Rensselaerville Baptist
Association

1800-1809


Transcribed by Vernon Aldrich from copies of the original minutes held by the State Library at Albany.


1801

The Minutes of the
Rensselaerville Association
held at the Baptist Meeting-House
in Bern
on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Thirteenth and Fourteenth of October,
One Thousand Eight Hundred and One.
 
_________________________

 Albany:
Printed by Whiting & Leavenworth, 1801.
 
Minutes, &c.

------------------ 

1st. The introductory sermon was delivered by Elder Elijah Herrick, from Songs of Solomon, v. 16.  “Yea, he is altogether lovely.”

2d. Elder David Mudge was chosen Moderator—elder Truman Beeman Clerk.

3. Letters from the Churches read, and the following list taken:

[N. B. The names of Elders are in Capitals.]

Churches

Messengers

Added

Excluded

Present Number

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Bern.

TRUMAN BEEMAN,

41

2

66

 

Henry Niles,

 

 

 

 

Ephraim Crocker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st. Rensselaerville.

JOHN WINANS.

6

6

48

 

Ebenezer Weeks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d. Do.

JOSIAH BAKER,

8

2

107

 

Joseph Tottman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coeyman's-Town.*

DAVID MUDGE,

11

24

103

 

WILLIAM STEWART.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bristol.

Ezra Sillock.

3

1

24

 

 

 

 

 

1st. Bern. +

Andrew Brown,

3

52

60

 

Joseph Tubbs,

 

 

 

 

Isaac Lounsbury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh and Florida.

REUBEN MUDGE,

15

3

36

 

Samuel Abba.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d. Freehold.

JOHN SHEPHERD,

11

1

22

 

Obed Harvey, jun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windham.

Hezekiah Pettit,

1

4

32

 

Daniel Robinson,

 

 

 

 

Eliab Ford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston.

ELIJAH HERRICK,

7

1

53

 

Gideon Crofoot,

 

 

 

 

Levi Streetor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worcester.

Elisha Freeman,

 

 

35

 

Elisha Freeman, jun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxbury.

David Robinson,

 

 

63

 

John Evry,

 

 

 

 

Jotham Scudder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Coeymans-Town

ROSWELL BECKWITH,
Thomas Martin,

 

 

31

 

James Slade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 24 Members of this Church set off as a Church by themselves.

 

+ 37 Members set off to the 2d Church in Bern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[N. B. the Three last mentioned Churches received at this session.]

 

4th.  Adjourned for three quarters of an hour.

5th. Met according to adjournment:  Opened the meeting by singing and prayer.

6th. Received a letter of correspondence from the Otsego Association, by their messenger, Elder Jonah Morris.

7th. Received a letter from the Warwick Association, and the right hand of fellowship given to their messenger, Elder Levi Hall, who was requested to take a seat with us.

8th. Appointed Elders’ Beeman, D. Mudge, Hall, Morris, R. Mudge, Herrick and Stuart, and brother A. Brown, to examine the circular, and prepare a corresponding letter this evening.

9th. Adjourned until to-morrow morning, 9 o’clock.

10th. Met pursuant to adjournment.—Sermon by Elder Levi Hall, from Gal. iv. 4, 5.

11th. The 2d Church of Bern having appointed messengers to meet with us, they were invited to a seat.

12th. Query, from the Rensselaerville and Coeymans Church:  “Is it consistent to hold fellowship with those that are Masons, and fill their place in that Society?”—answered in the negative.

13th. Query, by Elder Morris:  “Can this Association walk with a Church that has a Minister that has been guilty of Adultery, or the like crime, and the Church keeps him as their minster?” Answered in the negative.

14th. Circular and Corresponding Letters brought forward by the committee, read and accepted, and ordered to be printed with our Minutes.

15th. Appointed Elder Truman Beeman and Elder Elijah Herrick, Messengers to the Otsego Association.

16th. Elder William Stuart and Elder John Winans, to the Warwick Association.

17th. Brother A. Brown to write the next Circular Letter, to be written on the office and work of a Deacon.

