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to allow any man,” glancing at me again, " like ourselves to do id, as long as we have our clargy?" " But, Paddy,” said Father Butler,

are not your clergy men as well as others ?” “ Thrue for ye, Sir, I don't deny that; bud thin, ye see, they're our spiritual guides in religious concarns: for what signifies what we know, sure we're nothin' but the scroof o' the arth-bud our clargy, blessed be God, knows every thing for iz.” • But,” said I, “is not every man to render an account of the deeds done in the flesh, Patrick-and if so, ought not every man to know the will of God as to what he ought to believe, and practice, and avow ?" “Hem-ahem—hrue Sir," said Paddy, clearing his voice and turning himself round to confront me, like a man who was set for argument—" what's that agin Sir? Ob, aye! now I persaye id-bud how will ye prove to me that we're not to obey our clargy ?" "You should obey them,” said I,

as far as their precepts agree with that standard by which they themselves will be judged as well as you, the word of God; but no farther." But no farther, is id ? that is as much as to say, that we ought to obey them only in some things-now dizn't all the world know that we ought to obey our clargy in every thing, otherwise what 'ud signify obadience, man, at all at all ?” do you think,” I inquired," that you should obey implicitly every thing a Priest commands you to do ?” “To be sure 1 do,” he replied, “an' why not?” “And suppose a Priest,” I continued,

commanded you to do something that you knew to be contrary to the will of God, how would you act ?"

“ How wud I act-an' do you think that a Priest wud ardher me to do sich a thing ? or supposin' he did atself, he wouldn't do so wudout havin' good sound razons for id-razons that I coud know nothin' about--an' as to the will o' God, he knows that betther than you an' I both put together, I bleeve," he replied-- 1 here involuntarily exchanged looks with Mr. Butler, who smiled in a sorrowful manner at the degrading nature of the religious views entertained by such as Paddy.

You know, Patrick," said I, “the will of God is unalterable, and because it is so, the precepts of religion that command our obedience to it, and inform us what it is, are also unalterable; so that if a Priest enjoins any thing contrary to it, it is not because it is changed, but because the Priest violates his trust, and departs from that will.” “ An do you think, Sir," asked Paddy," that the Priest cannot change the will of God when he plases ? do you think now that when a Christhan in the thrue Church is goin' to die—he has, may be, a great many sins to answer for,

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coorse, may be he hasn't; for ye see he may be ony in a state of vanial sin, an' in that case, if the Priest's not convạnient, he has ony to repate the act of contrition, an' the words, "Jasus, Mary, an' Joseph, fifteen times in honour iv the fifteen mystheries iv our Saviour, and if he can manage a Rosary to the Blessed Virgin, its betther still—bud how-an-diver, as I was provin'-hem-dont you know, Sir, that when a man, even in a state of mortyal sin, wants the Priest an' cant get 'im, that he's damned, except he's a Scapularian, an' if he bees, he'll be tuck out iv Purgathor by the Mother

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iv God herself, as the 'Scapulaar' sez, the first Sathurday afther his death—bud if not, down he goes, to heretic hole Sir, beggin' yer pardon, the warm counthry ye know-well, in that case ye see its the will iv God to send 'im to the hot counthry, which I need scarce. ly tell ye, Sir, is not Scotlan'-—bud if the Priest comes to 'im, hears his confession, an'anoints ’im, or sez a mass over him, or even anoints 'im wud the blessed oil, the chrism they called-eb, Father James ?” “ Yes, the chrism,” said Mr. Butler—" Aye, I thought so, bud that's more than every body knows, any how—well, or anoints 'im wud the blessed oil even afther he loses his speech, or while he's warm, then, Sir," he continued, turning round to me with triumph, “ although God wud have damned 'im wudout compunction, if he hadn't got the Priest, yet ye see when wanst the Priest diz what I sed, he'll go to heaven, or at any rate to Purgathor, which is next door by; bekase for all that the heretics say agin Purgathor, one iv them never had the pleasure iv becomin' acquent wnd the inside iv id yet-for this good razon, that any man who goes there will be sure to get to heaven afther. That's so much, Sir, for your sayin' that Priests cannot change the will iv God, for though it was God's will to damn him before he got the Priest, yet ye see its his will to save him afther id-thanks to the Priest for id.” During this oration of Paddy's, which was worthy of being classed with some others that we have heard in support of the same cause; Father Butler's countenance betrayed symptoms of sincere sorrow and commiseration; for as he afterwards told me, he was led from such opinions to consider more closely than he had ever done, the deplorable state of brutal degradation in which the Romish peasantry are sunk, with respect to the character and spiritual power which they believe their Priests possess. “Every Priest,” said he “is absolutely a God, who they think could, if he wished, transform a Protestant congregation into a flock of goats ; and if you knew the local superstitions and traditions which the peasantry relate, concerning the priestly power, you would weep to see humanity so far degraded, and ignorance so much abused and perpetuated;" but whilst he uttered these words, and whilst I surveyed his pale and languid features, I could have almost wept for the early loss of one who, bad he lived, would by his talents and piety have been an ornament to humanity and religion. “That's so much," said Paddy, “for proovin' to ye that a Priest can change the will iv God. “ Well, Paddy,” said Mr. Butler, who could not voluntarily offend the feelings of a child, “ I certainly did not think you had so much to say upon this subject.” “ Much to

