October 16th. The Association met at 3 o'clock, P. M. Divine service being over, Rev. Samuel Jones was chosen moderator, and Rev. Morgan Edwards, clerk. Letters from thirty-four churches were read, also from the Warren Association, and that of Virginia. The names were enrolled, viz:
Ministers, — Rev. James Benedict, John Sutton, Robert Kelsay, Noah Hammond, Abel Griffiths, Isaac Stelle, John Davis, David Jones, Isaac Eaton, John Blackwell, Samuel Heaton, Peter Peterson Vanhorn, Joshua Jones, Joseph Powell, John Thomas, Samuel Jones, David Sutton, Benjamin Miller, Morgan Edwards, Simon Dakin, William Worth, Erasmus Kelly, and David Branson.
Laymen, — Messrs. David Lobdel, Dr. Ebenezer Blatchey, Hugh Glasford, Seth Bowen, Samuel Sims, Samuel Jones, John M'Kim, Robert M'Kim, Edmund Talbot, Griffith Jones, Daniel Cornog, Thomas Cox, Thomas Farr, Stephen Barton, Gideon Heaton, Peter Eaton, Joseph Hart, Joseph Griffiths, Henry Green, Andrew Bowen, Alexander Edwards, Andrew Bray, Recompence Stanbury, John Carman, George Wescott, Samuel Davis, Joseph Moulder, and Elisha Cole.
Adjourned. A sermon in the evening.
Oct. 17th. The Association met at 8 o'clock, A. M.; and after prayer and calling over the roll, proceeded to business. Agreed,
1. That messengers from other Associations are members of this.
2. A church in Courtland's Manor proposed to join us; but first desired satisfaction touching two questions. Ordered, that a letter be written to said church.
3. A church in Philip's Patent, whereof Rev. Simon Dakin is minister, was received into the Association. This church is in Dutchess county, New York government.
4. A letter from the people on Redstone creek, near Monongahela, was read. Ordered, that a letter be written to them, and Mr. James Sutton be recommended thither.
5. The church in the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia proposed to join the Association; but objections to it being made, the matter was referred to a committee, who brought in their report, and the unction was deferred.
[6.] Newtown to be supplied by the following ministers, Mr. James Sutton, last Sunday in October; Rev. D. Sutton, last Sunday in November; Rev. Benjamin Miller, last Sunday in April; Mr. Worth, last Sunday in May; Rev. John Blackwell, last Sunday in June; Rev. Thomas. Davis, last Sunday in July.
7. The Rev. Benjamin Miller and Isaac Stelle to assist at the yearly meeting in Cohansie.
8. Morristown to be supplied by Mr. James Sutton the first Sunday in November; by Rev. R. Kelsay, last Sunday in November; by Rev. Benjamin Miller, fourth Sunday in December; by Mr. Erasmus Kelly, fourth Sunday in March; by Rev. Isaac Stelle, fourth Sunday in April; by Rev. Joshua Jones, fourth Sunday in May; by Mr. Worth, first Sunday in June; by Rev. John Blackwell, first Sunday in July; by Rev. Samuel Jones, fourth Sunday in August.
9. Lyon's Farms to be supplied by Mr. James Sutton, second Sunday in November; by Rev. R. Kelsay, third Sunday in November; by Mr. Kelly, third Sunday in March; by Rev. J. Blackwell, second Sunday in April; by Rev. J. Jones, third Sunday in May; by Mr. Worth, second Sunday in June; by Mr. Ward, fourth Sunday in June; by Rev. J. Stelle, second Sunday in July; by Rev. S. Jones, third Sunday in August.
10. Manahawkin to be supplied by Mr. James Sutton, fourth Sunday in November; by Mr Branson, third Sunday in December; by Rev. J. Blackwell, fourth Sunday in. April; by Mr. Worth, fourth Sunday in July.
11. Circular letter was drawn by Mr. Stelle. Letter to the Warren Association by Mr. Kelly, wherein he and Rev. Simon Dakin are messengers.
