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case, that the census would include nominal adherents as well as actual attendants, and that coercion and cajolery would be brought to bear in order to swell the number of Churchmen. As to the first reason, the numerical test is absolutely essential to the case of the Liberationists, and it is no argument to say that the other side do not attach to it the same importance. As to the second reason, why should not nominal adherents be numbered ? The principle of an Established Church is that all persons are members of it who do not withdraw from its ministrations; it is its essence that it should be inclusive, just as the Nonconformist bodies are exclusive. The third reason requires more detailed notice. t is impossible to reply to a general charge except in a general manner. Large landlords have no pecuniary interests in the numbers who attend the Church, neither do they directly employ those who might be coerced or cajoled into attending its services. Colliery managers, agents, and ‘gaffers,' tenantfarmers, small tradesmen, and local money-lenders invest in their chapels as business concerns which pay them so much less interest if the attendance falls off; they are also the actual employers of labour, and are therefore in the position to intimidate or cajole. Which class is the more likely to use influence to compel attendance,—those who have no pecuniary interests at stake, or those who have large pecuniary interests? those who have comparatively little opportunity of bringing pressure to bear, or those who have every opportumity? The question does not bear discussion. The balance of probability, as measured alike by power and by incentive, shows that coercion and cajolery are more likely to be employed by Nonconformists than by Churchmen. Nor does the case rest here. If the Welsh vernacular newspapers were able to adduce facts which tend to prove coercion, they would not resort to fabrications. The following passage is quoted from the ‘Goleuad' for October 24, 1889:
“We did not know until lately that there are degrees of payment for attending the Church of England in Wales. The following is the scale: to the head of a family, if he belongs to the choir, half a crown's worth of meat every Saturday night and a new suit of clothes at the beginning of the year; to the single man, half a pound of tea every fortnight; to a Nonconformist who sends his children to the Church school, half a hundred of coal for each child.’
This organ of the Calvinistic Methodists was publicly challenged to produce any evidence of this barefaced invention, but no explanation or answer of any kind was ever attempted.
The same expedient of inventing facts is adopted by the ‘Baner, another organ of the Calvinistic Methodists. In proof of clerical cajolery and coercion, it published (October 22, 1890) an unsigned, unauthenticated document, purporting to be a clerical circular offering rewards for attendance; but it failed to substantiate the authenticity of a paper which, we may therefore conclude, emanated from the office of Mr. Gee. Thus the balance of probability, and the negative evidence which is afforded by the substitution of fabrications for facts, alike contradict the argument that intimidation is, or would be, adopted by Churchmen. But we can carry the case further, and show that intimidation is freely used by Liberationists. Recently a Church girl went as servant to a Methodist farmer in North Wales. As soon as she was settled in her place, her master said, ‘You must go to chapel with us.” The girl declined. The farmer then said, ‘I shall keep back the pew rent from your wages.” The girl replied that he might do that, but that she would not go to chapel. Accordingly, the farmer regularly deducted from the servant's wages the rent for a seat in the Methodist Chapel, to which she never went. The tyranny exercised by the Methodist deacons upon their dependants is general and excessive. Nonconformists in Wales deal exclusively with their own denomination. During the enquiry now being held before the Welsh Land Commission, a Dissenting witness accused Church landlords of selecting only Church tenants. The accusation has been, again and again, proved to be unfounded, as Church landlords are able to show that a very large proportion of their tenants are Nonconformists. This particular witness was asked if he knew any Nonconformist landlords in Wales. He replied that he knew several; but when he was asked if he knew a single Nonconformist landlord with a Church tenant, he was unable to produce even a solitary instance. No impartial person will for a moment assert that any reliable figures have so far been produced by the Nonconformists in proof of the estimate that the adherents of the Church in 1894 number one-tenth or even only one-fourth of the population. But are there not, it may be asked, collateral proofs of the numerical preponderance of Nonconformists over Churchmen? Do not the results of marriages or of the Burials Act prove the case against the Church? Let us examine into these points. As to marriages, the official returns in the office of the Registrar-General show the number solemnised according, and not not according, to the rites of the Established Church in Wales and Monmouthshire in the years 1889–92. The result is that 20,310 persons were married by the clergy of the Welsh Church, and 14,476 by the ministers of the various Nonconformist bodies. Here, again, there is no proof of the numerical predominance of Nonconformists. The evidence is, in fact, entirely the other way. Now let us look at the evidence afforded by the Burials Act. There are in the diocese of St. Asaph 208 parishes. In 94 of these parishes, during the years 1885–89, no person was buried under the Act; 30 parishes had only one each, and 18 only two. In the year 1889, in the same diocese, the clergy of the Welsh Church buried 3618 persons, and the number of persons buried under the Act was only 251. It would be true to say that, in spite of sharp rebukes from the Liberationist press, the Act is almost a dead letter. Here, again, the evidence is opposed to the numerical preponderance of Nonconformists. But Sir George Osborne Morgan endeavours to discount its weight by charging the clergy with a systematic accumulation of indignities upon those mourners who desire to take advantage of the provisions of the Burials Act. It is natural that Sir George should feel sore on this subject. The legislative measure from which he expected immortality is his lasting monument as a catspaw of manufacturers of grievances. The vague charges by which he endeavours to explain the failure of his Act are difficult to meet because they are general. But two facts may be adduced in defence of the clergy against the unproved accusation. In two conspicuous instances the charge recoils upon the head of those who make it. At Barmouth the ‘Goleuad' (Jan. 22, 1891) believed that it had discovered a scandal, and inveighed against the clergy as persons who, “encouraged by the Bishops,’ are “utterly indifferent to the feelings of those who decline their services at the burial of the dead, and ‘trample without mercy on the tenderest feelings of human nature.’ The scandal proved a mare's nest, and the accuser, a Welsh Methodist preacher, was obliged to make a public apology. At Brymbo another supposed scandal was discovered. It would, perhaps, have peculiarly gratified Sir G.O. Morgan to find in his own parish a case of the wanton and systematic heaping of indignities on the mourners who wish to take advantage of his Act. But unfortunately the coercion was all on the other side. Here is the letter of Mrs. Mary Davies, the widow of the deceased person, which appeared in the “Wrexham Advertiser’:— “BRYMBO
‘BRYMBO BURIAL SCANDAL.
