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ATROCIOUS ASSAULT AND DARING…

SUNDAY SCHOOLS EXCURSION TO…

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SUNDAY SCHOOLS EXCURSION TO PONTYPRIDD; It has been the custom of the teachers and friends of Sunday, schools in this town, for some years past, to treat the children to an excursion to some place or other on Whit-Monday. Their abject, and a Very praiseworthy one too, is to afford the youthi who attend the' various Sunday schools, the means of rationa amusement, without the attendant evils of those of Llandaff fair' This year they fixed on Pontypridd. The day was everything that could be desired. About ten o'clock the various schools met at their respective places of worship after which they formed themselves into a procession in St. Mary-street, and proceeded in regular order towards the station of the Taff Vale Railway. The following were the schools that attended Bethany [English Baptist]; Wesleyan 5 Tabernacle [Welsh Baptist] Zion [Calvimstic Methodist] Ebenezer [Welsh Independent] Trinity [English Independent]. They were attended by their- ministers, superintendents, and teachers. Several fri nds also, joined the company, amounting altogether to about one thousand. A little after twelve, they started in a special train, provided' at an extremely cheap rate by the company, who are always; ready to meet the wishes of the public. They were joined at Llandaff and Taff's Well station by other schools, who were welcomed with. the singing of appropriate anthems. While passing the mansion of Francis Crawshay, Esq., at Treforest, they were welcomed by the discharge of a round of cannon from that gentleman's fort. Mr. Crawshay attended in person, and took an active part in the performance. His salute was returned by hearty cheers from the carriages. The same compliment was paid them on their return, and was as warmly acknowledged. When the train reached Pontypridd, the rchools again formed themselves into a procession, and proceeded through the town— which seemed to have been brushed Up for the occasion; for never did we, see it look so clean and lively before-over that extraordinary work of art, the bridge which crosses the Taff; and up the mountain. They then dispersed over the mountain, and each school formed itself into a group, in order to partake of refreshment, for which the youngsters seemed quite prepáred" Buns and cake were plentifully distributed, and readily ele^ voured. They afterwards rambled over the mountain, which commanded a most delightful and picturesque scene-ry. i The Rocking Stone-that ancient andnobJerelic of the deciti of our flJrefatherswas an object of great attraction, on and around which, in times of yore, many a priest performed his sacred rites,and many a poet sang. It had been rumoured that the Rev. James James (Iago Emlyn), who is a bard of no mean order, and who is fully competent to the task, would deliver a lecture on the stone, explanatory of its origin and design | a large number gathered around it to hear of wonders ot ihe past. The following is a sun.mary of his address: I find that a report is gone abroad that I was to deliver a-lecture on this stone whereon I stand, which is Called in Welsh ?>tacn chwyf -i.e., rocking-stolie; and that several persons have come here to day on purpose to hear it. I certainly had intended to say a few words to the children of the different Sabbath schools upon this ancient relic, and other kindred ones in a general way, just for the instruction anel benefit of the young folks now before me, but nothing further. I am therefore afraid fliat those kind friends who have accompanied me here on this occasion will be disappointed, because no antiquarian knows the use which this particular kind of stone was intended for, nor have I been able to find any explanation of the subject in Welsh history, not even in the learned works of the author of the "Celtic Researches." We know something of the uses of the ci-omlechait, meini hiriott, maengylchoedd, maenres cistfeini, maen cetti, and cairns; but this kind rnaen chwyf is iii- volved in the obscurity of ages, so that any attempt to speak upoij it must be made by inferences from analogy. One thing is ceitainf, that this specie^ of stone is a part of the system of Druidism or Bardism, which were both connected. Now the first thing to'as- certain is to which part it belongs, the former or the latter. From the name of this spot, namely, Swyn-gylch Ceridwen, it would'apt pear that it must have belonged to Barelism, because this mystie goddess Ceridwen was thet)eres of ancient Britain in the DruidJc system, and was the ruler of Bardism. We may therefore suppose it probabl# that the Bards held their gorsedd&X the maen chwyf, tha|; is, an ordinatiofi of Bards. This seems likely from the name, i.ei, the magic circle of Ceres, the presiding divinity; and the