That part of the Circular Letter which gives a history of the Union is here Inserted.
As there has been an effort made, during the last year, for a Union with our United Baptist brethren, and as our labor has not been in vain in the Lord, we feel to encourage a hope that it will not be long before all Baptists that hold the same sentiment, will be one people, and, in order to accomplish so desirable an object, it becomes necessary that we should make known our terms of Union, and what we consider the essential doctrine of the Bible, which is as follows:
We agree to unite upon the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, taking them as the only rule of faith and practice, each to keep up their Associational and Church governments, as to them may seem best, and that a free correspondence and communion be kept up by the churches thus united.
And that our views may be understood, as to the doctrine taught in the Scriptures, we believe the following:1st Of God, that there is but one uncreated, self existing, infinite, and eternal God, the Creator, preserver, and Governor of all things, and that in the Divine Essence there are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and these three are one.
2nd That Man was created in righteousness and true holiness, without any moral imperfections or any propensity to Sin, but free to stand or fall; that he fell from this state, became corrupt in his nature, and transmitted his moral defilement to all his posterity.
3rd That, as Sin cannot be pardoned without a sacrifice, and the blood of beasts could never wash away Sin, Christ gave himself a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world of Mankind, and thus made salvation possible for all the Human Family.
4th That, from the time the promise of the Saviour was made to fallen Man, God, in his mercy, sent his Holy Spirit to enlighten, strive with, and convince Man of Sin. Righteousness, and Judgement; and that he sent angels and prophets to teach them the Glad Tidings that a Saviour did come, and establish the Gospel Kingdom, and ordained the Gospel Ministry.
5th That it is the duty of all who hear the Gospel to repent of their sins and believe it, and when they do believe with all their heart, they are justified and become new creatures by the operation of the Spirit of God.
6th That the power to believe is the free gift of God, without which none can believe, but that the act of faith, or actually believing, is an act of the creature under that influence.The above terms were offered on the part of the Separate Baptists, on the 4th day of November, 1842, when the representatives of the South Kentucky and Nolynn Associations of Separate Baptists, and the Tate's Creek and South District Associations of United Baptists met at the Crab Orchard in Convention, for the purpose of negotiating term of union.
7th That the visible Church of God is a congregation of Baptized believers, associated together in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, to be governed by the law of Christ; and its proper officers are Elders, or Bishops, and Deacons.
8th That Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, by a legally ordained Minister, in the name of the Father, Son. and Holy Ghost, and should be submitted to, as soon as the person has evidence that his sins are pardoned; and that the Saviour's death should be commemorated to the end of Time, by the emblems of bread and wine.
9th That there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, and a general Judgement, when all Mankind will receive according to their works.
10th That the happiness of the righteous, and the punishment of the wicked, will be eternal.
The delegates from the United Baptist Associations, believing the above terms, were not at war with the terms of General Union, and both parties believing there was no essential difference, it was resolved, that we hail each other as brethren in the same good cause of God, united in the bonds of Christian love, and that a friendly correspondence be preserved and cherished throughout the Denominations, and that we further endeavor to be known by the same Denominational name.
Mt. Salem Meeting House, Lincoln County, Ky. on the Friday before the 3rd Saturday in March, 1843. ===============
[From Minutes of the Nolynn Association of Separate Baptists, 1843, pp. 135-136. This is taken from the Internet PDF document of the same name. - jrd]
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