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BECCLES : PRINTED BY READ CRISP AND MOORE.

PREFACE.

We greet our esteemed correspondents and numerous readers on the completion of another volume of THE GOSPEL HERALD. Another year has fled, and we are led to hope that amidst its ever shifting scenes and recurring sorrows the pages of THE HERALD have not unfrequently furnished encouragement and consolation to many a weary traveller to Zion. Our labours have been prosecuted with an earnest and a prayerful desire to supply those who are hungering and thirsting after righteosness and eternal life, with that spiritual aliment which is so necessary to sustain and invigorate the soul amid all the conflicts and cares of the wilderness. That has been our view, believing that soul prosperity is the greatest of all blessings in the possession of the heirs of salvation. The living word of the eternal God is the fountain whence all the streams of living water flow, and the Divine Inspiration of that word being essential to its character, faithfulness and efficacy, we have felt that the several articles on that important subject which have been found in our pages during the year, demand the close perusal and prayerful consideration of all who desire to have the word of Christ dwelling in them richly in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. If that portion of our work has been thought to present meat only suited to strong men and fathers, we trust the children in the Lord's family have found supplies also of milk –“ The sincere milk of the word”—by which their spiritual growth has been promoted and their interests advanced in the divine life.

We have had our difficulties in the pursuit of our labours, and these have not lightened our responsibilities. Discouraging has been the reflection-forced upon us by surrounding circumstances—that everything relating to the interests of the strict section of the Baptist denomination meets with increasing disfavour in what is called the religious world. And whatever difficulties arise from that source, we believe they are seriously augmented by the apathy and indifference, supineness and

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