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IRISH AFFAIRS.

[From Our Own Correspondent.]

Londonderry, June, 1889. ANNUAL MEETING OK THE SYNODS OE THE CHURCH OE IRELAND AND THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

During this and the preceding month the Synods of the two leading Protestant Churches of this country have been sitting —the one in Dublin and the other in Belfast. The Synod of the Church of Ireland was largely attended. The deliberations throughout were most interesting, and it was presided over by tho Most Rev. Dr Knox, the Lord Primate of Ireland, who, although now in tho fortieth year of his episcopate, is wonderfully hale and hearty, and may bo well termed *‘ that old man eloquent.” In his opening address, which was exceedingly well received, he said: "The Church of Ireland has, in God’s providence, been rehabilitated, and, like its Divine Head, bo it said in all reverence, ‘ has increased in wisdom and stature, and ia favor with God and man.’ ” After referring to tho Lambeth Conference, he alluded to the subject of home reunion, and observed: “Let us by every means in our power, by thought, by word, by deed, cultivate Christian fellowship, brotherly love, and friendly relationships with the Protestant religious bodies now separated from our communion. This is our duty and our privilege as brethren in the fellowship of tho same Gospel, under one shepherd ; but in the language of tho encyclical letter, ‘ we must not be unfaithful stewards of the great deposit entrusted to us; we cannot desert our position either as to faith or discipline ’; or, as the Bishop of Durham says, ‘ wo cannot surrender for any immediate advantages the threefold ministry which wc have inherited from apostolic times, and which is the historic backbone of our church.’ ” The Primate went on to say : “ I believe that those who read the same Bible, preach the same word, hold the same Catholic faith, will be found far more useful, far more inlluential in promoting pure religion, holy morals, and brotherly concord, when walking side by side in parallel lines, than any union, which to be lasting would require on the part of the religious bodies now separated from us a surrender on their part of their cherished principles ; on our part, a watering down of our Scriptural ordinal to meet their requirement.” The report of the representative church body to the General Synod was of a more hopeful and encouraging character than the one published last year, It shows that the church has participated in the beneficial results of the improved state of the country. There were gloomy misgivings expressed in the eighteenth annual report which are not to found in the nineteenth. The interest on investments during the year amounted to L 290,500 2s 3d ; the total assets of the church amount to L 7,358,730 Gs Bd. The voluntary contributions during the year 1888, which amounted to L 148.350, show an increase of LI 1,417 15s 8J over those of the preceding year. It is to he remembered, however, that those of 1887 were the smallest yet received, tho average of the previous ten years having been L1GG,640 IGs 4d ; so that there is still a large deficieqgy to make up. Everything considered, it isk fact which redounds to tho honor of the laity that the voluntary contributions which have been received since disestablishment make a grand total of more than three millions and a-ha1f—L3,562,455 14s 7d. The annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, as I have already stated, has also been held, tho outgoing moderator being tho Rev, R. J. Lynd, D.D., who was most popular during his year of office ; and tho onu appointed for tho coming year is the Rev. W. Clarke, M.A., Bangor. The Rev. Thomas Lyle presented to the Assembly the financial report, which stated that there is invested in behalf of the various interests of the Presbyterian Church L 980,947, being an increase of L 23.306 during tho year. The total income of the church for tho year 1888-89 from investments was L 30.286; from donations and bequests, L 10,109 ; and from congregational funds, LI 08,287 ; total, L214.682—an increase of L9.57G. The increase in the eo-.gregational funds alone was L 7.061, and this advance is found in every department of congregational finance. For four consecutive years an increase has been reported in tho number of families connected with the congregations of tho Assembly. At one of tho evening sederunts of the Assembly a deputation from the Church of Scotland exchanged fraternal greetings with their brethren, and the Moderator, in addressing them, used words which certainly were outspoken, and had a very loyal, unionist, and patriotic ring about them. Ho said: “Brethren, the only thing in which we find you wanting, and that pains and disappoints us is that so many of you across the Channel should prove, at such a crisis of our history and this united Empire, more faithful to political than ecclesiastical traditions, and that you should seem to have forgotten ‘ that blood ia thicker than water.’ Should auld acquaintance bo forgot, And never brought to min’ ? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o’ auld lang syne ? Brothers should bo brothers everywhere. It is to us strange, astonishing, incomprehensible how you can desert your own kith and kin, your co religionists of the same faith, in this the time of our greatest need. Wherein have we transgressed that the cry has gone forth through Scotland that rung the welkin in patriarchal times: ‘Every man to his tent, 0 Israel.’ . . . But what we do not want and will not have is the Parnellite-Gladstonian Home Rule for Ireland. If you have time to spare wo would advise you to spend a month in our green isle, which vies in beauty with the loveliest spots of your Caledonia.”— (Applause.) VISIT OF PRINCE ALBERT VICTOR TO BELFAST. Belfast has not only been honored by the meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in it. but also by a visit at the end of May of His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor, who received a most enthusiastic reception from the inhabitants. He was presented with an address by tho Harbor Commissioners on the morning of his arrival, and afterwards proceeded to open the Alexandria graving dock, one of the largest in the world, the first sod of vybich w'as cut by the Princess of Wales on

