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 Front Cover
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 Frontispiece
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Group Title: power of truth
Title: The Power of truth
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026280/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Power of truth a story of a borrowed Bible
Physical Description: 64 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London
Edinburgh
New York
Publication Date: 1872
Copyright Date: 1872
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Protestant converts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Anti-Catholicism -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Farm life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026280
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAB9063
notis - ALH6671
oclc - 58525882
alephbibnum - 002236202

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Main
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
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        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Page 65
        Page 66
Full Text







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THE POWER OF TRUTH.






















































































CONNELL AND FATHER GASHEEN


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THE POWER OF TRUTH:


A STOlY OF


A BORROWED BIBLE.












LONDON:
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
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5









THE POWER OF TRUTH.



ICHAEL CARRISFORTH belonged
to the better class of Irish tenantry
in the county of S- He farmed
a few noble and fertile acres with
such skill, thrift, and economy, that
his crops were finer and more bounti-
ful than those of most of his neigh-
bours. Indeed Michael's husbandry was well
reported of far and near, and his produce never
failed to .be in demand, or to bring the highest
price in the market.
He meant to be a good man, as he accounted
goodness. He paid his rents and rates duly; he
provided well for his household, and was a kind
husband and an indulgent father. He went to
church on Sundays and festival days, kept Lent,
ate no meat on Fridays, and confessed once a-year.






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


With this external conformity he was entirely
satisfied.
His wife Bessie, on the other hand, was deeply
tinctured bythe religious superstition of herpeople.
She had an awe of the priestly character and per-
son-blindly ascribing to it all the power and
sanctity it has long had the arrogance and im-
piety to claim.
Years passed along, and Michael and Bessie had
become the parents of a fine family of healthy,
ruddy boys and girls. Bessie enjoyed the com-
mendations of Father Gasheen, the parish priest,
for their punctuality and orderly behaviour in
church, and the promptness with which they re-
cited their catechism, creed, and prayers. Upon
Connell, the eldest, he bestowed unusual atten-
tion, and lavished unqualified praise. And Con-
nell was a peculiarly engaging and intelligent
lad; and, for his opportunities, a rare scholar and
reasoner.
When he reached the age of fifteen, he was
tall, robust, and vigorous, with a very active and
earnest mind, as a counterpart to a healthful body.
He could labour all day long on the little farm with-
out fatigue, and look forward to the evening hours
for relaxation with his slate, books, and papers. In
the dwellings of such in Ireland as occupy his
station in life, books are not very abundant; but






THE POWER OF TRUTH. 7

somehow or another, by means quite inexplicable
to the rest of the family, young Connell managed
to supply himself with reading.
But these researches were all made in hours of
leisure, or at times when boys of his age are wont
to give themselves to sport. Connell worked dili-
gently on the farm with his father and brothers.
He knew how to plough, to sow, to mow, and to
reap. He went to market, and was expert in all
sorts of business belonging to his occupation. He
kept the accounts; and, being ready in figures,
he was frequently intrusted with the pecuniary
affairs of the family-buying, selling, and barter-
ing.
Harvest days had commenced. The first
ripened grain had been cut; the early fruits and
vegetables were ready for market. It was a bust-
ling and busy morning at the Carrisforth cottage.
Immediately after breakfast, Michael and his son
set out to the nearest market-town,-Michael to
collect accounts, and Connell to sell the contents
of the well-loaded cart.
Connell was accustomed to the business, and
soon made a profitable disposal of his vegetables,
butter, cheese, &c. Many of the market men
had a kind and pleasant word for the lad, even if
they had no dealings. His perfect accuracy in
reckoning, and his correctness in accounts and bills,






8 THE POWER OF TRUTH.

had often been remarked upon. One individual,
whom we will call Mr. Bentley, had had his eye
upon the youth for some time past. He kept a
stall for fruit and vegetables, and had frequently
dealt with his father and himself, and always en-
joyed a chat with Connell, whenever his engage-
ments would allow. Mr. Bentley was an excel-
lent man, a Protestant, and a very earnest
Christian.
On this day, Connell had the good fortune to
sell his entire stock of produce to Mr. Bentley,
whom he liked best to deal with of any man in
the market. It chanced that Mr. Bentley was
very much hurried with customers, when he paid
the account; and when Connell ran his eye over
the bill, and counted the money, he instantly dis-
covered that he had received several shillings too
much. He waited till Mr. Bentley was disengaged,
and then approached him.
Sir," said he, respectfully, this money is not
quite right. Will you have the goodness to look
for yourself?"
Not right ? How so ? Haven't I paid you
enough ? Let me look again at the bill," said
Mr. Bentley, holding out his hand for it.
Connell presented it, and then smilingly pro-
duced the money. There's a mistake, sir, you
will see. Here is a sovereign and six and six-






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


pence, and the bill comes to only twenty-two
and sixpence. The difference is yours, instead of
mine, sir, I believe."
Mr. Bentley looked very much pleased. A
bit of a mistake in my favour is it, then ? Well,
I was quite unprepared for such a mistake; my
customers are not very apt to mention those, but
if one occurs on the other side, I am sure to hear
of it. Four shillings! Well, I don't wonder I
make mistakes sometimes. But as you have dis-
covered and so honestly made it appear, you are
entitled to the balance."
No, I thank you, sir," said Connell, earnest-
ly but resolutely; I do not choose to take a re-
ward for doing only what is right. Here is the
change, sir, if you please."
Mr. Bentley was more and more surprised.
He took the money, because he saw that the lad's
nice sensibilities would be wounded if he refused;
but he determined to improve the opportunity to
learn something of his history and prospects. He
gathered from him what slender educational ad-
vantages he had enjoyed, and what means of re-
ligious instruction, and drew him, by gentle and
shrewd advances, to express his feelings, hopes,
plans, and wishes.
Well, my lad," resumed Mr. Bentley, I see
you are capable of becoming a valuable and use-


9






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


ful man in the world. Should you not like to
do a great deal of good among your fellow-
creatures before you die ?"
That I should, sir," answered Connell, his
eyes sparkling with the new thought. How
can I ? please tell me, sir."
You have many talents which will help you
very much, but yet you want one all-important
thing."
What's that, sir? I should very much like
to know ? inquired Connell modestly.
".Religion !" replied Mr. Bentley solemnly.
"You want a new heart, and the grace of God
that bringeth salvation."
Oh, I am a Christian already, sir. I've been
baptized, and-"
I understand you perfectly, my young friend.
You mean you are a Christian in the Roman
Catholic sense. We Protestants believe that no
one is a Christian but he who has received the
grace of God for himself, into his own heart, and
with true repentance for sin, by faith embraces
Christ as his only Mediator and Redeemer. Do
you think you have really done this, Connell ? "
To this unexpected query Connell found it
difficult to reply; and Mr. Bentley went on.
The Christian, too, should draw his rule of
belief from those pure and simple teachings which


10






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Christ came to bring. Have you ever read the
Bible, my boy ? "
Mr. Bentley had spoken with that feeling and
tenderness which totally disarms prejudice and
opposition. Connell could only reply, that he
had never seen a Bible!
I thought it very likely," said Mr. Bentley;
"and now, why is this? "
We cannot understand it, sir-we are too
ignorant-the priests tell us about it, and ex-
plain what is necessary for us to believe."
Do they ? repeated Mr. Bentley; I doubt
it very much. I thought so once-I was educated
so to believe; but when at last I read the Bible
for myself, I found I had been deceived and de-
luded. Would you like to see a Bible ? "
"Yes, sir, indeed I would," replied Connell
eagerly.
"Would you read it, if you had it in your
possession ? "
Certainly, sir ; I would very gladly examine
the Bible for myself."
Well, I have but one, and that cost me dear,
but if you will promise to read it through, with
candour and attention, I will put it in your hands.
I will not give it to you, lest some one might
destroy it, knowing as I do how the priests op-
pose its circulation; and I wonder not at all at


