Rensselaerville Baptist
Association

1810-1819


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


1810

Minutes of the
Rensselaerville Baptist Association
held in the Meeting-House
in Windham,
on the 10th and 11th October, 1810.
with their Circular and Corresponding Letters.
_________________________

Catskill:
Printed for the Association,
at the Eagle office, 1810.

Minutes, &c.

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

Wednesday, Oct. 10. 

1st. The Elders and Messengers being met, Elder Elijah Herrick, preached from Rev. 14. 1. “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” 

2nd. Elder William Warren, was chosen Moderator and Brother Hiland Hill, Clerk.  Adjourned for 3 qrs. of an hour. 

3d. Opened by prayer by Elder Reuben Mudge. 

4th. Letters from the Churches received and read. 

N. B. Ministers’ names in italic.  Those marked thus [*] were not present.  From churches marked thus [+] we had no intelligence.  A dash [-----] denotes no settled minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Churches.

Messengers..

Baptised.

Received by letter.

Dismissed by Letter.

Excluded.

Died.

Present No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Bern,

Ephraim Crocker.*

2

2

5

10

0

65

 

James Webb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simeon Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville 1st Church,

James Mackey.*

12

7

0

0

0

64

 

John Winans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isaac Skidmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville 2d Church,

Jonah Baker.

13

3

3

2

3

100

 

John Cleveland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coemanstown 1st Church

William Stuert.*

0

1

0

1

3

150

 

Robert Palmer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Baker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Simpkins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebenezer Wyckes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josiah Hinckley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K.B. Rensselaerville & Bern, 1 Restored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broome,

Levi Streeter.

1

0

4

1

1

?

 

Thomas Kingsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezra Sellick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern,

Nehemiah H. Ripley.

10

2

6

4

1

?

 

Andrew Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyrel Eaton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanestown & Florida,

Reuben Mudge.

2

3

1

9

1

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durham,

Herman Hervey.

0

0

0

3

0

?

 

Ebenezer Knapp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windham,

Hezekiah Pettit.

2

0

0

0

0

?

 

Israel Whitcomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derric L. Skermehorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlestown,

Elijah Herrick.

8

0

5

2

0

?

 

John Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beriah Styles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wilcox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worcester,

+ ---------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxbury,

William Warren.

2

7

4

0

0

?

 

Joseph Morse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Meed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville & Coemans,

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

3

3

0

4

1

?

 

Letter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cairo,

Joseph Arnold

13

4

0

0

0

?

 

Nathaniel Jacobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middletown,

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

5

3

5

0

1

?

 

David Marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Every.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Todd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catskill,

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

0

0

1

0

0

?

 

Hiland Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Dutcher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Johnson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colchester,

Richard Woolsey.

1

0

3

2

0

?

 

William Hollida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jefferson,

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

1

4

0

1

1

?

 

James Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wairslill [?] Cleveland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levi Lincoln

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blenheim,

Orlando Mack.

1

1

0

6

0

?

 

Joshua Ferris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Cheat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The “?” indicates that the number was indecipherable on the copy.] 

5th. Brother Daniel Robertson, from the Otsego association, and brother William Connelly, from the Warwick, were invited to take a seat with us. 

6th. Received Minutes from the Warwick Association by their Messenger, Brother Connelly. 

7th. Received no Intelligence from the Shaftsbury. 

8th. From the Saratoga none. 

9th. From the Stonington, their Minutes. 

10th. From the Otsego, Minutes by their Messenger, brother Robertson.

11th. Danbury none. 

12th. Madison none. 

13th. Received a letter from the Baptist society in Albany requesting supplies, and the following was granted. 

Brother

Herrick,

1st

Lord's day in

Dec.

-----------

Riyley,

2d

do.

Jan.

-----------

Mack,

1st

do.

Feb.

-----------

Winans,

2d

do.

March.

-----------

Baker,

2d

do.

April.

-----------

Streeter,

3d

do.

May.

-----------

Arnold,

1st

do.

June.

-----------

Pettit,

2d

do.

June.

-----------

R. Mudge,

1st

do.

July.

