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Tlie Dancing Crusade.,
A CLERGYMAN ON THE RAMPAGE.
The Rev. George Gladstone, at Holy Trinity Churoh, Nathalia, in Victoria, preached his second seimon on the secrets of the ballroom, the subject being: '. Why do some ladies, no longer young, run round to all the dances I" Just before the sermon the preacher said that Christians all over this colony and in New Sonth Wales were praying that the strongholds of sin in Nathalia might be broken down, and he requested all true Christians here to join with them.
' In answer to the question, " Why do these women, no longer young, run round to all the danoes?"-women whose names were continually appearing in the local papera aa attending the dances-they would be able to, answer, " They are out husband hunting., (Great laughter and much tittering from the ladies in the churoh). lie always looked through the blaok list of those attending these balls. The list enumerated the gee (rawB, finery and shams which they wore. Why did some names reour so frequently 7 He supposed that the owners felt that they were in danger of getting letton the shelf (roars of laughter)-and that they had better make the best of their chances.
(Continued merriment). He held that men and women were sent into the world to glorify God and to do good to their fellow creatures. How many who had reached mature years were striving to attain thia 1 Ha took no ocoount of the giddy, gay, and empty headed who went to these dances. The preacher thea alluded to the series of Cinderella danoes held there last winter. He termed them " ash pan dances," and stated that had the girls who went there known the characters of some of the men, they would have shrieked with horror when euoh men placed their hands on them. Those women of mature years who continued running round to the dances became the
butt ot those who read their names in the danoo lists. 8uoh a woman's mind never rose higher than amusement and Belt grati- fication. He nrged them to seek a nobler and happier eervioe, and to follow Christ,
" ATTACKING THE DEVIL."
In view of the interest excited by the Rev. Mr. Gladstone's recent utterances on the subject of dancing, a representative of " The Age " called on Bishop Goe. The object of the interview was to ascertain, if possible, in what light the Nathalia clergyman is regarded by the head of his dlooeese. Is he to be regarded as a a fearless champion of truth, or an apostate; as an'inspired prophet, or a " crank 2" This was in tffeot the question that was asked of Bishop Uor.
The BiBbop said that, with regard to Mr. Gladstone himself, no action would be taken, and no attempt would be made to interfere with him, provided that he went no further than he hud gone. Bishop Goe was em- phatic on thie point. ' I know Mr. Glad. Btone,' he said, ' and I believe him to be an earnest and devout mah. I was at Nathalia a few months ago, and I had un opportunity of seeing the work he was doing. As head of the diocese, I shall certainly take no action, For what pnrpose should we ? It ia not the dancing he is attacking, but what goes on behind it.'
Bishop Goe in reply to another question, epoke of the attitude of the church towards dancing, Striotly speaking, the churoh had no defined attitude. No doctrine was laid down, and the question was left BB one for the individual oonsoience. He might Bay that there were in his diooete a great many clergymen who, he believed, would agree in great measure with Mr. Gladstane, Chough they would not express their viewB in the same woy.
The conversation came back to Mr. Glad- stone, and lt was suggested that his remarks did not apply only to Nathulta, and that they reflected upon all women who went to dances.
Bishop Goe agreed that possibly they did, but repeated his conviction that Ur, Glad- stone waB ' attaoking the devil.'
And this about husband hunting ?
Even a bishop may be allowed a sense of humor, and at this point Bishop Goe'a gravity gave way. [ He lay back in his chair, laughed, and said: "The old maids won't like it. To tell you a eeoret,' he added a moment later, ' they did it in England.'
INDIGNATION AT NATHALIA..
The interview with Bishop Goe in regard to the extraordinary sermons .preaohed by the Rev. Geo. Gladstone bas been read with great interest at Nathalia. The fault found by tho people ot this district with tho prcaohor is not a question of churoh mattera solely. It ÍB urged that Mr. Gladstone indulges in such wild assertions, and casts euoh. slanderous aspersions upon the charac- ters of the people, that his utteranoea oannot be allowed to pass unoontradioted.
As an example, the case of the young lady cited by Mr. Gladstone in the sermon laBt Sunday evening, who attended the Mason io ball at Numurkah, is mentioned. That yoong lady's death was directly attributed by Mr. Gladstone to her running round to danoes 'husband hunting.' Locally, the identity of this lady ÍB thoroughly recognised. She was once held in the highest esteem, and her death, far from being due to the cause alleged by the rev. gentleman, was aotually oaueed by hemorrhage of the lunga, supervening upon attack of typhoid fever. Mr. Gladstone performed tbe rites at her funeral, and, at the grave, paid a very high tribute to her Christian worth. Yet, two years later, he degrades the deceased's memory. This is only one instanoe of the extravagant statement, for the utterance of which the pulpit of the Anglioan Church at Nathalia is being need every Sunday night.
The residents mean to take effeotive measures to denounoe the Blanden which have been mode on them by Mr. Gladstone.
Mr. Gladstone last Sunday took for his subject,1 Why dooa danolng cause tho death of come of our Goulburn Valley girls, and wreck constitutions of others?' He says that he has received many letters oommend
mg liini lor bis sermons.