A Christian Sister

Monday morning, rose at five, to meet my engagement with the boys, where the lumpers were to be in readiness, and bade my hostess adieu, with her scolded servant and hopeful son, whose every look and action reminded me of Solomon's rod, the nicely kept Testament, and the bar of whiskey, and I said, on going out,

"I would not live always, I ask not to stay,"

if I must stay in a tabernacle like this. The rain poured, and passing a few doors, I was spoken to by a daughter-in-law of my hostess, who invited me to stop a few days; this was an unexpected kindness. She belonged to the society of Christian Brethren, and seemed to understand the gospel principle of treating strangers, better than many who are sitting under the teaching of learned theologians. "I have staid," she said "in the Protestant church, which had the 'form without the power,' till I could stay no longer." She visited with me in the houses of those of like faith, whom I found very spiritual; but I fear in danger of running into the same error that others in America of their belief have done, viz. that of being so afraid of the law, as having no law at all. Father Mathew, they said, had been a great curse; because all he did was under the law; and they really regretted he had ever been among them; though some families had had more bread, they acknowledged. And I was severely rebuked for wishing to see him; and, as a Christian, I had no right to have anything to do with him.

Had I never seen the hydra-headed monster, bigotry, before, I should have put myself on the defensive; but here, reader, the case is hopeless. With but one eye, one ear, and a darkened understanding, boasting heart, and half a dozen tongues, he has so much religion, he has none at all, or nothing that is tangible. He stalks through the earth wielding a rod of iron, and woe to the victim who comes in his way; boasting of being taught of God, he lacks the first principles of religion, viz., charity and humility, without which all is lost. But all such people have a certain race to run, and if the seeds of saving grace are sown in their hearts, this grace will sooner or later break off the fetters. I said no more of Father Mathew, but went to hear him two days in succession.

What a pity, pity, that the reasoning faculties of the Irish as a nation have been left so uncultivated, and that instinct and impulse have so powerful an ascendancy. But above all, what a miserable religion is it that does not humble but exalt the possessor!

Read "Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger" at your leisure

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Read Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Her journey took her through the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Kerry, as well as parts of King's County (now Offaly) and Queen's County (now Laois).

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.


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