18th. Elder R. Mudge to prepare the Corresponding Letter.

19th. Elder Truman Beeman, to superintend the printing the Minutes.

20th. The Churches are requested to insert in their next letters the times of their being constituted.

21st. The next Association to be holden at the Rensselaerville Meeting-house, on the 2d Wednesday in October next, at 10 o’clock A. M.

22d. Elder Stuart to preach the introductory sermon; in case of failure Elder Beckwith.

23d. Supplies for the Bristol Church.

Elder D. Mudge, 1st Lord’s day in Dec.

Elder R. Mudge, 1st do. in Jan.

Elder Winans, 1st do. in Feb.

Brother E. Crocker, 1st do. in March;

Brother Robertson, 1st do. in April;

Brother Pettit, 1st do. in May;

Elder Stuart, 1st do. in June;

Elder Beckwith, 1st do. in July;

Elder Baker, 1st do. in August;

Elder Morris, 2d Lord’s day in September. 

===========

BELOVED BRETHREN,

WE rejoice that we have been permitted to attend another anniversary meeting.  Oh! may the goodness of GOD, that floweth through the blood of a crucified Saviour, ever lead us to repentance, and inspire us with gratitude that we are made with abilities capable of knowing the mind and will or our Creator, who has made it our happiness to know and do his will, and, in order to prepare us for his service, has given us his written word to be a light to our feet and a lamp to our path, and also his holy spirit to assist and dispose us to obey his precepts; among which there is none more frequently enjoined upon us than to watch and pray.

DEAR Brethren, Suffer us to address you on the important duty of Prayer.  First, by shewing you what a length men may go in supposed duties, and not have their hearts right towards God.  They may shed tears of repentance, as Esau did; may bid fair for the kingdom of Heaven, like Saul; have zeal for God, as Jehu had; desire God’s people to pray for them, as Pharaoh and Simon, the sorcerer, did; may desire to die the death of the righteous, like Balaam; may be numbered with the disciples, like Judas; may be convicted and tremble at hearing a sermon, as Felix did; may make long prayers at the corners of the streets, like the Pharisees; may be made partakers of great light, and talk much of religion—and yet be in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity, and live and die strangers to the true spirit of prayer.

Secondly.  Prayer is the offering up the desires of the heart to God for things agreeable to his will by faith in Christ.  The Apostle faith, “Whatsoever is not of saith is sin;” Rom. xiv. 23. and again, Heb. xi. 6.  “Without faith it is impossible to please him:”  For he that cometh to God by prayer, must believe not only that he is a prayer-hearing God, but that he will reward all who diligently seek him.  The language of prayer in faith and humility is, “Thy will be done.”  Let us cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light.  Let us pray with the spirit, and with the understanding also; and though we are subject to infirmities, let us cast our burthen on our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain us.  For he was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and has ascended on high, and is continually making intercession for us.  And since it is enjoined on us to pray without ceasing, let it never be said we live a prayerless life on earth, who hgave a prayer-hearing God in Heaven.  Let our neighbors, our families, our closets, our fields, our shops, and the silent groves witness to our prayers.  Let us never be ashamed to own our God, by calling on his name by prayer.

NEITHER the decrees of a King:  Nor a den of Lions were sufficient to deter Daniel from the duty of prayer.

FINALLY, Dear Brethren, “We have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord:”  And have the footsteps of the ancient worthies set before us, as well as many great and precious promises left on sacred record.  Let us be found following the footsteps of the flock who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.

WE cannot dismiss this subject without enjoining it, in especial manner, upon our brethren who are heads of families, to call upon God in public in their families, since it is said by the prophet Jeremiah, Chap. x. 25. “Pour out they fury upon the heathen and the families that call not on they name.”

FINALLY, let us, one and all, follow the divine directions, to “Pray without ceasing—in every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

==========

CORRESPONDING LETTER.

The Rensselaerville Association, to the Corresponding Associations, send Christian Salutation.

