Rensselaerville Baptist
Association

1840-1849


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


1841

MINUTES

OF THE

FORTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY

OF THE

RENSSELAERVILLE BAPTIST ASSOCIATION,

HELD WITH THE CHURCH AT SLOANSVILLE,

September 15th and 16th, 1841.

FULTONVILLE:--PRINTED BY T. R. HORTON.

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

RULES OF ORDER.

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

I. The Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer, shall be annually chosen, by ballot, immediately after reading the letters and credentials; those of the former year continuing in office till the choice is made.

II. At every sitting, business shall be opened and concluded with prayer by the Moderator, or whomsoever he may request.

III. The Moderator shall nominate all Committees, unless he prefer that the Association do it.

IV Ministers present, invited to a seat with us, may debate on all subjects, but vote on none.

V. No member of the Association shall absent himself without leave of the Moderator.

VI. No subject shall be discussed without a motion first made and seconded.

VII. No person shall speak oftener than twice on any motion, unless by permission of the Moderator.

VIII. Motions made and lost, shall not be recorded upon the Minutes, except so ordered at the time.

IX. If, when a motion has been made and seconded, a member opposed its being discussed, the Moderator shall immediately put the question, ”Shall this question be discussed?” which, if negatived, the subject shall be dismissed.

X. If any proposition or motion under debate contain two or more points, it shall be divided at the request of any member, and the vote taken separately.

XI. Arrangements for the next Anniversary shall not be attended to until the second day of the session.

XII. The Minutes shall be leisurely read and corrected before the rising of the Association.

XIII. These rules shall be distinctly read from the Chair, immediately after the organization of the Association. 

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 15th, 1841

1. The association convened at 10 o’clock. A. M., when, according to appointment, the introductory Sermon was delivered by Bro. Stephen Jones, from Phil. i. 6.

2. Appointed W. C. Child, G. C. Baldwin, and S. Jones, a Committee of arrangements.,

3. Appointed Brethren D. B. Hervey, G. W. Eaton, and A. Griffin, a Committee to nominate a Board of Officers for the ensuing year.

4. Resolved, That the letters from the Churches be handed in to the Clerk during intermission.

5. Adjourned for an hour.  Prayer by Eld. John Peck.

6. Met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by G. C. Baldwin.

7. The epistles from the Churches were read, from which were taken the following statistics.

The names of ordained Ministers are in small capitals; those of Licentiates in italics.  A ----- denotes no settled Minister. Those not present are marked thus (*). 

CHURCHES AND CLERKS.

DELEGATES.

Restored.

Baptized.

Received by letter.

Dismissed by Letter.

Excluded.

Died.

Total.

Rensselaerville and Bern,
  W. Bates.

R. WINEGAR, Jun.

 

3

3

1

3

 

84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville,
  E. Wicks.

S. PADDOCK, E. W. Brownell,
------- ------- -------

1

 

 

1

 

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Westerlo,
  K. Bennet.

L. O. LOVELL, Dea. D. Lockwood, A. Griffin, B'n C. P. Lawpaugh, K Bennet

 

 

3

6

9

1

182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenville,
  S. Stevens.

E. R. PINNEY, Dea. W. Stevens, Bro. C. T. Rowe, S. Stevens, (dropped 24)

 

 

 

2

8

3

114

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Westerlo,
  T. S. Robbins

W. C. CHILD, Isaac Baker

 

2

 

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern and Knox,
  J. Gibbs.

Br'n G. W. Eaton, R. Philips, L. Philips, E. Crary

 

1

 

1

 

1

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh and Florida,
  J. Herrick

*C. HERRICK, Dea'n H. Shute, J. Herrick

 

4

 

 

 

1

79

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston,
  J. Merrill.

E. HERRICK, G. C. Baldwin, Dea. H. Lord, and J. Wilcox, Br'n J. Merrill, R. Baird

 

11

6

16

2

2

153

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sloansville,
  N. Partridge.

J.J. Teeple, Licent. Dn. B.
   Bradway (dropped 11)
Br'n J. Topping, E. Topping, R.
  Brand, Wm. Armer

 

 

 

5

1

 

91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Baltimore,
  J. Holly.

Timothy Palmer, Licen. Dea. H.
  Van O'Blenis
Br'n J. Holley, E. W. Covey, J.
  Powell, (dropped 3)

1

12

3

9

1

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Durham,
   H. M. Hervey.

S. JONES, Br'n S. Beech, D. B.
  Hervey

1

19

6

 

 

 

88

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middleburgh,
   T. P. Smith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TREASURER'S ACCOUNT

RECEIVED OF DIFFERENT CHURCHES AND SOCIETIES AS FOLLOWS:

 

Convent.

R. Miss.

Min.

Total.

Rensselaerville and Bern,

5 50

 

1 50

7 00

Rensselaerville,

8 00

 

1 50

9 50

1st Westerlo,

6 75

20 51

2 25

29 51

Greenville,

19 56

14 00

2 42

35 98

South Westerlo,

7 00

6 28

1 00

14 28

Bern and Knox,

14 47

 

1 75

16 22

Duanesburgh and Florida,

3 75

3 75

2 00

9 50

Charleston,

16 75

5 53

2 50

24 03

Sloansville,

9 00

 

1 37

10 37

New Baltimore Bible Society, $1.00

3 56

7 12

1 50

12 18

South Durham,

10 00

10 26

2 00

22 26

Middleburgh,

 

 

50

50

1st Westerlo Female Missionary Society,

 

25 50

 

25 50

New Baltimore  do.         do.          do.

 

 

 

 

Rensselaer and Bern      do.          do.

1 50

 

 

1 50

Sloansville                      do.          do.

7 81

 

 

7 81

Duanesburgh & Florida   do.          do.

9 05

 

 

9 05

Charleston       do.         do.  (one box of

 

 

 

 

   books for most needy Indian station N.Y.

37 00

 

 

37 00

Deacon Kimbal--Bible Society $9.00

 

 

1 00

1 00

First Contribution at Association,

32 22

 

 

32 22

Second     do.             do. 

100 00

 

 

100 00

 

291 92

92 95

21 29

$405 41

8. On the presentation of two letters from the Sloansville Church, it was Resolved, that a Committee be appointed to whom the letters be referred; and that Breth’n L. O. Lovel, S. Jones, James Gibbs, D. Corwin, S. Palmer, D. B. Hervey, Wm. Stevens, C. P. Lawpaugh, A. Griffin, and E. Herrick, compose said Committee.

9. The Committee appointed to nominate a Board of Officers, reported as follows:  R. Winegar, jun. Moderator, E. R. Pinney, Clerk, G. W. Eaton, Treasurer; which were duly elected for the ensuing year.

10. Rules of order were read by the Moderator.

11. Heard from Corresponding Associations. 

Associations.

Received from.

Appointed to.

Franklin,

 

E. Pinney,

Hudson River,

J. B. Cook and Minutes,

R. Winnegar, S. Jones,

Saratoga,

D. Corwin and Minutes,

H. Shute, H. Lord, G. C.
  Baldwin,

Worcester,

Br. House, G. Post, Eld. Tremain,

E. R Pinney,

Jefferson Union,

Br'n. Bates and Powers,

S. Jones, S. Palmer,

Dutchess,

 

J. Peck, S. Jones,

Madison,

John Peck,

J. Peck,

Otsego,

 

 

Oneida,

 

W. C. Child,

Cortland,

 

 

Broom and Tioga,

 

 

Stephentown,

Harris and Peck,

E. R. Pinney,

Shaftesbury,

Elder House,

 

Lake George,

 

H. Reynolds.

12. Visiting Brethren, present, not delegated to the Association were invited to take a part with us in our deliberations.  J. W. Gibbs and E. M. K. Glen, accepted the invitation.

13. Eld. John Peck, reported himself as Agent of the N. York State Convention, and also of the American Home Mission Society, and made some remarks.

14. Committee of arrangements invited Eld. Peck to preach to-morrow, at 11 o’clock, A. M., and a collection be taken for the Convention.

15. Appointed W. C. Child, L. O. Lovell, and S. Paddock, with the author, a committee to examine the circular letter.

16. Appointed H. Reynolds, K. Bennet, and W. C. Brownell, a committee to examine minutes of corresponding Associations.

17. Resolved, that the Treasurer be directed to remit the money and goods in his hands, to the different Societies for which they are designated.

18. Appointed G. C. Galdwin to superintend the printing and distribution of the minutes.

19. Resolved, That whenever a member of this Association shall be present at the Session of a corresponding Association, such member, presenting a copy of our last minutes, containing his name, shall be considered our delegate.

20. Appointed E. R. Pinney, L. O. Lovell, and J. Baker, the Missionary Committee for the ensuing year.

21. Appointed K. Bennet, L. O. Lovell, and J. Baker, a committee of resolutions.

22. Appointed J. Shuter, R. Philips and J. Merrill, a committee for the appraisal of goods for the Convention.

23. Appointed E. R. Pinney and S. Jones our delegates to the New York State Convention.

24. Rsolved, That $100 of the funds of this Association be applied to constitute Rev. E. R. Pinney a life-director in the Board of the New York State Convention.

25. The Missionary Committee reported, viz: That they recommend an appropriation of $50 to the Church at Durham; and $50 to the church at South Westerlo, provided they have preaching during the year.  These requests were granted by the Board of the convention.

Report accepted and adopted.                C. HERRICK, Ch’n.

26. Adjourned until to-morrow morning.  Prayer by Elder Seaman.

27. Met pursuant to adjournment.  Prayer by Eld. Corwin.

28. The committee on Bethel Baptist Church, New York city, reported as follows:  They find it involved in so much difficulty, on account of its long standing and intricacy, that they recommend to the Association to drop the matter.   S. JONES, Ch’n.

29. Appointed Breth’n Lockwood, Griffin and Shutes a committee to make arrangements for next year.

30. The committee on the circular letter report, that they have heard it read, fellowship its sentiments, and recommend its adoption by the Association, and publication in the Minutes.

