Church and Family History Research Assistance for Lewis County, New York



The West Turin Church was formed by members who withdrew from the Turin Church, in 1834, under very trying circumstances. Charges were brought against about twenty members, who refused to fellowship the churches of the Black River Association because it had adopted the modern mission system. These twenty members claimed the identity of the church, and soon increased to forty in number. A detailed account of the trouble is given in the Signs of the Times, 1834, pp. 232-237, and we insert everything - the New School Baptist Council, the Reply by the Old School Baptist Church, and subsequent letters and notices published regarding the West Turin Church, because of their importance in showing that the Old School Baptists are the true, original Baptist Church.


"Mr. Editor: - The undersigned, a committee, to whom was confided the discretionary power of publishing the doings of a Council held in Turin, in September last, have come to the unanimous opinion that the public welfare calls for their publication. The committee had hoped that circumstances would not require that the results of that council should be made more public; but as Elder Martin Salmon, whose conduct is particularly condemned, continues to hold meetings, and manifests a wish to be regarded by the community as a regular Baptist minister, notwithstanding the advice of the aforesaid council, and his subsequent exclusion from the regular Baptist church in Trenton village of which he was last a member, it seems important to give the doings of the council to the public; and for that purpose they are hereunto appended. ISAAC BACON, ORRIN WILBUR, DAVID GRIFFIS, Committee.

"Pursuant to letters missive from a CONVENTION!!! held at Martinsburgh, on August 14, 1833, composed of delegates from Baptist churches of Turin and West Turin, Martinsburgh, Lowville, and Lowville & Denmark; Elder Elon Galusha, of Utica; Elder Sarda Little, of Champion; Elder Elisha Morgan, of Adams; Elder Nathaniel Kendrick, of Hamilton; and Elder Richard Wait, of Loraine, met in council at Turin, September 18, 1833, at nine o'clock, a.m., and organized by appointing Elder Galusha, Moderator, and Elder Kendrick, Clerk. The above named Convention by their Committee, Elder T. A. Warner, and Brethren Orrin Wilbur and David Griffis, laid before the council matters of difficulty which originated the Convention and other sister churches, and the reputation of some of their ministers, and the Black River Association: affecting also the standing of Elder Martin Salmon, and a body of seceders from the Turin and West Turin church, in West Turin, fellowshiped by Elder Salmon as a regular church, and represented by him and Brethren Isaac Lyman and Edwin Payne, before the Council. After a sitting of two days in a full and patient hearing of all matters of difficulty presented by the Committee of said Convention, Elder Salmon and his seceding brethren, and Committees from Turin, West Turin, Martinsburgh, and Trenton village churches - the Convention retired for deliberation on the whole; and after long and prayerful consideration of all the affairs laid before them, unanimously came to the following


1. Concerning an alleged combination of ministers complained of by Elder Martin Salmon and a number of members of the Turin and West Turin church, and offered as a reason for their withdrawing from the Black River Association, and all the churches composing that body. Resolved, unanimously, That no evidence has appeared to this Council of a Combination of ministers to usurp authority over the churches in the Black River Association, by the Conventions they promoted in Turin and Martinsburgh, held in January and February, 1832, as the movers and doings of those Conventions evidently aimed at the good of the churches, and the enlargement of the Redeemer's Kingdom.

2. On the alleged combination of ministers to destroy Elder Salmon's character: Resolved, unanimously, That no evidence has appeared to this Council that a combination of ministers has been formed against Elder Salmon, but a sense of his imprudence was felt by a number of ministers and his misconduct, which embarrassed his standing in the church to which he belonged, and the general course of his ministry were held out by them, on certain occasions, as a caution to churches not to employ him to preach under these circumstances.

3. With respect to Elder Charles Clark's conduct towards Elder Salmon; Resolved, unanimously, That in cases where Elder Clark advised churches not to employ Elder Salmon while the church to which he belonged had difficulties with him not fully adjusted, this Council see nothing to censure; nor in his stating the general fruits of his ministry, as far as he was acquainted with them: but a particular detail of his faults while he held a visible connection with the denomination, is regarded as a departure from the path of duty.

4. On the complaint preferred by Elder Salmon against Elder T. A. Warner: Resolved, unanimously, That this Council discover nothing wrong in Elder Warner's communicating to the Secretary of the Board of Missions the facts contained in his letter, as the conduct and standing of Elder Salmon rendered it improper for the convention to patronize him as a missionary; especially as Brother Warner knew that it was an invariable rule with that body not to employ any minister as a missionary, whose general reputation for prudence was exceptionable. It appears to us to have been the duty of Brother Warner, as a minister and a member of the Convention to apprize the Secretary of the fact in relation to Elder salmon's general reputation.

