Washington Co., PA
Redstone Baptist Association.
A T T H E H O R S E S H O E
WASHINGTON COUNTY, (PA.)
September 3d. 4th. & 5th 1819.
PRINTED BY SAMUEL WORKMAN.
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6. Wm. Brownfield was appointed Moderator and A. Campbell Clerk.
7. Resolved, That hereafter but three messengers from one church shall be entitled to vote.
8. Applications from four churches requesting union with this association were received, viz -- from a church on Ruffs creek -- one on Wheeling creek, Va., from one on Deer Creek, and from one in Somerset.
9. Resolved, That each of the above churches be received into this association.
10. The right hand of fellowship was given to a messenger from each of the aforesaid churches, and they became members of this association.
11. Applications for circular meetings were next read.
12. Resolved, That a circular meeting be held at the Broad Ford of Canemaugh on the third Lords day in October next. Brother Brownfield and Estep to attend, At Somerset 2d Lords day in October, Brethren Estep and Campbell to attend. At Turkey Foot 1st Lord's day October next, Brethren Kuce and Campbell to attend.
13. Resolved, That next association shall be held at Plumb Run, Washington county, Penn. on the Friday preceding the 1st Lords day in Sept. 1820.
14. Resolved, That the Introductory sermon be delivered by C. Wheeler or in case of failure by Wm. Brownfield, to commence at 12 o'clock.
15. Resolved, That Brother Newcomb or in case of failure Brother Luce write the circular letter for next year.
16. The circular letter written by Brother Wheeler was read and ordered to be printed without amendment.
17. Resolved, That each church in this association shall in their annual letter attend to the 5th. article of the constitution of this association.
18. Resolved, That the church at Glad Run at its own request be dismissed from this association to join the Beaver Association which is more contiguous to it.
19. A letter from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was received and read.
20. Resolved, That Brother James Estep, or in case of failure Brother Wm. Brownfield be sent as a delegate from this association, to attend the next triennial convention, of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.
21. Brother Wheeler presented a receipt from Thos. Shields, Esq. Treasurer of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, for the monies contributed last year by the Association.
22. The minutes of the Baltimore Association were received by the Association and distributed amongst the churches.
23. Appointed brother A, Campbell to write the corresponding letter for this year and Brother Wheeler and Brownfield a committee to examone it.
24. Appointed Brother Wheeler to superintend the printing and distribution of the Minutes.
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MISSIONARY FUNDS.Washingtom Female Mite Society. 35.40
Mount Pleasant, 3.31
Peters Creek, 31.50
Pigeon Creek, 5.00
Forks of Yough, 6.86
Big Redstone, 3.32
John Parsal, 1.00
Union Town, 5.00
Isaac Pettit, 1.00
Benjamin Davis, .25
Jos. Rohman, .50
Brush Run, 10.00
* The reader is requested to correct an error in the Minutes of last year in the amount of the missionary fund and instead of $222.03, read $322, 03.
Agreeably to king established custom and the general usage of sister associations we now address you.
The subject of our communication this year is, The necessity of discipline to the growth and prosperity of the churches.
By discipline we do not intend the exercise of church authority only in admonishing or excluding unworthy and irregular members. Although this is a part, yet we apprehend it is but a small part of the duties which the word implies should be exercised by 'the churches which are the ground and pillar of the truth.' By the term we intend the proper exercise of all those duties which Christ the great shepherd of his flock requires of them for their comfort and edification in the truth.
It is not our intention at this time to write a system of church discipline for the churches of this Association. It is presumed that the churches are already in possession of that system attached to the Philadelphia Confession of Faith. It would at the same time transcend the authority of an association of Baptist churches, to dictate to their brethren all the minute particulars of church discipline, as the churches have all needful authority and with the Bible in their hands are fully competent to act for themselves. All we intend in this epistle is to persuade the brethren to a strict adherence to those fundamental maxims and rules established in the New Testament as the order of Christ's house, and to which the [christians] professing the sentiments of the Naptists have, in all ages of the christian church, professed subjection.
A christian church is a number of belivers in Christ baptized on the profession of their faith, having first given themselves to the Lord and then to one another [by] the will of God, and being thus voluntarily united and organized according to the word of God, the members exercise a brotherly watch and care over one another for mutual edification in the truth.
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The jurisdiction of a church can extend only to its members. Although there is an intimate connection between all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; yet the exercise of church discipline and authority to the same extent as our christian fellowship, would confound all distinction of individual churches and would be utterly opposed to that system of government established by apostolic example. A person may wish well to his neighbour's children, and whenever in his power may do them good; but it would be absurd and unwarrantable to exercise the same authority over them which he exercises over his own family. Neither can a church consistently delegate its authority of government to other churches. It is as unscriptural for a church to resign its authority to another church as it would be unconstitutional for the several states of the union to give up their local governments wholly to congress and then for congress to give up the government of the whole to some of the potentates of Europe. The principle is the same whether the power be delegated to an association, an assembly; or concentrate the whole authority in an individual, and call him 'the head of the church' 'the bishop' 'the sovereign pontiff,' 'the pope' &c.
As the church is supposed to consist only of professed believers, the utmost caution should be used that none but such should be received. The receiving of persons on trial, without giving evidence of regenerating grace, is abusing the authority of the church and doing violence to the prohibition of Christ, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nickodemus to whom these words were spoken imagined that he was entitled to the privileges of the kingdom of God from his connection with Abraham. The Pharisees who came to John the Baptist, laboured under the same mistake, when he reproved them saying, "Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father." Neither Abraham or any other pious parentage gives any qualification for the church of Christ.
The church of Christ whether in heaven or earth is but one church, Eph. III. 14. 15 -- "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Here, the whole church is called a family, a part of which is in heaven and a part on earth. Of the former it is said "No unclean thing shall enter therein," and to the latter the most solemn injunctions are given to maintain purity and steadfastness in the faith of the gospel.
Again, Paul gives instruction to the churches "Receive ye one another even as Christ also hath received us to the glory of God." Now does Christ receive any but believers; or do any but believers come to Christ? Hence the church should receive only those who have received Christ or whom Christ hath received to the golory of God. If the churches and especially the ministers who are centinels at the gates of Zion, be concerned for the glory of God, they will be careful to receive one another only as they believe Christ hath received them.
