Rensselaerville Baptist
Association

1820-1829


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


1824

Minutes
of the
RENSSELAERVILLE

Baptized Association
Held in Bern
 on the 10th and 11th October, 1824. 

Wednesday, October 10.

1st. AT 10 o’clock A. M. the introductory sermon was delivered by Elder ELIJAH HERRICK, from 2d Corinthians, iii, 18th, “But we all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.” Prayer by JULIUS BEEMAN.

2d. The Association was then organized by choosing brother WILLIAM WARREN Moderator, and br. HERMAN HERVERY Clerk. Adjourned for one hour.

3d. Met in pursuance to adjournment.  Prayer by brother STREETER.  Ministering brethren were invited to a seat.

4th. Proceeded to read the letters from the churches composing this Association, and took the following list.

[N. B. Ministers’ names in small capitals.  A dash (-----) denotes no settled Minister.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHURCHES

MESSENGERS.

Baptized.

Received by letter.

Dismissed.

Excluded.

Restored.

Deceased.

Total.

Rensselaerville and Bern,

EPHRAIM CROCKER,

 

3

 

 

 

 

48

 

Joseph Owen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville,

JOHN WINANS,

32

 

2

2

2

 

103

 

JAMES MACKEY,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon Jonathan Barret,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethuel Reave,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon Ford,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simmons Shadbolt,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Winans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and

JOSIAH BAKER,

 

 

 

 

 

 

59

Westerloo,

John Bordman,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parmenus Baldwin,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isaac Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenville,

WILLIAM STEWART,

4

4

 

1

 

 

215

 

ELIJAH WICKS,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silas Bordman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Cowel,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Carle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broome,

LEVI STREETER,

6

 

1

5

 

1

97

 

Elijah Richmond,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craston B. Higsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern,

(-----------)

 

1

3

1

 

2

76

 

Deacon Ruel Phillips,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Crary,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denison Jones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh and

(-----------)

1

5

4

 

 

1

67

Florida,

Deacon Charles How,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon Henry Shute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durham,

HERMAN HERVEY,

4

1

 

3

 

 

67

 

Deacon Obed Hervey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lexington,

HEZEKIAH PETTIT,

1

 

3

17

 

1

214

 

Nathan Appleby,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elijah Bushnell, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston,

ELIJAH HERRICK,

21

6

4

2

 

1

234

 

William More,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philip Fomierook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westerloo,

ADAM CLARK,

4

1

9

 

 

 

85

 

Adam Wing,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Cole,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knight Bennet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cairo,

JOSEPH ARNOLD,

 

 

3

 

 

1

52

 

Nirem Stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit,

JULIUS BEEMAN,

13

4

1

1

 

1

97

 

Deacon Levi Lincoln,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Ripley,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silas Brown,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biram Palmer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blenheim,

(-----------)

 

1

1

1

1

 

64

 

David Parsons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middlebury,

JONAH TODD,

7

1

 

5

 

 

28

 

Deacon Icabod Gripin,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Townsend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schoharie,

BURTON CARPENTER,

2

 

 

1

 

 

28

 

Pelet Netherway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worcester,

(-----------)

5

 

35

4

 

 

91

 

Deacon David Holmes,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvester Holmes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Church in

WILLIAM WARREN,

 

 

2

1

 

2

121

Roxbury,

Samuel Walker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon.*

LEONARD G. MARSH,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon David Crappen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

65

*This church was received this session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5th. Elder L. G. MARSH was presented a regular ordained Minister, and after suitable examination and deliberation resolved to receive and likewise gave the right hand of fellowship.

6th. From the Corresponding Associations:--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSOCIATIONS AND
MESSENGERS,

Time of holding
 their Sessions.

Minutes of the
Year.

No. of Churches.

Baptized.

Received by letter.

Dismissed by Letter.

Excluded.

Restored.

Died.

Total.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warwick—Z. Greenold &

June--2d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Murray,

Wednesday

1821

16

178

24

35

16

17

13

1760

Shaftsbury—Eld. HARRIS,

June,1st do

1821

25

144

34

87

44

4

37

2846

Hartford,

Oct. 1st do.

1820

23

37

12

19

39

 

11

2205

Stonington,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Franklin—Minutes,

June,3d do.

1821

22

110

43

62

45

6

14

2198

Otsego—Minutes,

Sept.1st do.

1821

27

173

60

77

39

 

20

 

Saratoga,

 

 

26

52

 

 

 

 

 

3940

Madison—Minutes,

Sept.2d do.

1821

36

107

104

268

62

 

25

4385

Hudson River—Minutes,

Aug. 1st do.

1821

11

103

41

67

48

 

25

1804

New London—Minutes.

Oct. 3d do.

1820

17

86

17

34

26

2

35

1970

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th. The Church of Lexington brought a query, asking the advice of the Association, relating to the matter of difference between them and the Catskill church; stating also the manner in which it has been treated by both parties.  Resolved, That the above be submitted to a committee of the following Ministers, viz. CROCKER, HERRICK, BAKER, BEEMAN & STREETER; and that they revise the Circular and prepare the Corresponding Letters. 

8th. Brother How was appointed to examine the Corresponding Minutes, and report to-morrow morning. 

9th. Made arrangements for meetings in the different societies this evening. 

10th. Resolved, That the Ministers who preach this evening, shall notice to their respective audiences that a black man, now preaching in this vicinity, by the name of John Bird, was a few years since, advertised by this Association, upon substantial evidence, as an impostor and an immoral man. 

11th. Voted to adjourn to 10 o’clock to-morrow morning. 

12th. Prayer by brother PETTIT. 

Thursday, October 11. 

13th. Met at 10 o’clock, pursuant to adjournment. 

14th. Prayer by brother PETTIT. 

15th. The committee reported that the Circular Letter prepared, was written on the subject of church discipline, and as an excellent one was written on that subject by the late Rev. Andrew Fuller, deceased, of England, published in the “North River Association Minutes,” they advised to and adopted the same. 

16th. The Corresponding Letter prepared by the committee was read and adopted. 

17th. The committee reported that they have duly considered the matter of query brought by the Lexington church, and think it advisable to suspend any other labor with the church at Catskill, till God shall open some more effectual door to promote or bring about a union; and also, that we think the measures already taken are gospel-wise. 

