Hide Articles List

17 articles on this Page

WELSH CHURCH BILL. ___I

News
Cite
Share

WELSH CHURCH BILL. I MEETINGS IN LONDON. I IilSHOP OF ST. ASAPH ON THE I OitLGIN OF LIBERATIONISM. BISHOP OF OSSORY ON THE EFFECTS OF DISESTABLISHMENT IN IRELAND. (From a Special Correspondent.) I The course cd four leetwrcs now being given 11 I-lidgiii undoer tho above title in the jl- terests of the C-hurrch in Wales are attracting ntuch interest.. The course wjw organised by tho Ladies' Branch of tho Central Church I^efovwx- Committee, the idea being to show by ^frustration** drawn from experience in the past that the jKjiiii-y of Disestablishment and has not prowed beneficial to the cause of religion, or to any of the religious bodies concerned. The firwt lecture of the course was given by t-ho Oountose de Franqueville, better known before her marriage as the Lady Sophia Pai- nter, and a. daughter of the late Earl of Seiborme. From her residence in France since ?er marriage ,h ha« had exc?'?icmal oppor- iwr iiiarrio47-e hi.,? bad excclAi4mal <).I)por- ment and J)i«ciido>wmont in that country and She had no difficulty in showing that it had been, from every point of view, drieafctrous to the best interests of the jieople. She referred to betr article in the Nineteenth Century of last September, wliich she said had been prompted as a reply to what the Bishop of Oxford had stated in a speech in defence M the Government, and in which he had sug- gested that the clergy in France had il;iiicst, welcomed Dises'tabliiishmeiit. Nothing-, she stated, could have been further from the fact-, and ulie was able to assert that almost evory aaid Bishop in France had in- fuwued her that the difficulty of obtaining niffieient funds for their work now the Church a disendowed had becoane greater and not i(tl.i; nouio priests receiving no more than flU- Hjuivalieait to £ 12 cr £ lo a year Most jieople ?U agree th?t cveu for a celibate French priest Mlb a year is scarcely sufficient to keep I body a.nd w?ul tr?ther, or efHei?Htly to ?f- fonu?hiR high and -responsible duties. An- fo-i -hif4 li,,gli aii,d An- a.ta.mum.j. Nioease in juveni? criDM and dB?orce. It i? Tx?Uy mc!snoho)v to think that a 1UK^ wcaM.hy ccumtry hke France ?tMtid by a Hi?aaaro of DisGndowrnwnt have confiscated the sina-M su?M which ti'H M<-cut)y were paid for the maintenance of religion. We gather that the better elements of French opiatMTH are now beginning to realise that a SRriaus national mistake has been msulv and to reflect that the diversion of religious funds and the teaching of a mere materialium in the *J>«oLs is a had substitute for definite reli- gious instruction. THE SECOND LECTURE. I The second lecture of the course was equally valuablo at the present time, for, under tho title 4d "Fcaty "Years of Disestablishment and Disendowaneat in Ireland, the Bishop of Ossory was able to show, from intimate per- r,(iiial knowledge, that the disadvantages of t.h,) iiict I)i,:endoivnicvt of the Irish Church greatly pret xmdera-tedi and ho also pointed out the IA to the nation. He added that they bad got what was called religious equality, lJout at ine cost- of removing all recognition of religion from public life, which was a great misfortune. The Bishop of Ossory agreed with the most of those who have carefully considered the matter, that Disestablishment tends to narrow the horizon oia Church, and he quoted Archbishop Icinple as saying: The connection with the State compels aai amount of toleration which eould not otherwise be maintained." A Free Church, he added, was not as free for the elergy <1M an Established Church, it tended to cripple independence. In dealing with the l effect of Diseudowmeut in Ireland the Bishop showed that the number of clergy had fallen from 2082 in 1871 ,to 14G3 in 1911, the reason being that they had been obliged to reduce the ministry on account of the dtifficulty of p-QVidiug •incomes for all of them. The ishop's observations have been confirmed by the Archbishop of Armagh, who, in a letter to the Morning Pus t of the 17th iust. ojj- srrvow, inaid to what he dieecribes as the disastrous effects of the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, that, "It is, indeed, passing strange that the (,,( f h heroic efforts of Irish Churchmen to preserve the Church from extinction should now be quoted in favour of inflicting a like blow upon the Church iu Wales. As well might J<AS;*|ih'.s brethren claim credit for their brother's prosperity in Egypt, and maintain that if they had not. sold him to the merchant- men his exaltation to rank and fortune would never have taken place Ireland has suffered ever since. 