegetables and animal productions can answer no higher end, than the conveniency or happiness of man. Man, then, is the ultimate end of all God's lower works. He is the exquisite building of God, and the visible heavens and earth with all their hosts, is but the scaffolding, and this scaffolding must be raised as high, and continued as long as the building is raising, or the family of man is completing. But 'tis not the whole family of man, but the elect part, or remnant according to the election of Grace, for whose sake all things are subservient. The suns career is lengthened, time prolonged, generations multiplied, revolutions accomplished, and the wheels of the universe kept in motion for the elects sake. So that truly or strictly speaking the happiness of the elect, is the final cause, or ultimate end of all material or mundane things. All things saith the Apostle, are yours; Whether Paul, or [Apollos], or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours; -- or for your sake -- And therefore, saith Paul, "I endure all things for the elect's sake."

    But the ultimate end of man, and angel, is something which we have not yet considered. As all things below angels and men are means to promote a certain end, in relation to angels and men, so angels and men themselves, are but means to promote a still higher end, and through them every thing tends to the promotion of that chief end. As every mundane thing is but the scaffolding to the edifice of man, so man and angel are but the scaffolding to a dome, still more majestic and sublime. What then is the final cause, the high end of all the purposes of God, or of all the works of God which we have seen are the effects of his purposes -- the answer we dare not give from all the stores of human wisdom, but let the living oracles declare -- Let the celestial guests who environ the throne of the Highest declare. Let the four and twenty elders that fall down before Him that sitteth on the throne, that worship him that liveth forever and ever, that cast their crowns before the throne -- let them declare it -- saying, ["]Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory, and honor, and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created." In accord with them, Solomon the wisest of men hath said, The Lord hath created all things for himself. Hence, the purposes of God have for their ultimate end, or final cause, his own glory. But it may be justly asked, what is the glory of God? In general terms we would reply, that the manifestation of his excellencies, to beings capable of contemplating them is his glory. Therefore, whatsoever tends to place his excellencies in the most conspicuous light is declarative

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    of his glory. But, to be more particular and explicit, we would affirm, that the glory of God consists in the communication and manifestation of himself, to his rational offspring. What is he himself then, that we way know in what this communication and manifestation of himself consists? Now the Spirit of God which searches all the deep things of God, repeatedly declares, that "God is love." -- and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. -- The same Spirit declares that "God is a Spirit" and "God is truth," which are the only expressions in the Divine volume descriptive of its author. But in relation to the purposes and works of God the Apostle John declares, that "God is love" -- 'Tis then the communication and manifestation of love that is the true glory of God. The communication of this love to his own creatures then seems to have been the glorious purpose of God which issued in the creation of angels and men. They only are fit to be filled with the "fulness of God," and to become partakers of the Divine nature because he constituted them such.

    This love, then, before angels or men were formed, had its existence, for angels and men owe their origin to it; and consequently all the Divine purposes have for their ultimate end, or final cause, the manifestation of love. As we have already seen that "God is love" -- and the glory of God is the manifestation of love; as all things then, were created for the glory of God, they were created for the manifestation of love, which is the ultimate end of all the counsels of God. Now as the Eternal word, or only-begotten of the Father, is the alone proper object of the infinite love of the Father, and capable of reciprocating it, of course then, all the counsels or purposes of God were laid in Christ; who is called the wisdom of God, because he is alone the infinite object, the infinite gift, and infinite means of this love; or the wise means which the Father chose for the display of it. In consequence of this, all things are said to be created for Christ, the infinite object, of the infinite love of the Father. Hence we read that from Eternity, the Eternal Word rejoiced in the habitable parts of this earth, and his delights were with the sons of men, therefore the Father promised eternal life to men in Christ Jesus before the world began. The glory which Christ had with his Father before the world was, consisted in his being infinitely beloved by his Father, as appears from John 17th -- And the glory of his people consisted in their being rendered fit objects for the complacent love of Christ, and in their beholding that love which the Father manifested to Christ. John 17: 24, "Father," says he, "I will, that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them."

    Moral evil however soon appears in the creation, a considerable number of the angels become subject to its consequences -- The human family partakes of it, all the children of men are affected by it. Why then is it suffered to exist, why to extend its dire contagion, why to multiply its requests, why to prolong its reign? -- These are questions, or rather this is one question, which necessarily comes in our way and which is connected with the subject; and no where could it appear in a connection of thought, more advantageous to its due consideration and easy comprehension than when seated by the side of Eternal love, or passing through the august ranks of the heavenly boats, or making its temporary abode on the flowery and ambrosial banks of Eden. 'Tis permitted to exist, to travel so far, to reign so long merely to open a vent for the display of Infinite and Eternal love. Eternal love never could have had a display worthy of itself, had not sin reigned unto death -- Jesus Christ, the unspeakable gift, and fullest exhibition of infinite and everlasting love, never would have been exhibited, had not sin been permitted to exist -- We may then say--
    "What else is evil but the shade
    By wisdom is the picture laid
    To make his love arise and shew

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    Its brightest glory to our view.
    Nor yet could sin forgiving grace
    'Mong all the creatures find a place
    While all was good, no room could be
    For mercy's aid to misery.

