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Presbyterian College, Carmarthen.…

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Presbyterian College, Carmarthen. c ANNUAL PHIZE DISTRIBUTION. 1 t.. The annual meeting for the distribution <• of prizes held in Chiss-room ISo. 1 on 1 Thursday, the -30th ult, at '-••'JO p m. The « Rev T. L. Maiolidll, socreiary of tht l ( Presbyterian Board, [.iv.-klcd. I L L The Cliaiiman, in taking the choir, was received with much applause. Thcv U\d, he said, no they did last, year, under the shadow uf a great Joss, tho sudden death of the n treasurer of the Board, Mr W. C. Clenuoll, B.A., who had attended three successive annual examinations and taken from the first a warm int'. r.st in the College and its studies. Himself an accomplished scholar, who lidd kept up his classical reading, he watched vrith the deepest interest the examinations, and even prepared himself for them by carefully reading the books that had been read during the session. None knew so well as Mr Fletcher Williams and tho Secretary the .services ho had rendered to the Presbyterian Board during the shurt period of his official connection with it. lie was happy to say that they had had a peaceful and harmonious session, interrupted only in the beginning of the year by the illness of all the Professors and several of the students ii-m the prevailing epidemic Ii influenza, which had caused the closing of the College for a fortnight. Ho would leave his colleagues b speak of the results of the examinations in their various departments. He could report with much satisfaction on the two subjects entrusted to him. The papers in Ecclesiastical History were the best written and the fullest and most accurate lie had ever received (applause), showing one of the advantages of the greatest concentration, of studies under the new stheme. He was also much interested in the papers on Hygiene—a very I Z-1 I important subject for students who might be called to exercise the ministry in country districts under less favourable conditions than those they enjoyed in this anci-mt town. The answers were full and accurate, and showed marked interest in the subject. The Chairman here created great amusement by quoting 0119 of the answers, in which a student with a lively imagination gave a most unfavourable aecouut of tho sanitary- condition of Carmarthen, concluding with the words, May Heaven send an earthquake to destroy the place, and then, perhaps, we shall have a new town with modern improvements, and a new College on the breezy heights of Bryn Myrddin (great laughter). He recently read the following note in that interesting little publication JYole-s cud Queries, contributed by Mr J. 11. Mathews, Town Hall, Cardiff — There is an old tree at the western end of Carmarthen of which popular traditions says that when the tree disappears the town will 16 destroyed or ended. It is said that a Catholic priest was hanged on that tree in or about 1 fjjU. I saw tho tree in the summer of 18J 1 ¡ and it was then in its last stage of decay." lie (the chairman) was so deeply affected by tho impending fate of Carmarthen that immediately alter his arrival he made a pilgrimage to tfhat tree, and found it even as Mr Mathews had stated, only more so. He turned away in much sadness, when ho noticed a thriving young sapling (springing from the same soil and possibly the same roots and putting forth vigorous branches aud abuudant foliage. Tie saw in this the delightful promise of new and vigorous lite for the good old town md "wr venerable College, t, 0 both adapting themselves to the new and altered condition of present-day life and progress (applause). In addressing a mixed audience if this kind be always felt deeply impressed with our essential uuity amid manifold differences. lie was far IVoru under-valuing Theology, which was Queen of tho Sciences, but their unity was religious not theological, and it was the Christian life C, and character which was the root of the matter. Many of the great controversies of the present and past ages were purely verbal, and would disappear or be greatly modified if the various disputants only defined their terms. lie was not long ago greatly struck with a sermon of South, the wittiest and most caustic of the Caroline Divines, entitled The Terrible Imposture and Force of Wcrds." There was immense significance in that very title, and the lesson he drew from it was that the Divine gift of speech was to be used with a sacred sense of reponsibility in theology as well as in all human relations. Passing on to a matter of deep personal interest to himself, he said that this was the last time he should come to Carmaithen (No! no!)