1869 from the blow dealt to public sonfidence by alienating property held ioi trust for hundreds of years; and what was heralded as fa. message of peace' led in due course to outrage a-ild crime, as (apparently) the sure way to obtaining other concessions. In face of testimony sueli as this from those- who are, in a jx^itiom to know the facts it is (rarefy time that Libera tion ists should no the myth that the Irish Chareli is all the better for Disestablishment. THIRD LECTURE. '1 BY THE BiSHOP OF ST. ASAPH. I The Bishop of St. Asa.ph was the principal speaker a/t. the third of tho series of meetings on the subject Jof Wefen DfifieistabllLshinent arranged by the Ladies' Organising Sub- Commidttee of the Central Church Defence Ckmimittee held by invitation of Elp-anCT Y' it,- eountess Gort at her heai.se in (iroKvenor- g"ardens on Wednesday afternoon. Colonel Benson prenided, and among those present were*- the Marchionest> of Inllibardiaie, the Oount*Hs of liaverisworth, the Countess of Harrowby, tlie Countess of Bessborough, the Couateas cif St. Germans, the Countess of Dfundoaiakl, CounteHi WaJdieigrave, Vij--coun- tess Hill, Lady do FIslo and Dudley, Lady Tenterden, Lady (Ninliffe, Ijady Bcfecawen, the Hon. Mth Ge l (Chairman of the Ladies' Com- Mitt«), the Hon. Mrs John Bnd?ma?, the Hon. Mre Gwymi?, the Hon. A lJœ Douglas- FcMi&nt, Mn: -Pmd, and Mrs Whitaker Tiiennijwo!). The BISHOP, who received a cordial reception, •aid I be^in with a meedod plea for your in- 4 1 ,ulgejioe dut?enoe and pa t-icilek Much of the ground I to bo traversed is well-known to you and the main roads upon which a gt?at part of our journey will lx, taken are beaten tracks with which you are familiar. A recent perusal of some interesting original documents inspires me with the hope that I may be enabled to take you along one or two bye-pnths which may relieve tho monotony of our expedition. The history of an idea. is a venturesome task. Ideas are so elusive, so unsubstantial. Justice for example an idea which mortal eye has never seen except as concrete and manifest in just persons. All illustration borrowed from a great writer Will make my point still more clear. We are Pioud of our nation, and yet the nation is some- tfuiig which you cannot touch or handle or see. -lho individuals are there, but the nation is an abstraction it oxjsts only in idea, and yet it is 1dw, idea, this abstraction, which binds us together •fid for this idea the individuals that compose it £ <5 ready to Jay ???n their 1in's, The e?ence ? ?!'I this is a fact that ideas, impahjable, in- ■' Hp.1b[.le though they be, are the ?t-ron???est things M1 maai that they weld us tûO"cthcl'O with an force and pem-trate our affections nj? ^Prcme subtlety. ? ?;w td<-a which I am endeavouring to trace out a?<?T from the play or the collision of two ideas •w 6 "???" Mciety. They are master-ideas wJ Ua. 'ways and e\erywhcre, ill the political as we!r the ecclesiastieal sphere. Let me state $L.m of all :n the ?wds of Plato, One i d "-a tneory of life is that the best thing- iot)e? Mteory of Hfe is that 1he best thin? to l??d')"- f?,: lUman nature is to deprive men of ?later?,) t '?'t'es for doing wrong and to com- pel th? ? live externaHy by a specified ruie of lifp rp, 0t^1<?r "'?' ??'? ?'?'' theory is that ?? bette^ f society to give its members educa- it is b, S()Clp?t, y to -ive ]Its nicril)-eiis educa- '?u)a? ?? ? ??''?  frec to Pe<t.r in n" llvCs-" twoideas ap- ?'- m ?l ? ??'sion in the reHg?ious in c™ "u not ,n co^'fiion in the religious sphere o °"? ??° we ?'?? the society Cl' the PI, S? i. ? on the otb?er, the individual "?mber i"1 ide? and Hie daims of the Church o aii s<? ^rwjei ve d an d enforced as t1:'ievou6t-an s<,> oonoeivcd a.nd enforced as ?''?You<.) to ??ringe the liberty of the in- ?'?tdua.)' ? tho j?lier hand the conception of th? ).in.-h<. ?M ^^hns of the individual may be so  as to involve disaster to the bety. ? know these two ideas under various ?ines 1)' ]?"oritv and ft'eedom. obedience and pri- vate I tho LiiI ail-d Iii(ilN,idlialls,?l. In duct ?''