14th. Brother’s Herrick, Arnold, Pettit, Warren, Brown, Joshua Baker, and Hill, were appointed to inspect the Circular, and Corresponding Letters, and write a Letter to the Stonington Association, and another to the Baptist society in Albany, and report to-morrow morning. 

15th. Messengers appointed to Corresponding Associations, viz. To the 

 

Warwick,

Pettit and Winans.

 

Shaftsbury,

Arnold and Ripley.

 

Saratoga,

Streeter and R. Mudge.

 

Otsego,

Warren and Woolsey.

 

Stonington,

Mack.

 

Danbury,

Mack.

 

Madison,

Streeter, Herrick and Baker.

16th. Received a Letter from Franklin Conference, requesting counsel on the subject of forming a new association from a part of the Otsego, and part of the Rensselaerville Associations; to meet on the last Wednesday, in October.  Adjourned until tomorrow, 9 o’clock.  Brother Connelly prayed.

Being met agreeably to adjournment; Brother Connelly prayed. 

17th. An extract of a letter from Elder Roswell Beckwith to Elder Ephraim Crocker, was read; requesting information respecting the character of Abel Roe, a disorderly brother, and an official answer thereto certifying that the said Roe was excommunicated from the Church in Bern, about the year 1801, was also read, and a Resolution passed that it should be published in our minutes, that all concerned may take due notice. 

18th. Appointed Brother Mack and Brother Streeter to meet the Franklin Conference to consult on measures to be taken for framing a new association. 

19th. Circular, and Corresponding Letters read and agreed to be printed in our minutes with some revision. 

20th. A Letter to the Baptist society in Albany read and adopted.  Also, one to the Stonington Association. 

21st. Brother Ripley preached in the association from 1st Pet. 2. 7.  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious. 

22nd. Roxbury and Colchester Churches, agreeably to their request, are dismissed from this, in order to form with the new association, to be set off from the south part of the Otsego, for greater convenience. 

23rd. The Church in Bern query thus, Is it consistent for a Gospel Church, in their meeting, for public worship, to give the lead of singing into the hands of non-professors of religion. 

24th. Answered that it is not consistent. 

25th. Granted the following supplies for the Church in Rensselaerville and Coeman’stown. viz. 

Brother

Ripley,

3d

Lord's day in

Nov.

-----------

Streeter,

3d

do.

Dec.

-----------

Baker,

3d

do.

Jan.

-----------

Arnold,

3d

do.

Feb.

-----------

Baker,

3d

do.

March.

-----------

Winans,

3d

do.

April.

-----------

Hervey

3d

do.

May.

-----------

Mack

3d

do.

June.

-----------

Riple,

3d

do.

July.

-----------

Stuert,

3d

do.

Aug.

-----------

R. Mudge

3d

do.

Sept.

26th. Supplies for the Church in Jefferson. 

Brother

Mack,

3d

Lord's day in

Nov.

-----------

Woolsey,

2d.

do.

Dec.

-----------

Mack,

2d.

do.

Jan.

-----------

Warren,

2d.

do.

Feb.

-----------

Crocker,

2d.

do.

March.

-----------

Winans,

2d.

do.

May.

-----------

Baker,

2d.

do.

June.

-----------

Streeter,

2d.

do.

July.

-----------

Mack,

2d.

do.

August.

27th. The members of this association will consider on the expediency of holding a general conference with the several churches, and from time to time—and make report at their next meeting. 

28th. Brother Hervey to write the Circular Letter, and brother Kingsley the Corresponding Letter. 

29th. Associations to be held in the Baptist Meeting House, in Bern, next October, 2d Wednesday. 

30th. Brother Arnold to preach the introductory sermon.  In case of failure, brother Hervey. 

31st. Brother Hill to superintend the printing our Minutes. 

32nd. The result of the committee who were appointed to attend the Church in Middletown, was read, and was in substance, “there has been a wrong in the general church discipline.”  The church was exhorted therefore to confess it to God and to the excluded members, and they also to confess to God, and to the church, and take their places again.  Resolved, that the result be admitted. 