The same reasons that apply to the rejection of unstable and unqualified persons from a church, will equally apply to the exclusion of such members as walk disorderly after all scriptural examples and precepts have been followed for their correction and recovery. Shall members fall into the grossest vices before they are proper subjects of discipline? The church in the songs of Solomon is called "A garden enclosed." If this garden is enclosed the plants and vines are not to be uncultivated. The same careful hand which has erected a wall to defend his garden, has also appointed means whereby the enclosed garden should be kept from weeds that the tender plants and vines may bring forth abundantly. Let it be remembered that there be no useless plants in this garden and if any prove to be such they must be considered as weeds, and must be treated accordingly.
The preaching of the gospel is undoubtedly the princpal means of bringing mankind to the knowledge of the truth. This is the net that is cast into the sea and gathers of every kind. But the edification of the church does not depend only on the public ministry of the gospel. There are other gifts in the church besides that
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The duties of prayer and exhortation seem to be enjoined upon the members of the church generally, Heb. III. chap. 13, verse. "But exhort one another daily." [And] chap. X. 24, 25, verse "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." These words are addressed to the whole church which is here required to exhort one another.
That God's people should be a praying people is equally plain. Luke XVIII. 1, "that men ought always to pray." I. Thess. of ourselves together as the manner of. 1. "Pray without ceasing." 25 verse, "Brethren, pray for us." I Tim. II. 8. "I will that men pray every where." Paul reproves his Hebrew brethren for neglecting to improve their gifts. Heb. V. 12, ""For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again." The scriptures plainly exhibit the duty of the church, often to assemble together for prayer and exhortation, amd for teaching and admonishing one another by psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to stir up one anothers minds by way of remembrance; by love to serve one another in the improvements of the gifts God has bestowed upon his people for their mutual good.
The tendency of observing these things will be. 1. Less worldly mindedness. 2. An increasing spirituality of mind. 3. A more correct and extensive knowledge of the scriptures, and a greater ability to defend them. 4. The church will realize greater comfort and satisfaction under the preached word. 5. Increasing harmony and peace in the church. 6. The gifts in the church being thus exercised in their proper place, many persons will be found to possess talents for public teaching and preaching, who would otherwise have remained in obscurity. Our Lord has commanded us that we should pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into the vineyard, for the harvest is plentious and the laborours are few. The scarcity of preachers in comparison to the numbers of churches in our land, demands the attention of the churches to improve the gifts among them. Considering that many of our churches are not supplied with preaching every Lord's day, would it not be much [becoming] the members, to meet together at their usual place of worship on such occasions, and spend the time in prayer and exhortation? Gifts might then unexpectedly appear among [them], and being often improved might eventually furnish the church with able ministers of the New Testament. The church should consider itself as a [school] of divinity in which the doctrine of Christ is taught and the members trained [up for] the service of God here and his glory hereafter.
The church thus disciplined would appear "Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." The want of discipline has often been the [occasion] of the shameful defeat of an army which, under good discipline, would have been victorious. The kingdom of Christ is not benefitted, but injured by increasing its numbers with mere nominal professors. Let the churches guard the avenues of [corruption]. Let the watchmen who stand upon the walls at the gates of Zion guard the doors of the church. The church thus arrayed with the weapons of heavenly [warfare] and strictly obeying the commands of the Captain of her salvation will march in holy triumph and bid defiance to her enemies.
We conclude dear brethren, by wishing that you may continue to exercise the [use] of those great duties and that authority which Christ has given you, without [venality] and without hypocracy; and that you may continue to exercise that watchfulness over one another which is essentially necessary among those who are members of the same family and household of faith. We subscribe ourselves dear brethren, [Yours] in the LORD JESUS. WILLIAM BROWNFIELD, Moderator.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Clerk.
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To reciprocate the sentiments, the feelings and the expressions of christian [love] with our brethren in the truth, is pleasing and profitable -- the interchange of [our] unfeigned views, desires, and objects and the rotation of our mutual hopes, [----], and fears; mitigate the sorrows of this life, and enlarge the measure of our present enjoyments.
Although we have nothing very exhilarating to communicate, yet, we have [an] abundant cause to bless the Lord for his goodness and for the portion of his grace which we enjoy. From some of our churches we have received the agreeable intelligence, that numbers are flocking to the standard of the Lord, as doves to the windows. And though others are still stationary, yet from the zeal and [harmony] that prevail, and which have eminently distinguished the present association, we would anticipate a more general and extensive addition to our churches -- more than 170 have been added by baptism during the last year to the churches of this association. This number tis true is small, but we must be thankful for it, and not despise the day of small things.
Dear Brethren, we consider that our correspondence with you would be [more] profitable and animating were you and we, by messengers, to visit each other [at] our annual meetings "As iron sharpeneth iron, so is the countenance of a man [to his] friend" -- an exchange of messengers would give more life and energy to our [own] responsibilities. We beseech you to consider the state of the world at home, and abroad; how imperiously are we called upon to be active citizens of Zion -- how many in foreign lands, are worshipping idols which their own hands have made! how many in our own country are deceived by a false religion, a mere name to live, while they [are] dead, and, how many are manifestly rushing head long to destruction. -- How [loudly] from these considerations, are we called, to exert our utmost nerve in the service of the best masters, and in the accomplishment of the most noble and glorious objects. -- The true christian is the most exalted character on earth; tis infinitely more honorable to be a child of God, than the heir apparent to the empire of the world; how glorious is the christian cause! The everlasting salvation of an innumerable multitude -- the reward how great! the triumphs how secure! may our [efforts] in some measure correspond with the magnitude of the prize, and may the [good] pleasure of the Lord prosper in our hands -- Tis by the word of his grace, the [----] swells the triumphs of his cause. To it alone let us look, for that light which [guides] the energy of the Eternal Spirit will guide us safe to heaven -- to it let us [cal-- ----] wandering eyes of the thoughtless throng, and may the God of all Grace [who] brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the [Sheep], through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you, and us perfect in every good work, to do his will working in you and in us that which is well pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever, and ever, Amen.
WM. BROWNFIELD, Moderator.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Clerk.
Washington Co., VA
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4. Brother A. Campbell was appointed Moderator, and brother James Estep, Clerk.
5. Application was made by the church [now] constituted at M'Keesport, in the county of Allegheny, for admission into the Association -- which was agreed to.
