ORB Circular Letters

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Frogman, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    The above quote is a question taken from another thread relating to Old Regular Baptists. That thread has since been closed. However, if anyone knows of any sources for ORB circular newsletters, either from the past, recent past or current, I thought this would be an interesting topic.

    bro. Dallas:wavey:
     
  2. Frogman

    Frogman
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    I found the following letter at the given link:

    http://www.rootsweb.com/~kyknott2/

    There is a list of several obituaries from various ORB Associations. I found this letter within the link for the Indian Bottom Assoc. Obituaries. I have not checked the others. I posted the main page link above. Scroll down to the box with the Associations listed and check them out.

    bro. Dallas:wavey:

    CIRCULAR LETTER

    A circular letter written by Jordan Ashley to the New Salem Association, when held with the Joppa Church, Floyd County, Kentucky, in 1854. Reprinted in 1932 Indian Bottom Association Minutes and transcribed here by J.B. Francis:

    Dear Brethren:
    In compliance with the request of the Association, I shall endeavor to address you on the subject of “Love.” I must speak of it in a two fold sense. First in a temporal and second in a spiritual sense.

    The first we discover to be the most powerful passions of the human soul and when experienced in the plentiture of its powers, embraces with despotic energy and uncontrollable dominion all the complicated and powerful faculties of the man. It is implanted in the human breast for the noblest and most beneficent purposes and when restricted to its legitimate object and restrained within due bounds by moral sentiments, may be called the great fountain of human happiness. It commences in the cradle with tender emotions of filial attachment and veneration for our parents. It animates and accompanies us through all the checkered vicissitudes of life, attaching its self to every object which can afford us enjoyment and happiness, and finally in accompanying us to the last resort of the living, it concentrates all its pure and sublime energies at the great fountain of existence–the throne of the Living God.

    Secondly, we shall proceed to speak something of divine love and the promise added -- “The god of love and peace be with you.” A rich promise, and may it, with all its blessings, be yours. There is ever a communion between holy practice and holy joy. The way of godliness is the way of peace. The fulfillment of the practical directions will bring richer enjoyment of the Divine presence with all those inestimable blessings that Providence ever brings. This is according to the gracious promise, “Who soever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly” Matt. 13-12.

    We have nothing without God, and where He gives one degree it is a pledge to encourage us to hope for more. Attend to the practical directions, be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and then shall the blessings—the god of Love and Peace shall be with you. The due exercise of grace, which in itself must be traced to sovereign and free love of God, brings more grace. The holy spirit loves to dwell in peaceful, tranquil bosoms. He is grieved and driven away when we permit angry contentions and unholy feelings to rankle in our hearts. Take heed how you quench the spirit, that holy and loving quest, that makes the body of the Christian the temple of God, from which the living waters are perpetually flowing. To whom are we to look for the blessing? The god of Love and Peace. What comfort it is, my brethren, to direct you thither. A mother when departing from her children to take a distant journey, feels it unspeakable relief to be able to leave them with a kind and tender nurse or friend. And, my brothers, it is my greatest relief of mind in writing to you to feel assured that when I shall leave you, to see you no more, the god of Peace and Love will be with you. The god of Love and Peace, what a title God is love in its essence, soul and fullness. All other love is but derived from Him. There is no love so sweet, delightful and excellent in the creation but what a ray from His beauty and glory.

    The love of parents to children and children to parents is very tender and endearing. The love of husbands to wives and of wives to husbands is very intimate and comforting. The love of ministers to people is a bond of which I now more than ever feel the power and strength. But all these are not little drops or streamlets. There is a full river of love proceeding from God, the Fountain Head of all love. Love is God Himself. The wonders of His love ! It has height beyond the starry sky, it has depth beyond the great deep, it has length and breadth farther that east to west, or north to south. It passes knowledge; no tongue can fully declare it, nor can any human being that knows that God spared not His own son, but delivered him up for us all, for one moment reasonably doubt His love.

    Peace flows from love. He is the God of Peace, also the author of Peace and Love Concord. Oh, how wonderfully has He displayed His character in the Gospel of Peace, to-wit: that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their treasures unto them, hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. Never then, be tempted to look upon God as one who wills your destruction as a hard master or bitter enemy. This may be the view of God, that the great enemy of your fallen nature would lead you to take, but the Gospel shows Him to you not as your enemy but as your reconciled father, who hath reconciled them to Himself by Jesus Christ. He will quiet every troubled heart. He will calm every agitated thought. He maketh the storm a calm so that the waves thereof are still. But let us more particularly ask what it is to have the God of Love and Peace with us in all situations and circumstances—ever with us in the congregations whenever we assemble together.

    Oh, may you be filled with divine love and peace and have the doctrine of Love and Peace continually proclaimed from the pulpit and felt in every bosom. May the riches of Love and Peace be exhibited in the brightest colors in your public baptisms and around the table of the Lord when commemorating His dying love. In all your religious meetings may the God of Love and Peace preside and abundantly manifest the sweet savor of His grace. In your families, may the same glorious Being condescend to dwell even as if I said—in each of your houses, “Peace be to this house.” So from the heart I would say, “the God of Love and Peace be all your dwellings.”

