MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS AND RESOLUTIONS, DRAFTED BY THE PARTICULAR BAPTISTS, CONVENED AT BLACK ROCK, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER 28, 1832 ALSO KNOWN AS
(Copied from the first number of the Signs of the Times.)
Below is the Black Rock Address as I received it. I would recommend that you read it in its entirety. I have made some modifications in the fact that you can jump by hyperlink to one area and read it. Again, though, if this is your first time reading it, I HIGHLY recommend that you read it through as it was written instead of jumping around in it. - Tom
A meeting of Particular Baptists of the Old School convened agreeable to a previous appointment at the Black Rock meeting-house, Baltimore, Md., on Friday, 28th September, 1832.
The introductory sermon was preached by Elder Samuel Trott, of Delaware, from Daniel 2:34,35: "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands," etc.
The meeting was then called to order by Elder John Healy, of Baltimore.
Prayer by Elder Thomas Barton, of Pennsylvania.
Elder William Gilmore, of Virginia, was elected Moderator, and Elder Gabriel Conklin, Clerk.
A brief statement of the object for which the meeting had been called was made by the Moderator, and there upon it was Resolved That a committee of seven brethren, viz: Trott, Healey, Poteat, Barton and Beebe, together with the Moderator and Clerk, be appointed to prepare an Address expressive of the views of this meeting, touching the object for which it was convened.
Brethren Scott, Cole, Ensor and Shaw, were appointed to make the necessary arrangements for preaching during this meeting.
Prayer by brother Trott.
Adjourned to 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Saturday Morning, 9 o'clock.
Met pursuant to adjournment.
Prayer by brother Choat.
The committee appointed to prepare an address, submitted the following, which was unanimously adopted:
To the Particular Baptist Churches of the "Old School" in the United States.
Brethren: - It constitutes a new era in the history of the Baptists, when those who would follow the Lord fully, and who therefore manifest a solicitude to be, all things pertaining to religion, conformed to the pattern showed in the mount are by Baptists charged with antinomianism, inertness, stupidity, etc., refusing to go beyond the word of God; but such is the case with us.
Brethren, we would not shun reproach, nor seek an exemption from persecution; but we would affectionately entreat those Baptists who revile us themselves, or who side with such as do, to pause and consider how far they have departed from the ancient principle of the Baptists, and how that in reproaching us they stigmatize the memory of those whom they have been used to honor as eminent and useful servants of Christ, and of those who have borne the brunt of the persecutions leveled against the Baptists in former ages. For it is a well-known fact that it was in ages past a uniform and distinguishing trait in the character of the Baptists, that they required a "Thus saith the Lord," that is, direct authority from the word of God for the order and practices, as well as the doctrine, they received in religion.
It is true that many things to which we object as departures from the order established by the great Head of the church, through the ministry of his apostles, are by others considered to be connected with the very essence of religion, and absolutely necessary to the prosperity of Christ's kingdom. They attach great value to them, because human wisdom suggests their importance. We allow the Head of the church alone to judge for us; we therefore esteem those things to be of no use to the cause of Christ, which he has not himself instituted.
We will notice severally the claims of the principal of these modern inventions, and state some of our objections to them for your candid consideration.
We commence with the Tract Societies. These claim to be extensively useful. Tracts claim their thousands converted. They claim the prerogative of carrying the news of salvation into holes and corners, where the gospel would otherwise never come; of going as on the wings of the wind, carrying salvation in their train; and they claim each to contain gospel enough, should it go where the Bible has never come, to lead a soul to the knowledge of Christ. The nature and extent of these and the like claims, made in favor of tracts by their advocates, constitute a good reason why we should reject them. These claims represent tracts as possessing in these respects a superiority over the Bible, and over the institution of the gospel ministry, which is charging the great I Am with a deficiency of wisdom. Yea, they charge God with folly; for why has he given us the extensive revelation contained in the Bible, and given the Holy Spirit to take of the things of Christ and show them to us, if a little tract of four pages can lead a soul to the knowledge of Christ? But let us consider the more rational claims presented by others in favor of tracts, as that they constitute a convenient way of disseminating religious instruction among the more indigent and thoughtless classes of society. Admitting the propriety of this claim, could it be kept separated from other pretensions, still can we submit to the distribution of tracts becoming an order of our churches or our associations, without countenancing the prevalent idea that tracts have become an instituted means approved of God for the conversion of sinners, and hence that the distribution of them is a religious act, and on a footing with supporting gospel ministry?
If we were to admit that tracts may have occasionally been made instrumental by the Holy Ghost for imparting instructions or comfort to inquiring minds, it would by no means imply that tracts are an instituted means of salvation, to speak after the manner of the popular religionists, nor that they should be placed on a footing with the Bible and the preached gospel, in respect to imparting the knowledge of salvation.
Again, we readily admit the propriety of an individual's publishing and distributing, or of several individuals uniting to publish and distribute what they wish circulated, whether in the form of tracts, or otherwise; but still we cannot admit the propriety of uniting with or upon the plans of the existing Tract Societies, even laying aside the idea of their being attempted to be palmed upon us as religious institutions. Because that upon the plan of these societies, those who unite with them pay their money for publishing and distributing they know not what, under the name of religious truth; and what is worse, they submit to have sent into their families weekly or monthly, and to circulate among their neighbors, anything and everything for religious reading, which the agent or publishing committee may see fit to publish. They thus become accustomed to receive everything as good which comes under the name of religion, whether it be according to the word of God or not; and are trained to the habit of letting others judge for them in matter of religion, and are therefore fast preparing to become the dupes of priestcraft. Can any conscientious follower of the Lamb submit to such plans? If others can, we cannot. (TOP)
Sunday schools come next under consideration. These assume the same high stand as do Tract Societies. They claim the honor of converting their tens of thousands; of leading the tender minds of children to the knowledge of Jesus; of being as properly the instituted means of bringing children to the knowledge of salvation, as is the preaching of the gospel that of bringing adults to the same knowledge, etc. Such arrogant pretensions we feel bound to oppose. First, because these as well as the pretensions of the Tract Societies are grounded upon the notion that conversion or regeneration is produced by impressions made upon the natural mind by means of religious sentiments instilled into it; and if the Holy Ghost is allowed to be at all concerned in the thing, it is in a way which implies his being somehow blended with the instruction, or necessarily attendant upon it; all of which we know to be wrong.
