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GENERAL BAPTIST REPOSITORY,
VOL. XIII.--NEW SERIES.
PUBLISHED BY BENJAMIN L. GREEN,
The close of another and eventful year reminds the Editors that their accustomed address, to be prefixed as a preface to the volume which is now completed, is expected by their readers. Among the various topics which offer themselves on which briefly to dilate, it is not easy to make a selection ; some, however, are too obvious to be passed over. As a nation, during the past year we have enjoyed internal tranquility, and a considerable measure of temporal prosperity. Provi. sions have been procurable at a reasonable cost, our commerce and manufactures have been active, employment has been abundant and generally remunerative, and there has been 'no complaining in our streets.' We have been honoured as a people, by a wonderful and unparalleled exhibition of the works of art and the products of the loom and the chisel, the forge, the furnace, and the field, from nearly every nation under heaven, to which the people have thronged by millions, and where the rich and poor, the young and old, the prince, the peer, the mechanic and the peasant, from this, and from many other lands, have met together. They have met and mutually admired both the Palace of Glass, where the various and innumerable articles were exhibited, as well as the articles themselves. Such a gathering of the nations, and for so laudable, peaceful, and useful a purpose, the world's history, rich as it is in instructive narrative, does not record. The opening of the Exhibition in May, as well as its close in October, were observed with solemn prayer to the Lord of hosts. We doubt not that good will result from this gathering. The commerce and industry of the nations will be stimulated, the progress of improvement will be accelerated, the bonds of peace between the peoples will be strengthened, and the political and religious welfare of mankind will be promoted. There have been also the gatherings of the Peace Congress from all lands, a brief account of which we have given in our pages, and immense assemblings to do honour to our beloved sovereign in her progresses ; and now the universal, and in many respects healthy excitement, attendant on the visit of the deservedly honoured, and noble-minded Hungarian Patriot. These things all have their social, moral, and religious bearings on the future.
In our own Denominational history there has been occasion for gratitude. Our churches have been generally kept in peace, and many have enjoyed some good degree of prosperity. Our public institutions have been supported, if not with the full extent of patronage their importance demands, yet with commendable zeal on the part of many. We have been cheered and interested with the inteligence received from our missionaries, especially those who are labouring in Orissa. Their zeal and love, their patience and perseverance, call for our gratitude to God, and inspire our hopes as to the success of their future labours. We have seen our students as they leave the institution, (where they have passed through a course of preparatory and various learning,) almost without exception, enter on important spheres of labour, where they have become honoured and useful in the ministry of the Word of Life; thus giving to the Connexion the best possible proof of the value and claims of our school of the prophets, and exciting the hope that our Academy will be more generally and more efficiently sustained.
Our own Periodical also bears on its pages ample proofs, we trust, of our adherence, as a Denomination, to the great and vital truths which have been, since 1770, its peculiar characteristics. The divine and absolute authority of the holy Scriptures, the fall of man, the Godhead and atonement of Christ, the universality of gospel provision, justification by faith, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the baptism of believers, and the spirituality of the kingdom of Christ, with all their correlative doctrines and truths, have been hitherto, and we hope, may ever continue to be maintained in our pages.
Truth is immutable. These truths we believe are the great truths of the gos. pel of Christ. Novelties in the shape of doctrine are ever to be viewed with caution, and even with some degree of suspicion; and when they affect and undermine these great principles, whatever be the guise in which they present themselves, and whoever may be their abettors, should be repudiated and discarded at once. "To the law and to the testimony. While we would thus be firm in the advocacy of the plain and obvious truths of the gospel, and not give place by subjection, no not for an hour,' to any of the modern theories which lower the standard of inspiration, attempt to Germanize the gospel, and thus remove the foundation of the apostles and prophets,' we would also cherish the spirit which says, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,' even though in some minor questions they and we do not see 'eye to eye.' Much and evil use is made by the new theorists above alluded to of the divisions of professing christians. They are willingly ignorant' of the very obvious truth, that in relation to the great essentials both of doctrine and experience there is a singular agreement among all sincere disciples of Christ.
A Denominational periodical, in which the various ministers and churches of the body take a lively interest, is an important means of maintaining and promoting the unity of faith,' and of the spirit.' It supplies the medium through which each and all may convey their sentiments, expose error, defend truth, and promote harmony and love. Every talented and able minister in our body should endeavour to supply his share of instruction for the common good. Here too we have various selections of a scientific, moral, and useful kind, suited for family reading; notices of important publications, intelligence of the progress and movements of the churches, letters from our missionary brethren, obituary notices of departed friends, besides occasional reports of the proceedings of missionary and benevolent institutions which are sustained by other and larger religious denominations, as well as by the general body of christians of every name. Such a periodical we desire this to be: welcome to our families, and useful to all our friends, that its monthly visits may be hailed as bringing us into contact and communion with all our churches and with each other.
That it may be so, we would request our various and zealous correspondents, to whom we tender our thanks, to furnish us with early and condensed intelli. gence of all the proceedings of their churches which are of public and general interest, as Re-openings, Anniversaries, Baptisms, extra or Special Services. We would also solicit those churches which have no such correspondent to request their Secretary, or appoint a friend to be their agent for this purpose. We would direct the attention of our ministers to the department of Essays, Obituaries, and replies to important Queries, that there may be no volume not enriched by the result of their reading, learning, and most mature reflection. For ourselves, while Providence spares us, and we are intrusted with the onerous duty of conducting this periodical, we will use every exertion which may be reasonably required to render it subservient to the interests of truth, the well-being of the Denomination, and the honour of God.
JOSEPH GOADBY. Nov. 13, 1851.