33rd. There being still a difficulty existing in the Middletown church, Resolved, that brother’s Herrick, Arnold, Connelly, Woolsey, Warren and Pettit be appointed a committee to examine further into the matter and make report at our next Association.  Closed with a prayer by the Moderator. 

============== 

CIRCULAR LETTER. 

============== 

The Elders and Messengers composing the Rensselaerville association—to the Churches they represent, send greeting. 

Many have been the subjects on which you have been addressed; we think it our duty at the close of our interview to address you on the subject not less interesting than any on which you have been addressed on the like occasion. 

It is on the character of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For such as our views of his character are, so will our external and visible worship be.  If our views of his character be imaginary, our worship will be so too.  If our views of his character be erroneous, our worship will be but superstition.  By the former his character will be obscured, and by the latter is worship will be corrupted. 

In respect to his Divine nature he and his Father are one.  John, 10. 30. 1st John, 5. 7. Unto us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders, and his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of Peace, Isaiah, 9. 6. In respect to his divine person, he is his Father’s equal, Zech. 13. 7. Phi. 2. 6.  

In respect to his human nature and mediatorial office he is a son born, for unto us a son is born, Isaiah, 9. 6.  He is also the beginning of the Creation of God, Rev. 3. 14.  He is also called the second Adam, and made a quickening spirit, 1st Cor. 15. 45.  In respect to his divine nature, he is all and in all, Col. 3. 11.  For by him and for him were all things created that are in Heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by him and for him and without him was not any thing made that was made, Col. 1. 16.  In respect to his manhood and mediatorial office, his Father is greater than he, John, 14. 28. is his creator, J. 31. 22.  is his father and his God.  John 20. 17. he was man, his body was composed of the elements of nature, and was in all points tempted like as we are.  Yet without sin, Heb. 4. 15. he whom God had sent speaketh the words of God, for God giveth not the spirit unto him by measure, John 3. 24.  Had the spirit been given unto him by measure it would be only in part.  God is a spirit and God is one, and one admits of no division.  The Apostle when speaking of Christ says, for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, Col. 2. 9.  

It is evident that Christ as to his manhood was possessed of a human soul, spirit and body, and that each one suffered for the redemption of the soul, spirit and body, of the elect agreeably to the following text:  he sighed deeply in spirit, Mark, 8. 12.  he was troubled in spirit, John, 13. 21.  Again he addressed his Father in the following words, Into they hands I commit my spirit, Luke 23. 46. his soul was made an offering for sin, Isaiah 53. 10. and whilst in the very act of suffering, he expressed himself in the following words, my soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death, Mat. 26. 28. and at the same time his body sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground, Luke 22. 44. his head was crowned with thorns, his hands were nailed to the cross and his body pierced with a spear. 

The divinity of Christ is self-existent, cannot be added unto nor diminished, and cannot be comprehended by created beings, and of consequence cannot suffer.  That the human nature of Christ might and did suffer without his divine nature.  Suffering, may be illustrated by the account we have of the martyr Stephen, Acts 7. 55.—60.  Whilst the body of Stephen was suffering the pain of death, his soul was filled with the Holy Ghost and enjoyed the satisfaction of beholding the Glory of God, and the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God. 

It is evident, that the soul of Stephen did not suffer but remained unhurt, agreeably to Luke 12. 4. be not afraid of them that kill the body and have no more that they can do.  God the Son in his divine nature being equal with the Father and the Holy Ghost, being in union with the Father and the Son, John 15. 26. is also equal for the divine essence of the Trinity admits of no division, but are equal in power and glory.  They are also spoken of in the plural, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness, Gen. 1. 26. again it is said the man is become as one of us, Gen. 3.22.  It is the will of god that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father, John 5. 23.  Lamentable indeed was the state of fallen man when there was none in heaven, nor in the earth, nor under the earth, that was able to open the book of God’s decrees, toward fallen man, and no wonder that the apostle John wept at the consideration, until he was comforted by one of the Elders, who said weep not, for behold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah hath prevailed.  Here we may discover the propriety of a union of divine and human nature, or in other words, a union of Heaven and earth, when neither, separately, could furnish a character equal to the task of redeeming fallen man. 

