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0. (PEB P&EBS i SSOOIATIOir ) Tourisfc Agency. Auckland, November 20. Oook and Son'a Toarlst Ageaoy offioe In Victoria Arc&do was forma] y opened at ooon to-day. Mr B, E. Bllbrougb, (he manager for New Zealand, invited an assemblage of citizens to oake and wine m the office, which was handsomely famished. Mr Biibrongh gave a cketoh of the operations of the fiim since its foundation, and detallrd the steps of the founding of the New Zealand agency. They had not yet persuaded the New Zealand Government to grant a commission on the looal traffic, bet he said the firm's operations would undoubtedly lead to a greatly increa ed treffio on the Government railways. " Saooess to Oook and Son's venture "' ptib proposed by M«r G. P. Pierce, manager of the New Zaaltnd Insurance Company, and responded to by Mr Akin Ellggins, general manager for Australasia. The Maori Will Case. Wellington, November 20. In the Appeal Court argument m the irlll case was resumed by Mr Harper, who tontended that the weight of evidence showed the documents to be a testamentary leposltlon of Renata's property on Airinl md her kinsfolk to the exclusion of Broughton and an entire revocation of the oncer will. He submitted that tho word t( Wirl " m the dooament ment that all testator's property be willed to Alrinl and her peopled Mr Harper finished thla morning and Mr Chapman follows. Thunderstorm. Ohbistohubch. November 20. A very levere thunderstorm with heavy ball was experienced In Btnglora this morning. Hail also fell m Ohrlstchurch with peals of distant thunder. Sailed. (Umartt, November 20 Sailed— Opawa, ship, Captain Hammin, with a cargo of mutton, wool and sundries for London. Protestant Institute. Dunedin, November 20. A Protestant institute has been started here, its objects being to propagate and defend the Protestant doctrines, maintain the principles of civil and religions liberty, unite Protestants of all denominations In one common cause against popery and Infidelity, promote the return of Protestant men of prlnolple to Parliament to press the claims of the Bible on public recognition and to resist whatever tends to religions Inequality. THE DEOEABED WIFE'S SISTER QUESTION. A recebt item of cable news which informed us that the English Court of Divorce and Matrimonial causes had, on the application of a wife, declared her marriage with the husband of her deceased oister null and void brings into prominence the anomalous condition oi the law as relating to such marriages. In Canada, at the Cape, m all the Australian colonies and m New Zealand— m fact we believe m almost every part of the British dominions save the United Kingdom itself — such a marriage is perfectly lawful and binding, and it is nothing short of marvellous that the reform which has been wrought m all or nearly all her dependencies should m the Mother country yet remain to be accomplished. The ''House of Commons has many times passed the necessary Bill, and it has only been prevented from becoming law by the determined and bigoted opposition of the Bench of Bishops. Not that all the Lords spiritual oppose the Bill, yet a large majority of them do so, and that majority has always hitherto been sufficient to defeat it, though m recent years, but narrowly. This persis tent opposition is very remarkable, especially m these days of enlightenment, and goes to show the intense conservatism of the ecclesiastical mind. That is to say, m the Church of England, for among Non-conformists of all shades of religious belief, there appears to be a general consensus of opinion m favor of legalising marriage with a deceased wife's sister. In proof of this we may point to the fact that the " Daily Newß" of the 6th of last month contains a protest against the continued obstruction to the reform oi the marriage laws m this particular direction signed by no less than 150 eminent Non-conformists including, besides sixteen prominent Quakers, among whom there exists no presidential office, the Presidents and ex-President* of the Baptists, Calviniatic Methodists Congregationalists, New Connexioi Methodists, Primitive Methodists Unitarians, United Methodist Fre< Churches, and Wesleyans. That pro* test is m the form of a Declaration th< text of which is as follows :— " Fiv< years ago a petition to Parliament ii favor of permitting marriage with i deceased wife's sister was signed bj 8000 Non-conformjot ministers of £ng/ if

*and and Wales. In the present year i the leading bodies of Dissenters have, besides, passed resolutions strongly condemning the restriction on snch marriages, and within the past few weeks a measure, supported on many former occasions m the House of Commons and re-introdaced with the object of removing this restriction, h»s again been carried, receiving a much greater vote than on any previous occasion during a Conservative Government. The undersigned therefore deem the present a suitable opportunity for re-affirming their adherence to principles which have always governed the attitude of the Non-conformist Churches of England and Wales m relation to this question, and for recording a further protest against the continuance of the existing law." Among the names appended to the foregoing we notice those of the Revds Newman Hall, C. H. Spurgeon, and other prominent divines, besidei a long array of Doctors of Divinity ; strong evidence, if evidence were needed, m favor of the scriptural lawfulness of marriage with a deceased wife'B Bister, inasmuch us a large number of eminent theologians, of whose soundness as ministers of the Gospel there is no question, find nothing m Holy Writ which justifies the prohibition contained m the preßent law. The " Daily News " referring to the memorial says : — "When we find 150 Nonconformist leaders protesting against a continuance of the present law ; when we find the Lambeth Conference silent upon a subject upon which it was too clear that the Colonial and American Bishops could not support the action of the Church' of England at Home, it is vain to plead that the interests of religion , and morality justify the action of the House of Lords majority . The injustice and the scandal caused by the refusal of the State to sanction marriages which are held good m so many parts of the Empire have been repeatedly demonstrated. The present virtually unanimous protest of the Nonconformists ought to have some weight with the obstructive House of Lords. Even supposing that Churchmen were unanimous m their opposition to this measure, we do not see how m face of this Nonconformist protest, the continued resistance to the Bill could be justified without acknowledging the domination of one Church m the State, a principle which is wholly alien to the toleration of modern times." That the effort to assimilate the law of the Mother Country m this matter to the. law as obtaining throughout the rest of the Queen's dominions will bo persisted m until that effort is crowned with success there can be no manner of doubt, and the signs of the times indicate that that success cannot be much longer delayed. In point of fact victory was all but achieved five years ago, when the second reading of the Bill was carried (for the first time, we think) m the House of Lords by 165 votes to 158, the measure being only defeated, after a whip up, on th*e third reading by the narrow majority of five. In the present year the second reading was carried m the Commons by 239 to 182 — the largest majority ever recorded for it under a Conservative Government. Not a single Welsh member voted against it on that occasion, and of the Scotch members 53 are known to be m favor of the Bill, while there are only 18 of the opposite opinion, and when it is remembered that Royalty favors the measure, and that the weight of Nonconformist opinion is now shown to be on the same side, it will at once be seen that its final passage ib certain to eventuate at no distant date.

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TO-DAY'S TELEGRAMS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 20 November 1888

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TO-DAY'S TELEGRAMS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 20 November 1888