Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page

BDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE.

News
Cite
Share

BDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE. The Editor does not hold himself responsible for the sentiments expressed by his correspondents. THE SUNDAY BAND. To the Bditor of the Merthyr Telegraph. SIR,-A champion has bravely stepped forth to defend the Sunday Band, and a fierce onslaught lias already been made on the ranks of the bigoted and arrogant Sunday Band oppositionists. We are told not to arrogate all virtue to ourselves, which is as much as to say, if we see things going wrong, we must let them pursue their own course, and run to ruin, if they will, we must not offer Any impediment, simply because we ourselves are .fallible. It seems that the gallant champion bird -of memory has rather weak talons, for though she waa put in possession of clear facts, yet could she not retain them, but betrayed her master into a gross hallucination, which caused him to con- strue into an affirmation a mere remark of what is boasted. He laughs at the idea of quoting Babylon as a precedent for an empire's guidance, and insinuates an assertion, on our part, of Ba- bylon having fallen because of Sunday Bands. Though we find no mention of Sunday Bands in the Bible, yet it would be preposterous to assume that a nation so luxurious and effeminate as the Babylonians were without their Sunday music; and I have not the least doubt that Sunday Bands, :under a different denomination perhaps, were mixed up with the foul mass of her enormities, and thus became part and parcel of the cause of her terrible overthrow-her sins. There is no- thing whereby we may flatly deny this supposi- tion. But, setting Babylon aside, let us see what reasons there be for establishing Sunday Bands. Soul-inspiring music will entice thousands to for- sake the Bible; the green meadow proffers a better field for pleasure than the limited space of parlour or kitchen; there is more amusement and vanity amongst hundreds of gay pleasure-seekers and an excellent Band, than at home in solemn silence, poring over the Bible, and picking and digging the soil that will ultimately bring them to a well of waters springing up into everlasting life!—a fountain from which flow rivers of living waters that only wait to be searched and sought for with labour and diligence! There is more life (mortal) in the field by the canal, when the Band is there, than in the lonely cot; therei ——; but as I am an opponent and not an expf nent of Sunday Band principles, let those wLo delight in them advance other reasons to assign their utility in promoting Christianity. Are we to believe, Sir, that a Band playing in the open neld-the temple whose glorious roof is the azure vault of heaven-and surrounded by .scores of young gentlemen enjoying their cigars, or lolling indolently on the green mossy sward; young women, glancing sideways down their flowing robes of muz tin, eommenting on the beauty ot various members of their sex, and arrogantly tossing their proud heads and pretty bonnets at their superiors, and frowning scornfully on the poor wretches who happen to be their inferiors at all points gentlemen and ladies promenading the grounds contiguous, and rosy-faced nurse- maids playing with Tom and Harryare we to believe, 1 ask, that this is a proceeding worthy of the Sabbath ? Is it calculated to promote Christian knowledge? Would it not be better if one and all were at home searching the Scrip- tures wherein we think we have eternal life ? Would it not be more in compliance with the divine law to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest and sanctity? Would not a strict observ- ance of the Sabbath redound to the honour of the observers, and reflect with sublimity upon the community who could and would give nature and their world a reign of undisturbed calmness and serenity throughout one day of the seven ? Apropos, we are asked why we do not condemn the birds for singing songs of gladness on Sun- days ? If the champion will bring me a law for- bidding them, they are condemned already, and need not my condemnation; but I question his ability to do this. The law given to man was given to man alone-of course I include woman "as being one specks and one flesh-and until ha ean prove that it applies to birds or beasts wu h the validity with which it applies to man, the birds may pour forth their thanksgiving to their Maker indiscriminately of the Sabbath let them sing, I say, they only afford a lesson and an ex- ample to man they are perpetually singing their adorations to Him on hign who has made working day and Sabbath alike to them but man, vain, proud, arrogant, weak, moth-like man, forgets his Creator from Sunday to Sunday, and even then He is not the theme of his thoughts for three hours out of the twelve. To whom does the Sunday Band pour forth its thrilling strains ? Is it in honour, or in praise, or in glory to the Most High P I venture to say No but to give pleasure to its lovers, and win the admiration of such persons as he who terms it sanctified amusement. Prior to this, Sir, I must confess my ignorance of sanctified amusement. I am told that" Sacred music beyond words is laden with a divine inflt once;" and, "If our lives be sanctified, our amusements must be so too." To do holiness, surely is not to amuse ourselves How can we be thinking of the Sanctifier, if our soul and body be together engrossed with meaner matters ? Is not the musicians' mind and attention fixed on the leader of the band ? and is not the leader's