Secondly, because such schools were never established by the apostles, nor commanded by Christ. There were children in the days of the apostles. The apostles possessed as great a desire for the salvation of souls, as much love for the cause of Christ, and knew as well what God would own for bringing persons to the knowledge of salvation, as any do at this day. We therefore must believe that if these schools were of God, we should find some account of them in the New Testament.
Thirdly. We have exemplified in the case of the Pharisees, the evil consequences of instructing children in the letter of the Scripture, under the notion that this instruction constitutes a saving acquaintance with the word of God. We see in that instance it only made hypocrites of the Jews; and as the Scriptures declare that Christ's words are spirit and life, and that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, we cannot believe it will have any better effect on the children in our day.
The Scriptures enjoin upon parents to bring up their children in time nurture and admonition of the Lord; but this, instead of countenancing, forbids the idea of parents intrusting the religious education of their children to giddy, unregenerated, young person, who know no better than to build them up in the belief that they are learning the religion of Christ, and to confirm them in their natural notions of their goodness.
But whilst we thus stand opposed to the plan and use of the Sunday schools, and to the S.S. Union, in every point, we wish it to be distinctly understood that we consider Sunday schools for the purpose of teaching poor children to read, whereby they may be enabled to read the Scriptures for themselves, in neighborhoods where there is occasion for them, and when properly conducted, without that ostentation so commonly connected with them, to be useful and benevolent institutions, worthy of
the patronage of all the friends of civil liberty. (TOP)
We pass to the consideration of the Bible Society. We are aware, brethren, that this institution presents itself to the mind of the Christian as supported by the most plausible pretext. The idea of giving the Bible, without note or comment, to those who are unable to procure it for themselves, is in itself considered, calculated to meet the approbation of all who know the importance of the sacred Scriptures. But under this auspicious guise, we see reared in the case of the American Bible Society, an institution as foreign from anything which the gospel of Christ calls for, as are the kingdoms of this world from the kingdom of Christ. We see a combination formed, in which are united the man of the world, the vaunting professor, and the humble follower of Jesus; the leading characters in politics, the dignitaries in church, and from them some of every grade, down to the poor servant girl, who can snatch from her hard-earned wages fifty cents a year for the privilege of being a member. We see united in this combination all parties in politics, and all sects in religion; and the distinctive differences of the one, and the sectarian barriers of the other, in part thrown aside to form the union. At the head of this vast body we see placed a few leading characters, who have in their hands the management of its enormous printing establishment, and its immense funds, and the control of its powerful influence, extended by means of agents and auxiliaries to every part of the United States. We behold its anniversary meetings converted into a great religious parade, and forming a theatre for the orator who is ambitious of preferment, either in the pulpit, in the legislative hall, or at the bar, to display his eloquence, and elicit the cheers of the grave assemblage. Now, brethren, to justify our opposition to the Bible Society, it is not necessary for us to say that any of its members manifested a disposition to employ its power for the subversion of our liberties. It is enough for us to say:
1. That such a monstrous combination, concentrating so much power in the hands of a few individuals, could never be necessary for supplying the destitute with Bibles. Individual printing establishments would readily be extended so as to supply Bibles in any amount, and in any language that might be called for, and at as cheap a rate as they have ever been sold by the Bible Society.
2. That the humble followers of Jesus could accomplish their benevolent wishes for supplying the needy with Bibles, with more effect, and more to their satisfaction, by managing the purchase and distribution of them for themselves; and such will never seek popular applause by having their liberality trumpeted abroad through the medium of the Bible Society.
3. That the Bible Society, whether we consider it in its monied foundation for membership and directorship, in its hoarding up of funds, in its blending together all distinctions between the church and the world, or in its concentration of power is an institution never contemplated by the Lord Jesus as connected with his kingdom; therefore not a command concerning it is given in the decree published, nor a sketch of it drawn in the pattern showed.
4. That its vast combination of worldly power and influence lodged in the hands of a few renders it a dangerous engine against the liberties, both civil and religious, of our country, should it come under the control of those disposed so to employ it. The above remarks apply with equal force to the other great national institutions , as the American Tract Society, and Sunday School Union, etc. (TOP)
We will now call your attention to the subject of Missions. Previous to stating our objections to the mission plans, we will meet some of the false charges brought against us relative to this subject, by a simple and unequivocal declaration, that we do regard as of the first importance the command given of Christ, primarily to his apostles, and through them to his ministers in every age, to "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," and do feel an earnest desire to be found acting in obedience here unto, as the providence of God directs our way, and opens a door of utterance for us. We also believe it to be the duty of individuals and churches to contribute according to their abilities, for the support, not only of their pastors, but also of those who go preaching the gospel of Christ among the destitute. But we at the same time contend that we have no right to depart from the order which the Master himself has seen fit to lay down relative to the ministration of the word. We therefore cannot fellowship the plans for spreading the gospel, generally adopted at this day, under the name of Missions; because we consider those plans throughout a subversion of the order marked out in the New Testament.
1. In reference to the medium by which the gospel minister is to be sent forth to labor in the field. Agreeable to the prophecy going before, that out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, the Lord has manifestly established the order, that his ministers should be sent forth by the churches. But the mission plan is to send them out by a Mission Society. The gospel society or church is to be composed of baptized believers, the poor are placed on an equal footing with the rich, and money is of no consideration, with regard to membership, or church privileges. Not so with Mission Societies, they are so organized that the unregenerate, the enemies of the Cross of Christ, have equal privileges as to membership, etc., with the people of God, and money is the principal consideration; a certain sum entitles to membership, a larger sum to life membership, a still larger to directorship, etc., so that their constitutions, contrary to the direction of James, are partial, saying to the rich man, sit thou here, and to the poor, stand thou there. In Christ's kingdom, all his subjects are sons, and have equal rights, and an equal voice, as well in calling persons into the ministry, as in other things. But the mission administration is all lodged in the hands of a few, who are distinguished from the rest, by great swelling titles as Presidents, Vice Presidents, etc. Again, each gospel church acts as the independent kingdom of Christ in calling and sending forth its members into the ministry. Very different from this is the mission order. The mission community being so arranged that from the little Mite Society, on to the State conventions, and from them on the Triennial convention, and General Board, there is formed a general amalgamation, and a concentration of power in the hands of a dozen dignitaries, who with some exceptions have the control of all the funds designed for supporting ministers among the destitute, at home and abroad, and the sovereign authority to designate who from among the professed ministers of Christ, shall be supported from these funds, and also to assign them the field of their labors. Yea, the authority to appoint females, and school-masters, and printers, and farmers, as such, to be solemnly set apart by prayer, and the imposition of hands, as missionaries of the cross, and to be supported from these funds. Whereas in ancient times preachers of the gospel were by the Holy Ghost. Acts 13:1,4.