18th. The committee on the minutes of Corresponding Associations, noted 30th article in the minutes of the Hudson River Association:  voted to insert the same—an extract: “That in the 25th article of the New-Jersey minutes, taken from the Chemung minutes, the public are cautioned against Nehemiah H. Ripley, who, under the character of a Baptist Minister, propagates the doctrine the doctrine of universal salvation.  In the examination of the minutes, we have perceived with grateful impressions, that a peculiar Missionary spirit pervades and increases in the several Associations.  We believe it to be the fruit of that faith which is productive of good works; but recommend to Ministers and officers of the Church, actively and perseveringly to exert themselves to give such a direction to this spirit as shall promise the greatest good.” 

19th. The question was put relating to the State Convention, to be composed of delegates from every Association in this state, which may be favorable to the measure; and Resolved, That our messengers to the Otsego Association shall confer with them on the above subject, and report to this body at our next  session. 

20th. Appointed the following Delegates to Corresponding Associations:

Shaftsbury—WINANS and STREETER.

Hartford—HERVEY, convey our minutes.

Stonington—LUTHER RICE, and that he convey a letter.

Warwick—WARREN and PETTIT.

Franklin—HERRICK and MARSH.

Saratoga—Deacons Shute and How.

Otsego—MARSH, HERRICK, CROCKER, STREETER & BEEMAN.

Hudson River—WICKES and GREENOLD.

Madison—HERRICK and Deacon Shute. 

21st. Resolved, That Elder HERVEY superintend the printing of the Minutes. 

22nd. The Association to be holden with the Church of Durham, in the Union Meeting-House, in Windham, on the 2d Wednesday and Thursday in October, 1822.

23rd. Appointed Elder STREETER to Preach the introductory sermon, and in case of failure Elder MARSH. 

24th. Resolved, That Deacon How prepare the Circular Letter for next year. 

25th. A Circular Letter form the Board of Managers of the Convention for Foreign Missions was read. 

26th. Brother L. RICE, being present, made appropriate remarks on the subject of Missions.  Adjourned for 30 minutes. 

27th. Prayer by Elder HERRICK. 

28th. Being convened pursuant to adjournment, worship commenced by ZEALOTES GREENOLD—sermon from first Peter, 2d chapter, 9th verse--:  A peculiar people.”  

29th. A second sermon, by LUTHER RICE, from St. Luke, 8th chapter, 1st verse—“And it came to pass afterward that he went throughout every city and village preaching, and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God:  and the twelve were with him.” 

The Officers of this Missionary Society, chosen for the present, are as follows:--
 

 

 

Elder

HERRICK, President.

 

PETTIT, Vice-President

 

CROCKER, 2nd Vice-President.

 

HERVEY, Recording and Corresponding Secretary.

Brother

ELIJAH BUSHNELL, Treasurer.

 

BERIAH STILES, Trustee

 

JARED REYNOLDS, Trustee

Elder

LEVI STREETER, Trustee

 

 

Monies contributed for Missionary purposes:--

 

 

 

Collection taken after worship,

$13.02

From the Church in Bern,

4.31

Greenville,

7.50

Female Friends for Foreign Missions,

1.25

Rensselaerville and Westerloo,

3.00

Herman Hervey,

1.00

Schoharie,

4.00

Female Society, Worcester,

2.00

Female Society, Schoharie,

2.50

Church and Society, Charleston,

9.00

Money in the hands of H. Hervey

1.12

 

---------

Total,

$48.70

Paid the same into the hands of Luther Rice, Agent of

the Board for Foreign and Domestic Missions

 

 

 

CIRCULAR LETTER.

ON THE DISCIPLINE OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCHES.

The Elders and Brethren of the several Baptist Churches belonging to the Hudson River Baptist Association, met in New York, August 5, 1818—To the Churches with whom they are connected.

BELOVED BRETHREN:--

WHEN the apostles, by the preaching of the word, had gathered in any place a sufficient number of individuals to the faith of Christ, it was their uniform practice, for the further promotion of his kingdom in that place, to form them into a Religious Society, or Christian Church.  Being thus associated in the name of Christ, divine worship was carried on, Christian ordinances observed, holy discipline maintained, and the word of life, as the light of the golden candlesticks, exhibited.  Among them our Lord Jesus Christ, as the high priest of our profession, is represented as walking; observing the good, and applauding it; pointing out the evil, and censuring it; and holding up life and immortality to those who should overcome the temptation of the present state.

Let us suppose him to walk amongst our several churches, and to address us as he addressed the seven churches in Asia.  We trust he would find some things to approve; but we are also apprehensive that he would find many things to censure.  Let us then look narrowly into the Discipline of the primitive churches, and compare ours with it.

By discipline, however, we do not mean to include the whole of the order of a Christian Church; but shall at this time confine our attention to that part of church-government which consists in—A MUTUAL WATCH OVER ONE ANOTHER, AND THE CONDUCT WE ARE DIRECTED TO PURSUE IN CASES OF DISORDER.

A great part of our duty consists in cultivating what is lovely, but this is not the whole of it; we must prune as well as plant, if we would bear much fruit, and be Christ’s disciples.  One of the things applauded in the church of Ephesus, was, that they could not bear those who were evil.

Yet we are not to suppose from hence that no irregularity or imperfection whatever, is an object of forbearance.  If uniformity be required in such a degree as that every difference in judgment or practice shall occasion a separation, the churches may be always dividing into parties, which we are persuaded was never encouraged by the apostles of our Lord, and cannot be justified in trivial or ordinary cases.  A contrary practice is expressly taught us in the Epistle to the Romans; (chap. xiv.) and the cases in which it is to be exercised are there pointed out.  An object of forbearance, however, must be one that may exist without being an occasion of dispute and wrangling in the church:  It must not be to doubtful disputations. ver. 1.  It must also respect things which do not enter into the essence of God’s kingdom, the leading principles of which are righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, ver. 16, 17.  That which does not subvert there gospel of the kingdom, nor set aside the authority of the king, though it be an imperfection, is yet to be borne with.  Finally, it must be something which does not destroy the work of God, or which is not inconsistent with the progress of vital religion in the church, or in one’s own soul. ver. 20.  In all such case we are not to judge one another, but every man’s conscience is to be his judge. ver. 23.