??ni.?t id?a we arc dealing with a pro- f Perix-tual competition of the two »de^ t7v !i!i hlhaye been endeavouring to dewriht" ^w1 aRk von to accompany me on my ?Prefn ? °US JOUrney I venture beforehand to tcl! yo '? i*' ?? shaU' Îmd th(lt;e two ma?tcr-iJM.s ??ar?S and re-appearing under different  with the year 1641, the year Archbishop La  ? with the ye.u' 164:1, the year Archbishop t, ilit? prison. As ;ou know Laud ?? op ? St. David from 1620 to 1626. He Was -s 1*°nsib 1 e for the appointment of three Hie}1-ori ? WaJ.es, and his innu&nce can bo traced Sil? ?? faJnUy in the Pl)18 of V aughan ur t' still more c!e&r!y in those of Vicar? t'ti? '? ?, the greatest Bsrme in Webh sacred poetry. Authority in its most absolute form was Laaid's ideal and what Strafford was in civil, Loud was in ecclesiastical administration. Thorough" was the policy of both. Laud was a good man with a narrow mind and a pediaxaio conscience, and his treatment of tlie Puritans to whom he spake with a etiff week, he lionestly but unwisely sought to drive and not to draw into conformity, brought on the breaking point. In 1643 episcopacy was abolished. Laud, poor old man. now helpless and harmless from fear of his power than from malevolence to tlie K'ijig was executed in 1645. In that same year the religion in its national expression was transformed and re-organised on a Presbyterian basis. The Presbyterian Directory took the place of the Prayer Book, ami IN 1646 PRESBYTERIANISM WAS ESTAB- LISHED BY PARLIAMENT. But why Prcfibytcriani?m? The abolition of episcopacy and the establishment of Presbyterian- ism constituted the pric? paid for the a?ista.tv of the Scotch army. Here some important poif.,« must be emphasised. The Presbyterianwrn thus established represented tho most stringent con- formity. New Presbyter was but old priest writ large. Tlie Presbyterians fought not for tolera- ) ion but for ascendancy. Tille Directory states in its preface that their aim was uniformity in diviuo worship and in one Of the dooiunents issued by tho Presbyterian assembly of Divines toleration is described as one of the "many horrid and pro- digious errors which do in tliese unhappy daies swartn amon-gst us," and this document ends with a pious prayer" that the Almighty will at length find out. some effectual means by the authority of Parliament for the uttvr abolition of ail those opinions from his dist:rotjeed Church." Toleration they called the devil's masterpiece. J heir attitude on endowments is significant In 1646 a pamphlet was published called "The Ordi- nance of 1 illies dismounted or an indictment against paying iithes uijro the ministers of the Gospel." This pamphlet the Presbyterians do- nounced as scandalous and seditious and immedi- ately published an answer under the title "Tithes remounted. You will observe that In the Pres- byterian-ism set up on the downfall of the Chureht there was no idea of toleration or of disestablish- • irrent or of disendowment, and, therefore, there is no trace of the Liberafcionist idea so far. Once more, let me remind you that Presbyterianism represented a military bargain, it. was never popu- lar in England with the exception, possibly, of Lancashire. At the very moment of its estab- lishment another system'had taken root in Eng- land. rJ he Independent s, whose stronghold was the army, repudiated the idea of a national l;?:nu. IiKl-opon<iontp, whoso stronghold v, denomination established by Parliament. THE REAL FOUNDER OF THE INDEPENDENTS WA% Robtnson, not Brown. John Robinson I a Cambridge graduate, and a man of line char- acter. To avoid persecution he fled with his fol- I lowers to Holland, in 1608. Twelve years iatei I a number of his followers, the Pilgrim Fatho>• sailed from Leyden in the "Maylfower" a no settled at Plymouth, Massacliussetts. Now. was from these settlers in Holland and Amn- that the Independents in the Cromwellian army took their ins-plration. This was their cardinai doctrine. Each Christian congregation was vohtn tary, separate, autonomous, self-contained, < !ect ing, -and ordainin-g its own ministers complete in itself. Put briefly, the Presbyterianism of the Com- monwealth was based upon the sovereignty of Parliament, while Independency, to use Baxters- phrase, represented Church Democracy. I need hardly point out that the two principles thus at conflict 111 the ecclesiastical sphere were at the same time waging- Avar upon each other in the political sphere. As the Independents gradu- ally gained ground they proposed to confiscate tithes and to abolish pri vate and State patronage, and they maintained, notably Milton and Sir Henry Vane, that the State had no right what- ever to meddle or interfere in religious matters. The result of this conflict in the sphere of reli- gion was chaos find anarchy. Then Cromwell, in 1655, now Protector, steps in. He tells the dic- putants, You are never satisfied, unless you can press your linger upon your brethren's conscience to pinch them there." Cromwell, true to his natural instincts, resolved to bring in order and he established his committee of t.ner.s with toleration and aumisiiion for all sceis except Kpi»ccpali.is and Roman Catholics. In Cioniwell's cccksiasiical