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Bill's Second Reading.


Newport Demonstration.


Newport Demonstration. BISHOP OWEN ON THE BILL. Commission Evidence Reports. The Bishop of St. David's and the Bishop of Llantjaff were the principal speakers at a meet- ing held at the Tredegar Hall, Newport, on Tuesday evening to protest against the Bill for the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Church in Wales and Monmouthshire." The Btshops were supported by 8ir Arthur Mackworth, Bart., Colonel C. T.. Wallis, Arch- deacon Bruce, Canon Griffiths, Canon Lister, Mr L. Forestier-Walker (Conservative candi- date fot South Monmouth), Mr W. S. de Win- ton, Mr T. B. R. Wilson, Mr C. D. Phillips, Mr C. O. Lloyd, Mr F. Smith, Mr H. H. Laybourne, Mr F. Stratton, Mr F. J. Heybyrne, Mr R. T. Martvn, Mr G. F. Colborne, Mr J. Basham, Mr W. Godfrey, Mr W. J. Lloyd. The Bishop of Llandaff. The Biihop of Llandaff, who presided, said certain misguided persons, though many of them were well meaning, had seen fit to intro- duce a Bill Which Churchmen believed would be disastrous to the country and the Church, and they had met to protest against that Bill coming into law. They were told that Wales had made up her mind on this question, and that 34 members had been returned to support the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Church of England in Wales. He chal- lenged that statement. It did not carry the weight it was supposed to carry. Even if the question was to be decided by the votes of the Welsh members, only 15 of the 34 made any reference to it at the last election. The ques- tion was before the country in the 1895 elec. tion, and at that time nine seats were won by the opponents of Disestablishment. One hundred thousand people voted against it, and 132,000 for it. If a referendum were taken on this question, he had no doubt that a different result would be recorded to that which had been the case in past years. This question had been mixed up with others— with education, with Labour, and the latter had been the principal issue in some constitu- encies. If the Government adopted the prin- ciple of numbers, then they ought to disestab- lish the Church in half of the counties in Eng- land. Numbers should not be the determining principle it was a question of right or wrong. It affected the whole of the country, and in Monmouthshire he did not know why they should be treated differently from Gloucester- shire. (Applause.) Mr L. Forrestier Walker moved That inasmuch as the Bill for the Dis- establishment and Dfeendowment of the Church in Wales and Monmouthshire is designed to alienate to secular purposes property voluntarily given and solemnly dedicated to the use of the Church and her clergy for the service of God, and also would dismember the Church herself against her own wishes and to her grievous loss, and would cause great national injury, those present pledge themselves to use every law- ful effort to oppose and defeat the Bill. The mover of the resolution said he believed the rank and file of Nonconformists were not in favour of the Bill. Sir Arthur Mackworth, Bart., who seconded, said he believed a national Church was abso- lutely necessary. Dr. Owen's Speech. The Bishop of St. David's at the outset maintained that Churchmen had a right to protest against the time selected to introduce the Disestablishment Bill, for membersof-the present Government who usfed to be eloquent about the doctrine of mandates when they were out of office had no scruples now about pressing forward an irrevocable measure which they took care not to put before the country at the last election. Therefore Churchmen had a right to protest against the introduction of a Welsh Disestablishment Bill during the present Parliament. (Applause.) Again they had a right to protest against its introduction before, the evidence and the report of the Welsh Church Commission had been published. It was an open secret that the evidence given before the Commission was not likelv to create enthusiasm in the country for Welsh Disestab- lishment. This might be a form of clever tactics, but it was too clever byhalf to suit fair- minded people. (Hear, hear.) Archdeacon Evans had stated that the third votome of the evidence, as well as the two other volumes, was already in print, and he did not think the Government would thank their friends on the Commission for this attempt to improve upon their original tactics. The Premier's Case. The Prime Minister's case for Disestablish- ment turned out on examination to be baaed upon mistakes-about the history and statistics, and upon the unfounded assumption that Irish Disestablishment was a precedent in point of principle for Welsh Disestablishment. He did not propose to say more about the Prime Minister s speech than to point out the obvious