In attending to those things  which are the proper objects of discipline, our first concern should be to see that all our measures are aimed at the good of the party, and the honor of God.—Both these ends are pointed out in the case of the Corinthian offender.  All was to be done that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord, and to clear themselves as a church from being partakers of his sin.  If these ends be kept in view they will preserve us from much error; particularly, from the two great evils into which churches are in danger of falling, false lenity, and unchristian severity.  There is often a party found in a community, who, under the name of tenderness, are for neglecting all wholesome discipline; or if this cannot be accomplished, for delaying it to the utmost.  Such persons are commonly the advocates for disorderly walkers, especially if they be their particular friends or relations.  Their language is, “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.  My brother hath fallen today and I may fall tomorrow.”  This spirit, though it exists only in individuals, provided they be persons of any weight or influence, is frequently known to impede the due execution of the laws of Christ; and if it pervade the community, it will soon reduce it to the lowest state of degeneracy.  Such for a time was the spirit of the Corinthians; but when brought to a proper sense of things, what carefulness is wrought in them, yea what clearing of themselves, yea what indignation, yea what fear, yea what vehement desire, yea what zeal, yea what revenge.  In opposing the extreme of false tenderness, others are in danger of falling into unfeeling severity.  This spirit will make the worst of every thing, and lead men to convert the censures of the church into weapons of private revenge.  Persons of this description know not of what manner of spirit they are.  They lose sight of the good of the offender.  It is not love that operates in them; for love worketh no evil.  The true medium between these extremes is a union of mercy and truth.  Genuine mercy is combined with faithfulness, and genuine faithfulness with mercy; and this is the only spirit that is likely to purge iniquity. (Prov. xvi. 6.)  Connivance will produce indifference; and undue severity will arm the offender with prejudice, and so harden him in sin:  but the love of God and of our brother’s soul are adapted to answer every good end.  If we love God, like Levi, we shall know no man after the flesh, nor acknowledge our nearest kindred; but shall observe his word and keep his covenant.  And if we love the soul of our brother, we shall say, “He is fallen to-day, and I will reprove him for his good:  I may fall to-morrow, and then let him deal the same with me.”  Love is the grand secret of church discipline, and will do more than all other things put together, towards insuring success.

In the exercise of discipline it is necessary to distinguish between, faults which are the consequences of sudden temptation, and such as are the result of premeditation and habit.  The former requires a compassionate treatment; the latter a great portion of severity.  The sin of Peter in denying his Lord was great, and if noticed by the enemies of Christ, might bring great reproach upon his cause; yet, compared with the sin of Solomon it was little.  He first gave way to licentiousness; then to idolatry, and on finding that God, as a punishment for his sin, had given ten tribes to Jeroboam, he sought to kill him.  Cases like this are immediately dangerous, and require a prompt and decided treatment, and in which hesitating tenderness would be the height of cruelty.  Of some have compassion, making a difference; others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 22, 23. See also Gal. vi. 1.)

In all our admonitions regard should be had to the age and character of the party.  An elder, as well as other men, may be in fault, and a fault that may require to be noticed; but let him be told of it in a tender and respectful manner.  While you expostulate with younger men on a footing of equality, pay a deference to age and office.—Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father, and the younger men as brethren. (1. Tim. v. 1)

In the due execution of Christian discipline there are many things to be done by the members of the churches individually; and it is upon the proper discharge of these duties that much of the peace and purity of a church depends.  If we be faithful to one another there will be but few occasions for public censure.—Various improprieties of conduct, neglects of duty, and declensions in the power of godliness, are the proper subjects of pastoral admonition.  It is one essential branch of this office to rebuke and exhort with all long-suffering. (2. Tim. iv. 2.)  Nor is this work confined to pastors: Christians are directed to admonish one another. (Rom. xv. 14.)  Indeed there are things which a wise and affectionate people will be concerned to take upon themselves, lest a prejudice should be contracted against the ministry, which may prevent its good effects.  This is peculiarly necessary in the settling of differences, in which whole families may be interested, and in which it is extremely difficult to avoid the suspicion of partiality.

In all cases of personal offence, the rule laid down by our Lord, in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, aught to be attended to; and no such offence ought to be admitted before a church till the precept of Christ has been first complied with by the party or parties concerned.

In many case where faults are not committed immediately against us, but which are unknown except to a few individuals, love will lead us to endeavor to reclaim the party, if possible, without any further exposure.  A just man will not be willing, unnecessarily to make his brother a public example.  The scriptures give peculiar encouragement to these personal and private attempts.  If any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins. (James v. 19, 20.)

In case of evil report, where things are said of a brother, in our hearing, which, if true, must affect his character, and the purity of the Church, it cannot be right to go on to report it.—Love will not lead to this.  Many reports we know are unfounded; or if true in the main, they may have been aggravated; or there may be circumstances attending the case, which if fully understood would make things appear very different from the manner in which they have been represented.  Now, it is almost impossible that any one but the party himself should be acquainted with all these circumstances, or able to give a full account of them.  No time therefore should be lost, ere we enquire at the hand of our brother, or if on any consideration we feel that to be unsuitable, it would be proper to apply to an officer of the church, who may conduct it with greater propriety.

There are cases of a more public nature still, in which much of the peace and happiness of a church depends upon the conduct of its members in their individual capacity.  The charge given by the apostle to the Romans, (chap. xvi. 17, 18.) though applicable to a church, yet seems to be rather addressed to the individuals who compose it.—Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but  their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.—The characters to be avoided appear to be persons whose object is to set up a party in the church, of which they may be the heads or leaders; a kind of religious demagogues.  Such men are found, at one time or other, in most societies; and in some cases the peace of the churches has been invaded by strangers, who are not of their own community.  Let the “brethren” have their eye upon such men.  “Mark them:” trace their conduct, and you will soon discover their motives.  Stand aloof from them, and “avoid” striking in with their dividing measures.  In case of their being members, the church, collectively considered, ought, no doubt, to put away from amongst them such wicked persons:  but as every collective body is composed of individuals, if those individuals suffer themselves to be drawn away, the church is necessarily thrown into confusion, and rendered incapable of a prompt, unanimous, and decided conduct.  Let members of churches, therefore, beware how they listen to the insinuations of those who would entice them to join their party.  Men of this stamp are described by the apostle, and therefore may be known, particularly by three things—First, by their doctrine; “it is contrary to that which has been learned of Christ.”  Secondly, by their selfish pursuits: “they serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies.”  Thirdly, by their insinuating whining pretences of affectionate regard toward their partisans:  “by good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple.”

To this may be added, there are duties on individuals in their behavior towards persons who lie under the censure of the Church.  If they still continue in a state of impenitence, persist in their sin, or be irreconciled to the church’s proceedings with them, it is of the utmost consequence that every member should set a uniform part towards them.  We may, it is true, continue our ordinary and necessary intercourse with them as men, in the concerns of this life:  but there must be no familiarity, no social interchange, no visitings to them, nor receiving visits from them, nothing in short that is expressive of connivance tat their conduct—If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, we must not keep company with such an one, no not to eat.  (I Cor. v. 11.)  If individual members act contrary to this rule, and carry it freely towards an offender, as if nothing had taken place, it will render the censure of the church of none effect.  Those persons also who behave in this manner will be considered by the party of his friends, and others who stand aloof as his enemies, or at least as being unreasonably severe; which will work confusion, and render void the best and most wholesome discipline.  We must act in concert, or we may as well do nothing.  Members who violate this rule are partakers of other men’s sins, and deserve the rebukes of the churchy, for counteracting its measures.