Report accepted and letter adopted.     W. CHILDS, Ch’n.

31. The committee on Minutes of Association, reported.  In view of the fact, that there are many professing to be members in good standing in Baptist churches, and have letters certifying the same, yet retain them in their own hands, thus virtually disfellowshipping the church within whose bounds they live.  Therefore, Resolved, That the churches within whose bounds such persons reside, be recommended not to invite them to participate in the privileges of the church, in case they retain their letters after the term of one year.  And that the churches also be requested to report their delinquency to such churches as have given them letters.

32. Committee on Resolutions reported as follows:--

1. Resolved,That the tendency of all intoxicating drinks is to derange the bodily functions; to harden the heart, sear the conscience, destroy domestic peace, excite men to the commission of crime, waste human life and destroy souls; and the rebukes and warnings of God in his word, in connection with every law of self-preservation, and of love, impose on every man a solemn obligation to cease for ever from their manufacture, sale and use as a beverage, and also to cease from furnishing the materials for making intoxicating drinks.  And that, whereas some of our brethren are engaged in vending, and using them as a beverage:  therefore, Resolved, that we recommend to the individuals composing our Churches, to put forth immediate efforts by kind persuasion and Christian admonition, to induce their brethren to abandon immediately the use of all alcoholic drinks.

2. Resolved, That this Association retains undiminished confidence in the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York; and most heartily approve of the labors of the Board of Directors, in assisting feeble Churches sustaining Missionaries among the destitute, promoting Indian reform, and in assisting the American Home Mission Society in their philanthropic efforts:  and that we hereby pledge ourselves to pray for all under their patronage, and contribute liberally for their support.             K. BENNET, Ch’n.

33. Report of Committee on Sloansville Letters, as follows:--Your Committee recommend that the letter signed by N. Partridge, be recognized as the letter form the Sloansville Baptist church.  They would reject the other letter on the following grounds:--1st For a violation of covenant on the part of Elder HARE, in withdrawing from the church.  2d. For his breaking bread to a part of the church and their receiving the same at his hands, thus, without there having been any previous discipline, causing or supporting a division of the church.

It is said that the division is on doctrine,--But your committee do not so understand it.  1st.  Because they have the same articles of faith, which they had when in union.  2d.  Because some of the old Brethren, sound in the faith, together with Father HERRICK, are in fellowship with those brethren whose letter we recommend.

Your committee are aware that in all churches, there are young and uninformed members; but, they think that the Apostle Paul would not, therefore, have divided a church, but would have fed the babes with milk until they could have borne strong meat.

L. O. LOVELL, Ch’n.

34. Suspended business, while Elder J. Peck preached from 1st Tim. i. ii.; after which a collection was taken amounting to $32.33 cts.

35. On motion of Elder Pinney of Greenville, accompanied by a few soul-stirring remarks; Resolved, That in view of the pressing wants of the Convention, and our own previous delinquency, we raise by contributions of $5 and under, the sum of $100 in addition to the collection just taken, for its support.  The resolution was carried, and the sum immediately raised.

36. Adjourned 30 minutes.

37. Met pursuant to adjournment.  Prayer by Elder Gibbs.

38. Report of the committee on Sloansville Church, considered.  It was accepted and adopted.

39. Appointed R. Winegar, W. C. Child, E. Herrick and S. Jones, as delegates to the American Home Mission Society.

40. Resolved, That the following be adopted as standing Resolutions.

1. Resolved, That we recommend to the individuals composing the Churches of this body, that they endeavor to elevate the standard of piety and usefulness in their respective churches, make more vigoruous efforts to promote the interests of Sabbath Schools; and, by their prayers, alms, and united exertions, give greater efficiency to all the benevolent institutions connected with our denomination.

2. Resolved, That we regard the cause of Ministerial Education worthy of our countenance and support, and recommend that our brethren who give promise of usefulness in the ministry, be sought out, and encouraged to avail themselves of the means afforded for their improvement.

3. Resolved, That while we rejoice in the success of the Foreign Mission cause hitherto, under a gracious Providence, we would respectfully recommend to the churches that enlargement of their contributions, and also to observe the first Sabbath evening of each month as a concert for prayer for that object, and that a collection for Foreign Missions be taken at the close of public service on that day.

4. Resolved, That we cordially approve of the American & Foreign Bible Society, and that we are called upon as christians and philanthropists to promote its interests, by fervent prayers and liberal contributions; also recommend to each of the churches of this body to form Societies auxiliary to that Society.

5. Resolved, That this Association regards the formation of the American Bap. Pub. And S. S. Society, as an event of deep interest, and recommend it to the patronage of our churches.  That we heartily approve of the selection made for the location of the society, and we hope that it will enjoy a full share in the sympathies, prayers, and contributions for the churches.

41. Resolved, That we hold our next meeting with the Greenville Church.

42. Committee of arrangements, reported as follows:--Appointed Elder G. C. Baldwin to preach introductory Sermon, Elder C. Herrick his alternate; Elder L. O. Lovell to write the circular letter.     D. LOCKWOOD, Ch’n.

43. Resolved, That this Association, viewing the intimate connection between alms and prayers in the conversion of the world, do most earnestly and affectionately recommend to the churches the faithful observance of the first Monday in January, 1842, as a day of fasting and prayer.

44. The Minutes were read and approved.

45. Adjourned to meet with the Greenville Church, on the 3d Wednesday of Sept. 1842, at 10 o’clock, A. M.  Prayer by the Moderator.

               CIRCULAR LETTER.

The Rensselaerville Baptist Association, to the Churches we represent:--

                   DEAR BRETHREN,

We embrace the opportunity of another annual epistle to address a few words of exhortation to you on the duty of Family Religion.  Notwithstanding, in accordance with the distinguishing features of our denominational faith, we do not believe that a connection with any family, or being born of pious parents, gives any title to an inheritance in heaven; yet we do believe that there are important duties devolving on heads of families towards their children, and others committed to their care.  In no relation in life (except in the church) does the religion of Jesus recognize more solemn obligations than between parent and child.

We are bound to do good to all men as we have an opportunity, but over our families we are enjoined to exercise unremitting care.  Here is our first and appropriate field of action, and no day, from the time we become heads of families, till we cease to be such, are we absolved from this obligation.  If religion is needed, and if it affords a blessing to mankind in any condition in life, it is in the domestic relation.  Here nature appears, and operates just as it is, undisguised, and unrestrained.  Here are fixed the habits, that ultimately form the character.  And while this is true, it its evident, that in this relation, there is the most direct access to the heart.  Hence it affords a favorable opportunity for doing that, which, in other circumstances, is attended with far greater difficulties.  Here, grace performs its most extensive work, in changing the current of the mind, and bringing it under the hallowing influence of that divine training; which is the appointed means of reclaiming the soul to God.

While then, brethren, the analogy teaches us that we ought to manifest to our families the blessed influence of piety; and since the Scriptures teach us on this subject, in a sense, equivalent to an injunction, shall we be deemed impertinent if we press, with some urgency, the consideration and practice of this duty?

Again, since we fear, that many who occupy this responsible station, neglect its duties, we can but come to your firesides, in the faithfulness of brethren, and assist you in repairing the decayed altar—to invite you to offer your morning and evening sacrifices to the Father of all your mercies.

Though there are many things implied in family religion, yet we shall have room to note only one or two particulars, and these are such as embrace directly the worship; viz. reading the Bible, and prayer.

If any are so scrupulous as to question their duty in these particulars, we would cite them to a few considerations.  We do not pretend that we have as explicit a command for this duty, as we have for many others, yet we think the divine will is clearly indicated.

We may appeal to you, brethren, in view of the solemn obligations resting on you to train up your children in the fear of the Lord; and again, to the interest that you must feel in their spiritual welfare, while we exhort you to collect them about you, morning and evening, and read the word of God and pray in their presence.  “There are important means of grace, which are plainly implied in the Bible, for the performance of which we have few, if any positive, plain and express precepts.  We are left to gather them from examples of holy men, and various incidental circumstances, such in some degree is the duty of family worship.”  So far as example goes, it must be satisfactory.

Consider the example of Abraham, the father of the faithful.  His family piety is that for which Jehovah blessed him.

“I know Abraham that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the ways of the Lord to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”  Consider the holy determination of Joshua, let Israel do as they may,--as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.  Consider again, the conduct of David when, having been occupied during the day in bringing the ark into Jerusalem, “He returned to bless his household.”

The commendation recorded of Cornelius, is such as any pious house-holder might desire for himself.  “He was a devout man, and one that feared God, with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.”

There are threatenings denounced against those who neglect this duty.  “Pour out thy fury upon the heathen, and upon the families that call not on thy name.”  Isa. x. 25.

In addition to these Scripture testimonies, consider the connection between family worship and other social duties.  With all the faithfulness we can exercise towards our children in giving Bible instruction, if family worship is neglected much of our work is lost.  It is like the husbandman, who casts his seed into the ground and then leaves it to be devoured by the fowls of the air.  On the other hand, the parent who connects family devotion, with family instruction, may confidently hope for success.  We would encourage your, brethren, in the performance of this duty.  Many acknowledge the duty, who still neglect it, in consequence of the difficulties attending it.

The experience the same embarrassment that unstable christians do in the performance of every duty; viz., at some seasons they have  so little devotional feeling, that the task is burdensome.

The easiest way to remove these embarrassments is, first, to have a fixed principle of doing duty despite of difficulties, and when this principle becomes a habit the difficulty in a great measure will disappear.

The fact that they allow trivial affairs to cause them to neglect duty, causes many parents to experience severe embarrassment.  Another hindrance, with which some meet, is the difficulty they find in getting their households in proper order.  Some of the family are absent, or attending to secular concerns, or, at least they seem to take so little interest in the service, that it requires some effort to obtain their attention.  Let parents exercise proper authority over their families, and their attendance will be secured, and if they, themselves feel properly interested, there will be no difficulty in exciting an interest among their children and domestics.  Others think they would perform this duty, were they not so likely to be interrupted, by persons calling on them, for business purposes.

