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Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/170

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A JOURNEY TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS

IT is not only in Raasay that the chapel is un- roofed and useless; through the few islands which we visited we neither saw nor heard of any house of prayer, except in Sky, that was not in ruins. The malignant influence of Cal- vinism has blasted ceremony and decency to- gether; and if the remembrance of papal superstition is obliterated, the monuments of papal piety are likewise effaced.

It has been, for many years, popular to talk of the lazy devotion of the Romish Clergy; over the sleepy laziness of men that erected churches, we may indulge our superiority with a new triumph, by comparing it with the fervid activity of those who suffer them to fall.

Of the destruction of churches, the decay of religion must in time be the consequence; for while the public acts of the ministry are now performed in houses, a very small number can be present; and as the greater part of the islanders make no use of books, all must necessarily live in total ignorance who want the opportunity of vocal instruction.

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