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TO THE BAPTIST MISSIONARY CONVENTION OF THE

STATE OF NEW YORK.

Dear BRETAREN-In compliance with a resolution passed at your session in Whitesboro, in Oct., 1836, requesting us to draw up an account of the origin and progress of the New York Baptist State Convention, we have entered upon the task, though with great diffidence, from a deep sense of our incompetence, yet animated by the desire that God may be glorified by a record of His wonders of grace in this region, and anxious to leave to the rising generation a memorial of his dealings with his people in all the way through which he has led them to the present time. Trusting in -the Lord, we have proceeded with the arduous work, and have brought it to a close. We now submit it, to be disposed of as you in your wisdom shall think proper, assuring you that we have done the best in our power with the scattered materials and means which we possessed.

We are aware that the work is drawn out to a length not contemplated by the Convention ; yet, upon a survey of the whole ground, we could not render it more concise, and do justice to the subject. We regard it as designed not merely for the presont age, but for them that should come after us ; as a thank-offering to God for his abundant goodness to his people, and as a source of materials to some future historian.

With ardent prayer that God may long own and bless the labors of this Society whose history, from its infancy, we have endeavored te trace, we remain Your fellow-laborers in the gospel,

JOHN Peck,

JOHN LAWTON. CAZENOVIA, April 13, 1837.

INTRODUCTION.

At the session of the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York, held at Whitesboro, Oct. 19 and 20, 1836, the following resolutions were passed, viz. “ Resolved, That the rich indications of Divine favor which have been enjoyed by this Convention, from its organization to the present time, are at once the best reward for past exertions and the highest incentive to increased faithfulness.”

This resolution was sustained by Br. J. Peck, in remarks giving a brief but deeply interesting account of the origin and progress of this body; after which the following resolution was unanimously passed :

Resolved, That Brn. J. Peck and J. Lawton be requested to draw up a succinct and consecutive account of the origin and progress of this Convention, for publication under the direction of the Board.”

In compliance with the above we undertook the work. In view of the whole subject, however, we thought that a full exhibition of the wonderful dealings of Providence with the Baptist denomination in western New York would require an account of their settlement and early history in this section. We have therefore given a brief sketch of many incidents which occurred at this early day, connected with the progress of religion and the establishment of churches. The task, we found, was indeed laborious ; for, as we intended that our narrative should be strictly authentic, nothing was to be taken on trust, and we were required to make thorough and patient search for such documents as would afford the necessary information.

In compiling this work, we have been often refreshed by a consideration of the goodness of God, manifested in the enlargement of our churches and the increasing prevalence of the principles of the Bible. Yet we would not forget his favor to other evangelical denominations who have labored for the promotion of the gospel from the earliest settlement of the country. We rejoice in the success of their efforts for the salvation of sinners and the establishment of the saints. The zeal of their missionaries has been praiseworthy, and their labors abundant and successful. Through their efforts numerous churches have arisen, and been supplied with faithful ministers; while many precious souls have been led to the Lamb of God, and are now rejoicing in hope of immortal glory..

These testimonies of Divine favor towards others gladden our hearts, and we wish them prosperity in all: their evangelical labors. But our limits forbid our entering upon their particular history, or doing more than recording the expression of our affectionate regard.

We acknowledge the kind assistance of a number of brethren in the promotion of this undertaking, and especially that of Br. J. Smitzer, Secretary of the Convention.

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