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ICHAPEL AND TAGE.I

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CHAPEL AND TAGE. MORE INTERVIEWS WITH REPRE- SENTATIVE IIISTUS, PULPIT KEFEUENCKS BY A CARDIFF WESLEY AN MINISTER. The Rev. Sidney J. P. Dunutam, prencliing at the Roatli-roid We«lev*n Cliapel on Sundiiy rlgiit. made reference to the controversy on the tlieMre, He slid tliey were told again and again that the ftage might be, and ought to be, and was to some extent a great moral power in lifnng up the laauei. They had had that theory pieaclied for a very loog time, aDd many of them knew how much it was worth. During the last week they had had the controversy brought prominently before tbern, and before the tninds of religioue people especially. The placing on the stage of two operat by Dr. Parry nod the taking part in them by cer- tain Christians had been taken advantage of by soma to say that the theatre was gaining consider- able hold upon the religious people of Wales. That had been said with great glee in the local news- papers. After reading a number of press comments on the subject, the rev. gentleman proceeded to say tbat there was a distinct challenge to Nonconfor- mist mini8t.en to speak out, though, on the other hand, one scarcely knew what to do, because one minister wbo bad spoken out had been abused on aU lidea, They did wrong not to (peak out, and if they spoke they were called notoriety-hunting, pulpiteering BoTcotters. His neighbour Mr. Spurr had made a deliTerance on the subject, and had been fairly abused in the newspapers and by anonymous letters. So far as Dr. Parry's operas were concerned, he bad nothing whatever to y neither did he pronounce n :¡ento tb'o!e; who hto&r:u:t: them, either singing os listening. But they were challenged as Nonconformist ministers to av whelher, in their judgment, the modern theatie was a fit amusement, for Clnislian men and women. He took his tUDd by the aide of Mr. Spurr, although be would not adopt his language, nor did lie expect Mr. Spurr would adopt his. But if be were asked whether the modem theatre wtis a fit place of auiuaeinent for Christian men and women, without the slightest hesitation he should say he did not think so. They asked him Why ? He could encourage his children to go to the theatre if he WMted hia children to oon: fl::iI.ti h:1I kinds and cI: I illicit love if he wanted to familUrine them with the use of the revolver and the bowie knife, with dretses which, if not technically indecent, were such as to excite unholy passions. But if he wanted to keep them frolD those thing* he would keep tbem from the theatre. He was not a theatre-goer himself, but lie could learn sufficient from the critique. which he read and from the posters exhibited in the town-the managers were not likely to put the worst features of the stage on the posters. These Find the photos exhibited were enough for him. He did not mean tn say that all netors and actresses were immoral—by no meane. He agreed with what the Rev. G. A. Jones said, that it was unwise to brand classes with evil names. There wns no pi ofesslon which was per- fectly free fiorn blnck sheep. But what about the proportion of black sheep in the various profes- sions? Those who knew did not dm the theatre a xrliool "f i liasiiir, nor wile it a school to builtiuo citizens of the best moral tihie. He had no doubt in saying that lie would be abuoed, 18 his brethren had been ab..ei for Inj! th" same thing. He took hi. At'ud "nd had SI,okeD to the best of his lights, and he said he kept the modern theatre out- side the boundsries of the narrow way. THE REV, GEORGE HACK. I The Rev. George Hack preached nt Broadway H'esleynn Chapel, Cardiff, on Sunday evening, and in the course 01 the service he .0f??-red to Ihe controversy on Iheatre-Ioing. Be a& On Monday evening a reporter called on me 8Dd asked iuv opinioo on the subject started by the Rev. P. C. Spurr, and taken up so warmly by the piess, viz., theatre-going. But, as I had only just returned from Manchester and did not know the bearings of the question, I declined to commit y. If. I have no hesitancy now in giving an opinion. My mind is very clear and my convictions strong on the subject. I cannot unders:and a Christian attending theatres. He is a new creature in Christ, possessing a spiritual nature, whose hopes, purposes, and joys are in direct antagonism to a place whose associa- tions are the reverse of pure, and through which many a life has been worse than blighted. I do not say a Christian should not enjoy innocent secular amusement, such as cricket and lawn tennis; but he has uo right to enjoy and no affinity for enjoying that which is asso- ciated with so much immoiality and ruin. lu tlie second place, lie is surely forbidden