Sketch of a Christian Missionary, such as Ireland needs

This family's benevolence was on the lips of all the poor in the vicinity; though with a stinted salary, that salary is divided among the children of want, till, as I was informed, oftentimes a scanty supply is left for their own necessities. Would to God, Ireland could boast many more such among the full-fed, over-paid clergy of the country. Here I found a devoted, active, efficient Bible reader, with a salary of thirty pounds a year, who goes from house to house among all classes, and explains the Word of God to those who have not access to it. He met in most cases with a kind reception, and why? Because he went with the love of God in his heart, and talked of this love; held up Christ and him crucified, which is all the sinner needs. If love will not melt the flinty heart, will bitterness do it? I truly believe that the Word of God would not only have been received with willingness, but sought after by the greater part of the peasantry of Ireland, had it been presented with no sectarian denunciations, and had all the teachers, like this one, been humble, self-denying, and kindly. It is a most important item in the qualification of teachers, that they understand human nature in its various developements. It is not enough that they can pronounce well, elevate and depress the voice according to the rules of punctuation, expatiate on the eloquence of St. Paul, or the sin of Ananias. They should know well not only the broad avenues to the heart, but the narrow streets; yes, and every repulsive forbidden alley. They should know, too, the time of day when these paths can most prudently and easily be trodden. There is not a heart but has its waxings and wanings; there is not a temperament but has its ebbings and flowings; and, like the skilful mariner, they should know where to cast anchor, and when to trim the sails. They should know when in deep water, and when near shoals and quicksands. In travelling the entire coast of Ireland, I needed not to see a Bible-reader, to know his abilities or faithfulness. The Irish peasantry have an uncommonly just conception of propriety and impropriety, right and wrong, benevolence and covetousness. A dabster at his trade, or a filthy-lucre laborer is quickly discerned.

"Lay not careless hands," &c.

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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