unfairness of quoting figures given before the Welsh Church Commission until that Commis- sion had reported upon their value and signifi- cance. (Hear, hear.) Of all forms of religious controversy, a controversy about statistics was the most irritable and unprofitable. When the evidence and the re port of the Commission had been published, not many months would elapse before their opponents would be glad to hear no more of statistics. (Laughter and applause.) This was a Bill,insisted the Bishop, for secular- ising the State as far as Wales was concerned, and secondly, a Bill for the dismemberment of the Church. It was a dangerous thing to set up secularism as an ideal of the State when the place of the State in the life of the nation was being more and more rapidly enlarged, and if once they comiAitted themselves to a wrong principle they could not stop where they liked. Some people had no sense of responsibility for corporate religion, and he feared that great harm had been already done in South Wales among young people bv the flippant way in whih some Christian ministers mocked the idea of a national profession of religion, though it was so plainly taught in the Bible. He had never known a man who did not become a worse man through lapsing from public pro- fession of religion, and the analogy held good for the nation. (Cheers. ) Secular Nationalism. Wales would not become a better country, but a worse country if it were to set up the v idol of secular nationalism as the ideal of its aspirations. (Hear, hear.) In defending the Church they were defending a great deal more than the Church, but the cause of religion in Wales as a whole. They therefore took their stand in opposing the Biil^ on^ Further, the Bill was a Church dismemberment Bill based on the bad principle that, because the Church was established Parliament had a moral right to do with it just what it liked. The Wesleyan church was one, body in Eng- land and Wales, and the Welsh Congregational through the editorial columns of the Tyst were claiming for Welsh, Congregaitonahsta their place in the English Congregational Union of England and Wales. Welsh members of Parliament would never dare to make such a preposterous proposal as to thrust Welsh Congregationalism from the Congregational Union of England and Wales, and Sir Robert Perks would view with horror any proposal to interfere with the internal relations of English and Welsh Wesleyans against the wishes of the denomination. But it was proposed to do this with the Church, because it was established, and it was argued that Parliament had a right on the principle of religious equality to separate the Welsh from the English dioceaes. The question of principle was whether the rightful liberties of religious bodies were to be respected by the State or not. Political Nonconformists were delighted at the idea of Parliament, severing the unity of the Church, but it required no great effort of imagination to foresee a day when a Socialist Prime Minister of England might bring a Bill into Parliament to unite Jul Nonconformist denominations, quite irrespec- tive of the wishes of their members, on the ground that the majority in Parna.mentwere of opinion that the separate existence of com- peting Nonconformist denominations was fun- damentally incompatible with the welfare of a Socialistic State. Marauding Nataanaasta. It was high time, continued the Bishop, for the Welsh people to apply their store of common-sense to the destructive pro- grammes of marauding 1. Nationalists." (Ap- plause.) In these days of advancing educa- tion, it could not be very long before Welsh in- telligence came to see that common-sense rather than sentiment should direct their ac- tions in public as well as in private business, and that it was a stupid as well as an unfair abuse of Welsh national sentiment to assert that the right way to lift up Wales was to pull down the oldest and the greatest of its national institutions. (Loud applause.) There were new problems in front of them to- day. The main religious issue in Wales for many years to come would be whether the Christian faith, all hitherto understood from its first beginning, was to hold its own against new theologies, which were but thinly divided from what used to be called Unitarianism. A grow- ing number of Nonconformists saw in the Church not an enemy but an ally against the new and dangerous doctrines that were in the air. If the truth of the Gospel was to retain its power over the next generation in Wales, those who believed in it, Churchmen and Non- conformists alike, would have to stand shoulder to shoulder against their common danger, in- stead of wasting their strength in mutual out- of-date strife. The resolution was carried.

Cardiff Church Protest.

[No title]







Lord Hugh Cecil.




Says She Was Stupefled.