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not surprised that Dr. Ledwich should always have carefully shunned this irrefragable testimony, since it cuts up his laboured system to the very roots; for it proves that Ireland was at pagan island before the time of Pope Celestine. and St. Patrick; it proves that this island was converted by a bishop sent thither for that purpose by the said Pope; and it proves that this bishop must have been no other than St. Patrick, because St. Palladius, whom Prosper mentions as having been sent thither a little before by Pope Celestine on the same errand, did not succeed in the attempt, and therefore crossed over the sea to preach to the Scots in Britain.
Drawing at length towards a conclusion of his long chapter, the writer presents us with an unfaithful translation of two prayers in honour of St. Patrick, which translation expresses what they do not say, and omits what they actually say. What is omitted in each of them, is the main hinge upon which these and all the prayers of the Church turn, namely, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. By this conclusion of her prayers, the Catholic Church professes and practically enforces, that we can neither merit any favour from heaven of ourselves, nor obtain it by the prayers of the saints, except through and on account of the merits and atonement of Jesus Christ. Had our critic been so honest as to have inserted this conclusion of the
prayer, his charge of idolatry against the religion of his ancestors would have struck the most ignorant reader with its absurdity.
Our writer finishes his laborious researches, as he calls them, with a flattering address to the Catholics of Ireland, terming them a liberal and enlightened people, and affirming, "that it is not possible they should be any longer amused "with fictitious legends, or pay their adoration to ideal personages, and that (what he calls) a scriptural, rational, and manly religion, is alone "calculated for their present improvements in "science and manners*. Here, Sir, we find the key to that mystery of scepticism and absurdity, which we have been viewing with so much astonishment. It is for the sake of depriving the Irish Catholics of their original faith, that Dr. Ledwich takes so much pains to deprive them of the great apostle who preached it to them. The fact, however, is, the Irish Catholics are really too much" enlightened" to become the dupes of such wretched artifices. After having baffled the machinations and withstood the persecutions of almost three centuries in support of the religion once for all delivered to them by the saints, namely, by St. Patrick and his disciples in one of the golden ages of Christianity, they are not likely to make a compliment of it to the cajoling, the declamation, or the sophistry of Dr. Ledwich. On the contrary, I promise myself
* Antiq. p. 69.
+ Jude, v. 3.
that some of them, at least, will keep an eye upon him in future, and not let one of the numberless impieties and errors, with which his book is replete, be again published without a thorough refutation of it.
I am, &c.
Cashel, July 21, 1807.
I LEFT my worthy host and
the other good people of Thurles with regret, and, at the distance of about a league from it, I stopped for some time to contemplate the beautiful and interesting ruins of Holy Cross. This was an ancient abbey of the order of Cisteaux in Burgundy, being a reformed, or stricter branch of the Benedictine order. Holy Cross was founded by Donald O'Brian, King of Limerick, in the year 1169; though the present ruins exhibit a style of architecture of a later period than his reign by more than a century,
Here are seen the noble remains of the gorgeous church, with its mullioned windows, canopied
niches, perforated piscinas, and elaborate sepulchres dispersed throughout the nave, transepts, and side ailes. Here also may be traced the rich sacristy, the strong muniment-house, the solemn chapter-house, the studious cloisters, the sequestered abbot's quarters, the frugal kitchen *; and various other offices. But all is now a dreary ruin and a wide waste; where a deeper silence reigns than that prescribed by conventual discipline in the twelfth century. For then the church, at least, was seven times in the day responsive to the Great Creator's praise. But now a gloomy and profane muteness has supplanted his worship, even in his temple, which silence is never interrupted except by the discordant voices of impure birds and beasts that shun the day light.-Such is the blessed change which is blasphemously attributed to "the light and spirit of God" in the Book of Homilies! And for making this change the obscene and irreligious Henry is likened to "the pious Josaphat, Josias, and Ezechias! † Well might the poet ask: What must have been the sacrilege of such reformers, when what we now view at Holy Cross was the effect of their piety! .
* These monks observed a perpetual abstinence from flesh meat, wine, and all delicacies, and they fasted every day in the year, except the Sundays, and within the Paschal time.
† Hom. vol. i. Sermon on Good Works, Part iii.
1 cannot forbear quoting at full length the admired passage
of the poet here alluded to, describing monastic ruins :
"Who sees these dismal heaps but will demand,
The church and monastery of Holy Cross were built for the particular purpose of preserving a portion of the true Cross on which our blessed Saviour suffered death. Certain it is, from ecclesiastical history, that the Christians never lost sight of this precious relic. It was buried by the heathens under a temple of Venus, in the reign of the Emperor Adrian, when he demolished the original city of Jerusalem; but it was found again by the Empress St. Helena, at which time particles of it were distributed throughout christendom *. The three principal pieces of it were preserved at Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Rome, from each of which small particles were occasionally taken. You will be surprised, Sir, when I tell you that the identical portion of · the true Cross, for the sake of which this splendid fane was erected, is now in the possession of my respected friend and fellow traveller, having been preserved from sacrilege, in the reign of Henry VIII. by the Ormond family, and by them transmitted to the family of Kavenagh, a surviving descendant of which has deposited it with my
"But when he hears no Goth, no Turk, did bring
(While nothing but the name of zeal appears "Twixt our best actions and the worst of theirs) "What must he think our sacrilege would spare "When such th' effects of our devotion are?" Sir John Denham's Cooper's Hill. St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, a cotemporary author, Catech. iv. 10, 13.