Editor's note: The Elkhorn Baptist Association had dismissed several churches from their fellowship in 1830 because they had changed their doctrine by following the teachings of Alexander Campbell. The South Elkhorn Baptist Church, the oldest in the association, had become identified with Campell's doctrine. The association sent four brethren to try to reconcile the church to its previous doctrinal position. The South Elkhorn Church (it later dropped the name "Baptist") used the meeting as an opportunity to bring charges against the Association. This "Address" is their response. The mode of operation of Campbell's followers was to go into Baptist churches and begin influencing members to follow them — then often a church-split followed. This address seeks to give the appearance of their innocence in these matters, but the last page (12) shows the entent of their activities: "In a compass of something like forty miles, we see between fifty and sixty Churches rallying around the simplicity of the Institutions of Christ; in thirty-six of these, there are nearly four thousand members."
One of the reasons the "Address" is so out-spoken concerning the Franklin Association and pastor Silas M. Noel is that the association published a Circular Letter written by Noel, using the writings of Alexander Campbell to explain what he taught. — jrd
Of the Church of Christ at South Elkhorn to the Elkhorn Association, through their committee, & to the Brethren & Churches composing the Elkhorn Association.
THE following, pages are respectfully submitted to the brethren and churches of the Elkkhorn Association, for their attentive persusal and serious consideration. We offer no apology for thus presenting them the following response, which grew out of the appointment of a committee by the Elkhorh Association, sent to "confer" with us relative to certain charges exhibited against us in their last minutes. A part of said committee, "viz." brethren John Payne, William Suggett, Mason Singleton and James D. Black, attended with us for the above named purpose. After organising for business the following query was, in substance, addressed by us to them, "viz." Who give the information that we had departed from the faith and constitution of the Association? To which they replied, they did not know, except from general rumour; and further remarked, that their business was not to debate questions, or discuss points of difference with us, but to bring us the minutes containing the charges, and bear our answer to the Association.
Reader, mark the above well. Part of this committee were on the committee appointed to arrange the business for the last Association.
BRETHREN OF THE COMMITTEE:
AGREEABLY to our expectation, arising from information received by us from our Messengers to the last meeting of the Elkhorn Association, and since then from the Minutes of that body, we now meet you here; and while we cannot but regret that so often in the present day a Christian spirit does not stand united with the Christian profession, we trust it will be mutually our object to evince that regret by avoiding the evil we deplore. In the spirit of brethren we proffer you our affection, and invite you to our houses during this interview. It is here the part of candor in us, justice to our cause requires it, and the duty of correcting any erroneous impressions on the minds of our brethren in the sister Churches, as to the appointment or reception of the Committee make it necessary that we should state that this Committee was never requested by us, nor by any other church has the Association been requested to send a Committee to us on this occasion, and although we might plead this departure from the practice of the Association, in bar of receiving this Committee, yet this we shall not
do. It is true, two of our Messengers did, when they had the choice left to them of agreeing to the Committee or seeing the Church cut off, without any regard to law or justice, ask for the committee, and our conviction that they conceived they incurred less responsibility in this, than in accepting the other alternative, is all that induces us to abstain from reprimanding them for asking it in this case. The persons too, who compose this Committee, would constitute a proper objection were we so disposed. That judges in any case should be zealous partizans on either side of the question on which the issue is made, is a glaring departure from every established principle known among men. Such, however, is the character of nearly half this Committee. Should the restraints of our excellent Constitution be broken through by some ill fated part of our citizens, and anarchy with a total disregard of the rights and property of some other portion of our citizens ensue, as the necessary consequence, what would future ages say? What would the enlightened and the upright of our own age say, if those who committed the glaring infraction should be appointed as umpires in the difficulty, or to mediate with and soothe the feelings of the injured party? This, however, is the course of the last Elkhorn Association. From this character however, we exempt Bro. C. Thompson, together with the entire delegation from Bryants who raised their hands against the encroachments of Association power. Brother Black we have recognized as a brother possessed of a firmly seated regard,for the feelingsof his brethren, unswayed by partizan feeling. And we are informed that brother Bryce did confess in the commencement of those operations, which signalized the last day of the Association, as the period of the prostration of Church power, before the power of an Association, that the proceedings were not legal, and did propose the sending a committee to all those Churches which haye been illegally severed from the body, (he being judge) and we ask brother Bryce as a brother, why he did afterwards give way to the violence of those who seemed to be satisfied with nothing but the rending of the body, by his withdrawal of said motion? In relation to old brother Wilson, we believe that he and the Church at David's Fork, of which he is a member, have been for thirty years the firm opposers of all such tyranny as was exhibited at the last Association, in our case and that of our sister Churches. What has produced the remarkable change of the last summer is yet unaccountable; nor do we attempt to explain the cause. But we have no reason for giving any thing but a friendly reception to these brethren, or even to the remaining part of the committee, of whose Christian kindness and candour we can not say as much. The evidence they have given of a spirit different from their professed Master we pass by, remembering
that our religion teaches us to do good to them who evilly entreat us, and pray for them who persecute us. The entire committee we meet only as a medium of communication between ourselves and the body by which it is appointed, to meet at the Great Crossings on the 2d Saturday in August next, when we shall present the grievances hereinafter mentioned, to the sister Churches, and we avail ourselves of the presence of so large an assembly of enlightened freemen and Christian disciples, in order to remove as we doubt not we shall, those mists of prejudice which the misapprehension of the many, and the misrepresentations of the few; were intended to produce.