say, Father James, och thin af ye war to hear me roused," but, said he, checking himself and thinking it better to put on the cloak of ironical humility, which he wore with a bad grace" tut, Father Butler, sure you know I'm bud a poor arguer-poor-I'm nothin' at all at all. I can't touch them off any way-not I-nor send them away with a flay in their lug, whin they come for to convart me iv a sun shiny mornin', the swadlin' thieves”-closing one eye, as he was in the habit of doing, whilst he peered at me

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with the other, and burst into a most triumphant chuckle. I was determined, however, to reason with him as plainly and calmly as possible, on the idolatrous opinion he seemed to entertain of Priests, and just had addressed a few words to him on the subject, when he rose up very cooly and said, “Father James, I want to spake wud ye, a little private, if ye plaze, upon particular business, giving a seventh glance at me, whilst he shrugged up his shoulders like a man recovering from a hearty laugh at something very good of his own; the tears of delight were literally “standing in his eyes," as he himself would express it. "Well, Sir," said he, in a loud affected voice, as he was going to the next room, mornin' to ye; afther all, I hope ye wont be offinded at gettin' a trimmin' from me, for yer not the first that got one from Paddy Dimnick, as Docthor Story of C-k could tell if he wished, bud let'im alone

for houldin' his tongue as well as other people on that same point.” Paddy,” said I, a little nettled at the fellow's assurance,

you carry your own trumpet at all events.” “Eh, don't I, Sir ?" he replies, with the most provoking good humour and effrontery; “ an' can blow id too when there's occasion, an' that's oftner nor my betthers can boast iv, or find use for wan if they had id, I bleeve.He now retired, and Father Butler with him : the latter told me he would get rid of him in a few moments, and then resume the subject he had dropped. When Dimnick adjourned to the next room, he addressed Father Butler as follows :

Why, then, Father James, bud that thief iv a heretic is comin' round

ye, shure enuff-he wants to bring ye over to the Bible-men, ye see, the cunnin' swaddler ; bud I'm thinkin' ye know how to thrate ’im.” “Why, Paddy,” said Father Butler, wishing to hear his views on the subject, “ how would you treat him.”

“ How wud I thrate im, is id ? Why, I'll tell ye what I wud do, if I was you, I'd purtind to thurn over wud 'im ; an' whin he'd think he'd have me, I'd be workin' hard all the time; an', jist whin he'd be sure o' me, I'd have 'imself convarted, an' brought over in less than no time.” “ Is that plan your own, Paddy ?" “Why, Sir, its partly mine, and partly Father Driscoll's, that I tould it to.' “ 'Told what to ?". Why, about his strivin' to corrupt ye, an' make a heretic of ye.” “ And what did Father Driscoll say, Paddy?” “Why, he sed he'd write an account iv id, jist as I tould id to 'im to Dublin; and that whin his brother-in-law, the nimber iv parliament, would be offerin' 'imself at the next election, he'd rue it to the very gall.” “Did Father Driscoll really say this, Paddy?” “ Augh, an' may be its he that wont do the thing in style your Reverence; well, Father James, there's only the shadow iv that man alive, the blessed crathur' that he is, an' its he that hates a heretic as the Devil-Holy Mother about iz-hates holly-wather.” “ And who informed you, Paddy, that he was trying to convert

“ Tut, tut, your Reverence, sure I knew id-did'nt the thief o'the world thry to corrupt myself, till I did'nt leave him a leg to stan' on; bud I'll put ye up to 'im: do you,” he said, in a low cautious tone, "purtind, as I sed, to thurn wud 'im; an' then

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along wud bringin' him over, ye can get an account iv the bribery an' corruption he uses, an’ who gives 'im the money—for they say he gets so much a-head-ten ginneys, I'm tould, for every proserlight -curse upon all their lights-that he' makes.” “ And was it to put me on my guard you paid me this visit ?” enquired Mr. Butler.

Why, thin, Father James, it was nothin' else indeed ; that, an' to give you the bint I'm spakio iv: and now that I'm wud ye, what makes

ye be so fond of these black-hearted heretics; Father James, a-chora? Shure, the likes o' me need not tell wan that got your larnin', that its not right to let their breath near ye. Shure ye know yourself betther than I can tell ye, that its unluckly both for sowl and body to have any call to them.” “ Paddy," replied Father Butler, “ do you believe I wish you well ?"