    Amongst all the creatures of God, before any of them sinned, there was not one of them that could be a worthy object of infinite love. For this plain reason, that love requires loveliness corresponding with itself. The object of infinite love, must then be an object of infinite loveliness which no finite creature could be, however excellent. When Christ then[,] who was the eternal and infinite object, of the Father's infinite and eternal love, unites with men, and takes their nature into union with himself, they in consequence of this union become the worthy objects of the infinite complacencies of God; had not sin then triumphed unto death, he never would have taken part with flesh and blood.

    Again, the wrath of God against sin, is the jealousy of his infinite love, he hates sin, his wrath is kindled against it, because it is destructive to those he loves -- it cannot hurt him, it hurts those whom he loves, therefore is his wrath kindled against it -- therefore is he called, "the jealous God." Now when Jesus Christ had the sins of his people laid to his account, and stands in their place, an object of the curse of the Eternal Father, Then there is an opportunity afforded for manifesting the infinite jealousy, of the infinite love of God and his son, and to those connected with him in the new covenant. So that sin hath abounded, merely, to the superabounding of grace. And grace abounds, to the glory of love, which is the glory of God; so that the ultimate end of all God's counsels, is the display of love, or of himself. The condemnation of the wicked and his wrath against them, ultimately redounds to the glory of love, in the vessels afore prepared unto glory, inasmuch as an Eternal picture of their own demerit and just desert is exhibited in the punishment of the vessels fitted to destruction. -- And so
           "All partial evil is universal good."
    Truly, we may conclude with the Apostle -- Saying, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory forever -- Amen.

    We may, partially at least, illustrate, by a common similitude, the view of the Divine purposes which have been given in the preceding observations. The whole rational creation may be compared to a great house, of which the material universe, is but the scaffolding. This great edifice was planned and erected by the great artificer, who built all things, God. This house he built, and replenished for himself, for an habitation for himself. The unfading residence of all his excellencies, harmoniously and gloriously displayed. Now as there is in a great house vessels of [gold] and silver and precious stones, and vessels of wood, and stone and earth, the former for the use of the illustrious personage, whose it is, the latter for those who are to minister to his pleasure, to support his dignity, and maintain his glory. So there are in this magnificent palace, a variety of vessels of different natures and quantities, each of which in its own place promotes the general end, the glory of the proprietor and possessor. The great dome is still rising higher and higher; every generation adds to its magnificence, but the cope stone will be laid by and by. The wisdom and ability of the architect secures its completion. He did not like foolish mortals, begin to build without ascertaining whether he were able to finish -- He does not like foolish mortals[,] provide more or less materials, than necessary, not one stone, not one pin, superfluous, or deficient. The materials and the means by which they are to be cemented were ordained of him before time began or the foundation was laid. So that at least he will not have to say, with regret, I began to build, and was not able to finish, or I have provided more materials, and have been at much greater expense, than necessary. I might have finished upon a narrower scale, or at much less expense, a

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    building equally or more suitable to my design. What Christian would not say, that be far from the only wise God! Nay, when the building is finished, when the great day arrives, when the final division is made in the rational creation, and the two great assemblies are placed in their own apartment. There will not be any thing executed that was not designed ere time began; he will not have to say of any apartment -- I determined otherwise concerning you, but you disappointed and frustrated my design -- Nay, he will not have to regret that any thing eventuated contrary to his original design, but will, with the same complacency, as at the beginning declare, all is good, all is just, all is wise, all is right, yea perfectly so.

    We shall now briefly consider the common objections made to this view of the purpose of God. When our minds are exercised in the consideration of this great subject, in the light of revelation, we would scarcely suppose that an objection could exist against it. But, alas! the scripture plainness of any doctrine, is no defence against the cavils of poor, blind, deluded man. There is not a truth in the revelation of God, against which the pride and ignorance of man does not object. Some object against one part, and some against another. But this doctrine has had a host to oppose it, in all ages of the world. From the days of Cain, down to the present age, objections have been urged against it. But shall we reject it? Then might we have been drowned in the deluge, overthrown with the Sodomites, overwhelmed in the Red Sea, destroyed in the wilderness. Then might we have crucified the Lord of Glory, have been buried in Jerusalem's ruins, partook of the plagues of antichrist, and hurled through the wide gate to bottomless perdition -- In all these the majority partook.

    But what are the objections? And from what quarter do they come? 'Tis all one whether we take them from the mouth of Cain, the obstinate Jew, the sceptical Greek -- the infidel Roman, or the modern Armenian. Their objections are one and the same. Moses, in his day, withstood them, Christ silenced them, Paul refuted them, Calvin opposed them, and the saints in all ages have testified against them.

