1874 Circular Delaware River

Writer not given

CIRCULAR

The Elders and messengers composing the Delaware River Old School Baptist Association, in session with the Washington Church, South River, Middlesex Co., N.J., June 3d, 4th, and 5th, 1874, to the several churches whose messengers we are, send love in the Lord.

Beloved Brethren: - Another year is numbered with the past, during which many and startling events have transpired; but notwithstanding all the commotions among the children of men, the love of God to His children remain unchanged. As it has been our practice annually to address a letter to the churches composing this association, we feel to still continue the same course. As there seems to be a restless spirit now at work, in some branches of the visible church, and as the subject of the “independence of churches” has been mooted considerably, of late, we feel to address you concerning the “unity” of the church of God, and as the foundation of our remarks have selected the following declaration of Scripture:

“There is one body and one Spirit, even as
Ye are called in one hope of your calling:
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God
And Father of all, who is above all, and
Through all, and in you all.” - Eph. 4:4-6.

In briefly presenting the Truth involved in the subject of the unity of the church, it will be necessary to show the distinction between the visibly organized church, in her numerous branches, and the hidden body, or spiritual family of God’ for it appears plain to us that in many instances the proper distinction has not been made.

When the apostles speak of churches, in the plural number, direct reference is made to the visible organization; for in her vital union to Christ she is called “The church,” not a church, nor churches; and the inspired apostles enjoined upon the visible organizations, or churches, the necessity of maintaining the order, discipline and faith delivered to the saints, by contending earnestly for them; and it is just as binding upon the churches now as then; for carnal, depraved nature is the same to-day as it was in the apostles’ time.

“There is one body.” As the church, in her vital relation to Christ, is but one body, she has but one Head; for, says the apostle, He “hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him (to be) the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” Furthermore, “Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ; from whom the whole body, fitly joined together, and completed by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” “And He is the Head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.” Again, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Enough Scripture testimony has been adduced to show positively the unity, or oneness, of the body of Christ.

“And one Spirit.” As there is but one body, it certainly is evident that there can be only one spirit. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many are one body, so also is Christ; for by one Spirit are we baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit; for the body is not one member, but many.” The declaration made concerning the one body and one Spirit is of vast import; for as the same animal life permeates and pervades every member of the physical frame, and is the same life in every member, so the same Spirit quickeneth every member of the mystical body of Christ; for “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” As the same animal life causes harmonious action in every member of a mortal body, so the Spirit of Christ causes perfect harmony in His body; for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Also, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

The humble birth, righteous life, bitter and ignominious death, and glorious resurrection of Christ, proved beyond shadow of doubt, to His dear disciples, when the same was fully made known to them, after His resurrection from the dead, that He and they were one in reality, or a unit; He the Head and they the members, as He said in His prayer, before His crucifixion, “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.” Therefore He bore not a sin, carried not a sorrow, suffered not a reproach, endured not a scoff, for any but the members of His own body; for He took not on Him human nature indefinitely, “but He took on Him the seed of Abraham;” consequently the apostle says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.” The particle then is not used by the apostle in the sense of because, but it is a just deduction from the preceding statement, if one died for all, then, such being the fact, all were dead, in the eye of the law, on account of their union to Christ. The word then shows conclusively what the result of that death was, instead of setting forth why He died; and it is in our view an unwarrantable and most baneful method of interpreting the word of God, to consider the word then, in this case, equivalent to because all were dead. There can be no doubt about the church, in her members, being dead, by nature, in trespasses and sins; but the apostle is not there treating upon the death in sins, but concerning the effect of the death of Christ, in satisfying Divine Justice; and the union of Christ and His people was such that in His death, judicially, every member fulfilled the demands of the law, as much as the tribe of Levi paid tithes in Abraham; and as we know of no better phrase or expression of language to set forth that relation between Christ and His members, we call it a “federal union.” The succeeding verse shows that the particle then is not used in the sense of because, for the apostle passes directly on to show what is binding on believers, on account of Christ’s death, saying, “And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” The one Spirit which teaches, leads, guides, and protects the members of the one body, has never taught a contradiction, nor introduced error and confusion into any of the visible churches or organizations of the children of God; but all the divisions, controversies, confusion and alienation, have arisen from the fleshly spirit that still continues in the vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory, after they are born again, or born of God.

