At its 136th Anniversary, in 1843, the Philadelphia Baptist Association appointed a Committee to collect its early Minutes for publication. Efforts were immediately commenced, and have been sedulously followed up, till now, it is believed, we have all that can be procured.
At the meeting of the Association, in 1846, A. D. Gillette, Chairman of the Committee reported, "That through the kindness of Mrs. Harris, daughter of Samuel Jones, D. D.; Thomas Shields, since deceased, and others, we have obtained Minutes of various Sessions entire, as early as 1729. Deficiencies can be generally supplied of antecedent Sessions from the origin of the body, 1707, from a book kept with great care, by order of the Association. In 1777, there are no Minutes, the Association not having met that year, on account of the occupancy of Philadelphia by the British army.
"The Association ordered that the Minutes for the first Century, with Dr. S. Jones' Centennial Sermon, be published, believing that they contain matters of great value to the churches. The Circular Letters, especially, are a fund of rich theology."
At a meeting of the Committee, H. G. Jones, D. D., was requested to prepare a preface, and A. D. Gillette was appointed Editor, with instructions to preserve, as far as possible, the ancient style of composition, as found in the original Minutes.
HORATIO G. JONES,
A. D. GILLETTE,
WM. SHADRACH, Committee.
Philadelphia, May, 1851.
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