Project Canterbury

Four Biographical Sketches
Bishop Ollivant, Bishop Thirlwall, Rev. Griffith Jones, and Sir Thomas Phillips, Q.C. with A Chapter on 'The Church of Wales'.

By John Morgan.

London: Elliot Stock, 1892.



THAT was a memorable letter which, bearing the Cambridge postmark, but with no other external distinction of any kind, reached me one bright morning in May, A.D. 1850. I mean, of course, memorable to me, and that because it not only occasioned me great and grateful surprise, but also marked an important stage in my humble career, and first brought me into communication with my late Diocesan, and in reference to him gave rise in my mind to grave and perplexing reflections. In those days theological classes were formed at the Grammar Schools of Abergavenny and Cowbridge, from which young men were admitted into Holy Orders in the Diocese of Llandaff. I was placed at the former, with the understanding that when I came of age I should be permitted, on the recommendation of my tutor and of the visitor of the theological department--who at that time was the Ven. the Archdeacon of Monmouth--to offer myself [1/2] as a candidate. I happened to arrive at the canonical age two or three months before the expiration of my full term of residence at the school; but at the instigation of my superiors, and on the strength of the foregoing understanding, I prepared myself for the next ordination in the diocese. But at the critical moment Bishop Copleston died, and another was appointed, who asked for proof positive of such an understanding in the shape of a written promise. As my admission into the theological class had been arranged at an interview between Dr. Copleston and a dear friend who took an interest in me, no written promise could be forthcoming, and I was consequently told to wait and go on with my studies. Possessing some knowledge, from the report of friends, of the supposed autocratic and inflexible character of the distinguished person who had so unexpectedly raised the impediment, and who alone could remove it, I deemed the case as conclusively settled, and I had simply to accept the inevitable and do as I was bidden. I was told I might as well try to change the arbitrament of inexorable Fate as to move the new Bishop from his purpose. But the letter in question was from the Bishop himself, conveying his request, peremptory in effect, but courteous in terms, that I should present myself on a stated day for examination at Llanvapley Rectory, the residence of his examining chaplain, the Ven. the Archdeacon of Llandaff. Forgetting for the [2/3] moment the risk of being plucked, and the necessity of immediate and strenuous application to my studies, I gave myself up as one spell-bound to simple delight and gratitude. I failed not even to congratulate myself on the timely delivery of the letter. It might well have missed a post or two, as so many others missed in those days of irregularity in the delivery of letters in small country towns. And had it been a day later, it would have rendered the performance of some necessary official requirements, such as the publication of my 'Si Quis,' extremely difficult, if not, indeed, impossible. It was a narrow escape, and I was deeply thankful. But it was on the writer that my interest concentrated itself. Indeed, the whole incident, including the letter, irresistibly led me, after the first effusion of feeling on my unexpected acceptance, to discuss him and his probable personal qualities. His letter was hardly out of my hand that day, becoming not only a sort of newly-gotten treasure, which I could not too jealously guard, but also a subject of close and careful inspection. Those were the days when mesmerism, table-turning, and the mysteries of clairvoyance exercised a wide fascination for the youthful part of the community, and in their wake, and at a time when popular feeling was in a ferment about the marvellous connection between materialistic and spiritual objects, it was but natural that the arts of palmistry and caligraphy should also draw their [3/4] share of attention; and perhaps more deservedly so, and with a greater probability of arriving at authentic and satisfactory results, than some other branches of occult science. The human hand itself, we are told, is an indicator of the advancement made in general civilization and social refinement. And surely its particular formation, with its characteristic lines, the number and position of its veins, its softer or firmer texture, its attributes of dry or moist, cannot be without some special individual significance. And the secret can be, perhaps, deciphered by skill and experience, such as enable the phrenologist to predicate the personal tendencies by the development of the cranium, or the physiognomist to trace the action of thought and passion by the lines and settled expression of the face. Caligraphy, in like manner, may be reasonably supposed to give a clue to the character, and reflect and disclose what lies within the man. We assume this to be the case when we instinctively endeavour to connect it with the personality of the writer. This was probably more the case formerly, when letters were fewer but longer, and more intimate and confidential, and when correspondence was more cultivated, and considered a more desirable part of education than at present. And, indeed, it may with due diffidence be added that, without adopting Mr. Carlyle's cynical remark about men being mostly fools, many of our multitudinous correspondents, irrespectively of [4/5] their physical qualities, are so featureless, or, at all events, so singularly free from salient points of attraction, or any individual traits whatever, that we do not much care to trouble ourselves about their mental capacity or moral complexion. But, still, a communication penned by a man of distinction, especially one who may have it in his power to exercise a paramount influence on our after-life, tempts us to try to obtain an insight into what is denied us by personal knowledge. At all events, the aforesaid letter, coming as it did from one of the most illustrious doctors of Cambridge, who had been recently appointed to the ancient See of Llandaff, and was likely to be my own Diocesan, whose praises were familiar to me from my infancy, but whom I had never seen, led me to speculate as to what manner of man he was. The handwriting was good, exceedingly neat, and perfectly intelligible, but cramped, rather, and stiff. Did this denote that the intellect was of an excellent order, firm, compact, methodical, but circumscribed? But what human intellect, or, indeed, any kind, of human endowment, that has not its bounds and limits? And whether we have one talent, or five or ten talents, the essential thing is that we trade with them, so that the Master, when He cometh, may find His own with usury, and we receive the full recompense of the good and faithful servant. There were no interlineations, erasures, or any sort of corrections in the letter, nor, indeed, in [5/6] any of the scores of letters I received from him in the course of his episcopate, except in his extreme old age. A proof this, assuredly, of clearness of mental vision and methodical adjustment of ideas. The fact of his writing direct to me, an humble and obscure student, without an intermediary, and writing, too, with the greatest courtesy, and as soon as he thought he could rectify a mistake or do a friendly act, showed him what subsequent long acquaintance indisputably proved him to be--essentially kind, just, open to conviction, prompt, and straightforward in his mode of proceeding. There was no beating about the bush with him, no strategic movements to cover a retreat, and not a wound of the slightest kind would he willingly inflict, or suffer to remain unrelieved a moment longer than he could help it. Here was a man who could be implicitly trusted, who was true to the very core, sound to the utmost capacity of his powers, sterling and of full weight to the last grain of his moral and intellectual nature.

In obedience to the mandate, I commenced my journey early on the day appointed, and, after traversing with difficulty an uneven and most hilly road, found myself punctually at ten o'clock a.m., in company with two other students--one from Jesus College, Oxford, and the other from Trinity, Dublin--busy at work at Llanvapley, in the presence and under the calm but keen eye of the Bishop's chaplain. He was [6/7] of medium height, slight of build, agile in his movements, and manifestly a thorough Welshman, but a Welshman of a refined type. It seemed a strange freak of fortune to lay hold of one who was confessedly a born leader of men, and possessed of every qualification to move in courtly circles, or occupy with signal advantage the highest station in Church or State, and to place him in such a small, secluded, and unremunerative cure as that of the parish of Llanvapley. For its Vicar, our examiner, was no other than the Rev. Thomas Williams, M.A., the renowned Archdeacon, and subsequently Dean, of Llandaff. He had taken a first-class at his University, and held a distinguished position at his own college, Oriel, when Oriel was at the zenith of its splendour, and when its historic common room was adorned and enriched by the culture and the varied and far-reaching disquisitions of Whateley, Copleston, Arnold, Newman, and John Keble. Pre-eminent as these were in masculine intellect, in subtlety of observation, in apt and discursive speech, and in scholarly attainments, the best of them found their match in him. After entering public life, he proved himself possessed of great administrative talent, of a tact and wisdom that could deal with success with the most difficult emergencies and the most susceptible persons, of an eloquence that, in spite of a grating and uncertain voice, never failed to fix the admiring attention of his audience, [7/8] and, so long as his health permitted, of untiring energy. Any subject he took in hand was sure to be subjected to the analysis of a master of unexampled resources, and of a patient and conscientious diligence which tired not until the root of the matter was found, every detail known, and a flood of light thrown on what was before dark or under cover. But what endeared him to all classes was his affectionate and conciliatory disposition. He applied his sagacity and all the resources of his penetrating and richly-endowed mind, not to discover and magnify points of difference, but to find out and expatiate on positions whereon all might meet and co-operate. He believed that the Church of England was meant to be comprehensive, and if there have been always two elements within her from the Reformation downwards and, indeed, long anterior to that era, the experience of so many centuries has taught us that if these could not freely mix, they were, at least, not 'incompatible,' as chemists say, one with another. If perfect unity of ritual and opinion eluded us, it was our plain and positive duty to live together in the bond of peace and in the forbearance of love. I think his last words in public were, 'Our safety is in union, and our certain ruin in division and strife'--

'It is the little rift within the lute
That by-and-by will make the music mute,
And, ever widening, slowly silence all.'