6. Brethren Spears, Trevor and Luse, were appointed a committee [to cordinate] suitable persons to preach at the stage to-day,
7. Application was made by the church at the Forks of Cheat, for supplies.
Whereupon it was Resolved, That Elder James Frey, be appointed to visit them on the fifth Lord's day in October, and that the Association bear his expenses.
8. The committee appointed to nominate suitable persons to preach [on] the stage to-day, made report; That they have nominated brethren Tibbet, Heddington, Seymour, and James Patton.
9. An application was made by the church at Beulah, for aid to assist their brother Jacob Osbourne, to obtain some further education in the ministry.
Whereupon, on motion, brethren Jos. Phillips, Luce, and Davis, were appointed a committee to confer with the above named brother, [on] the subject of their application.
10. Brother George Evans, assistant agent of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, and brother Charles Rigdon, of the Beaver Baptist Association, being present, were invited to take a seat with us.
11. The following Query was received from the church at Pidgeon Creek: "Would it not be sufficient for each church, annually to state in their letter, that they hold the same faith which they held when they were first received into the fellowship of the Association.
Whereupon it was Resolved, That a committee of five persons be appointed to examine into the propriety of amending the fifth article of the constitution of this association, to which the Query refers; and that they make report to the next meeting of the association. Committee to consist of Brethren Brownfield, Luse, Spears, John Patton and James Estep.
12. The committee appointed on the application of the Church at Beulah relative to Jacob Osbourne made report, that they have conversed with the young Brother, and do recommend him to the attention of the Association.
Whereupon it was Resolved, That this Association solemnly agrees to take the above named Brother under its care, and recommends to the churches to make suitable provision for his support for the year, and that he be put under the care and tuition of Brother A. Campbell.
13. Brother Tibbet of the Beaver Association being present, was invited to a seat.
14. Resolved, That the next Association be held at the Baptist meetinghouse at Ruffs Creek in Greene county.
15. Circular meetings. 1. Forks of Yough, on fourth Lord's day of the present month. Brethrem Phillips and Stone to attend. 2. Maple Creek, on the first Lord's day in October, Brethren Luse and
16. Circular letter written by Brother Luse was read and adopted.
17. Adjourned to half past 2, P.M.
18. Half past two P.M. the Association met again.
19. Brother Brownfield, made report of the disposal of the missionary money collected last year, and put into his hands to be transmitted to the treasurer of the Baptist board of Foreign Missions, which was satisfactory.
20. Collections for Missionary purposes.
21. Collections for printing the minutes of Association.
22. Brother Wheeler was appointed to superintend the printing and distrivution of the minutes.
23. Brother Wheeler was appointed to preach the introductory sermon, at the next association, and in case of failure, Brother Browmfield.
24. A letter and Minutes were received from the Beaver Association.
25. Brethren Luse, Spears and Trevor were appointed a committee to nominate suitable persons to preach on the approaching Sabbath, who after consultation made report, That they have nominated brethren Davis, Evans and Campbell.
26. On motion, it was Resolved, That Brother Hugh Wilson of the borough of Washington, be appointed to receive the contributions for the education of Brother Jacob Osbourne.
27. A letter and Minutes were received from the Parkersburg Association, containing a request for correspondence with them. Whereupon on motion, Brother Brownfield was appointed for that purpose.
28. A letter was received from the Baptist board of Foreign Missions, together with a copy of the annual report of the board.
Forks of Yough, 4.00
Washington Female Mite Society, 28.30
Collection on Sabbath day. 29.76
Agreeable to former custom, we have the pleasure on so important occasion to address you, and to inform you, that our interview has been pleasant and profitable to all; our reception among our brethren in this place, has been kind, and will leave the most affectionate recollections on our minds. Custom on this occasion hath been to select some doctrinal, or practical subject for discussion; permit us to offer to your consideration the important and interesting subject of Good-Works.
Good-works are the only way whereby we do glorify our heavenly Father, among men, and bear testimony to the world that we have been taught of God.
Faith that works by love and purifieth the heart is the cause of all good works.
To fear God and keep his commandments is the sum total of all good-works.
1. We would call on our ministering brethren "to preach the word, to be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine."
2. To reprove and rebuke those that are living in error and stop the mouth of gainsayers.
3. To exhort their brethren to be careful to maintain good-works; in bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; praying with and for them constantly.
4. To exhort the people, especially their charge, to liberality to the cause of God in giving all that support for printing the bible and translating the same among foreign nations. Knowing there is no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved but the name of JESUS; and the multitudes in this and foreign countries to whom this name has never been proclaimed.
When we reflect but for a moment on the darkness yet among the nations of the earth east and west of us, having not the bible to enlighten them, and the goodness of GOD in giving it us, we are almost astonished at our own stupidity or neglects in holding our hands and tongues as we have done.
When we remember how gracious God hath been to us in giving the bible to us from the earliest settlements until now in America, we must say we are a favoured people of the Lord.
Then brethren how should we sympathize with the wretched condition of unhappy millions on whom this light has never shone?
Is it consistent to the christian spirit which we profess to enjoy, to view without pity so many of our fellow beings, capable subjects
like us of eternal blessedness or of everlasting misery, descending [to] the grave without attempting to point them to the "lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world?"
No brethren, we trust you agree with us in giving to these questions a decided negative, that you will unite with all GOD's people in asking grace of the God of all grace, that he would hasten the time to favour ZION and diffuse the blessings which he has graciously conferred upon us as far as sin has spread its cruel dominion -- as far as the curse is found.
The motives and incouragements for our united, fervent, and unceasing supplications on this behalf, are very abundant and found in the holy scriptures.
Hath he not said that the "heathen should be given to his son for an inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession: that the wilderness and the solitary places should be glad, and the desart should rejoice, and blossom as the rose, that the north shall give up and that the south shall not keep back; that his sons shall come from afar, and his daughters from the ends of the earth; that Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto GOD; that the Isles shall wait for his law?"
Are not these promises of the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom with which the scriptures abound, a sufficient warrant for the prayer of faith on this behalf, for those who are perishing for lack of knowledge. We trust on a review of these gracious things which are promised concerning ZION, no one will be backward in petitioning on her behalf for want of encouragement; but dear brethren let us not suppose our whole duty accomplished when we have thus offered our petitions. GOD condescends to accept the services of his people and to make use of them in bringing about his gracious purposes; nay he calls upon them to come up "to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
The honor, dear brethren, in being zealously engaged in this great and glorious work we are not able a present to comprehend, but it will fully known in the great day of accounts! say not the work is great, our means are small, it will be of no avail; but remember that GOD accepts the widow's mite.