it by the teaching of the Word. Is it not said, "fhey are not of the world, even as 1 am not of the world'; that we are to avoid the appearance of evil' i t 'I'ur religion and undefiled before God &ad the Father is this: to visit the latherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself un. spotted from the world.' liut if we attend R place essentially worldly, a place in which the immoral find that which is so congenial to them, a place which, while attended by some respectable people, is largely attended by tlie worldlirg, the drunken, and the licentious, instead of our coming out from the world we sit in its seat, participate in its pleasures, and thu\ displease God and bring reproach upon our holy religion. Granted tbat some poople can attend a theatre without much liaim, juat as some people can drink a glass of wine without going furtlier; multitudes cannot, and as Ionic as that is the cue my duty as a Chrietiau minister is to condemn tlieatre-goidg- 10 earnestly entreat young people to keep trom it. And here let we suy 1 ilui amazed at the halting, !:?sitatirigilwi?y in which some Nonconformist minislerl hav" .pken of this matter. If what the Western Mail reports be a true exposition of their sentiments, then I cannot but think they have goue a long way towards sweeping away ihe scruplos of pouie who would like to go, but h ive hitherlo refrained, and have given the young people tjrouo'l to come to the conclu-ion tbat there ii not much livirm in going to such places. As far as mv congregation is concerned, 1 will speak out ttid coudemn the practice as uu-Christiau and. as exceedingly perilous to ihe well-being of man and womau." A SPIRITUALISTS POINT OF VIEW. On Sunday evening, under the suppi( of the I C.,diff P.y?l?.l.gical Society, In 4ldd?: :f siven by Mr. Victor Wyldes at the Lesser-hall, Queen-sireet Arcade, Cardiff, on "The Pulpit, the Stage, and Spirit Mediumship." Speaking of the stajje, he said the true actor was An inspired man mil not a mete mimic. For instance, the trans- figured countenance and the quivering and inspired frame of Henry Irving preached oftener a !loul. sermon than did the man who, standing it% a pulpit, preached a dogma he did not believe In. What, he asked, was the purpose of the dramat ic stage, and how might it be made a means for the social and mental elevation of the people ? Doubtless there were biota upon the dramati art; doubtless there were those who disgraced a noble piofession, and there were also many who occupied the stage who had mistaken their voca- tion. The same uiight. be said of the pulpit. There were many who eccupied the pulpits and the churches to-day who h.d just MS surely mistaken teit. calling. The art of the actur wa., indeed, a thoroughly inspired one,and just &a ennobling "llhat of the pi eacher. Sotne people who condemned the stage regarded the announcement leading to the pit of a theatre as an invitation to enter the pit which was said to be bottomless. Jeius Christ in His teaching illustrated His doctrines by parables or fables. People reau and enjoyed books although they knew they were uutrue, and the drama was nothing else but a living parable. What was a play upon the stage but a book to be read by the eyes of human judgment, in which the spectators had the advantage (,f an illustra- tion in living beings? A grand and it glorious lesson might be learned from mauy a play written in the English language. The speaker then illus- trated the lesson to be drawn from the perfor- mance of," Hamlet." The tlue actor, he eaid, was a real preacher if he loved his art. It hail been said that the represenlHtion of A bad character upon the stage would stimulate those who wit- nessed it to follow a course of evil. As well might it be aid that ihe poverty and crime which one saw in every-day life was an inducement for people to commit such crimes and to lead such a life. He would say to those who would condemn ne stage as a hell and the occupants of it as lJ.,iug demcn. 01 darkness Hnd despair, Honuur Knd praise froin no eoi.diiiou rise; play well your p.rt-lbere all ,le honour hes." The religion of "lIIe people ?., mingling of outward forms and cereirionie", with a good supply ot teara red hot ant long faces pulled into an expression of supernatural misery, because they assumed that to be miserable W". he path- way to eventual bliss. The man who could iiiake his fellow-beings laugh was a benefactor and a far better teacher Ih"n the man who told them thBt to be melancholy was 'lie way to be eventually happy. There were customs on the stage at times which would have a tendeocy to pollute those who witnessed them, an,1 it wa. the duty of all Christian people not to stay IIway frolll the theatro in consequence, but to try and puiify it by their pieeence and condemnation 01 anything that would have the effectof bringing n blllsh of shame to I he countenance of human virtue or polluting tbe conscience or the morals of children. The actor was by Divine right at liberty 10 exercise his noble funciion, and he (the speaker) maintained that the English stage was far purer and better to-day, in the higher walklof the dramatic art, than ever It had been in the country's history. They should look upon actors and aatreenet as their brothers ;.IId 81:nt:lt IIlld" |aop.t: "h" HI Uier calling were working side by side with. he OUti.