the occasion of the last royal visit to Ireland four years ago. His Royal Highness made exhaustive inquiries concern* log the progress of the city in recent years, and wonderful indeed are the strides it has made. In 1831 the population was 48,224 ; in 1886 - a little more than fifty years later —it stood at 230,000. In the twenty years between 1831 and 1851 it more than doubled, and in the twenty years following 1851 it almost doubled again. At present it reaches a total of almost a quarter of a million. The valuation of the city has gone on increasing from year to year, until it now surpasses that of Dublin itself. Xu 1861 the valuation of the rateable property was returned at L 270,930; in 1875 it rose to L 476.084 ; and in 1888 it had advanced to L 639.877. These figures supply proof of progress far exceeding that of any other city or town in Ireland, and comparing favorably with the growth of any commercial centre within tho bounds of Her Majesty’s wide possessions. THE BALLYMENA TRAGEDY ASH THE APALLING RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT ARMAGH. While our Christian churches are doing their work here—and earnestly and faithfully is it being done, I fully believe—while there arc on all hands evident signs and tokens of returning prosperity—and while Royalty comes and goes, yet our Emerald Isle is not without its share of the wofuland tragical. Just a few weeks since a terrible suicide and murder were committed at Ballymena, County Antrim, tho murderer being a bank accountant and the victim the manager of the Provincial Bank of the place. It appears that for some time a difference of opinion had existed between the manager, Mr Lawlor, and tho accountant, Mr Edward Murray. In consequence of this the manager wished to have the accountant transferred to another branch of the bank, and Mr Murray strongly objected to leave the town. On tho day of the fatal occurrence nothing very particular passed between the two gentlemen ; but in the evening, after bank hours, Mr Lawlor, as his custom was, happened to walk oat into the suburbs where the accountant resided. When Mi Lawlor reached Mr Murray’s house the accountant was engaged in conversation with his wife, to whom he abruptly turned and said “ That’s a man I’il shoot.” Taking down a double-barrelled gun, he began at once, in the sight of some people, to charge it with powder and bullets. In the meantime his wife ran to a house adjacent to apprise a gentleman connected with another bank in Ballymena, but before he arrived on tho scene Mr Murray had discharged one of the barrels of tho gun Into tho head of Mr Lawlor, who at once fell lifeless on the road. Immediately afterwards and before .the help which had been summoned could reach tho spot, the murderer turned tho muzzle of the fowling piece to his head, and with the contents of the remaining barrel blew out his own brains! When Mrs Murray and the others returned they found the two men lying dead on the road, about ten yards apart, Both of the deceased were married, and the tragic occurrence, as it may be well termed, produced at the time an immense sensation in Ballymena and surrounding district; and, indeed, throughout tho whole of the North of Ireland, where tho two gentlemen were well known and highly esteemed by large circles of friends and acquaintances. A great thinker has said: When sorrows oouie, they coma not s'ng'.e spies,

hut in battalions. And so, following almost on the heels of this awful tragedy in Ballymena, and the heartrending disaster in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., where If,ooo precious lives were lost, and among whom were, we have reason to believe, many near and dear to us in Ireland, who had in past years emigrated to that State, there came, as the climax of our sorrows, tho sad railway disaster at Armagh, which has sent a thrill of sorrow and anguish throughout the length and breadth of Great Britain and Ireland.

As tn the present state of Ireland generally, I am glad to be able to say it is most satisfactory. In County Donegal the people arc returning to their sober senses, and quietly settling down to their agricultural and other vocations.

The crops are coming on splendily, and everywhere you travel you see promises and indications of such a harvest as we have not had in this island for many years ; and the weather is so fine that if you ever have it better during any of your summer months in New Zealand you must be living in a perfect earthly paradise. Never in my memory were cattle bo high in price as at present. It is almost enough to make “ the teeth w r ator,” as the saying is, of some of your large, genial, and truly hospitable station-masters (your correspondent has a grateful recollection of their hospitality) to hear of LlO, and even Ll2, being obtained here ia recent fairs for good year old heifers.

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Bibliographic details

IRISH AFFAIRS., Evening Star, Issue 7994, 24 August 1889, Supplement

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IRISH AFFAIRS. Evening Star, Issue 7994, 24 August 1889, Supplement

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