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It is the general custom in periodical literature, for the Editor to remain altogether veiled from public view. Writers, of various grades in talent, in opinion, in feeling, fill the pages ; and the conductor, protesting against being held responsible for the sentiments of correspondents, enjoys a mysterious seclusion, behind the scenes.
This has not been the case with our Magazine : the Editor entered on her office quite innocent of all the ways of literary leadership. She felt as a woman who, by the good providence of God, was chosen to prepare for the Christian females of the land, a certain portion of literary entertainment, which it was her duty to render as solidly instructive as she could. The publishers were pleased to prefix her public name to the work ; and she held herself from the first moment personally and fully responsible for whatever, under the sanction of that name should appear in the Magazine. For the first two years, the Editor was but one among several regularly engaged assistants : at the commencement of 1836 she took upon herself the sole, undivided
task of both supplying and conducting the Magazine, subject to the approval of the judicious publishers.
The consequence of all this has been a feeling of attachment to the work, an endearing tie of fellowship with her readers and correspondents, the value of which she could all along appreciate ; but its fruits during the last few months have been such as to fill her heart with an abundance of grateful joy that must and will overflow in these pages. It hath pleased the Lord, who doeth all things well, to visit her with one of the most painful varieties of the most painful disease that preys on the human frame, and to this she incidently adverted in the Magazine. From that time, one unbroken strain of loving compassion and sympathy has reached her from all quarters where the announcement was heard ; and the Lord only knows how exquisitely delicious to her spirit is this cordial balm. More than once, when writhing in the sorest agony, she has remembered that at the very hour some dear friends, whose faces she had perhaps never seen in the flesh, were agreed in supplicating the strengthening aid of the Most High on her behalf : and the healing efficacy of that recollection who shall tell! Who shall tell the fervency of her entreaty that the Lord, while answering as He should see best the prayer of His people, might return the blessing a thousand fold into their own kind bosoms.
Has their prayer been answered ? Yes. Both spiritually and bodily, their sister, Charlotte Elizabeth, is
hourly reaping its fruits. She beseeches them to persevere : the disease itself, though intensely painful, wears an aspect the most decidedly favourable ; and affords strong grounds to hope that the endearing tie between the Editor and the readers of this Magazine may yet long remain unbroken. The whole literary work is necessarily confined to it, through the disabling character of the affliction ; but the Lord's All-sufficiency, the daily renewing of His boundless mercies, and his nearness in the hour of need, were never so richly realized. Whole weeks of sleepless nights give rise to much searching of heart; and this again produces a feeling of deep thankfulness that, to the best of her knowledge, the Editor has faithfully set forth, on all subjects, what she is more and more persuaded is the truth according to the unerring word of God.
This egotism will be pardoned by most of our readers : those who take offence at it must suspend their judgment until they also, under such a rod experience such consolation. Under heaven, there is nothing so sweet as the sympathy that a suffering member receives from praying brethren and sisters.
But it would be most ungrateful, most unjust to omit extending the acknowledgement beyond the regular supporters of a Christian Lady's Magazine. The daughters of Judah have most tenderly sympathized with one wholly unknown to them, save by the love that she bears their nation; and one of the most delicate devices
for external, mechanical protection and relief, was contrived and executed by accomplished Jewish ladies. This we record with very especial delight.
Not knowing what a day may bring forth, we now take a most affectionate leave of our beloved sisters ; yet with a good hope that we shall enjoy the privilege of working with and for them still. It is no time for any who can work to cease from so doing. All but the Church of God have openly forsaken Him! the State is fast apostatizing ; the World exults, and Popery triumphs. Who, in such a case, would withdraw from the battle-field, while strength remained to wield even the fragment of a weapon ?
Blackheath, June, 1845.