It is to be hoped we have assembled together in the fear and love of God - with a heart-felt sense of His unbounded mercies to us as creatures, and our dependence on Him as our creator and preserver.
O, Brethren, how is it that we are, thus graciously preserved through the precarious scenes of another year, while many of our fellow beings, who have been less addicted to offending the Majesty of Heaven, have been called to try the realities of another world.
This matter we do not professi to be able to scan - for great is the mystery of Godliness. It is enough for us to know that we are the workmanship of His hand, dependent on Him for the vital air in which we breathe, and every thing that is calculated to sustain life,either temporal or spiritual.
God haih created man for His own glory. Endowed him with reasoning faculties of mind, and a capacity susceptible of understanding, and improving in those things which will ultimately redound to our wellbeing here, and hereafter.
Now, Brethren, in order that we may more fully comprehend the ineffable goodness of God, let us take a view of our former state. When we were gojng on and saying in our hearts that we would not have this man Christ Jesus to rule and to reign over us, when we were rolling sin as a sweet morsel under our tongues, and setting at naught the counsel of God, turning a deaf ear to his kind entreaties, and giving loose reign to the will and service of the Devil.
O weep humanity! was this our true condition? was it here it pleased the Lord to arrest our march and show us the dark and heinous nature of sin? Yes Brethren, blessed be the name of the
Lord; many of you can,well remember the time and place where you were made glad to bow at the foot of the Cross, and there pour out your soul in prayer to God - "Lord remember me, Lord save or I perish, Jesus thou son of David have mercy on me," appears to have been your language, and ever is of the humble penitent who prostrates himself at the foot-stool of mercy. O did you not stand shuddering and aghast in that awful moment! laboring under the ponderous weight of your oppression, feeling that vqu had justly meritted the wrath of a sin avenging God. Yet notwithstanding all this, it would seem your pulse would as soon refuse to beat, as your heart would have ceased to pray - "I'll go to Jesus, though my sins doth like a mountain roll," and when all was about to be given up for lost, when the last ray of hope was near extinct, it was then at that awful crisis, it pleased the Lord to speak to thy troubled soul, saying: "son or daughter be of good cheer, thy sins which are. many, are all forgiven thee." Thus "He brought us into His banqueting house, and His banner over us was love." Our hearts are now made to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. O Brethren, if all that is rich and resplendent in the visible creation was called in to aid our ideas, and elevate our conceptions, no tongue could utter, no pen could describe, no fancy couid imagine what God of His unbounded magnificence hath prepared for them that love Him.
Then unto Him we commend you all, both saint and sinner. For we know no other name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby you can be saved, out the name of Jesus. And when we are,deprived the privllage of citing the sinner to the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world;" we are deprived of the only efficacious means whereby he can be saved. Yes, sinner, it was for thee that He groaned and died on Calvary's mount, "suffered the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." - Wherefore "He is able to save to the uttermost, all that come unto God, by him." "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end; the first and the last." "Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the Tree of life, and may enter in through gates into the city." "This people have I formed, for myself shall they shew forth my praise."
"Now Brethren if we are the redeemed of the Lord, if we have been made to rejoice in Heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, "Let us try and walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called." - "Let us so order our walk before men that others seeing our good works, may be constrained to giorify our Father which is in Heaven."
Now Brethren, Farewell - and may the luminous light of Heaven ever shine about thy path while you have to tabernacle here below, and when we all come to die, may we meet death with a tranquil smile, the hght of hope on our lifted brow, and when life is extinct; may our happy spirits be enabled to wing their flight to the celestial climes above. There where we shall ever be enabled to sing songs of praise to God and the Lamb.
[From Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1838, 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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