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BEAUMARIS. I

CONWAY. I

DENBIGH.I

LLA.NDUDN0. I

EUTHIN.

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EUTHIN. GRAND CHORAL FESTIVAL. Friday, the 26th of August, will long be a happy day in the recollection of the Churchmen of Ruthin, who will surely now not at all regret the great expense of the excellent internal and external restoration of their pa- rish Church, on that day appointe l to occupy a proud posi- tion in the diocese, being chosen as the first parish church to be used by the St. Asaph Choral Association for their annual Festival, and being honoured by the eager voluntary attendance of numbers from distant parts- of the Vale of Clwyd and the Principality, who, loud and lavish in its praises, seemed to thoroughly ap- prove of the selection of this Church for the place of ho- nour. And not only the good people of Uuthin, but all members and friends of the Association must have btea rejoiced to see what was its successful a meeting as need be desired in respect of the immenst, attendance a id earnest revareut attention of the congregation, as well as of the interest excited in the high and important objects of those who have banded together for the outward im- provement of the performance of public worship. And not least is there cause for congratulation in the power- ful, eloquent idvocacy of those objects by the hard working Prelate who is now'passing his annual sojourn in Wales. Some idea may he formed of the interest generally ex- cited, from the fact that the noon train from Rhyl was quite full before it left .St. Asaph, and at Denbigh it was literally crammed, the guard's van having to be made use of for passenger traffic. And in the saloon rngs were used wherewith to extemporise seats on the floor for the convenience, such as it was, of the travel-' lers, if not pilgrims, who, for that day at least, re- garded the shrine of St Peter's, Ruthin, with a very spe- cial interest.. w lil(I be required to mention II. small proportion of the clergy and laity, from far and near, who expressed their interest in the proceedings by com. in°" to the Festival. There maybe mentioned, however, in addition to those who took an active part in the pro- CIl.(liug81-the fievds. Canon Jones, Canon Williams, C. Heaton, of rias lleaton, and of Jesus College, Oxford, the Warden of Ruthin, Town send Mainwaring, Esq., MP., H. Hughes, Ksq., Ystrad, Chairman of the Quar- t, Sessions, Major Rowley, Llaubedr Hall; the Kevds. U Lewis, Trefnant; D. Hughes, Grammar School; T. Kirk, Collegiate Schoo!, Ruthin, the Rector of Denbigh, If. Owen, Ltanfair Rectory, the Mayor of Ruthin, Thiw. Jones, Esq., surgeon to the Volunteer Corps, R. John- son, Ksq., Llanrudd House, Llewelyn Adams, Esq., Ty Mawr, Lhnfair, Abh.'tt .feMe, Esq., .Marcus Louis, Esqp Under Sheriff, T. Carey, Esq., 4th Regiment (lately re- turned from the Ashantee expedition), Revds. H.Smart, Henllan, E. James, Prestatyn, H. H. Davies, J. Morgan, Rhyl, Lewis, Bodelwyddan, W. Wynne, Esq., N. & S. Wales Bank, &c. The first service, consisting of Litany and sermon, was appointed to begin at two p.m., long before which time that part of the Church not rigorously kept for the choirs, wa" crammed, there not being even standing room, the long passages down the aisle being filled with worshippers, willing to undergo the fatigue of long standing rather than forego the oppoitunity of being present. Within a very few minutes of the iirescnbed time, that portion of the ten choirs present having surplicea were seen issuing from the vestry door at the east end of the Church, followed by the clergy, about 50 in num- ber, the Dean of St. Asaph and Bishop of Oxford closing the procession. Though the chancel was quite full, the choristers and clergy took their places without any confusion or diffi- culty the Bishop of Oxford taking his place at the north end of the altar, and the Dean, Canon Jones, and the Warden of Ruthin, occupying the sedilia on the suuth side of the chancel. The Bishop's chair was somewhat hemmed in between the altar and the east end of a pew which occupies a most anomalous position, but which for some cause or other was left at the resto- ration a relic and index of the furniture and state of the interior of the Church some years ago,—suggesting an idea of obstinacy or supineness in some person or persons. All being in their places, and kneeling down, the Dean of St. Asaph, as if reminding us in his own person of the altering and altered character of holders of Cathe- dral preferments, himself began the chanting of the Li. tauy, amidst profound silence. When he had finished the first supplication, all the choirs followed with one voice, and with a burst of sound much ot'tener conceived and wished for than heard. The steadiness of the choirs was very remarkable, especially when we consider that very few of them had met together before that day. The service was Dr. Rimbault's, the people's part be- ing harmonised the alto voices could be perfectly dis- tinguished,even at the west end of the church. The hymn, Brief life is hero our portion," was new sung, a translation by Dr. Neale, to the tune of S. Al- phege.takenby permission from the Church Hymn and Tune Hook, nut first, popularised in the r markably cheap ilymnal put forth by Mr. Chope, some years ago. After this was the sermon, by the Bishop of Oxford, who, with the insignia of his Sovereign's esteem around his neck, his Bible in his hand, and with marks of severe i bodily affliction in his face, gave out his text from 2 Chron. v. Ill, 11. A transcript even of this sermon would not give an idea of its impressive character and excellence. Though the Bishop had preached at a cho- ral festival only one complete day before, there did net appear any similarity whatever between the two dis- courses. Afterremarkn.;onthegreat)ikenessbetweea the service described in the text, especially the outburst of united praise, after careful preparation, and the ser- vice of that day, he drew out very clearly and conclu- sively the proof that the temple of the ancient dispensa- tion was a type—not of the present material House