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new Order began to acquire, daily, fresh strength and vigour, especially in the South of Ireland.

A couple of years, however, prior to the granting of the first Apostolic brief, an effort was made to secure for the poor of Dublin the blessings diffused by the Presentation Sisters. The name of Maria Teresa Mullally has already crept into this article, and she it was who established in the Metropolis of Ireland a branch of Nano Nagle's congregation. Miss Mullally has aptly been styled the counterpart of the Foundress of the Presentation Order. In secret defiance of penal laws she daily gathered around her--for a period extending over several years--in rooms in Mary's Lane, a little school of poor children and stealthily taught them to read and write and say their prayers. In the early stage of this heroic venture, Miss Mullally instructed her class in knitting and glove-making in a front room, and in an adjoining apartment her school was carried on. It is on record that when word went round that a Government pimp happened to be in the neighbourhood, the copybooks and catechisms were hurriedly concealed, while the little ones became deeply absorbed in their manual arts. In this way did their pious instructor contrive to escape the vigilance of the authorities. Nano Nagle was on the friendliest and most intimate terms with Miss Mullally--another fact which lends colour to the theory of the former's early association with the little school in Dublin.

Some of the correspondence which passed between them is still preserved in the archives of George's Hill Convent, and in a letter, dated as far back as 1778, Miss Nagle discusses the constitution of her newly-formed congregatior, and says : ‘I send you the rule which they follow (it is called * The Society of the Sisters of the Charitable Institution of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”) ... I could wish that we may unite in this society.' Miss Mullally travelled to Cork and obtained a promise from Nano Nagle that she should get all the assistar.ce the new community could give in the development of her good work among the poor of Dublin-a promise which was to be fully redeemed some years after Nano Nagle's death. Not until 1788 was Miss Mullally enabled to proceed with her designs for the introduction into Dublin of the Presentation community, and six years afterwards the Institute in George's Hill had already begun its work.

Such, ther, were the small beginnings of what is now one of the greatest Catholic teaching institutions in the world. No human power, of course, could have been responsible for the extraordinary expansion during the past century and a half of this Congregation, inspired by a heroic girl and composed of a handful of retiring, humble women. Cork may well feel proud of being the cradle-bed of such an illustrious religious Order, as Ireland, to the end of time, must cherish the memory of its valiant Foundress.



By Rev. J. DONOVAN, S.J.

AMONG Rationalists of all schools, atheists, pantheists, evolutionists, a favourite pastime, or at least distraction from duller and more metaphysical pursuits, is the recreational excursion into Christian territory, not for purposes of exploration, but of direct aggression. Their aim is to attack the Church from within. By misuse of Christian documents they would destroy the Christian religion. In pursuit of this sport they fancy they have discovered a formidable weapon in the references of our Scriptures to the Parousia. These theorists approach the study of our sacred books in the firm conviction that the Supernatural is a figment of man's imagination, or, at most, an evolutionary brain-product. They hold the impossibility of miracles to be a foregone conclusion; and when they condescend to turn over the pages of Holy Writ, they are driven by sheer logical necessity to read into the inspired text that philosophy and theory of life which they have already embraced. No wonder that when such minds deal with the Parousia, some of them will tell you—and with unblushing assurance that defies contradiction—that both Our Lord and His Apostles laboured under an hallucination concerning the imminence of that great event. Others may exempt from their strictures the personality of our Divine Founder; but these, too, are ready to submit

: apodeictic proof that the Apostles, poor dupes, expected the Day of Judgment to occur in their own time.

To such prejudiced thinkers the Parousia becomes a weapon whereby they think to rid us of all infallible teaching within the Church. Sensible Catholics are not likely to bestow much attention to preconceived prejudice, when it presents to us its tainted interpretation of our sacred books.

