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WHILE congratulating our friends on the commencement of a New Year, we have also to congratulate ourselves on the continuance of their favour, encouraging us to renew the willing task of administering, as the Lord shall enable us, to their pleasure and profit. Many an anxious and prayerful thought, we can honestly assure them, does the work cost; encompassed as it is with difficulties that do not appear on the surface. One or two of these we will submit to our indulgent supporters.
The incidental mention, in an early Chapters on Flowers' of the work in which a valued friend had been diligently engaged among the Irish poor in St. Giles', brought to our hands, altogether unexpectedly, some donations towards carrying it on. These multiplied; and when mention was made, on the return of a centenary, of the state to which the persecuted Irish Clergy were reduced, no less a sum than nine hundred pounds was actually forwarded to us, in various contributions, which we faithfully applied, to the best of our judgment, directed as it was by friends on the spot. Again, the blessed institution at Edgeworthtown, the valuable schools in St. Giles', the Achill mission, the Female mission, and the rescued children of poor Mrs. O'Neil, all bear a rich testimony to the abounding liberality of our dear Christian friends—to whom may the Lord render a thousand fold for their readiness in ministering to the temporal and spiritual wants of otbers, for His name's sake!
But a very serious difficulty has grown out of this blessing: we are now assailed on all sides by societies or rather by individuals especially interested in them and on behalf of private families or persons, proposed institutions, and a variety of cases to which we find it very painful to say no, but which, if we admitted them, would really so occupy our pages, and weary the minds of our readers, that we must alter our title into that of the Monthly Mendicant, or at least the Monthly Advertiser, and be amenable to the revenue for no small amount of duty on the latter score. Indeed, there are moments when we should half be tempted to regret having raised such general expectations by pleading in a few special cases, did not a glance at what has been done, and what is yet doing through the bounty of our Christian Ladies, fill our heart with joy and our lips with praise. We claim the privilege of adverting, from time to time, to those institutions already under the patronage of our subscribers ; but we cannot hold forth encouragement to press the admission of others, more particularly as most of the former are progressive works, and need continued support. There is still great distress among the Lord's ministers in some parts of Ireland: Edgeworthtown is struggling
Our Schools and Dispensary in St. Giles' have more than once been on the point of being closed, through the difficulty of raising funds. The Achill work would spread over every island on that western coast, with the most brilliant prospect of triumphant success, could we but enlarge the means of sending forth scripture-readers and teachers among them: and the Female Mission houses are full-always full --and many a fainting applicant reluctantly but unavoidably sent from the doors. On these grounds we plead for indulgence with those whose benevolence leads them to desire publicity for their various appeals through our pages.
The other point is one where the only difficulty is rapidly disappearing. We have had a few applications, strongly urged, to banish the subject of Protestantism; or at least the open and sustained Protestation against Rome, from our little miscellany. We cannot say that we have ever, for a moment, hesitated on this point: to lay down the pen would be no difficult matter—we could find other ways of working: but to waver or falter in the course of determined, open hostility against the destroying enemy of God's truth and of men's souls, we dare not. Neither is there any temptation so to do; for we have many delightful testimonies to the utility of this course, even from some who at first disliked and reprehended it: and to such as yet feel unconvinced of the perils that overhang our church and nation from the rapid advances of that enemy, we only say, Bear with us a while longer-you will confess that there was a cause for what you now object against; and that, seeing as we do the approach of what you may not discern till it actually arrives, we may no more dare to cease from directing your attention to it than we might dare, if we saw your dress on the point of being igoited by an undiscovered coal at ur feet, to refrain from pointing out the source of your
We again return grateful acknowledgments to all our friends; beseeching them, whether or no they concur in our sentiments on these and other subjects, to seek for us at the Fountain of all grace the wisdom which is from above; and a blessing on the endeavour to use it rightly.
CHRISTIAN LADY'S MAGAZINE.
CHAPTERS ON FLOWERS.
THERE is, I think, only one among the usual phenomena of our climate, to which I cannot reconcile myself. A clear sunny sky is exhilarating, a cloudy one generally picturesque. Light rain is refreshing ; a good pelting shower is emphatic. A gusty day is pregnant with amusing incidents, a steady gale rouses all one's energies to withstand it; and a regular tempest is the ne plus ultra of magnificence. But a fog! a misty drizzle distilling from a low, colourless, shapeless, monotonous sky-this is a sore trial of patience. Nor am I singular in acknowledging the ungenial influence of such a season : for my dog drops his ears, and looks pensive ; my cat exhibits an aspect decidedly melancholy; my playful squirrel huddles himself up in a corner of his box, disregarding the call to come forth; and even my noble falcon, bold as the mountains of her native JANUARY, 1838.