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Issue Number: 25  January   1869

January 1869


A New Year! and, as we all say, a happy one. It is hard to keep New Year's Day and happiness apart: out it comes, before we know what we are saying. "A happy New Year." And why not? It is a happy time, if for no other reason, just because it is new. We know what it is to have another chance. The naughty child, the slothful servant, the unfaithful steward, each says, "Give me another chance"—"Try me once more." Do you not think we are all sometimes naughty, we are apt to forget our work, we do not always do our duty? At least, I fancy, such is the experience of the old year, which is past; that chapter of our lives, if rightly read, teaches us this lesson. Still the story is not so utterly bad, that it is not allowed to go on. You have just opened this new number of your Bream Magazine; it is like cutting the first leaf of a fresh chapter in your life. In spite of disobedience, negligence, faithlessness, our Father, our Master, our Lord, gives us another year. Bygones remain bygones. "I am turning over a new leaf;" " forgetting things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." A new career opens; the opportunity is given; there is joy even here.

But we mean more than this. The year is not a happy one, just because it is new. The year wears out, and so will our happiness, if it be only something new. Let us congratulate ourselves, not simply because we have a new year, but because, by God’s help, we mean to make use of it. Month by month, as it passes over us, we write, unconsciously, another page of our life's history: I am sure we hope to leave the present chapter more worthy of perusal than the last.

This Year may be like other years; it may be different. Some discern big clouds forming in the horizon, others hail a brighter sunshine; at any rate, its days, whichever they may be, good or evil, are intended for our use—the good to make better, the bad to redeem, that when the day comes round for our Master to return, we may have some fruit to show. Clouds and sunshine, we need one as much as the other; the rain-drop will swell, the warm ray ripen the ear.

Yet, after all, one year is much like another. There is good for him who loves good, and evil for him who loves evil; plenty of both sorts. There is sorrow, too, and joy for all. It. has been so during the past year in our little world of Bream—we need not look beyond our own Parish—it will be so in this. But here, again, sorrow and joy do not mean the same for all; trial chastens, it may harden; prosperity has been known to think little of God; of all conditions of life, it ought to make much of Him.

These are not topics unsuitable for our Village Magazine; it professes to be a chronicle of local doings. It is now entering upon a fresh stage; its pages will record these events of which we speak; sad or joyful, its report takes note of all. Whatever changes or chances may be in store for our selves, let us pray that they may work for our good; if we start right, we know they will, for "all things work together for good to them that love God."

Yet, in one respect, we are not the same. As we start on our fresh voyage, we sail in the old ship as ever, in every way sea worthy; but our old Captain is gone—we have a new one, and he is on his way to join us and take command, We cannot forget how well the ship and ship's company worked of old; not one of us, but looks forward with some anxiety to the future. Still, we remember this, our late captain took care to leave his ship in good order; his next-in-command sticks to her like his second self; she can hardly founder in this condition; and our last orders were, to give the stranger a chance.

A new Captain! A now Year! A chance for us; a chance, too, for him; we must not refuse to offer what we each have ourselves. Perhaps, under the blessing of God, this new chance may be both a happy one for him and not an unhappy one for some of us. At any rate, it does not promise so bad as to prevent us repeating the words with which we began, and wishing ourselves

Will re-open on Tuesday, January 5th. Our reader will be glad to bear that no less than 400 quarts of soup was given away last year, to those who held free tickets. The quantity given to each ticket-holder was two quarts a week. Some who were able to buy, paid 2d. and some 1d. quart. The money produced by the sale of soup in this way amounted to 14s. and the total sum subscribed was £8.
It is calculated that the soup may be supplied this year (as before, on, every Tuesday), for four months, at a cost of about £12. We hope that that sum will be raised, and the Curate will gladly receive subscriptions. A list of the sums received will appear in the next number.

The Night School will re-open on Monday, January 11th; it is hoped that those who mean to attend regularly will come that evening.

December 6, at Yorkley Wood, Robert, son of James and Elizabeth Morgan, Yorkley Wood, collier.
December 13, John, son of William and Alice Miles, Bream, miner.

December 2, Harriet James, Bream, aged 64 years.
December 8, Jessie Nelmes, Clement's Tump, aged 13 months.

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