5. Respecting Elder John Blodgett: Resolved, unanimously, That nothing has appeared in evidence to this Council in the conduct of Elder Blodgett, which is reprehensible.

6. On the case of Elder Riley B. Ashley: Resolved, unanimously, That in the judgment of this Council, a wrong construction has been put upon Elder Ashley's endeavors to obtain a knowledge of the amount of property in the hands of his brethren, and upon his motives for desiring an increase of his salary; and that nothing appears deserving of censure in his conduct, as reported to this Council.

7. Regarding the measures of Turin and West Turin church towards her seceding members: Resolved, unanimously, That in the judgment of this Council, the church laboured to enlighten her members that withdrew from the Black River Association, and all the Churches connected with that body, and endeavored to prevent them from taking that step, by pointing out the consequences, and requesting them to take time for deliberation; and that those members, with Elder Salmon in their connection, have no reason to complain of any attempt on the church to drive them away; and that the subsequent decision of the church on their case, refusing to receive them again with the sentiments which led them to separate, and declaring them separated from their church fellowship, resulted as a measure of course, and is fully approved by this Council.

8. Concerning the seceding members from Turin and West Turin church. Resolved, unanimously, That in the judgment of this Council, the seceding members connected with Elder Salmon, and calling themselves the Baptist church in West Turin, are not entitled to fellowship as a regular Baptist church, as that body originated in a disorderly manner, and was constituted without any expression of fellowship from any other body of Christians, and in receiving members from regular Baptist churches, pays no proper regard to the discipline and fellowship of such churches.

On the case of Elder Martin Salmon, the following questions of the Convention, answered by the Council, will shew the results:

1. Did the church in Martinsburgh require too much of Elder Salmon, as adjusted by the substitute of their third requirement? Unanimously resolved, they did not.

2. Does it appear that Elder Salmon repeatedly refused to confess the last requirement of the Martinsburgh church, and that he afterwards stated that he was always willing to make that confession? Unanimously resolved, that the evidence fully supports the affirmative of both parts of the question.

3. Does it appear that the last phraseology of the third requirement was manifestly a substitute for the phraseology as it first stood, and that the evidence of it such that he must have known it; and that his assertion, that he understood the church to hold him to confess both was a criminal evasion? Unanimously resolved, That the phraseology was a substitute; and that it is self-evident to a common understanding; and that Elder Salmon pretending that the church held him to confess both, was without foundation, and appears to this council to be a criminal evasion.

4. Does the following clause in his confession, "that he did wrong to insinuate that Elder Blodgett was responsible for the sentiment contained in the aforesaid confession when he knew that he himself was," clearly imply an intentional deviation from the truth.

5. In regard to the question of the Convention respecting the general course of Elder Salmon in the above transaction, Unanimously Resolved, that said course is indicative of duplicity, and utterly incompatible with the frankness and integrity of the ministerial character.

6. As to Elder Salmon's agency in the division of the church in Turin: Unanimously Resolved, that his character in all these respects is thereby forfeited.

In coming to this painful result, the Council are aware of the solemn consequences which must be realized by those whose conduct is herein reprobated. We have also considered our own frailty, our need of wisdom to guide our steps, and grace to keep us from sin. Yet as we are forbidden to suffer sin upon a brother, and dare not attempt to heal slightly the hurt of the daughter of God's people, we feel constrained by the love of truth and righteousness, the fear of God and the expectation of the Judgment, to speak thus plainly and freely, alike unmoved by the fear and by the favor of men. And we do most affectionately entreat Elder Salmon and his adherents, to consider the subject in connection with the retribution of eternity. The blessed Saviour has pronounced an eternal benediction on the peace-makers; but will render indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish unto those that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness. May the Spirit of the living God produce that penitence of heart and reformation of life, which shall be accompanied with his pardoning mercy, and his saving grace to all who have wounded the Saviour in the house of his friends! ELON GALUSHA, Moderator. N. KENDRICK, Clerk.



