Pittsburgh Baptist Church
Allegheny Co., PA
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1. At 9 o'clock, A. M. met according to appointment. Brother [T]. Campbell opened meeting by singing and prayer.
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the subject to assure our brethren, that, whatever may have been said or written by a few persons upon it; the association remains steadfast in their belief of that all-important doctrine -- THE TRINITY OF PERSONS IN THE GOD-HEAD. The subject we know is among "the deep things of God;" but at the same time; most unequivocally declared to us in God's Holy Word. We therefore, wish the minds of our brethren to be (with respect to us) at rest on that subject.
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Fayette Co., PA
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3. Appointed brethren Brownfield, Greatrake, Spears, Frey, and Seymour, a committee to arrange the business for to-morrow.
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Washington Co., PA
4. Appointed brother Seymour Moderator, and brother French Clerk.
5. Query from the church at Uniontown last year, "Will the association continue to hold those in fellowship who essentially differ from us in the doctrine of the gospel. Voted in the negative.
6. Request from the Still-Water Association last year, "for a correspondence with us." Voted in the negative.
7. Resolved, That the application from the Stubenville church for admission into this Association, be laid over until the next meeting of the Association, owing to the informality of their letter. But that the ministering brethren in this Association be requested to visit the said church, as far as practicable.
8. A letter from the Cross Creek church, Virginia, with messengers, Nicholas Headington, Peter Magers, and Greenberry Magers, requesting admission into this Association was granted, and received into fellowship by the Moderator giving their first representative the right hand of fellowship.
9. Requested brethren Frey and Williams from Ohio take a seat with us, which was accepted.
10. Resolved, that meeting of the churches by their delegates is of special use. 1st. To gain acquaintance with, and knowledge of one another. 2d. To preserve uniformity in faith and practice. 3d. To detect and discountenance heresies. 4th. To afford assistance and advice in all difficult cases. 5th. To contribute pecuniary aid when necessary. 6th. To afford supplies for destitute churches, & every way advance & secure the interest of religion, and strengthen and draw closer the bonds of union and fellowship.
11. A motion was made to alter the 5th article of the constitution, which was decided in the negative.
Adjourned for 20 minutes.
Met pursuant to adjournment and proceeded to business.
12. Instituted an inquiry concerning the doctrine held by the church at Washington, Pa; the decision was deferred until next meeting of the Association.
13. A memorial from several persons at Brush Run, was presented for consideration which was postponed until next meeting of the Association.
Adjourned to meet at half past 7 o'clock this evening.
Met pursuant to adjournment and proceeded to business.
14. A resolution was presented by Ephraim Estep, charging Lawrence Greatrake with an heretical sentiment in the introductory sermon, which was promptly negatived.
15. The circular letter prepared by brother Brownfield, agreeably to appointment last year, was presented and read.
16. Appointed brother Brownfield to superintend the printing and distributing the minutes/
17. Resolved, that the next meeting of the Association be held at Big
Redstone, Fayette county, Pa. to commence on the Friday preceding the first Lord's day in September next, precisely at 11 o'clock.
18. Appointed brother John Patton, to preach the introductory sermon for next year, and in case of failure, James Estep.
[19.] Appointed brother Wheeler to write the circular for next year.
20. Agreeably to the request of Little Redstone for supplies, the following brethren agree to visit them, viz: James Frey, on the 2d Lord's day in april; James Seymour on the 1st Lord's day in April; William Brownfield on the 5th Lord's day in April.
Lords day, September 4, 1825.The service of the day was introduced by brother Moses Frey, Jun'r., from Matthew 27. 35, "And they crucified him." Brother John Patton then preached from Rom. 5. 8, "But God commandeth his love toward us in that whilst we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." After a short intermission, brother James Estep preached from Titus 2. 13, "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
JAMES SEYMOUR -- Moderator.WILLIAM FRENCH -- Clerk.
Fayette Co., PA
REDSTONE BAPTIST ASSOCIATION,
HELD BY APPOINTMENT AT
BIG REDSTONE CHURCH,
FAYETTE COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA,
September 1, 2 and 3, 1826.
P i t t s b u r g h:
PRINTED BY JOHNSTON & STOCKTON.
1. At 11 o'clock, A. M., agreeably to appointment last year, Brother JOHN PATTON delivered the introductory sermon, from Ephesians ii. 14. -- "For he is our peace."
This Web-page is still under construction:
3. Appointed brother John Patton, Moderator, and brother William French, Clerk.
4. Appointed brethren W. Brownfield, Jesse [Mellet] and William French, a committee to arange the business for to-morrow.
