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Signs of the Times collection

Signs of the Times was a monthly publication by and for Primitive Baptists. Primitive Baptists are a group that holds to strong convictions: They are highly influenced by John Calvin’s writings on election and salvation and, from their understanding of these doctrines, do not establish mission boards or Sunday Schools. They hold to a strong interpretation of the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer and do not believe in ministers having formal theological training. Their view of local church autonomy is strong to the point of limiting partnership between local churches to loose associations on the local level. The content of Signs of the Times reflects these beliefs. Gilbert Beebe, the first editor, published the first issue from New Vernon, NY on November 28, 1832. Issues contained discussion on theology and church polity, letters to the editor, and items of interest such as wedding announcements. The publication had nation-wide reach. Beebe summed up the publication’s purpose with these words of the first issue: “The Signs of the Times will be decidedly opposed to Bible, Tract and Missionary Societies, Theological Seminaries, Sabbath School Unions, &c. &c. waging war with the mother Arminianism, and her entire brood of institutions.” The long-running publication continued to serve the Primitive Baptist community through the 2010s.

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