The Indian Creek Old School Predestinarian Baptist Association of Ohio, in session with the Brush Creek church in Highland County, Ohio, September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 1892, unto the several churches composing her body and with those with whom she corresponds, sends love and greetings:
Beloved Brethren and Sisters in the Lord: Since our last association another year has been numbered with the past, and some of our dearest kindred in Christ have fallen asleep in Jesus, while we are as yet the spared objects of His mercy and are again permitted to meet in our associational meetings for the purpose of uniting in the solemn worship of our Gd.
The word “religion,” dear brethren, is a subject which occupies the attention of multitudes throughout the land. We will make it the point for a few remarks in this address. It is used in a very broad sense and is applied to a subject extremely foreign to each other, the religion of the world and the religion of the Bible. We will try to show the difference between the principles and effects of that pure and undefiled religion which emanates from God, the Fountain of holiness, the religion of the Bible, and the false religion which originated with the power of darkness, the religion of the world, endeavoring to entrap their feet in snares, prepared for their everlasting destruction, and we need only to peruse the Sacred Record to learn how well he has succeeded in His wicked designs.
The governing principle of his action is hatred and opposition to the government of God and to His Church and people on earth. Pure religion cannot be improved on for it contains those perfect principles which make its subject wise and happy in the enjoyment of its blessed fruits. Those who are led in this holy path are filled with a deep humility for a sense of their sin and depravity of heart, and mourn with a godly sorrow before the Lord, against whom they have so grievously offended, and when the Lord shines in the hearts of these sorrowing people, and gives them the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, they are made to cry out in praise and thanksgiving to Him who hath loved them and washed them from their sins in His own blood and hath saved them with an everlasting salvation, being the work of the Holy Spirit, which cannot be performed by human agency.
It is not the change of the of the corporal powers, or the appetites of our fallen natures, for these remain unchanged. It is the implantation of grace in the heart, Christ within, which constitutes the Life and hope of those who become possessors of His heavenly nature, But by reason of the old corrupt nature which remains, the people of God are subjected to many grievous conflicts, hence comes the warfare in their members, from which there is none of the children of God exempt. All who are born of the Spirit are manifestly the children of God, and it is written: “and they shall be taught of God.” They are taught to know experimentally that salvation is predicated upon grace reigning through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. The Scriptures inform us that the ministers of our God were called and qualified by the King of Zion and sent forth to preach the Gospel in His name as the Spirit gives them utterance; and He promised to be with them to the end of the world.
Dear Brethren, we are living in a day and age when the love of many seems waxing cold, and Truth seems daily falling “in our streets,” and those who contend for the old landmarks are often accused of being hard and uncharitable, but God’s dear people are not of the world (as to their spiritual life, belief of the Truth and knowledge of the way of salvation), consequently the world (the religious world) not only disbelieves the true Gospel upon which God’s people feed, but it hates them who adhere closely to Gospel truth.
These things ought not to discourage us, but on the contrary should cause us to contend the more earnestly for Bible Truth, for Christ said, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you for My sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Therefore, in all your doubts, fears and trials for the Truth’s sake be not discouraged but remember if affliction, sorrow, persecution, slander, and temptations are allotted you that your blessed Lord and Savior is able to deliver you, and will in His own good time, for having been tempted Himself He is able to succor those that are tempted. All the promises of God are in Christ Jesus, yea, and in Him, Amen, the work of redemption is FINISHED. The Lord God omnipotent Reigneth, therefore walk with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We now commend you to God and to the word of His grace. Amen.
Levi Bavis, Moderator.
Benjamin Martin, Clerk.