thoughts intent on 1be tune he is playing? How then can they be thinking on Him that sanctities to be sanctified ? Besides, is not amusement of this world, and sanctification of another ? And is it likely that God will sanctify an amusement which draws the mind of man from Him ? Reason answers, No! Again, I am told that" Caris- tianity is not a bond, but a liberty." If this be true, then in the name of Christianity let us do anything and everything within the bounds of human conception and possibility, whether good or evil, righteousness or sin; no matter what, let us do it; let us violate the Sabbath break down the barriers that keep back infamy, and inundate the kingdom with every vice and evil :that has been yet or can be devised now yea, let us bury ourselves in it, and we shall yet be free, if "Christianity" be "not a bond but a liberty;" for the very fact of its being a liberty would jus- tify us as being free to do anything. But, if I mistake not, there is a passage in the Bible which says, "If ye walk not in my statutes, ye shall die and not live;" and that it is valid to this day is irrefutable, as Christ has said, I came not to destroy the law." This then does not proclaim Christianity a liberty. I think the defender of the Sunday Band would profit by reading the Scripture more than he has, or more than is appa- rent in his letter. In the event of his doing so, and continuing bound up in his present opinion! we may expect a letter soon, denouncing Jonah as a fool for obeying God's commandments, and the king and citizens of Nineveh idiots for listen- ing to him, and declaring that the flaming sword of an Almighty Avenger, whose outstretched arm was withdrawn upon their repentance, would not have descended had Jonah been scouted instead of feared. Why, Sir, according to his present opinion, that Sunday amusements are Christian proceedings, and calculated to impede the pro- gress of sin, we shall all shortly hear (perhaps) of parties blowing the bellows, and invoking the wind to extinguish the flaming fire. There would be as much logic in the one as in the other. Op- EisitioniatB are asked their reasons for opposing. Let the promoters give their reasons for pro- moting. What they have already advanced is as foam on the surface of water, and they must dive deeper in reason's well ere they can bring forth convincing proofs of the utility of Sunday Bands in the promulgation of Christianity. Let Merthyr-let London-by all accounts the example followed by Merthyr, and a very Babylon of sin,-let her forsake her unrighteousness, and if she has set an example of sin, set an examplo of repentance, and be foremost in carrying out the late proclamation of the queen, and we may never more expect to see the Vales of Glamorgan disturbed by a Quixotic and nndemanded mania for Sunday Bands at the same time, like Nine- veh's repentance, averting that which a continual addition to our manifold sins tends greativ to bring on—namely, a castigation at the hand of the Almighty. "That which ye give will I recom- pense unto you," sail h the Lord. Ponder over this, people of Merthyr! and set your faces against this uncalled-for violation of the Sabbath. Let not the promoters of this baneful pleasure sway your better opinion, nor thrust aside your regard for the Divine Law. Let none of their arguments deceive you, nor believe the assertion that it is a sanctified amusement, when sanctity itself is violated to allow of its performance, and that for no other end than that of pleasing plea- sure-seekers and pleasure-lovers. August 6. OBSERVER. LETTER FROM PARIS. To the Editor of the Merthyr Telegraph. DEAR SIB,—The proverb is Hit a dog with a bone and he won't bite you." Knock a man down with a loaf of bread and he will not be of- fended. But certainly a loaf of bread seven feet long, and that is the length of the loaves, (I say no more about their thickness however, than this, that if they are long they are like a Welsh mile- not very broad-and if you happen to meet a man carrying a few of them along the street he looks like some woodman who could not be per- suaded by Miss Cook or Henry Russell, to spare some jolly old ash tree), I see leaning gracefully up in the corner of the clean little cafe I go to for my breakfast, is rather an awkward thing to be knocked down v ith. Well, while this potac/e d'Italie is cooling, I look, as is my wont, into the newspapers. Syria, Syria; always Syria. Why, what a Godsend this Syria is here to be sure. What would they fill the papers with just now if it were not for Syria ? To be sure there is always an elastic space allowed for some entertaining novel or other in all the papers; but Syria is the great question. First of all France would go alone in the interests of humanity then it would go in conjunction with this, that, and the other power, and now La Patrie is so happy to an- nounce that all the great European rowers are agreed upon the thing, and all is right. All is right indeed. My belief is that France would have preferred going alone, and doing without the stipulation as to the six months' occupation. And depend upon it, it is a well-grounded belief too. I could not help having an inward chuckle some days ago when La Siecle said the Emperor was impelled to the step by the public opinion of France. Public opinion indeed! why, where is it expressed ? You never hear anything like it here. Everybody hears, reads eagerly enough, but says nothing. Public opinion here is ex- ercised, not as in England, upon what is to be done or determined upon, but what has been done or determined upon. Public