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--. RELIGION AND SOCIALISM.

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Merthvr Board of Guardians.

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, SIIARPS AND FLATS.

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--. RELIGION AND SOCIALISM.

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tible proof of the reality of the Christian religion. There is no church in Merthyr to-night that ha:- not a fringe of membership that is held to the church only by the most slender threads. They are church-members, communicants, but arc they Christians ? Would anybody infer it from their lives 1 And how many of us, my brethren, inpress our fellows with the reality I; of our faith and love. How many of us compel our acquaintances to think and to say Well, after all, there must be something in the Chris- tian religion. Whatever our philosophers say about the ultimate reality, that man, at least believes in a Personal, Living, Loving God. Whatever our psychologists and other scientists say about the universality of self-interest, unselfish love is a fact in that man ? How manv such men have we in the Merthyr churches to-day V My brethren, the conversion of unbelievers, yes, and THE SOLUTION OF THE SOCIAL PROBLEM awaits the appearance of such men and the preponderance of them in the churches. INFIDELITY OF CHRISTIANS. How long shall the world wait ? Let me frankly confess, I am less alarmed by the infidelity of Socialists than by the infidelity of Christiane-the infidelity which manifests itself in the lukewarmness and unfaithfulness, and frivolity, in the jack of zeal for truth and righteousness; in the selfishness and love of money, and the lust of position and pleasure; in the uncharitableness and envy and malice of church members. The conviction has grown I with the years that here we have the chief I cause of the growing infidelity of our land. I I have a fairly-wide experience in this matter. I have disputed with unbelievers of all sorts with men who were comparatively illiterate, whom I could easily vanquish in argument; with learned men and clever controversialists, with whom I was ill-equipped to dispute but in every case that I can remember the enmity towards religion was traced back in the end to the impressions made by the inconsistency between the conduct and the creed of religious people. But, you will say, the argument is not logical. My brother, suppose we leave THEIR logic alone for a moment, and come to a matter 11 that concerns us more nearly, OUR OWN LOGIC. Is our position logical ? We believe in the Living God, who is holy and righteous Love and that in and through Jesus Christ we are made His children. But we live as if there were no God to Whom all life is a sacred service. We live for ourselves, our own gain and pleasure, with littla love, often with much hatred and cruelty, much guile and falsehood towards our fellow-men. How can we think of correcting the logic of others when our own is so much worse than theirs ? I have laid painful facte before you to-night. But these painful facts, soberly considered, will help you all to share my faith that the Socialistic democracy of England can be won to the Christian religion, and that without sacrificing their Socialism; and that the Christian people of England can unite to draw Socialists into their fellowship without sacrificing anything that truly belongs to their religion. And I have made at least a beginning of my task of showing how this great reconciliation can be effected.