How much good may by the blessings of GOD by our small contributions be effected with a union of exertions?
One half cent per week in the bounds of this Association in one year would be near $300, what individual professor would ever feel this? When we contemplate the sihns of the times and the great variety of means in successful operation for the accomplishment of GOD's gracious promise concerning his church, we wonder, love and praise.
Then be excited dear brethren to be valiant in the cause of God.
To what other cause can we attribute the formation of such extensive societies as now exist throughout the civilized world, for the translation, printing and gratuitous distribution of the word of life. -- Brethren! who can view the approaching joyful day without emotion?
And who can be happy and deny himself the privilege of aiding and joining in this good work now performing?
Why did not these things take place long ago? We answer, the Lord's time had not yet come.
But individuals in all ages in the hands of the Lord have been found exerting themselves to open the eyes of the blind and to communicate to the ignorant and them that are out of the way, and they have been the honoured instruments of the Lord's doing good.
But such an extending system and general movements, all having the same grand point was never before exhibited, and is we trust a certain indication that the work is of God and will prosper. Who [then] while viewing these things can be discouraged, but must seriously put his hands to this good work?
If it be asked where shall we direct our little, where can we act with expectations of success? We are ready to answer, at home in the bounds of this Association there is yet room, for many settlements are destitute of a preached gospel. But when we turn our eyes to the Isles of the sea and the Indies in general, we there expect success that our little will never fail when put to the use the Lord hath appointed.
We close our subject, while exhorting you as our beloved brethren, to "be stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of all love and peace shall be with you."
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Moderator.JAMES ESTEP, Clerk.
CORRESPONDING LETTER.THE REDSTONE BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, convened at Plum Run, Washington county, Pa. September 1, 2, and 3, 1820, to the several Corresponding Associations, viz. New-Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Union, Beaver and Parkersburgh, sendeth greeting.
BELOVED BRETHREN -- The return of another association suggests to us the duty, and privilege, of addressing to you our annual epistle of correspondence. It is our duty because we have either solicited or cheerfully accepted your correspondence; it is our privilege, because we apprehend that the continuance of it will be to our mutual advantage. We regret, however, that from some of our corresponding associations we have received no communication for some years past, and from others we have not received them regularly. It is our intention to send you annually [full] copies of our minutes, and we hope you will favor us with a similar communication. Altho' situated at a distance from some of you, we feel not the less anxious on the subject of the
If we cannot report to you any very remarkable [occurances of the] holy spirit on our churches and congregations during [this last year], we have the satisfaction of reporting that some of our churches [have] received considerable additions, and they seem generally to be [well] established in the "Faith which was once delivered to the saints." The proceedings of the present association have been conducted with great harmony and satisfaction. Glorious things are spoken of Zion, whereof we would rejoice. By recurring to the history of missions for evangelizing the heathens, for thirty years past -- the present [state of] the christian world -- the numerous Bible Societies, and other benevolent institutions -- the increasing disposition of toleration and forbearance, and enquiry for truth -- and especially, the sure words of prophecy; we hope, (and we think not presumptiously) that the [promised] appearance of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ, [is surely] hastening. "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things, to whom be glory, for ever. Amen.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Moderator.JAMES ESTEP, Clerk.
J. Grayson, pr. Washington, Pa.
Greene Co., PA
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SATURDAY, SEPT. 1. -- MET ACCORDING TO ADJOURNMENT.
1. Brother A Campbell introduced the business of the day by singing and prayer.
2. Appointed brother Luce Moderator and brother Seymour Clerk.
3. Invited brother Rigdon a messenger of the Mohican association to a seat with us.
4. Appointed brother D. Philips and J. Patton a committee to arrange preaching at the stage; accordingly appointed brethren Rigdon, Stone and D. Phillips.
5. Circular meetings. 1. At Peters Creek to commence on the Saturday before the first Lord's day in October -- Brethren Wheeler and T. Campbell to attend. 2. At Turkey Foot, on the Saturday before the first Lord's day in June, Brothers Estep and Frey to attend. 3. At Little Redstone on the Saturday before the second Lord's day in October, Brethren Luce, Brownfield and Frey ro attend. 4. At Plum Run on the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day in October, Brethren Spears, Brownfield and A. Campbell to attend. 5. At Bart's Fork on the Saturday before the third Lord's day in October, Brethren J. Patton and Luse to attend. 6. At Somerset on the Saturday before the second Lord's day in May, Brethren Brownfield, Estep and A. Campbell to attend. 7. At WQheeling Creek on the Saturday before the second Lord's day in June, Brethren T. Campbell and Luse to attend.
6. Appointed our next Association to be held at Washington, Washington county, Pa. to commence on Friday at one o'clock, A.M. before the first Lord's day in September next.
7. Enquiry having been made respecting Jacob Osbourn, agreed that the enquiry be deffered to the close of the day.
8. The circular letter being called for, and brother Davis who was appointed to write it not being present, no letter was presented, whereupon appointed brother Wheeler to write one, provided brother Davis has not written.
9. Appointed brother Brownfield to write the circular letter for next year.
10. Appointed brother D. Phillips to preach the introductory sermon for next year, and in case of failure brother T. Campbell.
11. Appointed brother A. Campbell to write the corresponding letter for this session.
12. A receipt from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was produced by brother A. Campbell for the sum of $112 collected at the last association.
13. Received for the Foreign Mission from the Church at Brush Run $10, Wheeling Creek $1.75, Washington $6.99 1/3, Pittsburgh Female Mite Society $20. Total $38.72 1/2.
14. The church at Dunkard Creek, being destitute of preaching, brother J. Patton agrees to preach with them the first week in October and the second week in December -- brother De Garmo, the first week in November -- brother Seymour, the first week in December -- brother Spears the first week in February -- brother Wheeler the third week in May.