2. In reference to ministerial support. The gospel order is to extend support to them who preach the gospel; but the mission plan is to hire persons to preach. The gospel order is not to prefer one before another, and to do nothing by partiality. See I Tim. 5:17, 21. But the Mission Boards exclude all from a participation in the benefits of their funds who do not come under their direction and own their authority, however regularly they may have been set apart according to gospel order to the work of the ministry, and however zealously they may be laboring to preach the gospel among the destitute. And what is more, these boards, by their auxiliaries and agents, so scour every hole and corner to scrape up money for their funds that the people think they have nothing left to give to a preacher who may come among them alone up the authority of Christ, and by the fellowship of the church. Formerly not only did preachers generally feel themselves bound to devote a part of their time to traveling and preaching among the destitute, but the people also among whom they came dispensing the word of life, felt themselves bound to contribute something to meet their expenses. These were the days when Christians affections flowed freely. Then the hearts of the preachers flowed out toward the people, and the affections of the people were manifested toward the preachers who visited them. There was then more preaching of the gospel among the people at large, according to the number of Baptists, than has ever been since the rage of missions commenced. - How different are things now from what they were in those by-gone days. Now, generally speaking, persons who are novices in the gospel, however learned they may profess to be in the sciences, have taken the field in the place of those who, having been taught in the school of Christ, were capacitated to administer consolation to God's afflicted people. - The missionary, instead of going into such neighborhoods as Christ's ministers used to visit, where they would be most likely to have an opportunity of administering food to the poor of the flock, seeks the more populous villages and towns, where he can attract the most attention, and do the most to promote the cause of missions and other popular institutions. His leading motive, judging from his movements, is not love to souls, but love of fame; hence his anxiety to have something to publish of what he has done and hence his anxiety to constitute churches, even taking disaffected, disorderly, and as has been the case, excluded persons, to form a church, in the absence of better materials. And the people, instead of glowing with the affection for the preacher as such, feel burdened with the whole system of modern mendicancy, but have not resolution to shake off their oppression, because it is represented so deistical to withhold and so popular to give.
Brethren, we cheerfully acknowledge that there have been some honorable exceptions to the character we have here drawn of the modern missionary, and some societies have existed under the name of Mission Societies which were in some important points exceptions from the above drawn sketch; but on a general scale we believe we have given a correct view of the mission plans and operations, and of the effects which have resulted from them, and our hearts really sicken at this state of things. How can we therefore forbear to express our disapprobation of the system that has produced it? (TOP)
Colleges and Theological schools next claim our attention. In speaking of colleges, we wish to be distinctly understood that it is not to colleges, or collegial education, as such, that we have any objection. We would cheerfully afford our own children such an education, did circumstances warrant the measure. But we object in the first place to sectarian colleges as such. The idea of a Baptist College and a Presbyterian College, etc., necessarily implies that our distinct views of church government, of gospel doctrine and gospel ordinances are connected with human sciences, a principle which we cannot admit: for we believe the kingdom of Christ to be altogether a kingdom not of this world. In the second place, we object to the notion of attaching professorships of divinity to colleges; because this evidently implies that the revelation which God has made of Himself is a human science, on a footing with mathematics, philosophy, law, etc., which is contrary to the general tenor of revelation, and indeed to the very idea itself of revelation. We perhaps need not add that we have for the same reason strong objections to colleges conferring the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and to preachers receiving it. Thirdly. We decidedly object to persons, after professing to have been called of the Lord to preach his gospel, going to a college or academy to fit themselves for that service. 1st. Because we believe that Christ possesses perfect knowledge of his own purposes, and of the proper instruments by which to accomplish them. If he has occasion for a man of science he having power over all flesh, will so order it that the individual shall obtain the requisite learning before he calls him to his service, as was the case with Saul of Tarsus, and others since; and thus avoid subjecting himself to the imputation of weakness. For should Christ call a person to labor in the gospel field, who was unqualified for the work assigned him, it would manifest him to be deficient in knowledge relative to the proper instruments to employ, or defective in power to provide them. 2nd. Because we believe that the Lord calls no man to preach his gospel till he has made him experimentally acquainted with that gospel, and endowed him with the proper measure of gifts suiting the field he designs him to occupy; and the person giving himself up in obedience to the voice of Christ will find himself learning in Christ's own school. But when a person professedly called of Christ to the gospel ministry concludes that, in order to be useful, he must first go and obtain an academical education, he must judge that human science is of more importance in the ministry than that knowledge and those gifts which Christ imparts to his servants. To act consistently with his own principles, he will place his chief dependence for usefulness on his scientific knowledge, and aim mostly to display this in his preaching. This person, therefore, will pursue a very different course in his preaching from that marked out by the great apostle to the Gentiles who determined to know nothing among the people save Jesus Christ and him crucified.
As to Theological schools, we shall at present content ourselves with saying that they are a reflection upon the faithfulness of the Holy Ghost, who is engaged according to the promise of the great Head of the church to lead the disciples into all truth. See John 16:13. Also, that in every age, from the school at Alexandria down to this day, they have been a real pest to the church of Christ. Of this we could produce abundant proof, did the limits of our address admit their insertion. (TOP)
We now pass to the last item which we think it necessary particularly to notice, viz, four days or protracted meetings. Before stating our objections to these, however, we would observe that we consider the example worthy to be imitated which the apostles set of embracing every opportunity consistently with prudence for preaching the gospel wherever they met with an assembly, whether in a Jew's synagogue on the seventh day, or in a Christian assembly on the first day of the week; and the exhortation to be instant in season and out of season, we would gladly accept. Therefore, whenever circumstances call a congregation together from day to day, as at an association or the like, we would embrace the opportunity of preaching the gospel to them from time to time, so often as they shall come together; but to the principle and plans of protracted meetings distinguishingly so called, we decidedly object. The principles of these meetings we cannot fellowship.
