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THE ABERYSTWITH COLLEGE.

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THE ABERYSTWITH COLLEGE. Mr. B. T. Williams, Q.C., writing from the Temple to the Times of Wednesday, says:—All unprejudiced friends of the cause of higher educa- tion in Wales must feel deeply indebted to you for your article on Wednesday last on the proceedings of the Chester Conference. The claims of the Aberystwith College are worthy of calmer consi- deration than they received at that gathering When the site of Aberystwith was chosen for the college by its original promoters they were influ- enced, not only by the salubrity and other advantages of the place, but also by the fact that it occupied a position equally accessible to North Wales and to South. Any one looking at the map will see at a glance that Aberystwith is midway on the coast line of the Principality. It is to be remembered that the majority of those who joined in this selection were gentlemen who were prominently connected. with North Wales. A magnificent building was secured, which it had cost £80.000 to erect, for the sum of £10,000. Since the opening of the college patriotic efforts have been made to pro- mote in Wales a high-class collegiate education at a moderate cost and on unsectarian principles. The promoters have collected together an able and enthusiastic staff of professors, and the work now done there is equal to that done by any other like institution in this country. At present there are 80 students in attendance, and the college is winning the support and confidence of the Welsh people. Do- natIOns amounting to £52,796 have been received,an excellent library and museum, to which contribu- tions have been sent from all parts of Wales, have been established, and valuable bequests have been made to the college by Mr. Powell, of Nanteos, and others. If we add tothis the splendid building itself, designed by Seddon, and situate in the most beautiful spot in South Wales, it will appear that the trustees have now in their charge a valuable and most desirable property for the purpose of high-class education inhales. To the fund North Wales has subscribed .£8,692; South Wales, £16,738; London, £13,947; and various other sums have been given by other English towns. Only a few years ago the sole object of the promoters of high-class education in North and South Wales was to secure the permanent establishment of this institution. I was present at the deputa- tion which waited upon the Duke of Richmond in Julv, 1877. It was attended by nearly every mem- ber", Liberal and Conservative, from North and South Wales, and the sole object of that deputation was to get a Government grant for the college at Aberystwith. Failing to get any promise from the Government then in office, Sir Hugh Owen ex- pressed to myself and others his great desire that the claims of the college should be raised in a dis- cussion in the House of Commons. The motion promoted by him was intrusted to Sir Hussey Vivian, the member for Glamorganshire, and he opened the debate on July 1,1879, in a speech re- markable for its ability and comprehensive- ness. He raised the whole question of Higher Education in Wales, and, although the then existing Government gave no promises, when Mr. Gladstone returnodto power the Departmental Committee was appointed. Pendingthesettlement of the question of the two colleges in Wales, recom- mended by their report, the Government has re- cognised the position of Aberystwith College bv making it a temporary grant of £4,000 a year. This recognition of their efforts was welcomed with great satisfaction by the people of Wales, and it was hoped that, after the support which the college had received from the Government and the public, it would be established as a permanent institution among them. But the North Wales men refuse the offer which is now made to them of taking this institution as their own solely because it is ten miles on the wrong side of the South Wales border! A local pre- judice of this kind becomes deeply rooted in the Welsh mind, and has even been sufficient to cause dissension among them, as their unfortunate his- tory abundantly shows. And when we see it fos- tered by men of the position of Mr. Osborne Morgan and Mr. John Roberts, we can scarcely hope that it may yet be overcome by wiser and more generous counsels. If the Aberystwith College will not b3 accepted by North Wales, I trust the Government will not allow the efforts made for it and the funds collected for its support to be en- tirely lost to the people of Wales. If one college is established in Glamorganshire and another in the North of Wales, the college at Aberystwith would still have usefuj work before it, as offering superior advantages to the western and midland counties of Waies. I can only express the hope that if the North Wales men refuse, in obedience to a geographical prejudice, to accept Aberystwith as their college, tho Government will make a. separate grant to enable it to carry on the good work in which it is now successfully engaged. TO THE EDITOR. gIK( i find that some of the friends of the above college are extremely angry because the people of North Wales, who met lately in conference at Chester, rejected the Aberystwith College as a proper one for the youths of North Wales. There are two letters in the pages of your contemporary for this day, the 31st of January, containing very strong remonstrances against the people of North Wales for daring to consult their own interests and convenience, and for refusing to consult the in- terests and sentimentalities of those who wish to push their favourite college in Aberystwith upon the people of North Wales. The Dean of Bangor, in his speech at the Chester Conference, told the truth about the sectarian character of the Aberystwith College. That truth was very bitter to Mr. D. Davies, M.P., Llandinam, who has been a pitfCy to make that college sectarian, and who has hotly defended its sectarianism publicly. Mr. Davies wished the world to beheve that what is sectarian is also unsect»1-iAn- One of the writers of the letters referred tp, who calls himself A Governor of Aberystwith College," tries to prove that the college is unsectarian by quoting Article 13, found in the constitution of the college, in which "theology is excluded from its study." But the veracious" Governor" omitted a very material fact, which would have spoiled his assertions against the assertions of the Dean of Langor. The fact to which I refer is found in the Calendar" of the college in the 8th Regulation with respect, to discipline." That regulation is as follows: "The principal will meet the students for prayers every morning at half-past eight o'clock, in the library. Attendance at prayers is not compulsory. The manual used—prico Is.—may be had of the registrar." The" manual. used" contains sectarian prayers and sectarian hymns. Ac- cording to the advertisement" at the be- ginning of the "manual," "the prayers and hymns were selected from various sources." But all those sources are Trinitarian and Protestant, not one of them Unitarian or Roman Cathohc. It is, therefore, as evident as noon-day that the "regulations "in relation to students "are" sec- tarian.' The fact that there is no compulsion to attend" makes no difference in the sectarian character of the regulation." There is no "com- pulsion to attend the chapels of Aberystwith belonging to various denominations, but that does not change the fact that the services in those chapels are sectarian. A letter appeared ifi the Baner, dated Dec. 3, 1872, written by Mr. John Pughe, Aberdovey, a justice of the peace, whose son was a student in the Aberystwith College. He said that the use of the Manual of Prayer and Praise was incon- sistent with the former non-sectarian professions which had been madd by the promoters of the college movement. After all the tall talk about its non-sectarianism, the students of the college are trained in the daily use of a sectarian prayer- book and this bright ideal ot our imagination resolves itself into a denominational college, with a conscience clause! Instead of the promised pure gold we are put off with aluminium. Good faith, consistency, and common sense require that this foolery should go on no longer. The able and temperate letter of Sylwedydd,' in last week's Baner, ought to be a sufficient warning of the storm of indignation which you are brewing." The above letter was addressed to the authori- ties of the college. They replied. But he said, in his second letter, that they slurred the matter over, as if it involved no principle." In reply to that the principal said that "Churchmen de- manded the public recognition of religion in a college that invited them to enter its gates." Mr. Pughe, in his reply, said that he had subscribed to the funds of the college and sent his son to it on the faith that it should be non-sectarian, which was on its flag when appealing for support. He said that "compromises were dishonest." I think, therefore, that the Dean of Bangor told the truth about the college.—I am, &c" TO. ANTI-SHAM.

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