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2d. That the best of good feeling exists toward the brethren and the general work throughout the entire confines of the Christian Tin ion field.
3d. That the reports we receive from the fraternal messengers who have been appointed to the previous state councils, indicate the best of results.
4th. As your committee, we hereby officially extend our right hand of fellowship to everv Christian Union man and woman in the world.
5th. That we hereby and herein declare that, as a people, we stand ready to fraternize with every Christian person or body of persons whose love and kindliness will prompt them to co-operate with us in our efforts to lead perishing mankind to the blood-stained cross of Jesus.
6th. That in our fraternal overtures we draw no party lines nor prescribe any sectarian or sectional boundaries or edicts, but ask for brotherly love and affiliation on the primal and essential truths of God's dear Son—our Savior.
7th. We rejoice to know that partisanism and sectarian denominationalism are rapidly dying out, and the great and holy principle of a soulsaving gospel getting hold upon and deeply in the hearts of good and true Christians in all the various religious organizations.
8th. The indications, everywhere, justify the conclusion that the religious elements of our country are drawing closer and still closer together.
ON PUBLISHING INTERESTS.
We, your committee on publishing interests, report as follows: 1st. That the Witness has been suspended, and we are, therefore, without a church organ at present.
2d. That our cause is amply stroog to maintain and support a printing house, at which all needed printing can be done at reasonable rates, and a good Christian Union paper provided for the promotion of our cause.
3d. We therefore propose that this council appoint a committee of five, whose duty it shall be to proceed and raise means sufficient to buy a printing office, with all needful appurtenances, to print a Christian Union paper, etc., etc.
4th. That this committee be ordered by this body to use their wisdom in the plan of securing a publishing house, to-wit: That they induce one, two or more brethren to provide said office and have the proceeds thereof, and hire the editor; or, else, that said committee raise a general fund in a sum sufficient to buy an office complete—said sum to be raised by contributions throughout the brotherhood, by a canvass among the local churches; and that said office be the common property of the donors, and to be used, for all time to come, as the publishing house of the Christian Union.
5th. That we, after buying this office, authorize this said committee of five to arrange with Bro. J. V. B. Flack, our former editor, to run the said office and edit a Christian Union paper for a period of, at least, five years; unless, in the judgment of the committee and donors, his services should be discontinued and another take his place, or said editor desires to relinquish the office of his own motion.
6th. Furthermore, we direct that said committee take under advisemerit the idea of the combined contributions of the Christian Union and public generally buying a printing office outfit complete, and then tender the use of said office for five years to Brother J. V. B. Flack, allowing him to have the use of the material, free of all expense, for said period, on condition that he provide a Christian Union weekly paper for our people, he, the said J. V. B. Flack, to receive all the proceeds for subscription and for job work done by the said office, he paying all the expenses for running said office, and keeping up the same to a point of usefulness.
With these suggestions we leave the matter with the council and the contemplated committee of five, should you in your wisdom appoint one.
ON PUBLISHING MINUTES.
We, your committee, advise that the proceedings of this council be printed in pamphlet form, and that means be raised at once to defray the expense thereof.
ON EXAMINATION AND ORDINATION.
We, your committee, report that, after careful examination, we commend as proper candidates to ordination, Bros. J. R. Franklin and A. S. Gechter.
We, your committee, commend to your notice the wisdom and propriety of sound education. We urge that our members seek to give their children the advantages of learning. We suggest that at an early period we adopt measures to secure in our council bounds a first-class college, and until then we commend Rutherford College, Happy Home, North Carolina, to the patronage of our people. We also desire to hereby express our thanks to the above named college and its learned faculty for the merited honor they conferred upon our fellow worker, Brother J. V. B. Flack, in constituting the said beloved brother a doctor of divinity. His learning and faithfulness have rendered him worthy of all honor.
Resolved, that we are a temperance people; that we co-operate with all movements tending to help lift up the fallen inebriate; that we condemn the manufacture, sale and use of ardent spirits as a beverage; that we do not believe in organizing political parties on the temperance question, but think we should promote the cause by the machinery of the church and the conversion of the souls of the unfortunate.
ON UNFINISHED BUSINESS.
We, your committee, after careful examination, do not find any unfinished business demanding attention.
ON PUBLIC WORSHIP.
