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PREFACE.

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,

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