[9] Such was the personage, so famous and so widely esteemed, to whom we had been directed, and who now conducted our examination. Before sitting down to our several papers we were invited by him to join in family worship, and after the lapse of forty-two years I still retain a vivid recollection of the deep impression made on me by the singular appropriateness and fervour of the petitions offered on our behalf, the prayer being evidently extemporaneous. The room we were in was the library, an old-fashioned room of small extent, with a low ceiling, and with no adornment except a few pictures, but fitted with numerous shelves, which were overladen with books and pamphlets. It looked out on a verdant strip of lawn, bordered with laurel and rhododendron, beyond which lay the church with its gray tower and silent burying-ground. Is it not Camoens who contrasts the insignificance of the space which is the source or the theatre of a variety of transactions with the greatness and importance of the events themselves? The spot may be of the smallest dimensions, and yet be the scene of intolerable anguish or the most exquisite enjoyment, and the birth-place of thoughts and incidents which may vitally and permanently affect the interests of the whole human race. And in the library at Llanvapley Vicarage might be found an exemplification on a small scale of the poet's remark. Here within that little room, [9/10] in measurement, perhaps, 16 feet by 14, might be found converging day after day the various interests of the Diocese of Llandaff, and where each separate interest received an immediate and appropriate consideration, so capable and methodical was the presiding genius loci. Here the powerful, active, fertile, and well-trained mind was revolving, devising, perfecting plans for improving the condition of the diocese, and here the large and benevolent heart never failed to respond in quick sympathy to every appeal for aid and counsel, or to feel the tenderest jealousy for the honour of the Church and the well-being of the people. For it was well known that during the occupancy of the See by Bishop Copleston the practical administration of the diocese devolved on Archdeacon Williams, in conjunction with his able colleague and near neighbour, Archdeacon Crawley.

On the Saturday afternoon in the same week I was introduced in the vestry of St. Mary's, Monmouth, to Bishop Ollivant. As some dear relatives of mine had been under his tuition at college, and these from their position as students under discipline had naturally dwelt on the rigid aspect of his character, it was with some curiosity, not unmixed with awe, that I found myself in his presence. He looked unmistakably the gentleman, ecclesiastic, and Cambridge don of the highest type. His eye was keen, his mouth firm, his words few but straight to the point, his manner [10/11] courteous, and yet dignified. Observers thought they could trace a likeness in him to the great Duke of Wellington. And in truth I have seen myself portraits of the great Duke in his early career not unlike our great Bishop. The aquiline nose, the contour of the face, the form of the head, as well as the upright bearing and the air of command inseparable from the look, helped to constitute the resemblance, only the Bishop's face was of a more refined cast, and as the years advanced the Duke's head seemed to have settled into a nearly perfect square, the Bishop's meanwhile becoming elongated, and the whole aspect softer and more gracious.

Such was my impression of him at our first interview at the pleasant town of Monmouth. He had come across to that place from Cambridge, soon after his consecration, for the purpose of holding his primary ordination. As I have thus adverted to my first interview, I am tempted to refer to my last interview with him on any public occasion, and recall what most struck me then. The latter occasion was his lordship's triennial visitation at Cambridge. A whole generation had intervened between the two interviews, and as I gazed on the familiar face, once bright with the keen lustre of a powerful and polished intellect, but then furrowed and clouded with the toil and weight of upwards of eighty years, and as I marked the worn and feeble frame, bearing witness [11/12] as it did to the length and hardness of the struggle with the difficulties which had beset his path in the attempt to remove abuses and revive the Church, I could not but be conscious that his useful and honoured life was drawing to a close. And this anticipation recalled to mind the losses which the Church had already suffered in the removal of so many friends from among us. The Bishop, indeed, himself led to this train of reflection. At his age it was inevitable that he should pay the ordinary penalty of a long life, but it was nevertheless extremely touching to hear him allude to the decease of friends on whom he had been accustomed to lean, and whose loss he deplored as the greatest misfortune of his extended rule. He had the rare felicity of being associated with a band of men of great abilities and of a kindred spirit, who at his call had early rallied to his side and aided him in every effort that tended to the amelioration of the diocese. This was eminently the case with regard to his clerical brethren, but it was no less true with regard to the laity. In connection with these latter, mention might be made of Lord Tredegar, the amiable and generous head of the old British house of Ivor Hael; Mr. Capel Hanbury Leigh, Lord-Lieutenant of Monmouthshire; Sir Thomas Phillips, Q.C., of Llanellen; Mr. Powel, of the Gaer; Mr. Priest Richards, of Cardiff; Mr. Addams Williams, of Llangibly Castle; Mr. Bruce Pryce, of [12/13] Duffryn; Mr. George Thomas, of Ystrad; Dr. Phillips, of Pontypool; Rolls, of Hendre; Rous, of Courtyrala; the Curres, the Tylers, the Bookers, and the Nichols. This was, indeed, a page out of the chieftain's memorial record of his emeriti milites who had fallen in the front lines of the good fight of faith. They were missing, he told us, from the ranks of the Church militant, but found, as we might humbly hope, among the glorified ranks of the Church triumphant. These were all men of means, some of ample means, and most of them were besides men of cultivated minds and uncommon intellectual powers. They might, like many others, have hoarded their money in banks, and buried their talents in the earth, and, wrapped in purple and faring sumptuously every day, might never have given themselves the slightest trouble about the teeming masses at their very doors, who were perishing for lack of knowledge. They were, indeed, sorely missed, and earnestly we hoped that the children would arise and follow in their fathers' steps.

From this enumeration of departed worthies I return to the subject of our memoir. Alfred Ollivant was born at Manchester April 16, 1798. He was educated at St. Paul's School, London, and graduated at Trinity College, Cambridge.

It is but little we know of his school or undergraduate days. We are told that his conduct was [13/14] always exemplary. He must have applied himself both at school and college* [* He had the reputation of being one of 'Simeon's men' whilst at Cambridge.] to his studies with unabated diligence, for we can best trace his career by the rapid succession of prizes he won, and the distinguished position he attained at the University and in the Church. He was Craven Scholar in 1820, Senior Chancellor's Medallist and Sixth Wrangler in 1821, Senior Member's Prizeman and Tyrwhitt's Hebrew Scholar 1822. He was also Prizeman Junior Bachelor. He was elected a Fellow of his college. He graduated as B.A. in 1821, as M.A. in 1824, and as B.D. and D.D. in 1836.

