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Metadata for text 112001
No. words in text198754
Title Fear-tathaich Miosail
Author N/A
Editor Anon.
Date Of Edition 1858-1937
Date Of Language 1900-1949
Publisher Monthly Visitor Tract Society
Place Published Edinburgh
Volume Vol. 1 of 4 (EUL has 5 volumes containing issues dating from 1858 to 1909. NLS has issues dating from 1858 to 1937. Neither repository appears to hold a full run of all issues.)
Location National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh University Library
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Various
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition Each issue measures around 20.3cm x 13.3cm
Short Title Fear-tathaich Miosail Vol 1
Reference Details EUL, Sp. Coll.: MackioColl.1.22, NLS: various, including APS.2.85.68
Number Of Pages 4 pages per issue, one issue per month for around 80 years.
Gaelic Text By Unknown
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This periodical was published by the Monthly Visitor Tract Society. The first two issues, published in January and February 1858, are entitled Fear-tathaich Miosail Lochabair. The Society also published an English language periodical entitled the The Monthly Visitor. Many, if not all of the articles in this journal were translations of English language articles published in The Monthly Visitor. The English title of the article appears as a footnote in many of the earlier issues.

At the end of the earlier issues we find ‘Depositary, John Hume, 5 South Hanover Street, Edinburgh’ and ‘Edinburgh: Printed by John Greig and Son’. Above this, from April 1862 onwards (Mios Deireannach an Earraich), a note reads ‘Tha e air iarraidh air na cairdibh leis am bu mhaith a bhi cobhar anns na leabhranan so a chraobhsgaoileadh, gun tugadh iad an tabhartas, ge b’ air bith cho beag ’s a dh’ fhaodas e a bhi, do ’n mhuinntir leis am bheil iad air an toirt seachad doibh o àm gu àm’. In later issues, we find ‘Scottish “Monthly Visitor” Tract Society’, and the printers are Morrison and Gibb, Edinburgh.
Contents Each issue comprises a four-page essay on some religious topic. Pages are numbered 1 to 4 in each issue. Volume 1 begins in January 1858 (Ceud Mhios na Bliadhna) and ends in December 1869 (Dara Mios a Gheamhraidh). Subsequent volumes contain 10 years worth of issues. Vol. 5, for example, begins in January 1900 and ends in December 1909. Earlier issues are not numbered. Numbering begins in September 1882, with Air[eamh] 603.
Sources
Language The articles presented in this periodical are varied. Some read like sermons, and are based on passages from the Bible or on specific topics, such as Death. Other articles are presented as stories. Some consist of a story (real or imaginary), followed by a sermon on the substance of the story. In others, the sermon is an integral part of the story, articulated on the lips of its characters. This can take the form of a conversation between two characters, in the manner of Rev. Norman MacLeod’s ‘conversations’. Examples of this include Dorchadas ’us Solus; no an Dithis Dhaoine Bochda Frangach in the issue for Mios Deireannach an t-Samhraidh 1861 and An Seana Cheannaiche Suiseach, from Ceud Mios a Gheamhraidh, 1880.

In general, the mission of this periodical is to urge people to change their sinful ways and turn to God, to live a Christian life, and to be prepared for death. The language varies between sermonising and story-telling styles. Only in one or two of the issues is the author of the article named.

Many articles are in the form of sermons. For example, the third issue, published in Mios Màirt, 1858, contains an article entitled Sòlas ann an Criosd, which begins: ‘Anns na laithibh so, ’tha cho làn de thrioblaid, iomagain, agus cùram, c’ àite am faighear aoibhneas? Iarramaid dhiubhsan ’bha uaireigin cho brònach ri neach againne, ach a fhuair fior shòlas. Sgriobh aon d’ ar n-aithrichibh diadhaidh, Samuel Rutherford, dh’ ionnsuidh caraid, “A bhràthair, tha mi ’faotainn sòlais ’n a m’ Phrionnsa, agus mo Righ ghlòrmhoir. Cha-n aithne do ’n t-saoghal ar beatha; is diomhaireachd dhoibh i. Tha ar gul ’toirt barrachd air an gàireachdaich.” Agus ciod e ’fhuair an duine so? ’N e saoibhreas, no oighreachd, no àite cumhachd, no cairdean mòra? Cha b’ iad, ach fhuair e ann an Iosa Criosd gach ni ’bha ’anam ’miannachadh’ (p. 1). This writer introduces biblical quotations into his narrative, e.g.: ‘’N uair tha Dia ’cur Chriosd romhainn fo ainm “Sòlas Israeil” (Luc. ii. 25), agus ’n uair ’tha e ’g innseadh dhuinn gu bheil Criosd air ungadh chum, “’thoirt comhfhurtachd dhoibh-san uile a tha ri bròn” (Is. lxi. 2), tha e ’comhdhùnadh gu bheil an saoghal ’n a ionad tha làn de aobharaibh bròin’ (p. 1). A number of issues contain quotations from Holy Scripture.

