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Written by William Fristoe   

The Bounds of this Association, and the number of Churches belonging to her before any were dismissed.

HER length, from King George County, in the northern neck of Virginia, to Redstone Settlement, back of the Alleghany Mountain, we may compute at three hundred miles; and in width, from Orange County, south of the Rapadan, to Fredericktown in Maryland, we suppose to be one hundred miles, or more.

The number of churches contained within these limits, were, as well as we can ascertain, 40; and the number of persons baptized within this association, to the present time is about four thousand. A number of the above-cited churches have been dismissed in order to join elsewhere, viz. -Birch Creek and Maho Churches joined some association to the south; Linvilles Creek Church, Mount Poney and Battle Run Churches joined Culpeper association; Great Bethel, Laurel Hill, Ten Mile Creek, Patterson Creek, and Goshen Churches were dismissed to join the Monongahela association; Frederick and Seneca Churches joined the Baltimore association. Several churches have become extinct by deaths and removals to the western country and elsewhere, and some that still exist, have by the same means become very few in number. Some of our ministers have likewise removed, and others are dead, and instances are latterly very rare of young ones being raised up among us; so that the number of our preachers are very few, and generally far advanced in years. When we attend our annual meetings, we behold so many of us (out of the few) with hoary heads, looking  through our glasses, which ought to excite us to cry to the great Shepherd to send forth laborers into His harvest. At this time the bounds of this association are much lessened, and the number of members much decreased.

An Account of the Death of Elder Daniel Fristoe.

DANIEL FRISTOE was born in December, 1739, of parents of middling circumstances in the world. When young he received a tolerable English education -was not addicted to profane language, or the grosser immoralities of the times and place where he lived; but in what is called civil recreation he excelled, attending balls, fiddling and dancing, and other fashionable sports in which his heart was delighted, until he arrived at about 22 or 23 years of age, at which time he went a considerable distance to hear a Baptist minister preach. At the meeting his horse got away, which obliged him to tarry all night at the place. It being at the house of a Baptist, and several others coming in, who professed to be converted, and entering on religious conversation, brought strange things to his ears; their talk was about the wretched state sin had involved them in; of the absolute need they were in of the precious blood of Christ to wash them from pollution, and remove their guilt, and the robe of His righteousness to adorn their souls; the need they stood in of the supplies of grace, to bear them up under all their trails and conflicts -after which he returned home quite serious, and conversed frequently with his friends and relations on these important and interesting subjects. He had to wade for a considerable time through much distress of mind, and under a weighty load of guilt, until through rich, free, and sovereign grace, God was pleased to remove his burthen and reveal a Saviour to his soul, which through his life afterwards he gave proof of. He then repaired to the church of God, related his experience, was baptized, and gave himself a member of the Baptist church. Soon after he accustomed himself to pray in public, and delivered exhortations with a great deal of warmth. In this course he continued for several years, until the church called him to exercise his gift in preaching, in which he gave general satisfaction. Although his knowledge in the sacred scriptures, and his manner of communicating his ideas in that easy and intelligible manner, was not equal to many others, yet his warmth and engagedness in treating on common and interesting subjects, rendered him very useful in awakening sinners, and stirring up and warming the hearts of Christians. He was employed but a few years in the ministry, before he was sent a messenger from Ketocton to the Philadelphia association. When there he took the smallpox, and after a short tour of preaching in New Jersey, returned again to Philadelphia, and was taken with the fever, but continued at Marcus Hook, (a small town this side of Philadelphia,) where he died in the thirty-fifth year of his age. His remains were carried back to Philadelphia and interred in the Baptist burying ground. He left several desolate congregations, a widow, one son and six daughters, to make their way through this desert land and vast howling wilderness.

The Purpose and Intention of the Baptists in forming an Association.

THE intention of the Baptists in associating together, was to answer several purposes. First -when each church sent a messenger and letter, and when met in one place, it proved a medium of giving general information of the success of the Gospel -the happy conversion of souls to Christ, and extension of the Saviour's spiritual kingdom among the human family, which cannot fail being matter of transport to all the spiritual sons and daughters of Zion. Secondly -information is obtained respecting desolate churches, or congregations who are destitute of the ministry of the word of God and administration of the ordinances thereof, which gives an opportunity of devising ways for relieving such churches in their widowed state, by nominating individuals, and--encouraging preachers to visit and preach to them, to forward their growth in grace and improvement in the knowledge of spiritual things. Thirdly -when associated, an opportunity offers for receiving intelligence of any church proving erroneous in principle. We consider immorality in practice, unworthy the Christian character, in which case they are to be dealt with accordingly, and if they cannot be reclaimed, are excluded from the association. Fourthly -as an advisory council, when application is made by any of the churches by way of enquiry in matters or questions intricate or mysterious, the association gives her opinion and advice, but never attempts to enforce her measures so as to infringe on the Independence of church government; for it is a doctrine held sacred in this community, that a congregational church of Christ is the highest court God hath established on earth, and that she has an undoubted right to decide on all matters respecting her internal government -and that it is arbitrary, tyrannical and antiChristian, to usurp over her, or pluck the reins of government from her, forasmuch as this right is vested in her by the great Law-giver.

