THE Association met at Philadelphia, October 15th, at three o'clock. Divine service being over, Rev. John Gano was chosen moderator, and Rev. Morgan Edwards, clerk. Letters from thirty-nine churches were read, also from the Virginia and Warren Associations. The messengers present were —
Ministers, — Rev. Samuel Jones, William Vanhorn, John Sutton, Robert Kelsay, John Davis, P. P. Vanhorn, Isaac Eaton, David Sutton, Morgan Edwards, Reune Runyon, John Davis, Joshua Jones, Abel Griffiths, Nicholas Cox, Samuel Heaton, John Gano, David Branson, David Jones, James Benedict, Benjamin Miller, John Blackwell, James Sutton.
Laymen, — Messrs. Alexander Edwards, James Mott, Joseph Stillwell, George Drake, Isaiah Lewis, Seth Bowen, David Bowen, John Davis, George George, John Jewell, Thomas Davis, Andrew Bray, Anthony Yerkes, Arthur Watts, Joseph Moulder, Thomas Shields, Joshua Moore, Samuel Mead, Thomas Francis, John Brookfield, David Evans, Edward Kesby, John Carman, Samuel Edmonds, John Briggs, Benjamin Truax, James Sexton, Philip Ketcham, Richard Jones, Lines Pangburn, John Mayhew, David Philips.
Adjourned. A sermon in the evening.
Oct. 16th. A church constituted at Manahawkin, August 25th, 1770, their number nine; another constituted at Pittsgrove, May 15th, 1771, their number seventeen; another at Vincent, constituted October 12th, 1771, their number fifty-two; another in the Northern Liberty, constituted October 29th, 1769, their number six, were all received into the Association.
2. By a letter from the Virginia Association, it appears that two churches joined them, with an increase of members, by baptism, to the number of two hundred and seventy-five. Their messenger was Rev. Richard Major. And by another from the Warren Association, that five churches joined them, with increase of members, one hundred and sixty-seven.
3. The church of Newtown desired the Association to appoint time and ministers to ordain Mr. Nicholas Cox; the Association reply, that the appointment of both properly belongs to his church.
4. It was queried in the letter from Goshen: What is to be done when a member of a church that is dissolved offers to become a. member of another church?Advised, That inquiry be made, whether he was a member at the time of said dissolution, and whether his faith and practice are agreeable to the gospel or not, and then proceed as the state of the case requires.
5. To. a query from Dividing Creek, relative to washing the saints' feet, the following reply was made This query being founded on John 13:1-17, can no otherwise be determined than by fixing the genuine sense of that Scripture, which to do is earnestly recommended.
6. A motion being made in the Association, relative to the appointment of an Evangelist, it was universally agreed that such an appointment promised much advantage to the Baptist interests. Five ministers were put in nomination for the office, viz: Rev. Messrs. John Gano, Benjamin Miller, Samuel Jones, David Jones, Morgan Edwards. The choice fell on the last, which he accepted on the conditions then specified.
7. A motion being made for printing, in America, a book of Mr. Keach on the parables, it was advised, that endeavors should be used to see what number of subscribers can be obtained.
Adjourned. Sermon in the evening.
Oct. 17th. Appointed Rev. Messrs. Abel Griffiths, John Blackwell, and William Vanhorn, to write the circular letter and the letter to the Association of Virginia and Warren. The messengers to the former are Rev. John Davis and David Jones; the messengers to the other, Rev. John Gano and Morgan Edwards.
2. The following gentlemen were appointed trustees of Mrs. Hubb's donation, and to settle accounts with her executors, viz: Rev. Samuel Jones, of Pennepek, Rev. Isaac Eaton, John Stout, Esq., and John. Jewell, of New Jersey.
3. The petition of Mr. Ebenezer David, student in Rhode Island College, was granted to the amount of £14, he giving a bond to the trustees to return the money in case their intention and the intention of the benefactor should not be answered.
4. The Association to be in New York next year; to begin the Tuesday after the second Sunday in October. Mr. Abel Morgan to preach or, in case of his absence, Mr. Morgan. Edwards.
5. Visiting Lyon's Farms is recommended to our ministers.
6. The pious design of Mr. Britton, of Shammony, was attended to; and the following persons have engaged to preach there this year, viz: Mr. Samuel Jones, the fourth Sunday in January, June, and September; Mr. John Thomas,the fourth Sunday in November, March, and July; Mr. William Vanhorn, the fourth Sunday in December, April, and August; Mr. John Blackwell, the fourth Sunday in May;
Mr. Joshua Jones, the fourth Sunday in February; Mr. David Branson, the fourth Sunday in this present month, October.
7. Manahawkin to be supplied by Mr. Branson, the third Sunday in December and May; Mr. David Jones, the third Sunday in November and March; Mr. Worth, the third Sunday in January and June; Mr. James Sutton, the third Sunday in February; Mr. Hea ton, third Sunday in April; Mr. P. Vanhorn, the fourth Sunday in July; Mr. Runyon, the third Sunday in August; Mr. William Vanhorn, the third Sunday in September.
