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Metadata for text 166
No. words in text20140
Title Leabhar Ceasnuighe Aithleasuighte, ata nochda Mearachda Sonruighte Eaglais na Roimh. Ath Chlo-bhuailt’ le Leasachaibh Eagsamhail thaobh Firineadh, Ughdarrais, agus Riosunaidh. Leis am bheil e air a dhearbha’, I. Nach ’eil coir air bith aig’ a Phapanachd Aostachd agairt. II. Gu ’m bheil i na mòr Thruailleachd air Criostui’-eachd. III. Gu ’m bheil i cur mar fhiacha Teagasga’ agus Bar’aile ata Milteach do ’n Uachdranachd Thalmhaidh
Author N/A (Translated work)
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1779
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher Daibhidh Mac-Phatric
Place Published Edinburgh (Dun-eudain)
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries.
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Perthshire
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 18.5cm x 11.5cm
Short Title Leabhar Ceasnuighe Aithleasuighte
Reference Details EUL, Sp. Coll.: E.B.P.2383Pro
Number Of Pages 47, [1]
Gaelic Text By Duncan Lothian (from English of John Ewart)
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This text is a translation of the fifth edition of the Protestant Catechism; shewing the Principal Errors of the Church of Rome. The fifth edition was published in Edinburgh in 1778 ‘with the Addition of a Variety of Facts, Authorities, and Arguments, which prove That Popery has no just claim to Antiquity: That it is a gross corruption of Christianity: And enjoins Doctrines and Tenets pernicious to Civil Government’. It is unclear when the first edition was published. Second and third editions were published in 1740, according to the BL and NLS catalogues. The text is sometimes attributed to John Ewart.

John Ewart was born in 1717. He was the second son of Andrew Ewart of Mulloch, who was the minister of Kells in Kirkcudbright. Ewart was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and licensed by the Presbytery of Kirkudbright. He was ordained in 1743. Ewart was active in resisting the Jacobite forces during the 1745 Rising, and he himself led a group of farmers and others. In 1749, Ewart married Mary Corrie of Carlingwark, Dumfries, and they had eleven children. John Ewart died in 1799. In addition to writing the Protestant Catechism, Ewart also compiled Lectures on the Psalms (published 1822-26) and Biographical Sketches of Eminent Characters, published in 1830.

This translation is by Duncan Lothian. Duncan Lothian was born in Glen Lyon around 1730. He was for a time a miller in ‘Coire-Chòinnlidh’ (Corriechoille?) in Lochaber. While he was there, a little girl drowned under the mill wheel and, after the incident, Lothian composed the hymn Laoidh na Leabach. When he left Lochaber, Lothian became a turner and a maker of spinning-wheels, and he worked for a time with Dughall Buchanan at Kinloch Rannoch. Lothian later spent a few years in Glen Errochty, near Struan in Perthshire, before moving to Glen Fincastle. Lothian lived in Fincastle until his death, around 1812, at the age of 87. Paul Cameron states that Lothian was na dhuine diadhaidh, dleasnachail, a’ gabhail tlachd ann an eolas an Tighearna Iosa Criosd a chraobh-sgaoileadh (1891-92, p. 341).