It seems now that we have come to proper place in our remarks to say something concerning organized churches; because this subject seems directly connected with the remarks already made. We are now living in a time when organizations bearing none of the marks, nor contending for any of the cardinal principles of the ancient church – in fact are merely worldly organizations – are dignified with the title “church;” therefore it becomes us, brethren, to examine ourselves, and see if we are contending earnestly for the old “landmarks,” or whether there be a disposition on our part to yield some of the prominent principles of truth, and accommodate matters with the world a little. If we examine the commission given to the eleven disciples, we find an awful and very solemn charge enjoined upon them by our Lord Jesus Christ; for said He, “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.” “When the day of Pentecost was fully come,” the promise of Christ was manifested in a miraculous manner; and “they that gladly received His word [preached by Peter] were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

According to our understanding of the Scriptures, when that outpouring of the Spirit was so plainly manifest on the day of Pentecost, then the Lord called that great number, by His grace, to a knowledge of their lost and ruined condition by nature, making them proper subjects of His kingdom, having redeemed them by His blood; for all redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ will be saved by His power; and in vain shall we search the Scriptures to find any warrant authorizing us to attempt to show that the atonement of Christ has any efficacy beyond the design of it. When it pleases God to show His children the vicarious nature of the death of Christ, its certain efficacy and its discriminating character, giving them a glimpse of the exalted Lamb upon His Mediatorial throne, whose transcendent glory fills the heaven and earth, the carnal views of men will be looked upon by them very indifferently, and human greatness, wisdom and power cannot turn them away from the truth; but on the contrary, they will desire to continue “steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship.”

Enough divine testimony has been brought forward to show to all believers that the organized church was composed, in its first establishment on earth, of baptized believers only; and as the law of God pertaining to His church in her organization is immutable, the same is true of a Gospel church now, in her order and discipline, that was in the apostles’ day. Was any branch of the church, after the first organization, independent? No; for whether located at Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, or Philippi, the apostles’ doctrine was to be observed, as God had through them openly given the law binding upon His church throughout all time; and the departure of the Galatians from the truth was not winked at by the apostle Paul; for said he, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified among you?”

The church was not organized to be an instrument to help the God of Israel regenerate sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, but for the declarative glory of God; the mutual comfort and edification of believers; to set forth the love of God as shed abroad in the hearts of His children; to celebrate the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper; to maintain the truth of God as obedient and loyal subjects of His kingdom; therefore no branch of the church can set up the plea, with a “Thus saith the Lord” to support it, I am independent; for such a thing cannot be. In common parlance amongst men, it is used, but with much ambiguity; for in a just and absolute sense no created being is independent – Jehovah only is independent. Nations claim that they are independent; yet they are compelled to have treaties of amity and commerce with each other. The term independent will do amongst men, with proper explanation and restrictions, but it will not do for any Gospel church, because no such term can justly apply to any branch of the church; also, it is not a Scriptural expression or precept; and we are not aware that it is in the Bible – at any rate, it applies not to the church.

An organized Gospel church, when led by the Spirit of Christ, will endeavor to maintain the order and discipline binding upon her, according to the decision of the inspired judges of Israel. Should any member of such a church become disorderly, by the introduction of false doctrine, or gross immoral conduct, (after a due course of labor, according to divine instruction) if admonition, reproof and rebuke fail to restore such an one, the church must then withdraw her fellowship, otherwise she will soon become involved in error and gross confusion herself; and instead of “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” strife, confusion and every evil work will be found within her borders. Are individual members of a church independent of the discipline of the church to which they belong? Certainly not! Have members a right to do as they please and still claim the fellowship of the church? We answer emphatically, No!

