The ancient parish churchyard of Dunluce on the North Antrim coast
John Cameron is a name which I suspect is not widely known today. He was the minister of Dunluce Presbyterian Church for around 45 years but his career was quite richly textured. Born in Edinburgh and educated at the university there he came to Ulster as a missionary of the Reformed Presbytery but he was offered and accepted the ministry of the new Presbyterian Church at Dunluce in 1755. In time he was the moderator of the Synod of Ulster but he also became a Non-Subscriber, following the ideas on original sin of John Taylor of Norwich, becoming a correspondent of Joseph Priestley and opening up dialogue with the Presbytery of Antrim. His main theological work was published nearly thirty years after his death and edited by a Non-Subscribing Presbyterian minister. The history and connections of the Rev John Cameron are traced in today’s service.
The full elegy can be heard in the service but the Rev George Hill wrote ‘Lines written at the grave of Cameron’ in 1837 of which this is an extract:
Peace to the gentle but undaunted spirit
That shrunk not from the side of simple truth,
When multitudes were leagued to quench her life,
And Priests betrayed, or traded with her name!
In this lone region, ‘mid surrounding gloom,
One “shining light” arose, one voice was heard
Re-echoing the words which Jesus spake,
Asserting the grand doctrine which all time
and nature, and religion have averred –
One God the Father, merciful and just,
One God in all, through all the universe
Dunluce Presbyterian Church today
The service can be seen in the above video which is filmed in Ballee, Dunmurry and Dunluce. The organist is John Strain who plays the hymns Be still for the presence of the Lord and There’s a wideness in God’s mercy on the organ at Ballee.
Time for a Story: Slow and Steady
This week’s Time for a Story tells the story from Aesop’s Fables of the Tortoise and the Hare. With animation by InkLightning, special music and illustrations you can see the story, told by Sue Steers, by clicking on the above link.
Fable of The Hare and the Tortoise; hare at left, facing a tortoise in a field, a fox standing by; in an oval, within rectangle; illustration to the ‘The Fables of Æsop, and Others’ (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1818, p.221); after Thomas Bewick; proof, this state probably 1823.Wood-engraving, printed on light tawny India paper. © The Trustees of the British Museum