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English man'Librarp.

XXX.

By the same Author,

THE CHURCH of ST. PATRICK : an Historical Inquiry into the Independence of the Ancient Church in Ireland.

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“Why hast thou then broken down her hedge, that all they that go by pluck off

her grapes?"

LONDON:
JAMES BURNS, 17 PORTMAN STREET,

PORTMAN SQUARE.

1845.

PREFACE.

ALThough the Author of the following pages has taken some pains to write a popular History of the Irish Church in a fair and impartial spirit, yet he is sensible that the result of his labours falls far short of his own wishes. He is fully aware that it ought to be the aim of every writer of Church History both to speak with reverence of the ancient Saints, and, in reviewing their times, not to judge the actions of the past by the standard of the present, as if this were invariably a sure and infallible criterion. It is not, however, always easy to avoid falling into this mistake. When obliged to pass an opinion on the conduct of historical characters, one is very apt to say, “ This man did wrong,” or “ Such a one acted injudiciously,”

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