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Title: A letter addressed to the Right Honourable Lord Robert Grosvenor, M.P. - expanatory of the object and design of the Chester Cambrian Society
Author: Evans, Rev. Evan
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A letter addressed to the Right Honourable Lord Robert Grosvenor, M.P. - expanatory of the object and design of the Chester Cambrian Society" ***

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HONOURABLE LORD ROBERT GROSVENOR, M.P.***


Transcribed from the 1832 T. Griffith edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                        [Picture: Pamphlet cover]



                                 A LETTER
                               ADDRESSED TO
                           THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
                       LORD ROBERT GROSVENOR, M.P.


                            EXPLANATORY OF THE

                            OBJECT AND DESIGN

                                  OF THE

                        CHESTER CAMBRIAN SOCIETY.

                                * * * * *

                         BY THE REV. EVAN EVANS,
                         CHAPLAIN TO THE SOCIETY.

                                * * * * *

                                 CHESTER:
                PRINTED BY T. GRIFFITH, GROSVENOR-STREET;
      AND SOLD BY H. HUGHES, ST. MARTIN’S LE GRAND, LONDON; AND THE
                         BOOKSELLERS IN CHESTER.

                                * * * * *

                                  1832.

                                * * * * *



TO THE
RIGHT HON. LORD R. GROSVENOR, M.P.


MY LORD,

THE relation in which your Lordship stands to the City of Chester, as one
of its Representatives, and the lively interest you always evince in
every thing connected with its welfare, induce me to address your
Lordship on behalf of the CAMBRIAN SOCIETY, established in this City,
about six years ago, for the purpose of providing the Welsh residents
with the means of religious instruction in their native language; and
that in connexion with the Established Church.  Though the success with
which this Institution has been attended, has far exceeded the most
sanguine expectations of its friends; and though the important benefits
resulting from it, have been fully appreciated by those, for whom they
were originally intended; yet, my Lord, some are still to be found, who
entertain conscientious scruples respecting the propriety of supporting
this Society—who are yet to be convinced of the expediency of providing
the natives of Wales, who come to settle in the principal towns of
England, with the means of vernacular religious instruction;—who are of
opinion that the Welsh, thus situated, ought to learn the language of
their neighbours, by which means they would have access to all their
privileges: this, they contend, would supersede the necessity of all such
institutions as are founded on the principle of the Chester Cambrian
Society.

It is with a view of examining the practicability of this suggestion,
that I beg to submit the following pages for your Lordship’s perusal.
But, before I enter upon the subject, I trust it will not be considered
an improper digression, to furnish your Lordship with a brief sketch of
the circumstances which led to the formation of this Society.

A few years ago, a number of the natives of the Principality, resident in
Chester, associated, and formed themselves into a body, under the
denomination of the “Cymmrodorion Society.”  Their original object did
not extend beyond the common purposes of meeting together for social
intercourse, and communicating with each other, in their native language,
on subjects connected with the literature of the land of their fathers.
But, after a lapse of time, and frequent interchanges of kindred
sentiments, their attention was forcibly directed to the moral condition
of the lower classes of their fellow-countrymen, residing in
Chester.—They found, upon inquiry, that a considerable number of these,
were so imperfectly acquainted with the English language, as to exclude
the possibility of rendering it, to them, a proper medium of religious
instruction.  Nay, that not a small portion of them, especially of those
who had lately emigrated from their native hills, were often, from their
imperfect knowledge of it, deprived of advantageous situations, which, in
every other respect, they were highly competent to fill.  This naturally
led to the conclusion, that if their ignorance of that language was such,
as to incapacitate them for discharging the duties of their secular
employments, how utterly incapable must it render them of performing the
infinitely more important duties of religion?—Thus was the Society
forcibly impressed with the conviction of their destitute condition.