In 1827 he was appointed to the vice-principalship and professorship of theology and Greek at St. David's College, Lampeter. He was thus chosen to bear an important part in starting the only college which had existed in Wales for more than a thousand years, the previously ancient collegiate institutions, such as those at Llancarvan in South Wales, and at Bangor-is-coed, having long ago disappeared in the turbulent and wasteful times of the struggles of our ancestors against their numerous foreign invaders. The college owed its existence principally to Bishop Burgess. Until then the great majority of the Welsh clergy received their training at a few licensed Grammar Schools. From the poverty of the country in general, and especially of the class from which the supply could [14/15] be expected to come, it was vain to hope that the candidates for Holy Orders could go into residence at either of the English Universities; and yet, from the precarious and miserable nature of the training afforded by the Grammar Schools, and the want of the discipline and supervision which is secured by living together within the precincts of one building, it was of the utmost importance that some scheme should be set on foot whereby the Church might be better served, and the clergy better fitted for the increasing culture and more varied and exacting requirements of the age. The schools, when under able and systematic management--and such management in any school is very uncertain and discontinuous--had no doubt rendered substantial service in their time, but they were now clearly out of date and utterly insufficient for the great and growing needs of the Church. These considerations must have weighed with the Bishop, and brought him to the conclusion that a collegiate institution was absolutely necessary. For the purpose of providing funds he proposed soon after his appointment that the clergy should do their best to collect subscriptions, and that every incumbent should contribute the tenth part of one year's income of his benefice, the Bishop himself contributing his proportionate share. It is highly to the credit of the clergy that they readily fell in with their Diocesan's project, and out of their deep poverty--for indeed a Welsh living in those days was proverbially a poor one, [15/16] barely supplying the means of subsistence--they cheerfully responded to his appeal. And the result, whilst it was a tangible proof of their willing obedience and great self-denial, shows at the same time the value of a steady perseverance and the power of one united effort and regulated mode of giving. It was found in the year 1820, that is, in the course of sixteen years after the start was made, that the sum total of contributions amounted to nearly £11,000. This sum, having been also supplemented by several handsome subscriptions, including £1,000 from his Majesty George IV., was thought sufficient to decide the promoters of the college to begin to build. The foundation-stone was laid August 11, 1822. Mr. Cockerell prepared the plans; the site was given by Mr. Harford, of Blaise Castle, and Lampeter town was the place chosen for the college. It is not easy to discover why Lampeter was chosen in preference to Carmarthen, which is contiguous to Abergwili, the residence of the Bishop of St. David's, or Brecon, where a noble collegiate church and ample educational means already existed. The situation of Lampeter, pleasant and healthy as it may be on the breezy uplands of Cardiganshire, and on the banks of the silvery Teivi, yet placed as it is in the midst of a sparse and poor population, and far away from the centres of industry and enterprise, has no doubt militated in some degree against the success of the college. The [16/17] college was opened on St. David's Day, 1827. And, as we stated, Professor Ollivant was appointed vice-principal. He was the first to occupy that position at St. David's College. He was followed by several distinguished vice-principals, who, as profound scholars and men of exalted character, reflected a lustre on the place; but it may be safely affirmed he stood second to none in the splendour of his mental endowments, in self-devotion to the interests of the college, and in salutary and permanent influence on the students. He soon became known as an able and conscientious teacher, an accurate and sound theologian, a strict disciplinarian, and as a wise master-builder who, in conjunction with his talented colleagues, was laying strong and deep the foundation of the infant institution which was to form and mould the moral and religious fortunes of the country for many years to come. His habits were simple, unobtrusive, and even abstemious. He was an early riser, and not unfrequently would in the winter months light his own fire and prepare his own cup of coffee. Among other studies, he entered on the acquisition of Welsh, and in his walks about the outskirts of the town would encourage the rural folk to converse with him in their own tongue, asking them at the same time to correct him when wrong in idiom or pronunciation. He keenly felt the insufficiency of the college endowments, more especially those in aid of poor meritorious [17/18] students. He wrote several admirable letters in the public prints on the subject, and brought his influence to bear with the same purpose on his friends in England. The result was that four scholarships, one bearing his name, were secured for the college. He had many difficulties to encounter at Lampeter, some being no doubt inseparable from such an undertaking as the establishment of a new college, others probably arising from local or individual peculiarities, and some, perhaps, from the unguarded admission of persons who were attracted by the prospect of an inexpensive theological training. One of these was Brother Prince, a man plausible in manners, prepossessing in appearance, and spoken of as a man of fervid piety and of habits of diligence that might soon compensate for his defective preparatory education. But his enthusiasm carried him beyond the bounds of prudence or discipline; and acting as it did on the emotional and unbalanced character of some of the students, together with his own low ambition and spirit of pride, which would brook no interference or accept any advice, it proved in the result well-nigh disastrous to the rising fortunes of Lampeter. His end was sad in the extreme. If common report be credited, he proclaimed claimed himself to be the Paraclete, or the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity; and he set up, as is well known, a kind of communistic home in Somerset. He latterly professed that the day of grace was past, [18/19] the day of judgment come, and the number of the elect accomplished, who were, it seems, gathered with himself at his Agapemone, or abode of love.

In the year 1843 Dr. Ollivant became a candidate for the Regius Professorship of Divinity at Cambridge. As was customary, he had to appear before the University with the other competitors and read a Prælectio on a given subject. The subject proposed at that time was a passage from the Epistle to the Romans bearing on justification. He took, of course, the Pauline view, and delivered a clear and closely-reasoned disquisition, setting forth in his own grave and earnest manner the doctrine of justification by faith. He was elected to the professorship. His discourse, as was stated in the public papers at the time, made a deep impression on the auditory no less by its evidence of the wide range of his theological learning and the chain of argument by which he conclusively proved the doctrine to be in unison with the standards of the Church, man's sinfulness, and God's absolute and eternal righteousness, than by the sincerity and strength of conviction by which he himself held it. The doctrines of grace were dear to Dr. Ollivant; he had a firm grasp on what are deemed the fundamental evangelical tenets, and he never preached with such animation, and such clear and undoubted indication that he spoke out of the abundance of the heart, as when he dwelt on them. He remained at Cambridge [19/20] for nearly seven years, discharging with his accustomed conscientious fidelity the duties of his office, and taking a prominent part besides in all that concerned the welfare of the place. His influence was continually increasing, and his reputation spreading beyond the walls of the University, pointing him out as one eminently qualified for the highest dignity in the Church. The call to the higher post came at length, and he accepted the Bishopric of Llandaff, which was offered him at the close of 1849 by Lord John Russell.

It was generally understood that Dr. Ollivant's knowledge of the Welsh language had a considerable share in influencing the Premier to appoint him. It is certain that the fact of his possessing such a knowledge, in addition to his high character, rendered the appointment popular. For some years an agitation in favour of the preferment of Welshmen to the ruling posts, as well as to the parochial benefices, of the Church, had been carried on by several influential persons, and had gained the entire sympathy of the native population. This movement commenced with some Welshmen who were located in the North of England. In common with many other young Welshmen of talent and honourable ambition, they had witnessed with sorrow and indignation the gross mismanagement of ecclesiastical affairs in the Principality, and felt so acutely the injustice of promoting [20/21] to the highest and most remunerative trusts utter strangers over the heads of the native clergy, that in a spirit of despondency they had left the country and gone to England. Some of these happening to reside in Yorkshire, and never ceasing to feel for the depressed state of the Welsh Church, and believing that the inconsistency and glaring wrong of which they complained had largely contributed to the alienation of many of the people from their ancestral fold; they formed an association for the purpose of reforming, if not destroying, the system which they so strongly condemned. They sought their object by the circulation of pamphlets, speeches at public meetings, and protests addressed to persons in authority, making it by these means more difficult every year for the English Government to neglect the reasonable demands of the Welsh people, and they claimed as the first-fruits of their efforts the appointment of Dr. Ollivant to Llandaff. When at Lampeter, Dr. Ollivant, as we before observed, had strenuously applied himself to the study of the Welsh language. Holding also in virtue of the vice-principalship the living of Llangeler, Carmarthenshire, it was his habit, when he went to reside there during his vacations, to share the duties with his curate, the Rev. John Griffiths, who was himself a man of great capacity and unsurpassed as a Welsh orator, and to mix freely with the parishioners. In this way the new Bishop had not only [21/22] made himself acquainted with the inner life of the Welsh people, but had also acquired a competent knowledge of the common idiomatic tongue.

He was consecrated at the close of 1847. The diocese which he had to administer comprised Monmouthshire, and nearly the whole of Glamorganshire. It is one of the oldest in the kingdom. Tradition refers the first Christian place of worship founded at Llandaff to the second century. We have historical evidence of the existence of the See in the fifth century, and can trace its line of Bishops up to Dyfrig (Dubricius), who lived at that period. The name is a contraction of Llan ar Daf, the Church on the Taff. The city of Llandaff, which has recently increased to a considerable size, and contains now several houses of some architectural pretension, at the time of Dr. Ollivant's appointment was a cluster of irregular buildings of mean appearance, and barely entitling the place to the name of a respectable village.

The post to which Bishop Ollivant was called was an arduous one, and surrounded with exceptional difficulties. I do not think he was a man of a sanguine temperament; I rather believe his natural disposition was to take a depressing view of things. It is certain he had no overweening opinion of himself--he was really of an humble disposition, diffident and retiring; but he had a strong sense of duty, and an unwavering faith in the promise of the. Divine [22/23] Master, whose he was and whom he served--'I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.' And under that sense, and with that true faith, he arose when the solemn call came, and undertook the allotted task. Laborious as it was, and fraught with great and incessant anxiety, he at once, and with all his ability, applied himself to the work, and never slacked his hand, nor suffered anything to turn him aside, so long as a particle of available strength was left him. And he was permitted by a gracious Providence to be found so doing when his final release from earthly labour overtook him. As Aaron, the servant of the Lord, laid aside his ministerial work with his official vestments, so the subject of our memoir laid down the burden of all the churches but with his life.

