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-------EPISCOPAL VISIONS.

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EPISCOPAL VISIONS. Everybody will rejoice at the progress made by the Bishop of Bangor towards tl.e recovery of his health. But there is s;11 something the matter, apparently, with h:s lordship's eyesight. He fails to see the true inwardness, the actual meaning of "nation- alism." So he told his clergy, assembled in diocesan conference at Dolgelley the other day. Cymric bishops have never been noted for keenness of vision; episcopal optics are frequently subject to that pecul- iar malady known as colour-blindness. 'If the Welsh Church," said Dr Lloyd, 'fails in consulting the best interest of all classes of people on truly Welsh lines, I am free to confess that it is a failure.' We had always thought that the very existence of Noncon- formity was fair'y decisive proof of the rail- ur of the Latin,Anglican,Norman;or Estab- lished Church in Wales. An institution on which the vast majority of the people have turned their backs cannot lationally be called a success. The Bishop said the Church "was worked on truly national lines." But the awkward part of the busi- ness is that the Church itself is not national to begin with. That is the initial difficulty which, in the nature of thingr can never be surmounted. In one respect only is the Church national it is maintained by national funds. To apply to it the epithet nation; 1 in any other connection is a wicked abuse of terms. But Bishop Lloyd does not understand what nationalism means, as re^u-ds mat- ters ecclesiastic. We will tell him in a few plain and simple word°. A church may be said to be national, in the first place, when it is of national origin The Anglican Church in Wales is not of Welsh origin. Our ancestors, from' about the 2nd century J to the 11th or 12th, had their own Celtic Church, which was as Celtic in its origin as any system of Christianity could not be of nation?.] origin at all. The seed came from Asia Minor; not from or "via" Rome, but the plant grew a Celtic plant in the Celtic soil of Ireland and Wales. In the sixth century the Latin Church was carried from Rome to the South of England. For centuries there was a fierce battle between the Latin Church in England and the Celtic Church in Wales. The Latins were held at bay for a long time. At last, the Normans helped them, by means of their castles and their soldiers, to conquer the Celtic Church, and reduce Wales to ecclesiastical servitude. The English Church in Wales dates from, and owes its supremacy to, the Norman castles that disfigure the hills and valleys of our beautiful country. The line of continu- ity! was broken by the Norman bullies. Be- fore their appearance, the Church of Wales was Celtic and national; after their ap- pearance, it was Latin and alien. The Celtic Church, both in Ireland and Wales, was a success. It was fashioned b ythe people in accordance with their own ideas and ideals; it therefore suited their genius, and was in sympathy with their aspirations. The Celtic Church was an intellectual and a moral power thai made itself felt all over the west of Europe. When it was beaten down by N orman; spears, and the Church of the Latins thrust on the people by military methods in substitution for it, then began the period of religious apathy. The Latin Church, not adapted to the Celtic tempera- ment, sank into the mire of indifference, lassitude, and corruption. At length the people deliberately went away from it, abandoned it to its own devices, and set up religious systems of their own. They dis- sented, they non-conformed. The Latin Church was a deadweight, dragging them down to all manner of depravity and bar- barism. Therefore, they shook it away from them, and betook themselves to their own Bethels and Ebenezers and Shilohs. Every chapel in Wales -is a rebuke and a reproach to the Latin Church imposed on the Welsh people, and a, concrete, palpable proof, for all eyes to see, of the failure of that Church in the country. What is the use of talking about working "on national lines" an institution which is anti-national in its inward core, and hopelessly foreign to the temperament of the people? Both in the Bangor and St. Asaph dio- cesan conferences there was some talk, we note with peculiar interest, about the de- sirability of establishing Boards of Patron- age. That is a distinctively Celtic note. It argues a feeling of revolt against episcopal territorial government, a feature of eccles- iastical life absolutely unknown in the an- cient Celtic Church. There were bishops in that Church, it is true; yes, there were bis- hops, hundreds of them. But of real power they possessed rather less than an ordinary curate of our day; they had no territorial control. No official, high or low, had ter- ritorial control over anybody or anything. It was universal home rule then. The Celtic Church was fundamentally democratic. The conception of an official ruling the churches of one-fourth, more or less, of the Princip- ality, drawing the salary of a prime minis- etr, living in a magnificent mansion, and controlling the destinies of a large number of clerics, is essentially a non-Celtic and an anti-Celtic conception. The Bishop of Bangor does not understand Celtic nation- alism. This need cause no wonder, for the office he so worthily fills is a Latin institu- tion right through. And even a bishop is human. Some bishops are very human in- deed. That was the reason, perhaps, why the Celtic Church confined their power with- in such very narrow limits. In that Church the clergy had no special privileges of any sort. They were subject to all the laws that regulated the affairs and customs of the tribes. They were tribesmen first, and clergymen afterwards. There was no com. pulsory tithe to support them. In the Latin Church, the clergy held a thick end of the stick in their own hands. They en- joyed many privileges; enormous powers were vested in them; tyrants over the peo- ple were they, not religious ministers. The Irish priest that wallops the peasants with his shillelagh is a Latinist. We know what the Celtic Church did for Ireland in the early ages, and what the Latin Church did for that unhappy country afterwards. The Bishop of Bangor does not understand Welsh nationalism. The stock-brokers of Berlin do not understand Greek national- ism. How can they ? The Bishop should bear in mind that the people of Wales are Celts, that the Established Church is an Anglican institution, of Roman origin, and thrust on the people of Wales at the point of Norman spears. Let him also remember that the ancient Church of Wales is repre- sented now, not by the Anglican Church, but by Nonconformity. Possibly he will be loth to take our word for it. Very well then; we have no right to complain of that. We refer his lordship to Mr Willis Bund's marvellously interest- ing book, "The Celtic Church of Wales." There he will find a vast amount of informa- tion on the subject. The reading of the vlume will not be a pleasant task for him; still, like bitter physic, it may do him a world of good. And we need not tell him, a Cardi as he is, that Mr Willis Bund is a I Tory, an Englishman, and a Churchman. So we are referring him to one of his own friends, not to any wicked Dlissenter or audacious Liberatiortist. We will also quote for him the dictum of a well-known Anglican cleric, the Rev S. Baring Gould, the novelist and historian. Mr Gould paid a visit to Wales last week, and he told a pressman that "the development of the gen- ius of the Welsh people was arrested by the invasion of the Norman." This may not be true of Welsh literature; but it is only too terribly true of Welsh religion. The St. Asaph clergymen also met in dio- cesan conference last week. The question they chiefly discussed was: how to get more money? Bishop Edwards told them that Disestablishment will never more be heard of; but they are preparing for the worst.

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