Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page




THE WELSH PRESS [By GrWTLIEDYDD."] WELSH CONGREGATIONALISM. The proceedings of the annual meetings at Cardiff of the Welsh Congregationalists (or Independents, as they are better known* contain valuable material for the student of "Cymru Fydd." There were perceptible about the meetings and the men who attended them elements of of life and vigour that must leave their influence upon the future of the Principality. The majority of the delegates present are men who have risen from the lowest ranks of society by the force of their own talents, and they are conscious of their strength. Very few of them show any evidence of culture, but there is about them a sturdiness of character and a resolute- ness of will which convinced the onlooker that they would make their mark on the future of Welsh life. They can scarcely be called a religious organisation, for they have no constitution or confession of faith. Every congregation is independent, and the minister may preach any doctrine he likes. Theology takes a subordinate place among them, and social and political questions take the lead. "D. S. D. of the "Celt"—one of the lead- ing ministers writes thus of the OardM meeting:—"Everything passed off satisfac- torily. I was delighted with the fact that everything was done in Welsh. The subjects discussed were: The Liberal Ministry, the House of Commons, the Ho-use of Lords, Home Rule, disestablishment and disendow- ment, Local Option, county councils, parish councils, and all the questions of the day- and all in pure Welsh. The laity are, behind the ministers in their interest in public matters. The democratic spirit was uni- versal in every speech and every sermon. The old people have ceased to be leaders- that rotten and sickly practice has dis- appeared. Young men formed four-iifths of the meetings." The "Tyst" devotes the whole of its pages to a report of the pro- ceedings, and expresses its pleasure at the interest and unanimity shown in relation to the great questions of the day. It admits, however, that there was a difference of opinion on the education question. There are a few educated men .among the ministers who dread the secularising tendencies of the denomination. Professor Tyssil Evans, M.A., who presided over the education meet- ing, expressed himself in terms which must have been unpalatable to the majority of his hearers. He said:—"Education divorced from religion is a. curse instead of a buessmg I would have you feel, if I coul; that sound religious teaching is more needed now than ever. I am not satisfied with the religious standard in our colleges. The college is too often looked upon as a stepping-stone to a good Church instead of a place to train the mind for the great work of the ministry. I say without faltering that I would rather make religion a Dart of the teaching in our public schools than allow our young people to grow up in ignorance of it. There is reason to fear that there are thousands of persons in Wales ignorant of religious things, and that slight is the knowledge of the rnaJo- r'ity of the great, questions which our fore- fathers considered all important." The way way in which the vernacular papers treat the great meeting at Cardiff is strongly illustrative of the absence of homogeneity among the Welsh people. Whilst the Inde- pendents throughout the Principality were absorbed in the meetings of their Union, the other denominations took no interest m them. Indeed, the Baptist and Wesleyan organs ignored them altogether, and the Methodist "Goleuad" printed only a short, common- place article, which bears a strong family resemblance to the one which appears :n the "Tarian. The only question on which Welsh Nonconformists agree is hostility to tine Established Church, although the Church is co-extensive with the Principality, and has been interwoven with the nation for eighteen hundred years. WELSH WEglEYANISM. Whilst the Independents were holding their annual meeting at Cardiff the Welsh Wesleyans were absorbed in their conference at Birmingham. The "Gwyliedydd," tne Welsh organ of the denomination, is full of reports of Weslevan matters, itS if religious Wales were all Weslevan. It is characteris- tic of the organs of the Welsh denominations to ignore each other, and yet they talk Dig about united Wales and Welsh Home Rule. The Wesleyans are a small and weak body in Wales, and, in order to keep matters together, they imitate the other denomina- tions in their services and more of action. No Welsh paper, for instance, is more bitter against the Church than the "Gwyliedydd, and its politics are Radical in the extreme. It takes the part of the democratic party in the conference, and condemns the action of Dr. Eigg and the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes in relation to Weslevan reform. It also expresses approval of the admission of women as members of the conference. One of its correspondents says that Dr. Rigg is not over popular, but is, without question, the ablest administrator in the connexion. Oi the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes he writes — "He is very quick, and herein lies his strength as a debater. He is^ stronger m attack than in defence." Special attention is paid bv the crwyliedvod to the Rhondda Valley and Lancashire Missions. The repre- sentative of the latter gives a painful descrip- tion of the Welsh people who left North Wales for that oountv. showing the very superficial training of the young men among the Welsh Nonconformists. Like the majo- rity of the vernacular papers, the "Gwyl- iedydcf' exercises verv little control over its correspondence. The two last numbers ¡ contain attacks on the Rev. D. Young s new and valuable work on the history of Wesleyanism in Wales. THE" BANER" ON PUBLIC QUESTIONS. Th" LBaner," as my readers are aware, is considered the leading vernacular newspaper in the Principality. It is printed on better paper than its contemporaries, and