Regeneration, we believe, is exclusively the work of the Holy Ghost, performed by his divine power at his own sovereign pleasure, according to the provisions of the everlasting covenant; but these meetings are got up either for the purpose of inducing the Holy Spirit to regenerate multitudes who would otherwise not be converted, or to convert them themselves by the machinery of these meetings, or rather to bring them into their churches by means of exciting their animal feelings, without any regard to their being born again. Whichever of these may be considered the true ground upon which these meetings are founded, we are at a loss to know how any person who has known what it is to be born again can countenance them.
The plans of these meetings are equally as objectionable; for in the first place, all doctrinal preaching, or in other words, all illustrations of God's plan of salvation, are excluded professedly from these meetings. Hence they would make believers of their converts without presenting any fixed truths to their minds to believe. Whereas God has chosen his people to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the TRUTH.- II Thessalonians 2:13.
Secondly. The leaders of these meetings fix standards by which to decide of the persons' repentance and desire of salvation, which the word of God nowhere warrants, such as rising off their seats, coming to anxious seats, or going to a certain place, etc. – we have no right to depart, viz: that of bringing forth fruits meet for repentance.
Thirdly. They leave the people to depend on mediators other than the Lord Jesus Christ to obtain peace for them, by offering themselves as intercessors for them with God; - whereas the Scriptures acknowledge but the one God and one Mediator.
Some may be ready to inquire whether protracted meetings, as such, may not with propriety be held, providing they be held without excluding doctrinal preaching, or introducing any of these new plans. However others may judge and act, we cannot approve of such meetings for the following reasons:
1st. Because by appointing and holding a protracted meeting, as such although we may not carry it to the same excesses to which others do, yet as most people will make no distinction between it and those meetings where all the borrowed machinery from Methodist camp-meetings is introduced, we shall generally be considered as countenancing those meetings.
2nd. Because the motives we could have for conforming to the custom of holding these newly invented meetings are such as we think cannot bear the test. For we must be induced thus to conform to the reigning custom either in order to shun the reproach generally attached to those who will not conform to what is popular; or to try the experiment whether our holding a four days' meeting will not induce the Holy Ghost to produce a revival among us commensurate with the strange fire enkindled by others. Or else we must be led to this plan from having imbibed the notion that the Holy Ghost is somehow so the creature of human feelings that he is led to regenerate persons by our getting their animal feelings excited; and therefore that in the same proportion as we can by an measure get the feelings of the people aroused, there will be a revival of religion. This latter motive can scarcely be supposed to have place with any who would not go to the whole length of every popular measure. But 1st. We do not believe it becoming a follower of Jesus to seek an exemption from reproach by conforming to the schemes of men. 2nd. We believe the Holy Ghost to be too sacred a being to be trifled with by trying experiments upon him. And 3rd. We believe the Holy Ghost to be God. We would as soon expect that the Father would be induced to predestinate persons to the adoption of children by their feeling being excited, as the Son be induced to re-redeem them, as that the Holy Ghost would be thus induced to quicken them. These three are one. The purpose of the Father, the redemption of the Son, and the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost, must run in perfect accordance, and commensurate one with the other.
Brethren, we have thus laid before you some of our objections to the popular schemes in religion and the reasons why we cannot fellowship them. Ponder these things well. Weigh them in the balance of the sanctuary; and then say if they are not such as to justify us in standing aloof from those plans of men, and those would-be religious societies, which are bound together not by the fellowship of the gospel, but by certain money payments. If you cannot for yourselves meet the reproach by separating yourselves from those things which the word of God does not warrant, still allow us the privilege to obey God rather than man.
There is, brethren, one radical difference between us and those who advocate these various institutions which we have noticed to which we wish to call your attention. It is this: they declare the gospel to be a system of means, these means, it appears, they believe to be of human contrivance; and they act accordingly. But we believe the gospel dispensation to embrace a system of faith and obedience and we would act according to our belief. We believe, for instance, that the seasons of declension, of darkness, of persecutions, etc., to which the church of Christ is at times subject, are designed by the wise Disposer of all events; not for calling forth the inventive geniuses of men to remove the difficulties, but for trying the faith of God's people in his wisdom, power and faithfulness to sustain his church. On him, therefore, would we repose our trust, and wait for his hour of deliverance, rather than rely upon an arm of flesh. Are we called to the ministry, (although we may feel our own insufficiency for the work as sensibly as do others, yet we would go forward in the path of duty marked out) believing that God is able to accomplish his purposes by such instruments as he chooses; that he hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things of the world, to confound the things that are mighty; and base things, etc., hath God chosen, that no flesh should glory in his presence? Though we may not enjoy the satisfaction of seeing multitudes flocking to Jesus under our ministry, yet instead of going in to Hagar to accomplish the promises of God, or of resorting to any of the contrivances of men to make up the deficiency, we would still be content to preach the word and would be instant in season and out of season; knowing it has pleased God, not by the wisdom of men, but by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. And that his word will not return unto him void, but it shall accomplish that which he please and prosper in the thing whereunto he sent it. Faith in God, instead of leading us to contrive ways to help him accomplish his purposes, leads us to inquire what he hath required at our hands, and to be satisfied with doing that as we find it pointed out in his word; for we know that his purpose shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure. Jesus says, ye believe in God, believe also in me. Ye believe in the power of God to accomplish his purposes, however contrary things may appear to work to your expectations. So believe in my power to accomplish the great work of saving my people. In a word, as the dispensation of God by the hand of Moses, in bringing Israel out of Egypt, and leading them through the wilderness, was from first to last calculated to try Israel's faith in God - so is the dispensation of God by his Son, in bringing his spiritual Israel to be a people to himself.
There being then this radical difference between us and the patrons of these modern institutions, the question which has long since been put forth presents itself afresh for our consideration in all its force: "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" We believe that many who love our Lord Jesus Christ are engaged in promoting those institutions which they acknowledge to be of modern origin; and they are promoting them too as religious institutions; whereas, if they would reflect a little on the origin and nature of the Christian religion, they must be, like us, convinced that this religion must remain unchangably the same at this day as we find it delivered in the New Testament. Hence that anything, however highly esteemed it may be among men, which is not found in the New Testament, has no just claim to be acknowledged as belonging to the religion or the religious institutions of Christ.