    They are reducible to three. The first comprehends all that is said against this doctrine, on the supposition that it impeaches the Most High with unrighteousness, or partiality, or as a respect[er] of persons. Jesus Christ removes this objection in one sentence, and shows the reason why any make it. (Mat. 20: 15th.) Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? -- Is thy eye evil because I am good? -- An evil eye, is the cause of the objection and pride says it is not lawful for my maker to dispose of me without consulting my pleasure. Here we might pause, but we would pray the objector to survey the visible creation, the providence of God every day towards all his creatures, rational and irrational. If this is beyond his case, let him look into the family of man, and let him shew on his own, or any other principle, how God is impartial in causing one to be born to affluence, another to poverty, one to good health and long life, another to sickness and premature death, one to the exercise of his bodily members, another to blindness, deafness or dumbness, one to the exercise of reason, another to idiotism, one to possess mental powers but a degree inferior to an angel, another but to a degree superior to a brute: -- Let him shew impartiality in this, and then we shall shew impartiality in raising a Lazarus to Abraham's bosom, and permitting a Dives to sink to hell according to his sovereign will. He that is just in that which is little, is in that which is much, and he that is unjust in little, is unjust in much. Let the objector reflect that he might as well accuse his maker with unrighteousness and partiality because he was not Adam, Moses, Solomon, or Paul, as that he is, what he is, or what he shall be. Nay, let him consider that God should not on his own principle, have made him at all, without consulting his pleasure. "Shall the thing formed, say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus!" -- The christian replies to every query that respects a discrimination in the lot of man, in the words of Christ, "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight." But, if the objector would wish to know how the Apostles would, or did, refute this objection, we refer him to Romans the 9, 14

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    The second objection to the purposes of God, as viewed by us, is, that which comprehends all that is said on the ground of praise and blame, or as it was proposed to Paul in the form of a query, "Why doth he yet find fault for who hath resisted his will?" If God has willed every thing that comes to pass, how can he find fault with any, for who could do otherwise than he does? -- This is radically the same with the first, it is an imputation of the righteousness of God, but as it is spoken of as distinct from the former, we shall consider it as a second. We presume that the answer given by the Divine spirit to this objection, will suffice us at present -- We are persuaded the treasuries of human wisdom cannot afford a better. We shall briefly comment on it. It runs in these words, "Nay, but O man who art thou that repliest against God, Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor." -- Now when we consider that this objection was made not against God showing mercy to whom he will, so much as against God hardening whom he will. We must perceive that the Apostle admits the fact when he considers the objection, is an acknowledgment of the truth, against which it is made -- he calls it a reply against God. God does so, but why should a man strive with his maker. Has not God as much power over men and as much right to use them as he pleases, as the potter over the clay? And, if the potter, of the same lump of clay, makes two vessels, the one for an honorable, and the other for a common use, hath not God, at least, the same power, and right over two men, to make the one a vessel of mercy or of honor, and the other a vessel of dishonor, or of wrath, the one to manifest his mercy, & the other his wrath. But there is a distinction here in the Apostles reasoning, which should not be overlooked, and that is betwixt justice and sovereignty -- sovereignty makes a difference amongst men, but justice rewards men according to this difference. -- There is a fitness in the vessel for the use for which it is made, which makes it unfit for any other use -- When the vessels are formed it is meet to put each to its proper use -- While they were in the same lump it was the potter's pleasure that made the difference -- But now justice or correctness requires that each be used according to its fitness. So that we must not confound sovereignty with distributive justice, any more than we must not confound justice with mercy, in our view of the "just God and Savior." While we think abstractly of justice, we cannot conceive of mercy, so when we think abstractly of sovereignty, we cannot conceive of justice. Such are our finite minds when exercised on infinite perfection. But by viewing each perfection in its own place, without confounding it with any other, we can arrive at correct knowledge, as far as it goes, of the Divine character. So that we conclude He is a sovereign, just, and merciful God -- Hence it is not of him that "willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." In connection with this we mention the third objection against the doctrine stated, which is, that it indisposes the mind that admits it, to the use of any means, in order to be saved, nay, that it forbids every effort on the part of man, or endeavor to be saved. That it teaches a man to consider his own actions as the actions of a machine, as unavoidable, and as blameless. This is nearly a kin to the preceding, but as it occupies a distinct place in the ranks of our opponents, it deserves to be distinctly noticed. There is a combination of error in the minds of those who present the objection. They not only disbelieve that God is a sovereign, but also they discredit the testimony of God concerning the natural state of all men. The objection proceeds upon the supposition, that men can do something to obtain salvation, which the purpose or ordination of God prevents them from doing. But the word of God teaches us that the natural man can do nothing to save himself, that he has so destroyed himself, or that his ruin is so complete, that every faculty of his soul is so depraved that until he is born from above all he can do is abominable in the sight of God. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." "The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them." The carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to his law, neither

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    indeed can be. So that instead of this doctrine, being averse to the salvation of any, 'tis only in consequence of its being true, that any could be saved -- So that except the Lord of Hosts had a remnant according to the election of Grace we had all been as Sodom, and perished as the men of Gomorrah -- So then if there be no election, there is no salvation.