rite of ordination is still performed within a ring formed of pebbles. I remember this very well, when I was ordained a bard myself, many yeats ago, when I was obliged to enter the sacred enclosure barei- foated, and I must say that I have been rather rude to-day its treading the holy ground of Ceridwen with my boots on (laughter). In the year 1819 the late celebrated folo JtIorganwg held a gorsedd at, Caermarthen, at the close of the eisteddfod, Dr. Burgess, Bishop of St. David's, was anxious to witness the ceremony, and Was about to enter the mystic ring, when the venerable Arch-Bard of Glamorgan, standing barefooted in the centre", with naked sword in hand, commanded his lordship not to step within the boundary unless he took off his shoes, because it was holy ground (laughter); The learned prelate had consecrated many a spot for Christian worship, but on that occasion the Bardic rose superior to the pre- latic power (cheers and laughter). The superstition of our fore- fathers contains many traditional references to the deluge, and it & a very singular faet that there are more Druidic remains to be found in islands than on the vast continents of Asia. This is evident enough in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland the reason of which probably was that the sight of the sea might re," mind the people of the deliverance of man from the flood. The more we investigate this interesting fact, the clearer it appears, for the smaller islands appear to have been particularly sacred, as though they embodied the essence of the whole system; thus the Orkneys, and Shetlands, and Bardsen, are full )f the ruins of Druidism and: Anglesea, an island belonging to Wales, contains more Druielic stones than any othef county, and besides it was herfe that the Pontifcx Maximus, or Arch-Druid, resided. Perhaps no order of men ever enjoyed such extensive power and in"- fluence as the Druids ,and Bards. The veneration in which their theology was held is matter of surprise, for it continued to be highly esteemed and extensively professed in Britain for several ages after the introduction of the Gospel, and became blended in some degree with the formulas of Christianity itself, some vestiges of which remain even to this day. It is a fact in history that the Gospel was preached in Britain in the first century; about the middle of it Caractacus was sent a prisoner to Rome he was the son of Branfendigaid; both are said to have been converted at Rome through the instrumentality of Paul, then a prisoner; This is confirmed by the mention that is made of Claudia, the daughter of Caractacus, in' the second Epistle to Timothy, who was married' to Pudens, a Item an nobleman, whose name occurs i ii, the sawo verse with that of his illustrious partner. On the return of Brak and his family to Britain they were the means of establishing Cliris;- tianity in their native land. In the fourth century Eleutheriusj the Bishop of Rome, sent two missionaries to this country, of the names of Phaganus and Duoanus, in the reign of Lucius, or Lie, ap Coel, who founded the diocese of Llandaff, probably the- oldest Christian church in Wales. There are two churches in this sec dedicated to Phaganus and Diloanus, namely, St. Ffagan and Mer- thyr Dyfan. In the 5th century Dubricus, or Dyfrig, was made Bishop of Llandaff, so that by this time the Gospel must have made considerable progress; but notwithstanding this, and though began in the first age, Druidism was still in high repute and flourishing, for in the 6th century Taliesin and Aneurin lived, who were both. Druids and Bards, as their celebrated works still extant abundantly testify to which I may add, as a proof of the vast power and in- fluence of the ancient superstition, that there is a church not fat from this spot actually dedicated to a Mythological character—I mean Llanfabon, for Mahon was not a Christian saint like the other saints to whom so many of our churches are dedicated. I remeny- ber a few years ago paying a visit to this church for the purpose |f seeing the tomb of a Welsh Bare! with whom I was acquainted. At the head of the grave stands a Druidic pillar in the form of an obelisk, on which is eegraved, Yma gorwedd Gtwitym Morganwg Here then we have a Christian church -bearing, the name of a Pag .in character, and whose churchyard contains a monument whereon Is engrive(I an epitaph which evidently involves a Druidic senti- ment, the doctrine of the Metempsychosis. But what is still more extraordinary—so much so indeed as to be- scarcely credible^—is nevertheless true, as appears from historical records that cannot be doubted—the worship of Ceridwen, within whose circle I now stand, was celebrateel in conjunction with that of the moon in some; of our native fastnesses so late as the 12tli Century. This morning, on the subject of my anticipated address, I had a little friendl), altercation