CIRCULAR LETTER, 1818
THE LONG RUN ASSOCIATION, held at Drinning Creek Meeting House, Henry County:
to the Churches composing the same.
Written by Joseph Kellar of Beargrass Baptist Church
DEAR BRETHREN - We have once more experienced the manifested goodness, and mercy of God, in permitting us to meet at the appointed place for receiving our friendly letters, from the different Churches and corresponding associations, with whom we are in union and fellow-ship. Being thus blest with another annual meeting, we now beg leave to address you in a few simple remarks on the danger and evils that may arise from being too fond of popularity, or worldly honour from which we are too often drawn into snares and temtations [sic] from being intimate with men who are deeply engaged in pursuit of worldly honour, make it their business to shew their talents in political matters, or creating parties in Government, whereby both religious and civil societies are injured; remember the law of Christ does not consist of carnal matters, such as give honour to the flesh, or feast the carnal mind with worldly honour; therefore let us reflect for a moment - reflect on the profession we have made, and so strive to fulfil the law of Christ, through which we shall not dishonor the laws of our Government: but let our earnest desires & breathings of soul be to the Lord for the prosperity of Zion - and the advancement of Christ[']s Kingdom, and learn rather to suffer abuse without getting angry: Remember that our blessed Lord Jesus, suffered many things for us, even Death; strive to avoid unprofitable controversies, and in those which you cannot consistently decline, let no unworthy motive, no unhallowed passion incite or mislead you; let utility, rather than conquest be your object.
DEAR BRETHREN, you who are labourers in Christ[']s Vineyard, strive to be often with God in secret, to the end he may be with you in publick. If you would preach powerfully, live prayerfully always, strive to have the cause of Christ, and the salvation of poor sinners near your hearts, through which God will be glorified, and poor mourners comforted; what you preach to others, let your own lives and conversations witness to be the truth,
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always be guarded against an opinion that is grounded on popularty [sic], or temporal ease; for it is here those truths have been called in question, which the voice of tile apostles proclaimed, the blood of martyrs witnessed, the mariculous [sic] credentials of heaven proved, reason confirmed, the world witnessed, & even devils confessed; O, brethren, on these blessed truths stand fast and firm in the blessed cause of Jesus, as good soldiers fight the battles of the Lord with courage, his word cannot fail - a few remarks to our brethren in general who have professed to be the followers of Christ; remember, if we are in Christ we are under his laws which strictly demand our obedience - the very essence of that Law is love - Love to Christ and love to the brethren - let each learn that there is no useless member in the house of God, - therefore Dear Brethren, let us strive to bear in mind our ministering brethren, feel for them, and simpathise [sic] with them in their difficulties and trials; remember when the hands of Moses were supported, Israel prevailed, hath the Lord called our brethren to preach the gospel, his will is certainly that they shall live through certain means, - therefore let us be guarded against the omition [sic] of our duty, as God hath pleased to plant us together in churches, let us strive to be useful members of his house; bearing each others['] burthens, and so fulfil the law of Christ; may the God of peace through his spirit of grace, reign, and govern your hearts, and guide you in his truths is the prayers of your brethren.
GEORGE WALLER, Mod.
WM. FORD, Clerk.
[From Minutes of the Long Run Baptist Association, September, 1818, pp. 3-4; from SBTS Archives digital documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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