Independent Church in Ireland

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter VIII (13) | Start of Chapter

The Independents are a worthy class, and have unostentatiously made a good impression on the minds of the humbler portion of the inhabitants. Their Bible readers have in general been men of untiring faithfulness, and by kindness have gained access to the hearts of the peasantry, who listen to the reading of the Scriptures, without that opposition which must follow where a harsh course and abuse to the priests are manifested. One of their readers remarked, that for more than twenty years he had visited the cabins, read the Scriptures, and held up Christ to them as the sinner's friend, and in no one case had he been rejected. Some of them speak and read Irish, which always gains access to the heart. The Independents in respect to government aid, reject all regium donums, and they stand on a firmer rock than an earthly royal treasure. They have funds gratuitously supplied by their own church, and their missionaries and Bible readers are mostly supported by them. Their pastors are men in general of plain common-sense, knowing how to adapt themselves and their preaching to the masses; and had they more of a proselyting spirit, would certainly make more noise, more money, and add more stony-ground hearers to their number.