The Last Will and Testament of the
For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of the testator; for a
testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all, while the
testator liveth. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. Verily,
verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth
alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. Whose voice then shook the earth; but
now he hath promised saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also
heaven. And this word, yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are
shaken as of things that are made, that those things which can not be shaken may
The Presbytery of Springfield, sitting at Caneridge,
in the county of Bourbon, being through
a gracious Providence, in more than ordinary
bodily health, growing in strength and size
daily, and in perfect soundness and composure of
mind; but knowing that it is appointed for all
delegated bodies once to die and considering
that the life of every such body is very uncertain,
do make and ordain this our Last Will
and Testament, in manner and form following, viz:
Imprimis. We will that this body die, be
dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of
Christ at large: for there is but one body
and one spirit, even as we are called in one
hope of our calling.
Item. We will, that our name of distinction,
with its Reverend title, be forgotten, that there
be but one Lord over God's heritage, and his
Item. We will, that our power of making
laws for the government of the church, and executing
them by delegated authority, forever
cease; that, the people may have free course
to the Bible, and adopt the law of the spirit
of life in Christ Jesus.
Item. We will, that candidates for the Gospel
ministry henceforth study the holy scriptures
with fervent prayer, and obtain license
from God to preach the simple Gospel with
the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, without
any mixture of philosophy, vain deceit, 
traditions of men, the rudiments of the world. And let
none henceforth take this honor to himself, but
he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Item. We will, that the church of Christ
assume her native right of internal government--try
her candidates for the ministry, as to
their soundness in the faith, acquaintance with
experimental religion, gravity and aptness to
teach; and admit no other proof of their authority,
but Christ speaking in them. We will
that the church of Christ look up to the Lord
of the harvest to send forth labourers into his
harvest; and that she resume her primitive
right of trying those who say they are Apostles,
and are not.
Item. We will, that each particular church,
as a body, actuated by the same spirit, choose
her own preacher, and support him by a free
will offering without written call or subscription--admit
members--remove offences; and never henceforth
delegate her right of government
to any man or set of men whatever.
Item. We will, that the people henceforth
take the Bible as the only sure guide to heaven;
and as many as are offended with other
books, which stand in competition with it, may
cast them into the fire if they choose: for it is
better to enter into life having one book, than
having many to be cast into hell.
Item. We will, that preachers and people,
cultivate a spirit of mutual forbearance, pray
more and dispute less; and while they behold
the signs of the times, look up and confidently
expect that redemption draweth nigh.
Item. We will, that our weak brethren,
who may have been wishing to make the Presbytery
of Springfield their king, and wot not
what is now become of it, betake themselves
to the rock of ages, and follow Jesus for the
Item. We will, that the Synod of Kentucky
examine every member, who may be suspected
of having departed from the Confession of faith,
and suspend every such suspected heretic immediately;
in order that the oppressed may go
free, and taste the sweets of Gospel liberty.
Item. We will, that Ja---------, the author
of two letters lately published in Lexington,
be encouraged in his zeal to destroy partyism.
We will, moreover, that our past conduct
be examined into by all who may have
correct information; but let foreigners beware
of speaking evil of things which they know not.
Item. Finally we will, that all our sister
bodies, read their Bibles carefully, that they may
see their fate there determined, and prepare
for death before it is too late.
June 28th, 1804.
B. W. STONE,
[The Herald of Gospel Liberty (Vol. 1, No. 1, September 1, 1808, pp. 2-3).]
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