11






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


that, for where the Bible freely circulates, their
power and influence is at an end. I say I will
lend you my precious Bible; when you have
read it, bring it to me again."
Few of our youthful readers, who have always
had Bibles, can appreciate the state of mind with
which our friend Connell seated himself that night
before the broad kitchen fire-place, and stirred the
sticks that were half-burned for a better light to
look into his Bible.
The light is dim and fitful, but it serves to
show him that he has got hold of a most wonder-
ful book. He enters on the sacred text, and is
almost startled by the sublime abruptness of
the inspired historian. On, on he read, with
a momentarily increasing wonder and interest.
When he had finished the account of the mighty
work of creation, he paused and breathed deeply.
" So this is the way the world and everything
was made," he said to himself. How great and
powerful a being God must be! I never knew
this before, only by hearsay;-why should it be
kept from us?"
On he read-the fire was quite burned out-he
lighted a candle, and went rapidly along. The
first transgression, the expulsion from Paradise,
the murder of Abel and exile of Cain, the flood,
the building of Babel, the story of Abraham, &c.,


12






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


13


so rivetted his attention, that he was wholly un-
aware how the night hours were passing. The
candle sunk lower and lower, and finally expired
in its socket. Connell started up at this, and
looked about; the first streak of gray dawn was
beginning to show itself in the east. He crept
silently to his bed in the loft, for a short nap
before the house was astir.
Harvest work was hard and pressing all through
those long warm August and September days. It
called the husbandman early from his pillow, and
sent him thither at night late and weary. Michael
Carrisforth's cottage afforded no shelter for idlers
in this busiest of seasons. And none laboured
with a heartier cheerfulness, or a more persever-
ing diligence, than did young Connell, day after
day ; while a large portion of the night was con-
sumed in the manner just described.
And thus passed the harvest time and the
autumn; but long before its close, Connell had
read through his wonderful book."
In such a heart as young Connell Carrisforth's,
the seeds of truth thus sown could not long re-
main dormant. They stirred within him a tumult
of difficulty, doubt, and bewilderment. If this
book be true," he rightly reasoned-" if this be
really the word of God-if these be indeed the
doctrines and duties which the blessed Jesus







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


came to teach, then have we been deceived; for
we have been taught very differently. We have
been instructed to believe things, and conform to
rites and observe ceremonies, which are here no-
where commanded or even allowed or enjoined.
I can't tell how it is -I am in great perplexity.
Perhaps I do not understand aright; but one
thing I know: if this Bible is right, then we
are wrong; that's certain. But how shall I find
out ? "
It so happened that Mr. Bentley was either
not to be seen, or too busy for conversation, when-
ever Connell went to market for many weeks,
and he had no opportunity to speak to him, as
he certainly would have been glad to do; for he
felt that he really needed aid to resolve his
doubts and quiet his anxieties. Another feeling
began to be predominant in his breast. If the
Bible spoke truly, then it became evident that
lie, Connell Carrisforth, was a great sinner before
God! Did it not say so? Did it not declare
that all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God ? Did it not say, The soul that
sinneth, it shall die ?" It was this settled and
growing conviction which most troubled him.
It made him feel unsafe and uncomfortable, and,
at times, distressed and despairing. What could
he do ? He knew well enough what the Church


14






THE POWER OF TRUTH. 15

of Rome prescribed, in its doctrines of confession,
penance, and meritorious acts for the penitent.
But somehow he turned with disgust and loath-
ing from a system which could not in any wise
meet his case. His faith in Romanism was
shaking to its foundations; but still he found no
anchoring-place for his soul.
The troubled state of his mind and heart began
to be apparent in his countenance. He grew pale
and thin strength and appetite diminished.
Bessie was a kind and tender mother. She
began to be alarmed at the change; and think-
ing he had been overtasked, she insisted that he
should be allowed time to recruit.
Come, boy; you needn't stand there talking.
You aren't going to work one stroke this day.
Just go and rest and amuse yourself."
But, mother, the potatoes-"
I and the girls will go into the potato patch
before you shall, Connell dear," interrupted the
kind Bessie decidedly.
Connell smiled, and was about to offer some
further objections; but Bessie stamped her foot.
Niver a word-niver a word! I know better
than yourself how you ought to look. Haven't
I watched that face of yours ever since it was no
bigger than the palm of my hand ? It's no use
talking; but, I say, go and enjoy yourself, and






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


let the blush come back to your cheeks, and the
light to your eyes! Out, I say to ye! "
But Connell moved reluctantly to do her bid-
ding. He longed to tell her that it was the mind
instead of the body which needed medicine and
repose. But he knew full well it would only
excite her severest rebuke and displeasure; so he
resolved still to keep his secret, and went forth
obediently from the cottage.
But a day of release from toil did not, as we
may well suppose, bring any exemption from
inward perturbation. It only allowed a more
direct and continued subjection to its powers;
and Connell grew more heart-sick the less his
hands were employed.
"How can I enjoy myself?" he said to him-
self, as he sat down on a stone by the roadside.
" I wish I had never seen the Bible. I was happy
before, and merry all day long. Now, oh, how I
have to think, and think, and never stop! How
wretched it makes me! And -then to have such
terrible forebodings-' after death the judgment!'
Oh, where shall I go, and what shall I do ?"
Tears dropped from poor Connell's eyes; but
just then that beautiful and encouraging invita-
tion of the dear Saviour occurred to him, 1" Come
unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon


16







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
This is what I want-this is just what I
want!" said he, starting to his feet. But
how-how shall I come? and where?"
At this moment he heard voices in an adjoin-
ing field, and presently a man came over the stile
into the highway, near where he was, and passed
on without observing him.
That's Father Gasheen; and he has dropped
a parcel in crossing the stile. I'll make haste
and hand it to him before he misses it."
Connell picked up a small package that looked
like a book, and hurried after Father Gasheen.
In a few minutes he overtook him.
"Does this belong to you, sir?" he inquired,
respectfully taking off his hat, and holding out
the parcel.
Ah, Connell Carrisforth, how do you do to-
day? Yes, yes; that's my parcel. Where did
you find it, my boy ? You are very kind-very,
indeed."
I saw you drop it when you came over the
stile, sir," replied Connell, handing it to the
priest.
I am very much obliged to you, certainly.
I should have been sorry to lose my new Bible."
Bible! repeated Connell, for the word was


17






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


electrical with him. Oh, I am very glad I
found it for you, sir."
Something in the tone or manner of the youth,
as he said these words, made Father Gasheen
look more intently in his face. It struck him as
presenting an unnatural expression.
"You are not well to-day, are you, my boy?"
inquired the priest kindly.
Yes, sir; quite well. But-"
Connell hesitated. Father Gasheen became
more observant of him.
But what, Connell ? Something goes wrong
with you to-day. Tell me what it is. You look
ill, too. What troubles you, my son ? "
Father Gasheen spoke very feelingly, and our
poor youth was quite overcome. His long pent-
up emotions struggled for vent. Tears flowed
afresh, while he laid his hand on his heart, and
answered, I am troubled here, sir! "
What do you mean, Connell? I hardly
understand. What have you been doing? You
must come to confession. I am sure so good a
boy as you can't have committed a very crying
sin. Come, my son; our Holy Church will find
ready means to comfort and lighten your heart."
And Father Gasheen led him, unresisting,
into his own house, which they had by this time
reached.