BRETHREN & FRIENDS,

BEING favored with another opportunity to meet at the time and place appointed; we are happy to inform you that we met in peace.

OUR Minutes will inform you of the state of our Churches.  We are happy in finding by your Letters and Messengers, that the Lord is carrying on his work in our land, and conquering a people to himself.

We are sorry to add, that from the Shaftsbury Association we have received neither Messenger, Letters or Minutes.  But we feel it our duty and privilege, to correspond with you, and hope nothing will be lacking on our part to support and maintain the same.

BRETHREN, we call on you to rejoice with us, that the Lord Omnipotent reigneth; we have reason to rejoice that we are permitted to enjoy peace in our land, and can set under our own vines and fruit-tree, and none are permitted to molest us or make us afraid.

WE rejoice that we enjoy the light of the Gospel in our land, whilst many, very many of our fellow-creatures, are yet setting in heathenish darkness.

To do as we would be done by, is the divine rule.  Let us for a moment suppose ourselves to be in a state of heathenish darkness, or fettered with chains of superstition, and the heathen to be in the state that we are in, and consider what would be their duty in that case, and that will be exactly our duty in the present case.

WE also offer, by way of query, whether a conference, to consist of one or two messengers from each Association in the United States, to meet once in two or three years, in order to enlarge our Union and establish uniform sentiments, might not be expedient; and likewise to advance the visable kingdom of our Redeemer in the world.

Signed by order, and in behalf of the Association,

DAVID MUDGE, Moderator.

TRUMAN BEEMAN, Clerk.


1804

Minutes of the
Rensselaerville Association
held at the Meeting-House
in Canton,
on the 10th and 11th October, 1804
_________________________

Catskill:
Printed by Mackay Croswell, 1804 
Minutes, &c.

------------------ 

  1. ELDER CROCKER, who was appointed to preach the sermon, being detained by the badness of the weather until after the hour of appointment, the introductory sermon, was delivered by Elder ENOCH FERRIS, from Psalm 99. 1. 2.
     
  2. Elder ENOCH FERRIS chosen Moderator, and Elder TRUMAN BEEMAN, Clerk.

     
  3. Letters from the Churches read, and the following list taken:
    [N.B. Elder’s names in small-capitals.]

    Through the extremity of the weather, several of the Churches failed, which are marked thus: (*) and their No. inserted as in our last minutes.

    Elders marked thus + were not present.

    ------------ Dashes denote no settled Minister.

CHURCHES

MESSENGERS.

Baptised.

Received by letter.

Dismissed by Letter.

Excluded.

Deceased.

Number.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Bern.

EPHRAIM CROCKER.

 

1

3

4

1

47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st. Rensselaerville.

JOHN WINANS,

 

 

3

 

 

40

 

Edward Taylor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d Rensselaerville.

JOSIAH BAKER,

2

4

6

3

1

101

 

John Cleaveland,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amos Mix,
 John Townsen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Coeymans.

WILLIAM STUART,+

3

14

6

5

4

115

 

Robert Simpkins,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jared Reynolds,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonah Tallmadge,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Baker,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Miller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bristol.*

-------------

 

 

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Bern.*

-------------

 

 

 

 

2

47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh & Florida.*

REUBEN MUDGE.+

 

 

 

 

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freehold.

OBED HERVEY,

 

 

 

1

1

22

 

JULIUS BEEMAN,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon Obed Hervery,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Dibble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windham.

HEZEKIAH PETTIT.

1

 

2

1

 

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston.*

ELIJAH HERRICK.+

 

 

 

 

 

61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worcester.*

JOSIAH MORRIS.+

5

6

1

2

 

70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxbury

WILLIAM WARREN.

25

2

2

1

 

96

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Coeymans.*

ROS'L BECKWORTH.+

 

 

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worcester and Milford.*

------------

 

 

 

 

 

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canton.

JOSEPH ARNOLD,

2

 

6

3

 

87

 

Clark Carr,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Weed,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Webster,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zina Finney,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Olmstead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephentown and Schodock

ENOCH FERRIS,
Ephraim Harris,

3

 

2

1

1

62

 

Peter Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d Bern

ELKANA COMESTOCK.