The difficulties referred to arose partly from the accumulated arrears of work derived from the past, but chiefly from some exceptional events which had recently affected the condition of the diocese. The want of a resident Bishop had an injurious effect in many ways. For many generations the Bishops who occupied the See resided at a distance, and only occasionally visited their charge. The See was notoriously a poor one; some of the Bishops complained that its revenue hardly paid the necessary expenses. The necessity of adding to their means frequently compelled them to hold some [23/24] preferment in England which demanded a great portion of their time and attention. And the same impoverished state of the See made them also unduly anxious for translation, and caused them to look upon Llandaff as a stepping-stone to something better. Bishop Copleston, although he was at the same time Dean of St. Paul's, cannot be fairly placed in this category; for he made it a point of residing among us as much as he possibly could. And he had, besides, most able and zealous coadjutors and advisers in the two Archdeacons--Archdeacon Crawley, of Bryngwyn, and Archdeacon Williams, of Llanvapley--who did their utmost to supply what was lacking, and to repair the old waste places. And it is undeniable that a strong healthy current of life was beginning to set in; there was a noise and a shaking in the land, and every promise of the exceeding great expansion of energy and prosperous activity which we have lived to witness. But it must be confessed the bulk continued inert, and barely touched by the revival. Besides the spiritual deadness, there were other difficulties--topographical, linguistic, social, and ecclesiastical--which had to be faced and overcome.

As for the matter of a residential Bishop, that was at once settled by Dr. Ollivant coming to live among us. Llandaff possessed once a castellated mansion as the episcopal residence; but it was in ruins, having been destroyed by Owen Glendower (Glyndwr), and [24/25] never restored. A house was provided for the new Bishop, which, though possessing no structural beauty, was commodious, and stood in a sheltered and genial spot. It was also a great advantage that it was close to the cathedral, nearly in the centre of the diocese, and within a short distance of the thriving town of Cardiff. It was greatly improved by Bishop Ollivant, and its hospitality was ever open to the laity and clergy. On the pavement of the portal of the palace might be read, on one side, 'Pax intrantibus,' and on the other, 'Salus exeuntibus,' thus welcoming the coming and speeding the departing guest.

The most formidable difficulties remain to be considered. An immense change had occurred in a short time in the aspect, condition, and requirements of the diocese, which reduced the Church, in many large and important districts, to a state of comparative impotence. It was not long since the two counties presented no material difference from the other Welsh counties. They presented the spectacle common to them all--a sparse rural population, hardy, industrious, and sufficiently shrewd, but quiet, sober, law-abiding, and preserving many of the habits and sentiments of feudal times, clannish in their relations, and attached to the soil and lord of the manor. The sea-board and valleys, by their pastoral beauty and warm, salubrious temperature, attracted and delighted many visitors; whilst the wild, rugged hills which abound in [25/26] Glamorganshire and the contiguous parts of Monmouthshire hardly ever tempted the most adventurous tourist to scale their heights, or traverse their dark and narrow, but romantic, gorges. But in the latter half of the last century it was discovered that these mountainous districts contained an inexhaustible store of iron-ore and coal, which, lying as they did near each other, could be worked with profit, and conveyed by means of canals to the coast, and shipped to foreign parts. These canals were in time superseded by the railway system, which again incalculably augmented the means of supplying the growing demand for such potent factors and incentives of commerce as iron and coal. These districts, therefore, with their large working establishments, their furnaces, coke ovens, and collieries, and with their high rate of wages, attracted immigrants from every part of the United Kingdom, and the population of the diocese increased at an amazing ratio. It was calculated at the beginning of the century to be 117,000; at the time of Dr. Ollivant's consecration it had risen to 350,000; whilst at the expiration of his episcopate that again had nearly doubled itself. These statistics may help us to realize the work that lay before him, unless, indeed, it was to be admitted that the Church was incompetent to deal with the problem of making provision for a population of such a rapid and still continuous growth. But it is only very partially that such statistics can [26/27] help us. The low moral and social condition of these congested districts must also be borne in mind. It is perfectly intelligible, and needs no comment, that the parochial provision meant for a few should break down under the pressure of unexpected multitudes. The situation was well described by Archdeacon Williams when, in a published letter, he wrote 'Throughout the hill-country of the diocese maybe found the grievous anomaly--the machinery and appliances of the Church originally designed for tens or, at most, for hundreds, standing in solemn mockery of the wants of thousands and tens of thousands.' But the situation was further embarrassed by what is known as the bilingual difficulty. This applied, indeed, more or less to all the Welsh parts, necessitating in many of them a double staff of clergy, and two different places of worship. But it appeared on a more conspicuous and less manageable scale in populous centres, where there was a larger mixture of English and Irish with the native inhabitants, many of these latter, too, being immigrants from the more pronounced Welsh counties of North Wales, as well as of South Wales. It would be no injustice to add that these centres of mining and manufacturing activity became the general resort of the loose and unsteady part of the population everywhere, and that no certificate of character was required of any applicant for employment--all were admitted, and no questions [27/28] asked; indeed, it was currently believed that the wilder and more lawless characters were the best fitted for the rough and servile work exacted of them. And unhappily it was, moreover, too much the rule with the proprietors and directors of the huge industrial settlements which they had called into existence, and which yielded themselves colossal fortunes, to neglect the moral, and indeed the economical and social, welfare of the men in their employ. Whilst beer-shops abounded, and no moderating or civilizing influence was brought to bear on the low, vicious, and turbulent passions of human nature, except the constable's baton or the treadmill of the gaol, and whilst the truck system was rife, and no encouragement given to thrift and provident habits, it was no wonder that the blue-books, as the reports of the Government inspectors of the day were called, revealed a state of things disparaging to the fair fame of Wales, and fraught with danger to the community. Nor was it a surprise that these neglected portions of the diocese were the scenes of frequent riotous proceedings, and twice within a few years had to be put down by the military, when many lives were sacrificed, and property to a large extent destroyed.

Gloomy as was the outlook and doubtful as might be the issue to many who could not be designated as being of a timid disposition, or as possessing only a superficial knowledge of the situation, Bishop Ollivant [28/29] at once engaged in the work of reformation. He entered on it in such a deliberate and resolute manner, with so much sagacity and practical knowledge of the special needs of South Wales, that he soon gained the confidence of the diocese. He had an unshaken and abiding faith in the strength of a firm will, in honest work, in method, in brotherly cooperation, in Christian benevolence, in the value of ghostly counsel tenderly proffered and often repeated; in the faithful presentation of the truth to the intellect and consciences of men, and above all in the efficacy of prayer. He disdained the assumption that the Church of our forefathers, which had come down to us from the earliest ages, could be indifferent to the feelings of Welshmen, or unsuited to their habits and sentiments, or that the Welsh people were irrecoverably lost to it. 'Give us churches,' was his language; 'let those churches be supplied by able, zealous, well-instructed, and efficient clergymen, whose hearts are in their work, who do not seek the priest's office that they may live a life of indolence, but because with the Apostle they can say, "The love of Christ constraineth us," and because they long to communicate to others the blessings which they have learnt to appreciate themselves; give us these advantages, and if after that the Church does not commend herself to their judgment, and attach them as far as reasonably can be expected to her fold, then indeed, [29/30] but not till then, we shall be content to admit that there is no hope, that the people have strayed for ever into other pastures, and that it is vain to expect their return.'* [* Charge, 1869.]

Surveying his destined field of labour with a clear and discerning eye, he rapidly appreciated its peculiar circumstances, and the form which the remedial measures should chiefly take. He came to the conclusion that the most pressing wants were more pastors, with a greater elasticity of the parochial system, the restoration of the cathedral, a more substantial recognition of the claims of St. David's College, a more vigorous support of the National Schools, a greater number of places of public worship, the repair and enlargement of many of the existing churches, and the subdivision of the largest and most populous parishes, some of these being of an enormous extent, such as Bedwellty with its 26,000 acres, Aberdare with 32,300, Llantrisant with 19,000, Ystradyfodwy with 24,000, and Cadoxton juxta Neath with over 31,000. No time was lost in endeavouring to accomplish these objects. After a consultation with Archdeacon Williams on the exigences of the diocese, who agreed with the Bishop that these had come to a head and required prompt and strenuous treatment, his lordship appealed to the public for aid, and called two meetings, the one at Bridgend and [30/31] the other at Newport, at which was inaugurated the Llandaff Church Extension Society. He also founded the Llandaff Home Mission Society. He formed a scheme for assisting young men of ability and piety to go into residence at Lampeter. He assisted in the formation of the Llandaff Choral Association. He used his best efforts to further the objects of the two diocesan Education Boards. He took an active part in establishing a House of Mercy at Llandaff. He rearranged many of the rural deaneries in order to render them more manageable and effective. He was indeed unwearied in devising and establishing methods for the extension of Church work and Church influence, and in superintending and maintaining in efficiency the various activities he called into being. Nor must it be forgotten that, in addition to his exertions on behalf of the Church in the two home counties, he habitually rendered most valuable help to obtain grants from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in augmentation of small livings and the maintenance of curates in populous parishes. There is reason to believe that it was chiefly in consequence of his representations of the necessity of such a step that the Commissioners offered to meet with equal grants contributions towards the stipends of curates in mining districts, which have proved such a boon to this diocese. His great influence also was invariably sought by over-worked incumbents, and cheerfully [31/32] given in their behalf with the two great London societies, the Pastoral Aid and the Additional Curates' Aid.

