Having been absent much of the time for the last six weeks in attending our spring Associations, we are not able to furnish for this number our usual quantity of editorial matter. Our visit to the Associations has been unusually pleasant and refreshing. The Baltimore, Maryland was well attended, and notwithstanding the clamor of war so near to that State, peace and harmony, love and fellowship characterized the meeting throughout. At that meeting we were permitted to grasp the hand of our dear old brother and father in the ministry, Elder S. Trott, who had so recently been incarcerated in a loathsome prison - and who is still a prisoner under parole - having liberty to extend his travels only through the District of Columbia and the city and county of Baltimore. Elder J. Correll also from Juniata Association was present with whom we, for the first, formed an agreeable personal acquaintance. Elders P. Hartwell, D. L. Harding, W. J. Purington, G. W. Slater, E. Rittenhouse, and Win. Grafton were in attendance.
On the following week we attended the Delaware Association at Welsh Tract, Del., where we met with our beloved Elder Thomas Barton, the pastor of Welsh Tract Church. Nearly all the Elders who attended the Baltimore were also at the Delaware, excepting Elders Trott and Purington. This meeting was also a very agreeable and harmonious one. No jarring notes were heard either in the preaching or transaction of business. The attendance was quite as large as usual, and more than ordinary interest seemed to be felt by all present.
The next in order was the Delaware River Association, which was held with the Southampton Church in Bucks County, Pa. Here the same ministers who had attended the Delaware were present, also Elder. G. Conklin. There was a larger gathering at this than at the two preceding meetings, and about the same interest manifested. Everything passed off pleasantly, and we parted as we had met - in love and hearty fellowship, being greatly refreshed. The meeting house at Southampton is very large and well suited to accommodate a large gathering of people. The brethren, sisters, also the friends and neighbors at this and at all the other meeting were remarkably kind and attentive to our comfort, and cheerfully contributed to make our visit among them agreeable.
Our own, the Warwick, was the next in course, and was held at the meeting house of the Middletown and Wallkill Church, and like the others, it was a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Ministers from abroad in attendance were Elders Hartwell, Harding and Conklin from Delaware River Association; Elder Leonard Cox, Jr., from Maine, Elders Hewitt, Winchel, St. John, and G. W. Slater from the Lexington Association. The time at all these meetings was spent mostly in preaching the word and devotional exercises. It was truly delightful to witness the harmony and fellowship of the brethren, and the manifest interest felt by the congregation generally.
A meeting was held on the next week near New Milford, Susquehanna County, Pa., attended by Elders Conklin, St. John, and Bolch, which we understand, though small, was pleasant. Then came on the Chemung Association at Pleasant Valley, near the Horse Heads, in Chemung County, N.Y., which it was our happy privilege to attend, with Elders Cos, Conklin, St. John, Hewitt, Rector, besides Elders J. Beaman, C. Schoonover, P. W. Doud, and K. Hollister, who live in its bounds. We there enjoyed a precious season, and one that will long be remembered by some who attended.
The Old School Baptist Conference of Western New York, next came off at Riker’s Hollow, in Steuben Co., N.Y. It was held on Wednesday and Thursday, 24th and 25th of June. This meeting is composed principally of scattered brethren isolated from the vicinity of any churches of our order, and who seldom have the privilege of hearing the gospel preached in truth and soberness. There is, we believe, but one regularly organized church embraced in this Conference, that of South Dansville, under the pastoral care of Elder N. D. Rector. But the attendance of visiting ministers was unusually large. Ministers in attendance were Elders Hewitt, Smith, Conklin, Cox, St. John, Chatfield, Hill, Bicknell, and Beebe. Four discourses were preached each day, besides some time taken up in general conference, in which many of the brethren spake of the glory of the Redeemer’s kingdom and talked of his power.
Our own enjoyment of these meetings, of the greeting of dear brethren in Christ, the harmonious sound of the gospel from those who proclaimed the unsearchable riches of Christ, and the sweet fellowship and tender sympathizing love which seemed to pervade all these meetings which formed so strong and marked a contrast to the spirit which is abroad in the world, made us feel constrained to give this brief statement. Our eyes beheld Jerusalem, a quiet habitation and a secure resting place for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. And we rejoice to know that not one of her stakes shall ever be removed, or one of her cords ever be broken. God himself is in the midst of his Zion; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.
July 1, 1863.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 5
Pages 377 – 380