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The Woly Catholic Church
FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY TO THE FORMATION
OF THE MODERN IRISU BRANCH OF THE CHURCH OP ROME.
3. M'GLASHAN, S. B. OLDHAM, W. CURRY AND CO.,
J. ROBERTSON, AND GEORGE HERBERT ;
THE TRACT SHOP, CORK.
The Six Towns' Parsonage, in which the following pages were prepared for the press, is situated in a secluded mountain corner of the remote rural parish of Ballynascreen, (Diocese of Derry,) far from all those repositories which might afford access to works adapted to furnish proper materials for a publication of this kind. The hare had her form, and the rail her nest, within a very few perches of the writer's place of study, and the heather and bilberry grew almost in the next field; but far away was old Eusebius, and far away Roger Hoveden, and far away John Colgan, and all their company. Far away too was the great centre of postal circulation for this island, (with even the nearest “Receiving House" of which The Six Towns has no regular system of daily communication ;) insomuch that a proof sheet sent from the printer's hand in Dublin on Monday, could not usually reach him again, even by return of post, until Thursday. Moreover, the district curate who occupies the Parsonage aforesaid, having entrusted to his care the whole charge of ministering in the Church adjoining, can hardly ever, under ordinary circumstances, be absent from the place for a single week, so as to enjoy the advantage of study and consulting of books elsewhere: the only convenient opportunities for such absence having in fact been found to occur when the Rev. William Chichester, Prebendary of St. Michael's on the Hill, in Dublin, paid his occasional visit to the neighbouring seat of his father-in-law, the Hon. Judge Torrens, originator and patron of the Church and Parsonage in question_(a most kind patron also, it will be seen, of this publication.) During Mr. Chichester's stay at Derrynoid, the Six Towns' Congregation is sure to enjoy the benefits of his edifying ministrations among them, and their minister is relieved by a full share of that clerical aid which this most obliging clergyman has ever been found ready to supply, where any urgent occasion has appeared to call for the exercise of his friendly services.
Then further, there was the little flock to be looked after, and the little school where their children met for daily instruction to be cared for and attended to; a school too that required not a little attention and care: and although it was certainly a variety and refreshment to turn from studying old records, and translating stiff and cranky Latin, to breathe the mountain air in a six miles walk for the post, or to give a lesson in the “ Parables,” or “ Miracles," or “ Second Part," to Lizzy Orr, and Willy Barnett, and Bell Smith, and the rest of them, yet the time unavoidably spent in these and other such occupations, could not but seriously diminish the hours available for such an undertaking as the present; which being regarded as less matter of immediate duty, was in consequence the more likely to be neglected, in order to give place to those employments that were strictly such.
So that in fact, although long in preparation, this is after all a hurried piece of work, and executed under some considerable disadvantages. The principal object aimed at has been to condense matter-of-fact information, and attend to strict accuracy, and some degree of smoothness, in the translating of documents. Beyond this, little care has been taken with the style of the book, and the writer is far from being unconscious of the many deficiencies in this respect, which are likely to offend the judgment of persons of more critical taste in this edition, and to furnish room for improvem ment hereafter, if occasion require. Such deficiencies he cannot but feel the more, considering the large amount of patronage from high and influential individuals, which this new volume has already received. It is fully hoped, however, that in its matter and tendency nothing will be found to forfeit the favorable opinions of those who from acquaintance with the portion of the work already published, have thus far lent to it their countenance and support.
Some, however, observing the faults of this publication, may possibly be inclined to think that it would have been better it had not appeared at all, as the execution of such a work in an indifferent