18






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Now, sit down, my child, and tell me all
about it. What is it that makes you un-
happy?"
But Connell did not reply. He did not really
know how to open the subject.
"You are old enough for confirmation," com-
menced Father Gasheen, after waiting some
minutes. "I think the performance of that
duty will tend to your comfort. I suppose you
wish to do like other Christians, don't you ?"
"I wish to be a Christian first, and then act
like one," replied Connell modestly.
"Yes, very good, my dear; but you were
baptized in infancy."
I fear I am no Christian, if I were," persisted
Connell. I feel it, and know it, sir! "
But don't you suppose we know best about
that ? The Church declares-"
But what does the Bible say about it, sir?"
interrupted Connell, more courageously.
The Bible, Connell-the Bible!" repeated
Father Gasheen, opening his eyes very wide.
"What do you know about the Bible? "
"I have read it through, sir, every word of
it," replied he.
The priest's countenance instantly lost its bland
expression. He looked astonished and displeased,
but remained silent for some minutes, regarding


19







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


his young companion fixedly. At length he spoke
in an altered and severer tone.
"What kind of a Bible have you been read-
ing ? and where did you obtain it? "
I do not wish to tell how I came by it, sir;
but it was a Protestant Bible."
Do your parents know of it, young man?"
asked Father Gasheen sternly.
No, sir; I have never mentioned it to any
one but yourself."
"In that you have done right," returned he.
" Yes, you have done well to come to me; and I
no longer wonder at your uneasiness of mind."
But I want more instruction, sir," replied
Conmtell earnestly. "I want to know what is
the truth, and where to find it. And I feel
bound to say-though I do it with all reverence
and respect to you, father-that if the Bible is
right, some of the doctrines and practices of our
Church are wrong."
This was a bold stand for a boy like Connell
to take. He could see that it was, by its effect
on the priest.
This is sufficiently presumptuous," said he
angrily; and it is what I will not allow. You
must give up this mode of thinking and talking,
and return to your duty. You must give me up
your Bible. You must tell me by what means


20






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


it came into your possession, and who has been
trying to turn you away from the true faith, con-
tained only in the Holy Catholic Church? "
For a moment Connell was overawed by the
tone of authority with which Father Gasheen
uttered these words, and his eye quailed beneath
his indignant glance. He had been from his
earliest years taught to revere him-nay, almost
to regard him as belonging to some higher order
of beings.
But our youthful inquirer after truth was not
to be baffled thus, nor long disheartened. He
looked full in Father Gasheen's lowering and
clouded face, and replied :-
The Bible is not mine, sir; I cannot give it
to you, or any one else but the owner, whom I
decline to name. I have no wish, sir, to turn
away from the true faith-I am only inquiring
what the true faith is, and how I may find it-I
feel myself a sinner, in danger of death eternal,
and I am come to inquire of you, father, what I
shall do to be saved."
Connell looked solemn and earnest as he said
this, and Father Gasheen thought best to relax
a little of his sternness. It was evident that the
youth was in a critical state of feeling-it might
be best to use persuasions, instead of commands
or threatening.


21






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


That I can very easily tell you, my child; I
am glad to know you feel thus; our Holy
Church receives the penitent with open arms,
You are commanded to come to her embrace, by
' contrition, confession, and satisfaction;' and
you shall receive the remission of your sins, how-
ever great they may have been."
But I don't understand, sir, what you mean.
What is contrition? "
It is to be sorry for past sin, to hate it, and
to be determined not to sin any more. It is
being willing to atone for venial offences, by
such penances as the priest shall prescribe; and
in order to judge what the case requires, he
must have knowledge of those offences-hence
the necessity of confession. No sin, committed
after baptism, can be pardoned any other
way."
But who is to save me ?-what is to give me
assurance that I am pardoned ? inquired Con-
nell anxiously.
You forget your catechism, I fear ; does it
not say, In the minister of God who sits in the
tribunal of penances as his legitimate judge, the
sincere penitent venerates the power and person
of our Lord Jesus Christ; for the priest repre-
sents the character, and discharges the functions
of Jesus Christ.' And again it is declared in our


22






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


canons, that, by virtue of his consecration, the
priest is made interpreter and mediator between
God and man.' So you see the priest is able to
do a great deal for the penitent sinner, if he con-
tinues faithful to his duty. The intercession of
Christ, the blessed Virgin, and the saints, is like-
wise to be counted upon, in connection with the
performance of such penance as shall tend to
make satisfaction for his offences."
But, sir," said Connell with a tremulous
voice, tell me first, is the Bible true ? Is the
New Testament the rule of our faith ? Are we
to believe and rely upon it ?"
The Bible! answered the priest peevishly,
what have you to do or say about the Bible ?
I tell you the Bible is designed for the clergy,
that they may instruct the people as to what it
teaches, both in belief and practice."
But tell me, sir, I beg of you, whether the
Bible is true ? for I find nothing in it of the
mode of penitence and pardon of which you
speak. It tells me that there is but one
mediator between God and man, and that is
Christ himself. It says nothing of penance or
satisfaction-of the intercession of saints, or
angels, or priests-nothing of the power of the
Virgin. It says, God so loved the world, that
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever


23






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.' It tells me-"
Stop! I command you," said Father Gasheen,
in a harsh and imperative tone. No more of
this-not a word. I see you are already tainted
with the heresy of that corrupt book. If you
refuse to give it up into my hands, and to come
back to your duty in the way I shall appoint, I
shall feel it my duty to proceed against you as a
heretic and schismatic! Do you hear, Colinell?"
Connell did hear, and the blood rushed to his
cheeks and forehead. He did fear the priest, for
he had been brought up to do so, and could not
at once divest himself of the feelings so carefully
instilled into his childish heart. But they were
relaxing their hold upon him. The truth of
God, contained in his holy Word, had begun to
unfasten the shackles of prejudice and supersti-
tion. It was beginning to make him free.
Do you hear ?" repeated the priest very
angrily. Will you, or will you not, abide by
my commands ?"
First tell me, sir, if the Bible is true.! re-
plied Connell, modestly but firmly.
It was a very unexpected reply; and Father
Gasheen saw still more plainly that he had a
case to deal with which required all the skill
and tact he was master of.


24






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


"True? yes-no-" he began, not the one
you have been reading; the only translation of
the Bible worthy to be relied upon is the Vul-
gate, which is the one sanctioned by the Church
and the Fathers. This contains the truth, and
no other."
I wish I could see a copy," said Connell.
" Would you be so very kind, sir, as to show me
a Vulgate Bible ? "
Father Gasheen was sorely puzzled, but after
hesitating a few minutes, he went to his library
and took down a large old book, which he
handed to Connell without a word. He opened
it eagerly, but soon found he could not make
out a single word. It was all in Latin. Con-
nell looked up disappointedly.
Is this a Bible, sir ? I cannot read it."
Y1s3; that is the repository of the sacred
mystery s of our holy religion. It is thus the
Church has decreed they shall be kept from the
profane familiarity of the ignorant," answered
Father Gasheen.
But I wish I might read this Bible, sir, and
see how it differs from the one I have been read-
ing. Haven't you got a Vulgate in English,
sir ? Please lend it to me for a few days."
Father Gasheen was naturally kind-hearted,
and Connell's amiable deportment and earnest


25






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


importunities began to soften him consider-
ably.
You know, my son," said he, after ruminat-
ing awhile upon Connell's request, that it is
contrary to the rules and policy of our Holy
Church; but it may be the means in this case of
raising up an able defender of her truths and
doctrines. It is possible, Connell, that you may
one day become a priest. How should you like
to preach the gospel ? "
I want to know the truth-I want to find
out what I shall do to be saved! responded the
youth with a tear in his eye. I couldn't teach
others what I was in doubt about myself."
Well, my dear, you are so earnest, I will
just lend you this for a few days," said the priest,
taking up the package which Connell had picked
up at the stile. Don't keep it longer; and
when you return it, bring me the other; now
remember."
I can't do that, sir; it's not mine. I can't
take this on any such condition;" and Connell
was about to lay down again the book he had
just received from the priest.
Well, well, we shall see about that; you
may examine this, and tell me what you think
of it."
Thank you, sir, thank you-it is very kind