The Mediator, the man Christ Jesus being possessed in the highest degree of every excellency, both divine and human, has in our room and stead suffered the penalty of the divine law, and thereby freed us from the curse.  Being made a curse for us, Gal. 3. 13.  He has also kept and fulfilled the divine law in our room and stead, and thereby obtained eternal redemption for us, being clothed upon with his righteousness we shall not be found naked. 

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ being a divine person, is omnipotent, omnipresent.  His circumference is no where and his center every where.  He fills the Heavens with his glory and the earth with his goodness, and yet condescends to dwell in the hearts of the humble.  Christ also testifies of himself and says, I am alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending, saith he, which is and which was and is to come, the Almighty, Rev. 1. 8.  And may we not say with the Psalmist, yea he is altogether lovely. 

In a view of these things, let us receive him as a prophet to instruct us; as a priest to atone for us, and king to rule and reign over us. 

This being the character of the second person in the blessed Trinity, exhibited in scripture, let us never set up human reason as a standard, and reject everything we do not understand or discover; lest our wisdom should become folly and we be weighed in the balances and found wanting.  But let us like Thomas cry out, my Lord and my God, and like Jude ascribe our praises to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen. 

================ 

CORRESPONDING LETTER. 

================ 

The Elders and Messengers composing the Rensselaerville Baptist Association, to the several associations with whom they correspond, send greeting. 

DEAR BRETHREN

WHILE our hearts are rejoiced at the return of another of our annual interviews, we cannot refrain addressing you in a few words on that import subject, from which source these joys arise; namely, the glorious reign of sovereign grace, which is the blessed fountain from whence all blessedness is enjoyed; this may be seen, first in the purposes of God, in that holy calculation that God made for the salvation of his people, in which it is said, wisdom hath hewn out her seven pillars.  Nothing is more clear than that this was, all of God, that God should love fallen condemned mortals with an everlasting love from before all worlds and every necessary preparation to bring them to a state of glory and immortal bliss must be an act of grace in very deed. 

2ndly. Sovereign grace also reigns in God’s choosing or selecting the objects of his everlasting love in Christ according to his foreknowledge through the sanctification of the spirit unto obedience. 

3dly. Grace reigns in God’s predestinating this same character to be conformed to the image of his son, that is, designing that they should be holy and without blame in love—For whom he did foreknow, them he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. 

4thly. Grace reigns in effectually calling them according to his purpose and grace which he purposed in Christ Jesus, before the world began, that notwithstanding sinners rejecting the council of God against themselves, yet he worketh in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ Jesus when he raised them from the dead, by which holy calling they are born, not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God, whereby they are adopted into the family of God, and made heirs of God and joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ by which they possess faith, hope and charity, and every Christian grace. 

5thly. Grace reigns in the perseverance of the saints through the stormy scenes of this life until they arrive at Heaven their home, as saith the apostle, “who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.  No wonder brethren, that some cry out that there is danger of falling, who expect to stand on their own obedience.  But they who God holds in his right hand shall never fall, though the heavens flee away, and the earth be removed, they shall remain as pillars in the temple of our God and shall go no more out. 

6thly. Grace reigns in the resurrection of the body of the saints, as saith the apostle, he shall change your vile bodies and make them like unto Christ’s glorious body—the resurrection of the body is of such importance in the apostles esteem, that he saith preaching is vain, faith also is vain, without it then draws the inference,--If in this world only we have hope we are of all men most miserable, but not so with the saints, their hope goes beyond the grave whither Jesus the forerunner hath for them entered. 

7thly. Grace reigns glorious in the justification of the people of God through the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby through the obedience and meritorious death of the Son of God the sinner is presented faultless before the throne of God with exceeding joy.  Having these promises dearly beloved, let us be of full comfort; let us fight manfully the good fight of faith; let us be patient in tribulation, quietly hope and patiently wait for the salvation of our God. 

Dear Brethren, we close this epistle by adding, that we have had a comfortable interview through reigning grace, and we sincerely desire to continue our correspondence with you.  Our Minutes will inform you of our late alterations and present state of the Churches. 

We remain yours in Gospel Bonds. 

WILLIAM WARREN, Moderator. 

