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I.-INTRODUCTION. “We hold truth in fee simple for ourselves, and in trust for others.”—DR. MACLAREN.

“Covet to be truth's champion; at least to hold her colours." -FRANCIS QUARLES.

DEAN STANLEY, with his usual candour, has said in his -" Essays on Church and State" (p. 366): “It is one of the large advantages which we owe to Nonconformists, that they have vindicated in England the sacredness of the individual conscience, the ideal of Christian purity, the noble impetuosity of Christian enthusiasm." This is a compliment which Nonconformists have well deserved, a eulogy which they should endeavour still to merit. History will show that the Baptists have not hitherto been wanting in the vindication of these great principles. God forbid that they ever should !

It behoves us, however, to be sure that our foundations are deep and strong, and to build upon these foundations intelligently and consistently, not “ wood and hay and stubble," but that which will endure the most searching tests. Our fathers were not Baptists because their parents were Baptists. Most of them had been brought up in other communities, which nothing but conviction and conscience could have induced them to leave. They were not Baptists for respectability and worldly position, for in their day more than in ours the Baptists were a sect everywhere spoken against. They had nothing to gain by their separation from more powerful and influential Churches but the testimony of a good conscience" and the approbation of their Lord, whose will in all things they consulted and obeyed. They had much to suffer, but they “endured

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