Brethren, are any of you serious in this matter?  If you are we will reason with you a moment.  What would you do if your were engaged in business with another that required the exclusion of a third person for one hour each day?  Would you allow the impertinence of every boy, that might be disposed to intrude upon you, to deprive you from enjoying that private opportunity with your partner?  No.  With whom have you more to do than God?  Or, of how much more importance are the demands of neighbors or business men, than the demands of God, your Creator?

Brethren, if you will make it a fixed regulation in your families, that at particular seasons, you will attend to family devotions, your neighbors will soon find it out.  Strangers may rather be requested to tarry while you pray; or, if calling during your season for devotion, they had better be shut out of your house for a few moments than for God to be excluded from our domestic sanctuary.  There is a story told of Dr. GILL, illustrative of our point.  It was told the King of England that Dr. GILL would attend family devotions at certain hours in spite of all difficulties.  The King resolved to test the matter.  He issued an order for the Doctor’s immediate attendance.  The messenger was instructed to give it to him immediately before prayer time.  He did so.  Having read it the Doctor told the messenger to inform the King, that when he had served his God hew would serve him.

There are others who give as an excuse for neglecting this duty, a very humble reason, viz. “a want of ability.”

People possessing common sense, and all of the organs of speech; having ability to converse with their fellow-creatures; possessed of all requisite fluency, and not able to talk a few moments with the blessed God!  Why so?  Is God dull of apprehension, or does he require us, in our approaches to him, to express ourselves with intellectual precision and correctness?  This will not be urged by any.  But says one, “If I had the gift to pray like such an one, I should have more confidence, for then I could pray to interest others, more than I now can.”  But, Brother, your praying is to please God, and to secure is blessing, and not to please creatures.  But still you think, that if you had a better gift you would perform your duty more faithfully.  Perhaps you would, and perhaps you would be proud of it too.  You might please your fellows, and offend your God by your pompous display, and consequently loose the blessing.

The gift of prayer is much misapprehended.  What goes by that title is often nothing better than verbosity.  That some have more readiness than others in expressing their thoughts is obvious, but they are those who pray most.  And one reason, why many have so little of this desirable ability, is because they cultivate it so little.  It cannot be shown that a prayer is any more acceptable to God, which is expressed pleasingly to us, than one offered in broken language, if it comes from the heart.  “When ye pray use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do, for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.”  Matth. vi. 7.  We hazard nothing in saying that this excuse is often used to cover up a worse defect, viz. the lack of a heart t o pray.  The wickedness of this plea is great.  Others omit this duty for want of time.  They have so much business that they have no time to spend a short season in the worship of God.  In reply to this, although in charity we admit that such persons may not intend all the sin involved in this excuse, still we can but consider it as a characteristic of the most obnoxious impiety.  From whom do we obtain all our time, but from the Lord.  Who gives success in all our undertakings?  How easy were it for God, so to order his providences that we should be put back, double the time requisite for family devotion!  Brethren, we are fast hastening to the bar of God, where a strict account of our stewardship must be given, and we pray you take these excuses into consideration as at that awful tribunal, and inquire how you will answer them there.  The advantages, consequent upon a faithful performance of this duty, are many and great.

Although those who are most remiss, regard this duty as attended with many difficulties, still, those who are habituated to it, find in its performance a sweetness, that makes those moments some of the dearest of their lives.  The domestic circle is one of the dearest, and most sacred, compacts of human association.  Here is enjoyed happiness, superior to which none is found on earth.  Hence the reason why the fruits of sin are so destructive, here, and also why Satan intrudes his embittering influence, to spoil our peace.  Of all the remedies for human woe, religion bears the palm.  Where, then, sin’s bitterest seeds are sown, and Satan’s most destructive work is done, there, this sovereign sanative should be applied.  Suppose a family in a state of turmoil and strife, what is better calculated to allay such feelings, than for all that family to bow before God, confess their sins and implore his forgiveness.  It also gives a sanction to parental authority, which causes a refractory child to fear to disobey his parent.  “How much does our happiness depend on the dutifulness of those who surround, and are under us.  It is by teaching them to regard God, we teach them to regard ourselves, and to be submissive in their places.  Thus, we find them by sanctions, the most powerful, in our absence, as well as in our presence.”  Every member of the family should feel the obligation.  The wife should feel it, as well as the husband.  What hindrances may she not place in the way, even by inattention, when she feels not interested.  The husband is indeed the priest of the little kingdom.  Still there is no impropriety in the mother’s taking the lead in prayer, and at least she ought always to manifest a deep concern in the religious interest of the household.  One great impropriety, sometimes witnessed in families is, that when the Father reads the Bible, in family devotions, females continue at secular occupations, until he has quite finished.  This is an impious infringement upon the service.  Reading the Bible, under such circumstance, ought to be regarded as much an act of worship, as praying; and certainly our sisters could not justify themselves in knitting or sewing, while their husbands are praying.

We send this Annual Epistle to you, brethren and sisters, dictated by brotherly love and kindness, hoping that it may be read and profitably improved.  If any of you, are living without the worship of God in our families, we would affectionately exhort you to commence it immediately.  “Can you dispense with God in your families?”  What are all your schemes, exertions, or, expectations without him.  Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city the watchmen waketh in vain.  It is vain for you to rise up early; to sit up late; to eat the bread of sorrow, for so he giveth his beloved sleep.  How important to secure the blessing of God!  And has he not bound himself by promise and by threatening?  “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked, but he blesseth the habitation of the just.”  What may not be dreaded in the curse of the Almighty!  What not expected from his blessing!  Under the one the evils of life become intolerable.  We sow much and bring home little; we put our wages into bags with holes; our table becomes a snare; our successes gender hurtful lusts, and our prosperity destroys us.  Under the other, a little is better than the riches of many wicked, our trials are alleviated, our comforts are enjoyed with a keen relish, and the voice of rejoicing is heard in the tabernacles of the righteous.  In view, of the obligations we owe to our families, the account we must give at the bar of God, and the solemn scenes we shall participate in, when we meet our children there, towards whose salvation or damnation we must contribute much, let us be careful to maintain God’s worship in our families.  Let us command our children and households after us that they may keep the way of the lord, to do judgment and justice, that the Lord may bring upon us, that which he hath spoken of us.

CORRESPONDING LETTER.

The Rensselaerville Baptist Association, to the Associations with whom we correspond:--

BELOVED BRETHREN:--Favored as we are with another Anniversary, delightful and harmonious, we thank you for the attendance of your Messengers, and the reception of your Minutes, which greatly rejoiced us.  We ask a continuance of correspondence.

R. WINEGAR, Jr., Moderator.

E. R. PINNEY, Clerk.

R. WINEGAR, Jr., Corresponding Secretary,

Rensselaerville, Albany Co., N. Y.


1843

MINUTES

OF THE

FORTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY

OF THE

RENSSELAERVILLE

BAPTIST ASSOCIATION,

HELD WITH

THE SECOND CHURCH IN BROOME,

September 20 and 21, 1843.

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

PRATTSVILLE:

ROBERT H. HILL, PRINTER & STEREOTYPER.

1843.

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

RULES OF ORDER.

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

I. The Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer, shall be annually chosen, by ballot, immediately after reading the letters and credentials; those of the former year continuing in office till the choice is made.

II. At every sitting, business shall be opened and concluded with prayer by the Moderator, or whomsoever he may request.

III. The Moderator shall nominate all Committees, unless he prefer that the Association do it.

IV Ministers present, invited to a seat with us, may debate on all subjects, but vote on none.

V. No member of the Association shall absent himself without leave of the Moderator.

VI. No subject shall be discussed without as motion first made and seconded.

VII. No person shall speak oftener than twice on any motion, unless by permission of the Moderator.

VIII. Motions made and lost, shall not be recorded upon the Minutes, except so ordered at the time.

IX. If, when a motion has been made and seconded, a member opposed its being discussed, the Moderator shall immediately put the question, ”Shall this question be discussed?” which, if negatived, the subject shall be dismissed.

X. If any proposition or motion under debate contain two or more points, it shall be divided at the request of any member, and the vote taken separately.

XI. Arrangements for the next Anniversary shall not be attended to until the second day of the session.

XII. The Minutes shall be leisurely read and corrected before the rising of the Association.

XIII. These rules shall be distinctly read from the Chair, immediately after the organization of the Association.

 

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

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 20th, 1843.

1. The association convened at 10 o’clock. A. M.  Eld. Wm. Hodgson preached the introductory sermon from Ps. 68: 11.

2. Appointed Eld. Wm. Hodgson, Thos. Stokes, and M. House, a Committee of arrangements.,

3. Appointed P. Tinklepaugh, J. I. Hungerford, and I. Baker, committee to nominate a Board of Officers for the ensuing year.

4. Heard a part of the Letter from the Churches.

5. Adjourned for forty-five minutes.  Prayer by Father E. Herrick.

Afternoon Session.

6. Met pursuant to adjournment.  Prayer by Eld. Hervey.

7. The remaining epistles were then read.  The following are the statistics from the several churches.

N.B.  The names of ordained ministers are in SMALL CAPITALS; Licentiates in Italics; a ----- denotes no settled Pastor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHURCHES AND CLERKS.

DELEGATES.

Rec'd by Ex.

Restored.

Immersed.

Received by Letter.

Dismissed by letter.

Excluded.

Died.

Present No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Rensselaerville,
Wm. Bates.

J. H. Morrison, M. Frink, S. Lounsbury, T. Airies, D. Lincoln.

 

 

2

2

1

2

 

121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Preston Hollow,
E. Wieks.

J. J. TEEPLE, Deas. S. Ford and P. Tinklepaugh, P. Winans, B. E. Mc'Key, N. Palmer, S. Purrington, H. Haynes.

 

 

26

1

2

3

1

139

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   1st Westerlow,
K. Bennet.