HILAND HILL, Clerk.


1812

Minutes of the
Rensselaerville Baptist Association.
held in Friendship Meeting-House,
Church of Coemans,
on the 14th and 15th of October, 1812.
-------------------
with their Circular and Corresponding Letters.
_________________________

Catskill:
Printed for the Association—by M. Croswell.  

Minutes, &c.

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

Wednesday, October 14th. 

1st. The Elders and Messengers being met, Elder Orlando Mack, preached the introductory sermon from Psalms xl.—2d. 

“He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” 

2nd. Elder Elijah Herrick was chosen Moderator and Brother John M. Peck, Clerk.--Adjourned for one hour. 

3d. Opened with prayer by Elder Herrick. 

4th. Received and read the letters from the churches, and took the following list of members baptized, received by letter, dismissed by letter, excluded, restored, died, and the present number. 

N. B. Ministers’ names in Italic.--Those to whom an asterisk [*] is prefixed were not present--From churches marked thus [+] we had no intelligence.--A dash [-----] denotes no settled minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHURCHES

MESSENGERS.

Baptised.

Received by letter.

Dismissed by Letter.

Excluded.

Restored.

Died.

Present No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Bern,

Ephraim Crocker.*

 

1

2

8

 

 

56

 

Simeon Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asa Webb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville 1st Church,+

James Mackey.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

66

 

John Winans.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville 2d Church,

Josiah Baker.

 

 

2

1

 

1

97

 

D'n John Cleveland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hull Bixby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coemans 1st Church

William Stewart.

2

1

 

 

1

2

143

 

Ebenezer Wyckes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D'n Rob't Simpkins,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D'n Rob't Palmer,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jared Reynolds,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josiah Hinckley,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silas Boardman,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Holliday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broome,

Levi Streeter,

1

 

 

1

 

 

34

 

Joel Dean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern,

Nehemiah H. Ripley.

10

 

7

4

 

4

105

 

Cyrel Eaton,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh & Florida,

Reuben Mudge.

1

 

34

2

1

4

77

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durham,

Herman Hervey,

4

 

12

4

 

 

45

 

Phineas Tyler,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephens Jones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windham,

Hezekiah Pettit,

8

 

2

 

1

1

56

 

William Faulkner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlestown,

Elijah Herrick.

3

 

 

1

 

1

78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worcester,+

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville & Coemans,

Adam Clark,

8

2

 

 

 

1

39

 

Isaac Labdell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cairo,

Joseph Arnold,*

1

 

 

 

 

1

130

 

Selah Lusk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catskill,

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

6

1

2

 

 

 

28

 

John M. Peck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jefferson,

James Mead,

10

5

 

1

 

 

76

 

Levi Lincoln.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blenheim,

Orlando Mack.

1

1

1

1

 

 

58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

55

11

62

23

3

15

1088

5th. Ministering brethren and messengers present from sister associations invited to a seat with us. 

6th. the following brethren in the ministry were received into this association by giving them the right hand of fellowship—(viz.)—Elders Ebenezer Wyckes of Coemans, Adam Clarke of Rensselaerville, and James Mead of Jefferson. 

7th. Called on corresponding associations--

8th. Voted that Elders Herrick, Ripley, Mack, Pettit, and brothers Brown and Faukner, be appointed to inspect the Circular and corresponding Letters, and report tomorrow morning. 

From the

Otsego, Letter and Minutes;

 

Shaftsbury, no information;

 

Saratoga, none;

 

Stonington, Minutes;

 

Danbury, Minutes by their messenger
      brother James Winchel;

 

Madison, Letter by Elder Herrick;

 

Franklin, no information;

 

Warwick, Minutes by their messenger
     Elder
Levi Hall.

9th. Messengers appointed to Corresponding associations—viz.—to the Warwick, Elder Stewart, and brothers Baker and John M. Peck—Shaftsbury, Ripley and Brown—Saratoga, Herrick and Wyckes.—Otsego, Mack and Baker—Franklin, Pettit, Herrick and Streeter—Danbury, Hervey and John M. Peck. 

