Hebron Evangelistic Baptist Chapel - Dowlais. (1904)

There were unusual manifestations at Hebron (B.), Dowlais, as early as August 1904. Over 200 joined the Church. From, The Welsh Religious Revival 1904-05, by Rev. J. Vyrnwy Morgan, 1909. The morning services held at the majority of chapels in Dowlais were carried out in the absence of Mr Evan Roberts, but, nevertheless, were of a deeply fervent character. At Bethania about two thousand persons were present. In the afternoon the service upon which most interest centred was that at Penywern Chapel. It is the meeting-house of the Welsh Congregationalists and is one of the two churches which started the revival in Dowlais. Soon after the service started a local schoolmistress was heard in fluent and fervent prayer, invoking God’s blessing on the gathering. Even the children, she declared were filled with the Spirit, and when in school turned from their lessons to sing and pray the moment the backs of the teachers were turned. Blessings upon Evan Roberts, upon the meeting, upon the district, upon Wales, and upon the world were asked for, and shortly afterwards Mr Evan Roberts arrived accompanied by the Rev. D. Mardy Davies (Pontyeyminer), Miss Annie Davies, Miss Maggie Davies and Miss Mary Davies (Gorsemon). Mr Evan Roberts’s address was interrupted by an outburst of spontaneous and simultaneous prayers such as has seldom been witnessed, even in connection with the most fervent of revival meetings. Men and woman, boys and girls, prayed eloquently and passionately in all parts of the chapel, in Welsh and English. “Lead, Kindly Light,” led by Miss Annie Davies was rendered in English with thrilling effect and after a brief address by the missioner there was another outburst of simultaneous prayer, and presently Miss Maggie Davies (Maesteg) sang as a solo the pathetic hymn, “Myn afael ar Waredur,” and the touching refrain, “O derbyn Ef yn awr”. (“O receive Him now”), was quickly caught up the congregation. And, as if by a natural of, should I say, a spiritual? - process, the congregation was gradually led to a torrent of “testimony,” the number of Welsh verses recited being very large. The meeting was afterwards tested, and a number of converts were enrolled. but the great majority of these present were evidently members of Christian Churches. In the evening the principal service was held in Hebron Welsh Baptist Chapel, and this meeting, bristling with incidents and characterised by peculiar features of its own, formed a fitting climax to the Dowlais visit of Mr Evan Roberts. Some of the prayers offered up were strikingly eloquent and typical of the Welsh workman at his best. The singing was magnificent in its power, and the old Welsh hymns which are justly the pride and precious heritage of Welsh congregations carried with them, and in them, as much “fire” as even the powerful prayers which roused and invigorated all. Let me mention a feature which was more pronounced here than elsewhere. The pulpit in Hebron was not empty. Not only was the pastor in his place – evidently in sympathy with the congregation and in sympathy with the “fire” and spontaneity of the revival - but he was supported by a considerable number of ministers, who showed by their presence and non-interference that they thoroughly understand the great movement and are prepared to take their places and bear their part in the work. Another feature. Mr Miall Williams, of Dowlais, asked to be allowed to sing his “testimony,” and he sang, with much spirit and excellent effect, a solo the refrain of which was “Dros hen lwybr Calfari” (“Along the old path of Calvary”). Further Welsh prayers followed, and then, from the tender striking of a single voice, afterwards joined by the massed congregation, came the hymn, “O Iesu! fy Ngwaredwr cu, Clyw fi pan lefwyf arnat Ti,” and presently the sweet tones of a very young boy’s voice were heard in the solo of “Never lose sight of Jesus,” and the vast concourse sang with intense fervour. A little after seven o’clock Mr Evan Roberts, accompanied by the Rev. D. Mardy Davies, arrived. The gas jets in the gallery were extinguished in order to reduce the heat, but that was insufficient, and at the request of the pastor several window panes were broken. The unrest was promptly stilled. Mr Evan Roberts said his message was to the Churches, and when the Churches were awake and laboured prayerfully, blessings came and would come. They should ask for wisdom, so that they might be useful and successful. Miss Maggie Davies delivered a brief, pithy Welsh address, which led to the eliciting of the solo, “A glywaist ti son am Iachawdwr y byd?” being sung by a man in the gallery, the congregation joining in the refrain. “Mae’n dysgwyl am danat yn awr.” Mr. Evan Roberts spoke again for some time, but when he incidentally mentioned that “victory” was written on the banner of the Cross a Dowlais young lady struck up, very appropriately, “Ond buddugoliaeth Calfari enillodd fwy yn ol i mi, mi ganaf tra b’wyf byw.” Then, at the request of Mr Roberts, “Duw mawr y rhyfeddodau maith” was sung, and the rolling of the bass became a musical treat as well as an outlet for the fervour of the praise of the congregation. And thus this remarkable meeting went on, and prayers for the salvation of souls in that meeting were offered up by dozens, if not scores of people simultaneously, young women taking a very prominent part in this portion of the service. Prayers were subsequently offered for the spreading of the “flame” throughout the world, and while this was at its height the majority of those present sang softly in English and Welsh alternately, “For you I am praying.” Then, when the “test” for converts was made, and people rose to signify their surrender, the singing of “Diolch Iddo” became literally triumphant, and when the enthusiasm grew the singers, hundreds of them, actually clapped their hands with joy, keeping time with the music by the handclapping. Handkerchiefs were waved, and the scene formed another feature of this truly wonderful meeting. “Any more to save?” asked the evangelist. “Yes, yes,” were the cries, and passionate prayers followed, while some young ladies struck up singing “Come, sinner, come.” Suddenly comes another peculiar feature. A man from the gallery shouted, “A brother here has surrendered. He could not speak, so he has written a note to say he accepts Jesus Christ.” “Very good,” said the delighted evangelist. The enthusiastic pastor publicly thanked God for the meeting and for raising Evan Roberts to arouse the young men of Wales to lead the way in the salvation of the world. The hymn, “Marchog Iesu yn IIwyddianus,” was sung, and when this crowning gathering of the Dowlais series was dispersing the people sang in the open air, and sang in the streets, and sang in the trains that victorious Welsh march, “Marchog Iesu,” translated by my friend Mr Abraham Thomas, J.P., Llansamlet, into:- Blessed Jesus, march victorious, With Thy sword fixed at Thy side: Neither earth nor hell can hinder The God-Warrior in His ride. From, 'The Western Mail', 24th January 1905.Hebron Baptist church, Dowlais, where the revival began in August, contines to be full of the revival spirit. .. During the last seven months 247 have been added. New converts are still coming in, there being at the present time 22 inquirers awaiting baptism. Prayer meetings are held every night.

From, 'The South Wales Daily News', 29th March 1905.

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