M. HOUSE, Deas. A. Griffin, C. P. Laupaugh, D. Hanney, F. H. Rasekrans, N. Winegard, S. I. R. Slade, S. Tompkins.

 

 

3

2

1

2

1

221

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Greenville,
S. Stevens.

------------, Dea. Baker

 

4

27

5

8

 

2

139

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   South Westerlow,
T. S. Robbins.

I. Baker, D. Elliot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Bernand Knox,
J. Gibbs.

R. WINEGAR, J. I. Hungerford.

 

 

25

3

1

1

 

76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Duanesburgh & Florida
J. Herrick.

J. EARL, J. Shute, A. Herd.

 

 

62

7

4

1

1

140

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Charleston,
J. Merrill.

ELDS. E. HERRICK, C. HERRICK.

 

 

2

8

4

1

1

164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Sloansville,
N. Partridge.

WM. HODGSON, H. Brand, S. C. Teeple, H. Teeple, P. Frydendal, G. Topping.

 

 

22

3

6

1

1

63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   New Baltimore,
J. Holly.

T. PALMER, E. Palmer, C. Palmer

 

 

2

1

1

 

1

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   South Durham,
H. M. Hervey.

Letter.

 

1

5

1

4

3

 

70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Middleburg,
T. P. Smith.

T. Thorn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   2d church in Broome,
S. Kingsley.

THOS. STOKES, D. Ellaerson, D. Maokey, E. Selleck, S. Kingsley.

2

 

17

6

1

 

 

70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total.

2

5

199

39

33

14

9

1317

 

                                TREASURER'S ACCOUNT

                               Donations from Churches and Societies.

 

Ed.
Society.

Tract
Society.

Am't in
Goods.

Convention.

Bible Society.

Foreign Mission.

Minutes.

Total.

Rensselaerville,

$

$

$

$ 7,19

$

$ 8,56

$ 2,00

$17,76

Rens. Fem. Benev. Soc,

 

 

 

4,05

 

4,04

 

8,09

Preston Hollow,

3,00

 

 

7,95

 

7,00

2,50

19,75

Fem. Missionary Society,

 

 

 

9,15

 

9,55

 

19,10

Bethnel Reeve,

 

 

 

75

 

75

 

1,50

First Westerlow,

24,00

 

 

3,50

 

10,00

2,70

40,20

Fem. Missionary Society,

 

 

 

 

 

26,00

 

26,00

Greenville,

 

 

 

2,00

 

4,00

1,50

7,50

South Westerlow,

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,00

1,00

Bern and Knox,

 

 

50

9,38

 

8,00

1,41

18,79

Duanesburg and Florida

 

 

 

5,25

5,00

5,07

2,00

17,32

Fem. Missionary Society,

 

 

8,44

16,32

 

7,87

 

24,19

Charleston,

 

 

 

2,21

20,00

3,14

1,50

26,85

Fem. Missionary Society,

 

 

2,94

2,94

 

2,12

 

5,06

Sloansville,

 

 

 

5,00

 

5,16

1,00

11,16

New Baltimore,

2,00

2,00

 

 

 

2,00

50

10,00

Second Church, Broome,

 

 

 

 

3,50

 

1,00

1,00

Middleburg Church,

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

50

 

29,00

2,00

 

75,39

28,50

103,26

17,61

255,76

CONTRI AT ASSOCIATION

4,18

 

 

26,56

7,42

 

 

38,16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Education Soc., $ 4.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Bible Society,       7.42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Convention,         26.55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total.

$33,18

 

 

$101,95

$35,92

 

 

$293,92

Several donations have been made in the churches for the Education Society, the amount of which the Secretary is not able to specify.

8. Committee of arrangements recommend that Brother J. Edmonds be invited to prestnt the claims of the Baptist Education Society at two o’clock, P. M.  That Eld. I. Wescott the claims of the American and Foreign Bible Society, at 3 o’clock, P. M.  And that Eld. J. Peck present the claims of the Home Mission Society, to-morrow, at 10 o’clock, A. M.  That a collection be taken for each object.

9.  Report accepted and adopted.

10. Committee to nominate a Board of officers, report as follows:  R. Winegar, Moderator; J. J. Teeple, Clerk; and J. Shute, Treasurer; who were duly elected.

11. Rules of order were read by the Moderator.

12. Heard from corresponding associations.

Associations.

Delegates from.

Delegates to.

Franklin,

 

 

Hudson River,

Eld. L. O. Lovell.

Elds. M. House, T. Stokes, and J. J. Teeple.  Brethren, A. Griffin, D. Dincoln, C. P. Laupaugh.

Saratoga,

Eld. J. Wescott.

Elds. L. O. Lovel, R. Winegar, M. House, C. Furgerson, Wm. Hodgson, J. Earl, and Brother J. Edmunds.

Worcester,

 

Eld. C. Herick, and Brother J. I. Hungerford.

Jefferson Union,

Elds. H. Wain, and J. Lyon.

Elds. T. Stokes, and T. Palmer.

Dutchess,

 

Elds. H. Hervey, and Br. J. Edmunds.

Otsego,

 

 

Oneida,

 

 

Mohawk River,

Eld. N. Furgeson.

Elds. R. Winegar, Wm. Hodgson, C. Herrick, J. Earl.

Stephentown,

Eld. J. Peck, and I. Wescott.

Eld. M. House.

Lake George,

 

 

Shaftesbury,

 

Eld. M. House.

Cortland,

 

 

Madison.

Eld. J. Peck.

Elds. J. Peck, and Br. J. O. Edmunds.

13. Visiting Brethren present, invited to participate in our deliberations.  Invitation accepted by J. Fulton, and H. Hervey.

14. Suspended business to hear Brother Edmunds on Education, and Eld. I. Wescott in behalf of the Bible cause.

15. Collection for the former $4,18.  For the latter, $7,42.

16. Appointed J. Earl, C. Herrick, and J. H. Morrison, a committee to examine Circular Letter.

17. Appointed T. Palmer, A. Griffin, and N. Palmer, a committee to examine Minutes of corresponding associations.

18. Subject of resolutions was referred to the committee of arrangements.

19. Voted that thirty dollars be appropriated to constitute Father E. Herrick a life member of the American and Foreign Bible Society.

20. Adjourned till to-morrow eight o’clock, A. M.  Prayer by Elder J. Peck.

21. Met pursuant to adjournment.  Prayer by N. Furgeson.

22. Missionary Committee reported, that they had taken into consideration the application of the Second Church in Broome, and in view of its pressing necessities, recommend that the New York State Convention appropriate the sum of twenty-five dollars to aid in supporting the Gospel amongst them.

23. Corresponding Secretary instructed to send a copy of our Minutes to each association in the State.

24. Committee on resolutions, report as follows:

25. Resolved, That this Association recommend to the Churches all the benevolent organizations of the day.—The Foreign and Home Missions, Bible and Education Societies are especially recommended, and the pastors strongly urged to preach on each of their claims, to their several churches, and take liberal collection for each at suitable intervals during the coming year.  The amount obtained to be forwarded to the Association at its next season.

N. B. The Home Mission cause is languishing, and will perish for the lack of the fostering care of the churches, unless there be a prompt, decided, liberal and general coming up to the help of the Lord in this matter.

M. HOUSE, Chairman.

26. Committee on Circular Letter report, That the Brother appointed to write, having removed from the Association, there is no letter prepared,--but learning that Brother R. Winegar has written one, recommend that it be read before the Association.

27. Report accepted.—Letter received, and ordered to be printed with the minutes.

28. Resolved, That the Treasurer remit the monies and goods in his hands to the several societies for which they were designated.

29. Appointed the Moderator and Clerk to superintend the printing and distribution of the Minutes.

30. Appointed Wm. Hodgson, M. House, and J. J. Teeple, Missionary Committee for the ensuing year.

31. Appointed A. Griffin, J. Shute, and D. Hanney, committee to appraise the goods for the Convention.

32. Resolved, that any minister of our Association, presenting a copy of our Minutes at the Anniversary of the American and Foreign Bible Society—the American Baptist Publication and S. School Society and the American Baptist Home Mission Society, to be held at Philadelphia, be considered our delegate.

33. Appointed, as our delegates to the New York State Convention, R. Winegar, M. House, Wm. Hodgson, J. Earl, J. H. Morrison, J. J. Teeple, and H. Brand.

34. Moved that a Digest of the Letters be printed with the Minutes, and that M. House, and J. J. Teeple prepare said Digest.

35. Resolved, That we hold our next anniversary with the Preston Hollow church.

36. Committee on corresponding Minutes report, that they have nothing special to communicate to the body.  T. PALMER, Chairman.

37. Appointed C. P. Laupaugh, H. Teeple, and S. Lounsbury, committee of arrangements for the next anniversary.

38. Resolved, That any brother presenting a copy of our Minutes, containing his name, to any corresponding association, be considered our delegate.

39. Committee on arrangements report as follows:  Eld. J. Earl preach the introductory sermon, M. House his alternate; J. J. Teeple write the Circular Letter; who were duly appointed.

40. Suspended business, and heard Eld. J. Peck from Gal. 5:22; after which a collection was taken, amounting to $20,06.

41. The following donations were then made to raise the amount for the Convention to $100:  J. J. Teeple, M. Frink, T. Palmer, $1,00 each; Wm. Kingsley, J. Ritchmyre, R. Ellaerson, E. E. Kingsley, 50 cts. each.  Messrs. Ritchmyer, Rider, and Kingsley, each 50cts.  Total $6,50.

42. Resolved, That $100 be appropriated to constitute Brother R. Winegar a Life Director of the American Baptist Home Mission Society.

43. Minutes read and approved.

44. Adjourned to meet with the Preston Hollow Baptist church; third Wednesday in September, 1844, at 10 o’clock, A. M.  Prayer by the Moderator.

                                                                                                                                                                                            ----------- 

Digest of Letters from the Churches. 