We, your committee on public worship, submit the following complete report: Preaching, Thursday night, by Elder A. Arnote; preaching, Friday, at 11 A. in., by Elder J. R. Franklin; preaching, Friday night, by Elder A. S. Gechter; preaching, Saturday, at 11 A. M., by Elder N. Nickeson; preaching Saturday night, by Elder N. H. French; social meeting, Sunday, at 9 A. M., by Elder D. H. McClure; preaching, Sunday, at 11 A. M., by .Elder G. W. Mitchell; sacramental meeting, at 3 P. M., by Elder H. Holman; preaching at night, by Elder A. S. Gechter, followed by Elder J. V. B. Flack.
Since, in the mysterious providences of God, our Heavenly Father, some of the beloved members of the Missouri Annual Council have been called from labor to reward, from earth-life to heaven-life, from mortal to immortal shores, from this valley of grief and partings, to the clime of glory and reunion: Therefore, we express our sense of their absence and our Christian condolence for the bereaved families of the deceased, by hereby recording their names, in token of the fact that their meritorious character'and many exceeding excellencies are embalmed in the warm hearts of the members of this Annual Council. That the coming future and its generations may not be oblivious to the estimable and enviable memory of Elder Samuel Leabo, and Brothers G. W. Madden and Wilson Samples, we hereby declare that those beloved brethren were true and worthy citizens of our common country, and of the Christian Union and the State Council of Missouri; that they left behind them abiding evidences of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the joyful assurance of an abundant entrance into the eternal City of God, and the endless fellowship of the saints. May the angels of heavenly wing ever watch over their silent graves.
PLEASANT VALLEY CHAPEL.
Brother Ephland writes the church report of the above-named church: This church is a new organization; was established by Elder Andrew Arnote; has sixty-two members in good standing; have enjoyed the spirit of revival during the last year; the pastor is very much appreciated for his ability, zeal and piety; have erected a commodious new church house, tastefully finished, and paid for; the house was dedicated by Elder J. V. B. Flack, D.D.; it was claimed that 2,000 persons were in attendance at the time of dedication; our future looks bright; we adhere to the doctrine of church union; the word of God is our only creed; we are living in daily evincement of the teaching of the 17th chapter of St. John.
REPORT OF ELDER A. ARNOTE.
Dear Brethren: Tongue cannot express the thankfulness of my heart—to an allwise and loving Father—for the preservation of our lives and the many blessings extended to us during another year. It has pleased the good Lord to spare us so that we can meet once more and behold each other, face to face. I rejoice, brethren, that we can meet and congratulate each other that our work is prospering and Christian Union is moving forward every day, but let us not think that we will gain the victory riding on flowery beds of ease. The devil trembles Test the prayer of our blessed Savior be fulfilled, and the world made to believe; therefore he contends for every inch of ground we pass over, and sectarianism turns its artillery upon us. As men increase in education and a knowledge of the Lord, they naturally desire to throw off the yoke of bondage and dwell together in unity and love, consequently sectarian lines are beginning to break, and many are deserting and coming over to our ranks, hence we may naturally expect a strong resistance from their leaders, but, dear brethren, stand firm fear; not to declare the doctrine of Union. Christ prayed for it, God ordained it, and as sure as God sits upon the throne, Christian Union will prevail, and God's people will be one. I have served as pastor of Graham, Union, Rocky Fork, and Pleasant Valley churches during the year past; have held five protracted meetings on my work, all resulting in grand success; God's people were revived, sinners convicted, and mourners converted at each meeting; I have witnessed forty-eight conversions during the year, and received sixty.five members in the churches; I leave my charges in good spiritual condition; to God be all the glory. Pray for me that I may be an humble and successful co-worker with you for Christ and Union.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCHES OF THE CHRISTIAN UNION.
