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THE PUBLIC DAY-SCHOOLS OF…

PRIMITIVE AND MODERN CHRISTIANITY.

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PRIMITIVE AND MODERN CHRISTIANITY. TIfE history of the primitive Christian Church has been faithfully recorded and as faithfully transmitted to modern times. In the Acts of the Apostles and several of the Epistles we meet with ample, if not minute, records of the internal and external economy of the Christian religion in the days of its youth, and in the burning ardour of its first love. The walk and conduct of the brethren and disciples towards the world, and towards each other, have been handed down for our instruction. We have the word and infallible testimony of Jesus and his angel in all cases to appeal to. Christianity at the onset was one, and undivided. Though it did not possess for a long time that unity of sentiment and action essential to ritual conformity, it largely developed unity of aim and feeling in its healthiest and loveliest forms. Divisions, however, soon ensued, and ever since, the different I parties have been engaged, more or less, in discussing which section is the true Church, and among which the truth is to be found. Every party, of course is fully persuaded in their own mind that they are doing God's service by holding forth their peculiar and distinctive views. Among the loudest in its claims of lineal descent and true apostolicity is the Church Establishment in England and Wales. Ask its pedigree, and you will be told that it is a true branch of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church. In- quire of her ministers, and you will be informed that they have descended in unbroken succession from the apostles. Speak of her doctrines, and they will be warranted to be in .conformity with Holy Writ. In short, the Church of Eng- land, as it is commonly called, is in all respects a perfect, correct, unerring model of the one true and Apostolic Church. Sececlers from her pale are schismatics, and as such are delivered over to the uncovenanted mercies of God. Well, perhaps it is so. Let us be gentle and generous in our treatment of its avowed opinions, and recorded history. But there is a rule left on record by the great founder of Christianity, by which conduct may be tested and charac- ter fixed. That rule is short, intelligent, and applicable. It is simply bv their fruits shall ye know them." The Church of Christ, the only true and Apostolic Church, in all its branches, can have no possible objection to the adoption and application of this standard. We proceed to apply it in regard to certain proceedings that have occurred in the parish of John the Baptist in this town. There is a branch of the Church of England, as our readers are well aware, in this town. It assembles in the venerable old edifice which is dignified with the beautiful steeple, so -charming by moonlight to contemplative minds, which adorns our town. The congregation is wealthy, respectable, and influential, perhaps more so than any other in the town. Most, at all events, many of its members are men of educa- tion, good feeling, and refined taste. They are our gentry, our professional men, and our civic authorities. They are loyal to the Queen, faithful to the constitution, and several ofthem the sworn administrators of justice. The gentleman who ministers to them in holy things is able, learned, and sinccre, if we may judge from the long list of ecclesiastical preferments he holds, which, we have no doubt, have been conferred upon him, as the reward of his superior merits. I*- ;a tHJc +« flmf nV.+o]lig/vri £ »tul truly lionuvn. lent gentleman, the high sheriff of this county. Twice this year he has had to address the ministers of justice on the solemn responsibility which devolves upon them when they hold the balance of life and death for their fellow-men. In all respects we should expect to see this congregation fore- most in every work of faith, and labour of love, and we know of no work more likely to touch their hearts and engage their affections, than the keeping in proper repair of the noble edifice in which they worship. There are con- nected with it so many beautiful and touching recollections, so many hallowed memorials of the dead and endeared thoughts of the living, as would lead one to expect they would guard its walls, its pews, its windows, Its aisles, and its altars with the strangest and liveliest affection. Thus much we could expect from that congregation as honourable men, not to speak of the love of Christ, which, we trust, powerfully operates on their heads and hearts. But, alas! for human nature. Alas, and an emphatic alas for the fame of the true Apostolic Church! Human instincts and Christian obligations combined, cannot induce this con- gregation to repair its own place of worship, and keep its own sanctuary in decent order. They are absolutely throw- in^ the greatest part of this burthen on persons who never worship with them, and who disbelieve many of the doc- trines that are taught within their temple. The making of a Church-rate in this town in the month (If June last, is fresh in the recollection of our readers. That rate is now being enforced. The first remarkable scene was acted on the premises of Messrs. Batchelor Brothers, where the kind-hearted official of Messrs. John Jenkins and Thomas Price, the churchwardens, both of whom we saw at a Dis- senting chapel, on the same Sunday evening, not long ago, seized," to use his own language, without having regard to eitner law or gospel, a waggon, and sold it to a friend for 16s., who restored it on payment of that sum. The second scene was enacted at our police-court, on Monday week, and which we give at full length as furnishing an instructive demonstration of the mode in which the modern Church appeals for popular support, Mr. Osman slated that he had served two i on parties 4; for the non-payment of Church-rates the one on David Evans, of f '-Jhe PRINCIPALITY Office, anil the other on Samuel Beavington, a