Adjourned, to meet to-morrow at 9 o'clock.
SATURDAY, September 2.Met, pursuant to adjournment, and after singing and prayer by the Moderator, succeeded to business.
5. Attended to reading the Letters that were not read yesterday, vis: -- Maple Creek, Ten Mile Creek, and Ruff's Creek.
6. On motion, Resolved, That the following ministering brethren be invited to a seat with us, viz: Joshua Hickman, from the Union Association, Lawrence Greatrake and John Thomas.
7. A Letter from a church at Troolick, in Indiana County, Pa. was presented and read, requesting union with this Association, which was unanimously granted; and accordingly received into fellowship.
8. A Letter of correspondence from the Mahonianing [sic] Association, was presented to be read, by ALEXANDER CAMPBELL; who stated, that there had been a correspondence for several years. On account of an objection being made to the statement as incorrect, the reading of the Letter was indefinitely postponed for further inquiry. *
9. Resumed the inquiry of last year, concerning the doctrine held by the Washington Church, and their Minister; and after a full investigation thereof, they were found to be heterodox; therefore, Resolved, That they be, and are hereby, excluded from our fellowship.
10. A motion was made and seconded, That the brethren from Maple Creek be invited to a seat with us, though they did not give a satisfactory explanation of their faith in their letter, as required by the Constitution. After some miscellaneous observations, their Minister was required to state the cause of the want of explanation. His statement not being satisfactory, the motion was decided in the negative.
11. Resumed the consideration of the memorial presented last year by [five] persons at Brush Run. After mature deliberation Resolved that the memorial be returned to them. +
12. The church at Pigeon Creek, on account of their refusal to give a satisfactory explanation of their faith, were excluded from our fellowship.
Adjourned for twenty minutes.
Met, pursuant to adjournment, and after singing proceeded to business.
13. Instituted an inquiry concerning the doctrine held by the Somerset Church; and after a full investigation thereof, being found heterodox, Resolved, That they be, and are hereby, excluded from our fellowship.
* According to the Records, Files, and Minutes of this Association, no such correspondence ever existed!!
+ This memorial demanded (in brief) a restoration to the fellowship of this Association; or, as an alternative, that their original letter (i.e. the letter that they were received into the Association upon) be returned to them: the former request was little short of insult to the Association. The latter request was superseded in the known fact, that the said Brush Run people had, and have a copy of that letter! Their motive for demanding the original, was of course highly suspicious and the letter could not be granted them.
14. Request from the church at Little Redstone for ministerial supplies. Whereupon, the following brethren agree to visit them, viz. James Seympur, on the 1st Lord's day in March; James Frey, on the 2nd Lord's day in April; Lawrence Greatrake, on the 5th Lord's day in October; W. Brownfield on the 5th Lord's day in December; William French on the 1st Lord's day in April.
Appointed brother Greatrake to write the Circular Letter for the present year; and the following brethren, John Patton, James Frey, James Seymour, and W. Brownfield, a committee to inspect it.
16. Appointed the next meeting of the Association to be held at Uniontown, Fayette Co. Pa. to commence on Friday preceding the 1st Lord's day in September, 1827, precisely at 11 o'clock A. M.
17. Appointed brother James Seymour to preach the introductory sermon next year, and in case of failure, William French.
18. Appointed brother W. Brownfield to write the Circular Letter for next year.
19. Appointed brother L. Greatrake to superintend the printing and distribution of the Minutes.
==>20. A request was made by the church at Pittsburgh for a letter of dismission, to join the Beaver Association, which the Association declined granting, [DUE TO] THE CIRCUMSTANCE of brother L. Greatrake charging the Minister of said church, (J. Bradley,) with BEING EXTREMELY UNSOUND in the faith. Therefore, the five following brethren, James Estep, James Frey, James Seymour, W. Brownfield, and William French, were appointed a committee to investigate the merits of the case and make report at our next Session. *
While the business of the Association was transacting by the Session, Jesse Mellet preached at the stage from Matt. i. 21, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins." John Smith preached from John iii. 14, 15, "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."
LORD'S DAY, September 3.At 10 o'clock, the services of the day were introduced by brother John [sic - Joshua?] Hickman, from Psal. lxv. 4, "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple." Brother James Estep preached from Tit. ii 14, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." After a short intermission, brother Lawrence Greatrake preached from John xvii. 17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Prayer, by brother W. Brownfield, who dismissed the numerous assembly.
JOHN PATTON, Moderator.
WILLIAM FRENCH, Clerk.