with a respected: friend of mine, who spoke rather trio freely of the Bardic orderi and drew, as I thought, some unwar- rantable inferences he adduced the names of a few old Bards nciv defunct, who held Druidic opinions, and then he classiiiel all tjte Bards with them; this is about as logical as if one were to infer from seeing one man living at Newbridge drunk, that all the inha- bitalltsare drunkards (hear, and cheers). I baye met with some few well-meaning persons, who seemed alarmed at the study of Druidisra and Bardism, as though it had a tendency to revive the ancient superstition. Such a fearis perfectly groundless (hear). -=- Any Pagan, system needs only to be known in order to-convince any one; of its folly, and it is well known that no professional edu- cation is complete without the knowledge of that classical lore Whose essence is Paganism itself. So far, therefore, as this from leading us back to the superstition of our forefathers, that it has a contrary tendency (hear). Thus we find Paul quoting the Grecian poets as he was preaching the Gospel to the Athenians. As to Bardism, it is in Perfect harmony with all the truths of Christianity, as it is poetically conside-ed, for the most ancient and best compositions in the world are written in verse—the sublimest parts "of the, Old Testament are poetical, such as thebooks of Job, Isaiah, and the Psalms. Sir William Jones, one of the most celebrated linguists that ever lived, having mastered the chief of the Oriental arid European languages, and studied their respective literature, says that the poetry of the Bible is superior to that of any other kind and this is no wonder when we consider that the sacred Vates had quaffed from the pure fountain of inspiration itself- "fast by the otacle of God." Though the Druidic system was heathen, in connexion with Bardism it was the means of preserving our language in all its native purity as it is at this day. The disci-r pies of the Druids were required to pass through a curruculum of twenty years, and to commit many thousands of lines to memory which were orally handed down from age to age this, together with many strict laws and regulations belouging to the system, was the means under Providence of the conservation of our beau- tiful language. So entirely has this been done that the poetry of Taliesin, and th6 Gododin of Aneurin, though composed 1,300 years ago, may be understood as well as the vernacular of the pre- sent day (hear, hear). Let us thank God for our precious privi- leges,1 and for preserving the Welsh language, in which the Gospel has been, anel continues to be, so successfully preached; though English manners considerably obtain in the more populous dis- tricts and towns, yet there are extensive regions in Wales where the language will continue to be spoken as long as the mountains stand and the river Taff below us continues to flow in its mean- dering course between the romantic hills, beneath the umbrageous 0 in trees (cheers), The world is progressing in every respect. When we look at the ruins of our castles-once the strongholds of despot- ism, whose feudal lords lived by rapine and war-how thankful we should be for peace and civil and religious liberty (hear, hear). As these strongholds of tyranny have been destroyed for ever, so superstition and heathenism shall be brought into perpetual deso- lation, and Christianity flourish on their very ruins. Although Druidism as a religious system has no loliger an existence; and whilst we have reason to rejoice at the change, there is no reason why we should not study it in connexion with the history of our country, which cannot indeed be properly done without, We should iove our country, for cas na charo y wlad a'i maco" (hear, hear, and cheers). Even from the rubbish of barbarism some good may be gleaned, and as the old vicar has said or sung, li Cijmmer berl o enau llyffan." Let us receive truth wherever found, and whilst we are basking in the superior lustre of divine truth, we may blend the feebler ray of the light of nature with that of Reve- lation-both emanating from the same source-and we may walk as the children of light when observing the Bardic motto, Yn toy neb haul a llygad goleuni" In the face of the sun and the eye of light" (loud cheers). The Rev. Charles Tucker then proposed a vote of thanks to Ir; James for his excellent and entertaining address, which was warmly responded to. Addresses were also delivered in Welsh: on another part of the mountain, by the Rev. David Jones, Rev, Win. Lewis, Mr. Owen, and others. Between five and six o'clock the company wended their way towards the station, and returned to Cardiff, highly delighted with the proceedings of the day. There was not the slightest accident or anything to mur the pleasures of the excursion.

PONTYPRIDD.;

BRIDGEND.

----', MERTHYR.'

ISWANISEA.

' " NEWPORT.

CARDIFF.