policy the; two guiding principles were toleration and inclusion, and has toleration was the product not of religious in- difference out of forbearance and broadminded- ness. It has been sai4i that Mr Greatheart, under whose protection all pilgrims to the Celestial City walk securely, Feeble-minded, Ready-to-halt, as well as Y diant-for-tiuth, is but an allegorical rc-j presentation of what Cromwell was to tlie Pun- tans. And here we pause for a minute to lc(jk' 1 began with a statement that tli(I Liherati"nist itlell is a bye-product of the perpetual struggle' between authority and freedom. In the Laudian policy we saw authority so relentlessly pressed at the cost of individual freedom that it aroused an opposition and a hatred which brought ruin to <?pposit-ioii Lii<l a hLtreLi --vh,cli bi-ougi,t ru' 0 \io)?nt]y to th,? other extreme, and the Ind<'p?]t- dent.s W over-stated the ükum" of private ju4g- ment and freedom as to bring upon their oau.«e an equally disastrous collap«e. The year before Cromwell- died they presented a petition to him, in which they made this amazmg confession:— OUt. chapels are like so many ships launched singly, and sailing apart in the fast, ocean of tumultuous times, exposed to every wind of doe- trim'. Where doe« Wales come in in all this? Pres- byterianism did not flourish in Wales, and a few Presbyterian chapels established there soon be- came Unitarian. Amon. the most distinguished of the Independents was Dr. John Owen, a Welsh- man, and an intimate frie-nd of Cromwell, whom he accompanied to Ireland, and to whose work there Dr. Mailaffy, in his history of Trinity Col- lege forms a high estimate. It was Dr. Own. who drafted i, selieme for a settlement of the ecclesiastical problem submitted to a committee to consider the better propagation of the Gospel. In the records of my own diocese there are some traces of Independency and of the Liberationist idea during the eighteenth century, and I think, but I cannot prove, that Dr. Owen exercised some influence upon t'hc Welsh people. He was a prolific writer, and many of his works were trans- lated into Wdsh. The Libe.rat?onist idea, how- ever, lay practically dormant in Wales for the next one hundred end fifty years, but the whole character and condition of the Church in England and Wales during that period rendered it inevi- table that such an idea would eventually be trans- lated into action. I can only give in roughest outlines the main facts for that period. ] sup- pose it may be broadly stated that the people of this country wow resolved upon two things in the eighteenth century. They wove determined to keep out the Roman supremacy so the Stuarts had to go. They were equally determined, after the detestation created by the Commonwealth, to maintain the Monarchy, and so they endured the reign of the first two Georges. If the eighteenth century was not attractive, still it gave us many useful things. For example, the umbrella, the first dictionary of arts and sciences, the Blue Stocking Club, and a, circulating library. Fur our purpose the eighteenth century begins—this is an Irish form of enumeration—in 1688. The supreme contribution of the eighteenth century to ecclesiastical thought and practice towards toleration. That was the dominant, idea of the century. The Toleration Act in 1689 gave legal recognition to Nonconformists and Presbyterian- ism and was established in Scotland in 1696. From that time it became a settled maxim of Eroghsh politics that the business of Government lay in promoting solely the tempera! interests of the people, and that the salvation of souls did not come within the legitimate function of the Govern- ment. Hera you have a new point of view which at once raised the question of an Estab- lished Church. Those who care to refresh their memories with literature of that per,iod on the question of Establishment will turn to Locke's Letters on Toleration (1692) and Warburton Alliance of Churohand State or The Necessity and Equity of an Established Religion (1736), and Paiey's Moral and Political Philosophy (1785J. The people of the country were loyal and de- voted to the Church at the opening of the eighteenth century, but with the advent of the Hanoverian dynasty a change came over the Church, or rather over the hierarchy of the Church. In reviewing I THE CHURCH OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, we need to be warned that it is easy to wrong another age by interpreting its conditions and standards by a comparison with those of our own age. This much is certain, in the Church of the eighteenth century there was no touch of mystic- ism no realisation of