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“The Ketocton Association is one of the oldest associations in Virginia, and formerly one of the most flourishing. In 1833 it contained nineteen churches and about two thousand members. But, says the editor of the Religious Herald, ‘The blighted influence of Antinonianism has reduced it to a withered, blasted, lifeless body.’ It now numbers six hundred and fifteen members, and it is yearly diminishing. When it began its opposition to the benevolent institutions, then began its downfall. We have a few similar instances of cause and effect in Ohio. All this, however, our anti-effort brethren consider only as a necessary purification of the church, and as a plain indication of the kind regards of their heavenly Father, since ‘Whomsoever the Lord loveth, he chasteneth. When will their eyes be open that they may see.” – Cross and Journal.


AND thus old Hagar vaunted when she became the mother of her illegitimate bantling, Ishmael; in the ecstacy of her vain glory, forgetting that she, being a bond woman, could not give birth to a free child, despised her mistress, and that too on account of her barrenness. When will the eyes of these New School mockers be opened to see the close resemblance they bear to their ancient prototype. The position they assume in relation to Ketocton Association, and to all the old fashioned Baptists of the present day, serves only to demonstrate that they are a true and exact copy of the bond woman and her brood of slaves. Hagar could speak as disdainfully of the superanuated body of her mistress, as the Herald, and the Cross and Journal can of the Ketocton Association; and with as much apparent plausibility. Sarah, and even Abraham seemed despondent at the appearances which, in all human calculation, stood against them and in favor of their bond woman’s being the mother of the promised seed. Nevertheless God had promised Abraham, and repeated his promise to Sarah, that Sarah should have a son. Thus stood the case with the despised, insulted, “withered, blasted, lifeless body” of the free woman, until the appointed hour of God’s pleasure had arrived, when, contrary to all human reasoning, triumphant over all the boastful insolence of her slave, Sarah embraced the free born boon that God had promised. Even so now stands the case with Ketocton Association, and with all the churches of the primitive faith and order of the gospel; they seem, in the eyes of their enemies, as Mr. Sands has happily expressed, and Mr. Cole has reiterated in the above paragraph, “Reduced to a withered, blasted, lifeless body,” having only the promise and oath of God to assure her, that according to his appointed time, God will come, and his anti-typical Sarah shall embrace her heaven born seed.

But, to review the above article, how stands the case in point of truth? These New School mocking children of Hagar assert that “the blighting influence of antinonianism has reduced the Ketocton Association since 1833, from about two thousand members to six hundred and fifteen.” As we have not the minutes of 1833 at hand we cannot say what their number was at that date, but we know that about the year 1835 three churches under the ministry of Mr. Gilmore were dropped from this Association; and at the same session, at Broad Run, a resolution was adopted by the Association to withhold their countenance and fellowship from the New School doctrines and operations of the day; this was virtually refusing to leave the very ground they had uniformly occupied from the date of their constitution, sixty-nine years previously. To this resolution the Arminian churches, called Broad Run, Buck Marsh and Ketocton took exception; and greatly to the peace and purity of the Association, they were dropped at the next meeting, in 1836, at Winchester; and subsequently the Thumb Run, and if we mistake not, Goose Creek also were dropped. Thumb Run has since returned, making at least six or seven large churches that were dropped for their corruption, either in faith or practice. In addition to these churches dropped for corruption and disorder, some one or more, we believe, were set off in fellowship to constitute the Rappahannock Association.

Now if these facts will justify the round assertion of these Ishmaelitish editors, that the blighting influence of antinomianism has reduced it from two thousand to six hundred and fifteen members, then have they done the Ketocton Association no injustice; but if, as it evidently appears to us, this reduction has resulted from a close and truly commendable regard for gospel truth and gospel purity, on the part of the Association, then they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and have abundant reason to rejoice and be exceedingly glad.

To the special attention of Messrs. Sands and Cole we commend Paul’s allegory. - Gal. iv. 21-31, inclusive, but more especially the 30th verse: “Nevertheless, what saith the scriptures? Cast out the bond woman and her son; for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.”

April 1, 1841.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 676 – 679