Many of the articles are written, at least in part, in story form. For example, the second issue, published in Dara Mios na Bliadhna, 1858, contains an article entitled Long-Bhriseadh an “Central America”. It tells the story of the sinking of a ship: ‘Dh’ fhàg an “Central America,” Caiptean Herndon, long-theine mhòr ’seòladh eadar “Havannah” agus “New York,” “Havannah” air an 8mh la de mhios mheadhonach an fhogharaidh 1857. Bha aice air bòrd 491 de luchd-imrich, agus 101 de sgioba, ’sin ri ràdh 592 pearsa. Thainig a mhòr chuid d’ an luchd-imrich o mhéinibh Chalifornia, àireamh dhiubh a’ giulan anabhar dh’ òr agus dh’ ionmhas eile. Bha teann air leth mhuillion a dh’ airgiod anns an t-soitheach’ (p. 1). We learn that the ship goes down in bad weather and that many people die. This story is then followed by a sermon: ‘Nach èisd sinn ’n uair ’tha an Tighearn ’labhairt le leithid de dh’ amhgharaibh? Gabhamaid gu cridhe na teagasgan ’n uair a tha sinn a leughadh a chunntais thugadh seachad leosan a thearnadh. B’ aobhar eagail air leth dhoibh bàsachadh leo fhéin. … Tha nàdur an duine ag iarraidh comhfhaireachaidh. ’N uair a tha sinn a fulang tha sòlas ann an glacadh compaich ar trioblaid air laimh. Ach cha-n ’eil companachd anns a bhàs’ (p. 2). A similar story can be found in Call na Luinge Foyledale in Air. 863, May 1904. This story contains a long description of how the boat went down and the plight of the passengers. The following passage is typical: ‘Bha e air orduchadh gu’n tugadh daoin an crann-deiridh orra, an t-aon chrann a bha nis ’na sheasamh; agus air do’n sgiobair a nionag bheag a chur air curam an dara oifigich, ghabh e a bhean, maille ris a’ chuideachd, a bha nis fliuch gu ruig an craicionn, agus dhirich e an crann; ach cha robh tearnadh air an son eadhon an sin: cha robh ann ach anail ghoirid’ (p. 2).

Many issues contain essays and stories dealing with death, e.g. Air mo Ghairm, ach gun bhi Ullamh in the issue for Mios Mairt, 1880. This article also begins as a story, and the introduction shows the combination of descriptive and religious writing: ‘Air cnoc, ann an earrainn ro àluinn de Shasunn, tha Caisteal L—— r’a fhaicinn. Agus ge b’ àluinn na bha an taobh a mach de na ballaichibh ud, bha ni na b’ àluinn fhathast ’n an taobh a stigh. Bha Fionnghal L—— ’n a dilleachdan, agus ro bheadarrach aig brathair a h-athar s’ a mhnaoi, a ghabh i mar an leanabh féin, a chionn nach robh clann aca. Og, maiseach, de nadur ionmhuinn, stuaim, choisinn i gràdh gach aoin. Cha b’ urrainn farmad bhi rithe, oir cha robh i uair air bith, a réir coslais, a’ smuaineachadh m’ a timchioll féin. Ach cha robh Fionnghal coimhlionta. “Ghràdhaich i an creutair na ’s mo no ’n Cruithfhear.” Ann an aon fhocal, bha i “a reir cumaidh an t-saoghail so,”—cha robh i air “a cruthatharrachadh trid athnuadhachadh a h-inntinn.” Cha do threòraich trocairean Dhé i, mar a tha iad air am foillseachadh ann an obair iongantaich an t-saoraidh, chum i féin a thoirt seachad ’n a “h-iobairt bheò, naomh, thaitneach, do Dhia, mar sheirbhis reusonta;” ni mo a rainig focal Dhé, mar chlaidheamh dha fhaobhair, air a h-anam ’s an leth steach, mar “fhear-breth air smuaintibh agus rùintibh a’ chridhe.”’ (pp. 1-2). A footnote reads ‘Tha na litrichean-toisich so gun sùil air bith ris an fhìor ainm’ (p. 1), and the omission of names is a common feature of these articles.