sold at double the price. There are sixteen pages, the two first and the two last serving as a wrapper to the contents. The third page is devoted to the discussion of imortant public questions, and is supposed to be under the immediate inspiration of Mr. Thomas Gee himself. A perusal of this page is an interesting study, for it illustrates in a special manner the idiosyncrasies of tne official Welsh journalist. The writer of the special article in the "Baner is com- pletely absorbed in his subject, and wrues as -if he were the embodiment of wisdom and justice. The last article deals with the next o-eneral election, upon the issues of which the fate of Christendom seems to depena. The style of the Denbigh oracle is after that of the Hebrew prophets during the captivity. The following extracts are illustrations: "Is the Kingdom of Christ in Britain to be free 1 We must have an end for ever to the wicked and un-Scriotural system which inter- feres with the Divine right of the .Redeemer to free His kingdom and disciples from the fetters and tyranny of the world. Neither Home Rule for Ireland nor any other ques- tion—nor all other questions put together- count the weight of a feather in the scale against it. Are we prepared for the battle ? The situation is gravely. important, for if we are not true when the time arrives we shall lose the opportunity to give (a deadly blow to the monster of an Estab- lished Church that will not occur again for many years, and we shall be covered with disgrace in the sight of the civilised world. THE BUDGET. The RacEca.1 and Nonooinformist papers are delighted with the Budget of the C'han- celloir of the Exchequer. Everything that tends to bring the aristocracy and the Churdh into disrepute is hailed with satisfaction, and every attack upon the established institu- tions of this country is applauded. "ihe Lords," says the "Baner," "hate the Budget with perfect hatred." Two columns are de- voted to a consideration of whether the l.ords would venture to throw out "the greatest Budget of the century." The "Celt" says: "The aristocracy caused the large expendi- ture upon ship's of war, and Sir William Harcourt has arranged in his Budget that they shall pay for it. They grumble over the high death duties, but they have few sympathisers." "The Budget is the fairest and most liberal ever introduced into Par- liament," is the statement of the "Seren." "Hitherto," says the "Tarian," "the poor have paid the taxes, but the rich are now to bear their share." THE CELT" ON THE PRIME MINISTER. The following appears in large type in the editorial column of the "Celt" —"The most important news of late is that Ladas, Lord Rosebery's horse, has lost a race Isinglass is now the god of the gamblers. The natural consequence will be that the Tories will be in power after the next elec- tion. Rosebery, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, was present, and it is said that he looked broken-hearted on leaving the race- course. When Harcourt stated in the House of Commons that many a gentleman (?) lost ten thousand pounds during one afterncsn a member called out 'Rosebery.' Is it not painful to think that this is the sort of chief the Liberal party has, and that such a, person is the Premier of the greatest Empire in the world? People in the country have no idea of the extent and evil of gambling in society And yet we see the Prime Minister of Great Britain one of the leaders of this devilish set, who damn themselves and damn others also. But when Rosebery visits Car- diff we shall see ministers of religion, teacher's in Sunday Schools, and religious men of every sect doing him homage. They will meet him at the railway station, present him with addresses, and thank him for con- descending to visit Wales, and for the im- mortal honour conferred upon Cardiff by the visit of a person of the position, character, and imluence of Lord Rosebery." MISCELLANEOUS. The ^"Carnarvon Herald" has the follow- ing "We have diligently read the columns of our contemporaries during the past few days, but have not come across any explana- tion or defence of the hopeless apathy of the Welsh members in reference to the drop- ping of the Disestablishment Bill. So tar, therefore, we are entitled to repeat, as we do repeat, that the Welsh members, by their inexplicable want of unity and vigour, have allowed their country's cause to be 'side- tracked.' The "Llan" states that Mr. Acland's circu- lar to the managers of national schools is likely to stir up the clergy to take a more active interest in their schools than thev have been in the habit of doing. It admits thau the school's in many places have oeen neglected by the clergy. The "Goleuad" says that the last number of "Cymru" is very Methodistic—more than half the writers being Methodists—and that it is a very interesting number. One of the contributors to "Cymro" says that most of the "awdlau" of the "last quarter of a century are not worth the paper on which they are written, and that ^'Eben Fardd's" on "Dinystr Jerusalem" is worth the lot. A Welsh paper in North Wales, referring to the Primrose League, describes it as "Primros Lig." The "Genedl" states that Professor John Morris Jones, of the Bangor College, was so disgusted with the vanity of the Eistedd- fod that he went to the wood near Bramt River to meditate on the pomp of the world and the servility of certain people. "Methodist" condemrs in strong terms n "Yr Herald Cymraeg" the conduct of the English congregation of Welsh Methodists at Carnarvon having a sacred concert in their chapel on Sunday, a,nd says:—"Imagine the Apostles holding a concert in the tempi:; on a Sunday, with Stephen, Philip, Nicanor, and others selling tickets at the doors, and Rhl)d':I, 8Bd Veronica singing the solos inside." The "Baner" says that it would Le a national calamity if Mr. Lloyd-George re- tired from the House of Commons, and calls upon the Radical's of Carnarvon Boroughs to pay his expenses. !Ø.J:l



[No title]