    A second error in the objection, is, that the objectors considers that the means of salvation are the efforts of men. Whereas the testimony of God reveals the achievements of Jesus Christ as the means, and the alone means, of salvation. 'Tis also true, that the word of God is a means of salvation, but the reason is, because it exhibits the means which God uses to save men. And no man can profit from the scriptures but as he is taught by the Spirit which indited them; which gift of the Spirit is as sovereign as the sending of Christ into the world. So then, if there be no revelation, there are no means of salvation. From this it appears obvious that none but those born from above, can use the means of salvation, and such only are exhorted to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Again it is in consequence of the sovereign purpose of God, that his word is sent to any portion of the family of man -- how many are destitute of it? how few comparatively enjoy it? All that have the Bible then, possess it in consequence of a sovereign decree. It presents truth well authenticated, to all men where it arrives, and all the promises contained in it, are addressed to men as believers, and not as unbelievers of it. And by the commandment of the everlasting Father, it is to be preached to all nations, and to all men, where it comes, for the obedience of faith, and all are assured, that whosoever believes it, shall be saved, and he that rejects it shall be damned. When the Holy Spirit accompanies this word, then, and then only, is it effectual; and all that the preacher who rightly divides the word of truth, has to present to unbelievers is, truth with its evidence, or the gospel well authenticated.

    Another mistake of the objector is manifest in the objection, viz: that God cannot make a creature who shall always act freely, and yet all his actions be known and determined of God. That this is within the compass of the Divine power, the scriptures fully evince -- That God is not the author of sin, that he cannot be tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man, is most obvious, and that man acts freely, and yet of necessity, is equally plain, not however in metaphysical propositions in the scriptures, but in certain and incontestable facts. For instance, no man ever acted more freely than Judas Iscariot, in betraying Christ for thirty pieces of silver, and yet no action was ever more certainly determined than that very action -- For Christ was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God -- A thousand actions recorded in scripture, indeed all prophecy contained in it, demonstrate that men act freely in all that they do, and all their actions are fixed, as certain as that Christ shall come again, or that time shall end. But our present limits forbid our further delay on this part of the subject; we shall now conclude with a brief examination of the chief advantages we derive from the view of the Divine purposes which has been given.

    The advantages we enjoy from a correct view of the purposes of God are numerous, but the following are the chief --

    Pride, the most common, and the most dangerous of human corruptions, hath its cure in this doctrine -- Now as humility is so essential to our happiness, & is a part most interesting in the salvation of man, so that doctrine which teaches it fully and on infallible principles is of all others, salutary and Divine -- The language of this doctrine is that there is no difference amongst men but what Grace makes -- No man hath aught of excellence or superiority to boast of -- Whatever he possesses grace has bestowed and why should he boast as though he received it not! -- When we look to the pit from which we were dug, and the rock from whence we were hewn, all boasting and self preference is at an end -- Where is boasting then? It is excluded -- where from? -- from the mind which believes in the purposes of God as presented to your view in this epistle.

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    Despair, the next & most destructive evil is banished from the believer of this doctrine. Pride and despair are two opposite evils -- 'Tis spiritual pride that keeps multitudes from despair -- They fancy there is something so good about them that it would be a reflection on the Deity to punish them forever. This conceit, is in their minds a certain antidote against despair -- But suppose that some ray of light should shine into their minds, to show them that their imaginary excellence, was but a dream, an illusion -- what then? Despair ensues -- and naught can save the reflecting mind from despair but a view of that sovereignty, displayed in showing mercy to whom He will. What vileness, guilt and wretchedness could lead that man to despair, who believed the testimony of the sovereign grace of God which exhibits him showing mercy to the chief of sinners, to all that call upon him in the name of Jesus Christ -- This doctrine then, is a sovereign remedy, when rightly understood, against price and despair. Each of which stand at the utmost distance from it.

    Contentment, the soul of all happiness is its genuine fruit. Godly contentment, which no plant of earthly origin can produce. But what is this contentment? An enlightened resignation of soul and body of every interest in time and Eternity -- to God, and an hearty acquiescence in his sovereign will -- This is Christian contentment. And such is the natural fruit of this sublime doctrine. It teaches the saint that all anxiety is in vain -- That infinite wisdom and sovereign goodness order all things right and anticipate his baneful desires after every interesting object. And as love is the moving cause, and the display of it, the ultimate end of God's purposes, the Christian knowing this rejoices, even when clouds and darkness encompass and overshadow the ways of Providence to man. Anxiously desiring that all saints may have a more abundant experience of this heavenly truth, and that you all may fully understand, heartily acquiesce, and incessantly rejoice in it. We remain, dear brethren, your servants, for Jesus' sake.
    JAMES ESTEP, Moderator.      

