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1890 CIRCULAR Roxbury Old School
Or Primitive Baptist Association

CIRCULAR LETTER

The Roxbury Old School or Primitive Baptist Association, in session with her sister church, the Second Roxbury, Roxbury, Delaware Co., N.Y., Sept.3d and 4th, 1890, to the churches in our fellowship, sends greeting.

Dearly Beloved in the Lord: - As another year has quickly passed, and we are again privileged to address you with our annual epistle of love and sweet fellowship in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our mind centres upon the word of inspiration by the apostle Peter, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” II Peter 3: 17,18.

This address is the word of the Lord by Peter, “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God, and our Savior Jesus Christ.” “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Peter does not leave this people to themselves, to call in question the salvation of God, or the work that Jesus did on the cross, or the full manifestation of the gracious work of calling them with an holy calling, according to His own eternal purpose, and according as they were chosen in Christ before the world began; but he addresses the saints with the title of “beloved;” and as he does this, his object is to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance, respecting the fulfillment of the Scriptures concerning the coming and kingdom of Jesus, presenting the wrath of God against ungodliness in the world before the flood, and the saving of Noah; and also against the angels (ministers of the law){sic} who kept not their first estate, but sinned in turning from the holy commandments delivered to them (the lawful ceremonies which shadowed the coming of Christ), and were cast down to hell, &c.; also turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned with an overthrow, making them an example to those that after should live ungodly; delivering just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked; all this being typical of the Lord’s dealings with the saints, as they are brought (under the Gospel dispensation) to know Him, whom to know is life eternal, and to walk in His holy commands in the church. And as none but Israel as a nation were under the law which came by Moses, and the law thus given knew no release short of all its demands being satisfied, when once infringed upon, yet being holy, just and good, it showed the true condition of Israel as a nation. So as none but the church of God, the ground and pillar of the Truth, have the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus given them, and as of corruptible seed they find themselves in this world of trouble, and sinners in the sight of a holy and just God, they cry mightily to Him, giving evidence that they have been born again, of the incorruptible seed, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever; and when, from a sense of His love and power felt in their hearts, they make a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, it should be their highest aim to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that brotherly love may continue, and each one in his place be shown as abounding in the work of the Lord, and not in their own work; and as such the apostle addressed his brethren, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also be led away with the error of the wicked.”

What care the apostle takes to use the endearing term, and to tell them of their previous acquaintance with God’s dealings with His people in different ages of the world. The he very wisely cautions them against the error of the wicked, and being led (by it) away, fall from their own steadfastness. We desire here to express something of the personality of the Lord’s people. Beginning at the foundation, or corner, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The kingdom is come, although it was not by observation. A man is born again, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God; and as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God; and those born of God, and having His Spirit as the rule of life in them, can say, as God works in them to will and do, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;” for as born of God, and the recipients of His holy Spirit, it is thereby His gracious gift unto them; yet they could not know that they were the possessors of the life of God but by the manifestation of the life likeness, as God walks in them, and dwells in them, and tells them, in their heartfelt interest, that they are His and He is theirs; proving to them that except a man have the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.

Then salvation is of the Lord; and all the people of God are complete in Jesus Christ, in whom all fullness dwells; so that nothing can be taken from or added to His written word without loss or condemnation. Therefore the salvation the Lord’s people are to work out is their own; the steadfastness they may fall from is their own. The making their calling and election sure, the growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all pertain to them in maintaining good works, as those that know and love our Lord Jesus Christ; and they manifest their love and long-suffering one to another, to show they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. And all our joys and sorrows are measured out by His loving hand, in tender mercy. All the wickedness of the wicked, and the righteousness of the righteous, is known by Him who tries the hearts and reins of men, and all will be overruled for His glory and the good of His people. Yet it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; to be a despiser of good, speaking evil of dignities, harming the prophets of the Lord, or in any of those things that tend to disturb the peace of the house of God. But let all feel to say, from a sense of soul-felt interest, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,” to be a learner of Jesus, to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, to endure hardness as a good soldier for the sake of Jesus, to fight manfully the good fight of faith; to know also that it is given them in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Such are they whom Peter addressed; and also all in all time who look alone to the Lord, and keep themselves unspotted from the world, and watch lest they be led away with (not by) the error of the wicked, and fall from their own steadfastness; but growing in grace, leaving all with Him without whom they can do nothing; through whose strengthening they can do all things required at their hands; and to Him they ascribe greatness now in the church, as the Captain of their salvation, and to Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. Even so let it be with us as churches; not purloining the time, but remembering the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit, but loving to have the pre-eminence among men; rejecting those of good report of all, and of the truth also; who have borne witness of the afflicted and tried children of God, and their charity before the church. “God visiteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” So, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God; looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life; knowing that the time is short; for it remaineth that those that have wives be as though they had none, and they that buy as though they possessed not; for the fashion of the world passeth away. So, dearly beloved, watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong, let all your things be done with charity; addict yourselves to the ministry of the saints, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you. You have the sentence of death in yourselves, that you should not trust therein, but in God, which raiseth the dead; who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that He will yet deliver. Then let us have compassion of some, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh; looking to the only wise God our Savior. 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 Him be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

J. D. Hubbell, Moderator.
Ezra Mean, Clerk.

Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – January 2009