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HAY. THE IMPROVEMENTS AT THE PARISH CHURCH. HE-OPENING SERVICES. On Tuesday last special services were held in Hay Church, in commemoration of the completion of the recent alterations in the chancel. These alterations consist in the addition of a stone apse, vestry, and organ chamber, besides a new porch. The chancel has also been restored. It has three arches, the pillars consisting of white and blue sandstone, the capitals being richly ornamented. Above the arches is some ornamental moulding with figure beads. There are moulded work ribs to the arch in the apse, with ornamental cornice and toothed work. The corbels are enriched with carvings of grapes, wheat, and passion flowers. There are three one-lifjht coloured windows to the apse, illustrating The Agony in the Garden," "Tbe Crucifixion," and "TheEntombment." These were executed by Messrs. Clayton and Bell, Regent-street, London, and bear the following in- scription :—" Dedicated to the glory of God and to the memory of Emma Meredith, B. 1839, D. 1866, the beloved niece of F. and E. Trumper." In order to erect the organ chamber it was necessary to remove one or two tombstones, and therefore has been placed inside the organ chamber a monumental brass and outside a marble tablet, bearing the inscription, "To the memory of Richard Wellington, Esq., of Hay Castle, who died 1808, aged 62 years, and Penelope, his wife, who died 1792, the daughter of the Rev. D. Donnithorne, Canon of Hereford, and relict of Chris- topher Davies, Esq., of Hayne, co. Devon." The chancel is fitted with stained deal seats for the choir, and the paving is of Lugwardine tiles. The two cushions at the altar were worked and presented by Lady Bailey the cushions in front of the communion rail were worked and presented by Mrs. Bevan, of Hay Castle, (wife of the vicar), and the very elegant chandelier in the chaneel was presented by the Rev. J. Oldbam. A very handsome pulpit has also been presented to the church by Mr. Trumper. The base and central shaft or pedestal, as well as the steps leading to the pulpit, are of red Mansfield stone. Eight small columns of Lizard serpentine surround the base. The body of the pulpit is of an octagonal form, five of its sides having medallions with statues representing Our Saviour and the Four Evangelists, with their emblems. Round the base of the pulpit is the inscription in gold lettering, Dedicated by Francis Robert Trumper to the glory of God, in memory of his beloved wife, Emma, who died November 15th, 1865, and of her mother, Fortune Higgins, who died April 23rd, 1860 The design of the pulpit, which is a very elegant one, was by F. Nicholson, Esq., of Hereford, and the work was executed by R. L. Boulton, Esq., of Cheltenham. The bracketed candelabra, brass lifting desk, and railings, &c., were supplied by Messrs. Hart and Son, Wych-street, London. The architect for the altera- tions has been F. Nicholson, Esq., and the works have been admirably carried out by Mr. Merrick, also of Hereford. The total cost will be about X600 or .£700, besides the presentations. The railway companies issued tickets from the different stations on the lines at single fares, and the day being fine one, a great many persons from the vicinity visited Hay. The morning service commenced at half-past fleven o'clock, by which time the sacred edifice was well filled. The service was choral throughout, the Hay choir being assisted by the Brecon choir. The first voluntary was played by Mr. Nicholson. of Worcester, and then followed the pro- cessional hymn, All people that on earth do dwell," sung to the Old Hundredth. The other part of the musical service was as folfows :—Prseces and responses, Tallis; Venite, Lee Psalms, Russell; Te Deum, Grant; Chant, Humphries; Benedictus, Battishill; Anthem, "0 how amiable are thy tabernacles," from 184th Psalm (V. Richardson, in Musical Times); hymns 93 and 186 from Hymns Ancient and Modern. The chants and anthem were played by Miss Lloyd, and the hymns and concluding voluntary by the Rev. T. B. Hosken. The Rev. T. B. Hosken, of Llande- faelog, intoned the service the lessons were read by the vicar of Hay, the Rev. W. L. Bevan and the communion service was read by the Lord Bishop of Ely and Archdeacon Davies. The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Ely was the preacher. His Lordship took his text from the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, third chapter, and 16th verse- Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you." The Corinthians well knew what a temple was. Some of them had been Jews, and some of them heathen. The heathen had temples to their gods in every city. The Jews had one great temple to the Lord of Hosts ia Jerusalem. BotH Jewish and heathen temples had this in common —they were places of worship-places for sacrifice. But, besides this, in heathen temples there was mostly an inner shrine—a place where they placed the statue or image of their god. There it was supposed to dwell, watch over their worship, hear their prayers, accept their songs and the smoke of their burnt sacrifice, and eat and drink of their feast* and the wine of their libations. Within the temple dwelt the god of the temple. It was not so with the temple at Jerusalem. When the Roman conqueror took the city and pro- faned the temple, he was surprised to find no idol there —no visible representation of the object of worship. Yet it pleased the Most High to dwell among them by a visible token of His presence. When they passed through the Red Sea the cloud went before them, giving light by night, and by day spreading darkness betwixt them and their enemies. As they journeyed through the wilderness that cloud still led them, rest- ing on the tabernacle when they rested, and lifted above when they went forth on their wanderings. When they pitched at Shilob, and when placed on Mount Sion, the cloud of glory still abode there; and when Solomon built the temple, in the most holy place, within the veil, between