The results exceeded the highest expectations. In the course of his episcopate no less a sum than £360,000 was raised and spent on material and structural church work, some 170 churches having been built, rebuilt, or restored and enlarged, as well as many new parsonage houses erected, and the number of resident incumbents thereby greatly augmented. Many populous parishes were also divided and new ecclesiastical districts formed and endowed; the number of the administrations of the Lord's Supper increased, the Lord's day and the greater holy days of the Christian year generally better observed, and the attendance on all the means of grace immensely improved. And--what must have given the Bishop greater and more unalloyed satisfaction than any external improvement, or the more perfect adjustment of the machinery--the whole moral and religious tone of the community was perceptibly raised, a distinct and unequivocal step was made in advance in practical consistency with religious privileges. The Divine blessing had produced fruit not wholly disproportioned to the need, and may we reverently add not wholly disproportioned either to the promised spiritual harvest, the reward of the faithful and diligent labourer in his Lord's vineyard.

The restoration, too, of the cathedral was [32/33] completed during his episcopate. The first building for Christian worship at Llandaff is ascribed to the second century, but this must have been an insignificant sanctuary or chapel constructed of clay and wattles, rather than what we designate as a church, for even so late as the sixth century, at the time of Bishop Dyfrig (Dubricius), the church there is described as being of such small dimensions as 28 feet long by 15 wide, and 20 feet high, with two aisles and a circular porch. But gradually this gave way to a cathedral of noble proportions and great beauty standing on the same secluded spot, by the pleasant banks of the Taff. But unhappily it was suffered to fall into decay, and when the late Bishop entered on his administration he found it in a deplorable state. A long-standing legacy of material dilapidation and a lamentable deficiency of religious ministrations were thus bequeathed to him, which required unusual efforts to remove. It might well be that the boldest and the most willing to engage in ventures of faith should hesitate to undertake the work of reparation. But undeterred by the magnitude of the enterprise, he cheerfully took up the task, and in conjunction with others, his zealous fellow-labourers, succeeded in restoring the cathedral to more than its pristine splendour, and by supplying it with its due appointment of clergy and stated services in rendering it what the mother church should be, a pattern and an incentive [33/34] to the daughter churches, a centre of devotional life and light to the diocese. Mr. Freeman, a distinguished authority on the subject, has stated that this restoration, taken all in all, is undoubtedly the greatest work of the kind that has taken place in England or Wales since that of Lichfield Cathedral in 1661. I recollect how deeply affected our Bishop was on the day of the final opening of his cathedral. It was unusual with him to show any strong feeling. Naturally he was reticent and self-restrained. It was more impressive therefore when the singularly firm, strong voice, in giving the benediction, exhibited the intensity of his feeling, giving it as he did in subdued, faltering, failing accents, not unaccompanied with tears. We could well understand that the summit of his desires was attained, and he could then adopt Lord Verulam's saying, 'Above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, Nunc Dimittis, Domine.'

It is needless to refer to his occasional publications or to his periodical charges, worthy as these latter are of study and grateful commemoration. They deal, with his usual carefulness and ability, with the topics presented by the graver passing events of the day. He never failed to stimulate and encourage his clergy to make full proof of their ministry. It was noticed that latterly he dwelt more especially on the necessity laid on ministers to cultivate personal piety. He seemed to anticipate Lord Selborne's emphatic counsel, 'Be spiritual, Be spiritual, Be spiritual.'

[35] The public discussions into which he was drawn may be also summarily dismissed. It may have been a surprise to many that one of his pacific disposition should ever engage in controversy. But it may be explained no doubt by the relative importance of the matter in question to the well-being of those for whom he was bound to care, as well as by his own pure and unyielding love of truth. This was the case in the debate between him and Dr. Rowland Williams. If Dr. Williams had not been so closely connected in public estimation with himself and his diocese, I do not believe the Bishop would have taken any step to pass a public animadversion on his views. Dr. Ollivant had been partly instrumental in placing Dr. Williams at St. David's College, Lampeter. It was a college for which he cherished the warmest attachment, and from which alone the Diocese of Llandaff could hope to obtain the greater number of its clergy. The Bishop keenly resented his misplaced confidence, and believing that the teaching of which he disapproved would prove detrimental to the prosperity and usefulness of the college, he did his best to undo the mischief, and in the angry correspondence which ensued successfully maintained his ground.

Some time before the end it was manifest that the Bishop's strength was failing. He had occupied the See for thirty-three years, and lived to be the senior Bishop on the Bench. But if his mortal powers were waning, his Christian graces were ever growing more [35/36] mature, and presenting a lovelier aspect to the beholder. On the occasion of consecrating a new church shortly before his death, he exhorted his hearers to imitate in their Christian race the unhasting, unresting course of the sun, and dwelt on the blessedness of a calm and brightly serene setting of life, quoting in his own simple but inimitably grave and effective manner Dr. Watts' hymn for children:

'How fine has the day been! how bright was the sun;
How lovely and joyful the course he has run!
Though he rose in a mist, when his race he begun,
     And there followed some droppings of rain;
But now the fair traveller comes to the west,
His rays are all gold and his beauties are best,
He paints the sky gay, as he sinks to his rest,
     And foretells a bright rising again.

'Just such is the Christian: his course he begins,
Like the sun in a mist, while he mourns for his sins,
And melts into tears, then he breaks out and shines,
     And travels his heavenly way;
But when he comes nearer to finish his race,
Like a fine setting sun he looks richer in grace,
And gives a sure hope, at the end of his days,
     Of rising in brighter array.'

Such--in the manner thus beautifully portrayed--was, as we may well believe, the Bishop's own closing scene.

It was but a month before his decease that the Right Hon. Lord Aberdare had presented him, in the presence of a large audience at the Town Hall at Cardiff, with his portrait, taken by Mr. Ouless, R.A., [36/37] as a testimony of the esteem and affection of the diocese. He died December 16, 1882. He lies interred in the churchyard of Llandaff Cathedral. It only remains here to add that Mrs. Ollivant survived him, but died July 13, 1886. Charlotte Elizabeth Ollivant, a daughter, died July 4, 1886. Frances, another daughter, and wife of the Rev. W. E. Welby, died July 3, 1875. Two sons survive, the younger of whom is Joseph Earle Ollivant, M.A., who is barrister-at-law, and Chancellor of the dioceses of Llandaff and St. David's.

I do not profess to have been admitted into any particular intimacy with the deceased prelate, but, from having known him during his whole administration of the diocese, I may be permitted to add here a few disconnected remarks on some aspects of his character, and some notes of individuality such as might from time to time have struck the most cursory observer who enjoyed any frequent and friendly intercourse with him.

I do not think Bishop Ollivant cared much for metaphysical abstractions, the free speculations of modern science, or for theological theories which, however plausible in themselves, in any way ran counter to well-established dogma or the teaching of his earlier years, associated as these were with his best and holiest aspirations and strivings, any more than he cared much for elaborated construction in literary [37/38] work, the artful turns and cadences of rhetoric, or the subtle and intricate beauties of poetry, depending as these often do on remote analogies, verbal harmonies, or on an ideal which, after all, perhaps is unattainable, if not indeed altogether illusory. Flights of the imagination and oratorical flourishes had no attraction for him. His mode of thinking was plain and straightforward, and not to be overborne and carried away by abstruse problems which he could not fathom, or seduced into any flowery paths which, however inviting, led to no point of any importance. He required facts to repose on or to start from. The late Mr. Matthew Arnold would perhaps have taken him as an honest specimen of the genuine Saxon, without any, or at all events with very slight, admixture of the distinctive qualities of the Celt. His mental calibre was solid and well wrought, but not inventive; his repertory well furnished, but not rich; his insight keen, but wanting perhaps in breadth. He had all the directness and sureness in attack which are always the most formidable, but he had none of the adroitness of the practised controversialist. Veracity was the fundamental constituent of his intellectual character, simplicity his chosen mode of procedure, and fruit, in the Baconian sense, or utility, in Paley's famous diction, his primary object. In this he was indeed a true son of Cambridge, his alma mater, and the recognised home of logic and definite practical aims.