26






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


of you; I will be very careful and bring it back
when you say; and now, good-bye, sir,-I hope
I haven't troubled you."
Father Gasheen took leave of him kindly at
the door; he felt convinced that such a nature
as his was to be won rather than driven back to
the fold.
The excitement of his interview with Father
Gasheen lent a glow to Connell's countenance,
which was very satisfactory to his mother when
he returned to the cottage.
There now, honey! I knew it was only a bit
of play ye needed-and play ye shall have, and
nothing else, this whole blessed week. Niver
I'll have it said boy o' mine was worked to
death."
Connell was too anxious to make the most of
his Vulgate Bible, to object very strenuously to
his kind mother's plan. He commenced that
very evening, and read as he had done before,
till nearly daylight. Day after day he continued
the perusal. Sabbath day he stayed from church
to read. But with all his diligence he could
not finish it in the prescribed time. He read
enough, however, and compared enough, to find
out that some things were different from his
Protestant Bible. Some meant the same in
somewhat varied language-some were exactly


27






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


alike. It was not so simple and intelligible as
Mr. Bentley's Bible, and he could not help won-
dering that anybody should give preference to
it. On the whole, the more he read, the more
perplexed and uncertain he became.
Oh, if somebody would only teach me," said
the poor boy, as he often closed the volumes in
despair, and the tears fell fast upon his clasped
hands. What shall I do ? I can see no light
anywhere, and it grows even darker and darker."
Then some blessed and encouraging scripture
would occur to his memory :-" If any of you
lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to
all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it
shall be given him." Come unto me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden." Seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,
and all other things shall be added unto you."
" Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My
Father, thou art the guide of my youth ?"
Connell felt the beauty and appropriateness
of these and similar passages, and had stored
them largely in his memory, for the time when
he should have no Bible (he knew he could
not long retain Mr. Bentley's with safety), but
yet they afforded him no comfort. Oh, how
miserable he felt! but he betook himself to the
sure source of Eternal Light, to that Fountain of






THE POWER OF TRUTh.


spiritual life, from which no true seeker comes
empty away. He learned in those trying days
to pray as he had never prayed before.
Market day came again. Connell volunteered to
attend to the business, and his proposal was very
gladly accepted. He felt sure it was the part
of prudence to restore the first borrowed Bible,
lest it might fall into hands quite unscrupulous
as to its disposal. He took it from its place
of concealment in his little trunk, and placed it
carefully in his cart, not without some regretful
tears ; and as the steady farm horses jogged
leisurely along, he improved his last opportunity
to read over, and impress more thoroughly on
his memory, some of his favourite passages.
To Connell's great satisfaction, Mr. Bentley
was once more at his old stand, and not particu-
larly busy. After the business matters were all
adjusted, the Bible was made over to its owner.
But why do you wish to return it, my young
friend ?" asked Mr. Bentley. "Have you read it
as candidly and as faithfully as you promised ? "
Yes, sir, I have indeed," replied Connell.
"I have read it through and through."
And didn't you wish to keep it any longer ?"
This remark led to a full explanation. With
childish simplicity, Connell told him of the effect
which the Word had produced on his own mind


29







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


-of his difficulties, his doubts, his fears-of his
interview with Father Gasheen.
We will not detail the conversation which suc-
ceeded, but it was one which our young inquirer
never forgot.
Mr. Bentley was one of those Christians who
can afford to give up a business hour, if the
great Master's work so require. He perceived
the critical condition of the lad's mind, and like
Priscilla and Aquila of old, in relation to Apollos
the Alexandrian, took him, and expounded the
way of God more perfectly." He explained his
difficulties, and resolved his doubts. He showed
him the simple and beautiful gospel plan of sal-
vation,-Jesus, the way, the truth, and the
life; who bore our sins in his own body on the
tree; ;" who "suffered, the just for the unjust, that
he might bring us to God;" who was wounded
for our transgressions, and bruised for our ini-
quities, and by whose stripes we are healed."
Gently he led him to the foot of the cross, and
there urged him to lay down his burden of sin
and ill-desert. Here, and here alone, were the
Physician and the balm which could remove the
plague-spot of sin.
A new joy sprang up within him; and as he
drove homeward, he knelt down in his empty
market-cart, and solemnly gave himself to the


30






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


service of his new-found Lord and Saviour, and
importunately begged for wisdom to honour his
name in every situation, and under every circum-
stance of trial and temptation.
Severe trials and sore temptations he had rea-
son to expect. A tide of opposition he knew he
must buffet, in attempting to break away from
the fellowship and influence of that corrupt sys-
tem of religion in which he had been nurtured;
and he felt the need of strength and wisdom from
above. Mr. Bentley had insisted on his accept-
ance of a little pocket Testament, in place of the
returned Bible. One or two tracts which he
thought adapted to his case he had likewise given
him, and Connell soon became so absorbed in
their perusal, that he scarcely knew when the
good steeds turned up to their master's door.
The father a-nd brothers had not yet returned
from work; but his mother met him, when he
entered the cottage, with a very singular ex-
pression of countenance. Her cheeks were flushed,
and her eyes red and swollen, as if she had been
weeping violently. She hardly appeared to
notice him at all, and averted her face from his
look of inquiry.
What has happened, mother?" at length he
ventured to ask, though he felt almost sure he
could guess.


31







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Bessie was silent.
"What has happened, dear mother?" he re-
peated. Are you sick, or grieved, or troubled ?"
Bessie turned sharply round.
It's a wicked, desateful child ye are," she
broke out, while the tears started afresh. I
know all about it, I do; and ye can't blind me
eyes any longer."
Mother, what do you mean ?"
Don't ask what I mean," she retorted indig-
nantly. Ye know well enough what ye've
been about, and so does Father Gasheen; he's
been here, and told all-all." Sobs prevented
her going further.
Connell had rightly guessed the course Father
Gasheen would be likely to pursue in relation to
himself, and he regretted that his mother's first
notion of the change wrought in him should
come from a source which would tend to excite
her most violent prejudices at the outset. But
counting upon the partiality and favouritism with
which Bessie had ever regarded him, as her first-
born, he resolved to make a most earnest attempt
to conciliate her.
Now, dear mother, please sit down, and let
me tell you just how it is, and see if you think
I have done so very wrong."
I know too much already, I do," sighed she.


32







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


" All me that I should live to see my child, my
Connell, a-a- A fresh burst of tears choked
her utterance.
No, no," she continued, as soon as she could
articulate, ye mayn't talk to me-I won't hear
a word; but Father Gasheen left a charge for ye
to go to him this day, and go to him ye shall,
and submit to him too."
Well, I ought to have returned his Bible
before. I have kept it longer than he gave nme
leave already," replied Connell, somewhat eva-
sively.
Bible didn't he say you had a heretic Bible
in your hands! and didn't he search the pre-
mises all over and over to find it! Where have
ye hid it, ye wicked boy ? It's going to bring
ye to perdition. What have ye done with it ? "
"It is very safe, mother," returned Connell,
feeling a trifle of resentment rising in his heart
at the invasion of his privacy by the inquisitive
priest. Father Gasheen can have his own Bible,
but no other."
At this moment his sisters, Kathleen and Mary,
came in to prepare the dinner, and the conversa-
tion was interrupted; but from the few words
they dropped, and the altered demeanour they
exhibited towards him, it was very evident he
would find in them little sympathy. Doubtless


33







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Father Gasheen had been careful to prescribe to
the whole family the line of conduct to be pur-
sued towards him, till he should gladly return to
the fold in which he had been reared.
His father and brothers were sociable upon the
farm business and the state of the market, but
made no allusion to the disclosures of the morn-
ing. Still, Connell thought he discerned more
stiffness and unfamiliarity than usual, even in
them. He was hardly prepared for so sudden
an exhibition of hostility; it sank to his heart
like a millstone, and he could hardly keep back
his tears. This is but the beginning," thought
he ; but let not your heart be troubled." In
this world ye shall have tribulation; but be of
good cheer, I have overcome the world."
After dinner, Bessie insisted that Father Ga-
sheen's injunction should be obeyed. Connell
must go to his house, and be dealt with as he
should think proper. Little fear had Bessie that
a son of hers would dare resist the authority or
contemn the instructions of a priest of Rome, for
whose office and power her own veneration knew
no bounds, and she felt quite reassured when he
had departed on his errand.
Connell stopped a moment on the threshold
to breathe a short inward petition for strength
and wisdom to act and speak aright; and then