    Receive into your hearts also the Great Inhabitant and the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God that your whole spirit, soul and body may be preserved unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. “We live,” says the apostle, “if we stand fast in the Lord.” His word expresses my inward feeling, may the Lord hold up your goings in His path.

    Our past communion has been pleasant and profitable. Often our hearts have been touched, melted and comforted under the sense of God’s presence and love. The glow of devotion has warmed our bosom, together with the praises of our Redeemer, which one volume of holy joy and admiration have ascended up together to the heavenly habitation. But all that we have hitherto enjoyed is but a foretaste of our entire and more blessed communion. Soon shall we join that blessed company. Short indeed is the intervening time. But in that time, may the Lord of prayers still unite us often at the throne of Grace and at length forever sing together the praises of Him who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and made us kings and priests unto God the Father, to whom be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    JORDAN ASHLEY

    {edited to block the paragraphs} bro. Dallas
     
    #2 Frogman, Dec 17, 2007
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  3. Virginia ORB

    Virginia ORB
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    Good to see you on here again, Brother Frogman. The Indian Bottom Association has a few recent Circular Letters on our site: http://www.oldregularbaptist.com/

    Here is a letter that I typed up a few months ago:

    Union Association
    1944 by Elder J. R. Stanley

    Dearly Beloved Brethren and Sisters of the Union Association:

    Having been appointed by you to write a Circular Letter for your inspection, I will now make the feeble attempt, and I truly hope to be guided by the Spirit of God.

    I want to call your attention to the second chapter and ninth verse of Hebrews, which reads as follows; “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the Angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” I often wonder why this scripture was used, “That Jesus was made a little lower than the angels.” And in my meditations and thinking over this scripture it was revealed to me that angels do not die but it became necessary that Jesus be born of the Virgin Mary and at the end of His race in this world to suffer and to die on the rugged tree of the Cross, in order for us to have a right to this Grace that is spoken of in this scripture: “That He by the Grace of God should taste death for every man.”

    Now I know that the man that preaches a universal salvation would have you to believe that in this death everybody was saved, but I want to quote to you from Eph. 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” So we see in order for a man to attain this grace there is something for him to do, and one of the important things required of him is: He must have faith in God. Jesus said to the woman, to wit, Mary Magdalene, as recorded in Luke 7:50, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

    Brethren, I do not believe that anyone was saved by His death on the cross, but I believe it reconciled the whole world back into the favor of God, and then in order to be saved men and women must believe and that with their whole heart.

    A certain lawyer stood up and tempting Jesus said, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said unto him, “What is written in the law?” And he said, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself,” and Jesus said unto him, “Thou hast answered right, this do and thou shalt live.”

    Now it is an evident fact so long as a man or woman clings to the gods of this world they cannot exercise faith towards God, neither love Him. I think when sinners become sick and tired of the rugged path of sin they can then seek for this Grace that was given us in Christ and can obtain it through suffering and by a new birth of being born again. Of course the world marvels at the doctrine of a new birth, and so did Nicodemus. He said, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered and said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the Kingdom of God.” And he also said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, you must be born again.” Forty-two years ago, on the fifteenth day of April, in Floyd County, KY, I was born of a good mother, and this is what Jesus meant when He said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” But if I am not mistaken in myself, fourteen years ago last October, in Letcher County, KY, at Burdine, I was born of the Spirit, and if this did happen with me my hope that has been worth more to me than anything I have ever possessed in this life, and I want to say to those who are still in sin that while you have life and opportunity believe in the Lord and do not put your trust in man. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man cometh onto the Father but by Me,” and He also says that “Except you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins,” so when that good Spirit is striving with you and telling you that all is not well with you, I would advise you to do as I did and as David of old did: “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and the Lord heard me.” So while you are in good health and in the bloom of life is the time to think over these things.

    There are doubtless many poor soldier boys on the battlefield today sending up that cry who in the past never thought so much about it. There is no one else to go to for saving Grace except Jesus Christ our Lord. John says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Brethren, you that know me as a minister know that I am a short speaker in the stand and you would not expect me to write a long Circular Letter, and as this is my first and possibly will be my last, as my health is very poor and I have been very near the brink of the river of death since I last met you in the Union Association, and if I never meet you in another Association here in this war torn world, I have that precious hope that I referred to in this letter: that I will meet you in that Celestial City where the poet says, “The walls are made jasper and the streets are made of gold.”; where your sons and my brothers will not have to go to war, wives will not have to see their husbands leave them and their little children to enlist under the Stars and Stripes of Old Glory that waves over this nation of ours. May God bless you and them, will always be my prayer.

    Your unworthy servant,
    J. R. Stanley
     
  4. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Thanks for the link and letter Va. ORB, I had found the Indian Bottom Association site and bookmarked it previously.

    I visit there pretty regularly:D .

    bro. Dallas:wavey:
     
  5. convicted1

    convicted1
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    I am amazed at the way these letters of old were written. I guess this shows us that these so-called "back-woodsmen" were more educated than we thought. I know that some never went to college or had muh schooling, but God gave them the gift of reading and writing.
     
  6. Frogman

    Frogman
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