    1818 Meeting
    Fayette Co., PA

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    OF  THE

    Redstone  Baptist  Association.


    A T   C O N N E L S V I L L E,


    September 1st, 2d & 3d, 1818.



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    TUESDAY SEPTEMBER, 1st, 1818.      
    1. At 12 o'clock, Brother A. Campbell delivered the introductory sermon from 2d Timothy, 4th ch. 2d. v. "Preach the word."

    2. Letters from the Churches were read.

    3. Adjourned till Wednesday, Sept. 2d, at 9 o'clock A.M.

    Note -- Ministers' names are in small capitals, and annexed to the Churches where they respectively labour. Those marked thus (*) were not present. From churches marked thus (+) we received no intelligence. A dash -- denotes no settled minister.

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    This Web-page is still under construction:

    4. Met agreeably to adjournment.

    5. Appointed brother Charles Wheeler moderator, & brother A. Campbell, clerk.

    6. Received an application from a church at Glade Run, called Uniom for re-admission into this association, on its former standing.

    7. Resolved, That the church at Glade Run be received into this association.

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    8. Appointed brother Caleb Trevor, David Phillips and Wm. Brownfield a committee to make arrangements for preaching during this association.

    9. Applications for dismission.

    Granted a letter of dismission to the church at Wills Creek, O.

    Granted a letter of dismission to the church at Shirt Creek, Ohio county, Va.

    10. Resolved, That the next association be held at Horse Shoe, to commence the Friday previous to the 1st Lord's Day in September, 1819.

    11. Resolved, That Wm. Brownfield preach the introductory sermon, and in case of failure, Brother James Estep --- Public worship, to commence at 12 o'clock, at noon.

    12. Appointed brother John Patton, Wm. Brownfield and James Seymor, to [visit] the church at Forks of Cheat, at their own opportunity during the course of the next year.


    13. 1. Resolved, That a request received from a few baptized persons at Somerset, soliciting a quarterly meeting --- Saturday preceding the 2nd Lord's Day in October, be granted, and John Cox, brother James Estep and Charles Wheeler, to attend.

      2. At Little Redstone, on the 4th Lord's Day in October, brother Estep, Frey, and John Patton to attend.

      3. At Pittsburgh, 1st Lord's Day in May, James Estep and Charles Wheeler, to attend.

      4. At Washington, on the Lord's Day in July -- Brethren Newcomb and Campbell, to attend.

      5. At Beula, 1st Lord's Day in November -- Brethren Frey and Cox, to attend.

    14. Appointed brother Wheeler, to write the next circular letter, and that the subject be optional with the writer.

    15. Adjourned at 3 o'clock, to meet on Thursday morning, at 9 o'clock.

    16. During the interim an address on Baptism was delivered by brother Campbell and Baptism was administered by brother Estep, to three candidates.

    17. Thursday morning met agreeably to adjournment.

    Business introduced with singing and prayer, by brother Wheeler and Newcomb.

    18. The circular letter written by brother Estep, was read and accepted without amendment.

    19. Invited Brethren Forrester of Pittsburgh, Tibbets of Allegheny and [Mil---] of Pittsburgh, to a seat in this association.

    20. Resolved that brother Estep write the corresponding letter for this year.

    21. Appointed John Patton, James Estep and Samuel Little, a committee to [settle] with our former treasurers, and make report at our next association.

    22. Resolved, That the committee of arrangement shall report the business [of the] association immediately on their commencement of the session.

    23. Whereas, the resolve contained in the 11th item of the minutes of the association for 1817, has been construed to amount to an approbation of a sermon preached by brother A. Campbell, referred to in said minute.

    Resolved, That it was not the sense of this association in the above resolve, to pass a sentence of approbation or disapprobation on the sermon above referred to.

    24, Resolved, That as the church of Cross Creek, has not availed itself of any opportunity to come to a good understanding with the church at Brush Run, with whom they have declared a non-fellowship, this association cannot grant them a letter of dismission.

    25. Resolved, That the moderator and clerk of the present session, shall write, sign and transmit in the behalf of this association, letters of dismission to the churches of Short Creek, Va. and Wills Creek, O.

    26. Resolved, That all documents belonging to this association shall be deposited in the hand of Wm. Brownfield for sale keeping.

    27. Appointed brother Wheeler to superintend the printing and distribution of the minutes.

    28. Read and distributed a number of copies of the 4th annual report of the board of missions.

    29. The report made by brother Estep, respecting the appropriation of the missionary fund, was heard and accepted as satisfactory.

    The business of the association having closed, after a few minutes intermission, the moderator addressed the people that had assembled, agreeably to appointment,

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    from John 17 c. 15 v. "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."
    CHARLES WHEELER, Moderator.    