* The publisher of the minutes, assumes the responsibility of making these minutes a [vehicle] of intimating to the said committee of investigation, that justice to all concerned, but more especially to the cause of truth, makes it their imperious duty to give the earliest possible attention to this case!
The Ministers and Messengers of the Redstone Association to the Churches whom they represent, sendeth Christian salutation: --
In presenting you our annual epistle, we find several reasons for observing [gravity]. Among the reasons is the paucity of contribution made by the churches [for] the printing of their minutes. We shall endeavour to say much in a small space. You know, that for years past, our association has been in a state of distressing agitation. All connected with it have professed to deplore it; some with a sigh of sincerity, some with a crocodile tear. All have felt, or seen the effects; but few, comparatively, have known the cause. That cause, we for a moment advert to, and remark upon, as a beacon to you hereafter! It is greatly wise to convert the errors of the past into lessons of profit for the future. Several years ago a couple of THEOLOGICAL ADVENTURERS, "by good words and fair speeches, deceived the hearts of the simple," and unsuspicious among you, and by a bare majority of your votes, they got ingress among you as Baptists. There were those, however, in your association, whose experience, reflection and intelligence, led them to suspect, both the theology and design of those two men; and who opposed their admission into your association, in the first instance, as being of very equivocal character. In a short time after, these Adventurers became united to you, and in a moment of rampant vanity, they insolently professed, in the hearing of several persons, that it was their intention to revolutionize the Regular Baptist Church; and to that end they had joined themselves to it: while in their writings and harangues, they were introducing among you, in artful disguise, the most pernicious heresies. This necessarily called forth a stern and unyielding opposition on the part of those among you, who saw through the gauze of sophistry in which all the former's theology was clothed. As faithful centinels on the walls of Zion, they sounded the alarm, they endured the obloquy and persecution incident to their being thought disturbers of the peace of Zion. "The warning song was for a length of time sung in vain; but few would hear and fewer heed the strain." At length infantile credulity itself had to give way, and the greater part of your association shook themselves from their lethargy, and rose in opposition to these Adventurers. By this time, however, there were churches (so-called) introduced into connexion with your, which were the product or creatures of the said two would-be Revolutionizers! While some of your former churches, and of whom you had hoped better things, became, in the persons of their ministers and leading members, the busy agents in the circulation of the writings, and blustering echoes of the harangues of these revolutionary Elymasses. 1 Others of your churches were so far led astray by the dissimulation and fancied liberty, of this revolutionary device, that they united with the former churches in an attempt to destroy your constitution, and to suppress your good confession of that faith once delivered to the saints. To accomplish this, the GENIUS OF RIBALDRY, in the person of the JUNIOR of those two adventurers, went through the country, in written and oral philippick against the association, as being clothed with superstitious reverence for the old fashioned theology: filled with bigoted attachment to the confessions of faith: grossly ignorant of the Scriptures: swayed by the spirit of popish tyranny; and acting out a part of more than inquisitorial barbarity
1 Acts xiii, 8 to 10.
over the mental freedom and consciences of individuals, and the rights and independence of the churches! While hundreds who had caught this more than PERSIAN FLAME 1 of INDEPENDENCE stunned the ears of the community in vociferations of this declamation. 2 All this WINDY hubbub availed nothing with the association: she now saw through this ill-disguised machination. She felt satisfied that there had been no demur against her confession of faith, UNTIL that confession had condemned the faith of its condemners! She saw that it was detecting heretics and heretical churches: -- that it set in a blaze of rage and malignant opposition, the disguised errorists that had got into her churches. This taught her to prize that good confession of faith the more highly, as being of profitable for DEFENCE against heretics, as well as being explanatory of the doctrine of the Scriptures. Under the circumstances noticed, the association has been, for years past, not only struggling for the preservation of her faith and order, but also putting forth her best efforts to restore to their proper mind, and to bring back to the "good old way," those churches of her body whom she conceived had been made victims of a VARIED IMPOSTURE! Nor have her efforts been unattended with a pleasing degree of success. Where she has failed in her affectionate attempt to RECOVER, it has not been for the want of as much gentleness and effort as respect to her own existence would possibly admit of. She has borne with the INFIRMITIES of the weak, and the insolence and guile of the ANARCHICAL; until forbearance ceased to be a virtue, and further attempt to continue them in our fellowship would assume the character of a design to put a negative upon the word of God itself, which declares, that "two cannot walk together unless they are agreed." Hence at our last session, we felt it our duty to bring the case to an issue, and to that end avowed non-fellowship with those churches that continued hostile and refractory to our faith and order. For the particulars of which we refer you to our minutes. The churches that we have put away from us, we esteem as so much excrescence of which we are happily disburthened! Of those churches whose letters were not received, (at least most of them,) we hope better things, and things that accompany salvation. These churches we esteem as still worthy of our ministerial attentions and christian sympathies. To God we commend, (with hearts warmed by his grace) in the exercise of every friendly and prayerful solicitude on their behalf: and beseech the great Shepherd of Israel to save them, if vines, from the old fox and the young one too; who have already robbed them of many a cluster of their grapes. Perhaps they have departed from us for a season, that we may receive them again hereafter, to be more than ever profitable unto us, and we to them. Amen.
