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“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself
ARTHUR HALL & CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.
ADDRESS TO OUR READERS.
Another Editorial year bas now come to a close, and before we again address our friends through our pages, the year 1856 will have passed away.
After having been engaged for so long a period as twelve years,—no small portion of our whole life,-in the prosecution of the same work, it is natural to enquire whether any results have been attained, sufficient to compensate for the labour expended; or whether the toil and the time which have been consumed by the task, have been altogether thrown away. We have been indulging in such an enquiry while holding our pen to write this Annual Address: and wbile, alas, we have discovered too much cause for humiliation, in that we have done so little, we yet recognise much reason for thankfulness, that we have been enabled to do so much.
Tbere is no doubt tbat Periodical literature is one of the great powers of the day. How much is done by it for evil it is impossible to estimate: perbaps it is equally impossible to say how much is done by it for good. Take even our own case. Into sixteen thousand families are we permitted month by month to enter; whispering comfort to the sorrowing, and strength to the feeble, and, it may be, joy and peace to the dying. Amidst how many varied circumstances are our visits paid. To the rich and to the poor we go,-we enter both the ball and the hovel. We thank God and rejoice while we know that in both our visits bave been blessed. “ The day will declare "-we would not if we could-bow many we have been the means of comforting and strengthening, and how many we have been permitted to lead into the way of God and heaven.
We would never forget-we trust we never have done so-that our mission is chiefly to the poor. It is our wish, indeed, always to provide something that the better educated and better off” will read with interest: our chief aim, however, is to instruct and aid the poor. To them Christ preached his gospel. He himself was a poor man. And to “the poor in this world ” life is indeed a battle: the more need that they should be “rich in faith.” We esteem it a privilege that we are permitted to address so many of our poorer brethren every month: all our toils will be made up for and rewarded, if we are ever permitted to bring the sunshine of heaven into the poor man's welling, and pour the oil of joy and blessedness on the poor man's heartb !