Letter to the Association 1789

This is the letter to the association written by Beddome and his church officers in 1789

To the Ministers and Messengers of the several Baptist Churches designing
to meet in Association at Evesham on the Tuesday and Wednesday maj
The Church of Christ meeting at Burton on the Water holding the Doctrines
usually specified in your annual Letter wisheth Grace Mercy and Peace from
God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ/
Dearly beloved Brethren
How swift the Revolutions of Time! How soon hath another Year
taken its Flight and left scarcely the shadow of a Trace behind!
Since your last annual Assembly We have gone through a Variety of Changes
with some light Afflictions and Experiences, Multitudes of Mercies met; but
alass how faint are the Impressions made, how soon how easily have they been
eras'd! Yet the same God who gave us Liberty to write then renews it now,
which we would regard as a wonderful Instance of his Patience, Longsuffering
Tenderness and Compassion, considering our neglect a??g provoking Carriage
towards him - We survive the Funeral of many of our Christian Friends,
other churches have lost their dear pastors and are yet unprovided, ours
is continued; and though aged and infirm, is not totally incapacitated and
laid aside: Other Churches have been convuls'd, and almost torn in pieces
by Divisions, Ours enjoys a considerable Measure of Peace; though that oneness
of Heart which is the great ornament of Christianity is too much wanting.
Our Number is neither diminished; nor increas'd; one being added by Baptism
and a very aged Member remov'd by Death - In a Word Luke warm as for
Barrenness, inward Darkness and that though the Children are are brought to
the Birth there is not strength to bring forth, have long bene and still are
the Subjects of our Complaint. Will you pray earnestly to God for us, and may
he hear for his Name's sake and for his Son's sake.
To draw to a Close - as we trust in this yearly Meeting you are
animated with a desire of promoting your own mutual Edification, the
Welfare of the associated Church, and the Glory of God We devoutly
wish you the divine Presence and Influence both in the publick Assembly and
your Private Conferences not being left to a jejeune and trifling Spirit, which
both often render'd such opportunities unpleasant and uninviting.
We sadly feel that a Spirit of error is creeping into some of the Churches,
and that where the Doctrines of the Gospel are not totally rejected
their Importance is not properly attended to: a Word therefore concerning
this in your circular Letter may perhaps be a Word in Season,
And now may the eternal Spirit of God, the Spirit of Life, Love, Peace and
Holiness preside in your Councils, and rule in your Hearts; preserving you
both from carnal contentions and frothy conversation; so that the messengers
of the Churches may be the Glory of Christ, thus pray
Your Brothers in Gospel Bonds
Signed at our Church Meeting May 31st 1789

Benjamin Beddome
James Ashwin
Edward Reynolds
Thomas Cresser
Wm Palmer
Rich Dolby
Joshua Perry
Wm Collett
Samuel Fox

Not knowing whether our Pastor oppress'd as
he is with Infirmities will be able to give
You his Company we have appointed our beloved
Deacon James Ashwin and Wm Palmer
our Messengers on this Occasion.

[The association was in Evesham and apparently Beddome did go. It was to be his last. He preached on Philippians 4:3].

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