Such, especially, was the situation of those, who had been accustomed,
from their infancy, to worship GOD according to the rites of the
Established Church.  The Dissenters were more favourably circumstanced;
for two Denominations, the Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, had
provided places of worship for the accommodation of their respective
adherents: but, for the poor members of the Church of England, no
provision was made.  To them, the revolving week brought along with it a
silent Sabbath: the sound of the “Church-going bell” served only to
remind them of the blessings they had left behind; and in vain did our
venerable temples throw open their widely extended portals to receive
them.  Under these circumstances, the members of the Society had only one
of three methods to adopt—to allow their countrymen to languish under the
privations which they were suffering—to forego their attachment to the
national Church—or, to supply their wants, by affording them vernacular
instruction, in connexion with the Establishment.  The first, their
patriotism—the second, their devotedness to the Church—would not allow
them to entertain: they were therefore determined to attempt the last.
This, very naturally, led to the consideration of the means best
calculated for accomplishing their object: and after repeated meetings on
the subject, at which various plans were suggested, the following
resolutions were unanimously adopted:—

  I.—That this Society will direct its particular attention to the moral
  and religious interests of the Welsh inhabitants of this City.

  II.—That this meeting think it would be productive of great benefit, if
  a Church could be opened in Chester, on Sunday evenings, for Divine
  Service in Welsh, for their countrymen in this City; many of whom are
  acquainted with no other language; at least, not in a degree adequate
  to the purpose of religious edification.

  III.—That application be made to the Lord Bishop of the Diocese,
  requesting his Lordship’s advice and assistance, towards the attainment
  of this object.

  IV.—That the RIGHT HONOURABLE EARL GROSVENOR be requested to accept the
  office of Patron.

In consequence of the foregoing resolutions, applications were made to
your Lordship’s distinguished father, the MARQUIS OF WESTMINSTER, and to
DR. BLOMFIELD—who was at that time Bishop of this Diocese—both of whom,
with a promptness and cordiality, which the Committee of the Cambrian
Society are anxious to mark with expressions of the warmest gratitude,
accepted the invitation, and cheerfully enrolled their names as annual
subscribers.  At the same time, BISHOP BLOMFIELD so far exerted himself,
as to procure the use of St. Martin’s Church, for the performance of
Welsh service on Sunday evenings; and the individual, who now addresses
your Lordship, was appointed, by the same Right Reverend Prelate, to the
important situation of Chaplain to the Cambrian Society.

Since the establishment of the Welsh Lectures, the Committee have great
pleasure to record, in the list of Patrons and Subscribers, the names of
several Noblemen and Gentlemen, who have rendered essential service to
the cause, by their kind co-operation and liberal support.  Amongst whom
they have the honour to mention, the LORD MOSTYN, the BISHOPS OF CHESTER,
BANGOR, and ST. ASAPH, SIR W. W. WYNN, BART. M.P.  SIR S. R. GLYNNE,
BART. M.P. the HON. E. M. LLOYD MOSTYN, M.P.  SIR EDWARD MOSTYN, BART.
OWEN WILLIAMS, ESQ. M.P.  F. R. PRICE, ESQ. &c. &c.  In Chester also, the
undertaking was hailed with peculiar interest; and a number of the most
respectable of its inhabitants have, from the commencement, displayed
unabated zeal in forwarding the objects of the Society.

I cannot conclude this part of my subject, without observing, that our
present worthy Diocesan, has more than once, expressed his conviction of
the usefulness of the Cambrian Institution, and his readiness, on all
occasions, to promote its welfare.

Having thus given your Lordship a brief sketch of the circumstances which
led to the establishment of the Sunday Evening Welsh Lectures, at St.
Martin’s Church, I shall now proceed to the discussion of the expediency
of the measure; in answer to those who contend, that the acquirement of
English, by the Welsh people who come to reside in the principal towns of
England, would supersede the necessity of providing them with the means
of religious instruction in their native language.  But, before I enter
upon the subject, I beg to observe, that though I may be, in some
respects, better qualified than others, to prove the great usefulness of
such an Institution; yet, my Lord, I labour under some
disadvantages.—Being so closely connected with the Lectures, it would be
unsuitable for me to enter into detail.  I shall, therefore, endeavour to
forget myself, and discuss the subject on principle.  I am only the
instrument, my Lord—a separable accident attached to the Institution—and
my connexion with it partakes of that uncertainty, which characterizes
all human engagements.  But, the Institution itself, is of a permanent
nature; and as long as the Institution shall continue, its capacity for
doing good will remain; and the same results will be secured.

