To the churches and messengers composing the Pilgrims’ Rest Association.
Another year of our allotted pilgrimage, with its attending joys and sorrows, is numbered with the things of the past, and we are permitted by a faithful, covenant-keeping God to meet together in an associational assembly, for which we desire to return our sincere thanks and praise to His unspeakable name. The Scriptures are a golden chain of inspired testimony, confirming to the faith of God’s elect that God is love. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and declared that this love is the moving cause why saints in every age love God, because He first loved us. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of men, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” The good Lord, speaking to Jacob of old, as a representative of all His peole, says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Our blessed Savior says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.” “Peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost.
R. Flournoy, Moderator
G. W. Laws, Clerk.
J. A, Turner, Ass’t Clerk.
Written by G. M. Laws
The Pilgrims’ Rest Association of the Old School Predestinarian Baptists of Missouri and Kansas, in session with Gilead Church, Miami County, Kansas, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 10th, 11th, and 12th, 1884, to the associations and all with whom we correspond, sendeth the greeting of love and fellowship.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord: - Through the unfailing mercies and unmeasured goodness of our God, that cannot lie, and who promised eternal life before the world began, we are again blessed to enjoy the happy and unspeakable privilege of another of our annual meetings, in which peace has prevailed, and love and harmony have abounded, much to our spiritual comfort and enjoyment. The churches composing our little body, though few as to numbers and feeble in themselves, yet appear to be steadfast in the faith, and to desire only the peace and order of the Zion of our God. Though not blessed with any material increase of numbers, and lamenting our coldness and barrenness, yet they rejoice that the Lord reigns in the hearts of His people, and will deliver them from every enemy, and bring them safely out of every trial and affliction. Our meeting is one of interest and enjoyment, and we trust profit, and we pray that such seasons may be often repeated unto us. We earnestly desire a continuance of your Christian correspondence.
Our next association will be held, by divine permission, with the church called Big Blue, Johnson County, Kansas, beginning on Friday before the second Saturday in October, 1885, and the two days following, when and where we hope again to hear from you by letters and messengers.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
R. Flournoy, Moderator
G. W. Laws, Clerk
J.A. Turner, Ass’t Clerk.
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – January 2009