the beauties of the spiritual life. There were few saints among its clergy, there was little dogma taught, there was scarcely any devotional literature. Enthusiasm was an abomination. Dr. Johnson defined it in his dic- tionary as a vain belief of private revelation. The Bishops were appointed for a political rea- son. The hcigh watermark of episcopal unfitness was reached by the latitudinarian Hoad-ley Bishop of Bangor, a man grossfully neglectful of his duty and utterly void of the missionary spirit. Du- ring his five yea.vs episcopate he never once visited his diocese, and his chief claim to figure in his- tory is the fact that. Convocation, by condemning hie works, brought about for more than a cen- tury its own suppression. It is true to say t'hat the Church of the eighteenth century was cold, selfish, and unspiritual. I ma. v elai m to be a not inconsiderable student of episcopal sermons in the eighteenth century. There are noble exceptions, but as a rule these sermons preach comfort and toleration. The episcopal utterances often reek with crawl- ing sycophancy to the ruling dynasty. They rarely touch on doctrine, and when they do so it is with an apologetic nervousness. They read like treatises of Cicero. There were no appeals to emotion, but only to reason. It is truo that, they were east in dignified and stately phrase- ology. I find one of my predecessors in a pre- face to a volume of his sermon thus described his manners were noble aq bi% birth. No man could better tupport the dignity of his station. No man was more affable, more condescending wherever he lived hospitality presided. Wherever he was present, elegance, festivity, and good humour were sure to be found. You can picture the tvpo to vourtit-If easily. And then to come to sermons. One o-f them began somehow thus: • I propose to discuss with a view to particular reference the clkaraoter of Mary Magdalene. She was a pious lady of quality^ who was troubled with an epilepsy. Tlie aristocratic sentiment with a final touch of modernism is delightfully characteristic of the period. We can readily ,,ud,DrFtA,vl h'%W,, among an emotional people hkD [ tho Welsh, when all in the Church was so cold and unattractive, that the English reviva-lietw- Whitfield and Wesley, found a ready hearing; and that their appeal for personal religion wesnt straight to the lipart of a people then as now i sluggish in responding to the cold arguments of reason. Purely, it silently and unseen, the Liberationist idea- would find a congenial toil in the condition that I have been endeavouring to describe. We now enter upon the nineteenth century, the picture of which I wiH endeavour to give in panels. I begin with Nonconformity. IN WALES NONCONFORMITY DATES I FROM 1811. Before that vear tho whole body ists in Wales numbered less than five per cent, of tho population. In 1811, the Calvinistie Methods ists, until then guilds or private societies within the Church, and ministered to by the clergy, seceded, or rather took a step, which involved I secession, because they then resolved to or tta" their own minivers on the ground that the num- ber of cpisoopally ordained clergy was inade- quate toO meet their ministration. That resolu- tion revealed h cleavage which you can trace throughout the whole of their subsequent history. The spiritual leadcm-Charles o'r Bala and Jones of Lianigan, resisted that resolution, but they were defeated by a Separatist Party, whose doc- trines were in truth those of lndepcndeney. They repudiated the idea of being Dissenters from the Church, and still more of ajiy hostility to the (.burcti. In their constitutional deed of 1826, by which they are still legally bound, the aim and porjMise of their denomination is thus defined- The object of the »aid connection, hath been, and I shall be, to promulgate the Gospel of Our Ixwd and Saviour, Christ, as set forth in tlie doctrinal articles of the Church of England. In 1854, when the severance of Church and State began to be mooted in the country, the Welsh Methodists, at a gathering attended by 500 minis- ters, passed a. resolution deprecating the. severing of the National Church from the State, and strenuously enjoining their members to meddle not with them that a re given to changc. We shall see presently other influences at work. but Jet. mo complete the, Nonconformist panel. A few y<?a)s )??;r. there was it eharp divisi?i amonp the Methodists. Tho? rcpi-??nUn? the nr? and older ideals of Methodism desired to maintain a settled ministry, and a polity akin to that of the Ciiureh. An iiiinovatintar party, headed by the R-v. Thomas Gee, and inspired- by the ideals of