We shall commence with the preliminary remarks of the Committee. They assigned as the reason why the publish the doings of the Council, that 'Elder Martin Salmon continues to hold meetings, and manifests a wish to be regarded by the community as a regular Baptist minister, notwithstanding the advice of the aforesaid council.' If we believed that Elder Salmon had a desire to be recognized as holding fellowship with the popular Baptists of the new-fangled system, we should hold him as we do them, at distance, until he should forsake such an error. We declare that the statement of this committee, that 'Elder Salmon has been excluded from the Trenton Village Church of which he was last a member,' is a palpable falsehood!! In witness of this our declaration we will here present a letter of commendation which the Trenton Village Church gave him. "The branch of the Holland Patent church in the Village of Trenton: To the Baptist churches scattered abroad, Greeting: Dear Brethren: - we most cordially commend unto you our Beloved Brother, Martin Salmon, as one worthy of a place among the disciples of Christ, and highly esteemed among us as a servant of Christ. By order of the Branch of the Holland Patent Baptist Church at Trenton Village. HARLOW HOWLEY, Church Clerk. Trenton, July 14, 1832." Elder Salmon presented this letter to this Church, on the 29th of December, 1832, and was thereupon unanimously received; and in February following our Clerk personally informed the Clerk of Trenton Church that Elder Salmon had united with this Church. The clerk of Trenton Village Church accepted the notification and acknowledge the same before the Council. The Clerk also said that the letter was given in good faith, and told the Council that it was a good Letter of transfer.

We shall now notice the origin of this Council. Four churches have combined in Convention to call a council to enter into the discipline of churches; we think we can show from the constitution of the Black River Association, to which these churches belong, that they have violated their own law, or constitution. Mark for example the following sweeping clause in their constitution, "As every Gospel Church, duly organized, is fully empowered to execute every branch of church discipline, it would be usurpation for any body of men whatsoever to claim the right of judging decisively for it, either in matters of faith or practice, we therefore believe that individual churches have no license from the Lord Jesus, to enter into any combination or agreement whatever so as to counteract their power of discipline by delegation; consequently, we as an Association utterly disclaim all right of interference with the discipline of the particular churches." We wish to be understood that we have never belonged to any association. Here we find these four churches in open defiance of the above constitution to which they have severally subscribed and solemnly pledged themselves, combined by delegation to call a council!! Here we would ask, What have an ex parte Council to do with the Church in West Turin or any of her members? Why tell about Elder Salmon, Edwin Payne, and Isaac Lyman's representing that body of seceders? It is true these Brethren did appear before that unscriptural body (the Council) but not to represent this Church, as was falsely asserted in the Register, but barely to make a defence, as we had learned that we were to be implicated; we are free to acknowledge that our brethren did present some things before the council, which must have convinced honest men, as will be shown in the sequel. How astonishing! to tell the public that the Council gave a patient hearing to all the testimony presented, when one witness was called forward by our brethren, who would have exposed the whole affair, but his testimony was not admitted. We will now proceed to notice the several items thrown before the public as the result of the council.

Item 1. "Concerning an alleged combination, &c." On this article we shall be under the necessity of showing the abomination of four ministers, viz., Elders R. B. Ashley, C. Clark, J. Blodgett, and T. A. Warner. In the winter of 1832, as will be remembered from the peculiar course taken by Elder Ashley, who was then pastor of the Turin and West Turin Church, (we believe his course deserves special notice). His first move was to complain of his salary, he said his Brethren in the ministry complained of him for preaching for so small a sum as he was receiving. His next course was to ascertain in a private manner, the amount of property owned by each member. This fact was soon known to many or some brethren in the Lowville Church, of which Elder Blodgett was pastor. Now the combination began to show itself in the Conventions which were held in Turin and Martinsburgh. At the Convention in Turin a proposition was made, to so arrange the eight Churches, that the above four ministers could supply them; there was some farther conversation by Elder Blodgett whether there were not too many churches? A suggestion from another, "Would it not be best for the Church in Boonville and West Leyden to unite, and also those of Turin and Martinsburgh. Here the equalizing plan was introduced, viz: for each church to pay for the support of these four ministers in proportion to their property. In this stage of the meeting we think an Old School Baptist might have seen the LITTLE HORN. After many other suggestions, the meeting was adjourned to Martinsburgh. But they were not able to effect their lucrative object, as the Turin Church opposed the Taxing System, to the geat dissatisfaction of Elder Ashley, for he soon told them that his usefulness was at an end with them. The Turin Church being now left destitute, sent a request to Elder Salmon, who was then preaching to the Trenton Village Church. The Turin Church well knew Elder Salmon, as he was a member of that church when he commenced in the gospel ministry. Elder Salmon complied with this request of the Turin Church.

