EVENT MARKING THE DEATH OF LORD CARSON. 22/10/2012 @ Martyrs’ Memorial Free Presbyterian Church Carson Memorial Stone.
WELCOME:The Lord Bannside
Today we have gathered in solemn remembrance of the life of Lord Carson whose eternal life began 77years ago to this day.
I welcome you to this intimate yet most important event in this Ulster Covenant centenary year.
We each represent various strands of Ulster life, strands that have been preserved to this day in Ulster because of the vision and life’s work of the man we today remember.
*The Orange Order is represented by our friend the Deputy Grand Master, Alistair Smyth, minister of Carryduff Presbyterian Church, the Grand Master himself being already committed to another engagement.
*The Northern Ireland Assembly is represented by the Speaker, Mr William Hay.
*The House of Commons is represented by the Member for North Antrim and the Lords by my wife’s husband!
*The Somme Association is represented by Dr Ian Adamson a former Lord Mayor and High Sheriff of our city.
And, the Deputy Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, Rev Smylie has also joined us.
I am also pleased to welcome the BBC and am grateful for their interest in recording this tribute to Lord Carson.
Scripture reading by Ian Paisley jr – Psalm 121.
Lord Carson’s testimony – Lord Bannside
Wreath laid by Deputy Grand Master Rev Alistair Smyth.
Reading of Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant by Ian Adamson.
Closing prayer – Rev Smylie.
TRIBUTE TO LORD CARSON BY LORD BANNSIDE
Lord Carson was a gift from the Almighty to our beloved Province!
Much has been written and debated concerning his political stand but I want to draw your attention to his spiritual standing.
Edward Carson had a godly Mother.
The value of a home where God’s commandments take precedence is without price.
It seems initially the young Edward wasn’t ready to be submissive to the Divine!
However, as time progressed, a colleague of Carson’s at the Irish Bar exercised godly influence over him. His name was James Shannon and he was called to the bar at the same time as Carson.
Shannon took seriously ill with diphtheria and his dying exhortation to his friend was “Give up the world, Ned, and meet me in heaven.”
James Sharman’s wife died a few days after him and the loss of these dear friends, combined with the example James had been to him, spoke deeply and remarkably to Sir Edward.
The life-changing effect this had upon him was recorded by a visitor he had in the person of Dr D’Arcy, the evangelical Archbishop of Armagh.
To him Carson made this witness:
“In my life I have seen much to shake my faith, and what remains with me is no more than I learned at my Mother’s knee, that ‘God so loved the world He sent His only Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life’, is this enough?”
Dr D’Arcy’s reply was, “It is enough.”
In the fall of the leaf on 22ndof October 1935, Edward Carson’s real life began in the eternal home of God where he would be reunited with his beloved Mother who has in his formative years taught him of Christ.
Justice, fidelity and compassion are the outworking of the Ten Commandments in a mature life, the proof of the pudding, so to speak!
They are qualities necessary to leadership.
They are the qualities our forefathers recognised in Edward Carson.
And, this morning, 77 years to the day when Lord Carson of Duncairn met his Saviour face to face, it is these qualities we honour most in his life.