12. The contributors to the Association fund this year — £ s. d. Philadelphia, 5 0 0 Hopewell, 1 0 0 Welsh Tract, 2 18 0 New York, 1 0 0 New Mills, 0 5 0 Coram, 0 7 6 Baltimore, 0 10 0 Pennepek, 1 2 10 Rev. Ebenezer Ward, 0 7 6 Mr. Vandyke, 0 7 6 Kingwood, 0 10 0 Montgomery, 0 10 0 Philip's Patent, 0 7 6
In all, £14 5s. 10d.; which sum was received by Rev. S. Jones, to be deposited in the treasurer's hands. This, added to £7216s. 6d. upon interest, makes £87 2s. 4d. The last year's interest to be added to the principal for this year, because too inconsiderable to be otherwise employed.
13. The report of the above said committee, and the vote of the Association, relative to last year's minute, to abide in Philadelphia.
14. By the letter from the warren Association, it appears that our brethren in New England are sorely oppressed this year again, and no redress obtained, though diligently sought for; their case is to go home soon, to be laid at the feet of our gracious sovereign. Rev. Hezekiah Smith is appointed agent, who proposes to sail about the beginning of November. They request their brethren belonging to this Association, to help them to defray the expenses of the agent. The request was attended to with much sympathy. Collections to be made in all our churches immediately, and to be sent either to Mr. George Wescott, of Philadelphia, or Mr. Williams, of New York, to be by them remitted to London; and in case more be raised than will be spent, the remainder to be returned to the donors, or otherwise disposed of by their order. Also a committee was appointed to draw a memorial, addressed to Rev. Dr. Stennett, and others, in favor of our New England brethren's design.
15. Application was made to the Association in favor of Mr. Eustick and Mr. Vanhorn, Jr., for Mrs. Hubb's bounty towards educating youth for the ministry. It was granted to the latter, he to give a bond to return the money in case the Association should be disappointed in him. Agreed, also, that any person hereafter applying for said bounty, shall produce a recommendation from the church he belongs unto, relative to his ministerial gifts, upon such trials as they shall put him to.
16. Alexander Edwards, Esq:, and Mr. George Wescott, are desired to treat with the trustees of the Grammar School, and urge that they will endeavor to promote the design of their trust.
17. Oct. 18th. — Collections for the Association fund to be continued.
18. The next Association to meet at Philadelphia, on Tuesday after the second Sunday in October. The sermon by Rev. Abel Morgan, or, in case of his absence, by Rev. Robert Kelsay.
PASTORAL ADDRESS The ministers and other messengers of the congregations in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, and provinces adjacent, met in annual Association at Philadelphia, on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of October, A. D. 1770.
To the several churches we respectively relate unto, send greeting. Dearly beloved brethren, — We, whom you in your letters are pleased to address as ministers and messengers of the churches of Christ, have again, through the protection and blessing of God, been permitted to assemble together according to our annual custom, professedly with views to the honor of God and the profit of men; and some good degree of love and union subsisted among us during our stay together. The sermon was preached by our much esteemed brother, Rev. John Davis, of Baltimore, from Hebrews ii:16. By your letters we find that our churches are mostly at peace, and some ingathering from the field of unregenerate men. From the Warren
Association we find that three churches joined them this year; and that the increase is fifty-six. Great additions have been made to the Virginia Association. We rejoice that the Lord Jesus doth still walk in the midst of his golden candlesticks. O, may he continue and increase his glorious work, so that the number of converts to him may be as the drops of morning dew! And while we hear good news, from distant places, may it excite in us earnestness productive of fervent prayer to God for a revival of his work amongst us, which, of late, is rather decaying. We feel chastisement from heaven by the death of our beloved brother, Rev. John Walton; and pray that God will not suffer that church, with whom he resided, to be like sheep without a shepherd. Now, dear brethren, as we are about parting from each other, we would write to you as though we were writing our last; and this should induce you to attend as though you were never to hear from us again. We would attempt to stir you up to love and good works, though we have cause to be grieved for our own deadness. This we say to you all, strive to walk together in unity of the Spirit and bonds of peace. Neglect not the use of the Bible, nor public worship, nor private prayer. Set the best example before, and give good and wholesome advice to all under your care. Watch over all your thoughts, words, and ways, remembering that the glory of God and your present comfort much depend thereon. Be careful to encourage men of useful gifts among you, though they may not have the advantage of a liberal education. Let your moderation appear to all men, and let the world see by every part of your conduct that there is a divine reality in your religion. May the Lord open your ears to our words, and abundantly bless our advice to your hearts. So pray your brethren, who would serve you in the. Lord.