With all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, in truth, and walk according to apostolic traditions, or gospel order, we would gladly meet in church relation and engage with them in the worship and service of God, as he himself has ordered them. But if they will persist in bringing those institutions for which they can show us no example in the New Testament, into the churches and associations, and in making them the order thereof, we shall for conscience sake, be compelled to withdraw from the disorderly walk of such churches, associations, or individuals, that we may not suffer our names to pass as sanctioning those things for which we have no fellowship. And if persons who would pass for preachers, will come to us, bringing the messages of men, etc., a gospel which they have learned in the schools, instead of that gospel which Christ himself commits unto his servants, and which is not learned of men, they must not be surprised that we cannot acknowledge them as ministers of Christ.
Now, brethren, addressing ourselves to you who profess to be, in principle, Particular Baptists, of the "Old School", but who are practicing such things as you have learned only from a New School, it is for you to say, not us, whether we can no longer walk in union with you. We regret, and so do you, to see brethren professing the same faith, serving apart. But if you will compel us either to sanction the traditions and inventions of men, as of religious obligations or to separate from you, the sin lieth at your door. If you meet us in churches to attend only to the order of Christ's house as laid down by himself; and in associations, upon the ancient principles of Baptist associations, i.e. as an associating of the churches for keeping up a brotherly correspondence one with another, that they may strengthen each other in the good ways of the Lord; instead of turning the associations into a kind of legislative body, formed for the purpose of contriving plans to help along the work of Christ, and for imposing those contrivances as burdens upon the church by resolutions, etc., as in the manner of some, we can still go on with you in peace and fellowship.
Thus, brethren, our appeal is before you. Treat it with contempt if you can despise the cause for which we contend, i.e. conformity to the word of God. But indulge us, we beseech you, so far at least, as at our request to sit down and carefully count the cost on both sides; and see whether this shunning reproach by conforming to men's notions will not in the end be a much more expensive course than to meet reproach at once, by honoring Jesus as your only King, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. And rebellion, you know, is as the sin of witchcraft.
May the Lord lead you to judge and act upon this subject as you will wish you had done when you come to see the mass of human inventions in connection with the Man of sin, driven away like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and that stone which was cut out without hands alone filling the earth. We subscribe ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake - COMMITTEE.
We acknowledge with pleasure the reception of an affectionate letter from the Muskingum Association expressive of their warm attachment to the ancient order of the Baptist church, and also an interesting epistle from our venerable brother, John Leland, disclaiming any connection with the popular schemes of the day. (TOP)
The following resolutions were unanimously adopted, viz:
Resolved: That our next meeting be held with the church of Pleasant Valley, Washington Co., Md., on the Monday after the third Lord's day in May, 1833, at the close of the business of the Baltimore Association.
Resolved: That we cordially invite our ministering and other brethren from all parts of the United States, who accord with our views as expressed in our address, to attend our next meeting. Also, that we recommend our address to the consideration of such Baptist Churches as profess to adhere to the ancient faith and order of the Particular Baptists' requesting those of them who are disposed to unite with us in the stand which we have taken to give us an expression thereof by messenger or otherwise.
Resolved: That brother Henry Moon be our messenger to the Muskingum Association, and that brother Gilmore write them an affectionate letter on our behalf.
Resolved: That we consider the receiving persons into Baptist Churches upon any ground whatever short of an evidence of their having been born from above, to be a subversion of the ancient principles of the Baptists, of the apostolic example, and of the declaration of the Master that his kingdom is not of this world. Therefore we will not administer baptism to any without receiving ourselves an evidence of their having experienced the specified change; and we beseech the churches of our faith and order to guard against persons getting in among them through the excitement of their animal feelings, with as much caution as they would watch against receiving persons upon the ground of their receiving baptism as regeneration.
Resolved: That Brother Healey superintend the printing of our minutes, and that he be authorized to print 500 copies.
Resolved: That brethren Samuel Trott, Newark, New Castle Co., Del., Win. Gilmore, Leesburgh, Loudoun Co., Va., Thomas Poteet, Golder, Baltimore Co., Md., Edward Choat, Golden, Baltimore Co., Md., Eli Scott, Golden, Baltimore Co., Md., John Healy, Baltimore City, Md., Thomas Barton, Strakers Ville, Pa., Gilbert Beebe, New Vernon, Orange Co., N.Y., Stephen W. Woolford, Washington City, D.C., Gabriel Conidin, Slate Hill, Orange Co., N.Y., be a committee of Correspondence.
We beg leave to recommend to the patronage of our brethren a paper published by our brother, Gilbert Beebe, entitled "The Signs of the Times."
As some have misunderstood certain expressions in the latter part of his Prospectus relative to the popular institutions of the day, we would say that the views of the editor are such as are expressed in the address published by us.
We desire at the close of our meeting to acknowledge the kind hand of God, which has been manifested in bringing us together, and permitting us to sit and consult together in harmony and fellowship, and for the affectionate manner in which we have been received by our brethren and friends in this vicinity.
After an affectionate address and prayer by the Moderator, the meeting was adjourned at the time and place above mentioned.
William Gilinore, Moderator.
Gabriel Conkiin, Clerk
We, the undersigned, do hereunto set our names, as cordially united in all the proceedings of this meeting.
Elder John Healy.
Elder Win. Gilmore.
Elder Edward Choat.
Elder Samuel Trott.
Elder Thomas Poteet.
Elder Thomas Barton.
Elder Edward J. Rees.
Elder Gilbert Beebe.
Elder Gabriel Conidin.
Elder Henry Moon.
Elder William Wilson. *
Elder James B. Bowen.*
Abraham Cole, Sen.
Lewis R. Cole.
*Elders Wilson and Bowen were not present at the meeting, but having examined the Minutes and Address, have authorized the insertion of their names. (TOP)
ESTABLISHED, MARCH 29, 1828
REPUBLISHED IN THE INTEREST OF THE OLD ORDER OF BAPTISTS KNOWN AS PRIMITIVE, PARTICULAR, OR OLD SCHOOL MINUTES
Minutes of the meeting held at Black Rock, Baltimore County, Md., upon the seventy-fifth anniversary of the convention, known among all Old School or Primitive Baptists as the Black Rock Convention of 1832.
First. The Black Rock church met according to appointment on Saturday, September 28, 1907.