We intend on the present occasion briefly to advert to those principles which have obtained among the Baptists for thirty years, and having shown the gradual but unremitting efforts which have been making to overturn every principle of toleration, by establishing the authority of the Philadelphia Confessipn of Faith as a term of communion and correspondence with the Churches, to call the attention of our sistsr Churches to the late transactions in the several Associations, which have been made to bear so heavily on some of our sister Churches, with ourselves, and especially in our own Association, as evincing the truth of our first conclusions, that a submission to particularism, is to be the only and the decisively final test, if the designs of a few interested men are successful. A great deal has been said during the present contest in Kentucky concerning the "terms of union." From these we are conscious we have at no time departed, and equally conscious we are, that we feel no disposition to depart. Previous to 1801 the two great divisions of the Baptists, the Regular and Separate, have been for a long time contending in relation to the peculiar views held by each on the subject of the atonement. On the side of the Regulars, personal, particular, unconditional and eternal election, together with a great fondness for creeds and confessions, seem to have been strongly advocated; while more liberal views, together with a rejection of creeds and confessions, seem to nave been characteristic of the Separates. Benedict, in the 2d vol. of his history, page238, says; (speaking of an attempt which was made to unite these two parties,) "The Separates were afraid of being bound and hampered by creeds and confessions, and the Regulars were unwilling to unite with them, without something of the kind." So strong were the attachments on the one side and the opposition on the other, the attempt totally failed. In the year 1801, however, the union was effected; and the ''terms of Union" adopted by a committee from the Elkhorn and South Kentucky Associations. That these terms have been departed from we do not doubt; but whether we have departed, or those who have been most vociferous about them, the brethren
after noticing the facts in. the history of the last fw years will decide.
In the first place then, we here observe, that ever since the year 1809, the birth year of the Licking Association, we have the sentiments of the Regulars presented to us by the Licking clergymen, under the imposing name of "Particularism." And let it be remembered that the very Churches and men, who when members of the South Kentucky Association, had supposed that they were taken into the family of Baptists in Kentucky, by the "terms of Union;" when they approached the Licking Association, asking a brotherly correspondence on these "terms" of union," it was positively refused unless the South District Association, then applying, would present the truths of the Bible in a human form. It would be matter of curious interest to trace the steps by which this little Association has endeavoured to advance in power and authority among the Baptists in Kentucky; but our limits forbid. Suffice it to say, that while they have never recognized "the terms of union," they have been on all occasions advancing the authority of the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, until they have driven those who had declared they would reverence them ("the terms of union") into the most glaring and repeated infractions of them. In the Meeting of the Elkhorn Association in 1829, a resolution was introduced by Bro. Creath, Sr. proposing that inasmuch as all our corresponding Associations except the Licking, acknowledged the "terms of union," while few ever saw the Confession of Faith, that from that time the "terms of union" should be the basis of correspondence with Churches and. Associations. This however, was most violently, opposed by the Particular clergy and Bro.E. Waller, and through their influence it failed. Since that period, in a series of letters by R. T. Dillard, it has been broadly intimated, that the name Regular should be revived, and at the last Association, the Mount Pleasant letter appeared bearing that title, although it was agreed in drawing up the "terms" that this and the appellation "Separate," should be known no more. In Churches too, where there is great noise made about the "terms of union" some of their members have been recorded as holding corrupt doctrine for asserting almost, in the very words of the "terms" themselves, the first article on the sufficiency of the word of God. In others where Hypen [hyper] Calvinistic views are taught, such only are invited to commune with them as believe the doctrine preached there, in direct contravention of that article which says that "preaching Christ tasted death for every man shall be no bar to communion." Yet these very persons denounce those who would have made the "Terms" which they thus trampled on, the basis of correspondence, as the enemies and opposers of the
Union. This, however, has not stopped at Churches, the Associations too, and we regret to say it, have gone far into the same breach of the "Terms of Union."