1. Rensselaerville.  Report that nothing of unusual interest exists among them.  They enjoy the labors of a student from Hamilton Institution, but have no settled pastor; and are praying and patiently waiting for an under shepherd.

2.  Preston Hollow.  Report peace, prosperity and union among themselves; and have enjoyed a revival in a branch of the church, which enlarged their field of labor.  Several have been added to their number by immersion.  The benevolent institutions connected with the Baptist denomination enjoy their confidence.  They enjoy the regular ministration of the Word and ordinances.

3. 1st Westerlow.  Report that they have enjoyed no extraordinary religious influences, but are in union and at peace among themselves, and are traveling the beaten path of piety.  They enjoy the constant preaching of the Word.

4. Greenville.  Report a revival, and additions by immersion; but at present are in a low state, having no settled pastor.

5. South Westerlow.  Report no additions, have no preaching, and are in a weak condition.

6. Bern and Knox.  Report that a brighter day has dawned.  They enjoy the regular preaching of the Word, and have been greatly revived; several have been added to their numbers, by which they are encouraged to go forward.

7. Duanesburg and Florida.  Report that during the last year the gracious outpouring of the Spirit has been signally manifested in their midst, and great numbers of precious souls have been converted, and become obedient to the faith, much to the encouragement of the church.—They enjoy regular pastoral labors.

8. Charleston.  Report that they have not shared in the glorious reformations, which have pervaded the land, but trust they are growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord; and are blessed with regular pastoral labors.

9. Sloansville.  Report themselves a feeble band, but have been enabled to complete a house of worship, sustain regular preaching, and have experienced a refreshing from the presence of the Lord, by which several have been added to the church.

10. New Baltimore.  Report themselves well united in the bonds of peace, and Christian love.  They are still favored with the regular preaching of the Gospel.

11. South Durham.  Report the salvation of a few souls, and enjoyed preaching part of the year, but at present have no pastor; are in a low state, and feel to weep when they remember Zion.

12. Middleburg.  Report nothing cheering, union among themselves.

13. Broome.  Report that, as a church, they have great reason to bless God for the union and brotherly love that prevails among them:  They have completed their house of worship, enjoyed a revival, and have regular preaching. 

CIRCULAR LETTER.

The Rensselaerville Association to the Churches we represent.

DEAR BRETHREN:  The time has again returned, when you expect from us an annual epistle.  Our compliance with this expectation, shall be rendered not merely to follow up the old routine; but embracing this favorable opportunity, we would call your attention to an important duty, in which all the members of the church ought to feel an interest commensurate with its importance.  The subject we would commend to your prayerful and faithful consideration is, the duty of the churches to give their Ministers a competent support.

The pastoral office is one of high responsibility and importance, and the incumbent should be a man that is competent to its duties.  The qualifications that adapt him to the work, are partly of a personal character and partly circumstantial.  His piety, talents, and learning, principally concern himself.  But the circumstances in which he lives, embracing the facilities afforded for the application of his abilities for the good of the people, are in a great measure controlled by the church.  His time (as far as health and strength will allow) should be wholly engrossed in preaching the Gospel, and overseeing the spiritual interests of the church.  But how can he do this, unless his pecuniary wants are fully and promptly supplied.  His secular interests should be attended to by the church, with but little care on his part; that he may be able to bend all the energies of this mind, and command all the moments of his time, to the one great object of his calling.  The necessity of the case then, demands that if a church would have a minister labor for their good, they must give him a living adequate to his reasonable wants.  To suppose that a minister can be occupied with the planning, scheming, and labor, necessary to carry out such a business as will afford a living for a family; and yet be what he ought to be, as an overseer of the flock of God, is to suppose what is impossible in the nature of the case.  If all his time should be occupied in the business of the ministry, then none can be given to other business, without detriment.  And if mental or physical power is expended on other pursuits, then so much is withdrawn from the labors of the ministry.  Every one knows there is enough in this to employ all the power that any man possesses.

But there is one error that is somewhat prevalent in many churches, which lies in the way of holding this subject in a proper light, in the minds of the brethren; we allude to the opinion that a minister can preach just as well without previous study, as with it.  And from this error they conclude that no minister needs any more time to study the Scriptures, and investigate Theological subjects than other men.  But this is a ruinous mistake; though the labors and teachings of some ministers have tended strongly to the production of this evil.  They say that they can preach just as well sometimes, with but a moment’s reflection on a text, as they can with the study of days.  And doubtless they can, for it is very little that they preach at any time, though they talk much at all times.  But every able minister of the Gospel knows, and every brother who is a competent judge of preaching, knows, that much study and reflection, with considerable reading, is necessary to render a man an efficient “workman, who needeth not to be ashamed.”  To afford the Pastor then the time necessary for this exercise, together with the other duties of his office, visiting the people, and overseeing, as the Bishop of the church, his time and strength should be untaxed by other things.

But perhaps it will be asked, what is a competent support?  To this inquiry we cannot reply better than to say, that it is just such a living as you yourselves enjoy; or as you would wish to possess, were you in his circumstances.  If the church is obtaining a living, then let the Pastor have a living too.  If, on an average, the brethren are accumulating property, then let the minister have a little to lay up as well as others.  But this position will doubtless meet with some difficulty in finding a lodgement in the minds of some.  For there is a sentiment very prevalent, that ministers ought to be poor.  And if they cannot be kept so in any other way, the church must withhold from them the means that would make them otherwise.

An old deacon once said to a young minister, “It is best to keep our Baptist ministers pretty poor.”  When the old deacon said that, he spoke the mind of many, but (blessed be God) not all; for we have some brethren in our churches who are willing that the minister should live as well as themselves.  “But,” says one, “do you think that it is the duty of the churches to make their ministers rich?  The gospel don’t teach this.”  Very true, neither does the Gospel teach you to make, or keep them poor.  This wicked notion that the minister must be kept poor, manifests itself in a variety of ways, paralyzing even what is done for this object.  Even those whose business it is to collect that support, proceed upon this principle.  What are the arguments with which they address others, to induce them to contribute.  Some of them are doubtless proper, and others are, unquestionably, improper.  Such as, “The minister is poor, and needs help.  His family is suffering, and we must do something for him.”  Now all this may be true, and in many instances, is too true; yet when this is made the prominent reason why they should do it, it carries with it the idea that we should relieve him as a pauper.  Even if the amount given be sufficient to meet all the wants of the pastor, yet to do it for such reasons and from such motives, is doing him great injustice.  And yet many of the items given, are often given for no more just and worthy reasons.  A deacon once solicited a member of the church to do something for the minister; in reply to which he said, “I don’t know about it, if the Elder is needy, I am willing to help him as readily as I would any other poor man.”  Again, how common is it for deacons and others, appointed to collect the minister’s salary, to talk about begging!  Begging?  And why?  Only that the idea is strongly impressed on their minds, that they are raising money to support a pauper.  How far this is prevalent we do not presume to say, but that there is enough of it to do some mischief, can’t be doubted.

Brethren, the New Testament instructions on this subject are so clear, that no man can withhold in this duty, without denying the faith.  When the Saviour sent the disciples to preach, he instructed them to go depending (under God,) on the people for their daily living.  “For the laborer is worthy of his hire.”  Paul, in accordance with this teaching, inquires of the church at Corinth, “Who goeth a warfare any time, at this own charges?  Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit of the vineyard?  Who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk of the flock?  Say I these things as a man? Or saith not the law the same.  For it is written in the law, Thou shalt not muzzled the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn; doth God take care for oxen; or saith he it altogether for our sakes, for our sakes, no doubt, this is written:  that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things.  If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?  Nevertheless, we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the Gospel of Christ.  Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things, live of the things of the temple; and they which wait at the altar, were partakers with the altar.  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel.”  This we consider plain teaching.  And one thing that appears plain in it is, that the compensation afforded the ministers of the Gospel, is not to be regarded as an act of charity, but the payment of a just debt.

Justice alone, then, requires that if a man spend his time and strength in preaching the Gospel to any people, that the people should, in return, compensate that labor with a just and equitable remuneration.  If then, a man who labors for the temporal interests of others, is in equity entitled to live by that labor.  So is the man who labors for the spiritual interests of others, entitled at their hands, to as much of their carnal things as would be just, if those labors were done for their secular interests.—And by as much as their spiritual and eternal interest are greater than their temporal, by so much stronger is the reason why those labors should be reciprocated by a just and ample supply of the minister’s wants.  Is it unjust for the pastor to demand of his people, an ample living for himself and family?  Is it not the meanest of injustice for the people to withhold it?

In fixing the amount of a Bishop’s salary, it will be impossible to state any definite rules.  It costs much more to live in some places than in others.  But in all places, he should be able to live in a style, and on an equality with his brethren.  But then, suppose the minister is saving something out of his yearly stipend? Is is regarded by some that he is getting rich, and they must withhold somewhat from their annual quota.  But why, we would ask, does not a minister need something secured for a future day, as well as another man?  Why do others need a fund for another day?  Only because they may be in want, and unable to labor to supply those wants.  Are not the ministers of the gospel “subject to like passions” and necessities as other men?  What righteous objection then, to his being able to save a little out of his yearly receipts.  If old age may need a little of the earnings of the vigor of manhood, why not ministers have it as well as others.  If, Brethren, your widows and children demand a patrimony, who not the widows and orphans of a minister be able to avail themselves of the same advantage.

But we are sometimes consoled with the blessed consolation to trust in the Lord, to supply all these demands of nature.  Very well, suppose all the members of the church should act upon the same principle.  After supporting scantily your families, give all your surplus earnings for benevolent purposes.  And lay up nothing for your widows and orphans.  The Lord will take care of them.  The promises upon which this confidence may rest, are made just as much to one servant of God as another.  We know of no special promises that a minister’s pecuniary wants shall be supplied, any more than other men’s.  But if there is not just ground for such confidence in every case, do not counsel the minister of Jesus Christ to commit such an act of presumption.  A regard for their own interests, should moreover induce the church to the faithful performance of this duty.  If a pastor’s labors are needed, then certainly the more they can have of them the better.  But if poverty and stern necessity, drive him to some secular employment, how much it divide his time, his energies, and his labors; and leave perhaps, but half for the church.