[39] But whatever limit might be assigned to his intellectual or literary affinities, his sense of duty was absolute and entire, and he gave himself to its discharge without reserve, and to its uttermost demand. The moral element beyond a doubt predominated in him. This, we are ready to say, became his sacred office. It is what we should expect as a matter of course in a professed teacher of ethics, and a director of others who were tied to the same vocation. But it has been questioned whether it was not unduly prominent, so prominent as to become really oppressive from its constant and clinging presence, and from its insistence by the master at all tines and on all occasions. There can be no doubt that unless controlled and modified by other and counteracting influences such an element, so paramount in its claims, go boundless in its domain--every little detail, as well as the whole tenor of life, falling under its sway--is apt to set up an iron despotism which subdues and contracts the intellect, depresses the affections, and chills the genial current of the soul. Religion then, and too often religion in its inferior form and least interesting aspect, is thought to be not only the first but the sole object of all teaching and of all action, as we know was the case with many of the mediaeval saints, and as it was said was the case with the late Cardinal Newman at one period of his life. I do not mean to assert this of Bishop Ollivant, but there was even with [39/40] him a strong tendency that way, to the exclusion of what has been termed humanism. But it should in justice be added that if we might desire a fuller and franker recognition of the composite nature of man, and of the diverse claims of his many-coloured life, we owe the Bishop a debt of gratitude, which we can never adequately pay, for impressing on us, as he never failed to do, the supreme importance of duty and of its correlative practice. A good, useful, upright life was with him above all Grecian and all Roman fame.

On this ground of ethics, again, his teaching has not escaped criticism of another kind. It has been stated that, of all obligations, he set the greatest weight--a weight, indeed, inconsistent with the dispensation of grace--on law, law external, in the letter, written on tables of stone, without, as I need not add, superseding or ostensibly undervaluing the intrinsic law, written by the Spirit of God on fleshy tables of the heart. But it was manifest, we were told, that the liberty of the latter was less appreciated than the precision and peremptoriness of the former. He had not the hardihood any more than the will to step beyond the prescript and the ordinance. His horizon seemed bounded by the Ten Commandments; they were the end as well as the rule of life. The great reward from keeping them was projected to such a dim and remote distance as barely to be seen and felt as a solace and [40/41] an incentive, and was discounted by the hardness of the struggle to attain it. The light that shone from heaven was primarily meant to summon and guide us to our work and to our labour. Life was a talent, a continuous task, a solemn trust for which to its minutest fragment we should be held liable to a Master who was hard at the reckoning. Ever and anon were we reminded of the bond to which we were irretrievably committed, and from which we could expect no respite and no relief. If there was, indeed, any real foundation for this sort of criticism it must have been very slight. But in consequence of the supposed prominence given to these views, our Bishop for some years was placed in the category of preachers of 'legality,' such being the preposterous term used by some English, and notably by many Welsh divines. It may nevertheless be noticed that the strict and undeviating rule was most consonant with his own temperament and predilection, as well as, perhaps, best recommended by his wide experience. He once told me, quoting, I think, Lord Bacon, that of all the old heathen philosophies the noblest was the Stoic, and that self-denial lay at the core of the Christian religion. He might also have purposely dwelt so strongly on the obvious, definitive, and undeniable rule of life that he might help to countervail the tendencies of the Welsh people, who are too much given to the emotional side of religion. We are said to cultivate the 'experimental' [41/42] (to use again the language of the sects) at the expense of the practical. We delight to dwell on particular `frames' of mind, but do not sufficiently study the regulative precepts of the Gospel. We set a great store on the affections, but are perhaps too careless in exhibiting the corresponding and verifying fruits of the Spirit. Plain, solid, positive, practical theology might have been needed as a corrective for these popular tendencies.

On another doctrinal subject he was found in opposition to the prevailing sentiments of the Welsh. In the last century the evangelical clergy, who by their unwearied activity and impassioned style of preaching kindled the enthusiasm of the Welsh, and moulded and stereotyped the popular theology, committed themselves, almost to a man, to the characteristic tenets of Calvinism. In this they were followed, and perhaps, in the undiluted and indiscriminate form in which these tenets were embraced, were surpassed, by nearly all the Dissenting denominations. For more than a century and a half the five controverted points were familiar to the least educated of our mechanics and peasants, and no religious ministry in Wales was acceptable unless it was sound after the Genevan pattern. Contrary to what was the case seventy or eighty years ago, we are no longer disturbed on the subject. A truce seems to have been agreed on by the disputants. The contest, indeed, may be said to [42/43] have died away from sheer exhaustion. On the cessation of the Crusades, the historian remarks that a 'deep and solemn silence prevailed along the coast which once resounded with the world's debate.' In like manner the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism, once so bitter, so prolonged, so full of animated interest for some of the finest and strongest intellects in Christendom, and so momentous in its consequences, convulsing as it did in its course so many Churches, and threatening destruction to some States, is apparently at an end. A period of wise tolerance, perhaps of abatement of religious zeal, has set in. But if we are deprived of a fertile theme for disquisition and metaphysical display, we are spared the pain and perplexity of following guides who reason high of

'Providence, foreknowledge, will and fate,
Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
And find no end, in wandering mazes lost.'

In any case, the peace we enjoy on the subject is in strange contrast to the turbulence of the period subsequent to the Reformation. It may be instructive to know that Bishop Ollivant was a decided Arminian, and was in the habit of dwelling much and earnestly, in his public teaching, on the freedom of the will, universality of redemption, man's responsibility, and the necessity of giving all diligence 'lest any man fail of the grace of God.'

[44] The Bishop's teaching was wholly based on religion, as his life was wholly regulated by it. He could not accept the theory which since his decease has obtruded itself in such a startling manner on the public, that education can be separated from religion. He held the lessons of religion to be indispensable to the formation of a virtuous character, and the growth and sustentation of national morality. When revolving these counsels of hoary wisdom, we are brought into close personal contact with their visible fruits as exhibited by our late beloved Bishop and others of a kindred spirit and conversation, or when we contemplate the same essential features as reproduced faintly indeed in comparison, but very perceptibly, in a whole community, we are led to ask, Is such teaching become obsolete? can it be safely neglected? or, can it ever be superseded? For the effects of religious Christian teaching we have two thousand years to appeal to. And unquestionably the past, rich as it is with great and glorious results, the proud and triumphant spoils gathered from every land, and from all sorts and conditions of men, amply vindicates such teaching. But we have lived to hear of the inadequacy of Christianity as an all-round system of philosophy, and of its certain and inevitable decay on account of its inherent imperfection. Other systems on which man should fashion his life are offered us. They are spoken of as agnosticism, [44/45] secularism, altruism, hedonism, theosophy, and even as the unerring and incontestable lessons of physical science. We are seriously advised to betake ourselves to these in view of the astounding march of civilization and the perfectibility of the race. The Christian religion has been sufficiently tried, and has been found wanting. At any rate, it has not provided for that full fruition for which man craves. His circle of enjoyment is incomplete, it is marred by superstitious fears, it is contracted by unwarrantable restraints--nay, a whole segment, appertaining to the senses, is repressed if not ruthlessly cut out. It is true, indeed, that enjoyment or happiness should be an object of desire, but, then, in order to be true and really without a flaw, it must be happiness such as results from the higher dominating over the lower parts of our nature, and such as flows from the pure and perennial sources of goodness, rather than from the turbid streams of passion, or even the most copious streams of knowledge. And the most sincere Christians have been always the happiest as well as the best men. We do not doubt that 'the excellent of the earth,' to whom we refer, were imperfect, and fell short of what they should be. No one would acknowledge this more freely than themselves. But can we ever hope to equal them, much less surpass them, except by the same means and under the same influences as formed and sustained their characters? And as for society, if [45/46] the individual man has been altogether improved and elevated by Christianity, the indebtedness of communities, of men in the aggregate, and as living under organized institutions, cannot be disputed. Individual specimens of moral excellence, such as Socrates, Xenophon, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus, though rare, might yet be found in ancient heathendom, but the bulk of mankind unquestionably remained unenlightened and in a state of hopeless degradation. It is Christianity that has given a decided and incalculable lift to the whole mass, and which has formed stable and righteous Governments and States, planting them on reason, on sympathy, on even-handed justice, and on the principle of necessary and progressive improvement. It has consecrated humanity, has imparted a dignity and splendour to the commonest earthly lot, and given us in the Church the conception of a universal family and an equal home, as well as the most benevolent rules and the strongest motives for observing them. It tells us that we are all brethren, having one Father, one Redeemer, one Comforter. It bids us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and courteous, to bear one another's burdens, and to love one another even as God in Christ has loved us. In comparison, what is Plato's fabled Republic or More's Utopia? What my Lord Verulam's New Atlantis? What the dreams and visions of the most ardent political reformers and theorists? And what can be 'the good time coming,' the yearning of so many fond hearts, and the object of [46/47] the efforts of so many a strong hand, but the realization of the aim and purport and the constituted work of the Christian religion? It is absolutely certain that as the past, with its transcendent achievements, is its own, so all the hope of the future rests with it.