8. The Northern Liberty church to be supplied by Mr. Kelsay, the third Sunday in November; Mr. Worth, the third Sunday in February; Mr. Abel Griffiths, the second Sunday in January; Mr. Runyon, the third Sunday in June: Mr. Heaton, the third Sunday in March; Mr. D. Sutton, the third Sunday in April; Mr. Joshua Jones, the fourth Sunday in May; Mr. Runyon, the fourth Sunday in August.
9. The ministers expressed a readiness to supply Philadelphia, in case Mr. Edwards should proceed in the execution of his public office.
10. The contributors to the Association fund were — £ s. d. Church of Philadelphia, 2 12 0 Church of Cohansie, 0 15 0 Church of Southampton, 1 2 6 Church of Baltimore, 0 10 0 Church of Pennepek, 1 0 0 Church of Great Valley, 0 6 10½ Church of Hopewell, 1 0 0 Church of Kingwood, 0 5 0 Church of New York, 3 0 0 Edward Kesby, Esq., 0 7 6 Mr. Pangburn, 0 3 9 Mr. John Briggs, 0 3 9
This, added to the former capital and interest, make £110 12s. 2½d.
A private letter from, Rev. Samuel Harris, alias Col. Harris, of Pittsylvania, in Virginia, was read, to the great joy and entertainment of the Association; whereby it appears, that there are four Associations now in Carolina, and two in Virginia; that he hath planted seventeen churches lately; that two of our ministers are in Chesterfield gaol; that there is an unusual outpouring of the Spirit on all ranks of men in those parts; that many negroesendure scourgings for religion’s sake; that two clergymen of the Church of England, preach Jesus Christ with unusal warmth.
PASTORAL ADDRESS The ministers and messengers of the several Baptist congregations in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, and provinces adjacent, met in annual Association at Philadelphia, October 15th, 16th, 17th, 1771.
To the several churches we respectively relate unto, wish grace, mercy, and peace may be multiplied.
Dear brethren, — Through the good providence of God, we have been preserved to see one season more of our annual. meeting and, blessed be God, we met in love, and preserved love and harmony through the whole of our consultations. We were agreeably entertained with a discourse on the insufficiency of our own righteousness in point of justification, by our brother, Kelsay, from Philippians iii:9; and
much refreshed with your letters, by which we learn that our churches are mostly at peace among themselves; and that the Lord is still continuing his presence in the midst of his golden candlesticks, and blessing his word to the bringing of some to the obedience of faith. We also have good news from the eastern and western Associations, of seven churches joining them, and of increase, by baptism, to the number of four hundred and forty-two, which, with the increase in ours, make five hundred and twenty-four.
Now, beloved brethren, before we part from one another, we would remind you of these few necessary things, viz.: That, as there be some complaints of deadness and coldness in religion, O be instant with the Lord in private and public prayers, wrestling with him for his blessing, and those measures of his Spirit and grace whereby your own souls may be quickened more and more, and you grow in grace and knowledge, and in the practice of every duty, and lay no stumbling block in the way of any. Be watchful against the temptations of Satan, the great enemy of the church. Be careful to keep your Christian graces in exercise, that you may be comfortable in the midst of difficulties. Be diligent in attending the means of grace. Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is. Strengthen the hands of your ministers, and pray earnestly that God will bless their labors. Finally, brethren, be mindful of the exhortation, to keep your loins girt and your lamps burning, that, whenever the midnight cry be heard, you may be ready to go in with Christ to the marriage, which is the wish of your brethren. Signed in our behalf,
JOHN GANO, Moderator,
MORGAN EDWARDS, Clerk.
Finding that the minutes of the Association do not fill the sheet as usual, I will, according to particular desire, add one agreement, that the Associating churches came to, dated the 27th of the seventh month, in the year 1707; and it is the first on record:
"Agreed, That no man shall be allowed to preach among the Associated churches, except he produce credentials of his being in communion with his church, and of his having been called and licensed to preach."
Before this, vain and insufficient men, who had set themselves up to be preachers, would stroll about the country under the name of Baptist ministers; also, ministers degraded and excommunicated, who, with their immorality, and the others, with their insufficiency and immorality too, brought disgrace on the very name of Baptists; which evil, the above agreement of the Association, if attended to, would in a great measure, remedy. Christ is the door to the ministry, and his church is the porter, for to it hath he given the keys; and whoever comes in at the door, to him the porter openeth, John x:3; he that climbeth into the pulpit any other way, climbeth thither by an extraordinary call and mission, and must give an extraordinary proof thereof, as the Apostles did, or subject himself to a suspicion of intrusion and imposture. And it has been found, that they who pretend to extraordinary calls and missions are such as could obtain no
ordinary ones, because either their characters or gifts would not justify any church that should put them in the ministry. In truth, they are self-made preachers; and it has been said, that "a self-made preacher, a quack doctor, and a pettyfogging lawyer, are three animals that the world would do better without than with."
STATE OF THE CHURCHES DURING THE YEAR
N. B. The churches marked thus * sent no messengers; their numbers remain as they were last year. Increase this year, eighty-two.
[A. D. Gillette, Minutes of Philadelphia Association, 1851; rpt. 2001. - jrd]
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