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OPENING OF THE NEW CHURCH AT ABERDARE. In giving an account of the interesting proceedings which took place yesterday (Thursday) at ABER- DARK, it may not be amiss to enter slightly upon a retrospect of the circumstances of the parish during the period immediately preceding the event, to the per;ietu ition of which we are abullt to devote a portion of our space. The old church, of which one of the early numbers of the Penny Magazine contains an engraving, was built in the fourteenth century, and as it contained no more than 176 sit- tings, it was totally inadequate to meet the require- ments of a district which in 1847 had a population of 11,000 souls. We believe we may safely state tint no parish in the kingdom has undergone greater changes than Aberdare within the Inst two years. From being an obscure and scarcely known corner of Glamorganshire, the developement of its mineral riches — especially its far-famed steam-coal-has elevated it into great commercial importance; and it is now justly considered the most thriving place upon the hills," having a population of 16,000. Twenty years ago there were only three clergymen to do duty in Merthyr, Dowlais, and Aberdare, namely, the Rev. John Jones, Rev. Evan Jenkins, and the Rev, E. P. Thomas; and most heavy were the engagements they had to perform: now, we are told, there are upwards of a dozen actively employed in the same neighbourhoods. The present Incumbent—the Rev. JOHN GRIFFITH—was appointed to the living of Aberdare in 1847 and has been the means of effect- ing very great improvements. Indeed, we cannot speak too highly of the zeal with which he has pur- sued his sacred calling, nor too warmly extol the singleness of purpose which characterises all his efforts. To his well applied energy we trace the erection of the beautiful fabric which has just been opened, for he earnestly appealed to all from whom aid might be obtained, and we are proud to have it in our power to state that his claims were most liberally responded to,—ALL,— the landowner, iron and coal merchants, and inhabitants generally, cheerfully granting their assistance and the result of their united endeavours has been one of the handsomest churches in the diocese. The following is an archi- tectural description of the building, with a few other particulars:— The Church is a Gothic structure of the geometric, decorated style, consisting of a chancel 30ft. by 20ft.; nave, 82ft. Gin., and 2;jft, from centre of columns; aisles, N. and S., 82ft. 6in. length, 13ft. 9in. width: total width, 50ft. (iin. Tower at west end, 15ft. in the clear, with provision for eight bells. Total length of Church, including nave, tower, and chancel, 140ft. Gin. North transept and north-east vestry, with organ loft over, 18ft. by 16ft. with north porch. Height of the Church made from level of floor, 50ft. in the clear. Height of tower and spire is such that the vane turns at an elevation of 180ft. from the ground. The chance!, transept, aisle, and clerestory and vestry windows are highly decorated with double joints worked in Coombe Down Bath stone. The walls are built of uncoursed Dytfryn stone pointed with blue mortar. The quoins are of Bath stone rusticated. The roofs are of open timber, stained and varnished. The aisles are divided from the nave by four Bath stone columns," with enriched octagonal caps; the aisle above being hitfhi,• enriched. The seats are open, and "re placed upon a raised dais, stained and varnished in imitation of oak. Under each of the aisles are placed ornamented gas standards, having five burners in each. The altar rail- ing, carpet, altar cloth, communion linen, and commu- nion plate are all gifts of ladies, and respectively of the richest and best workmanship. The Church is heated on the newest system with hot water. The cost of erection is £4000; and the number of sittings, 933. A. Moseley, Esq., of London, is the archi- tect; and Mr. J. X. Strawbridge, jun., of Bristol, the builder. Thursday was the day appointed .for the opening ser- vices; and large numbers poured into the town by the Taff Vale and Vale of Neath railways. As a proof of the activity displayed by the officials of the latter line we were informed that a crowded special train ran up from Neath to Aberdare in half an hour! And as the distance is upwards of twenty miles the velocity attained must have been very considerable. The Taff Vale had Do special train but they kindly granted tickets for the to-and-fro journey at single fares. At eleven the Church was densely filled with a most re- spectable congregation. To give the