A Summary of the leading Principles holden by this Association.

ALTHOUGH this association has a small system, wherein their religious sentiments are expressed; yet as many Into whose hands this concise history may fall, may possibly never have read the Baptist Confession of Faith, it has been deemed necessary to insert here a few of the leading doctrines of the same, for the satisfaction of the attentive reader.

FIRST -We believe there is one living and true God; that He is self-existent and independent, in whom all power, wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness and truth centre; who is omniscient and omnipresent -the Almighty Creator of all things that do exist, visible and invisible; who upholds and governs all things by His providential hand, according to the council of His own will.

SECONDLY -That in the Divine Essence there are (according to the Scriptures) three persons, or subsistences, distinguished by the relative names of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; that each subsistence possesses proper Deity –that the work of creation is ascribed to them -divine worship is addressed to each of them; each of them are called by the same divine names -and in the name of the three in one the New Testament ordinances are to be administered.

THIRDLY -That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God; that they were given by divine inspiration, and that this system of divine revelation comprehends everything necessary for us to know concerning God and the direction of our obedience to Him. By this divine book God hath made revelation of His gracious design in saving poor sinners, and pointed out the way through the mediation of the Lord Jesus, that by the instrumentality of this sacred word, stubborn and obstinate sinners are brought into the obedience of faith, and the incorrigible left without excuse; and that by this word of the Lord all men shall be judged in the last day.

FOURTHLY -That man was created upright, free from sin, and possessed with holiness of nature; that he fell from that innocent state in which he was created, by transgressing God's command, by which he became morally dead, and subjected himself to bodily and an eternal death -and as a public head, involved his unborn progeny in the like ruin; for all descending from him by ordinary generation, are born in a state of pollution, and under the dominion of sin, and guilty before God.

FIFTHLY -That in eternity, God out of His own good pleasure chose a certain number of Adam's progeny to eternal life, and that He did not leave the accomplishment of His decrees to accident or chance, but decreed all the means to bring about the event; therefore they are chosen to salvation through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Their calling was decreed in the purpose of election: It is said, when called, that they are called according to His purpose and grace given in Christ Jesus before the world began, and all in order to manifest the glory of His grace.

SIXTHLY -That the covenant of redemption was between the Father and the Son -that the elect were given by the Father to the Son, to be by Him redeemed and finally saved; and that the Son, as head and representative of His people, engaged to perform everything necessary or requisite to carry their complete salvation into effect. It is called in scripture, a well ordered covenant in all things, and sure.

SEVENTHLY -That in the fulness of time, the Son of God was manifested by taking human nature into union with His divine person, in which capacity He wrought out a righteousness for the justification of His people; yielding a perfect and spotless obedience to all the requisitions of the divine law, and submitted Himself to a shameful and ignominious death on the cross, as an atonement for their sins, and reconciliation of their souls to God.

EIGHTHLY-That those that are redeemed by Christ, are in due time called to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus -embracing Him as the only way to God, and saviour of poor sinners. This effectual calling is accomplished by the agency of the Holy Ghost operating in a free, irresistible and unfrusterable manner, by which the understanding is enlightened, and the will subjected to Christ. Hence the scriptures testify that they are made willing in the day of His power. This internal change, or new birth in the soul, is wholly ascribed to the power of God; for it is said of the regenerate: They are begotten of God, quickened of God, born of God -all expressive that it is the Lord's work, and He is entitled to the praise.

NINTHLY -All that are effectually called by efficacious grace, are freely justified of God. The perfect obedience, or in other words, the righteousness of Christ being imputed to them, their sins are pardoned, and their persons accepted in God's beloved Son. Such are taken under the care of the great Shepherd of souls, and rests on the infallible promises and power of God, which has engaged to protect them under all their trials; to succour them when tempted; to supply all their wants, and withhold no good thing from them; to continue the good work of grace begun in them, and crown the end of their faith in the complete salvation of their souls.

TENTHLY -That being bought with the precious blood of Christ, and called by rich grace, it becomes a bounden duty to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, although justified by grace, to which our works can add nothing -yet by good works the declarative glory of God is manifested, and the genuineness of faith proven, which, while others behold, they may be led to glorify God, who is in heaven. And,

LASTLY -That God will guide men and angels in the last day, by Jesus Christ: That when Christ appears in the clouds of Heaven with the sound of the trumpet, the dead saints shall be raised incorruptible and reunited to their souls; then shall they, together with the living saints, be caught up to meet the Lord in the air -and so shall they be forever with the Lord. The wicked will be raised likewise in that sinful state in which they died; and never having been regenerated and qualified by grace for the kingdom of Heaven, will be sentenced to unspeakable torments, for ever and ever, from which there will be no recovery to endless duration.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 November 2006 )
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