Friend, and that the parties did not appear that day as summoned. After some conversation between the magistrates, Mr. Evan Jones, of the PRINCIPALITY Office, stated that he was not quite sure that Mr. Evans was summoned to appear that day. fhe magistrates' clerk But are you sure that he was not sum- moned ? Mr. Jones He has been summoned for Thursday, the 18th, I believe. The magistrates' clerk Mr. Osman, you had better go and get the duplicate of the summons, and that will prove it. Mr. Lewis As there are none of the parties here, had we not better adjourn it till Thursday ? The magistrates' clerk; I can see no reason for it. | Mr. Lewis, addressing M r. Jones Is Mr. Evans at home ? I Mr. Jones No, sir "he left this moring for Carmarthen. The mayor: When will he return ? Mr. Jones: I cannot exactly say. Perhaps on Wednesday or Thursday. Mr. Lewis: We will adjourn the case till Thursday, and give you a hearing, if you like. Mr. Jones I do not want you to do so. sir. Mr. Lewis I dare say, Mr. Jones, you will attend to this mat- ter before then. Mr. Jones No, sir; that I cannot do. Mr. Osman here produced the duplicate summons, when the magistrates' clerk said The party is entitled to another stityimot is, It is merely a technical objection, as Thursday is not the loth, and the 18th is nut Thursday. There must be another summons. The mayor: Mr. Evaus must have, another summons; and he is perfectly right in seeing that everything in connexion with his office is done correctly. i, ..1 The magistrates' clerk: It was only a mistake in altering the data. lvlr. Lewis: OF course, such mistakes will occur. The magistrates' clerk Samuel Beavington does not appear; we will go into :that case. Where is your book, Mr. Osman ? [Book produced.] Mr Lewis • This is an annual case. Mr. Beavington never pays. Edward Osman. sworn, sa.d 1 am a collector of Church-rates. This is the rate now in force ill the parish of St. John. John Jen- kins and Thomas Price are the churchwardens. [Ratebook inspected.] This is their handwriting. There are no proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Court against the validity of the rate. The house is 1, LNo. 345, Samuel Beavington, tenant; Charles Croft, Williams, landlord. Valuation, L18 amount of rate, 6s." I have applied for the rate twice. The first time I presented the bill to Mrs. Beavington. She cut it up, and made it into slips, and said I had no business in her shop, and that she would never pay the rate. I said I had no objection to take the amount out in goods, and pay it for her. She would not do it. The next time I saw Mr. Beavington himself; he told me, It is no use for thee to come here thou must go to work in the regular way. I will not pay the rate." I have served a duplicate of this sum- mons on Mr. Beavington on Thursday last. The summons wa3 then read. The inagietrates' clerk. Just call Samuel Beavington. Call him at the bottom of the stairs. Policeman Samuel Beavington Samuel Beavington He does not answer, sir. The magistrates' clerk A distress warrant will be issued, Mr. Osman. Mr. Osman: Very well, sir. And these two persons are not members of John the Bap- tist's congregation. David Evans is a member of the Church originally founded by Walter Cradoc, when driven out from this very selfsame Church of John the Baptist, for refusing to encourage Sabbath desecration. In the year 1634, the State Church drove Cradoc from its courts. In 1848, she persecutes a member of the congregation which he founded for not supporting the Church that had for years tormented his leader with every species of cruelty and strange to say, the leading man in the Church-rate prosecution is Mr. Churchwarden Jenkins, the tenant of a house left long years ago for the support of Cradoc's Church. Samuel Beavington is a Friend, and as such, neither he nor Mrs. Beavington ever darken the doors of the parish church. In peace, un- obtrusive devotion, and praiseworthy spiritual-mindedness, they repair to their own meeting-house, at the corner of Charles-street, to offer to the Most High what they deem to be spiritual and acceptable worship. These then are the men whose goods are about to be plundered according to law, or contrary to law, unless they will be upon their guard, for the repairs of an edifice frequented by a large and impos- ing array of the wealth and influence ot uaraitt. Such are the records of modern Christianity. We look in vain for their counterpart in those of the primitive. Paul never took the chair at a parish vestry. Peter never refused to put an Anti-Church-rate amendment to the vote. Churchwardens" Stephen and Philip never requested from a vestry a rate of fourpence in the pound. We look in vain in the Acts of the Apostles, for what we find in those of their successors, a regular account of the state of the poll for several days of Church-rate contests. Nicanor was never found delivering blundering summonses against the tradesmen of Jerusalem. He was not engaged in making sham seizures from the timber merchants, or offering to take goods in payment from the shop of Samuel. No policeman was heard in Epheses crying out at the top of his voice, Sceva Sceva! come and appear, or a distress warrant will be issued against you for Church-rates These are scenes which do not exist in the records of the true primitive Apostolic Church and the inquiry very naturally suggests itself, if the difference in the history and conduct of the two Churches do not prove them to be entirely and essentially different, having nothing in common but the name ? The Churchmen of Cardiff surely can afford to repair their own place of worship. They have, we hope, sufficient vene- ration for the God they worship, to induce them to believe that it is their duty to do so, without resorting to the legal plunder of unwilling Dissenters. Is their regard for God sufficiently strong to induce them to do it? For a reply, in- quire at ensuing sittings of our police-court.

CARDIFF.

COWB RIDGE.'

NEWPORT.

MEKTHYR.

.MERTHYR COUNTY COURT.

TO THE WELSH PEOPLE.