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The Christian zeal and devotion of the founders of the primitive church in Ireland were only equaled by the great sacrifices and sufferings; endured alike by priests and people, during the fierce and bloody persecutions inaugurated by the Reformers under the sacred garb of religion.
The fanatical followers of Mohammed propagated the doctrines of the Koran by the sword; but the Reformers, bloodier far, prostituted the name of religion, and glorified the sacred name of God with their lips, while they butchered his faithful ministers and people, or tortured them in mockery and sport.
The persecution, which commenced under Henry, in the early part of the sixteenth century, gradually increased in intensity and cruelty, until it culminated in the middle of the seventeenth, in the most bloody and exterminating scenes on record.
England readily embraced Protestantism, Ireland remained Catholic; hence, the war of supremacy and conquest carried on by the former was intensified by all the acerbity of religious hate and fanaticism; and though the roll of those who suffered death for the faith might be said to close with 1745, still the persecutions for religion's sake have come down to our own days.
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