Prepared by Elder G. Henderson
The Yellow River Primitive Baptist Association, convened with the church at Sweetwater, Gwinnett Co.,
To the Churches Composing the same sends greeting:
Dear Brethren in the Lord:- According to the custom of your body you will expect to hear from us in the form of a Circular Letter, and as such we invite your attention to the 9th verse of the 12th chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, which reads as follows: “Let love be without dissimulation; abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.” Now, this was written to the church at Rome, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus; and is to the same characters to-day, the Church and the faithful in Christ Jesus. And this is one of the Scriptures given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable to the same people to which it is given and to no other, and is given by God Himself, and God had a purpose in giving them to His people, that they may be perfect, throughly furnished. What does the Scriptures furnish – eternal life? No! Eternal life is begotten in His elect and is the gift of God, and was given to His people in Christ Jesus, before the world began, before the Scriptures were written. The Scriptures are a rule, a guide to His people; teaches them how they should behave themselves in the house of God; how they should live; how they should love one another. Hence, the apostle Paul, under the direction of the Spirit of God, could say in the language quoted: “Let love be without dissimulation.”
Dear child of God, how do we love one another? Do we love each other with a pure heart fervently? If we do let us prove that we love not in word nor in tongue; but in deed and in Truth. Deed means action: – then let us act toward each other as becometh the Saints of God. Let us watch very closely – watch who? Watch ourselves, and see whether we are acting hypocritically or not. “If thy brother trespass against thee,” let us not tell all the brethren of it and get advice from all of them how to proceed in the case, and when we see the brother whom we claim has trespassed against us never say a word to him about it, but try to keep the matter hid from him. Is that “without dissimulation”? It certainly is not! Then, dear children of God, we should be very careful how we speak about a brother, and if we cannot say anything good of him, say nothing. Jesus said, “a new commandment give I unto you, that you love one another.” Meet often, pray with and for each other; follow after the things that make for peace. Strive to enter in at the strait gate. If we do we will not be found in that broad road that leads to trouble and confusion, and destroys the peace and happiness and comfort of the children of God here in this life.
Then let us abhor that which is evil. We are commanded to abstain from all appearance of evil. We sometimes say the temptation was so great I could not overcome it. Dear child of God, listen to what your Heavenly Father says for your comfort: “He is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, etc.” It matters not how fine and nice it looks, how little harm there seems to be in it, if you have not a “thus saith the Lord” for it, be well assured there is evil in it, whether you are able to see it or not. Then, dear child of God, abhor it, flee from it, as you would from deadly poison. There are many evils along the path of life, and we should be on our guard and on the watch all the time. Many of the dear Saints of God in our congregations are standing watching us, then we should let our light so shine before them that they would have a strong desire to glorify your Father. It is much better thus to be than to be standing in the way of quickened sinners. We should abhor everything that is contrary to God and Godliness, and live soberly and righteously and godly in this life, as though our eternal salvation depended upon our deportment in this life – bit it is for our peace and happiness and comfort in this life only.
Then let us cleave to that which is good. Now, dear Saints of God, it is good to always abound in the work of the Lord. Why so? Because we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. We should cleave to that and do everything in our power that is good. We have enemies watching to condemn our precious doctrine; we should not give them a cause to condemn. The good Lord, in His love and mercy has said, to visit each other, pray with and for each other. Dear child of God have you not realized in your own self that it was good to meet together to sing Zion’s songs; to tell of His great goodness, His love and tender mercy, to such poor sinners? Well, do not forsake it then, but cleave to it, visit the sick, the poor, the destitute, the tempted, and the bereaved in their every condition. This is pure religion before God, and it is good to live in peace with all men if possible.
So, farewell; live in peace; be of good comfort; be of one mind, and the God of all comfort and peace shall be with you. The Scriptures are a sufficient guide to everything good, and to what God requires of us, His promises in obedience and disobedience.
May the good Lord save us from sinning against Him, and each other, and save us in His kingdom, is our prayer, for Christ’s sake – Amen.
W. D. Almand, Moderator.
J. T. Jordan, Clerk
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – April 2009