    Pittsburgh Female Mite Society,     $40
    Peters Creek Missionary Society,     52
    Washington Female Mite Society, *     40
    Turkey Foot,     5
    Maple Creek,     4
    Connelsville,     14
    Beula,     10
    Pigeon Creek,     4
    Washington,     9
    Brush Run,     19
    Balance of money collected at the last association   23
    * This society, the cause of missions and the church have sustained a great loss [in] the death of its late treasurer, Mrs. Rachael Wilson.

    The Ministers and Messengers, composing the


      It having been resolved, at a former association, to address you on some of the doctrines of our Holy Religion; so as to form a compendious system of divinity; [as] you having been addressed on the subject of the "TRINITY," and "The purpose of God in the creation and destination of Angels and Men." We now address you on the subject of THE FALL OF MAN.

    In writing to you Brethren, on this subject, you will readily perceive, the embarassments under which we labor, from the effects of the fall in our own [persons]. When a city is suddenly reduced from opulence and splendor, to abject poverty, ruin and slavery, it is an easy thing for the citizens to see and feelingly describe [their] fallen state. Wherever they survey the surrounding scene, the broken pillars, the ruined aqueducts and the fallen houses, are the striking evidences of their ruined situation. But let generations pass away, and be followed by others in succession for many generations; and they become habituated to their impoverished situation and lose the knowledge of better days and circumstances. Thus the Arabian, born [in] the sandy desert, contents himself under the heat of a vertical sun, with the [most] scanty allowance and deems himself happy amidst the drought and sterility of the country. Thus it is with us in relation to our subject; we have forsaken God [---] "fountain of living waters," and content ourselves with the "broken cisterns" [of] the fall.

    We see many of our fellow-creatures in populous and well informed places, [in] whose minds the fact of the fall has no impression. The ruin and desolation, [that] surrounds them has become familiar to them, and they are indifferent to any of the consequences that are connected with it.

    The subject of the fall, we now desire to present before you, in that light in which Divine Revelation presents it to us; and which is confirmed by observation and experience.

    Before we advance any farther on the subject, we think it proper to [say what we] mean by the Fall. We mean [----- --- ---]

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    [----] of creation that we once did. When God had created the Heavens, the earth, [-----s] -- and man last of all, He pronounced them very good. Man was good, in the [------] of his body -- in the powers of his mind -- in the rectitude of his will, in the cordination of his passions to his understanding -- In a word, he was good, in all the things that constituted him a rational and moral being. It was but a few centuries after this, that the same God and perfect judge of moral rectitude, pronounced his posterity, to be evil -- only evil -- and that continually. We mean then to say, [that] man, from an enlightened, righteous and moral subject, became darkened, unrighteous and immoral.

    [In] the illustration of this subject, there are three things we shall attend to. The evidence of the fall -- the extent of the fall -- and the consequences of the fall.

    First. The evidences of the fall. If we examine into the character of God, we [----ld] determine a priori, that nothing depraved, deformed, or unclean would ever proceed from his hands. In Jehovah, is consummate wisdom to divise -- Almighty power to perform, & immaculate goodness to govern the whole. To suppose then, [that] He would [---- his] creature, whom when he came from his hand, he would loathe [--etest] and withdraw himself from with just abhorrence on account of his [depravity] is contrary as all the exalted ideas we are taught to form of the Divine Being. [In] correspondence with this we have the most positive declaration, of scripture. "Lo, this only have I found" says Solomon, "that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions," Ecl. vii, 29. The same account of the original rectitude of man is contained in the Mosaic account of the case. Gen.

    [All] those scriptures, also, which teach the doctrine of re-generation presupposes [the] truth of the subject in question. To regenerate, is to bring our lapsed nature to [its] original purity; or at least an approximation to it. And which will be [completed] in glorification.

    All those scriptures which call our natural propensities -- "The Old-Man" -- "The first Adam" -- "The carnal mind," &c. are proofs of our doctrine.

    All those scriptures that teach the necessity of watchfulness, self-denial, mortification of the lusts of the flesh, &c. are proofs of our doctrine.

    All those scriptures that urge the necessity of believing on the Lord Jesus for salvation are proofs that we are in a state of ruin.

    Add to all this, the universal agreement of the nations of the earth on the subject, [is] strong evidence that the belief of it was derived from some common origin.

    Secondly. The extent of the fall. Our enquiries on this head will go to shew [what] was the extent of the fall on the first transgressors and what it is on their posterity.

    The fall extended in the first transgressors; to a toss of original righteousness. In purity they were created -- in purity they lived while they maintained their integrity: but when they transgressed, all their integrity, purity and righteousness were lost. The remembrance of it could no longer be precious to the recollection, nor available as a plea before God for his compassion -- nor imputable unto [------] by the Lord himself as a ground and reason why he should pass by the [pre-----] transgression.

    To corruption of their whole nature. This corruption of the first transgressors extended to them both as animal and rational creatures. By the former, [disease] and all its concomitant plagues were introduced until DEATH itself closes the sad catastrophe. By the latter, the due exercise of the moral faculties became debilitated. The most noble powers of the human soul became not only debilitated in [their] exercise; but actually perverted to the most base and rebellious purposes.