Second. After singing and prayer by Elder J. T. Rowe, Elder F. A. Chick preached an introductory sermon from John 3.3, in which discourse he said that if one principle of the doctrine of Christ stood out among Old School Baptists more prominently than others it was the doctrine of the text, "the new birth."
Third. After this the purpose of the meeting was stated by Elder Rowe, who was then chosen moderator and F. G. Scott, clerk.
Fourth. After some deliberation it was decided to change the previously contemplated order of the proceedings, and to postpone the reading of the historical sketch of the church, which had been prepared by Elder F. A. Chick, and of the address, which was submitted and unanimously adopted at the convention in 1832, until the next Sunday morning.
Fifth. After a recess of one hour, Elder F. A. Chick preached again from Acts 2.41,42. In this discourse he presented the organization of this first church at Jerusalem as the inspired model of all gospel churches in all the ages to come.
Sixth. There being some little time before the hour of closing it was decided that Elder Chick should read the historical sketch which he had prepared, for the benefit of some aged members who might not be able to be present the next morning, which he did.
The meeting closed for the day by singing and benediction pronounced by Elder Chick.
SUNDAY A.M. SEPTEMBER 29, 1907
The church met pursuant to appointment the previous day.
Seventh. After singing and prayer by Elder J. T. Rowe, Elder Chick read the sketch of the history of the church before a very large congregation of people, and then made some remarks upon the several articles of faith which were adopted by the church in 1828, declaring that himself, and he knew well the church at Black Rock, still stood upon the same principles of doctrine and believed that the articles read are the substance of the teachings of the Bible.
Eighth. Elder J. T. Rowe then read the minutes and address which was adopted at the Black Rock Convention seventy-five years ago, and made some remarks with reference to some things there set forth and expressed his approval of the same.
Ninth. After an intermission of one hour Elder F. A. Chick preached again from Luke 28.29,30. He was followed by Elder Rowe in some remarks regarding the interest and success of the anniversary meeting.
Tenth. The meeting was then closed with singing and benediction by Elder F. A. Chick.
Frank G. Scott, Clerk
Elder J. T. Rowe, Moderator
Of the Church known as the Black Rock Old School Baptist Church of Baltimore County, Maryland, and her connection with the division in 1832.
As I have been requested to prepare a sketch of the history of this church and her connection with the separation from our former associates, now known as New School Baptists, to be read at this convention and anniversary meeting I have tried to comply and present this writing for your consideration. It is not as full as I should have been glad to have made it from the fact that for many years, from about 1833 to 1858 or 1859, no records seem to have been kept, or at least only a few bare sketches upon scraps of paper, most of which have been lost. Still I have, I think, been able to ascertain the most important facts of her history and hope that what I have written may tend to edification and to encourage all who love the church of God here, and her doctrine and practice to continue to hope on. The same God who has sustained the church during the past seventy-nine years since her organization, keeping her true to the old faith and order that were dear to our fathers, who at the first constituted this church, is able still to cause all grace and faithfulness to abound among you, and to still add to your numbers of His own true followers. For whatever of the grace of the Spirit that have been manifested in the past seventy-nine years among the Lord's people in this place, we all owe praise and gratitude to God. May the history of the past encourage us all to look forward with confidence for the future. Our God, who has not failed, will not fail. In Him is our trust, and His people desire no other refuge.
This church was organized March 29, 1828 by members who were dismissed from the church at Patapsco for that purpose. I find the following record upon the church book: "Copy of a letter of dismission from the Patapsco church. Whereas our brethren and sisters in the Lord, Abram Cole, Moses Peregoy, Stephen Gill, John Ensor, of A., Eli Scott, Rachel Davis, Urith Shawl, Cecil Cole, Catherine Cromwell, Mary Ann Price, Ann Ensor, Sarah Ensor, Luke Ensor, and Mary Fowble having applied unto us for letters of dismission from us to be constituted into a church at Black Rock. This is to certify that they are in full fellowship union and communion with us, and when constituted, dismissed from us.
Signed in behalf of the church at Patapsco, February 27, 1828.
I find the same fourteen names subscribed to the following articles of faith on March 28, 1828: Articles and confession of faith and practice as held by the Baptist church at Black Rock.
Article 1. We believe that there is one self-existing God, the Great Jehovah, who consists of a trinity of persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Art. 2. We believe in the electing everlasting love of God, in choosing His church, in His Son, before the foundation of the world.
Art. 3. We believe in the fall of man, the total depravity of human nature, our inability to do anything that would recommend us to His favor, but that we must be saved by grace, and distinguishing grace alone.
Art. 4. We believe in the covenant of grace as entered into by the three glorious persons, in the divine essence, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ, as the condition of the covenant by which satisfaction was rendered to the law and justice of God, for all His people, effacacious grace, in regeneration, sanctification by the influence of His Holy Spirit, and justification by the imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Art. 5. We believe in the final perseverance of the saints in grace to glory, in believers baptism by immersion, the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body, the general judgment, the everlasting punishment of the finally impenitent, and the everlasting happiness of the righteous.
Art. 6. We believe the Old and New Testaments to be the only revealed will of God, and in which are contained all the afore mentioned doctrines, and also as holding forth the only object of the believer's faith and hope, and to be a complete guide and rule of life for the Christian to walk in. Subscribed to, March29, 1828.