10th. Adjourned until tomorrow morning at half-past eight.  Brother Hall prayed. 

---------------------- 

THURSDAY, October 15. 

Met agreeable to adjournment—Opened with prayer by brother John M. Peck. 

11th. Read the circular and corresponding letters, and agreed to print them in our minutes. 

12th. Whereas the Stonington association and our’s, meet near the time of each other, so that it is not convenient to correspond from one to the other by messengers—Therefore voted, that brother Andrew Brown be authorized in behalf of our association, to forward our minutes to the Stonington association, and to receive their minutes and convey them to us. 

13th. Appointed Elders Mead, Mack, Streeter, and Pettit, to visit the Church in Worcester, on the second Wednesday in November next, and enquire concerning their difficulties, and to make report to the next association. 

14th. Recalled the vote of our last association respecting our General Conferences, and agreed to discontinue them. 

15th. Appointed brother John M. Peck to write the Circular Letter for next year. 

16th. Resolved, To defer the appointment of any one to write our Corresponding Letter until the next association. 

17th. Resolved, that our next association be held at the Baptist meeting-house in Charlestown, on the second Wednesday of October next, at ten o’clock A.M. 

18th. Voted, that brother Pettit preach the introductory Sermon—In case of failure, brother Mead. 

19th. Voted, that brother John M. Peck superintend the printing of our Minutes. 

20th. The business of the association being closed—Elder Pettit preached from Psalm 85, 10th verse.  Elder Hall from the Warwick association, preached from 2d Chron. vi. 41st.  Elder Herrick delivered the concluding discourse, founded on Isaiah, lxiii. 1st. 

============== 

CIRCULAR LETTER. 

============== 

The Elders and Messengers composing the Rensselaerville Baptist Association, to the Churches they represent--send Christian salutation. 

DEARLY BELOVED,

PERMIT us at the close of this interview to address you through the medium of our circular letter, on the independency of churches; and, in connection with this, the relation they stand in, and the obligations they are under, as they stand connected in associated bodies.  In order to have a right understanding of this subject it will be necessary for us to enquire, what it is constitutes a church of Jesus Christ?  To which it may be said, that a sufficient number of Christians, meeting and covenanting together, first giving themselves away to the Lord, and then one to another by the will of God, and are organized according to the law of Christ’s visible kingdom, and with proper officers, form a Church of Christ—and these are under the most solemn obligations from the authority of the great head of the Church, to maintain gospel ordinances and a regular discipline; and to keep themselves both as a church and as individuals, unspotted from the world; for, only while they do this can they be considered as a church that walks in the footsteps of Zion’s king.  Such a church is in one sense wholly independent, while in may others it is not.—A church is absolutely independent from all finite beings to do right and possesses the full power, delegated to them from the great head of the Church, to transact all their own concerns as it relates to their well being, so long as they pay a sacred regard to God’s word—In consequence of this authority given them by Christ, they are to determine for themselves who are the proper persons to admit to their membership and communion; they are the only tribunal to decide cases of difficulty between brethren; as there is utterly a fault when brethren go to law one with another, and that before the unjust—1st Cor. vi 7th.  They are the only judges to cast out or cut off their own members when found to be unclean ones, according to Mat. xviii—In the sequel of which it appears, that persons excluded from the Church in a way perfectly according to the divine rule, are in a sad and awful situation, notwithstanding the trifling affair many think it to be; for it is written, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven”—Mat. xviii. 18.  In these instances many more that might be named, a Church of Christ is independent; the meanwhile it is dependent on God for every christian virtue and holy exercise; for every blessing the Church enjoys here, and all they hope for hereafter. 