Item 2. We shall now notice the second item on the alleged combination of ministers to destroy Elder Salmon's character. As soon as it was known that there was a prospect of Elder Salmon's preaching to the Turin Church, one of the above named ministers, C. Clark, took an opportunity with several of the members of the Turin Church, and made false statements, and representations, touching the character of Elder Salmon. The church in Leyden, not long before this, had directed their Clerk to send a request to Elder Salmon. The same Elder Clark prevented the letter from going to Elder Salmon, by circulating in that church slanderous reports to prejudice the minds against Elder Salmon. Elder Salmon continued preaching to the Turin Church by their request in the Summer of 1832. The following October, the church in Boonville sent a messenger to Turin, to request Elder Salmon to preach with them occasionally, as they were destitute, to which Elder Salmon agreed, provided the Turin Church would consent. The messenger said, he "hoped he would visit them if he could not preach on Sunday, for it was an important time with them." Accordingly, Elder Salmon did visit them on Thursday the same week and returned on Saturday; the Monday following, Elder Salmon received a Letter from Boonville Church, and C. Clark was the bearer; this Elder Clark, had heard what the church had done, and went then and told them that if they employed Elder Salmon, probably the Association would withdraw fellowship from them as a church. By this time some of the members of the Turin Church had ascertained to satisfaction that what Elder Clark had told them about Elder Salmon was false, upon which the Brethren Newton Clark, and Isaac Lyman, who are now members of this church, took up a labor with Elder Clark, and in conversation with him in the second step of labor in company with Elder Salmon, and two of the members of the Boonville Church. The question was put to Elder Clark by Bro. Lyman, "Do you think, Sir, that your course with Elder Salmon has been according to the Gospel?" His answer was that, "he had made it a subject of prayer, and his feelings had led him to do as he had done." Brother Lyman replied, "you know that we Baptists are not to make feelings our guide, unless they correspond with the word, and it is evident that your feelings do not, for your course is not a gospel one." Then Elder Salmon asked Elder Clark the following question, "have you not exerted your influence in Leyden, Turin, and Boonville churches to prevent my preaching to either of those churches?" To which Elder Clark answered, "I have; and I have the full approbation of my Brethren in the ministry for so doing, viz., Elders Ashley, Blodgett, Warner, and Knapp." The labor was prosecuted and presented to the Martinsburgh Church of which Elder Clark was then a member, and the church found no course of trial with Elder Clark. Elder Ashley said to a number of the members of this church that "the course which Elder Clark took with Elder Salmon was not a gospel course, yet he did fully approbate it." Elder Blodgett made a similar confession before the Council. Such is the combination of which we speak.

Item 3. Here it may be well to remark that Elder Salmon was a member in good standing in the Trenton Church, at the time Elder Clark went to Leyden and Turin, circulating those slanderous reports.

Item 4. On the complaint preferred by Elder Salmon, against Elder T. A. Warner. This has reference to a letter which Elder Warner wrote to the Secretary of the Board of Missions, which is an infamous letter, we have a copy on hand, with statements very incorrect, conveying the idea that Elder Salmon was to receive support as a Missionary from the Board. The truth of which was, the church in Trenton Village applied for aid for themselves, expecting Elder Salmon was about to leave them, as was testified by the Deacon and Clerk from Trenton, who farther said that Elder Salmon told them repeatedly, not to make any such request for him.

Item 5. We wish the reader to judge whether the council acted the part of honest men - by attending to the following confession of Elder John Blodgett, who arose in the assembly apparently affected, and said nearly as follows: "Elder Clark must labor under a great embarrassment as he is the youngest Minister in the country to arise in this assembly and confess that he did wrong to take the course he did. I who am the eldest and looked up unto as a Father, had not only advised him to take this course, but had practiced the same before him. I have conscience convicted by times that it was a wrong course, yet I thought the cause of God suffered so, it was needful for such a course to be taken, that the Brethren might know how things were. I am convinced that it was a wrong course and I have no idea that Elder Clark would have taken that course if I had not advised him. I therefore take the whole responsibility upon myself." He also confessed to Elder Salmon, and asked his forgiveness, and said that his advice to Elder Clark, was in consequence of a hardness he held against Elder Salmon, which he wanted removed. The Moderator then arose and said, "I had no idea that such a thing existed in the world - had Blodgett's remarks been made previous to our deliberation we should have noticed them in our result." Now we leave the reader to judge whether the Council acted honestly with all this testimony before them, in saying as they have, that no evidence has appeared of a combination formed against Elder Salmon.