2

 

 

2

1

44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catskill.

TRUMAN BEEMAN,

7

1

 

 

 

19

 

David Johnson,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penn Parish,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Smith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middletown.

------------

 

 

 

 

 

45

 

John Every,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Grant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colchester.

------------

 

 

 

 

 

40

 

William Horton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.B. The two last mentioned Churches received this Session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Received a corresponding letter from the Otsego Association by their Messenger Elder JAMES BACON—Letter and Minutes from the Warwick Association by their Messenger Elder SILAS SOUTHWORTH
     
  2. Circular Letter by Elder CROCKER, read and referred to a committee of Elders: EPHRAIM CROCKER, TRUMAN BEEMAN, JAMES BACON and HEZEKIAH PETTIT.
     
  3. Corresponding Letter by Elder ARNOLD, read and referred to a committee of Elders:  ARNOLD, FERRIS, BAKER, and JULIUS BEEMAN.
     
  4. Adjourned until to-morrow 10 o’clock, A. M.
     
  5. October 11, met pursuant to adjournment.  Sermon by Elder CROCKER, from 2. Cor. 5. 21.
     
  6. Association opened, by prayer by the Moderator.
     
  7. Circular and corresponding letters, read and accepted, and ordered to be printed with our Minutes.
     
  8. As the Rensselaerville and Coeymans Church have failed to represent themselves for two sessions, we appointed Elders BAKER and COMESTOCK, to visit them and enquire after their welfare, and know the reason of their failure, and report to our next meeting.
     
  9. Appointed Elders EPHRAIM CROCKER and ELKANA COMESTOCK, Messengers to the Shaftsbury Association.
     
  10. Appointed Elders JOSEPH ARNOLD, HEZEKIAH PETTIT and Brother Robert Simpkins to the Warwick Association.
     
  11. Appointed Elders TRUMAN BEEMAN and WILLIAM WARREN to the Otsego Association.
     
  12. Elder ENOCH FERRIS to write the Circular Letter, and Elder HEZEKIAH PETTIT the Corresponding for the next year.
     
  13. Elder TRUMAN BEEMAN to superintend the printing of our Minutes.
     
  14. Elder TRUMAN BEEMAN to preach the next introductory sermon.
    In case of failure, Elder HEZEKIAH PETTIT.
     
  15. The next Association to be holden at the Union Meeting-House in Stephentown, on the 2nd Wednesday in October next, at 10 o’clock A. M.
     
  16. As Elder TRUMAN BEEMAN is about to travel and preach the gospel abroad, the Church in Catskill obtained the following

SUPPLIES

 

 

Elder Baker

3rd.

Lord's day in

December.

 

Elder Pettit

3rd.

do.

Jan.

 

Elder Crocker

3rd.

do.

Feb.

 

Elder Winans

3rd.

do.

March.

 

Elder Warren

3rd.

do.

April.

 

Elder Julius Beeman

3rd.

do.

May.

 

Elder Ferris

3rd.

do.

June.

 

Elder Stuart

3rd.

do.

July.

 

Elder Arnold

3rd.

do.

August.

 

B. Harris

3rd.

do.

Sept.

20.

SUPPLIES for MIDDLETOWN CHURCH.

 

Elder Warren

2nd.

Lord's day in

Jan. and March.

 

Elder Winans

2d.

do.

May.

 

Elder Pettit

2d.

do.

July.

 

Elder Baker

2d.

do.

Sept.

21. Concluding Sermon by Elder COMESTOCK, from Rom. 1. 16.

 
CIRCULAR LETTER. 

The Elders and Messengers composing the Rensselaerville Association, to the Churches whom they represent send Christian Salutation.