With respect to those things which fall under the cognizance of a church in its collective capacity, we earnestly recommend, in general, that every thing be done not only with a view to the honor of God, and the good of the party, as before observed, but with a special regard to the revealed will of Christ.  That some kind of order be preserved, in every community, is necessary to its existence.  Decency, reputation, and even worldly policy,. Will induce us to take some notice of gross immoralities: but this is not Christian discipline; nor will it be productive of its salutary effects.  In the choice, of officers, few if any churches would elect a profligate: but if opulence be allowed to supply the place of spirituality, or ambitions or litigious characters be preferred on the principle of expediency, as a means of keeping them in better humor, is it not carnal?  So, in matters of discipline, few churches would suffer a grossly, immoral or litigious character to continue amongst them unnoticed:  but if, instead of a calm, impartial and decided procedure, we enter into pusillanimous compromises with the offender, consenting that he should withdraw of his own accord; if the crimes of rich men be either entirely overlooked, or but slightly touched, let the cause should suffer from their being offended; or if the misconduct of poor men be disregarded, on the ground of their being persons of little or no account, are we not carnal, and walk as men?  Brethren!  Are there any such things amongst us?  Search and consider.  Such things ought not to be.  The private withdrawment of an individual, if it be without good reasons, may justify a church in admonishing him, and, if he cannot be reclaimed, in excluding him:  but it cannot of itself dissolve the relation.  Till such exclusion has taken place he is a member, and his conduct affects their reputation as much as that of any other member.  With regard to a neglect of discipline lest it should injure the cause, what cause must that be which requires to be thus supported?  Be it our concern to obey the laws of Christ, and leave him to support his own cause.  If it sink by fulfilling his commandments, let it sink.  He will not censure us for not supporting the ark with unhallowed hands.  And if it be criminal to fear the rich, it cannot be less so to despise the poor.  Let brotherly love abound towards both.  Do all things without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

We cannot enumerate all the particular cases which fall under the cognizance of a Christian church, but shall mention a few which are recorded in the Scriptures for our imitation.

A DEPARTURE FROM THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL, OR ANY OF ITS LEADING DOCTRINES, is an object of Christian discipline.  I would they were even cut off that trouble you—I have a few things against thee, because thou hast them that hold the doctrine of Balaam—so hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.—A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject, knowing that the that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.  (Gal. v. 12. Rev. ii. 14, 15. Tit. iii. 10.)

It is worthy of notice, that the only passage in the New Testament wherein heresy is introduced as an object of discipline, makes no mention of any thing as composing it but what relates to the principles of the party.  It may be supposed that those who were accounted heretics by the apostles were as impure in their lives as they were anti-christian in their doctrine, and that they were commonly disturbers of the peace and unity of the churches:  but however this might be, neither of these evils are alleged as the reason for which the heretic was to be rejected.  All that is mentioned is this:  He subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

He is “subverted;” that is, his professed faith in the gospel is in effect overturned, or rendered void; consequently he requires to be treated as an unbeliever.  He is “condemned of himself;” that is, the gospel being a consistent whole, he who rejects some of its leading principles, while he professes to retain others, is certain to fall into self-contradictions; which, if clearly pointed out in a “first and second admonition,” and he still persist, he will be compelled obstinately to shut his eyes against the light, and thus, “sin” against the dictates of his own conscience.

It has been asked by persons who disapprove of all church proceedings on account of a difference in religious principles: Who is to judge what is heresy?  We answer, Those who are to judge what is immorality in dealing with lose characters.  To suppose it impossible to judge what heresy is, or to deny that the power of so deciding rests in a Christian church, is to charge the apostolic precept with impertinence.  It is true, the judgment of a church may be erroneous as well as that of an individual; and it becomes them in their decisions to consider that they will all be revised at the great day:  but the same may be said of all human judgment, civil or judicial, to which no one is so void of reason, as on this account to object.

It has been further objected, that censuring a person on account of his religious sentiments, invades the right of private judgment, is inconsistent with the liberty of the gospel, and contrary to the leading principles on which protestants have separated from the church of Rome, protestant dissenters from the church of England.  The right of private judgment, while we claim no connection with others, is an undoubted right.  We may be Christians, infidels, or atheists, and none but God has any control over us:  but if we desire the friendship and esteem of good men notwithstanding, or claim admission to a Christian church; or should we be in it already, and claim a right to continue our situation, surely they would not ber obliged to comply.  If so, our right of private judgment must interfere with that of others, whose judgment tells them that there can be no fellowship between light and darkness, or communion between him that believeth and an infidel.  If the liberty of the gospel consist in a right of followship with Christian churches, whatever be our principles, it will follow not only that unbelievers may claim visible communion with believers; but that no exclusions for immorality can be justified provided the party insists that his sentiments are in harmony with his practice.  There is a great variety of opinion as to what is morality, as well as to what is truth.  One lose character believes in polygamy, another in concubinage, and a third can see no harm in fornication, nor even in adultery, provided it be undiscovered. (Such was the morality taught by Mr. Hume.)

If the churches of Rome, and England, had done nothing more than exclude from their society those characters whom they considered as deviating from the first principles of the gospel, without subjecting them to civil penalties or disabilities, however we might have disputed the truth of their doctrine, we could not justly have objected to their discipline.  We should suppose that the separation of protestants from the one and of protestant dissenters from the other, was for the sake of enjoying a purer church state, wherein they might act up to the laws of Zion’s King; and not that they might live as though there were no king in Israel, which is the case where every man does that which is right in his own eyes.

IN CASES OF NOTORIOUS AND COMPLICATED WICKEDNESS, it appears, that in the primitive churches, immediate exclusion was the consequence.  In the case of the incestuous Corinthian, there are no directions given for his being admonished and excluded only in case of his being incorrigibly impenitent.  The apostle determined what should be done—In the name of the Lord Jesus when ye are gathered together to deliver such a one unto Satan.  We cannot but consider it as an error in the discipline of some churches, where persons have been detected of gross and aggravated wickedness, that their exclusion has been suspended, and in many cases omitted, on the ground of their professed repentance.  While the evil was a secret it was persisted in, but when exposed by a public detection, then repentance is brought forward, as it were in arrest of judgment.  But can that repentance be genuine which is pleaded for the purpose of warding off censures of a Christian church?  We are persuaded it cannot.  The eye of a true penitent will be fixed on the greatness of his sin, and he will be the last to discern or talk of his repentance for it.  So far from pleading it, in order to evade censure, he will censure himself, and desire nothing more than that testimony may be borne against his conduct for the honor of Christ.