the cherubim, over the mercy seat, the same token of God's mercy rested. He dwelleth not in temples made with hands, yet he con- descends to man's weakness, and manifests His presence, not in an image like to corruptible man, or a bird, or four footed beast, but in the shadow of a cloud-a cloud veiling the greater glory—so that the Psalmist speaks of Him as "Thou that dwellest between the cherubim," and U clouds and darkness are round about Him." Still, whether it was heathen or Jewish, a temple had the same character. It .was a place of worship; it was the place of sacrificel; it was the place where God's presence was vouchsafed. I might add, perhaps, in many an heathen temple was an oracle, a place, that is, where it was thought prophetical answers were given to those who came to seek counsel of the Deity; and it was so at Jerusalem. In Solomon's temple the high priest might go into the sanctuary, bearing on his bosom the jewelled breast-plate, and when he asked counsel of God for the guiding of His people, there fell as it were a voice of light on his breast—the jewel shone with an unearthly light, and without the utterance of words an answer was given from heaven. Such then was a temple. Such was the temple of the Lord. The Christian Church is some- what diverse from a temple, and the heathen of old used to taunt the early believers because they bad no temples, no altars, and no priests. But yet the Christian Church has much likeness to tbe temple at Jerusalem. It is a place of worship where God's people come, and the praise is better, and the prayers holier than those which priests and prophets and kings put up of old in the sanctuary. They are better praises, for we have more praises than they. They are holier prayers, for they are offered in the name of Jesus, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. There may be no altar on which victims are slain, but we have an altar which they have no right to, which serve tabernacles. We have a sacrifice of which all Jewish offerings were but dark shadows. We have a great high priest over the house of God, who, although He has passed into heaven, is ever with his people on earth; and, through that high priest, the presence of the memorial sacrifice pleading the merits with His Father, we may draw near with true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. And as the church is a place of worship, of sacrifice, and commemo- ration of that sacrifice, so is it also a place where we may seek and find the special presence of God. « Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.' Where two or three are gathered in prayer, there is He to hear and answer that prayer. Where two or three are gathered to read His Word and listen to it, He is there by His blessed Spirit to teach, convince, convert, and sanctify. Where two or three are gathered around the table of the Lord, there is He as He was that last evening in Jerusalem, blessing the bread and those who eat thereof feeding faithful souls with the bread which cometh down from heaven and giveth light to the world. A church, then, lacks neither worship, nor sacrifice, nor the presence of the Lord,—spiritual worship, spiritual sacrifice, spiritual presence. Neither does it lack the oracle of God. The Word of God is read in it and the Word of God preached in it, and He who seeks an answer to the questions crowding upon his heart may surely find that answer, not on the breastplate of tne Urim and Thummim, but in the perfect light of the Gospel of Christ. And so, my Christian brethren, to-day when we i^eettp celebrate the restoring of the church, though it be in such a church as this,one for spiritual worship, and not a building for heathen idol- atry, nor for the celebration of the typical worship of Jerusalem—we have as much of the promise, a greater promise than any temple of old. And if we fail not to seek a btessio^iji it, if we gfecfc not our service and. worshio, God will not break His promise, nor with- hold His presence, nor refuse His blessing to us. Now let us look back to my text. It speaks not of temples of the heathen, nor of the one at Jerusalem, nor yet the one in which we are met to-day; but it speaks of spiritual temples-cf men in whom God dwells. The Jews used to speak of themselves as a temple. "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we," said they. And so they were, for God was amongst thun, God was worshipped amongst them, sacrifice went up in them, the oracle of God was present amongst them. They were a temple but their sins made them a ruined temple. You know that One speaks of His body as a temple. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." And truly that was a temple in which dwelt the whole fuHness of the Godhead bortily. Temple, altar, priest, sacrifice, incense, worship, oracle-all were but faint symbols, dim shadows of Him for He was Himself the priest, the altar, the offering, the way to worship, the offerer of all worship, the lively oracle, the very Word of the Father-at once the temple and the temple's God. But we must come down to what is far less than this. When we read our text-it speaks of something grand, and awful, and good. Christ was the temple of God but in their degree all Christians too are the temple of God. You know that elsewhere the apostle speaks of the whole Church of Christ as being builded together for a habitation of God through the spirit. And so, also, the apostle Peter says that Coming to Christ as a li ving stone, we also as living stones are built up a spiritual house." The Church of God now is that chosen people in whom He dwells. The Church of Christ is that company of believing souls where there is the worship of God and sacrifice- a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, a sacrifice of body and soul to God's service; the once-offered, ever- accepted sacrifice of God commemorated, to be fed on and rested on the oracle of God's teaching where there is the sure presence of the spirit, the spirit of the Son and the Father. It is possible my text may be speaking of this, as it says Ye are the temple of God, and the spirit of God dwelleth in you;" and this may mean that the whole Christian Church was one great temple of the Lord. But in the sixth chapter of the same epistle St. Paul uses almost the same words, and seems to speak personally to each Christian, What ? