Page images

1. D. 1622. ened and strengthened by visiting among the poor

and suffering, waiting by the beds of the sick and languid, ministering to their temporal and spiritual relief, conversing with them on death, and salvation, and eternal life, and finally witnessing the results of carelessness and unbelief, as exhibited in the dying hour of the followers of the world and of sin, and the contrast furnished thereto by the patience and faith of the saints of God, in traversing the dark valley, supported by the “rod and staff” of their heavenly Comforter.

Amid such scenes might have been spent, with more of personal benefit and improvement, but less, it is hoped, of general utility, some of the hours devoted to the compilation of this work; from which therefore, kind Christian reader, if you have received any benefit or help, grudge not a prayer to the throne of grace, for him who has been the means of contributing this trifle. And if you be a minister of Christ yourself, and unable to devote much time to studies such as this, (although interested in them, and feeling their importance,) but are rather constantly occupied in more active and enlivening work in your Master's service, and among His people, remember him who has been wil. ling to serve you in the camp as a hewer of wood and drawer of water; make mention in your hearty supplications of his many wants, A. D. 1622. and ask that he may be refreshed with the graces of the Good Spirit from on high, so as not to be barren or unfruitful in any good word or work; and in particular, that these volumes now brought to their conclusion, may be accompanied by that blessing which alone can render them the honoured instrument of any

usefulness in the Church of God, that by promot-
ing truth only and peace, they may help
to minister unto godly edifying,
and thus prove indeed,

a labour not in
vain in the


Finished at

Cavanreagh, in the Six Towns,
In the Parish of Ballynascreen, and in the Diocese of Derry,

The 22nd of February, 1847.
The transcribing, with revisions, completed Jan. 4, 1848.

Read finally, before press, May 25, 1850.

Δοξα εν υψίστοις Θεώ. .


No. I.



The following are the passages from the Eccle-
siastical Annals of Cardinal Baronius, referred
to in Book II., Ch. iii. (Vol. 1., p. 136, sup.)
The first is introduced at A. D. 566, and is
headed in the original work with this title-

“But through the malice of the demon of evil it came Statement to pass, that at this period, while the Church of France of Baronius was glittering, with so many bright luminaries, the charging Church in Ireland which had so far been thriving well, with schism became overspread with thick darkness, having made in a. D. 556. shipwreck, in consequence of not following the bark of Peter, which takes the lead of all, pointing out the road towards the haven of salvation ; for desiring to appear more righteous than others, and more wise than became her, she is unknowingly led astray by the schismatical faction. For a false report having reached them, through the dishonesty of these schismatics, stating that the Fifth Synod had transgressed against the holy Council of Chalcedon (as if by the condemnation of the Three Chapters it had condemned at the same time the acts of

that synod;) all the bishops that were in Ireland rose up with one accord in the most determined spirit of zeal for the defence of the Three Chapters. And they were guilty moreover of this further wickedness, that when they had perceived the Roman Church to be equally determined in condemning the Three Chapters, and strengthening the Fifth Synod by her adhesion, they at once separated from her, and joined themselves with the rest of the schismatics that were in Italy, or Africa, or other places, puffed up with the vain conceit that by defending the acts of the Council of Chalcedon they were making a stand in support of the Catholic faith. So these unhappy, misguided people, influenced by a kind of show of apparent righteousness in their cause, and have ing a zeal, though not such as was according to knowledge, (since they dwelt in a very remote part of the world where they could not have been very easily admonished or corrected, even independently of those additional embarrassments which are usually connected with wars, pestilence, and famine,) continued in that unfortunate condition for a length of time; entertaining feelings of pity towards those who followed the Fifth Synod, as for persons that were gone astray from the right road of the faith; so far were they from being able to comprehend that it was they themselves who were under the delusion of errors. Yea and they cling to those errors the more obstinately, from conceiving the idea that whatever Italy was suffering from the troubles of war, famine, or pestilence, all such misfortunes had befallen her in consequence of her having acted as the champion of the Fifth Synod against the Council of Chalcedon. And in this most unhappy position they continued ever to the time of pope S. Gregory, that is, to the close of this century; when these bishops aforesaid wrote a letter of inquiry about the matters in question to the said Gregory, knowing him to be a friend of God, and eminent

« PreviousContinue »