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and called a Protestant's Resolution, showing his reasons why he will not be a Papist, etc., etc. On opening the leaves of this tract, the first sentences that met my eyes were as follows :
««Q.- What was there in the Romish religion that occasioned Protestants to separate themselves from it?
“A.-In that it was a superstitious, idolatrous, damnable, bloody, traitorous, blind, blasphemous religion.'
“This broadside of epithets at once settled the whole matter. What gentleman, indeed, thought I, could abide to remain longer in a faith to which, with any show of justice, such hard and indigestible terms could be applied! Accordingly, up sprung I, for the second time, from my now uneasy chair, and brandishing aloft my clenched hand, as if in defiance of the Abomination of the Seven Hills, exclaimed, as I again paced about my chamber,—with something of the ascendancy strut already perceptible,'I will be a Protestant.'»
Having thus resolved that “he would be a Protestant,” the “Irish Gentleman ” proceeds to study the earliest authorities, and finds to his disappointment that he cannot get an excuse for changing his religion in
of the writers nearest the Christian He finds the doctrines of the Catholic Church held by those who had conversed with those who actually spoke with the Lord. Beginning with the first century, he discovers, to his horror, a Pope already in existence. He finds in the primitive times, the practices which were familiar to him as a young Catholic of 1829.
A dream, in which a Catholic Church in the third
century is presented to the mental vision, is thus beautifully told :
“I found myself seated, as I thought, in the middle of a great church, in some foreign land, and according to the impression I had on my mind in the third or fourth century. From the lights, the incense, and the sounds of psalmody that arose around, I could not doubt that I stood in some temple of Catholic worship, and, by a still greater miracle of fancy, was re-converted into a good orthodox Catholic myself. On looking round, however, through the crowd of fellow-believers that encircled me, I was filled with astonishment at the varieties of hue and habit which they exhibited—the Roman, the Carthaginian, the Gaul, the citizens of Athens and of Jerusalem, of Corinth, and of Ephesus, the Alexandrian, and the Spaniard, all seated round, arrayed in the different garbs of their respective countries, and waiting, in solemn silence, the opening of the Mass.
I now, for the first time, perceived by my side a youth of divine aspect, who regarded me with a smile of benevolence that came like sunshine into my heart. He was habited in the manner of a shepherd of the old pastoral times, and on considering his features more closely, I recognised in him the same friendly angel who, in the garb of a shepherd, had led Hermas through his series of visions. An exchange of salutations having passed between us, I was about to inquire after his old pupil's celestial health, when he pressed his forefinger on his lip, as a warning of silence, and, almost at the same moment, the words of the service broke on our ears. The venerable priest who officiated seemed to my fancy a sort of compound being, made up from the descriptions I had read of some of the celebrated fathers of the Church—having the bald, Elisha-like head of St. Chrysostom, the upright eyebrows of St. Cyril, and the beard prolix' (as Dr. Cave terms it) of the great St. Basil. Sometimes, too, as my dream shifted, like a morning mist, it appeared to me as if the holy personage ministering at the altar was no other than my_good old confessor, Father O'H— himself. The public part of the Mass being now ended, the moment had arrived when, by the solemn form of words, Depart in peace,' those who had not yet been initiated by baptism were warned to retire, and the faithful left to perform the dread sacrifice among themselves. But who shall worthily describe that rite which followed ? Never shall I forget the effect, as it then presented itself to my fancy, of the still and unbreathing silence of that multitude of Christians, -till, at the awful moment of Consecration, when, as the priest, raising the sacred Host, pronounced it the body of Christ,' the whole assembly fell prostrate in adoration before it, and the word, 'amen,'as is with one voice and one soul, burst from all around. It was like a sweet and long-drawn peal of music, a concert of sounds, unbroken by a single breath of dissonance, from every quarter of this earth which the wind visits,—all blending in the belief of an incarnate God, who by His flesh hath redeemed, and with His flesh still feeds His creatures."
The “would-be” Protestant pursues his way through the early ages, and we are presented with a most interesting account of the tenets of the various sects of ancient times. The Catholic reli. gion, he says, he finds remained unchanged, while various sects played their gambols “round the venerable ark of the Church in her majestic navigation through the great deep of ages," and the first volume concludes with the description of the
one bright, buoyant refuge of the faithful, preserving unharmed, to the end of time, her saving way.”
The second volume discloses a little underplot, for which we must refer our reader to the work itself, where he will also find some beautiful poetical translations from the Holy Fathers. The “Irish Gentleman" visits Germany, and we have an able review of the religious changes of the sixteenth century. Not satisfied with German Protestantism he returns to England, and examines the religion as developed in that country, tracing it through its various changes. He forms at last the resolution of remaining in the creed of his fathers, whose superiority over other creeds as to certainty in doctrine he depicts in the conclusion of the work, of which the following is the eloquent termination :
“Hail ! then, to thee, thou one and only true Church, which art alone the way of life, and in whose tabernacle alone there is shelter from all this confusion of tongues. In the shadow of thy sacred mysteries let my soul henceforth repose, removed alike from the infidel who scoffs at their darkness, and the rash believer who vainly would pry into its recesses; saying to both in language of St. Augustine, 'Do you reason, while I wonder ; do you dispute while I shall believe; and, beholding the heights of Divine power, forbear to approach its depths."
MOORE'S HISTORY OF IRELAND.
In 1835 Moore published the first volume of his History of Ireland in “ Lardner's Cyclopædia,” to which work Mackintosh had contributed “England," and Sir Walter Scott “ Scotland.” Four volumes of Moore's “ Ireland” appeared before the Cyclopedia ceased to be issued, and these volumes left the story of the last three centuries still untold. There are many beautiful passages in Moore's work from which we present some eloquent descriptions of Ireland's early ecclesiastical and literary glories
CONVERSION OF IRELAND TO CHRISTIANITY. “While in all other countries, the introduction of Christianity had been the slow work of time, had been resisted either by government or people, and seldom effected without a lavish effusion of blood ; in Ireland, on the contrary, by the influence of one humble, but zealous missionary, and with but little previous preparation of the soil by other hands, Christianity burst forth, at the first ray of apostolic light, and, with the sudden ripeness of a northern summer, at once covered the whole land. Kings and princes, when not themselves among the ranks of the converted, såw their sons and daughters joining in the train without a murmur. Chiefs, at variance in all else, agreed in meeting beneath the Christian banner; and the proud Druid and Bard laid their superstitions meekly at the foot of the cross; nor, by a singular blessing of Providenceunexampled, indeed, in the whole history of the