Brother Beebe: - I am sorry to inform you that several of our friends in this vicinity decline continuing to take the Signs - and consequently several will return their paper (the first number of the new volume) by mail.
The controversy carried on through the Signs during the latter part of the past year has caused much dissatisfaction among your subscribers - and some complaint has grown out of your not publishing articles and queries for others, and from present appearances I do not know whether I shall be able to induce any of those for whom I forwarded subscriptions last year to continue, but I feel inclined myself to continue another year and do what I can to get others to take the Signs this year, but I am afraid that I shall not be able to accomplish much.
We have taken the liberty to extract the above from a private letter of one of our valued agents, in order to show up some of the Signs of the Times, which could not be so well illustrated in any other way. As a general thing those who are complaining the most bitterly of controversy, and blaming us the most for a lack of perfect harmony, are, those who would themselves involve us in the most vexing and interminable controversies by their queries and injudicious articles against controversy. If as the publisher and editor of a religious paper we are to be held responsible for all the acrimonious feelings produced by articles which appear in our columns, we must insist on being allowed to decline the publication of such queries and articles as, in our judgement will gender strife and unprofitable contention.
We have been in the field and engaged in combat with the common enemy of the Old School Baptists for many years; our position has exposed us to the most virulent assaults from abroad; but all the persecution and abuse we have ever been subjected to from the sons of Hagar, are light and trifling compared with the frowns of brethren. We wish not to complain. It is the privilege of all our subscribers, who are not suited with our paper to decline taking it.
It is our design, as the Lord may give ability to make our paper deserve the patronage of the Old School Baptists, and edifying to those scattered children of our heavenly Father, and if our labors may result in comfort and encouragement to the poor, afflicted, meek, and humble lambs of the flock, we will feel amply remunerated to our toils and reproaches.
(Comment: Things are not a great deal different in 1982 than they were in 1850.)
January 1, 1850
Signs of the Times
Volume 150, No. 4 - April 1982