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Metadata for text 93
No. words in text21691
Title Laithean Ceisde ann an Leodhas Mu’n a’ Bhliadhna 1880
Author N/A
Editor ?
Date Of Edition n.d. (1881 or 1891?)
Date Of Language 1850-1899
Publisher Donald M. Campbell (printed by the Stornoway Gazette)
Place Published Stornoway
Volume N/A
Location National Library of Scotland and EUL, Scottish Studies Library
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Lewis
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name Unknown
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 21.9cm x 14.1cm
Short Title Laithean Ceisde
Reference Details EUL, Scottish Studies Library: K1(4117)Lai.
Number Of Pages 48
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This volume contains seven chapters, each each based on one of the discussions which took place on Là na Ceist in seven different parishes in Lewis during the communion seasons of 1877 and 1878. Neither the author’s name nor the date of publication of the volume is given. The Roimh-ràdh is dated 1891 and attributed to ‘S. B.’ (see Contents below). However, p. 3 contains a photograph of ‘the late Rev. Duncan MacBeath’, who died on 20th October 1891, aged 70. He had been a minister in Ness for thirteen years. Prof. Donald Meek suggests that the initial ‘S’ may have been a typing error, and that the author’s initials may in fact have been ‘D.B.’, i.e. Donnchadh Beaton or Duncan MacBeath.
Contents This volume opens with the photograph of Rev. Duncan MacBeath followed by two quotations: one in English from Archbishop Leighton; and one in Gaelic, which reads: ‘Dheth na h-uile ’h àite an robh mi riamh, (ars’ Mr Iain MacRath, Urramach, a bha ann an Sgire Charlobhaigh, aig criochnachadh na seirbhis, an déigh an Luchd-labhairt, air Là Ceist) cha robh mi an àite as lugha mearachdan na Leùdhas, agus ’se an t-aobhar air son sin gu bheil an Luchd-labhairt a chumail cho dlù ri Focal Dé; agus gu bheil an Spiorad Naomh ga n cabhair’ (p. 4). There follows An Clarr-Innse [sic] (p. 5).

The Roimh-ràdh (pp. 7-10) is ascribed to ‘S.B.’ in Dail o Dheas in the north of Lewis, and is dated ‘Mìos a’ Mhàirt, 1881’. The writer begins by stating that he has been thinking about producing such a volume for many years, and that he has finally done so, in the hopes that it would be ‘’na mheadhon oideachaidh do chàirdibh air feadh na Gaidhealtachd’ (p. 7). He also states that a number of his friends were keen to see such a work produced, ‘gu ’m faiceadh iad “Briathran” nan seanairean diadhaidh, a bhiodh a’ labhairt air “Là na Ceist, air an cur ’an clò’ (p. 7). He then turns to look at some well known preachers from around the world, discussing how they became converted (p. 8).

The main body of the text contains the seven chapters based on the discussions which took place on Là na Ceist in 1877 and 1878. Chapter headings are followed by the date on which each meeting took place. All but one took place in 1878, the exception being Chapter VI, which records the meeting held in 1877. Most chapters begin with a short introduction, e.g. ‘Air do’n seirbhis a bhi air a fosgladh anns an dòigh gnàthaichte, dh’ iarradh air aon de na bràithrean cuibhrionn de’n fhìrin a thoirt a mach mar bhònn ceist’ (p. 11). This is followed by a paragraph or two telling us which passage is going to be discussed and in what way. The core of each chapter consists of a contribution from a number of different speakers in turn (for example, Chapter I has 8 different speakers). The speakers are identified in the text by their initials and their full names are given in footnotes. There numerous quotations from and references to the Bible thoughout the text. Where appropriate, the sources of citations are given in the text. The seven chapters are as follows:

I. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Stéornabhaigh (pp. 11-16): ‘Tha na briathran’ sa chéud chaibdeil de litir nan Ephesianach, 19mh rànn. “Agus ciod e ro-mhéud a chumhachd do ar taobh-ne a ta’ creidsinn, a réir oibreachaidh a thréin neirt.” ’Se bha air iarraidh, comharan sgriobturail air a mhuinntir a dhuìn ri Criosd leis a chumhachd so; dealaichte o mhuinntir a tha g a mealladh féin le nithibh gun chumhachd Chriosd’ (p. 11). The author notes at the end of the chapter that more people spoke on the day than are mentioned in this volume, but that he wanted to keep the book small and affordable to everyone. Presumably the same holds true for each of the other chapters.

II. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Charlobhaigh (pp. 17-22): ‘Tha na brìathran a thugadh a mach anns an treas caibdeil de litir an t-Absloil [sic] Phoil a chum nan Colosianach, 9 mh, agus an 10 mh rànn. “Na deanamh bréug d’a chéile, do bhrìgh gu’n do chuir sibh dhibh an seann duine maille r’a ghnìomharaibh, agus gu’ n do chuir sibh umaibh an duine nuadh, a tha air athnaudhachadh [sic] ann an eólas a rèir iomhaigh an tì a chruthaich e.” Bha comharan an duine nuaidh air iarraidh, agus an t-eolas a bha aca air an “t-seann duine”. Maille ris na trioblaidibh a bha aca an lorg an eolais sin’ (p. 17).

III. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Chrois (pp. 23-28): ‘Tha na briathran ann an Isaiah 28, 16. “Feuch suidhichidh mise mar stéidh ann an Sion, clach, clach dhearbhta, clach-chinn na h-oisinn sàr bhunait: esan a chreideas, cha chuirear gu h-amhluadh e.” Bha comharan na muinntir ’tha air an togail air a bhunait Criosd air an iarruidh; eadar-dhealaichte o na h-uile togail eile, agus cuid de nithe ainmeachadh mar a chaidh a chlach stéidh a dhearbhadh’ (p. 23).

IV. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Bharbhais (pp. 29-33): ‘Tha ann [sic] earrann anns an aon caibdeil deug de’ litir na na [sic] Eabhruidheach, 24, 25, 26. “Tre chreidimh air teachd gu h-aois do Mhaois, dhùilt [sic] e bhi air a gairm [sic] ’na mhac do nighinn Pharaoh,” etc. Bha comharan an fhior-chreidimh air an iarraidh, maille ri cuid de dhearbhaidhean a bha ga ’leantuinn; deallaichte o ’n chreidimh mheallta leis am bheil daoine a’ deanamh aideachaidh air diadhachd’ (p. 29).

V. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Bhac (pp. 34-28): ‘Tha na briathran a thugadh o [sic] mach mar bhònn ceiste, ann an litir nan Ephesionach, i, 7. “Anns am bheil againn saorsa tre fhuil-san, maitheanas nam peacadh a réir saoibhreis a ghràis.” Bha comharan na muinntir aig am beil an t-saorsa so air iarraidh, eadàr-dhealaichte on t-saorsa mheallt a tha cuid a gabhail thuga féin’ (p. 34).

VI. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Uig (pp. 39-43): ‘Tha na biathran [sic] a thugadh a nach [sic] mar bhònn ceiste, ann an soisgeul Eoin. 16, 17. “Oir is toil leis an Athair féin sibh, air son gu’n d thug sibh gràdh dhomh-sa, agus gu’n do chreid sibh gur ann o Dhia a thàinig mi.” Bha air iarraidh, comharan air a mhuinntir aig am bheil fìor ghràdh do Chriosd: eadardhealaicht’ o n’ mhuinntir a tha gabhail orra a bhi gràdhachadh Chriosd, ach a ta air am mealladh’ (p. 39).