We are not aware of any express command, given in the Scriptures, stating how often, what hour of the day, or what place the church shall assemble for public worship; but the instruction is positive that they are not to forsake the assembling of themselves together, “as the manner of some is;” neither is there any direction as to how often a church is to celebrate the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper; but the declaration is, “This do in remembrance of Me.” In those matters each organized church must exercise her judgment, according to the circumstances by which such church may be surrounded; and if she be in Gospel order, there will be a desire to assemble for worship as often as consistent. In all those such matters each church is, to a certain extent, independent, or separate from sister churches.

As Gospel churches are located in different sections of the country, they have felt it to be of interest to organize into associations, so that once a year, at least, they can assemble for mutual intercourse; and where all the members of each church cannot meet together at such times, to send messengers and a letter from each, so as to be represented: also, associations open correspondence so as to hear from each other by messengers, letters, minutes, &c. But it should always be borne in mind that such associations are not convocations or councils, called to issue edicts, decrees, or carnal dogmas, to the churches composing the same; for each church, however small, stands on an equal footing with each church, however large: also, each association moving on in Gospel order, whether her number be large or small, is on an equal footing with all other Gospel associations. We are aware that the term association is not a Bible term, but the word associate is; and although used or applied to wicked men who would band together, and whose confederacy the Lord would break to pieces, yet we are not able to discover the impropriety of the term as applied to the annual assembling together of churches for mutual edification; for the literal meaning of the word associate is to join in company.

In thus assembling yearly, and hearing from sister churches and associations of the same faith and order, there certainly is a mutual comfort and satisfaction, for such meetings have a direct tendency to manifest and openly strengthen the fellowship of brethren; for John says, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Now as individual members of churches cannot continue in the fellowship of churches by openly disregarding the doctrine, order and discipline of the church, or churches, to which they belong, neither can a church retain the fellowship of an association of which she may be a member, if she depart from the order, discipline and doctrine of the apostles, also, no association can long be retained in the fellowship of sister associations, if she depart from the rules laid down in the New Testament; therefore as there is but one Vine, though containing numerous branches, no branch is independent of the Vine, any more than a branch of a literal grape-vine can be separated from the vine and live and bring forth fruit. Said Christ, “I AM the Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”

Now then, the direct point we wish to arrive at is this: no church, however large and influential, or however small and insignificant, as it regards number and influence, can tolerate false doctrine openly and be retained in the fellowship of an association contending for the Truth, any more than a disorderly member can be retained in a church. Supposing a church should openly deny eternal unconditional election, and yet claim fellowship with sister churches which remain steadfast in the Truth, on the ground that she is independent, could such a church be sustained in the fellowship of Gospel churches composing the association? No! Supposing a church, at the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, should open the door to, and invite persons who are members of disorderly and anti-Christian organizations, to partake with her of the symbols of the Lord’s broken body and shed blood claiming that she felt that such persons were children of God, and that she had nothing against them, and when reproved for her course, should claim that, as an independent body, she had that right, could her course be fellowshipped? Certainly not; because, if sympathy is to take the place of Gospel rules and precepts, the identity of the Gospel church would soon be destroyed; for such a course would be the removing of the very principles which separate the Gospel church from the organizations of anti-Christ. Where such course is pursued by a church, it causes deep grief to the faithful adherents to Gospel Truth, and they are led to inquire with sorrowful hearts, “Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.” Although this language, in its primitive meaning, had, doubtless, direct reference to the vile departure of the Jewish nation from God, yet it also applies to the church under the Gospel dispensation; for the Old Testament Scriptures have not only a literal meaning, but a spiritual application too; and when a church is left of God on account of her rebellion against His righteous laws, and the hedge of discipline is broken down, her condition causes the lovers of Truth to exclaim, “Return, we beseech Thee, O God of Hosts; look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine.”

We feel that sufficient has been said to show that we, as an association, cannot admit the position that churches can be retained in fellowship which follow anti-scriptural courses, any more that disorderly members can be retained in a church, and we, as an association, with the plain teachings of the apostles, recorded in the New Testament, must repudiate the idea that a church can practice an unscriptural course, and claim that she has that right because she is an independent organization. We feel to deprecate the notion of the so called independence of churches, unless the term is carefully explained and properly qualified. We have felt it our duty to call your particular attention to this matter, in connection with the declaration, “There is one body and one Spirit,” because we think that we discover evil omens in the distant horizon, though the cloud as yet appears no larger than a “man’s hand.”