Having, brethren, briefly noticed the cause, progress, and termination of that contention which so long prevailed in our association; we shall now affectionately invite your attention while we make a few remarks on the subject of SANCTIFICATION: "Vast as Eternity our theme" -- A point our space to portray it in!
How imperfect then must be our representation.
There are two general ideas arising out of our subject, namely, the import [of] sanctification; and the agent and instrument thereof. We shall be compelled to limit ourselves to a mere glance of the first idea, to the end that we may have space to enlarge in our remarks of the last.
FIRST GENERAL IDEA.
1 See James iii. 6, for its name and character!
2 And yet not one church was necessitated to stay in the association one hour longer than it was pleased to continue!!!
ordained unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord!! 1 This sanctifying, or setting apart, begins, and is virtually made in God the Father's giving the Elect to his Son, to be the subjects of that Son's Mediatorial government! 2 [And] the Son sanctifies or sets them apart from the condemnation of the law and the pains of hell by his own blood and righteousness, in the man Christ Jesus! 3 The Holy Ghost sanctifies, or sets them apart from the love and reigning power [of sin] by "creating in them a new man which after God," (i. e. after God's purpose!) "is created in righteousness and true holiness." 4 It is to this latter [--ach] of sanctification that we design to direct our subsequent remarks, and which we shall denominate vital or manifestive sanctification. In view of this sanctification an apostle has said, "now, if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature:" 5 that is, if any man be vitally, or manifestatively, in Christ by the sanctification of the Spirit, he is a new creature. This passage of Scripture, with the ones previously referred to, will furnish us with this general idea, to wit: that sanctification does not consist in repairing or reforming the old nature, or in making that new; but is a NEW MAN! THE WORKMANSHIP of God! created [in] righteousness and true holiness and ORDAINED unto GOOD WORKS! 6 This, in [fact] and effect, is the "secret of the Lord abiding in the tabernacle of the righteous:" 7 This in fact is, Jesus formed in the heart, the hope of glory: this [is] the wrought needle-work that constitutes the believer ALL GLORIOUS WITHIN. This is the inner and hidden man of the heart! This new creature -- this heaven-born spiritual man, cannot sin -- cannot have any fellowship with the [unfruitful] works of darkness, but will for ever abhor and reprove them as they move [and] prevail in the "old man." The abode of this new man, in this life, is a "body [of] sin and death!" -- a living spark in an ocean of corruption! An infant of a day [in] a den of serpents, welted with their loathsome forms; transfixed with their poisonous fangs, yet remaining alive and unhurt! The two natures, this new man and the old, are ever at variance -- ever contrary the one to the other: The one all reverence, gratitude and passion toward God; the other all ingratitude to God and idolatrous passion for the world! So that the believer is truly and pre-eminently a phenomenon -- "a man to be wondered at" -- a devil and a saint! As the new man rules, the christian shines: As the old man rules, the glories of the new man are obscured. The new man "waxing stronger and stronger," the old man with his deeds and lusts, is the more easily kept under; though the old man is just as strong in the hour of a believer's death as ever he was; and the greatest saint when he comes to die, has as much corruption about him as ever he had: The difference is, that there is a new man, and the old man is in subjection thereto! Hence the only appropriate language that a believer may use, after the most extended life, of the most exemplary piety, is, "God be merciful to me a sinner." On death, the corruptible -- the old man -- the body of sin and death, shall be put off. The law in the members warring against the law of the mind -- the company and conflicting of the two armies -- the wrestling with flesh and blood -- the agonizings against the heart of unbelief shall then, (and not till then!) all terminate. Then the new man shall inhale an atmosphere of holiness congenial with his nature. Then shall it worship its CREATORS 8 in the all-devouring great emotion and perfection that it has here desired, longed, panted and roared for! (Who knows not these things knows nothing as he ought to know of sanctification!) Meanwhile the body of sin and death, that leprous house, shall go down to the dust, and be, like ashes, blown to and fro around the earth, until the voice of the archangel and the trump of God shall summon every flying and every recumbent particle thereof to reunite, and the Holy Ghost shall fashion the body, as he has previously garnished the soul, in the "beauties of holiness, and like unto Christ's most glorious body;" then the sanctification will be complete -- the IMPORT will then be fully made out in the sight of an astonished universe.