Independency, strove for an itinerant ministry, and lor a polity whieli rendered each chapel sepa- rate and autonomous. After years of contention the innovators were defeated, and to-day the i Methodists are the most centralised denomination m Wale-, with their general assembly, or Synod, and its presiding Moderator. Even the Indepen- f dents have now established Congregational Unions, and the Wesleyans and the Baptists have their central organisations in union, with their brethren in England. Tbo formation of the We Mb r roe ( hureh Council is the latest fruit. of the same tendercy. -At d now. to turn/ to tho political panel. The t ;flu-ciice of tlie Reform Act of 1832 was not so >o.n, or so profoundly felt in Wales es in Eng- hind, nor is it easy to. discover any marked poli- [ tica.l bias at that iiiiit, in Welsh Nonconformity. But the hungry fotries were years of poverty and unrest. I he Oh artist riots at the beginning of this period, and the Rebecca riots in 1843 familiar- ised the Welsh mind with acts of lawlessness, and helped to create a new political temper in the people. The Rebecca riots were* it is true, local grievances, and did not spring from political causes. On the other hand the Chartist riots, which occurred in the great industrial centres in S'mth A\ales, repre?ntcd a much deeper mischief. J he Ch<?M<; orators denounced th)? whole s<?ci??? system, and the distribution of a w!a.Ith. which was created by the toiler, but accumulated by tlie C:pitaJi.<t<3. Politics began now to take on a new colour in Wales. The Repo>rtvof the Commis- sioners on Education, under social conditions of the people in Wales, in 1846, caused great I rrita- tion by its candour, and revealed a growing estrangement between, the people and what were then the g-overnin? cia?aes. In the next few vears Rn increasing interest was shown in poliiical ques- inteivst iv.as shoiv.,i in pc,)Iiiiei,l iliii,o- to winch the .)e<tors of the Rev. Henry (*IlLlrcll, aife?vn:'dR Radical member for Me?hvr dr<?w public attention. He was a Cong.re?tional minister. The extension of the franchise in 1867 and the JLUot -ct gave the Welsh people a political power which they exercised with a freedom which the unwisdom of the ruling classes had hitherto denied them. ORIGIN OF THE LIBERATIONIST IDEA. Jn lam, the first resolution in favour of Wekh Dieestaolis'hment and Disendowment was moved m tho Howe of Commons, and) here I pause to five you a brief history oJ tlw organisation which ?Mt been mainly instrumental in brin?m? this question il) Lo illi- Libera- tionist idea, like Parliamentary reform, was de- layed by the French Revolution, and was heard almost for the first time in the nineteenth cen~ wry, when, m 1852, Lord Grey warned the Bishops to put their hou-v in order. In 1844, the was m--li,ielh, m 1«53, changed its title to that, of the Society for the Liberation of Religion from State Patron. ,I,FO ,Ilicl Control. The original object of this So- ciety was thus defined, that its members con- strained by a deep sense of obligation, to Jesus Christ, expressed their solemn determination to persevere in their opposition to tlie principle on vvTnoh State establishments of religion arc found- ed, and tjjat all legislation by secular governments in allairs of reli-gioti is an encreachment upon the rights of mpi, and an invasion of the preroga- tives of God. The Liberation Society in its inception a religious movement, and the early meetings of the Liberationist Soeietv began and M).dpd m pr-ay?r, but that aspect soon crtt:?!v disappeared. And io-d&y tJ? Sooi?ty rfpr?f? a purely secnLiir and political movement. I need not follow in great detail the later his- tory of tho Liberationist idea in Wales. Under the political leadership of the Rev. Henry Rich- ard. who represented the ministry and principles of Independency, it. became from 1870 onwards a cardinal doctrine of Welsh Nonconformity, and in its earlier stages evoked their unanimous en- thusiasm. In 1887 this enthusiasm was inflamed by the A-titi-'I' 'fli-c War. and acts o,f violence and an intensely bitter spirit marked the progress of the Liberationist. idea for the next five ye-alõ&, in Wales. You will iitve noted how the aims of the Liberationist Society reproduce those of the Cnomwellian Independents, and how the collision of the Presbyterian and Independent ideals of the Commonwealth have, reappeared in modern Weleh Nonconformity. The Lrboraiionist idea in truth nas its tap root in the. central tenet of Jn dependency. The history of that tenet, as we have seen, u a record of failures. Moreover, tbty whole drift and tendency of our modern civilisa- tion, whether