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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 glad 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

adverting to this principle, intend to imply that they are reduced to the situation of those

To whom all that remains is idle talk

Of old achievements with despair of new.

They have abundant motives, drawn from the circumstances of the past year, to stimulate and encourage their future exertion. The commendations of their humble efforts, and the valuable contributions with which they have been favoured, have greatly tended to facilitate and reward their labours. And they avail themselves of this opportunity of tendering their grateful acknowledgments to those correspondents to whom they have been thus indebted; and of soliciting the continuance of their future services. Which request for efficient aid, they also take the liberty to extend to other talented and influential members of the Society who may not as yet, have laid them under similar obligation. Men of the highest intellectual endowments are coming forward to assist the progress of science and literature amongst us; and shall Christians, whom their Lord has entrusted with talent, remain indifferent to his claims upon them, when summoned by his imperative call, to the discharge of more urgent and honourable duties? It is apprehended that there are many individuals who employ their pens and their influence in the general cause of truth, regardless of that particular denomination to which by principle and profession they belong. Such, however, should be respectfully reminded, that there are special claims and obligations arising out of special relations which cannot be superseded. The wall of Jerusalem was builded by every man repairing the breach which was over against his own house. Unity of effort is perfectly compatible with division of labour.

Many of their brethren, however, who are unable to assist the work by their pens, might, it is believed, greatly promote the sale of it, by exerting themselves in their respective spheres of influence. To the ministers of most of our congregations this remark is particularly directed. And the Editors beg leave to urge this duty upon such in reference to the ensuing year, reminding them that the pecuniary benefits resulting from their efforts will flow into many of their own families.

But more especially do the Conductors of this periodical, desire to look up to the Author of truth and the Source of wisdom, for his assistance and guidance in the prosecution of their work. To his cause they again consecrate their humble efforts, whose blessing alone can render them efficacious in his service,

Whose frown can disappoint the proudest strain,
Whose approbation prosper even theirs.

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JANUARY, 1829.

of love to the churches, gentle MEMOIR OF THE REV. W.W. SIMPSON. among them even as a nurse that Not only are our sensibilities often cherisheth her children,* and who affected by the early death of many at the same time exhibited all that of the most promising and interest- force of character in the power of ing of the human race; but our the apostle, and in the courage of beclouded judgment frequently al- the martyr, which had been marked lows the harassing conjecture of in the infuriate enemy of the Cross! sceptical inquiry, and we ask why And thus it is that regret accomare they taken thus young, thus panies the survey, when we look happy, thus useful, as if to mark over the memorials of those in our more strongly the desert spots of own times, who have divided the our earth, which, as their youth talent of life in the service of this adorned, their maturity would have world and of that which is to come, enriched? And sometimes, too, and who have cast into the treasury when we vary the object of con- of the former much of the immeatemplation, we indulge the same surable value of their immortal unhallowed propensity to object energies. Yet to these complainagainst the dispensations of Him, ings over what we too proudly whose way is in the sea, whose path term the waste of human capacities, is in the deep waters. Now and the language of inspiration supplies then, perhaps, we observe a man at once a gentle and a severe reof vigorous intellect, of indefati-buke, who art thou, O man, that gable ardour, of acute sensibility, and, as the world would say, of sterling worth, left in the exercise of these talents, these graces of the natural character to the very meridian of his day, before the only light that can direct the native energy, can harmonize the powerful affections, or can sanctify the liberalities of nature, is afforded; and we say, Oh! that it had dawned upon his morning hours. Thus when we turn even to the great champion of the christian faith, we almost dare to sigh over the tardy approach of the heavenly vision, thinking for how long a period the zeal of the persecutor had overflowed from the heart, and nerved the merciless grasp of him, who was afterwards a messenger VOL. IV. 3d Series.

repliest against God?

These remarks have been suggested by a review of the years that passed over the head of the good and venerable subject of this memoir, forty-two of which were withheld from the service of that great Master, to whom in advancing life, and even to hoary age, he gave himself with a devout affection, an honest enthusiastic piety, which, alas! too frequently characterizes only the first religious fervours of ordinary men. No very detailed account therefore of his early life will be expected in a record, which is principally intended to preserve a remembrance of him in his work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians, ii. 7.

quently wishing I was like them, and sometimes entertaining secret hopes that I should be so before I died." These transitory and almost oblivious anticipations were mercifully realized. In the early part of the year 1789, a train of circum

He was born of respectable parents at Diss in Norfolk, on the 5th of March, 1748. The unspeakable advantages of a strictly religious education were not afforded to his childhood, the recollection of which deficiency awakened in his after life a constant solicitude for the stances, apparently contingent, led moral and religious culture of chil-him to hear the late excellent Mr. dren; not only his own, but of all Hall of Ipswich. The sermon which that most interesting portion of he heard on that occasion (founded human society. At an early age on John, xiv. 6.) produced a deep. he was apprenticed to the wool and salutary influence on his mind, trade in Bury St. Edmond's, but a the vivid impression of which he strong predilection for an agricul- retained to the closing hours of his tural life induced him to relinquish life. A pious book, too, the this business and enter upon a farm," Scripture Characters" of Mrs. in which he was successfully en- Robinson, too well known to regaged for many years. In 1776 quire eulogy in this place, became he was married to Miss Goldsmith, subservient to his best interests. a lady who, for nearly half a cen- A large comment on its heartfelt tury, contributed to the happiness value is found among his papers. of his domestic life, and the many After many alternations of mind virtues of whose conjugal character over different religious societies, will be long blended with the re- and a lingering preference for the membrance of his own. Shortly Wesleyan communion, with which after this union, he left his favourite he was associated for nearly four pursuits in the farm, and engaged years, an impulse was given to his in a large brewery, with a banking mind, that decided him fully in establishment, at Diss. At this period, it appears, from passages in his journal, that he entered with avidity into the dissipations of fashionable life, not, however, without the conflicting emotions which arose from a latent perception of the beauty of that religion, which was sometimes presented to him in all the attractive influences of living christian character. The following passage, from a MS. of corresponding date, so clearly states this part of his experience, that we cannot withhold it :-"I do not to the integrity of his character, remember that, in any period of my life, I could sin without some convictions and remorse of conscience, and though I was entirely destitute, nay really ignorant, of true religion, I always felt a kind of veneration for those who appeared to me to be religious, fre

favour of what is popularly termed Calvinism, a scheme of doctrine to which he ever after most rigidly adhered. In 1797 he became identified, by a public profession, with the Baptist denomination. A short note, expressive of his religious joy, is appended to the date that notices this event. This year also was remarkable to him for a short but severe temporal reverse in his affairs, from which he was rescued, not merely without loss of reputation, but with added testimonies

and with such spiritual benefit, as to prove indeed that light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. His own affecting language, breathed, as we suppose, from his retirement in the day of trouble, is so expressive of devout simplicity, that we quote

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