1 Ephes. i. 4.
2 Jude i. 1.
3 Heb. xiii. 12, x. 14.
4 2 Thess. ii. 3. 1 Pet. i. 2.
5 2 Cor. v. 17.
6 Ephes. ii. 10
7 Job xxix. 4.
8 Eccl. xii. 1, Zeber ath Buraik, i. e. remember thy Creators.
That agent is the Holy Ghost! hence, says Jehovah by the pen of the prophet, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord;" and, says Jesus, -- "It is the Spirit that quickeneth the flesh," (i. e. the wisdom, volition [and] power of the natural man,) "profiteth nothing:" This sanctification is denominated in the Scriptures, [as] being born again -- born of the Spirit -- having the Spirit in the soul, "as a well of living water springing up unto eternal life" -- having [a] heart opened by God the Spirit, and an incorruptible seed, (i. e. the truth of the word of God,) planted there, which liveth and abideth (there! in the heart) forever! The operations of that Spirit, in his work of sanctifying the soul, are [represented] as being irresistible as the winds of the heavens, or the lightening of the clouds. All and every of the constituents that make up the new man, [are] throughout the Scriptures, represented, severally, as the product of the Holy Ghost. Is it, for instance, Repentance: the Spirit convinces of sin and gives Godly sorrow. 2 Is it Faith: no man calleth Jesus Christ Lord, save by the Holy Ghost; and faith is the gift of God by the Spirit. 3 Is it freedom or liberty from the bondage of the law and influence of a corrupt world; the Spirit gives the liberty. 4 Is it direction to Christ as the Mediator: -- the Spirit only can lead [the] soul to him. 5 Is it the enjoyment of the adoption as sons of God: that the Spirit communicates. 6 Is it the mystical and essential union of saints: by one Spirit we are baptized into one body. 7 Is it daily and hourly strength to overcome the world, endure afflictions, and keep under the body: by the Spirit we are strengthened in the inner man. 8 Is it the exercise of effectual fervent prayer: the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that are unutterable. 9 Is it the essential knowledge of Christ, or an understanding of the truth of what the Scriptures testify of him: that the Spirit only can reveal to the understanding? 10 Is it love to God, or the manifestations of the love of God to the soul: that is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. 11 Is it the gradual advancement of the believer in the divine life unto entire meetness, for the inheritance in glory: the Spirit rests upon him to that very end. 12 And so in reference to the other gifts and graces -- as hope, fear, meekness, humility, patience, peace, joy and [courage] all, all are the product of the Spirit of Jehovah: and thus declared to be in [full] DETAIL, as the whole is represented in the Scriptures in general terms, to be "THE WORKMANSHIP OF GOD ACCORDING TO HIS ELECTION, AND THROUGH SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT["]!! 13 Wherefore any and every system of theology [that] excludes the doctrine of the Spirit's direct, special, and unintermitting influence upon the soul, that system we say, is not only a "damnable heresy," but the use of the Bible, and the profession of faith in that system is as gross a blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, as that of the Jewish Rabbies is against Jehovah when they say that he takes great delight in reading their Talmud: there is just as much essential religion in that system, as there is grace and truth in this saying. From the throne of the universe Jehovah has declared, in a voice more terrible than the groan of expiring nature, "that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." 14
1 Zech. iv. 6.
2 Ezek. xxxvi. 26 to 31.
3 2 Cor. iv. 13. Ephes. ii. 8.
4 2 Cor. iii. 17.
5 John vi. 65.
6 Gal. iv. 6.
7 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13.
8 Ephes. iii. 16.
9 Rom. viii. 26, 27.
10 Matt. xvi. 17.
11 Rom. v. 5.
12 1 Pet. iv. 14.
13 Ephes. ii. 10. 1 Pet. 1. 2.
14 Rom. viii. 9.
In general terms, we observe, that the instrument is the word of God, [contained] in the Old and New Testaments.