[Stan Phillips’ note: The Means Baptists in particularly at the turn of the century stressed their independence in breaking fellowship with churches and associations that would not follow them. The writer clearly saw it coming to past. We would also add, the definition of a church is still the same, when “called out baptized believers assemble together from various localities and churches, even IF they call that gathering an ASSOCIATION. The “association” as a congregated body of called out baptized believers is, itself, a “Gospel Church,” all other things being orderly and sound.- SCP, 2009].

“Even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” As there is one body and one Spirit, the members of that one body are called in one hope, and that is a “good hope through grace;” for it is not the hope of the hypocrite, that shall perish, but that hope they “have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” The poor, distressed, tempest-tossed and afflicted children of God, while passing through this world, are saved by hope. Said the apostle, “For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Such a hope as our heavenly Father calls His redeemed ones in, will never, no never fail to save the feeblest child when the storm has gathered thick around his pathway, and the foaming billows threaten to destroy; for hope proves the anchor of the soul; and how sweet to hear the voice of his Beloved, saying unto him, amidst the howling of the terrible storm, “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” This hope is the same in every quickened child of God, though there are times with each one when this hope seems small; but it is the same glorious hope at one time as at another; for said the apostle, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.” None but they who are born of God know anything about a good hope through grace; for all others, in their carnal state, are striving to be saved upon some other principles than those revealed in the Gospel. They whom our God calls, whether north or south, east or west, yea, to earth’s remotest bounds, are all called in one hope of their calling, which accounts for that unity in their order and discipline, and that sweet harmony in their individual experience.

“One Lord.” The apostle says, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many and lords many) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.” Now such being the fact, the heaven-born and heaven-taught acknowledge no other Lord, no other Redeemer, no other Lawgiver, no other Priest, no other Judge, no other King, than the eternal God. Therefore they are solemnly bound to reject every claim which false gods make upon them, and discard every form of modern idolatry. As they look to their one Lord for every precept, example and injunction, every form of religious worship which their Lord has not authorized in the New Testament, they are bound to reject, just as much as though a positive interdict were recorded. When carnal teachers are crying out, in their blind zeal, this, that and the other things are all good and excellent, the obedient children of God will not heed any of their modern inventions, because they have not a “Thus saith the Lord” for any such inventions.

“One faith.” It is not an uncommon thing for natural persons, unacquainted with what the Scriptures teach, to say, “O I am conscientious in what I say, and I believe thus and so.” But such declarations will not satisfy the child of God; for they only prove the truth of the following words: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof (are) the ways of death.” This one faith is the faith of God’s elect; and it has been the same faith in all ages of the world, both under the law dispensation and the Gospel dispensation; for the faith of Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the Old Testament saints, was the same as that of John, Jude, Peter and Paul; and the church of Jesus Christ now upon the earth has the same faith that the ancient saints had. The Scriptures positively assert that it is one and the same faith in all believers, though, as it regards manifestation, it appears in a greater degree in some than in others. The apostles said unto the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Peter addressed “them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Though many hundred years have passed away since the apostle penned that important declaration, and long time ago he returned to his original dust, and today no man knows where his dust lies, yet this truth lives, and will, until time shall be no more, and all the ransomed church of God are gathered home into heaven, where faith will no longer be needed, as they will all then be in that perfect state of eternal blessedness. This faith purifies the heart, it works by love, and it overcomes the world; for John says, “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” “Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen;” and it is also declared that “without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” This last declaration shows conclusively the vanity of all forms of worship, if there be no faith in them who perform outward rites and ceremonies; and all men have not faith; and faith is the gift of God; therefore it is utterly impossible for to to be obtained upon any principle except the gift of God. This faith often is in such lively exercise in believers as to give them a sweet decumbency upon their dear Lord; for the question was asked, “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” This faith is always the same in every age, and amongst all nations, because it is the faith of the Son of God; for said Paul, “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who love me and gave Himself for me.”