Now, my Lord, let us proceed to the examination of the method
proposed—“Let the Welsh learn English, &c.”  Viewing this abstractedly,
candour compels me to admit, that it is an object highly desirable to be
accomplished.  However fondly attached I may feel to my native language,
and however I may admire it; still, my Lord, impressed with the
conviction that every language ought to be valued in proportion to the
degree of knowledge, of which it is the medium; and deeply sensible of
the almost infinite superiority of the English, in this respect, I am far
from wishing to exclude my countrymen from the enjoyment of all its
advantages.  The liberal hand of patriotism, having unrolled before my
eyes the ample page of English literature, I should consider myself
unworthy of the privilege, were I not to feel desirous, that every
Welshman should enjoy the same.  I am fully aware of the immense benefit
which an acquaintance with English would confer upon the inhabitants of
Wales; and whenever it can be proved, that the purposes for which the
Cambrian Society was established, may be as effectually accomplished
through that medium, I hope I shall be found to possess sufficient
candour to admit, that its continuance is no longer an object to be
desired.  But an experience of six years, in the discharge of the
important duties connected with my present situation, has fully enabled
me to state, that that period has not yet arrived.—However pleasing it
may be, my Lord, to expatiate on this subject in the regions of theory,
and to indulge in a prospective view of it, yet, when we come to reduce
it to practice, we are presented with innumerable difficulties.

The Principality of Wales, at this moment, contains seven hundred
thousand inhabitants; to the majority of whom the Welsh language is the
only adequate medium of communication.  This statement may appear
exaggerated to those, who have derived their knowledge of the country,
only from occasional excursions to the most frequented parts of it; and
who seldom deviate from the route usually pursued by tourists.  Here, it
is true, the English traveller meets with but little inconvenience; his
intercourse being chiefly confined to those, who have found it their
interest to acquire the means of accommodating him.  But, were the
traveller to infer from this, that English is the language of the Welsh
peasantry, he would be as much mistaken, as in concluding it to be that
of the _French_, because he meets with no inconvenience in his route from
Calais to Paris.  My Lord, I am no stranger to my native country.—The
greater part of my life was spent amongst its hills; studying its
literature, and mingling familiarly with its inhabitants; and, I am
persuaded, your Lordship will agree with me in thinking, that I am better
qualified to form a correct opinion of the present state of the
Principality, than those who acquire their knowledge, only from a late
and partial residence in it; and who, from their ignorance of the
language of the people, are but ill calculated to understand their
national prejudices, and their distinguishing characteristics.  I feel
confident, my Lord, that all who gain their knowledge of Wales from the
same source as myself, will be led to the same conclusion, viz. that to
nine-tenths of its peasantry, the English language is, comparatively,
unknown.  Though a conviction of the great advantages to be derived, from
an acquaintance with it, has created among the natives, a strong desire
to acquire it, still, my Lord, the means adopted for that purpose are so
limited, as to remove the prospect of its accomplishment, to the distance
of ages.  Judging of the future, from the past, we have reason to
apprehend, that for generations yet to come, the ancient British language
will be, throughout the Principality, the language of the domestic
circle, of the public mart, of the Sunday school, and of the solemn
Assembly.

Here, I might take the opportunity of pressing upon those, who would
confine their exertions for the benefit of Wales, solely to the
cultivation of the English language there, the question, What is to
become of the intermediate generations?—Whilst the English Schoolmaster
is making his important tour through the land, how are the affairs of the
country to be conducted?  Is all intercourse to be suspended, every
communication to cease—are all the avenues of knowledge, through the
medium of the vernacular tongue, to be locked up—the doors of their
Sanctuaries to be secured—the pages of their Bibles sealed—and the lips
of their Ministers closed?  Is the morning incense no more to ascend from
the domestic altar of the rustic cottage?  Is the unanimous sound of
praise to be hushed in their Temples?—But, my Lord, it is not necessary I
should pursue the inquiry.  I am satisfied, that, however desirable these
gentlemen may consider the end, they are far from thinking it so
desirable, as to justify such means of attaining it.  There is,
therefore, my Lord, only one conclusion at which we can possibly arrive,
viz. that for ages yet to come, the Welsh will be the predominant
language of the Principality.  Hence, it is evident, that throughout this
period, it must be, also, the language of such of its inhabitants, as may
be induced to leave the country, to settle in any other place; and it is
equally evident, that the contiguity of Chester to the Principality, and
the constant intercourse between them, will not fail to draw, towards
that City, a considerable proportion of those destined for our English
towns.