Thus it will be seen the original membership of this church numbered fourteen. Of this number one, Catherine Cromwell, at some later date restored her membership to Patapsco church, and retained it there until her death, which took place many years later. Many of these names are familiar to you all. Abram Cole and Cecil Cole, his wife were the parents of Lewis Cole, and grandparents of our sister, Fannie Cole, now Frances the wife of Elder A. B. Francis of Delmar, Delaware. Moses Peregoy was related to Brother J. P. Kelley, now a member with you, with his wife and daughter Emma. Stephen Gill was the father of George Gill, whose wife was for many years a member with us. John B. Ensor lived to be known by many now present, and several of his children and grandchildren have been members of this church. One, Luke C. Ensor of Frederick County, is still a member here. John C., another son, is a member of Ebenezer church in Baltimore City. One of his grandchildren has been recently baptized in your fellowship, William H. Ensor. Others of his grandchildren who are now members are Joseph Brooks, Mrs. Sallie Ensor and Delilah Chick, now a member at Hopewell, New Jersey. Eli Scott afterwards became a minister of the gospel. Several of his children were members either here or of Ebenezer church in Baltimore City. Three of his grandchildren are members, one brother, Frank G. Scott here, and two sisters Mollie Johnson and Florence Mellor in Baltimore City. Rachel Davis, afterwards married Luke Ensor, and all among you who are middle aged well remember her as a most earnest and faithful member until the Lord called her home. Urith Shawl lived to a good old age. Her husband, Samuel Shawl, afterwards became a member of this church and two of their children have been members with us. One, sister Cecelia Bosley, is still with us. Sister Mollie Johnson and sister Fannie Francis, named before, are also grandchildren of this sister. Concerning Mary Ann Price and Mary Fowble I have not been able to obtain any definite information, except that they were faithful members while they lived. Ann Ensor was called "Aunt Nancy," familiarly, and died at the home of our brother John H. Ensor about forty years ago. Ann Ensor I saw once in her old age. The names of the others became familiar to me while I first lived among you forty years ago. It has been my privilege and joy to know many of their children and grandchildren during the forty years past, and it has been my sacred privilege to bury many of them in baptism according to the example and commandment of the Lord. The Lord greatly blessed the families of these aged saints who stood firm, and who boldly contended for the truth, when it cost something to do so.
Before leaving this part of the record concerning the constitition and original membership of this church I will add that I find by the record three ministers were present and declared them a church in order, viz: Edward Choate, William Wilson and Thomas Poteet. They were at the time, I think, pastors of the churches at Patapsco, Harford and Warren. Elder Edward Choate was chosen pastor of this church at their first church meeting held the day in which they were constituted a church, and Abraham Cole and Eli Scott were chosen deacons.
In May the pastor was chosen standing moderator and Eli Scott clerk. I also find that at the same meeting a fund was collected for printing the minutes of the Association which custom has been continued to the present time. In April 1829 Eli Scott was licensed to preach the gospel, upon which he resigned as deacon and Luke Ensor was chosen inhis place. On April 29, 1832 he was ordained to the full work of the ministry. Elders Choate, Poteet and Brinket were the presbytery.
I have not been able to find the names of all who have served as deacons and clerks of this church. After Luke Ensor ceased to act as clerk Samuel Shawl was chosen, and served for a number of years, and then James Blizzard served the church inthat capacity until he could not regularly attend, living as he did at Westminister. About 1874 Thomas Henry Scott was chosen clerk, which office he held for many years until a few years ago he resigned. No one was appointed for some time. Now the church is served in that capacity by Brother Frank G. Scott, he having been appointed some years ago. I have no record of the time when Brother John B. Ensor was chosen deacon, but suppose it was at the death of Brother Abraham Cole, who was chosen when the church was constituted. When Brother Ensor had become aged and infirmed he asked that another be appointed to serve with him, and in May 1873 Brother John H. Ensor was chosen to that office and served until his death a few years ago. Brother B. Franidin Benson was chosen one of the deacons in the year 1881, which office he still holds together with Brother F. G. Scott, who has since been chosen to that office. I have not been able to learn the date of this choice.
I do not know how long Elder Choate remained the pastor of the church. I have not been able to find when his pastorate ceased nor who followed him in that office. But Elder Scott preached for the church often, also Elder Trott of Virginia came for several years once a month, who very ably and acceptably served the church as their pastor. Elder Grafton also came for a time and became much beloved among all the members and friends of the church. Elder W. J. Purington also came as a supply once a month for some years while he lived in Washington city. Afterwards the writer of this sketch became your pastor, moving among you in the fall of 1868. It was my privilege to live among you in dearest ties of fellowship and union for twenty-eight years. In all that time the Lord blessed us in many ways and with a thousand streams of mercy. We were blessed with love, union and fellowship, and our meetings were places of gladness and peace. I cannot help speaking of this, for no people ever showed a pastor more kindness than was shown to me in all the years that I was among you. I cannot write about these things without stopping to speak of personal relations. You did not mourn the loss by death of the members of your families more deeply than I mourned with you. Their memories are dear to me now. For a time, after my resignation, the church was served by supplies, chief among whom was Elder H. C. Ker, now of Middletown, New York, until your present pastor was called among you, and you know how acceptably and lovingly he has served you since that time, and my prayer is that the blessing of God may continue to rest upon you and your pastor, making his work a blessing to you and you a blessing to him.
From the organization of the church to May, 1833 I find that the following named persons were received by baptism and letter: Elizabeth Davis by letter, Elizabeth Peregoy by letter, Samuel Shawl, Lewis R. Cole, James L. Pearce, Sarah H. Cole, Rachel Ensor, Elizabeth C. Scott, Shadrach Bond, Ann Bond, Ann Pearce, Lorendy Smith, (colored) John Griffith, John Powell, (colored, by confession of faith) Edith Hall, Fannie Stevenson, Augusta M. D. Merryman, Delilah Ensor, Hannah Benson, Naomi Ensor and Elizabeth L. Chilcoat.
In 1858 and in some scattered records previous to that time it is stated on the church book that the following persons were added either by letter or baptism to the church: Elizabeth Ensor, William Ensor, James Blizzard, Ann McLintosh, Shadrach Kemp, Eliza Merryman, John H. Ensor, Michael Crowther, Richard Boreing, Deborah Scott, Hugh Merryman, Abram Cole, Matilda Crowther, (Margaret Linton, by letter from a church in Ohio in 1845) Basil Kelley and Rhoda Kelley by letter in 1833 and Rebecca Green by letter the same year. It is also stated that the hand of fellowship was by direction of the church given by the pastor to six persons in 1834. Their names are not given, and there is no further record on the church book. My opinion is that they were persons whose names have already been given as having been received at different times by letter or baptism and to whom, at that time, the hand of fellowship was given. Also some of these names given above were baptized after 1859, but I have not been able to find the date when most of them were added to the church.
