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MINUTES OF THE PHILADELPHIA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
HELD AT THE SCOTCH PLAINS, IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
OCTOBER 15TH AND 16TH, 1776.

      October 15 — At three o’clock, P. M., the Association was opened with a discourse from Colossians 1:28: "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus," by our brother, William Vanhorne.

      2. After divine service, Brother Isaac Stelle was chosen moderator, and Brother William Vanhorne, clerk.

     3. Proceeded to read the letters from the churches. Adjourned to nine o’clock to-morrow morning. October 16 — Association met, pursuant to adjournment.

     4. A letter was read from the Association held at the High Hills of Santee, dated May 16th, 1773.

     5. This Association, taking into consideration the awful impending-calamities of these times, and deeply impressed with a sense of our duty to humble ourselves before God, by acknowledging our manifold sins, and imploring his pardon and interposition in favor of our distressed country; and also to beseech him to grant, that such blessings may accompany the means of his grace that a revival of pure and undefiled religion may universally prevail;

     Resolved, That it be and it is hereby recommended to our churches, to observe four days of humiliation in the year ensuing, by prayer, abstinence from food, and labor, and recreations, lawful on other days. The days proposed for humiliation are the Friday before the last Lord's day in November, February, May, and August.

     6. Application being made to the Association for the benefit of Mrs. Hubb's donation by Messrs. Enoch Morgan, Burgess Alison, and James Darrah;

     Resolved, That it be equally divided between the latter, they giving the usual security.

     7. Agreed, That Brother Samuel Jones be requested to write the circular letter for next year.

     8. On motion, Resolved, That Brother Abel. Morgan be desired


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to compose a letter on the subject of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, against the next Association.

     9. Brother John Sutton being requested to bring in a draught of a letter to the Associations corresponding with us; and having brought in the same, and it being read, was approved.

     10. Agreed, That Brother ward be our messenger to warren Association.

     11. Brother James Benedict was requested to preach the Association sermon next year; and, in case of failure, Brother John Sutton was desired to be prepared.

     12. Voted, That the Association meet next year in Philadelphia, on the Tuesday after the second Lord's day in October, at three o'clock, P. M. Supplies granted to the following destitute places: — New Mills, upper Freehold, Mount Bethel, Lyon's Farms, and Cow Marsh.

     13. The circular letter appointed to be drawn up the last year for this Association not coming to hand, Brother Robert Kelsay was desired to prepare one to the churches; and having brought in the same, it was read, approved, and is as follows:

CIRCULAR LETTER.
BY Rev. Robert Kelsay

     The elders and messengers of the several churches met at Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

     Send our Christian salutation.
     Beloved Brethren, — Through the sparing mercies of God, we have been permitted to see the revolution of another year, and to meet together, although mot at the place appointed by our last Association. Nevertheless, we have abundant cause to admire the goodness of God, that we have a being, and are not driven from our habitations as many of our brethren have been. Dark and gloomy are the clouds which hang over us; therefore, brethren, since the Lord seems to be contending with our guilty land, both by sword and epidemical diseases, his judgments being so evidently amongst us, there is a loud call to the inhabitants in general, and especially to his professing people, to learn lessons of righteousness. Suffer us, therefore, your friends, brethren and ministers, to recommend these few things in love to your serious consideration.

     First. We exhort you in the words of our Lord, to watch against a, drowsy disposition, and remissness in fulfilling the solemn obligations incumbentupon us, to the glory of him that called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

     Secondly. Take special heed to maintain peace amongst yourselves, in these days of confusion. And, let every one be honestly engaged to fill up their proper stations as creatures bound to eternity, not knowing how long we may enjoy those privileges which we have abused. Let it never be said of one professing to be born from above that such a one is careless in prayer; reading the scriptures;


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attending worship and maintaining discipline, seeing we must all be accountable to God for our stewardship at last.

     Thus, brethren, in a few words, we commend you to God and the word of his grace. Subscribing ourselves yours in gospel relations.

ISAAC STELLE, Moderator.
WILLIAM VAN HORNE, Clerk.

THE MINISTERS AND MESSENGERS AT THE ASSOCIATION, AND STATE OF THE CHURCHES DURING THE YEAR.


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      NOTE. — The ministers' names are in SMALL CAPITALS. Those marked thus * not present. The churches marked thus † sent neither letters nor messengers, and their numbers remain as last year. A dash — denotes no settled minister.

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1777

      [In consequence of the ravages of war, and Philadelphia being occupied by the British army, the Association held no meeting this year. — A.D.G., Ed.]

[A. D. Gillette, editor, Minutes of Philadelphia Association, 1776, 1851; rpt. 2001. — jrd]



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