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THE BISESTABLISHM ENT OF THE…

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THE BISESTABLISHM ENT OF THE CHURCH IN WALES. "SERMON BY THE REV. J. fH. STOWELL, M.A. On Sunday evening the 'Rev. J. H. Stowêl1, M.A., pastor of the tjongregational Church, Barry, preached an telaquent sermon, entitled Disestab- lishment," to a large congregation at the'Barry Church. After the reading of the Scriptures, and prayer, the hymn The Church's was sung, arid there v. gentleman proceeded to 'his discourse, taking as'-his text the 1st verse f3nth Psalm 'Psalm :— Except the Lord build the House -4key labour ia vain thatliuihl it/' &e. and the'23th and 27th verses of the 12th -&b$pter of Hebrews :— "Whose voice then-shook the earth but now Ee hath promised. saying, Yet once more' I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, yet once more,; signifleth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those which cannot be shaken may remain." THE CHITRFTOH OF CHRIST, he said, had gone through many changes, and as far as they could judge, there were changes in store for it yet. In the earliest days of the Church, «f which they had record in the New Testament, they would recollect they tried a scheme of Social- ism all who came sold their property and put their treasure into a common iuad. and each individual according to his needs was. supplied out of that coBunop. fund. That experiment did not seem te have answered for long, for it,wasnot continued. A little later a greater question arose. At first the Christian Church, which consisted of Jews, kept tip their Jewish practices, and they wished—the majority of them—to maintain in the Christian Church the ceremonial observances of the Jewish law. It was so serieua a matter that, when the Gentiles were admitted, a great Church Council had to beield. and it was decided that the Jewish laws, with some modifications, should be kept up. The Jewish Christians kept up their reverence for the old laws, and to this day, in the killing of animals the Jews never use anything but the knife, and let the blood run out. They thought the soul resided in the blood, and touched it not. That law was actually held by the Church, yet to- day it would be hard to find a Christian who paid attention to the old oomma.nd, and JUDAISM WAS COMPLETELY DISESTABLISHED as far as Christianity was concerned. A few years later a greater change took place in the Church with the rise-of the Romish Church to empire and pawer, which could compel King Hejiry IV. of Germany to stand bare-headed, a huoablesuppliant to the Pope, and which could keep King Henry II. of England like a. criminal, flogged at the shrine of Thomas-a-Beckett at Canterbury. The Reformation of Luther brought in a new era. and the change in this country which VIII. filldElizabeth brought about did a great deal to disestablish the Romish Church. Under the Soman Church, being the sole governing body of the Chureh and Government, it had always been regarded that the State had been founded upon the Church, and nowitl was seen desirable to have a. change-to ha-j e the Church founded upon the State, with the King at the head of the Church. The Church of England was no longer ruled by the Pope of Rome, bat by the king or queen as the c.¡.31>, might happen to be. Perhaps that was the best thing to do at the moment to get over the tyranay of Rome, but it had continued to the present momenta that the Queen with her Parliament her army, her magistrates, &c., were at the fcead of the Church of Christ in this country. That state of things brought about THE NECESSITY OF NOXCORFORMITY. Their forefathers saw and thought that the Church of Christ must not be under the denomination of anyone without the authority of .Christ; they recognised the authority of no one in spiritua l matters who did not acknowledge t&e supreme authority of Christ, aud their forefather refused to conform to the Act of Uniformity. Tfeoy did not think it was right that any one in wkom there was not some evidence of the spirit 6f Christ should have the superintendence of the Church of Christ. There were two lessons touchicg tha condition of the Church of Christ to be learat First, there was something in the Church. of Christ which endures, and must endure for ever, and that could not be shaken; and. second, that thera is something in the Church of Christ which could be shaken, that must change—rthe quicker the better. First he believed as much as anyone in the unity of Christendom; he believed, as the Apostle's Greed put it, in the Holy Catholic Church. There were those whom Christ had called, but they did not always know one another. Although THEY FORIfEl) THE CHURCG OF GOB, which all the forces of the world ceuld not harm. They were the true Church of Christ, which eould not be established by law or disestablished by law, and no harm could come to it. There were ia the Church of Christ visible many defects, as it was mixed much with human efforts. Christ was indeed with His own people, but He was not I always fully identified with the work His people tried to do. Speaking of the elements of un- changeableness in the Church of Christ, he thought it was absurd to get into state of alarm. It was ridiculous that soms of the most learned men should get into a great alarm about the Church, as if the holy, spiritual work of the great God could easily be overturned. The preacher in- stanced his meaning by the fate which befell the • man who, as the Old Testament history recorded, was struck dead for his preliumptivenes8 in think- ing that the Ark of God would fall, and in raising his hand to safe it. It was ignorant, rash, and presumptuous to say that the Church of God wfs in danger of other changes than mere outward policy and control the Church was not so easily disturbed as some people thought. There was something in connection with the Church of Christ, something to change, and better to change as quickly as possible. In all human effort there was a considerable admixture of their own imperfections, an admixture of their own frailties and peculiarities, and all these admixtures must be corrected and put right. There were many things which must ehange and pass away whatever was not of God could not stand, and j must sooner or later give place to something more God-like and perfect. THE EFFORT OF SOCIALISM. in the first years was not of God, and could not stand that grand empire was not of God, no one in the name of Christ should govern with force the kings of the earth,-and that too had passed away. They had fought their way through them all. and a newer and better thing had come into life. There was still some shaking of things which could be shaken, and they must prepare themselves for it, not, however, from a. feeling of alarm. The angels could not be very anxious about what was called the Disestablishment of the Church of England. It was not rf God that the State should have a eontrol in any degree over the Church as long as in any degree ungodly men had anything to do with the State. It was not a religious question; the principals of the thing had been settled three centuries ago, and all that remained now was not a religious question, but A POLITICAL QUESTION, the mere settling of detail and re-adjustment. In conclusion, the preacher applied the texts to •present, the individual lives of all present. If they were members of the Church of Christ it was settled, and certain that no one could overturn them, and they were portions of that great build- ing of which Christ was architect. There were undoubtedly something in each one of them that needs to be disestablished; much in their lives ought to be changed. Let them see to it that their lives were pub right. At the conclusion of the sermon, the hymn i; Christians seek not yet repase," was sung, and the service concluded with a short prayer meeting.

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