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CARMARTHEN TOWN COUNCIL.

ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE

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BRECON OLD BANK.

LLANDOVERY "PICKINGS."

CARMARTHEN COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS.

----_-------------LAUGHARNE…

---PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE, CARMARTHEN.

THE SUFFRAGAN BISHOP OF SWANSEA.

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THE SUFFRAGAN BISHOP OF SWANSEA. The Right Rev. John Lloyd, M. A., Suffragan Bishop of Swansea, was sworn in by the Bishop of St. David's on Sunday (St. Peter's Day), at the Parish Church, St. Peter's, Carmarthen, be- fore a large congregation. Special music had been prepared for the occasion. The usual service having been read, the Bishop of St. David's preached the following sermon from the 16th chapter of St. Matthew, and part of the 18th verse "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my Church." His lordship said We all know how fiercely this text has been wrangled over. We all know that there rests upon it a portentous fabric of spiritual domination. It is the very key of the Papal position. I may be thought presumptuous when I say that to my mind the meaning of the words is plain. Where others have disputed about it, even from very early times, I should wish to speak with all due caution, and yet I cannot feel any doubt myself that so far as the mere meaning of the words themselves is con- cerned the Romanist's interpretation is the true one, however unwarrantable may be the in- ference which they have drawn from them. Thou art Peter "—" thou art the Rock—man (a clumsy rendering, no doubt, but one necessary to bring out the full meaning), and upon this rock I will build my church." I cannot doubt that the rock on which the Church was to be built was Peter himself. How, then, was this promise fulfilled ? I think the first twelve chapters of the Acts of the Apostles abundantly answer the question. Peter was certainly the most prominent figure in the infant church, so long as it remained entirely under the govern- ment of the twelve who remained at Jerusalem. So far he was the Prince of the Apostles, though no doubt the first among them in influence only, and not in office. And until the Apostle of the Gentiles took his part in the work of the Church there was no one to put in comparison with Peter. As an apostle, he was one among many. As a man, as an ardent, faithful follower of the Lord Jesus, he stood, not apart from, but surely before the rest. What does this teach us ? That the Church of Christ is built upon the rock of personal influence. Was it not so from the beginning ? What gathered together that little band of devoted adherents but the personal influence of their Divine Master? What strengthened and consolidated the infant Church so much as the personal influence of Peter 1 What spread it abroad among the heathen like the personal influence of Paul ? Personal influence has awakened theChurch and revived its dying energies over and over again it has reformed abuses, founded religious orders, and, alas originated sects. Francis, Luther, Loyola, Wesley, are historical examples of its power. We need not go so far back. In every parish and in every place in which there is a holy, self-denying pastor—nay, a man or woman in whom (Ld's Spirit manifestly lives and works—theiv see it in full play. Some of the most successful clergymen whom I have known have succeeded as they have not through learning, eloquence, or intellectual strength, but through the simple power of a holy life. Brethren, there is in the Church of England, and there has been for some years past, what I may call an increasing tendency to outwardness. I believe that there has been a real spiritual awakening going on underneath it; but I think it will be plain to all that the outward and visible side of our religious life has of late years come much more prominently into view. Improved organi- zation, an increase of the episcopate, the ancient deliberative assemblies of the Church revived and new ones established, more frequent and more splendid services, ecclesiastical processions and other ceremonies, guilds and sisterhoods, aud many other phenomena of the same kind bear witness to the truth of that which I have just said. And now the question is, first, whether the inward development of spiritual life (the existence of which I have just acknowledged) has quite kept pace with the visible growth of the Church, and, secondly (and this is, perhaps, only the same question in another shape), whether there is not some danger of men's attention being drawn away from the need of such inward deve- lopment by the spectacle of so much energy, zea', and liberality throwing itself into the conspicu- ously visible form of which I have spoken. No doubt these things are good in themselves, but they are not all, and they do not come first. I have somewhere seen a form of prayer for the increase of the episcopate in England. It was drawn up by a bishop of our Church, a learned and holy man, whom it was my privilege to know well. Doubtless it is a good prayer, for a good purpose. And yet I would for my part pray first and foremost for an increase of godliness, for a greater number of persons who, whether bishops, priests, or deacons, whether clergymen or lay- men, whether men or women, shall show forth Christ's power in their own lives, and shall bring many to Him by their own personal influence. On such a rock was His Church first built, and on such a rock it must ever stand. God forbid that I should seem to anyone to be capable of speaking lightly of that outward framework of the Christian