For detailed lists of this kind of literature the reader may be referred to Mechineau's able and illuminating

11 Thess. iv. 13-18.

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articles which have recently appeared in the Civiltà Cattolica. These Rationalist commentaries have met with sound refutation from quite a phalanx of Catholic protagonists. Mechineau informs us that some of the latter, while manfully holding the fort of traditional Catholic exegesis, have shown a slight inclination to yield, before Rationalist heavy artillery, just a tiny bit of ground-not a portion of the stronghold, but just a small corner on the outskirts. Among these concessionists occurs the name of a man of much learning and of high renown as a Pauline scholar, Father Prat, the distinguished author of that well-known and much appreciated work : Théologie de St. Paul.

Circumstances led to an examination of this writer's statements on the Parousia. The issue, be it remembered, between us and Rationalists, may be briefly summarized in the following question : ‘Did St. Paul, or did he not,

. declare his belief, that he and his neophytes would survive to witness the Lord's coming ?' Prat, in the second part of his work, sums up his view thus : ‘He (Paul) does not teach survival till the time of the Parousia, either as certain or as probable ; but he teaches it as possible.' : This precise and definite conclusion, arrived at after elaborate argument, stands in diametrical opposition to Rationalist pretensions. To these higher critics the concession about mere possibility is worth very little ; for them, in fact, it is worthless.

Such, evidently, is Prat's mature and final verdict ; and his attitude on the Parousia problem should be gauged from this pronouncement. In the first part of his work (page 108), touching on an erroneous opinion, broached apparently in St. Paul's time, and held by some Christians, 'who persisted in the belief that certain privileged beings like St. John would survive till the Parousia,' Prat puts the question : "Did St. Paul share the common illusion ?' And his reply is : ‘En principe rien ne s'y oppose.'

It would seem, then, that our distinguished Pauline student altered his opinion, when, later on, he came to write the second part of his magnum opus. The remark just quoted occurs as a sequel to Prat's commentary on the famous passage 1 Thess. iv. 13-18.

This Pauline paragraph is the great bulwark of the Proximity Theory, as far as St. Paul is concerned. In it

1 Op. cit., p. 520, iii. 3.




Rationalists profess to find the categorical statement of the Great Apostle that he and his hearers would survive to be present at the triumphant return of the Messiah. We have seen that Prat looks on this opinion as quite untenable. Nevertheless, his translation of an essential portion of the all-important Pauline passage, despite certain merits, lays itself open to criticism. Were his attention called to such a defect, he might reply with a shrug : 'Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.' His French and Latin renderings of ημείς οι ζώντες, οι περιλειπόμενοι are as follow :

Nous les vivants, nous les survivants.
Nos viventes, nos superstites,

(We the living, we the survivors.) Incidentally, Father Prat finds fault with the translation of St. Jerome, who rendered this original by means of the relative clause with present indicative : nos qui vivimus, qui residui sumus ; we who are alive, who are left behind to the coming.'

In his opinion, nos viventes, nos superstites would be a more accurate rendering. Expression is given to this view in a note (page 109), where it is positively stated that the Greek is not accurately translated’; and he suggests the participial formula mentioned.

Now, though it is true that Jerome should have employed the future (qui vivemus) instead of the present tense, the rendering advocated by Father Prat is open to much more serious objection.

The participial formula viventes, with the substantival (or adjectival) adjunct superstites, would no doubt be quite adequate to render the Greek participle, if unaccompanied by the article ; but, where the article occurs, as in the case under discussion, oi @vtes, the Latin participial phrase would be absolutely inappropriate ; for it would actually be liable to convey precisely what is expressed by the Greek participle alone, Côtes. Were Father Prat's rendering accepted, we might be confronted with a dependent circumstantial clause, whether of time, of cause, or of condition. The meaning would then be either (1)

while,' or (2) 'inasmuch as,' or (3) ‘if alive and surviving at the Parousia.' Taken hypothetically, as in the third and last case, we should have an absolutely orthodox interpretation-but, alas ! at the expense of grammar, and,


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