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Family Notices


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-_---------WORKING PEOPLE…


WORKING PEOPLE AND CHURCH ATTENDANCE. THE address delivered by the R;Jv. S. Row- LAND-JoNES, Vicar of Glyntaff; at a ruri- decanal meeting held at Ystrad last Tuesday, dwelt upon a subject which has pressed sorely upon the ministers of all denominations for a long time. "How best to secure the at- tendance of our working peculation on the ministration of the Church" was his theme, and from a clerical and Christian point of view it is a very important one. It is of more importance in England, how- ever, than in Wa!es. The work- ing people in Wales may not be present in great force at the religious tAe ..l1al& R J1fW¡ that they are to be found in very large numbers in the various places of worshiD throughout the Principality. In England it is otherwise. It is a wiclelv-acknowled(;-ed fact that in England an enormous per centage of working people attend no place of worship at aH, and many overtures have been made within the last twenty years to prevail upon them to come "within the fold." We Lave ourselves never felt satisned that this question has been thoroughly handled. It is a well-known fact that working people are the majority of the population, and, therefore, if they were to absent, themselves from Sunday ordinances in the same proportion as trades- men and aristocrats, the absentees would necessarily form a great multitude. Can any- one tell us in what proportion the nobUity and the aristocracy attend a place of wor- ship ? It is usHaIIy taken for granted that persons of quality need no looking after. The city missionary is never to be seen at their doors. The tract-distribu- tor ta..e3 for granted that a word in season would always be out of season where they are concerned. It seems to be generally admitted that to meddle with their spiritual affairs would be personalty offensive, but that there can be nothing offensive in accosting a working. man, and putting very delicate questions to him. Here we meet, at the very outset, with a distinction which working people are not so blind as not to recognise and even resent. It is but natural for a worl.:ing man to consider his religious beliefs and opinions and his moral and social life to be as much his own and as sacred as those of a peer or a prince. Working people would not resent this interference to any o-reat extent if ministers, %missionaries, and others made a point of putting all ranks on 1. perfect equality in their dealing with them, but it is not reasonable to expect them to mbnut to be treated in an exceptionally is it they were not t; of like passions with )ther men, and as sensitive as their richer "'L. 'I. Ut:It;l1UOurs. The minister or missionary who has not the courage to waylay and question or exhort a nobleman or a man occupying a high social position, has no right to tackle" a working man. Of course we make allowance for un- ] educated ministers and Christian teachers. Such men may shrink from ad. dressing a person in a high position, not from want of courage, but because he feels himself incompetent. Even this, however would not have weighed with an apostle. There is no dimculty in persuading working people to attend political meetings, and for that reason some are of opinion that such persons are more deeply interested in politi- cal than in religious questions. We are not quite so sure of that. It must be remem- bered that in political matters all men are treated alike and on the same level. It is not taken for granted that Lord BEACONSFIELD, being an illustrious personage, needs no looking after, no political tract or pamphlet. When a general election is approaching the canvasser b does not pass by the rich man's costly man- sion, and knock only at the door of the humble cottager. Far from tbis-all social distinctions are set aside, and rich and poor are subjected to the san:e delicate or indeli- cate supervision. Then, again, there is another point to be considered. Mr JoHN BRIGHT was severely censured not long aco for an observation made in the House of Commons which undoubtedly contains an enormous amount of truth. He stated that working men as a rule pro- fessed as much Christianity as the upper classes practised. It was to be expected that such a remark would create a storm of indignation, but we believe the offence, if there was any, consisted in making the statement, in speaking it out, instead of merely believing and thinking it. We will not take it upon ourselves to judge others so far as to say that the upper classes carry most of their Christianity on their tongues and ceremonies; but we utterly refnse to admit that, ao far as sound religious practice goes, working men are worse than the upper classes. Men who are religious on Sundays only, have not much to he proud of; and ministers and other workers in the Church will 6nd the attitude of the working classes materially altered when regular Church-goers display as much real Christianity on Mondays as they do on Sundays. It would be well also if religious reformers would bear in mind that working people can never reliah being spoken to on Sundays as "brethren" and "sisters," and even "dearly beloved brethren," by persona who would think it an act of great condescension to take any notice, not to say friendly notice, of them on a week day. A brother in a fustian jacket cannot relish being passed by as if he were an unclean beast.

-----------SHORT AND EASY…