Now, my Lord, the question very naturally presents itself—What is to
become of such persons, with respect to religious instruction?  By what
means is their spiritual welfare to be promoted?  As subjects capable of
moral cultivation, how are they to be treated?  As beings, who are
qualified to enjoy the benefits of social worship, how are they to
receive them?  And when we consider the great difference between their
present and their former situation, their case assumes a more than
ordinary interest.  Most of those, for whom the Welsh Lectures were
especially intended, were brought up in a state of great seclusion; the
inhabitants of a humble cottage, or a retired hamlet: without any further
means of knowing the world and mankind, than what could be obtained
within the limited circle of their rustic associates.  The lessons they
learnt were few and simple; and their views and habits corresponded with
the rural simplicity of the scene around them.—These peaceful retreats
they have now left behind, and are come to try their fortunes in a new
and different sphere.

In a country like Wales, so formed by nature, that each dell may be
considered as constituting a sort of separate community, the departure of
a single individual, is a subject of general concern; and the result of
his enterprize is watched with a degree of interest, proportionate to the
novelty of the occurrence.  In the domestic circle, the sensation excited
is intense; and the event forms an important epoch in the family
history.—If the adventurer is a member of a religious family, the anxiety
is infinitely increased; as there, a concern will be felt, not only for
his temporal, but for his eternal welfare.  To his devout parents,
nothing forms a source of such apprehension, as that the plant, which
they have reared with so much solicitude, and cultivated with such tender
care, should fade and wither, upon its being transplanted to a different
clime.  They have neither riches nor honours to bestow upon their child;
but they furnish him with what they consider the best treasure—a
Bible—they invoke a blessing upon his head—they resign him to the care of
that Being who is the same every where—and will it be no relief to them,
at such a trying season, to be able to add—Though you are going among
strangers, whose language is unknown to you, yet, you will have the
Gospel preached to you in your mother-tongue; and you will there find a
Pastor from your own land, who, with the sympathy of a countryman, will
be ready to assist you in all your difficulties, and to direct you in the
right way?

We, my Lord, who are aware of the perils which await the stranger on his
arrival at the place of his destination, cannot but feel particularly
anxious for his safety.  In the full fervour of youth, with ardent hopes
and warm affections, and with all the credulity incident to inexperienced
years, he comes to mingle in the bustling throng of a populous City.
Into what a Panorama of bewildering novelties is the unsuspecting
adventurer now introduced!  How varied—how multiplied his temptations!
His situation will appear still more dangerous, if we consider that he is
no longer under the restraints of his former acquaintance; that he has
lost the protection of a kind father, the watchful eye of a tender
mother, and the timely advice of a faithful friend.  And, if he is to be
left without the guidance of an efficient Pastor, can we be surprised, if
the first intelligence received of him, by the anxious inquirers of his
native valley, should be, “He has forsaken the guide of his youth, and
forgotten the covenant of his God.”—“He has left the paths of
uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”