—at least, his last official visit; as, on account of removal from London, he had sent in his resignation as secretitry, and would in a few weeks cease to be a member of the Presbyterian Board. He had been 45 years a member, and served 42 years as Secretary—a term of office exceeded only by one of his predecessors, the celebrated Dr Abraham Pecs, whose Encyclopaedia was in their Library, who was secretary from 1778, and died at his post at tho ago of 8'5, in tho year 1623. Ho had always been deeply interested in this College, and hoped he had helped to promote its welfare; and he wished to acknowledge the great kindness he had received here, and the valuabh "friendships he had furmed. One or two llliniters now present, grey and venerable, he had known when he iiyst camo down as one of the deputies and examiners. As he looked on the portraits on tho wails he was surrounded with mementoes of the long past. He recalled the successive Principals with whom ho had had such close rolations —Dr Lloyd, impulsive, hot-headed, warm- hearted, the kindly if not judicious friend of the students Stephenson lluutur, stately and dignified, with a depth of kindly feeling under a calm jind reserved exterior Dr Yante Smith, who brought additional reputation to this Cohere as one of the New Testament Kovisiofi Company, and low in a green old age, led a file of lettered leisure. S- n> < ad rcdeat (applause) and lastly their dear and valued Principal Evans, a sou of this town, a son of this College (much applause), of whom in his pivseuce ho could not say all that he felt. Time would fail were he to dwell ouM ho noble successor of Examiners,and colleagues on the Board, but lie must especially mentionVViJliacu Morgan, one of his dearest friends, whoso name was held in reverence by all who knuw him. Semper Jtotm nvmenniw suuni laiidcsque manebund. It had sometimes seemed to him as if lie could apply to himself the words of Tennyson's brook, "1\Icn may come, and iueu may go but 1 go on for ever," but at last tIlu tide of life was ofast ebbing it was time to retire and leavo the good work in younger and more vigorous hands, and he y m looked forward with confident faith aud the larger hope to be landed at last on the shore of the infinite love of the Great Father of all. They aU klDW' how fond he was of quoting their favourite Horace, and these lines from the Carmen Seeidare seemed an appropriate prayer on his taking leave of them—one word only being altered :— I)i probes mores lite. senectuii plaeidee quietem Cumbria: j<rnti dale Dee us omne (upplausg). And he might further in COmmend to them a iuindiar motto )f their ov/n—although ho feared they would hardly recognise it in his barbarous pronunciation— Y Gwir yn orbyn y byd," x very old British saying and a very noble one (" Truth against the World "), which is engraven on encaustic tdto on the pavement of the entrance hall of Tennyson's house doud and continued applause). Tho Rev 8. Fletcher Williams said he was voicing tho feelings of every person in the room when belaid that they had heard with profound regret that this was the last occasion on which the Hcv T. L. Marshall would appear there as secretary of the College. Mr Marshall had duvoted the greater part of his long and honoured life to the service of the institution, which had profited by his unwearying diligence, his unfailing courtesy, his great, tact. discretion, aud sound judgment. It would 80 extremely difficult- --and for the present impossible— for tho Presbyterian Board to adequately fill his place. He (the Rev S. Fletcher Will iams) would say in regard to the subjects entrusted to him that on the whole the answers had been better than in previous years. In both English Literature and in Comparative Religion the papers had been done remarkably well and he was glad to say that there was noticeable a great im- provement in the employment of the English p 6 tongue. He believed he had said before that he sympathised deeply with the students in having to think in their native tongue and then having to translate their ideas into what was to them a foreign language. With regard to the first of the subjects he had mentioned, he would say that it would be well for the students to continue their studies iu the great authors of the English language. It might sound heretical to some of his brother ministers but he would say as a minister of 28 years standing, that he had found more helpfulness, more suggestiveness, and more fructifying ideas "ZD C, ill the great English authors than in