- tian ministry, with the hnl)" purpose of improving the morals of tho eople 30lJ elevating! lie iel ndnrt 01 hum_n virtue by showing IIIr vi.tue irevitabt) triumphed au,1 villainy, unmasked, ever got tl reuibu'iv.; ju>tice it deserved. OUTSPOKEN REMARKS BY Till," REV. J. WYNDIIA.M LEWIS. Interviewed by our Curmnrthen reporter, tbr- R'-v J. VVyndl: itn Lewi", pastor for the last twenty yenrs of Waur-stic: t r.ilviniftic Methodist Ch'.pet. Ciirmsirthen, tx chainn m of il,e Carnurtfte' Rchool Hoard. and ex-secretary of the Citrnei-t Assembly of the C*lviniat!c Methodists of SouM Wal-s, snid —■* E c'i..1o, th,t the attack wliicl. the R,I. F. C. Spurr, of Cardiff, nrida from hi pulpit-the minister's coward's castle—on th, opera' 'liloJwell' and' AdOllwto,' the produc. tions of our talented fellow-countrvmiin, Dr. Parry. of whom Welshmen on both iidet of the two hemispheres are justly proud, is not only un. called for and unreasonably severe, but wholly Un- justifiable. I devoutly ltope aitit believe tltat tliert, are but fett in the Principality, the land of bard. and musician. that will acquiesce in the senti- ments he eipreased on Sunday hist. Let us hope that the remarks complained of were not premedi- tated, but made by Mr. Spurr on the spur of the moment It if always so much easier to decry than to understand; to pose aa an uointellifent cynic than a discerning critic. The craving foi amusement and music, since it has been implanted in our nature by our wise and beneficent Creator, must not only be harmless, but legitimate. If God be the author, we feel certain tbat the instioct was never given or intended to pain and tantalise the children of men. Whatever is essentially human should be encouraged and cultivated. It would be well for the leaders of the people to speak on all matters affecting the well-being of their fellow-men io meekness and moderation, to temper their enthusiasm with judgment, and to remember that to become saints we must no: cease to be men. Denunciation can do but little, for it is not the ultima ratio in this world. Chris- tianity consecrates and gladdens our instincts and cravings as well its our affections, and throws A glow of heavenly brightness upon the trivial as well as upon the most serious things of life. Those who denouoce all operas are, in my opinion, Inti. podally opposed to the genius and most essential characteristics of the religion of Je*us Christ. The teaching of many of the preachers of the present day and that of their great Master differ from each other toto cute. 1 aID bound in all honour to say tbat a skilful performance of a 'Blodwen' or an Arianwen,' or any other good epera, leaves as salutary and as elevating an influence, to say the least, on the community as the baziars. ke., which are Rot up so frequently nowadays to augment the funds or to liquidate the debts en our chapels and churches. Those who patronise and encourage b»zanrt>, conversaziones, and such mun- dane things in connection with chxpels and churches, cannot with any consistency or decency offer a word of remonstrance and denounce the performance of first-class operas, productions in which their author* have laid all nature under trihuta aud contribution. Let the clergy and ministers of the land do what lies in their power to encourage our illustrious countryman, Dr. Parry, and other composers of music in their laudable efforts to elevate and puriiy the stage, 1 am heartily glad the Western Mail hits taken the matter up and elicited the views of men of Might and leading,' for there is a decided tendency in some quarters to smother all discussiou." KEV. D. S. DAVIES. The Rev. U. S. Davies, Congregational minister, Carmarthen, was next interviewed. He Said w Mr. Spurr has nothing to say against the moralitvof Dr. Parry's Welsh operas. The point deserving consideiation, therefore, is how far the performance of these operas on the stage of a theatre gives countenance to the theatre as such. On this point my limited experience does not afford we sufficient data to form a strong opinion. I have all my life ministered to congregations utmost totally uninduonced by the attrac- tions of the theatre. 