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MERTHYR- BOARD OF HEALTH.…

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ABEBDARE POLICE CCWRT.

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RHYMNEY INTELLIGENOE.

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--THE hECTUR OF MKRTHYK ON…

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THE hECTUR OF MKRTHYK ON CHUHCH REFORM. Preaching at St. David's Church on Sunday evening, the Rector took a retrospective and prospective view of things." The text was 2 Cor. v. 17 —" Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." With regard to the former, he said he earnestly prayed that they might never see them again—that there was an end to all "the old things" that had agitated the country for so many years-the old strikes, the old locks out, and all the old questions between capital and labour. He trusted they were now buried, and never to rise any more. Master and men were reconciled. Let them pray that the reconciliation might last for ever and ever. At the same time let us not deceive ourselves, and think that all vexatious questions are yet at an end. Unfortunately the world teems with them. There is one especially affecting us, in which labour will eventually take a great part. I mean the vexatious one of Church and State. Let us look it in the face as thoughtfully and as early as we can. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. For you may rest assured of this, now that man has settled with his master, his next pro- gramme will be to settle with his God. There are many earnest minds among working-men—men who believe thoroughly there is a God, who will eventually make all "things" square. And when they come to look about them, and see into the inside of "things" which concern them spiritually and materially, will they not, think you, demand of us, the Church, to give an account of our stewardship ? And what account can we give when things are as they are? Here we are, professedly the Church of the people, the Church of the poor, the Church of the nation. Yet where are the people? Where are the poor? How much of the nation can we call our own ? God knows, there is no man who dreads disestablishment more than I do. But if the Church does not make more efforts than she does to get the people and the poor within her folds, I do not see what there is that can prevent it. Look the case, I say, fairly in the face, as thoughtful men should. Here we are indisputably the richest church in the world. Our revenues are enormous so is our prestige. We call ourselves emphatically the Church of the poor" We pride ourselves on that title; but what is our claim to it ? The poor man, certainly the very poorest man, is never seen within our walls. Rags and tatters have no room here. Velvet and fur, silk and satin, these have their abiding places in our chambers. Poverty, unless well clad, is never seen in the Church of England. Ask the poor man to church, any of you. Press the duty on him and what is his answer? Master, I have no clothes He beliovt-s it is not for the like of him that the church exists but for the rich and respectable, the well-dressed and well-to-do. He has no other notion of the church than this. Now go into Catholic countries, and more especially into Catholic Ireland, what do you see in Churches there? The poor, the people, the ragamuffins, and even the roughs are as numerous in the congregation as any. That Church has a thorough hold on the people and she in turn is held by them. I shall never, to the end of my days, forget a sight I saw once in Dublin, in the grandest of all churches there, even Cardinal Cullen's own church, the Roman Catholic Cathedral. It was a great festal day. The church was crowded with rich and poor, the poor far out-numbering the rich. They reached to the door, out of the door, and even on the broad pavement outside, where scores of them lay prostrate, groaning and moaning for their sins. Their ragged, motley character could never be seen elsewhere than in Ireland. Men with coats and breeches of a thousand patches, men with hats and no brims, men with brims and no hats-so full of holes were they men with brogues and no stockings, and men with stockings and no brogues, and men with neither. I do not believe that the whole lot there had a pair of stock- ings among them. I never saw such a sight in my life. It was a grand sight for a Christian to look at, for here was religion, according to her light, doing her work in earnest. No one could say there that the poor had not the Gospel preached to them. Compare this with our own churches—our cathedrals and churches in great towns and fashionable places, for this was the most fashionable church in all Ireland, Cardinal Legate Cullen's own church. No wonder Lord Aberdare said in his address at Brighton that "Irishmen, compara- tively free from crime at home, fell so readily victims to its seductions in England. Scotland, and America. The only explanation I can offer is that the Irishman differs from being removed from his home, and the many safe- guards, social and religious, which there environ him." Whatever we may think of the system as Protestants, no man can deny that here is a Church doing the work to which she is specially called. Why cannot we do the same work ? With our enormous revenues, our great wealth, and our prestige, how is it that we have no hold in these days on the working classes? When Sacheverell, a High Churchman, was laid hold of in the last century, the people rose en masse to defend him. When the Seven Bishops were taken to the Tower in the century previous, the whole country was in a state of ferment, and nothing but the strongest hand kept them down from breaking into open rebellion. But if the whole bench of bishops, and all the clergy with them, were taken to the Tower to-morrow, I do not honestly believe the people anywhere would leave their workshop except to see the pageant, and, possibly rejoice over it. Why is this ? The burden of proof lies with us. We have to answer for it. It is by our own fault we have lost our hold on the people. As I said here the other evening, we shoot above them. We seek to please the upper and the middle classes more than we care for the people. We foster their taste be- cause it is so congenial to our own. We convert our churches into temples of fashion, instead of making them houses of God-where God's word is to be preached in a manner understood by the people. We think more of aesthetic beauty—which the people do not understand—than of saving souls, which many of them believe they have; and more would, perhaps all would, if we were only a little more earnest about them. The