Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



THE C0LLEG-S AND ITS WORK FOX THE GOOD OF WALES. At the meeting in tiie College Library on Wednesday afternoon several encouraging statements had utterance given to them. One such statement was to the effect that the College wonld henceforth be enriched to the extent of £;")0 a year by the liberality of the Duke of Westminster. Another told of a welcome donation from Mr Hussey Vivian on the occasion of his becoming a member of the College Council. A third was made by Mr T. Jeremy Thomas. of London, who for some time has been a member of the Council. His promise of a donation of £10(1, and the hope held out by him that his partner in business was also a partner in patriotic liberality, must have been cheering Vio those who have been working for many .Y.ears to establish the College on a firm and uushakeable foundation. We are well aware that even yet it is not considered a sign of loyal Churchmanship to think, or speak, or "Write in favour of the College. Such was the feeling in Church circles seven years ago. But we have always thought that the feeling of aversion would in the long run die away. The feeling at the first was so strong as to induce those who entertained it to pro- phesy that the College would have a very brief career. The prophecy has not yet justified itself. \Ve are far from asserting that the attitude of many Churchmen to- wards the College was one altogether un- warranted or to cause surprise. It was pro- voked to a great extent by the injudicious language of friends of the College. The language often on their lips indicated that they were looking forward to the speedy ar- rival of a time when the institution would transform itself into a University, able to confer degrees on t'.e studious sons of Wales, and so to relieve the older national Univer- sities of the privilege they have long been possessed of. But such an ambitious project was only the dream of minds ill-informed as to the real educational needs of the Princi- pality. Then again it is possible that some of those who were first in the field as workers iu the movement which led to the establish- ment of the College were identified with a political party which has no right to assume to itself the sole possession of an interest in to itself the sole possession of an interest in the spread of education. It is quite certain that amongst, those who pleaded the claims of the as yet unborn institution were some whose habitual thoughts were those of dis- trust of the English Church, if not of antag- onism towards it. Habitual thoughts have a way of fixing themselves in the utterances which roll themselves off the tongues of con- stant speakers. Utteraucos involving an ill- concealed aversion to the established Church would be very likely to disseminate the idea that the College to be started would be one which would not seek the favour of the ad- herents of the great historical Church, and one which faithful Churchmen would there- fore have to look upon with coldness. But the seven years' existence of the College has rendered it impossible for any one to say that iLs work has been carried on within the lines of any political partv, cr that the gene- ral influence of the teaching within its walls has been unfavourable to the Church. The Church as she realises her position as the patroness of all arts and learning which are of the highest human interest, and which tend to refine and ennoble daily life, must see that she cannot withhold her encourage- ment from any institution which combines with others in giving a wider range to the aims of the youthful minds of the country. Cannot Charchmen even now derive satis- faction from the thought that the head of the College-its noble President-is a loyal son of the Church ? His references to what was being done in Bangor diocese in the way of providing for the collegiate education of young men destined for holy orders did not indicate any lack of interest in the welfare of the Church in Wales. It is true that the present Principal is not a Churchman but it does not thereby follow that the Council do not recognise the importance, wlietievet- the Principal shall feel that the time has come for him to give up his good work into another's hands, of selecting one who would have the prestige which connection with a great historical Church imparts. If, too, enquiry were made, it would be found that students who have spent several sessions at the College have psssed on to Lampeter, or to Oxford and Cambridge. At the English Universities, although students may pass through them and receive nothing worthy of being designated as theological instruction, the associations are such as to fix upon youthful minds impressions favourable to the Church of the forefathers of all dwellers in the British Isles. The College in having afforded preparation for the Universities which may be said to have the beneficent shadow of the Church of the past resting upon them, has done work which ought not to be lightly esteemed. If a more careful enquiry still wero made, it, wonld be found the mere effect of the liberalising studies-I that is, of those studies which tend to free the mind from unreasoning prejudices and to overthrow the idols of ignorance -h,1.s been to kindle in the minds of students a genuine respect,if not reverence, for a Church which has a noble history ii-iltlic past. There arc signs on all sides that there is springing up a feeling of revolt in the young minds of Wales against certain repressive in- fluenees, which have in somewhat recent times acted injuriously upon the national character, and paralysed the intellect of the Principality. The Church Congress at Swan- sea has made it evident that bishops who have discouraged the patriotic exertions and left unrewarded the energetic toil of those who by their writings have helped to keep Welsh- men in the path of loyalty to the Church, are being approached in an independent attitude which has a little wholesome rebelliousness in It. There arc other signs also of the re- solve to cast off an oppressive yoke. The backward state of art in Wales, the nonexist- ence of any successors to those who in times long goue by built cathedrals and parish churches and adorned them in impressive ways, the absence of picture galleries, the fact that schools of art arc not to be heard of on this side the Severn—all these things in- dicate that Wales has been for a long time past under the influence of a solemn old- fogecism which has called itself religion, but which has slender claim to be considered as such, simply because it has taken the elasticity out of the national life and given to it an unlovely and harshness, because it has watered down the rich life blood of what ought to have been youthful Wales, and encouraged a premature dulrjess and an unearthly and useless piousness. It is this ultra-solemnity, this puritanisrn destitute of all tenderness and grace, against which i3 being uplifted the protest of young Wales, as it acquires its freedom of speech, as it takes up with the habit of fearless thought, fostered by the study of science; and as it is human- ised by a growing familiarity with a literature found beyond the borders of a narrow heart- crushing theology. Against the stupendous and imposing dreariness which has smothered all that is poetic, artistic, and graceful in the mind and heart of Wales in the grave clothes of a repressive and joyless creed, there are signs of a most healthy and vigorous reaction and in future years it will be acknowledged; that such reaction has been contributed to in no slight degree by the influences which have j been brought to bear upon youthful minds within the walls of the Aberystwyth College. That the College has in any measure helped on this resolve to throw off the dull and leaden influences of a recent past should bring to its support the faithful sons of the Church which proclaims that Christianity recognises the sacredness of all region s of human aspira- tion and endeavour. 0






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