“One baptism.” “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” It seems entirely useless to take up much space in this letter to prove what the Gospel mode of baptism was, for it is clearly stated by Paul to be a burial; hence it was a complete submerging of the body into the water; also the person is plunged into the water, instead of having the water applied to the person; therefore it symbolizes clearly and fully that the believer is made passive; thereby clearly setting forth the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God, and also every believe in Him; and nothing else can satisfy the child of God when his eyes are illuminated by the Holy Ghost to discover plainly what baptism in water symbolizes, because he knows that every spiritual blessing was given him in Christ; and he feels so completely in Him (Christ) that he is free from the law of sin and death, and that the robe of Christ’s righteousness covers him; or as faith enabled the church, under the law, before her visible organization, to declare, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness; as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.”

There are some important matters connected with literal baptism in water, which we feel should receive our special attention, because it is quite common for persons who have become tired and disgusted with the course carnal teachers are pursuing, to come to the church Christ, where they are fed with manna, which nourishes them; for though the votaries of anti-Christ have earthly temples of great magnificence, and “lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” Such a place is no home for the poor, afflicted children of Zion; such scenes can afford them no pleasure; and instead of setting forth Christ and Him crucified, to comfort and build up the children of God, the food, though “served up” in a silver or golden vessel, is composed of leeks, onions, garlic and cucumbers, which is very nauseating to them who desire manna.

Now the direct point which we desire to arrive at is this: They who leave such anti-Christian abominations often assemble with the church of God and declare full fellowship with such a church, and say they would willingly become members, only they cannot consent to be re-baptized. We, as an association, do not feel the force of such objection, neither do we acknowledge that when one has left such anti-Christian organization, and is baptized by a Gospel administrator, that it is a re-baptism, because the text under consideration declares that there is but one baptism; consequently we are solemnly bound to reject every act of anti-Christ.

Now we would ask those children of God who have become determined to leave mystery Babylon, where they have been held captives so long, and desire a home in the church, if we admit the so-called baptism of carnal men to be valid, upon what ground shall we reject their other doings as well? Where is the stopping place? Because the high priest under the law slew the victim and offered the sacrifice, did the acts make the offering valid? No; but because he was the divinely appointed priest to make the offering. If a carnal teacher should pronounce the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and then plunge the body of a person into the water, so as to completely bury such one, then raise him up out of the water, and pronounce the word, “Amen,” would it be a Gospel baptism? No! Why? Because he was not a gospel administrator. Should such person thus immersed by some carnal teacher, at some future period desire to join a Gospel church, he would stand in the same relation as though he had not been thus immersed.

Our dear Redeemer set the example for His loved ones, by them to be observed, with regard to baptism, throughout all succeeding time. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan, unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto Him, Suffer it to be so now’ for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. and Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Now this example of our Savior shows conclusively that three things are necessary to make baptism valid, viz: a proper administrator, a fit subject, and a just mode; and if either be wanting, it is not Gospel baptism. Did not Jesus, by His baptism in the river Jordan, set forth His other and terrible baptism into death, which was soon to take place? Said Jesus, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” We should admire the precision with which the Scriptures are written; for the orthography of the word straitened shows its awful import, as there used by Immanuel; for it signifies, pressed, pained; and as surely as every member of Christ’s body WAS buried by His servant John in the river Jordan, so every member of His mystical body was baptized WITH HIM into death on the cross; therefore nothing can be recognized by the church as baptism literally, or in water, that is not sustained by the Scriptures; and in due time the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, shows to the heirs of immortal glory what a Gospel baptism is.

The apostle says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” When the vessels of mercy are made alive from the dead, by the Spirit of God, and are made willing to obey the commandments of Christ, there is then certainly a putting on of Christ visibly in their conversation; and in this outward or external sense he speaks of some being in Christ before him in Christ Jesus, but made manifest sooner; for his declaration is, “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles; who also were in Christ before me.”

As the conclusion of our remarks, we will quote the precious words of the apostle Jude: “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Philander Hartwell, Moderator.
Willian J. Purington, Clerk.

Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – January 2009