I think, my Lord, that it affords a subject of fair inquiry, whether
those persons, who oppose the benevolent designs of the Cambrian Society,
do not, at the same time, oppose their own interest?  Knowing how to
appreciate honesty and integrity, they will be always glad to engage in
their service, those whose general character is distinguished by these
pre-eminent virtues.  But, by denying them the privileges which it is the
object of this Society to secure for them, are they not withholding those
very means which are best suited for enabling them to continue in the
path of virtue, and for discharging the various duties of their
respective avocations, with devotedness and fidelity?  What is so likely
to guard them against those evils, to which persons in their situation
are so peculiarly exposed, as to have the pure doctrines of Christianity
enforced in “their own tongue wherein they were born?”  What is so
calculated to add strength and stability to the good impressions made on
their minds, whilst among their native mountains, as the ministry of the
Gospel in that language, through the instrumentality of which those
impressions were originally produced?  Will these individuals receive
them into their houses, engage them in their service, and supply all
their bodily wants, and, yet, leave their nobler part in a state of utter
destitution?  My Lord, it is impossible that I can be divested of all
apprehension, for the safety of this class of my countrymen, in this
City, when I know that they are in the vicinity of a fearful _Maelstrom_,
along the surface of which is seen the floating wreck of many a noble
vessel, that left its native shores under the most favourable auspices,
buoyant with hope, and radiant with expectation; but which, for want of a
skilful pilot, coming within the reach of its attractive influence, was
hurried along its impetuous stream, and engulphed in its whirling vortex.

The number of Welsh, resident in Chester, has been differently stated,
and, I have no doubt, my Lord, greatly exaggerated.—It is not within my
province to inquire what may be the exact amount of the whole Welsh
population: I wish to confine myself to that portion of it, which comes
within the object of the Society, viz. those who prefer the Welsh
language, and consider it the only adequate medium of spiritual
instruction.—Without making any definite statement, I feel confident,
that in rating these under a thousand, I should form but a low estimate
of their number.  From my own observation, my Lord, I am prepared to
state, that to several hundreds, at least, the Welsh language is the only
avenue of religious communication.  Since accommodation has been provided
for the performance of Welsh service, facts have proved, that without a
Welsh Church and Pastor, a very considerable number would have been left
as sheep gone astray, without a fold, and without a shepherd.  And if, to
the Divine Shepherd, the restoration of a single wanderer, appeared an
object of such vast importance, what shall we say, my Lord, of the
importance attached to the restoration of hundreds?  When there is so
much zeal exhibited in promoting the cause of Missions, and in sending
the Gospel to heathen and foreign lands—when so much interest is
displayed in providing Bibles and Missionaries for distant nations, with
whom we are in no other way connected, than as members of the great
family of mankind, shall we not discover equal zeal for “our brethren,
our kinsmen, according to the flesh?”

Last year, very praiseworthy exertions were made towards supplying our
fellow subjects, who have emigrated to the different British Colonies,
with the means of salvation in their native language, in conformity with
the rites of our Established Church.  But I submit, my Lord, whether the
Welsh, who emigrate to the principal towns of England, are not placed in
such a situation, as to render their claims upon our benevolence a matter
of primary importance?  Perhaps I may be told, that the case of the
emigrants to our foreign Settlements is very different—the means of
religion, with which they are provided, are in the language of the
Countries, to which they have removed—to make the cases parallel, the
services of religion ought to be established there in the Erse and Gaelic
languages.  Now, my Lord, if it could be proved that these languages form
the only adequate medium of religious instruction, to as large a
proportion of the emigrants, as the Welsh language does to the natives of
Wales, I contend that the same necessity would exist for furnishing them
with the means of instruction in those languages.—Again, it may be
objected, that the Welsh would so soon acquire the language of their
neighbours—among whom they live—as to render any instruction in their
native tongue superfluous.  But, my Lord, in a case of such vast
importance, involving the eternal interests of so many immortal beings,
can the anticipation of a future benefit, however great, justify the
sacrificing of so much present good?  Especially, when the attainment of
the one, is not incompatible with the enjoyment of the other?  When a
patient is suffering under an alarming disease, is it safe, during the
first stages of the disorder, to abandon the only means calculated to
check its progress, because, that at some future period, a change of
system may be advantageously adopted?  Are we sure that life will be
preserved, until the sufferer reach that eventful period?  And, even,
should he live to try the effect of this new system, would not the
abandonment of the old one, at the commencement of the disorder, prove
highly prejudicial to the success of the new?