‘SIR-To stop all this disgraceful trouble about my late husband's funeral, I beg to state that our kind Vicar acted throughout according to my wishes. The burial notice that Mr. Samuel Chas. Hughes served upon the Vicar, was drawn up without my authority, consent, or my knowledge. I asked no one to have my husband buried under such an Act as the Burials Act, and no one asked me if he might be so buried, or said a word to me about the Burials Act, and I trust you will not allow any more letters on this subject to appear, as they pain me more than I can tell, and my sorrowful wound is opened by them week after week, and Robert Davies, my late husband's brother, ought to be ashamed of himself for persecuting me in this way; my sorrow is great enough without his trying to disgrace me. —I am, &c.
‘MARY DAVIEs. “Green, Brymbo, April 7, 1891.’
Sir G. O. Morgan believes that the attitude of the clergy towards his Act increases the number of the Liberationists. In this case, however, it is the Liberationists who mercilessly ‘trample on the tenderest feelings of human nature.” Against the evidence afforded by marriages and burials, Sir G. Osborne Morgan relies upon the fact that the Welsh vernacular press is almost entirely in the hands of Nonconformists, and that out of seventeen weekly or bi-weekly papers the Church has only command of two. Some of the fifteen weekly newspapers are half-penny sheets full of personal scurrilities. As to the rest, their multiplication indicates internal weakness as much as numerical strength. It is due to the multiplication of sects and of feuds in sects. Thus the ‘Celt’ is an independent journal called into existence by the Bala College question to counteract the influence of the “Tyst,’ which is the official organ of the denomination. The “Goleuad, again, is the Calvinistic Methodist organ which endeavoured to meet the opposition of the “Baner” to the introduction of settled pastors among the Calvinistic Methodists. Sir George boasts of the number of Liberationist newspapers, and taunts Churchmen with their inability to maintain a vernacular press. He would have been more prudent had he obtained translations of these so-called newspapers before he boasted of their existence. Churchmen do not disgrace the cause of Christianity by such productions as are often edited by Nonconformist ministers, who, like Thomas Trumbull, alias Tam Turnpenny, run their cargoes of malevolent scurrility under the cloak of religion. We have already quoted passages from the ‘Goleuad' and the “Baner, which may fairly be regarded regarded as scandals to journalism. They might be easily multiplied. Here, for example, is another passage from the
“It is well known that Popery is a compendium of cruelty, abominations, and the most disgraceful corruption, that ever crossed the threshold of the abode of the Devil. When this system was formed, the bells of Pandemonium rang merry peals, and dancing and diversion prevailed through the chambers of Hell. The only difference between the Church of England and the Romish Church is that one is the head and the other the tail.’
Again, in March 1891, the same paper writes:—
“The State Church has drunk copiously of its adulterous mother, Great Babylon, mother of the harlots of the earth. It has washed its feet a hundred times in the blood of Dissent.’
Again, in August 1891, it says:—
“The disgraceful deeds that have been done during the last three years, and the ungodly deeds now done by the “dearly beloved brethren” in the name of religion, are enough to drive Beelzebub, presumptuous and devoid of all shame as he is, to hide his head for shame behind his throne of fire.’
In giving an account of a Disestablishment meeting at Ruthin, the same paper (Nov. 1891) writes as follows:–
“Many faces have I seen in the course of my life, though it has not been a long one,—all kinds of faces, from the face of the Christlike, calm and natural preacher, to the tithe-loving, hypocritical face of the parson—from the open, honest face of a man to the brutal and fierce face of a creature that my conscience would condemn me for calling a man. Yes! I have seen many a brutal face, some made so by nature, others by the perfection of art and skill. But now I am compelled to say that they were all miserable failures compared with the faces of the “successors of the Apostles,” when the owners are present at a Disestablishment meeting. Why speak of the power to represent passion and character? There is no need any more to go and hear Henry Irving in London, in order to see the wolfish wrinkling of the brow, the fierce and angry glancings of the eyes, the Judas-like showing of the teeth, and the many-coloured face. No! a man has only to go to a Disestablishment meeting, where a number of the “successors of the Apostles” are present, and he may see all that.”
The language of the ‘Tarian' is equally unjustifiable (November 5, 1890):