books of dogmatic theology. To Carlyle, Emer- i-son, Buskin, Browning, Tennyson, Z, Wordsworth, aud Matthew Arnold he was under special obligations. His hearers belonged to various denominations and represented various types of thought but they were all Nonconformists, and being Nonconformists, ho asked to be allowed to address to them a few observations on a passage which occurred in that elegant aud inspiring address of Mr Morgan Gibbon's, to which they had had the pleasure of listening a couple of days previously. Mr Gibbon said in the early part of his address that there was now prevailing a religion of ritual, a religion of ceremonial, and that one of the conditions under which Noncon- formist ministers had to conduct their ministry ill these days was provided by the strong and perhapsgrowingSacerdotalism of the present age. As Nonconformists, they believed that the Christianity of tho Now Testament is auti-hierarchial it was an emphatic proclamation of religious equality -ii,-)t in the sense of the equality of sect with sect before the law, which seemed to be the current interpretation of that doctrine -but in tho sense of the equality of man with man before God. Christianity knows nothing of auy human priesthood, except the priesthood which was in all men to render to God, the service of purity of heart and of righteous and beneficent conduct. Tho Gospel conferred the title of a holy priesthood on all who offered a spiritual :sacrilice-not oa a select and epi-copally-ordained few scattered abroad. The Gospel broke down the priestly monopoly both Jewish and Pagau aud made ever, true and every faithful disciple a king and a priest unto God on his own account (applause). It neither constitutes nor recognises any sacerdotal easte, any spiritual aristocracy, auy order of men standing in rx-ojticio relations to the Deity. It makes the relation of the individual soul to God direct, individual and imme- diate. Ecelesiastieasm lifts a mitred front in courts aud palaces and took the higher Á 1 j 1 1 il.. seat a at ieasi;> ana xuo upjn r piuces in me synagogue but Christ said, "My kingdorn is not of this world." Tn that address with which he closed his teaching, Christ enjoined on his disciples Call you no man your father upon earth." And yet Father," Right Reverend Father," and the "Right Reverend Father in God," are the styles and titles of the modern Christian episcopacy. It was a wonder that those who owned these proud titles did not proclaim that passage as a heretical inteipolation (laughter). The root of this departure from tho Now Testament was the doctrine of a priestly order distinguished from th., common multitude, endowed with the authority to expound religion, to administer certain sacraments, and entitled to demand the attention, the allegiance, and the submission of mankind. If that were granted, all the apparatus, all the machinery of an elaborate ceremonial followed as a matter of course. It was only natural that a priesthood should bo dressed in gorgeous vestments, with a cloud of incense Hung around them in order to awe men into the belief that those whom they saw through this blaze of glory were endowed in their works and their minds with the very authority of God. But we search the New- Testament in vain for the institution of any such order and of its ritual; tho only y authority which was found there was the authority of the truth which Christ's lips spake, tho authority of the lovo which consumed Christ's life, and the authority of the inspiration which Howed from tho whole of Christ's being. Tho priesthood stood branded with the terrible condemnation of throwing aside tho spirit of Jesus Christ, which rules by the power of truth and lovo alone. lie (Hev S. Fletcher Williams) was prepared to admit that there was a certaiu charm in tho idea of a paternal authority in spiritual things. To many minds, there was a fascination in tho conception of a Divine authority vested in human beings in spiritual affairs. It was an invaluable guidance to children, and—with great respect to the students ho would, say it— lVt3 aw all dlildron n in a very large measure throughout life. Was it not likely that God would provide for tho contiuuaaee of that paternal authority Was it not likely that He would secure guarantees for | the government of those who passed on to the mist-enwrapped and storm-tossed sea of life; He believed that there was an indubitable certainty that God had provided an authority for tho guidance of the govern- Luent of men as they passed out of childhood, But where was it provided ? In men who as Holy Father," as Pope," or