34






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


knocked, and was admitted to the presence of
Father Gasheen.
That portly gentleman sat at his study-table,
reading a newspaper. He looked up, and gave
him a nod of cool recognition, and then pro-
ceeded with his reading. Connell remained stand-
ing by the door, hat in hand, till he had finished
his paragraph. When this was done, and the
priest had pushed the paper from him, as if ready
to attend to business, Connell stepped up and
laid his Bible on the table.
I am very much obliged, sir, for the loan of
it. I intended to have brought it back before,"
said Connell, with some trepidation.
There was a dead silence for some minutes.
But the priest at length, putting on a severe and
awful look, said,--
And where is the other ? Did I not order
you to bring it to me ? How have you dared to
hide it, in defiance of my command ? "
I told you, sir," said Connell, it was not
mine, and I had no right to give it into any other
hands than the owner's, which I have already
done."
Who is the owner?" inquired Father Ga-
sheen tartly.
"That I am not willing to tell, as it is of no
consequence to any one."


35






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


But you must tell me all about it, and pro-
mise never to meddle with the pernicious thing
again as long as you live. Your parents will
join with me in bringing you to submit, young
man; and this is but the first thing I have to
ask of you. Will you do it?"
Connell's frank boyish face suddenly became
clouded, and he looked down reflectively upon
the floor.
"Will you do it ?" reiterated the priest, in a
louder and more intimidating tone, for he thought
he saw the lad's courage giving way.
I can't do either, sir, possibly," returned he,
firmly but modestly.
Father Gasheen's indignation was roused by
this calm and decided reply. He broke out into
violent reproaches and threats.
Can't you indeed, sir ? And pray what may
the reason be? I will listen to no such imper-
tinence from a young scapegrace like yourself,
sir; you have got to do my bidding, or abide con-
sequences which you are not prepared for. It's
my duty to pluck you as a brand from the burn-
ing, and I'll do it by virtue of my authority as
your ghostly father; be sure I will."
Connell's cheeks glowed, but he mastered his
feelings; and after a few minutes' silence, re-
plied meekly, Father, I came to be instructed,


36






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


not to dispute with your reverence. I have not
intended you any disrespect, and I beg you will
excuse what might seem improper in a boy like
me; but I want to ask a very few questions,
which, if you will have the goodness to answer
them, will give me a great deal of satisfaction."
"It is not your province to ask questions, but
to answer them, sir," returned Father Gasheen
severely; "the people are to receive the truth,
less or more, from the teachings of the holy
ministers of the Church.
"But please tell me, sir," put in Connell,
without paying much heed to the prescribed
rule for "the people," whether this Bible of
yours is the one which has been used in the
Catholic Church for a long time ?"
"The Vulgate ? Yes, it is the only transla-
tion we allow to be a true one. It is very
ancient-far older than any other in general
use," replied the priest.
Then it is the same which Luther found in
the library of the monastery at Erfurt ? "
"Yes, and what then?" inquired Father
Gasheen.
He was a priest, too, wasn't he, sir ? and had
never seen a Bible till he was twenty-four years
old?"
"Well ?"


37






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


And he read and read it day and night,
till he almost knew it by heart, and-and-."
Connell hesitated, uncertain whether to go on or
not.
"Well ?"
It led him to see that it didn't at all agree
with the doctrines and practices of the Roman
Catholic Church, to which he belonged, so that
he felt that one or the other must be given up.
Please, sir," said Connell, with a deprecating
glance at Father Gasheen's flushed and angry
face, "that's just the way I have felt since I
read the Bible-yours as well as the other, for
they are alike in general."
This is just what I expected," said the
priest, bringing his fist down violently upon
the table. "But I've done with talking-
I'll-"
"Please, sir, allow me to ask one thing more,"
interrupted the youth with a courage which
quite perplexed the irritable father. What is
meant where Paul speaks of a time when there
shall be a falling away from the true faith ? "
If Father Gasheen had been quite certain
that his reputation merely as a scholar would
not be compromised by a refusal to answer this
last inquiry, he would have expressed the indig-
nation he felt at being thus perseveringly beset,


38






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


and perhaps given his youthful parishioner an
unceremonious dismission from his premises;
but there were private reasons which suggested
that it might be wiser on the whole to bear the
impertinence, and reply calmly. It might be
told that he evaded or declined to meet honest
inquiries; which would hardly be to the credit of
one whose business it was to instruct in all things
pertaining to religion. So he answered in a very
short and decided way, that this prophecy of
St. Paul referred to the Gnostics, a sect of here-
tics who flourished in the first century of the
Christian era, and whose doctrines and usages
agreed with it very closely.
Connell mused a moment, and then said,
"But, father, it says in the latter times.' St.
Paul would hardly call the times in which he
wrote the latter times',' would he, sir ? And he
wrote in the first century, I think. Isn't it
possible, sir, that he meant some other apostates
besides the Gnostics ? "
How very wise my young friend is getting,"
returned Father Gasheen with a sneer. "A
model of modesty, certainly, when he questions
the explanations of the Fathers of the Church on
a very plain passage of Scripture. This is a
blessed effect of reading the Bible, certainly; it
makes people humble, we see."


39






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Connell did not immediately reply. He would
have been glad to ask a few more questions, but
Father Gasheen now manifested so decided an
impatience for the interview to close, that he rose
to retire.
Come to me again before Sunday, and be
ready on your knees to confess your error, and
tell me who are leading you astray, with any-
thing else that may be required of you, and all
this shall be passed by," said the priest solemnly;
", otherwise I shall deal rigorously with you,
young man."
Connell was about to leave the room, but he
stopped, and after a moment's hesitation spoke
thus :-
"Father Gasheen, I thank you for your coun-
sels, instructions, and warnings. But I have
resolved, come what may, to take my stand upon
the Bible, whether it make a Protestant or a
Catholic of me. If it is the word of God-if it
is the revealed will of God, as you say-then it
is safe to rely upon its teachings; and they are
far plainer and simpler than the teachings of
men. I have found in it just such a Saviour as
my poor, troubled, sinful soul needs. I hope I
have received him by faith. I think I love him,
and mean to serve him all the days of my life;
and now, if tribulation, or even persecution, shall


40






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


follow this resolution of mine, I shall meet it as
bravely as I can, for Christ's sake. I don't
know what punishment you have a right to in-
flict upon me, as I have never been regularly
admitted a member of the Catholic communion;
but you can, doubtless, persuade my parents, and
friends, and neighbours to treat me ill-you can
do as you think fit; I have that good promise
to encourage me, 'When my father and my
mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me
up.
Connell was astonished at his own courage as
he finished speaking. Father Gasheen took no
notice of his remarks, only to bid him remember
what he had just said, as he had no more to say,
and then they parted.
The next Sunday Father Gasheen preached a
very remarkable sermon. It was a medley of
ill-humour, reproach, sarcasm, and complaint,
with nothing at all of that blessed gospel message
which has been committed to the ambassadors of
Christ. It represented the wickedness and dis-
grace of apostatizing from the Holy Catholic
Church;-it was one of those deadly and un-
pardonable sins, which have never forgiveness,
neither in this world, nor in that which is to
come." He stormed at the increasing laxity of
family discipline, which did not restrain children


