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THANKSGIVING 8USDAI. Local Services. USK. Special thanksgiving services were held in lJsk Parish Church ou Sunday. There was a large congregation at Matins, when the Vicar (Rev. P. L. C. Nash) officiated, and the hymn com- mencing "Now thank we all our God" was sung as a processional. The Special Psalm was the 103rd, and the Special Lessons were 1 Kings viii., 51, and Colossians iii, 1-15, which were read by Mr. Humphreys. The other hymns sung were those beginning Songs of praise the Angels sung," Praise my soul the King of Heaven," and 0 worship the King all glorious above." The Vicar, who preached, took for his text I Chronicles xxii., 18, 19, He said: For more than two years we have closed our service with the hymn voicing the prayer which has been offered from the hearts of thousands, Give peace, 0 Lord, give peace again." Day has followed day, and week has followed week so regularly that we hardly realize it was in October, 1899, that the Boers declared war, and that our troops found themselves unprepared for the sudden descent of the Boer forces upon Natal; and now, after these 30 months of war, the prayer has been answered, and God has given peace in our time-peace again. What shall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits? The time of waiting has seemed longer because we were not prepared for such a stubborn resistance from our foes. When, on the 31st May, 1900-two years ago-Lord Roberts hoisted the British flag at Johannesburg, the day after the flight of President Kruger, we were rearly to think the victory was won, but the Lord has seen fit to leave us two years more to bear the scourge of war, and then on the 31st May again, peace was signed. God has called to their account, by battle or disease, in these years thousands of our fellow-countrymen, and now, when we are called upon to change our prayers into thanksgivings, let us not forget those who have laid down their lives to obtain for us that peace which we rejoice to kne w is now assured. Let us not forget that many of those who went forth so eagerly will not return, and that war has been a scourge which has brought sorrow and desolation into many a home. We know that Usk will not see again two who have been laid to rest in South African graves. We must not forget in our rejoicings the lesson that we are meant to learn in the hour of trial. When God gives peace we must receive it as a gift to us. It comes not from any other hand. He giveth peace in thy borders," sang the Psalmist. The truly thankful heart will not be content with mere noise and shouting and with flags and bells, These are the outward signs of what I trust ia deeply graven in our hearts—thankfulness to God for His great gift. What shall we render unto Him for all He has given ? We have peace in our borders and we must acknowledge that it has come from God. There are many ways in which we may show our thankfulness, but we must begin by acknowledging to Whom we owe it. c, 0 that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people and praise Him in the assembly of the elders." Heartfelt gratitude has found its outlet in heart language, the fervent prayer which poureth into the ear of God the inmost feelings of gratitude and praise. How often we read in the history of Israel of old that when, after a time o'f sore trial. God had delivered them, they followed Him faithfully for a short time, and then we read "they sang His praise." The very next words in the Psalm are, "they soon forgat His works, they waited not for His council." Let not it vii-nilckr fault be charged upon us. Let our thankfulness to God for this, His great national gift of peace, be seen in our lives. Make some definite step in advance in your Christian life as a pledge of your gratitude to God for this His mercy to us. Can you not resolve a more devoted service, a more frequent communion ? Enter into His Courts with thanksgiving and into His Gates with praise." And may we not strive to live at peace with our fellow subjects in the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal, who now take the oath of allegiance to our common Sovereign ? Their conduct in the past towards us has not been good, but 11 let bygones be bygones," according to the ancient custom bury the hatchet and smoke the pipe of peace. Try and find excuses for what is amiss. No doubt they have been grievously misled, fed with most outrageous lies concerning England and her intentions.. The devil is the father of lies and the enemy of peace, and be has been most busy to the last in feeding the minds of those ignorant people with falsehoods. A lie brought death into the world, and lies by the column have brought death into the ranks of friend and foe in South Africa, Try and look upon them as fellow subjects and fellow Christians. Much must be done to re-establish churches aud schools in the new Colonies. The Bishop was, as you will remember, stricken down by illness aud death at the opening of the war. Our missionaries and missionary churches have suffered. There is much to be done for the Church of God in South Africa. It must not be said that England falls short in her duty as a Christian nation to her Colonies. Once before, the 1st June—the day on which the news of peace reached us—was signalised by a great victory, when Lord Howe defeated the French off Ushant, but it was as the victory of peace we observed it this year and you may have noticed in the papers the curious coincidence that the 1st June, in 1802, was the day appointed for a general thanksgiving for the return of peace. and the text which I read to you just now was that chosen by the Bishop of Chichester, who preached on that day, 100 years ago, in West- minster Abbey. Does it not fitly suit our case to- day ? It is the Lord our God who has given us this rest of peace on every side. He has given the inhabitants of the laud into our hand, and we have a duty before us. Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God. Arise, therefore, and build the sazictuaiies "-these missionary sanctuaries which have been ruined— and bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy vesgels of God into the House that is to be built in the name of the Lord." King Edward, as the head of this nation, is attending the thanksgiving service at the Cathedral of St. Paul in London to-day. We have joined in the Te Deum this morning, and I propose that as a special act of thanksgiving we repeat it after Evensong to-night. The Choir will lead the song of praise, but it will be sung to such a well-known chant that all the congregation may join in this act of thanksgiving. After the collection this morning we will all join in the 150th Psalm, The offertories to-day will be devoted to soldiers' charities, as we must not forget, in our hour of rejoicing, to care for the mourners of the fallen. We owe a debt of gratitude to the men who at great personal sacrifice and with courage and perseverance have. without grumbling or grudging, borne the burden of the war. I will close with the words of the prophet Nahum, Behold upon the mountains the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publislieth peace! 0 Judah keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows." The Doxology was suug as a recessional hymn, and the Organist (Mr. W. R. Martin) played the Hallelujah Chorus." The collection amounted to £ 7 19s. 6d. At Evensong the Rev. John Harris (curate) officiated. The Special Psalms were the 121st and 122nd, and the Special Lessons I Kings viii., 55, and Colossians iii. The hymns sung were the processional and recessional hymns used at the morning service, and those com- mencing O Praise ye the Lord," "Praise to the Holiest in the height," and" 0 God our help in ages past." The Curate preached from St. Matt. xxvi., 52, Put up thy sword again into his place." References to peace were also made at the Wesleyan Chapel by the Rev A. Beer, of Newport. Usk Volunteers, commanded by Captain Stanley M. Williams, and accompanied by the Baud. attended service at Monkswood Church on Sunday morniug, where suitable hymns were Rung, and an appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev John liarris. At the Baptist Chapel reference was made to the recent declaration of peace on Sunday afternoon, Mr Jennings making a few appropriate remarks, and inviting the congregation to unite with the choir and school children in sinking the National Anthem. At the close of his sermon in the evening, the Rev FT, B. Robinson said We join with all Christian Churches to-day in expressing a aeose of satisfaction that this terrible war has now, happily, terminated, and our gratitude to Almighty God for conferring upon us and that far off country the blessings of pence. It is rather a humiliating thought to remember that in the earlier stages of this war comparatively few of us thought as we should have done of the miserips and burdens of war. We were too much engrossed in the progress of events, now elated by the news of victory, now depressed by the tidings of defeat. During its later stages, when it dragged wearily and uneventfully along, we were able to think as a nation of the misery, the poverty, the unreinediil evils of war. To-day, while we rejoice, there is a sense of loss and grief in many a heart we may show magnanimity, kindness, and charity to those who were once our enemies, but we cannot give back to them the fathers, sons, and brothers who have fallen in this unhappy struggle. p I We may speak in tones of admiration of the bravery and self-sacrifice of our soldiers, but we cannot restore to many a family its chief support nor hush the children's eries for parents that are no more. Let us see to it as a nation that we do not ignore the lessons of this period of trial through which we have passed, bnt rather seek to cleanse our national life from many evils that so sadly defile it to-day, and strive to earn more justly still the right to be called and esteemed as a 'Christian country.' We devoutly thank God that He has answered the oft- repeated and earnest prayer of His Church that peace and goodwill might triumph." The service terminated with the singinsj of a national hymn, God bless our native land." ABERGAVENNY. I At the invitation of the Mayor, Alderman J. G. Thomas, a municipal thanksgiving service was held at the Parish Church of St. Mary's. A procession was marshalled at the general market, consisting of the