Beaufort (1859)

This county (Monmouthshire), though nominally in England, is essentially a part of the principality. The Welsh language is still spoken in a few of the towns and predominates in some of the country districts, more especially the localities which have become the seat and centre of the great iron works. Here a vast number of people—English, Scotch, Irish, and Welsh—are congregated, and immense efforts have been made for their spiritual benefit both by Churchmen and Dissenters. The revival, in all its power and blessedness, has penetrated the iron and colliery districts. All classes have experienced its effects. Its divine character has been attested by the marvellous change wrought in the habits of thought, and speech, and action of multitudes, and some of them the most abandoned and wicked in the families and neighbourhoods to which they belonged.

The Rev. Thos. Rees, of Beaufort, whose church and congregation have shared largely in the revival blessings, writes, under date of March 7, as follows :

"The Welsh Congregational churches in the county of Monmouth have, since the spring of last year, enjoyed times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.' There is scarcely a congregation in the whole of the Welsh district of the county which has not been more or less moved. I am not able to furnish you with the exact number added to our churches, but I am certain that at least two thousand have joined our societies since April 1859. There are amongst the converts several above seventy years of age, and many as young as eight years; but the majority is made up of young people from fifteen to thirty.

"The revival in this county is not so powerful and extensive as it is in Cardiganshire, North Wales, and even in some districts of the counties of Brecknock, Carmarthen, and Glamorgan. Still its blessed effects are visible amongst us in the increased spirituality and zeal of professors, the unexampled co-operation and union of Christians ' of all evangelical denominations, the conversion of multitudes of sinners, and the decided improvement of the population generally in their morals. "The feelings manifested at the public services in this county are not so intense and overpowering as in some other parts of the principality, but occasionally large congrega­tions are bathed in tears.

"The prayer-meetings held in January last, and in which the Independents, the Calvinistic Methodists, the Wesley­ans, and in some rare instances the Baptists and the Epis­copalians, most heartily joined, have resulted in the addition of large numbers to the churches. Above fifty have joined the church under my care since the beginning of this year. The church under the pastoral care of the Rev. K Jenkins at Rhymney has had above one hundred and fifty added to it during the same period. In some of our churches the awakening is gaining strength from week to week. May the Lord continue to pour down His Spirit until every lost sinner is brought to the Saviour !"

From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.

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