Item 6. The Council have justified Elder R. B. Ashley, in attempting privately to ascertain the amount of property in the church for the purpose of enlarging his salary, by each member paying to him ten Dollars on a thousand. Two witnesses said before the council, "Elder Ashley did declare to us that it was his wish to have every Baptist member in America brought under their measure to pay ten Dollars on a thousand for the support of the Gospel, and he meant to use his influence to support that object." Can such a man be a Baptist? with the following views, also: Leyden church meeting, August 1833, Elder Ashley then said that "the atonement of Christ did not effect the salvation of a soul, and the note in the Articles of the church, which says that (the Doctrine of Election is the only reason why any are brought to repentance) he wished erased from the articles of every Baptist church. For it was contrary to Bible, contrary to reason, and contrary to sound judgment." Now, reader, you have Elder Ashley without disguise, and we believe, the sentiments of his Brethren in the combination.

Item 7. "Regarding the measures of the Turin Church towards her seceding members." What manifest inquity! in saying as they have on this item, that the church endeavored to enlighten her members that withdrew from the Black River Association & and all the churches connected with that body, and endeavored to prevent their taking that step, and requested them to take time for deliberation. Here we shall detect two errors. 1st. Respecting the Resolution to withdraw from Black River Association, and all the Churches connected with that body. Such a Resolution was never offered in the Turin Church; but the following was, viz: Resolved that we withdraw from the Black River Association, because of a combination existing in said Association, (and our church fellowship from all who are connected with it) - the last clause of which, was added by the Moderator, and without this he refused to put the question, for it was well known that seven-tenths of the members would have acted in favor of the motion; after the addition was urged in, one of the brethren requested an adjournment, but to no purpose, which shows the second error, viz., that the church requested her seceding members to take time for deliberation. Finally the motion was urged and fourteen acted in favor the resolution, and soon received letters of exclusion!! with a number of others. We give the letter verbatim, "To whom it may concern, This may certify that Brethren Newton Clark, Isaac Lyman, Homer Clark, Dan Carter, Amos Tolles, Benham Webb, Enoch Lyman, Edwin Payne, and Sisters Elizabeth H. Clark, Lucinda Kentnen, Abigal Tolles, Amos Clark, Eleanor P. Webb, Cyntha Lyman, Mary Payne, Anna Salmon, Susan Myers, Eleanor Cone, and Caroline Miller, have been members of this church, and we hereby testify that we have no objection to make against their moral characters, but for some time past, they have manifested a dissatisfaction with the Benevolent operations of the present day, Associations of churches, Theological Institutions, and Ecclesiastical Councils; amounting to so great a trial that they cannot walk with this church; but after much conversation, summed up their trial in the following Resolution, which was passed by a majority of the above named; the minority have since joined them. "That they withdraw from the Black River Association in consequence of a combination existing in said Association and their church fellowship from all that are connected with it." On account of the above declaration and the last act or resolve, we feel it to be our indispensable duty to withdraw our watchcare and hand of church fellowship from them until they shall return to Zion with confession, and resume their standing in the church. Praying that God will open their eyes, and convince them of the errors which we think they have been left to embrace. By order and in behalf of the Baptist Church of Christ, in Turin and West Turin. DAVID H. HIGBY, Church Clerk. Dec. 22, 1832."

Item 8. Concerning the Seceding members from the Turin Church. Two things claim our attention, and first, our disorderly origin. After being thus unceremoniously excluded, we felt it to be our privilege to form into a body by ourselves, to maintain the worship of God, and to hold up our light in this region of darkness, where human wisdom is substituted for the commands of God. We will now enquire whether D. D. Kendrick and his coadjutor E. Galusha, have power over the churches to dictate and proscribe? The dictation and proscription of men we fear not so long as we have "Thus saith the Lord," for our guide. We infer from this resolution, that if we had called a REV. Council of their stamp, and consulted with them whether we were worthy to be called a church, we should have escaped the slander and sarcasms of the Register. We have one thing yet to learn before we submit to Councils, i. e., that the Lord has authorized a tribunal above the church. Second, Receiving members from other regular Baptist churches. We acknowledge the favor in giving publicity to one fact, that we receive members from other Baptist churches. We have a goodly number for the which we are thankful, and our little band has increased to more than four-times ten. When a poor Baptist who has groaned under the pressure of human engines for years, comes to our door and knocks for entrance, we say, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord. Our next remarks are in reference to questions proposed by the Convention to the Council for decision in reference to the Martinsburgh church, of which Elder Salmon has not been a member for more than two years. From Martinsburgh church, Elder Salmon was transferred to Trenton church; then from Trenton to this church, of which he is now a member, (see said letter above) - we wish the reader to notice the self-contradiction of the committee. They say he was last a member of Trenton church - if so what have Martinsburgh church to do with Elder Salmon? This has reference to things that are past and settled, as was proven before the Council by parole and written testimony. We believe this course has been taken to save the sinking combination, which they have by so doing, made to appear more visible. For us it is passing strange how men professing godliness dare present such things before the public. This inquity is palmed on the Martinsburgh church to their shame and disgrace in the view of all unprejudiced persons who attended the Council. Is it not manifest that those Anti-christian denunciations, and decisions were in consequence of Elder Salmon's connection with this church?