But allowing that repentance in such cases is sincere, still it is not of such account as to set aside the necessity of exclusion.  The end to be answered by this measure is not merely the good of the party, but the “clearing” of a Christian church from the very appearance of conniving at immorality; and which cannot be accomplished by repentance only.  Though Miriam might be truly sorry for here sin in having spoken against Moses, and though she might be healed of here leprosy; yet the Lord said unto Moses, if here father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days?  Let here be shut out from the camp seven days; and after that let her be received in again.  (Numb. xii. 14.)

We do not suppose, however, that every notorious fault requires immediate exclusion.  The general rule given is—that NOTORIOUS EVILS SHOULD MEET WITH A PUBLIC REBUKE.—Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 1 Tim. v. 20)  But this proceeding does not appear to amount to exclusion; it is rather of the nature of a censure or reprimand, accompanying an admonition.  To us it appears that the circumstances attending a sin, ought to determine whether it require immediate exclusion or not.  If these be highly aggravating; if there appear to have been premeditation, intention, and perseverance in the crime, put away from amongst yourselves that wicked person:  but if circumstances extenuate, rather than heighten the evil, solemn admonition accompanied with rebuke, ought to suffice, and no exclusion to follow but in case of incorrigible impenitence.

There are also faults which do not come under the denomination of notorious sins, wherein directions are given for recovering the offenders WITHOUT ANY MENTION BEING MADE OF EXCLUSION, EITHER IMMEDIATE OR ULTIMATE.  There is perhaps in all the churches a description of men whose characters are far from being uniformly circumspect, and yet not sufficiently irregular to warrant their being separated from communion.  They are disorderly walkers; busy-bodies in other men’s matters, while negligent of their own; in a word, unamiable characters.  Now those that are such we are directed to exhort, and charge that they conduct themselves as becometh Christians.  If after this they continue disorderly, observe a degree of distance in your conduct towards them; withdraw your intimacy; let them feel the frowns of their brethren:  yet be hot wholly reserved, but occasionally explain to them the reasons of your conduct, affectionately admonishing them at the same time to repentance and amendment of life.  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.—For we hear that there are some who walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies—Now them that are such, we command, and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness the work, and eat their own bread.  And if any obey not our word by this epistle, not that man, and have no company with him that he may be ashamed: yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.  (2 Thes. iii. 6, 15.)  If churches were to consult only their own reputation, they would often discard such persons at an early period:  but where there is reason to hope that the heart is right in the main, great forbearance must be exercised, and long perseverance in endeavoring to recover.  How many imperfections were discovered in the conduct of the twelve apostles, while their Lord was with them, and what an example of forbearance has he left us!  One character reclaimed is of greater account and more to the honor of a Christian church, than many discarded.

Finally, a watchful eye upon the state of the church, and of particular members, with a seasonable interposition, may do more towards the preservation of good order than all other things put together.  Discourage whisperings, backbitings, and jealousies.  Frown on tale bearers, and give no ear to their tales.  Nip contentions in the bud.  Adjust differences in civil matters among yourselves.  Bring together at an early period those in whom misconception and distrust have begun to operate, ere ill opinion ripen into settled dislike.  By a frank and timely explanation in the presence of a common friend, that may be healed in an hour, which if permitted to proceed, a series of years cannot eradicate.  Be affectionately free with one another.—Give tender and faithful hints where it appears to you that one of your brethren is in danger of being drawn aside from the principles or spirit of the gospel.  Let all be given, from their first entering into connection with you, to expect them.  If any one take offence at such treatment, give him to understand that he who cannot endure a caution or a reproof, is unfit for Christian society; and is in the utmost danger of falling into mischief.

The free circulation of the blood, and the proper discharge of all the animal inactions, are not more necessary to the health of the body, than good discipline is to the prosperity of a community.

If it were duly considered how much the general interests of religion, and even the salvation of men, may be affected by the purity and harmony of Christian churches, we should tremble at the idea of their being interrupted by us.  The planting of a church in a neighborhood, where the gospel is preached, and the ordinances of Christ administered in their purity, is a great blessing.  It is a temple reared for God, in which he deigns to record his name, to meet with his humble worshippers and to bless them.  We have seen churches of this description, in the midst of a career of spiritual prosperity, edifying one another in love, and gathering souls to the Redeemer’s standard, all in a little time, blasted and ruined by some unhappy event that has thrown them into disorder.  One of the members, it may be, has acted unworthily—he is reproved—his relations or particular acquaintances take on his side—discipline is interrupted—the church is divided into parties—hard things are said on both sides—the bond of love is broken—tender minds are grieved, and retire—worship is but thinly attended, and the enjoyment of it is vanished—God’s friends mourn in secret, and his enemies triumph, saying, aha! So would we have it!  Truly it is a serious thing to occasion the ruin of a Church of Christ!  If any must defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy!

LEWIS LEANORD, Moderator.

ARCHIBALD MACLAY, Clerk. 

================================ 

CORRESPONDING LETTER. 

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

DEARLY BELOVED,

Through the tender mercy, of our God, we have been favored with another opportunity of meeting in association, and hearing from our several churches.  Some of them have experienced, since our last meeting, some additions; others seem to be wading through with serious trials; but we are happy to learn that they generally stand fast in the faith, and still retain a degree of the unity of the spirit.  We have also enjoyed a comfortable interview through the present session; and we would inform you that we wish to continue our correspondence with you, and sincerely wish to be more faithful in punctually sending our messengers and minutes:  We wish to remind our brethren to do the same; while we subscribe ourselves, ours in the best of Bonds.  By order of the Association,

WILLIAM WARREN,  Moderator.

HERMAN HERVEY, Clerk.

Catskill:
PRINTED AT THE OFFICE OF THE CATSKILL RECORDER.
1922.


1827

Minutes
of the

Rensselaerville
Baptist Association
held in the County Line Meeting House
in Florida,
on the 10th & 11th October, 1827.
 

With their Circular and Corresponding Letters.

