Editor's note: This is the first Pastoral Address of the Association. These were published for many years before the Circular Letters became their custom. - Jim Duvall
Philadelphia Baptist Association
"The elders and messengers of the several congregations in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, and provinces adacent, baptized on profession of faith, met in Association the 13th, 14th, and 15th days of October, 1761, at the city of Philadelphia.
"Send Christian salutation.
"Dearly beloved in our Lord. Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, your delegates met at the time appointed, and were agreeably entertained with a discourse, fixed upon last year, from John xvii. 17, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." We trust that your fervent prayers to God for us have prevailed, seeing we met in gospel fellowship, and have been enabled to preserve unanimity in all our consultations and conclusions. By letters from our churches, we had the pleasure and satisfaction to hear that peace and concord abounds, and considerable additions have been made in divers places. All g1ory to our God. And now, dear brethren, about to part from each other, we desire, in some measure, to answer your expectation. Suffer us to lay before you, for your observation, these few following necessary things.
"1st. Be much in the reading and study of the holy Scriptures, seeing the Apostle informs us they are able to make us wise to salvation, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
"2d. Be much and often at the throne of grace, in prayer to God, seeing our blessed Lord has taught us that men ought always pray, and not faint, with this annexed encouragement, that he will avenge his own elect that cry day and night unto him.
"3d. Be careful of attending constantly with improvement upon the public worship of God, in the beauties of holiness.
"4th. Be careful of the instruction of youth, and those under your care; and ward [warn - jrd] against introducing such books among them as will have a tendency to corrupt their minds and have an evil influence on their manners.
"5th. For the cure of the common complaint of leanness, coldness, deadness in religion, make use of Christ in all his offices, titles, and relations, in whom are reposited all needful supplies. Strengthen and encourage the hands of your ministers, who watch for your souls as they that must give an account to God. Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ. And the very God of peace, who brought again our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, comfort, strengthen, and establish you in all things. So pray your brethren in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. Amen.
Benjamin Miller, Moderator. =============
[From Philadelphia Baptist Association Minutes, 1761. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
Pennsylvania Circular Letters
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