From the above remarks it appears that the independence which churches posses, is perfectly consistent with their entire dependence on God, being authorized and assisted by the great head of the Church to do right; from which it follows, as a thing of course, that they have none to do wrong—For if their independence to do right consists in the authority and ability which they derive from the head of the church, unless they are warranted from the same divine source, they cannot maintain their independence while acting unrighteously.  In this view of the subject, the query naturally arises whether it be consistent with the dependence and independence of Churches, to unite and correspond together in associated bodies.  This question can only have a just answer, by considering whether such an union and correspondence is right or wrong—If it be wrong, gospel Churches have no authority for the practice of it—but if it be right, the practice of it is perfectly consistent with that independence which consists in doing righteously.  That it is right for churches and individuals to unite in a friendly correspondence, to worship God, and to consult the best measures for promoting the Redeemer’s kingdom, is both rational and scriptural.  It appears from the New Testament that while individual christians were organized into separate churches, to accommodate their local circumstances, yet these churches had more or less concern for each other, as far as their circumstance would admit, being all members of the same family.  It also has long since been proved by experience, that the association of churches is not only lawful but peculiarly beneficial.—The refreshing seasons which the saints of God have experienced while attending our anniversary meetings; the satisfaction of the churches at large, by our minutes to know how the war prospers among their brethren, and of the increase in numbers among the faithful, all offer their testimony in favor of the righteous nature of such corresponding societies. 

Associations have proved the most fatal means of detecting and exposing to the public view, imposters who are ready to deceive our churches under the disguise of Ministers. 

BRETHREN—If the above remarks, with regard to associations, are true, then it is highly interesting and important to maintain such a correspondence, and in order to do this, the following things are necessary: 

1st.  To well examine those churches with whom we open a correspondence, both in doctrine, discipline, and practice. 

2nd. To maintain our acquaintance with each other, so that when any individual church forfeits her character as a church, suitable measures may be taken for the recovery—And if such measures prove ineffectual, that we withdraw our connection from them, as a church acting out of character; for we suppose that churches engage to associate together while they walk uprightly, and whenever a church neglects to do this, they forfeit their engagements.  A question may arise in the minds of some, what are the proper measures to be adopted in case a church departs from the faith and order of the Gospel?  Ans. Some other individual church in most cases, will probably gain the knowledge of the departure of her sister church, and we think it proper in such an instance for the church to send messengers to the offending sister church, tell her of her fault, and likewise endeavor to reclaim her—If the transgressing church neglects or refuses to give satisfaction, then call messengers from one or two other sister churches and go a second time; if measures prove ineffectual, represent their case to the association in general, at which time it may be proper for the association, (if they cannot reclaim her) to drop her from their minutes.  These measures may be thought by some to authorize associations to take away the independence of churches—This is impossible while the association acts righteous, and the church wickedly—instead of this, the church has lost her independence by doing wrong.  Let the church return to the path of duty, and all righteous associations will rejoice to receive her again.  This view of the subject, Brethren, leads us to a proper understanding of individual christians, churches, and associations, each maintaining an independent right to govern themselves in the ways of righteousness, and that perfectly consistent with their relation one to another, and their entire dependence on God, the great ruler of the universe. 

We close our Epistle, Brethren, by subscribing ourselves, yours, in the bonds of the Gospel.  Amen. 

================ 

CORRESPONDING LETTER. 

================ 

The Rensselaerville Baptist Association to the several Associations with whom we correspond—Greeting. 

DEAR BRETHREN,

WE are happy at the close of this opportunity, to send you our kind love, and inform you that we have once more enjoyed a very comfortable interview; while we trust the great head of the church has presided—and are happy to hear from many of our churches of the glorious ingathering of souls, the rich displays of Divine Grace in upbuilding of the Redeemer’s kingdom.  Dear Brethren, how it ought to rejoice our hearts while we see the banner of king Jesus displayed, while the glorious sound of the Gospel is spreading through the world, and sinners are bowing to the peaceful scepter; Saints are encouraged, while the combined forces of Earth and Hell are in full retreat, and will soon fall to rise no more.  Brethren, be of good cheer, and with one heart and one mind, endure hardships as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; and soon we shall come off conquerors and more than conquerors, through the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony.  We wish to continue our correspondence with you, both by Messengers and Minutes.  Our minutes will inform you of the alterations of our Churches since the last year.

Signed by order and in behalf of the Association, 

ELIJAH HERRICK, Moderator. 

JOHN M. PECK, Clerk. 

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

N. B. The Minutes of our last association were published very incorrectly; hence there is many alterations in this which would not otherwise be accounted for.


 Home            Table of Contents          Church Records Home Page