"My doctrine," says Jehovah, "shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as showers upon the grass. 1 And, again, as the rain and the snow cometh down from heaven and accomplishes the will of God in nature, so shall his word be in grace, it shall prosper in the thing whereunto he sends it. 2 And, says the Psalmist, "The entrance of thy word giveth light." 3 Now, the manner in which the word findeth entrance into the heart is explained in the case of Lydia, whose heart the Lord opened by his Spirit. 4 By the Spirit, the word is made "swift and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword." And here we may ask -- what is a sword [less the] scabbard? or what is a sword without a hand strong and skilled to use it? Under such circumstances its properties as an instrument of offence or defence, [can] neither be seen or felt. Apply this to the case before us: -- The Bible is the scabbard: the truth of that Bible is the sword of the Spirit. That Spirit has ever [provided] a ministry competent to discriminate between the scabbard and the sword! [What] officers and soldiers, in the army of faith, they must be, who do not know whether there be such a thing as a sword! or who confound the sword with the scabbard! or who fling away the sword (i. e. a confession of the essential truth [of] the Bible,) as a matter of uselessness or incumbrance! And, what hopeful aspects there must be of the conversion of the world, from the doings of those [various] individuals and societies who are declaring the sword supererogatory, and [--ting] it placed somewhere, like Mahomet's coffin, between heaven and earth, where no one will be troubled, or offended with the unseemly object! and where, [they] might add, it will not be found present to judge them! What hopeful prospects, we say, again, there must be of converting the world, or subduing the nations of the earth to Immanuel, by the use of the scabbard! What marvellous evidence there is of the adorable Spirit's redeeming influences, when the sword [of] the Spirit is trampled under foot! And, O, what a faith, as to quality and [magnitude], to believe, that the Lord is there! But, to return. By the preaching of the word sinners are pricked in their hearts; they are convinced of all, they are judged of all, and the secrets of their hearts are made manifest to them (that [of] their heart's innate depravity, which is a thing hidden to a man in a state of nature, is made manifest,) under a view of which they become humble in the dust [in] self abasement, and from bold blasphemers of God, or contemners of his word, they are made worshippers of Jehovah, in spirit and in truth; and confess that God, the person of the Holy Ghost, is in all his saints, of a truth. 5 Upon this [ground] an apostle declared, he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, because it was the power of God to salvation, to every one that believeth, even as many as are ordained unto eternal life, and that Jehovah, our God, shall call. But, this [word] is not only an instrument of sanctification -- setting apart, or effectual [calling] of the sinner from the world and his sins: it is also the instrument of the believer's growth in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ: "All scripture," says an apostle, "is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction in righteousness, that the man of God, i. e. the man whom God hath by his Spirit sanctified or set apart unto himself, -- see Psalms iv. 3,) may be perfect; thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 6 The same apostle declares, that believers are begotten, or spiritually born, from [above], by the Gospel: 7 and, says the same apostle, "We all with open face beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory as by the Spirit of God." 8 This unquestionably refers unto
1 Deut. xxxii. 2.
2 Isaiah lv. .
3 Psal. cxix. 130.
4 Acts xvi. 14.
5 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25.
6 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.
7 1 Cor. iv. 15.
8 2 Cor. iii. 18.
the Scriptures, which only testify of Christ. Here, as in a mirror burnished [by] the hand of heaven, Immanuel's transcendant glories, enchanting loveliness, ineffable preciousess, and unsearchable fulness and riches of grace, is seen, more and more, by every soul enlightened by the Holy Ghost, until that Immanuel becomes a NAMELESS object to the MUSING soul!!