In the conclusion of the whole matter the Council have pathetically exhorted Elder Salmon and his adherents, to consider the subject in connection with the retributions of eternity, and then say the Saviour has pronounced an eternal and everlasting benediction on the peace-makers, &c. A few remarks and we conclude for the present. That the glorious Redeemer has pronounced a benediction on peace-makers is true, but not on those who make false peace or daub with untempered Mortar. Lo! a Convention have built up a wall, and a council have daubed it with untempered mortar!! Listen, none can find fault with scripture, we shall quote the following from Ezekiel 13:10, 11, 12, "Because, even because they have seduced my people; and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar; Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?" We hope the reader will read the whole Chapter. Now here we stand alone in this region, under the censure of men whom we expect to meet at the Tribunal, when the secrets of men's hearts will be known. Dear Brother, we rejoice to learn through the "Signs of the Times," that we are not alone. We rejoice that there are Baptists yet who refuse the mark of the Beast, and the number of his name. We wish to be recognized as standing opposed to pious fraud and religious speculation. Signed, by order of the Church. CHARLES RAYAN, ISAAC LYMAN, EDWIN PAYNE, NEWTON CLARK, Committee appointed by the Baptist Church in West Turin."

EDITORIAL COMMENTS IN SIGNS OF THE TIMES, BY THE EDITOR (ELDER GILBERT BEEBE): "The West Turin communication presents an almost unparalleled [among Baptists] display of clerical usurpation. We are not much accustomed to communicating in parables, but the [foregoing] Allegory [written by we know not whom] is so well adapted to the illustration of the unhallowed movements of the confederacy formed for the evident purpose of coercing Bro. Salmon, and the church of his charge to a compliance with the popular order of things, - assessing and taxing the Baptist members of this State, $10 on every $1000 they may be found to possess, for immediate support of themselves, in addition to the already intolerable burdens of popular BENEVOLENCE under the weight of which they now groan. We regret the want of room to express our abhorrance of the dark conclave of Messrs. Ashley, Clark, Blodgett, and Waarner, to injure if not to destroy Bro. Salmon and the West Turin brethren, as well as to assume authority over the rights of independent churches by Dr. Kendrick, the President, E. Galusha, and others of the Directors & Co., of the Theological College at Hamilton. May the Lord sustain our persecuted Brethren in the stand they occupy in opposition to the abominations of that devoted region, in which they appear truly like a lily among thorns." [The allegory referred to, is as follows: "Black River Bear Hunting. Found on the High Road, in the Vicinity of Lewis County, New York.]



