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THE PROFITS ARISING FROM THE SALE OF THIS WORK ARE
THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CONTRIBUTORS.
(vol. IV. THIRD SERIES.)
Speaking the truth in love.—Eph. iv. 15.
PUBLISHED BY GEORGE WIGHTMAN,
24, PATERNOSTER ROW.
HAVING, by the kind providence of God, been conducted to the close of another year, the Editors of The Baptist Magazine are now called upon to pay their accustomed periodical visit to their readers, after completing the Fourth Volume of the Third Series of their editorial labours.
Works of this description, which pass monthly before the eye of the public, possess, it is admitted, only a sort of temporary attraction, each number losing in turn much of its individual importance, the moment its successor makes its appearance. And yet, notwithstanding this brevity of being, there is a sense in which works that have long represented any particular section of the Christian world, acquire a value from the lapse of time, as they grow into volumes and series of volumes, to which, at the commencement, they could make no pretension. Nor is the interest felt in such cases of that undefinable character which the antiquarian feels for the most worthless article when it is enshrined within the rust of antiquity. But it arises from the fact, that every such work becomes identified with the denomination of which it has long been the authorized representative. There its sentiments are expressed, its characteristic tenets defended, and its histories preserved ; and there we behold its moral lineaments, as they are drawn under all those varied aspects which the moulding hand of time has impressed upon them. We are enabled to compare the present sentiments, sympathies, and circumstances of the denomination, with those of an earlier date; to ascertain the commencement of many of its most venerable institutions ; to catch the first impulses which have produced, perhaps, some of its mightiest movements; and to trace to the spring-head those various streams of Christian beneficence which have widened as they flowed, fertilizing the waste places of the earth, and making glail the city of our God. The Memoirs and Obituaries likewise, which are collected in the progress of such a work, impart a hallowed sanctity to its pages. By these we cherish the memory of our beloved brethren, and venerated fathers who have departed in the faith, and recognize in their experience, the immutability of those divine principles to whose efficacy, through grace, they were enabled to bear their living and dying testimony.
It is not intended by this strain of remark to insinuate that the mere antiquity of a work is sufficient to sustain it in the approbation of the public, independently of the mode in which it is conducted; but simply;-its general merit being admitted—that this constitutes a superadded claim on the patronage of the denomination, to whose service it has been long and faithfully devoted. Still less do the Editors, by