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which 'is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own." And our blessed Lord promised his disciples, when he was taken away from them, another Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, to be in them and to dwell with them—that His Father should come to them and take up his abode with them. Now, my brethren, we are met together here to-day for the solemn opening of a church which has already been consecrated to God. But know ye not that every one of you has been consecrated as a temple for God. Indeed it is so. It is a solemn thing when a church is consecrated to God but it is still more solemn when the soul which He has built for Himself is offered to Him and set apart to be His. And this has been done- think you of it what you may. When any one, whether young or old, is dedicated to Christ at baptism— that is the consecration of a living temple to the Lord. Now look at this so, brethren. God has bid you, Christ has bid you, you are His, and He has directed that you should be set apart for His worship, for His service, for Him to dwell in. I e are the temple of God. Now a temple is a place of worship. What are your souls? Are they places of prayer and praise ? Does the mouth offer up prayer and praise ? That is something, but there must be more still. Not the mouth, but the whole man is th« temple of the Lord if prayer and praise are to be acceptable to Him. They must come to Him from the inmost shrine—from the heart, not from the lips only. The temple is a place of sacrifice. How is it with you ? There is indeed one great sacrifice, and nothing can be added thereto. But is that sacrifice yours? Are you joined to it by faith in its power, by thank- fulness for its blessings, and love to Him who offered it? Is Christ yours, and are you Christ's? And being His, is your life, by union with Him, a sacrifice, an acceptable offering to His Father. A temple is a place where God gives answer to them who seek Him, lighting up the jewels of the breast-plate, and revealing truth and grace. And it is God's Holy Spirit speaking to your hearts. Is His voice whispering there? and do you listen to it? Is His light shining there, and do you open the windows of your heart and the eyes of your inmost being that you may let in the light and see by that light? Lastly, a temple is God's special dwelling place. He dwelt of old between the cherubims—in the inmost sanctuary, over the mercy scat. You have been consecrated to be His dwelling place. Is He there? Have you opened your hearts, your inmost shrine, to receive and welcome Him? Does He dwell there? Does He reign there? Have you still to make the place of His habitation clean and pure. fit for the palace of the King of Kings? Have you? or have you done what tended to drive Him from you, and encouraged unclean thoughts in your heart, proud and covetous passions, worldliness, and sin? If no, either these must be driven out from His pre- sence, or His presence will depart from us-His temple will be defiled in us. What saith the Scripture? ¡ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you. If any man defile the temple of God him will God destroy." Let no man deceive himself. One word more. The temple of God, besides being the place of worship, of sacrifice, of oracles, and the holy place in which God's presence dwelt, was the place, too, where men brought gifts, where the rich cast in gifts of their abundance, and the poor widow also cast in her two mites. I am sure God's spirit never dwells in us but we become ready to give for His cause. You are asked now to give for His service, to contribute towards promoting His glory. If you are really His, you will give, and that, according to your prayer, you will give freely,—freely, as those to whom God has given all things, as those for whom Christ has given even more than all— Himself, which is better than all else. Freely indeed ye have received,—freely give. At the conclusion of the discourse, the hymn com- mencing, "The strain up raise of joy and praise" was sung, during which the collection was made in aid of the improvement fund, and amounted to JE64 Is. 8d. The benediction was afterwards pronounced by the Bishop, and the service ended. After the service, an invitation luncheon took place at the residence of the vicar, and amongst those present were the Lord Bishop of Ely and Mrs. Brown, Archdeacon Davies and Mrs. Davies, Mrs. De Winton and Miss De Winton (Maesllwch), Mr. and Mrs. Haigh Allen, Mrs. and Miss C. Baskerville, H. Allen, Esq., Rev. W. J. and Mrs. Thomas (Llanthomas), Rev. F. Guise, Mr. and Mrs. Seymour (Porthmawr), Rev. J. and Mrs. Morgan (Brilley), Mrs. Oswald (The Moor), Rev. Hugh and Mrs. Bold, Rev. Herbert Williams (Brecon), Mr. J. Hotchkis, Dr. Lucas, Miss Lucas, Rev. J. S. Cheese (Bosbury), Rev. J. Oldham, Rev. S. Clark (Bredwardine), Professor Morris, Rev. W. Poole, Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer (Eardisley), Rev. S. and Mrs. Alford (Glasbury), Mrs. Dew and Rev. H. Dew (Whitney Court), Rev. T. B. Hosken (Llande. faelog), Rev. T. Webb (Hardwicke), W. C. Fowler (Brissop), &c. In the evening, at seven o'clock, service was again held in the church, and was well attended. The musical part of it was as follows Psalms, Hayes in F Magnificat, Gauntlett in F Nunc Dimittis, Felton in E flat. The preacher was the Rev. W. Poole, IVi.A., Rector of Hentland, and Prebendary of Hereford Cathedral, who alluded to his text, Exodus, 25 c., 8 v., "And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." At the close of the service another collection was made, amounting to j68. ♦







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