The Western Corresponding Association of the Old School Predestinarian (Anti Means) Baptist of Missouri, in session with the Three Forks of Nodaway Church, at the Union Meeting house in Page County, Iowa, of like precious faith, on Friday before the first Saturday in October, 1896, and the two succeeding days.
To the churches whose messengers we are and the associations with which we correspond, Greeting: - “Mercy and Truth have met together, Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” - Psalm 85:10.
Beloved in the Lord, We do not expect in this our Circular address to bring forward anything new, but remind you of things which have been often written and spoken to you, not only by the Apostles and Prophets, but by Jesus the Savior and His evangelists, and are and have been known by all the saints and the elect family of God since the world began.
That our light afflictions which are but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Cor. 4:17. As this apostle was moved by the Holy Ghost to speak and write, and could not without the Holy Ghost call Jesus Lord, and if he had not the spirit of Christ he was none of His, but Paul speaks in this unmistakable language and says: “I am crucified with Christ. Christ was crucified in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, received up into glory.” “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 loved me and gave Himself for me. – Gal. 2:20. Therefore, being justified by Faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. But we have the reason abundantly set before us, while we look not at the things that are seen. But thanks be to God we are looking at the things that are unseen, for the things that are see are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal. Now beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, here is the great mirror or glass through which we see darkly. We see by and through these temporal things our utter depravity, carnality and dependence upon an unseen power and independent God, not only for life but for the preservation of life, with all that pertains to us as mortals.
Time is fixed for our birth and death and neither we nor our earthly parents can hurry, stop or change for a moment what God has done. But glory be to God who created us, and Him who formed us, when we look upon unseen and eternal things. Paul affirms, (2 Cor. 4:6,) that God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, Let there be light and there was light, Gen. 1:3, “hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This is what John testifies in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, in Him was life, and the life was the light of men, the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. Knowing these things dearly beloved, therefore, in the 1st Epistle General of John, he testifies that which was from the beginning which we have heard; which we have seen with our eyes; which we have looked upon and our hands have handled of the Word of life. For the life was manifested and we have seen it, and bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us.
This is the record God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Jesus says, I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish for none shall pluck them out of My hands, for My Father who gave them Me is greater than all, and none are able to pluck them out of My Father’s hands. Now comes Paul and testifies, I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor heights nor depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. For we know if this earthly house of our tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, being burdened, not that we should be unclothed, but clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life. He that wrought us for the self same thing is God, who hath given us the earnest of the Spirit. 2 Cor. 5th. For we all with open face behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory by the spirit of the Lord. No wonder Jesus says: All the Father gave to Me shall come to Me and he that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out. Why? Because all Mine are Thine and Thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. Here is that eternal vital life union of Christ and His chosen people. Light afflictions which are but for a moment that this mortal must endure with all the pains and afflictions flesh is heir to until God’s appointed time, when this mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible incorruption. So when this mortal shall have put on immortality and this corruptible incorruption shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh, death where is thy sting? Oh, grave where is thy victory?” We must all pass the gloomy vale of time and all pass the gloomy shades of death, to come to the way of rest which God has prepared for those that love Him. The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:55-57. Then shall we meet our loved ones gone before us clothed upon with immortality, being on equality with the angels being the children of God, the children of the resurrection. Me thinks I hear them now ringing hallelujah blessing and honor and glory unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb forever.
“There is a land mine eye hath seen
In visions of enraptured thought,
So bright that all that pass between
Is with its radiant glory frought.
A land upon whose blissful shore
There rests no shadow, falls no stain;
There those who meet shall part no more,
And those long parted meet again.
Its skies are not like earthly skies,
With varying hues of shade and light;
It hath no need of suns to rise
To dissipate the gloom of night.
There sweeps no desolating wind
Across that calm serene abode,
The wanderer there a home shall find
Within the paradise of God.”
This is for a LM tune
There mercy and truth will meet together; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
We shall there and then know as we are known and see as we are seen, when we awake in His likeness. I shall be satisfied, said David, when I awake in Thy likeness. Fight on, dear ones, the time is not long with many of us when we shall hear the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God and them who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. Amen.
Elder R. M. Simmons, Moderator
Elder Thomas Shearer, Clerk.
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – February 2009