At 10 o’clock, A. M. The Ministers and brethren composing this Association, met agreeable to appointment, and heard the introductory sermon delivered by ELIJAH HERRICK, from Titus ii, 14.  Brother Marshal prayed. (Those appointed to preach the introductory sermon both failed.)

Chose BURGON CARPENTER, Moderator, and HERMON HERVEY, Scribe.  Adjourned for a recess of thirty minutes.

Convened pursuant to adjournment.  Prayer by brother WICKES.  Letters from the churches were read and the following list taken.

[N. B. Ordained Ministers’ names in small capitals, those marked thus * not present, a dash (-----) denotes the church not represented, + denotes no settled minister.]

CHURCHES

MESSENGERS.

Restored

Baptized.

Received by letter.

Dismissed by Letter

Excluded

Died

Present No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Bern,

EPHRAIM CROCKER,

 

 

 

4

 

1

70

 

Dea. Noah St. John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dea. Levi Lincoln

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reuben Winegar, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Crocker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville

JOHN WINANS

 

 

 

3

 

 

81

 

Sam. Coon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Church Westerlo

*Adam Clark

 

2

 

1

1

1

82

 

J. Slade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dea. David Lockwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. Ford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d Church Westerlo

*REED BURRIT

 

 

1

5

2

1

93

 

JOSIAH BAKER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amiel Mabey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isaac Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenville

*WILLIAM STEWART

 

 

 

 

 

 

112

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broome

LEVI STREETER

 

 

 

2

4

1

96

 

David Jackson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern & Knox

SAMUEL HARE

 

9

2

 

 

1

93

 

Deacon D. Crary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Gibbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornelius Sebury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Ripley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh & Florida

C. HOWE

 

2

4

2

1

 

89

 

Deacon H. Shute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon J. Herrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon W. Herrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. F. D. Vedder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durham

HERMAN HERVEY,

 

 

1

3

1

 

74

 

Russel Hervey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston

ELIJAH HERRICK

 

 

7

10

3

3

229

 

Deacon John Wilcox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set off to form a Church

Deacon Abner Thorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in Schoharie, 57

James Chalmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rufus Pierson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cairo+

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit

JAMES INGALS

1

3

1

7

1

1

94

 

B. B. Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roderick R. Levalley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Church Middleburgh

*Daniel M. Garvey

1

 

 

2

2

 

35

 

*Elder JONAH TODD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+Schoharie

Pelet Nethaway

 

 

 

2

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+Canajoharie

Deacon John Phelps

2

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

Edward Churchill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Butler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+Sharon

Richard Sutphan

 

 

 

 

1

 

41

 

Isaac H. Ismay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middletown and Roxbury

*James Mead

 

 

 

 

 

 

57

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d Middleburgh

BURTON CARPENTER

 

 

1

1

 

 

25

 

Azariah Weed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebenezer Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New-Balitmore

EBENEZER WICKS

 

 

2

 

 

 

35

 

Deacon Mathew Palmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon Wm. Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Covey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+2d Church Schoharie{}

Deacon Moses Piersons

 

 

 

 

 

 

59

 

John Brand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benoni Bradway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

16

19

42

16

9

1436

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{} This church joined this session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                              Received from Corresponding Associations

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSOCIATIONS AND MESSENGERS

No. of Ministers

Minutes of the year

No. of Churches

Baptized

Total

Shaftsbury -- Marshall, Beal, 2 years' minutes

17

1827

26

167

2546

Warwick

8

1826

18

27

1467

Hartford

 

 

 

 

 

Stonington

16

1826

15

37

3206

Franklin -- Elijah Spafford

15

1827

24

83

2007

Otsego -- Henry Shute, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

Hudson River

23

1826

16

69

2174

Madison

33

1826

39

418

4403

Saratoga -- William E. Waterbury

12

1827

22

52

2518

New London

 

 

 

 

 

Union

 

 

 

 

 

Westfield

17

1826

21

250

1536

Oneida

19

1826

26

303

2295

Messengers from Corresponding Associations were invited to a seat.

Resolved, That the Circular prepared by brother Wickes, and the Corresponding Letter prepared by Hervey, be referred to the following committee, viz.—Hare, Herrick, Howe, and the authors.

Resolved, That we appoint a committee to examine the Minutes of Corresponding Associations, distribute them, and notice remarkable occurrences; and also report the state of religion in this Association, and that R. Hervey Deacon Crary, Winegar and Lockwood be this committee.

Adjourned to 9 o’clock to-morrow.  Prayer by Moderator.  Preaching at various places this evening.

October 11th, 1827, met pursuant to adjournment; meeting opened by prayer by brother Hare.

Read the Circular and Corresponding Letters.

Resolved, That they be adopted and printed with our Minutes.

The committee on letters reports as follows:--Whereas at our last session we received and gave the hand of fellowship to Richard C. Shimeall, as a Minister of this Association, and now being informed that the church in Westerlo to which he belonged, have in consequence of his apostasy from the faith withdrawn from him the hand of fellowship,

Resolved, That we also withdraw from him our fellowship as a member of this Association.

On motion of the committee,

Resolved, That we unite as a member of the State Convention, and send our liberalities by the hand of our delegate.

Whereas the Mission concern has lost much of its interest in the views of many of the members of the churches, even a t at time that God is doing much in setting an open door before his ministers, giving them free access to heathen lands and hearts, by the late Burman war, and revolutions of the states of South American, and the success that God has given to Mission exertions at the various posts that have been occupied, decidedly urges the necessity of doing something; therefore we advise all the churches to consider themselves under an obligation as so many Mission Societies already organized, to obtain all they can by subscriptions, donations, or contributions, at every preaching post, and forward it at our next Session.

The committee appointed to examine the letters of the Churches and Minutes of Corresponding Associations, report as follows, viz:--1st. On examining the letters from the Churches, we find that some have experienced a few mercy drops, but coldness and lukewarmness greatly prevail.  Brethren, why is it so? our God is unchangeable, therefore we would exhort you in the words of the Apostle, awake thou that sleepeth, arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.

2d. We notice in the Franklin minutes the name of David Smith; in Saratoga minutes, Phineas Culven; in Oneida, Ebenezer S. Hulbert, Samuel Monger, John Smith, D. A. Balcomb, Peter Randolph, (alias Randall) and Samuel Gunter, who have forfeited their ministerial characters.

At 11 o’clock adjourned for preaching.

Sermon by brother Spafford, from 2d. Cor. xii. 11, Finally brethren farewell.  Be perfect, &c.  After which a collection was taken for Mission purposes of $15 62 1-2.

Appointed delegates to Corresponding Associations.

Shaftsbury—Hare, in Pownal, 3rd Wednesday June.

