More Bible Reading

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter IX (18) | Start of Chapter

The noise of the scripture-reading the preceding evening had gone far and wide, and many called in to ask the mistress if the kind lady would read again. This was unexpected, but gladly did I comply. The poor simple men often exclaimed, "Why did we never hear this?" Paddy, the master of the house, could read well, and was somewhat skilled in debate, and the Virgin Mary was introduced. I asked him if he believed the Testament I had in my hand to be true? He said, "Yes, every word of it." " The last chapter in that book says, 'whosoever adds to it, God shall add all the plagues, etc.' Now in all that book not an indirect mention is made of any adoration that must be made to the Virgin." The wife instantly exclaimed, "Now, Pat, what have ye to say? You're sack'd, you're sack'd, and I'm glad of it." When any one entered to stop a little, she would repeat it, saying, "Aw! you could not answer that, my lad." Though she was still in the church, yet she had read and thought for herself; and could multitudes of these people be taken by the hand, and led out from the machinery with which they are surrounded, they would drink in with eagerness the Gospel of life. I related to them stories from the Bible which they had never heard; yet the story of Calvary was well understood, and they made a better application of the scriptures they did know, than do many who read them daily.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.