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We cannot sit down to address our friends for the last time, during the present year, without emotion, when we reflect on the numbers who may have looked upon the first page of the present volume that will not look upon the last. Among those who rest from their labours, and with whom, on earth, we can now commune no more through this medium, there were the young, the middleaged, and those crowned with hoary hairs. Concerning all such we remember, with pleasure, that our pages have testified to them of the mercy and the grace of God-of the blood and the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ—and of the communion and consolation of the Eternal Spirit, which brought Him again from the dead.
The year now closing has been, in many places, but more especially in the Metropolis, the Year of Death! The population of the Capital is, at this moment, smaller than it was when the year commenced; and the births in England are fewer than the deaths-an event which has not occurred before during the lengthened period of two centuries. Not only has Death ravaged large sections of society, with extraordinary violence, but commercial difficulties have pressed, with crushing weight, upon the nation; and large numbers of those who rank as our readers have severely suffered from the state of the times. It is, nevertheless, pleasing to reflect that, at the moment in which we write, the cloud begins to disperse, and hope, once more, with cheerful countenance, waves her banner over these Nations. The havoc of death is much abated: the mortality in London being even below the average. The crops, too, have been mercifully bountiful, and Commerce has raised her head. There is now, also, to a large extent, labour for those disposed to earn their bread by honourable industry: but still imperial burdens are heavy, and toil is but poorly requited. The labouring man and the operative classes, in the vast majority of cases, have still much difficulty in making ends meet; and even now, where some portion of food and of clothing has been procured, little remains to further education, and supply the wants of the immortal mind. We are, therefore, pleased in
reflecting that, for a very insignificant sum, we are able, from month to month, to give to the peasant and the peasant's child, on terms within their easy reach, a large amount of wholesome instruction. Any Number of the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE that has been issued, within the present year, comprises an amount of matter-important, varied, and adapted to the classes whose welfare is specially sought-worth many times the price of the entire volume. It has, therefore, ofttimes not a little consoled us, during the adversity which has visited the Millions, to think that still, in the very depths of poverty, the great majority could, once a month, obtain the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE.
It will be observed that we have strenuously laboured to commend ourselves to the judgment and the conscience of Young People, of both sexes, and have, under a specific title, addressed to them, from time to time, a large amount of healthful exhortation, from which, if they are not wanting to themselves, they may abundantly profit. The young man who will take for his guidance the star which has shone in these cheapest of cheap pages, will not fail, in the end, to arrive at sound intelligence, right principles, Christian character, comfort, respectability, and usefulness.
But while we have bent our strength, very mainly, to benefit the rising generation, we have by no means overlooked the Fathers and the Mothers of the land. In endeavouring to strengthen their authority, and to bless them by benefiting their children, we have also kept steadily in view their own wants, cares, and sorrows; and hence lesson has succeeded to lesson in truth and love, and to abstract doctrine has been added the memorials of departed piety, while fact, anecdote, and verse have all been rendered subservient to their instruction and edification. Such has been our object, such our effort; and we trust our labour has not been in vain in the Lord. May his most abundant blessing rest on every reader! Amen and Amen!
November 7, 1849.
Memoirs of Helen Silvie, a Deaf Mute 109