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FISHGUARD.

JABES, CWMGWAUN.

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Sunday Sacred Concerts.

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To the Editor of the c, County Echo." Sir,-The refusal to permit Sunday concerts hy the Fishguard Parish Council brings with it the reflections that intolerance still thrives in Pembrokeshire, and the principle of the Brotherhood of Man still remains a negligable quantity by teachers of religion. I regret to find from last week's issue of the County Echo that at the last monthly meeting of the Fishguard Parish Council the spirit and practico of intolerenee was conspicuously in evidence, and that Sunday Concerts are to be entirely disallowed. Thus another opportunity of affecting mutual betterment is thrown over- board. The aim and object of these concerts are the elevation of the people, and there are few if any other means better calculated to bring this about than good music, it being an instrument for good that readily appeals to ".H sections of the people. It rouses theemo+.; s..», it cultivates the better part and ar. downward grade and darker side (;;0 hums", nature. It is best fitted to inspire ircin ftll- higher aspirations that travel in the direct-ion of good resolutions. It is a powerful medium for good. In consideration of these facts feel impelled to enter my protest again-.c the shortsighted decision of the Fishguard F r ¡,.i1 Council which depreciates the real val, j of Sunday. They evidently ignore the bel fits derived from Sunday music in the parks of many towns in England and Wales, and are oblivious of the fact that a good band plays to the King and Queen and ISoyal Family on Sundays—that the Museums of Science and Art in pious Edinburgh and other large cities are open on Sundays. There can be no ques- tion of the propriety of providing the people with these means of uplifting themselves. The listening to good music (and often better music than is given in chapels and churches) and the examination of Art treasures are quite consistent with the idealist view of Sunday. It is possible Fishguard may be exceptional in church and chapel attendance, but according to Archdeacon Sinclair, only about 18 per cent of the people attend places of worship on Sunday in London, and the saffiG remark holds good of other large towns. Now it would be well if some portion of the 82 per cent could be induced to take an interest in Sunday concerts, or in the Art galleries of our museums-and even chapel-goers might do worse with their Sunday than listen to vocal or instrumental music or inspect beautiful pictures and instructive art collections in the many public institutions. Church and chapel going is sometimes followed by conversions, and it is interesting to note in "Phycliology of Religion" by Dr Starbuck, an American professor, that conversion is a distinctly adolescent (youthful) phenomenon, and its irruption occurs at a season when the organise is peculiarly liable to become deranged, and that the motives leading to conversion are various—fears are a large factor-only five per cent are altruistic and two per cent arc found to be leading to a higher life. ove writer in the Church Gazette" once said that what we want is the religion of common sense and brightness on Sunday, but it seems the Fishguard Parish Council want Sunday to be of the opposite description. No wonder places of worship arc losing hold of the people, not only here but throughout the Continent and America. Wbile the exigencies of life require that popular education shall be pro' gressive, the keepers of religion go on stultify ing their minds with antiquated formula"' The edifices should be utilized in the interests of the people, and the pulpits in them should be made instruments for the diffusion of useful knowledge carefully and fully presenting both sides of all religious and political questions, inculcation of brotherly kindness, consideration for the weak, sympathy for the oppressed, temperance, the highest standard of virtue without goodygoodism," strict honesty ill our daily business, in brief, moral, physical' and intellectual education. Secular agencie3 are supplanting alleged spiritual means. F?t instance, it is often advertised that certain good choirs will render special music at chutcb services. This provides a better draw tbM) ancient dogmas. The Roman Catholics halo always made a feature of them with profitably results, and in Oxford and Cambridge musicians appear daily in the churches, even General Booth's brass bands, when they happen to play in tune and not like a circuit saw, tend to make religion lively on Sunday in our public streets and why allow thoSÐ 'lø bands to play in the streets, on Sunday wilile sacred concerts are prohibited. There is ø consistency in allowing one without the otb It will, therefore, have to be acknowledge from what I have said that it is mostly e secular elements in places of worship that I adherents, not altogether the theologiell doctrines. The main object of our loistlfo time on Sundays and every other day of the week should be to combine to bring abou'a better condition of things socially, by ing for the masses and the unemployed, thus reduce the enormous evils resulting frolo poverty, drink and suffering. What kind 01 rest is it that can be gained by the clerk, agricultural labourer, the collier, the artisa or shopman, who spends his only day of leis°j^ in his conventicle, often poorly ventilated' listening to long harangues on subjects tba have not any connection with his every (lal life. Use only miy accustom him to the saJJle repetition of subject. A man who spends Ot seventh of his life in the open air, an gallery, cr in listening to good music, or the company of a good book will return his labours with a clearer and saner mind tbll will bring with it a larger outlook upon a deeper appreciation of human nature, a broader sympathies with his" fellow-men their toils, and struggles for existence. those who are enable to appreciate all treasures of art and literature and science not care to attend Sunday concerts, let tbe"^ stay away. If these paragons do not care good music, or a rational entertainment ly free from impropriety, let them also ren# at home or go to church or chapel, but should this be the pretext for preventing those who can appreciate theso things enjoyinf them ? These men not only say we do want these things, such as Sunday concerts' they say also because we do not want these things you shall not have them either. 1b persecuting spirit of religionists will defeg its own purpose. I hope you will insert tbJ t letter in your ably edited paper, and accep my apology for its lougth. Yours faithful' HOB ACE.

NEVERN.

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Havarfordwdst Rural District…