names of the laity- would be far beyond our capabilities:, we can only enu- merate some of the clergy who attended, namely-The Bishop of Llandciff; The Dean of Llandaff; The Arch- deacon of Haudaft; The Rev. John Griffith, Aberdare* Rev. Canon Jones, Tredegar; Rev. Canon Jenkins' Dowlais; Rev. Richard Prichard, Llandaff; Rev. WilJ ham Bruce, Saint Nicholas; Rev. R. T. Tyler. Llantril thyd; Rev. H. L. Blosse, Newcastle; Rev. Evan Morgan, Llantrissant Rev. John Morgan, Saint Andrews Rev, Thomas Davies. Llanillid RJV. David Williams; Ystradyfodwg Rev. Rees Prichard, Llande- vodwg; Rev. William Lei¡:h, Eglwysilan Ilev. E. P. Thomas, Whitchurch; Rev. John Griffiths, Glyntaff- Rev. William Rowland, Merthyr Rev. John W. Mor- gan, Beaufort Rev. L. Charles Lewis, Ebbw Vale; Rev. William Williams, Curate of Blaenavoti Rev. James Evans, Rector of L'andough llev. C. W. Evans; Rev. David Jones, Radyr; Rev. Judah Jones, Caerphilly; Rev. David Morgan, Hancarvan Rev. George Thomas, Ystrad Mynach; Rev. Thomas Thomas- Rev. John Hughes; Rev. Charles Maybery, Peri', derin; Rev. David Jenkins, Ponlyptidd Rev. Albert Jenner; Rev. William Thomas, Curate of Merthyr- Rev. D. Griffith,. Ynisygerwn Rev. C. F. B. Wood' Penmark; Rev. William Tfiomas, Kilybebill; Rev.' James Watkins, Cadoxton-juxta-Barry Rev. D. Mor- gan, Merthyrmawr; Rev. Rdwurd Thomas, Incum- bent of Skewea; Rev. Walter GrilHihs, Resolveji; Rev. Mr. Thomas, Curate ol Dowlais; Rev. Mr. Price, Aberpergwm Rev. J. \V. Downes, Saint John's, Wool- wich Rev. W. Evans, Gelligaer Rev. Gilbeit Hurris, Mcrthyr, Rev. Morgan Morgm, Pontyrhun, &c., &c. As we above state, it would be a vain effort to attempt to give a list of the thousand or twelve hundred persons who tilled the Church hut a few mny be mentioned, namely, SirG. Tyler, M.P., Crawshay Bailey, Esq., M.P., Howel Gwyn, Esq M.P., J. Bruce Pryce, Esq., H. A. Bruce, Esq., L. Morgan, Esq., E. P. Richards, Ebq., W. Thomas, Esq., Alexander Cuthberraon, Esq., James French, Esq., Henry Junes, Esq., Wm. Jones, Esq., Richard Fothergill, Esq., Thomas Wayne, Esq—in a word, the congregation comprised a most influential gathering of the county gentry, with their families. A pleasing feature in the front of the gallery was a row of school children (girls) from Lady Charlotte Guest's school at Dowlais: they were arrayed like so many sisters in the Welsh costume, and formed a creditable additiou to the company. It is intended to have a fine organ shortly; but as that had not beeu procured the vocalists were accompanied on a Scraphine, which was kindly lent by the English W esle) aus. At eleven the bell ceased tolling; and the Choir sung, "1 will arise, ana go to my father," &c., very nicely. The service Was read by the Rev. John Griffith, incumbent. The sermon was preached by the UiSHor OF LLANDAFF. His lordship took his text from the 8ih Chapter ofAMOS, verses 11 and 12Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that 1 will send a famine 111 the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the word of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even unto the east, they shall run lo and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it," At this late period of the week, writing almost on the eve of going to press, we have only lime to give an imperfect Outline of the masterly discourse deli- vered by our respetted Diocesan, who, notwithstanding the effects of indispositiou exerted himself considerably. He observed that in order to apply these words to our present purpose it Was not necessary to enquire at what peiiod of Jewish history they were uttered its the Almighty was always as high in this nature, so was he always the same in his dealings with mankind. Whatever principles, therefore, are fairly deducible ftom scripture with respect to His government we are bound to accept as applicable to ourselves; and the truths of Holy Writ must be considered as equally binding ou the Church in all aggg of the world. And in proportion to the light they throw upon our path must be our obligation to be guided by them. The degeneracy of the Jews in the days of Amos was mentioned; and he addressed to them the awful words of caution contained in the text; from which the Bishop deduced some lessons of much impotlancein theirgeiiejal application. Those words teach us that national sins will be followed by na- tional judgments; and that the abuse of religious privi- leges will inevitably cause them to be taken away; and it was to their withdrawal that the Bishop wished to direct the attention of his hearers, as it was a point to which they should give especial heed, for as a