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ADVOCATING THE CONSTITUTION, FAITH, AND PRACTICE OF THE
"ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM."
EPHESIANS IV. 5.
VOL. III.--NEW SERIES.
ARTHUR HALL & CO., 24, PATERNOSTER ROW.
M DCCC XLVI.
THE year to which these pages are an introduction, has been eventful. Error has shot forth rapidly, its fruits have ripened, and its grapes have been found bitter. Where the rules of the great Husbandman have been neglected, some of the fields have brought forth thorns; and in few cases has the blessing of God descended in very abundant showers.
Three free communion Baptist ministers have, this year, lapsed into fundamental errors on the chief doctrines of the gospel; another has renounced his Baptist sentiments, and become an Independent; and the names of others have been reported as having not only adopted infant sprinkling, but entered the Episcopal Church. The denial of the Holy Spirit's work, the sentiment that his influence consists only in the natural persuasiveness of the inspired word, is spreading; the denial, also, of the eternity of future punishment is becoming more frequent; and the whole aspect of events betokens the coming on of still greater declension. These events must have produced a deep conviction in the minds of all who have been led to adhere closely to the scriptures, of the importance of doing, so even in little things; and of the uncertainty there is, as to where error, once pursued, will find a limit to its course.
In the defence of scriptural church communion, it has been felt necessary to impress more deeply on the members of Baptist churches, the real nature and progress of that system which is hastening their overthrow. This necessity has led to the notice of facts, which would otherwise have been gladly left to the retirement of their home. The bringing of them forth to light, has led to the denial of some statements as untrue; they have, however, been fully sustained, and any attempt to conceal the truth has only revealed it more fully. In the midst of contumely and rebuke, thus awakened, the editor has endeavoured to obviate every just cause of offence, and to keep in view as his sole end the glory of God, the salvation of men, and the preservation of the churches of the living God. Nor has his conduct been unappreciated. "I am happy to tell you," says a friend, in the course of recent correspondence, “that your labours are appreciated in the circle in which I move. The straight-forward, unflinching manner of your advocacy of some of the most interesting and important questions of the day, renders it obligatory on the friends of the truth as it is Jesus, to give you their support." "I feel peculiarly interested," says another, "in the sentiments which the Primitive Church Magazine advocates,