But, then, it is implied that the ultimate phase of character must be different to what we have been accustomed. The type must be altered and drawn on other lines, and therefore formed under another sort of training. The spiritual part of our nature, or that part of us which under the stimulus of conscience and the aspirations towards a Divine ideal is capable of becoming spiritual, need not trouble us any further; we were solely meant for and best employed about the intellectual, the social, the aesthetic, and the material. This kind of instruction, it is evident, must undermine and overthrow, not only the supremacy but the very nature of virtue, as virtue has been understood by the wisest and most intelligent of our race, and must inevitably lead to the uncontrolled dominion of the senses. But for us the warning is too authentic, and has too often been verified to let it pass by unheeded. 'If ye live after the flesh ye shall die, for to be carnally-minded is death, but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace.'

But, moreover, it is asserted at present that a wonderful transformation has taken place in what is commonly called 'the world.' We are told that all the strictures we have heard from the right rev. prelate and other [47/48] like-minded divines on 'evil communications,' on the 'pomps and vanities' of the age, and on 'this present wicked world,' were misplaced. The old English, and, for the matter of that, the old Welsh, safeguards of piety are superfluous and out of fashion. Modern requirements demand a readjustment of the relations between religion and its surroundings. Scenes and occupations which are in themselves matters of indifference should not alarm us on account of their supposed objectionable tendencies. The suspicious symptoms are confessedly incidental, and not inherent. 'Evil to him who evil thinks,' and 'to the pure all things are pure.' Such a sentiment wins the sympathy of the young, but it presupposes undoubtedly such a stable walk and such an advanced stage in the Christian course as all have not attained. A fearless demeanour, and a free participation in the popular amusements and pastimes of the day, may perhaps be innocently indulged, but the indulgence cannot be altogether unaccompanied with danger. The respective provinces of the secular and religious have not been indeed as yet satisfactorily delimited. Possibly, after all the labours of the casuists and the instructions of the directors of souls, they never can be accurately delimited. So much must necessarily be left to each individual person. And it is probably best that it should be so. 'For what man knoweth the things of a man save the [48/49] spirit of the man which is in him?' Who but the man himself knows best his own temperament and the sin which so easily besets him? Every Christian, therefore, should be as a scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, and should be in a great measure a law unto himself. But painful experience will admonish us that for safety that self-imposed law had better err on the side of strictness than of latitude. It must not be forgotten that man in his best estate, and throughout his whole career, is here placed under discipline, on probation, and in a moral sanatorium, where he is intended for a course of careful regimen and wise therapeutic treatment, and where he is enjoined to guard against the cold currents which chill, and the heated atmosphere which over-excites--against everything, in fact, which may retard his restoration to perfect health. We sometimes idly wish it were otherwise. We would all, it may be, but too willingly, in an unguarded or weary moment, give in to the free and easy mode which is in vogue around us. Vanity Fair fascinates us in spite of ourselves. Irresistibly and irrevocably drawn, as we hope we are, to the narrow path which we know is the path that leadeth unto life, we cannot but sigh now and then in sympathy with those who would step out from the precincts, so carefully fixed and fenced by ancient prudence and piety, and roam about in the sunshine and the warmth which seem to lie so enticingly beyond. We are [49/50] then, it might be said, in a strait between two poles of attraction, or, varying the metaphor, fallen into a place where two seas meet. In such a mood and under such circumstances, we read, it may be, two pages in the lives of two different men, and are ready to imagine that the one might be the complement of the other. If both could be combined and possessed at the same time, in their entirety, would not the stock of enjoyment be increased, and one of the wants of the age met? We read with deep and appreciative interest of Cowper's pious and useful life: how he applied himself to literature, to self-improvement, and to the beneficent work of reclaiming the vicious, teaching the ignorant, and succouring the sick and needy, and then, after a walk along the country lanes or on the banks of the Ouse, how he led the devotions of the poor parishioners, and, with the help of a harpsichord and some hymns of Martin's collection, how he joined to make up a concert of praise to God, in which the heart was the best performer. How exquisite are the strains which we are permitted to hear as he sings in his humble and obscure retirement! It is impossible for the least susceptible to spiritual aspirations not to feel the beauty and the bliss of the religious life, as delineated in his verse:

'The calm retreat, the silent shade,
     With prayer and praise agree,
And seem by Thy sweet bounty made
     For those who worship Thee.

[51] There if Thy Spirit touch the soul,
     And grace her mean abode,
Oh, with what peace, and joy, and love,
     She communes with her God!

There, like the nightingale, she pours
     Her solitary lays,
Nor asks a witness of her song,
     Nor thirsts for human praise.'

On the other hand, there is a charm of its own in the narrative of Gibbon, representing as it does quite an idyll of Arcady, or some other old-world pleasaunce; but the charm, it must be confessed, is weakened, if not utterly destroyed, whenever our better feelings awake, and we begin to suspect the confirmed voluptuary in the erudite recluse, and anticipate the biographer's revelation that Gibbon, with all his accomplishments, had no spiritual affections, 'that his cheek rarely flushed in enthusiasm for a good cause, and that his character showed a prevailing want of moral elevation and nobility of sentiment.' It is added, 'he was of the earth earthy,' and it is impossible to get over the fact. But of him, too, we read how, in his pleasant seclusion at Lausanne, he devoted himself with equal assiduity with that of Cowper to the service of literature, and then, after taking a stroll in his berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commanded an unrivalled prospect of country, town, lake, and mountain, how he went and spent his evenings at the card-table, the theatre, and the assembly-room, [51/52] where both sexes freely mixed in the dance, and where wit and hilarity, with some choice madeira, helped to enliven existence. Here are two pictures, neither of which can be without attraction, so long as we are subject to conflicting impulses, affections, and aspirations. Whether the two can be combined without detriment to our highest interests, or without, indeed, the sure effacement of one or the other, is doubtful. And the doubt is intensified when we observe that if the grosser obtrusion of vice is no longer tolerated, the arts and appliances of luxury for the corruption of manners are a hundredfold increased; and if more refined and less open to public censure, they may nevertheless be aptly compared to the modern arms of precision, which are longer in range and more deadly in execution than the rude weapons they superseded. For ourselves we would dread any experiment which might be hazardous, if not fatal, to peace of mind and purity of heart. We would prefer to walk in the good old paths, and range ourselves by the side of our old venerated teachers, and still listen to the familiar voices which guided and hallowed our youth, and unfolded for us the blessedness of discretion and of the fear of the Lord. Vivamur dum vivimur indeed, but then let us live in the noblest way, to the best purpose, under the highest sanction, and with the fullest assurance of the Divine Master's approbation.

[53] "'Live whilst you live," the epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the passing day;
"Live whilst you live," the sacred Preacher cries,
"And give to God each moment as it flies."
Lord! in my view let both united be,
I live in pleasure whilst I live to Thee.'

But to advert now to some characteristic personal traits, and to what has been denominated the 'minor morals.' Bishop Ollivant was symmetrical in bodily frame, remarkably upright in his bearing, capable of great endurance, altogether of a superior build and look. He was methodical in his habits, precise and particular as to his personal appearance, deliberate in speech, with a voice which was firm and manly in tone, and with a manner which, although naturally of a lofty courtliness, was ordinarily affable, and, when he was pleased, possessing a special charm.

