The meeting of the above Association of Baptist Churches took place at Stradbrooke in the said county, on Tuesday and Wednesday the 2d and 3d of June 1829, and it was truly delightful to witness the intense interest excited in the various services of this Association, clearly indicating that the Baptist churches in this county are not unmoved amid the general concern which is awakened among the churches of Jesus Christ throughout the world to be the honoured instruments of accelerating the triumphs of redeeming grace, and promoting the universality of that "kingdom which cannot be moved."
The concourse of persons assembled on the Tuesday morning, precluded the idea of meeting in any accustomed place of worship, and divine providence favouring us with suitable weather, the multitude repaired to a field, where from a waggon [sic] the ministers each read a letter reporting the state of their churches, which afforded ample materials for the illustrations of that heavenly precept to "Weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that do rejoice."
In the afternoon while the ministers and messengers were transacting the business of the Association, the congregation again assembled beneath the canopy of heaven, when two sermons were preached, the one by brother Corney the highly esteemed Independent minister of Cratfield, and the otter by brother Payne of Diss.
On the Wednesday morning, at half-past six, a sermon was preached by brother Roper of Kenninghall; and at ten o'clock in the morning, and two in the afternoon, the Association sermons were preached to the assembled thousands who came from various parts to witness our solemnities, and to promote the important objects of our union. The sermon in the morning was preached by brother Cole of Ottley, from Acts xvi. 9, 10, and the devotional exercises conducted by brethren, Reynolds of Wattisham, and Collins of Grundisburgh. The sermon in the afternoon was preached by brother Klven of Bury, from Isa. lii. 1 and the devotional parts of the service conducted by brethren Sprigg of Ipswich, and Harvey of Horsham, and the sum of 22L/ was this day collected in the field, which when it is considered as coming chiefly from persons who in their respective congregations, bad previously contributed to the fund, affords matter for thankfulness and encouragement.
From the various interesting particulars furnished by the various letters, the following are selected: -
This association embraces twenty-four churches.
The number of members in which is 2658.
The number of villages preached in, exclusive of the stated places of worship, is sixty-six.
The number of children under Sunday school instruction is 2293.
The leading objects of this Association are to afford assistance to those churches who are unable to support their ministers, and to extend the preaching of the gospel to those parts of the country that are yet destitute of the means of grace, disavowing the most remote design of interfering with the labours of our beloved brethren of other denominations, choosing rather after the example of Paul, "To preach the gospel where Christ is not named, lest we should build on another man's foundation.” For those objects upwards of a hundred pounds was voted, and it is hoped from the feeling evinced at this association, that another year we shall be furnished with increased means of meeting the urgent claims which are made from poor churches, and from destitute parts, crying, ''Come over and help us."
The next Annual Meeting of this Association to be held at Ottley, on the first Tuesday and Wednesday in June 1830.
The Fourteenth Anniversary of the Bedfordshire Association of Baptist Churches, was held at Blunham, on Wednesday the 6th of May, 1829. Brother Cuttress of Ridgmount, preached in the morning from Psalm Ixxxv. 6.: and brother Hindes of Sharnbrook, from 2 Corinthians iii. 1. In the evening, brother Vorley of Carlton from John xvii. 1. The brethren engaged in the other services, were Messrs. Holloway, Knight, Such, and Adey. Brother Holloway was appointed moderator. The letters from the different churches were read. The Circular Letter by brother Hindes was then read, approved, and ordered to be printed. The Circular Letter for the next year to be prepared by brother Cuttress. On "the tendency of zeal for the prosperity of the cause of Christ, to promote the spiritual welfare of the individual."
The next Association to be held at Biggleswade on the first Tuesday in May 1830. Brethren Knight and Fordham to preach.
KENT AND SUSSEX.
The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Kent and Sussex Association, was held at Ashford, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May the 26th and 27th. Sermons were preached by the brethren, Bowes of Woolwich, (Matthew iii. 7.) T. Cramp of St. Peters, (Colossians ii. 1, 2.) and Shirley of Sevenoaks, (2 Corinthians iv.6.) The brethren, Payne of Ashford, Shirley, Garner of Rattle, Paine of Eythorne, Denham of Margate, Metters (Missionary in Romney Marsh), Smith of Rye, Stace, Rogers of Eynsford, Hadlow (of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion), Giles of Chatham, and Crimibrook of Dover, engaged in the devotional exercises. Baptized during the year, 130; clear increase, 65. Circular Letter by brother J. M. Cramp, On the Signs of the Times.
The Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel was kindly lent on this occasion, as the Baptist Meeting is now rebuilding on an enlarged scale, in consequence of the gratifying increase of the congregation. The church and congregation have contributed half the expenses of the erection, one hundred pounds of which is the proceeds of fancy work manufactured by the females! For the remainder, the respected pastor, (the Rev. J. Payne), is now appealing to public benevolence.
________________The Buckinghamshire Association of Baptist Churches, held their Annual Meeting at Amersham, May 14, 1829, when two sermons were preached in the morning by Messrs. Clarabut and Tyler, from Colossians i. 29, and Ecclesiastes iv. 9. first clause. Evening sermon by brother Terry from Hebrews vii. 25. Devotional services by Messrs. Terry, Statham, and Ivimey. The subject of the Circular Letter was, The obligation of acting in religious matters according to our conviction. Baptized in the churches, 129; clear increase, ninety-seven.
YORKSHIRE AND LANCASHIRE.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the 10th and 11th of June 1829, the Churches forming the Yorkshire and Lancashire Association, held their Annual Meeting at Halifax. Brother Thompsou (Minister of the place) was chosen moderator. The brethren Fisher, Larom, Saunders, (of Liverpool) and Stephens preached. The brethren, Steadman and S. Saunders delivered addresses on behalf of the Itinerant Societies for their counties, after which collections were made. The brethren, Steadman, Thompson, Stephens, M. Saunders, Jackson, Aowortb, Allison, Calcroft, Holroyd, Nichols, and Yeardon, conducted the devotional exercises. Brother Scott read the Circular Letter, which he had prepared, and which is to be printed.
The various services were very numerously attended, and it is hoped that the good feelings which were excited will have a permanent influence. There are forty-five churches in this Association, many of whom have been favoured with considerable prosperity.
The next Association will be held at Shipley in Whitsun week, 1830.
________________On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 10th and 11th of June, was held the Annual Meeting of this Association, at Whitchurch, Hants. Brother Bulgin of Poole preached on Tuesday evening, from Rom. v. 1, 2. Brother Crossman of Anmore engaged in prayer. At half-past six o'clock on Wednesday morning, a prayer-meeting was held, when the brethren, Fletcher, Clay, Blandy, Morris, Wiswell, and Davies, engaged. At nine o'clock the ministers and messengers met to hear the Circular Letter, drawn up by brother Neave of Portsea, and to receive the letters sent from the several churches, giving an account of their present state and circumstances. At half-past ten o'clock. the public service was commenced in prayer by brother J. Davis of Southsea, Portsea. Brother Tilly of Foxton read and prayed; brother Birt of Portsea preached from Matthew vi.6, on secret prayer, and brother Morris of Portsea concluded. At half-past two o'clock the ministers and messengers met for business, when several new churches were admitted into the Association. During the dispatch of business, brother Jefferson of Andover (Independent) preached from Psalm lx.4. In the evening an excellent sermon was preached by brother E. Davis of Newport, Isle of Wight, from Galatians vi. 14. Brethren Whitewood of Andover, Welsh of Newbury, and George of Romsey took part in several services, which were more than usually interesting.
[From The Baptist Magazine, 1829, pp. 298-300. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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