1 have had no means of judging the moral effects of the theatre upon the members of my chnrge. My prejudices are against the theatre, and the numerous scandals, frequent divorce ca"e, andnll the rest of it which continually appear about theatrical managers und actors tend to confirm those prejudices. There is it appears to me, u low standard of morality on the stage; but as to how far it may be possible to purify it from these corruptions I cannot express an opinion. Their audiences sometimes resent the slurs on the stuge against religiott; us I once read that when an actor veutured to make fun of tho Moody und Sankey revival someone in the iiousp. started I Hold the Fort,' and the whole audience joined most esil liu. siastically in the whole hymn, and several times repeated the refruin-a most salutary reproof." REV. MORTIMER GREEN. The Rev. Mortimer Greed, pastor of tlie English Presbyterian Church, Carmarthen, said I have read Mr. Spurt's remark, and in some measure agree with him, for I believe it would be a bad day for our Christian churches if indiscriminate theatre-going became i recognised form of amuse. ment for Christian people. That music is a most elevating form of recreation cannot be denied, and I also freely admit that the opera may be the vehicle of presenting music in ita most attractive form, if the oratorio does it in its most elevating form, But the difficulty is when and where t > draw the line. It is in this connection that I sympathise with Mr. f»purr'* rnnarkfl. How few ot our young people have sufficient discernment to distinguish between the innocent opera per- formed in the theatre on the one even- ing and an injurious play tbat may be on the saute boards on the following night. Hence the danger of creating a taste for theatre- going is so great that, inconniateot as it may appe«r, I would forbid my children goiug to the theatre to hear an opera which I would willingly itilow them to hear if psrformed in a halt. To my mind the tlieiitre, as at present conducted, is not a healthy recreation for Christian people, and the endeavour to purify it by occasionally presenting operas which are in themselves innocent, and which a, e performed by professors of religion, i» .a dangerous u it is futile. They must be kept ::p:: I ,eit:!lil: p:; may be utilised for this purpose. It is useless trying to purify dirty water 1. pouring clean into it." A SENSIBLE VIEW. The JJ'tf,i"1I SA)'5 :—M If Mr. Spurr had merely denounced play -going "De mighl, without uccepting his advice in its entirety, feel that there was a great deal of juMilication for the position lie took up. Wilen, howler, lie waxed wroth over the fact that manv of those wli-) assisted in the perform* iince of DI, Parry's operas were members of choirs in Christian churches, one cannot but feel that he is all abtoid in his reasoning. What chiefly provokes his ite is to our thinking far the m08t hopeful aspect «»f th«? question. If we could hf,"e performances in which not some, but all, of the actors and musicians were known to be good Christians, then our model theatre ought to tie free from detiiemant of any kind HO far as that can be said of any human institu- tion. One may, without indulging in Utopian ideas, look forward to the attainment of tins end at no distant date, and then it may b* taken for granted that the good theatres will eventually kill the bad ones. Tue process of killing may in some places be slow, but it will be more sure than any which Mr. Spurr, or those who think with hlll1, are able to de"i8t' I LEITER FliOM A MUSICAL BACHELOR. TO THIG KDITOft OF TUN Is WfcSTKBN MAIL." fell,—Permit me to put in my solemn protest against u gentleman of Dr. Parry's musical scholar- ship being assailed by it perfect nonentity. If Dr. Parry's works lire to be criticised, let it be at least by a musician of some at, sinnients. I think it a piece of impertinence of anyone sitting in judgment upon a work the orchestral t-cote of which. he can neither read nor handle. The most ignorant remarks upon musical matters often come from the pen of Zrtus," and it is to he hoped no one is led astray by them. His silly quotation about Handel being offered a d^t-ee >«t Oxford, which he has got from soino book, was only a concoction of his German biogrtphcr, and has since been found to be a fabri- cation. Really, "fr." Zetus," p)u must not think that cramming fioin catechisms and rushing to reference libraries to snatch a few uiiirt musical phrases and lone-winded words constitutes n critic. You must write yourself a bit, be able to transcribe from in orchestral score, and then, Mr, "Zetus," you will have more knowledge and less [ a,su,oc8.-1 tun, & assurance.—I mn, &<< FKtiDK. ATKINS. Kemley Houte, Cardiff, June 20.

A SCHOONER ASHORE AT BREAKSEAI

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