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COLWYN BAY. MR. HERBERT ROBERTS, M.P., ON I WELSH NONCONFORMITY AND THE GROWTH OF SACERDOTALISM. Last Wednesday night, Mr. Herbert Roberts, M.P.. presided at a lecture by the Rev. Hugh Jones, Birkenhead, on Welsh Nonconformity. The hon. member having referred to the successs of the Wesleyan 20th century fund, pointed out that few topics could be more opportune for discus- sion at that time than the subject of the lemurs, and few men in Wales were more qualified by talents or cOnvidtions to speak t upon it than the lecturer that evening. To go back to the source or the spirit of Non- conformity was very necessary for two reasons. First, because Dissent on its poli- tical and social side had already won many triumphs, and the sense of inequality was not so keenly felt as in time past, Further, the long and arduous conflicts for political rights waged by Nonconformists had per- haps tended to withdraw their attention from the ,real ground of their dissent, and given their action and aspirations a political complexion which they did not renounce in any sense, but which did not rightly express the real question at issue. They were Non conformists upon religious grounds, because) they believed that the theory of a State Church was inconsistent with the ideas and the principles of the New Testament. A great struggle lay before them as Noncon- formists in Wales in connection with their system of elementary education. Let them realise at the outset the issues at stake, that they were called upon to fight not only and not principally for political justice, -but for what they conscientiously believed to be religious truth. There were dark clouds gathering on the horizon of the State Church. It had been made plain during the past year that influences were at work within the church quietly but steadily undermining the conditions imposed upon it by the Pro testant Reformation. There had been an alarming growth of sacerdotalism in the Church, and practices were resorted to, and doctrines taught contrary to the law of the land, and in their opinion absolutely irre- concilable with the truth. And what added the most serious element to the position was that a large proportion of the elemen- tary schools of the country, in the name of religion, forsooth, were handed over to the spiritual care of clergymen holding these views, and bent upon instilling them into the minds of the children under their care. Side by side with this spectacle of the Church of England rent by internal dis- cords was the formation of the federation of the Free Churches throughout the country, a movement destined to have the most im- portant results in the near future. It was to break the growing bondage of priestcraft and in the highest interests of the nation, and not for a party or denominational triumph, that he appealed to all Noncon- formists to carry into action the principles which lay at the root of their religious belief, and upon which he was convinced the true welfare of the country depended,



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