Orwell, Bradford Co. Pa.
Oct. 7, 1835.
BRO. BEEBE: As I attended the Allegany Baptist Association, it was their request that I should send you the following; which I trust you will gratify them by publishing in the Signs, together with their Circular and Corresponding Letter which accompany this.
The Alleghany Baptist Ass’n. held its session, Sept. 2nd and 3rd, with the church in Scio. Alleghany Co. N.Y., on the bank of the Genesee River, near its head, containing a few small churches scattered in a literal wilderness. The meeting was harmonious and all appeared to be rejoicing in the truth, seated amidst their foes, afflictions and poverty. Their business was done in great harmony; not a dissenting vote or jar appeared through the whole of it. Communications were received from the Chemung, Juniata, Ketocton, Delaware and Monogahala Assn’s., and voted to open a correspondence with the Mongahala, Ketocton and Delaware Assn’s. by letter. They also expressed their cordial approbation of the Articles of the Monogahala Ass’n. as published in their minutes for 1833.
As their deep poverty prevented the printing of their minutes, they take this method to inform their brethren of their standing; wishing the Assn’s. with whom they correspond to accept it as a corresponding notice. Their next session will be held with the first Baptist Church in Independence, Alleghany Co. N.Y., commencing on the first Wednesday in Sept. 1836, at 10 o’clock A.M.
Signed, in behalf of the Ass’n.
The Messengers of the Churches composing of the Alleghany Baptist Association, to the several Churches which they represent and to Corresponding Associations – Greeting:
DEAR BRETREN: Since our heavenly Father has been pleased to spare our lives another year, and has supported us thro’ trials and joys, and permitted us once more to meet in an associated capacity, where we have set together as in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; we feel bound to thank God for the pleasing opportunity of beholding each other’s faces this side of the grave. Our hearts have been made glad, and we have rejoiced while we have enjoyed the precious privilege of communing together on the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, and hearing the gospel preached in its purity.
As it is customary on such occasions to address you by an epistle, nothing appeals of more importance at present than the subject of Truth. When our Lord was delivered up to be crucified, he was interrogated by one of the great men of the earth, with the query, What is truth? Yet it appears that this enquirer knew not the truth, neither the character of him whom he addressed, but suffered him to be scourged and consented to his death. Brethren, while we address you on this important subject, we are not altogether insensible of its greatness, and feel ourselves inadequate to the task; however, looking to and relying on Him alone, who is the Truth to assist and direct us, we send you the following remarks:
Dear Brethren, this subject is no less than the very God of the whole earth – our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who came into this world and endured so great contradiction of sinners against himself; who was at the same time King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Ye he for our sakes became obedient into death, even the death of the cross, and was put to death in the flesh; wherefore – God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name. Yes, brethren, it is by Him who is the truth that we have been healed; he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. O Brethren! may we never forget to venerate that glorious Truth who first found us in a waste howling wilderness, with our souls as black as the tents of Kedar, dead in trespasses and sins, disobedient to God, neglecting every good work and even by nature the children of wrath even as others, having no hope and without God in the world. But now brethren, if we are not deceived, we have been made nigh by the blood of Christ. We who were some times darkness, hope that we are now made light in the Lord, and our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; wherefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, and in nothing terrified by our adversaries; for brethren, we truly live in a day of darkness, when wicked men & devils are combined against the truth; we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers against the rulers of darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, and against men of corrupt minds who are destitute of the truth – who are heady high minded lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. From such, brethren, we are commanded to turn away.
We see many things in the day in which we live, introduced among New School Baptists & others of high professional religion, which is not of the truth; such as Theological Schools to qualify men to preach, Missionary Societies, Sunday S. Unions and anxious-seats, together with a variety of inventions of men, which tend to darkness rather than light. Moneyed institutions are got up among them under the false name of benevolence. For when we see men more zealously engaged in trying to stir up men’s minds, and working upon their passions to get them to contribute to their funds, then they are in setting forth the beauties of a once crucified but now risen and ascended Saviour; may we not well conclude that such have erred concerning the faith, and are seeking the fleece more than the flock of Christ. Well might the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy declare, “That the love of money was the root of all evil; and while these characters have coveted they have erred from the faith, proved themselves idolaters, and will eventually pierce themselves through with many sorrows. Can it be said of such, that these are they which come out of great tribulation? Brethren we trow not; however lamentable the fact is, that so may at this time are gone astray, loving the wages of unrighteousness like Baalam the son of Bosor. Yet all this, brethren, does not effect or disturb the truth; Truth is yet a never failing spring – an exhaustless fountain that continues to send forth the water of life to all the truly heaven-born souls, who do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Hail all ye aged labourers in the vineyard of truth who have borne the best of the day! – remember ye, that in your patience you must possess your souls; strive lawfully a few days more and your will will be done, and you will soon arrive at the fair haven of eternal rest. And ye younger brethren, be of good courage; trust wholly in the Lord; forget not the truth, and depart not from the truth; remember that it is the truth that blinds, and the truth makes free; wherefore, acquit yourselves like men, be strong in the Lord, be humble, live at the feet of Him who in truth alone has called you to labor in his vineyard, and remember that truth has said that the laborer is worthy of his hire; still go on and wield his sword, for he will fight your battles; yes in truth will all be acknowledged his sons. And ye more feeble Saints who delight to walk in the truth; we say to you all, glory not save in the Cross of Christ; fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, and henceforth there is a crown of glory laid up in heaven for you, which the Lord, the righteous judge in truth, will give you at his appearing and his Kingdom.
Finally, Brethren, farewell; be at peace among yourselves, and may the God of peace help you all to live in peace, and present you faultless before the throne of his glory. We have no greater joy than to hear that you are walking in the truth.
Signed, in behalf of the Association,
Signs of the Times
Volume 3, No. 24.
November 25, 1835