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accomplishing in the remote places of that neglected isle, among her native race, speak with an emphasis not to be mistaken the future purpose of His inexhaustible goodness, “ Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it.”
Zion.-A third opinion, that the Prophet is speaking of the Christian Church generally, and here announces its ultimate glory when all nations shall be converted to it. But this interpretation, though followed by the multitude, is quite as difficult to maintain through the chapter, (Isaiah Ix.) as either of the preceding. It is easy to say, that Zion spiritually means the church, and some perhaps might agree with certain of the Fathers, in thinking that camels and dromedaries aptly symbolize proud rich men: but who they are, who are typified by the flocks of Kedar, and the rams of Nebaioth, or what is the spiritual signification of the ships of Tarshish, does not seem so easy to determine.--Dr. M'Caul.
To the Editor of the Christian Lady's Magazine.
Will you kindly allow one, whose way has been often smoothed, and the difficulties of at lessened, by the contents of your Magazine, to propose either for your own, or some of your correspondents consideration, a few questions respecting the now very prevalent custom of raising money for religious as well as benevolent purposes, by means of “sales of useful and ornamental needlework, &c.” Feeling that “ Christian Ladies” were the chief actors in these scenes, and having been somewhat surprised at the worldly tone, both of conduct and conversation, manifested in these engagements, I thought your customary charity might lead you to assist me in the discovery whether I could, while endeavouring to “ prove all things,” act up to the apostle's injunction, “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," when contributing in this manner to works of faith and labours of love.
The questions I wish to have decided are these
1. Upon what principle are these Sales conducted, and by what scripture warrant justified ?
2. Are the wares sold such as that money ought to purchase, which we believe to be a talent com
mitted to us for the purpose of promoting the honour and glory of the giver ?
3. Do not those who provide, those who sell, and those who purchase, tacitly, and perhaps unconsciously, make a principle of self-denial yield to one of expediency?
4. Do not we expose ourselves and others to unwarrantable temptations of divers kind by assisting in them?
If you think the mention of this subject in the pages of your Magazine, may tend to “provoke unto love and good works,” perbaps at some time you may find a convenient corner for it; but if likely to produce any opposite feelings, I trust you will burn ibis note, and forget, and forgive the trouble given by me, who under God owes you much.
H. A. N. June 17, 1844.
We give insertion the more willingly to the foregoing letter, because we really wish to see this point settled on a basis satisfactory to such minds as that of H. A. N. We cannot ourselves speak practically on the subject, having never been present at a scene of the kind, nor in any way taken part in it, beyond transmitting through the regular channels, articles of work sent to us for that purpose by parties who bave either not seen or not understood our repeated reqaest to be excused from becoming the recipients of any thing intended for sale. What with postoffice orders and country notes, we find ourselves exposed to perplexity and loss, often of money as well as of time; but fancy goods we are obliged to stow away where we can, until some friend engaged in a sale kindly takes them en masse. This we note, because some reader might object that we do supply sales occasionally.
The thing itself is one which we never could suf. ficiently reconcile to our views of what is strictly consistent with such employments as the word of God enumerates among those adapted to the female character; whether among "holy women of old times,” or under apostolic guidance. It may do good, we scarcely think it can do any harm, to canvass this matter in our pages, if any of our correspondents feel disposed so to do: but it must be borne in mind that we may get twenty letters where only one can be inserted ; and that our rule of selection must be to choose that which is in its line of argument the most scriptural, and which compresses the greatest quantity of matter within the most reasonable bounds. A meek and quiet spirit, in the tone, being indispensable ; for we would not stir up strife among sisters. We would also suggest that such as disapprove of this mode of raising funds for benevolent and pious purposes, should point out some better plan for attaining the same end,or at least for assisting the great work which, in many ways, is now going forward.
H. A. N. has not sent us any other address; and if we err in publishing her letter, she must forgive us. We do not wish to take a prominent part in the debate, but rather to be instructed by wbat friends on both sides may say ; regarding it as a question of very great practical importance, particularly as the custom is greatly on the increase of late.
One point we would request our controversialists to bear in mind, when treating of the pro and con.
We mention it as a fact, well known to ourselves; not retailed as a report. Young ladies, very far from taking an interest in the good works to be promoted, have often, very often been known to proffer aid for the avowed purpose (avowed to their friends) of having a flirtation with gentlemen buyers; and these gentlemen buyers, knowing this, make no secret of their conviction, that all the young ladies who take stalls at a fancy fair, do so in order to be flirted with. We use the foolish word because it is chosen by the parties to express their meaning; and because we know of no other sufficiently silly for the purpose.
Now, we are perfectly aware that to have all manner of evil spoken against them, falsely, is the frequent lot of true believers, and that so far from shrinking from it, their Divine Master has taught them to regard it as a special blessing. We, therefore, would not for any consideration adduce the foregoing as an argument to frighten delicate minds from fulfilling any work and labour of love to wbich they may be called in the cause of godliness; we merely state the fact as an additional inducement to search and try the real character of the business with serious care.