Papa," claimed the universal allegiance of mankind ? In those Bishops who arrogate to themselvos the right to dictate our belief, and to administer our worship ? In those priests who preach the impiety that God has promised guidance to the human soul only on condition of our surrendering to their sell-constituted authority V No: It was provided in the whole system of things by which we are surrounded. That was a system intended, as lie thought, to teach us the more we study it of fatherly co-operation and of fatherly beneficence and intended to make us conscious at every point of the touch of a father'shand and the sound of a father's voice. The wlioic world was full of voices conveying messages to our souls. It was full of expression as a living cuuntenanco which gives inspiration to our heart and onr life. There is help and guidance for us everywhere; and it was the help and tho guidanc3 of God our Father. God did not communicate Niitii the human spirit only through an order of men as weak and as I helpless as ourselves and if we wore w-illing to accept such an order of men, it was not only that we did not honour God; but wo denied him and put au idol in his place (applause). lie who stands iu the place of (fuel at last becomes a God to us. "Our God the Pupa" is not the only sentence recorded in history giving us nn awful warning of the practical atheism towards which priestisui leads humanity at last Had ho time he could cite historical testimonies as to the influence which tho prir&fhood exercised but ho would say in one word that in the long run the influence 0 of the priesthood was an iufluenco for mischief. Priests wero overywhero the father of idolatries the prophet was every- i where their do:, troy or. The priest everywhere livpLlllPUll tho mental feebleness and the moral nervelessness of mankind tho prophet lived upon their intelligence and on the strength of their moral sentiments. He dared to say that in every age of the world the priest had been and still is the conspirator against the world's liberties; even In this country cabinets are constrained to consider the effect which legislation would have upon the clergy, what must bo done aud what must be left undone in obedience to tL, t ir wishes, -tii (I what rights must be denied to tho nation in order that the privileges of the ciergy might be maintained. It was the duty of every patriotic statesman and of every free people to guard very watcblully and very jealously against encroachments from that quarter, and to treat the clergy as all other citizens are treated, and to avoid the very appearance of being governed by or governing through them. The clergy were the servants of one whoso kingdom had suffered far less through the attacks of infidels than through the pretensions of the priesthood. Against the pietensions of the priesthood they had to place the power of Democracy—Democracy iu a religious sense. Ouo of tho most precious of their rights and liberties was the right of tho access of the individual soul to God its Father, and any theology which contradicted that was anti- Demoiratic and anti-Christian. The time was coming when tho democratic principle would make the same revolution in religion that it had in politics- revolving kings down that the People might come up. When that time came, synods, conferences, assemblies, and churches would bo compelled, as civil cabinets had hrou, to take their laws from the enlightened and trained consciences and intelligence of the people and as the great mass of the people had shown themselves wiser and better rulers than their Sovereigns, so would the great mass of the Christian people »sh>• w tuemselves ill the long run wiser ani better than their pro- fessional loaders. 110 was only sorry that ho was not to young as he had been; the wheels revolved very slowly; but tho day dawned, although it might nut be so near as some of them thought. The time would come when God speaking through the race would silence the tongues of hierarchies and there would bo such a growth of au enlightened Christian sentiment and of a Christian conscience iu the cotumuuity, who would so manifest their superiority that religion would not be degraded to the burden it had been; but its expressions would be enlarged and its teaching., ennobled so as to vastly iuereaso its powei and its influence amongst men. Hev G. D. Hicks, M.A., Ph.D., who had come as au examiner in Philosophy, said that the papers which lie had examined had showed evidence of independent thought and reflection in Ethical subjects— subjects which had a very close connection with tho labours of a minister. Some