    To a sense of guilt and shame on the mind. Their guilt appears in their [attempts] to hide themselves -- their shame in attempting to cover themselves, "I was naked," said Adam, and therefore hid myself: I was naked and therefore ashamed.

    The first transgressors, by their sin, became exposed to all the weight of Divine wrath and displeasure. God might justly have annihilated them, or perpetuated their existence to an infinite extent, to make the sad monuments of his vengeance. [But] mercy interposed. He therefore only ---

    Drove them out Paradise. And tho' the Divine malediction rested on them, [it was hampered] with mercy. Tho' he cursed the earth for their sake -- made toil [----- and] sorrow their portions. He at the same time clothed their bodies with skins [---- ---- ----] a subsistence from the earth; tho' to be obtained "by the sweat of your brow" [----- ---- ----]

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    2. The extent of the fall in their posterity. The first of the observations in the preceding case apply also to this. But we add on the present subject.

    1. It is universal. A general depravity is introduced in the whole human family. "The Lord looked down from heaven" said the Psalmist David, "upon the children of men, to see if there was any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy: there none that doeth good, no, not one," Psalm xiv, 2, 3. By this depravity [the] evil nature is inherent in all the human family. To this it is objected, that [---- ---tions ----- ---utious] -- and acquired by example. If this were the case, [we] might suppose, [that among] the multitude of human beings there might be [-- ---- some] who would escape the effects of evil example. The fact in the case [---- is]; there is a greater [aptitude] in us to follow evil than good example. Our doctrine is, that if a child were taken [from] the birth and secluded in solitude -- yea if it were taken, [---- ----- --- ----- among] the Angles of Heaven, it would there manifest [---- ----- --- -----] so the necessity of being "born again."

    2. There is another circumstance to which the fall extends [---- ----- ---- Adam's] posterity become identified with him in his transgression, and [involved ---- ----], in one common ruin. This is called (with some latitude in the expression) [the] imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity. The sin of A. may be said to be imputed to B. if B., tho' innocent be treated as though he were guilty. There may be real; where there is not a total imputation, either of sin, or righteousness,

    To such an imputation of sin it is objected -- That it would be inconsistent with justice, and as it applies to the Divine Being, contrary to all the exalted ideas we are taught to form of his character, that B. should be punished for the crimes done by A. To all which it is answered.

    1. The Arminians who make this objection have no difficulty in admitting the damnatory state of all the human race in consequence of Adam's transgression, provided you admit, that the merits of Jesus Christ absolves them from that guilt. On this they predicate the salvation of infants. This is in effect to admit our doctrine. For if there had been no imputation of the guilt of Adam's sin to his whole posterity there would have been no need of the imputation of the benefits of the redemption that is in Jesus to infants.

    2. Our doctrine is also unequivocally delivered by the Apostle Paul in his espistle to the Romans, v. chap. In which we have the following expressions: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world; and death by sin." v. 12. "Death reigned from Adam to Moses; even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression," v. 14. "For if through the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation," v. 18. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made (constituted, Doddridge) sinners," v. 19. In the above passages, the Apostle assures us, that the fall extends, not only to the defilement of our nature, and the introduction of diseases and death; but, also, to condemnation and judgment.

    Thirdly. The consequences of the fall.

    1. Universal inability, to do that, which will reinstate us in the Divine favor. "O! Isarel" saith the Lord, "thou hast destroyed thyself." Hos. xiii. 9. If you suppose a human being coming into the world, pure and holy; he stands before his Maker & Sovereign, on the ground of his own intrinsic purity. But [let him be] found in rebellion, but one day; he never can regain [---] his own merit, his [---- ---- nding]. An infinity of suffering or serving, cannot in [the least degree] [----- ---- --- ---] for that one days rebellion. "If the sufferings [inflicted by divine justice upon] an offending creature, be supposed, to be capable of annihilating the cause for which they are inflicted, they must for the time be greater than that cause, and consequently unjust; because in that [case], the punishment would be greater than the offence: such penal inflictions could not proceed from a Righteous God." "If sin have produced suffering it is possible that suffering can destroy sin. A stream issuing from a fountain can [never] destroy [that] fountain. It is impossible that an effect can destroy the cause of which it is an effect." (Doct. A. Clarke.)

    Serving, however perfect it may be (and more than perfect it cannot be) [as a means] of restoring us to the forfeited favor of God, is equally [---- --- ---- ---g] of such excellent and exalted [--- ---- ----]

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    [----], for our being, and our well-being are so great, that nothing short of perfect, [entire]. and perpetual obedience is adequate, to the discharge of the obligation arising therefrom. To suppose, then, that a creature can fail of his duty at one time, and retrieve his loss at another is an absurdity.

