1861 Letter of Correspondence
of Delaware River Association

Written by Elder Elijah Leigh

Corresponding Letter

The Delaware River Old School Baptist Association, to the Associations, Corresponding Meetings and Churches of like Faith and Order.

“Grace unto you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” We are bound to thank God always for preserving in the hearts and minds of His people, those feelings and sentiments, which have ever united them in indissoluble bonds.

We see in the institutions of the world around us the elements of discord and disunion. They are human. We see in the church the elements of concord and union. It is God’s institution. We have in this great fact, the bright confirmation of that faith, which God gives to His blood-bought Church. Hence we derive consolation and encouragement in the land of our pilgrimage.

The good hand of the Lord, having once more brought us together, the feelings and sentiments of our hearts and minds, do not permit us to forget the churches, located in various parts of the land, near and distant, which believe in the same precious doctrine, and feast upon the same truth.

It has been a source of joy to us, to receive and greet your messengers. They have preached the riches of Christ which are unsearchable. Thus have we drank from the same earthen vessels, and found that our thirst, called for the same spiritual drink, which is Christ.

We regret, deeply regret, the necessary absence of messengers from sister associations, which have been heretofore represented among us. Civil disturbances have at length even in our Republic, interrupted the personal communion of the church. But God, not man, is the disposer of these events; He reigns: may we be able to say from the heart, “Even so Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight. And yet we are led to ask, that if consistent with the will of our dear Lord, that this cup may shortly pass from us.

The continued interchange of sentiment and feelings, by messenger and correspondence is desired. “That we may be comforted together with you, by mutual faith both of you and us.”

You will see by our minutes that accessions large and small have been made to the respective churches of our association, and several have passed under the shadow of death. They have fallen asleep in Jesus. Hence their gain and our consolation.

Our present session has been pleasant and harmonious, both in preaching and business. Our next meeting will be held with the Second Hopewell Church, Mercer county New Jersey, commencing on Wednesday preceding the first Sunday in June, 1862, at 10 o’clock A. M.

Gabriel Conklin, Moderator
John T. Risler, Clerk.

Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – January 2009