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Clydach- Vale.




Penygraig. On Tuesday evening a lecture was delivered on Welsh Nonconformity" by the Rev. Hugh Jones, D.D., Bangor, at Seion Welsh Wesleyan Chapel, Peny- graig. Owing to the unavoidable absence of Dr. E. N, Davies, Grovefield, the chair was taken by the Rev, A. C. Pearce. The lecturer, in his opening remarks, traced the origin of the term Nonconformist, and how people known by that name are really sprung from the Puritans of the Middle Ages. Those people who refused to carry out the provisions of the Act of Uniformity were called Nonconformists, the word gradually widening in meaning until it now embraces the chief denomina- tions of the country except the Church of England. The speaker then proceeded to show that the State had a, right to control to some extent the Established Church, inasmuch as the State had given it existence and its faith.- The Free Churches, on the other hand, formed their own beliefs and laws, and the State had no right to interfere. Towards the and of the 16th Century and the begin- ning: of the, 17th, the religious aspect of the country was a very poor one. Very few people attended the churches, and many plans were devised to improve mat- ters. One plan was the publishing of the Book of Sport by Bishop Mortem of Ches- ter. This received the King's seal, and had, therefore, to be carried into effect. According to its provisions, all except Roman Catholics who had attended the whole of the church service were allowed to participate in dancing, leaping and wrestling games and displays at the end. Some of the clergy objected to these practices, and Archbishop Abbot, the Primate, who ought to punish them for their action in doing so, condoned their offences. However, at the later period, when Charles II. became king, those of the clergy who refused to carry out the principles of the book were punished, and thus many of the most conscientious lost their living and were thus outside the church. These people expelled in this manner were among the first Noncon- formists. After the Civil War, and during Cromwell's Protectorate, matters in these connections improved to some extent, and great things were expected when Charles II. ascended the throne in 1660. However, these expectations were not realised, because of the passing of the Act of Uniformity. The Five Mile Act and the Conventicle Act resulted in a greater persecution of the clergy than ever before. These, however, greatly assisted the growth of Nonconformity in- directly, and the movement began to assume an influential position in the country. In later times the growth was still more marked, and under the leader- ship of such men as Howell Harries, Daniel Rowlands, William Williams (Pantycelyn), Thomas Charles and John Bryan, the Nonconformists have assumed such a position that they may now be con- sidered to be the strongest religious body in the land. The subject was dealt with in a most interesting manner, and every- one present seemed very pleased with the lecture. A vote of thanks to the lecturer terminated the meeting. FOR Genera] Printing in an attractive and artistic manner, go to Evans and Short, Printers. Howard Street Treorchy. Printers. Howard Street Treorchy. T. Jones, Tailor, Paris House, Tony- pandy. Grand Selection of patterns in Men's Suits and Ladies' Costumes, 2096






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