Why, Father James, shure ye' need'nt axe me sich a questin,” said Paddy. “ Well, then, Paddy, you know that my knowledge and learning are much greater than your's. I have made the nature of our religion my study. I have also made the religion, which that gentleman in the next room professes, my study : and, Paddy, believe me when I declare, as I hope for mercy, and this you know I' could not say if I did not think it truth, that I find, on the most conscientious' and impartial comparison of both religions, that the faith which he professes is the true, primitive, and Scriptural faith; and that which you and I have hitherto followed, to be corrupt, and full of error. Now, Paddy, be calm, and listen to me. Suppose you go to a fair to buy a horse for your own use, would you not examine that horse from limb to limb ? Would you not assure yourself that he was sound; that his eyes, teeth, and wind were good, and that in short he had no blemish? Would you be apt to take him-simply and solely on the word of the seller, without examination at all ?" Ho! ho! let me alone for that,” replied Paddy; "he 'wud be up arly that could do me that-a-way, I'm thinkin' although, to tell the truth, I bought that part iv my experience to the tune of fourteen ginneys more than the ould thief was worth;-ould fiddleback, the decayed gentleman, Sir, if'ye'remiimber him; but I bleeve ye dont; for I think he was afore your time. I bought him from Friar M‘Mürtha, at fifteen ginneys, hard goold. He tould me, God pardon 'im for id, anyhow; be now knows whether it was right to take in a young bocaun, as I was at the time;-he tould me there wasnt his likes in the fair, that day; an' shure enuff, there was’nt a taste iv lie in that, at any' rate; for when I brought 'im home, thinkin' I had a prize, what wud ye think, but the cunnin' ould knave would'nt work a han's thurn for me, nor let a car nor a creel on his four bones; not a thing wnd he do; bud, if he got a saddle upon ’im, he wud jog about from house to house, through the parish, an' thurn up a lane wherever he seen a smoke, the ould ihief, for he could smell-bacon like a swaddlin' preacher: an’ whin I went to the Friar, to see if he wud take 'im back, and return my money-' you hlbetther not attimot puttin' 'im back on me,'

or maye Worse 'ill happen ye. So, your Reverence, I was glad to go home, an' say no more about id , for they say the

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Friar could o' done any thing." Now, Paddy, whether is the purchase of a horse of more importance than the salvation of your soul?" Arrah, Father James, there's no comparishment at all at all a'tween em.” Well, Paddy, you would not buy a horse on the word of any man without examining for yourself; yet you will receive your religion on the word of a man, who is a sinner, and liable to all the crimes and failings of your nature, without any examination.” Bud, thin, your Reverence, we recave our religion from our clargy; and yo know they could'nt decave iz.” “Do you know that they could not, Paddy?" “ To be shure I do, Sir,

-is'nt the Pope infallible; and does'nt he give his power to the Bishops, an' the Bishops to the Priests ? An' did'nt I hear Father Driscoll 'imself, one night, afther a station in my own house—why you war there yourself, Sir, jist the time you come home awhile from Maynewth-it was the night he threw the tumbler iv punch in Billy Simpson's face, during the argument—did'nt I hear 'im say, that all power was given to them on arth?'” “Paddy, do you believe the word of God to be true?'? or Why, then, Father James, it would be an odd thing if I did'nt. Don't you know I do?” “And how do you know it, Paddy ?” “ Why, Sir, bekase the clargy tells it to iz."

“ Well, that's a proof that the clergy themselves believe it to be true-is it not ?" "Sartinly, Sir ; that's as plain as a pitchfork." Well, then you grant, that whatever is in this book, and whatever it says is truth ?” “Shure enuff, I do." “ And that whatever it condemns ought to be condemned and avoided; and whatever it declares and commands, believed and observed ?"

Exactly, Father James.” “ Now, would you not be surprized to hear that that word of God condemns many of the doctrines of your church, her ceremonies and observances; and, in very pointed terms, the habits and conduct of your clergy ?" “ Of our-hehem-of our clargy, Father James ? Bless my sowl, that's unpossible, anyhow ; don't they tell iz—?" " Its not what they tell you about themselves, but what the word of God, which they allow to be truth, tells you, that you ought to believe. Dont you know, Paddy, that when men talk of themselves, they seldom give themselves a bad character?" Why, then, that's no lie at any rate.” “Well, Paddy, I have said that the word of God condemns both them, and most of the doctrines of our church ; now, could you be able to find out by your own ingenuity, why they are so unwilling to allow you, and every layman like you,

to read the word of God ?” “ Not a wan o' me, Father James, bud has a poor head in some things ; an''cept its for fraid iv id been known that they're on bad terms with that same word, I can make nether head nor tail iv any other razon.”

"Well, that is precisely the reason, Paddy; and do you think if the doctrines of their church were according to the word of God, that the Priests would not be glad that every one would read that word, in order that they might see how clearly agreed with their church; would they not invite all the world to read it, that they might get true knowledge, and know their proper duties to God and their neighbour, and consequently become better men and bet

VOL. VII.

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