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Historic Memorials of the First Presbyterian Church Belfast

Preface

THE design of this work is to serve as the record of a congregational history which has extended over the space of two hundred and forty-five years.

During this period, events and changes of an interesting character, and some of public importance, have occurred. They will be found here narrated, it is believed, with accuracy, and, it is hoped, in that spirit of Christian liberality which is not the least valuable fruit of the study of the past.

The immediate occasion of the volume was the occurrence of the Centennial of the erection of the present meeting-house of the congregation -- an event celebrated in the year 1883. The incidents of the celebration tended naturally to revive the memories of an ancient foundation, which, while it has ever held the warm love of those worshipping within its sanctuary, has always retained the respect of those outside.

In the publication of this book, not the least pleasing feature is the presence, upon the list of subscribers, of the names of a large number of honoured friends in no direct connection with the congregation, but willing to show an interest in its historic memorials.

To all who in this or in any other manner have aided the completion of the work, the thanks of the congregation are very heartily tendered.

           

Contents

PAGE
Preface 3
List of Subscribers to the Work 5
Chapter I - What our Religious Community has done for Belfast 9
" II - Historic Landmarks in the Career of our own Congregation 16
" III - How the Doctrines we hold have grown out of the Principles which hold us 26
" IV - What our Religious Life has been and ought to be 40
Roll of Ministers from 1642 to 1887, with Biographical Particulars 53
Baptismal Register from 1757 to 1790 58
Funeral Register, 1712 to 1736 64
Earliest list of Members, 1760 97
Earliest complete list of Constituents, 1775 98
Subscribers to Building Fund, 17-81 99
"The Ladys of Belfast" subscribing for the New Pulpit, 1783 100
Dr. Bruce's MS. list of Members, 1790 101
First printed list of Constituents, 1812 102
Constituents when Rev. J. Scott Porter began Ministry, 1831 103
Constituents when Rev. A. Gordon received Call, 1877 105
Additional Notes as to early Ministers 106
Annals of the Congregation from 1636 to 1886 107
Treasurers, Sextons, Singing-Clerks, Secretaries, Organists 122, 123
Subscribers to "Central Hall," 1883 123
Appendix -- Presentation to Mr. George K. Smith; Centennial Celebration, 1883 127

List of Illustrations

PAGE
WILLIAM BRUCE, D. D. (added by favour of the Misses Bruce) (Frontispiece)
Porch, First Presbyterian Church, with Memorial Tablet to Charles Hamilton (died 1792) 1
Arms of Belfast 9
Arms of Carrickfergus 10
Inscription on Old Plate 13
Trade Tokens 13
Old Psalm Book 14
Fly-leaf Inscription in Psalm Book 14
Old Silver Communion Cups 17
Inscriptions on Cups 18
Exterior, First Presbyterian Church, 1802 20
Gallery and Organ, 1881 21
Pulpit, and Table made from Sounding Board 22
Jeremy Taylor (from an old portrait) 23
James Crombie, D. D. 24
Mural Tablets to Rev. John Scott Porter and Rev. Wm. Bruce, A.B. 25
THOMAS EMLYN (full page) 27
William Ellery Channing 33
Mural Monument to Rev. Wm. Bruce, D.D. 35
Device of Ulster Unitarian Christian Association 35
JOHN SCOTT PORTER (full page) 37
William Bruce, A.B. (by favour of the Misses Bruce) 40
Monument to William Tennent 41
Interior First Presbyterian Church, 1886 42
Mural Monument to John H. Houston 43
Memorial Tablet to Samuel Thomson, M.D. 44
Memorial Tablet to John Martin 45
Vestry 45
Memorial Tablet to Alithea Ferguson 46
Memorial Tablet to Ellen Mercer 47
Memorial Tablet to John and Annabella Riddel 48
MEMORIAL WINDOW TO MICHAEL ANDREWS (full page) 49
Memorial Tablet to R Patterson, F. R. S. 51
Alexander Gordon, M.A. 52
MEMORIAL WINDOW TO SAMUEL MARTIN (full page) 95
MEMORIAL WINDOW TO REV. THOMAS DIX HINCKS, LL.D., M.R.I.A. (full page) 113
MEMORIAL WINDOW TO JOHN GALT SMITH (full page) 119
Exterior, First Presbyterian Church, 1887 124
GEORGE KENNEDY SMITH, photographed by Jas. Magill (full page) 129
MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE, &c., photographed by Jas. Magill (full page) * 131

* KEY :-- F.D. Ward - J.W. Russell - Bowman Malcolm - John Rogers - W.T. Hamilton - J.R. Musgrave - H.F. Thomas Nicholas Oakman

Jas. Carr - Geo. K. Smith - E.J. Harland, Bart. - Fredk. Little - Saml. Riddel - Wm. Spackman.

 

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