In addition to this volume, Lothian published Comh-chruinneachidh Orannaigh Gaedhaelach agus Bearla in 1780 (Text 164), and Connsachadh Eadar am Papa agus an Reformation in 1797 (see Text 163, Deasbaireachd eadar am Papa agus an t-Athleasacha).
Contents Leabhar Ceasnuighe Aithleasuighte … is composed in a catechistic format consisting of question (C[eist]) and answer (F[reagairt]). The copy consulted in EUL has the Catechism printed on pp. 3-40. It also contains the following additional items: (1) Creid Phapa Pius iv. 1560 (pp. 41-44), which contains 24 headings; (2) two short tracts headed respectively ‘Ata na puince, agus na briathraibh a leanas air an cruinneachadh a ’s logh [sic, for as Laghna Cleire le Ard Easpoig Cranmer, a nochda’ an fheum a bha air aith-leasugha’ and ’Ann so ata leantuin briathra a ghnathaigh Tetzel, agus a chompanachaidh, ann bhi mineacha’ an tairbh ata ann caird’, no comas fhagail, agus am feum ata air an ceannach beagan [r]oimh an aithleasacha; (3) Eisempleiribh air Ain-iochd na Papanachd (pp. 45-47). This section is not in the English edition of 1778, and it is possible that it was written by the translator, Duncan Lothian. The back page contains (4) a short piece headed Carde no Comas a dh’ aontaigh Papa Clement V. do Eoin, agus Joan, Righ agus Bain Rioghain na Frainge, agus d’ an Fui-Cheimnighibh gu brath.
Sources
Language Leabhar Ceasnuighe Aithleasuighte … (pp. 3-40) is in a question and answer format, in the style of other catechisms. After eliciting some brief definitions it proceeds to identify the three principal errors of the Roman Catholic Church: ‘I. Na h àitheantaibh agus na reach[d]aibh eaglais na Roimh ata lochdach na nadur fein, mar ata iad gu direach an aghaidh áitheanta Dhe. II. Na teagasgaibh sin eaglais na Roimh ata ’ndara cuid a’ toirt misneach do dhaoinibh ann gniomhartha peacach; no’ ta ’g an tarraing chum peacaidh gun fhios. III. Na cinn chreidimh, ata eaglais na Roimh ag teagasg, nithe mar ata iad an aghaidh nan scrioptuir naomha, ata ’na mearachda ro-chuntartach’ (p. 3).

The next question seeks to elicit the five ways in which Catholic practices are directly opposed to the will of God: ‘1st. Bhi ag diùltadh do ’n phopul saorghnathacha’ nan scrioptuir naomha. \ 2d. Bhi ag diúltadh a chupain do ’n phobul ann san t sacramaint. \ 3d. Bhi ag ordugha’ urnaigh fhoilleasach a chur suas ann an cainnt nach tuigear leis a phobull. \ 4th. Bhi ag órdugha’ urnaigh a dheanamh re naoimh agus ainglibh. \ 5th. Bhi ag órdugha’ iomhaighin a chur suas anns nan [sic, for ann an] eaglaisibh chum as gu streacha’ daoine sios nan lathair’ (p. 4). The questions and answers that follow amplify these points; statements are often supported by quotations from the Bible, with references in footnotes. Many of the questions are in a form like ‘Cionnas ata thu co-dughadh gu bheil e gu soilleir an aghaidh focail De, bhi diultadh a chupain do ’n t sluagh san t sacramaint?’ (p. 6) or ‘Cionnas ata thu dearbha’ gur ann do theagasg eaglais na Roimh ata so?’ (p. 18).

Specific people are mentioned occasionally, e.g.: ‘C. Nach ’eil iomadh sgriobhach Papanach ag aidmheil, ga raibh na Criostaibh o shean, re iomadh linn, a ’gabhail na sacramaint air an da sheol?’ (p. 7), to which the response is ‘F. Ata iad, eadhon. Eccius, Salmeron, Lindamus Valentia, Costernus, &c., ag aidmheil so. … Ata Papa Leo an t ainmeil ag innseadh dhuinn’, gu ’n do thoiseach an gnathacha so, bhi ag gabhail faoi’ aran amhain, leis na h eirceachdaibh Manicheanach. Agus ata Papa Gelasius ag ordughadh, “Mar gabhadh iad le cheile iad, gu bitheadh iad air an conbhail uapa le cheile.”’ (p. 7). Other questions relate to the use of indulgences, e.g. ‘Nach mio-narach, aingidh, agus mi-dhiadhaidh an ni bhi reic deagh-ghean no logha cionta’ (pp. 15-16), and to the concept of Purgatory, e.g. ‘An dubhairt thu, gur mearachd bhi ag radh, gu bheil anamaibh nan creidmhich ann diaidh na beatha so, dol do ionad ris an deir na Papanaich Purgudoireachd, chum bhi air an glanadh o ’n uile pheacaidh, m’ an d’ theid iad do rioghachd neamh; creud na riosunaibh leis am bheil thu a tilgeadh na bar’ail so bonn os cionn? \ F. Ata sinn a’ leugha san scrioptur, “Gum bheil fuil Iosa Criost a’ glanadh o gach uile pheacadh,” I Eoin i. 7. …’ (p. 37).