Are the Baptists ready to say, that they cannot retain a man in their Church or their Association, with whom, however, they will commune. This we think they cannot do without breaking down almost every principle of the last 40 or 50 years. Yet the decisions of the last Association amount to this. They have cut off persons from their body for not conforming to the Confession of Faith, who they dare not change, and attempt to sustain it, with opposing one sentiment of the "Union." And what is this, we ask, but rearing again the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, the principles of the Regular Baptists in all their rigidity over the prostrated pledges and principles of the "Union." The Franklin Association, which seems disposed to take the lead in all these matters, after twice changing her ground in the short time she has existed, has at length come to a stand on the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, and throws all ,her weight into that scale. She talks too, with much seeming seriousness, of dealing with some of her churches for departing from original grounds, who are now standing, as they have done for nearly twice the period of her whole existence, under all her forms of constitution, constituted on the Bible alone; and who were induced to assist her, in her first efforts to obtain an existence, as an Association, by supposing their rights and liberties would be regained. And finally we turn your attention to the corresponding letter of the last Licking Association, as evidence of their determination to rivet on the Baptist Society in this State, the fetters of Particular domination, a system which even Mosheim himself was obliged to confess, always extended its influence on the side of violence and power, whose chains are not confined to the body but are laid on the mind, and eat into the very soul.
From all these facts and plainly developed principles of action, on the part of certain leaders in our country at the present day, we call your attention to the transactions of the last Elkhorn Association, as presenting some of the purposed results of that train of effort, which under other names, until it is accomplished, and then under the name, and in the spirit of Regularism, alias Particularism, alias Hyper-Calvinism of the olden time, we are to see all proscribed who do not bend to the authority of the Philadelphia Confession of Faith. It is their Clergymen you see engaged in organizing against the independence of the churches, and their Clergymen it is, are seen laying aside the robe of the law for that of the Calvinistic ministry, and though not more than able to boast a manly beard, appearing as the prosecuting attorney against your oldest and most faithful
servants. On these things we wish our brother to reflect closely, and to conclude, whether they will join, for a time, in the violence of a few interested, and noisy partizans, to be themselves at last victims of Particular domination. Benedict in giving an account of (as far as we know at present) the first Baptist Association in Virginia, when speaking of a division which took place, quotes thus from Edwards, a writer on the subject: "The cause of this division was partly convenience; but it was chiefly owing to a mistake which this Association fell into, relative to their power and jurisdiction. They had carried matters so high as to leave hardly any power in particular churches, unfellowshiping ordinations, ministers and churches, that acted independently of the Association; and pleading that although complete power be in every church, yet every church can transfer it to an Association, which is as much as to say, that a man can take out his eyes, ears, &c., and give them to another man to see, hear, &c., for him; for if power be fixed by Christ in a church, they cannot transfer, nay, though they formally give it away, yet is it not gone away." The members of an Association are as undoubtedly churches, as the members of a church are individuals; and it would not be more contrary to common sense, to see a charge brought into a church against a man's eye, or his ear, than it is contrary to God's word, and all Baptist precedent and rule, to see a charge entered before an Association against some individual member of a church;" yet this is one of the stepping stones to the intended usurpations of the present day. Nor does it cease with receiving charges. Arrogating to themselves the character of a competent tribunal, the Messengers of the last Association, instead, of making their presented charges known to the Churches, the proper tribunal, proceeded to act and pass sentence on those who then, and there, for the first time in their lives, had a charge presented against them.
Nor did they stop at members of Churches; but following up — yes, going, beyond the assumption of the Association quoted above — Churches against whom no Church or Association had presented any charge whatever, were called to her bar, and cut off with no more compunction than if religious ties had never bound them to each other.
We ask what guarantee has any Church when she goes from home by her Messengers, that she shall not thus be called, and sacrificed to some party purpose or clerical ambition? They have none. An Association is accuser, judge and executioner.
The evidence of the above we have in the facts which we now proceed to name, as those which have caused us deep and lasting distress; nor us alone.