Signed by the moderator and clerk,
CONTENTS OF LETTERS FROM NEW ENGLAND, RELATIVE TO
THE SUFFERINGS OF OUR BRETHREN AT ASHFIELD, IN BOSTON.
"The laws of this province were never intended to exempt the Baptists from paying towards building and repairing Presbyterian meeting houses, and making up Presbyterian ministers' salaries; for, besides other insufficiencies, they are all limited both as to extent and duration. The first law extended only five miles round each Baptist meeting house; those without this circle had no relief, neither had they within: for, though it exempted their polls, it left their estates to the mercy of harpies, and their estates went to wreck. The Baptists sought a better law, and with great difficulty and waste of time and money, obtained it; but this was not universal. It extended not to any parish until a Presbyterian meeting house should be built, and a Presbyterian minister settled there; in consequence of which the Baptists have never been freed from the first and great expenses of their parishes, expenses equal to the current expenses of ten or twelve
years. This is the present case of the people of Ashfield, which is a Baptist settlement. There were but five families of other denominations in the place when the Baptist church was constituted; but those five, and a few more, have lately built a Presbyterian meeting house there, and settled an orthodox minister, as they call him; which last cost them £200. To pay for both, they laid a tax on the land; and, as the Baptists are the most numerous, the greatest part fell to their share. The Presbyterians, in April last, demanded the money. The Baptists pleaded poverty, alleging that they had been twice driven from their plantations by the Indians last war; that they were but new settlers, and had cleared but a few spots of land, and had not been able to build commodious dwelling houses. Their tyrants would not hear. Then the Baptists pleaded the ingratitude of such conduct; for they had built a fort there at their own expense, and had maintained it for two years, and so had protected the interior Presbyterians, as well as their neighbors, who now rose up against them; that the Baptists to the westward had raised money to relieve Presbyterians who had like them suffered by the Indians and that it was cruel to take from them what the Indians had left! But nothing touched the hearts of these cruel people. Then the Baptists urged the law of the province; but were soon told that that law extended to no new parish till the meeting house and minister were paid for. Then the Baptists petitioned the general court. Proceedings were stopped till further orders, and the poor people went home rejoicing, thinking their property safe; but had not all got home before said order came; and it was an order for the Presbyterians to proceed. Accordingly, in the month of April, they fell foul on their plantations; and not on skirts and corners, but on the cleared and improved spots; and so have mangled their estates and left them hardly any but a wilderness. They sold the house and garden of one man, and the young orchards, meadows, and corn-fields of others; nay, they sold their dead, for they sold their graveyard. The orthodox minister was one of the purchasers. These spots amounted to three hundred and ninety-five acres, and have since been valued at £363 8s., but were sold for £35 10s. This was the first payment. Two more are coming, which will not leave them an inch of land at this rate. The Baptists waited on the assembly five times this year for relief, but were not heard, under pretence they did no business; but their enemies were heard, and had their business done. At last the Baptists got together about a score of the members at Cambridge, and made their complaints known; but in general, they were treated very superciliously. One of them spoke to this effect, — 'The general assembly have a right to do what they did, and if you don't like it you may quit the place!' But, alas, they must leave their all behind! These Presbyterians are not only supercilious in power, but mean and cruel in mastery. When they came together to mangle the estates of the Baptists, they diverted themselves with the tears and lamentations of the oppressed. One of them, whose name is Wells, stood up to preach a mock sermon on the occasion; and,
among other things, used words to this effect: 'The Baptists, for refusing to pay an orthodox minister, shall be cut in pound pieces, and boiled for their fat to grease the devil's carriage, &c.'"
STATE OF THE CHURCHES DURING THE YEAR
N. B. Forty-five have been dismissed to churches belonging to other Associations; and 15 to constitute a new church which has not yet joined this Association. So that the increase in reality is 71, though it appears to be but 1, by comparing this year's number with the last. ===================
[A. D. Gillette, Minutes of Philadelphia Association, 1851; rpt. 2001. - jrd]
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