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Presbyterian College, Carmarthen.…



--------..-----ADDRESS BY…


ADDRESS BY THE HEV. J. MORGAN GIBBON. The students of the Presbyterian Collego mot in the large lecture-room Oil Tuesday woak, at 7 p.m., to hear an address from the Rev J. Morgan Gibbon, minister of the Stanford Hill Congregational Church, London. The Rev T. L. Marshall, secretary of the Presbyterian Board, occupied tho chair, and there were also present the Rev S. Fletcher Williams, Principal W. J. Evans, Professor Philemon Moore, Professor D. E. Jones, Rev D. Cadvan Jones, Rev W. Emrys Lloyd (Penygraig), Rev D. J. Thomas, Rev W. W. Lewis, (Zion), Rev Gilbert Rees, tho Rev Stephen Thomas (Blaenycoed), Mr W. Roberts (Old College School), Mr G. Phillips (Hall-street), etc etc. The Chairman said he felt rather shy of introducing the Rev J. Morgan Gibbon to the audience he rather felt that Mr Gibbon ought to introduce him. lie had a distinct recollection of Mr Gibbon as a student at the College. In common with all connected with the collego, ho (Mr Marshall) felt interested in the wonderful success of Mr Morgan Gibbon, who was, perhaps, the most successful Congregationalist preacher in London. Ho had, therefore, the greatest possiblo pleasuro in calling upon Mr Gibbon, one of the old alumni of the College, to address tho meeting. The Rev J. M. Gibbon said he felt a great sympathy with the parson who was repre- sented to have said, Do as I say not as I do." That counsel had been grossly miscon- trued. It was possible that the parson who gave utterances to the sentiment was a very good man probably lIe was a modest man certainly he was an honest man. And honesty was a, very large part of goodness (applause). He (Mr Gibbon) had to confess that in his student days he was neither the pet of his professors, nor the pride of his college, Professors had their pets in those days; but he was sorry to say that the latter were far from being the pride of their college. lie did not stand before them as a whited sepulchre, laying claim to a virtue which he had not possessed. He admitted that the students in those days did the things which they ought not to have done, and made amends for it by leaving undone the things which they ought to have done. He canle before them as one who kept a Avarm corner in his heart for the theological students and he came from the forefront of the battle to tell those who were training for it how the fight was progressing. The time undoubtedly was ono of great difficulty. there was a painful lack of enthusiasm. were becoming morally and mentally tlabby. There was, of course, a great deal of unbelief but it was uot the unbelief of strong, eager, sincere men, filled with a passion fur truth- however, misguided might be their methods. It Avas rathei the unbelief of a lotus-eating gro.-ssly-living people, in whom prosperity and pleasure had bred a largo measure of indifference to higher things. In obedience also to the law of supply and demand, there had arisen a religion of rites and ceremonies a Christianity which was Judaised and even Paganised beyond the recognition of those who had only seen it on the lulls of Galilee or in the upper chamber of Jerusalem. This was a sensuous, spectaculor, aesthetic religion, devised and Rented to meet tho tastes of a generation that liked to bo amused, and which must be amused at its prayers. There were not, however, evidence wanting that this period was passing there was a growing conscious- ness arising that man cannot live by bread alone," and that the religion and creeds of fifty years ago could not contain the growing spirit of the age. When Canon Gore published Lux Mundi"—a series of essays 011 Liberal theology by High Churchmen Cardinal NeAvman said, "This is the end of the Tractarian Movement.' rEvery move- ment takes time to mature. The appeal of the leaders of the Ritualistic party now was to Reason and to reverent Scholarship, and II not simply to Authority and to the germs of insanity latent in the human brain. There was a change all along the line. This was the beginning of the end it showed that a new period of though t and feeling was arising, and that under God's grace England was about to recover her senses, and to come to herself after her temporary aberration of intellect. lIe believed that there was a great future before the pulpit. lie had lately taken up Amiel's Journal," by Mrs Humphrey- Ward and in the preface he read, "The age of the Preacher is passing." There were the words of Mrs Humphrey- Ward and Mrs Humphrej'-Ward Avas .Mrs Humphrey- Ward (laughter). But turning to the u Journalitself, he found that Amiel said, "At the Church of St. Gervais I heard a »erir.on by Adolphe Monod. I found myself hanging on the lips of the orator My eyes were dimmed with tears. I was astonished, shaken, taken hold of." The age of the preacher was then not past. There was a future before the preacher and let the students see that they would be adequate to the demands which the future would make upon them. He, therefore, preached to the preachers of the future three Gospels. The first he should preach would be the Gospel of Juvenal, "A sound mind in a sound body." The Avork of the minister was hard work. Ladies sometimes said that Woman's work is never done." It was the minister's work Avhich was never done. The work of a minister was accompanied by a certain measure of anxiety, more distressing than the work itself. It demanded good health as one of the condition of ministerial success. St. Francis of Assissi used to call the body Brother Ass but even if they took that mediaeval view of the body, they would find that Brother Ass was the only animal procurable for this journey and, therefore, they had better be on good terms with him, and to look to his interests. He believed