The Tates Creek Association of 18 Churches, has entered her
solemn protest against such a stretch of power over Church rights, and dropped her correspondence with the Churches composing the Elkhorn Association, until she shall see whether they will submit to such procedure. Placing then, before our brethren the following items, we assure them that we feel it a great barrier to our fellowship and enjoyments. In that, the messengers composing the Elkhorn Association authorised and allowed of the following breaches of established usage.
1st. In that, the Association did arraign and, cut off the Churches at Versailles and Providence, without any church. having made known their grievances to them as churches.
2nd. In that, where the Versailles church letter, denied any Communication of an "existing grievance having been made to her, by the Clear Creek Church; the Association proceeded to act on the exparte allegation of the Clear Creek letter, which entered the charge without calling for any testimony in the case whatever.
3rd. In that, the church at Providence was cut off, without any church having introduced her or her members before the Association, and thus the accusation, was originated and acted upon by the same body.
4th. In that, we conceive the Association did assume extra-ordinary, unprecedented and dangerous ground; when by giving as a reason for cutting off the church at Providence, her reception of Jacob Creath, Jr. she assumed to herself the right of deciding on the reception, or rejection of members, by an independent church.
5th. In that, the Association exercised a.right, inherent in, and only belonging to the churches, when she decided on the departure (as she alleges) of Jacob Creath, Jr. in faith and practice, from the constitution of the Association.
6th. In that, the Association did establish a precedent, at once dangerous and novel, when she allowed the committee of arrangement to introduce business before the Association, on their own responsibility, as they did, when they brought the churches at Providence, Versailles and this place, to their bar, on account of their not adopting the advice of the Association on the ratio of representation; which according to rule, could only have been done by some sister church.
7th. In that, in the case of the Versailles church, the previous question was called for, avowedly for the purpose of stopping all debate, though the motion then before the Association, had not been spoken to, by those on whom it was to operate. Thus evincing, not only a lack of that brotherly kindness demanded by the Gospel, but also an unwillingness to have the matter closely investigated, no ways creditable to their cause.
8th. In that, the Association, having received a charge
(which should have been made to his church,) contrary to all rule in Baptist Associations, against an individual member, brother Hewitt, before any trial had, or witnesses examined, (admitting he had been under their jurisdiction) so far decided and passed sentence on him, unheard, as to forbid his exercising the most common rights of a messenger to an Association, though charged with a breach of none of her rules, for which alone he was answerable to her, and for every thing else to us.
9th. In that, the Association have gone beyond any rule or precedent known in the history of Baptist Associations, when she furnishes some, and proposes to call us to an account for disobeying advice (as she herself called it in her minutes of 1829) which we never asked in its origin, nor gave our consent to when it appeared; especially while the acknowledged character of an Association is only that of an advisory council, whose advice has to receive the sanction of. their concurrence who gave her an existence, that is the churches, before any advice becomes binding on the body at large. This we say in relation to what was said in the minutes of last Association, on our departing from her advice on the ratio of representation; whatever might have been most judicious as to this advice of the Association, we do conceive, that until our characters are so infamously marked with the traits of falsehood as to prevent confidence in our declarations, no one has a right to impute any other motive to us in the increase of our representation, than that which we stated before the Association in our letter, and which we again in the face of Heaven declare, to have been only self defence, not urged to it by any sense of guilt, but by the manifestations on every side of us, that the advice of the unfortunate Elder John Taylor, was determined to be acted upon. In it, however, we are conscious of violating no constitutional pledge; and we are confident such cannot he shown to be the case; and that after they were withdrawn, before any act was influenced by them, their being voted for by us, and their appearing on the ground, should constitute a crime so deeply stained, against the majesty of this Association, as to be brought up as the principal item in the exclusion of a sister church, and in bringing us to the bar of the Association, is a refinement in law as well suited probably to any other atmosphere as to that which a Baptist Association should exist.
10th. In that, the Association did arrogate to herself a superiorship over the churches of such a degree as is totally unknown in the annals of Baptist history, when, without being requested from any quarter whatever, or any charge of any character being exhibited against the oldest church in the Association, she was arraigned before that body, a committee of examination sent to her out of the kind forbearance of the Association, and she published
to the world in the minutes, as having broken from her pledges to society at large, and all this on the bare responsibility of the assembled messengers. True it is, we did hear that the letter of the CLEAR CREEK CHURCH, did say that our sister church at Providence, and ourselves had gone as far into Campbellism as any others, but we had little idea that a charge so loose and ill-defined as this, thrown in, we doubt not to gratify the feelings of the writer, rather than from any idea it would be acted upon, standing as it did without the shadow of proof to sustain it as a charge, would have had any influence whatever on that body in which we had been members from its commencement, and where without a charge, many of us have lived from our youth, through busy manhood, until we now begin to totter on the verge of the grave.