Other examples of articles which focus on death include Guth Dhe anns a’ Bhas from Mios Meadhonach a’ Gheamhraidh, 1881 and “Cha-n Urrainn Mi Tighinn a-nis” from Treas Mios an Earraich, 1882. Other topics include forgiveness, for example in Aithreachas ’Us Aithdhioladh from Dara Mios an t-Samhraidh, 1882, and prayer, for example in “Feuch, Tha E Ri Urnuigh!” from Air. 864, June 1904. The English original of the first article was written by D. L. Moody and is based on the passage Tha e a nis ag aithneadh do na h-uile anns gach àite aithreachas a dheanamh (Gniomh. xvii. 30). Muilnean Dhé (Air. 865, July 1904) and “An t-Ait D’an Goirear Calbhari” (Air. 893, November 1906), both touch on the suffering of Jesus on the cross. The first considers the role of Pontius Pilate, the second is about the debate concerning the exact position of the Crucifixion, on one of the hills surrounding Jerusalem.

There are also articles which focus on the lives of well-known Christians, from a religious perspective, with frequent references to ways in which we can learn from their experiences. For example, the issue published in Mios Meadhonach a Gheamhraidh 1860 contains an article entitled An Doimhne Mhor Eadarra. It begins ‘Fhritheal Ealasaid D—— da bhliadhna dheug cruinneachadh òigridh chum eòlas fhaotainn air a Bhiobull, ann an Dunéidin. Mar shearbhanta air an robh mòr mheas, b’ fhad a nochd i le caitheamh-beatha stuaim, caithriseach, gum bu leanamh le Dia i. Le focal Chriosd a gabhail còmhnuidh innte gu saoibhir, agus trid neartachaidh an Spioraid Naoimh gus a chrìch, bha leabaidh-bàis shamhach shocrach aice’ (p. 1). After giving some quotations from one of her lessons, the writer addresses the reader as follows: ‘O, fhir-leughaidh! nach ’eil doimhne cho cinnteach an diugh eadar an dream a th’ ann an Criosd agus an dream a tha ’n am peacaidhean? Agus cia uamhasach an t-eadar-dhealachadh! Is ionnan e agus na tha eadar beatha ’us bàs, solus agus dorchadas, neamh agus ifrionn:—eadar bhi “air gabhail ruinn ’s an Aon ghraidh” agus fearg Dhé bhi ’n a chòmhnuidh oirrne’ (p. 3). There are also articles on Daibhidh Mac an Leigh; no, na h-uile ni airson Chriosd from Ceud Mios a’ Gheamhraidh, 1881, Dr. Adoniram Iudson (i.e. ‘Judson’), from Air. 629 in November 1884, Abraham Lincoln from Air. 813, published in March 1900, and Chundra Lena: Ban-Sagart Innseanach from Air. 881, November 1905.

Also of interest is an article entitled An Da Chupan from Air. 690, December 1889, where the writer focuses on some specific imagery used in the Bible. He writes ‘Air là araidh bha mo smuaintean air chor-éigin air an tionndadh a dh’ionnsuidh an fheum a tha air a dheanamh anns a’ Bhiobull de’n fhacal CUPAN. Chuir mi comharradh air na h-earannan lionmhor anns am bheil am facal a’ tachairt. Thug mi an aire do gach iomadh ciall a tha co-cheangailte ris an fhacal, cuid diubh beannaichte, agus cuid ro eagalach’ (p. 1). In the course of the article he mentions four types of cup mentioned in the Bible: ‘“cupan ball-chrith,” (Isa. li. 17;) “cupan fiona 'fheirge,” (Ier. xxv. 15;) “cupan dheamhan,” (1 Cor. x. 21;) “cupan fiona fraoich fheirge,” (Tais. xvi. 16.)’ (p. 2).
Orthography Although the first issues of this periodical were entitled Fear-tathaich Miosail, the form of language adopted for these translations from the English-language Monthly Visitor is not colloquial, nor is it dialectally marked. It is formal and literary in narrative passages, and in the manner of evangelical preaching when the reader is addressed directly. Biblical vocabulary and expressions are frequently present, and the phraseology of the English original can often be detected, e.g. Gabhamaid gu cridhe for ‘Let us take to heart’ (Feb. 1858, p. 1).
 
The orthography is typical of its times, becoming more regular over the years, as Gaelic orthography in general became more orderly and prescriptive in the course of the late nineteenth century. For example, accents and apostrophes are used more regularly and consistently in later issues than had been the case in earlier years.
Edition First edition of all issues. Vol. 1 as held by EUL is not quite complete in that the issue for March 1859 is in English rather than in Gaelic. NLS volume 1 is also incomplete, it begins with Mios Meadhonach an Fhogharaidh 1858.
Other Sources
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