Mayor, Mr J. T. Rutherford, town clerk, Mr J. B. Walford, and a number of councillors and officials, followed by the members of the local Companies of Volunteers, 4th V.B.S.W.B., under the command of Major W. J. R. Marsh, there being aho present Lieut. Addie and Veterinary-Surgeon Captain D. M. Storrar, R. M.E. the Fire Brigade, under Captain Powell; and several Friendly Societies. They were preceded by the mace bearer and the London and North-Western Silver Band. The Vicar, Rev F. W. G. Whitfield, officiated, the Lessons being read by Mr T. Headland Sefton, and the sermon oreached by the Rev Arthur M. Peckham, of London, secretary of the S.P.C.K., from the text, A time of war and a time of peace." Special collections were taken on behalf of the Society. Mr W. R. Carr, A.R.C.O presided at the organ, and a special anthem was rendered, Mr Lewis Morgan taking the solo. At the close of the service the National Anthem was sung. The Church was crowded. A large number of people lined the route both going to and returning from Church.—At the Y. M.C. A. the Rev Thomas Bowen delivered an addrets on peace, to men only, in the afternoon. CAERLEON". I On Sunday morning a thanksgiving service for peace was held at St. Cadoc's Church, Ctterleon, and a most eloquent sermon was preached by the Vicar, the Rev Oanon Bedwell, B.D., who took for his text, 2nd Chronicles, 20th chap., 30th verse. During the service the large congregation sang the hymns "O God our help in ages past," "Now thank we all our God," Forward be our watchword," and the "National Anthem."—In the evening a service of thanksgiving was held at the Baptist Chapel by the Rev D. Bevan Jones, in the presence of a large congregation. The reverend gentleman delivered an excellent sermon from St. John, 14 c., 27 v., and included in it those verses on peace by J. Hampden Gurney. The congrega- tion sang Hickson's Hymn for our Country," aud at the conclusion the choir rendered "Peace, perfect peace." GRIFFITHSTOWN. f St. Hilda's Church was filled on Sunday evening, when the Vicar of Trevethin, the Rev E. Morgan, in the absence of the Rev J. E. Dunn, through bereavement, preached from Ephesians, 5, 20.- After the Benediction the Te Deum was sung, the service closing with the Hallelujah Chorus. MONMOUTH. I The thanksgiving service at St. Mary's Parish Church was very well attended, many visitors being present. The R.M.R.E. (Militia) also attended, and were accommodated in the south aisle, the band being placed in the side chapel. The Vicar, the Rev C. F. Reeks, conducted the service. Special psalms were sung as well as the hymns Now thank we all our Loid" and "Onward Christian Soldiers." The Vicar preached from the words of Samuel, Fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your hearts, for consider how great things the Lord hath done for you." The authorised thanksgiving prayers were said, and at the conclusion of the service, to the accompaniment of the Militia band, the congrega- tion heartily sang the National Anthem. The collection was in aid of the widows and orphans of the men who have fallen in the war.—The morning services at St. Thomas' Church and the Grammar School Chapel were also of a special thanksgiving nature.—At the Catholic Church the National Anthem was sung after the principal mass and the "Te Deum" was sung after the Benediction in the evening.—At the evening services in all the Free Churches special hymns were sung and sermons preached. NEWPORT. I The prescribed forms of service were used at the Anglican Churches, and at the Free Churches of the town, hymns, prayers, and sermons were full of thanksgiving. All the services were largely attended, and the worshippers entered with zest into the spirit of the occasion. The military, both Regulars and Voluuteers, attended different Churches for the morning service. The garrison at the Barracks joined with the 4th Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers, and marched to St. Mark's Church, whilst the 2nd Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers were present at St. John's, Maiudee, and the Newport Batteries of the Moumouthshire Artillery attended St. Paul's Church. There were large musters of all the sections, and each was headed by its band, and marched to and from headquarters to lively music. The streets were thronged, the crowd being of equal dimensions to that seen in the streets upon holiday occasions. I PONTYPOOL. The ABC and G Companies of the local Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers, attended the thanksgiving service in Trevethin Church on Sunday afternoon. The Vicar, the Rev E. Morgan, officiated. Surgeon-Major Essex read the first lesson, while Major H. D. Griffiths read the second. The other officers present were: Majors Griffiths and Murphy, S.M. Essex, Captains Hales and Charles, and Lieutenant illuiligaii.-Tlie National Anthem brought the service to a conclusion. PONTYMOILE. There was a large congregation in St. Matthew's Church, on Sunday morning, when the rector, the Rev A. W. A. Williams based his sermon on Psalms 46. 10, Be still then, and know that I am God."—The National Anthem was rendered prior to the Benediction. —





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