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TALKS ON WELSH TOPICS. [BY J. YOUXC; EVAXS. CORPUS CHRISTI COL- LEGE. OXFORD.] CHAPTER IlL-On: SYLLABUS. In some respects, it is a highly dangerous pro- ceeding to issue a syllabus of articles which arc to appear serially in a newspaper. The writer may discover, when too late, that he ought to have attended to the warnings conveyed in the parables of the king who went to war without previously reviewing his forces, and of the builder who proceeded to work without first reckoning the cost. Moreover, hinting at the specific topics to be treated, is somewhat like prefacing a novel with an outline of the plot a very effective way. undoubtedly, to relieve the reader of any further interest in the story. And lastly, from a polemical point of view—and innocuous as my treatment of the subjects will be. I cannot hope to avoid col- lisions with somebody or other—the writer is in danger of showing his hand, and thus showing himself a poor strategist. What justification can I. therefore, claim for a course fraught with a triple evil.' Well. this chapter is. as a theologian would say, apologetic, and not dogmatic. Indeed, throughout the series. I shall not attempt to dogmatise at all. but merely to throw out a few suggestions on subjects which do not appear to me to receive a due share of no- tice. And. in the case of these, my hope is to elicit the opinions of persons more qualified than myself, by experience and position. Xor shall I attempt to evolve a logical order of topics. Such a policy would be difficult to carry out systemati- cally. and would give the series an appearance of formality and rigidity which should be above all things avoided in a popular discussion. One of the many critics of a certain Welsh so- ciety in Oxford alluded to the members, some time ago. as a clique of young men under the delusion that they were entrusted with the mission of regenerating Wales. It b not my place to praise the society in question, and it seems likely that the Mark Antony who shall come to bury it will not be pressed for time to compose the funeral oration. So far as I know, no member has. as a matter of fact, put forth any proposals for re- generating his country. All that some of the members have in their individual capacity con- tributed to the discussion of current questions, has been educational or literary matter. But I am not now called upon to refute a calumny, and I have only mentioned this typical reference to some of the Oxford Welsh because it is an acknow- legment of the existence of a new factor of the national movement. A very happy phase of the work of the present awakening is the great division of labour which has been almost automati- cally evolved, and the various departments work in an ever increasing harmony. Politicians and preachers, journalists and councillors, we have never wanted for. But it is. I think, within the present decade only that an interest in the educational prosperity of the country has been. I dc not say merely evince d. by persons still re- ceiving their own education, but actually made operative upon the thought of the community. For my own part, comparing the importance attached by the elsh press and platforms to University matters now-a-days. with the rare and scanty references to Oxford and Cambridge when I was at school. I cannot help lamenting—although the interval has been but short—that I was one born out of due time. To this university movement the name Philoxonism has been given, a term whose use may be justified by necessity, and whose form is based on the anology of words like Phil-Hellenism (love of Greece), etc. This will be the first topic we shall discuss, and so far as possible, we shall en- deavour to trace its rapid growth within the last few years. Not entirely unconnected with Philoxonism is the perplexed question of Non- conformity and Athletics." a problem which cer- tainly exemplifies the manner in which the dis- cussion of matters like athletics, which at first sight appear equally indifferent both to religion and to its opposite, are involved with sectarian considerations, prejudices, and traditions. But it is utterly fallacious to regard the liberality of sen- timent on this question which now characterises the more enlightened section of Welsh Xoncon- formists in the light of a revolt against their own faith and creed. I must be allowed to dissent entirely from the dictum of the well-known Welsh reviewer of one of the Cardiff dailies, who. in speaking of Mr. M elldon's recent address on amusements said. if I remember rightly, that the views of the younger body of Calvinists were a virtual admission that Calvinism had ceased to be a creed adapted to the present age. In this very matter I consider the Corff has, to use the Dar- winian locution, showed a surprising power of adaptability to environment. No doubt it was very superstitious to imagine that football had some connection with the result of the blood- thirstiness of Herodias, and very slovenly exegesis to make out that St. Paul forbade Timothy to take bodily exercise. But, thanks mainly to Principal Edwards, the Methodists have changed all that in a very few years. And at the same time the con- nexion has to-day at least equally faithful and numerous adherents, as it had when the last synodieal anathema was pronounced against foot- ball. The adversaries of Methodism may be sure that the spread of culture in Wales, and the srrowth of robust Christianity which Charles Kingsley preached, will have on the religious thought of the Principality only the result which Principal Edwards anticipated in his parting address to the Abcrystwith students. These in- fluences will make it purer, stronger and more humane.