DEAR BRETHREN,

As it has pleased kind Heaven to continue us in visibility ‘til the present now, and as we have heard of the goodness of God in pouring out his spirit in many parts of Zion, we would return thanks of gratitude to the most high, whilst we invite your attention to one of the most interesting subjects, viz.  The work of grace on the heart in the following manner:

1. By an explanation of the word grace

2. By showing its design, and

3. Its effect. 

1. Grace, in a gospel sense, is God’s free love and favor to us, through Jesus Christ. 

2. Its design is to find suitable subjects to act upon.  And where shall they be found—amongst the Angels and Seraphims above?  By no means, for though they are really as dependent on God as the reptile that crawls in the dust, yet their nature and circumstance is such that they are worthy of all they receive.

Is it the fallen Angels?

Certainly not, for they have none to mediate for them.  For “Christ took not on him the nature of Angels, but the seed of Abraham.”

Hence, then, it appears they must be found among the apostate race of Adam.  Those that are sinners by nature and practice, and are lost to all intents—“He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness, he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”  Deut. 32. 10.

3. The calling of a sinner to behold the purity of the divine law, and that he is condemned by the same, is an act of grace.  “The law came, sin revived, and I died.” Rom. 7. 9.

Again, the souls being born anew in Christ Jesus, the hope of glory is an act of grace, “being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” I Pet. 1. 23.  Hence, then, Dear Brethren it is grace that constitutes happiness in the soul, for “by grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  O! Brethren, it is grace that prepares us for every duty in life, so that the Children of God should act from the most generous motive, and for the most sublime end.  Love and gratitude to our heavenly father, and bleeding Savior, should ever be the fruitful source of our obedience, and the glory of God the exalted end.  Are we heirs of the Kingdom we should be careful to preserve a steady conduct in the Church of Christ and in the world, not only to be zealous for our father’s honor, but maintain a uniform behavior through the whole of our conduct, and make it appear that we are faithful servants as well as real children of God.  Our practice should be agreeable to our holy profession, and our glorious hope.  Remembering that our glorious father and loving husband, our glorious relatives, and bright inheritance, are all in Heaven:  there also, should be our hearts and conversation; for though we are heirs of a Kingdom it is not of this world; and though we are in we are not of this world, nor shall we have any reason to be ashamed should the world hate us.  Then, Brethren, “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest and grave, whatsoever things are pure, lawful and of good report—If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, the children of God undoubtedly ought, above all others, to think on those things.”  For no man can free himself from the charge of being a dishonor to Christ, and a reproach to his profession if he live under the dominion of sin and be a servant of Satan and the world, hence then Brethren, since grace reigneth predominant in the Kingdom of Christ, let us praise him while we live, then shall we also praise him when we die.  May God enable us to praise him here and to the boundless ages of eternity, for Christ’s sake.

AMEN.

==================

The Rensselaerville Association unto the corresponding Associations, send Christian salutation.

Dear Brethren,

THROUGH divine goodness we are permitted to embrace another annual opportunity to enquire after the welfare of Zion, and we rejoice that we have it in our power to inform you that our Churches from whom we have had intelligence, remain steadfast in the faith, and most of them have had some small additions; but some complain of coldness, darkness and stupidity.  Yet we trust in the promises, and think that the buds of the fig tree doth begin to swell.  We are informed by the Redeemer, that the gospel must be preached to all Nations.  O! may our hearts exult that God has put it into the hearts of this people, to make provisions for, and send forth Missioners amongst the heathen; may our united cries go to the throne of grace for the aid of the divine spirit, to give them all needed grace, and, that many souls be given them as stars in their crowns in the day of their rejoicing.  We rejoice that the Government will rest on the shoulders of King Jesus until the purposes of Jehovah be accomplished—the Church of Antichrist fall—infidelity be confounded and the elect gathered from the four winds of the earth.

We wish to continue a friendly correspond with you, and have for that purpose appointed Messengers and sent you our minutes, which will inform you of our standing.

With sorrow we relate that from the Shaftsbury Association we had no information.

Brethren, we remain yours in the bonds of the gospel.

By order and in behalf of the Association,

ENOCH FERRIS, Moderator.

TRUMAN BEEMAN, Clerk.


 Home            Table of Contents          Church Records Home Page