15. Brother Rigdon from the Mohican Association requested correspondence with this Association by messengers.
16. Resolved, That this Association correspond annually with the Mohican Association by messengers.
17. Resolved, That this Association, considering their local situation, the circumstances of the times, the means of the churches of this Association, shall hereafter make their contributions in the produce of the country, or money, for the purpose of aiding the Fort Wayne mission and that a committee be appointed composed of Hugh Wilson of Washington, Ephraim Estep of Peters Creek, Elias Parshal of M'Lellands Town, John Brown of Wellsburgh, Joseph Bud of the Forks of Yough and Jesse Cox of Ruff's Creek, individuals living in the different parts of this Association whose duties shall be to receive such contributions as may be made by individuals, churches or associations of individuals, and to transmit the same to William H. Hart, an agent for the use of Fort Wayne mission at Pittsburgh, and to account for the same annually to this Association. *
* Wool, flax, flannel, school books or stationery, and implements of husbandry &c.
19. Resolved, That the above query be laid over for discussion at our next Association.
20. Appointed brother Wheeler to superintend the printing of the minutes and distributing them to the churches.
21. Appointed a committee of brethren D. Phillips, T. Campbell and Spears to appoint persons to preach on the Lord's day; accordingly brethren Brownfield, T. Campbell and A. Campbell were appointed.
22. Agreed that the report of the committee appointed last year relative to the 5yj article of the constitution of the Association, be laid over until next Association.
23. Brother Hugh Wilson reported that he had paid to brother A. Campbell $60.05 towards the boarding and tuition of Jacob Osborn; the receipt whereof the said Campbell hereby acknowledges.
24. This association does not agree to continue Jacob Osborn at school another year at their expense. +
The moderator having addressed the association concluded the meeting with singing and prayer.
LORD'S DAY, 2d -- 10 O'CLOCK, A.M.The services of the day were introduced by brother Brownfield who preached from Romans V1. 23. "For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Brother T. Campbell then addressed the people from the 1st chapter of Hebrews.
Brother A. Campbell closed the meeting by preaching from Matthew XXVIII, 18, 19, 20. And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The expiration of another year of our association reminds us of our custom and duty of addressing you on some subject which may be deemed of general interest and importance; and we conceive, next to the love of God to a man, and the love of man to God; stands that mutual love which should exist and be continually improved among the followers of Christ, so as to evince to all around the superlative excellence of the religion we have adopted, in that harmonizing and cementing influence which it has upon the human heart. The frequency of its undulation by the sacred Oracles show the high estimation in which it is held by the great prophet and high
+ Those churches who wish Jacob Osborn to continue another year at achool, may send their money to Hugh Wilson, Washington.
If that be commendable, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; how much more to so cultivate a regard for those who are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God. Brethren, let each individual make his own personal improvements in love an object of daily attention, that being warmed and animated by its influence, he may happily succeed in spreading the holy fire around him, provokimg others to love and good works. "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, of any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." -- The inspired pages present us with a variety of inducements to "Love the brotherhood," We shall select a few.
The first, most important and powerful is the consideration of God's hreat love and rich mercy towards us, in the gift of his Son to be our Saviour: if this incomparable subject influences our hearts, all that appear to be interested therein will become subjects of our special esteem. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his on;y begotten Son into the world, that we might live thro' him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." All that love our Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth, have a very high respect for his authority and example: if he has commanded or performed any thing, it is quite conclusive and satisfactory with them to know that he has done so; its propriety and utility are at once admitted, and obedience is the result. And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, love his brother also. A new commandment give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. And again, this is thy commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you; greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends; ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. His command and example are coupled together: what he enjoined
The divine word presents brotherly love in a very important point of view; as forming so essential a part of the christian religion, and of our evidence of interest in the blessings of divine favour, that there can be none without it. "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother, abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him: but he that hateth his brother is in darkmess, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Brotherly love, is of absolute necessity to the peace and prosperity of Zion; this is the sacred cement and bond of union, that joins and compresses into one solid body her numerous parts, and makes her appear bright as the sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners. Her strength lies in her union, her union in her love: take this away, and all becomes a mere rope of sand, which falls to pieces of itself without foreign aid. "Let brotherly love continue," should be her universal and perpetual motto, ever watching against him who artfully contrives to sow discord among brethren. That, speaking the truth in love, ye may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part make to increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in love.
It may also be observed, that nothing appears more lovely, or would tend more effectually to recommend the christian cause in the world, than an universal and perpetual spirit of love among its professed friends; such as would compel its enemies to bear their testimony in favour of its conciliating tendency -- Nor can any thing on earth so much resemble Heaven, as christians dwelling together in love. "Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garment; as the view of Hermon; and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for-ever-more. Above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another and toward all men, even as we do toward you,"
MATHIAS LUSE, Moderator.JAMES SEYMOUR, Clerk.
You may have observed in our minutes of this year, that considerable less money has been contributed for the foreign mission this year, than formerly. We wish you however to understand that this circumstance has been owing to the pecuniary rmbarrassments of the country and not to a disregard to that great and important object. Situated as we are, contiguous to the aborigines in the west, and considering likewise the means we possess, we have been induced to direct our efforts particularly to that quarter.
Dear Brethren, pray for us. We wish to continue our annual correspondence with you, and hope that former omissions will not be the examples of future practice. Hoping to hear from you the next year by your minutes or messengers we remain your brethren in Christ.
MATHIAS LUSE, Moderator.JAMES SEYMOUR, Clerk.
Washington Co., PA
This Web-page is still under construction:
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This Web-page is still under construction:
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SATURDAY, September 1, 1822.
Agreeably to appointment, the association convened at 9 o'clock, A.M. and opened [the] meeting by singing and prayer, by the moderator.
1. Appointed brother Thomas Campbell moderator, and Isaac Pettit clerk.
2. Brethren Thos. Rigdon, from the Mohicken association, Wm. C. Larwell, from the Wooster, and John Martin, from the Flat Run church, were invited to a seat with us.
3. The Flat Run church applied for admission into this association, by their messenger, brother Martin.
4. On motion, Resolved, That the subject of this application be postponed till the afternoon.
5. A letter of correspondence, from the Mohicken association, was presented and read by brother Thos. Rigdon, their messenger.
6. Resolved unanimously, That this association send a messenger, with minutes, to the Mohicken association, and that a collection be immediately raised to defray the expenses of his journey -- whereupon the [sum] of eleven dollars and ninety-five cents was raised, and the present clerk appointed to prepare a letter.
7. Resolved, That brother Sidney Rigdon be our messenger to the Mohicken association.
8. On motion, Resolved, That brother Wm. Brownfield be instructed to address a letter to the Philadelphia and Baltimore associations, and request an explanation of the cause of their discontinuing their correspondence with this association.