of God, but, of the Church of the upon earth. Thence he passed on to the FACT of our High Priest, still of our nature, and perfectly acquainted with every secret of the nature lie took upon Him, within the veil, out of sight, and after being seen to go out of sight, pleading for all and each of His, before the Throne, pleading the blood of His own perfect all-sufficient sin offering. Then as the people were praying withoutat the timlY of incense," and their prayers ascended with. the inter- cessions of the High Priest, accepted through the cove- nant, so the prayers of the people of God now, not yet admitted into the Most Holy Place, but standing in the outer courts, mingle with His, and with His are accept- ed. Here the Bishop turned to the choirs, and solemnly and affectionately reminded them that their praises of- fei-ed to God would thus ascend far beyond the sun, and beyond the place too distant for the sun's rays to be felt —to the Heaven itself. And this consideration of the tremendous importance of their worship lie. pressed upon them very earnestly as being of service to counteract the evil effects of drowsiness and many other infirmitiea in themselves, and disturbances arising from the disturb- ing singing or conduct of fellow choristers singing per- haps not quite perfectly in tune—iu:'irmities and disad- vantages which could not wholly be removed in this world of imperfection, but which must be fought against to the last. The simplicity and poiuteduess and loving spirit of this part of the discourse, founded, too, on so luminous a statement just before given of the doctrine of Christian Intercession, made a very powerful impres- sion. Many must have forgotten the fatigue of standing so long, and many, too, the weariness almost equally great of the sitting posture, under the circumstances, in which they then were. Going on to consider the latter part of the text, the preacher shewed that in place of the visible manifesta- tion of the glorious God, we had the invisible and spiri- tual a more real, more powerful, more exalted presence than even when the glory of Shekinah, was such as to fill the Temple. Such had been found to be the csae by many of the people of God. And, further, each one separately had an interest in the intercessions 8f the everlasting Lord; and the intercessions and praises of each one were separately noted there. To our finite ca- pacities the individual was frequently lost in the crowd, but the infinite powers of the Intercessor could distin- guish each offering of praise as it ascended with the co- lumn of the prayers of the whole number of the faith- ful. Here, then, wasanotherconsideratinn which should encourage us to contend with the difficulty we sometimes felt in shaking off coldness and deadness during divine service. And when we consider tile results als >, even the pre- sence of Christ grauted often in a large measure, and in answer to continued earnest worship cu tainly given, though withheld for a time it may be, we cannot but; realise the blessedness of helping forward the perfection (in its highest souse) of the services of every village choir and church. A few words more, weighty and elo- qnent, yet simple and only few, must have deepened the impression on the minds of both choristers and congre- gation that they had never sufficiently realised the tre- mendous importance of the work they are permitted to take part in when assembled in the House of God for public worship. During some parts of the sermon, the Bishop's voice rather failed him, and, throughout, there was the ap- pearance of overtasked strength, and yet the following week is to see him working harder than ever in behalf of the Foreigh work of the Church. After the sermon, an anthem and a hymn, or rather Psalm (the Psalm Leing jive verses from the 84th, of the metrical version at the end of the Prayer Book), were sung, aud a collection made, this last occupying a con- siderable time, owing to the large congregation and crowded state of the church. The amount of the collection was about £ 25. The evening service, in Welsh, commenced at six o'clock, before which time there was a rehearsal. Space will not allow for a lengthened account of this service equally interesting, though in a ditleretlt way. There was a crowded congregation, consisting of a very large proportion of the poor, which accounts for the compara- tive smallness of the evening collection. lany Dissenters were present. The service was inioned by the Rev. D. Lewis, of Trefnant, the Rev. Evan Evans, Curate of Ruthin, and the Rev. Canon Jones, of Holywell, reading the first and 4 second Lessons respectively. The t'salms were all sung to Anglican chants, as also the Canticles but instead of the Psalms for the day, Psalms xxii. and xxiii. were sung, which is accounted for by the Festival having been originally fixed for the 4th of August. The effect of the responsive singing of the Psalms was very pleasing. The anthem (by Dr. feiijaiiiiii Rogers), taken from Ps. exxii. 6, 7, 8, tJ, was exceedingly well sung, though. of a somewhat elaborate character, contrasting strongly with the simple one of the previous service—Weldon'9 Praise God in his holiness." The sermon was pr-ached by the Rev. It. Hughes, of Prion, and not by the Rev. E. Jones, as stated in our last, he being unavoidably absenton accountof domestic affliction. The text was taken from Rev. xix 5, and the sermon was a very good one. Preached, too, on short notice, it deserves still higher commendation than even its great merits would undoubtedly obtain. Many persons strongly object to the practice of beat- ing time by a conductor standing in a prominent posi- tion with a very noticeable wand. Perhaps this objec- tionable plan may be found unnecessary another time. Between the services, the choirs had tea in the Na- tional School Room, tho arrangements for which, as well as all the other ariangemeuts, were indeed most excel- lent. Great praise is d.ue to the Executive Cnmrnittee, anll especially to the Rev. the Warden of Ruthin, for their indefatigable exertions, and great painstaking to which, the great success of the Festival was mainly due.