Christian nation we are living in the enjoyment of Christian light and knowledge never vouchsafed to any other people on the earth. The particular circumstances of this oecasion (the opening of the Church) reminded his lordship that the means of religious instruction had largely increased in the parish of Aberdare; aud were stiit further going to be increased. He spoke of the importance of valuing those privileges, and of the increased responsibility which ( they placed the people under, reminding them that it was a certain principle in God's government—that to ) whom much is given much will be required; and all who enjoyed God's blessings would hereafter have to give an account of the use made of them. The Bishop then divided his discourse under those heads, namely :— 1. The inestimable blessings of religious privileges. 2. That those privileges areasargued for wise and gra- cious purposes, and that a strict accPUIlt will be requiied of the manner in which they are employed, 3. If they are neglected or abused God in his righteous indignation will take them away. His Lordship felt some hesitation in speaking on the first of those topics, lest he should seem to be offering an insult to the common sense of thbse before him, for there must be a testimony in every man's conscience respecting their value. Viewing our present Condition and future prospects — an eternity of happiness to be enjoyed, or of misery to be encountered—he proceeded to show how unspeakably important must our religious advantages be. He spoke of our state by nature, of what God had done for us, and of the revelations made III the Gospel, which comprised all that we should know, as they taught us our dut\ to God and man. Christianity and civilisation have ever gone hand in hand. The wild passions of sava"e life, though refusing to listen to any other charm, were conquered by the sweet persuasiveness of Christianity, and rendered her homage. Religion had a most humanisms effect upon savage life, and, at the present time, was exerting a most salutary influence on heathen lands. But it was not necessary to travel to foreign climes in order to have convincing proofs of the power religion exer- cised over the human race. To what must we ascribe the blessings we enjoy in this country 1 If ever there was a people blessed with the enjoyment of civil and social privileges that nation is our own and if there be one cause more than another to which that happiness may be ascribed, it is, doubtless, to the pure and scriptural Christianity which, for so many centuries, has been esta- blished amongst us. The people of this island were once ignorant of the Gospel —without God in the world but it pleased Him to visit the land with the light of Divine Truth; and it is mainly to the influence of enlightened Christian principles that we are indebted for the settle- ment of our Government on its present wise foundation, thereby securing our social and domestic happiness. To regard Christianity under that aspect would, however, be taking a very unworthy view of it: its proper object is to prepare us for eternity and for the hour of death. In beautiful language, and with most impressive fervour, our excellent Bishop referred to the time when we should have to meet the King of Terrors, and to the supporting influence which a knowledge of God in Christ would then afford. If, then, temporal and spiritual blessings followed the elljo) ment of true religion, how great must be the privilege of living in a Christian land, in which those benefits are abundantly bestowed. He spoke of the value of the Bible—allyided to the period when it was a ,ealed bock to the people; and then said that ^luiiionda of Popish superstition bad been rent asunder, a pure and scriptural faith established in itw ropm, and aChutch funded on ^cjptwre WfO re-*r«ctetl in the land: these blessings we are still permitted to enjoy in an eminent degree, as the present age was an age of Christian privileges. In the parish of Aberdare the smallness of the Church had hitherto prevented the peo- ple from attending the Church ministry, but a brighter day has arrived, and Aberdare may now boast of a Church which for architectural beauty and convenience may bear comparison with any other in the diocese, — perhaps he should not eir if he were t > say in the Principaln v ol Wales. His lordship, after some further observations, pro- ceeded to the second division of his discourse and we understood him to say that the difference ill ni-n's con- dition was to be traced to the appointment of Providence —a principle which men acted upon in their dealings with one another. And