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uncle, and you may thank him in my name. Certainly, I am not aware of more than one of the individuals, holding the highest rank in the Irish church, coming within the reach of my censure.'
And you don't mean the primate, who, in fact, ranks the highest?'
Not unless you can bring home against the primate the charge of lending his most strenuous support to that ruinous system, miscalled of national' education, which is delivering the protestant children of Ireland into the exulting grasp of popery.'
No, no, uncle: no such doings are countenanced by his grace of Armagh.'
Neither, I presume, does his grace, nor do his western and southern brethren, throw discouragements in the path of those who separate from the apostate church. Neither do they strive to silence the voice of spiritual admonition, when raised in the pulpit to warn their flocks against the poisonous errors of popery. Nor have they aimed a blow at that most blessed band of Christians, zealous for the glory of God, and the salvation of their poor countrymen, the home mission of the established church of Ireland. No, no, my dear child, the evil has not spread so widely.'
'In one diocese, uncle, that of Tuam, there is a society formed, which promises to rescue the poor Protestant children from the 'fate to which they are otherwise doomed. We are going to form a ladies' association in aid of it. Will you subscribe?'
* That's hardly fair, to make such an unexpected demand on my purse,' said my uncle, smiling; ‘however, here's my sovereign, and may God prosper the undertaking, for poor Ireland's sake!'
• Who is undertaking any thing for dear Ireland ?' asked a cheerful voice; and we turned hastily to greet a friend, fresh from the green isle.
Welcome, M'Carthy ;'exclaimed my uncle, 'welcome as the ripening fruit upon the south wall of my garden. Why you are sun-burnt to a similar tint.'
"No doubt. I've had little shade over me, these two months, traversing the bogs and mountains. I have been making a tour of observation, at home; and with my heart brimfull of the subject, it was a pleasant sound that I heard on entering this room.'
I told Mr. M‘Carthy our plan, for assisting the Tuam Diocesan Education Society; and asked him whether he approved it.
Approve it, my dear madam! I have traced the workings of that pernicious scheme which it is intended to counteract, until every vein in my heart throbs with reseptful grief. I have entered those schools, and seen the Romish altar forming the most conspicuous object in them. I have witnessed the preparations for that idolatrous sacrifice, which is there presented morning and evening. I have looked at the poor tattered children of Protestant parents, whose punctual presence at this celebration of mass was to be rewarded, at the year's end, by a complete suit of new clothes : and I have stood amazed at the fearful incongruity of a Protestant government making national grants for such a purpose-the foul purpose, so far as regards its efficient agents, of perverting the poor of our flock from the truth, and entrapping them into the snares of their worst enemy and ours.'
“So then, it is all true !' exclaimed my uncle, - and Ireland may be considered as utterly lost.'
• God forbid! my dear friend. No, Ireland's prospects are rapidly brightening Two circumstances give me encouragement to think thus : the increasing numbers, zeal, and unanimity of her friends; and the continual exposures of what her enemies are doing. Formerly, the latter worked so much in the dark, that we were able to do little more than guess at their purposes : now, counting upon support in high and influential quarters, they boldly avow their political designs, while by the over-ruling providence of God, the persecuting principles of their religion, as, at this day, most carefully, though secretly fostered among their spiritual guides-are discovered, and dragged forth into public view. In very truth, I regard the prospects of Ireland as far more cheering than those of England.'
I could not agree in Mr. M‘Carthy's opinion, though my uncle's nod, rapidly repeated, seemed to indicate that he was impelled to do so.
Our friend, I suppose, remarked my dissenting look, for he continued,
'In Ireland, we have but one enemy to our church and people-Popery. Against this, the servants of God unite, as one man; for there is not an enlightened Protestant among us, who doubts that its existence is incompatible, alike with the national and spiritual welfare of the country.'
English Protestants have the same impression,'I remarked.
* Not so universally,' observed my uncle. "There i We can vouch for its truth : we have seen the actual depositions, on oath, of those persons of unimpeachable character-who have officially visited the schools, and ascertained these appalling facts from their popish conductors.-EDITOR.
is a vast deal of blind acquiescence, among our spiritual people, in what they are very ignorant of. They would tolerate Popery, even to the point of caressing it, because they have never seen it without the specious mask which it always wears when unable to put forth a powerful hand.'
• Grant it otherwise,' replied Mr. M'Carthy, 'suppose you were all as fully awake as we are to the formidable character of that particular adversary, you are at a serious disadvantage still. You have other enemies, eager to step forward and strengthen this ancient foe. You have infidelity prevailing to a fearful extent, among your literary and popular men: not sparing to lift up its voice in the senate of the land ; and rapidly disseminating its poison through the great mass of your population. And, what is infinitely worse, God's household is divided against itself; there lack not many, professing, ay, loudly professing the doctrines of pure and vital religion, who, for secular purposes,
give their power unto the Beast,” in the character of a useful ally, while they deprecate the spiritual errors of his church, even as we do. Your army wants discipline, it wants union, and it wants a leader.'
• Is not Christ the leader of that army, the weapons of whose warfare are not carnal ?'
“Yes: but give me leave to ask, whether all your spiritual people use spiritual weapons? And give me leave to ask, whether Christ will in very deed, acknowledge as his own the camp into which Antichrist, in his two worst forms of Popery and Socinianism, is invited to abide, and to go forth to battle with them, not against the enemy of men's souls, but against certain established institutions, of which
they do not approve? He can bave no concord with Belial; His temple has no agreement with idols ; and since, thanks be to God! there is an exceedingly large portion of you who abhor such a league, am I wrong in saying that, in one sense, you will find that a man's hand is against his brother, in this confused and irregular warfare?'
My uncle looked at me, and I could not but see that there was much reason in what our friend said. He seemed to feel for me, and changed the subject. Addressing my uncle, he said, “What are those gay banners, which I saw at a distance, flaunting in Westminster, with no small stir about the doors ?'
My uncle looked ratber dark, as he replied, I suppose, the enlistment of troops for Spain is going on there.'
You don't seem to approve it.'
No: I abhor the practice of encouraging men to sell their lives in mercenary warfare. Terrible is the responsibility of those who hold out the inducement to the ardent, ambitious, unthinking youths of their own country to enrol themselves in a foreign army, deliberately undertaking to shed the blood of men who can in no imaginable way have given them provocation, or afford them the slightest excuse for assuming the character of their personal foes. Conquest, under such circumstances, is no better than wholesale murder, committed in cold blood : death alas ! if it overtake them in the act, wears the form of wanton and aggravated suicide. I look upon the sanction given to this proceeding as a dark and fearful spot on the government of the country.'
* So do I,' rejoined Mr. M‘Carthy. There is no assumption that the issue of this Spanish contest