civil or ecclesiastical, is towards a quickened sense of the value of oorpor-at.. life and action. We sec it in the combinations and unions of tihe workmen, in the whole conception of social reform, and for our purpose we see it pre-eminent- tv in a deeper sense of the value and claims of tlhy e divine society, tho Church. Education prob- ably has been the most effective influence in bringing about this greater realisation, not only of the value of corporate life, but also of its his- toric continuity, while the individiialistic ideal of Independency has bevn steadily losing ground, and with it there has been a clear a,rid an uil- questioned weakening of the Liberationist idea. The individual freedom which tho Independents claim is primitive, .almost barbaric and imprac- ticable. What they really ask for is what. Hob lies called tho desolate freedom of tlie wild ass. It is true that for the last fifty years the Liberationist idea has been east in an attractive phrase. Cavour, on his deathbed, said to the priest who came to him, b rate, Frate, libera ohicea in hbero mato," A free Church in a free State. It is OJM? of tho? taking phrases by which demo- cr.acy M so peaddy caught, and one of those super- hc? generalisations which .form the current coin of the popular orator. Phrases of this sort have tho gmtcr of novelty, and a spurious scientific ring about. them. My point is illustrated bv Stephens Essay on Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality, one of the most famous and catching of these phrases.. In an historical survey of necessity, brief and compressed, many important facts and qualifica- tions h.a.ve had to be passed over lightly or al- together omitted. One point, however, must, !>e left absolutely clear. I trust I have said nothing to btlittle. or to imply that I was insensible of I OUR COUNTRY'S DEBT TO THE PURITANS. The Puri'tan strain in our race gave England in the sixteenth century those great, seamen—per- haps the greatest ;)1 all our island story—whose Puritanism went, hand in hand with their adven- ture and their daring, who beat off from our shores tho Spanish invader, who helped to make England mistress of the seas. The same Puritan spirit saved our ktdti from a supremacy which has fallen like a blight on all the Latin countries in which it has been allowed an unbridled sway. Throughout these later centuries, Puritanism, m spito of all its excesses and limitations-, has held aloft the -banner of freedom. Foremost in Arms, in culture, anid in character,^ stands Puritan Scot- land, and the dour spirit which had made Soot- land what it is is seen to-day at its dourest in the inflexible resolve of the m-eu of Ulster. If for one moment our eyes may sweep a Lu-gc-r range, it would seem ;n tlie order of Provldeaice to be the mission of the Church of England to reconcile the claims of faith and science, of authority and private judgment, of law and liberty, and to show tll-e world that the&e two principles, so often seen in conflict, must meet and merge in the higher unity of that divine love which is the fulfilment of the law. Where tlie spirit- of the Lord is there is liberty. And this is tho spirit which alone can heal tho broken- hearted and preach deliverance to the captives and at liberty them that are bruised (ap- plause). And now I must bring what I fear has been a tedious expedition to an end, and in doing so, let me strike a subjective note :—Thucydides, in his history of tho Peloponecian War, begins with the reflection that people always think that the war in which they are engaged is the gravest that ever has been, or ever will be. Some may be tempted to deal thtt the Church in Wales has around her. and before her, greater difficulties and perils than any that have beset her in the past. In all these things our English brethren are co-partners, and it/is a glory for us as Welsh- men to occupy an outpost which we trust will prove a protection to the main citadel. Two thoughts ought to cheer and encourage Churchmen at tills crisis. The Church tliat survived the deso- lating frenzy of the Commonwealth, and recover- ed consciousness after the deadly torpor of the eighteenth century, can face any future with courage. To the prayers and to the iaboure of the

:NEW PICTURE PALACE AT BANGOR

[No title]

I rEHFOKMANCE OP "CLAUUIAN."

"LA VIE" NEXT WEEK. I

I BARMOUTH COUNCIL ELECTION.

PORTMADOC LICENSING I SESSIONS.I

[No title]

WELSH ESTATE SOLDI

THE CHURCHES.I

EISTEDDFOD AT LLANFAIRFECHAN.

[No title]

ANG-LESEY COUNTY COUNCIL.

THE ROKEBY VENUS.

CARNARVON TEACHERS AND THE…

TYDWEILIOG SCHOLARSI AND TEACHERS.

WELSH CHURCH BILL. ___I