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Welsh Nationality and How Alone it is to be Saved

A Sermon

301 pages
Library of Alexandria
The discourses which I have the privilege of delivering in this chapel, are specially addressed to my younger brethren, the undergraduates. I cannot but dwell with pleasure upon the time when I was myself a student in this college. This, together with the fact that I am a native of the lower part of this county, and was brought up among some of the most primitive of the Welsh people, and consequently am familiar with their leading sentiments, manners, and customs, places me, I cannot help feeling, in a state of close sympathy with the greater number of you. Assuming the existence of this fellow feeling, I have chosen, on this occasion, to investigate the social and religious condition of my countrymen in a light which has not yet penetrated into the fastnesses of the popular mind of Wales. I have done this, because the subject is one that elicits ideas of high import, which it is desirable you should know, inasmuch as they ought to prove of signal service to you in your future ministrations. We are living, you should be aware, in critical times. Old institutions and dogmas are rudely assailed, and challenged to vindicate their right to respect before the tribunal of reason. It is well then that you should have some leading ideas implanted in your mind, so that you may the better be able to comprehend the nature of the change that is coming over us. As this change proceeds, you will probably hear cries of despair from this party and from that, and harsh and uncharitable accusations will be flung by one at the other. Be not therefore in perplexity, but of this be very certain, “The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all;” and though we may see the pet schemes of men ending in signal failure, not for one moment can we suppose that God’s eternal purposes will come to nought, that His word will return to Him void. “This,” remarks the learned bishop of this diocese, “is an age of restless curiosity, and searching inquiry. If we fail to come at the truth, it is not because we ever shrink from approaching it; not because we let ourselves be stopped by any conventional barriers of usage or authority. We admit no right in any one to judge for us on subjects which we are able to judge for ourselves. We take no opinion upon trust, because it has come down to us with the stamp of an honoured name. We adopt it only after we have made it our own by a rigid scrutiny of its intrinsic claims to our assent. It is an age in which all pretensions to respect and deference are jealously examined, and in which it is more difficult than ever for any false pretences long to elude detection.”