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Campbell County (KY) Baptist Association
Circular Letter, 1836
      BELOVED BRETHREN - According to the usual custom of addressing the Churches composing this body, by means of a Circular Letter, we proceed to notice a few particulars.

     In taking a general view at this lime of our situation as Churches, it appears we are in a languishing state; this is observable, not only from the small additions which they have received, but also from their internal condition, and the careless and indifferent state which manifests itself. We may lament the small additions to the Churches, and deplore the indifference with which the crowds of perishing sinners surround us, regardless of that Gospel, by which "life and immortality is brought to light," but the lukewarmness of the Churches is far more lamentable; such a condition is fraught with innumerable evils - it is a falling short of the glory of God. "Herein," says our Lord and Savior, "is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit," and that we should be to the "praise of his glory." Another deplorable evil, that arises from the luke-warmness of the Churches, is, the sad effect it has upon those who are without. The shining walk of exemplary Christians has ever been conceded to be a powerful means in the hands of the Holy Spirit of awakening sinners to repentance; and, to reverse it,

[p. 5]
nothing has a more fatal tendency to confirm them in impenitence and unbelief.

      What vast importance is, by this considereation of the subject, attached to our conduct in life! How circumspect ought we to be when our deportment is to produce such an effect upon others, either of good or evil!

      The closer we walk with God, the greater our consolation; so the farther we depart, the more our danger: in no situation is the lamb so much exposed to the ravenous wolf than when it has strayed farthest from the shepherd; so it is with Churches: when they lose a sense of religion, they are too apt to rely on their own sufficiency in wisdom, strength and righteousness rather than to hearken to the voice beseeching them, saying "this is the way, walk ye in it." There is no season in the Christian pilgrimmage, when so much affectionate tenderness is necessary as when the "love of many waxes cold." We should then watch over each other with a brotherly solicitude endeavoring to "strengthen the things that remain." Being "clothed with humility as with a garment," with one heart and one soul let us draw nigh to God; and one another, "striving together for the things that make for peace, and things whereby one may edify another;" giving ourselves to reading, meditation, and prayer; being instant in season and out of season; reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with all long-suffering and doctrine, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching, for now is our salvation nearer than we we first believed. Yes, BRETHREN AND SISTERS, meditate upon the mediation of Christ; for he who in whose heart Grace is in lively exercise will ever contemplate with thrilling interest and delight, the all absorbing subject: for in no other does he find so much which is in harmony with the better feeling of his renewed nature.

      Finally, BRETHREN, let us try to keep our thoughts upon that rich and astonishing display of mercy and grace exhibited in the work of Christ, and we will not lack for motives to urge us on to every good word and work, the love of Christ will constrain us to live, not to ourselves, but to God; not to be conformed to this world, but to the precepts of the Gospel.


[From Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1836, pp. 4-5. The document is from the Campbell County Historical Society Library, Alexandria, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

Campbell County Circular Letters
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