Another important consideration is, that what is done should be done promptly.  To allow a subscription to linger along till the people who have subscribed, have forgotten that they did so, not only makes it very difficult to collect such subscriptions, but subjects the minister to great inconvenience.  His family must have their daily bread; and if he has not the means of paying for it at the time, somebody must trust him; and so he is often compelled, from pinching necessity, to ask for this favor till it fills him with shame to do it.  And how many reproaches have been cast on the cause of religion, and how many scandalous reproaches against the church for this negligence.  This responsibility should be felt by all the members of the church.  Not throw the whole burden on a few, as is too often the case.  But every one according to his ability, should feel that it is just as important that he pay his proportion, as though the whole rested on him; for if the items are wanting, the aggregate is of course exhausted.  One says, it is but little that I can do; and hence concludes that it is of but little consequence whether he does anything.  A drop to the ocean is but a little, but you take all the drops out of the ocean and it would be empty.  But what inequality often exists in some churches, in performing this department of Christian labor.  Some often pay twice or thrice as much as others, in proportion to their ability; some comparatively nothing.  It is said that in some of our churches, there are numbers who are worth from $20,000 to $50,000, and pay for their pastor’s support, the stinted, stingy sum of five or eight dollars; and the pastor perhaps, obliged to leave, for the want of a living.  “Brethren, these things ought not so to be.”  If a church is in her aggregate strength able to support a Pastor, then every one ought to pay his share of that sum, on an equality with his brethren.  This we think, is in accordance with Paul’s instructions, in 2. Corinthians, 8th chapter, “it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not; for I mean not that other men be eased, and you burdened.  That there may be equality.”  ”Wherefore, let him that is taught in the Word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” 

CORRESPONDING LETTER.

The Rensselaerville Baptist Association, to the Associations with whom we correspond:

BELOVED BRETHREN:--We have just celebrated another festival of this Association, and the Holy Spirit appeared to be present to approve and bless.  Truly, it was good for us to meet your Messengers; which greatly rejoiced us.  We cordially solicit a continuance of correspondence.

R. WINEGAR, Moderator.

J. J. TEEPLE, Clerk

J. H. MORRISON, Assistant Clerk.

R. WINEGAR, Corresponding Secretary.

Rensselaerville, Albany Co., N. Y.


1845

MINUTES

OF THE

FIFTY-SECOND ANNIVERSARY

OF THE

RENSSELAERVILLE BAPTIST ASSOCIATION,

HELD WITH THE

BAPTIST CHURCH IN RENSSELAERVILLE,

September 20th and 21st, 1848. 

R. WINEGAR, CORRESPONDING SECRETARY,

RENSSELAERVILLE, ALBANY Co., N. Y.

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

ALBANY:

PRINTED BY J. MUNSELL, 58 STATE STREET

1848.

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

RULES OF ORDER.

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

1. The Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer, shall be chosen annually, by nomination, immediately after the Introductory Sermon; those of the former year continuing in office till the choice is made.

2. No member of this Association shall hold the office of Moderator two years in succession.

3. At every sitting, the meetings shall be opened and closed by prayer, by the Moderator, or whomsoever he may request.

4. The Moderator shall nominate all committees, unless he prefer that the Association should do it.

5. The Treasurer shall report to the Association the disbursements of the funds received by him at the expiration of his term of office.

6. Ministers present, invited to a seat with us, may debate on all subjects, but vote on none.

7. No member of the Association shall absent himself, without leave of the Moderator.

8. No subject shall be discussed, without as motion first made and seconded.

9. No person shall speak oftener than twice on any motion, unless by permission of the Moderator.

10. Motions made and lost, shall not be recorded upon the minutes, unless so ordered at the time.

11. If, when a motion has been made and seconded, a member opposed its being discussed, the Moderator shall immediately put the question, shall this question be discussed? If negatived, the subject shall be dismissed.

12. If any proposition or motion under debate contain two or more points, it shall be divided at the request of any member, and the vote taken separately.

13. Arrangements for the next anniversary shall not be attended to until the second day of the session.

14. The minutes shall be leisurely read and corrected, before the rising of the Association.

15. These rules shall be distinctly read from the chair, immediately after the organization of the Association.

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

MINUTES.

Rensselaerville, September 20, 1848.

1. The Association met pursuant to adjournment. Introductory Sermon by Bro. J. EARL, from Gal. 5:1.

2. The meeting was then called to order by Br. J. EARL; Br. P. PRINK was chosen Moderator; Brn. H. HAYNES and L. M. Parrington, Clerks; and Dea. P. Tinklepaugh, Treasurer.

3. Appointed Brn. R. WINEGAR, J. EARL and C. FERGUSON, Committee of Arrangements.

4. Commenced reading the letters from the Churches.

5. Committee of Arrangements reported in part, recommending that Br. A. BENNETT be invited to preach at half past two o'clock P. M. Recommendation adopted.

Adjourned for one hour. Prayer by Br. O. DODGE.

Met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by Br. R. F. PARSHALL.

6. Completed reading the letters; from which the following statistics were taken.

N.B. The names of Ordained Ministers are in SMALL CAPITALS; those of Licentiates in Italics; those not present are marked thus *; and a ----- denotes no settled Pastor. Post offices mentioned when different from the name of the Church

Churches, Clerks

and

Post Offices.

Representatives.

Immersed.

Received by Exp.

Rec'd by Letter.

Dismissed by Letter.

Excluded.

Restored.

Died.

Present Number

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville,
 
W. Bates.

R. WINEGAR, Dea. S. Lounsbury, Brn. G. St. John, C. Lincoln and G. W. Barrett,

      31

     4

2

7

2

 

2

174

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preston Hollow,
  H. Haynes.

------- H. HAYNES, L. M. Purington, Deas. S. Ford, E. Lounsbury, and P. Tinklepaugh, Brn. J. C. Weeden and A. Mackey, Jr.,

        2

 

 

9

4

 

3

185

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Westerlo,
 
G. H. Bentley

C. FERGUSON, Deas. A. Griffin and . Lawpaugh, Brn. N. Winegard, S. Winegard, S. V. R. Slade, F. C. Powell, E. Slade, D. Hanney, G. H. Bently,

      69

 

2

2

1

 

71

275

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Westerlo,
  S. S. Tompkins

---------- Brn. J. Baker, J. Winegard, D. S. Elliott, S. H. Allen, S. S. Tompkins,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bern and Knox,

  J. Gibbs, Gallupville.

W. Hodgson, * Dea. G. W. Eaton, Brn. C. Seabury, J. I. Hungerford, and P. Rodgers,

      1

 

3

2

 

 

1

78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenville,
  J. N. Bogardus.

H. LORD, Brn. W. Park, S. Losee, E. Baker, W. Thorn, W. Stevens, B. Rundell, D. Tetts and L. Thorn,

 

 

 

2

 

2

3

117

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duanesburgh & Florida
  L. Doty, Bramens.

J. EARL,

 

 

2

3

6

 

5

118

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Baltimore,
  J. Holly, Greenville.

-------- O. Van O' Blenis, Dea. H. Van O' Blenis, Brn. J. Holly & S. Cobb,

     4

 

6

 

1

 

 

52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston,
 
I. S. Tallmage.

P. PRINK, C. HERRICK, * Dea. C. J. Millard, Br. N. Wolverton,

      2

 

3

5

1

 

3

132

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sloansville,
  S. C. Teeple.

R. F. PARSHALL, G. M. Teeple,

     4

 

7

 

2

 

1

93

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Durham.
  H. M. Hervey.

S. Paddock, * Brn. S. Beach and D. B. Hervey,

     17

1

2

 

 

 

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middleburg.
  T. Thorn, Livingstonville.

J. B. VAN HOUSEN, Dea. E. Crippin and Br. H. Bates,

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Creek.

  P. W. Rider, Gilboa

J. B. VAN HOUSEN, Deas. J. G. Rychtmyre & E. b. Kingsley, Brn. W. Ploss, D. Kingsley and G. Fox,

16

 

 

2

5

 

3

97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

146

5

27

32

23

2

28

1466

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Heard from Female Missionary Societies.

8. Appointed Brn. C. FERGUSON and H. LORD apprising committee.

12. Heard from corresponding Associations. The following were their Messengers and Minutes.

Associations.

Minutes.

Messengers.

Immersed.

Total.

Cortland

 

 

 

 

Dutchess,

 

 

 

 

Franklin,

1848

J. SMITH, Jr.,

65

2172

Hudson River,

 

 

 

 

Jefferson Union,

 

 

 

 

Lake George,

 

 

 

2303

Madison,

1847

 

11

851

Mohawk river,

1847

 

6

 

Oneida,

 

 

 

 

Oswego,

 

 

 

 

Otsego,

 

 

 

 

Orleans,

 

 

 

 

Saratoga,

 

 

 

 

Shaftsbury,

 

 

 

 

Stephentown,

1847

E. W. Brownell,

17

1271

Walworth,

 

 

 

 

Union,

 

 

 

 

Washington Union,

 

E. W. Brownell,

 

 

Worcester,

 

R. F. PARSHALL,

 

 

10. Ministering brethren from sister Associations invited to participate with us in our deliberations.

11. Resolved, That any member of this Association attending a corresponding Association, and having a copy of our last Minutes containing his name, be considered our delegate to such Association.

12. Voted, That our Corresponding Secretary be requested to send a copy of our Minutes to each Association in this state.

13. Appointed Brn. J. EARL, J. B. VAN HOUSEN and R. WINEGAR, (its author,) committee to examine the Circular Letter.

   Suspended business to listen to a Sermon by Father Bennett, from Acts 21:28. After which a collection was taken for Foreign Missions, amounting to $20.55.