9. Brother Brownfield having failed to write the circular letter agreeably to last year's appointment, brother A. Campbell was appointed to write one in the course of [three] weeks, and brethren T. Campbell, M. Luse and C. Wheeler appointed to inspect it.
10. Appointed brother Brownfield to write the circular letter for next year.
11. Circular meetings. Resolved, That the requests for circular meetings at the following places be granted, viz. 1. At Big Redstone on the Saturday before the 3d Lord's day of May -- brethren Luse, Patton and Wheeler to attend. 2. Little Redstone, Saturday before the 2d Lord's day in October -- Wheeler, Brownfield and Frey to attend. 3. Turkeyfoot, Saturday before the last Lord's day in August -- A Campbell, Frey and Estep to attend. 4. Forks of Yough, 2nd Lord's day in November -- Estep and Brownfield to attend. [5.] Belua, Saturday before 2d Lord's day in June -- Estep and Brownfield to attend.
12. Resolved, That the next meeting of this association be held at Pittsburg.
13. The business of the Flat Run church being under consideration, the following was moved by brother Estep and seconded by brother A. Campbell, viz. Resolved, That while we sympathize with the church at Flat Run, wishing them every comfort from God the father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ; yet we think it more consistent with the general principles of the association of churches, and conducive to their harmony, that churches already connected with an association, should always be dismissed therefrom before they are united to any other, unless that dismission be unreasonably withhrld.
The above was negatived.
14. Resolved, That the church of Flat Run cannot be received at this time.
15. Whereas the query from the church at Big Redstone was withdrawn, the consideration of it was dropt.
16. Appointed brother Estep to preach the introductory sermon next year.
17. Information was communicated to the association relative to some alleged irregularity respecting Love B. Green, whereupon a committee was appointed to investigate the facts according to descretion -- namely, Brownfield, John Patton, and James Seymour.
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19. Appointed Thomas Rigdon, James Estep and Alexander Campbell to preach to-morrow.
Adjourned till to-morrow, 10 o'clock.
LORD'S DAY, September 2.At 10 o'clock the association met according to appointment. Brother Thomas Rigdon commenced the services of the day. He preached from I. Peter, 2d ch. 6th verse: "Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious' and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." Brother Estep then preached from 1. Peter, 1st ch. 12th v. "Which things the angels desired to look into." Brother A. Campbell delivered the concluding sermon from I. Corinthians, 15th ch. 3d v. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures."
During the session of the association there was preaching in succession; and tonight in town and country, where brethren De Garmo, S. Rigdon, Frey, T. Rigdon, Estep and Patton preached respectively.
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We present for your consideration a few remarks on the proper use of the oracles of God. We presume that it is quite unnecessary to use arguments to convince you, that [there] is a proper and an improper use of these oracles. The ignorance and superstition [of many] who have long possessed and long read these records is no doubtful evidence [for] improper use of them. When we speak of the improper use of the bible, we have [-----] those who are daily reading it, and are apparently learning its contents, and yet [not] come to the knowledge of the truth which it contains; or those who have a very [imperfect] knowledge of it, insomuch that they [have refused] even yet, to learn the first principles of the oracles of God. We do not [consider] in our view those who make no [use of] this sacred word, to whom God has sent it, into whose houses it has found its [way, but] into whose hands, and into whose thoughts it never comes unless as an unwelcome guest. Their condemnation slumbereth not. Their sun will soon set, to [rise again] no more forever.
There are two popular opinions respecting the scriptures in very current circulation, [which], as far as they obtain credit, must prevent the proper use of them. The [first is] that none but the learned can understand them. And the second is, that some [christians] are under a greater onligation to study them than others, viz. that those called to be teachers of the church are in duty bound to study the scriptures more than those [-----] them. Two opinions unfounded in revelation, and dangerous in the extreme. [--- ---gst] those who read the bible and have so much faith as to desire to know the [--- God] which it reveals, there are some much discouraged from the former of [these two] opinions, from an apprehension that none but the learned * can understand it, [with any] degree of certainty. -- That there must be a distinct order of men in the church, [who are] qualified by the acquisition of dead languages and human sciences, whose peculiar duty it is to interpret the scriptures for the benefit of the unlearned members of the christian community. Few opinions are more derogatory to the character of God, [and none] more conductive to error than the above. We have said few opinions are more derogatory to the character of God than the above. And does not this appear [--- --rs] pm yje mere statement of it? Has the creator of the universe condescended to [------me] the author of one book, and but one, and is he, all whose works are perfect, so [obscure] an author, so confused and perplexing in his style; or did he select amanuenses so defective in their accomplishments, so incapable to express his mind, and to [record] his mighty deeds, as to render the book unintelligible to all but the learned!! Or [does he] resemble some of our young orators and writers, whose object it is, rather to be admired than understood; who to display their great learning and fine talents, drown [all sense] in a torrent of long, high sounding terms!! Or did he, for the sake of a favored [few?] --
* We do not intend to say that learning is not necessary to understanding some parts [of the] divine revelation, such as prophecy and some peculiar customs which require an [acquaintance] with history, chronology, and figurative language. We [intend] to say that the great doctrine of salvation, the "apostle's doctrine" of faith and practice, [------ing] belonging to the Christian religion, necessary to the perfection of saints, [-----ly] revealed and taught, as to be intelligible to all acquainted with plain [talk.]
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But we have said that no opinion was more conductive to error than the [ptrtense]. If none but the learned can understand the scriptures; why do the unlearned read them? Or rather why do the learned exhort the unlearned to read them? -- There [must be] some glaring inconsistency here. It lies upon those who hold the above opinion [to be] rid of it if they can. But admitting the above opinion to be correct, how are the unlearned to understand the scriptures? The answer is easy; they must apply to the learned for the meaning of them -- But the most pinching question is to which of the learned "teachers of theology" shall they apply? Some will say, to the most learned -- But who is the judge, who can with certainty pronounce upon the comparative claims of the learned!! Another will say, to the most orthodox of the learned -- But again, who will determine upon their respective creeds!! Before any person can decide upon this question, he must know all their creeds and be as wise as the creed makers themselves. He has then no need of a teacher. He is as wise as they. Inconsistencies meet [us on] every side. But there are learned Catholics, Episcopalians, Arminians, Calvinists, Arians, Socinians, Presbyterians, Baptists, and others. The followers of each [claim] their leaders orthodox, and the others blind guides, heterodox teachers, &c. How [then] are the unlearned to determine!! It is impossible to come to any fair conclusion [on] these premises. The unlearned must either abandon the above opinions and [teach] themselves, or they must be the "servants of men." For so long as [they hold] the above opinion, and act upon it, so long are they led by mere [prejudice and] whatever notions they have, whether true or false, rest upon the supposed [-------] integrity of others, and consequently their faith, if such it may be called, is [----- --] faith.