In the beginning, when God created man, and then woman, and brought her to the man, he pronounced them one. Of one family,—most intricately united—he started the wheels of generations. The extensive domain of earth was to be thronged by one and the same stock of human beings. The early generations were kept in the favorite relation of unity and peace as long as they remained in favor of and under the guidance of the original All-One-Father. When, by the introduction and conquests of sin, the normal status and condition of man was changed; then war, disquiet, unrest, discord and division tided in upon the world's destinies, and consequently, the world's happiness. Satan and sin have ever been the fruitful, prominent and effectual causes of the absence of peace and union, and the presence of war and disunion. The position has historically demonstrated itself in all and every age of the past developments of human life and society. It would be doing an injustice to God, to intimate that He created intelligent, immortal, and undying souls, for the mere purpose of variance, inharmony, hate, and cruel vengeance. His spirit, and every attribute, puts the Great Maker on the side of quiet, peace, comfort, and joy to all beings into whose nostrils He breathed the breath of life. Jehovah has frowned upon and condemned every divisional and discordant note that ever broke its remorseless sound upon the ears of ever-living and eternally intelligent mankind; the angelkind, before the world's birth, or before the stars had hymned their songs of joyful praise, knew that peace and union must tranquilly ever play its balmy zephyrs around the dazzling throne; that there could not be a heaven with warring winds, and roaring storms; croaking raven, and screaming eagle; roaring lion and howling wolf, God carefully maintained the blessings of unity among his chosen people, until they turned their backs upon him. When any people, of any country, turn away from God, they are left to themselves, and are riven and torn in twain. Had past generations remained loyal to the King of Kings, the floods of blood, carnage, conflagration, and death, that have devastated the earth, would never have occurred. The great hand and arm of God has been visible at all times, and the evident maintenance of peace and pleasantness among his children, has ever written—in letters of adamant—that the Divine One was not pleased with the presence of the elements of discord and sin. Historic Israel teaches that God desires and designs to preserve a united commonwealth. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came heralded by peace messengers, and messages of "Peace on earth, good will to men." Fittingly the Temple of Janus was closed, and the whole world was desirous of universal rest and peace. The angel host sang "good news," while the audience of harmonious stars gave them noiseless reverence; and Bethlehem's happy, social, and united shepherds looked upon the scene with rapture and delight. Christ came to unite, and keep united, the hearts of his followers; hence, he bound them with every common tie and sacred chord of love; finally, sealing the consummated union with his own royal and divine blood. One with the Father, he came to make his people likewise one.
The same holy principle led and stimulated the mission and work of the apostles, and was proclaimed and clearly inculcated in all their teaching. Paul forcibly presented the necessity of this doctrine in his epistles, and doubtless urged it in all his wonderful and vivid discourses. The principle of the unity of God's people lies in the very genius of the gospel, and the effects of saving grace on the heart and fife of every rescued sinner proves the naturalness of the holy and lovable sentiment: "As ye receive Christ Jesus so walk ye in Him." The good Christian, who can read the illustrious prayer of Christ, recorded in the 17th of John, and not believe in the union of Christians, has not been found. God never meant that his people should be divided. Christ emphatically taught us to be one, declaring that "there shall be one fold and one shepherd." Paul says: "Since there are wars and divisions among you, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
For about two hundred years after Christ there was love, union, peace, and quiet, when wicked and ambitious priests created discord, schism, heresies and sects. The long series of sins and mistakes that followed, until over six hundred rival sectarian bodies were formed, cannot be noticed in this connection. Now, what? The object of the Christian Union movement is to go directly back to first principles, take up the same doctrines of Christ and the apostles, ignore all the isms and dogmas that have caused sects, and seek to promulgate pure primitive Christianity, standing on essentials only. These churches, now numerous, and these Christians, now an army for multitude, declare that they adhere to and advocate the following sentiments, common to every real child of God: (1) The oneness of the church. (2) God, our Creator and Father. (3) Christ, our Savior and only head. (4) The Holy Spirit, our regenerator. (5) The Bible, our only creed. (6) Good fruits, our only condition of fellowship. (7) Each local church governs itself. (8) The right of private opinion, (9) Christian and church union, without controversy about questions that neither save nor damn the soul.
. LAWSON BAPTIST CHURCH.
This church was organized October 4th, 1879, by Elder W. C. Barrett. Following are the names of the original members: Mary Hollingworth, Josephine Palmer, Tillie Asbury, Lottie. Asbury, Mary Jones, Puss Hatfield, Mary L. Smith, Sarah Ahart, Jennie Robinett, Eliza Garrison, J. L. Smith, William Ahart, M. Nicholson and John Garrison.
The house of worship is frame; was built in 1879, and cost $1,082.92. The building was dedicated on the first Lord's day in 'August, 1880, by Revs. W. C. Barrett, of Plattsburg, and T. W. Barrett, of Jefferson City. The pastor of this church is Rev. W. C. Barrett. The present membership is seventeen.