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Campbell County (KY) Baptist Association
Circular Letter, 1829
By Lewis Klette
Bank Lick Baptist Church
The Campbell Association of Baptists, met at Twelve Mile Meeting House, Campbell county, (Ky.) the second Friday in September, 1829. To the severel churches of whom we are composed, grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


     Being once more permitted, through the kind dispensation of Providence, to mmeet together, according to our appointment, in another annual interview, which has been very agreeable and harmonious, and much peace appears !o prevail and abound among us; we have had the pleasure of seeing many of our brethren in the Lord, and enjoyed much satisfaction with them in communing on subjects of a divine nature, which always has a tendency to excite the high esteem and affection, and love of Christian brethren towards one another, and their zeal for the glory of God, and much revives the work of grace in their souls, by way of remembrance of God's goodness toward them in days that are gone and passed. For which we desire to render the most unfeigned thanks and praise to the God of our Salvation. Upon reading the letters from the different churches composing this association, information is received that some of the churches have been blessed in a good degree since our last interview. That some that were in nature's darkness have been brought to a knowledge of the truth, and have experienced God's love and rnercy in their peace and pardon, through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ applied to their conscience, purging them from sin and dead works, to serve the living God; and have been added by experience and Baptism, for which we thank and bless the Lord - while others appear to be in a state of lamentation and mourning on account of their coldness, barrenness, and unfruitfulness in religious matters, which is a clear indication of the want of the above blessing; and yet they appear to be in a state of peace among themselves. And shall we now enquire what is the cause of this declension of religion among these churches. Are they become negligent in their duties, or have they glided into a state of indifference about religious matters, and thereby neglect those means of grace which are designed to keep the true fire of devotion burning in our souls. But if these churches do really lament and cry, mourn and pray on the account of their situation

[unclear] . . . duty of each of us, as Christian brethren, under God appointed means to strengthen the things that remain, lest that which is lame should be turned out of the way; then we should be become so united and connected together in bonds or truth and goodnes[s], zeal and affection, as to assist and stimulate each other in every good work, service and duty, of a religious and spiritual nature, in order to accomplish and obtain the essential principles of love to the Lord and charity to man in union with a genuine faith, which constitute the foundations of all true religion; and that under the influence of these heavenly principles, they and each of us should zealously and devoutly labour to establish and maintain strict order and discipline in the several churches, by adopting such rules and regulations as the word of God directs, to suppress every thing disorderly, and preserve the peace and purity of the Churches. And we do as an association, wish and desire, to remind each individual member how essential it is for them, as also for ourselves, to honor the professions we have made by a corresponding conduct and life, and abstaining from every appearance of evil, observing the worship of our Lord, and walking in obedience to the divine commandments of Jesus Christ, that our minds may be open to the blessed operation of his word and spirit, and thereby be prepared for the reception of those heavenly graces, which are sufficient to strengthen our faith and hope and to animate us in our expectation of enjoying that eternal felicity in the redeemer's kingdom above. And now, dear brethren, suffer a word of exhortation from those who feel desirous for your welfare. Jesus says. "If ye love me, keep mv commandments" - and again, "Ye are my friend if ye do whosoever 1 command ye," and "if any man serve me, let him follow me." The nature and doctrine of those commandments are such as to excite the love of those who follow him; for his doctrine stains the pride of all human glory; and his commandments call for increasing self denial. 3d, "If any man," says Christ, "will follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." To follow Christ in opposition to every temptation and inducement to the contrary, proves that we love him above every object. In this circumstance Moses proved that he loved Christ more than all the things of this present world. "He chose rather to suffer afflictions with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recommence of reward." Brethren in Christ Jesus, we that profess to be followers of him, let us follow him fully thro' good report and thro' evil report. If we have professed his name, let us depart from all iniquity. If we love him, let us be careful to keep his commandments; for we should observe that our happiness and comfort are connected with our subjection to him. "If we walk in the light as he is in the light, then have we fellowship one with another;" but if we walk contrary to his commandments, he will chasten us. Then we discover it, is only those that followeth Jesus that shall not walk in darkness. Let us remember also that his glory in the world is inseparably connected with our being his followers, not in profession only, but indeed and in truth; for should the improper conduct of the Christian harden the wicked in sin - Oh! how dreadful the thought! Dear brethren, instead of such conduct as this, let us like Noah condemn the world, leaving them without excuse in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are the light of the world, let us so "shine that others seeing our good works, may glorify our Father who is in heaven." Let us never forget the love he has manifested to us, and if constrained by it, we should count the yoke easy and his burden light: - when iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxeth cold, our spirits ought to be stirred within us, fearing lest we also be led away with the errors of the wicked, and so fall from our own steadfastness. It is only he that is faithiul unto death that shall receive the crown of life - let us so run that we may obtain. "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him, but if we deny him he will also deny us before he father and his holy angels." Many have a form of godliness but deny its power; but from such you are required to turn away; therefore you cannot be in friendship with the world and with God. If Christ Jesus be our Lord and master, let us ever remember that he who is not for him is against him; and they who are not his friends cannot be ours; and the invariable tone of God's word is - come out of the anti-christian world, my people - "be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters, sayeth the Lord Almighty." Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, prefering holiness in the fear of God.

     Dear brethren, we now commend you to the great head of the Church, and bishop of your souls, and to his name be the praise for ever. - Amen.


[From Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1829, pp. 3-4. The document is from the Campbell County Historical Society Library, Alexandria, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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