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The past half year has indeed been an eventful one, marked by dispensations of judgment and mercy. We have seen the greater part of an abundant produce, come to perfection in its growth, and then, touched by the invisible Hand which orders all things in heaven and on earth, corrupt, and perish. We have still before us the fearful consequences of such a visitation, not yet felt in their heavy pressure, but menacing us with most portentous aspect. The calamity is not a national one : it comes in the form of a general judgment, under which we are taught to hope that the inhabitants of the earth may learn righteousness : for how vain is the help, how utterly unavailing are the wisdom, the power and the skill of man, when the LORD ariseth to contend with him !
Among ourselves, we are called on to note the peculiar severity with which this blow must fall on the population of Ireland, where potatoes form the chief, the almost exclusive article of the poor man's diet. His little plot of ground is planted with them : his winter store consists of them : the produce of their sale is the only supply to which he can look for the payment of his rent, unless he has a pig, which being also exclusively fed on the same article, cannot be sustained if that fails : so that in every point of view, famine threatens Ireland to a most awful extent; and the unholy compact, the surrender of the little that remained to us of Protestantism in our legislation, in order to ensure the peace and prosperity of Ireland seems to have brought down an especial judgment in that quarter. Who can look stedfastly on the prospect of millions driven to desperation by the pressure of famine, and goaded on, as we all know them to be, by those who possess unbounded influence over them, to deeds of violence and blood ? The prayers of every Protestant should be breathed forth daily for Ireland and the Irish.
In England, we have seen the long-delayed movement at last carried out ; and those who have been doing the work of Rome in the guise of Protestant clergymen, have thrown off that cloak, openly apostatizing. The event is one that for ten years past we have been looking, as our readers can testify : and all the rebukes that we have received failed to silence our prognostications. We now, once more, affectionately warn our Christian Sisters from being drawn to the edge of this whirlpool : many venture so far, merely through curiosity, and find themselves drawn in before they suspected any danger. Frequenting such Churches as present what these deceivers call models of ecclesiastical architecture, with their unscriptural adornments, and Popish appurtenances ; going to hear what Mr. Such-a-one will say, who is known to preach the false gospel of the Tractarians ; reading books that set forth their views in attractively amusing tales, and pious dissertations; all these things are exceedingly perilous. But, like every other evil thing, this proceeds from within ; and all outward defences will be unavailing to her who watches not well her own heart.
We ask the continued prayers of our friends for divine support under a protracted trial of faith and patience : and we, in turn, commend them all to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build them up, and to give them an inheritance among them that are sanctified.
London, Dec. 1845.