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Foreign Language -Schools — Doonbristy – Downpatrick Head-Stations—Bealderig Coast and School -Foundation-stone of the First Mission Church laid
- Dromore West — Schools — Interesting FamilyDeath of Two Sisters—Backslider awakened-Lough Conn-Castlebar-Preached to the Scots GreysTurlough-Reek-Stations at Bal— Round TowerGeorge Robert Fitzgerald-Careless ScotchmanStraid Abbey – Foxford — Contemplated Model Farm-Roscommon County-Camlin Station-First Dispensation of the Communion in the Presbyterian Form in Boyle-Sabbath Desecration-ClogherTaking the Bull by the Horns-Boyle
ings of the Fishmonger Corporation-Coleraine-
nected with its Popery-Character and Statistics of
A MONTH'S VISIT
CONNAUGHT AND ITS MISSION STATIONS.
JOURNEY TO CONNAUGHT.
Carrickfergus-Blair of Bangor-Cunningham of Hollywood
Livingstone of Killinchie, Armagh-Archbishop Usher_Enniskillen-Ex-chancellor Plunkett.
Many hallowed historical associations crowd upon the mind of the Scottish visitant as he wanders in the North of Ireland. It was to these northern parts, when they were as neglected as are the wilds of Connaught now, that pious Scotchmen, driven from their country by prelatic persecution, fled; and the labours of these men, owned of God, were the first means of making Ulster what she is—a thriving and happy province in the midst of a miserable land -and the memorial of these men still outlives the lapse of many centuries.
“ Their names are deathless, though their dust is dead.” With the view of seeing where infant Presbyterianism was cradled in Ireland, I visited Carrickfergus. In this little seaport did the ministers, who had been deposed by Leslie for non-conformity, meet in 1642. They constituted themselves into a court of Christ's Church, and took counsel together regarding future prospects and proceedings. Under the shadow of the venerable castle of Carrickfergus, on a summer afternoon in 1690, did William III., the assertor of Protestantism, land. In vain did we look for the stone on which he first placed his foot, and which is said to bear, as commemorative of that event, a mark the size of a footprint. Across the waters of the Lough is seen the little town of Bangor. This town enjoyed in 1623 the ministrations of the distinguished Mr Robert Blair. “I will adventure on the Lord,” was the noble sentiment to which this good man gave utterance, when conversing with a fellow-regent regarding the trials of his troublous times; and it was this high-born principle which comforted him when he was thrust from the work of the ministry, which was his delight, and when he was chased from place to place, until wasted with heaviness and sorrow for the injuries done to the Lord's prerogative, interest, and cause, Fife afforded him a grave in August 1666. The following curious incident is related regarding Mr Blair's ordination at Bangor. He went to the bishop and
told him, that ordination by the hands of one man did not accord with his principles as a Presbyterian. The bishop knowing well his great talents and piety, replied, “Whatever you account of Episcopacy, yet I know that you account Presbytery to have a divine warrant. You may receive ordination from Mr Cunningham and the adjacent brethren, and I will come in among them in no other relation than a Presbyter.” Such doings, strange as they may seem to a modern Episcopalian, were not uncommon in those days, for Mr John Livingstune relates a similar occurrence in his own case.
Farther up the Lough stands the smiling village of Hollywood, the scene of the labours of Mr Robert Cunningham. Cunningham was the companion of Blair and Livingstone, and was equally revered and beloved by both. Blair, speaking one time to the Bishop of Down, said—“You may do to me and some others as you please, but if ever you meddle with Mr Cunningham, your cup will be full.” And Livingstone in his memorable characteristics has this note regarding him,—“He was the one man to my discerping of all that ever I saw, who resembled most the meekness of Jesus Christ in all his whole carriage.” “I was with him,” continues Livingstone, “when he died at Irvine in 1637, at which time, beside many other gracious expressions, he
said, 'I see Christ standing over Death's head, and saying, deal warily with my servant.”
Fain would we have visited Killinchie, for it was in that parish, sweetly situated on the banks of Lough Strangford, that Livingstone put forth the first fresh efforts of his ministry. Here he prayed, and studied, and preached, faithfully fulfilling the duties of his high calling. Nor was it labour in vain. “We had,” says he," the public worship, free of any inventions of man. I do not think there were more lively and experienced Christians any where, than were these at that time in Ireland, and that in good numbers, and many of them persons of a good outward condition in the world. In these days it was no great difficulty for a minister to preach or pray in public or private, such was the hunger of the hearers ; and it was hard to judge whether there was more of the Lord's presence in the public or private meetings.”
Longer we may not linger among these pleasant reminiscences of the past, although no introduction is more suitable to the notices of Missionary labours which we are now to give. It is the same spirit of prayerful devotedness which lived in the worthies of the seventeenth century, which we believe is at present pervading the Irish Mission; it is the same yospel which liveth and endureth for ever, on which