14. Committee of arrangements further reported, recommending that Br. J. N. SEELEY be invited to preach in the evening, and Br. O. DODGE to-morrow at 11 o'clock A. M. Report accepted and recommendation adopted.

  Adjourned till to-morrow at 8 o'clock A. M. Prayer by Br. J. B. VAN HOUSEN.

  Met in the evening for religious exercises. Br. J. N. SEELEY presented the claims of the Home Mission Society. After which a collection was taken for that object, amounting to $3.90.

   Thursday morning, 8 o'clock.

  Met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by Br. J. SMITH, Jr.

15. Voted, that the Clerks superintend the printing and distribution of the Minutes.

16. Voted, That the Clerks prepare and publish in the Minutes a digest of the letters from the several churches.

17. Appointed Brn. J. B. VAN HOUSEN, H. LORD and C. J. Millard, committee to audit Treasurer's account.

18. Voted, That the Treasurer be authorized to remit the money and goods in his hands to the several societies for which they were designated.

19. Resolved, That we hold our next session with the Baptist church in Greenville.

20. Appointed Brn. H. LORD, C. J. Millard and W. Thorn, committee of arrangements for the next session.

21. Committee on Circular Letter reported, recommending that it be read before the Association, and printed in our Minutes.

  Suspended business to listen to a Sermon by Br. O. DODGE, from Luke 16:1. After which a collection was taken for the N. Y. S. Convention, amounting to $26.37.

  Adjourned for one hour. Prayer by Br. H. LORD.

  Met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by Br. H. HAYNES.

22. Report of committee on Circular Letter accepted and recommendation adopted.

23. Missionary committee report that they have had no business presented for their action. Report accepted and committee discharged.

24. Appointed Brn. R. WINEGAR, P. PRINK and J. B. VAN HOUUSEN, Missionary committee for the ensuing year.

25. Voted, That Br. J. EARL be constituted a life member of the A. B. Miss. Union.

26. Voted, That Bro. J. B. VAN HOUSEN be constituted a life member of the A. and F. Bible Society.

27. Voted, That Br. H. HAYNES be constituted a life member of the A. B. H. M. society.

28. Voted, That any minister of this Association presenting a copy of our last Minutes at the meeting of the A. B. H. Miss. Society or the A. and F. Bible Society, be considered a delegate.

29. Appointed Brn. J. EARL and R. WINEGAR delegates to the N. Y. S. Convention.

30. Committee of arrangements for the next session reported, recommending that Br. J. B. VAN HOUSEN preach the introductory sermon; that Br. C. FERGUSON be his alternate; and that Br. P. Prink write the Circular Letter. Report accepted and recommendation adopted.

31. Auditing committee report that they have examined the documents of the last year's Treasurer, and find that the funds committed to his trust, have been disposed of according to the direction of the Churches.

 The following resolutions were offered at different periods during the session and adopted:

1. Whereas, Difficulties have arisen among us in consequence of Secret Societies: therefore,

  Resolved, That we deem all such institutions inconsistent with the spirit of the Gospel, and that we affectionately admonish our brethren to keep aloof from such organizations.

2. Resolved, That in our professed opposition to and war with sin of every form, we feel it to be our duty not to overlook the sin of American slavery, one of the most powerful antagonists of a pure Christianity.

3. Resolved, that the opening fields of the Lord's vineyard, and the few laborers now engaged therein, or preparing to enter it, solemnly impress us with the importance and duty of obeying the Saviour's injunction, pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that the would send forth laborers into his harvest.

32. Minutes were read, corrected and approved.

33. After a brief address and prayer by the Moderator, the Association adjourned to meet with the Baptist Church in Greenville, on the third Wednesday in September, 1849, at 10 o'clock A. M.

H. HAYNES, L. M. Purington, Clerks.  P. PRINK, Moderator.

DIGEST OF LETTERS.

. Rensselaerville. – Say they have but little more to communicate than what is contained in their statistics. Are endeavering to continue though feebly in the way to heaven.

 Preston Hollow. – Regret that they are not enjoying the power of religion as in former days, and give as a reason of their spiritual stupor, their pride, covetousness and conformity to the world. They think, however, they have some ground of hope that a brighter day is dawning upon them. Are enjoying harmony and union; have large and attentive congregations and think the interest in their meetings is increasing. They have no settled Pastor, but are supplied with preaching by brethren living among them.

 .First Westerlo. – Speak of their hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. They rejoice that God has done so much for them, and lament that they have done so little for him. In their experience they have felt the truth of the declaration, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” During the past year, they have enjoyed a precious revival of religion in the church, and sinners have been converted. The work still goes on.

South Westerlo. – In the intelligence they bring, there is nothing cheering, but altogether the reverse. Their prospects are dark and gloomy, and the rod of affliction seems to be laid heavily upon them. They have had no stated preaching during the past year.

Bern and Knox. – Lament that they can not communicate the intelligence of any special out-pouring of the Spirit, but feel thankful for the union that exists among them. They have regular preaching, by which they are comforted and edified, and indulge the hope that better days are near.

Greenville. – Report that they have had no special outpouring of the Spirit; complain of cold hearts and weak faith; yet have not entirely forgotten the love of Christ. They enjoy union and remain firm in the doctrines and ordinances of the gospel. Their meetings are well attended, and they are determined to hold fast the promises, believing they shall reap if they faint not.

Duanesburg and Florida. – Acknowledge that they are not what they sould be; yet adore the goodness of God in being so merciful to their unfaithfulness. They mourn that the showers of Grace have not fallen upon them during the past year as in former days. Enjoy the stated and faithful administration of the word and ordinances; are at peace among themselves, and their language is, “hitherto the Lord hath blest us.”

Charleston. – Have nothing of spiritual interest to communicate. Enjoy the regular preaching of the gospel and continue steadfast in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion. There has been no special display of the grace of God among them, and they mourn that they live so far beneath their privilege. Their prayer is, that God would revive his work, and cause them to rejoice in the Rock of their salvation.

New Baltimore. – No special change has taken place with them during the past year. They share in common with sister churches, the privileges and trials of Christian fellowship. At times they have been revived, but on the whole they conclude that their spirituality is far below the standard of their faith. Their meetings are well attended, and faithful attention is given to the word of life.

Sloansville. – Rejoice that through the goodness and mercy of God, they have been enabled to overcome all the difficulties which they have been called to encounter, to surmount the obstacles that have hedged up their way, and now enjoy the boon of peace. They are happily united in their Pastor, and hope soon to enjoy a revival of religion.

South Durham. – During the past year have enjoyed the privilege of laboring together with God, in extending the Redeemer's kingdom. About a year ago, they began to see some faint glimmerings of light, which continued to brighten until March last, when they commenced a series of meetings. They enjoyed a powerful revival in the church, and above thirty souls were hopefully converted.

Middleburg. – Complain of spiritual coldness, of troubles and difficulties, and Zion seems to languish among them. It has not been their privilege to share with other churches around them in revivals of religion, and they feel that the fault is on their own part.

Flat Creek. – A variety of changes have occurred among them the past year. At times they have been made to rejoice and clap their hands with gladness; but at other times their joy has been turned into sorrow and mourning. They speak of a low state of religion at present, but are confidently looking for a glorious change.

TREASURER'S REPORT.

Churches.

For Minutes.

Foreign Missions

Home Miss.

N. Y. State Conventions.

Bible Society

Free Miss.

Total

 

Rensselaerville,

2.50

26.00

 

32.75

 

 

52.25

[sic]

Preston Hollow,

3.00

13.50

 

22.90

14.89

 

64.29

[sic]

First Westerlo,

3.00

38.53

4.25

22.00

 

 

67.78

 

South Westerlo,

.75

 

3.00

 

 

 

3.75

 

Bern and Knox,

1.85

3.83

3.83

 

3.83

 

13.34

 

Greenville,

1.50

5.00

 

21.50

 

 

28.00

 

Duanesburg and Florida,

1.50

28.56

 

25.31

 

17.50

72.87

 

New Baltimore,

.56

.50

 

5.75

1.50

 

8.31

 

Charleston,

1.50

 

10.84

36.20

4.25

 

52.79

 

Sloansville,

1.50

4.00

1.50

22.00

9.75

2.50

41.25

 

South Durham,

.75

2.00

 

10.25

 

 

13.00

 

Middleburg,

.50

 

 

 

 

 

.50

 

Flat Creek,

1.50

16.59

 

 

 

 

18.09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rensselaerville Female Miss. Soc'y,

 

 

 

8.00

 

 

8.00

 

Preston Hollow   “     “     “

 

12.00

 

 

 

 

12.00

 

First Westerlo   “     “     “

 

 

10.00

17.00

 

 

27.00

 

Charleston      “     “     “

 

4.00

 

 

 

 

4.00

 

Flat Creek      “     “     “

 

5.00

 

5.50

 

 

10.50

 

Individuals,

 

5.00

.50

6.50

.50

 

12.50

 

Contributed at Association,

 

20.55

3.90

26.37

 

 

50.82

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total,

20.41

185.06

37.82

263.03

34.72

20.00

561.04

 

 

 

 

 

[sic]

 

 

 

 

 CIRCULAR LETTER.

The Rensselaerville Baptist Association, to the Churches we represent: 

DEAR BRETHREN – In this our annual epistle, we wish to call your attention to a few remarks on The Dangers of the Christian, arising from the features of the age.

The christian has more to do with time and eternity than any other man. With time, as preparatory to eternity; with eternity, as the result of all his actions here. He bears a relation to this life fraught with an importance commensurate with the vast interests of an unending state of existence. And inasmuch as the future will give the harvest of the present seed time, the sowing of the seed assumes all the importance of the immeasurable future.