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The second popular opinion which we mentioned is, "that some christians are under a greater obligation to study the scriptures than others." This opinion may be supposed to grow out of the former, though, indeed, it cannot legitimately proceed [from] it: for if none but the learned can understand them, the unlearned must be excused from reading them at all. For why should they read a book which it is impossible for them to understand! But the second opinion is held by some who do not hold the [first] and therefore it merits to be distinctly considered. In the first place, then, if it be the duty of some christians such as teachers or rulers in the church to study the scriptures more than others, it must be the duty of others not to study them as much as the teachers or rulers. The one necessarily requires the other, and we presume it [needs] obly to be stated, to be seen. But do the scriptures inform us on this topic, do they [tell] us how much reading and reflection become the duty of the teacher and the [taught], or the ruler and the ruled? No. They make no distinctions of this kind, we [can] derive no information from them on this subject. We might as reasonably expect [----d] something said concerning Kirk sessions or camp meetings in the new testament [on the] discoveries of modern times. But some men will say, were not the apostles, evangelists, and teachers of primitive times, under greater obligation to study the scriptures than the other members of the churches which they planted. This is a very obvious objection; and deserves attention. In the first place, then, when the apostles received their comissions there was no scripture, save the old testament. They [were made] able ministers of the new testament, not of the old -- not of the law, but of the gospel. Their whole time was to be devoted to the 'ministry of the word," or to the proclamation of the gospel -- not to the studying of it, for they were taught it at [first] by the spirit. Besides its publication to the world depended upon their conjoint [witness], so that a "woe" was awaiting them if they ceased to promulgate the glad tidings. [This much], then, as a dispensation of the gospel was committed to them, they were under special and peculiar obligation to devote their whole time to the proclamation of [it; not] to reading the old testament, but to writing and preaching the new. Who is [today] on earth, who now can say that a dispensation of the gospel is committed to him, and that woe is unto him if he preach not the gospel?
Amongst the agents that Paul left behind him, in certain places, were Timothy and Titus, called evangelists; -- The one left at Ephesus, and the other in Crete, at the time that Paul addressed his letters to them. They were left behind as agents "to set in order things that were wanting" and "to ordain elders in every city as Paul had commanded them." Their whole time was devoted to the work which was enjoined upon [them]; -- laborious and extensive it was. They were no so much students as teachers and agents; yet they had their information at second hand; they were not inspired, but [taught] by inspired men, or by an inspired apostle. -- These observations are necessary [-- ---] correct views of that objection now under consideration. Those extraordinary [teachers] in the church, then, were under a prculiar obligation to direct their whole time [not to] study but to the ministry of the word; and this obligation arose from the grace which was bestowed upon them, qualifying them, for a work peculiar to the times and circumstances in which they were placed. But with regard to the bishop or elders and deacons which they ordained, & which offices appear to have been designed for the [peculiar] and constant exogencies of the church, and which were common to all churches
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But another man will say these last words, "the teacher and the taught" imply that teaching is necessary, and that some must be able to teach others, which presupposes that all are not under a like obligation to know and understand the scriptures. This objection is as specious as the preceding, though not more solid. When we [say] that there are teachers and taught in the church, it does not follow, as a [f---] legitimate conclusion, that the taught are not equally obliged to know the will of God as the teachers. Nay, it rather teaches us the contrary. Yea, it rather implies that the taught are under a greater obligation to learn the Divine will than the teacher, who is so far advanced before them; and his progress, and their defects in knowledge demands from them greater diligence.
But the same objector will say, if the circumstance of [there] being teacher and taught in the church, does not imply that the taught are under less obligation to understand the Divine record than the teacher; it surely implies that there is a necessity [for] learned men to interpret the scriptures to us. This objection lies against [the] preceding remarks, and merits considerable attention. In the first place we [----] observe that the church, from its beginning until now, has consisted of babes in [Christ], children, young men, and fathers. All, then, are neither of the same spiritual [age] nor of the same spiritual attainments. This, then, fairly implies that there must [be a] regular course of instruction and discipline in the church. There must also be [persons] qualified to take the lead in this course of instruction, and in this course of [discipline]. These persons must unite in themselves a gift of teaching, and a gift of ruling. [----] now, what is this course of instruction by which the saints are to be perfected? [This] is the grand point to ascertain -- this established, and we stand upon a rock. To [ascertain] this with certainty, we must, as in every thing similar, refer to the first principless.
When the Saviour was about to ascend on high, he gave a commission to his apostles, instructing them and authorizing them in the great work of erecting his kingdom. They were to make disciples out of all nations. Then to teach these disciples to observe all things he had commanded them. Under this commission, when [endued] with a peculiar power from on high, they proceeded to announce the gospel, [first to] the Jews. The Lord gave testimony to the word of grace, and 3000 were converted to Christ by the first gospel sermon. These three thousand, after baptism, "continued stedfastly in the apostle's doctrine." This doctrine was not then written, but spoken to them by the apostles, and being new in many respects, it was called the apostle's doctrine." It was in fact the doctrine or word of Christ. This doctrine was in a few years proclaimed to all the world, Jews and Gentiles; and [numerous] societies, called churches, formed every where which had as yet no written word [but] the old testament, and few, except the Jews, had it. Teachers were appointed [to]
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* In Mosheim, and other historians, there is frequent mention of the simplicity of teaching in the first and second centuries, corresponding with what we have written. Mos. vol. 1st, page 124, says,"In these assemblies the holy scriptures were publicly read, and for that purpose were divided into certain portions or lessons. -- This part of Divine service was followed by a brief exhortation to the people, in which eloquence and art gave place to the natural and fervent expression of zeal and charity." See also, p. 113.