Bishop of London, in his charge the other day—and, for that matter, all bishops harp on the same strine-his lordship deplored that the number of churches in his diocese was lamentably small compared with the population. My answer to them all is Fill those churches that you already have. Find the means of doing that, and ever so many as you want after are sure to follow. The common people are not infidels, as your lordships commonly suppose. Give them preachers who will preach to them about things they understand, and not dogmas which even you yourselves have not yet agreed upon. Go into every church in every diocese, and see what a very large proportion of them are crowded with empty benches. Go even into those in your great City of London, where the poorest live as thick as ants in a hill, and see how many of the poor are in them ? Are they not all thronged with dandies and fribbles from the West End, belles from ball-rooms, coquettes from the opera, and all sorts of carriage people? Look at the line of chariots, and coaches, and broughams seen in streets, where, on every day except Sunday, you see nothing but costermongers' carts aud brewers' drays Will not that tell you what churches in great cities are mostly now built for? They are the enly places of amusement open on Sunday. In the same way visit town and country churches. Do you not see twenty women for one man ? And in the country itself you ask in vain—Where are the young men ? You rarely see anybody there now but old people and children. If the country were at war, and all the men mobilised," there could not then be fewer of those present who make up the bone and sinew of the nation. Ask the men why they do not go, and they will tell you they do not see the good of going. They do not care abour 'shows." They do r.ot understand dogmas, and parsons never preach anything else. They have no tAste for religion, when parsons themselves fight about it, and cannot agree as to what it is. They will tell you that even the bishops who ought to know everything do not seem to know what the right thing is to teach. One says one thing and another says another, and neither one nor the other says what the Bible says—that all this puzzles them to know what even the Church is, or what she would wish to be. Therefore, they will keep clear of her altogether. Let the parsons fight it out in Church themselves. They see fights enough at home. All this is very true. Take, for example, the last episcopal utterance, the pastoral of the Bishop of Winchester; a more flabby production it is impossible to read. In spite of the passing of the Public Worship Act—in spite of the great excitement both in the Lords and in the Commons, during the session of 1873 -and in spite of the Prime Minister himself saying in support of that Act that tlnre was one party in the Church which held nothing else than "the mass in masquerade!"—yet, here we have one of the first of English bishops coming forward to say just but a few weeks before that Act is about to begin work Be quiet; do yourselves no harm. Be not troubled about parties. The Church of England has always had parties she cannot exist with- out them bear and forbear; shake hands all round. It is the Ritualists that have tke upper hand now. It was you Evangelicals who had it the other day. It is all a matter of see-saw Be still, 1 pray you." Now, I ask any sane man, under these circumstances, to tell me how long can the Church of England last as the Church of the nation if she does not do the nation's work ? If she practically is nothing more than a Church for parsons and bishops to squabble in. can she be [expected or will she be endured—to exist much longer? A National Church should be the Church of the whole nation but if she is the Church of the middle and upper classes, what right has she to be called the National Church ? If she were the Church of the lower classes only, and the upper and the middle classes went to some other church, her right then would be much stronger, and her position much more solid. She would be strong because the lower classes have the power, and if they were attached to her. or held by her, they could do as they pleased, for whether it be to support her or destroy her, it is their sole voice that can do it. They are now our masters. Is it not wise, then, to be reconciled to our masters -to do all we can to take them by the ears? As a matter of mere worldly policy this should be our obvious ccurse, but as a matter of spiritual duty there can be no two opinions what course we ought to take. We ought to regard the Church as a mighty engine of police, a huge social manufactory, where God is the Great Master, and we his workmen, his policemen, his keepers of social order: and, instead of quarrelling among ourselves, allay the quarrels of others. Whatever is necessary unto salvation I will fight for to the death and quarrel about as much as any one. But no human being out of an asylum can say that "candles on the altar," or a long or a short surplice, or the colour of a vestment are articles necessary unto salvation. Let our chief object be to humanise the people, to sober them, and to bring them into social order, and make them believe that they are responsible beings. If we succeed in doing this I will defy all the powers of the Liberation Society, and MialI, and Bright, and Henry Richard, and all the Non- conformist ministers in the world to disestablish the Church. It is for this we are paid. If we do rot this, the ship will be condemned her timber will be found rotten; and the first gale, or even half a gale, will swamp her. The question is very simple: Church reform and no Disestablishment; or else—and that at I no very remote period—the Deluge? This is as plain as the handwriting on the wall; once the people take the question up, Parliament cannot choose but legislate on it. I would urse, therefore that every Church pulpit throughout the land enlighten the people show them the interest they and the:r children have in the Church. Also prove to them that if the Church were once reorganised, and thoroughly reformed from top to bottom, they would be of all pecple the very last to seek her destruction. They would then see that the Church is the greatest Commonwealth on earth, because God and not man founded her.

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PANIC LEGISLATION AT HAND.

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--------OB.IGI N A T t T N…

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SOJNINET BY MR. TENNYSON.

THE COMIC ALMANACKS.

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--------THE NEW VICEROY OF…

DEATH OF SIR ANTHONY DE ROTHSCHILD.

THE NEW RELIGION.