opinion, however, (not the opinion of newspapers, which as we know, is only public in the sense of their being published and circulated by the government), real public opinion concurs in welcoming the Emperor's letter, of which copies are sold about the streets for a penny each, and in the pacific policy there talked about. "Ah," said I the other night to a half dozen select patriots in our cosy little café, one of which had read the letter aloud, and what interest of France will ever be served by war?" What do you say of war," said the reader with some heat, "You British are always at war." "You were at it last," said I, in Italy." Ah, well," said he, you would have left poor struggling Italy to herself, because you did not know which would be the stronger of her and Austria, and you always declare for the strongest. France rushed at once and dis- interestedly to the help of the weak auainst her oppressor." That is well," said I, but speak- ing of having gone disinterestedly what about Savoy and Ni Since it is one of the rules of polite Prance never to engage in un- pleasing controversy, which I could perceive I had shamefully forgotten, I refrained from finishing the sentence, and we easily went on to another topic. It is, however, clear to me that whatever may be the policy of the army and the government (I wonder if they are synonymous terms) the wish of the mild and well-behaved French people, and they seem all mild and well- behaved, is for a policy that.encourages the arts of peace. bpeaking of the army, on last Friday I saw it. There was a grand review of the troops of the lille-cavalry and artillery kept here for the de- fence of Paris. There might have been 40,000 or 50,000 of them. The review took place on the great race course (yes race course with its grand stand, &c.,) just outside the Bois de Boulougne." Now the ."Bois de Boulougne" is a wood inter- sected by fine roads, drives and walks, and most beautifully kept, commencing just outside the fortifications (for Paris is fortified all round) and extending perhaps six miles towards St. Cioud (where the Emperor at present resides) and Ver- sailles and the race course, which might be four or five miles round at least, is just outside, and a little below one of these fine roads, and about five miles from Paris. A fine sight this review was, seen from this commanding road, and a fine sight the thousands of spectators as well as the 50,000 or 60.000 troops there to be looked at, thought the Emperor and his brilliant staff who were galloping hither and thitjjer over the grass. I thought it a fine sight too, and was much im- pressed by the scene. First of all, the troops stood immovable to arms, to be reviewed by their master, and then the Horse and Artillery moved far off to the left flank. The different troops of the lino commenced their march, which seemed as if it would never end, past the Emperor and his staff. As each company came near enough its band would strike up, and as it passed the men would cheer. (It was nothing like a British cheer though.) After the Line came the Artillery, and then the Horse; each company had its band and everything looked splendid. The shining panoply of the Cuirassiers, the brilliant uniforms of the Chasseurs, and the towering helmets of what we should call the Guards, everything in- deed was very grand! Did anybody think I wonder what the anatomy of all this was ? Did anybody see that this glitter and glory of dress were but the disguise of butchers of men that this order and discipline were but the perfections of man's wickedness and rebellion against the beneficence of God; that these proud warriors were but as the hireling mutes at the funeral of liberty; and did anyone discern in this strong incense to the national pride, the mixture of that appalling smell which cometh from the battle field, and wifcnesseth from out the carcasses of fallen friend and foe alike against the devilry of war ? I dare say nobody saw or was conscious of any of this, and last of all these very agreeable merchants of prime Bordeaux at lid. for the small tumbler full, that pervade the scene. The review at last came to an end, and the troops came hurrying along the road to Paris, some companies with their handsome daughters of the regiments" in uniform, and all in marching order. But now, as I am also hurrying back on foot with them, bless me what little fellows they are! Astonishingly little fellows! Why they looked like boys got old, and supplied with this everlasting Napoleon tonsure beard over the chin, and peaked moustache, before they had grown up. Let me drop back to another company. Yes, all the same. I'll stop here and see them all go by; and with the exception of the Gens d'armes, and some few companies of picked men, Relieve me they were (that is the soldiers of the) line) a set of pigmies. They were lively though, and made a good deal of fun sometimes, but running off at full speed and dragging their most unwilling and often very stout officers along at a pace that made them boil over with fat and in- dignation. Silting down on a green bank in this Bois de Boulogne I see them all pass, and as I walk quietly back to Paris there is nothing to be seen along this beautiful road till now so gay, but the occasional statuesque figure of a mounted policeman. Yours dear sir, SoiTVENIK. 51, Rue de l'Eehiquier, Paris, August, 1860.

[No title]

MERTHYR POLICE COURT.

, ABERDARE POLICE CO URT.

[No title]

NEWPORT, ABERGAVENNY, & HEREFORD…

I RHYMNEY RAILWAY.

I VALE OF NEATH RAILWAY. --

TAFF VALE RAILWAY.

I WESTERN VALLEYS RAILWAY.