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We would simply ask, for what reason should any Christian be under any greater obligation to read the scriptures or to study them more than another? Is not the peace and comfort of the truth believed and understood of equal importance to all? Can any one judge or learn for another? Will any one bear another man's judgment? But the teacher, it is argued, ought to know the scriptures better than others. Let us ask why? The souls of others depend upon his lips, their salvation depends upon him. If this be so new, what use are the scriptures to any but teachers? Time was when this was in a measure so; but this was before the new testament was written. If the salvation of men depend upon the teacher's lips, why was the new testament written? Why have we not now infallible guides as formerly? Can any teacher convey the knowledge of the truth better than Paul or Peter and James and John? If so, we are more indebted to such teachers than to those whom God sent with extraordinary gifts. If men with ordinary gifts are better than those possed of extraordinary gifts, then ordinary gifts are better than extraordinary gifts. But Timothy was to give himself wholly to the word, and all Christians cannot do this. Well, if all teachers are to give themselves wholly to the word, then not one in a thousand of our modern teachers is worth a hearing, for they do not give themselves wholly to the word. We have already shewn what was peculiar to Timothy and Titus, and do not think it necessary to follow the objection further. In a word, let him who conceives himself to be standing in the place of Timothy and Titus, take those epistles and act according to them in every respect. And let those who consider themselves but bishops as those mentioned in the new testament, rule and teach by reading, by exhortion and doctrine. Let them feed the babes with the sincere milk of the word -- let them caution and admonish the young men in the words which the Holy Ghost teacheth; let them comfort the feeble and the afflicted by the consolations of Christ; let them warn the unruly by the terrors of the Lord; and let them rebuke, admonish, and exclude as the law of Christ directs.
Having briefly adverted to these popular opinions, and having, in so doing, partially hinted at the proper use of the Divine oracles, we shall, plainly as possible, declare how the scriptures ought to be used.
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In the next place, every Christian desirous of knowing the truth, must be disposed in his mind, to follow the truth whithersoever it leads him. This is essentially necessary. No man can sincerely desire to know the truth, who is not disposed to obey it. Many, we fear, read the scriptures with the design of merely supporting their present views; their sincere desire is to retain and prove their present sentiments, and although they profess other desires, God, who knows their real desires, most frequently, in righteous indognation, suffers them to go on in their errors; he, in wrath, hears their true desires, and answers them. The Light of the world said, "If thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light, but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." A single eye is an eye having but one object, viz. to know the will of God; and an evil eye is an eye having carnal objects in view.
Again, in order to know the scriptures, it is necessary that every truth that is known be practised. Any person who holds the truth in unrighteousness, who disobeys any one truth which he knows, cannot reasonably expect to know another. For what purpose will God communicate light to those who are disobedient to that which they know, except to aggravate their condemnation. The Saviour of the world has said, "If a man do his will, he shall know of the doctrine."
Lastly, it is essentially necessary that the scriptures be read regularly and abundantly. There is a way of reading a chapter morning and evening, in a desultory wa; in the morning, in the book of Chronicles; in the evening in the epistles of John -- tomorrow, in the book of Genesis; next day, in the Rebelations of John. A person might read the scriptures, this way, as long as Methuselah lived, and die in ignorance of their contents. The Jews read the whole old testament regularly through, in their synagogue, once every year. They taught it to their children, lying down, and rising up; going out, and coming in; in the house, and by the way. We should read the espitolary part as we read other letters, without respect to chapters or verses, reading a whole espistle at one time; but two or three of them would require more than half an hour. The longest of them might make two lessons. The historical parts are to be read, like other histories, to proper periods, over and over, and over again, and again. The reading of the scriptures, in private and in public, in this way, and attendance upon the ordinances of the church, will, we are assured from facts indisputable, communicate more instruction in six months, than would or could be acquired in seven years on the common plan. God has wisely revealed his will in such a way as to keep us employed in meditating upon it. He designed the Christian's life to be a life of contemplation, in the true sense of the term; to oblige him to continual converse with God. We speak to God in our prayers, and he speaks to us in his word. And while he uses the plainest language, he teaches the sublimest, the highest and the deepest things. The volume of inspiration has mines of knowledge inexhaustible, and words of grace transporting. In the words of Solomon we take our leave of you: "My son, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and lift up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver and searchest for her as for hidden treasure; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."
THOMAS CAMPBELL, Moderator.ISAAC PETTIT, Clerk,
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At no period since our first correspondence with you, have we more sensibly felt the mutual obligation of continuing our intercourse with our sister associations, than at the present time. Two important reasons may be assigned for the continuance of this friendly intercourse: --
1. To communicate to one another information of the most interesting character in relation to the Redeemer's kingdom, within the limits of our respective associations.
Considering the wide range of territory, the extensive and interesting population embraced by our associated churches; the recent exertions which the American Baptist churches have been making for foreign and domestic missions, and the establishment of literary institutions, and the great increase of some of our churches by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; it might be expected that information of great interest would be made in some of our annual epistles, calculated to refresh our spirits, encourage and enlighten our hearts in the common cause of the Redeemer's kingdom.
2. To promote unity in all the material points of faith and practice, according to the oracles of GOD, the only acknowledged standard of our faith and obedience. In proportion to the exertion of God's people to extend the dominion of our Lord, either at home or abroad, the adversaey of God and man will exert his power to countervail the operations of the former. But the Redeemer's kingdom must increase -- not by carnal weapons, but by those which, when rightfully and skilfully used, have ever been mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strong holds.
The present meeting of our association has been attended with a spirit of unanimity and brotherly love. From some of our churches we have heard of some revivals and considerable increase -- others are mourning their low estate. For a few years past a few of the churches have been agitated by a doctrine preached in their vicinity derogatory to the divinity of our Divine Redeemer; but this doctrine is rapidly losing its advocates. Our churches stand firm in the belief of the THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and that these THREE are ONE.
In closing our epistle, brethren, we renew to you our sincere wishes that all the churches of your respective associations may be directed into the perfect love of Christ, and at last be filled with the fullness of God. If we are not known to you all personally, (as from the nature of the case it cannot otherwise be,) yet we wish to act in concert with you in all things pertaining to the glory of our Lord and Saviour -- hoping that when we have done and suffered all his will here on earth, we shall all meet in one grand association of associations,
"And Sabbaths never end."
THOMAS CAMPBELL, Moderator.ISAAC PETTIT, Clerk,
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