The Camphell county Association of Regular Baptists, now in session with the Church at Brush Creek, to the Churches which they represent — sendeth brotherly love and Christian salutation.
Very dear and much esteemed Brethren in the Lord —Through the tender mercy of our kind Parent, we have had another privilege of meeting our annual appointment, and of sitting together in our Association, with much pleasure and delight. That harmony, love, and peace appeared to prevail amongst God's dear children, which has ever characterised the Campbell county Association. Though the past year has not been so fruitful, as some years that are past, in bringing souls to the fold of Christ, yet the Lord has been gracious to some of our churches, and has poured out his spirit upon them, reviving his drooping children, and adding to them, we hope, such as shall be saved. Now, dear brethren, we should be very thankful to the great Head of the church for the special care over us which he has manifested, year after year, in keeping out the divider of brethren from amongst us, and in causing us to live in peace and Christian fellowship one with another. We ought to love Him supremely, and pay strict attention to all his commandments without reserve. He saith: — I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. — John, xv, 5. So it seems the divine Saviour would lay this injunction on His children — to abide in Him, to love one another, to maintain good works, and to be productive of much fruit. Herein, He saith, is my Father glorified, so shall ye he my disciples, Jesus saith — As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love. — 9th verse. How are we to continue in His love? He tells us how: — If ye keep my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. Jesus said — If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and
make our abode with him. — John, xiv; 23. But again — He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings. Now brethren, let us examine ourselves, whether we are keeping the words of our blessed Saviour. If so, the Father and Son are both abiding with us, and the Holy Spirit is taking the things that are of Jesus and is shewing them unto us, and is causing our hearts to rejoice in prospect of future glory. If we love our blessed Lord, we shall also love His dear children; for, saith the beloved disciple — Every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him. If we love our brethren, all men know that we are the disciples of Christ. Again we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. Thus we not only cause the men of the world to acknowledge that there is a reality in religion, but we ourselves also derive confidence that we are the children of God. And why, brethren, should we not love one another, seeing we are all children of one Parent — all heirs of the same inheritance — and all shall live in bright glory, when time and things shall pass away? Let us try, therefore, to walk as children of the light, and to promote the glory of God, while here in an enemy's land, ever looking unto Jesas, the author and finisher of our faith, to help us stand fast in the doctrines of his Gospel, and watch faithfully against our three potent enemies, viz; the world, the flesh, and the devil — enemies to God, to His cause, and to His children: asking Him to send the Holy Comforter, to be with us, to dwell in us, and to help us on our journey to the celestial city. Brethren, we exhort you to read the scriptures of divine truth — the word of God; read them often; study them with prayerful attention, and ask the Lord to give you an understanding heart; and where they point out [our] duty, strive to obey. This, we believe, the Apostle meant, when he said — Strive to keep yourselves in the love of God, — Jude, 21. Let us also watch against the wiles of the adversary of souls; although we do not believe that he can finally destroy us, yet as an eminent poet has said — "He worries whom he can't devour." Neither let us be over-anxious for the things of this world, seeing it is not our final home; but having food and raiment, therewith be content — for they, that will he rich, pierce themselves through with many sorrows. But the greatest enemy of all appears to be the flesh. The others cannot prevail unless they gain the consent of the carnal mind; what a double guard should we place here! We should also guard the tongue that little, but unruly member — seeing what great harm it has done arnongst God's dear children, It is compared
to a fire, a world of iniquity among our members; therefore we ought to restrain it, and put a double guard upon it, seeing how often we offend with the tongue, and sometimes God's dear children. Although we hear the great Head of the church say, "Take heed that ye offend not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in Heaven their Angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven:" — Therefore, brethren, let us be very careful and not speak hard one of another; but seek each other's good and promote each other's happiness and Christian fellowship. Some of the flock are lambs, very tender and easily hurt, and ye that are strong ought to support the weak, seeing they are bought with a price — even the blood of our blessed Jesus. They are as dear unto Him as the apple of His eye, and what is done unto them He considers done unto Himself, whether it be good or evil.
Before we close our short epistle, we would drop a few words, by way of admonition, to our dear brethren and sisters, who are heads of families. To you, to whom the Lord has given children, we would say, Do you not love your children? They are bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh; each having an immortal soul, that must be happy or miserable to all eternity. With what weight should their eternal welfare press upon our minds! What Godly examples should we set before them; and early begin to instruct their young and tender minds in religion — tell them of the love of Jesus to little children and how He died to make them happy. Especially you mothers, who are most with them and have the best opportunity — you know the disposiiton of each one of them. Suit your instruction and advice, as you think best, to their capacity. Strive to bring them up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord. To this end erect the family altar, you who have not already done it, and bow down with your children, at least every night. Both fathers and mothers should unite in fervent prayer to the Lord, that He would save your children, that they may be with you in bright glory, to praise His adorable name. Shall any of our children have it to say at the Last Day, "We never heard our parents pray!" God forbid, that this should be laid to the charge of any of the members composing the Campbell county Association. Now, the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheeep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, thro' Jesus Christ: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. — Hebrews xiii. 20, 21.
From a photocopy at the Campbell County Historical Society Library, Alexandria, KY. Transcribed by Jim Duvall.]
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