11th. In that, the Association has taken ground subversive of church rights and contrary to her practice for thirty years, when, she speaks of it as matter of grievance that we have departed from the faith and constitution of the body, we presume because we do not support all the tenets of the Philadelphia Confession of Faith. Now we ask the attention of the sister churches to this fact, that for about that time the Association has not required it of a church entering into her body that she adopt the Philadelphia Confession of Faith or that they should place themselves under its authority. The churches at Big-Spring, Lexington, Paris, Bethlehem., Providence, and Cane-Rum, together with others we might name, were never so called upon. Query: Is it the principle of government in an Association to receive members on the acknowledgthent of one instrument while another is held in-terrorem to expel all those who become obnoxious to the powers that are, or those who wish to be.
12th. In that the Elkhorn Association did recognize a factious minority of the North District Association on their own allegation, without examining the evidence on the side of the original Association, which had met at the time and place appointed the previous year. The Association certainly paid a poor compliment to her own views of justice, or else it is a high compliment paid to their power of discerning spirits, that without evidence they should decide on the absent.
But we are weary of the details which thicken upon us as we proceed, and make it difficult, not to find, but out of the multtude found; which to place before the public mind. We will notice an excuse which is attempted to be made for the entering charges against individuals in the Association. Some have said that the Franklin Association had nothing to do with the members of Elkhorn Association; that she could only report them to their own Association. But is this so? Because a brother lives in another Association am I not to tell him his
fault according to the Masters command? When he said "if thy brother offend the &c." did he only intend that we should consider him as our brother who was in the same humanly devised compact with us? Or because two churches being in two different Associations, is it a consequence that any difficulty of one with the members of the other cannot be presented at the bar of that, church, where the offending brother may reside, but must he carried by the aggrieved church to its Association; by that to the one where the offender, or offenders may reside, and that there, as in the present case, a decision should be had forthwith. If this is to be the principle on which for the future such cases are to be decided, we ask of what account is the indeperidance of the churches? what is it but a name? If the course pursued of late is correct, it ought to be universally followed in all difficulties between persons in different Associations no matter what supposed independance it destroyed; while if it ought not, on the other hand, to be followed because of its dangerously encroaching on that power which alone possesses it over its own members, it is an usurpation of power by the Association dangerous to the churches, and such we pronounce it.
To us however, it does seem that personal hostility is at the bottom of all these movements, though the Franklin Association had been told by one of her own churches that the Beaver items, and not the interference of the brethren Creaths' had divided the Benson church: and though feeling it to be too near the scene of action to contradict, not an individual ventured to. deny the statement made, while the record of the Benson church stood, and still stands, as evidence of the fallacy of the charge; yet they who had the means of knowing better, did so impose on those who had them not, as to induce them to send on the corresponding letter from the Association in Frankfort, charging the brethren Creaths and Hewitt, with that which they had tacitly confessed had been caused by the Bever items. Indeed we have the means of proving that at three distinct times in the most public manner; once in Frankfort at the called Association, once at Silas in the Elkhorn Association, and once at Shawnee River, in the South District Association, in the presence of Doctor Noel at each time, it has been stated in the most positive manner that the Benson church was divided as above, and in case it was denied the proof proffered,and yet it was never denied. We further state, that on the floor of the Benson church, in the presence of the Franklin Association, a brother did in the course of a discussion, which involved the matter, declare in relation to the division of that church, that the Beaver items did produce it, and that he challenged denial there, where the brothers Creaths and Hewitt, were charged with having committed the schism; it was proposed by him to rest his allegation for the proof, on their own church book; the statement none ventured to deny, and the book was not produced,
yet these very men who thus flinch from every fair and manly investigation, continue to trumpet their charges where they have power to shut all men's mouths but their own. What does all this prove to us, brethren, but this, that those who have always stood before the public as the determined defenders of the churches' rights, the asserters of their independence, the unremitting advocates of the sufficiency of the Holy Oracles alone, and the strenuous promoters of the greatest possible freedom of inquiry, and liberty of conscience; are to be hunted down by any means whatever; and if in the chase, the rights of the churches are trampled on, it seems to be a matter of small importance, compared with the gratification of a few clergymen, in all ages the main-spring of eccleastical councils, tyrannyand oppression.
