Elder William King appeared first in the Broad River Association about 1807, from Head of Enoree church. We are not informed as to the time of his birth or death. We find from the minutes of the Association that he was a minister of considerable prominence and ability in the time he lived. In 1808, he prepared a circular letter under the appointment of the body, on The Union and Utility of an Association. Which, out of respect for his memory, we reproduce with this sketch. In 1811, he preached the introductory sermon before the Association, and in the session of 1814 he was chosen clerk, which shows that he was considered a good business man. In 1818 he was again appointed to write the circular letter, On a Baptist Church receiving members into fellowship, who were baptized by immersion in Methodist societies.
The writer took the ground "that as certain priests anciently failed to show their genealogy among the lawful priests, and were rejected; in like manner should all admintrators of the ordinance of baptism be rejected, who fail to show their own baptism according to the gospel, by a minister who has himself been baptized in a regular line from the Apostles down to the present day."
From 1811, Elder King represented Double Spring church, which was probably a new organization, and after the session of 1820, we lose sight of him entirely. Doubtless he either died and went to his reward, or emigrated to some other part of the Lord's vineyard. Like many other pioneer ministers, he has not had that attention paid him that his eminent services justly demanded, and consequently at this
late day it is impracticable for any writer to do him justice. Let his name, however, be handed down to succeeding generations as one that was worthy of imperishable fame for his work's sake.
CIRCULAR LETTER, 1808.
The Broad River Baptist Association — To the Churches they Represent — send Christian Salutation:
Beloved Brethren: — The subjects on which we have to address you this year, are the Union and Utility of an Association,
In treating on these delightful subjects, we shall consider first, of the union of an Association, — that is the same with the union of all saints; secondly, how the union of an Association as a body, joined by mutual consent, should be maintained; third, of the utility of an Association.
First. Of the union of an Association — the same as the union of all saints. This holy union is derived from God, and takes place first between Him and all His children, in their being united to Christ and becoming one with Him; they are also united or joined together in this glorious mysterious union and become one in Him. The love of God is shed abroad in their hearts, and Divine Truth in its glorious harmony, beauty and excellence is revealed to them, and they receive it in the love thereof; and as the Gospel contains all things necessary to be believed and to be done, the union of the saints with one another consists in their agreement in the Truth, both as to faith and practice; and except the faith and practice of professing Christians is compatible with the Word of God, there can not be a union between them. And this shows that God has wrought a supernatural change in His people, whereby they are brought to love God in His infinite perfections; to love His word, and to love His people, because they bear the image of Jesus Christ. And this heavenly union is never to have an end, but will be increased in heaven beyond all our comprehension. Under these considerations the union of saints may well be considered a pearl of price unknown.
Secondly. How the union of an Association, as a body joined by mutual consent, should be maintained.
In taking a view of this part of the subject, an Association may be considered as a larger church, of more extensive bounds. A Gospel church consists of a number of members joined in union by mutual consent, and each member is under indispensable obligations not to do or say anything contrary to the Gospel, whereby the minds of the rest may be grieved, but is bound by the law of Truth and love to do all things according to the Gospel. When this is the case, a church is in a happy union. An Association consists of a number of churches coalesced by mutual consent (it should seem) for the good of the whole, then each church is under weighty obligations not to do or propagate anything contrary to the Gospel, whereby the mind of any other church or of the Association may be grieved, but it is bound by the glorious law of Christ to do all things according to the Gospel, and so to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of perfectness.
This is the way for churches that compose an Association to live in union. Again, when an Association meets together, their union (while in conference) is firm, if they do all things according to the Word of God, and are governed by love. Under these considerations, every selfish motive should be laid aside; ambition and vain glory ought never to be seen in such a council, but all the rules of brotherly love should be attended to with meekness and humility.
Thirdly. Of the utility or usefulness of an Association.
A body of wise and holy men in such a happy union, and governed by truth, can not fail in being useful. The wise man says: ["]In the multitude of counsel there is safety," (which tends to usefulness.) In an Association there is a multitude of counsel, which tends to usefulness; therefore an Association is useful. In such a collection of lights, like bright constellations, the light will shine more clear, and of course discover the hidden works of darkness more plainly, and deep things will be understood with greater ease. It is here a godly minister will be encouraged, while the reverse will be discountenanced; it is here difficult queries may be proposed and answered; it is here counterfeit tenets and practices may be detected and put down; it is here an aggrieved church may obtain redress, when all other means fail; it is here a member, not justly dealt by, may make known his case and find redress. In an associate capacity, churches and ministers may meet and take sweet counsel, cultivate Christian friendship, and be of mutual advantage to each other while in a troublesome world. We shall conclude the discussion of these interesting subjects with a few words of exhortation:
Dear Brethren, let it be well remembered that we must not only anticipate, but participate of this glorious and happy union on earth, or we never shall enjoy it in heaven. Let us endeavor to realize it every day that we live. Further, let us labor much to be useful in works of justice, mercy and love. The grace of our Lord JesusChrist be with you all. Amen.
WILLIAM KING. October 17, 1808.
[From John R. Logan, Sketches, Historical and Biographical, of the Broad River and King's Mountain Baptist Associations, (NC) From 1800 to 1882, 1887, pp. 436-438. Document from Google Books. — Jim Duvall]
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