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A BLOW AT THE ROOT.
In common with many thousands of our countrymen and country women we have lamented, and do deeply lament, the increased facilities afforded by railway trains for the commission of one of our crying national sins-the desecration of the day of holy rest; and the eagerness with which multitudes avail themselves of those facilities. Remedy we saw none : the worshippers of Mammon outnumber the worshippers of God; and alas ! too frequently outdo them in the zeal and decision of their willing service. Consequently the attempts of a few pious men to stay the plague, have hitherto proved ineffectual.
Taking up an Irish newspaper, we were struck by seeing appended to a letter, a name endeared to us by many delightful recollections and associations. We, of course read that letter, and in transferring it to our own pages we lay before our readers one of the most efficient protests that we have yet seen against the sin in question ; and what we conceive would, if generally adopted and steadily acted upon by ALL who desire to see the Lord's day duly observed, indeed strike a powerful blow at the very root of the evil. The value, the almost necessity of these rapid modes of conyeyance in our days we do not dispute : neither is it our wish to see any hindrance thrown in the way of their extension: the amount of animal suffering thereby done away with would'in itself furnish a conclusive argument on behalf of their adoption : but we want to see them wrested from the hand of Satan, who wields them as a mighty weapon against the Lord our God: and this we are persuaded may be done, by a steady resistance to the plan itself, on the part of all rightminded conscientious men, except under the restriction that none have yet succeeded in laying on the traffic.
The Honourable Somerset R. Maxwell adds to noble birth the influential position of an extensive landed proprietor in several counties of Ireland: he is now High Sheriff of the county which he formerly represented in Parliament, where he sustained an unvarying protest against every form of ungodliness in legislation. He was the last man who spoke in warning tones against the fatal surrender of the Protestant corporations in Ireland ; and since his withdrawal from a place where God's servants plead in vain, he has devoted himself to the cause of his Saviour in that most responsible and valuable sphere -a resident landlord, magistrate, and exemplar among the distracted population of his own green isle.
We now give the letter; praying that the bold, straightforward, unflincbing path pursued by our friend, may lead to results, that would cause his and many other such hearts as his, to overflow with joy.
The following letter from the High Sheriff of the county of Cavan, has been received by his SubSheriff, WILLIAM BELL, Esq:
“ Portstewart, Coleraine, Oct. 17, 1844. “ My Dear Sir—I have received yours of the 14th instant, communicating to me a resolution unanimously passed at an influential and numerous meeting of magistrates and landholders of the county of Cavan, stating their high approval of the proposed line of railway from Dublin to Cavan, and their determination to support the same to the utmost of their power. Your letter also contains the expression of a wish by those present that I would consent to allow my name, as High Sheriff, to be placed at the head of the signatures attached to the said resolutions.
" It can be no slight cause which could induce me to decline co-operating with a body of gentlemen whose names and character, so well known to me, are a sufficient guarantee that they are influenced in their present undertaking by a lively interest in the well-being and prosperity, not only of our county, but of the country at large. In declining, therefore, to comply with a request apparently so reasonable as that contained in your letter, independently of the high official situation which I at present fill in our county, I feel that, as a private individual, it is incumbent on me to explain the motive which impels me to adopt a line of conduct which I am aware will be by many considered as eccentric. I cannot better do so than by transcribing the copy of a letter written by me on the 10th instant, in reply to a document similar to that enclosed by you, most respectably and numerously signed, on the subject of establishing a railway from Wexford to Carlow:
“ “ I regret that I do not feel at liberty to comply
with your request, especially as I thereby decline associating myself with many gentlemen whom I know to be deeply interested in the prosperity of the two counties in question. As a landlord and magistrate in both counties, no less interested, I trust, in their prosperity than they are, I feel that I am called upon to assign my reason for withholding my name from the document which you have sent to me. • "• My observation of the great desecration of the Lord's Day, caused by every railway which has come under my notice, and of the failure of all efforts of God-fearing men, in committee, to remedy this great evil, has placed in my mind a conscientious scruple in the way of responding to such a call as that made upon me in your letter, and prevents my mixing myself up in any railway undertaking.'
“ These remarks equally apply to your communication. I beg you to make known to the gentlemen, who do me the honour of seeking to associate my name with theirs, the contents of this letter. It will be seen, that my objection is entirely of a religious pature, and amounts, in a word, to this, that a vast increase in the desecration of the Lord's Day must necessarily result from the establishment of the Dublin and Cavan railway, unless it be intended, (and I take it for granted it is not) to conduct it on a wholly different principle from that which regulates every other railway.
“ By giving my name, or contributing my aid ja any way to the object in question, I conceive that I should be taking a part in the promotion of an evil which I, as a Christian man, consider cannot be too strongly deprecated, or too strenuously resisted,
“I would just add, that the evil which I thus iden
tify with the railway system is, in my opinion, of such magnitude, as not to be counterbalanced by any amount of personal convenience, or commercial and agricultural prosperity which may result therefrom. “I remain, dear Sir, yours very truly,
“ SOMERSET RICHARD MAXWELL.
“ To William Bell, Esq.'
But our father,' said the other,' our father told us it is the earth that moves. That is impossible too,' replied the elder: ' for you see it does not move: I am standing upon it now, and so are you, and it does not stir: how can you pretend to think that it moves, while all the time it stands quietly under your feet? • I see all that, as plain as you do,' rejoined the younger—'I feel the ground quite still under my feet-I see the sun rise on that side, and set on that side of the heavens. I don't know how it can be- it seems impossible-but our Father says it, and therefore it is so.'—Sunday Afternoons at Home.