VII. Là na Ceist ’an Sgìre Luirg (pp. 44-48): ‘Tha na brithran [sic] a thugadh a mach anns ’n treas cabdeil de ’n t-soisgeul a réir Eoin, rànn 36mh. “An tì a chreideas anns a Mhac tha a’ bheatha mhaireannach aige; ach an tì nach ’eil a creidsinn anns a Mhac cha ’n fhaic a beatha, ach tha fearg Dhé a’ gabhail còmhnuidh air.” Bha comharan, agus toraidhean a’n t-fhior-chreidimh air an iarraidh: eadar-dhealaichte o iomadh coslas, ach nach b e ’m fior-chreideamh’ (p. 44).
Sources The author gives no mention of how the texts were compiled; it may be that they were written down from memory, after each event.
Language The central portions of each chapter are written as though spoken by the several participants. The value of this text lies in the extended passages of religious discourse it contains, in which contemporary Lewis Gaelic is inter-mingled with biblical vocabulary and the conventional terminology of late nineteenth-century Free Church doctrine.

Each chapter introduces several participants ‘speaking to’ a prescribed biblical text. One of the speakers in Chapter I says, ‘Tha na sgriobtuirean ag innseadh dhuinn mu n mhuinntir a tha air an saoradh, agus a’ mhuinntir a tha air am mealladh. Tha dà shearso [sic] gràidh ann, agus dà sheorsa creidimh, etc. Ach ’sann o Chriosd féin a tha gràsan an aitim so; mar tha Pòl ag ràdh; anns am bheil againn Saorsa, agus a ris, anns am bheil againn oighreachd, Oh ciod a dheanamh iad mur biodh cumhachd an Tighearn ni bu treise na cumhachd an nàmhaid!’ (p. 13). In Chapter III, we find ‘Iadsan’ tha ann an Croisd [sic] bha iad marbh ann am peacadh, na ’n clionn [sic] na feirge fo chumhachd a pheacaidh, agus an diabhuil: a gluasad a réir gnàth ’an t-saoghail mar bu mhiann leis an diabhul iad bhi beò, an spiorad a tha nis ag oibreachadh ann an cloinn an h-eas-umhlachd. Mar tha an t-abstol Eoin ag ràdh: Tha ansaoghal [sic] uile na luidhe’ san olc.’ (p. 24).

There are one or two references to the Catholic Church, e.g. ‘Tha na Papanaich a’ creidsinn an t-sagairt, tha an creideamh dall mar a tha iad féin. Ach tha iad so ag amharc air Dia, agus air a chliu ann an sgriobtuiribh an t-seann Tiomnadh, agus an Tiomnadh Nuaidh; a creidsinn neo-chaochluidheachd a gheallaidhean; oir cha n urrainn se e féin aicheadh’ (p. 32).

The text contains a large amount of religious phraseology, such as là ceasnachaidh (p. 8), Focal an Tighearna (p. 8), Suipeir an Tighearn (p. 8), ris an t-Ordugh (p. 8), le bhi cluinntinn nan “Daoin’” ud air là na Ceist (p. 8) and àm Comunnachaidh’ (p. 11).

Interesting conservative forms include a ta (pp. 11, 39) and se e (p. 32).
Orthography In general, the orthography is characteristic of the mid to late nineteenth century. Both accents are used, albeit with many omissions. Of interest are instances of accents placed over originally short vowels which were diphthongised in Lewis Gaelic, e.g. àm (p. 11), b(h)ònn (pp. 34, 39); and over the e of eu, e.g. céud and mhéud (p. 11), bréug (p. 17). Note also Leùdhas (p. 4), which may reflect the diphthongal treatment of the /o:/ of Leòdhas in Lewis Gaelic. This text contains a large number of eccentric spellings. Some of these reflect the writer’s uncertainty as to the norms of Gaelic spelling, e.g. Clarr-Innse (p. 5), fhìrin (p. 11), comharan (p. 11 etc.), deallaichte (p. 29); but there are also many uncorrected printer’s errors.
Edition First edition.
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