41






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


from the company and influence of those who
would subvert their religious principles.
The Irish nature is proverbially excitable;
and little time was needed to show the effect of
this ill-judged harangue, in the lowering coun-
tenances turned on the Carrisforth family from
all quarters of the parish church; for everybody
knew who was meant, the change in young
Connell having before been whispered through
the community with much dissatisfaction. Poor
Bessie heard Father Gasheen's bitter words with
unaffected grief and terror; but as it never
entered her heart that her spiritual guide could
take a wrong course, she felt bound to accept his
opinion in regard to the reclaiming of her mis-
guided boy, as she honestly believed him. The
tears poured down her cheeks, and she thought
herself the most wretched of mothers. Michael
listened with the utmost surprise and chagrin.
He had, in truth, given very little attention to the
matter, even when Bessie had presented if to him
at home in the most moving manner she was
able. "The boy will come round right," he
said-" never fear; young folks always had their
notions; besides, he knew so good a boy as
Connell had always been, and was still, could not
be far out of the way; he would venture him."
But to be singled out of a whole congregation,


42






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


and thus made a spectacle of, while the ill-will
of neighbours and friends was invoked against
himself and his family, was a little more than he
was prepared for. Doubtless, when Father
Gasheen first mentioned the matter some days
before, he had manifested too much indifference
about it; and this was the plan his reverence
had chosen to bring him to a proper way of
thinking of it. A mean and dastardly plan, he
could not but consider it; but then nobody must
contend with the priest, or question his right to
use such measures as he thought fit for the edifi-
cation of the flock, or to re-gather such as might
be going astray.
The whole family came home from church in
a state of violent excitement. Connell had that
day, for the first time, slipped away early, to
attend the nearest Protestant service, two or
three miles off, at a little Methodist chapel.
When he was returning he met various persons.
of Father Gasheen's congregation, some of whom
spoke words of insult and abuse to him, and
even offered some violence, with threats of more
if he did not quit the way he was pursuing.
By these things he learned the tenor of Father
Gasheen's proceedings; but he was quite unpre-
pared for the storm which broke about his ears
the moment he entered the cottage threshold.


43






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Where have you been, sir ? demanded his
father, his face flushed, and his whole manner
tremulous with anger.
Connell hesitated a moment-the whole aspect
of things in the family bore evidence that some-
thing unusual had occurred.
Where have you been? repeated Michael,
in a voice hoarse with passion.
Connell frankly informed him. But the in-
formation tended nothing to allay his rage. He
seized him by the collar and shook him rudely.
"And who gave ye leave to be straying off,
and keeping company with heretics ? Did your
father or your mother ? And what did we have
to suffer on your account ? Haven't we been
held up to reproach and insult? Haven't we
been threatened and abused, and our neighbours
and friends set against us; and all on your
account ? Do ye want to be the ruin of us all ?
Do ye want the house burnt down over our
heads? Do ye want us to be mocked and
hooted at wherever we're seen ? I tell ye, boy,
ye've got to take a different course! I tell ye
the time's come that these things must be given
up, or there's not room under my roof for ye "
"Father," began Connell mildly.
"Not a. word !-I won't hear it !-I'll have
no argument !-I've made up my mind, and I'll


44






THE POWER OF TRUTH. 45
give ye time to make up yours; I won't be rash
with ye, for ye've been a good son to me, and I
hope ye'll continue to be. But I can't have
things going on so. You may have one month
to decide whether ye'll go and submit yourself to
Father Gasheen, and do as he bids ye-or quit
my house for ever! Take your choice; I give
you a month from this day "
-"1 I wouldn't give him half so long, that I
wouldn't," put in Bessie, who stood by in a
glow of excitement. Ah me! what are we
coming to ? "
Nor I"-" Nor I"-added Kathleen and
Mary, looking very much dissatisfied.
"We shall be mobbed before that time,"
suggested Dermont, the next younger boy.
"Stop, every one!" said Michael sternly.
" It shall be just as I say. He shall have a
month to consider his ways : and I make no
doubt he'll see in that time that he's wrong; but
he shall never say his own father dealt rashly
or hastily with him. A good boy he's been, as
ye all know, and he shall have fair play. Now
hold your tongues, every one, on this subject,
till the time is out, and then we'll attend to it.
Let him wholly alone! "
The month that succeeded was a long and
weary one enough. The averted looks, and






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


cold, chilling manner of the household, where
such fondness and tenderness had hitherto existed,
was very trying to an affectionate nature like
that of our young hero. He seemed to be
shut out from the family sympathies entirely.
Work went on as usual, and Connell tried to
surpass even himself in faithfulness and industry.
He rose early and worked late, and was studious
to do everything in the best possible manner, to
meet his father's approbation. But all would
not do. He felt himself under the ban of the
family, as well as that of the priest, whom he
knew to be the prime mover in these proceedings.
Once or twice he cautiously approached the for-
bidden subject, when none but his father was by.
He thought it possible that his sympathies might
be enlisted in his behalf; but Michael only
stamped his foot, and reminded him of his com-
mand.
Let it not be thought, however, that this long,
dreary month, had no consolations for our young
pilgrim, just set out in the narrow path to the
celestial city.
It was a month of many doubts, discourage-
ments, and fears. It was also a month of earnest
and fervent prayer, and self-questioning; of
strong resolutions, of faith and of joy.
Long before the dawn on Monday morning,


46







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


the last day of the month, Connell was up and
dressed, and on his knees by his bedside. Oh,
how earnestly he prayed-how tenderly he re-
membered each one of the dear household before
that throne of grace which is always accessible to
the pious heart! How importunately he begged
for the quickening grace which bringeth salva-
tion for each individual! And then he prayed
for himself, that he might be guided by that wis-
dom which cannot err ; that he might honour his
Saviour's name, through evil report as well as good
report; that his way might be made plain; and
that he might have courage for any trial that was
appointed for him, and especially for that of leav-
ing his father's house, and going he knew not
whither, for Christ's sake.
He rose from his knees, and wiped away the
fast-flowing tears. Then he made up a little
bundle from his comfortable wardrobe, and sat
down to await the moving of the family, and to
think what he had better do. Poor boy! he
found it a hard matter to decide, for difficulties
and obstacles seemed to hedge up every path.
When he was called to breakfast, Connell de-
scended, bundle in hand, and apparently all ready
for a start, greatly to the astonishment of every
member of the household. They had counted
upon a result the reverse of this with the utmost


47







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


confidence, and when Connell seated himself in
his accustomed place, with a pleasant morning
salutation, the feelings of each may be better im-
agined than described. That morning meal in
the Carrisforth cottage was a mere pantomime,
and one after another left their seats to escape
the painful constraint of the occasion. At length
Michael drew back his chair, and after a violent
effort to clear his voice, began :-
"Well, Connell, my boy, you remember what
I said to ye a month ago ?"
Yes, father."
I suppose you've made up your mind, then,
what course to take."
Yes, sir."
And you're coming back into the good old
way, without making us any further trouble or
anxiety, I expect. How is it ?"
Father," said Connell feelingly, I don't
want to make you trouble or anxiety-but, father,
I never can be a Catholic, never! I have read
the Bible, and I find nothing of it there; and I am
resolved by God's help to leave everything for
the Bible. I have done Father Gasheen no harm,
and given him no offence, and I cannot consent to
put myself under his control: so, dear father, if
you cannot let me stay at home, and allow me to
believe as I must believe, and act according to


48







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


my belief, I am going to leave you, as you said
-for ever "
"Oh dear! oh dear!" screamed Bessie from
the next room, where she had heard every word.
"Your soul will be lost, my child-you shall not
go to perdition, if I can help it. Send for the
priest, Michael Carrisforth."
"No, mother, I have found a Saviour-my
soul is safe. Oh, if you would all seek and find
him, my most earnest prayer would be answered.
But I don't wish to see Father Gasheen-let me
go in peace. I shall always love and pray for
you. I have had a happy home, but the good
Lord will take care of me, because I leave it for
his truth's sake. Now, dear mother and father,
good-bye-good-bye, Kathleen and Mary-good-
bye, Dermot and little Jamie-don't forget me,
pray don't, any of you "
Connell took up his bundle, and went towards
the door. His father stood irresolute and dis-
tressed, not knowing how to act. He took a
couple of guineas from his pocket, and put them
into Connell's hand.
"You don't know what you are doing, child,"
he said with a tremulous voice. You don't know
what kind of a world it is you are going to buffet."
No, father, but I don't go alone--' When my
father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord


49 .