our S.ivioui, in referiing to his second coining, plainly referred to that principle in speaking of the punUhment to be awarded to the ser- vant who knew his Lord's will and did it NOT, which was a greater punishment than the servant received who had offended ignorantly. The Parable of the Talents also inculcated the same doctrine. The withdrawal of our Christian privileges, if we neg- lect or abuse them, was then spoken of and his lordship showed, by reference to the principles of natural justice, the equity of the proceeding should we wickedly despise God's gracious blessings. He cited various instances from Scripture in which privileges once vouchsafed had been withdrawn and adverted to the state of the seven cities of Asia, which once were illumined with the ravs of Divine light, but which now are enveloped in the glooms of Mahomedan superstition—the consequences of their own sinful neglect. Io conclusion, his Lord'hip urged us to take warning; and strongly inculcated the duty of personal godliness and family devotion. With regard to the Churcn, he was sure that those who had hitherto been strangers to her commu- nion would become attached to her mild and scriptural go- vernment as soon as they became acquainted with her ordi- nances. All her prayers arc built upon the Apostles and Prophets,—Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone He briefly aualyzed the Li'urgy—pointed out the adaptation of the various prayers to the general condition of nun, and as extempore prayer must always be dependent ou the mi- nister, he contended that our admirable liturgy, which was always the same, was s jperior to it, as our service was not affected by any infirmity in the minister. The Church Liturgy was warmed with the spirit of true piety, but never carried to extravagance it was a fit vehicle for our highest aspirations. Provision wa- made iu the laws to which the Church was subject, for maintaining sound doctrine and eve:i if a clergyman should depart from sound scriptural truth, by being com- pelled to read the whole Bible to his congregation in the course of time—not mere selections to suit any individual purpose-the unfaithful preacher would be condemned by what he read from the desk. The Bishop also referred to the solemnity with which the Church regardel the Sacra- ments; and concluded with a few general observations in Bjpport of the views enunciated by him. The foregoing is, we fear, an imperfect summary of his truly edifying dis- course and f-hould any errors be found in it they must be attributed to the reporter, and not to the accompii-hfd s. hoUr and divine who now presides over the Church iu this diocese. The Djttn of Llaudaff then read the Offertory, during which Crawshay Bailey, E«q., M P., Henry Austin Bruce, Esq., Thomas Wayne, Esq., and Richard Fothergill, Esq.. made a collection, which realized the munificent sum of A: 140. A larue party of the laity and clergy partook of luncheon at the Vic-irage; and the hospitable mansions of Messrs Crawshay Bailey, Morgan (Gadly-), Wayne, Fothergiil, lewis (Canal Head), and other gentlemen, were freely thrown open. The hosts of the respective inn" ha 1 also prepared for the reception of visitors, so that all were com- lortably cared for, At three in the afternoon Divine Service was again performed in the sacred edifice. The prayers &c., were read by the Rev. Canon Jetikinp, of Dowlais; an-1 the sermon was preached by the ARCHDEACON or LLANDAFF, from John 16. v. 23:—" And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shtll a k the Father in my name he wid gi>e it you." The space at our disposal is nearly exhau ted and we can do no more than say that Archdeacon Williams maintained his character as a pulpit orlllllr, as the extemporaneous dis- course which he delivered was most eagerly devoured by a very crowded congregation. The subject of the sermon was PHASER, which he shewed became the duty end the privi- lege of the Christian. A collection wis made at the different doors by Ales-irs H. A, Bruce, Hollier, T. Wayne, and Morgan Williams, and a liberal sum received. It was announced that the Rev. CANON JOSES, of Trede- gar, was to preach in Welsh at seven, p.m., and parties wet) ar'tjuainted with the locd'tv expressed an opinion that the collection* throughout the day would, doubtle.-s, amount to about iCI60, at least. We reluctantly bring o\lr account of the.e edifying ser- vices to a cloi<e, as the late period of the week at which we are writing, & the shortness of our avail ible space, compel us to be briefer than we otherwise woul i he.




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