Again -- we remark, that it is THE TRUTH of the Scriptures that is SPECIFICALLY the INSTRUMENT of vital sanctification: Hence, says Jesus is intercessor with the Father for his people, "sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth:" here the great God is referred to by Jesus as the sanctifier, and the truth of the word as being specifically the instrument of sanctification: elsewhere Jesus says, "no man can come unto me except the Father draw him:" and, again, he declares, that his people "shall know the truth and the truth shall make them free:" and, says an apostle, "we are chosen to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the truth:" and, says another, "we are begotten by the truth;" and, "no lie" says he, "is of the truth." From these passages, and many others of a similar import, we learn, that the truth of the word is specifically the instrument of sanctification. Now, the truth must, unquestionably be the ESSENTIAL MEANING of the of the Bible! The understanding of this truth is discriminated by such phraseology as the following, to wit: "The faith of God's elect: a form of sound words: a good confession: rightly dividing the word of truth." On the other hand a misconception of that truth [is] represented to be, "changing the truth of God, (or God's word,) into a wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction: ever learning, (that is, of the word,) and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth: holding the truth [in] unrighteousness." Upon this ground, Jesus thanked his Father, that his disciples were led into the truth; and, that all his people should know the truth; that the truth should make them free, as the Spirit itself would lead them [thereafter]. Upon the same ground, an apostle declared that he would not give place [even] for an hour, to false representations of the word, that the truth of the Gospel might continue among his brethren: 1 and upon this ground he rejoiced, that his brethren knew the grace, (or Gospel) of God in truth. 2 Upon the same ground, another apostle declared, that he had no greater joy, than to witness his children in the gospel, walking in the truth thereof. 3 On the other hand, we hear Jesus rebuking with indignation those who made void the law, or falsely interpreted the Scriptures, by their traditions: and against false teachers of the word, he warned [his] disciples. Against false gospels the apostles warned the church; and, against those who should rise up, from among themselves, as professors, speaking [perverse] things, (to draw away disciples after them!) in the name of Christ and [the] word: 4 -- men who were reprobate concerning the truth of the Scriptures, [though] they were, professedly, teachers thereof. Upon this ground were the apostles so earnest in exhorting their brethren to "hold fast the form of sound words" -- their good confession -- "the faith once delivered to the saints." Upon [this] ground they gave commandment to the churches, to examine and try the spirits (i. e. preachers,) whether they were of God: 5 and, upon this ground, the church at Ephesus is commended; "because she had tried them that said they were apostles, and had found them liars." 6 All the foregoing references to Christ and his apostles, is made to furnish out a full and conclusive testimony that [is] the ESSENTIAL MEANING, or, in our former language, the truth of the word of God that is specifically the instrument of sanctification; and that in contradistinction to all and every of the false interpretations, and contradictory meanings that ever has been, or ever shall be given of that word!! Here arises one of the most interesting inquiries that ever pressed itself upon the mind of man: namely -- [where] or who is a guarantee to be found, that any of the human family shall know [what] os the essential truth of the Bible? With JEHOVAH is that guarantee, and [that]
1 Gal. ii. 5.
2 Col. i. 6.
3 2 John i. 4.
4 Acts xxviii. 30.
5 1 John iv. 1.
6 Rev. ii. 2.
Brethren -- Our limits admonish us to come to a conclusion. We feel that we have arrested your attention, for a moment, to a subject as important as any [one] that can engross your reflections on this side eternity. We live in a day [----g] with portentious signs against the truth, however auspicious it may appear to [---] to the Bible! The time is not far distant, we conceive, when that state of things will be realised in the world which the apostle describes in the third chapter of [his] second Epistle to Timothy: when "a form of Godliness will prevail, and [the] power thereof be, to appearance, extinct; and to which time the Lord Jesus himself refers, where he asks, "When the Son of man cometh" (doubtless, his second appearance,) "shall he find faith" (i. e. the faith of God's elect) "on the earth." 6 We conceive it amply in our power, did space permit, to give conclusive evidence that the present time is the "young dawn" of that fearful epoch among the variety of evidence existing, the abandonment of the truth of the bible by multitudes in the Baptist and Presbyterian churches, is not the least. These
1 Isai. liv. 13. John vi. 45.
2 John viii. 32.
3 1 Tim. iii. 15.
4 1 Pet. iv. 14.
5 1 Cor. xiii. 6.
6 Luke xviii. 7, 8.
denominations may be considered the two last witnesses on earth for the [essential] truth! Already they are infested with shoals of Arminians and semi-arminians, and the generation, most likely, has commenced, in which the MOTHER OF HARLOTS, 1 and the MONSTER ARMINIANISM will, like Pilate and Herod, unite 2 to hunt, persecute, and exterminate, if possible, the faith of God's Elect from the earth: and to deride and reject the truth of the bible, at the same time that they professedly adore the bible! We believe it will devolve [on the] Regular Baptist Church to bring up the rear of the last generation of martyrs [for] the truth! Let us leave them an example of unyielding devotion to, and [struggle] for, the truth, to which they may recur in the hour of their "fiery trial," [and] in view thereof "thank God and take courage." It devolves upon us brethren, to judge righteous judgment! To this end we must believe THE LORD to be [------] the bible where its truth is known, revered and supported; and that [there ---ists] the essential church of Christ! On the other hand, we must believe the [Lord not] to be with the bible where the truth is not known, respected, or proclaimed [with] interpretations, or bald, disjointed, and contradictory representations [of the] Scriptures, can no more be an instrument of sanctification, (or of the real [----- ----] of the sinner and of blessing to the church of Christ!) than the preaching of the Zandevaster of the Persians -- the Koran of Mahomet -- the Talmud [of the Jews, or] the Sybelline Fables, or any other tale produced from the lawless [--- ---- ----] of men, can be an instrument! You will then, brethren, it is [true --- ----] continue to judge of professed churches, ministers, and disciples of Christ, [by their] intelligence in, and fidelity to the truth! Were all the world a BIBLE SOCIETY, and every habitable spot of earth a Missionary post, and every family a professed household of faith, and every individual a translator of his [own] bible; still the whole case might be destitute of a particle of living faith, or knowledge of the essential truth! 3 If in connexion with all this, the truth of the [word] be despised, i. e. the doctrine of Jehovah's sovereignty -- the Election of grace [and] particular redemption by the blood, and free and full justification by the righteousness of Christ imputed -- effectual calling -- final perseverance -- and eternal glorification of the heirs of the kingdom; if this doctrine, which constitutes, essentially, the truth of the bible, be despised and rejected, then the whole scene of design and doing in the name of Christ, may, and must be considered nothing better than "a form of Godliness," and mere THEOLOGICAL JUGGLARY!!
