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Talley Agricultural Society.…

By the Way. -.--



Penuel Baptist Church, |Carmarthen.


Penuel Baptist Church, Carmarthen. RE-OPENING SERVICES. The congregation of Penuel met in the renovated building on Sunday morning for the first time since- it has been m the hands of the contractors. The walls and roof of the previous Chapel (rebuilt in 1851) only re- main and are of a very strong rd substantial character. The original chapel on the site was built in 1778. An organ loft and minis- ter's vestry in the rear dol)by cotr muiiicatiii- with the school has been added, also a slightly projecting entrance porch have been added to the former structure. The old flat; ceiling has been substituted for an open timbered roof with columns supporting the main trusses. There is a spacious entrance lobby with stained glass windows of good effect, also two staircases leading to the gallery designed on somewhat different plans to what chapels generally are. The ground floor has been arranged with central and two side aisles all laid with tiles. The plat- form in front of the pulpit contains the Baptistry which is lined with whjte-tiles, and is approached with two rows of steps. The Communion table and chair only are on the platform. The Beating accommodation is for about 800 and so arranged that the occu- piers of any pew on the ground and gallery floors have a full view of the pulpit and organ in the rear. TKe rOOlf timbers are stained dark green, and the woodwork generally stained and varnished. The Avails are painted pale green and cream. The new organ spe- cially built for the place by Norman and Beard, London and Norwich, is of excellent quality and cost about £ 2,G30. The whole of the Avork has been executed by Messrs B. Howell and Son, Ltd., Llanelly, who have spared no efforts in turning out a thoroughly satisfactory job. The painting and decorat- ing was done by Messrs D. Jones and Sons, King street, and the gas fittings were sup- plied by Mr W. T. Rogers, Nott square. The heating was carried out by Messrs Musgrave and Co., Belfast. The total Jutlay has been over £ 2,8G0. The architects are Messrs George Morgan and J. Howarl Morgan, F.R.I.B.A., Carmarthen. On Sunday morning, the Rev Waldo Lewis, B.A. (pastor of the Ghunh) preached from Psalm 100, verse 4, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts" with praise." In the course of his remarks, the pastor referred to the history of the Baptists in Carmarthen. He gave some interesting details of the sufferings of some baptists in Carmarthen in the early part of the reign of Charles II. (about 1661). He read a letter written by Thomas Gwyn to a friend in London, giving an acf ount of the persecutions which these Baptists endured. As a result of this persecution, the Baptists appear to have died out for the time being. We find them however reviving about 1760, and from that time their history is continu- ous in Carmarthen. Whatever value the Baptists were to society to-day was the pro- duct and the result of their struggles and sufferings in the past. The place where they were now assembled had been moulded by the prayers of those who had ,( ne before. The characters of those who assemble here to-day are largely moulded by the actions of those who had gone before them. Let them rejoice therefore because of this. The pastor testified to the concord which had prevailed since he came there; he congratulated them on the step which had been completed to-day and hoped that it would be a help to much good work for the future. They ought to rejoice. The Jew always rejoiced in the Temple 'because he believed that God could always be found there. God is everywhere. And it is possible for a feeling that God can be sought in one place to come dangerously akin to materialism. But there Avas a sense in which we could realise the prectnce of God in a place of worship. Undr the pressure of our daily business God and religion did not always enter into our consciousness. It was good to have times and places in which we could withdraw from the activity of the world and come into intimate communion i with God. This gave a tone and a meaning to the whole life. "Peiiiiel" means "Face of God." Jacob called a place Penuel because he had there met God face to face. No doubt this Penuel too had been the face of God to many in the past, and he hoped that it would be so in the future. That indeed would be the only justification of the, efforts they had made. In the evening the pastor preached from MattheAv xviii, 20. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." He said that as Nonconformists they believed that Avlierever the spirit of Christ is there is a real Church. Tnat was their theological position—that wherever a number gathered together in the name of Christ, He was amongst them. What a tremendous difference it would make if they thoroughly realised that! They did not 'believe in the presence of the actuall physical body of Christ, but their experience justified them in the belief that when humble men and women met together in the name of Christ, He was spiritually present; amongst them. The past history of their Church assured them that that was so; and it was in tlie strength olf that promise that they claimed to be a Church. He was not attacking the theory of anybody else; but this was their theory of the Church as Baptists. He would cast no aspersion on any man whatever his theory of the Church so long as lie could touch the garment of the Master. But lie hoped that as Baptists they would put their theory into practical operation. A number of individuals living in actual touch with the Master formed the Church aud it Avas for them to give a real expression of the life of Christ in their daily actions, both within and without the Church. There was an idea that a good deal was expected of deacons and ministers; but even the humblest member should not fall (beneath the ideal of the Church of whom the Head is Christ—"from whom the whole body fully framed and knitted toge- ther" (Eph. iv., 16). He could imagine some saying "Yes; that is all very fine; I should be a very assiduous member if I could get much out of the Church—as much as some do." Instead of asking what good they could get out of the Church, they should asik what they were going to contribute to the life of the Church. That was the ques- tion which Tliey should ask themselves and drive it home. After the evening service, an organ recital was given by Mr Howard Morgan, and Mr T. Conwil Evans sang a sollo. There were full congregations at all the services. The formal re-opening took place on Wed- nesday and Thursday. The Rev Charles Davies (Cardiff), and Rev W. S. Jones (Llwynypia) preached in Welsh, and the Rev Herbert Morgan, M.A .(London) in English.

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