Warwick—Streeter, 2d Wednesday June.

Hartford, Stonington, New-London, and Union send minues.

Franklin—Winans, at Franklin, 3rd Wednesday June.

Saratoga—Herrick, Parsons, Milton (Place of holding the session.),Thorp, Shute, last Wednesday June.

Otsego—Howe, Herrick, Shute, 1st Wednesday Sept.

Hudson River—Hervey, Wickes, Stewart, 1st Wednesday August.

Madison—Streeter, Church, Hare, 2d. Wednesday Sept.

Resolved, That we send one copy of our Minutes by mail to each Association, desiring them to do the same by us, superscribed to the Clerk.

Appointed brother Hare to write the Circular, and brother Howe the Corresponding Letter.

Resolved, That our next session be held with the 2d Baptist Church in Schoharie, at Slone’s village, on the 2d Wednesday in October 1828.

Brother Hervey preach the introductory sermon; brother Howe in case of failure.

Resolved, That brother Hervey superintend printing the Minutes, and distribute them.

Resolved, That brother Herrick be our delegate to the convention.

Appointed supplies for Canajoharie.

Herrick, last sabbath in October, Howe, second in November, Spafford, the first fifth Sabbath, Carpenter, second fifth sabbath.

Resolved, That the money on hand be given to the convention.

Granted the request of the Broome church to be dismissed to join the Lexington Association.

Adjourned to the 2d Wednesday in October, 1828.

 

Money contributed for Mission purposes.

 

 

Second Church in Westerlo,

14.97

 

Bern and Knox,

4.31

 

Durham,

3.43

 

Charleston,

7.95

 

Female Society,

7.47

 

Second Church in Schoharie,

2.15

 

The collection.

15.62

 

 

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

 

 

$55.90

 

 

 

After the business of the Association was closed, brother Marshal, preached from Acts x, 33, Now therefore are we all here present before God, &c.  After which, brother Olmsted (agent for Oneida Indian school, addressed the congregation on that subject.  

CIRCULAR LETTER.

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

DEAR BRETHREN IN THE LORD,--

It is one of the most important points that concerns the Church of Christ, to be rooted and grounded in the truth.  We would therefore address you on this Anniversary upon the humiliating doctrine of free and sovereign grace; as no subject at present appears to us of greater importance to commend to your devout attention, nor to the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom, the growth of Zion, the unity of the Church, the fall of Anti-christ, the declarative honor and glory of God, and the consolation of every true believer in the world; hence we find that Paul in his letter to his Ephesian brethren, 2d chap. 4th and 5th verses, writes as follows: “But God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,” (by grace ye are saved.)

Beloved brethren, we would in the first place invite your attention to the rich mercy and distinguishing love of God, towards his people while dead in sins.  2d. To the operation of his powerful love in quickening us together with Christ, and 3dly that salvation in every sense is of grace.

Love is an essential property of Jehovah, 1st John v. 8, God is love.  This is the most powerful active principle that comes within the reach of our knowledge, and is manifest in a peculiar manner in its effect; for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John iii. 16.  What a striking declaration of the love of God is here, and what can be more certain than that the whole design, or the extensive plan of man’s redemption originated in the love of God, and the love of God to the world was good will, compassion and benevolence; for God commended his love towards, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, Rom. v. 8.  How rich is his mercy, how boundless is his love.

The apostle to illustrate the immensity of the love of God, shows that if a righteous man, one of strict integrity, who had committed no crime against the welfare of the community, were about to be put to death, there would scarcely be a person found who would consent to die in his stead, though it might be for a good man, one of extensive philanthropy, whose life had been and was likely to be a public blessing, some might even venture to sacrifice their lives in his stead.  This indeed would be a rare instance; but the very summit of human affections, yet immensely beneath the love of God; for he who should give up his life in such a case would do it for a superior and a friend, and ensure honor and applause at his death.  But the infinitely glorious God had commended or set off to the utmost advantage his love to us, in that his incarnate and co-equal Son gave himself to endure the most shameful and ignominious death for those who were infinitely beneath him; even ungrateful rebels and impenitent sinners, whose state of heart rendered them the objects of his abhorrence.  Yet he freely loved them and purposed their salvation, and when his justice and holiness obstructed the gracious designs, he so loved them that he withheld not the sacrifice that justice required, viz: His beloved Son to die a sacrifice for their sins.  Thus the love of God is manifest, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, Ephe. iii. 11. intending the salvation of his people.

Secondly, the extensive love of God is manifest in prosecuting the grand design by the powerful operation of his Holy Spirit, in quickening us together with Christ; and you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. ii. 1. God’s people are not virtually quickened merely by Christ’s dying for them, but the spirit finds them dead in trespasses and sins, which implies an utter incapacity for spiritual employment and satisfaction.  They may be philosophers, or take delight in carnal amusements, but cannot find satisfaction in the employment of a saint, whilst they are children of wrath even as others.  Should we tread the while circle of divine truth, and take great pains, we should find no language more emphatical to designate the state of the unregenerate then death.  It then remains that they must be quickened or their state is never changed, and it is evident that work of regeneration is independently of God, as the apostle describes it; you hath he quickened.  Does Jehovah call upon an archangel to assist him in this work? No. Does he call upon the Ministers of the Gospel to assist him in his work? No.  Does he call upon the unregenerate to assist him in this work? No.—Who then but God shall officiate? To whom belongeth quickening power but God?  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will, John v. 21st. and as Jesus trod the wine press of the fierceness of his Father’s wrath alone, so his independent grace is free and sovereignly extended to quicken the dead, which is the first and only cause of a genuine conviction of sin.  Quickening implies a divine life.  It is emphatically regeneration; it makes the soul perceptive of spiritual things; it lays a foundation of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and a reception of Gospel truth.  It is indeed the word that revealeth to the quickened soul God manifest in the flesh, or in other words, the way of salvation or Jesus Christ our righteousness.  Thus it appears that the Gospel is a means that God hath appointed to communicate the knowledge of what God hath already wrought in the soul by the quickening spirit, or in other words bring us understandingly to the knowledge of the truth; and not a means in any shape of regenerating souls, for as is our gratuitous election so is our gratuitous quickening or regeneration, by which we are quickened together with Christ by virtue of his resurrection, with life communicated from him by the Holy Spirit.