It was thought at one time that he was too austere and reserved for one in his public position, too sparing of the small courtesies of social life, not sufficiently compliant with the light moods and passing needs of society. The charge had, perhaps, some foundation, if applied to the first years of his residence among us. It is certain it could not be alleged against him during the latter part of his episcopate. Age mellowed and sweetened him. It was generally remarked after some public official function, such as a Confirmation, how contentedly he would sit down with perhaps a dozen clergymen and clergymen's [53/54] wives, and a few laymen, and when an unlimited amount of trivial conversation was carried on, how gentle he was and how meek, listening complacently for hours, and now and then taking part in the current colloquial surplusage.

His elocution was considered perfect. Every word and every syllable were distinctly enunciated, and while the sentences followed each other in one continuous musical flow, the emphatic parts were duly but very gently accentuated. Perhaps it was from the conscious difficulty which one of the Celtic race (who have no letter corresponding to the sound of the English z) finds in the sibilants, but I for one could never fail to admire the softness which he contrived to impart to such words as righteousness, trespasses, distresses, offences, his sake, his service, etc. The smoothness of his pronunciation of such words as beseech, gracious, she, sheep, shade, surely, propitiation, etc., would have gone far to remove Milton's aversion to the sh. He took some pains once in teaching me to give its proper differentiating sound to o in Holy Ghost, and to pronounce the w in such words as wood, woman, etc., and the y in you, ye, year, yield, etc., the unsophisticated Welshman being apt to drop them altogether. He said contèmplate, commùne, accèptable, accèssory, Deuterònomy, demònstrate, etc., as I have marked them. His pronunciation of God had none of the Oxonian drawl. He said Llandàff, [54/55] placing the accent on the last syllable, approximating thus to the Welsh accentuation, and following Pope, in his well-known couplet,

A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
Outdo Llandaff in doctrine--yea, in life.'

He required the grounds of any allegation made which was new or in any way strange to him. I found him once suffering from rheumatism, and unwittingly recommended the free use of flannel, more particularly Welsh flannel. He questioned me as to my reasons for recommending Welsh in preference to English or foreign flannel. I wished him, I think, to believe that it was more closely and carefully woven. To this he would by no means assent. How could the machinery or manipulation be better in Wales than in England? After some shuffling, I am afraid, on my part, I told him at last that the wool of the Welsh mountain sheep was shorter and finer than that of the English sheep. This seemed to satisfy him, and he promised to ask Mrs. Ollivant to order him some 'good Welsh flannel.' But the closeness of the cross-examination impressed me with the necessity of abstaining from making an assertion without sufficient proof to support it.

He once spent a Sunday with the squire of the parish where I was the Welsh curate. I had been, at that time, only a few months in Holy Orders. To my [55/56] surprise and the great delight of my humble congregation--for, 'indeed, we were but a company of poor men '--the Bishop came to the Welsh afternoon service, unattended, of course, by any member of the squire's family. In those days Welsh services were discountenanced, and if possible altogether set aside by the upper and wealthier classes, and the Welsh curate invariably put and kept in the background. I preached on the text, 'Where is God my Maker, who giveth me songs in the night?' and dwelt no doubt more on the dark and dismal night than on the alleviating songs. He came to the vestry after the service, and after passing some complimentary remarks, expressed his hope that the calamitous incidents which I had so pathetically bewailed had formed no part of my own personal experience. I was surely too young to have suffered much. I hastened to relieve him on that point, my life having been, on the whole, very happy. The sermon, I told him, was an adaptation into Welsh of one published by the Rev. Daniel Moore of Camberwell. He then took occasion, in a kind but earnest manner, to impress on me the duty of cultivating reality in my discourses, reality in sentiment as well as in speech. Factitious sentiment and affected language should be avoided by every good minister of Jesus Christ.

His charities were numerous, and always conferred with a gracious kindness, which enhanced the value of the gift to the grateful recipient. Several instances [56/57] fell under my own observation. Many years ago a clergyman in a neighbouring parish to my own died and left his widow in straitened circumstances. The Bishop asked me to call on her and in his name present her with £10, requesting me at the same time to be as considerate as possible in the way in which I gave her the money.

Hooker, Bull and Pearson, he considered, I believe, the best exponents of the teaching of the Church. For devotional reading he thought highly of the works of Archbishop Leighton. He deprecated the modern development of what is known as the sacerdotal and sacramental system. His own taste in public worship was for simplicity, but a simplicity that was not incongruous with refinement. George Herbert's via media suited him best, 'neither too mean nor yet too gay.'

He was not one of the modern species of Bishops, who with many shining qualities are said to be officious and incurably restless, giving themselves much needless trouble, and worrying their clergy about details of parochial work, and about new and ever newer improvements in ecclesiastical means and methods. It is also said that Bishop Samuel Wilberforce first introduced the type among us. The system which his example produced has been adopted, no doubt, from the best motives, but it causes a chronic state of irritation, and cannot fail to interrupt and hinder the [57/58] faithful pastor in the more essential part of his sacred functions, the promoting and deepening of the spiritual life, and is, moreover, slightly inconsistent with self-respect, and even the independence of the ministry of the Church of England. I cannot but think that it is as alien to the genius of our people and the constitution of our Church, as it is destructive of the dignity of any worthy labour. In my young days of house-keeping, when I first prided myself on having a garden, I could not refrain from going out from my study every half-hour and giving peremptory directions to the gardener what to do and how to do it, and never forgot to tell him to push on. But the gardener at last remonstrated, and solemnly informed me that I caused his life to be a burden to himself and his work less effective than otherwise it would be. The long and short of it was, he must either leave my service or I cease my constant interference. Reflection, experience, and I hope some degree of fraternal sympathy, came to the gardener's aid, and the lesson was then learnt that continual interference must be irksome and unjust to the professional worker, as well as detrimental to the work itself. Bishop Ollivant was, I repeat, of the old approved English type of a Christian Bishop. He reposed a large measure of confidence in his clergy. Like Dr. Arnold in his dealings with others, he appealed to a sense of honour, he relied on the inherent power of example, of sympathy and of love, and, as with Dr. Arnold, the principle [58/59] wrought wonders. He transformed and elevated the diocese, and won for himself the lasting esteem and affection of all his brethren and fellow-helpers.

How greatly and how widely he was esteemed and loved was unmistakably shown by the numerous assemblage, coming from all parts of the country, and representing all orders and classes, which met at his funeral and followed his remains to the tomb. Differing, as we necessarily were, on that mournful occasion in personal temperament, social position, and the standpoint from which we severally contemplated the departed Bishop, we were all united in one common feeling of admiration of his life and labours, and in one great and irrepressible sorrow for our loss. When we called to mind his inflexible love of justice, his love of order, his adherence to duty, his firm and fearless cast of mind, his elevated tone of sentiment, his dignified deportment, and other marked features of his natural character, we felt that we had lost a rare modern sample of antique worth, one who belonged to an imperial breed of men, being one, indeed, of the worthiest of all the number and entitled to the highest memorial commendation, Hunc unum plurimi consentiunt Romæ primarium fuisse virum. But it was on the great master in Israel, the sagacious ruler over the household of faith, the vigilant Bishop who took care of the Church of God, the humble and consistent servant of Christ, who had gone in and out among us, that our most earnest thoughts and tenderest affections [59/60] were fixed, as we stood there by the open grave, sorrowing most of all that we should see his face no more. But we felt that the salutary recollection of his profound piety, his loving counsels, his constant solicitude for the well-being of us all, and the entire consecration of himself to his apostolic work, would always abide with us, and to many of us would come back, through all the years of our mortal existence, the old familiar voice, reminding us with added solemnity, 'I was with you as a father, exhorting and comforting and charging every one of you, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory.'* [* I Thess. ii. 11, 12.]



1. A Sermon preached at the consecration of St. David's College, Lampeter. 1827.
2. The Necessity of a Decent Celebration of Public Worship. A Sermon. 1828.
3. An Analysis of the Text of the History of Joseph. 1828.
4. A National School Sermon. 1831.
5. The Principles that should Influence a Christian Student. A Sermon. 1841.
6. The Introductory Lecture to the Course delivered before the University of Cambridge in Lent Term. 1844.
7. A Few Remarks upon the Missionary Bishops' Bill and the Church Protestant Defence Society. 1854.
8. Some Remarks on the Condition of the Fabric of Llandaff Cathedral. 1856.
9. On the Evangelical Movement of the Eighteenth Century.
10. Charges at Visitations. 1851-1881.

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