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Boulger, Edward Vaughan (1846–1910)

from Advocate (Melbourne)

There passed away last week at St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, a very interesting convert to the Catholic Church, Edward Vaughan Boulger, Litt. D., Trinity College, Dublin. A native of Galway, Ireland, a student subsequently of Trinity College, Dublin, where his course was unrivalled for brilliancy. Dr. Boulger passed on to the German Universities, where he engaged in oriental studies. On his return he was made Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity. A Bohemian in spirit, he emigrated to Australia, and was appointed to the chairs of mental philosophy and history in the Adelaide University. Always of a restless disposition, he came on to Melbourne and Sydney, and plunged into journalism, but was eventually made Professor of Classics and English literature at the Loreto Training College at Albert Park, Melbourne, which position he held till his death. Before he came to Melbourne, he had drifted away from Protestantism, and had become a Pantheist. Singular to say, his study of the Pagan classics, of which he was fond, had kept the flame of religion alive in his breast. This is peculiar, as it is generally supposed to have the opposite effect. But he always said that the deep religious feeling of the creations of Virgil and Homer left an indelible impression on his mind, and prevented him from becoming an atheist. Then, as he taught history, and read the productions of the middle ages in the originals, the majestic figure of the Catholic Church through all the ages bore in upon his mind, the conviction that if any form of Christianity were true, it was the Catholic Church. Singular also to say, it was the study of Tertullian's "Apology"—a work in which the pagan systems of antiquity are shattered, and the truth of Christianity demonstrated, that finally determined him to make his submission to the Church. His retiring disposition and studious habits made him lead a very quiet life as a Catholic, attending daily Mass when he could, and frequently approaching the Holy Table. When the malady that ended his life laid him low, he was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital, where, fortified by all the last rites of the Church, and consoled by the loving care of the sisters and nurses, he breathed his last. The funeral left St. Brigid's Church, North Fitzroy, on the 12th inst., after the absolution at the Catafalque had been pronounced, and the school children had sung a dirge over his remains.

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'Boulger, Edward Vaughan (1846–1910)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/boulger-edward-vaughan-3030/text37266, accessed 11 August 2020.

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