)0 THE POWER OF TRUTH.

will take me up'-' Lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the world.' These words give
me trust and courage. Good-bye, dear father,
once more "
Connell had gone but a few paces from the
house when a great outcry alarmed him, and he
heard his sisters scream, She's going to die!
mother's going to die!" He could not resist
the impulse to rush back to the cottage.
There, to be sure, was Bessie in a deadly swoon
upon the floor, and all the family frightened
nearly out of their senses. As he was rushing
for some water to dash in her face, Kathleen
rudely caught the pitcher from his hand-" Let
her alone," said she, and get away; it's you
that's killed her, and you will have it to answer
for; you will be the death of us all yet, for you're
a wicked wretch! "
"That you are," assented Mary-" just see what
mischief you have done. Oh, poor mother "
These cruel reproaches went to Connell's heart
like poisoned arrows. He put both hands to his
face, and wept aloud; and then seeing his mother
give signs of returning animation, he once more
quitted the cottage.
He had no settled plan before him, but he had
long thought that if he could see Mr. Bentley, he
would give him such advice in this emergency as







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


would be valuable. It had been his hope to go
to market, and see him during the month just
past, but it had not been convenient. He now
resolved to direct his steps towards the market-
town, and, if possible, gain an interview with that
gentleman.
He had been about an hour on the way, and
was still making diligent progress towards the
market-town, when he heard behind him the loud
and rapid rumbling of wheels over the frozen
ground (for it was now late in autumn). He did
not look back, however, nor think much about it,
till a familiar voice called out, Connell, Connell,
stop!" Then he turned about, and saw his
father urging the staid old farm horses to a most
unwonted activity.
"Stop I stop, boy! why don't ye ? I've been
hallooing this last mile-didn't ye hear me ? "
said Michael, as he pulled up by Connell's side.
"No, father; but what brings you in such
haste, I wonder. Is mother worse ?"
Mother's well enough; but I tell ye what it
is, boy, I can't stand this-it takes the spirit all
out o' me," said his father, drawing his great
rough hand across his eyes; besides, I learned
just a few minutes after you'd gone, that Pat
O'Shea and Mick Brady, and a few of those low
fellows, were raising a gang like themselves to


51







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


pursue and trouble you; and as there's no telling
what lengths they'd go, set on by Priest Gasheen,
I thought I'd get the start of them. I tell you,
child, that snarling harangue we had in church a
month ago hurt my opinion of his reverence
mightily, and he had better mind how he tries
to turn my neighbours against me or my family.
But come, jump in, I'm going to carry you home
the other way, so we shall be sure and not meet
those fellows."
But, father," hesitated Connell, I can't be
a Catholic, indeed I cannot; and these people may
trouble you greatly, if I am there. I should be
sorry to make difficulty for you; and then mother
and the girls would be made miserable, per-
haps."
"You need say no more. I'll take care of
myself and mother and the girls ; if these fellows
molest us we'll have the law down upon 'em; so
in with you, and don't lose more time talk-
ing."
0 father, how kind you are to me! said the
youth, as he climbed to the seat he had so often
occupied beside his father.
"Well, you've been a good child, and it's not
myself that will see you wronged by anybody,
whether you call yourself Catholic or not, and I
don't know as it makes much difference after all,"


52







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


responded Michael, as he turned his horses down
into a bye-road, which was the other way"
home.
They reached the cottage without any incident,
but found a number of men and women in and
about the house. They were not, however, of
that class from which they had any reason to ap-
prehend ill treatment, but some of them most
decent and respectable neighbours, come to make
inquiries and express sympathy with Bessie.
Very much they wished to know what fault Con-
nell found with the Catholic faith and worship,
and whether Father Gasheen could not set things
right with him.
When Michael understood their wishes, he
thought a moment, and then turned to Con-
nell :-
My boy," said he, I want you should ex-
plain to these good people all they wish to
know about your change of feeling on this sub-
ject. If you can't be a Catholic, as you say, I
want you should tell 'em why, and give a reason
for your course."
I will, sir," replied Connell promptly.
Now, friends," said Michael, turning to the
people, the boy says he'll explain to ye why he
can't be like the rest of us; and it's fair, ye see,
to give him a chance without vexing and troub-


53







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


ling him. If he can't show sufficient reason for
his new way of thinking, let him take the more
shame for it; but if he can, let's hear it."
To be sure, that's fair," said they all.
Well, then, perhaps ye'll gather here next
Sunday morning, and we will give him a candid
hearing."
The proposition was accepted, and the people
dispersed.
The next Sabbath morning, instead of a dozen
friends and neighbours, more than a hundred
people had assembled on the green before the
pretty cottage of the Carrisforths-men, women,
and children, from all the neighboring hamlets;
and among them a few known to be tools of
Father Gasheen, who might raise a riot.
Connell's young heart fluttered with trepida-
tion, as he thought of the part he was expected to
act in this drama ; but a few inspiring words from
his father stimulated his resolution to do his very
best, and leave the event with God.
A rude platform was constructed, by laying
boards upon barrels, and Connell took his place
upon it.
S" Now be a man, and don't let the fear of any-
body hinder you from telling a plain story," said
Michael encouragingly ; "I'll stand by you till the
last, and don't you be afraid to speak your mind;


54







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


-see here, I'll keep 'em quiet," and he pulled
open his frock bosom, and disclosed a pair of
pistols ?
0 father, father,"-said Connell deprecat-
ingly.
"Let me alone, I know what I'm about; I'll
make the first speech, and then do you go ahead."
Friends," proceeded Michael, addressing the
people, you've come here at my invitation, to
learn why this boy of mine can't be a Catholic,
like the rest of us. I've promised you should
know his reasons; for he's a boy, you all know,
that don't take up a new belief without reasons.
I want to know myself, and I want you should
all know, what he can't away with in our holy
Catholic faith. I'm glad to see you all, but I'm
resolved to have quiet and order; and the first
man of ye that sets any noise or tumult afoot, will
wish he hadn't; for I'll still him in a way he
don't expect. Ye all know Mike Carrisforth,
when his blood is warm; and he'll do as he says."
Then turning to Connell, Now's your time, my
boy," said he, and sat down where his eye could
command the entire assembly.
Connell's face was suffused with a crimson
blush, as he commenced modestly :-
My good neighbours, I never before attempted
a speech, and I fear I shall make but clumsy work


55






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


of it; but if you will have patience, I will en-
deavour to show you the change which has taken
place in my feelings. I am neither afraid nor
ashamed to acknowledge that I cannot be a
Roman Catholic; and perhaps before I have done
some of you will agree with me."
There might have been heard the rustle of a
leaf, so still the people stood or sat about the
youthful speaker. Perhaps the determined vis-
age, the kindling eye, and resolute air of Michael,
taken in connection with the remarks he had just
offered, might have had something to do with it,
but so it was; and every eye was intently fixed,
as the boy proceeded,-
"You see, friends," said Connell, coming direct-
ly to the point, I borrowed a Bible! and when I
came to read it, I found a great many wonderful
things that I had never heard of before-things
the priests never take the trouble to tell us, but
which are suited to make everybody wiser and
better-things which our blessed Saviour, Jesus
Christ, taught, and his holy apostles. But a
great many things which we all have been taught
to believe, and which we suppose the Bible teaches,
are not there !
I had always wondered why we were forbid-
den to read the Bible, if it be really the Word of
God, and given to teach us the way to be saved


56






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


from eternal perdition; but when I read it, I was
no longer surprised. They don't want to let us
know what is in the Bible, for then we shall see
we have been blinded and deluded. And did
you ever think, neighbours, why it is that all our
religious services are conducted in a language
that we cannot understand a word of?
Again, we are told that we may merit our
own salvation by observing all the directions of
the Church doing works of righteousness,
penance, &c. The Bible says we are saved 'by
grace, through faith ; and that not of ourselves,
it is the gift of God.'-' God so loved the world,
that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoso-
ever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.'-' There is none that doeth
good; no, not one.'
"When I read these things, neighbours, I was
alarmed and distressed, as you may suppose. I
knew not what to do-I felt that I was a sinner
before God, and had no righteousness to plead,
even if that could be acceptable. What could I
do ? I thought of the Virgin, the saints, and
the angels, but there is nothing in all the Bible
which even permits us to pray to them, or seek
their aid; they can do nothing for us, not even
the Virgin herself. Jesus is the only mediator
between God and man,' says the Bible-the


57







THE POWER OF TRUTH.