years ago a celebrated society was formed in London for the purpose of the members meeting t gether and discussing philo- Z!) sophical subjects. After twelve or thirteen years they agreed to dissolve the society on the ground that although they had met ma ny times they had never been able to secure an understanding as to what philosophy really was. Philosophy had indeed been defined as "the giving of bad reasons for what everybody knew already (laughter). He was not going to criticise that definition further than to warn them to be sure that they did knuw the things already before proceeding to give bad reasons for them. In studying philosophy he advised them noc to begin at tho end—not to read Herbert Speucer, and John Staart Mill, before going thiough the works of Plato in and Aristotle, which could now be read in. excellent English translations. t) Mr Talfourd Ely said that there had been a great improvement in the work since ho had first come as an examiner to the College but he dared say they would not be sur- prised to hear that perfection had not yet been attained. Professor Tyssul Evans said that the good influence of Mr Marshall would remain years after he had severed his connection with the College. Ho did not agree with Shakespeare, in that ) The evil that men do lives after them, The ;;ood in oft interred with their bones." He was sure Shakespeare was a heretic wheu he wrote that. Tho students had done very well; the New Testament Introduction was much better done that it had been since lie becamo examiner; and even in Hebrew lie had had somo excellent papers. He had examined the students for the last four or five years in the subjects which Professor Moore taught; and had beou impressed with the thoroughness and the care with which he had douo his work. Principal Evans, in distributing the prizes, said that the session had been oue of uninterrupted harmouv, and had been marked by earnest Avork on the part of the students. The latter would be sorry to hear that the prize which Dr. Davies, of Maesteg, had given for fifteen years would now be Avithdrawn, Dr. Davies holding that the necessty for oHering special en- couragement to English studies had dis- appeared. Dr Davies had a high opinion of the services which the College had rendered to the Free Churches in Wales, and in his lettor bore generous testimony to the noble catholic spirit which the Presbyterian Board had displayed in their administration of i t. Ho was sure the meeting would authorise a luessago of gratitude to Dr Davies for what he had himself done. They were now in presence of other serious losses already referred to. Mr Fletcher Williams had proved a stimulating and sympathetic examiner, and would be greatly missed. To Mr Marshall they were not prepared to say farewell. He would couio amongst them again. The following is the PRIZE LIST. A-OIWEl: OF MJEKIT AT THE WJUTTEN EXAMINATION. 1 John Richards (II.) (Thomas George (II.) I John Lewis (II.) 4 T Gwilym Joncs (III.) 5 Samuel D Williams (II.) 6 Job Evans (II.) 7 Lewis Richards (I.) 8 f J J SaOiluel (II.) ( David R Davies (I.) 10 Tom Dalies (I.) 11 ( William Lloyd (III.) i Evan Jones (I.) 13 J Gwynne James (1 ) 11 James Jones (I.) 15 Evan Evans (I.) (Rhys T Williams (III.) I C, < 1) Gowar Richiids (11.) W inforgan (t ) I 'J T Prion .Joms (I.) 20 David F Davies (I.) 21 H N ltenderson (I.) „ j E Walter Thomas (III.) (David Williams (1.) (Thomas E Jtffreys (II.) (T Arthur Thomas (I.; 116 T T Dalies (I.) I o (Tydwal R Davies (III ) I (.Samuel Williams (III.) '.1'J David Evans (III ) B-DK WILLIAMS' BURSARIES (awarded at Midsummer, 189T, and payable at Midsummer, 18'J8, X'10 each). STUDENTS OF THE THIRD YTI.'IR. T Gwilym Jones Rhys T Williaai3 E Walter Thomas William Lloyd Samuel Williams HiUDEXTd OF THE SECOND YEAH. Samuel I) Williams John Richards Tlionas (jeorge J J Samuel John Lewis C. —CLASS PitIZES, open only to Non-Bursais. £ a d Job Evans (II) 3 18 0 Lawis Richards (I) 1, 3 16 0 D R Davie# (I) 3 14 0 Tom Davies (I) 3 8 0 Even Jonezi (I) 3 2 0 J Gwynne James (I) 3 0 0 D-SPECIAL PRIZES. I SITARPI, PRIZE (offered by Miss Emily Sliarpc, of Highbury, to students of the second and third years, for excellence in Biblical Studies). £ 1 John Richards (II) G 2 Samuel D Williama (II) 4 2 Samuel D Williama (II) 4 Pitizi,, (oaered by I)r Jclin DirieL-, of MaesLeg, for excellence in English Studies). Senior English Literature T Gwilyoi Jones, jE2 Junior EnglUh Literature Job Evans, JE2. Eiijflis/i- Earn;/ H N rlenderaun, J61.

ILEAVING CEIITUICATE.

PRESENTATION TO PROFESSOR…

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