"The Baptist Church of Christ, in West Turin, to Brother Simeon Hersey, of Guilford, Connecticut. DEAR BROTHER:- Your friendly epistle through the medium of the Signs of the Times, was duly received, and read with interest by the Church at this place. Every heart seemed to respond to the language which it spoke, while the soul breathed forth gratitude to God for the good advice and friendly instructions which it contained. We remember with gratitude with what clearness of views and soundness of doctrine, you used to exhibit the word of God unto us, when you were personally with us, and which endeared you unto many of us several years ago. But alas, soon after your removal there came in amongst us as it had been grievous wolves not even sparing the flock, but leaving the word of God and turning to fables, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, and usurping unchristian authority over God's heritage, preaching for filthy lucre, intermingling truth with error and falsehood, practicing fraud and deceit, passing from one degree of corruption to another until they became so much degenerated from the spirit of the Gospel, and so much wiser in their own eyes than the blessed Jesus, that they not only said that there was a new way found out, of converting sinners, but did actually carry this new invention into effect in their anxious rooms - and it was said by a Minister professing to be a Baptist, that there was no need of going for weeks or months under conviction, but that in their anxious rooms they could explain it to the sinner so that he could have religion in a very few minutes. This same wise man also said that he believed that there were persons engaged in those protracted meetings, who had an influence over the Spirit of God. The above assertions can be proven, or we should not have written them. Does not this look like spiritual wickedness in high places? Is it not setting up ones self in the place of God in the Temple of God, and shewing that he is God - and that too by the power of almost miraculously converting scores and hundreds of sinners? But the Saviour informs us that the carnal mind receiveth not the things of the spirit, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned, and also that the wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth, so is every one that is born of the spirit. But according to the new fangled system, many sinners are brought into the kingdom of - shall we say Christ, perhaps we should do better to say Anti-Christ - without scarcely the agency of the Spirit, at least any thing but the spirit of the day. Far be it from us to limit the Holy One, who can convert a soul as well in an anxious room as elsewhere, if he has seen fit in his eternal purpose so to do; but when the finite arm of mortal flesh undertakes the work of converting sinners to God, have we not reason to fear that they are actuated by that spirit which transformeth itself into an angel of light? But all these things must needs be that the Scripture may be fulfilled, for we read that in these last days shall many anti-Christ's arise, and shall lead many astray, and shall deceive if it be possible even the very Elect. Thus surrounded with darkness and delusion, for verily darkness hath covered the land and gross darkness the people, you perhaps may wonder, not that we came out from among them, but that we did not come out sooner. But we were a feeble few who were mourning over the desolations of Zion; we labored to convince the Church of the errors which she was embracing, and to persuade her to come out and separate herself from the multitude and again stand on her ancient footing, but to no purpose. At last we were obliged to separate for the sake of the love of the Gospel, and tohave our names cast out as evil for the Son of God's sake; thus being cast out of the Church as the filth and offscouring of the world, we have realized the words of the Psalmist, who says, "When my Father and my Mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up." Not knowing that there was another Church or body of Christians this side of the eternal world, that believed as we did, or that could fellowship us, yet for the love of the Cross we ventured to unite together under the name of a Baptist Church, and truly the Lord has been mindful of us; we have enjoyed the labors of Elder Salmon, hitherto. The Church in Turin soon after we left them called a Welch Minister, by the name of Evan J. Williams, from Oneida County, who was too sound a man for them; for after laboring with them in word and in doctrine faithfully one year, to the fulfillment of his engagement, without reforming them, has left them and united with us in September last. Elder Salmon's health is poor; he is able, however, to preach on Sundays. We occupy four stations in this region of darkness: one on the west road in West Turin, where the Church is located; one at Turin four corners; and Elder Williams preaches in Leyden, a part of the time for the benefit of a number who have been excluded there for the truth's sake; and a part of the time in Denmark where a number of our Church reside. This Church was constituted two years ago, with eighteen members, but through the care of the Great Shepherd, there has been added unto us thirty-five - all of whom we trust are the Lambs of Christ, making our present number fifty-three. Hitherto have we enjoyed in the greatest degree, love, harmony, and union - may the same be perpetuated; we have enjoyed a precious season today in Covenant Meeting; our hearts are led to exclaim, surely what hath God wrought. May the Lord be with you, Amen. Done by order and in behalf of the Church, this 3d day of December, A. D. 1834."

"Turin, Dec. 31, 1834. BROTHER BEEBE:- It has been some time since I have written to you for any of your excellent little things - the Signs of the Times. They pass very current in this part of the land among Baptists indeed, and there is something very remarkable in relation to the Signs: they will find a Bible Baptist in their circulation, as quick as Fullerism will an Arminian; and the Baptists are almost as well pleased with the Signs, as the Arminian is with Fullerism. Within one year, notwithstanding all the opposition, there has been a very great increase of subscription; one paper of yours only was read in this county one year ago - now between twenty and thirty subscribers; and if I am not mistaken, all who received the last Volume have paid in advance, and I have transmitted the same to you. In saying this, I do not wish to boast, nay, but rather commend the promptness of those who have thus favored me, and much obliged you. I know of none who took the last Volume who wish to discontinue; I shall be able soon to send you $10 or $15 in advance for the 3d Volume. Dear Brother, my health is not good at present, but I hope my Master will teach me the good lesson of patience in life or death. I expect soon to visit Utica again, and enjoy the privilege of beholding a little Temple arise, even without the sound of axe or hammer; after which you will hear from me again. Yours, in Love, MARTIN SALMON."


"THE MEETING AT TURIN, NEW YORK. This was one of the most refreshing meetings we have ever had the happiness to attend. In the very house where, but a few years since, an ecclesiastical court was held, to crush the last remains of primitive christianity, and where the unhallowed tread of the council was felt, upon the neck of the church and of Brother M. Salmon, their pastor, for daring to oppose the new inventions of the new order of Baptists in the Black River country. The New School cause, which then seemed to triumph over truth, has since declined, and God has greatly strengthened the hands of his people in that region. We met with brethren from varous parts of the country, quite a multitude; and among them, Elders Bicknell, Blakeslee, Hill, Malby, Merritt, Jewett, and Carr, beside some few New School teachers. - Editor."


