The Idea of a University

and the other cities of Ireland; for, to say nothing of higher and more religious causes of the difference, the very presence of a rival religion is a perpetual incentive to faith and devotion in men who, from the circumstances of the case, would be in danger of becoming worse than lax Catholics, unless they resolved on being zealous ones.

Here, then, is one remarkable ground of promise in the future of Ireland, that that large and important class, members of which I am now addressing,—that the middle classes in its cities, which will be the depositaries of its increasing political power, and which elsewhere are opposed in their hearts to the Catholicism which they profess,—are here so sound in faith, and so exemplary in devotional exercises, and in works of piety.

And next I would observe, that, while thus distinguished for religious earnestness, the Catholic population is in no respect degenerate from the ancient

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