From 1869 to 1896 it was my privilege to baptize the following named persons in the fellowship of this church: Sarah C. Rupley, Betsey Naylor, Elizabeth C. Ensor, (wife of Luke C. Ensor) Rebecca Ensor, Sallie Brooks, Ruth Ann Ensor, Elizabeth Ensor, (wife of John H. Ensor) Delilah Ensor, their daughter; Leah Ann Ensor, Sarah A. Ensor, (daughter of George C. Ensor) Joseph Ensor, Thomas H. Scott, Scedlia Scott, Ernestus Cole, Ariana Gorsuch, Elizabeth Lamotte, John P. Kelley, Sophia J. Bowen, Harriet N. Gill, Valentine Bowman, Deborah Baker, Jane Keiley, Ruth Ensor, Bettie Merryman, Sallie Ensor, (daughter of John H. Ensor) Delilah Ensor, (daughter of George C. Ensor) Shadrack Kemp, Diana Kemp, Carrie Cole, B. Franklin Benson, Ida Joyce, Louisa Benson, Rachel Benson, Joseph M. Fowbie, Alfred Cole, Dorcas Cole, Fielder Carr, Peter Kessler, Kate Kessler, Sallie Batters, Gorgia D. England, George Hoover, Rosa E. Geist, Mollie Scott, Fannie Cole, Nellie M. Chick, Aquilla Ensor, Cecia Ensor, Emma Kelley, Annie E. Chick, Doro Kessler, Delilah Ensor, (wife of George S. Ensor) Joseph Kessler, Frank G. Scott, Joseph Brooks and Charlotte Benson.
Since 1896 the following persons have been baptized and added to the church: Josephine Fowble, Bessie Bourqueen, Luke C. Ensor, Augustus Bourqueen, William H. Ensor and John Brown.
I have been informed that this house was built about the year 1826. I find on the church book that in 1831 a committee was appointed to raise funds to finish paying for it. In the year 1882 a committee was appointed to renovate the house and see that it was put in good condition. That committee was John Bon, Joseph M. Fowble and myself. The house was then put into its present condition at an expense of about seven hundred and forty dollars. The people responded liberally and when all was done not one doliar remained to be raised for the payment of the cost.
I also find on the church book that in May 1860 arrangements were made to purchase land of Evan Davis for a cemetery.
But I must not forget that this is also the seventy-fifth anniversary of the most important event in the history of this church, viz: that of the separation in 1832 from those who are now known as New School Baptists. I find but one reference upon the church book to this event. The record is as follows: Saturday, August 11, 1832 met according to appointment and after preaching proceeded to business and whereas the church by her messengers to the Association invited the ministering brethren of the Old School Baptists to hold the contemplated meeting with us commencing on Friday before the fifth Sunday in September. It is thought most advisable that a committee of arrangements be appointed, to consist of brethren Scott, Abraham Cole, Samuel Shawl, Luke Ensor, and that they make all necessary arrangements for the accommodation of the meeting.
Eli Scott, clerk.
In addition I will say that at the conclusion of the proceedings of that convention I find the names of the following members of this church among others signed to it: Abraham Cole, Samuel Shawl, Luke Ensor, and Shadrach Bond and John Ensor.
In the proceedings of that convention it will be noticed that another meeting was appointed to be held at Pleasant Valley at the close of the next session of the Association, and accordingly, there is recorded upon the church book the appointment of messengers and a letter to the meeting of ministers to be held at Pleasant Valley on Monday, the twentieth of May next, and that Brother Scott write said letter. Samuel Shawl, clerk.
Saturday, May 11. Met agreeable to appointment when the letter written by Brother Scott was read and approved, and brethren Abraham Cole. Sr., John Ensor, Luke Ensor and John Griffith were appointed bearers of the same, and messengers to the council. Samuel Shawl, clerk.
Incidentally, I will add here that this meeting of ministers at Pleasant Valley was to be held on Monday, from which it will be seen that at that time, the Associations were held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some time after they were appointed to be held as now, in the middle of the week, in order that visiting ministers might have opportunity to visit the churches on Sunday between the sessions of this and following associations.
As will be noticed when the minutes of the convention are read, the "Signs of the Times" was recommended to the patronage of the brethren generally. I will here add that in England a similar movement took place at about the same time, and the "Gospel Standard" was begun at about the same date as was the "Signs", edited by J. C. Philpot. That paper is still published, and, like the "Signs" has never swerved from the faith it advocated then. I have noted this, because it is interesting to note that the Lord moved his people upon the other side of the water to withdraw from doctrine that was unsound, which had crept in among Baptists (which doctrine has been commonly known among us here and in England as Fullerism) at the same time. I will also call attention to the fact that while the address which will be read to you and which was adopted at the convention in 1832, deals mostly with new practices, traditions of men not authorized in the word of God, yet behind these practices, and giving rise to them, was the false doctrine of general atonement, and of the use of human means in the salvation of the soul, and that it was in the power of natural, unregenerated men to repent and believe, and so be saved, and that these were the conditions of the salvation of men from death and hell. Out of these untrue teachings very naturally grew up new manners of endeavor, by which to carry on this salvation and bring sinners to Christ. The things denounced in what is called the Black Rock Address were but the symptoms of a more virulent and deeper seated disease, viz: the canker of Arminianism and free will, set over in opposition to free grace. If men can save men, then let all manner of means be used to that end, was the real thought which led up to humanly Organized societies, such as Sunday schools, Theological schools, Missionary societies and others too numerous to mention, setting aside the fact that Jesus Christ our Lord organized but one society on earth, the church of God, whose names are written in Heaven. And so, as the years have gone onward since that momentous period, more and more have the ministers of Christ come to dwell upon the false doctrine that led up to these practices rather than the practices themselves.
But it is not my purpose to go into a detailed history of the causes which led up to that event, so important for the lifting up of the standard of the old fashioned truths of the Bible, which are so dear to all who know the grace of God in salvation, in deed and in truth. Your pastor will read to you the minutes of that memorable meeting, and the address sent forth to the churches then. But I cannot help but say as I look back over the records of the last seventy-five years, what hath God wrought? The membership of this church is much more than it was at that time, and in the country at large, churches have grown and multiplied. This has not been the result of human effort directed in channels thought necessary by men, in order that they may grow and flourish. Our people, as a whole in all the country, have been satisfied with the old fashioned simple ways and with the old fashioned simple doctrine of the finished work of Jesus upon the Cross. We still hold the articles of faith as being scriptural, which were so regarded, when this church was constituted. They have been sufficient for our help in all the years that are past, and they will prove sufficient for our help in all the years that are yet to come with all the trials. Now may God grant His blessing upon you as a church and upon this meeting and cause that a sweet savor of it may remain with us all for many days to come. (TOP)
Elder J. T. Rowe, Moderator
F.G. Scott, Clerk.
FEAST OF FAT THINGS
WELSH TRACT PUBLISHING