in physical exercise. Let them consecrate their bodies as well as their minds and their souls to Almighty God. Let them not listen to the sanctimonious nonsense that a game of cricket or a game of golf was unbecoming a minister. The pursuit of physical exercise would enable them to bring a certain amount of dash, and urgency into ministerial life which would help to make ministers men, and saye them from degenerating into that despicable third sex. The second gospel he should preach to them would be that of Goethe—the gospel of mental culture. The study of Greek and Hebrew was not very inspiring but even if they only learned enough to enable them to consult lexicons and to verify reference" it would be infinitely valuable. When a man was able to consult a lexicon and to verify what a commentator said, it enabled him to preach with an accent of confidence, conscious that he was not merely echoing another man's thought but had looked into the matter himself, and learned how the land lay. He advised them not to undervalue commentators. Had he the authority given to the curate in "Don Quixote," to clear out libraries, lie would make a clean sweep out of ministers' libraries of these wretched volumes of skeleton sermons—skeletons in the cupbuard-homiletic helps—dictionaries of anecdotes, hoary and mildewed-collection" of ancient lies that never were true, never ought to be true, and never would -be true (laughter). He advised the students to walk upon the feet which God gave them and not stumble along 011 these crutches provided for homiletic paralytics (laughter). II3 advised them to read Avidely- to read books which were Aviser than they themselves, if such were conveniently procurable (laughter). He recommended books which Avould "send the sunshine streaming into their hearts and the moonshine streaming out of their heads." He advised them to read history—the history of doctrines, of men, and of movements. Let them read books from the opinions in which they differed. Let them not waste five minutes over a book with which they agree,1. What they wanted was to read books which shook them up, banged them down, and irritated them. Let them read poetry: but—if by the grace of God they could avoid it—let them write none (laughter). There was rather a tendency on the part of the Welsh people to undervalue culture and to admire the rough diamond. Hn had heard Welsh ministers in English pulpits advise young men to take care not ton >,se their Welsh brogue if they Avished to be a success in the ministry. He regarded that in the same light as the advice of the tailless fox, who wanted all the other foxes to have their tails cut off. They could not speak any language properly until they could speak it in such a way that their nationality could scarcely be detected. Culture came of contact Avith noble minds and noble thoughts. The mind became like that which it fed upon. There was one Book which they as ministers were rather apt to undervalue—that Avas the Bible. Why was it that some ministers held forth on the latest novel or the latest picture in the Acadeni ? Why was it that there was arising a Yellow pulpit, which vied with the Yellow Press in its striving after sensation alism ? Because so many ministers did not know that the Bible was seamed with silver and gold. In the South Wales coal-fields, the mineral near the surface was cheap and poor but they must dig down deep to strike the three-foot seam. He advised the ministers of the future in their study of the Bible to dig deep—to strike the three-foot seam (applause). The third Gospel nich he should preach to them was that of Paul Excerise thyself into goodness." How easy it was for ministers to become a little insincere, a little flabby, to force the note a little, to simulate an inspiration which they did not possess What a dreadful thing it was to preach for a mere livin"- to pawn one's soul to fill one's mouth, to preach for popularity, to be the puppet of the people instead of the prophet of God That was the lowest depth of degradation to which a minister could fall. As fulfilling the type of the good minister he quoted Chaucer (in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales J A good man was thcr of religion And was a pore PEKSOUN of atouu Bat richc he was of holy thought werk Ho was also a lerncd man a clerk That Cristes gospd gladly welde preeh < < < « To draw folk to heven by clenne?ee By good ensaraple was his busynesse A bettre preeet I trowe ther ro^here non is He Avaytud after no pompa ne rcverence < But Crista lore and his apostles twdve He taught and feist ho olwed it himsebe." And also the person described by Goldsmith (Ill the Deserted Village ") In.-his duty prompt at every call He watched and wept, 1:. pray'd BII 1 fet for all And as a bird e-tch fond « dearmeat tries To tempt i!1! ne w-Hedged ..1fspdng to the skies He tried each art, repro1- > a each dull delay, Allured to brighter worlds, and L d tho way. The speaker went 011 to describe how in a gallery at'Vcnice were to be seen the various efforts of Titian-from his boyhood until his death at ninety years of age—to depict the leneamonts of the Christ; and he exhorted the students in the same way to let it be their ideal throughout life co (lash the character of Christ: 011 the consciousness of men, and to bring men to have a closer and better under- standing of the Christ of God. A vote of thanks to the Rev J. Morgan Gibbon was moved by J¡.: 1. U, Jones (senior student), and seconded by J rincipal Evans. The Rev S. I letcherW lihams, in supporting, said that the present age would be noted above everything else for the rediscovery of the immortal personal.:y of Christ, tho Fatherhood of God, and iie Brotherhood of Man. The Kev J. M. Gibbon having responded, the benediction was given by the Chairman, and the meeting terminated.