    Our observations hitherto, have been to shew the impossibility of atoning, either [by] suffering or serving, for any [-----tion] from our duty to God. To which we [now] add, that, the [re----], [for such -----] service is now gone. Man is a fallen creature "goes astray from the womb, speaking lies," Psalm LVIII 3. "The carnal mind is enmity against God." [---- ---- --- ---sition, then, must be renewed, before ever an amendment of [life can] take [effect --- ---t], there is nothing in a man to effect this change. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" To change the [---- ----- ---- position] of a fallen creature requires an exertion of power, [--- ---- --- ---- the bright star] of day in the Heavens.

    2. [---- ----- --- -----] [in the] world, are consequences of the fall. This opens [--- ----- --- ----] [---ke] all our sympathies. Go to the field of battle [--- ----- ---] creatures [--- -----] against each other! The signal for blood and carnage [---- ---- ---] -- Heaps on heaps of bloody corpses lay -- the struggle is but for a moment [--- ---] sink in the arms of death, to rise no more until Messiah comes to judge the world! see the ravages of the desolating Plague, where hundreds are swep't away in a day -- but why should I attempt to particularize. Wherever we turn our eyes, the sad consequences of the fall -- present themselves to our view. 'Tis sin that has given strength to death, and armed him with all his terrors. It is sin that has kindled the "fire that is not quenched," and gives life to "the worm that dieth not."     CHARLES WHEELER, Moderator.


    The Redstone Baptist Association, met at Connelsville, Fayette County, Pa. September 1st, 2d & 3d, 1818.

    To their sister associations with whom they generally correspond, viz: -- The Philadelphia, Union, Beaver, New Jersey and Baltimore, with grace, mercy and peace from THE MOST-HIGH,

    Our correspondence with you, has not been maintained (on our part) with that punctuality that it ought to have benn. As brethren, "beloved of the Lord," and beloved by us; we desire to keep up a friendly correspondence with you.

    As an association we have enjoyed a considerable degree of prosperity. There have been 96 baptized on a profession of their faith in our bounds. Tho' this number be small, when compared to the thousands of Israel: Yet it is by such numbers now scattered up and down in the different parts of the earth, that MESSIAH will swell his triumph in the We therefore, rejoice in the Lord, for even this number. It is a matter of gratulation among the "Hosts of Heaven" when sinners -- (yea, if but one,) are converted to God. And it will be an everlasting benefit to those who are the subjects of that blessed work.

    There are several of our churches, who have been graciously visited with the reviving influence of the spirit of God. The churches generally enjoy peace among themselves. The missionary spirit prevails in some good degree among us, as yet. The evangelizing the heathen is a work that has added more celebrity to the baptist character than any other circumstance in their history. It is a work, which, for its intrinsic [------] ought to be nourished and cherished by all the energies of our souls. We [---- ---- ----] formidable difficulties lay in the way way of accomplishing this important [---- --- ---- ----] heathen mind must be illuminated -- their prejudices [--- --- --- ---- hearts] changed. And so far as civil government, the religious [cer--- ----- ---- ----m] are united, it must be overturned. These difficulties are great. But [when we] think of HIM, who has said, "The top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of Grace! Grace! unto it;" our hearts are encouraged.

    The general peace that [prevails throughout] the greater part of christendom, is favorable to the most [thorough] exertions of the friends of our holy religion to promote the welfare of Zion. And [those] who labor -- those who contribute of their substance -- Yea, those who give -- "[---- a cup] of cold water" for its advancement "shall [--- ----] their reward."

    [---- --- --- --- ] of our best wishes, and fervent prayers for your [pres --- --- ---]     CHARLES WHEELER, Moderator.


    (under construction)

    Campbell's 1817 Circulating Letter
    Campbell's recollections of 1823  (1848)
    Campbell's Debate on Christian Baptism  (1824)
    Campbell on experimental religion/revivals  (1824)
    Baptism of William Church in Pittsburgh  (1826)
    Greatrake's first anti-Campbell pamphlet  (mid 1824)
    Campbell's first reply to Greatrake  (1824)
    Scott's reply to Greatrake  (1824)
    Greatrake's second anti-Campbell pamphlet  (late 1824)
    Campbell's second reply to Greatrake  (1825)
    Greatrake's Redstone Assoc. Letter  (1826)
    Greatrake's third anti-Campbell pamphlet  (1826)
    M'Calla's anti-Campbell pamphlet  (1826)
    Greatrake's Harp of Zion  (1827)
    Greatrake's "Dialogue" with Andrew Fuller  (1828)
    Greatrake's fourth anti-Campbell pamphlet  (1830)
    McCalla's Discussion of Christian Baptism  (1831)
    Greatrake's fifth anti-Campbell pamphlet  (1836)

    Rigdon Among the Baptists - part 1
    Rigdon Among the Baptists - part 2
    Rigdon Among the Baptists - part 3
    Rigdon Among the Baptists - part 4
    Rigdon Among the Baptists - part 5