Written by J. M. Moffitt
The Elders and Messengers of the churches composing the Western Corresponding Association of the Old School Predestinarian Baptists of Missouri and Iowa, in session with the Old School Baptist Predestinarian Baptist Church called Three Forks, of Nodaway, in Nodaway County, Missouri, on Friday before the third Saturday in September, 1905, and the two days next following; to the churches whose messengers we are, and to the association with which we correspond, and the Beloved Zion scattered abroad, GREETING.
Beloved Brethren and Sisters in the Lord: Another year with its lights and shadows, its joys and sorrows, its hopes and fears, has passed away, and the time for another of our annual meetings brings afresh the remembrance of the tender mercies of our God, and of the rich benefits wherewith He has loaded us; of the precious privileges He has given us to enjoy; and of the wonderful spiritual blessings with which He has blessed us. So that we have the evidence that we are of those who can say, “And of His fullness have we received, and grace for grace.” And if we are of that number we have the assurance of an inspired Apostle that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. He also tells us how and why, “according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, and also unto the praise of His glory.” While the hypocrite, and false professor seek to evade the force of this evidence, by asserting that it applies to the Apostles alone; or to the Jews as a nation; or as some presumptuously claim, to a character set forth in the Scriptures, to be attained by any sinner by his own works of obedience. Those whom God has graciously been pleased to call and manifest by His grace, are oft-times, through tribulation and manifold temptations in great heaviness; grievously beset by the sin that dwells in them; with darkness and gloom which almost brings them to despair; and with doubts and fears not in regard to the evidences which the Apostle gives, or to the purpose and power of the Lord concerning those who have this testimony, but with regard to the application of it to themselves. For they very often cannot see any evidence that they are holy and without blame before Him in love; or that they are unto the praise of His glory. For they see another law in their members warring against the law of their mind, and bringing them into captivity to the law of sin which is in their members; which makes them say with the Apostle, “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death.” This, dear child, is proof satisfactory to others, if not to yourself, that you are not a hypocrite or false professor. Yea, it is proof to yourself on the behalf of others, for it testifies of the meekness, the patience, the humility, and the sufferings of Christ in them; which you could not see if you had no life or was blind. Hypocrites and false professors never know such agonizing sorrows; such tormenting doubts; such fierce and unceasing conflicts. Therefore they know not the sweetness, the love, and the power of the blessed Jesus, to save and to comfort. But we can say, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think; unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Dearly Beloved, suffer the word of exhortation given by the Apostle Paul, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring the keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” And now may He whose promise is to the “little flock,” whose blessing is upon the poor in spirit, be with you, and bless you, that your walk and service may always be to His own glory, and to the good of His chosen people.
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” “To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
Dear Beloved, fare ye well in the Lord.
Elder R.M. Simmons, Moderator
Bro. Samuel Hostetter, Clerk.
Bro. J. M. Moffitt, Assist. Clerk
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips - March 2009