Tuesday, November 21, 2006

31Dec1861, Saddened Year is Past

HAGLEY, Tuesday, December 31st, 1861.
—And now this troubled and saddened year is past ! Never in my recollection, and I should fancy hardly ever in any recollection, can there have been a year so full of awful events. It opened with the Coventry famine. Then the death of the Duchess of Kent, the great fire, the deaths of Lord Herbert, Sir J. Graham, Cavour ; the Indian famine ; the death of Lady Canning, and finally of the Prince—all these have darkened this year, besides the American war, and the almost certain prospect of ourselves being dragged into it. The sun may well go down in total eclipse to-night, as it does, tho' unseen by us ! The Future is most dark, great troubles seem coming, and much of the wisdom and strength that would have faced and overcome it is lost to the country for ever. And the overwhelming thought of our Queen now setting out on the untried sea of loneliness and affliction—this is the greatest grief of all.

Thank God, when all is sad and clouded, we can lay hold the more steadfastly of the Hand that can lead us safe through storms and danger ; and the darker the way before us, the more serenely shines the Love of God to be our beacon. To that Love we may leave our widowed Queen, our sorrowing country, in sure and certain hope ; and He will not leave us nor forsake us.

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