1828 Gwytherin. In the April 1829 issue of Goleuad Cymru, there is an enquiry by Minimus (p.107) ‘My reverend and dear Friend,—I heard some months back, with a degree of joy, that the Lord had given wonderful and gracious visitations to the church, in different parts of Wales, particularly Merionethshire, and some parts of Caernarfonshire and Denbighshire, and had expected by now to have seen some account of them in your Goleuad; but as I have seen none, may I be so bold as to ask you, or some of your correspondents in these regions, to answer the following questions in the Goleuad. In what particular towns or districts were the visitations? When? What signs preceded the outpouring of the Spirit? Upon whom in particular, professors or non-professors, old or young, was he outpoured? And do the effects that were manifest upon such continue? I think that an account would be acceptable to many of our fellow-countrymen in Wales, and to none more so yours, unworthily, MINMUS.’
He received a partial reply in the September issue (pp.267-8): ‘Revival in Gwtherin, Denbighshire; or a Reply, (in part) to the Enquiry of Minimus, in No. cxxvi, page 107, namely a Letter from Mr. T.R. to his friend Mr. D. Jones of Denbigh, dated, Gwtherin, August 4. 1828.
Today I have the pleasure of informing you of ‘good news of great joy.’ I do not know where to begin or end, for I am not able to tell you the half. Wednesday night, August 1, I went to the house of the Lord; and a little after the start of worship, I perceived nine coming to the church for the first time ever. The first sight of them was enough to break the hardest heart, especially when they began to relate their experiences; it was too difficult for any one congregation to hold without going to pieces, and I have no doubt that if you had been there you would have wept for joy as you heard them. I cannot remember feeling such things meeting together [cyd-gyfarfod] in my mind since I have been on earth. Having conversed a little with each of them personally, I sought to talk of the privilege of abiding in the church of God; but I hardly touched this when they broke out in a strong breeze, in these words: -
This the place I wish to settle,
In my God’s most holy courts, &c. But the Sabbath night, August 3, in the prayer meeting, was the most wonderful evening yet. I did not expect to see such wonderful things in every sense of the word while I live. This is the evening I will doubtless ever remember. And I have no doubt that many will have sweet memories of it for myriad ages to come. The gates of brass opened; the bonds were shattered – the captives were freed – the subjects saw it; - the effects were so powerful that a fire was kindled; - many were possessed with the joy of salvation, and some of every age and degree – parents and children, &c. Before finishing, I tried hard to announce a church meeting, for though it was announced in every corner of the chapel, the congregation was not willing to go out. I was amazed as I saw the size of the multitude that had remained behind in the end. At long use [Wrth hir arfer] of each of the means [of grace], those who were chosen went out, and they were few. After the doors were shut, I had a great struggle to get them to be quiet for a while. Their response was, ‘O! It is difficult to be quiet,’ - For my day is almost finished,
And my sun is well nigh set, &c
But after a while I had a minute of leisure to try to say something to them generally; because there was not time to speak with half of them personally on that occasion; and when I attempted to treat a little of the matter of taking up the yoke of Christ, and the blessedness of the family of God, &c., one general shout went through the congregation, and the multitude outside came in, and some of them also had been possessed with the same spirit, and with the same things. I do not know how many remained in the society that evening, but it was very many. Whatever became of them, the Lord alone knows; but there is reason to confidently believe that many of them were saved to eternal life.’ [Goleuad Cymru, vi. (1829), pp.267-8]
Another account is to be found in the Evangelical Magazine (1828), pp563-4:
“REVIVAL OF RELIGION IN WALES.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine.
MY DEAR SIR;
In the present state of our churches, I cannot help hoping that the following account from Wales, which has been lately received by one of my members from her aged father, “an old disciple,” will be both acceptable and useful; and hope it will be in time for the December Magazine.
Yours most respectfully,
Denbigh, Oct. 30, 1828.
“Mr. Greatbatch, and yourself, and all our friends at Southport will rejoice to hear of the great revival of religion that hath taken place lately in this neighbourhood. It began in a place called Gwytheren, twelve miles from this town, in a parish containing about five hundred souls. The Sunday schools have been eminently useful in bringing a reformation among them: by the instruction of their teachers, the young people were brought to see the sinfulness of attending wakes, fairs, &c., which have been the ruin of many. The families have been brought to see the duty and privilege of worshipping God in their families; believing that the Lord would pour his wrath upon all households that call not on his name. By degrees the word preached, had a great effect upon the hearers, and the members of the small church of Christ in that neighbourhood began to pray earnestly in private, and in their families, and in their public worship, for an outpouring of the spirit; and the Lord answered their prayers. In the beginning of August last, nine persons offered themselves to be admitted members of the church; the deacons and members there could not help weeping for joy, to see what they so earnestly prayed and longed for coming to pass. From that day to this, every week, several persons have come forward seeking the way to Zion. From the first week in August, to the present time, above eighty persons have joined themselves to the Church of Christ at Gwytheren. The work of the Lord is going on wonderfully and delightfully—it is a little heaven below. You can better imagine, than I can describe, the happy scenes; rich and poor—parents and children—young and old—young men and maidens—subscribing with their hands that they shall be the Lord’s. What a glorious spring and summer, after a long and dreary winter! Many of our ministers take great pleasure in visiting this delightful spot, and are obliged to exclaim, ‘What hath God wrought!’ I have the happiness to inform you that this heavenly flame has caught two or three of the neighbouring churches and congregations, and we here are waiting for the same visitation. The members of our church, about three hundred, assemble one night in every week, at the chapel, to pray for the same outpouring of the Holy Spirit amongst us. I hope I shall have occasion to send you word, before long, that our poor prayers are heard, and that many shall be brought to the glorious liberty of the sons of God. It will give me the greatest pleasure to hear of this great work going forward in Southport, and cold Lancashire; yea, all over the world.
“Your affectionate Father,
(see also the account in MC iii. 262-3)
This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones
Would you please contact us if you know where these meetings took place?