Carter, Clark, Cone, Kentnen, Lyman, Miller, Myers, Payne, Rayan, Salmon, Tolles, Webb (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Ebenezer, at Lowville, was organized into a distinct church on Monday, July 11, 1836, by about 25 or 30 brethren and sisters who had been dismissed for that purpose from the West Turin Church, of which Elder Martin Salmon was pastor. The presbytery was composed of Elder Martin Salmon and Bro. Enoch Lyman from West Turin Church; Bro. Abraham Clover from Ebenezer Church at Utica; and Elder Gilbert Beebe from New Vernon Church. Elder Evan J. Williams was chosen as pastor. They published an "Old School Address," which explains in part the nature of the trials they passed through, in order to be formed into a church, as follows:


The Elders and Brethren of the primitive faith and order of the Gospel of Christ, commonly called Old School Baptists, convened for the worship of God and mutual conference together upon the present trying state of the Church of God, with the Church at West Turin, New York, July 9th and 10th, 1836; To our Brethren of like precious faith, scattered abroad throughout the States and Territories of America, send Christian Salutation:

DEARLY BELOVED IN CHRIST: Forasmuch as many of our dear brethren have taken in hand to set forth the peculiar trials attendant on the present state of the church, together with such admonitions, exhortations, and encouragements as they have been enabled by the Holy Spirit to give; we who have been made to drink of the same trying cup, and to participate with them in their peculiar joys, having been greatly refreshed by the Addresses published by the meetings of the Old School at sundry times, and in divers places, to which we can and do most cordially respond, feel it a peculiar privilege to reciprocate with you our communications. We know from sweet experience something of the value of a general correspondence among our brethren of the same faith and order.

It has been very trying to our hearts to witness the awful falling away from the profession of the faith of God's Elect, which has been so long predicted by the Apostles of the Lamb, particularly when we have found ourselves severed from those with whom we once took sweet counsel together, and in whose company we have walked to the house of God. The cause of the general schism, which has made the rending to which we allude, we are fully satisfied is the introduction among the Baptists of those institutions which have come newly up, like the idol Gods of which Israel once had to complain, and for which there is not the shadow of authority or countenance to be found in the Holy Volume of the Scriptures of Truth.

Dear Brethren, we stand aloof from the entire brood of humanly-invented religious societies from the great National establishments called Bible Societies, down to the trifling societies for making pin-cushions, and doll-babies* for the eternal salvation of the heathen world; because we believe them to be unwarranted by the word of truth, uncalled for by the wants of Zion, and altogether unnecessary either for helps or for ornaments to the cause of God and truth. And not only so, but we view them as being a direct departure from, and awfully hostile to the truth and order of the house of God. We are both ready and willing to do all in our power in a scriptural way to supply every individual in our land with a copy of the Bible, who are in need, and have not the means of obtaining it. We are ready and willing to spend and be spent in preaching the everlasting Gospel of Christ with such abilities as the God of heaven giveth, without any other fee or reward than that which is provided for in the New Testament, and to support to the dividing of our last loaf, every needy minister of Christ, who we believe is by him called, qualified, and sent forth to preach; and it is our heart's desire and prayer to God to be in all things conformed to the image, precepts, and example of our blessed Lord.

Yet from conscientious motives - from the fear of God - we feel solemnly bound to bear a decided testimony against Theological Schools as a fruitful source of abomination and heresy, and all other human contrivances for making ministers, or making converts - knowing as we do that he alone who holds the keys of hell and death can make them to purpose; and we would much rather take our appropriate place at his feet, and learn of him, than to attempt to go before him, or without a warrant from his blessed lips for our proceeding.

Our gracious Master has not left himself without witnesses in this part of the land. Although we have been called to pass through deep waters of affliction, yet the Lord has preserved a goodly number from being removed from the truth by the popular doings of the day, and our hearts are made to rejoice in the Lord that he is at this very moment drawing the lines between the living and the dead, and judging between cattle and cattle, and between the rams, and the he-goats. Exodus 34:10. And we take encouragement from the kind promise of our beloved Shepherd, who has said that he will both search his sheep, and seek them out; and all this he is evidently doing among us at this time, and many who have been greatly scattered in a dark and cloudy day are now enquiring the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, asking for the old paths and ancient landmarks, and desiring to walk in them.

* We refer to the societies for furnishing such articles as are often sold at their religious Fairs, the avails of which are said to be applied to the conversion of the world.


Go Back to the Primitive Baptist Library Page

Go Back to the Family History Assistance Page

Copyright c. 2001-2018. All rights reserved. The Primitive Baptist Library.

This page maintained by: Robert Webb - (