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--DISESTABLISHMENT.

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LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY.

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LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY. NORTH WALES RE-VISITED. There is probably no part of the United Kingdom where churches and chapels are so numerous as in the northern division of the Principality. Every hamlet has its Bethel; every village has, besides the parish church, its Bethel, its Ebenezer, and perhaps also its Moriah and its Horeb while in the towns, sanctuaries are more frequent even than public houses. Yet in all North Wales there is not a single Unitarian chapel-not one place of worship in which a liberal religious thinker could make himself thor- oughly at home for any considerable length of time. Liberal religious thinkers there are, everywhere; even avowed Unitarians may be counted by the scores, both inside and out of the chapels. The majority are prob- ably outside, unable any longer to hold with the traditional theologies. I am referring of course to the Welsh-speaking portion of the population. Is it not time, then, that Unit- arians should step in and try to do something for these wanderers, whose lack of interest in the current traditions must by no means be regarded as being synonymous with either ungodliness or indifference to religious truth? This is a question that has occurred to me over and over again during the past half- dozen years. Hitherto North Wales has been usually considered practically invulner- able as an orthodox stronghold and since the memorable missionary tour of one of our ministers through that part of the country in 1894, or thereabouts, Unitarian preachers have fought shy of it. But things have changed since then. It is worth while re- calling here some words uttered by Dr. William Griffiths, in recounting his exper- iences in the course of a paper at Essex Hall during the Whit-week meetings of 1895. He declared that a large proportion of the population of Wales are as yet utterly ignor- ant of our principles and ideals and that ignorance in this direction, as well as in other directions, is accompanied by prejudice, superstition, bigotry, and intolerance." This indictment doubtless had special reference to North Wales-at any rate Dr. Griffiths's unpleasant experience among the North Walians added somewhat to its significance. In conclusion, however, he said: It is not necessary to possess any special power of prediction in order to be qualified to say that the results in. the future promise to be far better than in the past." There are many signs of an immediate fulfilment of this prediction, and it may be of interest to the reader if I venture to relate some of my experiences in parts of North Wales during a recent visit. COLWYN BAY AND LLYSFAEN. No sooner did I arrive at Colwyn Bay one Saturday morning, and found the right people to talk to, than I began to expound Unitarian Christianity as I had never done before. About an hour's walk up the hills in the direction of Llysfaen, and in the com- pany of most sympathetic and congenial spirits, proved rather exhilarating than otherwise. Every phase of religious thought and life was touched upon. Question after question was put to me, some in Welsh, some in English. It was an excellent exercise. Old problems of theology and philosophy and metaphysics and ethics appeared more vital and more interesting than ever. And these mental gymnastics went on almost incessantly until I finally left on Monday afternoon. Sunday was a glorious day but preachers happened to be scarce in Llysfaen. They had presumably gone to the Eisteddfod to fetch their prizes. "If you had been here last Sunday you would have heard Mr. So- and-So at such and such a chapel," was all the comfort I had. Still, there were devo- tional services in all the chapels, with a. school in the afternoon. In the evening I was invited to say a word at the Baptist chapel. Three years ago, on my last week- end visit to the place, a similar compliment had been paid me. Then, however, they had a preacher ond this occasion it was only a "prayer meeting," so that I felt justified in trying to say a few words in real earnest and with a sincere desire to be of some little service in the absence of a proper preacher. The greatest difficulty was my neglected and unpractised Welsh; consciousness of the incongruity of my position being, for the moment, practically absent. I tried to do my best not to abuse the privilege. For an honour such as this is not often conferred upon a convinced Unitarian by a congregation of "strict" Baptists. It only proves the truth of what Mr. Spears used to say, that an open avowal of Unitarianism is always more likely to gain the respect of honest opponents than that kind of Unitarianism which seems to be afraid of both its own shadow and its own sound. It was announced that at a special meeting of the congregation on Thursday evening some of my points would be seriously considered but that I did not say anything outrageously out of place was amply testified by the warm expression of thanks which came from one or two of the deacons; the senior official-a noble old warrior of over four score years—calling upon the strange man please to close the meeting with prayer. "-[ill i-. Delta Evans in il Christian Life."]

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