Preface

ANOTHER chapter in the book of our lives has ended. The dark and the light, the sorrowing’s and the rejoicings of another year on earth are gone by, never more to return. With one hand upon the finished chapter, and the other about to turn over the leaf, let its pause and inquire how it stands with us in relation to eternity. A wholesome inquiry, gentle reader, whether we be known as Christian men and women, or whether we be still amongst the undecided and the waverers maybe, among the neglecters of salvation. As the seeds we sowed in the autumn will, should we live, appear before our eyes in the spring in their new form of life, so will the moments, the hours—aye, the memories of this bygone year rise up and stand before us in eternity!
The principles of the irresistible law of sowing and reaping cheer us with their brightest features in genuine gospel work. It is impossible honestly to serve our Master in heaven for naught. True, we do not garner in the grain all at once. Ground has to be broken up, the seed sown, the field weeded on man's part: it is God who gives the increase. It is one experience to enter on an unbroken Prairie, fell the trees, dig out the roots, till the soil, and sow the seed; another ten years hence, as a visitor, to behold the smiling homestead, the golden corn, where was once the wild! All gospel work has somewhat of the hardship of Pioneering in it, but in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not. A gospel magazine, and the labors of those who sustain it, either by pen or by distribution, have of necessity chiefly the seed-sowing character. Still, we again gratefully record many instances, which this year have come to our knowledge, of old and young finding Christ and peace through our pages; so that we have had the joy of reaping as well as the Privilege of sowing.
Once more we thank our correspondents who sent us papers during the old year. We hold several good articles in type ready for the New Year, and others in MS. for the same object. We received a greater number of articles in these twelve months than during any similar period, and our most hearty thanks are given to our fellow-workers. We plead for fresh help for the new year—especially papers suitable for the young.
We would again press upon our friends the importance of awakening individual interest in the periodical. Those who have the leisure, and who kindly interest themselves to obtain subscribers, either in villages or in the humble streets of our cities, ever find That FAITHFUL WORDS is regularly taken in and carefully read. Such assistance in widening the circulation of the Magazine is the truest help that can be rendered to it.
If it were possible it would be a great delight to us to be able to respond to a hundredth part of the applications we receive from town Missionaries and visitors of the poor, who Themselves are without means, for free grants of FAITHFUL WORDS; this matter we leave with our wealthy readers, simply stating that the Publisher will be glad to show such some of the letters crying for help we so often receive.
Again we take the opportunity of stating that all our stories in FAITHFUL WORDS are vouched for as strictly true.
With sincere gratitude to God for enabling us afresh to present a Volume to our readers, and with affectionate greetings to friends, known personally, or save by name, once more our pages are issued with the prayer that their perusal may be a blessing both to the Christian reader and to those who at present know not Christ as their Saviour.