Again: the Christian labor is a high and holy one, which should be prosecuted with vigor. For the faithful discharge of this energy may be considered as combining a variety of elements, but the principal of these are holiness of heart and purity of life. Hence whatever tends to lessen this power should be studiously avoided. And inasmuch as the present time is the only time the Christian can have to fulfill his high commission, it becomes him to look diligently to the circumstance with which he is surrounded to avail himself of all the advantages within his reach to accomplish the greatest amount of good in the period allowed him on the earth.

The age in which we live is to us a peculiar one, inasmuch as it is the only age in which we can labor. That form of labor required of us has perhaps been required of no former generation, and may not be demanded of any one in the future. Moreover there have always been causes of danger in every age to which the Christian has been exposed, from which he is liable to feel an influence sooner or later, that tends strongly to corrupt the purity of his character, and in this to enfeeble his energy. Toward these, he is bound to exercise the most watchful vigilance, or they will come upon him as by stealth, and when once he is brought under their power, he is shorn of his glory and made the miserable victim of an alluring and specious vice. This danger is the greater because we are less skilful in discerning and detecting the vitiating features of the present age than we are of the past. When any course of action has had time to produce its full grown results, it is much easier to discover the true character of that action, than while it is in progress. We may now see clearly even the first intimations of corruptions in the church, when we have the results of that impurity fully produced before our eyes, yet had we lived at the time of those early indications of sin, we might not have discovered any occasion of alarm. Such has been the progress of affairs in all ages of the church, that when error in doctrine or corruption in character have first begun to find place among the churches, there have been but few if any to see clearly the dangerous tendency or give suitable warning to others. And although we may now see clearly the first movements of any current of sin that has carried others to the vortex of ruin, we may be unconscious of the fact that a worse flood of iniquity is springing up around us, and may even now be carrying us away to results still more ruinous.

We would not be understood that we suppose the church has apostatized from God, or that she has become extremely corrupt—far from it. But we mean to say that there is doubtless somewhat against us. It is with the church on this subject as with human nature; in all cases our greatest danger lies in the things to which we are most warmly attached,

“We should suspect some danger nigh, When we posses delight.”

The Baptists of a former age had their peculiarities in things wrong as well as right, and these wrongs had their evil tendencies and have it is hoped, produced all their deleterious results, for we have been made to feel to our sorrow and shame the unhappy consequences. From these we have labored hard to extricate ourselves, and feel the flattering unction that we have succeeded well. But while we rejoice that many changes have been wrought for the better, we have also to fear that we shall realize some of the evils of revolution as well as its advantages. There are always dangers to which the Christian is exposed, and especially when he is laboring to avoid glaring evils on the one hand, he is in imminent danger of falling into as great evils on the other hand. Formerly there was special pains taken to avoid every thing that should seem to participate in the spirit of worldly policy evinced in the gay and fashionable world. The extent to which this was carried, and from under which it existed, constituted an error that blinded the minds of the brethren to their own best interests, and the obligations imposed on them to promote the interest of the kingdom of Christ.

But at this time we should look for the danger from the opposite direction. This intimates one of the evils of the age that we consider dangerous to the Christian, to wit: The temptations presented in the world to excite his ambition, and allure him to seek for worldly distinction. When the powers of darkness are arrayed in open hostility to the interests of the Cross, there is but very little danger of the true Christian's being carried away with their influence. But when the world assumes a kind of compromising attitude, then the Christian is most in danger, for in too many instances there seems to be an impression that the world has abated its hatred to the Cross, and become more than half reconciled to religion. But we may be assured that all the homage so willingly rendered to the claims of religion by a proud and hypocritical world, is only another form in which the wicked one seeks to destroy the sacredness and power of the Christian character.

Such is now the state of community generally throughout Christendom. Which feels the influence of the other the most, the church that of the world, or the world that of the church? The spirit of enmity against the Cross of Christ has changed not its nature, but its mode of attack, from persecution to a cringing, hypocritical compromise. It seems to say to the church, if you will only abate a little of your rigor, and cease to regard us as enemies to religion, but its real friends, and give countenance to our interests and institutions, then we will give you our patronage, and thus we shall all harmonize together. To accomplish this, they are lavish of their praises on the characters and abilities of those ministers who are the silly dupes of their artful practices, and even hope that all will thereby regard them as the true friends of Jesus Christ. The forms under which these temptations are seen are many. In individual character it shows itself in that wicked conformity to the world in personal appearance, conversation, dress and style of living, that fills so large a place in the etiquette of the world at this time. Let twenty persons meet together in any case of the common intercourse of society, half of them professing religion and half not, and it would be difficult for a spectator to determine which ten professed to be Christians; and this difficulty would arise not from the fact that the world has become so much like Christians, but that Christians have become so much like the world.

This temptation to ambition manifests its power not only in personal character, but in the doings of churches and the manner of conduction their operations to suit the tastes of a wicked world.

It is a question whether the style of building meeting houses, many of the forms of public worship, together with many other things, its not a catering to the pride of the world, to attract their attention and secure their support. If this be so, though we may increase our congregations and increase our popularity by it, yet the world gains more in promoting its wicked devices than the church does in the interests of true religion.

In the Ministry, this temptation manifests itself in a prevailing inclination to seek for popular distinction, either in a literary view or to be proclaimed on the trumpet tongue of worldly applause as popular preachers. Formerly it was the boast of many of our fathers that they were men of no learning. This was an evil boast, for although it was true, it should have been with all as it was with an honorable few, a matter of deep regret that it was so. But or some years past, there has been a rapid tendency the other way, and while we rejoice in this change of affairs, we also apprehend that in the vacillations of human nature, there may be evils against which we should guard with a watchful vigilance. If the young brethren who are endeavoring to gain the advantages of literature and science, are betrayed into an over-estimate of these acquirements, so as in any measure to lose sight of our under-value the essential gifts of the Spirit, then there is reason to fear a dangerous tendency.

Here we would speak with caution, for we are conscious that we are dealing with delicate subjects. To question the state of piety in the ministry, is regarded as indeed a subject of delicacy, and yet there is no class of Christians that need to be subjected to a closer scrutiny than ministers. From the universal admission that they should be Godly men, the idea may as extensively prevail that they are so as a matter of course, because they are ministers, a fact, if it be so, as certain to betray them into a state of impiety as any thing with which they can possibly be affected. There may be a greater certainty that the ministry will be more likely to perform with exactness the routine of religious duties then private Christians; but this may all be regarded as the professional power of godliness in the soul. Many young brethren have been obliged to labor hard against the current of prejudice in the churches, to secure the advantages of literary culture, and in the frailties of human nature, it would be strange indeed if, after having mastered the contest, they were not in danger of gliding into the opposite extreme. If the rising ministry were to spend half the time and toil to attain in a high degree the gifts of the Spirit, that they do gifts of literature and science, and realize as much heart-ache in solving the problems of the power of godliness in the soul, as they do the head-ache in investigating the dogmas of a corrupt philosophy or abstruse mathematics, we should doubtless have a far more efficient ministry than we now have, and the tendencies of the church would be to a far different state then they at present indicate. If such tendencies exist as we fear, and they continue to increase for a few years to come, the hearts of all truly pious men will have occasion to mourn rather than rejoice over the acquirements that we are so exultingly said to be attaining at this time.

One evidence of the above intimations is seen in the fact, that much of the so-called popular preaching of the age gives evidence of far more study to dress up that preaching in a highly literary style to make it take with the popular taste, than to lay open the consciences of men to the living truths of the gospel. The worst feature of all is, that there is such sickening evidence that many often attempt to make a show of learning which they do not possess. Give us a truly literary ministry, but let all the attainments of learning be made subservient to the attainments of the Spirit.

Why do so many of our young ministers seek so earnestly for popular locations in our cities, rather than to traverse the mountains and valleys of destitute regions simply to win souls to Christ? The working elements of human society have, of late years, called up great excitement and activity on the part of Christians, and this it is feared, has a tendency to make the church a sort of working agency, without proper regard to the character of that agency as respects its constituent elements.

The man who is giving liberally of his income in dollars and cents, is often called a useful man and a faithful Christian, when that same money which he so freely and liberally gives to the promotion of the kingdom of righteousness and peace, is the fruit of an unholy business, or the avails of dishonest gain; and many there are who seem to act as if they supposed that the manner in which they get possessions of property is not to be questioned, so long as they contribute liberally to works of benevolence. Though such may put the flattering unction to their lips that they are active Christians, and doing much to promote the work of giving the gospel to the world, yet they should remember that the Lord hates ROBBERY for burnt offering, and should constantly be made to hear the indignant declaration of God by a holy prophet, “Bring not into the house of the Lord the price of a dog or the hire of a whore.”

Another feature of the activity of the age is seen under the designation of “Evangelism,” “Revival effort,” and the like; and although evangelism and revivals, when properly conducted, are unquestionably parts of the working of the gospel system, yet there is much to be regretted in the shape and form in which these things are found at the present time. If we are not mistaken, the idea is very prevalent in our churches, that a genuine and extensive revival of religion can not be enjoyed except under the ministry of some man who is constantly going from place to place for the express purpose of carrying on these things; so much so, that a revival is often spoken of in its operation, developments and duration as identical with what is called a “protracted meeting,” conducted by what is called an Evangelist. We believe if less reliance was had on the efforts and peculiar labors of certain men and the maneuvering of a particular kind of operation, and more reliance on the direct sovereign agency of the Divine Spirit, and on the every day holy living and praying of all the members of the Church, there would be more occasion of joy, and less over which to grieve.

Another thing that characterizes the age in which we live, is the unholy amalgamations sought for by the world with Christians. We here refer to what is more particularly denominated secret societies. Whatever is plead in behalf of such organizations as the Odd Fellows, and the like, we have never yet been able to see any justifiable reason for a Christian to connect himself in such combinations, especially with men of such questionable character as many who are the chief managers of the concern. We have no room in this short epistle, to give a full expose of the danger arising from this source; but we would give a solemn and affectionate warning to our brethren, to beware of the deadly influence of all such associations on the spirituality of the Christian.

R. WINEGAR.


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