But suppose, my Lord, that, for the sake of argument, I concede this
point to the objectors; and let us even imagine the interval to be short,
during which the Welshman is excluded from the benefit of religious
ordinances; it is an interval which—in whatever light I view it—I cannot
contemplate without trembling.  It is like holding out a flag of truce to
a cruel and relentless foe, in order to give him more time to re-organise
his treacherous plans, and gain fresh strength to execute them.  And can
we be surprised, if at the next assault of the enemy, we find the
Christian combatant ingloriously defeated, hurled back upon the world,
with the loss of fame, and a blasted reputation?

But the assumption, that the Welsh, resident in English towns, will soon
acquire a sufficient knowledge of the English language, to render it a
proper vehicle of religious truth, is not founded in fact.  It is
contradicted by daily experience.  We know, my Lord, that it is not an
easy task for adults to learn a new language.  It is true, (as stated in
the Report), “That by the constant intercourse with society, to which
their varied avocations would necessarily lead them, such a smattering of
the tongue would be gradually acquired, as might enable them to fulfil
their civil engagements, without material inconvenience; at the same time
that it would be difficult, or rather impossible, for them to understand
discourses from the pulpit, on moral and religious subjects, when
delivered in English; or to join in the services of Divine worship in
that language.”

As a further proof of the truth of this observation, it may be stated,
that some of the members of the Sunday evening congregation, at St.
Martin’s Church, who have resided in England for several years, affirm,
that at this day, they cannot enter into the spirit of Divine worship,
when performed in English—they declare that they have not yet been able
to think in it; and in order fully to comprehend the meaning of a text or
a sentence, it must undergo the process of a mental translation into
their own language, and be viewed through that medium.  This will appear
less surprising, when we consider that it is the language in which they
received their Christian education—that all the good impressions made
upon their minds, were produced through its instrumentality—that it is
the channel through which were conveyed the moral precepts of their early
instructors, and the advice of parents, relatives, and friends.  In it
are treasured up all the texts of scripture, with which their memories
are amply supplied.  This language is associated with their most
interesting recollections—with their sorrows, and with their joys; they
think in it, they pray in it, they read their Bibles in it, they praise
their Maker in it; and is it not desirable, my Lord, that they should
hear the Gospel preached in it?

There is another consideration calculated to justify the principle of the
Cambrian Society, viz. the paramount—the infinite—importance of that
knowledge, the attainment of which is the grand end of all religious
means.  I am not now speaking of theoretical knowledge, but of that,
which, in the language of our Liturgy, is said to be necessary for the
soul’s health; and I am sure it will be readily admitted, that all other
knowledge, when compared with this, sinks into utter insignificance: the
means, therefore, of acquiring it, ought to be plain, easy, and
intelligible, in proportion to its importance.  We are told that all
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.—But to the
Welshman, an English Bible is as much a sealed book, as if it had still
remained in the original language.  We know that life and immortality are
brought to light by the Gospel; but, how can that light shine upon the
Welshman, through the impenetrably dark medium of an unknown tongue?  The
Christian Minister, it is true, delivers his important message with all
plainness of speech, but how can the Welshman understand him, or profit
by him, if he is a barbarian to him?  Besides, my Lord, there are several
individuals attending our Lectures, who are not able to read the Bible,
even in their own tongue; and if they are deprived of the ministry of the
Gospel in that language, I cannot picture to myself any thing more
deplorable than would be their condition.  How would our sympathy be
called forth towards a criminal at the bar of justice—he is tried for his
life, and all the proceedings against him are conducted in a language of
which he understands not a word—how distressing is his situation!  But,
what is it compared with that to which many of the poor Welsh in this
City would be reduced, if they were deprived of the privileges afforded
them by the Cambrian Society?  In the case of the criminal, his ignorance
forms no part of his accusation; it has no bearing upon the proceedings
of the Court; it influences neither the verdict of the Jury, nor the
sentence of the Judge: nor would his knowledge have reversed his
fate.—But here, my Lord, ignorance and knowledge are antecedents to
consequents that are diametrically opposite—they connect their subjects
with very different predicates; for in the word of wisdom we are told,
that the one shall perish, and the other be saved.  The results of
ignorance and knowledge, in regard to every other subject, revolve within
the contracted sphere of mortality—they descend with the clayey tenement
to the grave, and are confined within the narrow limits of the tomb.  But
in this matter, they involve consequences, the scene of which is laid in
eternity, and the development of which will occupy its everlasting
ages.—They attach themselves to the immortal spirit, and will accompany
him in his adventurous flight across the boundary of time, and serve
either to raise him to the regions of bliss ineffable, or to sink him
down to the gulph of interminable woe.  Can we contemplate the
possibility of the latter alternative, without using every means in our
power to prevent it?