Church, which, as I firmly believe, we have inherited from primitive times. I will not argue the ques- tion whether our form of Church government is of divine right. I do not doubt that it is of apostolic origin. But I plead for a greater amount of consideration than, perhaps, we of the Church of England are always ready to give, for an element in the Church of Christ, and an aspect of its working not less truly Divine than — and at least equally potent with—the official authority which we believe to have descended from the apostles, something which bears to that a relation in some respects analogous to that which the order of prophets bore to the Levitical priesthood. I plead for a recognition of personal sanctity as a a means of propagating the faith, and of the true priesthood of all who will live godly. I have said that I would not be thought by any to depreciate the ancient and, as 1 believe, apostolic organiza- tion of our Church. The best evidence of the value which I attach to it will be found in the step which I have very recently taken. The large extent of this diocese, and (I am thankful to add) the rapid growth or revival of the Church of England within its limits, have appeared to many to point to the need of additional episcopal labour. There is, as you are all aware, a scheme for dividing the diocese by the exertion of a new episcopal see within it, and this scheme has met with much attention and encouragement. I have elsewhere publicly expressed my own opinion of it, and I wish the promoters of it God-speed. But, in the nature of things, it cannot take effect for some years. It seems to me, at least as likely as not, that I shall not live to see it an accomplished fact. But it did not not seem to me well to wait for an event, the date of which cannot be very early and must be very uncertain. If this diocese needs division as urgently as is commonly supposed, it is plain that the bishop of the diocese needs help until it is divided. A recent event (to me a sad one) appeared to offer me an opportunity of carrying into effect an idea which has been in my mind for several years. I therefore petitioned the Queen for a suffragan bishop, and her Majesty was pleased to nominate to the office the vicar of this parish, who has since been set apart for his holy work by the archbishop of the province. And here I think I may be allowed to say a few words in the way of explanation, and, to a certain extent, of caution. First, as to the style and title of my fellow- worker. He is styled "Bishop of Swansea" in the formal document by which he is appointed. This does not mean that he is to have any peculiar jurisdiction or authority at Swansea, or in fact, that he is to have any closer connection with it than with any other town in the diocese. It was necessary that he should be named after one of the towns or places which have been legalized for that purpose, and Her Majesty has 1 naturally been pleased to select for his See a place in this diocese, and in fact, the largest and most important town in it. But the Bishop's authority to perform episcopal acts within the diocese is derived from the commission which I am now about to place in his hands, and not from the fact that he bears the name of a place within the diocese. Once more, I wish it to be distinctly understood that in seeking for the assistance of a suffragan I do not desire and do not intend to commence any new centre of episcopal wurk which has not hitherto been usual, but simply to carry out more thoroughly and actively the hitherto accustomed work of a bishop, as well as, no doubt, to relieve myself of excessive pressure at certain points. I can only expect the bishop suffragan to give to the diocese a certain portion of his time. He will continue to be (and I am sure that you will all be glad to be assured of this) in charge of this important parish, in which I know that during his hitherto short lll- cumbency he has won the hearts of those who have been committed to his charge. His duties in connection with our venerable cathedral church will also engage a considerable portion in fact, one-fourth part—of his time. But I believe and hope he will have so much time left him as to allow him to be very helpful to me in carrying on the work of the great diocese. That he may do this ably as well as diligently, and that he might strengthen the Church of Christ in this country both by his official action and still more by his personal influence is my earnest prayer, and I beg that it may be also the prayer of those who hear me to-day and of all who have God's work at heart. Thou art Peter, and on the rock I will build my Church." God grant that the building reared on Peter and on his fellow- workers, reared on every faithful bishop and pastor of Christ s flock, reared on the character and personal influence of every true servant of God, may proceed rapidly and, at the same time, firmly and securely, so that we all may be builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. And now, in St. Peter's Church and on St. Peter's Day, and in the presence of you all, I am about to deliver to him who has been called to this office and ministry his commission to work together with me to the glory of God and to the edifying of His Church. After the sermon, the formal ceremony of reading his commission was gone through by Mr J. H. Barker, the bishop's secretary. It set out that the sufiragan would be able to hold ordinations, confirmations, consecrate churches, cemeteries, &c., and, in the absence of the ordinary Bishop, to do all the ordinary Bishop's business. This is the 16th year of the Bishop of St. David's consecration.

WHATELEY'S "WHAT NOTS."

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