Dear Brethren - We met at the time and place appointed from the Constitution, Little Mount Church, Hardin County. What we have done our Minutes will show, in addition to which, we have thought advisable to address you with a few remarks by way of a Circular.
Dear Brethren - We exhort you to strictly attend to the several duties enjoined on you, by the divine volume. It is incumbent on you in a special manner, to fill your seats in the House of God, both in your several churches and in the Association, when appointed Messengers thereto; for when you fail in either respect, you weaken the bands of confidence, and thereby, indirectly at least, show a disrespect to the society in which you are reputed a member.
Dear Brethren - Notwithstanding our friendly disposition to the different societies, we are sorry to find some are disposed to misrepresent our faith concerning our divine Saviour, either from design or the want of a proper knowledge of our views on that sublime subject. We are charged with being Arians, Docinians, Universalists, and Armenians, from what source false charges of this kind have originated we are unable to say. As to Arianism, we are at a loss to positively say what it is, or what doctrines Arias taught but if he taught the doctrine of our God, and one mediator between God and man, to wit, the Lord Jesus Christ, we agree with him in that respect, but if he taught what we are charged with, of denying the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his atonement for sin, and equality with his father, we deny him and his faith.
As to the proper divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is a subject much talked about, but little understood. St. Paul informs us that in Him dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily - that all things were created by him and for him. Elsewhere the same apostle says he is the Son of God: of course he as the only son (as declared by St. John) is the heir of all things, as may be seen by St. Paul to the Hebrews, thus he inherits by right, all the titles of dignity belonging to his father, yea, omnipresence, potency, wisdom, righteousness, eternity, etc. In this respect, he claims equality with his father, which may be seen by consulting St. Paul to the Philippians where it is said he thought it no robbery to be equal with God. We are also charged with holding that Jesus Christ is a created being. This charge we deny, and contend that no created being is able to save himself, much less a ruined lost world. True it is we say that the invisible divinity did prepare a body in which the supreme divinity did appear in the character of the Son of Man and that this divinity in him was properly God. This is probable by the first chapter of Johnís Gospel, and the fifth of the Revelation. In this last mentioned chapter Christ is there said to be the root of David, the Lyon of the tribe of Judah, as respects his being the root of David refers to his supreme divinity as God, as to his being the offspring of David, the lion of the tribe of Judah, respects his humanity only as the son of man. On this sublime subject we advise you to be cautious, and meddle not too much with it, for it is a subject of faith and not of speculative knowledge.
As respects the Docinian Doctrine as taught by Docinus, we believe it says the foundation of every Christian's hope. So likewise doth the Armenian plan oppose the experience of every enlightened Christian, if it be what Calvinism says it is, but we believe Jesus Christ, our divine Saviour, in person tasted death for every man and thereby made an atonement for the sin of the whole world, or in other words, made salvation possible for all the fallen family, and that all men may be saved by repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, without which none can be saved. We earnestly contend that salvation is by grace without the deeds of the law, that grace devised the plan, put it into execution, gives power to accept it, carries on the work, and will in the end crown the whole, by which the standing of the Christian is secured against principalities, powers, men or devils. These are our views of the Gospel, which we believe a correct aisle of instruction to the children of men, for if Kings, Governors, or Magistrates, empires, kingdoms, and republics, were subject to it, happy would be our world, in this glorious system of instruction are, directions to husbands, wives, parents, children, masters and servants as well as to ministers, members and churches, this being the case we as your servants exhort you to observe these things, and delight of your hearts, that thereby your good may not be evilly spoken of.
Farewell. Done by order of the Association the 2nd Monday in October 1820. Robert Heaton, Moderator Walter Williams, Clerk ============
[From Nolynn Association of Separate Baptists Minutes, 1820, pp. 5-6. This is taken from the Internet PDF document of the same name. - jrd]
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