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-.--. Swanson Wag-on Hire…

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SUNDAY AT SWANSEA, r Rev. Simon on the Observance of the Sabbath. The value of a sermon is not in what is spoken, nor in what is beard, but in what is remembered. In the congregation at a Swansea church on Sunday morning was a young lady—a rather young lady. I asked her what the preacher had said, and with a glad smile she told me. "There is a vine; it belongs to the Queen, and is known as 'the Queen's vine.' One gardener attends to it, and the vine gives as much as a thousand bunches a year, which go to the Royal tables. When any one grape is found bad the gardener cuts off the bunch and throws it away. The moral was that we should be fruitful, and if we had any sin we should throw it away, like the gardener did." "What did he mean by being fruitful?" "We should do kind acts." "What was the text?" "I don't remember that. We ought to have 'peace,' 'joy,' and something else to- wards God, and 'faithfulness' and something else towards our neighbours." I hold this to have been rather successful, as sermons go. A grown man, of consider- able intelligence and volubility, father of the above, failed to remember anything of the evening serrron, except that it was "about Easter!" The sermon had not helped him. That little girl, on the other hand, has been impressed, at a successful age, that she must do kind acts and throw away sin! Those who say the revival is passing away mistake form for substance. They miss the point adumbrated in such poetic musings as "Kind words can never die," "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." Really and truly( they deny that there ever has been any revival. The real truth of the matter is that in the world is a Power, unseen, verit- able, operating through men, manifesting itself in many forms—"a Power, not our- selves, which makes for righteousness." Now it takes this form, now that, and +he humble, honest-hearted recognise and re- verence it, everywhere and always. The revival has ceased to be chronicable in the newspapers; but all that was of value in it I remains in the lives of men, there to work, quietly, unobtrusively. There is a note of apprehension in one of the many deep say- ings of the Churchman's Book of Common Prayer:—"Minister: Oh, God, make clean our hearts within us.—People: And take not Thy Holy Spirit from us!" That cat- astrophe is possible! "We have great reason to thank God that we are living under the influence of a. grea.t revival in church life, which has made iteelf felt not only in every nook and corner of our land, but to the most distant parts of the earth. this most wonderful and glori- ous religious revival—I refer to the Oxford movement of 50 or 60 years ago Thus the Rev. John Simon at the new St. Augustine's Church, Brynmill, on Sun- day morning. At this very moment (be went on) W3 were enjoying a great many spiritual privileges which to our anc3S.ors were denied. Those who could look back to the beginning of the late Queen's reign knew of the coldness and deadnese of the Church at that period. Churches were erected and maintained more with regard to the convenience and comfort of worshippers than to the glory of God. People who could afford to pay were allowed to occupy the best places in church—and that evil was t ot dead yet—the poor were given the worst places. Church doors were barred during the woek, sermons were infrequent; those were days of carelessness, dust, cobwebs, and irreverence. But new life entered the church as it becamc recognised that it was a true branch of the Holy Catholic Church. Looked at fairly and squarely, this move- ment known as "High Church," is found to be something other than the mere aping of Roman Catholic ceremonies which to tho 611- perficial eye it appears. There's more in it than the question of an extra candle, a cruci- fix, a oenser, an "eastward position," cr even a claim of priestB, to be too only chan- nel of Divine blessing. A revival that has produced the devoted 6&lf-sacrificing and practically sympathetic lives we have seen in nearly every town in this country. Here in Swansea, behold the lives of the few clergymen in this town who are credited with High Church tendencies. "You can't argue against a good life," ae Quaker Els- mere said when he accepted an invitation to preach the gospel at the Unitarian Church. Rev. John SiADOn is a powerful preacher, more so than thousands who possess rarer gifts. Tbp~x'ft a genuine ring aboui hie ut- terances. He believes what he preaches. He has no pulpit manner, only ordinary every-day speech. Nothing of the ecclesias- tic in him. A young, bearded man, full of healthy energy. He raoes through the prayers, races through the sermon also, races in private conversation. He may be at any time questioned with the certainty of an in- telligently sympathetic, if somewhat abrupt, response. Their new church, be went on, was not a whim or a fancy, but a real need. It meant much labour, much pxayer and self-denial on the part of practically every member. He appealed to officials and communicants to make individual efforts to indnce others to avail themselves of church privileges. If they asked, "Why do you come to church?" some would reply, "Because I like it;" others, "I come to gst good others, again, "Because it is right." To the latter reason the preacher attached most value. The "Pleasant Sunday Afternoon" movement was a deplorable sign of the times, since it looks very mnch like the substitution of pleasure for duty — "I like to," for "I ought." Swansea has achieved many other records besides on the football field and in the Coun- cil Chamber. One is for Sunday School at- tendance. They have it best at King Ed- ward-road Baptist School. The attendances for the last 13 years at this most flourishing institution have been remarkable; so much so that the officials decided on some recog- nition of it. A year or so ago the names of all lads and lasses who had attended without a miss for seven years wer9 painted on a memorial tablet. There are now on it about 20 names. But in 1903 medals were also dis- tributed to four scholars who had attended for ten years without a miss. Curiously enough, they are all Morgans, though not of the same family—their names, Nellie, Alf. Llew., David, and William. The Baptist Church had its anniversary on Sunday., In the morning services were conducted by the pastor, Rev. W. Thomas, M.A., and in the evening by Rev. James Owen, of Mount Pleasant. Pastor Thomas took tbe place of Mr. Owen at Mount Plea- sant. Rev. H. Hodder, Wesley Chapel, ad- dressed tbe Sunday School in the afternoon. As an instance of how impossible it was for me to get clear of tbe Oxford religious revi- val, the solo "Lead, kindly light," the 'Di- olch Iddo" of Cardinal Newman, was ren- dered by a senior scholar. Maxim Gorky, the Russian novelist, the last of tbe Rev. Tudor Jones's "Living Teachers and Prophets," was dissected at the Unitarian Church on Sunday evening. Mr. Jones leaves for Jena University on May 15th. "After His Passion" and "Marred in tbe Making" were Pastor F. W. Pitt's subjects at the Countess of Huntingdon's. Rev. J. Talog Davies, of Beaufort (Mon.), preached at Argyle Chapel, and Mr. Josepn James, B.A., Brecon, at Rhyddings Congre- gational Church. J JUpl11!iR. j _JUPITER.






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