Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/25

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3
THE BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

But while Dr Benson's enthronement was still only a matter of anticipation, Dr Alfred Ollivant, the Bishop of Llandaff for a third of a century, had passed away, leaving the Prime Minister face to face with the most serious task of all. With regard to Bishops, at anyrate, Wales claims considerations which are not necessarily brought to bear on the motherland side of the border. The language in many parts, though not in all, is distinctly different, and the habits, feelings and modes of thought of a more emotional race than the English are all things to be reckoned with. What more natural than the demand for a Welshman to minister to the spiritual needs of the Welsh? As in all such cases, in the press at the time many names were put forward as fitting successors to a man of the greatest learning and highest attainments. For all that, by the sober-minded it was generally felt that Mr Gladstone might be relied on to appoint somebody who understood the Church in Wales, who knew its language, and who would be prepared to deal in a conciliatory rather than in a provocative spirit with the strong Nonconformist element, white firmly maintaining the just rights of his own Church. Taking a calm, retrospective view of the situation eighteen years after the event, it is safe to assume that a large proportion of the names advanced were never seriously entertained by Mr Gladstone. There is, however, reason to believe