"Charity rejoiceth in the truth," saith the Spirit "and not in iniquity." But the use of the bible out of the truth thereof, must be iniquity! therefore [---] charity cannot rejoice therein, though the acclamations thereof may exceed [the] sound (SENSE is out of the question) of the prophets of Balak, or the worshippers of Diana and Juggernaut! But true love to God cleaves to that truth which [gives] glory to God in the highest! and that is true love to saint and sinner, [who] cleaves to, supports and publishes that truth which Jehovah has ordained to [be] the instrument of sanctification: That is insult to God -- infidelity to Christ -- [injustice] and fraud to the church, and cruelty to man, that abandons the truth.
In conclusion, Brethren, suffer the word of exhortation, as well as of admonition. You profess to be sanctified by the truth -- set apart unto God as vessels of mercy and honour -- that you are not your own but bought with a price, that you may be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Examine yourselves therefore, brethren, as individuals and churches, and ascertain what you do for the support, promulgation, and defence of the truth. Do you openly and [sternly] confess the truth, though the multitude cry out against you as Bigots! Do you withdraw yourselves from the societies who have not the truth with their bible, or who hold it in unrighteousness, though you be hailed as illiberal! Do you discriminate
1 The Roman Catholic Hierarchy.
2 Rather, the elementary principles being the same, they will become merged into [every] society!
3 The revolution of a few more years will give this a horrible exemplification!
between those who, as ministers, rightly divide the word of truth, and [those] who make it a tissue of contradiction; and thus discriminating, give a "God speed" to the former, and a "get thee behind me SATAN," to the latter, [though] you are proclaimed rude and insolent fellows, and disturbers of the peace [----]. In a word, while the world and carnal professors are making furious [and] subtle assaults upon, and EVANGELISING the world to get the truth annihilated, are you proportionably energetic in your defence thereof! Is there, brethren, [yet] a character still on earth as a Minister or Pastor of the church of Christ after God's own heart! have you any among you of that character! men who unblushingly proclaim what the Holy Ghost has revealed of truth -- even the "whole counsel of God;" and that in the spirit of majestic confidence in, and reference to the SOVEREIGN WORKING of the Holy Ghost through that instrumentality, and the bowels of untold solicitude for the welfare of Zion. If, brethren, you have [such] men among you, they are no common character; they are engaged in no common ministerial labour; they have no common trials, temptations, discipline and sufferings; and they toil and suffer to no common end. For the glory of God, the praise of Immanuel, the honour of the Gospel, the welfare of Zion, [and the] salvation of the Elect are their spirits clothed with intrepidity [t----- ----- ----] and their hands skilled and nerved to defend, that truth of the God [--- --- ---] Saviour, which all hell trembles at, which the world esteems [for ------ ---ors], and which the multitude of professors abandon and betray [--- ---- ---] a carnal peace, or a claim to that delusive charity which is [tr------ ---- ----] heaven and earth; or, for the sake of enjoying an unsanctified [fellowship with an] adulterous generation. If you have such men among you, brethren, [remember], [that] as you treat them, you would treat the Lord Jesus Christ: just as you nourish and support them, do you foster and defend that truth which is, instrumentally, to clothe your precious souls in the beauties of holiness, and to prepare you for that glory in the vision of which the eye of our faith shall be lost, and at the throne of which the wing of our faith shall be folded in everlasting rest -- AMEN AND AMEN!
JOHN PATTON. MODERATOR.
WILLIAM FRENCH, clerk.
Campbell's 1816 "Sermon on the Law"
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)
Elder Lawrence Greatrake Home-Page
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