And, my Lord, I must be allowed to remind the friends of the Established
Church, that they are more backward in attending to the wants of their
countrymen, in this respect, than any other denomination of Christians.
Let them look to the metropolis; there they will find several places of
Divine worship for the accommodation of the natives of Wales, without any
belonging to the Establishment.  The case is the same with respect to
Birmingham, Shrewsbury, and Manchester; and at Liverpool there are many
Chapels belonging to different denominations of Dissenters, with only one
Church, and that of a very recent date.—In Chester, my Lord, we found the
ground pre-occupied.—Two Societies had most laudably raised their
respective standards, around which was collected a considerable number of
devotional worshippers; and the manner in which many of them have since
joined our standard, proves, that they flocked around the others, not
because they displayed the colours of their favourite party, but because
they had the word “CYMRAEG” inscribed on their banners.

The last consideration which I shall submit to your Lordship, in order to
shew the great usefulness of the Cambrian Society, is, that by securing
the residence of a Welsh Clergyman, it provides the means of religious
consolation for the poor Welsh at the _Chester Infirmary_.  It is
universally acknowledged that one-third of the patients received at this
Institution, are natives of the Principality.  But I need not enlarge on
this point, as your Lordship’s noble brother, EARL GROSVENOR, from the
kind and active part which he has taken in the proceedings of this
excellent charity, is fully enabled to judge how far the visits of a
Welsh Pastor are necessary to the welfare of the Institution.

In regard to the success which has attended our Society, I beg to refer
to the “Report.”  I shall only observe, with relation to my Ministerial
charge in this City, that I consider the aged as forming a very important
and interesting part.  Those who are in the habit of attending the
Lectures, could inform your Lordship with what delight this portion of my
congregation listen to the preaching of the Gospel in their own tongue.
Though years have rolled away since they left their native hills, their
decided partiality to the language remains undiminished.—From these, my
Lord, the bed of sickness, and a dying hour, cannot be very far distant;
and this is a time which will require all the consolation that language
can convey, administered in the most plain and simple manner which words
can express.  But what a gloomy prospect, my Lord, must such a season
present to a poor Welshman, without the privileges which this Society
provides for him.—I need not repeat that the number is not small, in
Chester, who will not be capable of receiving consolation in this trying
hour, in any language but the Welsh.  And here I may mention a
distressing circumstance, which occurred very soon after my appointment
to my present situation, and before that appointment was generally
known.—I was requested by an English Clergyman to visit a poor man, whom
he represented as being dangerously ill, and totally unacquainted with
the English language.  I lost no time in attending to the application;
but when I arrived at the house, I found, in answer to my inquiries, that
he was no more.  The nurse who attended him, told me he talked a great
deal, but she could not understand him, as she knew nothing of Welsh, and
he could not speak a word of English.—Here, I was led to indulge in a
train of unavailing conjectures, as to the subject of the poor man’s
conversation, the state of his feelings—the objects of his wishes—but—my
Lord—he was dead!—Now, I would ask those persons who scruple to
co-operate in the benevolent designs of our Society, if they are parents,
how would they feel upon being told of their children—if they are capable
of friendship, how would they like to hear of their friends—dying under
such circumstances?  May the time never again arrive, when the poor Welsh
residents in Chester shall be reduced to such an extremity.  Whilst they
live, may they have the Gospel preached to them; and when they come to
die, may they never want the attendance of a Pastor, who will be able to
administer consolation to them in their native tongue!

                         I have the honour to be,
                                 My Lord,
                 Your Lordship’s obedient humble Servant,

                                                               EVAN EVANS.

_Chester_, _April_ 28_th_, 1832.





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