DEAN STANLEY AT LLANDAFF CATHEDRAL.|1879-08-16|Pontypool Free Press and Herald of the Hills - Welsh Newspapers Online
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MEETING of TIN-PLATE WORKERS

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DEAN STANLEY AT LLANDAFF CATHEDRAL.

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DEAN STANLEY AT LLANDAFF CATHEDRAL. On Sunday afternoon Llandaff Cathedral was crowded to excess, it having .been announced that the Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster, who is now visiting at Dean Vaughan's, would preach the annual sermon to the 3rd Glamorganshire Artillery Volun- teers, who, to the number of about 300, were under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Hill, in attendance at church parade. The cathedral was literally crammed in every available part, and more than 1,000 per- sons were unable to obtain admission. The Very Rev. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley is the son of the late Dr Stanley, Bishop of Norwich. He be- came Dean of Westminster in 1863. The service was intoned bv the Rev. E. A. Fish- bourne. The first lesson was read by Bishop Perry, and the second by Dean Vaughan, who is chaplain to the corps. The band, placed in the chancel, took part with the organ and choir in a portion of the ser- vice, including the Hallelujah Chorus and On- ward, Christian soldiers." The Dean's text was St. Mark, chap. xv., v. 39—" And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." He said In that dreadful day of the first eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which overwhelmed the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, there stood a Roman sentinel at the gate of the city. Where he stood, helmet on head, lance in hand, there he remained at his post. The last of the terrified inhabitants had fled, showers of ashes descended around him aud en- veloped him in his living tomb, and there, after seventeen centuries had passed away, he was found erect as when he stood at his post on that day of doom, the model of the immovable soldier, faithful to the last. Such a picture is that which the text re- veals to us. Under a darkening sky, and on the reeling earth, amidst the confused wavering to and fro of the vast multitudes on Calvary, we see one figure, firm, unshaken, helmet on head, lance in hand, standing at the foot of the cross-the Roman officer who had the charge of carrying out the sentence to the end. In the silence which followed the last out- cry of & from the Suffering One who hung above him, his words broke in, words from the stern yet generous executioner, words variously reported, but the same in substance. Certainly this was a righteous man." Truly this was the Son of God. That noble profession of arms was the same then as now, with the same temptations to harshness, to frivolity, to vice, but also with the same grand opportunities for purity, for generosity, for courage, for the most absolutely disinterested goodness. In the centurion who stood before Christ, we look at the forerunner of those true-hearted soldiers who have been the glory of Christian Biography. As our hearts glow at his words, we seem to hear individual voices which tell us to read, and to imitate, the fine religious firmness of St. Louis, the Christian soldier of France Gus- tavus Adolphus, the Christian soldier of Sweden of Cromwell's Ironsides, of the chivalrous kindness of Sir Philip Sidney, of the exalted nobleness and purity of Sir William Napier, of the fervent devotion of Colonel Gardiner, Hedley Vicars, and Havelock. The preacher then proceeded to show, by many arguments and historical allusions, how it has fre- quently happened that the apparently weaker side has afterwards proved to be right, and that they who have been the conquerors for the time have often been wrong. The centurion at the foot of the Cross he instanced as an example of a man who did not desert the seeming weaker and ap- parently conquered side to go with the multitude, which is always far easier. He exhorted his hearers to hold to their conviction of what was right without yielding to the temptation to follow popular opinion, no matter what they might have to endure in so doing. In conclusion, he said To every such upright spirit Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, that is to say, what was in itself good yesterday, is good to-day, and will be good for ever, whatever the outside world may say; what was in itself truth yesterday is truth to-day, and will be truth for ever, however I much the judgment of cowards or of fools may i z, have shrunk from avowing it. Whatever is pure and lawful, and of good report, will be found law- ful and of good report through all eternity. Though temptations thicken, and doubts multiply, and sorrows bewilder, hold firm to this belief, and we shall indeed set our backs against the Rock of Ages. Be strong and of good courage, turn not, neither to the right hand nor to the left, for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest.

PIIILANTHROPIC SOCIETY.

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