The creed in the next section, Creid Phapa Pius iv. 1560 (pp. 41-44), consists of 24 heads, of which the following is typical: XVI. Ata mi a’ gabhail, agus agus [sic] ag aontuchadh, leis gach ni air an do reitigh comhairle naomh Trent, thaobh peacadh gin, agus firineacha’ (p. 42). It is stated at one point: Ata cheud da phuing dheug do ’n Chreid so, do reir na Criostui’eachd o shean. Agus is teagasg Papanach a’ chuid eile dhiubh (p. 43).

The section entitled Eisempleiribh air Ain-iochd na Papanachd does not appear in the English version of the text, and it is probable that it was composed by the translator of this work or imported from another source. It makes reference to atrocities carried out by the Church of Rome, e.g. ‘Ann an cur gu bas leis a Chuirt Rannsughaidh an diaidh ann gach neach ris an abair iad eiriceach, a thoirt suas do ’n diabhuill agus d’ a ainglibh gu solaimte, ata e air a losgadh gu bas, am builsgean dearcadh le aoibhneas, agus ard chliu na ceart droinge a dh’ amhairce air bas, a chiontaich bu mho, le truas’ (p. 46).

The letter on the last page, Carde no Comas a dh’ aontaigh Papa Clement V., is designed to demonstrate the unlimited authority of the Pope over the Catholic Church. Part of the passage reads: ‘’S ann uaithe so, ata sinne ullamh a fhreagradh ar ’n iartuis umhal, agus le ’r ’n ughdarras abstolach, ata sinne leis an Litir so, ag aontuchadh lan chomas gu brath na dhiaidh so, dhuibhse, agus d’ar fui-cheimnighibh a bhitheas ann san am nan righribh agus na ’m bain-righribh san Fhraing, agus do gach aon aguibh se, agus dhoibh san faileith’. The letter concludes: Ata e soilleir mar an ceadna, nach ’eil dion earbsa air bith thaoibh coi’cheangal reite, sith no cairdeas a nithear re daoinibh a ghabhas an t sochair so dhoibh fein.

This volume as a whole is replete with the language of religious discourse, especially the vocabulary and terms of the Catholic Church. Examples include Purgudoireachd (p. 37) and Purgoidearachd (p. 44), Teagasg meaning ‘Doctrine’ (p. 28), and litriche comais meaning ‘indulgence’ (p. 44). Footnotes tells us that the Gaelic for ‘transubstantiation’ is Brith’-atharrach (p. 42), and that athair faoisaid means ‘Father confessor’ (back page). Also of interest is the use of the term fui-cheimnigheadh for ‘successor’ (e.g. p. 28), and the use of brosduchadh rather than brosnuchadh (p. 45).
Orthography The orthography is characteristic of the late eighteenth century. There are a number of inconsistencies of spelling, such as diùltadh and diúltadh (p. 4), and co-ducha (p. 4) and co-dughadh (p. 6) for comhdachadh.

The language of this volume shows signs of being pulled in two directions. On the one hand, ‘Classical’ or ‘Irish’ forms are found, e.g. ata ‘is’, ceasnuighe (for ceasnuighthe, as opposed to Scottish Gaelic ceasnachaidh). On the other hand, a number of Scottish Gaelic vernacularisms are regularly present, e.g. aithleasaichte (not aithleasuighthe), the -ch- in co-ducha’ (for comhdachadh) beside co-dughadh. Of these Scotticisms, some can be called dialectal or local rather than simply Scottish vernacular, e.g. verbal nouns with the shape atharrach’ or atharracha’ rather than atharrachadh (beside Classical athrughadh).
Edition First edition. A second edition was published in 1779, and Earrann de’n Leabhar Cheasnuighe Aithleasuichte, which included Lothian’s Deasbaireachd eadar am Pap (see Text 163), was published in 1844.
Other Sources
Further Reading Scott, Hew, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, Vol. II (Edinburgh, 1917: Oliver and Boyd), 303.
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