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"For a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the
With golden treasure gleaming there;
But poor the life, if earthly store
EDITOR'S ADDRESS TO HIS DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-The number now in your hand completes the sixteenth volume of the LITTLE GLEANER.
It is now fifteen years and a half (for the first volume occupied only half a year), since I started out gleaning ears of truth for the rising generation, and I think I may in truth say that my zeal in the good cause of seeking the welfare of the young has in no way cooled down since then. Indeed, so much success has crowned the effort, that I am in more heart now for future exertions than then. It was with trembling steps I sallied forth on my first gleaning excursion. Many were my fears lest I might not succeed in gaining access with my monthly bundle, and many were the difficulties with which I had to battle, before the circulation of the GLEANER would pay its expenses; and gratitude prompts me to add, many were the kind helps I received from lovers of the rising race, and from the young themselves, hundreds of whom are now heads of families, and are as heartily welcoming, for the benefit of their own children my monthly gleanings, as formerly for themselves. And thus they whom others were anxious to benefit by means of the LITTLE GLEANER are now anxious to benefit their own dear children by the same means.
What a mercy that while many things that may have crossed the path of some when young, they regret having seen, and would caution their children against, they never regret having seen the LITTLE GLEANER, and now recommend it to their children and others, as calculated by God's blessing to benefit them for time and for eternity.
The profit of my readers will, I trust while spared to glean for them, be my great aim. It is but a little while that any one can serve his generation; life is a very vapour; and it cannot be long that one who has seen his jubilee year, and has passed through so much affliction, can have the great privilege of seeking the welfare of those who will be men and women, breasting the waves of earth's cares and sorrows, when the hand that now writes is mingling with the clods of the valley. His day is on the decline, his sun is speeding towards the western horizon, and earnestly does he wish to spend what remains of the short afternoon of life, in a way that shall benefit the present and future generations. His hope is that the bound volumes of the LITTLE GLEANER and SOWER will, when he is dead, yet speak to the children's children of his readers, if the Lord should so long tarry ere He comes again to receive His Church to Himself.
Forgive, dear readers, my thus thinking aloud in your hearing, I feel so much at home with my readers that I cannot well avoid letting my thoughts run over to them, even at the risk of leading some to think I am too ready to speak of myself, and my own thoughts and wishes. I have thoughts and wishes I cannot help exposing to my readers. I think how soon they must
all appear before God. I wish they may be
ready. I think they are all breakers of the law, and deserve its curse. I wish they all felt this, and were really seeking the Lord while He may be found. I think there is no salvation on the other side the grave for those who die without faith in Jesus on this side the grave, and I wish for my readers living faith in the Lord Jesus. I think how many are building their hopes for eternity on their own works or ordinances and
duties, or phantoms of the imagination or supposed voices and revelations from heaven; and I wish that none of my readers may be left to these fatal delusions. I think how much there is of gilded religion abroad, and wish my readers have gold. I think that thousands of snares and traps are in the path of the young, and wish my readers may not fall into them. I think how pitiable a thing it is to see so many young people carried away with the hideous, bold, immodest flaunting fashions of this sad day of shamelessness in attire, and wish my dear readers a contempt for such things. I think how restless many of the young seem, and wish my dear readers may soberly and steadily settle down in the employments and positions that Providence has cast in their way, and anxious friends urge them to. I think how many young lips sip the wine-cup that at last biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder, or put between their lips the disgusting unnatural pipe or cigar, and wish all my readers may fly from such things.
But my thoughts and wishes are as busy and numerous as bees in a June sun, so that I must not hope to let them all drop into my pages. My great thought, dear reader, and my great wish, is about your soul. You must die, you must come to judgment, and you must perish if you die without the new birth, without true repentance and living faith. Oh, do you possess these things? Happy, happy the youth who can say he does. Better never to have been born than to live and die without these things. Oh, think of your souls, and may God give you that saving religion that shall make you serve Jesus while you live; trust Jesus when you die, and praise Jesus through everlasting ages.
I must, however, tell you another or two of my thoughts and wishes. I think every one who takes the GLEANER might also take the SOWER, and thus treasure up volumes of truth that they may read with profit to old age; and I wish they would do so. I think every one of my readers might get another friend to take in the GLEANER as well as themselves, and then we might print twenty thousand per month instead of ten thousand. I wish they would be determined to do so.
I think what hundreds of them might gain a prize, and get their own GLEANER monthly for nothing by getting six persons, who have not done so before, to take the GLEANER or SOWER monthly, and send six shillings in stamps to Miss Kent, Shefford, Beds., who would send them (D.V.) a prize and seven GLEANERS or SOWERS, or mixed, per month, for the year 1870. I wish they would set about this directly they have read the GLEANER. I think they would get a better prize, and both a GLEANER and SOWER every month for nothing, by getting twelve new subscribers to take the magazines, and send twelve shillings to Miss Kent. I wish they may act upon this latter plan.
As a kind friend has sent a sovereign to be given away in books, I think it would be a good plan for me to give three pounds' worth of odd GLEANERS and SOWERS for this sovereign for my friends to give away to canvass with. I think of asking Miss Kent to give seven of these GLEANERS or SOWERS to any one who sends one stamp for postage, fourteen to any one who sends two, and so on. I wish the whole 1,000 GLEANERS and SOWERS may thus soon be given away, and that God may make them a blessing. But I think some of my readers may not want to be hindered