The Contentnea Baptist Association assembled at Bear Creek Meeting House on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the 27th, 28th and 29th days of Oct., 1832 to all the Brethren of our Association send Christian love and exhortation.
Brethren, love one another without dissimulation, indeed, and in Truth with a pure heart fervently. Be kind, be courteous, condescending and humane. Love your enemies. Entreat them not as enemies, do them no harm, shew them in your bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus. If they do you an injury do them a favor. Hate no man. Despise no man. Be kind to all; remember the poor of the ministry, of your brethren, of your neighbors. Put on bowels of mercies. Be piteous. Visit the fatherless and the widows in their afflictions. Visit the sick; let them see your faces; let them hear your conversation – it will comfort them; it will make their pains lighter; be not partial as not make little of the poor; do not envy the rich; seek contentment; show moderation; try to be quiet and peaceable. Let humility be your clothing and let gentleness keep you company continually. Be sober, be temperate; do not drink too much spirits. Guard against covetousness – it is a legion of sins. Do not defraud one another nor cheat one another. Do not tell lies, big lies nor little ones. Do not swear: vulgar swearing nor modest swearing. Remember the tongue a hundred times a day; avoid idleness worse sin waits by its side. Flee slothfulness – it is the harbinger of evil. Brethren, watch: your path is full of the world; your flesh is on all sides; Satan is everywhere; do not bite nor backbite one another. Do not speak evil of each other. Beware of jealousy and evil surmising’ entertain strangers, use hospitality, enquire for the old way and walk in it. Look cautiously at any new doctrines and new forms. Read the Scriptures and keep near them in faith and in practice. Brethren, pray and often ask God in secret for what you want; while there, think whether your brother has anything against you, and whether there is anything you cannot forgive. Do not forget that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost; Recollect if any man defile this temple, him shall God destroy. Flee fornication, keep clean of reproach from that quarter. It is the most dangerous rock in your voyage. To your wives yield up the best affections of your hearts; be fathers to your children, reasonable to your servants. Finally, Brethren, do not fall out by the way: Your journey is not long. The Lord give us all more grace. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
1st. We believe in the Being of God as Almighty, eternal, unchangeable, of infinite power, wisdom, justice, holiness, goodness, mercy and Truth and that this God has revealed Himself in His word under the character of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
2d. We believe that Almighty God has made known His mind and will to the children of men in His word which word we believe to be of divine authority and to contain all things necessary to be known for the salvation of men and women. The same is comprehended or contained in the books of the Old and New Testaments as are commonly received.
3d. We believe that God, before the foundation of the world for a purpose of His own glory did elect a certain number of men and angels to eternal life, and that this election is particular, eternal and unconditional on the creatures’ part.
4th. We believe that when God made man at first, he was perfect, holy and upright, able to keep the Law but liable to fall and that he stood as a federal head or representative of all his natural offspring and they were to be partakers of the benefits of his obedience or exposed to the misery which sprang from his disobedience.
5th. We believe that Adam fell from this state of moral rectitude and that he involved himself and all his natural offspring in a state of death, and for that original transgression we all are both faulty and guilty in the sight of an holy God.
6th. We also believe that it is utterly out of the power of man as fellow creatures to keep the Law of God perfectly; repent of their sins truly or to believe in Christ except they be drawn by the Holy Spirit.
7th. We believe that in God’s own appointed time and way (by means which He has ordained) the elect shall be called, justified, pardoned and sanctified and that it is impossible they can utterly refuse the call, but shall be made willing by divine grace to receive the offers of mercy.
8th. We believe that justification in the sight of God is only by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ received and applied by faith alone.
9th. We believe in like manner that God’s elect shall not only be called and justified but that they shall be converted, born again and changed in the effectual working of God’s Holy Spirit.
10th. We believe that such as are converted, justified, and called by His grace shall persevere in holiness and never fall finally away.
11th. We believe it to be a duty incumbent on all God’s people to walk religiously in good works, not in the Old Covenant way of seeking life, and the favor of the Lord by it; but only as a duty from a principle of love.
12th. We believe baptism and the Lord’s Supper are Gospel ordinances, both belonging to the converted or true believers and that persons who was sprinkled or dipped while in unbelief were not regularly baptized according to God’s word, and that such ought to be baptized after they are savingly converted into the faith of Christ.
13th. We believe that every Church is independent in matters of discipline and that associations, councils, and conferences of several ministers or churches are not to impose on the churches the keeping, holding, or maintaining of any principle or practice contrary to the church’s judgment.
14th. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust and in a general judgment.
15th. We believe the punishment of the wicked are everlasting and the joys of the righteous are eternal.
16th. We believe that no minister has a right to administer the ordinances only such as are regularly called, and come under the imposition of hands by the presbytery.
17th. Lastly, We do believe that for the mutual comfort, union and satisfaction of the several churches of the aforesaid faith and order that we ought to meet in an associate way wherein each church ought to represent its case by its delegates and attend as often as may be necessary to advise with the several churches in conference and that the decision of matters in such association ought not to be imposed or in any wise binding on the churches without their consent but only to sit as an advisory council.
Thomas Dupree, Moderator.
Mark Bennett, Clerk.
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – April 2009