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struggled, and, in a number of instances, even died to secure. That ground was the one of making Holy Scripture the sole authority in all matters of religion; and the maintenance of this priceless principle conferred glory upon our denomination when such men as Booth, Ryland, and Kinghorn stood forth manfully in its defence. But darker times have come over us, and the truculence of the “open communion” system to the infant sprinkling world will tell a sad tale against the Baptists in the approaching struggle with Popery.
With a view of holding this evil in check, at least to some extent the Primitive Church Magazine will continue its onward and fearless course, trusting to the blessing of God and the co-operation of the ministers and the churches for future encouragement and success. The closing year has not been without its trials, nor is it wise or pious to expect the coming time to be any better than the past; but so long as the Editor is sustained by the consciousness of serving the cause of God and truth, and has reason to believe that his service is accepted by the churches, so long will his motto be, Nil desperandum.
That sooner or later there will come a reaction in favour of New Testament communion is indubitably certain, unless, indeed, a darker alternative should prove to be in store for our country. And this is at least possible, if not even probable, in the future destiny of Great Britain. The most pernicious errors that have ever cursed the church, commenced in a very slight departure from gospel simplicity at the first; and when once the precedent is given, it operates with all the force of a torrent in favour of a bad example. Of this, the appalling condition of the Lutheran German churches is a melancholy proof, and nothing more is required to reduce the Protestantism of our beloved land to the same degraded level, than the wide-spread “expediency” of the day in lieu of the Word of God. In less than another generation, unless mercifully prevented, this fatal work will have approached completion.
To preserve the country from this awful fate should be the determined purpose, by the blessing of God, of every reader of the Primitive Church Magazine.
Manchester, Nov. 26th, 1858.