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About the Revival.




WHAT THE "CATHOLIC TIMES" SAYS ABOUT IT. The last number of the Catholic Times con- tains a very interesting and sympathetic article, from which we make the following extract:— Although the Welsh Revival is not a matter with which Catholics are directly concerned, still on the broad principles of religion and humanity it is difficult to forbear following the movement with a certain interest, if not with sympathy. It must not be forgotten that in the Welsh we have a people deeply religious at heart, in this perhaps second only to the Irish. Do we believe?" asked the Daily Telegraph, and the answer of the sceptic came not back from the Principality. As a matter of fact, the Welsh people retained their Catholic creed and their Catholic instincts long after the "Refor- mation," and even to-day there are numerous relics of the ancient Faith to those who know where to look for them. Spiritual Awakening. The Welsh—in common with all Kelts-have their times and seasons of spiritual awakening. There were several such in the eighteenth century, and more than one in the nineteenth, and to the influence of these no doubt all that is sober and serious and of good report in Non- conformity is to be accredited. Catholics would do well not to permit themselves to be blind to the virtues of the non-Catholic Welshman. He has another aspect besides that which the mied instinctively connects with the political machina- tions of Mr. Lloyd-George and the sectarian propaganda of Dr. Clifford and his local coadjutors. The best type of Welsh Noncon- formist is a serious, honourable, right-living individual, bigoted, very, but treading with a firm step in the old path, believing with all his soul in Christ and the Atonement, attending his place of worship with a regularity that nothing can disturb, punctual (aye, till old age !) at his Sunday school, studying his Bible and revelling in sermons and theological discussions. True, he is a Protestant; but he protests (when he does so at all) against a bogey which would be just as odious in our eyes as his. Fruits of the Revival. "By their fruits ye shall know them," and there are few critics in Wales to-day who do not regard the Revival with respect. It has emptied the public-houses, and taken from the magistrates half their work. In the Rhondda, that cosmo- politan sink of disorder (not representative of Wales at all), it has worked a wonderful change, even in the depths of the mines. There are great industrial districts where Christmas did not yield a single case for the police-court The utmost that cynics are saying against the Revival to-day is that it will not last. It has not failed to strike those who have studied this remarkable movement that a principal secret lies in the singing. Singing did far more than the arch-heretic Luther to carry the Reformation through Germany, and here it is the same. The Welsh are children of song, and to hear some grand old hymn-tune rolled forth by a large and united congregation is to experience one of the most moving sensations within the limits i of human experience. The Welsh hymns have a depth and a pathos which is all their own. They breathe forth the heart- felt piety of a deeply religious and emotional race. General Result. Will Catholicism gain by the Revival ? Directly not much, if at all. Most of the converts who do not lapse will pass into the chapels, the rest into the Established Church. But in these days, when infidelity stalks rampant through the land, we who believe that we have the true light cannot surely be indifferent to any effort which proclaims the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent. After all, notwithstanding some of his views, the Revivalist is infinitely nearer to us than the indifferentist and the sceptic, and where it is hopeless to expect much we may be thankful for what there is. The Welsh will not be Catholic this year or next, but when they return to the Fold they will do so with all the fervour of a second Ireland. Not in vain did old Taliesin sing of his countrymen— Their Lord they will praise, Their language they will keep, Their land they shall lose- Except wild Wales.


Ynghylch y Diwygiad.