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THE STORY

OF THE

IRISH CHURCH MISSIONS.

CONTINUED TO THE YEAR

1869.

DEDICATED TO THE YOUNGER CLERGY OF THE

CHURCH OF IRELAND.

“ The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”—MATT. X. 30.
“Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand.

And there was a great rain."-1 KINGS xviii, 44, 45.

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1863-6

1867-8.

. 1869

PRINCIPLES AND GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

LISTS OF MISSION STATIONS AND COMMITTEES

REGULATIONS AND CONSTITUTION OF THE SOCIETY

APPENDIX

INDEX OF SUBJECTS

317

319-20

321
323
347

PREFACE

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REVEREND AND DEAR BRETHREN,—

In presenting to you, in an abridged form, the “Story of the Irish Church Missions," with a continuation of its history to the year 1869, we have an important object in view, and we trust that the regard and consideration which you have ever shown towards the members of your sister Church will lead you to accept this little book, and consider its contents with prayerful investigation. It is a common saying that “ facts are stubborn things.” May we not add, also, they are precious things, the value of which cannot be overrated? The whole of our religion rests upon them; for what are systems, dogmas, opinions, if they rest not on the ground of certain great facts ? All our hopes for eternity must rest, not on this system of divinity or that, but on the fact of the great Atonement, the substitution of the Son of God made man for us, and the fact of God's great gift to His people,—the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The revelation of these great truths in the written Word of God is a fact, and doctrines are true or false as they stand the test of this revelation. The Churches of England and Ireland are united in

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the recognition of this touchstone of truth. We unite in bringing all shades of opinion to the one rule of faith, to be received or rejected as they converge or diverge from it. The sixth article of our Church expressly states that “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

On this point we are still together severed from the Church of Rome. We together protest against her false doctrines, and would, with the light of God's truth in our hands, together strive for the faith of the gospel, and labour for its extension among those who are still in darkness and the shadow of death.

The following pages present a chapter in your Church history, which, however ignored or contradicted by secular historians, will stand prominently forward when the false illusions of the present scene and the contending interests of nations will have passed away; for it records the work of God, and adds another link to your long chain of testimony that God is in the midst of you, and that as a Church you are still shining in His light and faithful to His truth. The history of your Church has been one of testimony by the blood of your martyrs from age to age. From the time that St Patrick set his foot on your shore, and baptized his first converts in the well now covered by the south aisle of your noble cathedral, down to the twelfth century, your ancient Church held with more or less brightness, the truth of God; and many old records prove that you maintained, not the light of

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secular learning only, but the light of God's Word, and that from you sounded forth that Word to others.

For many ages after this saint, it appears that the Church of Ireland retained both her protesting and her missionary character, and as a centre, not of learning only, but of Christian zeal and labour, she became the university of Christendom, whence teachers were sought and welcomed in all parts of Europe. Not to mention the first missionary to the Black Forest and to Basle, Fridolin the Traveller, the Life of the second Columbanus, cleared from the rubbish of later history, gives indubitable evidence of spiritual enlightenment and of missionary energy. Carrying the light of the gospel

. from Lough Erne first to the Vosges, thence to Switzerland, he appears to have boldly and sturdily opposed the pretensions of the Roman See. In a letter to Boniface IV. are these words: “That thou mayest not be deprived of apostolic honour, preserve apostolic faith. Therefore I entreat thee, O Pope, that thou mayest cleanse the chair of St Peter from all error, if any have gained admission; if not, that its purity may be known of all; for one must grieve and mourn if, in the apostolic see, the Catholic faith be not maintained."

Other names might be mentioned as following in this track, and even the reproaches of Roman Catholic writers are a witness to your resistance to the usurpations of Rome, and prove that the Church of Ireland struggled to maintain her independence both in doctrine and in discipline.

But the more she struggled the more determined was Rome to conquer. The prize was worth winning; for it

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