As evidence of what we have above remarked, we discover that the Franklin Association, following on in the spirit in which she commenced her campaign, has stated to the world, that the brethren Creaths have been cut off from the GENERAL UNION, by the competent tribunal, and that brother Hewitt, stands suspended. It is only the part of justice to these brethren, who have each of them labored among us, to state, that the impression, which the above statement is calculated to make, is any thing else than correct. We ask, what does every Baptist consider the competent tribunal to cut off any man? We answer, and so must the Franklin Association — The Church where he is a member. How will the reader of the above statement be astonished when he Is told that one of the above brethren never had a charge presented against him in any church, or a private grievance whispered in his ear, while the accusers of the others never ventured to meet them in trial, and that each of them stand in their respective churches, as free from charge, and as far above reprehension, as any, the choicest of their opposers. True it is, their churches have beeri violently driven from the privileges in the Association, and it is just as true, that the page which records the transaction, is one at which another age, (if indeed the actors themselves do not) will blush.
In conclusion, then, we appeal to those churches with which we have been so long associated; nor do we do it as much to obtain any favor for ourselves, as to awaken their attention to passing events, that by the contemplation they may profit. In all ages since the advent of our gracious Redeemer, there have been men asking favors of others: it has always too, for a time at least, been the minority asking of the majority.
The apostles and primitive Christians asked favors of the Jews till their overthrow; and then through, ten fierce persecutions, the Christians for nearly three hundred years, asked these same favors of the Pagan Emperors. Their request amounted to this, allow us to worship our Messiah according to his own appointments, we can identify his honors, neither with those of Moses, or your gods, or mingle your traditions with his system of simplicity. So did the Saints petition through the Papal ages, and so we petition now.
Through all these struggles, three great principles were kept continually in view by them, one the independence of the Churches, 2d, the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, and their paramount authority,
and 3rdly, the importance of Faith and Inmersion; these with us too, are great important principles. Are we obnoxious in the displeasure of our Baptist brethren, for advocating these? We conceive not. In testifying to the truth of these principles, many a martyr has suffered; and the Waldenses, Albigenses perished before the Pagan Dragon, and Papal Beast. And these were the principles for promulgating which, the jails of Virginia were filled with so many Baptist worthies. They are no new fancied notions; they are the plain old principles of the olden time; they constitute the system which Christ Jesus has left in our world; and in the present day we are not a little factious handful, in advocating them. Throughout all our country they gain advocates daily; advocates of talent, piety and scripture knowledge, who are won over, not by interest or ease or popularity; no: these invite another course. In a compass of something like forty miles, we see between fifty and sixty Churches rallying around the simplicity of the Institutions of Christ; in thirty-six of these, there are nearly four thousand members. These things we state, with far other feelings than those of boasting. No: with feelings of thankfulness do we recount the goodness of our God. We sometimes hear it said, you are changed; in some things this may be true, but as it regards all, God's Holy Word announces we are the same. With the same views of Christ, of man as a sinner, of the necessity of a change of heart, of the importance of a holy life, the future resurrection, judgement, heaven and hell, we are the same we ever were. Some opinions we had grafted on these Bible truths, we have (some of us at last) endeavored to free ourselves from, conceiving they did not pay for carriage; others probably, retain some of these very opinions still, yet we live in love and peace, we rejoice in hope of his glory, who has given to us the earnest of his spirit to witness with ours, that we are born of God. But to conclude this already too lengthy address, we leave these facts with our brethren, and an enlightened people. We do hope that when they shall again meet, they will re-consider the acts of the last Association, and if they should find them to be, as most firmly we believe they are, calculated to injure the happiness of God's people, we doubt not they will be promptly rescinded; if, however, they shall othrerwise determine, we have to request that they shall consider us no more of that body. From the constitution, we learn, the Association was formed for the mutual happiness, comfort and welfare of the churches composing it; this object we conceive it now fails of sercuring.
We do not wish to be understood as renouncing fellowship with the brethren in the Association; far from it, we wish to love all who love our Lord Jesus Christ; but we do not wish to be involved in a continued struggle of unhappiness and distress. Wishing the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with, you all, we remain your brethren
JACOB CREATH, Sr. Moderator. JOHN HIGBEE, Clerk. =============
[The document is from SBHL&A, Nashville, TN and was provided by Stephen duBarry. — jrd]
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