In the third place, a few remarks may be offered relative to salvation being in every sense of grace.  Grace implies an unmerited favor, and as it relates to the salvation of God’s people, they are hereby considered objects of mercy; hence we conclude that it is an infinite favor, that God who is infinitely happy without praise from other men or angels to add to his essential glory, and would ever have been just in punishing sin with the severity of his wrath, should still regard the workmanship of his hands, that he should not withhold the best gift that heaven could afford to satisfy divine justice, and on the same ground bestow the riches of his mercy in pardoning the enormous guilt of offending sinners, and adopt them into the family of heaven, and make them heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.  To what, brethren, can we attribute this stoop of divine benevolence, but to the effect of divine love, or the free and sovereign grace of God, (for by grace ye are saved.)  Thus when this miraculous work of grace is wrought by the Divine Spirit in the soul the man is truly born of God; and it is the same spirit that applies the doctrine and promises of which deliverance is obtained, Christ is revealed, and thus the man is truly brought into the liberty of the sons of God, and like a new born babe, desires the sincere milk of the word.  You therefore see the difference between regeneration and the knowledge of the truth; the former is the giving a principle of life from Christ, the latter a deliverance or turning to visible, active life.  You likewise perceive the harmony and beauty of the Holy Spirit; for he who produced the humanity of Christ the HEAD, necessarily forms every member of his spiritual body, the Church; and thus is accomplished that ancient prophecy of Christ, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand, Isa. lix. 10.  Brethren, is not his all of grace?  Again it is written, the Lord gave the word; then this word is an unerring word, and from this consideration it is refreshing to every true believer and the only rule for faith and practice.  We remark, that while strict attention is paid to the word it proves a salvation to the Church, as under the care, protection and direction of the great lawgiver wherein her safety our salvation depends.  Hence it appears that the word is a gift of God and proves savory to the Church through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth, (by grace ye are saved).  We might enumerate many cases relative to the people of God being dependant on his grace, but our limits forbid.  We shall only state, that our justification, preservation, sanctification and reception to glory, depends entirely on free and sovereign grace.

In closing this epistle to you brethren, we shall call your attention to this humiliating doctrine of Divine sovereignty.  Notwithstanding it is in every sense contrary to our natures, yet it is the only cover from the wrath of God—the only source of solid joy and happiness.  It is the only ground of our acceptance with God; it is the only theme in which saints shall exceed angels, and the only way by which God can possibly receive all the glory of the salvation of sinners.  Then let us unitedly join to celebrate the wonders of Divine grace, while we dwell in this tabernacle of clay, that we may at last come in as a shock of corn in its season, fully ripe, made vessels fit for the master’s use.  

CORRESPONDING LETTER.  

The Rensselaerville Baptist Association to the Associations with whom we correspond, send Christian salutation.

BELOVED BRETHREN IN THE LORD

It is with a degree of pleasure that we view the arrival of another Anniversary season wherein we have an opportunity to reciprocate with you in the mutual interchange of Messengers and Minutes; that we may hear of the welfare of Zion and strengthen each other’s hands in the good work of the Lord.  This work is a very important work—a work on which the declarative glory of God and the happiness of mankind much depends.  And we would greet you as fellow laborers in the good work of the Lord, for ye are workers together with God, and we ought to be exercised with gratitude to God and ardent zeal in the cause of universal reform.  And may we not learn from what God is now doing, that he is calling his people forth to activity in making war with the kingdom of error.  Has he not given evidence that he will bless his own institutions and his own ministry, in illuminating the dark places of the earth.

Our present session has been harmonious, and although it is in general a cold season, yet some mercy drops have fallen on some of the churches, for which we would desire to be thankful.  We wish to continue our correspondence with you, and would heartily desire that there may be in future less failure, both in the interchange of messengers and minutes.

(Signed)

BURTON CARPENTER, Moderator

HERMON HERVEY, Clerk.


1828

Minutes
of the
Thirtieth Anniversary
of the
RENSSELAERVILLE
Baptist Association
held in the Baptist Meeting House in 

Slonesville, Town of Schoharie,
on the 8th and 9th October 1828.

With their Circular and Corresponding Letters.

Agreeably to appointment, at 10 o’clock A. M. elder HERMON HERVEY delivered the introductory sermon from 2d of Corinth. v. 19. to wit;--that God was, in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Chose SAMUEL HARE Moderator, and HERMON HERVEY Scribe.  Prayer by brother HOWE.  Adjourned for a recess of forty minutes.  Convened, and after prayer by the moderator, the letters from the churches were read, and the following list taken.

[N. B. Ordained ministers’ names in small capitals; those marked thus * not present; a dash (-----) denotes the church not represented, + denotes no settled minister.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHURCHES

MESSENGERS.

Restored

Baptized.

Received by   letter.

Dismissed by Letter

Excluded

Died

Present No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville and Bern,

*EPHRAIM CROCKER,

 

1

1

1

 

 

71

 

Deacon Levi Lincoln

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville

*JOHN WINANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

181

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Church Westerlo

ADAM CLARK

 

1

 

 

1

2

180

 

John Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abihan Winegard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d Church Westerlo

JOSIAH BAKER

1

1

 

4

2

 

89

 

*REED BURRIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Dillamarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isaac Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenville

WILLIAM STEWART

 

1

 

6

1

1

80

 

Joshua Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elkana Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern and Knox

SAMUEL HARE

 

7

1

 

1

1

99

 

Deacon Daniel Crary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Gibbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornelius Sebury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobart Ribley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh and Florida

CHARLES HOWE

 

 

 

2

 

 

88

 

Deacon Henry Shute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Herrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W. Herrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesse Abbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R. T. Canniff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malachi Merry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durham

HERMAN HERVEY,

 

2

 

 

 

 

76

 

Deacon Obed Hervey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lonzo Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russel Hervey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston

ELIJAH HERRICK

 

2

 

14

4

2

211

 

Deacon Abner Thorp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Merril

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyman Haughton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calvin Herrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cairo

+Letter by H. Hervey

 

1

 

 

 

1

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit

+Ebenezer Osborn, Jun.||

 

 

 

45

 

 

48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Middleburgh

*JONAH TODD

1

1

 

1

1

2

33

 

Elijah Crippin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titus Dickerson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Schoharie

+Simeon Barner

 

 

 

 

 

1

20

 

Peter Kniscarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pelet Nethaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canajoharie

+John Phelps, Jun.

1

1

1

 

 

 

17

 

George Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Churchill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon

Isaac H. Esmay

 

2

 

 

 

1

43

 

John Hallenbeck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Sutfin, Jun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

&Middletown and Roxbury

*JAMES MEAD, Letter

 

56

4

3

3

1

112

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2d Middleburgh

+Letter with no

 

 

1

2

 

 

21

 

messengers inserted