'only name given under heaven among men
whereby we must be saved.' He says of him-
self, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the
life; no man cometh unto the Father but by
me.'
I did not at first understand, as I think I
now do, how to come to the Father, or how the
Saviour was to save me. I went to Father
Gasheen, and told him my trouble and distress.
He reproved me for reading the Bible, and for-
bade me to do so any more, and went on to tell
me to practise those things which would merit
salvation-there was no danger, 'only do what
the Church enjoins '-but which the Bible does
not I begged him to tell me, in the first place,
if the Bible was really the Word of God and
binding upon men. He said the Catholic Bible
was. Then I entreated that he would show me
one; which he did, after many objections. But
what was my surprise, to find them alike in those
very points which most perplexed and distressed
me! I asked him to explain; but he grew
angry, and only threatened me. I left him more
miserable and disturbed than ever, and more
doubtful what I should do to be saved; but in
his own time the Lord sent me good counsel, and
I humbly hope I have learned how to believe in
the Lord Jesus Christ, to the salvation of my


58






THE POWER OF TRUTH. 59

soul. I cast myself on his mercy alone, and he
has said, Him that cometh unto me, I will
in no wise cast out.' This is what the Bible
has led me to feel and to do, my friends; it
is its proper effect. 'The entrance of thy
word giveth light,' says the Scripture; and
it is this very thing our priests are afraid of;
and this is why they will not permit us to
read and judge for ourselves-they know we
cannot remain what we now are, and have the
Bible in our hands. Here is a point I can never
concede-I cannot give up the Word of God,
and so I cannot be a Catholic. I shall thank
him till I die, and thank him in eternity, for that
borrowed Bible "
Conluell sat down, without looking to observe
the effect of his speech upon his rough auditors.
Had he done so, he might have been surprised at
the number of moistened eyes turned upon him-
self. One by one the riotously inclined slunk
out of sight, while the more sober and respect-
able of the assembly gathered together in knots,
to make their comments on what they had just
heard, and question with one another whether
these things were really so. Michael came down
from the platform, and mingled his opinion with
theirs.
What else could the boy do ?" said one.






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


I don't see that he's very much out of the
way," said another.
If the priests won't teach us, who shall ?"
questioned a third.
We ought to have the Bible," suggested a
fourth; and I don't believe it's right that we
haven't."
I should like to hear more about it," re-
marked a fifth.
I should like to have Father Gasheen hear
what we've heard, and answer for himself," mut-
tered a sixth.
Why can't your boy give us another
talk ?" asked one of them of the complacent
Michael.
What say you to it, my lad ?" said another
to Connell himself.
When Connell understood the request, he
very cheerfully answered,-
I will read the Bible to you, if you like; and
then you can judge for yourselves if it be fit for
everybody. 0 friends, I wish you could all read
it for yourselves."
The next Sunday morning was fixed upon for
another meeting, and the people quietly dispersed,
with thoughts of unusual seriousness lodged in
many bosoms.
Connell fell on his knees in his little attic


60






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


room, to thank God for the peaceable and
friendly issue to which he had guided this
dreaded occasion, and to supplicate for wisdom
to aid him in his humble efforts to bring some
of these simple people to the knowledge of his
blessed Word.
All through the week the youth had reason to
rejoice in the kindness and affection of the whole
household. He had more than satisfied his
father-even Bessie's motherly pride was a trifle
moved that he had pleased everybody, so con-
trary to her expectations. It began to seem not
quite so terrible a thing to read the Bible; and
when one evening Michael requested Connell to
bring out his Testament, and read a chapter to
him for the curiosity of the thing, she made no
strenuous objection, but listened with patience,
and even a degree of interest she would have
been unwilling to acknowledge.
Providentially, just at this time Father
Gasheen had been summoned on business to a
distant town, and so could not interfere to pre-
vent the intended meeting.
The week ran on; the Sabbath morning came
again; the people gathered once more before
Michael's cottage door. Connell's young Chris-
tian heart was warmed and expanded.
The Word of God in the lips of that young


61






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


man, and accompanied by his own simple com-
ments and affectionate appeals, produced an effect
.altogether unexpected. It was as the fire and
the hammer which breaketh the rock in pieces."
Tears of penitence flowed ftom "eyes that mocked
at tears before," as well as from the more gentle
and susceptible. And to many who earnestly
asked, with the heart-smitten jailer, What must
I do to be saved ?" the sublimely simple direc-
tion, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," came
with a power and authority they might not ques-
tion or resist. The Spirit of God was there.
The commandments of God, so often made of
none effect by man's tradition, were brought
home to the awakening conscience by his divine
energy; and forms, and creeds, and doctrines,
and dogmas of men, were forgotten.
Among those most deeply affected by this
simple presentation of the "truth as it is in
Jesus," was Michael Carrisforth. The sword of
the Spirit penetrated to the depths of his soul;
nor was it long before he could clearly apprehend
and believingly realize the blessedness of that
great truth, Being justified freely by his grace,
we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus
Christ." And a happy time it was for him, and
for many of his neighbours, when they could re-
joice together in hope of the glory of God.






THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Meeting after meeting was held during the
absence of Father Gasheen, and the "Word of
God had free course, and was glorified." When
at last he did return to his charge, the Bible
party," and the Bible influence," were quite too
strong for him to overthrow, although he did
what he could to put them down.
From the first the good Mr. Bentley had
watched the progress of this singularly interesting
reformation with intense solicitude. He noted
with pious wonder the simple instrumentalities
which God had used in bringing it about, and
resolved never to lose an opportunity of address-
ing a serious word to any willing ear.
More and more he resolved to depend on the
efficacy of the Spirit of God accompanying his
divine Word, and to do what he could to extend
the knowledge of that truth which is as a well
of water, springing up unto everlasting life." He
procured a quantity of New Testaments, and sup-
plied every family in the Carrisforth neighbour-
hood who would on any terms receive them; and
had the satisfaction to know that they essentially
aided and deepened the religious feeling of the
community.
The progress of the revival of which this same
"borrowed Bible was the origin and instru-
ment, developed abilities in our young friend


63






. THE POWER OF TRUTH.


Connell of a high order; which, united with a
well-tempered zeal and an uncommonly winning
address, seemed, to combine peculiar elements of
usefulness and adaptation to public life. By Mr.
Bentley's cordial recommendation, therefore, and
with the free consent of his parents, he entered on
a course of study preparatory to the ministry, and
in a few years commenced his labours as an "am-
bassador of Christ." For more than twenty
years he wrought with a diligence and prudence
in his Master's service which were rewarded with
abundant success. To the poor and lowly among
his own people he chiefly addressed his efforts;
and from them a great harvest of regenerated
souls was won, which shall one day shine as the
sun in the kingdom of their Father," though
unknown, or despised, or overlooked, on earth.
That his labours and prayers may assist many
in throwing off the fetters of Romanism, and
assuming the light burden and easy yoke "
of Him whose rich grace is revealed only in the
Bible, will, we hope, be the sincere desire of all
who read these pages. The work is done, if the
Bible can but be made a light to their feet, and
a lamp to their path.


64




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