No Monopoly in Orthodoxy

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XV (6) | Start of Chapter

Going from Father Mathew, I met a kind lady at whose house I had spent a night, and accepted an invitation to turn into a chapel, and hear a sermon by an old priest who was a great favorite of hers. The subject was the suffering of Christ, and the text, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" In discussing it he said, the necessity of Christ's sufferings consisted in the entire inability of a self-destroyed finite being repairing an infinite loss, and making any atonement which could satisfy Divine Justice. That a sinful being could not do a meritorious act. That all he could now do, he owed to God before he fell, and that all and the only hope of the sinner was now the cross, and warned all to flee to the strong hold while they were "prisoners of hope." In conclusion, he said he had in a long life attended many death beds, and the lamentations of the sinner were not so much that he had been an immoral man, as that he had neglected the "great salvation;" that he puts off the great work of repentance till to-morrow, when salvation is offered only to-day. I was not prepared to hear so orthodox a sermon in Lent, and when I went home mentioned it to the Protestant lady where I lodged, who informed me that this old man was second to none but Father Mathew in alms-deeds, and was considered a faithful preacher, even by those who had no fellowship with the Romish Church.

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.